The DING! of Hope!

So, no, I have not completely abandoned the blog, but I confess to severe neglect. No real reason, other than I am suffering thru a bout of "too many gray winter days the do not lend me much upishness" otherwise known as "I'm kinda bored."

Joal travels quite often for work and his preferred airline is Southwest. Fortunately, Southwest *doesn't* go thru Atlanta, and does go to most of the places Joal needs to go, so he racks up some serious mileage with the Southwest team.

My sister lives in Oklahoma City and is about to give birth to her first child. So a few months ago, I started planning when I would make the trip over after the baby's birth, ostensibly to help out, but mostly with the intention of holding that sweet little baby. While deciding whether or not I wanted to fly (as opposed to driving almost 700 miles), I discovered that Southwest offers a special service called *DING!*. By downloading their app, I can be alerted with a special Ding! to any special deals Southwest is running for my particular aiport(s).

For example, today there was a Ding! for a flight from Nashville to Tulsa for $87 for travel after January 5. The deals are excellent money-savers, if you can purchase immediately and can travel in the limited dates given. So far, I haven't managed to capture the right flight for the right dates via the Ding!...but I bow to the genius of Southwest for concept of the Ding! Let me tell you, that little noise brings me straight to the computer every single time it sounds.

Pure marketing genius, it is, because every time my laptops offers up a Ding!, I get hopeful. Will this particular Ding! hold the possibility of *my* ideal flight of Nashville to Oklahoma City for $49 on Dec 30? Even $99 would be a steal. Well, I won't know if I don't check!

Must. click. the. Ding!. note. Now.

So far, it hasn't happened, but I remain hopeful. Isn't it funny how so much hope is so easily wrapped up in such a tiny little *Ding!*. I was thinking about this as we drove across town today. Several families we know are expanding--my sister is weeks from giving birth and one of Joal's friends left yesterday to pick up his new daughter in China. Not to mention that it's almost Christmas--babies are popping up everywhere. Talk about hope wrapped up in a tiny little package--babies bring us so much much reassurance that there is much to be hopeful for and grateful in.

In this Christmas season, I am hopeful because I remember that the hope of all humanity arrived in a very small package, in a very small town, in a perfectly, normal, small, almost unnoticed way--the child who was God and man, the child who was, in the moment of His humble birth, the Savior of the world. The child who was the ultimate giver of Hope for all mankind.

No Ding! required.


Cards...Stamp a Stack

These are some of the cards Anita and I made at the Stampin' Up Stamp-a-Stack class last week--some with some minor modifications...because I just can't copy something 100%. :)
It was a fantastic class...


Martha's Blue Glittered and Pearled Pumpkins

Years ago, Martha Stewart poured some pretty blue glitter on a foam pumpkin and created a whole new kind of elegant fall magic. At least in my mind. :) I seriously fell into deep like with glittered pumpkins and have never looked back.

The A Muse Lounge Challenge for the month of October is to stamp out whatever October means to you...for me, nothing says October more than blue glittered pumpkins. (Try not to read too much into that.)

So here's my card for the A Muse challenge. Stamps are A Muse and the metallic lustre inks are by Colorbox--the cat eye collection. Those are the handiest little things.

Happy fall!

Treasures from the Recycle Bins

Look what I pulled out of the Mixed Paper Bin at the Recycling Center over the weekend! Isn't it a beauty? Better Homes and Gardens from March 1968!! It even has that vintage magazine smell. :)

Check out some of the advertisements inside:

It's rainey and damp here...but this made me smile. Tomorrow the recipes section.


Winter AMuse Cards

I enjoyed attending 2 A Muse Art Stamps classes this weekend where this was one of the cards we completed. Note the use of Fabrique Applique aka puffy paint (leftover from the days of embellished and painted t-shirts and sweatshirts--hello 1985) on the snowballs. How fun is that?

This tag was a project from the tag class that I modified a little, making him into a card, with Stickles. :) Glittery Stickles makes me happy.

All stamps are AMuse Artstamps. Color was added using Copic are some luxurious markers.


