30 April 2008
In typical fashion, I had the new Pyzam template for about 30 seconds and decided I didn't like it, so I changed it back to the old one and kept looking for a design I liked better.
While I was looking for the ideal Blogger template (which doesn't exist, BTW), Blogger decided that it won't accept any new template code, so I'm stuck using a canned Blogger template for now. I'm slowly putting back my widgets, knowing that it's only temporary until I can get a new template to install. At which point I'll lose my widgets again.
Just thought someone out there might be wondering about my widgets.
My blogging friend Lida suggested using a ruler so that we can measure his growth scientifically and precisely. Arnold began this journey at 2 inches in length. As of Day 3, Arnold has grown 1/4 inch in length but he has bulked up considerably.
Unless he picks up the pace, I'm starting to think that this is all we can expect from Arnold.
It's a good thing that looks aren't everything.
29 April 2008
There are many blogs that I find inspirational for one reason or another. It's hard to pick just five! I'm passing the award on to:
Cheri - She inspires me with her digital/hybrid designs and extreme productivity! :-)
Fonda - Her boundless creativity stretches my imagination!
Kristina - Her pages are always beautiful, and she surely has one of the coolest scrap rooms around!
Sarah C - Whether she's posting awesome LO's, organizational tips, decorating ideas, or movie recommendations, Sarah is a great addition to the blogging community!
Gingerkitty - Melina inspires me with her creative photography, her LO's, and her informative vlogs!
Here are the rules:
He hasn't grown much in length, but his biceps appear to be puffed up just a bit. This morning I noticed that Arnold's head is tilted at an odd angle. But I'm not alarmed by this new development because reading the fine print prepared me for it: "As your toy grows, it may distort in shape. This is part of the fun and will correct when fully grown."
Stay tuned for further distortions.
* * * * *
If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you may recall that we've been doing some re-decorating of our main floor. This has involved stripping wallpaper, painting, and general marital strife for a full year now. I'm happy to report, however, that the dining room is FINALLY pretty much finished, after yesterday's installation of a glass top for our table.
When we bought the table 14 years ago, we planned to get a glass top. It took us 14 years to make the call. Yep, 14 years. Not sure what took so long, but once the call was made, it only took a few days to get the glass. Rather than a single large piece, I had it cut into three pieces because of the table leaf: If we remove the leaf, we can still use the glass.
This morning, the lovely, clean glass was COVERED with paths of adorable little paw prints. As much as I like it, the glass is going to be a challenge to keep clean.
A couple of weeks ago (before we decided to get the glass), I purchased and returned a series of table runners and tablecloths. Today I went to Target and bought one of the table runners for a second time, and this time I'm keeping it. (By the way, there were NO "Grow a Boyfriend" packages at this particular Target.) The runner is the same gold color as the accent pillows that I had Daughter sew a few days ago, so everything finally looks somewhat coordinated. (Why have pillows in the dining room? Good question, but I like them there.) I found a hammered wooden bowl and filled it with woven balls. After trying numerous other centerpiece options, I think this one provides the right amount of color and texture.
With the glass table top and the woven balls, Lily and Tinsel are sure to have grand time in the dining room.
28 April 2008
OK, Arnold (that's what I'm calling him) took the plunge this evening into a mixing bowl of water. If you read the fine print (I hadn't), you'll see that he can take up to 10 days to grow, so putting him in the sink was out of the question. Some astute blog readers also noticed that he will grow to 600% of his original size. Being somewhat (read: TOTALLY) math-impaired, I thought that sounded pretty big. Alas, Daughter corrected me: He'll only grow to 6 times his original size, so there is no need for panic.
Here is Arnold ready to dive:
And here he is after about 60 minutes under water. He is slimy, but he hasn't started to grow. I'm sure he's just warming up.
We'll photo document Arnold's growth over the next 10 days.
After all, Arnold cost $1, and we want to be sure we got our money's worth.
25 April 2008
Lucky for me, Lily recently made herself comfortable in just such a container, which made for the purr-fect photo op.
