Monday, October 27, 2008

A Crafty Weekend

We had a good, busy weekend. The kids got their flu shots Saturday morning with a minimum of crying, then my parents came to spend the next 24 hours with us. Christopher, Mom, and I (mostly I, but I did have help!) finished 6 Halloween cards (I don't usually send H cards, but these are cute...will post when I get pictures of all taken), 3 witch hats, and several beaded Indian corn decorations. I need Christopher to hold up a backdrop for me to take pics of the hats, I hope this afternoon, then I can post:)

Very close scraplift of Sarah Batdorf's layout on
Jeff took the photo of me at Adventureland on the carousel
FEI stuff word art
SG_EHI_Applique collection mini (some recolored)
emerritt (formerly of LDD) feltypaper (recolored)
SG_STI Stiching 1 brush & Cheryl Barber Stitching and Holes Style
SG_TCS_Art Journal brads, some recolored
SG_BHA_orange office tab
2peas well behaved & bluecake fonts (redhead part slightly grunged with standard PS faux finish brush)
SG_ASO_Blackberry brush (arrows)


Friday, October 24, 2008

Typing Fun

77 words


First time through I had 2 incorrect words (knew they were incorrect but skipped them), second time through, same number of words per minute and 100% correct.

Nope, I don't work in an office:)

Cold, Wet, Rainy Friday

In addition to a bunch of errands, I spent part of my day making a double batch of chili for the PTO fall social at Christopher's school this evening. We had a good time trying some different soups, the kids enjoyed the hot dogs and lemonade, and of course Christopher ended up with a couple too many desserts:)

I did have a minute to put the finishing touches on my latest layout:

This one was fun! Yin has some great sketches (for paper scrappers) and .psd layered templates of her sketches (for digi scrappers)...some are free, others are in her related blog store.
I like them for the pages that I want to include TONS of photos:)

I rarely purchase specific birthday related scrapbooking supplies, paper or digi. Christopher's pirate-themed party lended itself more to pirate/Halloween items than birthday...but for this generic party at preschool I really had to dig and was glad I had all my digi supplies organized in ACDSee Photo Manager (also great for photo managing and organizing, obviously). The only new thing I had to buy was the candle flames...what's a birthday candle without the flame?!

Journaling: Birthdays are a big deal at a Waldorf preschool, and rightly so. Parents and siblings are invited to come for the day and enjoy all the usual and special activities. I helped the children make yarn fiber tied balls, Christopher played with everyone, especially Daniel, Michael played with the kitchen, the gnomes, and checked out the “vacuumie”, and Jeff took lots of pictures.
Yin template
Sarah Batdorf Birthday Wishes circle/target
Valerie Randall Assemble Your Own Birthday Candles (5 candle and all the flames)
Thao Cosgrove Beautiful Distress Brush Set (white brushwork behind title), rectangle words from her Friendship and Merry Mine collections
Brandy Hackman brads
Sara Carling brad and leather circle tags (Aero collection)
Mary Ann Wise 2 peas Party Hat freebie collection candle paper (recolored)
Dani Mogstad Cabana Boy "play" tag
Cari Lopez "Exotic Bag" candles
Chatterbox Fingerpaint font
Miss Mint "play time" tag


Friday, October 17, 2008


I was tagged by Janet (and I’m feeling a little short on random and weird facts at the moment, so many of mine are variations on hers.)

• Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
• Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
• Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
• Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
My facts:

