Friday, August 31, 2007

Yes, I'm Crazy

I was feeling a little stir-crazy last night. It's one of the downsides to working at home, especially when the weather is rainy and dreary for several days in a row. Jeff had the night off, and he didn't want to do anything but veg in the recliner (not that I blame him after a 70-hour work week), so I loaded myself up and drove to Chattanooga. Trips there used to be a frequent occurrence, but I rarely go more than once a month now. I didn't have any particular goals - just look at something besides the four walls of my disaster-area house.

There are three stores that I always try to visit when I'm in town: Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and Books-a-Million. I wish Wolf Camera wasn't in the mall. I hate navigating the parking lot, so I only go when I have to be at the mall for something else. Anyhoo... I love craft stores, especially at this time of year. Hobby Lobby in particular puts an insane amount of holiday decorations on their shelves.

You guessed it - I'm about to say the "C" word.

Yes, I know it's still only August (barely). Yes, I know we still have almost four months to go. And yes, I know that most of you think I'm insane.

But I simply love Christmas! Nothing makes me quite so giddy as to wander down aisles of baubles, tinsel, and lights. It doesn't matter if it's 100 degrees outside. Christmas is the promise of cooler weather, and family, and home, and baking cookies, and creating cards and homemade gifts. I can't help it - it makes me smile! Knowing that soon XM radio will add back the Christmas music station, and that in a few more weeks I'll be seeing Frosty & Rudolph on TV again. . . what a happy thing. I love my annual game of searching out unique snowmen to add to my collection. I love that Braeden is old enough for Santa Claus this year. I love crafting homemade presents to give to my family. I love perusing endless cookie & fudge recipes in pursuit of the perfect treat.

Maybe it's because I hate the summer so much, but the promise of Christmas is simply delightful. I am always happier then than any other time of the year. For as long as I can remember, Christmas has been all about tradition and fun.

And I don't care if you think I'm nuts!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sounds I Love

Inspired by CKU...

1. Braeden's laughter
2. tinkling of Christmas bells
3. cars driving through the rain-soaked streets
4. piano music
5. click of a shutter
6. wind in the trees
7. '90s music
8. feet crunching on new snow
9. wind chimes
10. a cappella music
11. ocean surf crashing on the shore
12. pop of opening a can of soda

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Right Now...

1. It is 10:53 pm.

2. I am wearing one shoe.

3. My shoeless foot is tucked up under my other leg.

4. I am listening to Tchaikovsky on XM Pops

5. It's sprinkling outside.

6. I can smell my Starbucks French Roast coffee in the kitchen. It's brewing now so I can have iced coffee in the morning.

7. My dog is pacing the floor.

8. My stomach hurts a little bit.

9. I am sipping on Diet Mountian Dew from Taco Bell.

10. I am rocking slowly in the recliner.

11. There's a bouquet of flowers on the piano that my husband sent to me yesterday.

12. Sitting on the endtable next to me is the following: a folded paper towel, the aforementioned Taco Bell cup, my makeup, my thyroid medicine, the DirecTV remote control, my cordless phone, a glasses case, a travel-size can of shaving cream, two different brands of solid deodorant, four pens, a box of tissue, my Weight Watchers book, my Weight Watchers points slider, a small plastic container that had hummus in it earlier, three ponytail holders, the edge of a pack of mild taco sauce, and a few crumbs leftover from lunch. Amazingly, I can still see the table underneath all that.

13. I am rocking faster.

14. I am wearing three rings: my temporary wedding ring (until I can afford to replace the one that mysteriously disappeared when Bebo was just an infant), a sapphire ring Jeff gave me for Christmas a few years ago, and my mother's ring.

15. I have scratches on both my arms. They were probably self-inflicted.

16. The curtain is folded up a little and needs to be straightened.

17. The lights behind me are on, but not the ones in front of me.

18. I am really starting to need to use the bathroom.

19. I am the only one at home.

20. The door is unlocked and will probably remain that way.

21. I'm still not feeling the effects of the sleeping pill I took 45 minutes ago.

22. My contacts are still in, and I'm debating whether to sleep in them tonight.

23. My skin is dry and itchy, mostly on my tummy. Weird.

24. The dog is getting more intense about going outside.

25. It's 11:10 pm.

26. I'm going to bed.

The Elusive Sleep

Somehow, it seems that I have forgotten a basic lesson: how to sleep. In truth, it's not so much how to sleep as it is how to go to bed.

I stay up ridiculously late for someone who has to start work at 6:30 am.

