Thursday, January 31, 2008

Time for some nice, fun stuff

Well, since I cannot do anything "strenuous", I am playing on my computer for the afternoon and I can do some catching up.

My first thing to do is post my award:

This lovely award was given to me by my online/stamping/quilting buddy, Suzanne.
She posted this to me on her blog recently because of the Christmas card project/fundraiser I did at school. It was mostly fun to do but I really appreciate this award from Suzanne!
Next thing on my "fun stuff" agenda is that I've been tagged by my friend/crafting guru/enabler Etha! Most of what I've attempted and learned in needlework and crafting over the last 10+ years has been because Etha discovered and tried it first.
So, here are seven more random facts about me:
1) I have not eaten cabbage since 1972. While on a three week trip "behind the Iron Curtain" as a student, we were fed cabbage at every meal, morning noon and night. Swore I'd never eat it again after that trip- and so far have kept that pledge for 36 years.
2) I was a high school golf coach for 10 years.
3) I have been crocheting since age 10 and despite multiple attempts to learn CANNOT knit. And I mean CANNOT!
4) I was one of the parish organists for 5 years when I was in grade school.
5) I worked in the theater program in college with Anne Hathaway's parents.
6) My son is a writer/producer/director/actor in local theater.
7) I still wear my high school class ring- have had it on since May, 1969.
Suzanne and Leslie have posted a great survey on their blogs. Check it out! I'll be posting the survery here soon- that would make TOO much info for one day, lol!
I have some beautiful new stamps from Fred B Mullet and Onyx Expressions so maybe after I put the shepherd's pie in the oven I will have time to play a little. It's 2 weeks until my next crafting-dedicated weekend but I'm not sure I can wait that long!
Check out the WildEarth drive tonight!


Lori J wins the blog candy! She hit it right on 1000!

Lori- send me a PM via SCS with your address and I'll get the package ready over the weekend.

Next blog candy at 2000!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not good news

It's been a depressing couple of days. Before I go any further, I do not want this to be a pity party- I will deal. But I am more than a little bummed at the moment and want to get this news out there and then out-of-the-way.

In June of 06 I was diagnosed with a vertical fracture in my right leg that had some problems with healing. I was on crutches from June 06 to April 07, and in a leg brace from Sept 06 until Dec 07. Yeah, I just got out of it. Well, the other leg, the previously-referred-to-as-the-"good" leg started giving me trouble a couple months ago. Yesterday the doctor read the MRI I had last Friday- and I have the same thing now in my left leg. He is stunned by the recurrence and the fact that there was no obvious trauma to trigger the problem this time and I am looking at a long list of specialists I will have to see until they figure out what is causing this. There are only 2 treatments- anti-inflammatories, which I cannot take, and rest- none weight bearing on the leg.

So I am back on crutches, waiting for the fitting for the custom leg brace for the "new" bad leg, and back in the leg brace on the "old" bad leg to try to protect it from the pounding it will now take. Just what I always wanted- MATCHING leg braces.

So I am frustrated, mad and scared. There is no way of knowing yet how the previously-"bad"- but-now-less-bad leg will withstand being the sole support of my not insignificant weight. I work in a huge school building- it is 1/4 mile from the door to my classroom, one way, and maneuvering around on crutches last year left me perpetually tired and sore. My insurance company determined last year that I didn't need a motorized scooter or chair for school because I didn't need one in my rowhouse- "townhouse" for those of you outside Philadelphia. Yeah- if I can get the 6 feet from my bedroom to my bathroom then I don't need any help doing 2-3 miles a day in school- some logic, huh?

So, anyway, we know *what* is wrong with me, but not why, and not what is causing it. If it turns out to be the pounding the "previously good" leg took while I was protecting the "previously-bad-but-now-better-of-the-two", I will be pretty furious with the insurance company. If its something else I sure hope it is treatable/curable/fixable.

So, I am going to be grumpy, grouchy and generally miserable for a while. And yeah, I know it could be worse, and other people have it worse, and it's not forever (we hope) and all the other platitudes. But, for the moment, I am NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, that's all there is to that.