Slow Times bring Stamping

Things are slow these days...blogwise. I've been busy doing all the little projects that had accumulated on my "wish I had time to do this" list while I was getting the cruise scrapbook done.

I have organized stamps--meaning that all the clear photopolymer stamps are now housed in clear CD cases. Watch for more stamping to come to my little blog--mainly because I need to use the stamps I like to look at. I suspect that stamps multiply amongst themselves when I'm not looking.

I have, as I already pointed out, become enamored with A Muse Stamps lately. Such good stuff there. I love the clean lines of their signature look. The A Muse gallery is fantastic. I especially fell in love with the Jeep, the ipod, and this card.

And finally, have you ever watched Stamp TV? I just found this channel of youtube videos this evening and have been enjoying them so far. The hostess has a very calm and soothing voice and is well-rehearsed but not up-tight. I like that in craft videos. I do not enjoy video stars who haven't thought about how to present their instructions, causing them to hem-n-haw and fumble around. Bugs me. But I digress.

I realy like the technique shown here using wax paper. Need to try this.

Happy Friday!


Ribbons and Buttons...Oh My

This is what a girl does to celebrate her newly organized ribbon. I've been saying "I want to do that project" for months, after seeing a fellow pea create a similar display of buttons under glass. Blues and browns of all shades...these are a few of my favorites. :)

Speaking of buttons, have you seen this blog called *BUTTONFloozies*? It's shh-weet. Don't miss out.

Happy Monday morning!

Ribbon Redemption

It took until almost 4am, but the ribbon has been redeemed! Around 1:15 am, I realized that Capri Sun boxes could be cut in half and make the *perfect* holders for rolls of ribbon. As it just so happened, there were 8 empty Capri Sun boxes in my area, waiting to be recycled. (It's a long story.) So, I chopped them all in half and used them. Four boxes will fit in a large Iris Cart drawers, which is the same place I used to store the scads of disheveled ribbons...the boxes serve as sorters...there is nothing so soothing as ribbon arranged by color.
I didn't realize how much I apparently like red ribbons! Below shows reds, pinks, oranges, and purples/yellows/greens (because I don't use those alot).
Below shows boxes for black and whites, blues, sea colors, and browns. This drawer will get the most use...Black and white is almost always my first choice.
I organized each of the roll-less, by-the-yard ribbons this way. Each piece is rolled neatly and secured with a strip of paper. I used a tape adhesive to secure the end. Because I need to be able to see what's there, I stood each bundle on it's end. This basket from The Dollar Tree sits neatly on my desk now...reminding me to use the pretty ribbon and making it easy to do so.
And shhh...did you notice that there's a little room for a few more additions?? Hmm.
The paper strips are secure but not tight and they are easy to slip off. It was important to me not to damage the ribbons by using adhesive or pins on the actual ribbons. (Stores that poke a pin into their ribbon rolls really make me unhappy.)

There are a few carded ribbons in my collection, so I just left them as they were. One other little basket hold all the carded ribbons, on my desk, easy to flip thru.
The rest of the ribbons have been a) tossed b) recycled or c) moved to the Christmas bin.
I would love to have the space to keep them out where I can see them but wallspace is just not real estate I can afford right now. So drawers and baskets will have to do. I get a little giddy about the recycling aspect of repurposing the Capri Sun boxes. (If they were going to be sitting out, I would cover them with paper or paint them.)

I feel so much better now that my ribbons are accessible and easy to pull from.
Happy Sunday!


My Ribbon Storage is in Need of a Makeover

"Chaos" has to be the only word appropriate for describing the current state of my ribbon storage. It's unruly and outrageous. And something has to change.

How did I ever let it get this bad?


In other news, sometimes it all just comes together. Don't ya love it when that happens? Case in point: When Joal and I were in Bar Harbor, I found a book called *Best of Bar Harbor*. It's basically a small photo book, like a coffeetable book, only small. It has all the requisite photos of Bar Harbor's most famous sites. I first glanced thru it while waiting in the lobby of our hotel. Later, while shopping in a local bookstore (one of the things I really like about Bar Harbor is the *local* businesses), I found a copy of the same book, autographed by the author. Score one. Then as I was paying for the book, I overheard the bookstore owner talking to a man about how well his book was selling...yes, it was none other than Greg Hartford, the photographer of the book I was buying. :)

How cool is that?

