Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Staying Refreshed while we fight the War

In my quest to lose weight, I try to drink lots of water. I usually don't drink my water "straight" but flavor it up with lemondade. My favorite has been the little individual packets from Crystal Light. But, I have recently discovered another flavoring. If you like just a touch of flavor in your water, try True Lemon, Lime or Orange. It's refreshing!! I discovered this flavoring through an e-mail advertising free samples. If you know me, I'm always on the look-out for FREE!! But also, this company is doing a good thing for our country. They are donating 10 packets to Operation Gratitude for every new registration for their free samples. They have almost reached their goal of donating 1,000,000 packets for their Patriot Drive in May. (Operation Gratitude is sending 50,000 care packages to our troops serving Iraq and Afghanistan.) If you would like to receive free packets of True Lemon and find out more about it, click HERE. Stay hydrated this summer!!

The war in Iraq is on my mind a lot lately. I am not going to get political on you - that's another story!!! But, my daughter is a pediatrician in the Army and I am trying to get prepared for her phone call that she is being deployed. Just about everyone she did her residency with and the interns in the classes below and above her, have gotten the "call". She stays busy sending "care packages" to her friends and fellow classmates. (She has a secret cookie that she loves to send them to keep up their spirits.) So far, she has been safe since she is now doing a Fellowship in DC. But, her good friend in Fellowship (who will finish this June) has already gotten her orders to go to Iraq in August. Ashley keeps trying to prepare me that this is a reality. But, I tend to think like Scarlett - and will worry about it tomorrow. I hope tomorrow never comes. My son served in the Army also after his graduation from West Point. He has always been a very lucky guy. The good luck bucket follows him around! When he got his orders to go to Iraq, he had just gotten married. That was a bummer for him and his new wife and family. But, what could he do? Off he went. His luck came when his "office" in Baghdad happened to be one of Sadam's castles. He jokingly told us that he would wait to do his "morning constitutionals" on Sadam's porcelain throne!! Plus, to make things better, he ended up only having to serve there about 6 months. So we were fortunate to have him back safe and sound and hopefully, without too many bad memories. He came home and started his married life and has become a remarkable husband and father. (Can you tell, I am a proud mama????)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Exercise at the mall

Happy Sunday to all! Hope it was a good day. It was for me. After breakfast I asked my hubbie what was on the agenda. His plans were for us to go to the "Y" and exercise. I've been pretty good about doing that since we joined in January, but today just wasn't one of those days! I tempted him instead with a trip to Concord Mills Mall. Now, I know you are thinking, "my husband would NOT want to go to the mall!" Well, mine is not a mall person either - and forget about shopping!! BUT, Concord Mills has a Bass Pro Shop!! Ah Ha!! And, he has been wanting to get some new shoes AND a fummer hunting vest. So, off we went. Our first stop was the Bass Outlet (clothes store - not Bass Pro!). What a sale they were having - everything was on sale and in addition to that you took another 40% off! Of course, I didn't find anything (surprise, surprise!!). But, hubbie found some nice shoes at a great price! We walked all the way around the mall - going in tons of stores. I was looking for some summer shorts. Most of them were either too short, too expensive or the waistband was not at my waist! Seems like most clothes these days are made for the younger generation - not those of us who wear "granny panties"!!! Hubbie was getting to be an expert on scoping out the shorts. I'd pick up a pair and he'd say, "the zipper is too short" knowing if that was the case, they were low risers! Finally, after making it almost all the way around, I found Burlington Coat Factory (why do they still call it that? I didn't see any coats!!). But, their selection was great. Plus, by then, we were close to the Bass Pro Shop so hubbie could go there and I could shop and touch and feel to my hearts content! I ended up with 3 pairs of bermuda shorts and one capri set (with top and capri's) for a total of $65!! Pretty good, huh???!!!

Then, when we got home, I cleaned out my closet, putting away my winter sweaters and jeans and getting out my summer clothes. I had to try most of my summer stuff on since I've lost weight and am down 2 dress sizes!! Yippee!!! So all in all, it was a very productive day!

