Friday, April 28, 2006


"The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep."
-E. Joseph Cossman

In my own life, time after time, I have found this to be true. Everything is always better in the morning. Always better in the light of day.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

First Gardening Failure of the Season

So I started a compost bin last fall. I've been adding things here and there but have been struggling to find enough carbon material to balance all my nitrogens. It has dried out a few times inside and it never seems hot like it is supposed to be. I checked it this afternoon for the first time in a month or two. I'm growing potatoes in there. Which I suppose is good news and bad news. Bad news because it's supposed to be hot and decaying not nurturing plants! Good news because apparently there are some nutrients in there and also good news because I had read somewhere that you could grow potatoes in a garbage can (which is similar to my rat-proof bin I bought). And now I have proof that it really can work!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sick of being sick

So, what have we done since returning from vacation? Sit on my bed "watching" Dora with Felisa while I read the first 3 books of the Wagons West series by Dana Fuller Ross. I read the first 8 in high school and after 15 years I have finally officially decided that I really do want to own and read the entire collection. I have up through #9 plus a few others now after a couple trips to the used book store. If Felisa stays sick for much longer I'll be forced to venture out and buy more of them.

And now, Bailey, the Amazing Tissue-Eating Dog, has just struck again. Apparently disappointed that I did not share my cheeseburger with her and tired of being otherwise ignored, she decided to jump up on my bed and eat a tissue. Unfortunately for her she had to jump down from my bed, the thump of her landing giving away her secret. Grrrrr.... Dog.

And now I must get myself together for the oh-so-fun afternoon adventure of Take the Sick 2-Year Old to the Doctor. Yea, fun.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Home Sweet? Home

Well vacation is over - back to reality. Bella has had a relapse of IT. Fever yesterday again and lots of coughing. No swimming this afternoon but I feel bad because that means K has to miss too. Hopefully by next week we will be fully acclimated back to life here and back on schedule. Felisa has been whiny too for no particular reason. She was sneezing this morning so perhaps it is allergies. She slept from 5:30 last night until 0800 this morning so hopefully that will get her back in the correct time zone. Ryan has become a total night owl. Not sure if I can fix that one. Thursdays are more relaxed days over all. Plans for the day are dry cleaners, grocery store, and school for Ryan.

And speaking of school - better get everyone going...

Saturday, April 15, 2006


This one is for you, S...

Quote of the Day: "Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day." -W. Earl Hall

Friday, April 14, 2006

Suffering and Blessings

Good Friday... so far has been a good mix of suffering and blessings.

*Being here with family to celebrate Easter as well as Grandpa R's retirement and birthday. Spending time with Elena, Jared, and the boys.
*Having the opportunity to go on the Pilgrimage to Chimayo

*11 long hot hard miles to Chimayo. Was able to carry the cross for about 1/4-1/2 miles total. The traffic and the crowds just grate on my nerves - I'd rather follow an 11-mile path of my own than walk along the busy road with thousands of others also walking and many, many cars driving (biggest turn-out in 5 years according to the news). Of course suffering is the name of the game today as we remember Jesus' sacrifice. Once we got to the church, we did not go inside because it was so crowded and the line to get in was too long. Perhaps we can go out in July when we come back this way. After walking all that way, I'd love to spend a few minutes inside. Without the throngs of people will be better. I have to say I was a bit turned off by the people selling icee's and cotton candy.
*Felisa is sick. Now it has settled in her chest, whatever IT is. So now I have a feverish, coughing, whiny baby on my hands. Ryan, however, does seem to be doing better today. Hopefully he won't have any other relapses.

Ron was interviewed by one of the local news channels while he was carrying the cross. I think he was chosen because our group had the largest cross! And of course he is good-looking as well - perfect for the 5:00 news! He made it on with a 2 second clip.

And now Felisa's crying can no longer be ignored so I'm off...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

She's an Eggs-pert

Grandpa R was blowing eggs last night and Bella wanted to help. So he told her that should could crack the eggs this morning and help make scrambled eggs for breakfast. I was a little nervous of course but she did pretty well. First she just wanted to squeeze the egg so we showed her how to tap it and crack it a little on the side. Then she held it over the bowl and squeezed it - eggs and eggshells went flying! Most ended up in the bowl though. She tried again and before we could explain how to hold it and break it on the small crack she squeezed it again! Then she'd had enough so I guess Lesson 2 of cracking eggs will have to wait for another day...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Off to LA

Let's try this again. Stupid computer ate my post... No small problem when you are on dial-up!

We are off to LA tonight. Tomorrow is the Big Party - Grandpa R's retirement. Should be a good time. And based on our shopping trip to Costco last night we will be eating party leftovers for the rest of the week.

