Friday, December 29, 2006

One year ago

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

My New Friend is Ugly!

No, really! He's a one-of-a kind, custom made "Ugly Doll". He was a gift from Minda & Erin and he's splendid. He comes with his own Red Bull camo backpack. He got to dance on the web cam for Dave today.

Yesterday evening was really great. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

P.S. This is Post #100! Yay me!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

"Through the years, we all will be together,
if the fates allow....
until then, we'll have to muddle through, somehow.
So have your self a merry little Christmas, now."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas with Dave's Family

Yesterday Dave's family celebrated Christmas at Chris & Jamie's. Dave was able to call and talk to everyone. It was ok. There were a couple of times that people said some really stupid things that I choked on a little, but I tried not to let it bother me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Last year's photo, still a classic.

I sent this to the people I work with in Ohio.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New Toy!

I got to open my Christmas gift from Dave, and I got a Wishblade! I'm pretty darn excited. I figured out how to teach it new shapes, and I made a bull patch. Ok, I think that's really cool. I had made one with an x-acto knife and that was a major pain in the you-know-what.

My New Year's resolution is to not buy ANY patterned paper until I complete 2 new albums (normal sized). But cardstock... hmm....

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Cookies

My aunt, my cousin, my mom, and I made Christmas cookies today.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

This Week

It's Thursday already... 10 days until Christmas. I'm doing much better now that I have gotten over most of the bug I picked up last week. I really appreciated all of the kind words from so many people asking if I was feeling better.

Monday night, Karlene & I went to see The Nativity movie. I enjoyed it. Just recently I've been in on a lot of discussions about who Mary was, and I liked seeing the visual image. I think my favorite thing was seeing the journey from Nazareth to Bethelehem. Some of the aspects at the end did seem a little hokey, but I don't know how it could have been done differently. As usual, the movie was good, the book is better.

Tuesday night after working at Too, I went over and hung out with the family. We laughed so hard... I got to bed a smidge later than usual. Dave scolded me for not getting enough sleep, but I told him it was worth it.

Last night I worked at Too again. We had cake! It's a good thing that I run around the store a lot to burn off a few of the calories from the various holiday parties.

And saving the best for last, the news about Dave: he will be leaving Iraq sooner than expected! He has about 2 months left there. When he comes back to the US, he will be sent to Pennsylvania until May or so.

Dave's Christmas Corner!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Toast

To Gary--

I will never forget how you always showed a genuine interest in me, you were never impatient and never unkind. You are sorely missed.

The Laundry Basket

The other day, I tackled something that had become an obstacle. Instead of making a mountain out of a molehill, I made a mountain out of a laundry basket in the closet.
When I looked at that pile of clothes, I realized that I didn't feel busyness or laziness, I felt fear. And this is why:

After Dave went back to Iraq in August, I washed and folded his clothes, and put them in the closet in the laundry basket. At the time, I thought, how sad it was to put his clothes away. I will do it later. So the "deal with it later" basket was born. Over time, I added shirts that needed ironing, summer clothes that needed to be packed away, socks that needed matching, and on and on, until the pile grew large enough to fill several laundry baskets, and I kept running out of socks. I would look at the basket, and tell myself every negative thing I could think of, to support the fear.

Finally, I felt feisty enough to fight. I sorted my clothes, and put them away. As I got to Dave's clothes, I understood, the laundry basket is not the monster in the closet, the sadness is. I was afraid to face the sadness. I cannot imagine how hard it is to box up the clothes of a loved one after they have passed away. The sadness of putting away his clothes is nothing compared to that. Still, it occured to me that I could have asked for help. If I had asked a friend to talk to me while I put away his clothes, sure, they might have found the request odd, but they would have been there for me.

At the bottom of the laundry basket, I found a sweatshirt that I had missed since July. And I found that I'm just a bit stronger and smarter than I had been.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I knew Rufus was weird, but...

A gingerbread latte? He had to get every last drop of a gingerbread latte?


A friend got an email from a co-worker this morning that simply said,

"Are you having problems?"

It was sent to all staff in her area. I THINK he was just intending to isolate a system issue. But she forwarded the response she would have liked to have replied to me, and we played the problems game. She complained about health, family, money, etc, and I complained likewise about the deployment, Christmas, money, friends... back and forth until we found...
we'd run out of things to complain about.
Huh. And when I was thinking about the bad stuff, I kept remembering all the good stuff. Amazing stuff. Wonderful friends, a loving husband, a nice home, a growing faith, and relatively good health (I'm a little sick today).

