Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another Busy Day on the Farm!

Yes! I do have a farm! A farm of children that act like animals (count the hubby, too!). They are all crazy, and like farm animals, have to be taken care of... Their food has to be prepared, themselves cleaned up, as well as their living quarters... you know what I'm talking about.

Today was a typical day. Got up early, went to church, went out shopping for some things (Easter decorations), came home and got to work. I cleaned the front porch and began putting up Easter things. Marissa has been bugging the heck out of me lately. I made lunch, and Juan's dinner (for work). Then I began uploading photos.

The problem with doing that was so many of them had to be "fixed" prior to uploading. I cropped, enlarged, brightened, and enhanced many (127 - to be exact) to upload to Walgreen's. Then I went and got them! The guy didn't want to give me the coupon rate! And so... we all know me... I simply told him what the ad read versus what was said on the website. My discount was entered. Stacy and Rey picked out photos to do, too. But they didn't use them today. Hopefully they will. I've already told them I won't be printing anymore until they use the pics I just paid for. Let's see what happens.

I got almost a full two-page layout done. I made the background and began cutting photos and mats. With the uploading taking forever and the printing taking longer than I planned, I didn't get started until much later. But, I did get some other things done in the meantime.

I am also working on a 3-D decoupage. I got one whole figure (a mouse) done, ready to put on the background once it is dry. This is cute, but tedious. It takes a lot of patience, but my aunt is worth it!

I just got finished cleaning up here. Tomorrow is another busy day. Maybe one day my life will get back to normal... Wait a minute! What is even considered "normal" now-a-days? Is anyone's life ever normal? I don't really think so... it's all about the concept, and I think we've all lost track of that by now...

Toodles for now! lisa

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Been a Long Time...

So much has happened in just a short little time. The winds and rain have us running crazy, as well as our families. Let's just leave it there. I don't want this to be a venting session, which believe you me... I could very well do in much more than one page. But, I will not do this to you.

Last Sunday, however, I was able to go to the Scrapbook EXPO with a dear friend of mine. My family (Mom, brother, sister & their families) met up with us and was able to give me a couple of hours sans children. I didn't remember what it felt like! I was actually able to really check out items, learn a lot from observing, ask questions without a kid bugging me and not being able to hear the answer, and most of all... I was finally able to attend a workshop. I learned to make 10 cards in one hour!

Now, granted, these aren't the kind of cards I usually make. They were pretty much "tear-and-shares". I call it these because you tear paper, add layers to card stocks, write a message to someone, and hand it off! But, hey! Karen & I got 10 done in one hour! I learned some quick tips to help me out.

Today... I used those tips. I made cards for 3 birthdays (Vic, Jr., & Renee's). We celebrated all three at Mom's today. My nerves are still slightly on edge. I prefer to be prepared, but pretty close to the last minute, we added in a birthday, and I had to jump to make more cupcakes and figure out a gift or card to make sure everyone was covered. I didn't want to leave anyone out. The night was good, but my nerves (and head) were blasting from earlier. It usually takes days to go away.

Tomorrow will be Church in the morning, playing with photos & uploading them (probably to Walgreen's), then scrapbooking in the late afternoon. We scrapbooked last Monday afternoon (Karen & I), and the girls got enthusiastic about it, too... so I'm hoping that since they were bummed about not having photos, I can use this to my advantage. I would like their room clean. So, I told them if they clean their room, they can upload 10 photos each and I'll pay for them to be printed... This will allow them photos for tomorrow for at least a couple of layouts (which they asked what "layouts" were... honestly!). I sure hope they keep a continued interest this time, as it really is a good thing for them, and could keep them into something we have in common.

We got a new garage door today! You might not think this is anything big, but it really is to me. My garage door opener has been having issues with my old garage door. It was REALLY old, wooden, and soaks up the rain, making it extremely heavy. Also, the brute had broken two sets of hinges and springs. It was about to kill my garage door opener, and looked awful! Not to mention, in the rains it would "stop" half-way open, and I would have to leave the car (in the rain) to "help" the garage door up... We were the only house on my block to have the original doors... So we finally got new ones. YAY! Now, it is much quieter, and the house looks much prettier, and I am completely happy. Bella Doors... you do a wonderful job! I was told they would be here between 11am-1pm and take 4-5 hours. They arrived 15 minutes early and only took 2 hours! These installers were totally awesome (retro 80's, there...)! I would recommend them to anyone! The customer service and sales were great to deal with as well. If you are in the Riverside area, I say you should call them. The prices are great, too!

