Friday, July 28, 2006

Lonely Loch Shiel

Sometimes I just want to sit and write. It's not always that I have something to write about, I think it's just that my brain wants to dump off excess BULK to make room for more. It's a NECESSITY, more-so than a want. It's a burning need.

Here's a little something I NEEDED to write on one such instance.

Lonely Loch Shiel

By lonely, Loch Shiel in the heart of Glenfinnan
Where waters do ripple and sheep graze all day
My heart swells with pride as I gaze o'er the water
I know that my clansmen beneath my feet lay.

'Twas war and much hardship that made such strong people
A fire in their hearts and deep pride for their land
Beliefs buried deep beneath blood, sweat and tartan
No fear in their eyes, with Claymore in hand.

As I stand on the shores of Loch Shiel in Glenfinnan
I whisper a prayer on the cool, highland breeze
I ask that their souls are all peacefully resting
Allowing their spirits to soar here with ease.

By lonely, Loch Shiel in the heart of Glenfinnan
Where waters do ripple and sheep graze all day
My heart swells with pride as I gaze o'er the water
I Know that my clansmen, beneath my feet lay.

{Copyright 1999}


This week's topic for Friday July 28th suggested by naomi:
"The vast and various sounds that surround us in our
studios and add to our studio experience.
What kind of music feeds your creativity while in your studio
or, perhaps it's sounds that fill the empty spaces while
in your studio."


Music is a necessity for me. It doesn't matter where I am, I NEED MUSIC! Unfortunately I can't always have 'my' music on. I have to share with my hubby and my 2 girls as well. My girls are into Barney, Wiggles and Kids Songs at the moment. While that's nice and cheerful for about 2 minutes, it soon starts grating on my nerves! I can only take Barney's vocals for so long!!
Wherever I go, along with me goes my Sirius Satellite Radio and my iPod Nano! I am a musician so I love all kinds of music.
In my studio, usually I choose Big Band crooners such as Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and my all time favourite, Bing Crosby. Their music is soothing to the soul and really gives my studio the ambience it needs for me to be 100% relaxed and creative.
I also love country music. Some of my favourite artists are George Strait, Tracy Byrd, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, The Judds....etc. I love 70's, 80's and early 90's country the best with artists like Roger Miller, Hank Snow, Merle Haggard and George Jones. That music doesn't really 'go' in my studio as it makes me want to get up and dance, so I save that for the car when I'm groovin' and also it keeps me awake!
Fun topic this week! It made me break out the iPod and upload some new stuff!
I can't wait until TAYLOR HICKS' CD comes out.... when that happens, THAT will be the main music in my studio for a long time! ;)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Manx Sherry Chicken with Mushrooms

This morning I was inspired by an old traditional Manx recipe.
It's what's for dinner!
Thought I'd share...

(Manx = Of the Isle of Mann)
8 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Mushrooms, fresh, sliced
8 Tablespoons Flour
1 3/4 cup Milk
1 cup Chicken broth
2 cups Chicken cooked, diced
1/4 cup Pimentos, chopped
1 oz Sherry
1 Tablespoon Parsley,
Chopped Toast

Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet.
Add the mushrooms and cook until limp.
Whisk in the flour and cook for 3 minutes,
stirring frequently.
Whisk in the milk and broth. Bring to a

Reduce the heat, add the chicken, pimentos,
and sherry.
Simmer for 25 minutes.
Serve over quartered toast slices, garnished
with parsley.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hershey, PA