All that complaining made me happier, and made the person I complained to happier too. Go figure.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December Scrap Club

Last night Scrap Club met and again we had a very fun time. (I refuse to call the group "Minda Scraps", I love ya Minda, but that's just too weird) We had absolutely sinful cookies and wassail and glogwein. Beyond excellent.

The challenge for this month was to use a set sketch and the page kit we received last month. I really enjoyed this because it made me add elements to the page that I really loved - the flowers - that I probably wouldn't have thought to do otherwise.

As you can see, again this month I borrowed somebody else's kid for the subject of the layout. I haven't been inspired by cat or dog pictures recently I guess.

Next month's challenge is to do a page as a gift about another person in the group. Again I'm challenged and excited because my person is somebody I don't know well yet, but what I know I like.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Three Weeks Until Christmas

It sounds like we may get real snow this week. I neither love nor hate snow. But the neighbor's Christmas decorations on their green, green lawns made me giggle last week.

This happened a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn't felt like blogging about it until now. In the beginning of November, we got an offer on Dave's townhouse. Finally! The buyers wanted a couple of things fixed, which was annoying, but eventually the real estate agent took care of it. And then we just needed to wait until the closing on Dec 15.

For some reason, I actually wasn't surprised when the real estate agent called me right before Thanksgiving to say that the buyers had lost their mortgage and were cancelling the purchase. Terribly disappointed, but not surprised. Now that it's getting closer to the 15th, I'm feeling even more bummed about it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Quality time with the laptop

Tonight I'm working on some computer updates, updating web sites and such. I should work on my reading assignment for tomorrow night, and I should work on my club assignment for Monday. But I want to make some progress on this first.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Rockin around the Christmas Tree

So tonight I decided (to start a sentence with a preposition.) No. Tonight I decided to have Karlene put her Christmas tree in the living room. Last year, I put my tree in the living room and she put her tree in the family room. It worked well. But I decided I wouldn't put my tree up this year. So (there I go again) her tree went where there was the most space; the living room. When she was putting her decorations up, I started feeling nostalgic and thinking about my decorations. For a little bit, I was sorry that I had decided to forgo my tree this year.

Then a little while later I was sitting in the living room, and I looked at Karlene's tree. It's very pretty, but very different from my tree. Looking at her tree, I remembered my tree last year, it's first year in that spot. The tree last year was part of so much... Dave coming home, Christmas, our wedding. This year, it's better to save it. I made the right decision.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, friends and family, near and far. In a little while I'll be off to the Crilly's.
Here is a simple CG page about my step-dog. She's pretty special.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One more picture

Later this week at Too, we'll be getting in Making Memories Grommet Setting sets. I did this page as a store sample. I hadn't formed an opinion before doing the page, but I think I like the grommets. They're pretty easy to use.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Last night I went to visit my friend Carrie and her new baby, Eva. She was born on Saturday morning. Big sister Julia just turned two, and she liked helping the baby. She brought Eva her alphabet books, coincidentally, first the "E", then the "V", then the "T".... Ok, her spelling isn't very good. She's only 2.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dinner with Friends

Tonight I'm going to have dinner with friends. We've been looking forward to it for some time now. I'm looking forward to finally giving them this little gift I'd been planning since August:

Here's the reader's digest version: Carol's dogs bring home ticks. Liz picks off the ticks and deposits them into a beer can with a little rubbing alcohol in it. Carol comes home after a long, hard day at work, and grabs the wrong can.


(This limited-edition commemorative six-pack is actually MGD.)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Special Coffee Day!

Back when I used to work in the office (prior to April 2005), Monday through Thursday, the gang would get regular coffee from the restaurant in the building. But on Fridays we would go across the street to Caribou. Mmm, special coffee. I miss that about Fridays.

Hmm, that smells like a scrapbook page....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

From October: Stripes Challenge

The October Challenge was to use stripes in a way that you hadn't before. Everyone really took this challenge in different directions.

I actually had "garbage can inspiration" after my original idea for using my striped paper didn't work out. I offset the stripes slightly to create playful visual movement. Secretly, I think I might have remembered the design idea from The Flash comic books I used to read. As soon as I saw the stripes like this, I knew what pictures I wanted to use... also containing a lot of movement!

Last Night's Challenge

Last night the scrap group met and we had a great time sharing our projects. We also had a challenge, to scraplift a page from a CK Hall of Fame winner (whose name escapes me... ), with the supplies provided and with a time limit of 20 minutes. Here's what I came up with.

Next month we are bringing back a page, using a single sketched layout and the supplies provided in page kits we exchanged. I was struck with a little inspiration, and although I'm far from finished, here is a little tease of the finished page:

Monday, November 06, 2006

Good weekend

This last weekend was really fun. I worked Friday night and Saturday at Too, and Saturday evening I went to my sister-in-law's for dinner. Sunday afternoon she and my niece came over to scrapbook. I think Rachel finished the most things. I like to watch her create. At 8 years old, there is no limit to her creativity. It helps remind me to sometimes throw away the rules about color and patterns.

