Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Round Up

Crazy thing holidays. You start out thinking you have all the time in the world and then - wham - it's all gone and the holidays are almost over. Where did it all go? I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote anything on here. I guess I must make some NY resolutions to write an entry at least so many times a week. Every day will be stretching it, but on the other hand - writing is good for me and the more I write the better I'll be so maybe I'll try writing everyday and see how it goes.

Anyway, my last entry promised a summary of my trip back east to see family.

I had a wonderful time. For me, I don't think it would be - could be - the holidays if I didn't go home and see my family. I don't know if it will seem the same when we have kids and it costs too much for us to go out. I don't think about that part too much.

For me, the season is all about smells, sights and being together. My sister did loads of baking while I was home. It seemed like every time we went to Mom's house she ended up in the kitchen baking some sort of cookies. Peanut butter were my favorite this time. I think my all time favorite were the lemon bars Mom use to make.

We went a couple of places - to M's local community center for swimming, to the new Please Touch Museum Philadelphia's Fairmont Park, to Hershey Park's Candy Lane and Drive-thru Light Display.
At the Please Touch Museum, I couldn't believe the stuff ("exhibits" I guess is the correct word) available for the kids to play with. My favorite was the water room complete with a duck stream with plastic smocks for the kids and plenty of ducks and rubber floor mats. I won't lie. I thought it was expensive, but Maddie had a wonderful time and that's what counts.

Hershey Park was fun. I've never been there for their Christmas Candy Land before. Mom said they started it up after we were "older". Yeah, I think it celebrated it's 25th anniversary this year.... or maybe 20th. Anyway, that made me feel old. UGH.

Mostly, I just spent time with Mom, M and Maddie. I saw J a couple of times and A even less - they were both working loads. Mom wasn't up for too much - she was still in a cast during my visit. Her leg is now in a boot but one of her screws started coming lose so the doctor has restricted her activities since I was home. Hopefully, she'll have better news next week when she goes back.

Coming home is always wonderful too. I flew through Denver both times and I can't believe the difference in only a week. From Sunny to snow. Luckily, I beat the big storms and didn't have much to worry about delay-wise. I got into SFO around 3 p.m. and took BART home. A first for me. T has always picked me up at the airport from other trips but starting a new job means no vacation/personal days - so I had to suffer alone. Ah well.

We spent Christmas Eve at T's parents. We had a lovely dinner soup, breads and desserts. Yum. The next morning we had breads, cinnamon rolls and other delicious snacks. Then we opened presents and dinner (another yummy meal) before heading back home. I know the cat missed us.

It was a wonderful holiday. T had the rest of the week off so we did some shopping and just relaxed. He's at work now. He only has NYD off but he'll probably leave early on the NYE because it's our anniversary - 3 years go us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Home again.

Just back from a week+ visiting my family in PA. I had a great time but it's always nice to come home. I wish we weren't so far away but there's not much I can do about that.

I'll update with a summary of my adventures shortly. Later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I'll be going home later today for a week so I'll miss T's starting his new job. I'll follow up when I get back.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's been a while.

We're still unpacking but I figured I'd post some empty apartment pictures so everyone could at least see what we moved into. Just remember things aren't nearly as neat anymore.I'll definitely put some more up once the boxes are cleared and things are straightened up more... could be awhile at this rate.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Well, we moved on Tuesday. The movers were fast and efficient. We are still unpacking. I am tired of the boxes but it could be worse.

We need to get some new bookcases and a some other furniture (computer desk, table and storage/bookcase) for my scrapbooking stuff and then we should be good.

Work called on Wednesday with questions. I guess that means I did something... I was a little shocked.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Picking up keys.

Today, T and I are driving down to get our new apartment keys and take some things down. My last day is Monday. Movers come on Tuesday. Wednesday we unpack some. Thursday is Thanksgiving. Friday more unpacking and probably the weekend... then we'll be down to the old apartment to clean (change it up a bit and all). Should be great fun.

Not really.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still packing...

It'll never end.

At least we have movers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Packing continues.

I am not doing well with the whole packing thing. T's made progress. I'm just not into the groove. I have managed to make myself bleed several times. It's a wonder T lets me keep using the tape gun and the whole thing. I guess it's my part in the process. Bleeding over everything. Fun.

T's mom is out tomorrow to help me pack. I get to leave work early to do it too. FUN. I'm not sure if we'll get anything done.