There are two new bloggers in the SCS Flybaby group- make sure to check them out. I have been adding pix whenever I can to my Africam pix- it is fun to try to learn to use the SNAP software and I love having my own pictures from the drives. BTW- the current drive times are 10AM EST and 10:30PM EST, so if anyone wants to try out a drive experience, check in then at the WildEarth link.

OK- I feel better now. Off to do my evening routine, get ready for Law & Order, and have everything organized for morning so I can watch a little of tonight's WildEarth drive.

PS- blog is at 981- only 19 peeks to go until blog candy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pictures from the WE drives!

Having today off has proven a delight! I got on the afternoon(CAT) drive and it was wonderful. A family of elephants was the highlight and they were just so fun to watch.
The big news is that I have learned how to use a software tool to take pictures of what I see on the drives. I'm not very good at it yet, and of course I started out by taking pictures at sunset so they're not very bright, but I DID IT!!! Here is one of the pictures:

So, I've added a new link on the left: my Africam pictures. Hopefully I will get better at it soon and learn to save images of all the wonderful things I see on the drives.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday evening..... traditional time to post.

What a weekend!!! It has been wonderful! Friday we finished exams at school and I worked til late afternoon to get most of my grading work done. I finished up after SATs Saturday morning, so the rest of the weekend was mine!

Friday night a faculty member from DH's school hosted a "sabbatical party" for my DH. It was his last day of regular school until September- very exciting. He will be traveling all around the country, seeing the sights, taking pictures, and keeping a blog. I am totally jealous, but also totally thrilled for him- he has been talking about this kind of trip (minus the blog, lol) for the 31+ years I have known him. Nice to see a dream come true.

Saturday night was a mini-reunion with some of my high school classmates. I was incredibly blessed in the school I attended and the girls who were in my class. We have maintained a group relationship now for almost 40 years and we still enjoy one another's company so much. We told stories, we reminisced and we mostly laughed- it was a great time.

The big news from WildEarth meant that I got on this morning's drive with no problem- as did all the others from the Africam boards I participate on. When the sound equipment starting acting up they had to stop the drive early. I left the window open, to see and hear the animals around the waterhole, and SURPRISE! The staff did a special night-time drive to test the equipment and we spent some time watching a leopard in a tree, eating. Doesn't sound all that interesting when you read it, but it was amazing to see live!

Other than all that- which made for quite a wonderful weekend!- it was the usual laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the kitchen, etc. Now it is time to go rest up and get ready for Jane Austen on PBS. Hot chocolate and Mansfield Park- sounds like a perfect ending to me!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Quick post- GREAT news!!!

There is a new server in the US for the WildEarth live safari drives!!!!!

Now it will be MUCH easier to get on the drives- there are 1000 slots for the US. Drive times currently are 10AM est and 10:30PM est.

I have changed the link on the sidebar to the new server.

So, if you have been reading here and are intrigued, now you can try it out easily.

I am sooooo excited!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Just a quick check-in

Just a quick note!

School is crazy busy- exams today and tomorrow, still have some term papers to read, and with exams til the last period tomorrow, I have to have my grades ready to turn in by Monday! Hope I can find some time for fun this weekend.

I cannot believe that this blog is approaching 1000 hits!!! That is so neat. So, in honor of the big event , there will be blog candy when the counter passes 1000. First person to post with their number (1000+) from the counter wins! Have not decided on the candy yet- will have to check my stash.

Time for hot chocolate, and maybe, if I am lucky enough to get on, a few minutes on the Africam drive.

More later when things slow down.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Some stuff to share

The "chatting" part of the post can wait til tonight, but here's some of the work I did this weekend. The cards are simple- my style, I just cannot seem to do the fancy stuff. The pictures scanned from the album are a little crooked, but you get the idea. The album is DH's Valentine's present- a whole collection of me and us on various trips and vacations. Shush- don't tell him! This card was my first try at misting. I used my LePlume pens and then misted- I really like how it came out.

I made this card with one of my favorite stamps- Cornish Heritage Farms Trees backgrounder. I really LOVE this stamp- it is versatile and beautiful.

