Bible Verse of the Day

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Another Transition

Life is nothing more than a series of transitions from one state of being to another. Sometimes those transitions are rapid and head-spinning, other times they are lost in the mundane of day-to-day life. As long as we are changing, we are growing. The latest massive transition is that my baby became a senior in high school yesterday. Today is the last day of school, but he was exempted from a number of his final exams and had his last one yesterday.

He's 17 and a bright, but lazy, young man. I always thought he was the bolder of our two sons, but I'm finding he's more timid about somethings than his big brother. Driving for instance. When DS#1 was learning to drive, he pestered us everytime we went to the car to be allowed to drive. DS#2 is afraid. He's worried about staying centered in the lane and the amount of traffic. We had a talk last night that if he wanted to get a job, he's going to have to learn to drive, and that learning to drive in this city, traffic is a fact of life he's going to have to learn to deal with.

If you have any suggestions on how to motivate a 17 year old boy to clean house, or at least his room, please let me know! LOL

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A New Look

I've created a new header for my blog. It's made from the Weeds and Wildflowers Celebrating Color Collection. They do some really cool work there. I'm still trying to get the look of my blog right, so bear with me if it looks different every time or has a problem. If you do see a problem, please let me know! I'm still trying to figure this stuff out.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Visiting Long Beach

Wow, two posts in one day! What's the world coming to? Anyway, I promised pictures from my visit to Long Beach. I went specifically to see the Queen Mary and found a few other things along the way. So I made a digital scrapbook page using a couple of the photos and a freebie kit from one of the faculty at 123-Scrap.

Even though there were clouds all morning, the sun came out late in the afternoon and I was able to at least the ship and the ocean. If you ever make it to California, be sure to plan a visit to Long Beach. It's beautiful.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Got to Meet Chris

I got to meet one of the scrappers I admire a lot, not only because she creates beautiful pages, but she runs one of the best scrapbook sites I have found. Chris is a really neat person with lots of stories to tell. She gave me directions to Redondo Beach where we had dinner on the pier and watched the sunset.

There's a bell bouy just off the end of the jetty that was hosting a number of sea lions. We got a kick out of watching them trying to get on it and falling off as the balance changed.

I had a great time visiting. We ate at Kincaid's out on the porch. And although it was a little chilly, we were right over the breaking surf which was relaxing to watch and hear. I don't know much about tides, but I think it was coming in because the waves were crashing higher up when we left than when we got there.

All in all it was a very pleasant evening and I made it back to the hotel without getting lost. Chris gives great directions. Even to the point of telling me about the way I was going and to not get confused. Which was a good thing because I'm not that familiar with California highways and I thought I was going the wrong direction for a time, but I hung in there and finally found it.

Today, I'm not sure what I'll do this evening, but I know I need to pack at some point to head home tomorrow. I got some scrapbook pages done on this trip. Maybe I'll pack up all my paper stuff and try some digi scrapping with the new pictures I've got. I'll leave you with one more picture of one of the fellows hanging out at the pier:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Travelling for Business

I am currently in Anaheim, California, taking a class for my job. I'm learning about clustering HP-UX systems with Serviceguard. Now if you know what that means, you're truly part of the geek-dom. If not, suffice it to say I'm learning an advanced computer topic.

The trip out here was really quite tolerable, considering what one must go through to get on an airplane. There was a little turbulence, but nothing that bothered me in the least. The only problem I had was that I couldn't clear my ears on descent and there were two of them! When they finally did clear, it sounded like there were Pop Rocks candy going off in my ears. The pressure was so bad both times that my eyes were watering and my hearing was going dim. I really thought I might burst an eardrum at one point. I was just hoping it wouldn't be both! I suppose I shouldn't have left home without taking some serious decongestant, but I did and that's what happens.

