Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer of Seven-My Tentative Schedule...

Considering I've just downloaded the book on my Kindle this morning and have only read the introduction, I'm kind of jumping in blind coming up with my schedule for reduction. The book, by the way-in case you missed this morning's post, is Jen Hatmaker's 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  But, we're all a-Twitter over this summer challenge to reduce the excess in our lives so that we can serve others better, and things tend to stick a little better when you put it down on paper...

Granted, none of this is carved in stone, and should the good Lord be willing to finally uproot us from this home here in Butler and grant us permission to go forth with our lives at last in Massachusetts, then there may be a burp or two in the schedule. But I looked over Bug's summer schedule to date, and how that all might possibly affect The Seven Schedule, and this is what I've come up with (along with reading the rest of the book for starters...) Henceforth:

June 1-7: Food-I'm following suit with Amy Dane and only eating what we have on hand in the house for the week. I'm not sure we could stick to only seven foods, especially being committed to meal plans on Spark People--to which I can easily configure around the contents of my pantry for the next seven days. I believe it's a go.

June 8-14: Clothes-Clothes horse that I most certainly am not, I don't see this to be trouble at all. I tend to stick to the same boring Tshirts, shorts or sweats every day, so choosing seven items of clothes (not including unders...) should be fairly easy. I guess the point, then, is why are there so many clothes hanging all wrinkled and dusty in my closet?? Mm-hmm...

June 15-21: Media-To give up seven forms of media for the week. Seven forms? I didn't know there were seven forms...I chose this week because Bug will be at camp and so ignoring the TV and the computer will be all that much easier without him being plugged in all day long (am I taking the challenge out of this, finding the easiest weeks and ways through??) I suppose I will have to hide away my tablet and cell phone (no texting????!!!!) that week...I think my heart just stopped...And if we're not allowed on the computer, just how will we blog about our week?? Anybody??

June 22-28: Possessions-I've been a purge-a-holic since this move thing first loomed dark over us. I love to pitch stuff (but that would be waste??) I believe there is to be a more purposeful redirection of purged possessions? Further reading is needed on this subject, but it's a month away so I should be caught up by then...

June 29-5 (I've noticed some of our other bloggers have skipped the holiday week?) Stress-There are some prayers in the book, which I'll be needing by this time if we're still without a buyer over my birthday week...

July 6-12: Spending-I had to jiggle this one to fall in between pay weeks since you're not supposed to do any form of money related transactions this week, including paying bills.

July 13-19: Waste-I have to read the rest of the book to figure out what we're supposed to do this week...

July 20-26: Self-A reflective week, looking back over the previous seven weeks and finding ways to create 'less of ourselves' in order to serve more of others. Looking forward to this week and seeing the amazing things God is gonna work in our lives this summer...

Summer of Seven

Yeah, I know, it's Count Me Accountable Thursday but I am in no fit mood to even look at that stupid scale this week and as gracious and kind friends, you will all understand and forgive me for jumping ship today. There are greater things afoot.

Another of my favorite blogs, Amy in Wanderland, has joined up in a summer challenge, The Summer of Seven, based on Jen Hatmaker's new book, "7-An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess". Each week of summer will focus on eliminating or reducing excess in seven different areas of our lives: food, stress, possessions, media, clothes, spending, and waste. And it's a blog hop--you know how I love to link up to other blogs...

But seriously--every day I'm sitting here stewing, getting angrier, more depressed, more frustrated with our situation of being stuck here in PA waiting for this house to sell. It's harder and harder for me to get out of bed in the morning. Every day I cry, either missing my husband or just out of a little self-pity party while my prayers for a buyer seem to fall on deaf ears. And I need something to pull me out of this mire. I need a different perspective. I need something that will draw my attention back to the God who works everything to our good because every day I feel like I'm falling farther and farther away...

So--I had to laugh that to begin this challenge of less, I have to go buy one more of something that I already have entirely too much of, another book. But, to compensate for that expense I am returning a couple unopened packs of pens I had bought for Zentangle, and using that money to pay for the book. Considering I have about as many pens as I do books, this only seemed justified...

And I'm jumping in on the first food week challenge--to eat only what we have in the house for a week. No trips to the grocery store (okay, I will be stopping at Walmart this morning for milk and celery, Kool-aid, and Skinny Cow truffle bars--but that's it!!! Oh, and dog treats...) The challenge officially begins tomorrow anyway...And I have to run to the mall to buy the book (yeah, I already checked the online catalog for the library and they don't have it...) after I stop at Staples and return the pens.

If you're as intrigued as I am, you can jump on over to Katrina's blog-The Poorganic Life (which I'm already in love with and am now following on my Google reader!!) and maybe join in the insanity?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Artful Wednesday Once More

It's been a great week for tangling. I've broken out some color--some good, some not so good, but it's always fun to give something new a shot. The Diva's Weekly Challenge #72 is to do a mono-tangle (using just one pattern and its variations) with Crescent Moon. And I came up with the design below:
Crescent Moon
I have a couple more ideas I may play around with this week...and hopefully get them posted in time before the challenge deadline Saturday night....