I met up with my friend and her family in Hershey, PA. They drove out from Chicago, IL to go to a wedding in Buffalo, NY and decided to tour through PA on their way home. We met at Hershey's Chocolate World.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Neither of us had ever been there so it was adventure for all involved. We arrived a bit later than Tracie and her family did so we didn't go through the tour toegether. The tour wasn't all that great, it was a simulated tour and my girls weren't happy about 90% of it being in a pretty dark cavernous whatever it was. You get in line, see beautifully painted murals of Cocao trees and then shipyards and then go down the steps to a rotating floor. You get in a sort of car-type thing. Small kids were screaming the whole time. Mine were just stuck to us like glue. HA! Cracks me up. My 2 year old was a bit braver than the 4 year old but neither of them liked it. It was cute, it told the story of how they make chocolate. A bit too detailed for the girls attention span. My 2 year old liked the cow at the end who said to smile for the camera. That was the highlight for her.
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What they DID like was what came next. After the tour-ride thingy was over, they dump you off in the GIFT SHOPPE! HA! Folks, this is HERSHEY's CHOCOLATE WORLD, what do you think the girls wanted?? You got it!! CHOCOLATE!!! The gift shoppe had tons of chocolate. There was even chocolate that I had never seen before. My 4 year old got a little yellow bear holding a little bag of candy coated chocolate kisses, My 2 year old picked a little Hershey bear.
We found Tracie and her family! Though we were meeting for the first time, it didn't feel that way at all. We've been scrapbooking together (in swap groups) and have been friends on-line for YEARS.
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It felt like meeting up with a friend I see every day, it was awesome!! We hung out and talked a bit then we all went to ZooAmerica. It's a very small zoo with exibits that focus on the indigenous animals of the Americas. The cutest thing was a little owl that one of the zoo keepers was holding. My 2 year old was completely in awe.
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Tracie's boys and my girls got along great. It was cute to see them interacting and chatting a little. Too cute!!
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It was MEGA-HUMID but we strolled through the zoo, chatted, took pictures and when we were done, they left for their hotel and we left for home. Next time we'll book a hotel room, the drive (2.5 hours) was a bit ridiculous after a full day of playing and being out in the heat!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

{Studio Friday} 'Sidekicks'

This week's topic is "Studio Sidekicks" and it was suggested by my buddy, Debbie!

This topic is a fun one for me! I have several Studio Sidekicks and I would love to 'introduce' them to you!
This is my 14 year old Therapy Dog, Bailey. She's a grand old girl and is never more than 24 inches from me at any given moment. She's great at giving advise and letting me know it's ok to just hang out once in a while. Her calm personality is very soothing to my frazzled spirit at the end of the day. She inspires me with my more serious and intricate creations.

This is Zippity. She's the inspiration for all my silly art.
Her energy lends itself to my own crazy personality which makes for a really fun day in the studio (fun meaning MESSY!) She's always on the hunt, finding scraps of paper I drop and 'killing' them to be sure that they don't come to life and forge an army and attack!! Zippity appreciates silly and whimsical art and loves to help me create with her own medium...... MUD! I am forever wiping her paws before letting her in the house. She loves mud and thinks that every surface should have atleast a few spatters! If we gave her her way, she'd change the complete decor of the entire house!

This is "Dude". He's a 3 year old Red Eared Slider turtle.
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He's a very serious fellow. Most of his time is spent basking under his full spectrum UV light, looking at me like I'm COMPLETELY insane and sleeping. He lends very little to my actual creativity but he's a fun little companion to hang out with on the rare occasion that he actually DOES anything! (Come on folks, he's a turtle...what's he supposed to do, don a top hat a cane and a pair of tap shoes?!) He's cute and he loves being hand fed. Oh yeah!!! The mini waterfall in his tank is VERY soothing to listen to so I guess in a way he does lend a little ambience to my Studio.