1) I thought I could never use anything other than brand name Kleenex and brand name toilet paper (specifically Northern)…but Target (LOVE ‘em!) has made cheaper store brands of both, and I really cannot tell the difference.
2) Gotta have a medical reference in here: I have never had to do CPR, but should the need arise, I will now have "Stayin' Alive" stuck in my head. PA or not, I am thankful that it wasn't until about 3 months ago that I even witnessed CPR being performed. Sadly the woman did not make it. Though I work in the Emergency Department, I do NOT thrive on medical adrenal cases. My division is called Fast Track and I see "acute minor" illnesses.
3) I do love total silence while I’m sleeping. Spouse here probably would love to have the TV or radio on half/all the night…Oh, and an occasional owl hoot doesn’t bother me a bit, but woodpeckers in the night would probably drive me nuts (you didn’t think I could go more than a couple days without a bird reference did you? You’d think I’d mention my dog more…)
4) Certain scents bother me regardless of allergy season: strong beer smells (almost didn’t make it through the brewery we toured in San Francisco, much to Spouse's embarrassment), newly mown grass (don’t hate me, but I really hate that smell, probably b/c growing up, it always set off my allergies. Now it usually doesn’t, but it’s a Pavlovian response to hate it, I think.), pine (no real Christmas tree here! Also perhaps a throwback to allergy symptoms).
5) The cow's name, above, is rather apropos...Spouse and I met at the University of Iowa (ie. the Hawkeyes). However, I would not deign to compare Spouse to a cow. Though I know a man who DID, and luckily his wife took it as a complement that he thought her big brown eyes were as beautiful as a cows...I'm thinking "only in Iowa" LOL!
6) I never sleep with socks on, unless my feet are REALLY cold when I go to bed…then I’m decked out with my yummy polar fleece knee socks I purchased on a skiing trip to Jackson Hole, WY. If my feet get hot in the night, I’ll whip ‘em off and find them across the room in the morning. :)
7) Gotta improvise here…Janet has perfect pitch, and I think I’m often off by a note or two (still probably not too bad, but nothing to brag about like perfect pitch)…ok, I said I needed to say something more often about my dog: Reuben, who died at age 12 in July, was my first baby. I’d had him since the moment (pretty much literally) I received my masters degree. Daisy…we are her 4th or so home. I will admit that I love her, but she has to be one of the most exasperating creatures ever! Yes, even a rival to Lily;) She has bunny wanderlust, which is a beagle thing, though Reuben was bred to be a show dog, not a field dog, and had NONE of that hunting instinct. I have a strong feeling this is why we are Daisy’s 4th home. She is otherwise known as Houdini-beagle who can dig out from under a chain link fence in about hm, 2 minutes flat. Poor Spouse has been working on “Daisy-proofing” the yard for the entire 4 years we’ve had her. It’s only been this summer that she’s dug out less due to his constant efforts. It gets embarrassing when the same neighbor finds her more than once or twice a season when she digs out and has been missing for a few hours. It also gets expensive when the pound finds her (at $25 a pop). But she IS a beagle, my favorite breed, and she IS cute, and she IS endearing, wagging her tail so hard her entire BODY sways like she’s hoola hooping or dancing, and she DOES help keep my feet warm in the winter by sleeping under the covers by my feet.  So I have the perfect solution…find someone to take her during the summer, and when the ground freezes and she cannot dig out, I’ll happily take her back until the spring thaw, and repeat the cycle!!

Ok, I work at the ER this weekend, so there may have been 3 posts from me today, but I can almost promise there won't be any more until AT LEAST Tuesday!:)


Misty Cato Chatty collection
Doreen Stolz journaling box with my "burned edges" style
American Typewriter font
Journaling: Christopher has always been quite the little chatterbox. He talked early, he talked well, and he talks often and LOUD! We have received countless comments from family, friends, and strangers alike on his eloquence and vocabulary.
A favorite example: “Mommy, why are there two versions of this slide?” (the slide had a divider down the middle so two children could go down at a time)
Before kindergarten started there was a parent questionnaire we had to fill out. His teacher wondered how much/often our child talked and I wrote “constantly.” So far he’s done a great job listening at school though!