Then, I was being a little playful with my colored markers and did the next two tangles...a bit too literal, I think. I'm not really crazy about either of them...The lamp idea came from these little lamps Kiran, the sweet boy I sponsor through World Vision, had colored for me last year. I have them stuck around the house to remind me of him when I see them and I've wanted to use the outline for a tangle--I'll have to try it again so maybe I can send it to Kiran when it's done...
All About V, Croon, Tipple, and Betweed

I'll definitely try this leaf again in different impact...
'Nzepple, Vacha 1, and Waves
I've also been obsessed with two of the patterns below-Paradox and Baton. The pink gave it just a touch of pizzazz...
Shing, Paradox, and Baton

More Paradox--I love the twisty, optical illusion, where's it going and how did it start look...
Paradox, 'Nzepple, and Btl Joos-sort of...
And Footlights caught my eye this week, so wanted to do something with it, though it's actually the least favorite part of this tangle for me! Haha! I love the wierd clam shell and mini-marshmallow thing happening (not official tangle patterns--just something that developed out of the ol' brain...) I was tempted to put a little color on this one, but where?? If I'd done it on watercolor paper I think a wash would be pretty...
Footlights and Swirls...the rest just happened...
So, that's been my week...I hope you've enjoyed the tangles and will stop back to see what I've done next week! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

This is a slate I painted oh so many years back...It sits on the sill of the back porch, still not packed yet, and I thought I'd stick it in as a little header one of these weeks to begin a gratitude post--and here it is. Now I can pack it. Haven't packed much this past week...haven't done much else other than tangle! I am completely obsessed...I'm seeing patterns in my sleep, then waking up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep with all the thoughts of tangles swirling through my head...I don't know if that's good or bad--but I do have a slew to share with you tomorrow for Artful Wednesday. At least it's been a creative week if not so much productive!

It's also been one of my better weeks so far this year-lots to be thankful for as I continue counting:
#394. Two nests! A blue jay and the beginning of some crazy cool hornet nest
I heard the babies while I was checking out the hornet's nest, looked up and there was a blue jay nest! So cool!

Okay, probably not a whole lot of hornet nest fans out there--but...and you can't tell from this pic, but it was shiny inside, like foil, and the hornet was wrapped up tight in the top but came down to look at me as I was checking out his handiwork-so beautiful! Sadly I did have to take the nest down...don't imagine it's a big help selling a house with a hornet's nest hanging right outside the garage...sorry Mr. Hornet!
#395. 90 lbs of Boxer mix baby who has to be the most endearing dog I've ever known...he makes me laugh every day and I just love him beyond words
#396. George RR Martin and being back in Westeros
#397. Lunch at school with my Bug and his friends
#398. Four and a half mile run--felt soooo good!!
#399. Groovy green wormie
I just thought he was so on green

#400. Free Slurpees at 7-11! Gotta love free stuff!
#401. Big pot of spicy white bean soup....oh so good!!
#402. Easy breathing test
#403. Awesome kids librarian who took the time to find some cool books for Bug
#404. Sweet baby Jays
There's three and already so big!!

#405. A gorgeous sunny day shopping in Volant with my girls!!
#406. Followed by lunch at the Tavern on the Square--and more shopping!! Life is good!
#407. New baby grill to cook up some Memorial Day nummies for me 'n Bug
Isn't it perfect??

#408. Air conditioning--aaahhh...Who turned on summer??
#409. Baby Lenny back home where he belongs--happy, happy Mama

#410. A quick storm to drop the temps and windows open wide--at least for the night
#411. A perfect avocado...okay, it wasn't on my meal plan but it's not like I ate a tub of ice cream--it was an avocado!! Healthy!!
#412. A much cooler week ahead (so not a fan of least as long as we're still in PA and no where close to the ocean....ugh!!)

You can click over to join in counting your own thankfuls here at Thankful Tuesday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Baby Lenny's Back in Town

Babies Lenny and Squiggy last August
Our family grew a little more yesterday...We got to go pick up our sweet baby Lenny and bring him back home. Lenny is a beautiful lutino pearl cockatiel that I hand-raised with our little Squiggy last summer, thanks to our friend Jenny, who graciously 'loaned' me Lenny to make learning how to hand-feed baby birds just a little easier for me. I'd never hand-fed any babies and Squiggy was so very tiny. It's rather awkward at first, trying to hold baby up with one hand, fill a syringe with birdie formula and pop open baby's beak (whose eyes are still shut at this point and they have no idea what you're trying to do so they're not very cooperative at first until they realize, oh food!!) That's them at the cute were they?? Lenny was all hunger and greed, Squiggy just wanted to snuggle and keep warm. Me? I was in birdie heaven with watching these two little ones growing so fast! Then, before I knew it, Lenny was weaned and eating on his own. Jen offered to let us keep him but we had Brodie at the time--another male cockatiel I had been completely attached to. Whenever he was out of his cage, he sat on my shoulder--period. Our parakeets, Blinkie and Skye, are only interested in each other. Crash and Burn, Squiggy's parents, were almost connected at the hip--Crash has a bad foot and it's hard for her to perch sometimes, so Burn would always sit next to her, propping her up. Sweet as they were, they still had no interest in buddying up with me...I was afraid Lenny and Brodie would all buddy up and leave me in the cold--of course, I had Squiggy...but still, we decided to send Lenny back to Jenny, sad as it was to watch him go.