This is a picture of us in Florida last June. The album is a kit from Creative Memories- it was a special last Valentine's Day. I bought it at least year's weekend intending to use it for something for DH but just got around to making it this weekend.
Here are a few more pages from the album:

Here are the formal night portrait from our cruise to Bermuda last summer, dessert at the Luau at Disney World a couple years ago, and me being a "groupie"- sung to in the audience at a show on the cruise by the wonderful Moses Taroy!
I'll tell all about the scrappy weekend later!

Way late on Sunday night

With the holiday tomorrow, I'll post then. I've got some new cards to share and an album to scan a few pages of.

Just wanted to share my new, royal title!

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Entirely Miss Reverend Lady Teresa the Intractable of Yetts O'Muckhart
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Friday, January 18, 2008

Crafty Weekend!!!

Just a quick post. It is WAY past my bedtime, but there was SOOOO much to do tonight- and I got it all done!

My report for school is complete and I am satisfied with it. We'll see how it goes. Explanations later.

My exams are all written, printed and ready to go to the copy room. That took hours tonight, but it is DONE- which makes me feel much free-er this weekend.

My crafty stuff is packed- DH just shakes his head over the amount of stuff I *MUST* have. My suitcase- the smallest bag for the trip, lol- is packed and ready to go. I think I have everything.

So, tomorrow as soon as school is over, I am off to Lancaster with a group of crafting friends for a girls' weekend!!!!! There will be scrapbooking, cardmaking, stamping, maybe even a little quilting- I put a Hawaiian quilt top I've been working on forever in just in case I need a change of pace. We'll eat a lot, do some shopping, have a few margaritas, and laugh the whole weekend. I will come home completely exhausted and feeling better than I have since Florida!

Maybe, finally, even with something to show off! I should be able to finish, say, at least ONE card this weekend, right?

Oh, and I am making a small scrapbook for DH for Valentine's Day. Shush- don't tell! ;)

One more thing- I got a wonderful surprise from Suzanne but I cannot respond to it properly this late at night- so that's for next time!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Evening

Seems like I always find time to do this on Sunday evenings. Must be a wind-down before the wind-up kind of thing. Whatever!

So, on to all the news- or at least enough to fill a blog post.

The Silhouette is wonderful!!!!! I have barely used it- that will come next weekend- but it is obvious that it can do so many things. I am quite excited
about the possibilities. Here is a picture of my first cut-out:

It's just a snowfla
ke or whatever but it is about 6 1/2 inches across and there is no way I could EVER do this without this great toy! It finished in about a minute. I still have to play with the text function- it can cut out anything I print on my computer screen! This is gonna be GREAT!!!!

I will be leaving right from school Friday afternoon to go on my scrapbooking/cardmaking/crafty weekend. The Silhoue
tte will definitely be going along!

I will be taking on a new job at school in addition to my regular teaching load. It seems probable that there will be little time for craftin
g- or sleeping, for that matter!- for the rest of the year. I don't really want to do it, but it needs to be done, and done right, and I know how to do it, so.....that's that. As for my word of the year about this, I am seeking to remind myself of this question: Will the students be better off if I don't do this? No.

Lots of news from the African webcams, sites and blogs. The Mapogo have established themselves as the dominant pride in the Djuma area. Friday night into Saturday morning those watching the Djuma cams heard much noise of lions roaring and apparently fighting. Daylight brought the news that they had found the Nhuhuma pride and killed at least one cub. The fight occurred over a giraffe kill that the Nkuhuma females had made to feed their cubs. The Mapogo
have been staying close to the carcass ever since, and, as a result, there have been many viewings of them on the webcam. The guide on the drives during this time was a young man named Pieter, who did a marvelous job of understanding that those not from the bush would be upset about the death of the young cub, but explained in detail the lifestyle of lions and how this sadness would lead soon to new cubs, with the Mapogo as fathers. The exceptional strength of the Mapogo would result in cubs with strong gene lines, and the strength of the coalition would mean security for the cubs to grow up. Names are starting to be used to distinguish these lions and this one- check out the mohawk!- has been nicknamed Mr. T! Pieter has named the largest of the Mapogo "Shaka" after the great Zulu leader. I will try to get a good picture of him to post- he really is magnificent.

