When life gives you....purple

Last week I was carrying an adorable baby, a sweet puppy, and two bags of groceries for my neighbor when a child lost control of his bike. I was able to keep him from falling off his bike, without dropping my valuable packages, but in the process the bike ran over my foot. At that very moment a tall, dark, blue-eyed single gentleman came upon us and determined that my foot was injured and required medical assistance. He carefully transported me to an urgent care, after ensuring that the baby, puppy, and groceries were safely delivered to their proper destinations.

That's my story.

And I'm sticking to it!!

Okay, maybe that's not the whole story, or even a part of the story, but it's much more glamorous than reality - I had a bone spur on my heel that had bothered me for over a year (actually, I didn't know until recently it was a bone spur, just that my heel hurt like the dickens) and because it had gone on for so long, the doctor said surgery was the best option. So last week I had it removed, which turned out to be about a 1/4 cup of bone (in smallish chunks that had embedded themselves in my tendon) and this lovely purple cast has taken it's place for the next two weeks.

Today was my first day back to work and I have to say, this really stinks!! I can't drive, so I'm car pooling with various people, which means I'm on their schedule. As a rather independent person this is KILLING me. And I hobble when I walk. And I didn't prop my leg as high at work as I have the past five days, so it swelled today. And getting ready for the day takes twice as long and is exhausting. And.....well, I have to confess, I'm having a bit of a pity party over the whole thing.

But this too will pass. And, I did get a really cool color for the cast. PURPLE, isn't is the best color? And I have wonderful friends who have taken care of me, ensured that I didn't overdo, and are helping me get to and from work. Life goes on, even with a purple cast.

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Quiet Sundays

Some weeks a quiet Sunday is the perfect way to end a week or prepare to start a week. These rejuvenating days involve good food, time with people I love, serious hound belly rubbing, uplifting spiritual insights, maybe a movie, time surfing the internet, and not thinking about going to work (not that I don't love my job, just that being home is preferred to being at work :) ).

I'm grateful for these relaxing days, even when sometimes they are not exactly what was on the schedule. Happy Sunday!

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Christmas Countdown

Yes, I realize it is June, but it is the 25th of June, which means just six months until Christmas!! So let's start the countdown. On the 25th of each month, I'll post something related to Christmas, because, can you ever start feeling the holiday spirit too soon?

This is one of our favorite holiday recipes. It works well for any special occasion, so no need to wait until Christmas to whip up a batch of these delightful, pop in your mouth goodies.


CORN POP CANDY


2 bags corn pops

SAUCE
3 cubes of butter
1½ cups sugar
5 Tbls light corn syrup
5 Tbls water.


DIRECTIONS
Mix butter, sugar, corn syrup, and water in sauce pan and bring to boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Pour over corn pops and stir well.

NOTE
The corn pops for this recipe are not a cereal. (Not Kellogg’s Corn Pops cereal, but something like Barrel O’ Fun Corn Pops). Here's what they look like:

Image from: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Barrel-O-39-Fun-Corn-Pops-Puffed-Corn-Snack-8-oz/15724097



Gift Idea
Looking for neighborhood gift ideas? How about a six pack of root beer reindeer? These guys can be made quickly and everyone in the family can help. All you need it are red pom poms, googly eyes, brown pipe cleaners, and bottled root beer.

Image found at: http://lifeofamodernmom.blogspot.com/2010/11/reindeer-rootbeer-beer.html

Have a wonderful June 25 and get going on those holiday plans!

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Today ends a week where...

  • I watched the movie LadyHawke - haven't seen it in over 15 years and it was just as wonderful as I remembered
  • I worked in the office for one day
  • I saw Niagara Falls from the below as well as above
  • I ended up with a purple cast on my right foot, even though I would have been happy with white
  • I enjoyed a day of relaxation that ended with mowing the lawn - good balance

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Pinterest

Like most things on the Internet, I've been one to watch and see what it is all about before diving in and embracing it. I'm not a late adapter, but I'm certainly not an early adapter either.