Yes, we DO need to do something about health care costs

A couple of someone’s have approached and/or suggested to me lately that b/c their own health care costs are so very low, that nothing needs to be done in America to change things.
I am truly grateful for my own health insurance (which comes through my DH’s job) and am also truly grateful that should the need arise, I have training that would enable me to find a full-time job with instant benefits. I am also very grateful that most of my close relatives and in-laws have access to health care as well…some are even fortunate enough to have pensions with benefits, something I don’t believe will exist any longer when my own generation reaches retirement age.
But none of this changes the fact that 47 million Americans at any given point in time are completely without coverage at all, and many more (I don’t have a week to do more solid research on numbers…this is NOT a paid blog) are underinsured. Underinsured means they have only catastrophic insurance (ie. if they get cancer it’d all be paid, but no office visits, laceration repairs, physicals, mammograms, or Pap smears are paid) OR that their deductible or co-pays are sky-high.
This also doesn’t change the fact that my own parents, who have health insurance through my father’s job, and who have both had cancer, pay large sums of money out of pocket each month DESPITE their pretty decent insurance! Mom has given permission to use them as an example:
$364/month is deducted from Dad’s paycheck to go toward their health insurance premiums (his employer pays the rest, whatever that may be)
$200/month is their COPAY for their medications (no, not all drugs cost $4/month now, though that’s wonderful that many do and it helps tremendously!)
$300/year (so $25/month) for medical appointment copays, not counting any acute illnesses.
And the big whopper: Dad’s special food he takes in through his gastrostomy tube in his stomach. Their insurance company has an elaborate percentage that varies for this. Full price for the food and paraphernalia is a whopping $900/month. Mom and Dad pay 80% of that $900 at the beginning of the year. Once a certain amount is met, the insurance company kicks in more and M/D pay only 20%, and then in the last couple months of the year they owe only 10%.
Dad just turned 64; Mom is 4 months younger than him. He would love to retire now…he could actually go on disability due to his cancer history (tongue removed in 1995) until eligible for Medicare. BUT Mom depends on his health insurance. As an in-home day care provider, she does not have other options for health care, and there are no free medical clinics in Atlantic, Iowa (population 7500). So Dad will wait until he is 65 years, 4 months, before retiring to keep her covered. Thank God he isn’t 5 years older, or more!
It’s no wonder the political candidates can be “out of touch with Joe the Plumber” on things like this…my parents’ own friends and family seem sadly out of touch. A relative who is retiring early expressed shock when he commented that Dad should retire, and Dad calmly pointed out that would leave Mom without health care insurance. The relative enjoys insurance through his wife (and through his own current job as well).
Addendum to my parents’ story: Dad is a farm implement mechanic for a small-ish company in Atlantic, and due to astronomically rising costs of providing health care insurance to their employees, his bosses have switched insurance companies multiple times in the last several years. The last switch JUST occurred, and unless Dad’s doctor can get it appealed, the new insurance company will not pay a cent toward Dad’s $900/month food and supply costs.
There has been much hype in the Des Moines Register about the World Food Prize, rightly given to those who helped implement plans to feed hungry children throughout the world at their schools. I would make the strong case that workers in America could be more effective if their health care needs were “fed” as a right, not a privilege for the wealthy and well-educated with good jobs, in this country.
I hope that regardless of who wins the election in November that many positive changes will come about in our health care system. I am heartened that both candidates’ health care plans as touted by their websites touch on the sad fact of “pre-existing conditions” and how they plan to cover those persons. Based on the books I have read and previously touted on this blog, I think McCain’s plan of relying on free markets to improve the insurance industry and health care is doomed to fail royally. Obama’s plan is certainly not perfect either but seems to me to be more of a step in the right direction.
So for all who have braved this post thus far, think long and hard about your own, and your family and friends’ own health care plights. Count yourselves as very lucky if you are well-covered (and remember unless you are on Medicare, you are only a job away from no insurance at all), and remember those who are not so fortunate when you make your own decisions at the voting booth in November.
Will now step off soap box.
Credits for image above: Supplies from Theresa Kavouras' "House Calls" collection at

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pica?! (no, not me)

See, I don't need Jen Wilson's challenges to stay motivated!:)

