Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Holiday Survey...

Here's a survey I swiped from some of my pal's blogs!

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Can't stand egg nog;love Hot Chocolate!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Well, I don't think he is the one who actually wraps them--I think he has elves to do that sort of thing!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
We have white on our tree, but I'm thinking of switching back to colored.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I used to, but I haven't seen any in quite a few years!

5. When do you put your decorations up?
I like to do it right around St. Nicholas Day, December 6th. The last couple of years it's been pretty hectic and a last-minute sort of thing. I just finished decorating last night!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Silly goose! It's always been Pierogies--Polish dumplings! Nothing like having them fried up on Christmas morning! Tamales are my second-favorite.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
I loved making cookies with mom! I remember one year we made over 150 dozen cookies--We were like a baking factory!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I feel like I always knew. I remember pretending like I believed, just so I would get gifts from "Santa!"

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Depends on the year.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Lots of clear, white, and handmade ornaments.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
GAK! Why do you think I won't move from So Cal!? It looks pretty on TV, but I don't want it in my neighborhood!

12. Can you ice skate?
Never even tried it--I'm pretty uncoordinated and clumsy, so that's just asking for trouble at my age, LOL!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
When I was 9 or 10 I used to collect the ones with tiny, thimble-sized cups! They were painted with tiny floral patterns and edged in gold. I got one for Christmas one year that was my very favorite! It had violets painted on it and was so delicate!

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Seeing family--some folks I only get to see once a year and it's so important to me to see everyone together.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
MMMMMM! Every year it's just not Christmas without our special Cherry-filled cookies!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Making Pierogies and cookies and looking through all my favorite ornaments as I decorate the tree! I also have a collection of St. Nicholas (not Santa) figures that I put on the mantle. I love getting them out and placing them just-so! In case you didn't know, St. Nicholas was a Bishop; he always wears a Mitre and carries a crozier (cane). He is the patron saint of children and young women, among others.

17. What tops your tree?
An angel. I prefer a star, but Matt wanted an angel so badly that I got him one for a gift the first year we married.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
Giving. I always feel so awkward getting gifts.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
"Grandma got run over by a reindeer!" I like quirky things!

20. Candy canes:
Love them!

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
"A christmas Story" and "Miracle on 34th St." But really I love all the Christmas movies--especially those animated ones from the 70's like Charlie Brown and Rudolph (gotta love the Heat-Miser, LOL!)

22. What do you leave for Santa?
I used to leave cookies and milk when I was a kid, but Mrs. Claus told me he's dieting so I don't leave them out anymore!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Our Congresswoman Has Great Legs!!!

OK—I thought I'd share a Christmas Card with you all to spread a little holiday cheer or something! Can you believe Matt almost threw this one out? Many years ago, he helped on her campaign, so he's on her mailing list now. This cracks me up, but I sure wonder why she would consider sending this to her constituents. Personally, I'm not sure I would want to convey this message as a professional woman. But maybe I'm old fashioned. I can't say I'm a big fan of Ms. Sanchez either; Matt and I do differ on politics. But we both agree that this card is tacky! (Sorry, Congresswoman, sometimes I have to say it like it is!)

Inside reads "May this year's big blue wave carry you into a joyous and happy holiday season! Love, Loretta & Gretzky (a.k.a "Shark Biscuit")." The back lets us know that our tax-payer dollars did not fund this project, but if you donated money to the comittee to re-elect, then guess what you bought!

I will say that Gretzky is a fabulously beautiful animal, though of course he can't compare to Random the Cat! And Loretta (I feel like we must be close friends and I can call her that—after all, she sent me this card!) really does have great legs! And I do appreciate her free-spirit and sense of humor she must have to send a card like this. (But it's still tacky—did I mention that!)

