On mountain mornings the wood smokes curls round and round

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Daze

Man on man we have had the snow. Several feet and still snowing. School has been closed since Tuesday and there is a real question about tomorrow, the last day before Christmas break and the end of the semester. The high schools have missed their finals. But, it is a winter wonderland as it has been a wet snow. Here are some pictures.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that Christmas holds promise for you and yours.

Enjoy your eggnog but remember this: Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously!

Have a good one!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thought I was recovering!

Yes, I definitely thought I was a recovering digital scrapbooker....but no I'm still addicted! Was reading Jessica's new class offerings and I want to take about 4 of them. Yikes! I might even consider the new hybrid class. After taking Stories in Hand I found I missed getting my hands dirty, inky, gluey etc. As I now have the full blown version of Photoshop (CS3), the new digi techniques is a must. I could go on and on but why? Suffice to say that Jessica and her classes are the best! I have been taking Daily Essentials at Big Picture Scrapbook and while it is fun it just doesn't seem as personable.

This picture is of my two eldest grandsons. We took them to Baskin and Robbins one day after school. They are in th 5th grade and kindergarten. LOL they can never wait to get their belts off.

I will leave you with this wonderful thought. Feel free to use it often.

I am not a nag. I am a motivational speaker!

Have a good one.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

long, longer, longest!

Well this is the longest I have gone without posting. Please spank me! I stared working again on September 8th and although I only work two days a week it has slammed me. Then I got the flu and was sick for 10 days. Now, I am surfacing and hope to be more regular with this. I am also taking a digital photography class through the school district to get re-certification hours. It meets thursday night for three hours. Have just finished the 7th of 10 sessions. Oh, and speaking of sessions. I have been playing at a local Irish bar every Sunday night in "Sessions". Sessions is a group of community people who get together and play tunes much as they do in Ireland. I play the bodhram (Irish drum). It is a lot of fun. We also went to a festival in a town about 100 miles away to play for a weekend. So I guess I have been busy! So there! I m going to post one of the pages I did for both Type+Writer at Jessicasprague.com and for my digital class. The pictures were taken at the high school where the class meets.

This will be it for today. I hope some folks are still reading my blog and if so I leave you with this thought as it is my birthday month and tonight makes the third party I'm going to for it! Guess I'm just a party animal!

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but instead to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, and screaming WOOOHOOO what a ride!!!!!!! "

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I sold a photo!

I went to the fair grounds to pick up my photos at the end of the fair and lo and behold one of my photos had sold! This is so exciting. Here it is:

This is the salmon that my hubby caught off the Sitka, Alaska coast. We were there visiting friends and we were on their boat. I priced it at $75.00 as I knew hubby would want to keep it and well the rest is history as they say. (BTW who is "they" ? Am thinking of doing a blog on the famous "they" or infamous as the case may be...but I digress).

I had lots of fun entering in the fair. My eldest grandson also entered in the youth division. He won a second for his black and white and a thrid for his color photo. I will post them here now. I think they are great.

He was excited to get the ribbons and see his work displayed. This will help him keep his interest up in photography. I gave him my digital point and shoot with I got my Nikon D40, as he has always liked to take pictures and seems to have a great eye. He is 10 years old ( 9 when the pics were taken).

I will leave you now with this thought:

Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.

Have a good one.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


This photo won 3rd place at our County Fair out of 57 in the category. I matted it and framed it and called it Farmer's Hand. I am really excited. I will give it to my father-in-law for his birthday which is September 5.

I entered three photos the other two didn't place. This is the first time I've entered in the fair. My grandson entered two photographs in the youth division and took a second and a third. He was very excited too.

The fair is over at 4pm on labor Day and I can pick up my photos then.

Food for thought:

Slugs have four noses.

Have a good one.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rumors of my death are premature!

I am back!! Boy it feels good to be back home again. The best part of the journey is coming home and resting your head on your old familiar pillow. We spent the month of June on a trip to the Northwest and Alaska. What a great adventure that was. We drove up to Bellingham, Washington with stops in Idaho to have lunch with my cyber friend, Heather and Leavenworth, Washington to eat at our favorite restaurant, Andrea's Keller, visit the shops, go to Icycle Ridge Winery (we are members of their wine club) and stay in our all time favorite B and B, Abendblum Pension. We took the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry to Sitka, with stops in Ketchikan, Wrangle and Petersberg. We stayed in Sitka a week with our good friends, Brian and Lois. What an incredible town! We had so much fun. After arriving back in Bellingham we drove to Keystone and took the ferry to Port Townsend to shop and photograph the gardens at Holly Hill House B & B where we stayed in 2005. Then on to Sheldon to have dinner with Kurt's old school friend, Toni Ann and her husband Mike. From there it was on to Yachats, Oregon where we rented a beach house for three nights and our friend, Kelly came over from Lebanon, OR and stayed with us. Then to Ashland, OR to take in a Shakespeare play and then on the road home. Whew! We then did our annual Celtic Festival, our week with the whole family at the cabin and then I went to scrapbook camp. What a great summer. The grandkids started school on August 14 so that really signals the end of summer for us. While in Sitka Kurt got his Salmon. He was lucky to get it as the fishing was really bleek due to the unseasonably cold weather and water. I'm posting the scrapbook page. Enough blather for now.

I leave you with this thought for the day:

Most lipstick contains fish scales.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Passage

My eldest grandson has finished the 4th grade. He has been with his teacher for 4 years and next year he will go to a new school and have a new teacher. This has been a hard time for him. He came over this afternoon to go through the steps to take care of the cat while we are gone for the month of June. I took some pictures out on the stump. I have pictures of him at the end of each school year since kindergarten. He was very subdued today but he will get over it as only children can.