Tragedy struck just over a month ago, when Brodie all of a sudden became sick and passed away in my arms one night. I was devastated and couldn't believe he was actually gone--we'd only had him a few short years. Bug and I buried him that night under the Japanese Maple on the side of our house, safely on the other side of the fence away from curious digging Tucker, said our goodbyes through tears as we laid a stone marker on his grave.

I'd also made arrangements for Jenny to take Crash and Burn. They wanted to have more babies and, with moving looming over our heads, I really couldn't make that wish come true for them. I thought they'd be happier with Jenny, having more bitty parrotlet babies, so off they went. Our birdie family quickly dwindled in half to three...

A couple weeks after that we brought Loki home from the bird show in Pittsburgh and I thought our family was complete. It took Loki a good couple weeks to settle in and stop biting, but now he's as sweet as the others and sillier than any other bird I've ever known. He's our little clown who bops and dances, and lays on his back with his jingle ball in his beak, kicking at it with his feet. In the mornings you can just see his white eye ring peeking out under his blanket as he scoots back and forth in his cage waiting for his morning kisses...I'm in love!!

Then the other morning, I received a message from Jenny asking if I was interested in taking Lenny back. My heart jumped out of my chest!! Yes!! I had cried that day at the bird show, looking at all the cockatiels that reminded me of our Brodie...I missed my sweet baby so much and now I had a chance to have our Lenny home again...It was almost too good to be true! I quickly cleaned and rearranged cages, filling Lenny's with a new swing and a couple toys. Yesterday morning we brought him home. He's grown up nicely, strong and solid, and still as sweet as that greedy little hungry baby I raised last summer...Welcome home, Lenny--welcome home!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part Two (apparently there are several parts forthcoming...)

21. Have you felt that life is like being on a roller coaster? Definitely yes and I'm ready to get off, thank you...

22. Favorite year so far? 2001--married my love and had my sweet baby Bug

23. Do you consider yourself religious? Yep.

24. How do you dress to impress? Long maxi dresses--my favorite!

25. Have you ever been to Connecticut? Yes--have family there, with horses...and the Women of Faith conference will be in Connecticut this year, definitely looking forward to that!!

26. Do you eat sushi? LOVE sushi!

27. Would you smoke pot providing there was no risk or driving involved? No--I wouldn't smoke anything.

28. What do you think of Idol Winner Phillip Phillips?? Who who?? Seriously, that's somebody's name?? Why would you do that to your child? See, that's what smoking pot does...

29. Do you believe that animals have souls? Yes--why would people only have souls? Animals are so much better than us...

30. Who did you last talk to? Share, if you dare. My Bug-he's the only one that's ever here for me to talk to...besides the dogs and the birds and myself...

31. What is one thing that always annoys you? Oh so many TV and not being able to fast forward through commercials makes me insane!!

32. Do you believe in a higher being? Uh, yes--refer to question 23...

33. Have you ever fallen in love with a neighbor? No. No hot neighbors...

34. Any plans for this weekend? Sadly no--at least not for the holiday, but--BUT!! We are going to pick up my baby Lenny this morning--a cockatiel I hand-raised with my parrotlet baby, Squiggy, last summer. That's all the plans I need =0)

35. Would you like to rule your country, if you could? Goodness, no--buncha misfits...

36. Do you like watching films about the nature of animals? If it's about baby animals--I can't watch animals hunting and killing other animals...

37. What's the difference between lust and/or lust? Um, one ends with and and the other begins with or...then there's that slash thingy in between...

38. Do you have a soul? Yes? Do I have soul? Yeah, no...

39. One best friend or many good friends? A few good friends I consider my besties =0)

40. Do you believe in spontaneous combustion? Yeah, no.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday 9: Self-Esteem

1. How was your self esteem growing up? Horrible. Being adopted I felt completely unwanted/unlovable—still struggle with that today and I’m closing in on forty-five…

2. Do you ever have a hard time with morals? No. Trying to impress them on my ten year old…not so easy, but we’re working on it!

3. Do you eat in bed? If yes, what? No—I hate crumbies in bed. Bad enough the dogs get it all hairy and muddy.

4. What was the last movie you hated and why? Hated? There was some super stupid movie we watched a long, long time ago but I can’t remember the name—just so ridiculously stupid, I was mad we’d wasted the money to rent it and then the time we spent watching it. I hate stupid movies.

5. Have you ever felt that you lost it all? If yes, explain. Yeah, when my ‘first love’ broke up with me. Crushed my world. But—look! I survived and married an ever greater love-my soul mate! =0)

6. Have you ever been stalked? Yes!! So scary—some jerk in a pickup truck kept circling past me one morning when I was out running, passed me like six times and even stopped at one point to let me catch up as there were a couple roads I could’ve (should’ve) turned off on. He’d look away so I couldn’t see his face when he’d pass me, and then when I got home and called the police with the license plate number, it didn’t match the truck—like it’d been switched. Creeped me out so bad, we went and got Tucker, my Boxer mix, to run with me for protection, and I still just feel safer running inside on the treadmill.

7. Do you believe in 'self help' for problems, or do you prefer therapy? Totally self-help. Therapy is a waste of time and money.

8. What celebrity do you think should make a run for office? Brad and Angelina. They’re both scum so they’d fit in perfectly.

