Monday, March 29, 2010

How did you spend Earth Hour?

Saturday, March 27th was the World Wildlife Fund's designated Earth Hour - one whole hour,
asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Wikipedia
From 8:30-9:30 CST, we went lights out here in Plainfield and possibly found out more about each other in one hour than in a whole week.

Let me set the scene - we were at my parents house, or Grandma and Bubba's, to the kids. Mom made a wonderful dinner and we were invited to spend some time over there (lol - that makes us sound so formal, actually, we mainly invite ourselves over and to be honest, we are welcome anytime).

When 8:30 rolled around, we turned out the lights and the TV (my dad and my son were watching game shows - how cute!), and lit some candles. Then, silence.  Finally, Ana started to talk about her trip to Washington DC a few weeks back and of all the things she saw. This led to a discussion about the Vietnam War Memorial and Matt started to ask his Bubba about what he did during the war (he was a machinist and worked with the machine's that purified the water on the ship). Matthew declared that what Bubba did was probably the most important job on the ship. Can you see the glow of pride? Matt also decided he'd better ask his Great Uncles what their jobs were in the Army when he sees them next. Funny, I never thought to ask my Dad these things.

During this time, Ana and her Grandma talked. Ana said she wished we could do this more often, it was so relaxing. Then, Ana lay down on her Grandma's lap and fell asleep, giving Matt a chance to be a star.

Matthew demonstrated his new whistling skills for us (especially for Bubba, since he's a master whistler...if there ever was such a title, he'd have it), found out that my Dad only likes peanut butter, but not jelly sandwiches ("That's where I get that from!" exclaimed Matt), and showed us all of his karate moves (he's getting his promotion to yellow belt this coming Saturday). Matt also demonstrated his self defense skills....on me! He said, "Don't worry, Mom, I know how to be gentle and I won't really hurt you."

He didn't hurt me and neither did turning out the lights and turning off the TV. On April 2nd, we are going Internet Candy/Junk Food free for the month of April. I'll share what I mean by that in a future post.

Have a lovely week, and remember, it doesn't have to be "Earth Hour" to turn off the lights .....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Checking In

Peacock from here
This was a very good week. I got my hair cut - I call it short (took off 5 inches), but it's really just past my shoulders. I'd been hanging on to my long hair as kind of a security blanket for the past year. I felt ready to break free, finally. Then, I finally got something at work I've been hoping for - feeling kind of proud of myself for hanging in there. And, finally, I finished the Sweet Talk Journaling Challenge at Log Your Memory. Focus, my friends, is working for me!

I've completed these layouts, as well. Have I mentioned I'm so addicted to the digital scrapbooking and paper scrapping, which was once all I did, now feels so HARD, like I'm trying to scrap with my elbows!

That's all I have for today. Once again, I thank my Ana for proofreading :) See you soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So, That's Why! .... for Dummies

Hi friends - a few random thoughts to share.

I had always wondered just how many "For Dummies" books have been published. Sometimes, I'd be in a bookstore, which is the equivalent of my "bar" hangout, and wonder if there was a whole section of the popular For Dummies series, rather than having them interspersed on the shelves with all the other books.

 So, today, when I got an email from Borders, advertising 30% of this series, I got the chance to see just what was out there. Some of the titles were surprising, some made me just laugh, and others made me almost want to buy some of them (but I'm on a self-imposed book spending freeze).

Here's what I found. There are currently 1,832 titles listed. Many of them have to do with computers. It's also only fair to note that I do own several Dummies books; I think they are a great overview and typically well written. Ana and I wouldn't have made it through 7th grade Geometry with out one! (I also have Philosophy, Buddhism, and Psychology for Dummies).

Here's what else you can get:
Anger Management for Dummies
Saints for Dummies
Dating for Dummies
Relationships for Dummies
Rugby for Dummies
Extreme Sudoku for Dummies (I want to know, if you make it to a level of Sudoku where you are ready for "extreme", shouldn't you graduate from the "For Dummies" series?
Curling for Dummies (this would have been good to have during the Olympics)
Freemasons for Dummies (do they support dummies? Can you see them out with picket signs that say "Freemasons for Dummies"? No?)
Computers for Seniors for Dummies (I couldn't find just a  regular"Computers for Dummies", so, if you need help, you have to use the seniors version)

This group just makes me chuckle. I think I might be a eight year-old boy. Are they for actual dummies?
Creating Websites for Dummies (are the dummies going to use the websites?)
Fishing for Dummies (catching dummies?)
Potty Training for Dummies (it's about time those dummies learn to use the potty?)
Housetraining for Dummies (if the potty training doesn't work)
Trading for Dummies (what do you have to trade to get a dummy?)
Happiness for Dummies (well, that's a good thing)
Stretching for Dummies (because they need a book for this)
Choosing a Dog for Dummies (what kind of dogs do dummies prefer?)
Online Education for Dummies (they should probably read Using Computers for Dummies)

These are really specific....
Australian and New Zealand Wine for Dummies
California Wine for Dummies
Whisky and Spirits for Dummies
and you can get Vino para Dummies, too.