If you're curious, last year's card was a provocative pose of her and Gretzky (the cat, not the hockey player!) in bed together. Oh, my the things politicians will do to get some press! I wish we had that one, but I think Matt threw it away before I even saw it. I did see it at my father-in-law's house, and boy was it a shocker. I wonder what she will send next year, ha ha!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Blogger Update

I wanted to let you know that I updated to "blogger beta" today; hopefully nothing changed for anybody. I also took the time to categorize all my blog posts, so all you have to do is click on a category on the bottom of a post to see all the posts for that category. So if you want to see all my Japan posts, for example, go to my very first post ever in my archives and then click on the word Japan at the bottom of the post. Hopefully, that will help people weed out all of the boring ramblings on my blog, ha ha!

Just an update:

I got my car back yesterday, to the tune of $850. Yikes—that hurt! Part of the problem is the tune-up I got a couple of weeks ago used the wrong spark plugs and settings, so my car was mis-firing and that was making it overheat. Then the fusebox blew up and the fan couldn't turn on at all; I'm not sure if that happened independently or because of the other part. I have so many things I am thinking about all of this, but I won't post them here. At least I have a car again.

And I'm still sick. Friday I was so sick I cancelled Thanksgiving at my house. I am glad the horrible body aches and painful burning cough is gone, but I am still coughing so much that poor Matt slept downstairs for the last two nights. Luckily, he's not sick—he has a very strong constitution.

So today my goal is to do laundry and get ready for work starting again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Oh, what a week I've had! This is a semi-vent post, so if you're bored with that sort of thing, you may want to stop here! I took the week off of work because we're not allowed to carry over our vacation time to the next year. Every year we get two weeks and we must use them or they disappear. Due to Random's health issues, I don't feel right going on vacation, so we haven't spent a night away from home since April of 2004. I absolutely don't mind that, but I do feel bad for Matthew. He has gone to visit his brothers in Denver a couple of times but what he really wants is to go somewhere with me.

So this week was my time off. I had wonderful plans of going to the gym, cleaning house, organizing things and getting my life all straightened out. I always cook a Thanksgiving dinner on Friday for my parents and I wanted everything to be perfect so I could enjoy cooking and not worry about cleaning, etc.

Well, of course, a big wrench got thrown into my plans, wouldn't you know! On Tuesday, I went to visit my best friend, Karen who I haven't seen in about 2 years! She has a new baby that I haven't even met yet! She lives in Laverne; about 45 miles from here. It was wonderful seeing her, but my car had overheated right before I got to her house. When I checked the water, it was empty, so I added some and drove to the AutoZone to get coolant. Well, the coolant was leaking out and I knew I couldn't drive it all the way home, especially with traffic the way it is here in So Cal. So I toook the car to her service station and she picked me up. Poor Matt had to drive to come get me through rush hour traffic and it took him 2 1/2 hours to get there! I felt so terrible for him!

So yesterday, the service station calls and said it was an electrical problem and they couldn't deal with it; we had to tow it to the dealer! Sigh—I know that means an extra-large bill when you have to do electrical work on a VW. And my car has 80K miles on it so you know what's coming down the road for me soon.

We spent all day trying to get my car towed—what an ordeal. It finally ended with us having to drive to La Verne so we could take care of it because the tow company and AAA couldn't agree on us doing it by phone. What a nightmare and it took the whole afternoon; we didn't get home till about 7pm. So now it's at the dealer's and hopefully they can fix it tomorrow or Saturday. Otherwise, I will have to take another day off of work to go get the car and take care of it.

So now, I've wasted 2 days, have no car and haven't accomplished anything. Nothing is cleaned, nothing is organized. On top of it all, I woke up sick this morning, so my throat hurts and I feel rotten. Once I get a sore throat, it turns into Bronchitis without fail, so I'm sure I'll be coughing for weeks. So that's my pitiful post and vent—I'd appreciate any prayers or kind thoughts thrown my way.