Snow is on the way! That can be good news or bad news. If the schools are open, then one hopes for very little- I don't relish driving on the stuff. However, a teacher's (and kid's) dream is LOTS of snow on a Sunday night- that extra long weekend is always nice. So, here's hoping for either 1 inch or 6!

Any Jane Austen fans out there? The BBC has produced "The Complete Jane Austen" which starts tonight with Persuasion. Persuasion is my most favorite Jane Austen book, excepting, of course, Pride and Prejudice. This Persuasion will need to be good to make me think it better than the 1995 movie version starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, which was marvelous. The series will run Sunday nights on Masterpiece Theatre (PBS) from now through April. Most of the productions are new ones; the BIG exception is the incredible P&P done in 1995 with Colin Firth and Elizabeth Ehle- most Janites' definitive version. You know where I will be every Sunday night for many weeks to come.

Time to go lay out my clothes for school tomorrow, just in case. Flylady's teachings on that have totally ingrained in me- I cannot go to bed unless everything is ready for the morning.

Here's hoping for lots of snow!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Quick post- I *HAVE* to get to bed!

The Silhouette is opened and all set up and after two disastrous attempts, IT WORKS GREAT!!!!

This is the best toy ever!!!!!!!!!!!

Will post pictures soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A crafter horror story

My crafty friends and readers out there will find this truly not only horrifying but incomprehensible!

I had a really bad day at school today- the kids were fine, it's the grownups who make me crazy- and I came home from school, finally, a little more than 2 hours ago. Exhausted, befuddled, totally fried!

Awaiting me was a largish box from QVC- my Silhouette electronic die cutter!!!!

And how many things have I cut out so far? Or even, where is this wonderful gadget?

Would you believe it is still sitting in front of the sofa in its QVC box, unopened?

With that information, no description of my school day is necessary- all crafters understand.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Just a few odds and ends

This is a picture of one of the Mapogo males. After their original attack on one of the Nkuhuma males, that I wrote about several weeks ago, they left the Djuma area for a while. They have returned and are now being seen on a regular basis. They are very large and dangerous lions and are causing many problems in the area. One of the Africam websites has referred to them as "thugs" on their blog. Other lions are being forced out of the reserve areas by this vicious group. Some of the lions forced towards rural populated areas are now killing cattle to survive, since their usual hunting grounds have become too unsafe. This trip the Mapogo are not traveling alone but have a group of females and cubs with them. I have seen pictures of the lionesses and cubs, but have not seen them "live" on a game drive. I was lucky enough to be on the drive the first time they were seen recently. All lions are potentially scary; this group is truly frightening.

After some thought, and with encouragement from several blogger-friends, I am going to do some thoughtful work on the word of the year idea, and I am going to stick with my initial reaction that my word should be "no". I need to learn to be better able to say no when it is in my best interests to do so. I also need to say no to myself when I am being lazy or extravagant. I need to say no to bad habits. I know that it is supposed to be better when you work at something by thinking "I'm going to try to be better at...." but that does not always work for me. So, for a while at least, I am instead going to approach things with a different direction. I want to look at things as "will I accept........" or "will I allow......." and the answer is going to be NO. Will I accept being behind in my school work? NO! Will I allow the house to get as bad as it was in the fall? NO! Things like that. Saying NO is going to be a positive thing with positive results.

So, tonight's affirmative negative is this: will I carry that extra heavy bag to school tomorrow because I didn't get around to cleaning it out? NO!

So, I'm off to clean out my school bag!

Monday, January 7, 2008

An interesting idea

This will, I hope, be a short post- I should have been in bed a long time ago.

On Kerianne's blog this week she talks about something she found on Ali Edward's blog. It is all about choosing a word for the year. You can read Ali's blog here and Kerianne's here.

The first word that popped into my head was "no". I am going to think about it a little before I commit to it, but it is not just a negative- it can be a rejection of negative things, leading to a positive. Ok- I'm tired and I'm probably babbling. So, I'll post more later. But, I really am going to think about it.

