Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't tell anyone--I actually made a card!

So, I am still reading the series I cannot seem to put down, but took time out to make a birthday card. I suddenly realized that I needed to get this card done. Now. I guess I have been so buried in my books that I forgot I have obligations. To other people. Not just to myself and my fantasy world. Hmmpf.

Since I had a card to make, I thought I may as well make myself more useful, (I know--hard to believe, huh?), and enter it into a couple of card challenges. So I searched online and found two that I could enter. One gave me the color combo for my card--thanks, Suzanne at Color Me Creative! The other gave me the layout, thanks to Basic Grey!  Okey dokey!http://scrapbitzcopics.ning.com/group/cmccopicchallengegroup

I chose to use Basic Grey Blush, since it had the wonderful color scheme Suzanne chose--light turquoise and red with white/cream. I picked one of my Magnolia images (Tilda with big ribbon) and plopped her down on the Magnolia pink bench, using Cryogen CS. Would you believe I colored her with Copics? No? Then you would be wrong.  ;^)   Copic colors used were: R21, R24, R29, BG000, BG10, BG11, BG72, E0000, E000, E11, E13, E25, E30, E31, and E33. Cardstock is Stampin' Up's Pool Party. I dyed a bit of lace and some Wild Orchid flowers with Copic ink. I used dies from Nestabilities and Marianne Designs. My little red brads and sentiment are SU. There you have it. One birthday card coming right up. Happy Birthday, Ellie! :^) And here's wishing everyone everywhere a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The "Eyes" Have It

This was the week of the eye. Truly.

First, Gary called me from Cedar Rapids, IA on Tuesday night to tell me that his eye went kaflooey while he was on the second flight up. He said that suddenly he started seeing flashes of light and had clear "worms" floating in his eye. Hmmm. I have had clear worms in my eyes for years, but they didn't come on suddenly. And the flashes disturbed me. So I told him to go to the hospital right away and get checked out. I wanted to make sure that he wasn't getting a detached retina. The ER doctor told him that he thought he would be OK until the next morning, when he could see the eye specialist.

One guess as to how much sleep either one of us got that night. Yeah, not much, for sure. But it turned out OK, as the doctor told him that he has posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), but there was no evidence of retinal tear or detachment. He is to see his eye doctor in a month to have his eye checked. Last night Gary told me he is getting used to the worms in his eye, so he is feeling much better about it. Which is a good thing. And pretty much everyone gets PVD later in life. I have had it for quite a while, not knowing the name for what caused the floaters in my eyes. :^)

Second, my brother, Larry, tells me that he had an eye exam on Wednesday and found out that he has Fuchs' Dystrophy. Hmmm. It is hereditary and causes major problems with the cornea--in fact, the treatment is corneal transplant. The good news is that he is nowhere near needing the transplant in the eye affected. I told him he would have to get a transplant from someone else in the family, because I have Cogan's dystrophy (map, dot, fingerprint) and he wouldn't want my corneas--they are not smooth, which is perfect for me. I am not a smooth person.

Third, I had my eye exam yesterday. I told you this was the week of the eye. Anyway, my exam went quite well. My maculae are fine and my retinas are still hanging in there. I did have a slight change in both eyes, so am getting new glasses. Insurance covers the prescription, but not new frames. Now I ask you, how is that possible? What in the heck are you supposed to do--send your current frames in to have new lenses put in? That takes three weeks. And you're supposed to do what in the meantime? Go about your business blind? I don't get it.

Anyway, I am getting new frames. I tried on several pairs of frames that have magnetic clip-on sunglasses. I refuse to wear my "old-lady" sunglasses, (which I wear over my glasses), anymore. I know I am an old lady, but I don't have to look like one. So there.