9. Do you believe in happy endings? (We do. That why this is the last question!) Yes—looking forward to the happy ending of getting moved to Massachusetts at some point!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday, Thursday--You Are Not My Friend, Thursday

I'm starting to not like Thursdays so much, what with this whole weigh in thing going on. It's not been my greatest week. I've been angry a lot and angry leads me to binge. And I've been off my water. I just didn't feel like drinking eight or more glasses every day so I didn't. I did work out. Okay, I love my workouts--my saving grace, I suppose. I love to run and I love to strength train--especially since my surgery this year when I was so limited afterward in what I was capable of doing and now there aren't any limits other than what I impose on myself. So I push those limits as much as I can because it feels so good after, and it really helps with the anger and stress when you have all those endorphins running round your brain. And I ran four and a half miles yesterday, something I hadn't done in over a year. I could've cried I was so happy! Breathing down the back of five...yeah, that feels really good....All these friends are training for and running half-marathons and I'm so jealous!! And also so very happy and proud of them--Katie and Amy and Jerry, you guys rock!!

But the darn rotten scale didn't budge a bit, still holding steady at 169. Ugh. No new rewards and I'm really falling behind on my weight loss schedule! I should've been reaching my goal in another three weeks and I'm eight pounds behind...That's hard to accept. But, I'm the one who binged. I'm the one who didn't drink the water. I've got no one and nothing else to blame but myself and my choices. Bitter pills....bitter pills...

So, anyway...I'm off to the hospital this afternoon for the pulmonary function test, see if I've begun to develop COPD after twenty-three years of smoking. I ran four and a half miles yesterday--COPD my patootie!! This girl's not going down without a fight!! And I'm ready to make much better choices this week--or in the very least, shoot the stupid scale!! Who's with me??

Must Love God

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another Artful Wednesday

It's been unusually simple around here lately. It's not rained so the dogs aren't tracking in a bunch of mud. Ruby's started shedding and I do have huge clouds of fluffy white fur deposited here and there around the house, but that's not a big deal. I don't know how the chore list got so light, but I'm certainly not going to complain! It's just left me all the more time to tangle and you know that makes me happy!!

First up was the Diva's Weekly Challenge #71, which was to include a new tangle pattern, Pea-Nuckle (see the lower right hand corner...) This one took me a couple days to sort out and I'm not 100% happy with it, but it's not too bad, either--there are some things I kinda like about it...

Then I found a Zentangle Inspired Art group on Yahoo, and their weekly challenge was to work with Mooka (the loopy, hearty kinda parts...) I had fun with this one today!

And below is an A inspired design for my friends, the Arps, who have been there above and beyond for Michael and I this year--I just wanted to do something special for them to remember us by after we move...

And there you have it--my tangles for the week! The rest of the week is a looking a little busier, but I'm hoping to get in some tangle time as I can....we shall see! Of course, I did jump back in to the Song of Fire and Ice with Storm of Swords's so good to be back in Westeros once more! So...if you don't hear from me, I'm somewhere lost in the Seven Kingdoms! Do Not Disturb...

Thankful Tuesday

I am in complete denial that we are this far along in the month (year!!) already--seriously? It's almost June and, for the life of me, I have no idea where this year has gone. End of the year school activities are filling up the calendar--we had our field trip last week, tomorrow is Bug's Shining Star Lunch day (I get to go have lunch with my Love Bug), Field Day is Friday (they get to play games and eat junk food all day...) and, if I dare to blink, school will be out for summer...Then there's camp and swim lessons and play dates...I just realized this weekend how much I need to get organized to get my little one ready to go to camp and I laughed wondering how much of all this stuff will actually make it home again--probably not very much! And I cried thinking how I'll miss him all week long while he's off having fun--I just pray I get the tears out of my system before he goes so I don't blubber all over him when I drop him off. I certainly don't want him thinking about me being sad without him (yeah, right--he'll be too wound up and having the time of his life to worry about his MOM!!)

I'm also struggling this week to keep up the happy. It's frustrating to still be sitting here and I'm beginning to stew in some anger and depression. It's tempting to binge and more tempting to shirk chores out of resentment. I didn't weed at all and the front bed is starting to look rather jungle-ly and I don't care. The more I look at it, the angrier I get that we're still here. It's the whole 'out of my control' thing that makes this all so hard. I can't fix this, I can't make it go any faster and I want to scream. But I can recognize my struggling and try to get a grip on it before it takes over. I will weed today and I will stick to my meal plan and hopefully spend some time tangling this afternoon--that's always a good escape for an hour or two. And I will continue to count my thankfuls:

#372. The jingle of Loki playing with his ball
#373. Avocado oatmeal mask and a bubbly soak in the tub
#374. An easy week of light chores
#375. Another showing
#376. Good test results, the heart looks good!
#377. A chance to recommend Dr. Curran to a new patient--she is the best!!
#378. Laughing with my honey in the morning
#379. Pretty purple cooler for the school field trip-yay!
#380. Feeling happy in spite of no weight loss (at least for a little while...)
#381. Lutherlyn!! and a bus full of crazy loud nine and ten year olds
#382. A black snake and a pickerel frog
#383. Hiking through the woods with fifteen wide eyed, curious kids (who, apparently don't get to spend a whole lot of time hiking through the woods...)
#384. And another showing
#385. Spending the afternoon at Alameda playing with friends and enjoying the beautiful sunshine
#386. New Thirty-One bag ridiculously reduced (MINE!!!) and groovy Christian T's
#387. Thoroughly soaked boys laughing silly squirting each other from fountain filled water balloons
#388. Wrapping presents up pretty