We leave early tomorrow morning for our trip. We are driving to Bellingham, WA where we will board an Alaska Marine Highway Ferry for Sitka. We will stay with friends in Sitka for a week. On our way to Bellingham I will get to meet my cyber friend Heather in Nampa, ID. While in Bellingham I will get to meet my cyber friend Becky. This is very exciting. The internet certainly makes the world a small place. After our return to Bellingham on June 20 we will visit with friends near Olympia WA and then drive down to Yachats OR where we have rented a beach house for 4 nights. Another friend is coming to stay with us. My husband met him on line 10 years ago when they both started flying Red Baron and participating in cyber WWI combat missions. Something they continue to this day. We have met him in person before and look forward to seeing him again. It is sad, his wife died just over a year ago and he is now just starting to get out and about. We are so glad that we will be near to his home and that he is coming to stay with us. After Yachats we will go to Ashland OR for a couple days for the Shakespeare Festival. Then we will come home through Susanville CA to Reno NV and down to Tonopah for the night and then through Vegas and home the next day. Whew!! Can't wait, have been counting the days. I will have many great photos I am sure.

I leave you for awhile with these things to ponder:

One quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet.
Penguins can jump as high as 6 feet in the air.
Pollsters say that 40 percent of dog and cat owners carry pictures of the pets in their wallets.
Reindeer like to eat bananas.

Have a good one.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Wow where does the time go. I have definitely been absent too long for this blog and my dear friends who read it. No excuses. I just am getting busy. Am tryng to finish up a scrapbook for my sorority and made some digi Mother's Day presents. I will post a couple at the end. My high school is having a reunion this summer. We have them when anyone is in the mood to organize one. They are great fun and they are always in Phoenix, which is only a 140 miles from me. But, I can't go to this one as it is June 6-8 and we are leaving on vacation on June 1 and won't be home until June 27. My high school friend, Linda is organizing this reunion and she sent this out to all of us.

OLD AGE, I DECIDED, IS A GIFT I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body; the wrinkles, the baggy eyes and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long. I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avant garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

Here are a couple of the digi mother's day present's I made:

These are 6 by 10 story boards and they look so good framed. They are of my two youngest grandson's and I gave them to my daughter-in-law for Mother's Day.

So as you reach for that second cup of coffee remember this, non-dairy coffee creamer is flammable. Good excuse to use the real stuff. :)

Have a good one.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

For Susan

My devine digi diva, Susan, asked me to post one of my layouts here so she could see it better. So here it is. I have been really busy but I can't for the life of me remember everything that I have been doing. One thing is that I am going back though all my Jessica class videos and making them again with my CS3 and that is time consuming. I went to a nice dinner last night with my Beta Sigma Phi ladies for our Founder's Day celebration. It had an Italian theme and I ate way too much!! This mornng I went to breakfast with DH before he had to go to his financial forum, and I guess my biggest news is that I bought a Wacom Intous Tablet 6 by 8 today from the Acadmic Super Store. I got a smashing price that I just couldn't pass up. It is refurbished with a 1 year warrenty and was told it is just like new. I trust the store so is ok. LOL will be here in a few days. Here is my lesson 4a that Susan wanted me to post:It is of my DH and we had a great time taking the photos. I think the layout is amazing and thank Jessica Sprague for the great instruction on this one. Here is another that I did for the Saturday photo challenge. We had to scrap around a word as the theme, mine was Focus and then do the layout in 30 mins. I used lesson 3 from my first class with Jessica, Up and Running and did it using my CS3. We took our 2 youngest grandsons to a city event at the park called Soar into Spring. They loved seeing the kites and playing all the games set up for the little kids. We had fun too!Another of my devine digi divas, Anke, has started a blog, link up to her over there---->

Since spring is here and summer is approaching here is something that you need to know:

Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Honey I'm home!!! again

It is good to finally have my puter functioning. The good news I have to share with you is that I am now on the CT for Green Elephant Designs. I have linked our CT blog to this blog so that you can all go and check out all the great pages that we are making for Nicolina. Her blog is: http://greenelephantdesigns.blogspot.com/ check this out it has links to all her stores. I will be doing pages from the Black Tie Affair kit. (NO, it is not I who pirated it. LOL). Here is a page I made from a welcome mini kit that she gave to the CT. This is a cute kit and maybe she will expand it and put it in the stores. It is called: Frou-Frou.Here is another page I made from her great Black Tie Affair kit.

I will leave you today with two interesting facts:

A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

A cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off.

Which makes me think that we need to cross a dragonfly with a cockroach and either the roach will only last 24 hours or the dragonfly can cut its head off and live several weeks. Either way works for me.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My computer is dying

My computer is taking its last breaths. I don't know if I should stand up and cheer or just sit here and cry. I need a new hard drive. I have used up all my C: Main space. I don't have enough left to run my photoshop program to do my scrapbook pages, that is the bad news. The good news is that I have a new hard drive waiting in the wings to have my DH install. It is 100 gig so I should be good and I have recently installed in my external bay a 300 gig storage unit. I have transfered folders to that unit and have exported my favorites to that unit and I think I've done all that I can to get ready for the hard drive move. But, it is still a scary prospect. We have WindowsXP to DL onto the new hard drive, hubby says he knows how to get my Eudora email back up and running. I will not have Word but I have information about a program like Word that I think I can use so as to not have to buy Word(Office Suite) again. It ticks me off that you can not just get Word, you have to buy the whole blasted program for big bucks. I have contacted my organizer (ACDSee) and will be able to re-install that with their help as it was a DL from on -line. I have my Photoshop Elements that I can re-DL. I will loose my photos organized in those nice catagories but that can be redone. All my photos are safely tucked away in my external. So, we are just nervous to do it. We feel that nothing can go wrong but that is the time to worry, right? I will take one last look at everything and see if I need to tuck away any other folders and then it's audios old 20 gig hardrive. Keep your fingers crossed for me ya hear? Here is one of my latest pages to share with you before I reach the point of no return with the transfer. This is a page for my Digi: In Deep (DID) class from week 2. ( I can't do week 3...not enough memory to run photoshop) These pictures were taken about 37 years apart. Infact, I am pregnant with Kristen in the first photo, although it doesn't show. She will be 37 in August....ummm maybe she is getting old enough where she doesn't want her age blabbed around. So, you didn't hear it from me OK?The following is a page I made from my own template..heck yeah! This is the first template I have ever made..thanks Jessica for giving me the skills to do this.

