Saturday, July 16, 2011


Well, we know Dmitry plays fetch. He comes when he's called and wags his tail like a dog. But, did you know he can Macarena?

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Soul is Filling.....

At the end of May this year, I was laid off of work. This wasn't the type of layoff that one would expect to be called back from, so I'm not sure why they call it a layoff....I guess that's to cushion the blow. Anyway, I was stunned. Knew it was coming, but my emotional self took over for several hours. And then, I was ok. Really, ok.

I felt ok. I got my ducks in a row. I started applying for jobs immediately. I made a list of all the good things that might come of having this time to be home and I must say that helped me not to panic. I'm a silver lining girl all the way.  I know many people who are out of work right now. I hold each of their stories in my heart and root for them to get back to work, too. I feel guilty that I am making the best of this time off. I don't make light of anyone's situation and I feel the pain, my friends. But I want to share my list. My good things list. My silver lining list.

1. I've accomplished stuff. My hall closet is clean and functional!
2. I've enjoyed whole days and not worried about having enough time to do things.
3. I've finished reading one book (Freakonomics) and have two more cued up - 1. Fiction-The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood and 2. Non-Fiction - I Love it When You Talk Retro - both of which I found for 89 cents at Goodwill (see #6).
4. I've made my yard lovely again - with the help of my sister, her hubby and my dear, Invisibob.
5. I've been the "driving mom" for the first time in many years. And I've been happy to do it.
6. I've wandered around the Goodwill stores in my neighborhood, finding treasures. Don't scoff, my money supports their mission and the treasures look great in my yard!
7. I let my kids have sleepovers - heck, I don't have to get up for work in the morning, why not?
8. I've gone to Thursday morning matinees with my dear, IB. (See #4, Bob is known as Invisibob because 1. He does not appear in photographs willingly, and 2. He didn't start appearing at family functions until we'd been together for a while. My dad dubbed him "Invisibob" as a joke, and it stuck.)
9. I've stopped eating fast food and started cooking again -can't say that I don't have the time to cook!
10. I've taught Matt to cook English muffin pizzas (at least I'll know he can make something!)

11. Ana and I pulled out the food processor and made a cantaloupe granita this week- yum!

We're also growing our own herbs: lots of basil for pestos and pizzas, cilantro, parsley, and dill. And, our cucumber plants are coming along nicely.
12. I've indulged myself in art and music - something I haven't had time for in a long time.

13. I had a picnic in my backyard for the first time in the 7 years I've lived here. Ok, I kind of had to force the kids to join me, but it was a good time, nonetheless.

I'm so thankful that I have a family who is there to help me out and be supportive as I look for a job. I have a second interview with the same company next week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm ready to go back - my soul is filled up again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And the cat came back.....

 Fred Penner - The Cat Came Back
Gone for two weeks, then on the 4th of July, Melanie appeared at the door. I saw her first and then called upstairs to tell Matt she'd come back. He yelled for Ana, who was in the shower, and there was great excitment.
The Cat Came Back

Naturally, she read my blog post and was so moved that she found her way home. We theorized that she had been shut up in the house across the street for the 2 weeks since that house was being renovated and there were workers going in and out all day.
The Cat Came Back

Not a scratch on her. That was my biggest worry when I saw her. But no, she was in one piece, nothing wrong. She did run right to the food bowl and chow down.

The Cat Came Back!

Yep, the power of blogging is proven once I said, she must read this blog. Maybe I should write about other things that I've been missing, baseball card collection that was stolen by a boyfriend almost 20 years ago? Think that might bring those 1960s rare cards back? I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And then there were 2

Once upon a time, a little girl was out in her yard cutting flowers and a cat appeared. The cat was a tabby with beautiful markings, but no collar, and she seemed a little confused.

She thought the little girl was her own, so she lay down on the ground near where the little girl was trimming back the peony bushes, and she stayed there all day.

Inside the house was a great big black dog,

but the cat didn't know that or she didn't care, because she seemed to just want to stay with the girl.

Even when the girl went into the house, the cat stayed. The girl would go outside and the cat would return, nuzzling into the little girl's arms.

The girl's mom was reluctant to like the cat, since she already had a big dog and 2 kids to care for, but then it started to rain.