When I got to my hotel room, I had a throbbing headache from all the sinus and ear pressure and my ears were still popping. Even today, three days later, there's still some popping going on and I've even been taking Claritin-D religiously since Monday. I hope it clears up before I leave on Friday! Otherwise it's going to be a long flight home.

I spoke to my husband yesterday and he told me a funny story. Snickers, the big dumb dog, is afraid of lightening, thunder, water, cats, you name it. Well, on Monday night there was a thunderstorm. Ever since Tango died, Snickers has been an indoor dog, so he's fairly well insulated from storms, but the thunder still bothers him. Randy told me that DS#1 woke up Tuesday morning with Snickers in bed with him! That dog has never been on any furniture except the couch where Tango used to lay down. How he came to the conclusion that sleeping with one of the boys was an okay thing to do, but in light of his fear, I guess it was okay. What a goofy dog!

Last evening after class I drove out to Long Beach to see the Queen Mary. This is an oceanliner passenger ship that began sailing in 1936. I didn't go aboard, but I wanted to be able to say I had seen it. It's definitely a big ship. I'll post a photo later. I drove back down the Pacific Coast Highway just to be different and see what all the hoopla about the PCH is, but I got lost after I turned off of it to get to Anaheim. It's a good thing I had my trusty PDA loaded with mapping software because I was able to get my location loaded in and it took me right back to the Embassy Suites. Whew! I could have been lost for a long time or ended up in San Diego!

Tonight I'm going to Redondo Beach Pier to see the sights. It ought to prove interesting. One other place I would like to see is the Crystal Cathedral. I'll have to google it to find out how to get there. Hopefully I can make it by there in daylight to take some photos.

Finally, in closing, GO! SPURS! GO! ~ GO! SPURS! GO! ~ GO! SPURS! GO!

Friday, May 18, 2007

New Toy!

I got my Mother's Day present on Wednesday, a Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto lens for the Nikon D-50 my husband gave me for Christmas. There's still a lot to learn, but it takes some really awesome photos. The first event I used it at was the Jazz Band and Combo concert. They also had the ensembles going to State Solo and Ensemble contest perform. This picture was taken from near the rear of the high school auditorium and the flautists are near the front of the stage.

This photo is from the same seat, but DS is at the back of the stage. It's a little fuzzy, but the fact that I can get this close gives me encouragement to keep trying.

DS#1 took this photo of the baseball team before the game and after warm up. When I was paging through the photos he took, this one took my breath away. It still does even now.

I took this one on they way into the office from the parking lot. There is this huge flowering bush near the street that is covered with these blooms in the summer. It's a Mexican bird-of-paradise and it is quite lovely.

I still have a lot to learn about this new lens, like taking close-ups in the macro mode. Sometimes it just won't take the picture and I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

This is going to be a busy weekend. Tonight we're going to the baseball game to hopefully watch UTSA clinch sole possession of the Southland Conference Baseball title and DS#2 is helping set up a video display at the church. Saturday I have to take DH shopping to find something to wear to the Band Banquet tomorrow evening, then after the banquet I have to go to work, hopefully not for the whole four hours scheduled. This is our biannual cluster testing weekend that is mandatory for us to attend. The last two of these I participated in went 18 and 22 hours respectively. We've made a few changes to the environment and will hopefully keep it down to the four hours we're allotted. Then on Sunday there are two church services and then I leave for Anaheim, CA for training. I'm not sure, yet, when I'm going to pack.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mother's Day Follow-up

I just received a call from my father's SO. We have to call her that because they have no intention of ever getting married because of financial reasons, but I choose to call her my stepmother because she has stepped in for our family since my mother's death. I made cards for my stepmother and DH's stepmother. Mary called today to let me know how Daddy's surgery went to remove a polyp in his sinuses and when I asked if she had got the card I sent, she took off to find it. They live part-time in his city, part-time in her city, and part-time traveling around the country, so mail is gathered and stored. She had to go look through the box at Daddy's because she thought it was all his mail. Sooo...she loved the card and the sentiment, and Daddy's doing great.