So before the day wanes futher I will do a final check "under the bed" as it were to make sure I haven't left anything behind on my old hard drive and bid it adieu.

I leave you with this thought: "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila"

Have a good one!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Dear, Wonderful Bessie

My grandmother was indeed my soft spot to land. Here is a tribute to her. This page was made for the intentions challenge at http://www.jessicasprague.com/ Digi: InDeep class. I had no photo, so the journaling is an attempt to "show" her to you.
My Grandmother Bessie was always my soft place to land. No matter what the childhood tragedy she could wipe my tears and make me happy again. She was what we would call an old fashioned woman. She was always “presentable” even around the children. She would sit in her rocking chair and darn socks and hum a hymn. In the evenings she enjoyed her radio programs. It was such a joy to be allowed to snuggle up on her feather bed and listen to all the programs with her. We would listen to Mary Worth, The Green Lantern and The Shadow. I would sit quietly and wait for her to “rid” up the kitchen because I knew a story would be coming soon. She told wonderful stories of her youth growing up in Alabama. She told of going to see her grandmother on the old plantation, she told me of my mother when she was a little girl and she told me of her dear husband whom I had never known. Her great pleasure in life was going to church and Sunday school. She loved singing in the choir and I loved those old hymns. Today I will hear one of her favorites and just be totally lost in memory. My love for her knew no bounds. She died when I was a freshman in high school. My world stopped for awhile and I thought it would never begin again. It did though, but there is still a small hole in my heart that never healed and on chilly nights when I snuggle in bed with one of my grandsons and he wants to hear the “old” stories then she is there with me reminding me that as much as things change they remain the same. I am the grandmother now. I am the soft place to land and my stories are the “old” stories. Thank you Grandmother Bessie for being the world to me and for teaching me what it truly means to be a grandmother. I could not have had a better role model.
On the light side regarding granmothers (of which I am one):
A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween. -- Erma Bombeck
Grandmothers are the people who take delight in hearing babies breathing into the telephone.-- Author:Unknown
Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you're just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. -- Pam Brown
Have a good one.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Remains of the Day

Been awhile since we got together, hasn't it! I have been either incredibly busy or entirely disorganized or both. I will go with the "Or both". I have some Easter pages to share with you and a list of 10 things I love right now. Last Monday, March 31, I started Jessica's advanced class, Digi: In Deep and the ACDSee organizing class. No, I have not lost my mind it's backed up on a disk somewhere. But, it has been over-whelming. We went to Prescott this week-end to see Bill Cosby. He was preforming a one-man show at Yavaipai Community College. He was absolutely the best. I about wet my pants laughing so hard at his sketch about Stovetop Stuffing.
We made a week-end out of it and stayed at Prescott in the Pines B&B. The weather was nice but windy.

Here are the Easter pages:

The grandkids went to Camp Verde for Easter with their other grandparents so my girls had to take the pictures. I found some good ones to use on these two layouts. They are my first layouts for my Digi: In Deep class.

Here is a layout I made for a challenge at SugarPlumPaperie. It was really fun to do.

And so as this day wanes I leave you with a remark from Bill Cosby: "Civilization had too many rules for me, so I did my best to rewrite them."

I think I resemble that remark!!

Have a good one.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I can be serious!

Seriously, dude, I have a really deep well of seriousness in me and sometimes it escapes. I try hard to keep it in but....well you know it can just come blasting out with both barrells firing away. Seriously, this can and does happen as it did this past Monday. Our challenge for the week at Jessica's playground was to create a page with the theme, "I want to remember this". We had to take a picture that day in natural light. I had hubby take a picture of me on our deck. When I started doing the page journaling all this seriousness just came seeping out of every pore and here is the result.

The journaling reads:

I want to always remember how beautiful this day was as I stood on the deck with the sunlight falling gently on my face and the breeze whispering in the trees. My husband smiled as he took this photo today and our eyes met. The light in his eyes shown through and years of memories swept over me. I rocked my babies here. I saw my mother for the last time here. I've held my husband's hand here on a soft summer night and watched my grandsons play here. The sunrises and the sunsets have been witnessed by me at this very spot. The snow has been shoveled and the icicles have fallen here. God has touched my heart and this place. May I always remember the moments of the past, the delight of the present and the promise of the future. Will you help me remember if I should start to forget?

Here is an interesting fact: A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside. There is a neighbor boy I should take on safari!

I guess all that seriousness just crawled back inside.

Have a good one!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lions, Tigers and House Cats OH MY!

This blog is dedicated to my Digi friend Veevs the Peruvian (htp://veevstheperuvian.blogspot.com), friend of cats.

Gary Smith said,"Everthing I know I learned from my cat. When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet's, pee on your owner." But, really nobody ever owned a cat. My house and I are here solely for the convenience of my cat. Her name is Pepper and she is 18 years old. Trust me, she knows exactly what time I want to get up and starts loudly meowing 30 minutes prior.