Take last night, for instance. I had the worst headache of my life yesterday, starting around 2pm. I tried to sleep it off, but could only lay in bed wishing my head would just go ahead and explode. Finally giving up, I took half a bottle of Aleve and two Sudafed (in case it was sinus-induced). Somewhere around 8pm the headache subsided enough to return to semi-normal function. At that point I had to go to Wal-Mart for a new iron and Pull-Ups, then returned home to do my nightly posting and attempt to clean my house before FEMA showed up thinking it was a natural disaster zone.

It was well after midnight before I finally got to bed, and closer to 1:30am before exhaustion tamed my racing brain and forced me into nothingness.

So here I sit, in my comfy recliner, laptop in hand - supposedly "working," but so sleepy I can barely hold up my head. I simply must start going to bed at a reasonable hour - 10pm would be best - but I just can't make myself do it. I look around at all the things that need doing and I cringe. The stupid thing is I barely got anything accomplished last night, in spite of staying up so late. Trash was picked up from around the house, the dishwasher was loaded and ran, and I squeezed in a load of towels. That's it. I must be the most inefficient woman on the planet.

Tonight I am not going to eat after church. I am coming straight home, doing my nightly post, and going to bed.

Yeah, right.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Childhood Books

On a whim, I ordered A Wrinkle in Time from Amazon the other day. I'd remembered liking the book as a kid, but couldn't recall what the book was about. I'm a few chapters into it, and now I remember why I liked it so much. It's highly imaginative and really quite intriguing.

It's made me think that it's time to slowly start collecting books from my childhood that I would like my kids to read. Do any of these sound familiar?

by Judy Blume:
Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing
Freckle Juice
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

by James Howe:

by Beverly Cleary:
Beezus and Ramona
Ramona the Pest

by Maurice Sendak:
Where the Wild Things Are

by Sid Fleischman:
The Whipping Boy

by Patricia MacLachlan
Sarah, Plain and Tall

Those are the ones I can remember right off the top of my head. I just hope they're all still in print!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back from CKU

If you read all my blogs, you will see a common theme for today - it's my back-from-CKU exposition...

Anyhoo, I had a blast! We came back with roughly $350 worth of various and assorted goodies, from albums to rubons to paint daubers. We stayed at the lovely Opryland Hotel, indulged in decadent Haagen-Das ice cream (who knew there was such a thing as Bailey's ice cream??), and gabbed about life in general until late at night. It was amazing. I so desperately needed that break.

I also got ideas for Christmas presents - but I'm not telling here! :) Don't worry - it actually doesn't involve scrapbooks.

On other slightly different topics. . . I've been wondering what to do with my photographs of stuff - flowers and bridges and night lights, et al. I had a brilliant idea - I will put them into a digital scrapbook! After I collect 50 or so, I will send it to a book binding company and have it bound into a coffee table book. Coolness, huh?

Anyone want a coffee table book?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Country

I'm going to start a new country, and I'm going to call it Procrasti-Nation. Okay, bad pun.

It might be my worst habit. I am notorious for taking my good ol' easy time, then rushing around at the last minute.

Which is exactly where I am right now - rushing. I'm scrambling to get my pictures together before Wednesday. Then I have to pack my scrapbook bag (and my clothes). Jeff's birthday is tomorrow, so I won't have much time then.

So why am I blogging????

Friday, August 17, 2007

Primer on Email Etiquette

I'm a little hot under the collar right now, and the air conditioner is working just fine. I received an email that wasn't intended for me - but it was about me. It came from someone I genuinely liked, and that someone was rudely accusing me of lying.

I didn't lie to her. The situation was beyond my control. Furthermore, had she responded months ago to the questions I'd asked, the problem would probably have already been rectified.

In case you didn't already know, it is extremely unprofessional to bad-mouth anyone via email. Not only do you run the risk of the wrong person seeing it, you also make yourself look very stupid.

I emailed back with a simple message: "I'm confused. Are you talking about me or someone else?" I don't expect a response, but I'm sure she'll get the hint.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On scrapbooking (and air conditioning)

Thank God, the air conditioner is fixed. It is really beyond how people survived 100 years ago - wearing layers and layers of clothing with no a/c. Am I spoiled? Yeah, probably. Do I care? No.

Now that I can actually work in the computer room again (it's been unbearable the last several days), I have to spend some serious time working out my photographs for CKU next week. I have seven days left to get ready, and a LOT to be done. I must admit that I am looking forward to the weekend. The intense scrapbooking sessions always seem to awaken my inner artist. There's just something special about the process - it's way more than the glue dots and papers. Each page I complete is leaving behind a piece of myself for future generations. I hope they enjoy the glimpse of the life I live right now. Sometimes I wonder how long the albums will last and who will eventually see them. It's nice to think that they will become some descendant's treasured books.