Enjoy this card I received this week from my Monday Mailer friend, Carol. She does beautiful work.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Being a Grown Up???

I guess being a grown up means you have to do the stuff you don't want to do before you do the good stuff! I started out the day by doing some chores I have been putting off. Like, dividing my African Violets. My violets have just been gorgeous this year. Don't know what I am doing different (well, maybe it's the violet pot and the fertilizer) but they have just taken off and have been blooming like crazy. My mother is the one who has the green thumb in the family (actually, I think she has 6 green thumbs because she can grow anything!!) I love plants but just don't always take the time to care for them properly. Sometimes they have to ask me for water. You know, when the leaves are laying on the floor, panting. I know my daughter knows what I am talking about because her plants have to beg her for water!! But, today, I divided one of my violets into 2 more plants. And since the weather has turned so nice, I moved all my house plants outside for the summer.

My next dreaded chore was to clean. I just hate to clean and usually the house has to beg me for attention!! But I got out that dust cloth and Windex and went to town. Of course, as usual, I got sidetracked in the meantime. A very good friend called (thanks, Sharon!) and I was able to sit in my rocker and visit with her for a while. Then, when I got to the dining room to clean, I realized I had pictures to hang. So, I got out my trusty hammer and nails and pounded a few holes. Then, it was lunch time!! Gotta stop and eat so I can keep up my strenth, right?? Finally, there were no more excuses and I dusted, Windex-ed the windows and even .... mopped the floor!! Now, I dare anyone to spill anything - you listening, Sonny? Tomorrow, guess I'll tackle upstairs.

After finishing my chores, I found time to play. I am working on some kid's cards. Cards for adults to give to cards. I am going to do a class on kids cards at Stampers Alley this summer. Since my kiddos are grown, this is turning out to be harder than I thought it would be. I'm used to doing cards with flowers. But I did a few that I am pleased with using clear stamps from My Favorite Things. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What's happening with American Idol??

Wow! That's all I can say. I wish American Idol hadn't become just a popularity contest, but that's what it seems. I guess Simon was right when he said his praise of her was the "kiss of death"! My sister, my daughter and myself were debating earlier (before seeing the show) as to who would get the boot. I really thought it would be between Brooke and Jason (didn't we all??). My sister called it though. She thought it would be Carly. I know a lot of people are turned off by her tattoos (let's not even look at her husband!!), but come on, it's a singing competition - vote for their voice not their looks!! Unfortunately, I didn't get to see it last night so couldn't vote (my vote would have been for Sayesha and David Cook). Wonder if my votes would have kept Sayesha from the bottom two??? I think it will come down to the two Davids and David Cook has my vote. The younger David needs to mature some more in my opinion. Of course, I also thought the final three would include Carly - what do I know??? Neil Diamond is next week. Wouldn't Carly have done a great Cracklin' Rosie or Glory Road?? We'll never know.

I want to share a card that I am working on for a swap. Signing off for now - Embrace Life!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stamping Fun today

Today was a lazy feeling day for me! It was overcast all day & Sonny was gone to the shooting range, so I was just lazy!! I made a few cards that I want to share with you.

The first one is for my Monday Mailer (using decorative paper). It is a gift card holder and is part of the Splitcoast Technique Challenge that was posted on Monday. It was fun to make and only took me two tries!! I used the Tart and Tangy set from SU's mini catalog with the Summer Picnic designer paper.

The second card also uses designer paper from the mini catalog called Afternoon Tea. It is gorgeous paper - really elegant. I used a flower from the Pretties kit and stamped on it and I stamped the sentiment "best friends listen to what you don't say" on vellum! Doesn't that saying say it all??!! I really like how it turned out.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Welcome to Spring!

I woke up yesterday and looked out the window at the beautiful yellow finches having breakfast in our back yard. Sonny & I love to feed the birds - as you can tell from the picture! But, we get really irritated at the squirrels who try to eat all the bird's food and destroy our feeders. So, we have tried to outwit them! Sonny strung wire between the trees and hung the feeders on the wire. The squirrels still manage to jump on some of the feeders but we have also bought "squirrel proof" feeders. When they land on the perch, it shuts the feeder so they can't get any of the food out!! When that doesn't work, Sonny keeps a BB Gun by the backdoor and has fun shooting the little fellas! We have really been having a lot of finches, woodpeckers and cardinals this week.