I used to have a dog and I learned this about cats from that experience. Dogs come when they are called. Cats take a message and get back to you. Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God. Cats are smarter than dogs too. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through the snow. It's possible to herd dogs but have you ever tried to herd cats. YIKES!

I like to watch my cat around people. The ones she doesn't care for she totally ignores. There are times I try to emulate that behavior. She has also been known to hiss at and scratch people whom she especially hates. Now I think there is something to be said for that.

Cats are truly beautiful creatures. The ancient Egyptians used to revere them as gods and trust me cats have never gotten over this.

Gotta go my cat wants to sit in my lap but not here ofcourse; over there in her favorite chair in the sunshine. How do I know this? She told me. Cats can produce over 100 vocal sounds to tell you exactly how they really feel.

To quote Dan Greenberg, " There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a same person."

Oh by the way I learned this from personal experience. Never hold a dust-buster and a cat at the same time.

Have a good one!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This and That the Sequel

I've had a cold this week and I hate that. Was hoping to get through the winter without the "mother of all colds" this year but no such luck. We have had some really nice days this week up into the 60s but now it is snowing again. Flagstaff gets more snow in March than any other month but we forget that every year as we are so ready for spring. We get snow in April too and as memory serves me there is usually snow on the ground at Easter whenever it is.

I have added two bloggy friends to my list over there---------->. I am sure you will like their blogs they are very interesting. Scrappy Guy saw a book on the bookstore shelf called, "Before Anne of Green Gables" and is appalled to think that they have messed with a classic. If you've read it let him know how it was. Veevs is so funny. You will love her and she does amazing scrappages (actually, they both do). So go and visit them and tell them that Piney sent you and I will win a prize. (No, not really my fingers just got away from me).

I am making a digi wedding album from the snap shots taken at the rehersal and reception for my nail tech. I have known her since she was a high school student and I am having much fun with it. Here are the first two pages. Think I'll try to get twenty outta it, although that might be optimistic.
The top is Heidi and her Dad and the bottom is Melissa. Heidi and Melissa are business partners and have known each other like just forever.

I answered a call for CTs (CT=Creative Team) from Scrap Shanty. Not holding my breath but will see. They will announce on April 4th. We had to send 5 layouts. Was hard to choose. I will put more in my gallery there just incase they do take a peek at it.

I read that today is National Feral Cat Day. Who knew? So I leave you with these two astonishing facts.

1. Cats' urine glows under a black light.
2. Cats can produce over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs can only produce about ten.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Finally Entered a Contest

I saw information in a newsletter from http://www.designerdigitals.com/ about a contest and it intrigued me. From now until the end of March you make pages using only DD products and enter them in the March Guest CT gallery for a chance to win free new product for 6 weeks. The word free might as well have been 10 feet high and in capital letters the way it grabbed my attention. Here are two of my entries:
This is my middle grandson, Conner. The photo was taken down in the valley at the "place" last Father's Day. I have been wanting to scrap it and finally found the right venue.This is a take off on a layout I made awhile back for a 30 minutes challenge at the Spraground(http://www.jessicasprague.com/) This uses all DD products which is the requirement. This is the one made for my Now We're Rocking class and I like it better I think. Actually the wish quote is from DD, but most of the other products are from http://www.jenwilson.com/ which is neck and neck with DD as my favorite digi design site.

I was excited to hear last night from my friend Marilyn Wallace that she is taking the first Jessica Sprague class, "Up and Running", on my recommendation and loving it. That made me feel so good. I love to share my passion with folks.

I leave you today with these words from Maya Angelou, "I've learned that people forget what you said, people forget what you did, but people never will forget how you made them feel."

Have a good one.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just a shout out!

I am at my son's house taking care of the two youngest grandkids while he and his wife go away for their anniversary. I have just found out that daylight time started today. Seems early this year. We in Arizona never go on it so I get pretty confused. All I know is that now I am 3 hours behind eastern instead of 2 and I am on the same time as California and not Colorado.

I heard an interview on NPR this morning with a dairy farmer that said how hard this changing time is on the cows and so they just do it at 30 minutes for the first week and then add the other 30 next week. I am wondering why they just don't milk the cows at the same "time"? If they were milking them at 6:00am why not just milk them at 7:00am. I say let the people change...not the cows. But, maybe that makes too much sense.

Grant Wood said, "All the really good ideas came to me while I was milking a cow." Guess now he'll have to wait an hour.

Here is just some good advice that my grandpappy told me, "Remember never kick a cow pattie on a hot day."

Have a good one.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I have been remiss and busy and sick. It has been 11 days since I lasted blogged which does indeed make me remiss.

Webster's second definition of remiss is: 2: showing neglect or inattention. So, please pardon my remissness...ummm trying saying that 10 times or even once! I would say that remiss means to miss again from the prefix re and I have indeed missed again for 11 days. Now, you might ask yourself why? or you just might not care. The why is that we went to the Valley for another sprint car race (The World of Outlaws), I've had that gunk that is going around that makes sitting and staring at the wall a very pleasant passtime and I have been planning our June vacation.

We are going to spend a week with dear friends in Sitka, Alaska and go salmon fishing from their boat and do the symphony concerts in the totem park series and generally just have a good time with our dear friends. We will drive to Bellingham, Washington and take the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry. We sail on June 6, spend a week with our friends and then get back to Bellingham on June 20. We also have rented a beach cottage in Yachats, Oregon where we will stay for a few nights on our way back to Flagstaff. We will leave home on June 2 and return on the 26. Whew!! Should be a great, good time.

