Monday, March 31, 2008

Out Like a Lamb

Reasons to be greatful this fine Spring Monday:

Me and my sisters, Easter 1969
My family is in good health and good spirits

I didn't need a coat this morning - ah, Spring!

I have lost five pounds

My NoricTrak hasn't killed me yet

Indian's baseball has begun! WAHOO!

♥My cholesterol is down 9 points

I have wonderful friends

I got some great goodies at Joann, Archivers, and Cord Scrapbooking this weekend

I've been making cards now that my craft area is organized

I love my new position with my sorority and can't wait until convention in July

I have many fun things planned in April

OH! and the Federal Taxes are paid, and the State Refund is on the way!

Life is good!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fueling the Fire

Since the beginning of the year, I've been working on the word FIRE. One of the things I've been trying to do is get on a healthy eating plan - fueling my fire. (I needing to starting again with this part, but then again every day is day one right?) The husband has now decided that he to will be involved in this process. (Doesn't that make it so much easier!?) He has picked a plan that he likes and I am still in search of.

I'm basically just starting out by cutting calories, watching portion size, cutting out sugars (the "bad ones" not all), and distributing meals through out the day. Thank goodness for Lean Cuisine! I'm also upping the water intake and adding exercise on my NordicTrak (I'm up to 15 minutes today - woo hoo!) I also cut out diet soda - it's technically allowed on virtually every plan, but I feel better already without it! Can't completely shake coffee though... that would take the apocalypse.

Anyone have any success stories out there? Weight Watchers? Jenny Craig? Grapefruit Diet? Share your stories with me - I need some ideas which way to go! I'd like a true life style change and not a diet if you know what I mean. If I can't sustain it, the weight will come back and bring friends. Ask me how I know that! I lost 25 pounds and gained 50 back over the last ten years.

I leave you with this image from my dinner last night. Talk about beating someone insensible with a strawberry... this could do it!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter to my Peeps!

I found the greatest of all links dedicated to our favorite Easter treat, the Peep.
You must check it out.... Enjoy!
The Lord of the Peeps picture borrowed from the site with the only purpose of guiding you back there!

When you get there, be guided by the peeps lying to the right to move forward on your quest for the ring. The "ring," by the way takes you back to the beginning of your journey...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Movie Quote Game

Okay - I saw this over at Beach Treasure and although I was horrid and couldn't guess any (well a few but I got there late...) I thought I'd try as well!

No real prize, other than the gift of knowing that you know almost as much meaningless stuff as me ~ probably more since I had to research these to be accurate! Not sure if they are easy or not, but I've enjoyed these movies through every age of my life! (psst....! that could be a hint to think wide range!)

Rules for me: * Pick fifteen of your favorite movies.
* Go to IMDB and find a quote from each movie.
* Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
* Fill in the film title once it’s guessed.

This part is for the reader: * No Googling or using IMDB search functions.
* Leave your answer(s) in the comments along with the number.
Okay, ready? Set? Play!

1. "Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?" We're cooking now!Faerie Mom guessed this one El Guapo from The Three Amigos

2. "[character name removed] up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T."

3. "I'm infested!"

4. "This is the blood of our people, the wolf people, the alligator people, and the moon women from which we gain our strength to rule all worlds. " Faerie Mom says it's Vivi from the Yaya Sisterhood -yup!

5. "In the beginning, the Universe was created. This made a lot of people angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad idea." ETA: Laume has it again! The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

6. "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain." Yes again Faerie Mom! this one is Paul Atreides from Dune

7. "My God! I beat a man insensible with a strawberry!"

8. "Should I fix you some sandwiches?"

9. "You're glumping the pond where the humming fish hummed! No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed. So I'm sending them off! Oh, their future is dreary....I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Eerie." The Lorax, says Faerie Mom

10. "Oh, some like it hot, but I like it REALLY hot."

11. "Dear Lord, we ask that you bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies. And we ask forgiveness, Lord, for the fornication that [character name removed] and me committed this morning on this very table." ETA: Laume has it! Sister says this in Where the Heart Is

12. "Right turn, Clyde."

13. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee." YES! Jules from Pulp Fiction... I love that part! Faerie Mom again!

14. "...what you don't understand is - no, see, no. You can never, never ask me to stop drinking. Do you understand?"

15. "I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem *may* have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being *crushed* by a *dwarf*. Alright? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object. " Such a wonderful tribute to metal music is: SPINAL TAP! Faerie Mom and I must like the same movies!