The mom and girl hardened their hearts and went inside, leaving the cat outside where it belonged. That lasted for about 2 minutes. And then cat was part of their family for 4 years.

And soon joined by another cat, known as Dmitry.

And Melanie served her family well for her 4 years there- she stayed an inside cat for 3 years and got all chubby and comfy, but the lure of the outdoors was still strong. And so were the bunnies.

This spring, she presented  her family with 4 dead mice, 1 dead bird and 8 decapitated bunnies. And the mom cleaned up after her killing spree. Ewww.

And then, it was time for the first cat, now named Melanie, to move on.

And then there were 2.

And life goes on. Yes, I'm sad. Yes, the kids are sad, but we had 4 good years with her. And we all still hold hope that she'll wander back to our home someday, but we like to tell ourselves that she's found a new family with a little girl and boy who need a cat. We are optimists.

Bye Melanie - hope you are somewhere safe.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Attack of the SHOULDs

So, I see it's been some time since my last post. You would think that after I was laid off my job at the end of May, that I might have had a little more time to post to my blog, and you would be right. However, I think I've been avoiding it, just as I avoid cutting the grass or doing the dishes (I'm avoiding the lawn mower as I write this post). This shouldn't feel like a chore, right? Not that anyone is holding me accountable to post, that's all me.

That's me in the guilty chair.

All me.

Like how I feel that I should my household under control by now (I don't) or have found a job by now (I haven't) or slimmed down and gotten healthier (not yet). Seems to me that my life is full of SHOULDs right now. My 40th birthday is in 23 days and I feel like I SHOULD have it all figured out by now (I don't).

What I need to do is give myself a break - it's not like I'll become a superhero in 23 days, capable of turning myself into a swirling ball of energy and tying up all my loose ends and finishing all my unfinished projects so I could start my 40th year fresh and in control (though, that would be awesome). I have limitations and need to set my goals and expectations back to the human setting (not superhero setting).

I'm also not likely to win the lottery (I don't play), so I don't think my financial woes will be resolved in 23 days, either. I may find a job in the next 23 days, but if I don't, I'm not a failure, I just need to be persistent, stay positive, and keep trying.

I created this digital art journal page to remind myself of what I SHOULD be doing:

And since it's the first cool day, non-rainy in my neck of the woods, I have to go cut that grass!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some new pages...checking in

Haven't been here in a while ... still painting  .. all of us are healthy and still wishing for the warm weather to stay a bit longer. We had 2 teaser days in the 90s last week and we are back to the 40s again! Oh May, you are such a tease!

I'm taking a lot less photos than in previous years. Or, maybe it just seems like that since I now have 4 devices to take photos: my iPod Touch, my phone, and 2 cameras.

How about a page of my beautiful girl....
An experiment with Photoshop
Art Journal Caravan page on the word TRY

Art Journal Caravan page on the word UNDERSTAND

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Shoes and Colorful Toes

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" ~ Robin Williams

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Collage Paintings

I've been plugging away on one of the 21 Secrets classes: Collage, Paint and Soul taught by Tamara Laporte of Willowing.ning.  Here are a few things I've made so far. I can't take any really good photos though...

Became this...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm Still Here Having Fun with Paint

I'm on the computer less and less these days, but that's because I don't want to get paint on my key board! Here's a peek at what I've been up to, and a peek at my biggest fan, Dmitry, the art cat (I'm sure he was more interested in the bird outside the window than in me.).

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sign of Spring

If you live in my neck of the woods, this is just as much a sign of spring as the little buds on the trees and the flowers poking through the ground....

Jewel's Garden Center is up!
(Thanks to my mom for mentioning's true!)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Changing Course

So, I was doing the digital I'm like, eh. Time for something new.....I'm going to be hanging out on the playground.

I've been digging art journals for some time now, but I try to do them and I get stuck more often than I get something I like.

Hmmm......I thought to myself....same thing happened with the digital scrapbooking prior to last year, and when I devoted my energies to learning that, I was thrilled with the results of my commitment. So, I'm here, committing to a new art form - art journaling.

Getting messy.
Getting expressive.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why I Smell Like Coffee Today

Source unknown: Found on tumblr

The first time, I thought it was just the coffee on the rim of the cup.