So on the plane ride home I was looking thru the book, reliving a little of the magic, and it struck me. Why couldn't I use this book as the base of my Maine scrapbook? I could tear it up and incorporate the (ahem) scraps into my scrapbook. Ha. Is that allowed?

I've been mulling on this since June, while I finished the cruise book. I finally came to the conclusion that this particular book is just too lovely to tear up. And then I pulled out a ruler and discovered that my sweet little book of photos from Bar Harbor is none other than 8x8...a very common size of albums in the scrapbook world. Can you say delighted?

The theme for this album is "life in a northern town" and it will have two sections--Bangor (where the boys stayed with their grandparents) and Bar Harbor (where Joal and I went). I can't wait to get started--it's so nice to be working on my own things again without time restraints.

Happy Saturday night.



Card Sketch Keeper

One of the finest video artists creating on Youtube today is Kristina Werner. Seriously, her stuff is top notch. She puts out a feature each week on her blog called Make a Card Monday--this week however, was not a card, but a card idea sketch keeper. Above is my version.

Note: I didn't have a stapler handy so I used a thick thread to "sew" the pages together in two places. This paper is from Carolyn Gavin's Greenhouse Collection by K&Co. It's one of my favorites of late, so I didn't want to cover it up with any other embellishments...just let the paper speak and enjoy it. :)

Happy Wednesday!


When Good Men Cry Out

When Good Men Cry Out
September 14, 2009

On Friday night Congressman Joe Wilson from South Carolina cried out against one more in a long line of lies that President Obama has told the American people. The president said that the proposed "Obama Care" would not cover illegal aliens. However, the congressman knew very well that without any enforcement mechanism in the bill (which he had actually read) that it could ultimately be used to cover illegal aliens. So, he spoke truth to power. He said, "You lie!" His statement has since been proven true, and this problem in the bill was fixed after he spoke up. However, immediately the Democrats began to threaten censure for Congressman Wilson.

First, Joe the plumber, now the congressman. Which of us will be next? Maybe it will be the "thugs" in the town hall meetings. Maybe it will be a police officer who was just doing his job. Maybe it will be a CIA agent who is just looking out for his country. Maybe it will be the young couple who exposed ACORN. Maybe it will be the guys at Fox News for their opposing points of view or their political activism. Or maybe it will be you or I for sending an e-mail with "suspicious" content.

It is time that we all cry out in solidarity with this descent, normally soft spoken congressman from South Carolina who displayed such uncommon courage and appropriate passion. He was crying out for us in that moment on Friday night, and we need to cry out for and with him now.

It is time the rest of us owned the obvious truth that he so bravely spoke. The president does, in fact, lie - sometimes by direct statement and sometimes by omission. Consider this. Throughout the long election campaign, he made sure that he came across as a reasoned "almost-moderate," as an advocate of bipartisanship, as a proponent of capitalism, as someone who is fiscally responsible, as being capable of bringing positive and agreeable change, as a political peacemaker, as an honest man, as a man of integrity and transparency.

In fact, he has since been proven to be none of those things. He had every opportunity to express his true views and intentions before he asked us to vote for him. But he intentionally hid those from the country simply because he and the DNC knew that the country would never elect an ultra left socialist who intended to rule the country with czars and "thuggish" politics.

He knew very well that we would never agree to spend ourselves into oblivion, apologize to our enemies, treat terrorists like deserving citizens, back down from rogue despots, weaken our military, tax investment capital out of existence, turn the country over to leftist, tree hugging fanatics and avowed socialist and communists. He knew all of that. So, he lived a lie. And he lied by intentional omissions and partial truths. And he did it smoothly and deliberately.

And so far, Congressman Wilson has been the only one in Washington with the courage to call it like it is, but, that needs to stop now. We, who simply want descent and effective government need to stand with this courageous congressman as the Democrats prepare to punish him.