So when people started talking about Pinterest, I took my usual approach - wait and see. Recently I moved from the waiting portion to the doing and signed up. Why Pinterest? I don't know why other people use it but for me it's a giant bulletin board with post it notes full of things I find on the Internet that I want to remember. Because honestly, how many times have you been cruising the web, found something cool, and then when you went back to find it you couldn't remember where you saw it and of course, didn't bookmark it? And my memory certainly isn't what it used to be!

Plus, I've discovered all sorts of new web sites full of interesting things. Most of my finds are food related - big surprise there, but I also love the inspiration items such as color combinations, ideas for things to make, and party stuff.

So, I feel like I'm part of the web world - Facebook, Blog, multiple email accounts, and now Pinterest.

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Photography

I love taking pictures and even though I don't have a fancy camera, I'm always looking for tips. Here are a few links that I've ready lately that have some great ideas for taking better photos.

  1. Rainbows - wish I would have read this before I went to Niagara Falls :)
  2. Specific Advice- how many times do we ask someone if they like it? Whether it's a photo or a creation, this article has great idea for asking for advice.
  3. Photo Inspiration - love taking photos but feel like you are doing the same thing over and over? Here's a fun idea for shaking things up a little. Loved the resulting photo shoot too.
  4. Things to try - great suggestions for changing up your photos and easy too.
Have fun taking pictures! I'd love to see what you're photographing. Here's one of my recent favorites from our Rome trip.

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A fun time was had

In Buffalo, NY and at Niagara Falls. I was in Buffalo for work - CKC-Buffalo - and we scheduled our flights for later Sunday so we could head to the falls. We went last year and did Maid of the Mist. This year we decided to do Cave of the Winds.

We left Buffalo around 9:00 and headed to the falls. We parked near the main falls rather than the American Falls and this was the car we discovered  in the parking lot.


As we got ready to head in, several people stopped to take their picture with the car, not just of the car. Later when we were leaving a steady stream of people took their pictures with the car, some even leaning on it. It was very entertaining.

The view from this part of the park of the falls is amazing! I could have stood there for an hour I think. The sun was out, there was a light breeze, and the falls were in full motion. At the angle we were looking at the falls, there were rainbows in the mist. Sometimes there was a double rainbow, but it was hard to catch.

After taking a dozen or more photos, we headed for the tour. Not only did we get a lovely yellow cape to wear, but a stylin' pair of sandals. Bonus!!! We can keep the sandals. It was a fine look - Todd (a co-worker) posed in his outfit.

Close up of my sandals
The view from below the falls was amazing and boy did we get wet! We laughed and kept on going - cause once your wet what can you do? There were tons of seagulls, even a baby ventured down the path with mom watching closely while I took a picture.




We walked around a bit more, took a few more pictures, and then packed it in. It is amazing that this much water is in one place, especially since it is relatively flat as you approach the falls and then, bam, there it is!






We still had a few hours left until our flight, so we headed back to Buffalo and did a driving architecture tour (using my iPad search results). Buffalo has plenty of beautiful buildings downtown and loads of old homes and buildings throughout the city. It was a great tour and we saw parts of the city we'd never seen.

All in all, an enjoyable trip.

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If I Could Right Now...

  • I would kiss the hounds, stroke their ears, and rub their bellies
  • I would sleep in until I wanted to get out of bed
  • I would spend several hours making something - be creative just because
  • I would have homemade chocolate chip cookies
  • I would watch a favorite movie, like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or Mama Mia or maybe something suspenseful

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For this week...

  • I traveled to Buffalo, NY for CKC-Buffalo
  • I watched "When in Rome" - forgot how cute that movie is
  • I worked in the yard
  • I endured allergies from H-E-double toothpick
  • I had the most delicious Lemon White Chocolate cookies

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A little bit of heaven

Or maybe it is better described as sunshine since it has lemon in it and is yellow - a lemon, white chocolate cookie! And it is heavenly and brings sunshine to my day.

This cookie is found at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. But here is the pathetic thing - I am starting to associate convention centers and hotels by the food! As the time to come to Buffalo approached I realized this is the location with the lovely lemon cookies and macaroni & cheese that tastes homemade. No biggie you think, until you ask me about Manchester - well it has fruit cups that you can only get on Saturday morning and the special thing about these is the maple syrup and cream that encases the fresh fruit. How about St. Louis - the BBQ place up the hill from the convention center (can't think of the name right now). I could go on and on.