#389. Spicy ketchup--I'm hooked!!
#390. Two volunteer cucumber plants growing wild in what used to be the garden (the questions remain: Will they survive Tucker? Will we be here to see any cucumbers from them?)
#391. New tangle challenges (who needs to clean??)
#392. Time with friends and making tentative summer plans
#393. This guy who comes to visit every day to eat the helicopter seeds out of our flower box:
I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my Squishy....
For more thankful thoughts, jump over and visit Mama:Monk Micha's blog here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part One

1.       Have you ever peed your pants as an adult? Sadly, yes...the shame...

2.       Who do you have a celebrity crush on now? Chris Hemsworth—oh yum…

3.       Would you date someone you met online? No.

4.       Do you wear underwear always? Yes.

5.       Do you hate yourself at times? A lot of times.

7.       Do you like dirty movies? No.

8.       Could you believe Joshua Ledet was voted off Idol? Who?

9.       When was the last time you bought a car? Four years ago, I think…

10.       Have you ever been camping? Tons of times.

11.   How many times a day do you go on Facebook? Four, maybe five—too many, really.

12.   What was the last movie you saw in a theater? The Avengers—awesome!!

13.   Have you ever worried that you’d cut off a limb? No.

14.   Where did you get your last email from? Heartlight-it’s a daily scripture and prayer post.

15.   Favorite website? Tangle Patterns—though I just discovered Tangle Harmony which is even better than Tangle Patterns—aahhh…

16.   Are you down with ghetto? What?

17.   Will the world end in fire or ice? According to George RR Martin, ice—I think, haven’t really read that far and the series isn’t over yet—yay!!

18.   Do you believe in the afterlife? Yes!

19.   Would you be upset if Facebook stopped working? No-maybe I’d get some of my life back.

20.   How did you start your blog? With Blogger, a few template choices, and some babbling blather about wanting to write again…
Well, that was completely pointless...thanks for wasting a little time with me this morning!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday 9: Somebody I Used to Know

1. How do you feel when you realize that an impasse will cause a relationship (any type) to end? Really depends on the relationship, I think…but lately a certain relationship is in that state and I just wish it would be over. I’d like to get on with my life. Enough is enough, especially stupidity and I’m no longer impressed.

2. You’re planning a trip that would be an eight-hour car ride, a four-hour train ride, or a two-hour plane ride. With money and time being no object, which would you most likely choose and why? Train! Train, train, train—I’ve always wanted to do a train trip (pretend I’m on the Hogwarts Express…hahaha--I'm such a nerd...) Eight hours is too long in a car and planes—eh, I could do without any more plane trips, but I’d really, really like to take a train trip!!

3. What is your ideal past time on a lazy summers day? Either hiking a cool, lush wooded trail, or relaxing at home with my guys…maybe go for ice cream after dinner…

4. Name a CD you own that no one else on your friends list does. It’s an old CD, I think it’s just called Prayer (not going down to the basement to dig through all our CD’s…) but it’s a bunch of different prayers and chants from around the world, really beautiful.

5. What's a wish of yours? TO GET THIS HOUSE SOLD AND MOVED ALREADY!! Yeah, I think we all knew that…

6. What is something you’re going to do a lot of this week? Playing, actually—yay me! Coffee date Monday, lunch date with my Bugalicious at school Wednesday, and Girls’ Day Out on Friday!! Yeah!! Gonna be a great week!!

7. Is there someone you wish would just fall off the face of this earth? Oh yes, refer to question one…Sorry, does that make me a bad person??

8. What did you do last night? Picked up around the house, have a showing this morning (prayers and good thoughts, please!!)

9. Where is the next place you'd like to go vacation? I could honestly really care less about vacation right now, especially considering we’re moving to MA and will be super close to the ocean and can go play anytime—that’ll be like vacation…permanently?! Nice…

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's That Time Again

Well, I knew it was coming, especially after last week's teeny tiny drop of barely half a pound. Complete standstill this week. Ugh...So, okay, I did have a super huge giant tub of buttery movie popcorn last Friday when we went to see The Avengers (what a GREAT movie for those of you with little boys or little boys at heart who are all into superheros...Definitely a fun flick and okay, just look at Thor:
Chris Hemsworth--yummy!!
That alone is worth going to see the movie for....3D or not--just go. And Robert Downey Jr is pretty tasty as Iron Man--oh yeah, those big brown eyes!!) Anyway, so there was the popcorn and the cowtails, I did bring my own water, but I guess I never really cut back anywhere the rest of the week to allow for that overflow of calories and the scale gave me a big old nasty 'N'yah n'yah' this morning. I hate that thing...might just have to leave it here when we move--that'll show it!! Or a scale has feelings or recognizes abandonment--it's not me, for crying out loud...

But, onward and upward--a new week, popcorn and cowtail free at least. Oh, got a good check up from the doctor yesterday. The heart looked good. The head looked, well, bruised, but okay. Slight evidence of mild pulmonary hypertension and going for a pulmonary function test next week to check for COPD--hmph...All those years smoking, it had to bite me in the butt sooner or later. Later would've been preferrable...Smokers, quit. Quit now. Do yourselves a huge giant favor, just quit the stupid things.