Scrap club meets again tomorrow night. I've been looking forward to tomorrow for quite some time now... partially for scrap club and partially for saying goodbye to all of the political ads.

Ah, But of course! Coming to your tv soon: the Christmas ads - you know - the ones that tell you that you don't really love your family unless you run yourself ragged and go deeper into debt during the holiday season?

Hmm. Guess I'll go to the library & get some more books.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And now, November

I woke up on Monday completely positive that it was November 2nd. I'm not sure how that got stuck in my head. But now it really is November. It's a good thing. It feels good to turn the page on the calendar and know that the number of days until Dave comes home is getting smaller and smaller. I don't know the date yet, but right now we're expecting him sometime around March or April (more likely April).
November looks like a good month. I'm working a little less; playing a little more. Still no plans for Thanksgiving (hint hint!)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Visiting Glenwood

This weekend I went up to Glenwood with my parents to visit my Aunt Sandy. Missy got to come along; Rufus had to stay home. Missy loves it up here, there is so much space to run and so many interesting smells to check out. My Mom and I visited two scrapbook stores in Alexandria, they were both nice little shops.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


This summer I was given a box of my grandparent's photographs to sort and organize. Some of them were very old pictures, and most of them were ones I had never seen before. As I sorted, I found my school pictures-- kindergarden, first, second; up to fifth grade, the year that they died. I was struck with an incredible sadness that they didn't get to see me grow up.
When I was almost near the end of the project, I found this picture. There they are, watching. And I felt comforted. If they don't know who I have become, then someday they will when we meet again.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An Idea

I'm planning to go to CHA Winter, a big scrapbook convention, in Anaheim, in January. I've got a flight voucher that I need to use. So I started thinking about staying for longer than the convention, to have a little more time to relax and enjoy the change from Minnesota winter. But it always came back to wanting somebody to share it with me. So I'm going to see if Chie can take time from work and come to California. It's an idea, anyway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A quiet moment, and then

I thought I'd take a quiet moment to catch up on some emails and blogs.
But somebody's obnoxious dogs are outside, barking their fool heads off.

Oh, they're mine.

Gotta go.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I couldn't agree more

Check out The Patriette's blog for today (Oct 20). I've never had anyone say anything purposely hurtful about the deployment, but some comments hurt nonetheless.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

State General's Coin

From Dave:
That is the TAG, The Adjutant General, the Highest ranking General in Minnesota, Reports to the Gov of Minn.He awarded me a state generals coin for good work, somebody some where recommended me...

Much Love

Dogs are NOT like children, but they need love and attention. They notice when their routine is disrupted. If I'm home, they lay around and sleep in the evening, or play if they feel like it; and if I'm at work, they do pretty much the same thing. But Missy and Rufus made it clear that they've missed me this week. Missy went for positive attention, Rufus went for negative attention. Funny little personalities. When I got home last night, Karlene had left a note that Rufus had been sick, and had been put in the bathroom for the evening. I discovered that Rufus had eaten a tube of chicken-flavored doggie toothpaste. And yes, he ate the TUBE. He gets creative when he feels neglected!

Missy, my sweet girl, I will explain, sleeps next to me. When I can't sleep I will reach out and curl my fingers into her fur. She has gotten used to it, but she likes her space when she's sleeping. But last night, she layed down in the crook of my arm with her head on my chest. And she moved several times in the night, but always stayed snuggled up to me. She has done this before when she has been "out of sorts". It's very sweet.

My husband is also very sweet. He sends me flowers just because he misses me. I'm very loved. (Even by Rufus, the little brat.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

On your marks

This week is going to feel like running a marathon (speaking figuratively, of course! I do not ever plan on having a reference to what a marathon feels like).
But for now, I am waiting again. Today I'm waiting for a report so I can get started on a project for one job. I'm waiting for a phone call so I can finish a project for the other job. I'm waiting for a phone call from Dave, and I'm waiting to get over the headache that's been dogging me the last three days. I'm trying to prepare for the marathon training I have this week, and trying to prepare for working each evening. Ready, set....

This was the project I did for the October scrap club challenge. The challenge I chose was to make an album that fit into another gift item. I made a mini-book for my niece that fit into a little lipgloss purse set.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Night Off

I have decided to give myself the night off. I was planning to go to a friend's housewarming party, and I'm sorry to miss it, but I need a night at home to relax. Starting tomorrow I will work seven days in a row at Too, and starting Tuesday morning I will be in a 4-day training that will either tax my brain (hopefully) or my patience (hopefully not).