Perhaps then, this clueless congress that we are presently saddled with can get the picture that, in effect, this congressman was not just speaking for himself. He was momentarily the voice of the majority in the nation. This president and his backers should know that the truth is now out, and that we, the responsible citizens and voters, "get it." And Ms. Pelosi and her "kids in the candy store" need to know that it matters to us how they handle our representative.

In the last few months, I have come to understand that President Obama is a "political kamikaze." That is why he does not respond to any of the normal pressures. He is not worried about a second term. He is only worried about accomplishing his "blitzkrieg leftist agenda" in this term. My estimate is that he never really intended to survive the process politically. His only intent and concern is to deliver up the country to an unalterable elitist run kind of socialism in this term.

And, in fact, we really cannot stop him at this point (he has the power to do exactly that) unless we can strip him of his congressional backing. Most of those men and women like the good life of congressional Washington, and they would like to return to it. So, they really need to understand that if they continue to empower this "mistake" of a president, we, the people, will see to it that they don't.

So, I would propose this plan. It is simple. It is easy. And if done in sufficient numbers as a grass roots effort, it could have real impact. Via e-mail, let’s just join with this courageous congressman by sending the same message a million times over to the White House. The president needs to hear this resounding popular vote of "no confidence."

So now, for us, it is decision time. Do we want to join this brave congressman in speaking truth to power. Well, let’s see. It is easy. It can be effective. It is definitely an expression of support and solidarity for and with Joe Wilson. It is a great exercise of our first amendment right. And, in sufficient numbers, it might actually help "rein in" this out of control congress and president. And it really is the right thing to do.

Yeah, we can handle that. Let’s just do it. Simply choose a day for the e-mail event and contact your e-mail "posse," and ask them to let you know if they would be willing to join you in e-mailing these two words, "You lie!" to the White House from this page: Then ask them to do the same with their "posse."

A small effort will be completely ineffective here. But a good and faithful effort could be very effective. Let’s be courageous and determined here. Let’s attend to our duty and stand by those who stand by us. Let’s stand by the Honorable Congressman Joe "You lie!" Wilson of South Carolina. Let’s all cry out together.

So, I'm asking you, as part of my e-mail group, "Will you join me in this effort?" If so, let me know and we will all mail tomorrow (I will let you know the number that are participating) Tuesday, Sept. 15. The clock is ticking for this effort to be well timed with the debate over Congressman Wilson’s censure. Let’s stand with Joe!

I wish I could physically stand in the House of Representatives with Joe Wilson. I wish his constituents from South Carolina would fill up the House gallery during the censure debate and insist on physically standing with him if he is ultimately punished by Pelosi and her group. However, I can't manage all of that but I can do this small thing and I hope you will join me in this effort.

--Larry Burnett


A Muse Challenge

I am in deep like with A Muse Art Stamps. They are simple and clean and so very easy to use. My mom's mom, Bobbie, had a fan just like was old and black and heavy. I remember it distinctly (which is saying something) so you can see why I was drawn to this particular stamp.

A Muse is hosting a challenge right now called the No Coloring Zone challenge--participants create without using the usual suspects of coloring (markers, pencils, paints, etc) to add color to images. I stuck with black and added color to the card using paper--cardstock and patterned.

Happy Sunday.


Paper Love

Found some paper to love today...because of course, I don't ever get tired of new paper. :) I'm not usually drawn to stacks...but this one is yummy. And it was half-price. Gotta love that.


For the Book Challenge

(Click on each image for a larger, readable image.)

Article from Creating Keepsakes, August 2009.

Written by Lori Anderson.
shown with publisher's permission, (c) 2009


I forgot to mention it...

The month of August is almost gone and I forgot to mention that two of my layouts were used in the stamping department of the August issue of the online magazine at

You can see it here.

Nothing ground-breaking...just a little basic stamping.

It seems to me that layouts and pages about teenage boys are disproportionally unrepresented (is that a phrase?) in the scrap world. Maybe ignored would be a more appropriate word. I, for one, refuse to let a certain 13-year-old boy's grenchy-ness about having his picture taken dictate what I do. It's a mom's perogative, right?