As a side note, you'd be surprised at how heavy she is when lifting her above your head to get these shots. Too many cookies, Lily.
24 April 2008
I printed nine wallet-sized photos of my two favorite kitties, punched them out, then punched enough cardstock to total 30 squares. After inking each square, I ran them through my Xyron and adhered them to the layout. Next to the title, I used one of the new Bazzill Just the Edge scalloped strips. I love the concept of these strips, by the way. It's sort of the same concept as the muffin tops you can get at Panera...someone figured out a way to make only the really good part.
2. Miscellaneous kitchen and household items -- We're having a garage sale in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping to donate whatever does not sell to a local free store which helps battered women set up new homes.
21 April 2008
* I really like the concept of hail, as long as it doesn't dent the car or damage my plants. I like to scoop it up and put it in the freezer. But I would rather not have hail at 3:30 in the morning, as we did last night. I would call this pea-sized hail:
* Top on my list of pet peeves would be Internet outages. We've had two in the past week alone. Grrr...
* While I was getting a tooth filled recently, my dentist was talking to the dental assistant about purchasing a new piece of equipment for the office: The Easy Extractor. Hello? EASY Extractor? Only a dentist would think up such a name.
* DD's boyfriend was visiting recently and asked if we had a paper towel. Any guess as to what he had found? Yep, one of Tinsel's special little "Fecal Gifts". This is NOT the kind of gift one likes to give to a guest.
* Special note to Tinsel: OK, Tinsel, we understand that you are angry about Lily living here. Lily will not be going away anytime soon. She's your adopted sister, and we don't want you to kill her as she sleeps. Tinsel, you need to stop acting out your anger via your bowel movements. Mommy has tried numerous kinds of litter (well, MOMMY hasn't tried the litter, but she has purchased it for YOU to try), spread aluminum foil all over the floor, squirted neutralizing spray, purchased a new litter box, and given you extra attention. Still you choose not to use the box consistently. Mommy is frustrated. Your doctor recommends Kitty Prozac. Mommy will not medicate you, but if your behavior does not change, she may very well medicate herself.
* It occurred to me the other day that I like my coffee strong and my tea weak. Not sure what that means, if anything.
* I have ordered a large green shag rug for the family room. If it looks too much like grass, that could cause additional issues for Tinsel and I'll have to send it back.
* Last year I planted zinnias in front of my new wrought iron fence, but they weren't tall enough. Today, I found some "super giant" very tall zinnia seeds. They should grow 36 inches high. I bought six packages. I have no idea if that is enough for a 12 foot border.
* I watched a program on PBS about Alaska. I still want to see a moose in the wild, and it appears that if I go to Alaska I just might see one. The narrator said that a moose is actually the largest member of the deer family. I guess I should have noticed the family resemblance...
* For the past 14 years, DH and I have been talking about getting a piece (or pieces) of glass cut for the top of our dining room table. After 14 years of talking about it, I've finally got someone scheduled to measure it. Surely no one moves more slowly than us.
* I've decided that I pretty much don't like sheer ribbon. I mean I'll use it if I have to, or if it's just the right color, but much prefer solid ribbon. So there.
* I have way too much stuff. Just way too much. I don't need half of what is in this house. I feel burdened by stuff. Some serious offloading needs to occur. A garage sale is coming up. Hopefully someone will want some of this stuff.
* Cool words of the week:
Flotsam = floating debris, as from a ship wreck
Jetsam = cargo tossed overboard to lighten a load
* Cool LOLCAT thing of the week: LOLCAT Dictionary
This will be great for all of us who spend too much time translating LOLCAT captions.
* I swear I'm almost addicted to HGTV. If I had nothing else to do, I could watch decorating shows practically 'round the clock. You would think with as many decorating shows as I've seen that I'd stop making so many decorating errors. I'm obviously a slow learner.
* The name of the evil stair thingy machine at the fitness center is the Elliptical Machine. Try as I may, I cannot get the hang of that stupid thing. I refuse to even try anymore.
* Our friends at the Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL) are still trekking across America, finding typos and correcting them whenever possible. Follow the adventures of this brave crew on the TEAL blog.