All rightee then...I scribbled all the 'Up 'n Coming' events on my little dry erase board on the fridge for now through the beginning of July--the next two months are going to be a complete blur, which I guess is good. The more I'm occupied with life, the less I fuss about sitting here in PA still. I think we have one week with nothing on the calendar, which we can easily remedy with no trouble at all--playdates!! So ready for school to be out--almost....almost. Happy Thursday folks!

Must Love God

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Artful Wednesday!

Okay, so here we are now, my first Artful Wednesday...Amazingly I have a couple tangles to post already for the Diva's Weekly Challenge which is to use sepia this week! Color! I'm not really thrilled with what I've done...I don't like trying to stick to a box, much happier to just let it flow. So maybe I just need to try that from now on. But here are my two tangles--the first with a brown pen and the other was done on a brown paper lunch bag...

There's just not enough depth or umph or something, they both feel rather bland...though I liked playing with the white color pencil on the brown bag...The good news is it's still early in the week and I actually have plenty of time to play for a change, so hopefully I'll get something more inspiring accomplished in the days ahead...


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thankful/Artful Transistioning Tuesday...

I am all a-jumble this week...feel like I've knocked something loose in my head when I smashed into the door this weekend ( it wasn't already loose...sure, sure...) But do you ever have those weeks that just seem like a blur and no matter what you do to try to catch up, it all feels in vain and time just keeps slipping faster and faster away? I don't know what I did last week-I know I didn't accomplish much around the house, but it flew by and time was lost and my head was left spinning...

Fortunately this week I have very little on my To Do List. Not quite sure how I managed that, but one does not look the Gift of Time Horse in the mouth! Of course there's always that voice saying I should be weeding or packing or something more productive...Sitting drawing? Why does that give me so much guilt? At least I'm not planted in front of the TV, zoning to the neverending Greys reruns--now that is a waste of time.

But, I ramble...So this morning I'm switching to Thankful Tuesdays with Micha Boyett over at Mama:Monk. And Artful Someday might be on Wednesdays now since I've been trying to join in on the Five Minute Fridays with Gypsy Mama (all these Mama's, right?) Oh, we'll figure it out...And I kinda fell off my gratitude wagon last week--maybe that's why I was so out of sorts, I lost my focus on all the good I have going on...When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and looked down at the swirling water and saw the storm, that's when he started to sink...hmmm...So, okay--my thankfuls this week:(and that just made me realize where I need to reshift my sight if I hope for this week to be any better than last...)

#358. A new letter from Walter
#359. Bug registered for horseback riding lessons at Lutherlyn
#360. Always time for strings
#361. The way he wrinkles his nose when he laughs silly
#362. Roasted beets and pink stained hands
#363. Time to tangle
#364. Rain relieving allergies
#365. Free coffee at Panera and time to enjoy with a friend
#366. Half a pound down--still losing
#367. Grass all cut and the yard looks pretty and neat
#368. Camp tuition help from church
#369. Rolling Stone with Peter Dinklage on my nightstand (with an interview with George, too!!)
#370. No damage to my neck or plate
#371. Missy, who's always there even when I don't ask, she's there anyway and I'm so grateful for her friendship =0)

And, this is last week's tangle:

The challenge was to incorporate the pattern Groovy, which is the ropey looking section in the middle. I only managed to finish one. I did start another but didn't like at all how it turned out, so scrapped it...The challenge for next week is color themed, sepia, and I'm excited to use a little color for a change! Hoping to produce more than one this week...That's the plan anyways...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday and Swappings

I think I'll be doing a little rearranging of postings for a while. Rather than link up on Holy Experience for Multitudes on Monday, I think I'm going to switch to Thankful Tuesdays over at Mama:Monk instead. That will push Artful Tuesdays to Fridays, which is good because then I can link my Zentangle posts to the weekly Diva Challenge and make it into the slideshow (presuming, that is, that I have something to submit to the challenge slideshow...) Probably still do the Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing--those have been fun and a much needed break from thinking or planning, and keeping Count Me Accountable Thursdays so I can stay on track with the weight loss....In any case, we'll see how it all goes and I can always switch back later on if it's not working out--the beauty of blogging, absolutely nothing is etched in stone...

So, yesterday was a bit of a disaster here. I feel like I've been hit by a truck this morning and I can only imagine what the basement door feels like...
Sorry it's a little dark but the lighter shots didn't quite capture the depth of the damage...I was downstairs, doing my strength training workout and Sweet Pea kept nipping at my hands and wrists, wanting to play. So, finally, I got up from a few floor exercises and decided to take off running because she loves to chase. But I was going way too fast in too little space, the tread of my shoes caught against the grain of the carpet and I couldn't stop myself from falling, crashing head first into the basement door. That dent above is where I hit. There's another spot below where my knee hit...Yeah, ow. I crumbled to the floor and began to panic, worried that I'd done damage to my neck after having the spinal fusion a few short months ago in February. Decided to cancel Mother's Day with my mom, and headed to the hospital for a few xrays to make sure everything was okay. About an hour later they told me the plate looks fine--but then the doctor said something about he'd seen I'd crushed a verterbrae and I couldn't recall my neurosurgeon saying anything about that. He'd said I'd had a ruptured disc, severe spinal compression--I'm trying to remember if he'd said anything about a degenerative vertebrae, but I was so upset that day, I can't remember much at all. I have to follow up with my PCP this week, and also see if there's any news from my echo I had on Friday...honestly...