Back to the frames. One pair I tried on made me smile. And giggle. I took them off and thought to myself, 'Self, you can't possibly get those frames--everyone would laugh at you.' So guess what? You got it, I bought the giggle frames. Which turned into LOLOLOLOLOLOL frames when we were narrowing down the choices. I told Cindy, the gal at Aztec Optical, that these frames reminded me of a pair I had when I was very young. I think those frames were blue. I remember that, after wearing them for a while,  I didn't like the color of those frames anymore. There was no money at the time for new frames. But there was money for Penny to paint them with gold nail-polish. And paint them I did. I also remember the bows being a bit uncomfortable--kinda scratchy. But I wore them anyway, and thought I looked "cool". We laughed so hard about this that our stomachs hurt and our eyes were watering. Hysterically laughing. Really. Yeah, well, I guess you had to be there.

The new frames are not "gold"; they look to be a shade of purple. I hope. I actually thought purple and Cindy thought burgundy--which would never do, because burgundy is not in my color chart! So here's hoping they are purple, like I thought. Oh, gee, if they aren't purple, I may have to paint them with nail polish. Anyway, when I was telling Gary over the phone about the new frames, he asked if they were cat-eyes. Smart man. Yup. They are. Just like the ones I had in the early 60's. HAHA! So I expect some people will like them, and some people not so much. But they make me smile. And giggle.

I do not have a card to show today. I should have done one for the last week of Summer Card Camp, but after what happened last week, I lost my mojo. I guess I didn't tell you about that yet. Well, I tried to link my Week 3 card to the camp website, and I could not get it to link. I tried and tried and tried. No such luck. The last attempt I made got a link posted to the card camp colors of the week. Yeah, that looked cool. The logo for the camp where my card should have been. Actually I did sit and laugh about it for a while. I figured other "campers" would wonder what the heck, and think I was pretty stupid. Which I sometimes am. Possibly in this case. But it did make me lose interest in doing a card for week 4--I mean, what's the point? If you can't post your card, you aren't eligible for the drawings, and nobody can see how phenomenally creative you are. Besides, I am reading a really good book right now, and I am having trouble putting it down long enough to do anything else. Like make a card. I am surprised I took the time from reading to blog! 

I will leave you with a few more Oregon photos, and wish everyone everywhere a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Need an 'Adjustment'

So I was musing tonight as I washed my make-up off and put on my night creams. I was musing because we had just watched 'The Adjustment Bureau', and it really struck a chord. I thought to myself that we had been married forever, (well, maybe not forever, but 41 years is a really long time), and I tried to remember what I expected when we said our vows. What on earth was I thinking back then? What was he thinking? What was supposed to happen to us, with us, for us, against us?

I have a great life. I have always had a good life, but it morphed into a great one. I am married to the best guy on the planet. I am able to be at home (which I love) and craft when I feel like it (which I also love). I don't have to cook if I don't want to--my guy does a great job of that. Or we eat out. A lot. I get help with the vacuuming, since it hurts my back. I live in a beautiful house, far nicer than I would have ever expected, and I drive a nice car. I have a sweet little dog, tons of books to read, any gadget my little heart desires, nice clothes to wear, a fun shoe collection, any make-up and skin care that I like, and the list goes on and on and on. How in the hell did I get so lucky? Why me?

When Gary asked me to marry him, back in 1970, I jumped at the chance! I had not expected to marry so young (I wasn't quite 21),  and I had not planned to marry so young. I thought I would finish college, get a job, and then find a man. So why did I tie myself to Gary's life at that time? And what did I see for our future?

In the spring of 1970 he had just gotten back from Viet Nam. He was still in the Army, making no money. Really. No money. He had a high school education, a beat-up VW, an empty wallet, and no plans for the future. But he wanted me in it. And I wanted to be in it, too, whatever it turned out to be. I certainly had no idea what our future would bring. I blindly moved to Georgia with him, to Ft. Benning from hell, and had no idea where we would go from there.

We were so poor, thanks to the military salaries then, (and they probably aren't much better now). We couldn't make it from one payday to the next without taking Gary's zoom lens to the pawn shop for a loan each month. We fought a lot while we were adjusting to being married. His mother told mine that we wouldn't last due to his temper.  Little did she know that my temper was at least as bad, if not worse. But somehow we managed to get through the worst of the financial and emotional turmoil. I think it helped when Gary decided to get out of the Army and go back to college. Suddenly we had a direction for our future. And what a future it turned out to be.