Studio companions (whatever they may be) give our studios a splash of personality. I am, very much, an animal person and have one or both of my dogs with me almost all of the time. For me they are a feeling of security, inspiration and just plain silliness! They help me get my creative juices flowing and for that I'm eternally greatful!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Inspired by a friend's blog

I was inspired today by a friend's blog.
She posted about Taking responsibility, admitting fault and forgiveness. Her post reminded me of training I received, as a teen ager, from Tom Crum about the very same thing. I learned at a very young age that I am in control of myself. I am in control of my feelings, my emotions and my being. I am in control of my 'center' and that I need to take responsibility to act accordingly in order to keep 'centered' What is being 'centered'? "Centering is not an abstract term, but rather a practical tool available to all of us. We each have the ability to unify body, mind and spirit in a manner which will make us more relaxed, energized, and integrated than ever before. We can release stress rather than acquire it."
Being 'centered' means to me, that my mind and body are in synch and that I am in control of things. I am a control freak but I don't mean that type of control. I mean in control of what I let or don't let upset my balance.
Jacquie's blog entry really brought back memories of me sitting on the Aikido mat at Aiki Week, in Snowmass, Colorado, learning martial arts techniques that, at that time, DIDN'T even occur to me to be mind exercise. When we meditated, I usually found it extremely difficult to do so and my mind wandered. It usually wandered to conflict of some sort and I would get upset/angry that I wasn't able to be in the same peaceful meditation as everyone else.
I am rambling. Basically what I am saying is that certain things are just not easily done the 1st or 2nd time around. Patience, discipline, will power, self awareness, and even forgiveness are all things that are LEARNED experiences. We all beat ourselves up over those things and I learned from Tom, that it's OK because eventually our body and mind will be ready to learn to be in synch or 'centered' and that we won't have to go through life sweating the small stuff. Afterall, in the grand spectrum of life, it's pretty much all small stuff!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Funky Dream

Have you ever had a weird dream about someone you miss? I had one last night. Before I tell you about the dream let me give you a little history. It was about John. I was particularly close to him during my teen years and he made a huge impact on me. Sadly, he was killed in a plane crash in 1997 and a piece of me went with him. I've never felt the same after that. It's hard to explain. Of course I got past the innitial shock of it all but that piece of me, still remains missing.
Now onto the dream.
We saw eachother in a hotel lobby. We were staying at the same one at the same time. He and I were walking in a hallway. It was some sort of market place or open-air mall, I really couldn't tell which. It was, however, someplace foreign. {I think it was Israel because, of course, that's pretty fresh in mind right now with all the stuff going on over there. I was there in 1997, about a month and 1/2 before John died.}
The marketplace was humming with activity. There were people everywhere and it was very crowded. A few people recognized John but for the most part, we were left alone to walk along.
{Have you ever encountered smell in a dream? If I had before, I don't remember. I DID in this dream though. I could smell his cologne and the scent of his tan suede or leather coat. It was very, very vivid and I can still smell it now even when I remember parts of the dream.}
As we walked along, our chatter was animated and cheerful. I don't recall anything that we spoke about but it felt happy and warm. It was as if 2 people who hadn't seen each other in a long time were re-connecting. We were walking along, arms around each other chatting and as we walked past a particular merchant a man approached me {he was a mafia Don} and told me that I had a phone call. He pointed to a set of double doors. John sat down and waited, chatting happily with the merchant as I ran off to my phone call. As I walked through the double doors, I was transported into a gothic night club scene. [I knew exactly what it was because I hung out in the Goth-Vampyre crowd in my teens in Colorado and early 20s in NYC- shhh don't tell my mother!]
As I walked through the night club I kept looking for the phone. I remember walking past people I KNEW and others that I had to imagine! I walked past Medusa and her hair of snakes hissed at me, I walked past a guy dressed as a VW Beetle with a dashboard around his neck, I walked past a purple Fairy-Vamp and an array of other motley little groups of people. Still, I found no phone. I gave up. I got agitated because I started thinking that the mafia guy didn't really send me to answer the phone but he wanted something with John, so I hurried back to where I had left him and was relived to see him still sitting there, enjoying the company of passers by. He saw me, got up, excused himself and came to hug me. We started walking along, arms around eachother again and entered an elevator which took us outside. We were still hugging. He was talking quietly but now I can't remember what he was saying, I think it was something very comforting because I remember that neither of us wanted to stop hugging. I could smell his cologne and could feel the warmth of his arms around me.
{Well all good dreams must come to an end eh? At that point, my dog, Bailey, decided that she was going to howl for no obvious reason, and wake me up. *sigh* I wish she had waited a bit longer as I really wish I could remember what it was John was saying to me. The dream left me with a sense of comfort and in a very calm mood. I have been missing him for a long time and it was great to 'hug him' again after so many years. Ahhh.. the power of our minds. It's amazing the stuff we subconsciously think about!!}