All for now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's been a while.

I don't remember when I wrote last so let's rehash.

Mom had an accident last week and broke her leg. She is at home being taken care of by Grandma and is doing as well as we can hope.

T. got a new job and after many frustrating apartment viewings we found a great place. We're going to be moving soon. I'm not looking forward to that but it'll be fine once we're in. I'm really excited about our new place.

Not too much else. I'm suppose to be writing for National Novel Writing Month but I haven't done very well this year. I'll try harder this weekend. It's difficult when we were always away looking at apartments or I was freaking out about mom... hard to concentrate but I'm going to try really hard to work on that.

That's all I can think of. I'm going to go read and then go to bed. T's parents are out tomorrow for his birthday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Long weekend.

Mom is back at the house recovering. Grandma came down from NJ to spend the next week to 10 days helping out. When Mom goes to the Doctor's again, we'll see what he says and what her prognosis is.

T. got the job so we spent all weekend looking for places we'd want to live and are running out of time. Very frustrating. I just wish we were done and moving to the next set of problems.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm waiting again.

It's something I'm not good at. I hate it. I start fixating on how much I hate waiting and it only makes everything seem slower and take longer. Ugh. My lack of patience is probably my worst fault.

Anyway, my mom fell down the stairs Monday morning and had to go the hospital. I got a text as I was arriving at work that morning. That night, Mom told me she was waiting to have it set the next day at her orthopedic surgeon's office. Yeah, she already had one. She's broken her leg/ankle a couple of times that I remember and she had her knee repaired. At least, Dr. Mazur is good and she already knew him.

He told her she needed surgery so that's this afternoon sometime EST. I'm here waiting in California to hear her recovery, etc.

That all comes on top of the waiting for the company T. interviewed with last week and the week before to come back with a counter offer. They offered him 10% more than he makes now, but it's more expensive down in San Jose so he asked for more. They underpay their engineers I guess because he got an email yesterday saying they were still debating the issue.

Fun, fun fun.

Oh yeah, Happy Birthday, Amy! What a way to spend your birthday, at the hospital waiting for Mom.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election day.

I am so glad the election will be over today. This whole Presidential Race has gone on way too long. I'm tired of it and the signs and all the stupid messages on my answering machine. I voted by mail last week so calling me now is just ticking me off.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rainy day.

Welcome Monday!

It rained off and on all weekend. It's raining again now. Sort of a middling rain... not too hard but not misty soft either. It's still a little to know that it's raining again and to hear the tires driving through it over and over again. But we need the rain. It's been a dry year. Not good.

The first two days of National Novel Writing Month went well. I tallied 6,000+ words over the weekend. I wasn't pushing myself too hard. I'm trying to enjoy the process and let the writing move me on. So far, it seems to be working. I was planning on doing grocery shopping after work this afternoon but I think I'll just go home. I hate carrying grocery bags in the rain. I'm sure we have something to eat.

On other news, Mom fell this morning and broke her leg. She's at home now but I'm waiting for updates since I can't just rush over. Sometimes I hate being 3,000 miles from home.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Howdy. I had planned on doing an update yesterday but my compact flash reader wasn't working and I don't like using my camera to download images... Not that I know where the cord is for that off hand. So I couldn't upload my Halloween pictures. ah well. Maybe I'll add them later.

Anyway, National Novel Writing Month has started and I am busy writing away. As this doesn't add to my word count, I'll be going now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

50,000 words.

Who hasn't said they'd like to write a novel someday? Who has actually done it? Probably not too many. I've written two (unpublished) ones myself. The writing is the most important part. If you never sit down and start, you're never going to accomplish your goal. It's that simple.

How to be a novelist? You have to be a writer. You have to write. It's crazy that it needs to be spelled out that way but it's the honest truth. Writing is a skill that can only develop when one uses it. You can't claim your a writer without ever going through the process of writing. What most of us needs is motivation. A challenge to get us off our lazy butts and working for a goal and that's the whole point of National Novel Writing Month. Lucky for me and you, November is National Novel Writing Month and there's nothing better than knowing that somewhere out in the wide world some other crazy people are spending the next 30 days trying to scrap out 50,000 words.

It sounds like it should be easy but it isn't. In 2006, I managed over 65,000 words. I was so proud of myself when I got my official certificate, but last year didn't go so well. I don't think I got 25,000. I just couldn't get into the flow I needed. Writer's Block is so cliche but it is so true and it can be debilitating. I guess I'm making excuses too.