And by the way—if you're ever in LaVerne and need a mechanic, please take your car to The Engine Room on Arrow Hwy. They are wonderful people and honest and so nice. They didn't charge me a dime for my car, even though I know they must have spent an hour trying to diagnose my problem. Karen said they have always done a great job for her at a reasonable price and never done unnecessary labor.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I truly do have lots to be thankful for; supportive friends and family, an honest mechanic, a car that hasn't given me any difficulty at all for 4 years, a wonderful husband, a great job and the list goes on and on. I realize that for every problem I encounter that I find more things to be thankful for!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Breakfast with "Joe"

Mornings in our house have been especially sweet lately. You see, we've been having breakfast with Joe. That's our secret code name for our new breadmaker, a Zojirushi brand.

For some silly reason while we waited for it to arrive in the mail, we started calling it "Joe Zarushi" instead of "Zojirushi". Yes, we're pretty hilarious around here, dontcha think?

Well, this breadmaker is fantastic and I would highly recommend this model. I am eating the most wonderful, thick slice of bread slathered with butter as I write. This breadmaker cost more than many other brands and it's as big as a tank, but it makes delicious bread with great texture and crust. I even messed up the recipe by forgetting the butter the first time and it was still great bread! So while you're eating your cold cereal tomorrow morning, just think of me—I'll be having breakfast with Joe!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What the Pho?

What the Pho Pacific Coast Highway Huntington BeachI thought I'd share a little more of our "exciting" beach lifestyle with you today. To be honest, I'm probably one of the most boring people I know, and my main comforts in life are the daily routines. One of our favorite routines is our weekly dinner down by the beach. Almost every Friday night you can find us at "What the Pho", our favorite restaurant.

What the Pho Pacific Coast Highway Huntington BeachWhat the Pho (pronounced "fuh") is a tiny cafe located right on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. It's across from the Main Street Pier, nestled underneath the movie theatre.

We come in and almost always have "the usual" which consists of 2 spring rolls and 2 bowls of pho. Matt gets chicken (PHO GÀ) and I get shrimp (PHO TÔM) . I drink water and Matt will drink fresh squeezed lemonade. For dessert he will have a Thai iced tea.

If you've never had pho before, don't be afraid; it's just a simple clear broth soup with rice noodles, and this restaurant makes some of the best we've had. It has a sublime flavor and if you ate it without anything else, you would be completely satisfied with it's aroma and comforting properties. But much to your delight, your bowl of pho will always come with a side plate. Feel free to add a bright squeeze of lime, a couple of jalapeno slices, some bean sprouts and some fresh basil leaves. The basil is so fragrant that it will make you smile as you pinch off the leaves to put into your soup. I swear, just the scent of this soup has healing properties! If that's not enough, feel free to add some hoisin sauce (similar to a thick teriyaki sauce) like Matt does, or some red sauce (spicy rooster sauce) like I do.

What the Pho Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach If you're not much of a soup person, rest assured; all their menu items are wonderful. Once in awhile, I will get "crazy" and order something different and it's usually going to be a vermacelli dish. This is a cold noodle dish served with fresh cilantro and lettuce, crushed peanuts, and my favorite version comes with three toppings; BBQ pork, shrimp, and egg-rolls.

Everyone at What the Pho is helpful and friendly. In the photo you can see Hong and Tom, the owners, along with Hong's sister and father—the head chef. Tom, who doubles as a high-school math teacher during the day, will gladly help you pick exactly what you want to eat if you are undecided.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Lake Arrowhead

We went to Lake Arrowhead for the day on Sunday to celebrate mine and my mom's BD. We had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the lake and then walked around and looked in some of the shops. Matt got something special for his mom's BD in November--he is so sweet!

After shopping, Matt got a cup of coffee and an apple turnover (we tried in vain to get an Octoberfest Strudel!) Then we got tickets for the tour boat. It was such a nice day--a little cloudy and a little crisp, but very pretty out. The leaves were starting to turn colors and the sky was bue in patches. I've never taken that boat before, but it was really interesting. Captain Bill told us the history of different parts of the community and pointed out all the fancy houses. He knew every movie star who ever lived there and showed us their lake houses. Some of the houses are selling for 14 million or more!