These sound fun...
Running a Bed and Breakfast for Dummies
Antiquing for Dummies
Bartending for Dummies

And my favorite of all......

Raising Chickens for Dummies

That's all for now. What "For Dummies" book do you have?

(I'm totally not being compensated for advertising the books, or anything. Just another thing that tickles my funny bone.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A story about Jack, who is not a PUG.

Hi friends- I wanted to remember and share this story about my dog, Jack. He's a good boy, HUGE, but a good protector and just the right dog for us right now.

Jack's 5 years old this year (that makes him 35 in people years, right? He's almost as old as me!) and has adopted that wise look of a dog who's seen it all. He's still a puppy in the snow though, but he's not too fond of getting muddy in the rain anymore....I hear you, boy, I don't have fun playing in mud anymore either....must be our "advanced" ages.

(thanks Ana for your embarassing!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oh you sad neglected blog, I'm sorry

Seems like I've been neglecting my little blog here. Real life, like the month of March, has come in like a lion! Most weeks, I plod along, contentedly following my same old, same old routine. This week, I've had something to do every night. A full calendar means no time for posts! That's ok, right? It's good to do stuff! Here's what I've been up to:

Saturday, the 6th - Volunteered at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora. My daughter's friend chose to have her birthday "party" at this wonderful organization, helping to pack food packages for starving children in distressed countries. With the recent natural disasters in Haiti and Chile, she couldn't have picked a better way to show she cares by gathering her friends to help make a difference. In that 2 hours, the volunteers (several other families, girl scout troops, and church groups) packed enough food packets to feed 55 children for a year. It was an awesome experience.

Sunday, the 7th  -Did some digi layouts:

Mom told me the story of getting this picture taken. I was 3, she did it on a whim with the last money in her pocket - I'm so glad she did.

(I will update this post with the details to credit the elements I used when I have a chance to look it all up.....really, I promise!)

Monday, the 8th - Left work early to get Ana to one of her regular appointments. Thankfully, Mom had Matt and it ended up being a cinch.

Tuesday, the 9th - Parent Confirmation meeting at our church. Listening to a speaker for an hour, talking about God's Grace. Lovely.

Wednesday, the 10th - Regular doctor visit, but my doctor is unlike the docs you hear about who rush in and give you half (or an eighth) of their attention for 5 minutes and rush out. Oh no, not this chicky. An hour. We talked about all my little concerns, she did blood tests, and listened for a full hour. Awesome. Only problem was my kiddos were waiting in the waiting room for an hour, too. They are so easy-going though, when I went to check on them, they were cuddled up on the couch together doing a word search. They are so cute!
And I did this layout for one of the Log Your Memory Weekly Challenges....not my favorite layout, but got the job done:

Thursday, the 11th - Court, ahem. Nevermind about that, and an evening to spend with my sweet guy. Then I made this:

And now, Friday, the 12th - Really no plans for me....Ana has a school dance and then out for pizza with another good friend of hers (she really has some great friends).  Then Saturday, the 13th, if the weather is good, we'll walk in the West Side Irish parade in Naperville with my sister's foster dogs. Then maybe I'll get a chance to put my feet up. Or do laundry? Or scrapbook? Hmmmm....

So, that's why I haven't blogged lately. See you soon.....

Friday, March 5, 2010

Oh March, you lucky month! A brief, brief overview

I created a layout last night as part of a challenge from the Guest Designer, Suzy Iverson of SuzyQ scraps, using her new Serendipity kit.

Also, one of my digital layouts was selected to be published in the Log Your Memory 2010 Yearbook! I'm beyond excited about that and feel incredibly lucky to have found such a great bunch of on-line ladies to create with. It's this one here.

Just bummed that my real-life scrappin' gals at the Scrap Cellar won't be able to get together this month - sending them good vibes for health and new grand daughters and husbands!

Ana had a blast on her trip to Washington DC at the end of last month....I'll post pictures soon.

Hope your days are full of luck and dimes!