I still have that baby picture of his nekkid booty...he better treat me right. :)


Dad has a Blog

With this my 1000th post, I would like to take a moment to mention that my father now has a blog:

Dad writes a weekly email about spiritual things and I have convinced/persuaded/bullied/coerced him into putting it out in blog form as well.

If you get the email format from him (called P@ss It On), don't worry. You will still be receiving the email. That won't change. The emails will be posted on the blog. If you loose an email, now you know where it can be found, online.



Design Star Thoughts

On principle, I hate reality television, mostly because it's oxymoronic. But, I do like to fast forward my way through Design Star every now and again. So now that there's a new season airing, I thought I might offer up a few thoughts on this designer's dining room. The graphic walls/floor design is cool, or cold, rather, but interesting. I wouldn't have done it in the dining room, and I wouldn't have chosen those colors, but OK. I can see it being acceptable in California in a house with 11 design professionals.

What bugged the ever-living daylights out of me? I'm glad you asked! There are 11 people in the house. This is their dining room table. Unfortunately for three of them, there's only seating for 8. A very crowded 8, on two benches. The table is monsterous and hand-built by one of the contestants. Conceptually, the table is cool. Functionally, it's a total flop. If Mr. Dee-sihgner had opened up the ends, everyone in the house could have had a seat at the dining table. Doh! And where are the chairs? Hello. Functionality. Ever tried to get out of a bench when you aren't lucky enough to be the person sitting on an end? Ever try to do it in a skirt? Geesh. And they had the largest budget for decor ever used on the show...why not buy some chairs?

I do like the table--it has a rectangular opening in the middle that allows those monster plants to come up thru the middle. Speaking of the plant life...I hope no one wants to speak to anyone on the other side of the table at dinner. Communicating through a rainforest can present a challenge to conversation. I think the "community" nature of the space--a dining room, afterall, got lost in the spirit of the "design".

I love creativity. I enjoy things that are outside the box. I am turned off by de-sihn-nah snobbery and things that are obviously pointless. If you are doing something for the point of design, you're off base. Form follows function. Otherwise, it's just stupidness for the sake of tv. I like what Candace Olsen said to one of the teams: "You shouldn't have to explain your design. It should speak for itself."

So, now you know.


It was a first. OK two.

Guess what?
I did something tonight that I have never done before.
I. cooked. fresh. fish.
Fresh fish = fish purchased today at the fish counter and wrapped in paper. Not frozen. Fish that didn't come out of a box or a can.

Just so we are clear.
Yes, me.
Fresh fish. Be impressed.
I did it. I overcame my fear of cooking fish.
With a little help from Bobby Flay and this episode of Boy Meets Grill.

On the menu was:
Seared Tilapia fillets with Lemon Butter and Shallot Sauce
Served over Warm Buttered Orzo
Grilled Asparagus, lightly salted
Fresh strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes
Toasted French Bread

We ate "like a real family", as Grey says...and it was very nice. No one spilled anything nor were there any crazy outbursts. Overall, it was very nice. Which is an accomplishment in our family.

For what it's worth, Tilapia is not very expensive and it's a very mild fish. These were my two largest fears--1) that I would "mess up" an expensive amount of fresh fish 2) and that it would be too fishy. I'm picky about fishyness. :) I can't wait to do it again.

Even Grey asked for seconds...which is truly sayin' something.
(photo from Google.)
And for the second first...last Thursday, Joal and I had the pleasure of a different kind of first for us...attending a dinner and show at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theater. Chaffin's is "just down the road" and is one of those old Nashville traditions that we've been saying we should experience since about 1999. This place is legendary in these parts and now we know why--it was wonderful. Johnny Peppers, (one of Joal's clients) is one of the stars of the current show--"Seeing Stars in Dixie" and he generously offered us tickets to the show. It was fantastic and I can't wait until we can do it again...and take some others with us.
Dinner preceeds the show--a long country-style buffet offers up the usual and the unusual in southern faire, including corn bread muffins that made me blush. During dessert, a local songwriter, Jaclyn Brown, played a few tunes, including a funky little diddy heard here that made me smile. Then the show begins. The stage is in the round (although it's actually a square)...and it was delightful from start to finish.
So, two firsts in one week. Now you know.