While we were on the lake, we saw the most amazing thing. A bald eagle was soaring and diving; trying to catch a small black bird called a coot. The eagle would circle and then dive into the water and every time that coot would dive underneath just in time. It was fascinating to watch the eagle soar and turn in the air; it was simply a beautiful creature. Watching that magnificent bird was the high point of the tour. None of us had ever seen an eagle in the wild before, so it was a real treat.

At the end of the day, we drove home, but we had to stop at a couple of places to take pictures. The mountatins were so gorgeous. A mist had settled in the valley, with just the peaks sticking out—it looked like a fairy tale city or maybe Brigadoon hiding in the hills! It was nearing twilight so the colors were all purple and blue. I'm so glad mom's camera worked long enough to take a couple of shots before we had to leave.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Oh, no! I've been tagged!

Christine Smith Tagged me for a game of blogtag! These are the rules to play blogtag:List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets.Tag 5 friends and list them.Those people need to write on their blogs about 5 weird things, and state the rules, and tag 5 more people. Don't forget to let the people you tag know by posting a comment on their blog!

From another blog entry, you already know how freaky I am, so now there will probably be no doubt left, ha ha! Here are my weird things-

1. I told you about my doormat obsession; well, I got caught leaving the conference room and wiping my feet last month! I was so embarrassed that someone noticed!

2. Random likes to sleep on my shoulder at night. Sometimes he will sleep right between Matt's feet and Matt will sleep all crooked so he doesn't disturb the cat! Yep—we all know who's king of the castle around here!

3. Random also likes to sleep on the clean laundry if we put it down to fold it. He was sleeping on a pair of Matt's shorts that he was getting rid of, so now they are Random's shorts! Matt puts the shorts on the couch cushion and moves it to the floor in front of the screen door every morning so Random can look out. (and he says *I* spoil the cat!)

4. I like nuts, but I can't stand nuts in my food. I pick them out of my Kung Pao Chicken. I order Almond Chicken without the almonds. No Cashews on my Cashew Chicken. I don't eat cookies with nuts. I make banana bread or anything else without the nuts. But I can eat handfuls of nuts by themselves. Except walnuts. I don't really care for them, except Black Walnut ice cream. That's one of the few nut-laden foods I'll eat, but most of the time I even pick the nuts out of that!

5. We have a nice kitchen table, but we only use it for Thanksgiving dinner! Every night we eat dinner on the couch and watch TV shows. Right now we are watching season 2 of Lost. Before that we were on season 6 of X-Files. Next in line is the final season of West Wing when it comes out. If we have breakfast on the weekends, we will usually watch a travel channel recording. This morning we watched an episode about Venice. At first I thought it was weird, but Matt enjoys it so much and it's fun to watch shows together. (and it's no fun to eat by myself at the table!)

Monday, September 11, 2006

We're Goin' to Disneyland!

For my birthday, Matt wanted to take me somewhere fun, so we decided to eat dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant. In case you're not sure where that is, it's the restaurant inside of Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. The entrance is through New Orleans Square and you eat dinner overlooking the moss-covered trees and tranquil water that are at the beginning of the ride.

I had Mahi Mahi and Matt got the pork chops. I wasn't impressed with either meal (the menu and cooking's gone downhill since our last visit) but desert made up for everything. I ordered creme brulee', one of my favorites. It was a trio of flavors, vanilla, chocolate and passionfruit. Very tasty! And for an added bonus, there was an edible-sugar treasure chest filled with chocolate dubloons to keep as a souvenir.

We got to the park just in time to renew our passes, take a few photos and get some Mickey Mouse ears for yours truly! I've always wanted some, so Matt got me the gold anniversary ears. I know; very silly, but I never got them when I was a kid, so I figured it's time to start being a kid again now.