* An earthquake of 5.2 magnitude hit the Midwest last week. Hundreds of people in our area reported feeling the tremor around 4:30 AM. Being sound asleep, I didn't feel it but strangely, Lily woke me up right around that time. I am now convinced that she felt the earthquake. She's now Lily, the Earthquake Sensing Cat.
19 April 2008
I'm sold on the concept of Glitter Cuts! A great look in no time at all.
18 April 2008
seeds of cat enchantment were sown within me.
This is a picture of me, two years old, outside of our house. In many pictures from my childhood, I'm carrying a cat, pushing a baby kitten in a buggy, or holding a kitty wearing a doll dress. Cats have always been a huge part of my life, and my days have been richly blessed by the many cats I have loved.
17 April 2008
I had a few minutes to spare today so thought I'd pop in. Oh, my goodness...I found American Crafts (probably my second favorite brand after Ki) and Heidi Grace stuff. They had several cans of the AC felt/foam/chipboard shapes -- Christmas, arrow, punctuation, and baby girl themes. I restrained myself, since I already have the Christmas shapes and heaven knows I do not need any more arrows. They also had several boxes of AC ribbon, but I recognized many of the spools from my own stash. :-)
They also had lots of alphabets and rub-ons by both AC and HG (the rub-ons were mostly black and brown). Since I have plenty of alphabet rub-ons, I picked up a few sheets of sticker/chipboard letters for $1 each. Even the large HG flocked chipboard letters were $1. Not that I need any more of this stuff, but I could not resist at such a great price! My total bill? $6.36.
And yes, I realize that I just posted about using my stash... :-)
* When brewing coffee, you'll get better results if you actually put water into the coffee maker.
* Speaking of coffee, if your coffee maker has been sputtering away for awhile and no coffee appears in the pot, BEWARE...it’s a trap! When you open the lid to inspect, the filter may be level full with a dangerously hot mixture of coffee grounds and water. Use extreme caution when handling the filter, and under no circumstances should you let your spouse know what has transpired.
* Speaking of dangerous beverage situations, beware of the handy pop (AKA "soda" to some of you) can cover known as “Snap Capp”. Deceptively simple, this little device snaps over the top of an open pop can to keep the contents from going flat. Lovely concept, but when it comes to removing Snap Capp, there is no amount of twisting or even swearing that will dislodge it. I am not kidding! Although the Snap Capp instructions suggest that the cap simply "snaps off", you can squish the can, twist it, step on it, and even ask Spouse for help -- it will not budge. If you're lucky enough to have a pair of Cutco Super Scissors, you can use them to CUT the can away from Snap Capp, creating lethally jagged can edges but allowing you the rare opportunity to actually see the inside of a beverage can.
* Moving on to food issues, you know how at some grocery stores, you can purchase plastic containers of pre-washed vegetables? It would be really great if the lids were taped on. Why, you ask? Well, if a container with an untaped lid were (hypothetically) dropped, the veggies would spew forth, volcano style, all over the floor of the produce department. And the dropper might find herself unceremoniously crawling on the floor of the produce department, trying to scoop up wayward carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli and shove them back into the container before seeing anyone she knows. With no produce manager in sight, the dropper of the veggies might even have to slyly sneak behind the produce counter and place the open container (veggies askew) next to the sink, with a fervent hope that someone would rewash the veggies before placing them back on display. All of this *hypothetical* mayhem could be prevented with a bit of tape.* And what is the deal with the ginormous thing you have to bite when you get a dental x-ray? I'm so gaggy that they give me the thing that a 7-year old girl bites. Who could possibly have a mouth large enough to accommodate the adult size? And why does it have to be completely wrapped in plastic before inserted into your mouth? Is it not sanitized? Has it been in someone else's mouth?
* While at the fitness place Sunday evening, instead of watching the wholesome offerings on the Food Network, I turned the TV on the recumbent bike to the Rock of Love (ROL) finale. This was only my second time watching ROL, and I must say that I was so riveted by Daisy's extensive arm tattoo and hurling over the side of the fishing boat that before I knew it, I had ridden 13 miles. This, my friends, is surely one of the only good things to come from that show.