Here are a few treatments of a photo I took during our last big storm in February. I used my 18mm-200mm lens on my Nikon D40 camera in auto mode.
This is looking out my back arcadia door (yes, that is our fire wood). The photo has an action on it called vivid color. The action is from http://www.ezactions.com/ This is a great place to get actions and they work like a charm.
This is same photo converted to black and white. I used a filter on it from my PSE5. The filter is texture-> grain-> stipple. I think it looks like a pen and ink drawing.

Here is the photo without any treatments. I made this scrapbook page for a challenge at our Spraground(http://www.jessicasprague.com/) I used her PSF tutorial for the Brrr! title (PSF 06 #7). The torn paper is from my friend Liv. This kit is called: LivEdesigns_Perfect Moment_perfect tear. Check out her blog. Click on the link over there--------------->

Here is some food for thought.

"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights." _Maya Angelou

Have a good one.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Santa came early! (late?)

WOOHOO I got a 18mm-200mm lens for my Nikon D40 camera. These lenses are pricey. The Nikon D40 does not have a focus motor in the body, so the body can be more light weight and less expensive to buy. But, the catch is then the lenses have the drive motors and they are expensive.

I love this lens. I have wanted it for a long while. I will use it as my main lens on my camera as it does it all. Hubby suggested that we purchase this lens with our tax return and I jumped right on that band wagon. It arrived by UPS on Wednesday. (Every notice how the UPS men have such great legs? It must be a job requirement.)

Ofcourse it's been snowing since it arrived and I can only take so many pictures of white. But this was a wet snow and I did get some really nice pics of the snow clinging to the trees and bushes. Thursday morning was just plain gorgeous, no other way to describe it. Here are my favorites.

So next time you think that Santa has forgotten you have patience and maybe you will get your heart's desire. I did!

Here are some interesting camera facts:

1870-William Jackson took the first pictures of the West

1900-Kodak Brownie Box roll film camera introduced

1985-Minolta markets the world's first autofocus SLR system called Maxxum

A fun fact: The average person laughs about 15 times a day.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Honey I'm Home

We had great days with our family in the Valley. We were 10 for spaghetti dinner Friday night at the place (In-laws homestead has been called "the place" forever) -- LaVerne, Wayne, four Daly brothers, Uncle Bob and Aunt Marilyn, Punky's wife-Vikki and me.

Kurt has five brothers, three of whom were there for the week-end of family gatherings and racing. Two came in from the Denver area and one lives in the west Valley. Uncle Bob and Aunt Marilyn are from Denver and they are staying two weeks. Uncle Bob and Wayne are brothers.

The whole clan loves sprint car racing. Uncle Bob and Uncle Don both were sprint car drivers at one time. Brother David raced Midgets for awhile. So off they went early Saturday afternoon for the 2nd annual "Copper on Dirt" race at Manzanita Speedway. Three categories of race cars were featured: Sprints, Midgets and Silver Crowns. They are all considered open-wheeled cars.

They were all so happy to be out of the snow and in the Valley of the Sun. They froze to death! The wind was blowing briskly. It rained off and on and the temp dropped to about 30 degrees after the sun went down. They were outside in the bleachers for 9 hours.

While LaVerne, Marilyn and I went out to a nice dinner in a restaurant and then home for coffee and dessert and a great gab fest. We were warm as toast!

The sun finally came out to stay on Sunday and I got some great photos of the lovely desert which surrounds the place. Here is a page I made for a challenge called,"My View From Here"

All-in-all everone was so happy just to be together and plans are being made for the World of Outlaws race in March.

All the family stay in touch easily now days with email and cellphones and our regular land-line telephones.

Here is an interesting fact about telephone communications: 1,525,000,000 miles of telephone wire are strung across the U.S.

Have a good one.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V'Day

It's Valentine's Day. My hubby gave me the funniest card. Outside said, "The Man Who Could Clean" He left her with spotless upholstery...and dirty thoughts. by Anita Maid. With a sleezy picture on the front too. Inside, "Hope your Valentine's Day reads like a trashy romance novel."

My husband delights in picking out cards for people. They look forward to seeing his next selection. He also gave our daughter THE box of chocolate covered cherries. This is a running gag that has been going on for about 15 years. When she was younger she gave him chocolate covered cherries for Christmas. He didn't tell her for the longest time that he didn't like them. Then a few years after she found out she gave him some again as a gag gift. He saved them and then surprized her with them at the next occasion. Well the chocolate covered cherries war was on. It's been some years now since the box has been passed and he passed it back to her this year in a beautifully wrapped package. He gives her a gift every year so she won't have a clue that the cherries are in it this year.

We are going to babysit for our son's two little boys tonight so that son and wife can have a nice date night. It will be fun for us too.

It is really snowing again. Supposed to last through tomorrow. We have sure had a more typical winter this year. We are leaving tomorrow for Phoenix and will return on Sunday. Hubby is going down for the big sprint car race at Manzanita Speedway. Three of his brothers (he has 5), his Uncle Bob and his Dad are all going to the race together. His Mom, Aunt Marilyn and I will just stay home and see what mischief we can get into. Am looking forward to going, but not to driving in the snow. For 40 miles the roads will be snowpacked until we drop down off the Mongellon Rim. Then it's smooth sailing. The inlaws live between Surprize and Wickenberg in the high dessert. They built a beautiful retirement home there on 10 acres. We go down on I-17 to New River and then across to Lake Pleasant Road and then cut through the dessert on a dirt (unmarked) road. We miss all the heavy traffic congestion of Phoenix this way.

Well, there is my boring life for a few days. I made this scrapbook page about my love for my slippers and Valentine's Day seems like a good time to post it on my blog.