I don't always journal on my pages, but it is easily my favorite part of the process. Writing has always come naturally to me, and I enjoy telling the stories of my everyday life - sometimes funny, sometimes poignant. Those words are the soul of my scrapbooks. Without them, there just wouldn't be the same life. I will likely never be the type who gets published in every magazine, but I'm okay with that. I know I'm reasonably good at what I do, but even if I wasn't it wouldn't matter. Being famous isn't the point, is it?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Thank goodness, the air conditioner is finally fixed. It's slowly cooling down. The thermostat maxed out at 95, so I don't know how hot it actually got in here. It's back into the 80s now. Amazing how cool that feels after 95+!

Now I'm off to the PC. I need to work on my pictures for Creating Keepsakes University (CKU). I have barely scratched the surface of what needs to be done, and I only have a week left. Yikes!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Day Three

Still no a/c. The repairman came back fairly early this morning, only to tell me that the fan motor was burned out. Turns out it's a special, oddball motor. They only see a couple every year. He didn't have any in stock and had to order them from Chattanooga.


I have the crappiest luck. I just had a feeling that it wouldn't get fixed. Again. It has been an utterly miserable day. Since I work from home, there is no escape. My car doesn't even have air conditioning. The best I could do was lunch at Subway and supper at Taco Bell. Then I hung out at Wal-Mart for an hour or so, until I'd looked at everything I could possibly want to see.

I got home, planning to hop into a cold shower. Guess what? It's so hot that even the water in the lines was warm!

Yes, I know I'm whining, and I don't give a d*mn. I simply do not handle heat well. And it seems like every year this stupid air conditioner goes out during the hottest time of the summer. This has been by far the worst episode. It's never taken so long to fix it before. I'm just praying that they'll be here in the morning and I don't have to wait all afternoon for the repairman.

I need football season, and orange leaves, and crisp breezes. I need cold, clear autumn mornings, hot apple cider, and chili cooking on the stove. I need to wear my comfy old Harding sweatshirt, and my pink windbreaker, and my ratty brown Doc Marten wannabes.

In the meantime, I need Prozac. Better yet - tranquilizers. Put me in a coma until October. Please!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Now I really, really, REALLY hate the summer!

We spent $170 for our a/c to be fixed. It worked for about twelve hours. Now it's dead again. We do not have the money to fix it. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to fix it, which means trying to get ready for church in a stinky, sweaty house.

Excuse me while I go cry.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I REALLY hate the summer!

Our temps have been hovering at 100 degrees. Heat index is upwards of 105.

Would you believe that our air conditioner has gone out? The repairman is here. I couldn't believe he was working on the weekend. I was so grateful! I just hope it's fixable. I don't think I could take a whole weekend of this.

Dear Lord, please make fall come quickly!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I hurt all over! I don't mean a little irritating hurt - I mean aching down to my bone marrow hurt. My butt, my arms, my neck, my legs, my shoulders, my waist - all of it. Yeeee-ouch!!!

The cause of all this agony can be contained in a small box of free weights and one DVD case. In an attempt to improve upon my shapeless self, I bought the newest FIRM series - if you are up watching infomercials at the ungodly hour of 6am, you'll know what I'm talking about. I had an older set, but my dearest son accidentally broke one of the DVDs. Besides, I wanted something new and different to motivate.

The cost of motivation is high! I am going to become a stockholder for FlexAll at the rate I'm using the stuff. I expect the soreness to wane eventually. I'm so horribly out of shape (but really, when have I ever been in shape?) that it doesn't exactly come as a surprise that the workouts are kicking my tail with a vengeance.

I'm telling myself this is all a good thing. Soon enough I will start seeing results, and the lovely new me will be worth all the pain and gain.

In the meantime, bring on the FlexAll!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


They've invented self-cleaning ovens. Now will someone please invent a self-cleaning house?? It never ends. Jeff is off work today, and by tomorrow my house is going to look like leftovers from a trailer park hit by a tornado. There's laundry to fold, dishes to wash, carpet to vacuum, tile to mop, supper to cook, sheets to change, furniture to dust....

I'm getting tired just thinking about it. One of these days when I strike it rich (ha!) I am hiring a maid.

And I will not be the type who cleans the house before the maid gets here, either.