After dinner we had about 2 hours before the park closed, which was just enough time to ride my four favorite rides. We went on Pirates first. I was disappointed with the changes they made to add things from the movie. I'm a traditionalist and a purist, so I liked the ride better before. The effects were nice, though, and I am glad they took away the chicken platter. For those who don't know, several years ago, they added a platter of chicken to one of the wench's hands so that it looked like the pirate was chasing the chicken dinner instead of the girl. An overabundance of PC-ness, if you ask me. I mean, they're pirates, for gosh-sakes! Don't pirates chase wenches?

After Pirates, we of course had to go on the Haunted Mansion. Ah—my favorite of all-time! Love those silly ghosts! At the end of the month, they will be decorating for Halloween and it turns into Jack Skellington and the Nightmare Before Christmas. I can't wait for that, but I do love the "ordinary" mansion the best.

From there it was a quick trip over to the Indiana Jones ride—definitely a fun time there! When we got out, the fireworks had already started, so we got to see them on the way to the last ride. We missed the Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise, so we'll have to do them next time. Onward to Space Mountain; the fun ride from the 80's. Ah, I love a good roller coaster and this one's great! Fast music, darkness, and the galaxy—what more can you ask for?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jennifer Louise Fialko

This post is to honor one of the victims of 9/11. An online friend was researching the events of September 11th and came across a project, the 2,996 project. The sponsors decided that it would be a way to remember those we lost and pay tribute to them if each person was remembered in a blog, all over the country and all over the world. I decided to look up Lisa Frost who was a crash victim from the town I lived in at the time of the tragedy . Sean Gavin has written her memorial HERE, including some photos I took of the community memorial that people left in Rancho Santa Margarita in the days after the crashes.

When I signed up for the 2,996 project, I was given the name of Jennifer Fialko. I never met Jennifer and the information below was gathered from the internet and new articles from the days after the tragedy. If you knew Jennifer and I have made any mistakes, please let me know so I can correct any errors. I do this project with utmost respect for all the victims, support personnel, and survivors of the tragedy as well as a deep sorrow for the losses felt by friends and family of the victims. Though I didn't personally know anyone who died that day, I still was so impacted by the events of that day. It was truly a tragedy for the whole nation. Sorry if my writing is somewhat stilted or awkward today. This was a difficult assignment, but one that was healing and needed to be done.

Jennifer got her BA from the University of New Hampshire in 1994. She was in the prime of her live. She was just starting over after finally winning her battle with Hodgkin's disease. She was in a new state of physical, spiritual, and emotional health. She felt that her cancer was a "gift" because it started her journey. She told her family she would live to be 120 and they believed her. She had just found the man she believed to be her soulmate, David.

Jennifer had just started a new job at Aon Corp and was working in the South Tower on the 92nd floor when the planes hit. She called David at 8:59 after the first plane hit. She realized she needed to get out of the tower. He told her to call back when she got to the bottom. The second plane hit her tower at 9:03. Nobody ever heard from her again.

You can see more about Jennifer at the links below:

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Yes, I'm quirky!

I was reading one of the forum sites I like to keep up with and everyone was listing their quirks. I thought it would be fun to list some of mine! I hope you don't think I'm too "freaky" after reading this one! Here they are in no particular order!

1. When I get dressed in the morning, I put my left sock on, then my left shoe, then my right sock and lastly my right shoe. I guess most people put both their socks on first and then their shoes, but that just seems strange to me.

2. I knock on wood. I'm not superstitious exactly, but I'm compulsive enough to worry that something might happen if I don't! I do it when I say something super positive is going to happen or when someone mentions death.

3. When I see a doormat, I have to wipe my feet on it even if I'm on the inside going back out! Where I work there's a doormat before you get to the conference room and I have to really work hard not to wipe my feet when I'm leaving a meeting. I don't want to do that and have my coworkers think I'm nuts!

4. Speaking of work, there's 4 cubes in the middle of our lobby. To get to the conference room, most people walk straight through the cubes. I like to walk around because I feel like I'm invading someone's personal space. If I have to walk through them, I hold my breath to center myself and get courage!