I'm tired and cranky, so I'll be leaving you now. I just wanted to make sure you all knew I was still around (and alive!!!). And that we hadn't gotten destroyed by the weather... although it did snow here last week! Remarkable... it didn't stick, but I did see the little fluffy bits fall lightly on my windshield... Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, February 11, 2008

An Odd Day... and a Forgotten Birthday (I'm sorry!)

Waking up at 5:30 am is just not for me. But, whatever, as I have to do it for my kids... well, at least one of them. Stacy began swimming practice for the high school swim team today, and they have "Hell Week" until the end of the month. Since the season starts during school, their week lasts about 3 weeks. They have to be there at 6am, in the pool, ready to work. Oh what fun! I'm just glad it's not me!

Well, lazy soul that I am, I came back and flopped into the bed. 7:45 came really early! I had to take the other one to school, as well. Yay! Rey looked so pretty as she walked up the school steps. She curled her hair today and looked almost angelic. At least she smiled. (She woke me up at 7am, showing me a cut foot. Put tape on it, and let me sleep... lol!)

I came home, did a little bit of research and was off to the library (StoryTime for Marissa). Only, I guess my awake mode wasn't in gear just yet... As we were walking to the library, she asked for me to change her diaper (she did a doodle...). No problem, right? Uh oh! As I was running out the door, because I thought we'd be late, I had forgotten the diaper bag. Yuck! I am a horrible mother...

We were already half-way there, so I told her to hold on. When we got there, I did a mad dash to the restroom... Did you know they don't have a baby changing station there? I know this is a library and everything's supposed to be quiet, but there are kids with diapers who go for StoryTime! I had to lay her down in her stroller, wet some paper towels, and clean her up. There was no way to reuse the diaper, so she went diaperless. She did well and sat through the whole rest of StoryTime, without screaming and without pottying her pants. Usually when I don't immediately put a diaper on her, the shrillness of her screaming makes me cover my ears and run for the diaper bag. We even got home with the pants still dry. She calmly asked me for a diaper, once we got into the house, and I obliged.

Then I began decorating for Valentine's Day. I still have to finish, and I am starting a little later than I'd hoped, but at least it's getting done prior to the big day. Gifts are already purchased. The girls will work on their Valentine's Tuesday & Wednesday night, and we will be ready to roll. Marissa will have hers done Tuesday for the library "friends" on Wednesday. I still have to figure out the menu, though. Haven't done that.
Oh no!!! I have a wonderful sister-in-law. She is so patient and understanding... (do you feel that smooch yet?) I was so pre-occupied with thoughts of my dad and my normal everyday things, I neglected to call her on her birthday. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, VIC! Sorry about that. We can call and sing to you, if you'd like... Please forgive us. (huh, huh? What do you want? I will make you something yummy...)

(Sigh!) Today has promised to be another exasperatingly busy day. Marissa is rather demanding today, and I promised myself I'd get more done (I did that in Church yesterday). I've got to run to pick up Rey in 1/2 an hour, then pick up Stacy an hour after that, then run back to the high school for Rey's swim practice. Yay! We are back at our home school! The pool is done! No more camping out on the other side of town for hours on end! Home Sweet Home.

Oh! I've still got to make Juan's lunch (isn't he just so lucky...) and upload photos to have printed... I'm actually going to scrap for myself tomorrow. I'm goin' to Karen's! She has the day off, and she is NOT going to cancel this time! Yay!

Oh yeah! A new friend of mine published a piece of mine on one of her sites. Check it out at Toodles for now! lisa

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Daddy Got Out! (and Other Things...)

Of the hospital, that is. He is staying for a couple of days at my aunt's house (she is an RN, who spend many a year in the ICU/CCU) to get some 1-on-1 attention. He seems to think he will be returning home Sunday (tomorrow - to me... as I haven't gone to bed yet). We'll see... They sent him home on oxygen and potassium, and other wonderful things, so... like I said... we'll see. He also seems to think he will be going down to Baja (Mexico) for a fishing trip in the middle of March. Uh! We'll see!!!!!!! At least he is extremely positive and has some ambitious goals...

