Hey Hey Mr. Policeman

I suppose that when you drive 58,000 miles a year for work, you are bound to have more than your fair share of run-ins with the highway patrol, right. :) Yesterday was Joal's day for a ticket in podunkville TN.

So here's to you, babe.


Easter Cards

Cute-sy stuff really isn't my thing, except around Easter. I bought the lamb stamp at Michaels for a dollar (Studio G) because it reminded me of the logo of the children's ministry at our church. I thought perhaps I would use it in G's school scrapbook for the year he attended pre-k at our church.

I had visions of lambs for baby cards, lambs for Easter and spring cards, lambs with flockng, lambs with get the picture...the lamb seemed like he would get alot of use. He, she...I don't know.


Lambs for Easter and Spring the are. :)
So the little lamb stamp started me down a are some other lamb-ie things:
This kid's lamb craft...who doesn't love the 9 million things you can do with paper towel tubes and cotton balls?
This felt lamb pin on Etsy.
Happy Friday all.



Hey, guess what?
I actually do still scrapbook.
A few weeks ago Melly from 2peas emailed me and asked if I was interested in making a couple of layouts using some free goodies--how could I say no to that? One of the items she sent along for me to work with was the Travel Mat Stack from Die Cuts with a View. I've never used Mat Stacks before but was impressed with the cardstock weight of each sheet and the texture too. I don't really mat I had to find other ways to use the sheets.
There's a variety of options in this particular stack--a pleasant surprised.
Thanks for looking.


Just a picture of me and the sea

I don't end up on this side of the camera very often--but I like this shot. It reminds me of the wind in my hair (obviously), the endless sound of gentle waves, the hum of the ship, and the occasional spray of sea water across my face. It reminds me of the warmth of the sun and the smell of the sea. It reminds me of laughter and love.

Dean Brody

by Dean Brody
Have you heard this song?
If not, beware.
It'll getcha.

"Sometimes freedom makes it hard to live,
It takes things from you that you don't wanna give."


Have I said thank you lately?

So something happened to me not too long ago that made me realize I should be more grateful for those of you who take the time to read my little blog. I haven't said it lately--but I am grateful. Thankful--very very thankful for people who read what I write. If you weren't reading, what would be the point?

So thank you, for sharing a bit of your day with me, whether I know it or not.

Those are beautiful words to a writer's heart--to hear someone say "I read your blog." It's a compliment. And I am totally grateful.

What made me think of this?
There's this blog that I read.
It's written by a creative woman whom I have long-admired but never met in person. From her blog, I have become a more faithful person, a better scrapbooker and a more caring and observant mother. Her words speak to my soul quite often. After reading her writings for more than a year, I am fairly convinced that we could be friends in real life, not that I would presume, but sometimes you just know these things.

And yet, when I had the chance to meet her in person through a mutual friend, I said those words that (I thought) every blogger would surely appreciate--"I am so inspired by your blog."
And boom. The lights went out and her smile left.
"It's nice to meet you." she said.
And turned and walked away.

It was an "ouch" moment.
For sure.
And I was stunned. I know that a whole person can not be judged by her reaction to one little phrase, in one unplanned, unexpected moment, and because I still want to like her, I try to give her the benefit of the doubt.

But it stung.
Does she not understand the gift she has?
Does she resent that she gives so much of herself and that people willingly accept her as brilliantly funny, qwerky and creative? Is that a burden?
Was there a rock in her shoe or grounds in her coffee?

I don't have any answers...but it did make me want to say "thank you" to my friends who read. You bring me great joy. You give me perspective. You challenge me. You correct my spelling. You make me laugh.

And for those things, I am deeply grateful.

Eric Carle

Happy First Day of Spring.

Did you see the Google omage to celebrate?

It's fantastic.

I wish I could have Eric Carle come decorate my house!


What a Week!