Another springtime view in our area are the beautiful dogwoods that are in bloom as well as the other fruit trees. I pulled off the road yesterday to get a shot of this beautiful tree near our house. We have so much shade in our yard, we don't have any dogwoods. I told Sonny I wanted him to go in the woods & dig up a dogwood for me. Of course, that is not possible because it is against the law here - the dogwood is our state tree!! So, I'll just enjoy them from afar.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I've been busy today getting my stamps ready for Stampers Alley's big Used Stamp Sale May 3rd. This is will be the second year that I have participated in the sale and also the second year I have been MIA!!! Last year, I was at a NC SU regional meeting and this year, I will be in .... HAWAII!!! Can't wait!! Anyhoo ... I will have about 50 stamp sets (mostly Stampin' Up) in the sale. Hoping to make some money so I can purchase some new ones. It's all about the stamps, baby!!

I did have time to do a card today for Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge. I used My Favorite Things Cowgirl stamp for the first time and some Basic Grey paper I have had for a while. I think it turned out real cute!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What was I saying??? Test your memory!

Well, yesterday found me trying something new. I joined a Mahjong group to learn how to play the game. Lucily, all 12 of us except for 4 had never played before. So the 4 "experts" had the job of teaching us. If you aren't familiar with this game, Mahjong is a game for four players that originated in China. It involves skill, strategy , and calculation, as well as a certain degree of chance. In the game, you are given thirteen tiles for a hand (depending on the variation being played). When your turn comes, you draw a tile and discard one. Your goal is to create a Mahjong which is too hard to explain!! One of the gals who was teaching us said that as she aged, she was starting to lose her short term memory. Her doctor recommended she learn Mahjong to stretch her mind. Hopefully, it will have that effect of me because my memory is .... what was I saying???? Here's a good article on memory tricks - give it a read! http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/09/healthmag.memory.tricks/index.html

After playing Mahjong all day, I had a quick 2 hours at home before going to Stampers Alley for a PrintWorks card class. We made some really cute cards and I got to visit with friends and my sister, Marianne. I'm so glad she is enjoying card making and has joined me at many of the classes! Plus, we got a rubber stamp for the price of the class!! Here is a picture of the cards I made last night.

Enjoy your day!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Michael's 50% off coupon

Just wanted to share this coupon with you. 50% off at Michaels - Woo Hoo!!!


Maintenance can be a good thing!

I was dreading today! I go to Weight Watchers every Tuesday so today was it. Normally, it's ok, but .... last week I was in VEGAS baby!! And, what happens in Vegas stays with ya! I was not a good girl in staying on my Weight Watchers plan. (I don't call it a diet - it's really a different lifestyle of eating.) Monday was our first full day there and it was also our anniversary (#35!!!). There is a great Italian restaurant off the Strip in Vegas that we try to visit on each trip. A carafe of wine comes with your meal and at the end, they bring you the best Cappuccino ever!!! Of course, Sonny doesn't like wine and I don't like to waste, so I tried to do my best with the wine. Luckily, the meal I ordered wasn't my favorite (I was branching out and trying something new) so I didn't stuff myself with the pasta. Then on Tuesday, we traveled to the Strip again for dinner at Stage Deli. They serve the biggest pastrami sandwich you have ever seen. I do believe it has a pound of meat on the sandwich. Again, I didn't want to be wasteful so I had to eat the whole thing. I did resist the cheesecake though. After dinner, we went to see Jersey Boys at the Pallazzio. It was wonderful and we would both highly recommend it - especially if you are a big Four Seasons or Frankie Valli fan like I am. Our sweet daughter got us tickets to the show for our anniversary and the seats were excellent!! No one showed up for the seats in front of us so we didn't have to peer over anyone's head even if we did have a "chatty cathy" sitting beside Sonny. Every morning in Vegas we enjoyed the breakfast buffet at the Golden Nugget - omelets, bacon, sausage, etc. etc. One morning I even had to try the bread pudding (I know - breakfast dessert!!). It was the hot rum sauce that you could pour over the pudding that hooked me! Yummmm. After all, Sonny was having eclairs!! If the food wasn't enough, one day I drank White Russians all day and another day it was Capt. Morgans with DIET coke - talk about calories!! Wow! Anyway, back to Weight Watchers. I was holding my breath during weigh in, trying not to breath. The leader said "you didn't do so bad". When I looked at my card, I hadn't lost anything BUT I hadn't gained either!! So maintaining is a good thing!

