Sunday, June 17, 2007

Is there Email to Heaven?

That's how I'd send my Father's Day card this year. My Dad died almost 3 years ago in August - on the last day of my job at the shipyard, a week before my birthday and right when we were moving into our renovated house. It was such a crazy time - my brother was in the ICU at the VA in Houston at the end stage of Hodgkins and my Dad was in Biloxi at the end stage with Parkinsons. I didn't go see him at the very end, which may sound weird to some people but I think that is how he wanted it. It was painful to look at him - he wasn't the man I knew - he was a mere skeleton of a human being. His mother died when he was 9 and I think for that reason too he didn't want me to be with him at the end. He had been sick for 3 years - alot of doctors and treatments and nothing worked. So his death was a relief. Wait, did I really say that? Anyway, my Dad was a rock - always solid, dependable, someone you could count on. He taught me about volunteering, because he did. He explained about balancing your life, each part in the image of a pie slice. He loved golf and played alot and could remember every single shot on every single hole. He was the epitome of a gentleman and believed in using your manners all the time. He was a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, 75th MAC for a gazillion years and when he retired, his pension is what allows my mother to have an easy financial life. He met my mother in Germany, while serving in the Army and after five children, divorced her after 40 years of marriage. I didn't speak to him for 2 years because of it. I followed his career path and became a marine insurance broker when I was 17 and worked for him for 2 years when he bought an insurance agency in Port Arthur, Texas. On a slow afternoon, we'd flip a coin and see who got to take off for the afternoon. We had breakfast at Sears coffee shop for $1.10 each. He used to send me a card or flowers on the anniversary of my first day, 7/7/75.
You should have seen his funeral - it was amazing. He had an official Army burial with 21 gun salute. I know he loved every single minute of it - it was full of pomp and circumstance and he would have been so proud. I was proud. During the burial it rained lightly, which seemed so fitting. It was such a blur - the entire month. I still wish I had one more time with him - a hug and a talk and a laugh. Just one more.
I love this picture of him.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I had a terrific weekend. I left Friday afternoon and went to Arlington for the Great American Scrapbook Convention. I stopped at Recollections in Arlington, which is a scrapbook store owned by Michaels. It's super - why don't we have one in Houston? I'm starting my letter writing campaign tonight. I didn't realize they also own Aaron Brothers. They have a very cute paper mache star project that has paper on one side and look-a-like tin ceiling tiles on the other. I can't attend the class so I bought all the supplies from TenSecond Studios, along with the book, Metal Effects by Cheryl Darrow. It looks super - can't wait to try it! Next year I will definitely attend the classes - heard alot of good feedback. I shopped like a manic on Saturday morning - lots of good deals and things I couldn't go home without. Great loot.
I came home Saturday - my brother stayed with my Mom because Nancy was also gone Friday night. He said he felt like he was staying at a spa because of the master suite. It made me take a new look at my bath and he's right. It really is big and beautiful and luxurious. I want to appreciate it more often. I bought a beautiful sheer drape from Pottery Barn for my bed. I love the softness - it makes the bedroom magical. Love it.
Totally jealous of my best bud roomie, Jeanne who purchased a Canon 30D with several amazing lenses. Can't wait to see the result in September at Creative Escape. Definitely, on my wish list!
I used Craigslist for the first time to sell an office chair and it worked! Posted the notice yesterday afternoon and wahlah - it's sold! Pretty cool.
I watched the Sopranos ending last night and I thought it was terrific. It left me hanging on the edge of my seat. You didn't know what to expect... undercover FBI guys getting ready to arrest him or was he going to get whacked? I loved it plus of course Journey in the background... don't stop believing, hold on to that feeling... Loved it!
At work, I have to say I am totally surprised and very content. It's finally slowed down a bit so I can catch my breath. And I'm working for a good guy - it makes all the difference. They installed new carpet this weekend so I unpacked my desk - here's to a productive week!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Life's Sucker Punch