This time around one of my friends LW is going to attempt the gauntlet with me. She's been talking about writing a novel for years so I sent her a thoughtfully written challenge:

Dear Ms. LW - Singer Extraordinaire - Older Sister's Best Friend - Holder of Aforementioned-Sister's Secrets -

You might be asking your self "why was I fortunate enough to receive your email?" You are right to be awed and speechless. There is no time for groveling. You must prepare.

The time has come to prepare for the fun and excitement of novel writing. While many have tried, few have succeed. Many boast of their goals, few will realize. Only the strong, the brave and the bizarrely strange.

The Calendar might say "September" but you only have two months to prepare your mind and ideas for the glorious event that is National Novel Writing Month - http://www.nanowrimo.org/. Now that I have lured you in with my clever lines and phrasing, you will have no choice but to fall for my plan of getting your fingers working on your novel to be. While you might aspire to be a novelist, you are only a novelist once you have finished the novel - published or not - and you get a cool little certificate that you print out and stick to your wall showing all who they are dealing with.

Don't worry. I will continue to hound you for the next 8 weeks and then maybe daily during November. You will learn to love the bits of wisdom that my fingers send you and you will be forever grateful - a mention in your thank you will do no need to dedicate the book to me as that would be too much.

Now, to be truly cruel, I am Ccing M. who is delegated the task of asking about your book whenever she emails you and talks to you on the phone. You might want to mention her in the thank yous too.

Doesn't this all sound like fun. Get to work planning cuz you only have 7.5 weeks left.


PS - No I'm not joking. Give in.

I'm hoping we'll be able to keep each other motivated. My husband is supportive but as a non-writer he does not quite understand the issues at hand. He tries and I love him for it, but having someone trying the same challenge is just that fabulous.

So, I challenge you, my fellow thespians, to get their computers, typewriters, pens and paper pads ready for something you have been mumbling and thinking about your entire life. You will try to write that book, paper, essay you always dreamed off but never managed to set the time aside for it. So, you might write crap. Who cares? You have to exorcise all the crap before you can write the good stuff. Or maybe that crap just needs to be edited 50 times to get to the heart of the story. You won't know until you're done.

You can't ever be a writer, if you never write. I admit that I am a lapsed writer. I haven't written as much as I should lately. I've been more of a reader and a photographer and a scrapbooker, but writing is an important facet of my life.

I want another certificate to stick to my wall and another cool t-shirt. My 2006 one is falling apart. It's my favorite nightgown. Ah well.

Time to stretch those fingers and grab your thesaurus.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feels like tomorrow should be Friday.

It's probably not a good thing when you spend the whole day thinking it's Thursday. I don't know how many times today I had to remind myself it was only Tuesday. That's never a good thing. The week just seems that much longer.

I know it's mainly because I'm dying for the whole job thing to be wound up. T has another interview on Friday and might have to go in a time after that because the VP he's suppose to meet is in NY all week. I'm just ready for something to be decided.

I've been spending my free time looking at apartments in different areas. I don't think we'll make enough to get any thing in or near San Francisco. This mainly means we'll be going to the South Bay and T will have to drive to the SF office a couple of times a month (maybe more). We're hoping to more on Friday. Then again, he might not get this job anyway and all this will be one big disappointment.

I really, really want things to be settled soon so I (we, actually) can sort out the next phase of our life. This job thing has been hanging over us all year. Never knowing what's coming or when the layoffs will be and who will be gone has been draining.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Well, T. had his interview and it went so well that they called him back as he was pulling into the parking lot of the restaurant where we were meeting for dinner. Seriously. Looks like there will be another interview sometime next week... maybe Friday (hopefully, earlier)

Fingers crossed~

Interview day.

My husband is on his way to the city for an interview with a promising software company based in San Francisco (and with offices outside of San Jose).

*fingers crossed*

Too excited, more later.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Handy time waster.

I don't know how I found DamnInteresting.com. I guess that doesn't matter. I passed that first article onto my husband because it was interesting (wish I could remember what it was {this one possibly or maybe this one }). Anyway, let's just say he's an addict. He'll send me three or four links a day some days. They're always interesting. Random stuff that you don't need to know to survive but grab your attention and hold it. Then you start pushing the "next" button and you're a lost cause.