We'll we had a quiet week for the most part at the Dev...Ranch. Jet-lag or perhaps, more correctly, cruise-lag hit me with both barrels on Monday. I was totally wiped out. Joal left before the sun came up for week in Atlanta. I climbed out of bed begrudgingly and got G to school and came home. Sat Julian up with a video and decided to catch a nap on the sofa. Nice peaceful nap. Dreaming of Grand Cayman that we didn't get to see. (Another post for another day.)

Only to have my little dreams interupted by the words "Mommy I need the key to the shed so I can get the tool to turn off the water to the house."

Come again. Is there sand in my ears. Who are you?

My 13 year old son--the one who was supposed to still be watching a video in the chair in the same room was standing over me--his voice was shaking and I could see immediately that he was drenched from his fuzzy hair to his boots. His whole body was shaking. He was clearly disturbed.

"What's wrong?" I ask with the usual amount of motherly trepidation.

"I need to turn off the water to the house down at the main. I need your key to the shed to get the tool out."

"Why?" What I was thinking was more along the lines of "What on earth are you talking about and exactly how do you know how to turn off the water to the house at the main?"

He was frustrated and still shivering. I could tell he was really worried about the impending consequences of whatever it was that he had done. "I didn't mean to." was all the information he could muster.

My brain was clearing and I could hear the ominous sound of water gushing from one of the outdoor spigots on the front of our house. I told him to sit tight, got him a towel and traipsed off to invesigate.

Thinking all the while...Joal's not coming home until Friday...I have to handle this. Alone. Whatever this is. Visions of our water/sewer guy having to make a housecall danced in my head. I saw myself writing a check...ugh. And feeling completely inept.

Sure enough, the spigot at the front of the house--naturally the one that was hidden by an overgrowth of ivy and bush, was gushing water because the controlling piece had been removed. There were various pieces of pipeage in the muddy pool of yuck that was fast becoming a flood in the bed of my front bushes.

If it hadn't been 40 degrees outside, this might have been fun.

I made a few attempts to re-attach some of the pieces that looked like they might belong on there...but did you know that if you try to cap a flowing spigot, all you get is very wet and very cold? I learned that in a hurry.

So, indeed, he was right. He needed to get the tool out of the shed that turns off the water at the street.

Wonder what said tool looks like?

I come back in and fetch him from the chair. I grab the keys and we go to the shed. He retrieves the tool and we traipse down the driveway to the box that contains the water main valve. Julian is almost 13 and I confess he has taken on quite a bit of muscle mass lately--a fact for which I was thanking the Lord, when I could not budge the valve. He was still freezing and scared, but he worked that valve with the tool like a pro.

The flow of water quickly subsided. We traipsed back up the driveway and he put all the pieces of the thingamajigs and whatchamacallits back into place. He used the vice grips to tighten it all up and wasn't beyond getting down into the muck to get the job done. I couldn't help but be proud. He loves plumbing and all things related to plumbing and he reads manuals like most boys read comic books.

When he said he was done, I whispered a prayer for it to all hold tightly under the returning pressure of the water(for his sake and mine) and walked slowly back down the drive with him, to turn the water on. He used the tool and reinstated the water.

It held and there was no more gushng of water.
The day is saved.

How do I scold or discipline him for all the rules he broke--going outside without permission, going to the front yard without telling me first, turning on the water, dismantling part of the house...all these things he knew he should not have done...and yet, he came to me when the situation became serious, he owned up immediately, and he worked hard to fix the problem. In the end, it was his skill that made it right.

We had a long talk about all this. He knew that he had done wrong. He knew that he could have caused a larger problem for our house. He gave me the most heart-felt apology I have ever heard from him. Yes, it was a serious situation but I couldn't rain down any further punishment on him. Dang it. I was too proud of his ability. He really did save the day.

So, after he was clean and dry again, and after I had some time to mull and pray, I told him that when Daddy got home he would have to tell Joal what he had done and that they would have to look at the spigot situation together. If Daddy thought that any pieces needed to be replaced, Julian would have to use his Home Depot money to pay for the replacements and he would not be allowed to participate in the replacement process. Dad would do it without him.

I told him I was dissappointed that he had done things he knew he wasn't supposed to do, but that I was glad he came to me in the crisis and that he was able to fix the problem.