Maybe I will work on finishing up the journaling in my Michigan and Japan books. But then again maybe I wont. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Scrap Club

Last night was the first meeting of the scrapbook club. We have not come across a name that is catchy or poignant enough for us yet, so we are so far nameless. The three other ladies who were there last night were so inspiring and I really enjoyed their company. (I'm chuckling as I say this - I know at least one of them reads my blog... but I would have nothing but praise for the group anyway!) I'm very excited about this group. There is so much positive energy and creativity, I imagine as we sit and share that above our heads in a big thought balloon there are words and swirls and doodles and Nancy's fabulous flowers being created.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Another busy weekend, another busy week

This past weekend, I dog-sat Karlene's parents dog, Howie. He is half Basset, half spaniel. He was very sweet. I also worked Friday night, Saturday and Sunday at Too.

One of my most frustrating (and dumbest) challenges is going to the bank to deposit checks. I don't like my closest bank and I procrastinate going there. I don't like going there at night, and I don't make it a priority during the day. So I keep the checks longer than I should.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Good Food, Good Friends

Tonight I went out to dinner with three former co-workers to Maggiano's Little Italy.
So much food... all fabulous. I have leftover fettucini alfredo to last me for two days. Working at home, I miss the in-office interaction. At home, interacting takes a lot more effort and is more intrusive. I do have people in the New Albany office that I do keep a more personal relationship with, ever since I had a chance to meet them face to face. I guess I never really thought about my long-distance relationships much; Dave in Iraq, Chie & Keitaro in Japan, my co-workers in Ohio. I can't give them a smile in passing or a pat on the back. It's so easy to fall into thinking that there isn't anything important enough to talk about, and not maintain that contact. But I think about them all and I wish they could be not so far away.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Getting ready for the Drywall company

Tomorrow the drywall company comes to fix the bad patch in the living room ceiling. I'm starting to feel like the cure's worse than the disease. To fix it, they have to scrape all of the texture off and then respray. That means that all of the pictures have to come off the walls in the living room and dining room. All of the furniture will have to be moved too. What a pain. I can't reach two of the pictures, because I borrowed the ladder I used to hang them. I'm going to see tomorrow if I can talk the drywall people into helping me take them down and put them back up. (They're about 10 feet up)

I don't know what changed from last June when Keyland and the drywall company were such jerks. I didn't hear anything or say anything for months, but suddenly they called and wanted to fix the ceiling. And they were pleasant! Who knows.


It's October already... Can winter be far behind?

Friday night my dinner plans were cancelled, so I had a nice night at home, relaxing. Karlene had a cold so she stayed home too, so I made stew in the crock pot. Yum. Fall comfort food. After dinner, I organized my scrapbook stuff, a badly needed project, and watched an old movie.

Saturday, I worked at Too from 9:30 am - 9:30 pm. Lest you think Sue is some kind of ogre, I chose to stay that long, and it was very fun.

Sunday after church I cleaned the kitchen and Dave's parents stopped by for a while. Karlene & I took the dogs for a walk to enjoy the beautiful weather (85 on October 1) and then I went to Too for a store meeting and dinner.

The only unfortunate thing was I kept missing Dave when he would instant messenger me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Simple Page

I found this picture on one of the National Guard sites. I really liked it. The page is terribly simple, but still moving to me.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Home Again

This evening when I got home, I let the dogs out, and I let one wet, hungry, generally annoyed cat in! I fed him, and then wrapped him in a towel and held him for a bit. He purred and became much happier. He was gone for almost 3 full days. I think that's one life down, Grady.

Today I went to the Renaissance Festival with my brother-in-law and family. The rainy weather held off until almost 4, so that was pretty good. We had a good time. It was pretty much the kids first time. (It was my niece's first time and my nephew's first time since he was 8 months old) I took some fun pictures, but like two years ago, I'm not in any of them. That's normally not so bad, but again I wore my renaissance dress with no photos to mark the occasion. Ah well. This is my favorite picture.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Missing: Grady

Yesterday morning when I got up, only Sam was at the bedroom door to greet me. That was strange. Occasionally it's Grady only, but never in almost 13 years has Grady missed walking me downstairs to the food dish. I called him, but he didn't appear. I looked for him yesterday, in the crawlspace, the garage, the little out of the way places he likes to go. No sign of him. I'm not sure if he snuck outside Wednesday night when I let the dogs out, or what happened to him.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Phone Call from Public Utilities

Tuesday night when I got home there was a message from Public Utilities about an issue with my water meter. I called yesterday, and the woman said that she wanted to send out someone to look at the meter, because she suspected that either the meter was broken, or it wasn't the right type for the computer to read.