I hope you have good dreams too!!
Does anyone analyze dreams? I'd love some feedback. What's with the Mafia Don? The openair marketplace? The elevator and the Goth Night Club?!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Trump Corporation

I guess I'm thinking too much. My dad passed away last June. He worked up until about 3.5 months before he passed away. He loved his job. He was one of 2 personal helicopter pilots employed by Donald Trump. My dad was in contact with Rich, (the other pilot) but I don't think he was on the up and up with the severity of his condition ( he had lung cancer that spread everywhere ). I think that he was in a sort of denial sometimes too, never really talking about stuff or giving me any indication of what it was he wanted or how to 'do stuff' after he was gone. I guess he and I are a lot alike in that we don't think that way and would find it pretty morbid to do so, so we block it out or we don't address the issue. Anyway...
I don't know what the word is for what I am feeling but it's not annoyed, angry or irate, it's not sad or depressed or hurt. I can't figure out what it is. But I think it's disappointment.
I am disappointed that his employer didn't even have the decency to call ( I am not talking about Donald Trump, himself. I am talking about the corporation as a whole.) No one called to give condolences, no one sent a note, no one even aknowledged his passing except by sending me forms to prove his death so they could do something with the life insurance and cancel his health insurance.
When my step-father passed away, HIS employer sent us their condolences on paper, in person and with flowers, AND he had been retired for a number of years before he passed away so we didn't really even expect them to, but they did. No, I'm not expecting a huge corporation like Donald Trump's to do this but I really am disappointed that they didn't even aknowledge the fact that my dad worked there, up close and personal FOR Donald Trump for many years by ferrying him here and there in the multi-millon dollar helicopter, going back and forth every few months to train and/or pick up a new helicopter and busting his ass being on-call 24/7 ready to drop whatever it was he was doing to go fly him somewhere.
My dad never had a bad word to say about Donald, EVER. But I feel like he wasn't even appreciated because we didn't hear one thing from him or his corporation. It's sad that while all along he thought he was being appreciated, he wasn't at all. His services appear to have been taken for granted. Very disappointing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Homegrown Tomatoes

Words and Music by Guy Clark
Sung by John Denver on the album "HIGHER GROUND"

There ain't nothin' in the world that I like better
Than bacon 'n lettuce 'n home grown tomatoes
Up in the morning, out in the garden
Get you a ripe one, don't pick a hard 'un
Plant 'em in the spring, eat 'em in the summer
All winter without 'em is a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin' and the diggin'
Every time I go out and pick me a big 'un

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be without home grown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and home grown tomatoes

You can go out to eat an that's for sure
But there's nothin' a home grown tomato won't cure
Put 'em in a salad put 'em in a stew
You can make your own tomato juice
You can eat 'em with eggs, eat 'em with gravy
You can eat 'em with beans, pinto or navy
Put 'em on the side, put 'em in the middle
Home grown tomatoes on a hot cake griddle

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be without home grown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and home grown tomatoes

If I's to change this life I lead
You could call me Johnny Tomatoe seed
'Cause I know what this country needs
Home grown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don't bury me
In a box in a cold dark cemetary
Out in the garden would be much better
'Cause I could be pushin' up a home grown tomato

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be without home grown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and home grown tomatoes

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sesame Place

Nothing beats the Summer heat like a nice dip in a cool pool! We went to Sesame Place for the first time. It was really fun!! It caters to smaller kids ( I'd say from two to about eight years old ) but it was a pretty good time for me and my hubby too. The girls had a complete blast and didn't want to leave! We stayed till closing and they enjoyed every, single moment!
There are various wading pools. Some have fountains in them and some are calm. Some are a little deeper than others, but none are deeper than about 2 feet. There are also rides ( kiddy type rides ) but the girls weren't even remotely interested. Their interest was with wading in the pools and having a splashingly-great time!