Daniel's Note about the past year

Below is the Note Daniel posted on Facebook:

A year ago today at roughly 9:15 my brother was shot in the neck by an insurgent in Afghanistan. I have tried to write this update a half dozen times and not been able to get it done. I don’t know how to sum up this last year. My heart is heavy. It is not out of desperation or hopelessness I think it is more out of a since of enormity of what has been survived. I think that is really the key. It’s what has been survived.

In a few hours I’ll get in my truck and drive to the spot on 155 where I got the call. I will pull that truck over and just sit there. As I look out over that expanse of road, at the loop to my left and the fire station on up a little further my mind will wonder back to the things that I’ve felt, seen and to the people I have had the good fortune to meet. My mind will wonder back to that call, hearing Andy’s voice but not really comprehending what he was saying. Listening to Doc Renolds as he explained how bad Andy was injured. Sitting at the table in the Noonday Fire House trying desperately to make my hands stop shaking long enough to pick up my phone and call our parents and tell them that there youngest son had been critically wounded in combat. Then realizing that I couldn’t actually do it.

Listening to that Firefighter tell me that my brother was a fighter and he was going to be ok, and actually believing him. Picking up the phone, calling Mark then Sherri to pray like they have never prayed before. Actually calling mom and dad who took it well, I thought. Calling my brothers in law, so my sisters would not be alone when they found out. Regretting having to burden those men with that responsibility.

Sherri bringing me a turkey sandwich and then sitting across from me and watch me eat it to make sure I did. Actually feeling a change in my heart from fear, uncertainty, hatred and deep sorrow to peace. Having a tear-filled conversation with Melissa that encouraged her and was a great hope to me.

Thanking the nurse at Walter Reed that handed me a bottle of water when I broke down in the hallway after seeing Andy for the first time. Or Xavier who is maybe one of the best ICU nurses ever. Or Brenda Kelly the first physical therapist Andy had. She gave me a crash course in P.T. and just about adopted him. Or Cpt. Dora Quilty for letting me help make some mods to the PCA pump. Maybe she knew how helpless I felt and how solving one small problem would make all the others seem a little bit more bearable.

I will think about the unwavering loyalty of the men of Chosen (Wanat survivors) as they would literally limp or roll down to check on Doc. Burnett. I’ll be thinking of friends and family that drove or flew ridiculous distances just to check on him. Daniel G., Jon, Mel, Uncle Ron and Aunt Judy--none of you had to come but I am extremely grateful that you did.

I’ll be thinking of the staff and other patients in Tampa. Delgado, Richardson, Ben, Lara, Jennie, Lindsay, Karen, the night nurse trifecta and those mad honey bun cravings, Jessie Lee, Sophia, Ruddy, Picaro, Goodman, and so many other people. Thank you for doing your jobs and being who you are. You helped my brother get his life back on track. Thank you will never be able to sufficiently communicate my appreciation and gratitude. I’m glad I picked the Tampa Polytrauma Unit for Andy you have made a world of difference in his life.

My mind will drift over to Pastor Paul the Robertsons and a little Nazarene church in Wesley Chapel that ministered to my soul through Bucks games, pot luck and a Bush Gardens trip.

Sherri and Ann, I‘ll be thinking about that welcome home celebration. I think only Heaven will top that. Cory, Casey--you have both been great friends to Andy. Thanks!

Leslie, I love you and I wouldn’t have made it this far without you.There are so many people that did so much from concerts and trail rides to driving lessons and food drop offs. The people that God put around us made it possible to survive. Apart from His grace, apart from his plan we as a family would have been swallowed up by all of this--Andy especially. God has seen fit to spare my brother's life for a purpose. What that is, I do not know, but the fact is he has a bright future. Thank you for sharing in that with all of us.

God bless you all,

How's Andy?