* OK, this has nothing to do with anything, but the inside of Lily's mouth is spotted, black and gray. The inside of Tinsel's mouth is plain pink. Isn't that strange?
* In addition to hoarding cheese (see last week's post), I am apparently a hoarder of product points. Over the past year, I have accumulated several hundred Fresh Step "Paw Points" and "Coke Rewards" points, but I can't seem to bring myself to redeem them. With my extreme number of Paw Points, I could get the Cat Privacy Tent or the even the Cat Pyramid...yet I continue to hoard.
* New foods Lily has tasted this week: trail mix, including pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dried apricots; a red seedless grape (I removed the tooth-punctured grape from her mouth because cats shouldn't eat grapes or raisins).
* I know Blogger is a free service (and I love Blogger, I really do!), but they really should fix the font function. It works inconsistently and sometimes not at all, resulting in funky, jumbled fonts. This is really distressing to font-conscious folks like me.
16 April 2008
Gosh, I even used some of my hoarded Ki stash on this layout. Not much of it, mind you. Still plenty left for future layouts.
Now someone told me last night that if you see an opossum in broad daylight, it's generally not a good thing since they are nocturnal creatures. This little guy, cute as he looked, may have been rabid. Spouse risked life and limb to get these shots, I guess.
I still think he's cute. The opossum, that is.
I'm going to try not to over-analyze this question and, instead, respond with the first thing that popped into my mind.
If I knew I wouldn't fail, I'd write a book. Not a fiction book, not a children's book. Most likely it would be a compilation of essays and poems.
Someday I'd like to do that. A lot of stuff, including fear of failure, gets in the way of that becoming a reality.
15 April 2008
For this layout, I cut a sheet of white cardstock down to 11x11 and matted it on a full sheet of black. Our "kit" materials included Ki Memories fruit stripe paper and various Ki chipboard accents. Because I compulsively hoard anything Ki, I still have plenty left over to use on more layouts!
It can sometimes be challenging to find photos to match the paper or embellishments included in the kit, but in looking through the many boxes of photos I have yet to scrapbook, these pictures seemed to be the perfect match for the striped paper.
One more layout down...only 1,000 more to go before graduation in two years! :-)
So I'm on a quest to use what I have while I still like the stuff. If I let supplies sit around for too many years, my taste will change and I won't want to use them. And whether I give it away or sell it at a garage sale, I'll never recoup my initial investment.
So for now, my purchases consist of mainly adhesive, cardstock, and an occasional tool or two. If I see something I absolutely LOVE and may not be able to find down the road, I'll buy it. But until I make a bigger dent in my inventory, this is my plan.
OK, at least until the next big trade show... :-)
14 April 2008
Here's another layout based on a blog post from last December. Boy, if I could just figure out how to get more scrapbooking time (i.e., get off the computer), this would be a great way to make layouts. Since I normally start with the story anyway, having the blog post ready to go simplifies that part of the process.
For this layout, I printed a collage (created in Picasa) and a 3.5x3.5 picture of Lily. I didn't change a word from the original blog post before printing it out on cardstock. The best part was that I actually used a few older letter stickers, too (American Crafts, Scrapworks, and Basic Grey). And judging from my vast letter sticker inventory, I need to be doing that more often.
Now, if I can just get caught up on printing photos, I'll be in even better shape...
11 April 2008
09 April 2008
In the family room, we needed to replace our two floral chairs (lovely, but not in line with this color scheme) with solid camel-colored chairs. We've been to every furniture place in the area. We looked at re-covering our current chairs and found that to be completely cost-prohibitive. It would cost over twice as much as we paid for each chair. Finally, I came to this conclusion: If we could never afford to re-cover them, why buy really expensive chairs? These chairs get little use anyway. So last night, we bopped on out to Target and bought two club chairs. They're really comfy and just the right color. And I could buy two more and still be ahead money-wise.