But that doesn't stop me from thinking about what we'll be eating when we get to a location and well, Buffalo did not disappoint - the cookies brightened my day. And, we discovered there is coconut in them as well. Ah, heaven!!

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Today...

Nothing exciting. Went to work. Hung out with friends/family. Watched a movie. Wished I could stop coughing and blowing my nose. Finished my wash. Got my church assignment done for the week.

Just a normal day. But that's okay. Normal is good. Life is good!

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What would you do for marshmallows?

Yeah, I wouldn't do much either, but Cleo on the other had will do just about anything. Even the things she hates like baths and getting her ears cleaned. It's also a great way to get her to come in the house when she's barking, in the flowers that she's not supposed to be in, or stalling the breakfast ritual.

So, if you come to our house and see a bag of open marshmallows, those aren't for baking but for bribing. Marshmallows are a staple, just like flour, butter, milk, and eggs.

What are your motivators?

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Weeding memories

Today, not only did we plant flowers and weed our yard, but also we headed over to J's sister's house to help out. My assignment - removing a flowering weed that J called "the dearth" since it managed to spread everywhere. J handed me a tool that I have no idea what it is called, but it looks like a screwdriver with a notch in the end. You place it in the ground near the base of the plant and pop it out. Sometimes you have to move it around to different sides to get it loosened, but it is amazing how easily it plies those weeds from the ground.

As I worked, I remembered back to the first time I had seen this tool. It was several years ago and we were at J's mom's house in American Falls, ID. We had been helping around the yard, as was typical when we visited in the spring and summer. After weeding and gardening and cleaning out the sheds, J's mom said she wanted the dandelions gone from the front lawn. In my mind, I was thinking "why" since growing up those were plants we just ignored in our yard. But hey, I was game. I figured we'd spray them like we had other weeds. Imagine my surprise when I was told that they would be removed from the lawn, not sprayed.

You see, spraying could kill the grass around it and there's no guarantee the dandelion won't grow back. But if you remove it, well, it's gone so growth is not an option. J's mom handed me the tool and showed me the technique and sent me on my way. It's a very effective way to rid your grass of dandelions, but more importantly, every time I see that funny little tool, I think of J's mom.

She was an amazing woman who worked circles around everyone. She loved having us visit and made meals that you'd never forget - the homemade kind that filled you with love and comfort.

I'm grateful to have been a part of her life and for the things I've learned from J's mom - she loved me and readily included me and K in her family. I will always think of her when I see the dandelion tool and remember the day I learned how to rid a lawn of yellow, flowering weeds.

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Ten on the 10th

It's the 10th of June and I'm starting a new thing - ten things on the 10th of each month.

Today's list: Ten Songs I Love (no particular order)

  1. Hey, Soul Sister - Train
  2. Jive Talkin' - Bee Gees
  3. Smooth - Santana
  4. Mr. Blue Sky - ELO
  5. Thankful - Josh Groban
  6. Larger Than Life - Backstreet Boys
  7. Silly Love Songs - Glee
  8. Hallelujah - Canadian Tenors
  9. We Danced - Brad Paisley
  10. Angels - David Archuleta
What are some of your favorite songs? I'm always looking for new ones to add to my iPod.

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A question...

I've posted previously about my struggles with getting up in the morning (I'd much rather sleep in and stay up late). I think I've also talked about the need to exercise. So my question to you is do you like/love to exercise? If you don't but you do still exercise on a regular basis, what is it that gets you exercising?

Here's the reason for my question. I know I need to exercise - I'm slowly gaining weight that I really don't want and have already lost many times. I know that my health and stress levels are better when I exercise. But....I really am not a big fan of exercising. Not that I don't want to do anything rather I get bored easily and have an incredible skill - the ability to tell myself I'll do it later and then later doesn't come.

So, what is it that gets you exercising on a regular basis and how did you get yourself to enjoy exercising?

Thanks and I can't wait to hear from you!

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Are You My Mother?

A couple of weeks ago I started hearing a bird outside my office window. I couldn't figure out why it was so noisy especially since that area is nothing but rocks. But I was fascinated with it and so I'd randomly check to see what it was doing - which to me looked like nothing.