The girls 'won' some stuffed animals at a fishing game. Ellie is particularly proud of her little white baby seal. Mackie won a penguin and they were both content to leave the gaming area ( thank goodness! Because let me tell you, that gaming area is nothing but a MONEY PIT! )
The wading pools were 'THE PLACE' to be. Once we found the right one, the girls both didn't want to set foot on dry land.

Ellie liked the quiet tranquility of the more shallow wading pools. Mackie, however, liked the chaos and splashing of "Ernie's Waterworks" area. She did like the wading pools though because she could 'swim'

Ellie isn't quite as trusting of water as Mackie is so she was happiest just wading around, staying clear of all the splashing and commotion. Though she's a terror on dry land, she's very calm and docile in the water!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
If you have kids between the ages of 2 and 10, Sesame Place is definitely worth a visit. Be sure to go on a week day (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are best.) The crowd factor is lower and the pools aren't crowded. There's also a chance that you'll get a good spot to watch a parade or 2! I plan to return next week. When you buy a full-day ticket, you get a second day FREE. We took advantage of that and had our tickets validated. We can't wait to go back with the inlaws!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

{Sunday Scribblings - "Hotel Stories"

This week's prompt at "Sunday Scribblings" Is 'Hotels'
Mine this week is a short story that popped into my head when I read the prompt.