Meanwhile, I've been searching for a tablecloth and centerpiece *something* for the dining room table. This is not going so well. In just the past week, I've purchased and returned so many things that it's just a matter of time before I get a call from the credit card company wondering if I'm involved in some sort of scheme. Here's a sampling of my recent activities:
* Visited every store in the area which sells table coverings.
* Purchased and returned one tan tablecloth.
* Purchased and returned a second tan tablecloth.
* Purchased and returned a brown tablecloth.
* Purchased three candlesticks and three candles. Returned the candlesticks but kept two of the candles (they smell good). The third candle is still riding around in my SUV. It doesn't smell that great.
* Purchased and returned a bronze candle holder.
* Purchased a gold-colored table runner, which may or may not be kept, depending on the color of the tablecloth.
* Decided to skip the tablecloth and look into having glass panels cut for the table.
* Considered making a tablecloth from purchased fabric, instead of paying a ridiculous amount for a ready-made cloth.
In desperation, this morning I put the old tablecloth back on the table and gave up. Childbirth was MUCH easier.
07 April 2008
Better late than never, I bring you my current list of random musings -- thoughts, ideas, and items of little or no interest that I've been thinking about lately....Or at least the ones I can actually remember. :-)
* I passed a local copy place over the weekend. The word "Typesetting" was in large letters across the front window, the letters going noticeably downhill to the right. I have issues with crooked signs in general, but to have that particular word be crooked was almost more than I could take.
* Posted on the door of that same local copy shop was a sign that read "No BCT", with a sad face. What the heck is that supposed to mean? Googling BCT brings up "Basic Combat Training", "Bangkok Community Theatre", and "Business Cards Tomorrow", among 1,000 other things. I'm really tempted to stop in sometime wearing camouflage and tell them I'm looking for the combat workshop, but I'm sure they wouldn't see the humor in that.
* If you throw away your car keys with your used paper towel after washing your hands, a good place to do it is a trash can in a church restroom.There's nothing really bad in a church restroom trash can. Theoretically speaking, of course.
* Speaking of driving, why is it a whole lot easier to open the hood of your SUV than to close it? You just pull a lever to pop it open, but you've got to go through an entire series of steps to close it. You might even have to get out your owner's manual. Theoretically speaking, of course.
* On the subject of vehicles, yesterday while out and about, I encountered the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile not once, but twice. I ask you: What are the odds of that? I first spotted it sitting (completely unattended) in a hotel parking lot. Later I found it at Super Target, parked in between a couple of vans. No fanfare, no media. Does someone just drive this thing around?
* Word of the week: Meh, which (according to the Urban Dictionary) is the verbal equivalent of a shrug of the shoulders. How am I feeling on this Monday? Meh.
* LOLCAT speak of the week: nom, nom, nom, which indicates that the cat is munching on a tasty morsel of some sort. At our house, that might include kitty litter.
* Speaking of wonderful cats, one of our girls has decided not to use the litterbox. The vet has ruled out health issues, so we now know that Tinsel has a behavioral problem (obviously related to L-I-L-Y), and it's proving rather difficult to resolve. The vet suggested placing aluminum foil sheets on her "favorite" spots, but Lily decided to eat it. He also suggested trying different kinds of litter, but we've found that Lily eats some litter brands, too. We are now testing a litter which was recommended on several message boards, Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract. This litter has an herbal scent (apparently only cats can smell it), small particle size, and "ideal" texture. So far, so good. Tinsel is using it, and Lily isn't eating much of it. Nom, nom, nom.
* The Bridges of Madison County is still a really good movie. Stories about paths not chosen always make me cry.
* I seem to have been having some"Senior Moments" when it comes to the purchase of shredded cheese. While preparing dinner this evening, I asked DD to pull the cheese out of the fridge. She was somewhat alarmed to find multiple packages...more than she could hold. I'm not sure what has caused me to buy this much shredded cheese. We don't even eat that much of it.
Until now. Nom, nom, nom.