I don't even recognize this person I've become anymore. I used to have it all together. Totally organized, planned and prepared for everything. I have no idea what's happened to me. I don't like this utter wreck of a human being that I see looking back at me in the mirror these days--I don't know her, I don't know how she's taken over my life and made me such a mess.

I have this baseball sized knot on my forehead now that's not yet begun to bruise. My knee is swollen up as well--that's bruising nicely. My back and neck are both tight and sore. Hopefully a good run will help loosen me up a little.

On a brighter note, this is the giant rhodie in our back yard in full bloom this weekend--just gorgeous:

I owe a huge thank you to my friend, Missy, who met us at the emergency room and took Michael home with her for a few hours yesterday afternoon so I could have a few hours of peace to relax after my stupidity episode...I would so seriously be lost without her!! I'm really, really hoping I can find my way back to the person I used to be who wasn't such a ridiculous mess, and I hope I find her soon. Hoping for a much better week....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Stealing: Get Out of Jail Free Meme, Part Two

21. Has there ever been anyone that now you regret meeting?  Several people! Not going to go into names, but most certainly people I regret meeting--mostly men but a few a women.

22. What's the last film you saw? Would you recommend it? The Avengers! Yes, it was great!

23. Would you rather have roommates or live alone? Alone. I like my privacy and peace.

24. Do you like any of your friends a little more than just a friend? No....

25. We loved the results yesterday on Saturday 9. Post a rather current song that you'd like us to hear. I'm starting a new morning routine challenge and this song is the challenge's theme song--Rise Up by David Crowder. It's pretty awesome--as is everything by David Crowder!


27. If you found out that you were going to be a parent, what would you do? If you are one, tell us what the best parent of being a parent is. Your kid's arms wrapped around your neck in a big hug and hearing them tell you they love you.

28. Do you give money to homeless people when they ask? I have once or twice. Don't see a lot of homeless people asking for money around Butler.

29. A weekend in Las Vegas or Miami? Why? Miami--beach, baby! And I'm not a gambler.

30. What was your reaction to the president supporting gay marriage? The same as my reaction to everything the president supports--indifference. I love my gay friends, I want them to be able to get married if that will make them happy. I could just care less about anything that comes out of Obama's mouth.

31. You are totally alone on a Saturday. What do you do? Go for a run. Do a little tangling. Read. Veg on the couch to either Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.

32. You have 3 months left to live, what is your bucket list? Get to MA to spend that three months with my hubby!!

33. You're having a bad day, what one thing can make your day better? Soaking in a hot bubble bath and forgetting about the world for just a little while.

34. Ever use a tanning bed? No...not that vain.

35. Is there anything you would change about your body if you could? Yeah, lose this extra fifteen pounds!

 36. You wake up in an unfamiliar place, what is your first reaction? Panic. I'm scared to death of unfamiliar places...literally.

37. Is there anything that you should be doing right now? Working out and getting the house cleaned before my mother gets here.

38. At what age do you think that sex becomes less important? Why? Hopefully never....

39. What is your favorite breakfast food? Scrambled eggs--mmm!

40. Your phone rings at 4am, who do you expect it to be? My hubby--no one else would call me that early.

Happy Mother's Day to all my beautiful mom friends today!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday 9: Touch Me in the Morning

It's Saturday 9 time again and here are this week's questions:

1. Who or what sleeps with you? Tucker and Sweet Pea, two of our dogs. I'm lucky I can still fit in the bed as big as Tucker's gotten and how much of the bed he hogs up. And don't you dare touch any of Sweet Pea's space--she'll give a good what for!!

2. Last time you saw your high school best friend? Last Thanksgiving--he came to Pittsburgh visit his mom and so we swung by their house on the way to my mom' good to see him again!! Love you Dwane!

3. What do you do when you're sad? Eat. Cry. Mope. Eat some more, while crying and moping. And try to remember where I hid my chocolate stash....'cuz what good is crying and moping without chocolate??

4. What do you wear when you are relaxing around the house? T-shirt, sweats, and squishy socks. Of course, that often gets worn out into the real world as well...not a big fashion maven...

5. What did you do immediately after high school? Went to visit my aunt and cousins in Colorado for a couple weeks before starting art school.

6. Is anyone on your bad side right now? Not really my bad side-I'm just annoyed and irritated by a few certain folks so I do my best to stay away.

7. What's the first thing you do when you get online? Check the weather-how lame. Like, isn't that what windows are for?

8. What jewelry are you wearing? My wedding and engagement rings and Bug's birthstone ring.

9. Post a current song that you like. (Or name it and tell us why you like it.) Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol 'cuz I'd like to just lay next to my hubby, wrapped in his arms, and forget the world for a long, long time.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I struggled with identity growing up. Being adopted, I wondered who I really was--who did I belong to, where was my real family, what were my real roots? It's hard enough trying to define yourself as a teenager, fighting all the peer pressure, and then to have this vital piece of your puzzle gone from the box...I was utterly lost. I had no idea how I fit into my world and wasn't even sure that I wanted to. I hated life and tried a few times to cut it short. Obviously unsuccessfully. I'm still here.