Everything from Brandy Hackman's Abstract Expressionism collection unless otherwise stated. Edges of journaling block burned for effect, shadow distorted to make it appear slightly curled, and blending mode used to slightly change color/texture.
Brandy Hackman Seed Packet brush set (frame doodles around smaller photos)
Brandy Hackman Stylize (Huh?)
Brandy Murry Table Manners freebie
Thao Cosgrove Luxe Border Brush set (gray brushwork at top and bottom)
Thao Cosgrove Naturescape rocks and leaves
Thao Cosgrove Peeled Paint style (used on the 100% original wordart)
Melissa Renfro Downtown brush set (to distress the edges of the focal photo as well as the edges of the mats for the smaller photos at a lower opacity)
CK_Ali's Handwriting font
Journaling: He won’t let a vegetable pass his lips, but willingly puts a rock in his mouth to taste it. . .
Edited: Darnit, forgot to say these are Spouse's pics of the kids! (Too bad I wasn't around to take HIS picture as he was taking Michael's picture...he had to have been pretty low to the ground as well;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Random Facts

I was tagged! This time by Mary Perry aka MFP otherwise known as GrandmaPer.

1. I love the end result of gardening, but derive no pleasure from the actual process of getting there.
2. Hm, this may look like a repeat, but I love the end result of cooking, but derive no pleasure from the actual process of getting there.
3. Since others have commented on making beds or not, I’ll chime in on that one: Our bed gets made each time I wash the sheets, and maybe 1 or 2 other times per year, for example, if we are expecting company that might go upstairs. There’s really no point at our house anyway…if I make the bed, the dog will just unmake it to root under the covers for her naps
4. Since I’m on a roll with these: I love the end process of decorating (general home décor as well as any holiday décor), but (you guessed it) derive no pleasure from the actual process of getting there. My DREAM, which I have been touting for years, would be a fully decorated Christmas tree that disappears into the floor after the season with a mere touch of a button. It would then reside in the basement under a gigantic tarp to keep the dust off until the following late November when I would again press the button and it would magically rise back upstairs…lol!
5. Laundry is my favorite household chore. I don’t mind doing it, and generally keep up with it very well. This may change as the boys get older and start putting slimy things in their pockets…
6. I love a good warm pair of slippers! Mine wore out last year before the end of our never-ending 2008 winter, and then even my ancient back-up pair (purchased in high school for fun, and looked like mallard ducks of all things b/c I wanted an animal pair) wore out completely. I had to wear *gasp* shoes to keep my feet warm in the house! I was SO SO happy when Target got their fall/winter slipper collection in this fall

The "Rules":

* link to the person who tagged you
* list 6 random things about yourself
* tag 6 new people
* let each tagged person know they've been tagged by posting a comment on their blog
* link to the 6 people you've tagged
* and let the person who tagged you know that you posted

My tags:
Anyone who hasn't done this yet who wants to:)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yes I still remember how to paper scrap:)

Supplies list:
(Carrie's Creations File: CS00149)
Cloud 9 background paper
other papers: Kelly Pannacci (sp?) for Creative Imaginations (also chipboard snowflakes), Basic Grey, unknown
Creative Imaginations ribbon

This would have been way cooler with a Rhonda Little (my friend IRL) poem, but alas, she was not nearby when I wanted/needed to finish it. I agonized over stupid little rhyming phrases that had to fit in the slats of the sled, but couldn't pull it off and resorted to:
Sledding Adventures: covered in snow- hat jauntily sideways- boots on the wrong feet- Then home for hot chocolate!

This is one of my favorite pics of Christopher:)
Oh, and this has to be a record...3 posts in 1 day! Hope none of you fell over from the shock of all the posts in 1 day plus the fact that I actually paper scrapped!:) Heehee.

Magnolias (a little dose of spring in the fall)

Since we scrappers are rarely working in the current season, here's a little dose of spring in the fall. This one goes out to those who think flowers don't belong on boy that I say PPPPPPPPPPPPPTHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (or however you'd spell it!)