We go with DS#1 tomorrow to meet with an accountant about getting his business set up properly. It's getting incrementally closer and closer to reality. I covet prayers and good thoughts coming our way for the success of his business. He's 20 years old and isn't afraid of failure. I suppose it's the certainty of youth, but I know he's going to make a good go at it one way or another. He's thought through so many different facets, he's getting accounts lined up, getting his sales force lined up, and has made a lot of good contacts in the field. My boy's growing up.

Monday, May 14, 2007

How Was Mother's Day?

My Mother's Day was not too bad, all things considered. On Saturday, DH took me shopping to get an accessory for my Nikon D50, which he gave me for Christmas. I got to pick out a Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto lens. It should be here next week, hopefully.

Then Sunday, I got to sleep later than usual for a Sunday morning since we decided to only go to Sunday School and the late service. We're usually at both singing or playing instruments. The youth group was serving "Momlettes." That's basically a casserole made with sausage, eggs, bread, and cheese. It was good. The son that's still in youth didn't actually serve me like the other youths served their mothers, but he was filling plates for everyone else, so that's okay.

Then right after church I got a text message from the older boy who was in Thibideaux, LA that said "Happy Mothers Day!" I sent back, "Thank you! I love you." and got back a "Love you, too." That made my whole day. Neither of my boys is demonstrative and they never tell us in words that they love us, but once in a while we'll get one of those and it's great.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my circle journal, which I'll be sending out tomorrow. I made an accordion book for this. I actually made two, but the first was only 6x6. I made a bigger one of 8x8 and put more pages in. I finished decorating it and creating some pages in my theme. I'm looking forward to seeing what other people put in and what they're sending my way to add to. This is a first so I'm excited about it.

I just came back from the ENT because of a niggling thing in my throat that the dentist couldn't see and it won't go away. He stuck a nasal laryngoscope up my nose (after some numbing) to look at my throat and vocal cords. After he diagnosed acid reflux and he was backing the scope out, he spotted the thing that I was referring to. Apparently there's an ulcer on my tonsil that, because of the acid reflux, may have started out as a scratch and got infected and won't heal. I'll be getting my antibiotics and Nexxium on the way home. What a drag! I have to give up caffeine and chocolate! Horror of horrors! What's a chocaholic to do?

Oh well. I go back in six weeks to see if anything's changed. Let's hope so.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Saga of the Hat Continues

Last night was our son's last concert of the school year and the one where some awards are given and seniors are recognized. The concert was very good. There was SO much improvement in the sub-nonvarsity band (the nice way of saying the bottom band).

One of the things that the band directors did was get together and award prizes to the parents who helped with the Battle of Flowers Parade. (See my previous post about that.) One dad was named best marcher and his prize was a pair of purple flip-flops. Another dad was named best medical person and his prize was a small first-aid kit, which was very funny because he's a nurse. I won the prize for best hat. Guess what the award was? A purple foam visor! What a hoot! There were a few other prizes, one for thirstiest parent and another for the parent needing the most fanning. The other really good one was the most enthusiastic parent award. The band director asked if there was any question about who won that one. Of course everyone yelled, "Buck!"

If you want to see the winning hat, check it out in this post.

I hope you all have a very wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Are you Left-brained or Right-brained?

Now I know why I'd rather be scrapping than working:

You Are 30% Left Brained, 70% Right Brained
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.
If you decide to do this, let me know which side of your brain you use most. Have a great weekend!

What kind of donut are you?

I got this from one of my 123-Scrap friends. It's scary, but she and I are the same kind of donut. She read one of my other blog entries at and said that she would have had most of the same answers.

You Are a Boston Creme Donut

You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.
But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.
You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.
You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.

Check it out and tell me what kind of donut you are.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Travelling to California

I just posted to my friends at 123-Scrap that I'm going to be going to Anaheim for training for my work. I'm very much looking forward to meeting Chris, so I hope we can arrange to meet one evening.