He understood. All in all, I'm pretty sure that Richard Trethewey would be proud. And is probably to blame for him knowing how to turn off the main water supply anyway.

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. And drier. Mostly.


One little memory...

Ocho Rios, Jamaica
That big boat behind me is the Navigator of the Seas.

It was really windy, so my hair was blowing into my face (and had already been wet because we swam with Pepe', the dolphin first thing in the morning.) This small little beachy area is located at the end of the Village--a string of shopping spots and entertainment venues right near the pier, that's very popular with tourists. It's also the home of the Ocho Rios Margaritaville.

So I thought it would be cool to have a Cheeseburger in Paradise. Actually, I thought it would be a cool scrapbook page...but don't tell anyone that. We tried. We went to Margaritaville and the gal at the door said it would be about 20 minutes. We said OK and stood around, took some pictures and watched the people at the bar. The music was loud and enjoyable. Twenty five minutes come and go...Joal checks with her and she says "do you wanna eat at the upstairs bar?"

Well, not really, but OK. I hate eating at a bar because a) it makes bartenders irritated when people who don't drink take up space at the bar and b) the service always stinks because of a). :)

SO we go upstairs, which turns out to be really cool, because we can see everything going on downstairs but as I suspected, the service did not happen. The waitress apparently didn't get the memo so we sat for a while. No menu, no service, annoying the bartenders. Finally, Joal catches a waiter and asks if we can move to an open table. Jamaicans never have a problem with anything so of course he says move. We do. But then we wait for a while more for our waitress to take our order.

My apparent inability to say the requisite "No problem, mon" at this point prompted us to give up and go eat on the boat.

So no cheeseburgers in paradise this trip.
But it was better than last year's horse no problem, mon.

The music at Margaritaville was lively (live DJ) and a little taste of home--that felt good. There's something iconic about hearing Alan Jackson's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" played super-loud at a Margaritaville in the Caribbean. A cheeseburger would have made it perfect.

No problem, mon.


This hobby of mine...

So after 13+ years, this hobby of mine is changing drastically for me and as a whole...and I'm not sure entirely that I like it.

I love scrapbooking.
That's not changing.

But when the last store in my area closed, my heart just kinda broke. That was the fourth inde scrapbook store that I had taught at that closed. (Some would wonder about the common denominator...including myself.) Whatever the various reason for the closings, (stated or not) I just can't do the store cheerleader routine again. I love small buisnesses and at one time felt very passionately about inde scrapbook stores. I have a heart and a gift for marketing in this industry that made me equal parts hopeful and heartbroken about the possibilities and the challenges.

But I can't do it anymore. I can't invest my heart into a store--yes, I know how silly that sounds--a creative "home" and be divorced again.

And so while I am changing as a shopper/consumer to embrace the craft chains and the online stores, I am also dismayed at the changes in the industry. Will scrapbooking survive? Of course. But will it ever be that way again? I don't think so. I think it's going to look very different in the coming years and that is encouraging and also a little disappointing.

Digital media is the wave of the future, no matter how much we fight it. Or ignore it. I will always adore the feel of paper in my hands...but digital is booming. Stores really can't compete with that.

Discretionary spending in many spots has slowed considerably and scrappers are embracing the notion that simple is good, use-what-you-have, and consequently spending less. Or not at all. Stores are dropping like flies. I hate that.

It feels like the whole market grew with such great abandon for years and years and now suddenly, all at one time, feels a great need for a deep breath. There's a rapid inhale taking place and it's not pretty.

Prehaps necessary.
But not pretty and not without consequence.

But now I'm just rambling.

I'm leaving you with a picture today--proof that I do still actually scrapbook and make cards. I bought a new pink pair of CutterBee scissors this week (because the scissor snatchers in my house used my old pair for cutting something non-paper and expected I wouldn't notice) and they made me want to cut something detailed out. :)

This was the second rendition of a similar card that I made for a birthday party G went to this week. Love Scenic Route.

I'm sortof out of the habit of blogging right hopefully there will be more tomorrow.