I really cannot claim any piece of this layout as my own (and the original was done for a boy's page too!)...This is a hook-line-and-sinker type scraplift from Thao Cosgrove at Scrapgirls for their Eternal Spring collection. I substituted Kristin Aagard's "Love in Paris" (recolored) font for the title and Raspberry Road's "Cherry Limeade" rickrack. And the photo is by DH:) It was a bit too sunny to be optimal, and of course by the time the lighting was better, Michael was asleep. So I have better pics of Christopher and me by another magnolia later that day, but wanted Michael in the layout as well.


Owl Sighting (REAL)

Yes, I mean a real LIVE owl sighting! You may remember from my other owl entry (a few days back) that we've heard an owl out our windows on a couple occasions in the last 6 months. About 4 nights ago I awoke knowing I had heard something, so I stayed awake to see if whatever it was made noise again. I heard the owl several times over a couple of minutes, and it sounded VERY loud...therefore close by!

So 4am or not, lol, here I am squinting out my west bedroom window with my glasses on (can't see very well in them, especially at night). I thought I could detect something large sitting on my neighbor's roof, and it sure didn't look like the normal little straight pipe/chimney thingie to me. Sure enough, when I slowly tried to open the window so I could hear better, it spooked Mr. Owl (or maybe Mrs.) and he/she flew off my neighbor's roof. Way cool!!

Credits for card: Heidi Larsen Hoot Fest June (check out the next page on the link provided...she's done several Hoot Fest collections, all very cute. So far I've only succumbed to 2 of them, but I have my eye on October...

Friday, October 10, 2008

98 Degrees (ok, it was ONLY 97!)

My last homework assignment:) These have been too much fun! This one had to have an "extraction" (otherwise known in the paper scrapping world as "silhouette") and include statistics. I didn't exactly have any sports pictures, and like to think outside the box anyway, lol.

JWD: Academy elementary solid blended with history paper, Cowabunga bracket, Creative Fortune journaling box, Benjamin stripes (Laundry Line), offset stamp block
Rhonna Farrer frame
Cheryl Barber inked edges style
Ariadna Wiczling date stamp
Kristin Aagard rain drop
Asman font
12 oz. bottle sarsasparilla: delicious!
97 degrees: Way Too Hot!
1800s Living History Farms: 1 cool place
4 sweaty people having fun despite the heat
2 pieces of rock candy: YUM!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Here's my second-to-last "homework" assignment for challenges...had fun with this pic, which Jeff took one night after playing Rock Band.

JWD: Vinnie (Laundry Line) guitar paper and Academy music paper
Mindy Terasawa red/white striped paper (all three papers blended together with blending modes)
Brandy Hackman grunge frame
McGarey, Mechanical Fun, & Astigma fonts
Keri Schueller wrought iron style on the "rock star" title
photo edges burned a little for more definition


Monday, October 6, 2008

History Assignment

Well I'm kicking butt on my homework :) The assignment this time was to include 6-12 photos in chronological order and to use repeats of something like a frame, stickers, or rubons.
Initially I wanted to do a heritage layout with a timeline of photos from various periods (I love heritage), but this layout has been half-finished FOREVER, and it felt good to get it done! The photos are in chronological order right off the camera:)
JWD: Phys Ed stars paper (pin light blending mode with dark red background), canvas backpack label.
Christy Lyle "His Nursery" denim star, recolored
Heather Roselli "Keep Out" and "Backyard Boy" denim, frame, and caution sign
LivEsteban designs: red background, boy tag, bicycle, and stickers/brads
Blue Melody font
Journaling: One day in a boy's life: Spend LOTS of time outside riding on bikes; don't forget to smile REALLY huge when trying to run Daddy down because he's trying to get a great photo. Hope that he jumps aside just in time or you'll probably get in trouble. Chase your little brother, even if he's riding in a toy car. He'll love it anyway unless you actually bump into him. Swing, and swing and swing. Hug your brother. Revel in the joy of nature, of being outside, of being alive. Make sure to ask what's for dinner when you go back inside!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Big One

Another Jen Wilson Designs assignment (geography)...had to include a panoramic-style photo (supposed to be of yourself, but I don't have any suitable unscrapped pics of me) in a favorite location, and a map or map symbols.