Pass it on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hump day.

Well, yesterday could've been better. I'll admit my day went pretty well. Good news, but too early to share (and no I'm not pregnant).

T's day didn't go so well - which made me have a 'not-so-good' day either. More layoffs. Ugh. He wasn't laid off but a bunch of people from his office were (most were at the Dallas office - now down to 25 people). I can't imagine how frustrated he is with the constant changes in personnel and projects. He's gone from the China project, to finishing up a dying project and is now on a project with the Finland office. Crazy.

Days like that just suck. I tell myself we're lucky - good health, not hurting financially, free to move on, etc. but you still wish things were easier at times.

Ah well. It makes us count our blessings more, right?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cold feet.

I'm sitting here waiting to go to work. Working the afternoon shift always seems so much longer than the morning one. I get more done and then I have all afternoon to fitter away on whichever project holds my interest. Mornings are harder to get results. I sleep in later. No 6 a.m. alarm to get me to workout. I don't think I usually work out as long either. I did 35 minutes on the treadmill this morning and it wasn't really good because I generally spend an hour or so exercising on the mornings I get up earlier. On the other hand, I'm beginning to enjoy the treadmill. Never thought I'd think that - I'm sure Mom would never, ever believe that I have become a Runner. Do expect me to start running marathons or even outside but I'm just surprised I can run 30 minutes non-stop on a decent speed with inclines.

My feet are cold. I can hear T. telling in my head to put socks on - just like my parents did when I was a kid. I still haven't learned. I'm really into socks unless I'm wearing shoes, but as soon as I get home I take my shoes - and socks - off. I'm just a girl who prefers to go barefoot. I use to go barefoot out in the snow. I will say that I have some fabulously bright colored fuzzy (lotion-infused) slipper-socks that are just heaven. Not really for wearing with sneakers, but great for around the house. I'm just to lazy to get up and get them.

Ah well.

Monday, October 20, 2008


The weekend was relaxing and a bit chilly (at least while the fog was in). I finally knuckled down and made myself apply for some design teams for a couple websites I really like. It'll be days before I hear anything one way or the other and I can't stand it. I just want to know. Patience is definitely a virtue I admire in other people. Ha!

One of the scrap pages I did this weekend:

I had a pretty good time making a mess in the living room. I moved all of my scrapbooking stuff into the dining room area of our apartment and called it good. No point in going crazy with setting stuff up if we'll be moving... (maybe).

In other news, T. has a job interview for a software firm in San Francisco and Sunnyvale. He had the phone interview last week and talked to the group manager for an hour (a long time for a weed-out phone interview). He got a "call back" via email Friday night and will be going in this coming Friday. Again, more waiting. I'm just too happy that he's still excited about this prospect and company. He's had some other phone interviews that just didn't work out. The work wasn't interesting or what-have-you. This time around seems perfect. He already knows the language and system they use (Yeah!) and he has experience with the customer base they are trying to get.

The company he works for now is publishing their quarterly earnings tomorrow. It doesn't sound good and there are rumors - as always - flying that layoffs are coming around (again!). A whole year of suspense and worry - I just want it to end... (Well, end well for us, I mean.) Hm.

Plans for this week include... going to the pumpkin patch and getting some good photos, dragging out my lighting kit and working on self-portraits and doing some housework (possibly). I don't want to over do it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Believe. Beliefs.

I walked to the library today after work. I like my walks down there even on days when it's a bit too warm and I'm sweating in my jeans. Lucky for me, I changed into shorts so it wasn't all that bad.

About halfway there, I passed a new sign for a church ...the Chinese Community of the Soul (I think). The name was in English and Chinese followed by a quote from the Gospel of Mark. The name struck me. I think I'm pretty close to what it was even if I'm not a 100% right. It got me thinking about my own personal beliefs about God and religion. Deep thoughts for a walk to the library.

When people ask I usually say "I'm Catholic;" more recently it's been "I was raised Catholic" because I haven't been to church in awhile. I'll be honest and say that I have some problems with Catholicism but that doesn't change the beauty of the rituals and of the Mass. I miss that aspect some days. Mostly I think of myself as just "Religious". That's what I came to on my walk anyway. I believe in a Higher Power but I don't think there's one way to get there or to Divine Happiness or Heaven or the After Life.

