Monday, October 30, 2006

Stay Tuned

Oh bother. Looks like I'll be hangin' around here a while longer! I just don't want to make the time to learn the iWeb stuff, I guess. It all seemed to be TOO easy then it wasn't, so what the hey... I'll just stay here for a spell. :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm Relocating

It's time to get busy with my Mac. So, I'm working on a new site here. Change your bookmarks, bloglines, blogrolls, post-it notes, and scribbles in crayon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Miscellaneous Ten

1. I am an only child but I was born with three sisters and two brothers. You figure it out.
2. I can knot a cherry stem in my mouth. My husband of 17 yrs. just learned and witnessed this for the 1st time last night.
3. I refuse to do business with Exxon, Wal-Mart or Sam's.
4. I have never had a broken bone.
5. I have never had to wear braces although I really wanted to as a child.
6. I wanted to wear braces so badly as a child that I'd put aluminum foil on my teeth.
7. The thought of wearing aluminum foil on my teeth today makes my teeth hurt.
8. I enjoy shooting a handgun and I'm good at it.
9. I also enjoy shooting an arrow with a bow and I'm good at it.
10. I guess I'm good at shooting an arrow with a bow. I haven't actually done it since I was in junior high school.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Be Real

None of Nature's landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.
-John Muir

Thanks to Jodi for reminding me of this site and the importance of judging what is real.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

RAK for a Scrapbooker

I received a complimentary copy of this magazine and really have no need for it. No babies around here, ya know. I'd like a mommy to have it though! The first to comment will get it... just email your mailing address to me!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Cathy Z. posted this You Tuber and I was near tears by the time the video ended. It came at a good time as I try to learn how to hug, step back and let people, well, my niece, live her life as she wishes. I hugged her when I left IN in August fearing for her and her newborn daughter. Without sounding too judgmental, suffice it to say that her decision-making is completely based on a fight or flight basis. Sadly, her well-being and the well-being of her child are at risk. The maternal instincts I try to suffocate have reared their head and my heart is bruised.

The reminder of a wonderfully warm hug helps make things feel just a bit better.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Li'l Lucky With Li'l Davis

Last month, I spent a lot of time reading blogs associated with scrapbooking. I read manufacturer's websites, clicked through galleries of page submissions, researched online kit companies, you name it! I scoured the web! September was a lucky month for me thanks to taking the time to read so many sites. It was my great fortune to spend time on the Li'l Davis Designs site because I entered a random drawing and was chosen a winner. I was a HUGE winner! Just look at the loot they sent me! WOW!! I already like their stuff and have plenty on hand but this bounty pushed me over the edge! How very lucky I was to be drawn and I look forward to putting these treasures to good use! Thanks again to the little li'l Davis who happened to draw my name.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


At first, I thought it was just behavioral. Zoe is very much MY cat, she's my shadow. When I flew to IN in late August, it was no surprise to learn that she'd gone into her depression mode. When the mama ain't home, there ain't no reason to get up. In addition to being a slug, she started making the living room her litter box, which is a huge no-no. When I got home, the behavior hadn't improved. It wasn't a daily mishap, but it would happen once or twice a week and that was clearly, once or twice a week too much.

I then realized I'd seen this behavior before when my twenty-two year old cat, Kitty *RIP*, was going into kidney failure. Zoe is eleven which makes her a mature cat for sure. I felt the fear creeping in... the reality of age on a cat and how the body is impacted by those years. I wasn't ready to let her go and because of that, I've postponed taking her to the vet. After another "accident" last week, I knew that it was the final straw and I couldn't postpone any longer. So, on Friday I took her to see her vet, who is married to my GP, so we're keeping it all in the family. Zoe was sweet as could be, purring for the vet tech and never once showing a claw. They ran an urinalysis on her and I was very happy to see that the results were all within the normal range. Some were high within the normal range, but nothing alarming. There was no need to say my farewells and I was relieved by that.

She is, however, in quarantine. For the next 10 days, she is sequestered in my bedroom with her own food, drink and litter box, which is in the bathroom. This isolation is to retrain her to use the litter box and give me a chance to monitor her food and water intake. We use a trough system here, so the girls (I have three indoor cats) are free to eat and drink when they like. In addition to her own private suite, she must take an antibiotic twice a day. I sneak that snack in little blobs of canned cat food, or "meaty treaties" as they're called here at the Kitty Casa.

The queen treatment seems to be suiting her well. She's a little lethargic but then again, she's never been little miss active. I don't mind having to spend time with her in my room. It gives me a chance to read and write and relax to the wonderful sound of her purring.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Putting My Hands Where My Money Is

For more years than I care to admit, I've been collecting papercrafting supplies. Most are commonly used in scrapbooking but I'm not a "scrapper". I usually use my supplies for mail art, ATCs, postcards and cards. I live in my head a lot and think about making scrapbook pages. I was an avid scrapbooker when I was a teenager. The book from my senior year is obscenely obese with memorabilia from one of the best years of my life. I suppose there's a number of personal reasons why I don't actually put my thoughts onto paper and savor moments in a tangible form. For the last several years, my photos and recollections have been shared on this blog. As an active, lifelong correspondent, I send most of my thoughts and memories into the world, stuffed in envelopes. Yet, I keep nothing for myself.