I made this page for a class assignment to write a love letter to something besides a person. The journaling reads: "Dear Fuzzy Wuzzy Warmers, I love you! After a long day you caress me. You wrap your warm goodness around me. You always know just what I want, just what I need. You are the best and you ask nothing in return. For that I love you and want you. My love always, Until you wear out!

Here is an interesting fact for Valentine's Day. Your heart beats over 100,000 times day!

Have a good one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tagged! (again)

I have been tagged by Liv. This is a new tag game but similar to the old one.

These are the rules: You must post the rules before you give your answers.You must list one fact about yourself for each letter of your middle name. Each fact must begin with that letter. If you don’t have a middle name, just use your maiden name. After you’ve been tagged, you need to up-date your blog with your middle name and answers. At the end of your post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged and need to read your blog for details.

Well this will be short and sweet. I go by my middle name. It is Ann.

A is for accessible. I am always accessible to all my friends and family. I am happy to be available anytime of the day or night.

N is for nifty. I love this old-fashioned word. It rolls off the tongue so easily. I am a nifty person. I am neat and cool and fine and swell (all words used as synonyms in the thesaraus) but I also think so many things are nifty. Having this blog is nifty. Having so many cyber friends is nifty. Being able to make digi scrapbook memories for my family is nifty. Nifty is just a nifty word.

N is for neighborly. I try to be neighborly and watch out for my neighbors and keep in touch. I like to know if they are needing things and if I can help them out in anyway.

It is always fun to find out things about people. So, I am happy to leave these few facts about me here for you to read.

Here are a few nifty facts to cheer your day.

1. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
2. A 10-gallon hat hold barely 6 pints.
3. Butterflies taste with their feet,

Have a good one.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Nerdy Little Secret

I love bingo! I play in town at the Elks Club and the American Legion Hall. Sometimes my daughter will go with me, very occasionally my hubby will go and he always seems to win the big prize. Does he share it with me? Heck no. Most of the time it's just me.

I have found a great place to play online it is http://www.pogo.com/ I play in a league called Bingocrazy www.myleague.com/bingocrazy . Bingocrazy is just a blast. I play with Wendy and Vital and Smokie and Brks. Under is there and LaStonz and budgie. There is cherries and Loopy and doughgirl and nnny and many, many more cyber friends. I once won the Tournament of Champions and I did my happy dance all over my family room.

They love me there. I play under the name pinewoodtoo and everybody calls me Piney. Piney always brings cyber snacks like spam and pate of okra. She shops at the swap meet and finds lots of good snacks for all of her bingo friends. The caller in Bingo is named Dottie and we hate her! Sometimes Brks has to take a club and whack her upside the head good.

Today in my digi scrapbook class we had to make a page about our nerdy little secret. I chose bingo! We had 30 minutes from start to finish to post the page on the gallery. My hubby took my picture playing at Fortune Bingo at Pogo. I downloaded it, edited it and made my page using images from Pogo bingo. I will post it here.
This page was so much fun to make and I dedicate it to all my cyber friends at Bingocrazy. Piney loves ya.
I will leave you with this interesting fact for today.
There is a "caller of the year competition" in which bingo callers compete for a two week holiday.
Hey maybe Dottie can win that and leave us in peace for two weeks. I know all of us at Bingocrazy will be pulling for her.
Have a good one.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A little culture

Tonight we are going to the final rehearsal of the the Northern Arizona University play, " The Cripple of Inishmaan". A wonderful comic tale in the great tradition of Irish storytelling. It is the final rehearsal on campus as the production travels to Los Angeles for the Kennedy Center College Theatre Festival.

This certainly brings back memories. My husband has a degree in theatre design and when he was a senior in college he designed the set for the festival play, "Another Antigone". The play won the state competition and then went to the regionals in San Francisco. His set design won the regionals and went to The Kennedy Center for the national competition where he won an honorable mention. It was so exciting!!

So, we love to go to the festival play each year and are thrilled when it wins the state and goes on to the regionals.

Northern Arizona University has an excellent theatre department and we try to stay active in the booster organization. The plays are great and we love live theatre. LOL we go to all the high school plays too.

My husband is very creative. He is a photographer specializing in black and white photos. He uses a 35mm camera but has taken an interest in my Nikon D40 SLR. He is musical too. He plays many instruments: banjo, guitar(6 string-12 string), dulcimer (both kinds), mandolin, fiddle, bodhran (Irish drum) and messes around with flutes. He collects antique banjos and even has a gourd banjo. He even loves to draw and paint.

Bless his heart he is so encouraging when I do my digi pages and make cards and do paper scrapping. I am a crafter. He is an artist. That sums up the difference.

Here are two pages I made from pictures of him at last year's annual folk festival at Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, AZ. He plays in this festival every year and it is so great to renew old friendships each year and jam with everyone. I play the auto harp and the bodhran, neither very well but good enough to have fun jamming.

Well, I need to start making my Valentines.

In keeping with this blog on culture I leave you with this intersting fact. The sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in Jello.

Have a good one.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I've Gone to the Darkside

I have been consumed lately by my digi scrapbooking. I am taking a great class right now and it keeps me very busy. Also, on the message board and in the gallery folks post the most wonderful sites where I can go and buy new digi supplies. Now digi supplies are not too expensive and they can be used over and over again, a real bargain right? Well, that is the point of it. I just have to buy more and more because it's a bargain, right? I just know my paypal account angels are watching in horror as I spend more and more and go farther and farther to the darkside. Where are you Luke Skywalker when I need you? huh?

Speaking of Digi, my good cyber-friend and mentor, Liv (See my bloggy friends list) has won a major contest at O Scraps http://www.oscraps.com/ an awesome digi site/store. Here is her winning scrapbook page. Go to her blog to see more of her wonderful work.