I honestly don't care what religion someone else follows. I don't think people who don't believe in God or who don't think Jesus is the Savior are destined for Hell. God can't be that mean (as in miserly not angry). When it comes down to it, most religions are about doing what is right as a human being and growing. Any way you put how can that be wrong. I don't think Heaven is exclusionary, just for certain people. We're too beautifully different for that. If God had wanted that, we'd all be the same with the same thoughts and goals and just be flat.

Me, I think I'll focus more on being a good person and worrying less about what others are doing. People are human first... before anything else... religious (priests, sisters, nuns, rabbis, reverends, what-have-yous) and good second. I think we forget that. I know I do. Someone isn't just good or bad. They're human.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lensbaby love.

I've had my Lensbaby 2.0 (now called "the Muse") for at least a year - probably longer. I haven't used as much as I should, but that doesn't mean I don't love this toy. If I could, I'd have the whole collection to play with and be all the happier for it. I, however, do not have an infinity supply of camera gear money. Shocking but true. Ah well.

I took it out today for the first time ...in a long while (for which I humbly apologize for oh lensbaby toy) and had a grand old time taking self portraits. All of them were bad, but playing with any lens is always good fun even if the results suck.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I cooked. I wanted to try making ratatouille. I didn't follow recipe exact but I don't think I've ever done that in my life. It was okay. I don't know what it's suppose to taste like so I'm not sure if what I made was close or not. I don't know if I'd make it again.

After yesterday's post, I figured you'd be skeptical so I was planning on taking pictures throughout the process. HA. Forgot. Oh well.

I did make it though.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I'm not big on cooking. I blame my parents. Growing up, I was the one sent to the grocery store while making Christmas cookies or holiday meals since I was least likely to be helping in the kitchen. They made my older sister and me make dinner growing up. Mom is a nurse so she always worked the 3-11 shift. Dad worked from 7 until 6 or so at night. Who else was there? I understand their logic and I know it's good I can cook. I just prefer not to... If I was in charge, we'd have a fabulous chef who could make decadent meals that are both delicious and healthy. I'm not holding my breathe though.

Cooking is all well and good but I never could get over the mess it made and the fact that after cooking I had to clean up and wash the dishes. I hate messy kitchens. I can blissfully ignore messes in every other room but the kitchen. It's kind of ironic that my high school job was working in the kitchen of a psychiatric hospital - washing pots and pans.

T. cannot cook (again, parents are to blame). (Sorry, hon, you know I love you; it's not your fault). He never learned but every once in a while he tries a dish or grills something. In general, we subsist on sandwiches, frozen dinners and crock pot meals (which I don't consider cooking). I'm all for throwing things in a pot or a mixer and seeing what comes out. I'm not big on patience in the kitchen and tend to say good enough too much when it comes to cooking.

Recently, I found Cooking For Engineers. Anyone who knows an engineer will see the humor in the site. Each recipe has step-by-step instructions and a flow chart. Seriously. Maybe now T. (an engineer) will turn out to be an excellent chef - he only needs the proper pictorial graph. Here's hoping.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Portal - Still Alive

Ok, I'll admit that I am not a gamer. I barely can play solitaire without getting bored but when T. beat Portal he called me to watch the finale and it was damn funny. I even tried to play the game at one point because of it. (T. enjoyed laughing at my sad attempts to move forward. Let's just say it didn't last more than five minutes.)

This version of the final song is just the best I've seen... it made me smile so I thought I'd share. Enjoy.
Portal - Still Alive typography from Trickster on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I haven't felt like blogging the past few days. Nothing worth saying and I was in a major funk. No real reason for it but just felt blah. To fill any interested parties in, I'm copying a section of a letter I wrote to my friend (yes, I still write letters and mail them... usually typed, sometimes handwritten).

I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday for a checkup (mainly because I have Gilbert’s Syndrome, a pretty dull disease that has no affect on anything unless it gets screwy [slim to none chance] and it’s hereditary (thanks, Mom!)). It’s such a dull thing that Mom didn’t know she had it until they diagnosed me and told me to have my family checked. Basically, I need regular blood tests on the off-chance there’s something wrong with the GS and because I’ve been tired. I’ve even gained 10 pounds since last year. UGH. This is with me working out every fricking day during the week and taking long walks in the afternoon. Seriously.