Last week, I realized the bird wasn't as vocal and that it was sitting in the rocks. She had made a nest!!! The bird is a Killdeer and they make their nests in random places, one of which is in rocks, and she had chosen outside our window to lay her four eggs. And not to leave the father out of the picture, he comes by and brings food for mom and I'm assuming takes his turn on the nest (at this point I can't honestly tell you which is the mom and which is the dad).

This sweet family has become ours to watch over and a couple of us are taking our jobs very seriously. Last week, I was typing away when I heard some banging on the window and realized the window cleaner was there. Then panic set in as I realized he was heading straight for the nest. I hustled outside and warned him about the nest and he carefully stepped around it (he was on a collision path so it was a good thing I let him know). Of course mom or dad was also there to try and steer him away from the nest, but not quite as successfully as I did.

After this close call and then the gardeners showing up, I felt we needed a permanent notice. So I created a sign and hung it in the neighboring office window, which is directly behind the nest. Would this catch your attention?

Sorry for the reflection on the window, but you get the idea!

Today I took a few photos of our little family. Unfortunately, mom wasn't very happy, but she settled back into nesting once I headed inside.

Mom on the nest
I'm getting a little close so she's moving away to distract me.
The four eggs, nestled amongst branches and rocks. Nothing like the comforts of home!
Mom trying to distract me.
Killdeer are famous for faking a broken wing in hopes the predator will follow them away from their nest.
The nest view from the office window - they're very well hidden (their on the right side, a little below center of the photo)
Mom watching us through the window, making sure we aren't coming after her babies again.
In researching Killdeers, they take about 24-28 days to hatch, so we're thinking we have about 2 to 2 1/2 weeks to go. I'll make sure and get photos of the babies when they arrive. Can't wait!!! Maybe we should hold a baby shower. What does one get a bird mother-to-be??

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Butterflies and Rhinestones on GTU

Monday was fun on Good Things Utah showing how to color clear rhinestones using alcohol inks from Tim Holtz. The technique is from one of the classes being taught at CK Scrap & Play (you'll also use the BasicGrey product I used for the class project).

Here's the link to the segment: Butterflies and Colored Rhinestones Card

The great thing about this technique is how versatile it is. I showed using alcohol inks on rhinestones, but you can use the inks on glass, buttons, tiles, and so much more. Pretty much anything that is non-porous (so it doesn't get absorbed). Typically I use the applicator Tim Holtz made, but I ran out of the felt squares and didn't have time to go get more, so I just squirted the color on the rhinestones. For this project, that worked. But if you are coloring a larger surface, you want to save on ink, or you want it to dry faster, I do recommend using the applicator. It gives you more control.

Now, if you're looking for a fun weekend escape, you really need to think about attending a CK Scrap & Play. There are three scheduled right now with a fourth in the works (can't announce it until the contract is signed). The three locations are Midway, UT (just outside Park City) on June 17 and 18, then Boise, ID on August 12 and 13, and next is Lancaster, PA on August 26 and 27. Registration is open for all three.

Each Scrap & Play includes cropping time with four people to a table (you can sit more if you want, but we set the tables for four), five classes spread throughout Friday evening and Saturday, a goodie bag with scrapping stuff, prizes, treats (as in the edible kind), and much more. Plus, there are a la carte classes you can take either Friday morning or at other times during the event (these have an additional cost associated with them).

So, if you're looking for an excuse to get away and scrap, use this one! Here's the web site with all the information: www.creatingkeepsakes.com/scrap_and_play

Hope you had a wonderful Tuesday!

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Feeding Frenzy

Typically I'm all in favor of feeding frenzy, as long as I'm participating in the eating portion of the activity. Unfortunately, this feeding frenzy featured me as the main course - mosquito buffet.

While working at the Provo Airport yesterday, we saw a lot of bugs, but I was ever so hopeful that they were of the gnat variety. At about 5:00 am this morning, I realized that at least some of them were not as I proceeded to itch and itch and itch and....well you get the picture.