yet I'm still standing. Was having a great weekend until this morning. Out to breakfast with my niece when I had to do a double take. A tattoo. on her backside. Problem is, she's 20. I have a standing rule with all my nieces and nephews - no tattoo until you are 25 or I cut you off financially. I know - it doesn't sound smooth or nice but it's a deal breaker with me. And they all know it. Unfortunately today, I had to enforce it and give the consequence. And man, it is ever so hard. Don't get me wrong - I believe in the rule, totally. A teenager's brain is not fully developed until they are 24 or so. They do stupid things, based on immediate gratification. A tattoo is a life-long choice and not to be made on a whim. I won't be around in 40 years to see what all these kids with tattoos will look like...
But anyway, so I had to pull the car and cell phone and now she doesn't have a way to get to work. It is so hard to stick with this but I have to. It's not a choice. I just feel sick inside and a bit angry too. What else is there to do? I really don't know how single people parent teenagers because to me it's such an amazingly hard, emotionally draining challenge.
I did get some stuff done today - had a nice meal at Pei Wei *yummo* and a bit of shopping at Whole Foods. What a treat! And then delivered stuff to Turning Point, the local homeless shelter. And paid the dues for the pool so we can swim! It's back to the grind tomorrow - let's hope its a quiet week this week and I can get alot accomplished! I am going to Dallas on Friday for the Great American Scrapbook Convention - my first! Can't wait!

Saturday, June 02, 2007


It's the start of another great weekend - not alot scheduled and hopefully some time for scrapping or shopping for scrapping. A couple of good ideas in my head, rolling around. Last weekend I put the finishing touches on this Donna Downey project that we did in Vancouver in March. It's Bazzill 3 x 5 chipboard that you punch a hole and add little tags with sayings from 7 Gypsies. I love this project because it takes old photos out of the box, into the light of day. On the back side of each tag is the word. And yes, those are all of me, from the 60s. I love the first tag of Baby Me with my Dad. I've bought more chipboard from because I definitely want to do another one - different theme. We also used our Fiskars drill which was cool since it had been new in the package. I like learning how to use the stuff I have! At some point, I want to complete the Ali Edwards book "Evolution" - mainly because I have the photos printed plus I LURVE the transparencies and went nuts afterwards and bought a billion of them, along with the billion my BSBFF, Jeanne (and world's most totally awesome roomie) collected for me. What is life without having your peeps getting your back at the lss! Man.
So the new PB catalog arrived, along with PB Home and I almost missed this shot: Isn't that a cool use of a vintage Hamilton printer tray? Several months ago, some English blogger did a throwdown about printers trays and I was all into it - I think she did a seashell theme with patterned paper. She offered to sell and send an extra tray but as usual, I went ebay searching and found one. It's been sitting lonely by the door - now I have another idea for it. I wasn't so thrilled with cutting paper to fit all the little holes so the PB version seems more doable. Plus I hadn't settled on a theme. Hmmmm.
Fun to think about! I did one easy project last weekend - took a 99c plaque and added a cute story/poem my niece wrote about her (other) grandmother. Added a few buttons and ribbon and wah lah! Fun stuff.

On Memorial Day I did some furniture shopping at Star and snagged two cool deals. This chair arrived yesterday. I can't seem to find a picture of it but it's a nice big comfy chair with ottoman in a light microsuede fabric. I've stopped the pups twice now from getting up on it and they both look at me incredulously like, you're settling limits for us! Yep - we want to keep the new stuff looking nice for a while! The sofa is for the sunroom and it's a large celadon (green) sectional which will fit perfectly near the window. Good for naps and reading! It won't arrive til end June but first rainy Saturday we have - I'll be on it!

And finally, I mentioned I brought alot of books and mags during vacation. I finished one book in a little over a day, called 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. It was recommended to me by my new scrapping friend, Anita and she was right. It's uplifting, and an easy read. It gives a great insight into Heaven and life lessons. "Ask for help" was probably the biggest message I got, so I'm practicing that with the care of my Mother. Good stuff. Enjoy your weekend!