I went in yesterday morning for the blood work and had all my results emailed by the end of the day complete with notes from the doctor. Got to love modern technology… and Kaiser too. Everything is good. No thyroid condition or anemia; my GS is perfectly fine. So now I’m not sure if I should be happy or frustrated that working out just isn’t cutting it for me. I don’t obsess about calories but I’m not eating cheesecake every day either. Too bad, we aren’t rich enough for someone to make me perfectly portioned meals everyday that taste good. UGH.

T. thinks I’m letting the whole thing get to me too much and that it’ll work out all well and good. If he worked out with me everyday and gained weight, I’m sure he’d understand my frustration - not that he isn't supportive; he just doesn't understand. Part of me just wants to give up and scream while shoving spoonfuls of Chocolate Overload cake from Michelle Marie’s Patisserie into my mouth while laughing evilly and licking the crumbs off the plate. But then there’s the whole guilt thing. Another part just wants to cry until my eyes swell shut. Then there’s the slim leftover part that is pushing me to work harder and stop bitching. I think all three are good ideas, esp. the cake part. That won’t happen though because I don’t want to drive to that side of town. Traffic over there usually sucks this time of day and I don’t want to be bothered. I can’t cry because I’m at work and I’d have my coworkers peering into my windows and sticking their heads in my door asking if I’m okay. I’d never hear the end of it. So, that really just leaves option c.

I feel better now. I'm looking forward to the weekend. I keep telling myself it's just a number and my clothes fit better now than they did last year but having your doctor tell you that you gained 10 pounds and that it's a concern is just depressing. There, I said it. Now, can I move on??? Please.

Anyway, I found these hooks at Urban Outfitters while surfing the net yesterday afternoon. The "welcome" hooks made me smile. I love the color on that one. I think I like the "beautiful day" phrasing more. I'd buy the one on the right and spray paint it yellow or some other random happy color. Just thinking about that makes it a better day altogether.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Week in the Life. (Update)

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I'm a firm believer I just wish I could figure something I liked that was also quick and healthy because I don't want to get up any earlier on the mornings I go into work than I already do. (I know, I know cry me a river.)

Usually I exercise every weekday morning before I do anything else (eat breakfast, whatever). I need to get it out of the way or I'd never do it. I'm getting better at that whole thing though and I'm beginning to actually enjoy it... sweating and all.

At work, I have a wonderful office that has a heavy sturdy door that locks. Unfortunately, I will be loosing the office and being moved to a cubicle in the coming weeks as the guys have hired another golf architect and little me doesn't need an office as much as he does. I will cry rivers of tears those last days - but everything must end.

After work yesterday, I read Photo Freedom again and have started the process of sorting all of my albums and photos from the last few years. I will also need to start working on my computer storage as well. I have loads of pictures but finding anything isn't always easy. I'm hoping Stacy Julian's bookStacy's Blogwill help.

If you're interested, Photo Freedom is a system for sorting, filing and managing one's photos for scrapbooking and crafting. I know too well how frustrating it can be to be working on something and spend half the day looking for an image (or five for a project). I discovered this particular joy when I was creating my friend's birthday present (an album with pictures from our entire friendship spanning more than 20 years). IF only I had had some easier way. I have the gist of Stacy's system but it was only recently - too late to save me any time for my earlier project. (Note to self - upload pictures of album).

After many readings over the past week or 10 days, I have started sorting my albums by decade (a sort of presort). Our apartment isn't equiped with loads of space so I know the next few steps will be agonizing. I am looking forward to the day when I can just flip through a drawer or an album or a computer folder and find exactly what I wanted.

While Stacy's Library of Memories (known to followers as LOM) might be time consuming in the set up, the idea of it makes it worth all the agony of sorting and organizing. If only I could hire someone to do all that for me - but I'd miss half of the point and I've already found that out.

Just doing the initial sort, I found some wonderful pictures that I had forgotten about that made me laugh or were bittersweet since my dad's passing. I know I will only ever have more photos and the longer I put off doing the grunt work the harder/longer the sorting process will be. My husband and I had some good laughs over pictures we had taken early in our relationship. It was an amazing experience.