Ryan's fever came back. Not sure what's wrong with him exactly but sure has been a bummer of a vacation for him. Bella has been strangely healthy - the desert air must agree with her. She told me today that she likes the Alb house so maybe Grandpa will leave this one to her. I think Ryan gets the Beach house. Felisa has been sneezy and whiny. Claritin has helped a little for both of us.

Confession time... I went to Starbucks this morning. I couldn't decide whether or not to give in to the Temptation. So I said that I would go to whichever appeared first - Sonic or Starbucks. Starbucks was the winner. Which makes me the loser. Overall it was a pretty good Lent but I must try harder next year to resist the TEMPTATION! The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Isn't that how it goes? In this case the spirit was weak as well...

Monday, April 10, 2006

An airplane woke up her sneeze

Apparently an airplane flying over woke Bella up this morning. And she sneezed. Thanks to the dry desert air it was a bloody sneeze so she had to wash her hands and face. When I woke up later she told me that an airplane woke up her sneeze!

Last night was quite an adventure... Ron rode his bike home from the zoo the other day. On his ride through downtown Alb he thought it would be a nice place to go for dinner. So last night Jared and Elena went with us downtown while Grandma and Grandpa R took charge of the 5 munchkins. We stopped at the end of the "arts and entertainment district". We checked out one Italian place but it wasn't what we were looking for so we headed deeper into downtown. About 6 blocks later we are painfully aware of the plethora of biker dudes, muscle cars blaring and booming all around us. And not much else... no restaurants and not too many pedestrians. At one light a tire-burning and screeching contest began. Amidst the rancid rubber smoke smell we thought better of our decision to dine downtown and headed as quickly as possible back to the car. Just as we reach it, 3 cop cars come screaming down the street, sirens blaring, headed for where we had just been. We immediately jump in the car and head the opposite way as quickly as possible.

Back to our own neighborhood and dinner at a delicious wood-fire pizza place. Laughing about our little adventure and admitting to ourselves that perhaps we are old after all!

Thanks, Ron, for the suggestion and the ensuing adventure. But maybe next time we should let Jared and Elena suggest where to dine. :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Oh joy - spring break!

Yea! We made it... We are all together again in Alb. enjoying a nice relaxing spring break with the family. The cousins are all getting along great and it is nice to see Elena and Jared again. I think Ron is bored already but vacation is hard for him. Ryan and Felisa have fevers but seem better than yesterday so hopefully will be over it soon.

Ron and I went on a short hike/walk through the desert yesterday morning. Saw a Gigantic rabbit/hare. Looked like a jackalope but without the horns. Maybe it was a cross between a rabbit and a fox. :) Made it out of the desert and found our way back home. I went out again this morning but stuck to the paved roads since I didn't have my fearless guide along. There are no sidewalks and lots of cactus so you have a choice... be run over by a car or be impaled by a cactus!

And now we all have to get ready for church, lunch at Fuddruckers, then ditch the kids/dads/grandpas and head for Michaels and the scrapbook store!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rhino-ing and Painful Pennies

The girls and I met a family at the library about a month ago. They are new to Vienna (capitol hill and memphis prior to here) so we exchanged numbers. Yesterday we were finally all healthy enough for a playdate. While we were talking, Lynne taught me a new expression. Rhino-ing. Apparently a Rhinocerus will charge at something but if he catches a glimpse of something else off to the side, he will charge at that instead, having forgotten all about his original goal. Sounds like me. Every day. But now I have a fun name to call this syndrome of mine. Rhino-ing. Makes it sound more fun, don't you think?

And as for the painful pennies...
Ryan, Felisa, and I ventured to the bank today, heavily laden with the treasures of 3 very full piggy banks (brings back memories of lugging quarters to deposit back during my Disbo Days!), to deposit into the coin counting machine. One hour and 45 minutes later we were finally done. Apparently the coin counting machine was jamming on the pennies. Which we had a lot of. The two other men who were there to make a deposit had most, if not all, silver coins so they were able to make a deposit and move on. Not so for us. On the good side, this task is done (after about 6 months or so on the To Do list) and the piggy banks are back in place, ready for more. And the kids really were quite patient given the excruciatingly long amount of time we spent at the coin counter. And special thanks, too, to the angels that made sure there was no waiting when we went to the teller to deposit the bills. I'm not sure we would have survived waiting there as well. Our rewards - lollipops and Wendy's for lunch!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


"The greatest gift you can give someone is time."
-Rick Warren, "The Purpose-Driven Life"

Flashbacks to Days as Disbo

I was just copying the checks that I got last weekend while vendoring the Cpr crop. It brought back memories of MANY hours spent making copies (front AND back!) of EVERY check I ever mailed in to deposit from the ship. It paid off though for that one deposit that disappeared. I didn't have to cough up the money from my own paycheck because I had proof!