It's gotten easier as an adult to find those definitions that make me who I am. And it's not wrapped up in knowing my birth family. They're certainly not who I am. They're just people I share some DNA with. It took me way too long to figure that one out.

I'm a wife who adores her husband. A mom who can't believe how lucky she is to have this crazy, whacky, beautiful boy that is the very song of my heart. I'm an artist. I'm a writer. I'm a friend. A sister. A daughter of God. I am what I love.

I'm blessed beyond words.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Accountability Thursday

I worried I wouldn't lose this week. I stepped on the scale Tuesday and I hadn't budged an ounce. I beat myself up for the syrup I had poured all over that extra thick pancake at camp on Sunday. I had a bite of chocolate leftover from Michael's Easter bunny that's hidden in the spice cupboard. I wasn't keeping up with my water like I should've. Otherwise, my calories were in line. I ran and did strength training opposite days all week. I was afraid I'd hit a plateau. Oh please, not a plateau this early in the game!

I pulled out the scale this morning, ready for the worst, and ready to beat myself up for the day and the coming week because no one else is to blame if I didn't lose--or worse, gained! Like everything else these days, it's all on my own two shoulders...and that's a heavy burden, my friends...heavy indeed.

Fortunately, I was down a half pound--whew!! Slowly inching my way there bit by bit. I'd like it to go faster. I'm four pounds behind my goal of where I should be by now...I should've already bought the next two goal rewards...I just don't know what else I can do to make it go quicker and still do this in a healthy manner. I may as well not do it if I'm not going to do it right. Results be what they may, I have to keep on plugging.

This thought occurred to me the other day during my morning run: You don't do yourself any favors if you quit. Yeah, I get all profound and deep when I'm running--it's a very inspirational experience. But, it's true. If you quit, you lose. And I'm not ready to give up the fight. Half a pound or zero pounds, I'm not gaining and that in itself is a positive reflection on my efforts. I need to be happy right there.

I'd also like to ask for a few prayers over my heart today. I go for my echocardiogram tomorrow morning to find out what's going on with my heart murmur, and to see if I'll need to follow up with a TEE or go see a cardiologist. I will post the results as soon as I know anything. Thanks in advance for your prayers!

Must Love God

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Random Thoughts...

...because there is nothing happening out there in Meme-Land this morning and I've got nothing to link up with on Holy Experience today, so you get some random babblings from the mind of Dawn--aren't you glad you stopped by?

Last night around twelve-thirty, quarter to one-ish, I hear, "Mom..." I decide to ignore it, hoping it'll stop and go away. So not my luck. "Mom."...Not gonna answer...."Mooommm." If I don't hear dying, vomiting, gurgling bleeding out noises or smell smoke from the house burning down in the middle of the night, I better not be hearing my name, either...."Mmmmoooommmmm!!!" Oh for Pete's sake, "What??" "It's hot." Seriously?? "Sleep on top of the covers! Why would you wake me up to tell me that??" "I just wanted to make sure you were okay..." "I was MUCH BETTER when I was SLEEPING!!!" Sometimes that boy....ggrrrr...

Tucker found another big fat toadie in the back yard again yesterday. They play dead--did you know that? One of their defense mechanisms--pretty cool! He (Tucker) scared the living daylights out of the poor thing and it simply balled itself up tight, shut its eyes and prayed for the big scary brown barky thing to go away, please go away!! Tuck showed me his little treasure, half hidden under what might've been day lilies later this summer had Tucker not been living in the yard--they're completely torn up now--and I gathered up the frightened little fella:
Eyes shut tight and barely breathing--please don't eat me!!

I released him back into the wild of the front yard, free from Tucker attack and lots of crazy weeds to hide in. Be safe little toadie! Another fun toad fact: Toads can live up to thirty years! Who knew??

So, I tangled for a bit in the afternoon, working on the week's new challenge (No! No pics 'til next week--thought you'd try to trick me into showing early, huh?? Well, forget it!) And!! I was so excited to receive a comment on my blog for yesterday's tangle post from another tangler whose work I totally love! (You can check out LeAnne's work here--gorgeous!!) Well, I posted a comment on her page and I guess that prompted her to pop in and check out mine, and she wrote a really nice comment and I was all a twitter!! Haha! It's the little things in life...

And that's all I got today folks. There were probably a few more random thoughts rattling around the old noggin, but Michael got up and it's time to run, so further randomness will have to wait for another time...Happy Wednesday! 17 1/2 days left of school!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tangled Tuesday

This week's Zentangle Diva Challenge #68 was a Duo Challenge, meaning you are only allowed to tangle with two specific patterns and those were Hibred and Strircles, shown here:
 Zentangle pattern: HIBREDZentangle pattern: STRIRCLES

The first tangle I did is shown on the then I did the one on the right, which I liked much better...

But, I got to looking at it and thought it could use just a little something more so I jazzed it up just a bit and this was the final submission I sent in for the challenge:
I really like how it turned out--I keep looking at it like, wow--haha! Then the next one I was just piddling around on Saturday. I was mad and needed to vent a little artistically and this came out:
Yeah, I like this one, too =0)
So, there you have it, my tangles for the week....Hopefully I'll have more to post for ya' next week!