On this side, yesterday was Friday, and I had the most difficult time finding dinner. Since this is Lent, Friday is "fish" day (or vegetarian - just no meat!). I had a serious craving for Stouffer's Vegetable Lasagna - you know... the really rich one with the Alfredo sauce oozing out, made with broccoli and carrots? Yum! I was going to make some French bread and make it cheesy garlic bread. But... Guess what? I went to 3 different stores, and couldn't find it. So... I gave up! I could've made it myself, only Alfredo is pretty pricey to make (to get it really rich and tasting right), and it would've taken hours - and usually only costs $9.88 to purchase already done... I ended up getting fish tenders and made fish tacos for everyone. They all like the sauce (1/2 c sour cream; 1/2 c mayo; 1/2 t ground cumin; juice from 1 lime). It was a hit, but I still missed with my craving. Oh well.

Today was a cleaning day and cooking day. Wait a minute! Everyday is a cooking day! Yeah, well... Juan brought home carnitas for breakfast, along with an Entenmann's Cheese-Filled Crumb Coffee Cake... oh my gosh! It was to die for! I ended up eating, then going through some things and (once again) de-cluttering. Did I tell you the Flylady (see the link to your right) habit for February is 15 minutes of de-cluttering? Hey! It's great! But I did it for more than 15 minutes...

For dinner, we had teriyaki beef ribs, Guy Fieri's "The Bomb Bakers", and steamed veggies (in chicken broth). The beef ribs were frozen, so I decided to have a go with one of my Christmas gifts. Juan gave me another crock pot - 8 quart that has an "auto" feature. With this auto feature, you can defrost, then when it detects the proper temperature, it switches itself to cook. What a smart cookie - or crockie! It worked beautifully. My ribs were done in time for dinner!

I stitched up something really quick, as well. 2 years ago, I received a Cuisinart Griddler. It comes with extra plates (2 sets - one for the griddle, one for the grill/panini press [has ridges]). One set is stored on the appliance, and the other came in throw-away plastic bags. I was getting tired of the plastic bags and made a simple little bag with a divider, out of red flannel (soft to not scratch, and red to go with my Coca-Cola kitchen). Now, it works just fine! No more fear of a tearing bag or scratches on the non-stick finish.

We watched a movie... I won't comment, as it was much worse than I thought it would be and really don't want to waste words on it... and I seem to have lost my day. Such is life.

Tomorrow is an unsure day. I was supposed to go to my mom's house to clean, but they are feeling under the weather, so she'll let me know in the morning. But, we are still going to Church in the a.m. If we end up not trekking out to my mom's... I'm sure I could come up with something to do (lol!). I still have more to write, and I still have to decorate for Valentine's Day! (You know it's this coming Thursday, right? Are you ready?) Gonna lay my head down, now. Toodles for now! lisa

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Research, Reading, 'Riting & Laundry!

Among other things, I've been writing a lot (not here... sorry). With that comes research and reading. Currently, I'm reading a book on relationships. It is research for a test piece. We'll see how that goes.

Stacy's last water polo game was yesterday. Did I say my daughter is an awesome player? At least when she gets it in her head to play... She has an arm like a cannon and can shoot and score from the half (field). It's really too bad they lost (again), but some didn't give it all they had. There is one senior on the team who feels that her main goal was to be "captain", and that's where that ended. She swims almost relaxed and doesn't go for the ball, letting it skim past her into the other team's hands. (Sigh.) Oh well, we know she won't be there next year. Hopefully, next year, the team will begin with more spunk and pick it up even more. We are trying to get Rey to play, too. We'll see how that goes.

After the game, we went across the street to Church (it was Ash Wednesday - the beginning of the Lenten season)... to attend the shortest Mass ever known in the history of mankind. It was quick and not as crowded as our church. During Lent, I make sure we go to church every Sunday. I know... I'm a bad Catholic, but at least I don't reserve church for only two days a year! We usually continue on past the end of Lent, but somewhere, sometime, it fizzles out. Then I go when I "feel the need." How odd that the "need" usually comes around this season each year.

With so many things happening to me, my family, and my friends at this time of year, it's no wonder we always go at this time. It's like God's way of telling me... "Get back in there. I need to know you are still with me..." How odd, or is the a different version of Divine Intervention?

Now we continue on with the tradition of no meat on Fridays... YES! This includes chicken! I don't get how lots of people believe this is a substitute for fish. Oftentimes, we don't even eat fish, but a vegetarian-type meal. It is really not that hard. I don't understand why so many people seem to have a problem with it at this time of year, when they eat meals like this, normally, throughout the rest of the year on any day. Go figure. This is a time that we usually like. Yum!