I have met some of the most creative and interesting people from being involved with my digi scrapbooking. They inspire me.

Well, I just got an alert about a 40% off sale. Gotta run!

I leave you with this amazing bit of information. Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New jersey.

Have a good one!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Some of This and Some of That

Hey how ya been? It's been a few days since I've been here. Now I know that everyone is entitled to my opinion everyday but somedays I just can't make it...life gets in the way. I have been busy but can't really pinpoint exactly what has kept me away. Just been scattered I guess. Now that I'm retired having a list of things to do with more than three items on it puts me in a tailspin.

Here is what I've been doing:

  • went to my eldest grandson's birthday party dinner, he turned 10

  • went to see the movie, "The Bucket List", it was pretty good.

  • went out to dinner at a new restaurant, Bella Donna, it was real good but $$$

  • made all the arrangements for my sorority Valentine's luncheon at Olive Garden

  • went out to lunch with hubby

  • did the 30 minute challenge for my digi scrapbook class, will post it below

Plus all the usual ends and outs of just living. Whew! just makes me tired listing it.

It is snowing again. Supposed to get up to 16 inches by noon tomorrow. Looks like it might make it.

Here is the scrapbook page I made for my 30 minute challenge. We had to take the pictures and edit them. Then had 30 minutes from that point to post the page to the gallery. The theme was, "This makes Me Happy".

Thought you'd like to know:

The world's oldest piece of chewing gum is 9000 years old.

Have a good one.!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Puttin' on the Dog

I have been doing a lot of digi scrapping lately what with my new digi class starting.. This is a hobby that I have recently started. In late August I bought my new camera a Nikon D40. It is da bomb as my son used to say when he was a teenager. I love it and am getting good at point and shoot and auto settings. Am also taking a class at http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/. It is on photography, using manual settings and we get a new lesson every Monday for 12 weeks. It is a free class and so far it has been really good and is doable.

In September I purchased Photoshop Elements 5 and messed around with it alittle doing some digi pages on my own using a set of video lessons I bought from http://www.scrapgirls.com/. They were pretty hard for me as so much of it assumed that I knew anything about the Photoshop program; LOL I knew viturally nothing. Then I discoved Jessica!!! http://www.jessicasprague.com/. I am now in my seond class with her and I grow by leaps and bounds so am posting some of my new layouts here. So without further ado I present my artist side.
Now I will post the very first layout I did just by the seat of my pants. Well, ya gotta start somewhere right?
Have a good one!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ain't That the Truth!

I got a really good email today from my very good friend, Carol. It was entitled, "Great Truths...". It made me wonder if any truth is not great. People have different realities and what one person feels is true another might not. I would classify those as "different truths". It is true that my friend has terminal cancer, is that a great truth? I guess that depends on your definition of great.

Definitions of great on the Web:
relatively large in size or number or extent; larger than others of its kind; "a great juicy steak"; "a great multitude"; "the great auk";
of major significance or importance; "a great work of art"; "Einstein was one of the outstanding figures of the 20th century"
remarkable or out of the ordinary in degree or magnitude or effect; "a great crisis"; "had a great stake in the outcome"
bang-up: very good; "he did a bully job"; "a neat sports car"; "had a great time at the party"; "you look simply smashing".
So I guess having terminal cancer is great by definition; as in: of major significance or importance. But, we sure won't say, when hearing the news, "Boy that's great." But I digress. This is about truth and the great email I got today. So without further ado I give you some great truths.
  • No mater how hard you try you can't baptise a cat.
  • You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
  • Raising teenagers is like nailing jello to a tree.
  • Time might be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
  • Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
  • Never hold a dust-buster and a cat at the same time.
  • Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional
  • You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
I hope you have a wonderful day with lots of smiles and that's the truth.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Dance

I love to do my happy dance. I just jump right up and dance around my computer. Many things make me do my happy dance but the greatest of these is getting something done right with this devil computer. I have found out how to post some scrapbook pages on this blog in the spot where I want them. Yes, my friends that is a major task for me to have accomplished.

Also, today I finished making my lesson two page in my digi class ( never got back to finishing it yesterday duh!) and killed two birds with one stone. I did the page for James and Anne's going away album and this finishes the album. Now I can put it together and get it sent off. Here is the last page:

Now, it might take me a few days to get it sent off. We had another major snow storm and Ms. Pinewoodtoo doesn't drive in ice and snow anymore, no sirree Bob I don't!

I also think about doing my happy dance when the sun finally shines through, when my hubby's cat decides to look at me, when I know all my family are tucked safe and sound in their little beds on a cold snowy night, when this devil computer doesn't bounce me out of Pogo Games, when my hubby cooks dinner and oh well, just about all the time I guess.

Is sure good to laugh and smile and I have heard the rumor that it will increase your life span. Most days I'm all for that. Here is a list of some things that might make you smile and please feel free to jump up and do your happy dance. If you're at work tell your boss that I gave you permission!

*Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

*Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

*A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

*Turtles can breathe through their butts.

* You are not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.

Amazing fact of the day: There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

Have a good one!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday, Monday

I either have late-onset ADHD, have forgotten how to multi-task or it's just Monday. I can not stay on task today, can't get that in-the-zone focus thing going. I think that the answer is that it's just Monday. I have noticed that even after retirement Mondays just have a different feel to them. The feeling is not quite as spacey as the feeling I used to get on Mondays when I was working, but it's still there.

I have now been awake 9 hours and I am just writing this. I started earlier, then I decided to work on my digi scrap class because we start a new lesson every Monday. Then I stopped that and decided I needed to call some gals and see if we really wanted to meet tonight as it is SNOWING again. Then back to the digi class and then on to another site to print out this week's lesson on photography. Then back to digi.....around and around and around it went. I'm now trying to remember if I've eaten! ummm?? Can't remember. I'll ask my husband.