5. I'm addicted to chapstick. At my last job a bunch of gals decided to break their habit by using a speical moisturizing product on their lips until they could stop using lip balm. I couldn't even stand the thought of doing that—just thinking about it made me have to stop typing and apply some right now! (ETA: I did it again when I was editing this!)

6. Sometimes I just can't stand to touch paper. Wet paper is the worst, but sometimes even dry paper creeps me out. It's kind of funny considering that my favorite hobbies are rubber stamping and scrapbooking!

7. I can't stand to leave a novel unfinished. There are only about 3-4 books I have ever not finished in my life! Even if it's bad I have to finish! (don't ask me which ones, because I can't remember, except that one was an L. Ron Hubbard Sci-Fi novel)

8. When I 'm walking I have this need to count my steps. I usually count in groups of 3-4. Sou I will count "one-two-three-four" "two-two-three-four" as I walk. I especially need to do this when I'm walking down stairs!

9. On my computer task bar, I have to always have things in the exact right order so I can click on the items in the same spot and I know where my programs are. Sometimes my outlook or another program accidently gets closed and then I have to close all my other windows just so I can re-open it in the right spot. When I do this I usually reboot since I've closed all my programs and I might as well make a clean start of it!

Well, I'm sure there's lots more I could tell you, but I really like the number "9" so I will stop here now!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A funny thing about crosswalks

(I'm sure this has been said before by someone with more wit than I have, but I'll say it again!)

We went to the pier twice this weekend and both times the same thing happened. It's the summer, so of course Huntington Beach is busy and there's tons of people. We were waiting at the crosswalk with at least 20 other people on each corner waiting to cross.

On Saturday I leaned against the light post while we were waiting and on Sunday, Matt did. Each time someone decided that they had to ask us to move so they could push the button for the light! Don't they think that one of the other One Hundred people that were waiting at one of the 4 corners would have already pushed the button!? Nope, apparently not! The light was only going to turn if they *personally* pushed the button!

Well, perhaps they were right, because the crosswalk light didn't change until Saturday's "Mr. Brilliant" and his Sunday friend, "The Button-Intimidator" pushed it! Would the light have worked without their expert intervention!? We'll never know!

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Can of Spam and Bread Filled with Whiskey!

I thought I'd end this Memorial Day with a story I heard from my Great Aunt this weekend. We were talking about the war and how it was when her husband was stationed in the Phillipines in the 40's.

All the women would show their love and appreciation for their service men by sending letters and care packages to those stationed far away. Ellie sent photos of herself so John would have something to remember her by. He told her not to send those sexy photos of her wearing her bathrobe anymore because she was driving him wild.

Ellie also loved to bake cookies and other treats and package them up for John. Then she started worrying that he wasn't getting enough to eat in the Army, so she wanted to send him something more substantial.

A can of Spam was her food of choice; the one thing she knew would keep him strong and nourished and for some reason, this was what she decided to send. Of course, John didn't want the Spam—he probably had more than his share of canned meat while he was there. Nobody else wanted it either. For days it sat on the table; unclaimed by any of the soldiers. Finally it became the company joke and it was finally claimed. That can was the perfect thing for target practice!

So John wrote to Ellie and said: "Please don't send any more Spam." If she wanted to send a treat, could she please send alcohol! Of course, alcohol wasn't allowed, but she was determined to send some anyways! She hollowed out a loaf of bread and hid a pint of whiskey inside. But to make sure he didn't throw it away, she put a note on the outside of the box: "Look inside the bread!" We're not quite sure if he even got this care package, but it was surely sent with love.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Random the Cat

Gosh! I just realized it's been FOREVER since I've posted! Yes, I'm lame and flakey, sorry!

I thought I'd tell you about Random the Cat. He's the little kitty in my avatar and He's been my constant companion and best friend for 17 years. I used to live in an apartment upstairs. The stoner guys that lived downstairs from us were moving—yaay! I felt so bad for their little kitty who meowed and cried all day when they moved. Poor kitty—you must be so scared that they are causing so much commotion and stealing all your furniture. I figured they would be back later that night to get him, once the moving was done.