The second time, it was because I thought it was just on the rim of the recycled McDonald's cup and took another sip (coffee from home, in a McDonald's cup-I thought I could trick myself into thinking it was "not from home" coffee - the joke was on me).

The third time I spilled, was just dumb - I forgot about to first 2 spills and wanted another sip on my way to work.

THE FOURTH TIME was REALLY dumb! With full knowledge that my cheap McDonald's coffee cup had been compromised and that the lid was CRACKED, and now out of my car and on my way into work where I knew I had a nice Starbucks mug on my desk into which I could decant my now cold coffee, I took another sip. And now my purple sweater smells of coffee.

And I will smell of coffee all day.
And there are worse things, I guess.
And have a good day. Whatever you smell like.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Pages

While on this Art Journal Caravan that I've mentioned many times before, we have an monthly assignment, of sorts. This month to illustrate 4 word phrases based on Patti Digh's book, 4 Word Self Help (love Patti's stuff). Here are a couple I've completed.

Fight for Your Dream
My next project is to create an altered board book with some of my favorite 4 word phrases - with actual materials, not digital. I stopped in my favorite used book store and picked up a little board book for this purpose - My First Word Book - a favorite of my Ana's when she was a baby. In fact, her's was so loved, it's in pieces in a zip lock in her keepsakes. I couldn't think of a better book to alter, and I think today is a great day to start working on it. Hopefully, I'll get around to sharing my progress on that when the month's over.

Anyone have a 4 word (inspirational) phrase to share?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2 New Digital Art Journal Pages and some Good News I'm Sharing

Here are my Art Caravan Journal Pages for Weeks 7 (theme was Wonder) and 8 (Reinforce).

Also, I've been taking a few new classes at Big Picture Classes and I've been playing more with my paper scrapping materials lately. Here are a few tags I made as creative jumpstarts in May Flaum's Creative Retreat class:
Get it?
True, right?

And finally - my digital layout of Bloom Where You're Planted will be published in the Spring 2011 edition of Somerset Digital Studio! I can't tell you how excited I was to receive my copy in the mail. I opened it with my dear ScrapCellar Girls (my wings) and my dear Peggy took a photo of me posing with my copy. I'll be crossing that goal off my to do list now!

Thanks for letting me share! Have a fantastic week!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sharing - Art Journal Caravan Week 6

My Week 6 Art Journal Page. This week's word: Live

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Found: More Ana first day of school photos

Ok, I'm obsessed out of season. It's not back to school time, but I've found some more back to school photos of my daughter. I've been scanning and correcting photos...oy, I took lots of photos of this little girl! So, here are a few to share:

So, there is preschool, kindergarten and 2nd grade....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dmitry, the Russian Blue Retriever?

So, I've shared some of my cat, Dmitry's eccentricities here before ... his ability to fetch, his hoarding of old Fisher Price Sesame Street characters, his destruction of my Christmas decorations, and why he is crazy.  Today's story really has me concerned.

My son came down with his first cold of the year. We dug our way out of the house yesterday to get him some cold medicine yesterday. I bought the kind that loosens everything up for him. Anyway....if you have or care for kids, you know the liquid medicines come with a special measuring cup (we always used a spoon...I wonder if that means we didn't get enough or if we got too much?). This particluar brand measures in mL, rather than tsp, so the cup is special for this brand of medicine.

Ok, following me? 

So, I'm at the computer this morning, doing my makeup and reading email and I realized that I left the medicine bottle up in my bathroom, so I sent Matt to get the bottle so I could give him some of the medicine before school. He returned a few minutes later with the bottle, but without the cup. Well, he's nine, so I figured, the missing cup was just a slight - he probably didn't realize that I would need the cup. So, I asked him to go get the cup and he say, "I didn't see one". Well, we already tease him for having "little boy vision", so I realize that I have to go find it myself.

One second later, something fell from the staircase landing right above my computer and landed with a dull CLINK on the keyboard. I picked it up and .... it was the cup. THE CUP! The goofy mL measuring cup literally fell from the sky, onto my keyboard. Stunned, I look up and there is Dmitry, sitting on the landing, head between the posts on the staircase above me.

No kidding.

For real.

The crazy cat RETRIEVED the cup. 
This cat is SOMETHING!
Good kitty!