Last quarter, I thought our water bill was too high, but I wasn't sure if it was because it was more than 3 months being billed, or if it was because of the sprinkler system, or what. At the time I thought I should call, but I guess I didn't feel like fighting, so I shut down the sprinkler system and paid the $500 water bill.

Now, when I was talking to her, we talked a little about the past bill, and she didn't think that was right, and she said I wouldn't even believe the amount of my new bill. My June-Aug water bill: $2500!

I was chatting with Dave before the utilities man came to check the meter, and we calculated it out... A water bill that high would mean something like 10,000 gallons of water per day. It was so beyond ridiculous, that we had fun with it.
It ended up that the meter was an incorrect type, so it was telling the computer something like 1000 gallons for every 1 gallon used. They're going to review the account to figure out what I should have been billed and what I should be refunded.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A bit random.

Dave did a little bit of traveling over the weekend, but he made it there and back with no trouble. I talked to him on the phone and it sounded like they were putting up circus tents in the background. But I don't think the circus goes there.

Ok, a little explanation from last time: RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, classes to learn about becoming Roman Catholic. The group meets until Easter, and my dear friend Carrie is going to be my sponsor.

Over the weekend, I put together the last page of my Japan scrapbook. Now I have to go through and do the journaling. The two week trip made a 66-page scrapbook. Whew! The only thing I wish I had in there was something about visiting the glassmaking place. Maybe I can beg Chie to send me pictures or a brochure or something... (please please Hamabe sama)

When I was in Japan, one afternoon Chie and I went to a glassmaking place. It was kind of a school, but you could pay and make several kinds of glass objects, like blown glass or stained glass or some glass bead jewelry. I have been fascinated by the glassblowing at the Renaissance Festival for years, and I always consider buying something but I never do. So I thought, how cool, something that I can make myself. So we signed up to do it.

When we walked into the workroom, suddenly I panicked. Chie and were going to be on opposite sides of the room, each working with a glassmaker. A Japanese glassmaker.
My rusty Japanese language experience really didn't cover glassblowing terminology.
But thankfully my instructor spoke just enough English for us to get through it. (Bro hurt = Blow hard) It was really fun. I made a little round vase.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Good news for Rufus

The tests came back on Rufus's foot, it was a benign squamous papilloma tumor; which comes down nearly to being the human equivalent of a wart. So he should be just fine.

Dave sent me a bonsai tree - I'm so excited. It's really cute. It needs a little water daily, so I hope I can build it into my routine. [let the dogs out, feed the cats, water the plant] My only other houseplant, a Christmas cactus, forgives me even if I neglect it for a few --um-- weeks. But the bonsai... I'm really motivated to NOT kill it. Hmm, we'll see.

Tonight was the first night of RCIA. I met the group, and I think this will be a very good experience.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How low can they go?

The gas prices, I mean! The Holiday in Rosemount was $2.23 tonight on my way home. I did a double take. I guess I'm a cynic but I don't expect them to stay low for long. (Is $2.23 low? I don't even know anymore) I think the price hike this summer was a complete scam. But oh well. What can you do, really? Sure, you can forsake that drive to the Dairy Queen for a dilly bar, but you can't stop driving to work. (Well, sometimes.. but you get my point) I suppose many would say the solution is political, but honestly politics bore me to tears.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rufus is Home

Rufus did very well at the vet today. I made him a nice comfy bed out of blankets on the floor because he's pretty groggy yet.

It's Monday...

I dropped Rufus off at the vet this morning for his surgery. It's nice that he's so curious and social, he happily went back with the tech. While he's under for the foot surgery, they're also going to polish his teeth. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get him some canned dog food as a special treat when he comes home.

I didn't get my 14 hours of sleep on Friday, but I did take a nice nap yesterday. That felt really good. It's been cloudy and cold since Friday, and that always makes me want to curl up with a book and a blanket and something hot to drink.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Busy, busy!