The Fallback

Bastogne was cold, rigid, and tense. The snow was falling and it seemed like it'd been falling forever. Private Hank Sommers, 'Doc' as he was called by his platoon, was in his foxhole, hunkered down, weathering the wind and snow. Night fell and the mortar and gunshots slowed. He found himself drifting off to sleep. Quickly he shoved his med-kit behind his back, leaned back and covered himself with the blanket. "What a joke!" he thought to himself as he felt the bitter cold biting him through his boots and gear. He shook his head and drifted into a foggy sleep. He awoke to the 1st mortar of the day. It wasn't your typical alarm clock but he knew it meant it was dawn. He rolled up the blanket and looked out. It was still dark but he saw movement in the next hole over. "Davies!" he shouted in a whisper. "Got any rations?" "No, nothin'." he whispered back. He slid back down into the foxhole and sighed. Then he remembered he shoved a piece of gum in his helmet liner. He quickly shed the wrapper and popped it in his mouth. "Well, better than nothin'" he grumbled under his breath.
The mortar hit about 20 yards in front of him. His gum fell to the ground and he jumped out of the fox hole, running toward the hit. A medic doesn't think, he acts. Doc listened through the gunfire and panic and heard the cry for help. He was there instantly, unwrapping bandages, sprinkling on sulfa powder and administering morphine. "Dammit!" he gasped. Someone had stolen his med-bag a few days ago and taken most of his morphine. "Dammit to hell!" he said as he grabbed his last morphine syrette and jabbed it in the soldiers leg. He then pinned the syrette to the soldiers lapel, and ran off to the next cry for help. Time stood still for the medic as he worked feverishly to attend to all the wounded through the gunfire and mortar attack.
The thick cover of clouds and snow made the day seem like night. The snow was a major hinderance as he slipped and slid as he ran from foxhole to foxhole, checking on the men.
Two hours had passed and he had assessed and treated 8 men, two of which had been sent back to an aid station. There was a lull in the cross fire. It was quiet. Somehow quiet wasn't comforting as it should have been. Doc was running on adrenaline. He finished treating the last man and sunk into a foxhole for a cigarette. As he lit the cigarette, he looked at his hands, cracked, cold and splashed with blood. He sat there, staring at them. The moment of quiet was enough to allow him to start thinking. Thinking wasn't good. A combat medic needs to be a machine, ever moving, never stopping to THINK. Thinking was a bad thing. He quickly got up, jumped out of the foxhole and ran to the next one. "Give me your morphine" he said. "Gave it to you last time, Doc." was the reply. Not saying a word he jumped out and ran to the next. He knew the lull in crossfire wouldn't last for long, he needed to get morphine before the next volley started. No morphine. "Dammit!" he grunted.
The lull of airplanes could be heard in the distance. With all that cloud cover, it was next to impossible to know whether the planes were allies or enemy. They all sat, hunkered down, listening.
"Hey Buster!" someone shouted out, "can you ID those planes?" Buster, instinctively looked up, only to see snowflakes and heavy cloud cover. He listened intently. "Not yet, too far away!" he shouted back. Buster was a 6'2, dark curly hair with blue eyes. His name was Jake Brown. His platoon nicknamed him Buster Brown and the nickname, 'Buster' just stuck. He and Doc Sommers were together since bootcamp. They were the only 2 left from their entire original platoon. Even though they were only 21 years old, they were the 'old men' of their platoon and the other soldiers looked up to them. War aged these men prematurely.
Doc Sommers needed morphine. He knew the lull was a temporary one and he wanted to use the time to stock up on much needed supplies. He popped out of his foxhole and ran to Stg. Blaine's. "Hiya Sergeant" he said, out of breath. Sergeant Blaine offered him a cigarette. Doc took the cigarette and tucked it in his pocket. "I need morphine." he said. "I gave you my only syrette..." "I know" Doc interrupted. I need supplies. I need them now. I'm out of morphine, I have a few bandages left but not enough." he said. "Can you send someone back?" he said, eyes ablaze, wiping the snow off his eyelashes. "Ain't go nobody to send." He said, taking a drag of his cigarette. "I'll go" Doc said. "I'll go, I have hardly any supplies, I don't have a gun and I can't do ANYTHING without supplies" he said rushed. He was surprised when the Sergeant said, "Alright, but be fast. Leave your med-kit with Hicks. Get what you can and high-tail it back down here. Be careful" he said Doc Sommers scrambled out of the fox hole, ran over to Hicks and dropped his med-kit in the foxhole. He croched down and said, "I'm running for supplies." And with that he vanished into the forest.
He knew his way to the field hospital. It was about 5 miles back. He had been there a few times, never walked it though, went by jeep last time. The snow was deep. The forest offered some cover and he had to be ALERT. There were enemy patrols everywhere. He was unarmed. He tripped and fell, landing on a branch that poked him in the gut. He let out a grunt, layed still and waited. Five minutes passed and he saw no movement. He got up quickly and kept trudging. "Damned snow." he muttered. His hands were on the verge of frostbite but he didn't even give them a second thought. His mind was on the morphine and aid supplies. Without them, he was completely useless. The idea of being idle or useless made him anxous. He picked up the pace and pushed on.
He heard voices. He was coming to the road and he saw the bustle of medical personell rushing in and out of a hotel. It was a beautiful, regal looking building. "Hotel Chantelle" was lettered on the front in gold. The woodwork was intricate and lacey. As he entered the lobby, the bookshelves were built into the wall and were stained a beautiful cherry. They were filled with hundreds of books. The lace curtains framed beautiful hand-crafted windows. On the floor were intricately woven rugs, obviously imported from Persia or possibly asia. The clerk's desk was a hardwood, carved in the same style as the outer carvings. Everything was so beautiful. For a moment, he forgot why he was there. The hotel was being used as a field hospital. He laughed as he shook his head, thinking that he sure wished he was at this hotel under different circumstances. He knew where to go, straight back, down the hall. "Sommers!" someone called out loudly. "Sommers!" he stopped and turned. It was Jed Handy, his old buddy from high school. "Well small world, ain't it?" Jed said "Well if it ain't Jed Handy!" Said Sommers. "Small world, indeed!" What brings you out to Hotel Chantelle?" he asked. "I am in desperate need of supplies. I'm out of morphine and running low on bandages and sulfa powder." he said, smile dropping off his face. "Well then, you've come to the right place. I'm the supply officer here. Let's go see what we can fix you up with." the men walked, side by side down the hall chatting home, old times and Mary Claire, The girl back home.
The explsion rocked the hotel. He fell to his knees, spilling the supplies all over the floor. He scrambled to recover them all and shove everything into his pockets. The second explosion was closer, it sent bookshelves in the lobby crashing to the floor. The chandelier fell and crushed a table chair. He looked around, found a door and ran. A mortar exploded in the street in front of the hotel. It blew off half the front and collapsed the second floor into the lobby. He ran around the back went in and started helping with the wounded. The hospital was being attacked.
They did all they could, moving soldiers to adjacent buildings, to the basement and trying to get as many out of the Hotel as they could. When they got the last person out, he quickly started back towards the lines. From across the street he turned and looked back. The front half of the hotel was completely gone. As he approached the woods, he heard his name, "Hank!" he turned around and saw Jed running towards him. "Here, take this back with you." he said as he handed him a few packs of cigarettes. "We have to move everything and can't take it all in one trip. Good luck out there." he said smacking him on the helmet, turning and running back to the smouldering mass that once was the Hotel Chantelle.
"yeah, good luck" Hank whispered to himself and disappeared back into the mass of trees from which he emerged not 20 minutes earlier.