I really like the company I'm working for because they are not afraid to send people to training. I've been here for a year and a half and this is my third training class. At a previous company we had went through some tremendous changes and I learned from one of our vendors' seminars that one way to keep morale high and the workforce engaged was to train people often. The last company I was at was not real big on training and it showed. Here, the company is now going through the same kind of changes as we prepare ourselves for competetion in the market (we've been legislatively protected for a while, but see that ending in the next five years) and management understands the need for increased skills and retooling for some folks. I'm so glad they recognized it.

DS#1 News
There's good news on the DS#1's school front. He's in the middle of finals this week and called a little while ago to tell me that if he makes a "C" in his last class tomorrow, he will get to stay in college. He's got a pretty good shot at making the grade because it's a geography class and the final is not a cumulative, so it's only over the last two chapters. He also told me that he's got the bill for next semester. He'll be taking 13 hours, but I get sticker shock every semester. The cost for him to go to college is just about 10 times what it was when I went. He's at a state university and we'll pay $3100! Augh!

Anyway, he's getting ever closer to opening his business. We looked at a store location a few weeks ago and he submitted changes to the lease agreement yesterday. He did ask me to call my father (his primary investor) to ask for a check. Daddy's already agreed to fund DS#1, but hadn't sent any money, yet. We should be getting the money soon, though, so that he can secure the store location and start getting inventory. This is really going to happen! I'm so excited for him.

DS#2 News
School will be over for DS#2 soon. He's finishing up his junior year in high school. I'm starting to get a little emotional over it as he's about to start his year of "lasts." Fifteen more days and he starts his last summer of high school. They grow up so fast. I remember taking him to kindergarten on his first day. He was so small and so cute. I never cried when the kids went to kindergarten because they had been going to daycare for many years by the time they got there, but I have a feeling it will be different when my last child's last year of high school starts.

I made a couple of Mother's Day cards last night for my stepmother and DH's stepmother. I forgot to scan one before I sent it, but that's okay. I remember how I made them and I might make some more. I bought some of the most awesome papers at Costco last week. They're handmade cotton/silk papers that have some of the most gorgeous designs and delicious textures. My circle journal is made out of some of it. I used the papers on a couple of layouts and I used some more for the cards I've been making. I like the black pack and the neutrals pack so much that when I went to Costco again yesterday to get TP and saw that they had three other kinds, I jumped on them. I now have five different sets of this handmade paper. I'm so happy! Doesn't take much, does it?

Well, that's what's going on in my life for the moment. I hope you're having a great day. Be sure to leave a comment if you read this, just so I know if anyone besides Suzanne and Ginni are reading it. Thank you!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Post-NSD Trauma

This past Saturday was National Scrapbook Day and I particpated. Man did I participate. I'm so tired this morning that I can hardly type. I had a great time participating in the NSD cyber crop. I didn't get as much done as I had planned, but I learned some new techniques and stretched my scrapping wings quite a bit. You can check out my gallery at's gallery. I just have to show you what I'm most proud of here, though. This is a two-page spread about mine and my son's participation in two major Fiesta events: The Battle of Flowers Band Festival and the Battle of Flowers Parade. The left side contains the program from the Battle of the Bands and the right side has the participation patch and some pictures. By the way, his high school band won the Battle of the Bands and best entry in the public school section of the parade. Proud mama? You bet!

Now, doing the two-pager didn't really stretch me, but this one did. I had never made an ATC (Artist Trading Card), but it was brought up as a challenge this weekend and I thought, what the heck! This is my first ever ATC:

This picture was taken in 1991. Oh so long ago and so much hair ago :-).

Part of the reason I'm so exhausted this morning is that I stayed up late both Saturday and Sunday nights. Saturday I was up late downloading NSD digital freebies from all over the 'Net. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of it, but I got some really cool stuff!