How ya doing so far?!

ETA - only a few more to go... will you take a guess!?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Still Celebrating the Wearing of the Green

The Chi Omega girls got together tonight for a belated St. Patty's day celebration at Claddagh Irish Pub. Great food - Great Company!

Can I just tell you how much I enjoy getting together with these ladies. Each of them is so very special and always has something to share and to teach each of us. We talk about so many different things, some serious, but often the laughter is the main thing!

As per usual, we had delightful - I mean frightful weather! Considering it was to be the first of Spring within hours, the snow really was not necessary! Lucky for us we had the table next to the fire and it was wonderful and warm, just like the people with me

I highly recommend the Spinach and Artichoke Dip offered there... it was scrumptious! And my Blue Moon Draft was pretty good too!

Hope you all celebrated well and safely too this week - here's a toast to you all~

Go raibh do ghloine lán go deo.
Go raibh láidir go breáan dion thar do cheann.
Go raibh tú í Neamh,leathúair os comhaira bhfuil a fhíos ag an diabhalatá tú bás.
May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Almost Spring?

Is it coming soon? Please? Pretty please with sugar on top? I can see some signs!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Best Gift Ever...

Today is my sixth wedding anniversary. I thought I'd share a few pages from my wedding scrapbook with you. I began the book with some of the things we shared during our 11 year "whirlwind" courtship! "It's all Tim's fault!" Well... it is! My buddy Tim from high school introduced us while we were both visiting Toledo for a wedding. Serves me right of course - technically he wouldn't have met his wife if not for me! The camping and fishing shots bring to mind our first Christmas together during which I received "The Best Gift Ever." People think I'm being sarcastic when I first say that, but I mean it completely and sincerely. The gift? A rod and reel. Trés romantic, nes pas? Yes it was. I knew that his favorite thing to do was to camp and fish every weekend during the year when it was remotely warm enough to be possible. The rod and reel meant that he wanted me to fish with him. Summer was not for MONTHS at that point. He wanted me to stick around. He was going to stick around too.

We went to concerts and traveled when ever we could. It was fun to explore new places together. Always a new adventure. Just the two of us. And so then we eloped - ran off to Las Vegas to get married. Just the two of us. John arranged for the ceremony. I had few requirements of him: we MUST get out of the car and Elvis may NOT officiate the ceremony. We had a lovely service in a beautiful chapel. I had all the particulars necessary...

Something old: mom's handkerchief that she and my sisters all carried; Something new: My beautiful new dress; Something borrowed: my friend Linda's lovely bracelet; Something blue: a pale blue ribbon held inside my dress, over my heart, by my Chi Omega pin; and a sixpence for my shoe (dated 1965 my birth year). Did I mention that I caught the bouquet the night we met? Watch out for that! I saved it all those years, altered it slightly with flowers matching my colors and carried it the day we got married. My sisters surprised us with champagne, fruit and cheese, chocolate covered strawberries, and a cake sent to our room. My sister Deb would advise you to plan ahead for this when possible, as finding a white cake with white icing (the only appropriate wedding cake in our family!) in Vegas by phone is challenging!

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Virtual Stamping Weekend

So the plan was.... let's get together and stamp! That was to be last Saturday... perhaps you remember the pictures?! So we Buckeye Babes had our own little "Snowed In Virtual Stamping Weekend"! On the message board we all belong to (SplitCoastStampers - you should visit!) we each posted a challenge and asked the others to play along... I finally finished up this weekend and had a lot of fun! A group shot of the cards I made is above. My Challenge: Bling, Sparkle, Shine! (It's on the lower left)

Anita's Challenge: Make a round card using a lovely Neiman Marcus Place Setting as your inspiration. (Bottom middle)

Trina's Challenge: Monogram Mania! Show us your letters! (Bottom right)

Tammy's Challenge: A fun sketch challenge to follow (Middle)

Cindy's Challenge: Back to Basics - Stamps, cardstock and ink only. (Top Left)

Patti's Challenge: Use Stampin' Up! colors Taken with Teal, Pretty in Pink, and Cameo Coral. (Top right)

Gretchen's Challenge: Alter It! Repurpose an item to use in your craft area (not pictured)

Darlene's Challenge: A One Sheet Wonder! Use one piece of 12" x 12" cardstock to make as many cards as you'd like. (All the other cards!)

Here I am with some of the girls at a recent get together that wasn't snowed out!