Right now I am going to say NO more goofing off and go to sleep.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Happy New Year!

A little late, but Happy New Year! 2008 is off to a NOT-terrific start, but hopefully that means it will just keep getting better.

Lots has been happening and lots coming up. I got sicker in Florida, started to get better, flew home (there's a reason they say you should never fly with a cold, but what can you do?), got sicker again, had a BAD day at the dentist and ended up home sick from school yesterday. The cold is abating, S-L-O-W-L-Y.

I've spent a little time getting some of my stamps cut and mounted, so I am feeling craftily successful- it doesn't take much for me. I've ordered the Silhouette electronic die cutter and cannot wait for that to arrive. QVC had it, with paper, with a $200 download card included and on easy pay- how could I NOT?

I've mostly been sleeping for a week with time out to teach school on Wednesday and Thursday- although my zombie-like condition didn't exactly lead to dynamic teaching. But we got through the work and I think most of the kids got it, so that's good for now. I will WOW them next week when I (hopefully!!!) feel better.

In two weeks I go on my annual winter crafting vacation/retreat/girl's weekend with some of my Flybaby friends. They are always SOOOO much fun. I am really looking forward to it. Before then the Physics kids will have done their research project presentations, and I will try to get my finals written, so that I can really relax.

Now for the real "work" part of this post. Suzanne has TAGGED me. I share her love of stamping and quilting and after reading her blog answers when she was tagged, we have a lot more in common. Here's the assignment:

You've been tagged:
The rules of the game:
• Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
• Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, we all want to know them.
• Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
• Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven random or weird facts, huh? And you only want seven? OK, here goes:

My education history has been a total blessing. I went to a girls' private school that was in transition from somewhat of a finishing school to a really serious academic prep school; the result is that I got a great education while also taking classes in how to walk in an evening gown, go down steps without lowering my chin etc. This time also included a long summer semester at Catholic University where I attended their Journalism Institute, a forever gift of writing skills. I spent my sophomore year of college at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, a totally incredible experience. Really LIVING in a foreign country, doing normal everyday things is a life lesson of immense value.

I totally do not believe in the zodiac, or the influence of the planets or any of that. Yet, I am a Pisces and am emotionally tied to water. I NEED to spend time near water. Living at the shore every summer most of my life has been a major influence on me.

I did not start out, or ever intend, to be a teacher. When I retired from Optometry for medical reasons, I didn't know if I'd ever work again. Five years later, when a friend of mine, who was the science department chair at the local high school told me he was desperate for a sub, I told him I'd "come in and help out for a few days until he found a 'real' teacher". And the rest, as they say, is history.

I spent five years incapacitated due to Fibromyalgia and arthritis. Much of the first two years were spent in bed. Thanks to a WONDERFUL group of doctors, who believed that I really was sick and wanted to help me get better, I did. Even greater, nay ETERNAL, thanks to a most loving husband who supported and encouraged me through a terrible time and always believed I'd get better and helped me to do so.

Like Suzanne, I am a total Disney freak!!! I love WDW, I love Disney movies, I love Disney character clothes, I love having Disney stuff around me.

I am a worst-case example of what Flylady is all about. I mix a bizarre combination of OCD and total slob. Everything that is in the drawers, cabinets, etc in my house has to be EXACTLY where it is supposed to be, but the house itself can be total chaos and I barely notice. I am a perfect, perfectionist SHE.

I read voraciously during the summer and vacations and my two favorite authors are Jane Austen and Rex Stout. Interesting, because Stout's favorite author was Jane Austen, while he became famous for writing murder mysteries. BTW- if you have not tried the Nero Wolfe books, you are REALLY missing something special.

Now comes the tagging part- which will be the hardest, since you guys have all already tagged each other so much! Let's see:


OK- I am going to cheat and list only four. These are the only SCSers left that I link to on my blog. So, that's all, folks!

I really enjoy reading all the blogs that I have linked on my page. I don't have a lot- just a select few I really appreciate. So, check out my tagged ones, and all those listed on the sidebar- I think you'll have a good time reading.

Well, this post is going to be longer than the rest of the whole blog, so, TIME TO GO!