I didn't hear kitty the next day, so I was glad to know they had picked him up. Unfortunately, on the third night, I heard the poor guy crying again. Those SOB's had abandoned their cat and left him trapped and alone inside an empty apartment for 3 days! I don't think they were cruel, I think they were just too stupid or stoned to know the difference. I immediately called our apartment management and insisted they send someone over to get that cat.

Poor little guy was so scared and hungry when he was delivered to our apartment. He was thirsty and starving and so glad to see people. We immediately bonded. He didn't recognize what cat food was, but figured it out pretty quick. He did recognize the Pizza Man and a McDonald's bag, so I knew right away how he had been fed before. Poor kitty didn't really even know how to purr. He did start purring after a couple of days, but you could only tell this by holding your ear close to him to hear it.

His paws were huge and I though he would be a giant cat, but then I realized that they were so big because of his extra toes. Yup. Random is polydactile and has 6 toes and 7 claws on each of his front paws. I'm told that's lucky and Random is one lucky kitty!

At first we were going to name him Chaos, but then Random sounded better to go with our other cat's name; Romana. Random & Romana were good friends and he was very sad when she passed away. He used to love to sleep next to her and chase her when she was bored. She was almost 3 times his size, but he'd chase her anyways. Whenever she got fed up with his antics, she'd whack him with one of her big paws and you could almost see stars and little birds flying around his head!

Random used to follow me around the house; where ever I went, there he was. After he realized I wouldn't abandon him, he would still silently just happen to be in whatever room I was in. I've been very happy to have him for my pal all these years.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Finished Product!

Whew! I finally had time to scan my photos and finish my layout! I started on this intending to use photos of my great-grandfather holding two of his grandkids; my mom and her cousin. But when I went through the photos, I could only find one of the photos.

Instead I found two fabulous photos of my great aunt in about 1950. She lived in Tokyo with her husband who was in the army. She is modeling a kimono! While I would love to see a color picture of this, the sepia-toned and aged photo is so delicate and beautiful looking! I really love these photos and I think they went perfectly with the coloring and round shapes in the background sketch I used.

Once I knew I would use these photos, I just had to use that awesome Kanji brush-stamp that I had in my digital collection. I really love that this is heritage and Japanese at the same time!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Creative Team

Lucky me! I got chosen to be on the creative team of one of the best new digital scrapbook designers, Christine Smith! I get a free kit at least twice a month and I make two scrapbook layouts using the kit.

Here's a preview of my latest layout using her Superstar kit available at . Key and doily from Traci Sims and stitching from Jen Wilson. I still have to finish the page, but here's a peek!

The sketch is a challenge posted on the digichick blog here :

Sometimes doing a sketch or a challenge can really stretch you creatively, so it's fun to do! I still need to add the title, photos and finishing touches to this! I'll post again when it's finished!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Incurable Packrat!

I admit it! I'm a packrat! It's a horrible disease and I've got it bad! Mom says I come by it honestly because my great aunt has it, my mother has it and now I've inherited it! I try so hard to not save everything and to purge when I can. It's a never-ending battle and I'm always on the losing side.

Especially with my craft supplies. I love crafting and have always done it. I always will. Even if I haven't croched or tatted for years, I know I will again someday. I have a closet full of craft stuff that rarely gets used. I have a room full of supplies that are for my current hobbies: Sewing, Stamping and Scrapbooking.

When I say current, I'm not sure how honest that is! I haven't really sewn anything for 2 years when I sewed the flower girl dresses for my wedding. I've machine-embroidered a couple of baby blankets and that is it! But April is Renaissance Faire season, so I know I will need to sew some new costume things this year. So, I can still call sewing current, right?