Wow, things are really hopping this week at Too! Sales, drawings, classes, crops, all kinds of fun. Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to pick up my niece and nephew after school, and then I think I'm going to go home and sleep for about 14 hours. Yeah, that sounds nice.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Labor Day

It's Labor Day! And I labored. Actually I worked at the scrapbook store and it was really a fun day. Lots of fun people. (You know who you are!) The day went by quickly and we got a bunch of things done. I don't know what I would have done with myself if I had had three days off in a row. I probably would have busied myself drinking all the wine in the house. ;)
I'm kidding. (Ok, the humor is that we have more than 200 bottles of wine. But it's not funny if you think I'm really a lush. I'm not. Honest. I'd be fast asleep after about one bottle. And then the room does that awful spin-y thing. So I'm kidding.)
Dave told me about some of the things that may be in the works in the next year for him. It's too early to talk about, but does anybody know where I can cast my vote? Hey Army, here's what I want. Hm? Anybody?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Roo's News

Rufus had a pretty good weekend, thanks to a stylin' red dog bootie that Sadie's mom brought over. He's pretty much accepted the fact that he's stuck with the bootie, so he actually spent most of the weekend without the cone. When he's home alone, I'll put it on him though... I don't trust him that much. He also has been surprisingly patient when I put a sandwich baggie over his foot so he can go out in the rain.

As for me, I had a pretty quiet weekend, but good. It's hard to believe that Dave and I got engaged one year ago on Labor Day, and then had to say goodbye. Hitting the one year mark is a big milestone. It means that the deployment is two-thirds over.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

New Accessories for Rufus

The trouble is, yesterday I reassured the vet that Rufus wouldn't bother the spot on his foot. Or maybe it was because he heard me talking about the surgery. For whatever reason, Rufus decided he should try to chew the spot off his paw. I walked in on him standing over a bloody spot on the carpet. Nice. After I panicked a tiny bit, I called the vet and they thought the best thing to do for now was to put the cone on his head and a sock on his foot, and keep an eye on it. He'd better get used to the cone, he'll probably be wearing it until October.

Rough Summer for Rufus

First, Rufus had the fly bite that took most of the summer to heal. Then, on Saturday I noticed he had a small, very painful bump on the bottom of his foot. I took him to the vet yesterday and decided to have the growth removed on Monday the 11th. They'll send it in to see what kind of growth it is.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Post Office supports Troops!

Yesterday I finally got the things I was going to send to Dave together. He forgot a couple of things when he was home, so I got those together. Throw in a couple more goodies, and off to the Post Office I went. The Rosemount Postmaster asked me if I knew that I could get boxes for soldiers for FREE... I did not! Isn't that nice?

Today I'm going back to my friendly neighborhood Post Office to send Dave's laptop, which was home getting repaired. I'm cringing because it's going to be expensive with the insurance I'll put on it. Ah well, it will be worth it. I've missed being able to instant message with him.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hambly Transparencies

Minda made some marvelous store samples for Too using some Hambly Transparencies. I wasn't nearly as creative, but I just loved how this page turned out.
((Chie, what was this place called?))

Dave went back to the doctor and got a clean bill of health. They're going to keep him on Prilosec for a while.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cards for Soldiers

I've been working on some cards for the Cards for Soldiers program. I'm working on round 8, Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving. Here's the first bunch that I've made:

I'm not a card maker. I would much rather go to Hallmark, actually. But I'm enjoying this project.

I talked to Dave yesterday and found out that he had spent a couple nights in the hospital with severe chest and stomach pain. He's doing better now, they gave him some medicine and ran some tests to try to figure out what happened. Keep him in your thoughts.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Day Three - We did it!

Sunday morning we went back to camp, had breakfast, stretched and started walking. It was a good day. We had some blisters and soreness, but the day went by surprisingly fast. Before we knew it, we were on Crocus Hill looking at the Capitol.
We got to the holding area and were able to rest for about an hour before closing ceremonies. The Twin Cities 3-Day has raised over six million dollars for breast cancer research so far this year.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

End of Day One, and Day Two

Yesterday, after lunch, Mom's knee became very painful. She has an ACL insufficiency and walks with a brace. It was questionable whether she could walk in the 3-Day, but her doctor said she could go for it. After 16 miles, her knee said otherwise.

Karlene's hip was bothering her as well, so they decided to take the bus back to camp. I had gotten a very large blister on my heel (same as last year) which is pretty painful. I was still able to keep walking, but I wanted to stay with my team. So we got on the bus. When we got back to camp, Mom called her orthopedist. After talking it over, we came to the conclusion that the best thing would be to rest Saturday, and see if Sunday was possible.

Thankfully, when Mom woke up this morning, all of her knee pain was gone. We spent today resting and stretching. Tomorrow morning, we'll head back to the route.

Sorry I missed you, Minda! Thanks for coming out.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lunchtime, day one

We've gone 11.1 miles so far today and are stopping for a lunch break.
Things are going well.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Nothing but Trouble

Since Karlene and I are doing the 3-Day walk this weekend, we needed to arrange dogsitters for Missy, Rufus and Moose. So we started calling around. Plan after plan fell through. So-and-so is out of town. So-and-so can take one dog, but not two (and certainly not all three!)