Friday, July 07, 2006

{Studio Friday} - Playtime 7 Layer Salad

"... using 7 layers to produce a piece of art..."
Today's topic was suggested by Linda

When I saw today's topic I had to think a little bit. It's been a long time since I've layered in more than one or 2 layers. I went into my scrapbooking studio and sat with my old scrapbooks and perused through them. Not only did it really bring a huge smile to my face, seeing the photos of my girls when they were teeny-tiny babies, but I also found some layered projects to share for today's topic!

This is 1/2 of a scrapbook page I did 4 years ago! (that's how LONG it's been since I've layered more than 2 layers of anything!!) See the squares on the right side of this photo? They are called Serendipity squares. It's a technique which uses many layers of torn or cut pieces of cardstock, vellum or patterned paper. Here's how you make them:

What you'll need:
1. Random pieces of cardstock, vellum, specialty and/or patterned paper
2. Adhsive (I run pieces through the xyron before I tear them, it makes them easy to stick without fumbling with small pieces and glue.)
3. Optional - Rubber stamps, heat gun and embossing powder
4. Paper trimmer
What you'll do:

1. Take a base sheet of cardstock. Choose the papers you're going to want to use for the squares. Think collage.

2. Run strips through the xyron.

3. Tear pieces in random fashion. You can tear as small or large as you want.

4. In layers, start sticking down the torn papers on your larger base piece of cardstock. You can do this in as many layers as you want. Be sure to overlap some and leave bits of each layer showing so you can see pieces of each paper you chose.

* What I do is tear a sheet, stick it down, then go to the next one, run it thru the xyron, tear it and stick it down. This way you get a nice textured layer. There are no scrapbooking police so do whatever you want!!

5. Once you have your base sheet covered to your desired layering, if desired, you can now rubber stamp your image and then heatgun emboss it. Then you'll cut it with the paper trimmer. Cut into desired sized squares. What makes these really POP out to the eye is matting them. I like to double mat them with complimenting coloured cardstock. Have fun making them!!
July 6th 2006

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Motherhood = Punishment??