Today, I swore I was going to get rid of one of my large boxes of fabric I have stored. I have 5 of those plastic rubbermaid containers that sit in my room. They would be level with my crafting table if I only had 4 boxes. So I dutifully opened each box and sorted through them this morning. I sent one small bag back to Mom's because she is more likely to use it . One small bag will go to Goodwill. And one small bag has been cut up for RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) for my crafty friends.

Nope—I didn't get rid of even one box! But I was able to put the fabric that was sitting on top of the table away. Wish me luck with my sewing next month—maybe I will sew enough costume pieces that I can get rid of that pesky box!

Friday, February 24, 2006

One of those questionnaires

Once in a while, someone passes out a questionnaire in my email. Here's my answers!

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Survey Researcher
2. Substitute Teacher
3. Fabric Store Clerk
4. Counselor

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. Mary Poppins
2. Princess Bride
3. Amelie
4. Blue

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Don’t really watch TV!
2. X-Files
3. Travel/cooking/ channel
4. discovery/Nat'l geographic channel

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Japan
2. Tahiti
3. New Mexico
4. Georgia

Four websites I visit daily:
3. yahoo groups
4. msn groups

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Lasagna
2. Lobster
3. Sushi
4. Mexican food

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. At home kissin’ the little cat!
2. Someplace warm and sunny
3. Day Spa
4. Tahiti

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Things I learned from Grandma

My grandmother died of lung cancer when I was only nine years old. I was really "grandma's girl" and I still miss her. Here's some funny little things I learned through her.

• Nothing beats a good mystery novel!
• If you don't want to cook, there's always KFC!
• When weeding the garden, pull all the largest weeds first—that way if you get tired, your garden still looks nicer and then you can go play!
• Afternoon naps are so refreshing!
• It's always more fun to play cards if you have pretzels to snack on!
• Have a hobby and enjoy it whenever you can!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What's that smell?

Last week I got one of those email questionnaires from a friend. One question that really made me think was to list your favorite smells. Here's some of my answers:

• vanilla
• cinnamon
• hot wet concrete next to a swimming pool in Summer
• jasmine breezes on a warm evening
• Random's fur
• the smell of a heater or dryer
• my shampoo that smells like mint gumdrops (Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo)
• fresh copies from the copy machine
• the smell of a summer thunderstorm
• the first freesias of spring
• a new box of crayons
• a bag of lemons
• Monoi Tiare' soap from Tahiti (Monoi Tiare)
• Rosemary from the garden
• lavendar sprinkled with morning dew

Please feel free to list some of your favorites, too!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Just a quick update!

Oh, gosh! Everyone probably thought I'd fallen off the face of the Earth! But nope, I'm still here! I got sick *again* right after Christmas, and I think I'm finally going to be ok now! I still have a tiny bit of a cough, of course. Once they get ahold of me, they never go away! But I feel normal again and ready to get back into the groove!

I'm not going to share any funny stories or adventures today, just give you all a quick update! Matt quit his job to take another job working from home. So that will be wonderful for him with lots less stress. Of course the new job entails 5 or 6 humongous monster boxes full of files, and of course we have no room for them! I'm trying to get rid of some of my stuff to compensate, but that's always sooo hard for me! Wish me luck!

Random's hanging in there. He's such a sweet kitty and still looks healthy and happy. I realized that it's been over 6 months since he was diagnosed and I don't think the vet believed he would make it this long. But he's a strong kitty with lots of good care, so I'm sure that helps. I really treasure the time we have had together.

My job has been good. They are remodeling the area where I sit, so after that disruption is over things should be great! We are working on a huge project that should be ready for demo in 2 weeks and then we have about 2 more weeks to get it live. Whew! It will be a huge relief to get it done but lots of stress and long hours until then. And in the meantime my harddrive at work crashed! GAK--definitely something I didn't need right now--and the dang thing's ony 3 months old!

Luckily my home computer seems ok and is liking my new 400GB HD that we installed this weekend. Hopefully I'll have room for all my photos for awhile! Well, guess what? It's time to get ready for work!