I was able to make a card this morning for the challenge on Splitcoast Stampers. I love their site and used to always do their challenges. Lately, life has gotten in the way and I have not made time to do the challenges. They have a different one each day. Monday is technique; Tuesday is colors; Wednesday is a sketch, etc. So today's challenge was using the colors: blush blossom; groovy guava; and basic gray. Yesterday's technique challenge was to make a card using double ribbon somehow. So here is my card which met both of these challenges. I will be sending this card for my Monday Mailer because it uses SU's Ginger Blossom designer paper. I also used my Cuttlebug and my star punches. Hope you like it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bridge day

Well, day #2 on my blogging! So far, so good!
Today was my bridge day. I play bridge twice a month with my Newcomer's group. I had great cards and actually got the highest score today!! First time in about a year for that and I came home a whole $6 richer!! Sonny & I took bridge lessons at the "Y" when we were dating (35 years ago!!). We used to play a lot when we were younger - then kids and other commitments came along and bridge went along the wayside. I started playing again about 10 years ago when we lived in Texas. Sonny tried it a couple of times and decided it was just too boring for him!! It has been a good way for me to get together with other ladies and meet friends when we've moved. I join a Newcomers group and find a bridge group. I used to be so nervous playing that I would just sweat when it came my time to bid or especially if I got the bid & had to play the hand. I remember once in my early days of playing that Sonny & I were partners and were bidding a slam hand. I had a few too many drinks I think & ended up bidding really high in Clubs when actually the suit I should have been bidding was Spades because I didn't have Clubs!! But, over the years, my skills have improved and I can hold my own.

On Wednesday, I am going to a ladies house to learn to play Mah Jong. I have heard of groups playing Mah Jong & just loving it so thought I'd give it a try. I've played it before on the computer but I think this will be a little different. I'll let you know how it goes!

I participate in a Monday Mailer Stampin' Up group. We get different people each month to send a card to with a different theme. This month the card has to use Designer paper. I decided to try a Double Pocket Card and I really like it!! Here is a tutorial that will show you how to make one. And here is my card using Stampin' Up's Western Sky paper and the Wanted stamp set. I'm loving this paper!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My First Attempt at Blogging!

Well, I am going to try my hand at blogging. I'm sure there will be a lot of trial and error as I try to figure out all the "in's and out's" of blogging, but just bear with me please!! I read so many good blogs every day that I decided to take the plunge. I spend a lot of time looking at other blogs during the day. My daughter in law, Darcie, just recently started her own blog & man, is she good! She is a writer so it is very enjoyable reading her blog. I am really getting to know her better from her posts. Hopefully, you will get to know a little about me from my posts.

My reason for doing a blog is to share the cards that I make with others. I really love making cards. I'm not always great about getting them in the mail, but I am working on it. I could spend all day in my stamping room making cards, reading e-mails, blogs and playing on-line spades!! I have a tee-shirt that says it all ..... Stamping 24/7!! Just ask my husband - he usually has to call me downstairs to fix dinner every night!!

Something else I enjoy as much as making the cards is teaching others to make their own special creations. The cards I'm sharing with you today are a group of 3x6" cards that I am making for a class I will be teaching in June at Stampers Alley in Mooresville. I finally finished my samples today!! Hope you enjoy them and if you're in the area in June, come join the class!