JWD: Academy elementary solids, Camped Out stripe, Cowabunga bracket
Nitwit Collections: titles, ribbon (one of my new favorite designers!)
Brandy Hackman: map overlay on the blue paper
green map paper: I think DH found the BWCA on the internet and downloaded it...he'll correct me if I'm wrong.
Weeds & Wildflowers compass
Journaling: 2008: The annual Borg cousins week in the BWCA seemed doomed from the start. About a week before the trip, Brian threw out his back at home and was unable to come at all, Paul hurt his ankle and was dealing with dizziness issues as well, and Dan’s work had a big computer update scheduled and it was determined they couldn’t possibly get along without him, which meant his trip was shortened. This despite his scheduling the trip 12 months prior. And Aunt Shirley was terminally ill and not expected to live more than a few more days. No one wanted to be out of contact with family back home.The Borgs, however, are resilient and masters of compromise. The trip turned out very well: Most of the people who were able to come stayed at a campground in Ely for a few days, spent one day out on Dennis’ boat (Jeff caught several huge Northern Pike!), one day in the BWCA on canoes, and one day in Duluth (pronounced Dah-lute). Jeff accidentally
forgot his camera, so all photos are compliments of Dan.

Owls and more Owls

Both of our children have grown up liking owls. Maybe it starts with Clifford's Animal Sounds, where "the cow says Moo, the owl says Whoo" (Michael especially loves that page and says the sound each time). Whoo (heehee) knows. Anyway, I have always thought they were cool too, but was never what you'd call obsessed at all, that is, until recently. Blame Target, I think...(See below).

This past May we attended a "Nocturnal Raptor" lecture at our county conservation park (photo). Michael was fascinated by the live "teacher" owls they brought in, but quickly bored by the lecture itself, so unfortunately Jeff missed a big chunk of the lecture. I learned quite a bit, including the fact that their hearing is so acute b/c their ears are up high, and the other down low. This helps them locate their prey in the dark. An owl's flight is nearly soundless...their feathers simply do not make noise as they swoop down, again, so they can hear their prey.

We even got to dissect an owl pellet, something I remember doing at nature camp growing up (also through a county conservation park). Christopher had a lot of fun with this and insisted we bring the bones home (no arguments here! I think it's cool too.)

Then, very shortly after the lecture, Jeff was putting both boys to bed with the windows open on a nice evening. I was gone to work or wherever, and they heard an owl hooting outside. They were all really excited, especially since the naturalist had imitated several Iowa owls hoots, and they knew they had heard a great horned owl. Later in the summer I awoke around 2am and heard TWO great horned owls hooting (probably a mating call) out the window. Mom called one day and left a message on our answering machine about a very strange noise she heard out her window in the middle of the night...turns out it was a barred owl. Here's a cool website with owl calls: Hoot!

Ok, on to Target:

I could not pass this cute! Read the shirt:) I love to read, and I love owls, AND the shirt was only $5. No one could blame me for this purchase!

The pajama pants are Janet's "fault" ;) She got the shirt, and I "needed" the pants b/c they are just too darned cute.

The slipper, I just don't doesn't look enough like an owl.

Next time I'm motivated, I'll upload links to about a million cute digital SB collections that include owls...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Boy Arithmetic

Yet another Jen Wilson assignment, this time for arithmetic. We were supposed to include as many numbers as we could, and exactly 3 photos.
Jen Wilson: 2 Arithmetic and 1 Rekindle papers
Bernard MT Condensed and regular fonts
inked edge style based on (eg. tweaked from) Cheryl Barber's (Scrap Girls) inked edge style
So I milked the Borg (Jeff's mom's side of the family) family statistics for all they were worth. Obviously X sperm do not abound in this family...

The first page is mostly premade (quick page or "plopper") with a few changes by me. The kit is by Heather Roselli at Sweet Shoppe.