On the occasion of the "one year mark" of Andy's wounding, I thought I'd answer the oft-asked question of "How is he doing?"
I never know quite how to answer that question. I know people want to hear "he's doing good" so we can all move on but I don't say that. Maybe it's still too early for the new definition of "doing good" to be clear yet. Every day presents new challenges and life is at a different pace than before. Andy's relatively healthy, he's home in Texas, living with Daniel. Being confined to a wheelchair has altered his methods, but not him. He's still fiercly independent. He's drives his outfitted truck off-road and on, and there's hardly ever a quiet moment at his house--he has friends and family around all the time. He's acquired a new tatoo. Last week he took a little neighbor boy to VBS at the church. I'm pretty sure the little boy thinks "Mr Andy" sits at the right hand of the Father. Life goes on and he does with it what he wants.

Andy's always been the kind of person who moved mountains by the sheer force of his will. That hasn't changed. He's still stubborn as heck and that will carry him--it always has. He's still in the Army, so he still reports to a duty station at the Armory on a limited basis. He misses the brothers of Chosen and he misses actively being "Doc". He's supremely frustrated by the currrent administration and he gets pissy when people assume he was wounded in Iraq. I don't is he? He's home. Nobody's shooting at him in real life. He suffers the bit of publicity that his past has earned him with modesty, embarrasment and a tiny bit of contempt. He says there are certainly other, more important heroes to honor. He was amused at the notion of "Andy Burnett Day". He's has taken day trips to Dallas and an overnighter to Oklahoma to see our sister. Driving is his freedom. He doesn't like to talk about the serious things--or more precisely, not with the girls (mom, Deb, me). He whines like a girl when someone does things for him like fold the laundry.
All I really know is he's working hard and we would expect no less. And that on this, just like every other one, I love him deeply and miss him.
(Thanks Cory for the photos.)


Scrapbooking, no? Surely you jest?

I do still scrapbook, believe it or not. :) Summertime and the usual post-vacation let down is kickin' my ya know...I just can't seem to get out of the funk lately. I'm thinking I might retitle my blog "I need a brownie."
I had 2 items ready to post here--2 layouts that utilized some of the ever growing (exponentially) stamp collection at my house. I posted them at 2peas and within a day was contacted by the editor of about having them used in their next edition. is one of the oldest scrap websites around and I have been a reader since it's inception--way back when Jennia Hart was the owner. It's an online only online magazine, if you will. It's a cool project and I look forward to seeing what they do with my projects.
Anyway, because of that, I had to take the two items down from 2peas and delay posting them here until after the web mag issue comes out.
I're just heart-broken. :)
In other news, I am working dilligently on the NWYC Cruise scrapbook and it is progressing. When it't done, I'll link it up here.
You all know how much I love right. Doug and the crew there are fantastic. I ordered enlargements for the cruise scrapbook from them and they are seriously fabulous...and the prices are not outrageous either. It was a sizable order but I paid for the regular shipping--$2 and they upgraded it to Priority at no charge. I appreciate that more than you know. Scrapbook Pictures wins in customer service in my book!
I am working on the cruise book but I am totally thinking about the Maine scrapbook in my head. I'm thinking seriously about printing all the photos for our Maine book in the 8x8 size. Just let the whole photo take up the whole page...journal on the back.
Speaking of Maine, one of the members at 2peas posted a super cool layout today that reminded me of our Maine adventure. Isn't the crab fantastic?
And finally, based on the ability to create embossed suns, as seen here at Bonnie Sharp's blog from back in May, I ordered this--the Spellbinders Nestabilities Inverted Scalloped Circles (Large). Look at this card...isn't that some hot summery embossing?
Happy Tuesday!


The Best Little Sandwich on Mount Desert Island!

The first day of our time in Bar Harbor we lunched at this sweet little local sandwich place--Michelle's Brown Bag Cafe. It was quite the busy spot, even for the off-season, so we took that as a good sign. While we waited in line Joal decided to try the Maine Handcrafter Root Beer. He later said it was stout and stuck with him for a long time.

We ordered the gourmet Tuna Salad and it was a total hit! It was tuna with mayo, served on toasted sourdough (large slices), with thinly sliced tomato, a layer of spinach, red onion, sprouts, and a piece of cheese. It was fantastic. Each sandwich came with a homemade pickle and Cap Cod chips. I stole Joal's pickle--they were really good.