I don't know why it is, but a group of us can walk outside for 5 minutes and I will come back with a mosquito bite and no one else has been touched. And not only do I get bit, but my bites often become the size of quarters. I'd like to think I'm extra sweet, but K once told me she heard a report that it had to do with something related to cow's breath (which she then inferred was what I must smell like - for rude!). No matter the reason, when I'm outside, mosquitoes think Christmas has arrived early!

After doing some quick research online for remedies, since nothing I've tried in the past has worked, I went with old reliable - hydrocortisone cream (not much help) and then moved on to new ideas: aloe vera gel, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol. Nothing has really made a big difference, although the vinegar did help some if I remembered to put it on every hour or so. But tonight I'm bringing out the big guns - Benadryl. And even if it doesn't stop the itch, I'll sleep well since it tends to make me dead to the world.

There you have it! The sad story of my day with 30 mosquito bites. And yes, I counted. When you itch this much, you want to know how many of the little beasts contributed to your demise. And yes, next time I'll take the repellant, even if I think it will be too hot or the wrong time of day for them to be out.

The lessons we learn from life.

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Quiz Time

This quiz involves text and photos. It isn't a hard quiz but does require a small amount of analysis.

What do you get when you combine 18 people, four trucks, plus...

The red object is a syphon

Sponge in water bucket


Okay, write down your answer. No looking at your neighbor's answer! If you wrote down Eagle Project at the Provo Airport, then you are correct!!! If not, I'm sure your answer was close.

Today dawned bright and early, especially considering it was a Saturday and you know how I feel about sleeping in. But today's endeavor was worth missing a few extra hours of sleep, it was time for Aaron's Eagle Project. This has been a long time in coming and at one point, we weren't even sure it would happen. So when Aaron invited us to help, we didn't hesitate in responding "yes"!

So what does one do for an Eagle Project at the Provo Airport? Well, in just a few short weeks the airport is expanding it's services by adding commercial flights. In preparation, the runway signs and lights needed cleaning (or as I fondly referred to it - depoopifying - the bird kind) and the weeds needed removing around the same signs and lighta.

We divided into groups, piled into four trucks loaded with cleaning supplies and weed eaters, plus work gloves, water, and granola bars and followed the airport manager to our designated work spot. Since this is an active airport, we could not leave our area without an escort, nor could we step past the lights onto the runways. No problem! After a quick 20 minute orientation, we spent a little over three hours cleaning and removing weeds.

Luckily, the weather was marvelous! Sunny, with a high clouds and a wonderful breeze to keep things cool. We worked hard, laughed, chatted, swatted at bugs and mosquitoes, and stopped working at the designated time of noon (or shortly thereafter). And, we accomplished a lot! The airport manager was very grateful (it took him and his son three days working 10 hour days to do the job we did today).

And best of all, Aaron has the work done he needs for his Eagle Project. We couldn't be prouder Aunties! It felt good to be a part of his day and to see him lead the group. Here's the group (minus two that needed to leave a little early and me taking the picture - I quickly volunteered for this assignment as my appearance was less than stunning since I spent a little time battling wet weeds with the weed eater and well, it definitely wasn't a look I wanted captured).



Life is good!!!

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Another week

Nothing exciting this week, but I'm still here to tell about it so that's good. This week...

  • I celebrated National Donut Day without even knowing it when I got a donut on the way to work
  • I bribed Cleo with marshmallows to get a cute photo of her
  • I felt like spring was here
  • I enjoyed walking the hounds in the morning
  • I ate a huge BBQ steak in honor of Memorial Day
  • I sent my doll to Australia for the doll swap

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Sneak Peek - GTU Project (Updated)

UPDATE:
I won't be on Good Things Utah until Monday. Breaking news took precedence over today's program so they had to bump things forward. Sorry!


Friday I have a segment on Good Things Utah. I don't want to spoil the fun, so here's a look at a piece of the project. Also, if you are a Law & Order: Criminal Intent fan, Vincent D'Onofrio is part the of the show, so make sure you watch or set your recording mechanism.

Check back Friday or Saturday for the entire project.

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About This Blog

My posts are random. They cover a variety of subjects, but are mostly about things I enjoy, am inspired by, or catch my attention at that moment. I don't ever want to offend anyone by anything I write. This blog is a way to express myself and the interests I have. I hope you enjoy what I share.

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