Connie, Patti, Cindy, Gretchen, Trina, Anita (L-R)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Film Festival 2008

Had the pleasure of attending the 32nd Annual Cleveland International Film Festival again this year. Although I was only able to screen one film - it was a good one. After sharing dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe at Tower City Center, we moved into our seats at the cinemas and began our movie. The theme this year was "HOW WILL IT CHANGE YOU?" and the movie we picked certainly did it's best to inspire that question. We chose to watch TRIAGE: DR. JAMES ORBINSKI'S HUMANITARIAN DILEMMA. This documentary follows Dr. Orbinski's travels back to Rawanda and Somalia where he worked with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which you may also know as Doctors Without Borders. The movie was heart wrenching and thought provoking to say the least. In fact if you chose to skip this post - I understand. You may not be ready to be changed.

We started off in Baidoa, Somalia where the MSF worked to feed the famine victims in 1992-1993. This was during the time that most humanitarian groups had left the area.... if you remember the period or perhaps the movie Black Hawk Down, then you remember that most outsiders were in no way welcome in the area. Dr. Orbinski spoke of the silence of the famine. The people did not ask or beg for food, they did not cry out - they just stared beyond hope. Using the energy they had remaining they struggled to survive long enough to get themselves or their children to what little food was available. The famine itself created almost entirely by the waring factions of their own people. Warlords accepting the food and hoarding it for themselves, or trading it for guns or drugs to continue the fighting. Fighting for what? Some slim perception of power over the "other". If you have the bigger gun? You win. He described an incident where they were on the road delivering supplies in a clearly marked vehicle, when they were stopped. Their friend and driver told them to climb under the vehicle and only secured their escape by showing that day he had the bigger gun.

From Lancet, 1993, 1993 Apr 10;341(8850):935-8: Famine and civil war have resulted in high mortality rates and large population displacements in Somalia. To assess mortality rates and risk factors for mortality, the authors carried out surveys in the central Somali towns of Afgoi and Baidoa in November and December 1992. In Baidoa, the authors surveyed displaced persons living in camps; the average daily crude mortality rate was 16.8 (95% CI 14.6-19.1) per 10,000 population during the 232 days before the survey. An estimated 74% of children under 5 years living in displaced persons camps died during this period. In Afgoi, where both displaced and resident populations were surveyed, the crude mortality rate was 4.7 (3.9-5.5) deaths/10,000/day. Although mortality rates for all displaced persons were high, people living in temporary camps were at highest risk of death. As in other famine-related disasters, preventable infectious diseases such as measles and diarrhea were the primary causes of death in both towns. These mortality rates are among the highest documented for a civilian population over a long period.


After leaving there, his work carried him the Rawanda in the height of the troubles of 1994. He spoke of working to save the lives of people horrifically damaged by their countrymen. Genocide is such an ugly prospect. War of any type is I suppose, but if your warriors face off against my warriors at least there is an agreed upon plan. There is the Geneva Convention. Even if you play fast and loose with the rules as some say we have been, the core of it is still there. You do not hack to pieces a mother and her child with a machete just because their identity card says Tutsi instead of Hutu. A brief history of the region: Rawanda is under Belgian rule prior to 1962 and the Tutsi people were the aristocratic minority, dominating the Hutu peasants. After independence from Belgium, the Hutu majority takes power, violently oppress the Tutsi 2000,000 of whom flee the country. They form an army and invade Rawanda attempting to rule along side the Hutu. This works for a very brief period until chaos ensues and the genocide begins. 800,000 Tutsi are killed by the end of July 1994. The U.N. Security Council votes unanimously to abandon Rawanda. The killing is only stopped by Tutsi rebels invading from other countries. The US does not assist presumably due to the earlier incidents in Somalia in which US troops were tortured.

More foolishness.

They describe Dr. Orbinski as a man with both the deepest optimism and the deepest cynicism. After seeing what he's seen - how could he exist otherwise?

Yes - I think this movie changed me.

I don't think it says much for me that rather than stay for the panel discussion, we went to the Ritz to have drinks instead. I just couldn't take in any more. Apparently having a nice meal and then watching a movie was too much. How do we continue to go about or normal, American, isolationist, self-entitled, gluttonous lives after seeing even 88 minutes of this horror.

I am still trying to decide how to make changes in my own life which could possibly be relevant to changing a world which is capable of such horror. We let it happen, and mostly stood by. It continues in other disguises today throughout the globe.