Well, now I've eaten breakfast/lunch. I'd call it brunch but it's 4:00 in the afternoon. Seems too late for brunch!

I need to finish this up so I can go and finish my digi class assignment and take a look at my photography class lesson of the week and call some more gals to make the final decision.

Maybe it's not "it's just Monday" after all. Maybe I've just taken on too much. But, if it was Tuesday I'd have finished by noon!

Here is a very useful thing to know---If at first you don't succeed skydiving is not for you.

Have a good one! :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Sometime after I went to bed last night and before I got up this morning my whole house and the ground it sits on had risen 2000'. It must have because it was snowing and the forecast was for rain below 9000'. I grabbed the paper and took a look at the forecast; yep said heavy rain but that paper went to press sometime in the middle of the night, so I went to my trusted weather sites on my computer and sure enough rain was still forecast. One went so far as to say that it was raining right then. I ran back to the window and had another look...yep was snowing and I was feeling more and more like Alice going down the rabbit hole.

Then I got to thinking about weather forecasts. When I was teaching I always welcomed the forecasts that called for heavy snow after midnight....heck I liked a snow day as much as the kids. Well, these seldom panned out and if it snowed just a little we would go on our 2 hour delay schedule which was kinda like winning the silver medal instead of the gold. It seemed the forecasts that were the most promising were the ones that called for little or no accumulation.... then we could count on a foot of snow. Oh well, we all know that the weather bureau is a non-prophet organization.

My friend Angela lives where the sun never shines ( I always wondered what that expression meant....now I know it means where Angela lives). If the temperature gets to above zero there then spring has sprung! You should visit her neck of the woods in cyberspace MyPixelatedOasis.blogspot.com She posted this wonderful scrapbook page today(Winter Essentials) at our playground at Jessica's place (http://www.jessicasprague.com/) She does wonderful digi scrapping and I admire her work.
Speaking of digi scrapping I need to finish the going away album for my friend James although I'm not sure he deserves it after he deserted me and my computer woes. Maybe he thought if he left I would be forced to solve my own problems. Well they are not solved and I have one thought I'd like my computer to hear loud and clear.....THE ORIGINAL POINT AND CLICK INTERFACE WAS A SMITH & WESSON.

Just a closing thought for today. When blondes have more fun do they know it? :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Love/Hate Relationship

After spending the last hour trying to put my url for this blog under my signature in my class forum I decided to write a small paragraph telling you everything I know about computers. By the way my url is still not there even with people telling my how to do it.

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my computer. When things are going along smoothly I'm on cloud 9 but it just takes a small thing to go wrong and I'm lost as to what to do. This is when I call my computer the devil and threaten to do it bodily harm. It holds me hostage. My computer can take me away much better than Calgon ever did and we can go sailing through cyberspace. But, as soon as I'm really feeling on top of the world its devil horns grow and it dumps me on my butt.

The problem might be that I think of it as human. It is the master and I am the slave. My good friend James tells me that it is the other way around but I think he is lying to me. Either that or he thinks I have an ounce of puter literacy, silly man.

Well, I said I was going to tell you everything I know about the computer. There is so little to tell I don't know where to begin. Most days I know how to turn it on. I know how to go to Google and find things I want to find. I can force my computer to allow me to save things of interest and I can get my husband to add more RAM when my computer tries to thwart me by slowing way down. The most helpful thing I did know was James's phone number but alas he moved 1716.48 miles away and changed his phone number. I think he and my compter are in a comspiracy against me.

Here is my useless fact for today: It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...but not downstairs.
ummm maybe I can get that cow to sit on my computer.

Have a good one!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Carpe Diem!

Today is Friday. Before I retired this used to have a significant amount of meaning for me. Now each day I have to stop and think, "What day is it?" Part of the fault of this lies in the fact that I was a teacher and I used to write the day and date on the chalk board (later, whiteboard) everyday so then I knew what day it was. I found myself in the summers also wondering.

In astrology Friday is connected with the planet Venus. This associates Friday with love, peace, and relaxation, as well as with emotional intensity and quashed dreams. It is also connected with the Astrological sign Libra. I'm a Libra so Friday must be my day. Who knew?

But whatever the day I say, "Carpe Diem", seize the day. I had meant to write this as soon as I got up this morning after my exercises and my pill taking (I take an ungodly amount of pills but that subject is better left for another day). But, alas I turned on my computer and had to read my mail and ofcourse check things out at http://www.jessicasprague.com/ where I am taking my second digi scrapbook class. Well, one thing lead to another and I was lost in cyberspace.

I mentioned my exercises. Do we all have a new fitness goal? This seems to be a universal thrust in January. Just look at all the TV commercials right now about dieting and exercise. Well, this is the last Friday in January how are you doing? If you have already started to backslide I have just the exercise for you. I recently learned that banging your head against the wall burns 150 caleries. But, maybe all this exercise is pointless. I also recently discovered that the average person will eat 35,000 cookies in their lifetime. I think maybe I'm also eating someone elses share too.

So, CARPE DIEM! if you can stay on track.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Beginning a blog

After much deliberation I decided to begin a blog. Heck, why not? I love to write and I love to take pictures. It is just the mechanics of the computer that get in my way! I would like to put pictures on here and scrapbook pages that I admire and tell about life at 7000' elevation. It is snowing now but not too heavy. We have had two really big snows this season with 15+ inches. I was in Phoenix last week with my mother-in-law. She had a short stay in the hospital. I thought it was cold for Phoenix.