Sometimes the simplest things, done well, can be really surprisingly amazing. :)

Joal and I have never been on a non-work, non-family-centric vacation alone together before. And yes, seventeen years is a long time to wait. I can tell you for sure that it was a mistake to wait that long. It was so beyond words to settle into a different place with just him, to be together alone, to be just be. Quietly. Calmly. Without distraction and without anything or anyone else pressing in. It was nice. It was healing.

There's no one else on this planet that I'd rather be with. I knew that before...but now I remember why.

One of the great things about Bar Harbor is that everything is centrally-located and walking is the best way to get anywhere. Getting extra excercise was an unexpected benefit--because we surely did eat well. :)

Right smack in the middle of BH is a little ice cream/frozen yogurt shop. I'm pretty sure that we became their star customers for the three days we were there. Joal enjoyed each flavor of frozen yogurt (he's allergic to dairy) and I stuck with my first love--Cappacino with chocolate chips. It was lovely.


Got Stickles?

Would it be ok if I just schmere this stuff all over everything? It's called Waterfall Stickles. And I am so hooked. I've decided life just looks better when covered in Waterfall glitter! I think it would make good eye shadow too. My fingers are already covered in it. I could just swoosh a little across my eyelids. It dries fast.

It's the perfect accent for my cruise conjunction with the Chipboard Thickers that I found at Big Lots. Painting and glittering...what more could a girl ask for in the wee hours of a Saturday morning?



Lobster Roll--a first

So, as a southern girl, I had never had a tried and true Lobster Roll. As the little sign at the corner cafe said "it's alot of lobster, on a roll, with just enough mayo to keep it all together. And yes, it's good."

It was served with a pickle and Cape Cod chips.

It was good. I'm glad I tried it. Probably won't do it again as it was a little pricey and for that kind of money, well, I'd rather have shrimp. But it was something Maine-ish that I wanted to say I had experienced.

As you might imagine, Lob-stah is everywhere and in pretty much everything in Bah Hahbah...foodishly and decoratively.

This guy sits on the sidewalk outside the famous Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium...and yes, it's a heavely place full to the brim of heavenly temptations. And a mighty fine collection of antique lunch boxes. Even Lobster ice cream. No, we didn't indulge.

Ahh, Maine. Forget San Francisco. I think I may have left my heart in Maine.


What We Didn't Do On Our Vacation

The Chicken Barn

My father-in-law told me about this place...I think it probably deserves it's own weekend. Unfortunately this is exactly not the kind of place that is condusive to spending time with my husband. This is pretty much his idea of t-o-r-t-u-r-e.

Next trip.


Found Fabulousness on Friday

This card is just so detailed and delightful...can't help but smile. It's created by *forevercatchingup* and can be found here at twopeas.

This layout inspired my this week...I am all about the waves. See it and other views here at twopeas.

As if Fridays weren't fabulous enough already. :)

Take a look...


I love this man.

That's all.
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Another shopping adventure in Bar Harbor...windowpanes

I wrote the title to this post and then realized you are probably thinking that all I did on my vacation was shop. Ha! Not true. We did nature things, and we ate at fantastic seafood, and we enjoyed our trip alone immensely...but yes, I did do some seriously fun shopping.

One of the things about Bar Harbor that I find incredibly appealing is that there are no major chain major chain eateries...not many major chain hotels. It's very much "small town America" at it's finest. Well, except that Pepsi has a stranglehold on the area...but I digress.

So, eventually I will tell you about the other, non-shopping things we did but for now you are stuck with the fabulousness of a little store called *Windowpanes*.

Oh my. The love bloomed the moment I saw the window. Sorry about the reflection of the cars and such, but if you look closely you can see the hanging fabrics, which I later realized were snappy napkins and placemats.

The white cabinet was filled with all these napkins--heavy duty, quality napkins in the finest of fantastic you can see.

Windowpanes sells the yearly lighthouse calendar of artist Alan Claude seen here. These large prints are stunning and I came home with plans to order one from the artist immediately.