I didn't want to call a kennel, because first of all, I think they're awfully expensive, and second, I don't think Rufus would do well in a kennel. He's too much of a mama's boy.

Finally, last night, Karlene's grandma stepped in. She's going to come and let them out and feed them. Whew! Thanks Grandma Verlene!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Not on the Menu: New Basic Grey

We got Gypsy and Lilykate at Too today. And you know, I looked at it and found I didn't need it. It's very nice, but it's not my taste. Which is good because I had been in paper overload earlier... too many choices to appreciate them all, not enough money to go nuts and buy without careful choices. Let's just say... it's no Signature Suite. I had appeased my appetite for paper earlier, and I was happy to find I was satisfied.
On closer inspection, four of the Lilykate patterns are especially "Japan in Springtime". Which is one of my upcoming albums. So, I did get those four. Burp.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cheering Stations for the 3-Day

They've just announced the cheering stations for the Twin Cities Breast Cancer 3-Day.
Friday, Aug 18:
6.2 mile marker
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Northview Elementary School
965 Diffley Rd.
Eagan, MN 55123

16.6 mile marker
12:30 pm - 5:15 pm
1 block South of 28th Avenue Light Rail Stop (and PolarFab)
2800 East Old Shakopee Rd.
Bloomington, MN 55425

Saturday, Aug 19:
4.2 mile marker
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Normandale Community College
9700 France Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55431

19.5 mile marker
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Christ the King Church
(please park in the far south end of the lot)
8600 Fremont Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55420

Sunday, August 20:
6.4 mile marker
8:00 am - 10:30 am
Lake Nokomis (north end walking trail)
Cedar Avenue South & East Minnehaha Parkway

14.3 mile marker
10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Kowalski's Market parking lot - North side
(Walkers on North side of Summit Avenue)
1261 Grand Ave.
St Paul, MN 55105

If there is a cheering station that is convenient for you, come out and cheer! Last year, people brought noisemakers and kids had squirt guns (which felt really great). Some people even brought popsicles or candy. But you don't have to bring anything... even just being there, clapping, cheering, giving us a thumbs up is great.

Do I sound older?

Yesterday was my birthday. I remember when I was a kid how birthdays were such a milestone of maturity and always carried the thrill of new responsibilities. Hm. I don't think I've gotten any more mature, and in fact I wouldn't mind having less responsibilities. Pretty much now I just start more stories with "I remember when I was a kid...". Oh well. A couple of plans were made that fell through, so I ended up taking some paperwork to Too, and then from there I worked a few hours. Then I went out to dinner with a co-worker. That was very, very nice. Tonight I'm going out for sushi with Liz & Carol, something I've been looking forward to for weeks now.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Signature Suite and new Quickutz

Did I mention I LOVE the new Signature Suite line? I was pretty budget-conscious when picking out paper yesterday (sigh!) but I made this page tonight with it and also the new Sandcastle Quickuts die. This picture was taken one year ago Sunday. This picture of Chie is one of my favorite pictures from last year's Renaissance Festival.

My Two Cents on Journaling in Scrapbooks

Don't be afraid to go deeper.
Everyone has a different level of comfort with putting their feelings "out there". If you can write out what's in your heart and put it on a page, that's great. But if you're not comfortable with that, consider tucking journaling behind a picture or putting it in an envelope. Just try to put it somewhere. Scrapbooks are made with a lot of time and a lot of heart (And money, don't forget money). Let your heart out.

I once read a little bit of the diary my grandmother kept as a young woman. It was pretty dry, everyday stuff. But it gave me some insight to who my grandmother was as a person. Why? Because it was honest. It was what she really did, thought and felt.

This topic is on my mind thanks to Minda and to Wes Thomsen, and the thread of "whitewashing their lives". I will admit when I chronicled one year of my life, I did not chronicle the divorce I was going through, other than obliquely. What I did talk about was the secrets, pain, and the recovery. It's all in there, but you may have to look a little deeper.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Paper Lust

I stopped into Too yesterday with Jen and saw the new
My Mind's Eye paper lines. I'm in total paper lust. It's all gorgeous, but the one for me is The Signature Suite. Hmm, I think some of it would be perfect for my Michigan pictures....

Now begins the search to find the perfect album. I think I might stretch a little and go 12x12. I've been so comfortable with 8x8, but I'm happy with how my 12x12 Deployment Album is turning out, so I think I'm going to go for it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

End of Midyear Break

I dropped Dave off at the airport this morning at 6:15 (not as early as I had thought). The last two weeks just flew by. Yesterday he went fishing while I worked, and then we had dinner with his older brother, sister in law, niece and nephew. It actually was especially good to have the company, because it kept me from thinking about having to say goodbye. I really enjoyed the evening.