My internal editor, that bitch I've mentioned a time or two, constantly questions why? Why would I want to keep scrapbooks? It's a waste of money and an addition of clutter when you consider the simpler life I imagine creating. As a woman who has succumbed to infertility, I have no one to pass my memories on to. I could go on and on with my mental minutia but I'd rather stifle those argumentative points and respond by saying why I'd WANT to keep scrapbooks.

Artist expression.
Mental therapy.
Paper lust.
Typography lust.
Provide a home for my thousands of photographs.

I am trying to let go and let myself create. I've been shut down for ages, closed off, perhaps afraid of what I'd say. I know this has been more of a detriment to myself than anything. It's like a mental poison. I compare my habitual suppression of expression to alcholism. I can somehow find shelter by holding so much in and at times I over do it. I don't want to be that person. I don't want to pre-judge anything that I may say or what I may feel as I say it. I don't want to judge how I say it and I don't want to fear anyone else's reaction.

In order to stop all the don'ts, I need to DO.

I read several blogs by women who are expressing themselves through mixed media, art journals, and scrapbook pages. I don't critique their expressions. Mostly, I embrace their courage to share their experiences, emotions, fears, accomplishments, and goals. I love words so reading what stems from their hearts and minds is what stirs my mojo. Some can show in a photograph what words can not define. It's all quite beautiful and soul stirring.

My soul was recently stirred by Ali Edwards. She suggested creating a mini-book based on Five Fabulous Favorites today. This was what I created by dipping my toes in. I used old photos and mostly older embellishments but the subjects remain as favorites today.
*click photos to enlarge*


Jeremy & Motorcycle Touring


Camping & Hiking

Nature & Animals


The Not-Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

No, the GRE didn't kill me, I'm still here. However, it wasn't a good experience. It was like those days that start out by stubbing your toe on a door jamb on the way to the bathroom and end after a long line of other equally disastrous events have occurred.

The exam's test site was at my alma mater, the University of North Florida. (Locals usually call it UNF for You Never Finish, but I somehow made it to the finish line.) When I was a student there in the mid 90's the parking situation was hideous. Finding a parking space required at least an hour of stalking other students as they left the lush green of the campus for the stark grey pavement. It was like living mall Christmas shopping every day. Sit, remain vigilant for a potential parker to sacrifice their space, stalk, slowly cruise behind them while trying to keep a pleasant expression on your face all the while sensing your blood pressure reaching its peak as you continue glancing at the clock. My little trip to the uni a couple weeks ago was no different. In eleven years, the parking situation has remained a ridiculous state, although some would say it has worsened. All I know is I was having unpleasant flashbacks and GRE test day wasn't a day I cared to take that s l o w cruise down memory lane.

Fearing the worse, I arrived on campus an hour before the exam was to start. High noon was when the dark clouds would roll in and block the sun for four hours. I did the campus crawl, drove through three different lots and a parking garage multiple times and when the clock finally showed 11:50AM, I made my own parking space. Of course I knew it was illegal. Of course I saw all of the other cars who'd been parked illegally with their parking citations under their wipers. Of course I said several really foul words as I grabbed my bag and started walking towards campus. My bearings weren't what they should be so I wasn't sure where my building was. The test site receptionist was very wrong about the closest parking area so I had half a campus to walk through to get where I needed to be in less than 10 minutes. A very nice freshman girl with big sunglasses walked with me to show me the way. I felt like I was 90 and senile.

I made it to the test site to sign in RIGHT AT NOON! My heart was racing, my breath was quick and I wasn't ready to test but I wasn't sacrificing the $130.

The test was quick. When you don't actually solve mathematical questions and select an eenie-meenie-miny-moe answer, you can save a lot of time. Yes, it was that bad, I kid you not. On the two written portions, I found myself at a loss for words so that section moved quickly, too. The events of August (my sister's death) has left my mind cloudy so rushing to take the GRE probably wasn't such a good idea. Sadly, I left knowing how poorly I scored but I'm trying not to make excuses.

To add a little salt to the wound, I approached my Jeep to find, yes, you guessed it, a parking citation. $25. I just rolled my eyes and pointed the Jeep towards home. I wanted refuge from the world at that point. All the fear hit me when I got home...

Will I be able to get into grad school?
Am I out of my mind? I'm 40 and I'm trying to go to school?
Will I be able to read the laughter in the rejection letters??

I spent the next couple of hours watching Antonio Banderas dance around (Take the Lead) and then realized that I'm still in the game. I have the rest of the application process to move through. I know that my undergrad GPA will get me into the universities I apply to and hopefully my life experience and written portion of the applications will be enough to get me the nod into a college of library and information science.

I won't know 'til I try so screw you GRE! I'm still gettin' my grad schoolin' on!