Look at how spoiled I am now. I know it. I am not blind. But this is hardly where I expected to be 41 years ago. I just had no idea. So did the cosmos plan this for us? Or did we blindly stumble into it? I have a need to know, thanks to 'The Adjustment Bureau'. I don't know if I could recommend this movie to you. It might make you start musing...

A few photos of my Gary in Oregon last week:

I am wishing everyone everywhere a superb Sunday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Card Camp Week 3 (already?)

So it is hot today. Really? Gosh, I am so surprised. Not. Even. I was out in the heat as I did go to lunch with daughter Angela. UGH! Not you, Angela! And not the lunch at Liberty Market--my picnic sandwich was delish! UGH for being out in the heat. ;^) You know what? I want to go back to Oregon! I miss the cool weather!

Today I even went shopping; you know, the usual suspects: Michael's, Ulta, Joann's. Got some really good deals at 40% off; I am sure Gary will be thrilled. Right. I had to come home before hitting Fry's grocery store--just too wiped out from the heat. How long does it take to get re-acclimated anyway? I repeat, I want to go back to Oregon. I am not sure that escaping the desert summer is such a good idea if you have to come back before it cools off!

Anyway, I just wanted to post a photo of the card I made for the Summer Card Camp Week 3. The colors we were to use for our cards were taupe, brown, and chocolate with pops of white and red. I used an image from Magnolia that I had colored for a CMC class with Suzanne Dean. I mounted it and added it to a card with a few Tim Holtz and Stampin' Up trinkets, along with a bit of ribbon, SU Early Expresso ink, and SU tiny tags. My card stock was SU Early Expresso, SU Soft Suede, Bazzill white; and I used X-Press It white for the image colored with Copics E000, E40, E41, E42, E43, and E44. I also used a sheet from the Basic Grey kraft paper pad, and a Cuttlebug Tiny Mosaic embossing folder.

Oh, drat! I just noticed that I forgot the little white accents on my image! Oops! Well, I will go back and put them in, just so you know. :^)

Oh, and a shout-out to my sister, Merrilyn, for the lovely birthday lunch on Tuesday at the Deli. Thank you so much, and thank you also for the beautiful card and book! It is such fun to stretch a birthday celebration out for a week, don't you think? :^)

I'll leave you with a couple more photos from our trip last week. The first is of Gary and I standing on the balcony patio at Winderlea tasting room. The background shows the Dundee Hills area in the Willamette Valley. The second photo is a view from the Lange tasting room patio--with Mt. Hood in the background. Yes, that is snow on the mountain--lots of it! The last photo is beautifully composed by Gary at Depoe Bay, OR. What a shot, huh? :^)

Wishing everyone everywhere a fantastic Friday!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

They're Here!

Name the movie that quote is from! I could picture the scene it was from, but not the movie title. I must confess I had to look it up. Anyway, we are here--back from our precious few days in Oregon. OMG.

Not that we don't love the Phoenix area, because we do; but, Oregon was literally a breath of fresh air at this time of year. It was 25-45 degrees cooler, depending on where we were--wine country or coast. We loved them both. We will go back. I'm thinking next year around my birthday again. Gary is thinking next month. He needed that getaway. Badly. And he is ready to do it again. Like now. :^)

I understand that the reason Oregon is so green is the tremendous amount of rain that falls there. But, out of our four and a half days there, we had just a little drizzle on one of them. I was told that, after July 4th, rain doesn't fall so much in the summer. Perfect. And the little drizzle was a bit of a novelty.

We landed in the afternoon on my birthday and drove out to the coast, where we were staying. On our way we stopped at Farm to Fork in Dundee and had yummy wine and sandwiches. We arrived at Salishan Resort--not as new or fancy as it looked in the photos, btw--and had dinner in their Sun Room restaurant. We each had a salad with crab meat. Quite tasty!