After the sorting into years, Stacy recommends using a limited number 3-up albums to hold a collection of these photos that will be "active" scrapbooking - current events if you will. I already have a collection of albums and pages from back before I scrapbooked and everything went into 4X6 pages from centuries plastics so I will be repurposing the albums I already have since I don't care much about looking pretty in this case. While I'm rearranging these albums, I will start pulling images for the 4X6 drawers I purchased today (they should be here on Monday - Yeah!) for Stacy's category drawers where she puts photos she wants to scrap but are no longer in the active albums. These drawers have four different themes "us", "people", "places" and "things" - I'm not sure if I will keep Stacy's categories or not we'll see once I start using the system. Stacy also uses "cold storage" for images she doesn't want to get ready of but doesn't think she'll scrap when she cleans out her storage albums to move in new photos.

I'm excited about the process but dreading the actually nitty gritty work. I know the results will be worth the cost in time/money but I'm anxious to get it all out of the way and move on to my next thing.

Enough about that. I'll post more as I get going.

Before work today, I ran a bunch of errands and tried to get the cement off my car from the works going on in the apartment complex. It didn't come off in the carwash so I went into the office and talked to one of the managers. She'll be getting back to me tomorrow or Monday I guess with what the contractor has said/suggested. I hate dealing with that kind of crap but I also want my car to look as pretty as it did before the cement landed on it. It could be worse though.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week in the Life. (Update)

Well, my week is going pretty well. Quiet as usual - but quiet doesn't mean bad... I learned that earlier this year.

Saturday, I met Kathleen for lunch at Michelle Marie's. Awesome! I had a delicious lemon bar after lunch (chicken salad sandwich) and then took this mini chocolate overload cake home to share with T. Yum. That makes a good day any way you slice it.

Laundry day. Sunday. Uck. But it has to get done at some point so I might as well get it over with. While the laundry was going, I made a dent in sorting my scrapbooking stuff... I wish I had an actual room to devote to it and my computer but maybe some day... I also sorted out my books and material to send some to Amy and I will donate the rest to the library.

Monday after work I did more cleaning and took a relaxing walk around the neighborhood. I'm beginning to look forward to my afternoon walks. Time to think and just stretch out and observe life around me... golfers, kids, animals... plants. Dinner was yummy chicken tika masala at ShangriLa (and garlic basil naan).

Today was busy. I did my exercising this morning and then had to go to the bank because paychex messed up our direct depoists at work. Then I ran over to the mall to get my clinque products and grabbed some shirts at old navy before picking up lunch at quiznos and heading to work for the afternoon. Work itself was slow but I managed to keep awake.

I'm going to go read a bit before I go to bed. Night.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Week in the Life.

This week I started following Ali Edwards'latest challenge - to celebrate the everyday for a week by taking pictures and making notes of the little day-to-day things we tend to loose in the shuffle. I love her blog. I read it every day without fail. She just comes across as such an amazing person.

I've been cleaning all afternoon. T took me to our favorite restaurant for dinner and then I reorganized my bookcases - pulling some books to donate to the library. It doesn't look like much yet but I think it looks better than it did... Preparation! That's what I should call this cleaning thing. Since we all know that on Friday, I will have bought lots more books at the library's book fair.

Preparation! I like that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Happiness is having a pet. Happiness is not quite there when said pet hits you with her tail for a good twenty minutes before 7 a.m. because said pet is lonely. Sharing my pillow and having me pet her in my sleep was clearly not enough.

That said, I don't think it was all the cat's fault. She is usually pretty good and I know I had problems getting to sleep last night. At least she had the good taste to stay up with me after I had given up trying to go to sleep. The ultimate insult would have been for her to curl up somewhere and immediately fall asleep. Right?

Friday, September 26, 2008

HDR Photography

I love High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. I love all the new bits of information you find hidden when you combine the files together. It gives me that little rush that I got from developing
photos in the darkroom but without that nasty chemical smell or worrying if I wound the film properly or any made any other mistakes in the developing film/photo phases. Mistakes I am good at.

One of my favorite sites for HDR photography (with some great tutorials too) is Before the Coffee. I love the images Ferrell McCollough creates and his candor on the various programs available to acheive HDR. His book
Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography offers great examples to those who want to learn HDR and those who just like looking at the pretty pictures.

I don't think HDR works well for every shot but it can be a fun way to experiment or get a complex lighting shot to work.

If at all possible, use a tripod. Any movement from handheld shots can ruin anotherwise great image. Take your time (this is the one I have trouble remembering). Try different angles and don't always go for the easy shot. Most of all, have your camera with you because you never know when a great opportunity will arrive.

All images are my own creations.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Create art and share.