After I got home from the airport, I started working, but I looked at my schedule and decided to take a half-day. Then I called up Jen and she, Ian and I went to the Mall of America. We went to the Dinosaur Walk. That was actually pretty lame. The only really good thing was Ian's face when he got there and saw the dinosaurs. (What is it with little boys and dinosaurs?) Anyway, it was a good afternoon.

I miss him already... Is it April yet?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Oh, and today's rant

Why do some people seem to have no boundaries when asking about having kids? Now, I have no trouble with a pleasant inquiry. 'Do you plan on having kids?' 'Do you want to have kids soon?' - all within the bounds of polite conversation. But repeated blunt comments throughout an evening?

I know I used to be the kind of person who asked those kinds of questions too directly. But I realized I had no idea what kind of wounds I was exposing and what kind of hurt I might be causing. Sometimes it's not as simple as just wanting kids. Wanting and having are two very different things.

More Pictures

This is the last place that we stayed in Michigan, Blackstar Farms. It was absolutely gorgeous. They are a winery, inn, and have a variety of animals. It was so picturesque.

Saturday night we had friends and family over to eat some of the salmon and have a campfire. It was a good time. Baby Lucy was convinced she wanted to be bottle-fed.

Dave goes back early, early Wednesday morning. Yesterday afternoon we took the boat out to Prior Lake to go fishing. Today and hopefully tomorrow, Dave will get to do a little more fishing.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Home again!

We had a great time in Michigan. We saw beautiful places, went to wineries and went charter fishing and got six king salmon. We took a lot of pictures and I brought back a lot of things to scrapbook, to remember our trip.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On the way home

The week in Michigan was fabulous. We had a great time. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. Tonight we went as far as Eau Claire, WI, and stopped for the night at Dave's folks. It worked out well to get a chance to get to see them.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Off to Michigan

The truck is packed and we're almost ready to leave for a week in Michigan.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dave Update

Dave should be arriving home tomorrow afternoon!

Sit, Stay, Heal

I know any dog with a cone on it's head looks pretty sad. But a basset hound with that woebegone face and big liquid eyes, it's just pathetic. Poor old Rufus. I can hardly look at him.

It's stupid really, he got a fly bite on his nose over Memorial weekend. It bled a bit, and scabbed over. Not a big deal. But since then, every time it scabs over and starts to heal, it must itch because he scratches it open again. So now that little fly bite is turning into a big scar on his nose. I finally decided to resort to the cone. Too bad I couldn't talk him into a band-aid.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Turn it Around

I was driving home today in a sour mood with a couple of things on my mind that I was planning to blog about. But I don't want to focus on them now. I was going to write about being hurt and frustrated.

I want to turn it around.

Instead, I want to tell you about meeting Rebecca P, who came into Too today to promote the movie "Scrapped". She was very fun and I enjoyed meeting her. You know how there are just some people that you meet, and there is something about them, something in their energy, and you know they're a good soul? She was like that.

I want to tell you about my mom, and not about the teeny little annoyances that get under my skin just like any mother and daughter. I want to tell you that even though she is amazing and loving and strong, she isn't feeling very strong right now, and she needs a lot of prayer.

I love you, Mom.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Still waiting

Dave was supposed to start his trip home today, but the planes are grounded due to sandstorms. Maybe tomorrow or Sunday he will be able to leave. I think he's disappointed, to me it's not as much of a big deal. He'll get here when he can.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Not in the mood....

i just haven't been in the blogging mood this week. Today it's gloomy and overcast, and I'm really looking forward to a good hard summer storm. The sky looks tense and waiting. I feel tense too; all the emotional turbulence is right on the horizon.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Good Day

Today I had a "work picnic" at my house. It actually wasn't so much of a picnic, since it was 100 degrees outside. We pretty much stayed inside except to put some food on the grill. Twelve people came, which was an ok turnout considering the weather and that I live a million miles south of civilization. Afterward, I watched "Walk the Line" and then did the post-party clean up. I'm going to read for a while and then go to bed early tonight. This week I work Sunday, and Wednesday through Saturday at Too; and Monday through Friday at Aetna. But then- THEN-- I have two marvelous weeks of vacation WITH MY HUSBAND. It's pretty great.

Friday, July 14, 2006


I've been working on putting the pictures I get from Dave (and Tom, and the internet, etc) into a book. Here are the pages that I did this afternoon. These are some of the military vehicles. The one on the right is the one Dave rode in, and the guys are the ones that drove the truck, navigated, and manned the guns.
As I was working on the page, the word "truckin" popped into my head, immediately to be followed by the Greatful Dead song of the same name.

What a long, strange trip it still is.

8 Days!