On our first full day in Oregon we went south of our resort at Gleneden Beach to Newport. On the bay there we had some great seafood (mussels, clams, crab, and shrimp) at Saffron Salmon. Did a little shopping, took some photos. You know, the touristy things. We paid good money for a bad experience at the underwater sea aquarium. I swear those fish were begging me to let them back out into the sea. They looked so miserable. We did do a lot of walking, which meant going uphill and downhill. I got shin splints that day, but bravely soldiered on. Yay, me.  Anyway, we finished the day at a great little restaurant at Depoe Bay--the Tidal Raves. OMG. Super view right on the bay, wonderful service and fabulous food. We both had the fresh-caught Oregon halibut--WOW! We loved it so much we made reservations for another night.

The second day we went inland to Dundee and visited five wineries. Had some delicious wines. Yum! We even joined a two wine clubs and bought wine from two others. There was only one winery that we were not impressed with. And we found that, by sharing our wine tasting, we didn't get tipsy. So that was good, as we did a lot of driving. Actually, Gary did a lot of driving and I did a lot of riding. (And resting my shin splints). We had a great smoked salmon pizza at the farmer's market for dinner.

On our third day we went north on the coast to Cannon Beach. Ate some more great crab at a tiny place called Sweet Basil's cafe. Then we took a walk along the beach, as the air was perfect for it--just a gentle breeze. Not  the face-scouring wind we had the first day on Nye Beach. And I still braved the walk with my shin splints. (Are you sensing that I am out of shape?)  We also visited a great little wine and cheese shop, the Blue Heron in Tillamook. Wonderful blue cheese there. We are going to order some to go with some wines we ordered! (Which won't be delivered until it cools down here, which will be the twelfth of never, or until Hell freezes over). Oh, yeah, we also went to the Tillamook cheese factory and watched them package cheese. You couldn't really see them make it, as it was contained in huge stainless tanks, but it was still interesting to visit. And we managed to visit a myrtlewood factory store. I can remember when my parents bought a myrtlewood salad bowl and tongs during the drive through Oregon. That, folks, was in 1961. What a memory huh? Like a steel trap. Or not. Then we finished up our day at the Tidal Raves again. Funny thing--we met a couple at a Dundee winery and recommended this restaurant on the bay to them. We told them how great the ambiance and food were, so they tried it. Loved it. Ate there two nights in a row. They told us this as they were leaving the restaurant and we were coming in to it. Small world, huh? :^)

Our last day was spent in wine country, again resting my shin splints. I had a hard time leaving the coast. Sigh. Heavy, heavy sigh. But then we did enjoy some more delicious wines in the Carlton area. Even bought some there that will be shipped when the weather cools. I could be 80 years old by then.

Btw, my bucket list includes seeing whales. And I am 62 now, so I'd best get that in pretty soon. There were whale sightings along the coast and in Depoe Bay while we were there, but do you think I saw any?  Not so much. However, that does give me an excuse to go back to Oregon and try again, don't you think?

What was up with that naboob while we were gone? We thought we had a day of tremendous wind on the coast, while there was an even fiercer one here in the Valley of the Sun. So glad we missed that. Of course, my car (parked at the airport) got naboobed, as Gary put it. And so did our house. The exterior was covered with dust, and the interior has a fine film of it on all the windowsills. Guess I need to clean that off, huh? All in good time, like maybe when I get my wine from Oregon.

Have a birthday party to attend for granddaughter Kelsey today. She is now 9, (and yes, we did remember to call her on her actual birthday), and I can't wait to give her the card I made in the CMC class! :^)

I'll leave you with a couple of photos from our trip. We each took a camera, but usually used the pocket-sized one that Gary had hooked to his belt. Much more convenient that dragging mine out of the camera bag, kwim? Merrilyn, kwim means "know what I mean". Fyi.  ;^) Here's wishing everyone everywhere a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kelsey's Birthday Card

I was afraid I wouldn't get a card made for granddaughter Kelsey's birthday this next week, as we will be gone to Oregon. Duh--it dawned on me that I could use the Magnolia class card for her if I just got it finished before we left. So I worked like a dog, (do they even think about working?), the last two days and finally got it done. Yay!