I apologise in advance. What you are about to read isn't organized, thought out and may not make a bit of sense. What it is, is a mother VENTING about the frustrations of having a manipulative control freak 4 year old. Read at your own risk!

What the hell did I do to deserve the B/S that goes on around here at bedtime EVERY SINGLE NIGHT? My 2 year old is a perfect angel when it comes to bed time. She, very happily, goes right in, brushes her teeth, goes potty, washes her hands and face and goes to bed. INSTANTLY. NO MUSS, FUSS OR B/S! You'd THINK that a FOUR year old would know how to behave?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Not in THIS house. Ya see, my 4 year old is a manipulative beast. She does this same B/S every SINGLE NIGHT. She pretends to have a stomach ache, doubles over in agony, screaming, writhing (she'd be a friggin GREAT EXORCIST ACRESS! If anyone knows any directors, send them this way!! ) acting like she's DIEING. (And no, she doesn't have anything wrong with her, we've had her checked, she's just manipulative because SHE doesn't want to go to BED!)
It makes me SO mad that I can't even enjoy the rest of my evening. She carries on for atleast 2 - 3 hours PAST BEDTIME. The other night it was past MIDNIGHT. AND NO, I DON'T CATER or CODDLE this B/S. I IGNORE IT. We've done everything, even gave her a chewable mylanta ( dr approved). She's perfectly fine. She's just a really manipulative personality. Whenever there's something SHE doesn't want to do, she automatically doubles over in agony. I swear people must think I'm the worst parent on Earth! I ignore the behavour but she's strong willed and she's screamed up to almost 5 hours. I can't go up there or I will explode and possibly say things I'll later regret. I am in such a foul mood that I can't even enjoy being down here even though she's been left to my husband's responsibility now. I want to EXPLODE.
I can hear her up there, and funny, the moment she walks into MY room and wants to 'explain to me about her tummy ache' and plants her ass on MY BED, MAGIC HAPPENS! SEE? Said Tummy ache magically disappears. Until, of course, her feet are back on the FLOOR and I am ushering her to her OWN ROOM. Then it magically reappears and wow, can you believe it? It's EVEN WORSE! Wow! How interesting! On MY bed = INSTANT CURE. Feet on the floor = WRITHING IN PAIN! Ok.. so maybe you think she's craving attention (wow you're good!) but... I could understand that If I was at work all day and she at school or my hubby at work but we're BOTH HOME ALL DAY EVERY DAY and SO IS SHE. We spend every waking hour together so it's not that she doesn't get enough attention. It's that she's a control freak, she's manipulative and she's a REALLY GOOD actress! (seriously folks, if you know anyone doing any casting calls for 4 year old drama actresses, she's the one they want! BELIEVE ME!)
I am so glad that I don't have blood pressure issues because I know that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, I'd have the highest blood pressure on EARTH and I'd have a stroke at least 4 times a week.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Two Peas in a Pod

Two girls, a little over a year apart. In the early years of growing up, pretty much despised eachother. "She's FOLLOWING ME!" one would tattle, while the other would exclaim, "She's LOOKING AT ME!" They grew up close, as close as sisters. Much of the time in the same house, fighting about who's doing this and who's not doing that. Tattling endlessly. One day, IT happened. Something changed, they clicked and that was it. 2 peas in a pod happened. They were inseperable. They found common intrests, talked endlessly for hours and laughed their butts off 24/7. All she has to say is "Flying Squirrels" or "My fish popped!" and all I have to say is "Dick Nash" or "Danang" and we're rolling on the floor laughing until we're practically crying!
We were inseperable for YEARS, always together, slumming (playing down by the Raritan River) swimming, watching Simon & Simon, and just having some sort of underlying understanding of eachother.
Though we live very far apart now, one on the West Coast and one on the East Coast, we are always able to pick things up where we left off immediately.
2 Peas in a Pod; 2 cousins, raised together, laughing, fighting and feeling just like sisters.