Y'all have a great day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tribute to Tango

Today was a sad day to start with. We had to put our beloved dog, Tango, down because of her failed kidneys. I've had pets die before, but this is the first time we've had to make the decision to have one euthanized.

Tango came to us about seven years ago when my brother called and asked if we wanted a dog. His neighbor had two Australian Cattle Dogs and wanted to give one away. He told us it was a Blue-Tick Heeler. I looked for one online to see what they looked like, but couldn't find any good photos. A few weeks later, he and his girlfriend (now wife) brought Tango from where they lived. When she walked in my first thought was that she was the ugliest dog I had ever seen. She came trotting in and made herself right at home.

We took her to the vet to get her checked out and vaccinated and fixed. Probably the best thing we ever did because we didn't know her pedigree, if she even had one, but the vet fell in love with her immediately. She had two ACD's herself one blue and one red. Turns out that Tango's brother, Cash, was a red. Tango was a good dog, although she had trouble with incontinence in the house once in a while. I could count her accidents on two hands over many years.

We tried several times to get her a companion to play with in the yard during the day, but never had much luck. Our son watched someone dump a Rottweiler on our street that we took in and named Daisy, but Daisy wouldn't ever let Tango get to the food, so we sent her to a Rottweiler rescue place. Whenever we dog-sat for our son's cello teacher, Tango would have a grand time with Ella, so we knew she needed someone to play with. Then, when the cello teacher's wife rescued this big, dumb mutt from the middle of the freeway in a rainstorm and couldn't keep him, we took him in. Snickers has been Tango's constant companion for about three years now.

After several months, we noticed that Tango had lost a LOT of weight and seemed to be getting sluggish. We took her to the vet and about $1200 and a week in the hospital, it turned out that she had renal failure. They were able to jump-start her kidneys so that she was producing urine, but she had to be on a special diet for life. And she would need subcutaneous fluids when she started getting dehydrated. Not a problem. We found a nearby vet that could supply her food because her regular vet was miles from home. And we have a friend who would provide us with saline when we needed it. She was a happy, semi-healthy dog that was a member of the family. We found out last year that Cash had just withered away and died. We surmised that it was probably the same kidney disease that went untreated because they described exactly how Tango looked the first time.

Last week, she suddenly got bad. I was able to get a bag of saline from the first vet's office (the new one wouldn't let me administer at home) because our friend was not longer in a doctor's office, but at a hospital. Three days in a row I put in 250ml and she actually seemed to look forward to getting it, where before she hated having the needle stuck in and sitting still for 20 minutes. Those three slugs of saline looked like it would do the trick, but on Sunday I had to give her the last of the saline I had and by Monday morning, she wouldn't walk. I had to drag her out of the dog house to take her to the vet. She hadn't eaten in at least four days, by then and force-feeding canned dog food didn't even work.

When the vet looked her over, she had ulcers in her mouth and had lost about 25% of her body weight. She had a severe kidney infection and no output. They started her on IV antibiotics and IV fluids, but she kept throwing up overnight. Her blood tests came back as some of the worst he'd ever seen, I think. Much higher than he expected. When he called this morning, he gave me three courses of action. Spend even more money and hope it worked, keep her comfortable one more day and re-run the labs, or euthanize her. DH and I talked it over and then called the vet for clarification. He gave her a 15-30% chance of recovering enough to live on antibiotics and special diet the rest of her life. He didn't encourage it, but it was clear that for Tango's sake, euthanasia was probably the best choice.

We made the decision. It was hard. We still have to tell the boys. And we have to figure out how to keep Snickers from being too lonely. He used to be someone's housedog, so keeping him indoors while we're there isn't a problem. We just have to get ourselves over the pain of having to make such a difficult decision and the consequences that go with it. We've lost a close fur-family friend, but at least we can say we gave her the best life we knew how. Rest in peace, dear puppy.