I love the work of Kal Barteski, [i] LoveLife!. Her paintings are just amazing and her blog is always charming. No matter what my mood seeing what she writes about I find myself smiling and just happy to have checked in with her. Seeing her stuff makes me wish I felt comfortable with paints and drawing. She just comes across as such an inspiring person - someone who finds joy in the simple moments of the day that we sort of forget about and that is amazing.
I have to keep that in mind every day. I'm not as good about that as I would like to be. I get bogged down in the little details that float in front of me and miss what is important.

That said, I'm going to go and create. Later.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


If I could sum up the best way to clear my head, it would be a nice walk. Well a walk anyway. I just got back from another one. I generally take one a day Tuesdays/Thursdays because I work the afternoons. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays might bring one or two or more depending on my mood, the weather and whether T wants to take on when he gets home.

I never really thought about it before but I just feel better after a walk. When I had my dog as a kid, I'd spend so much time walking (and talking to the dog) that whatever issues/problems I had would be solved. Other times, I'd come up with stories to write or various other imaginings.

Having a bad day? Take a walk.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New camera.

I've been playing with TTL for the past few days. I bought a cheap Kodak camera from an antique store up in Healdsburg earlier this week.

I'm not real good at it yet but I've been enjoying the process of looking at the world another way. TTL has made me move slower and really concentrate/focus on what I'm shooting (this can only make me a better photographer in the long term, even if I get bored in a week or two).

Two of my creations from this morning:

Friday, September 19, 2008


I admit that I haven't had my sewing machine out lately. The last thing I remember sewing was a pseudo-curtain for the storage area under my loft stairs - like in 2002. Overall, I enjoy sewing. I like the quick process and having a finished item in my hands much quicker than knitting or crocheting (both of which my mother and older sister have failed to teach me - all my fault). I don't have the patience for counting stitches. The downside of sewing is picking out all the mistakes.

That all said, I dragged out my sewing machine earlier this week and started a project. Go me. It was a simple tote bag and it took me a couple of days to do it. I only had to pick out stitches once when I sewed a handle on twisted so I rate the whole experience as a success. Go me.
Dixie offered to hold down the material after I cut out the pieces I need so they wouldn't launch a rescue mission. Her bravery was noted and we will have to save some random threads for her to bat at later as a reward.

Today, I finished up my tote bag and spent the rest of the afternoon petting the cat and watching Law and Order (what else does life need?).

T's parents are down tomorrow for lunch. We're probably going to take them up to Healdsburg because they've never been. Should be fun - unless it's pouring then walking around the square might not be as fun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beautiful Rug.

I'll admit to not really being a home design geek. T and I only just bought our first piece of furniture after being married for 3 years. We still have a combination of our old pieces from our parents' homes and hand-me-downs from our parents and friends. Sad but true. But in all honesty, I'm surprised we found a sofa. That all said, it's crazy for me to admit that this Ocean / Seaglass rug by Angela Adams. I love the colors, the design, the pattern. I just want to curl up on it with a good book and take a nap with the cat.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lazy Day.

Wonderful Sunday. We slept in late and just relaxed all day... well, not counting the part when I went to the gym (go me) but still it was a good day.

I have to say I love our new Lazyboy loveseat (Gibson style) more every day. We only got it Thursday afternoon but it's so comfy. The picture is the exact color we got too. It might not be the prettiest loveseat ever created but it's got to be one of the most comfortable. I should know. T. and I did some power showing nearly two months' ago on a whim and, at our very last store, found the perfect one for us.

The high back is great for T's height. You sink into it when you sit down. I almost can't wait for winter just to pile on the blankets and curl up on it.

Honest, it's heaven for your living room. Looks aren't everything!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Yum. Today was a beautiful day. T & I drove up to Healdsburg for lunch and did some shopping. We ended up eating at this great bar and grill called HBG. My tomato salad was delicious. The patio was wonderful (even with the street noise and a bit of the chill).

After lunch, we checked out the stores on the square as T had never been up there and I had only been there once after some work related meetings (no time for shopping then). I found some colorful handmade paper (I admit that I'm a paper hoarder), note cards (more paper) and a book (composed of paper).

Overall, I'd say that it was one great day. Relaxing.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rusty "water tower"

After work, I took a walk to the local library to pick up some books. On the way back, I wondered down a side street and found an amazing thing at the end of the road. Not sure what it was actually, but I love photography old things so it made my day whatever it was/is.