Master of Disguise

It doesn't have to be elaborate to work...

Melissa left her sweatshirt here a few weeks ago because Ryan wanted to borrow it. This morning he decided to wear it. He went in to play with Felisa for a few minutes then came downstairs. Felisa came down a little later looking for Melissa. I managed to convince her that she had left her sweatshirt here after her last visit and was not actually here now.

Fast forward half an hour or so... Ryan is digging through the MegaBloks box looking for just the right piece when Bailey comes in from outside. She wags her tail and sniffs at his face. Yikes, he says! Bailey has long since been ignoring my kids - only likes new visitors! I told him that Bailey thought he was Melissa too! He laughed.

He' stalking himself!

A and I were talking over the back fence last night and the subject of the psycho robin came up. Apparently she's been getting a lot of window hits as well! This morning in my email, she sent me this link
I have included here the response that seemed most likely to be the problem. One of the other suggestions was that birds were just confused by the reflection of the outdoors. Given how our robin just STARES at us, this answer seems the most likely for our guy. Here's hoping those eggs hatch soon!

Q. Help! Every day for over a week a robin has been crashing into my glass patio door (or picture window, or car mirror). The window is getting smeared with droppings and blood, and I'm scared that the robin is going to hurt himself. What should I do?

A. Most robins that repeatedly crash into windows are territorial males. If a male sees his reflection in the glass, he thinks could be another male on his territory. Normally when one male robin intrudes on another's territory, he skulks around, and flies away when the actual holder of the territory approaches. Not so with a reflection! Every time your robin gets close to the window, that robin image also comes closer. When your robin assumes an aggressive stance, rather than turning tail and flying away, the image robin assumes an equally aggressive stance, and at every level of increasing aggression in your robin, his reflection matches it. Male robins spend a lot of time and energy keeping intruders away during the time the female is nest-building and incubating eggs. The only way you can help is to get rid of the image bird yourself, by breaking the reflection (without breaking the window!). Closing a curtain from within seldom works, because birds can see very well, so even a faint image is very evident to them. Taping paper or cardboard to the outside of the window can be unsightly, and destroys the whole purpose of having a window, but is 100% effective. Soaping the window from the outside can work, but you really need to cover the entire thing. One thing that sometimes works is to hang helium balloons from the window, tied to a two- or three-foot length of string (or longer) floating at just about the level the robin is focused on. For some reason, birds seem to fear helium balloons--I think because nothing they ever encounter in the natural world "falls up" so the movements seem very unpredictable. A rubber snake or plastic owl sometimes works, but birds often figure out within a day or two that they're fake.Once the baby robins hatch, your male will get so busy tending to their feeding and care that he will stop worrying about that phantom image of himself. Meanwhile, good luck!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


This is a test of the email blog-posting system. This is only a test.


Next Year Will Be Different...

Every year at tax time (and Christmas!) I say that. Every year. Which means that it never really is different. At least not different enough to be noticeable.

I have been working on my taxes this morning. Phase 2. I did phase 1 a month or so ago then stalled over a missing notebook. Under threat from Ron I'm back to work.

Though I have gotten better about writing everything down, I need to do better. Very hard to reconstruct what happened in all of 2005 when I can't even remember what happened last week!

I have decided that I can make the most money overall with my scrapping for others business. There is more money per project. Of course there is a lot more time per project as well which must be factored in. I currently have one big album due in about 6 weeks and haven't progressed past photo sorting.

I can make money with Leaving Prints (though I didn't again this year) but again it takes time. There is that saying that it takes money to make money. Which is true. Equally true I have found that it takes time to make money!

There is a Leaving Prints training seminar in Philly in June. I want to go but it is midweek and the same week as my cursillo retreat which means I would be gone for a whole week. Definite child care issues there. One advantage to going to the LP seminar would be the LPU program. It is a series of classes that you can only teach if you have been trained at a seminar. So there aren't many, especially in the east. Which would increase my marketability. If I give the time it would take to teach the classes. I chose LP because there are so few consultants in my area. So I have a more unique product than say, the thousands of CM consultants out there. Just have to give it the TIME necessary to make anything happen.

I remember how I felt after the Sue DiFranco seminar - you can make LOTS of money if you target the higher income, dual career, no time to scrap it yourself people. But that felt exclusive to me. I think that everyone deserves a scrapbook - not just the richest people. Also I am in a yahoo group called scrap from your stash. Which is something else I would love to focus on. Not just the only-from-your-stash point of view but rather from the Let-me-help-you-get-it-done point of view, whatever that means, whether it by my scrapping services, my products, classes, crops, challenges (with prizes).

So that's today's reflection of my scrapbook job and where I am/where I'd like to go. Now I'd better get back to my taxes or else I'll be in big trouble!