Dr. Orbinski is no longer with MSF, but has co-founded another organisation, Dignitas International. If all else fails, as Americans we could at least throw money at them right?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dig It!

Time to dig out from the Blizzard of 2008 here in good old North East Ohio. The snows have stopped coming down, the sun us shining, and it's time for end of winter fun (Spring is coming soon right?!)

Here are a few shots of the aftermath. I'd say we got about 16 inches? More or less in spots with the drifting. And remember while you're looking... we already cleared the walks once yesterday!

I expect that some of you out there are used to more - but I bet some think this is a pretty fearsome amount!

If you are in snow country too - remember to be careful and take breaks while you shovel, it can be a dangerous exercise. Several families in the Cleveland Area lost family members this year. It's a serious matter.

Pour your self some cocoa and enjoy!

Be safe and warm out there!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Ahead

Okay... if we're spring-ing ahead, why does it look like this outside?

This was early in the day - don't worry, we got much more! Our poor bushes look very overwhelmed.

I predict shoveling in my future!

Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead... and we'll be one hour closer to Spring in a snap!

Friday, March 7, 2008

In the Cards

Here are some cards we made at a recent Chi Omega Alumnae meeting for donation to the Ronald McDonald House in the Cleveland Area. You may already know that the program provides temporary housing for families with seriously ill children who are being treated in nearby hospitals. The cards will be available for use by residents to keep in touch with their loved ones while they are staying at the Ronald McDonald House. I designed the cards for us to make, although a few were inspired by the creations others.

As a Chi Omega, philanthropy is a top priority. As an independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, I appreciate their commitment to community service as well.

"An important part of our mission at Stampin' Up! is to make a difference in people's lives by helping them develop their creativity in a way that can strengthen personal relationships as well. Our partnership with RMHC is a valuable part of that commitment." ~ Shelli Gardner, Stampin' Up! cofounder and CEO


The one above was desgined by my upline, Joan Lieb - she's really good!
The one above was CASEd from a swap at the 2007 Stampin' Up! Convention on Denver Colorado...
the one above was a project from Stampin' Up! Regional Training in Minneapolis 2006...
Note: Not all materials used in the cards are available through Stampin' Up! If you are interested in the details of any card, please contact me for more information. Visit my Demonstrator Business Web Site for more about Stampin' Up!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's Cookie Time!

Do you see that little bunny on the blanket? That would be me: circa 1969. Girl Scout Day Camp, Side Cut Park, Toledo, Ohio, age 4...

Mom was a leader for my sisters' Girl Scout Troop, and I was the tag along. The picture is the tail end of the "There were ten in the bed and the Little One said: ROLL OVER!" skit of which I was the STAR! Even before I was old enough to join officially, Girl Scouting was providing me opportunities to "do my best."

Since then, I joined a troop and grew up to lead one as an adult. I was able to attend a Wider Opportunity at National Center West in Wyoming. "Cadettes on Horseback" was an adventure for my 13 year old self: first plane ride ever alone and many new experiences and new friends.

We are a scouting family. As well as both my sisters, my mom and my neices were all scouts. (The boys were Boy Scouts, but we don't hold that against them!) One sister also participated in a Wider Opportunity, going on a sport adventure, and my neices have traveled with scouts as well, one to all the way to Our Cabaña in Mexico.

I share this with you because it's that time of year again - it's GIRL SCOUT COOKIE time! All of your favorites are here, as well as some tasty new varieties as well. I encourage you to visit the Girl Scout Cookie website and find a source to purchase them near you. Purchasing cookies supports your local organization financially, as well as helping the girls develop valuable skills they will carry with them throughout life. Oh yes - and you get to enjoy the cookies too!

On each box are the words COURAGE, CONFIDENCE, CHARACTER. These words definitely strike a cord with me, as these are the things I developed through scouting. That and a love of the Out of Doors, S'Mores, and Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts!

Girl Scout Week is the week of March 10th. Celebrate along with them!

Do you have a good scouting story to share?

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I swear I didn't cheat! Guess FIRE really is my word this year! Darn these quizes are addicting!
Your Superpower Should Be Manipulating Fire
You are intense, internally driven, and passionate.
Your emotions are unpredictable - and they often get the better of you.
Both radiant and terrifying, people are drawn to you.
At your most powerful, you feel like the world belongs to you.
Why you would be a good superhero: You are obsessive enough to give it your all
Your biggest problem as a superhero: Your moodiness would make it difficult to control your powers