04 April 2008
03 April 2008
1) The smell of coffee brewing while I'm still in bed
2) A cat (or two) sleeping on my lap
3) Watching DD participate in one of her many, many activities
4) A really good scone
5) Finishing a big project (and being happy with the results)
6) Striped paper
7) Listening to NPR, or just having it on in the background
9) Being inside someplace cozy on a rainy day
10) Friends who accept me "as is" -- quirks and all
If you happen to read this list, your assignment is to make your own list...and if you're a scrapbooker, scrapbook it!
The rules for the *you make my day award* are to re-present it to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blog land. Let them know through email or by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times yourself, and if you do, consider yourself really, really loved.
01 April 2008
* OK, who the heck taught Lily to ring a bag of jingle bells for food? (Oh, that would be me.) Although utterly adorable, the constant bell-ringing is sort of driving me batty. Who would have guessed that she'd be such a fantabulous bell ringer?
* Speaking of Lily, I've discovered that she has a TWIN living in France. One of Daughter's friends recently returned from a trip to France which included a stay with the Lily Look-Alike. And while that other cat understands French, I'll bet it can't ring a bell.
* This being April 1, I am reminded that I must be on my guard. You see, over the years, I have been the victim of several CRUEL and UNUSUAL April Fool's Day hoaxes. Let's see...there was the time back in Chicago that Spouse called me at work and told me that water was pouring through the ceiling of our apartment from the floor above. Another time, every single person in the office called in sick on the day of a huge meeting, leaving me to fret about running it all alone. Still another year, Spouse turned off the water whilst I was in the shower, completely sudsy and no way to rinse. These are just a few of the very special April Fool's Day memories which come to mind...
* Today I visited the post office in our fair city and discovered that THE STAMP MACHINES HAVE BEEN REMOVED. I stood in line for 15 minutes waiting to buy a stamp. People, something is wrong with this picture.
* This past week, I heard an interview (on NPR, of course) with a runner who has carried the Olympic torch from city to city. Occasionally the runner has to sleep, so can you guess what happens to the torch during those hours? No, it isn't picked up by someone else, nor is it placed under guard overnight. Believe it or not, the runner actually takes the Olympic flame into the hotel room and sleeps with it, bedside. Now I don't know about you, but I tend to think taking the Olympic flame into the Super 8 is somehow a tad bit unceremonious. There's just something not quite right about that image.
* Speaking of NPR, I ran across this GREAT story on the NPR website. I'm not suggesting that if you get robbed, you try this tactic, but I still think it's pretty cool how this guy handled the situation.
* What's the deal with ponytails and headbands, worn simultaneously? Seems like overkill to me...somewhat akin to wearing belts with suspenders.
* On the other hand, what is so wrong with wearing my Born sandals with socks? I wait all winter to put those puppies back on my feet. I could wear them much earlier in the season if I were allowed to sport them with socks.
* Rachael Ray is a just a little bit too perky for me. I'm not knocking her cooking (which appears to be quite good)...just her relentless perkiness.
* In the short time I've been parenting a teenager who is learning to drive, I've discovered something about myself: I'm not a good driving coach. In fact, I'm borderline hysterical. It's really not a good use of my skills.
* Speaking of "poor use of my skills"...I am not at all handy with setting up ginormous round tables, the kind you find in church fellowship halls. Think: Runaway Pancake.
* I have been spending an inordinate amount of time tinkering with the HTML in my blog with an end goal of changing the template to something a bit more exciting. Maybe even brown. How about that for exciting?
* What's the deal with that VH1 show, Rock of Love? I ran across it while flipping channels the other night. Where the heck do they find these people? The SNL spoof of that show was scarily (I thought I was making that word up, but turns out it really is a word) accurate. I'll stick with NPR, thank you very much.
* Riding the recumbent bike (remember: NOT recombinant...that's DNA) at the fitness place the other day, my heart rate on the "workout summary" screen appeared to be 233. I chose not to believe that score. I'm pretty sure that 233 would be the heart rate of a gerbil.
* Speaking of the fitness place, I really don't like the stretchy rubber tube or that evil elliptical machine, but I can lift 80+ pounds with my legs. I can't walk the next day, but hey...