My dad is doing much better. He is getting up and walking... they'll probably kick him out on Friday (according to my aunt). He even admits it is hereditary. Yikes! Uh... maybe I'll really begin to lose that weight, so as not to put so much strain on my potentially thin vessles... Dad is in really great condition, and that helped him a lot.

This link goes to the article written on my great grandmother (Dad's side). The actual bloodline gets complicated, but my Gran is doing so well, she ended up on the front page last Thursday! Congrats and keep it up!

Today is my normal laundry day. Oh what fun... but hey! I feel better just making sure I stick to my routine. I'm still clogged up, keep getting headaches (don't know what that's from!), doing the blonde thing (hollow feeling in my head... NO! That's not normal!), and normal tiredness, not to mention probable dehydration, as I really don't want to drink much - then I'd have to go - and it's mighty cold here!

You have a great day... I know I'll try. By the way... the "spellchecker" is not working on this site, so do forgive... The dryer just stopped... Marissa just got up... Gotta go! Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, February 4, 2008

Some Weeks Are Harder than Others...

If you've missed my postings, you're not alone... so do I. However, there just hasn't been much time. Between feeling kind of ill, seeing everyone else get ill (I'm a total gagger!!!), water polo games (regardless of how I feel, Stacy still needs my support), writing (small articles), taking care of Miss Marissa, and handling all of the drama that comes my way... we'll just say some weeks have been harder than others, with last week being one of the really hard ones.

It seems that last week was a difficult one for other friends of mine, as well. Almost everyone had at least one sickie in their family last week, if not more! What's the deal? Not everyone lives around me!

I've had the stuffy head and plugged ears syndrome for over a week now. Everything sounds "hollow" to me. There is an echoing in my head, and I feel like my ears are going to pop. Ouch! I sure hope I get over it soon.

But that's nothing! My dad (in Northern California) had "chest pains" early Friday evening and was admitted to the hospital. Apparently, it was much more serious than he suspected, as he was air-flown to Reno, Nevada and admitted there. My dad is extremely healthy and active, even in his "old" age (he's 62 - I think...). This was the last thing we expected. My aunt (his youngest sister) died at an relatively young age, but "we" attributed her heart condition to the lifestyle she led; my other aunt (his older sister) had heart problems a couple of years ago, almost died, and luckily came out of it (but once again, it was attributed to "lifestyle" [i.e. smoking, high fat diet, etc.]). My dad eats well and is a labor worker, doesn't smoke, drinks occasionally (not an alcoholic), hates coffee, goes, hiking, biking, boating, making friends, etc. Pretty much, he could be an adult version a Boy Scout! Then this hits... ugh!

Maybe it is hereditary, afterall. It's really something I'd rather not add to the list. There is already cancer (in a big way), depression, anxiety... and of course.. we're all a little bit crazy.

Regardless, he seemed to be doing fine. He was told he had thin vessel walls (like my aunt) and scheduled for a double by-pass surgery to be done this morning. Thank goodness they can see more things when they open people up. Skip the double... he went on to the triple by-pass surgery. They found another one. And so... he is doing well, and still out. He should be a little groggy and out of it for the next couple of days. We'll see where he is at later. Before surgery, he thought he was only going to be limited (in activities) for a couple of months. Uh... Search and Rescue is probably out, Dad! I'm just glad there were no complications and everything seems to be okay. Please, no more surprises.

As for us, here. We are okay. We have carried on with life. Saturday, we took Marissa to the circus. (I'll put that in another post... all by itself...) Sunday was Super Bowl. Gotta love the commercials! I didn't particularly care for the half-time show, but the game itself was riveting and very excellent. The food at my mom's house was great, too!

Kudos to Rey for trying a new recipe - Pork & Cabbage Dumplings with Dipping Sauce (you can get the recipe and photos at [dumplings] and [dipping sauce]). She had seen them done on America's Test Kitchen last week and wanted to make them for the Super Bowl party. They tasted wonderful, and looked like they were purchased at an Asian restaurant. Good job!

Don't think I simply "partied," as I was pretty stressed out and waiting for horrible phone calls. Hospitals and family illness really do make me feel stressed and full of anxiety. I watched, waited, and anticipated. Through it all, everyone's still okay.

Whelp... gotta go. I've just been assigned "e-mailing" the family with the news of my dad's excellent numbers, non-pale skin, and overall is great condition for just enduring what he did. Please continue to bless him and pray for him. Toodles for now! lisa