Of course, I have spent a lot of time doing other things as well. Like shopping. For shoes. For many pairs of shoes. But they were having sales. On shoes. At Macy's. And Dillard's. And I needed wanted new sandals. :^) Angela, dear daughter of mine, don't choke because I bought more shoes. I have always loved having a shoe collection. You should know this about me by now.

Anyway, I did find some wonderful sandals at both stores. And they are so comfortable. And they would look really good on me if my feet weren't so red. Why in the world do my feet look like cooked lobsters? I have a need to know this. So if anyone can tell me, please comment. I have no idea how to get rid of the redness without getting rid of my feet. And that might be a bit inconvenient.

I did other shopping today besides shoe shopping. Poor Gary. He called me, while I was shopping, to tell me he thought of a birthday gift for me--noise-reduction headphones for air travel. I informed him that another gift was entirely unnecessary since I had just spent thousands on shoes. (Just kidding). I also got a new shirt at Chico's because I had two gift cards to use there. And a new Chi styling iron at Ulta because it was 1/3 off and I had a $20 coupon. Well, it made sense to me at the time. And I had to get a pair of granny panties to wear under my summer skirt. But those only cost $4 since I had a gift card to Soma also. Oh, and I bought some skin care items at Origins, because I was running out and had another gift card to use. I love having a birthday! I get all these gift cards from stores and restaurants. And I almost feel guilty if I don't use them. So, of course, I go shopping. And eating.

As a matter of fact, Gary and I went to Gordon Biersch last night to use a birthday coupon. We had some yummy shrimp and lobster spring rolls. Then I had a delicious lobster, crab, and shrimp salad. Gary had a Kobe burger that didn't wow him. He should have had a salad like I did. :^) So the waitress asks us if we want dessert, and we say we are too full, so thanks-but-no-thanks. So she comes back to our table with a piece of chocolate cake for me (since it was my birthday dinner). I say I am too full, she says take a bite and then put the rest into a to-go box. So I take a bite--and it was fabulous--and I tell her that we are going shopping so we have no place to put the cake. She says she'll put it in the refrigerator with my name on it, and I can pick it up after shopping. So I say OK; we go shopping, I buy nothing (I was good last night, not so good today), and we both forget about the cake. Oh well...I didn't need all those calories anyway.

Today, after a hard day of card-making, exercising, and shopping, I needed another good meal. And we hadn't been to the Deli yet this week (horrors), so we went out there. And had another wonderful dinner. Gary had the California sea bass (which I tasted and loved), and I had the pork loin and shrimp skewers--which were superb. My meal came with roasted potatoes (so many I couldn't finish them), and asparagus. Sigh. I loved it. Then Nicole had made some peach custard, and I got the last one available. Gary had cotton candy vodka ice cream. Both were delicious. So we got our Deli fix in for the week.

I am looking forward to another fabulous dinner tomorrow (oh, I guess it's today since it is after midnight). Gary and I are invited to our daughter's home for my birthday dinner celebration. Such fun to stretch out the festivities! And Angela asked me what food I wanted her to fix for me. I picked Indian because I love it, and she does a great job of preparing it.

Then, Monday, on my actual birthday, we will be having my birthday dinner in Oregon somewhere. Cool, huh? Literally. We will cool off for five days and then return to our delightful desert heat. I really don't mean that last bit. Anything over 85 degrees is just wasted warmth as far as I'm concerned. But most months of the year are really comfortable here. The only place I would rather live is Hawaii, and that's not going to happen in this lifetime. For many reasons. Family for one. And the rest all start with dollar signs.

Note to Angela: if you don't want to see Kelsey's card before her birthday party, don't read any more of this now. Because if you scroll down any further, you will see it. Just sayin'. 

I probably won't be posting while we are gone. So I wish everyone everywhere a wonderful week! And here is the card I made through Suzanne Dean's Color Me Creative Classroom. The actual class was taught by Mindy Baxter. I highly recommend the class--it was fun, creative, and I learned a lot.