Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Late night= quick post

Just a quick check-in. I got to skip PT today because my physical therapist is sick.

I got a big package today from The Angel Company. The stamps looks really nice but I haven't cut them up yet, so I will have to report on how they work later. I also got a big box from Creating Keepsakes- they have several books on sale and I ordered a bunch to take into school for the kids to use for reference.

The folks at school who are usually giving me a hard time did me a big favor this week. Every year I take the kids to a local amusement park for a field trip called "Physics Day". The whole park is full of Physics students and a local university sends its physics department to the park to help the kids do experiments based on the rides. Its a great day for the kids- they really learn a lot of practical applications of the theory they have been doing in class. They also have a super good time and it is one of the highlights of senior year. My kids have been looking forward to it all year. I was going to do this because its what is best for the kids, even though I was terrified at the idea of a 12 hour day with the crutches and the bad legs. The park is quite hilly terrain and I was really taking a risk agreeing to go- but the kids come first so of course I was going to do it. Well, just the other day, the admin notified my that the trip was "disapproved", so there will be no trip. The kids are heartbroken and I am terribly disappointed for them. It's really sad that they are not going to be allowed to do this- it's a wonderful experience that previous classes really treasured. The only good news in all of this is that I am saved from all the risks involved in the day. So, like I said, whether they meant to or not, the folks at school are actually punishing my kids, but doing me a big favor. Weird how things work out, isn't it?

I have to remember to bring home and scan some of the Mother's Day cards that the craft club kids are making- they are really beautiful.

Its way past my bedtime so I am outta here. Here's another of the "backgrounder blitz" cards I made last weekend:

The backgrounder is CHF and the reverse image flower stamp is Close to my Heart.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Posting on a Tuesday!....

.....which is unusual for me.

Just came from watching the girl's lacrosse game- they lost in overtime. :(
Now I'm waiting for DH to get home from the doctor- his turn for a change, lol!

The doctor yesterday was a bit non-committal about the latest upsurge in pain. I need to be more careful about how much time I spend out of the wheelchair or off the crutches and I definitely need to be fitted for a new, different brace. I'll be seeing the doctor and the brace rep at the same time so they can work it out together with me (and my leg!) in the same room as both of them at the same time. Hopefully, this will solve some of the severe pain problems.

Not much sleep last night- had to go back to the big block of cheese for the leg which reduces the pain but make it really tough to sleep. I did have a pretty good day in school and got my progress reports all turned in well ahead of schedule, so that's done! The kids at school are just really great- I like them so much.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. I'm going with a few friends to do some crafting at my brother's shore house. I'm looking forward to sitting on the deck in the sunshine, making cards, playing with watercolors, and just relaxing. Can't wait for the weekend!
This is a card I made for the recycle challenge last weekend. The flowers are made from a DVD mailer from Disney World- if you look closely at the large flower you can see Cinderella Castle. The large flower was made using the Punch Magic Fold-swirl 6 petal flower punch. I LOVE these punches- you can turn any piece of patterned paper or cardstock into great 3-D flowers. The little flowers were made with a Creative Memories punch- the Friendship micro maker which does these little flowers and the really cute little hearts that are on the previous recycled card I posted.
I expect I'm going to be confused tonight. FOX TV has moved House from Tuesday night to Monday night. I don't watch a whole lot of TV- or at least I am not committed to that many shows. But House is one that I watch pretty faithfully- and it has ALWAYS been on on Tuesdays. It felt wrong to be watching last night and now there will be nothing for me to watch tonight. Silly, huh?
OK- leg just started screaming again and DH will be home soon, so time for the me to prop the leg up until dinner.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday afternoon as usual!

I am long overdue for a post. Things got busy last Sunday, DH came home on Tuesday- a day early as a surprise!!!- and other than that the week was pretty awful.

The situation at work continues to be bad and I had to go the official route finally. The process will be long and stressful but if it keeps these people from harassing another teacher who is handicapped, even temporarily, then it will be worth it.

The %^&* leg is acting up- and I don't know why. I will see the doctor on Monday and hopefully he will have some ideas how I can continue to function but without all the pain. Taking all these meds is beginning to be an issue- while the leg and shoulder love them, my stomach does NOT.

On the brighter side: I had a really good time last weekend participating in two online card making challenge parties. I made a bunch of cards and they came out pretty well. They are all in my gallery (left sidebar) but I will have to show a few here.

This one (left) was for the CHF backgrounders blitz. I made several cards for this event but this one is my favorite.

The blue one I entered in two challenges- the backgrounders at CHF and the Earth Day recycling challenge at JustJohanna. The blue band and the layering for the sentiment were both made from a DVD envelope that I had just received in the mail.
I've been playing this weekend with some new images but they are not yet attached to cards, so those pictures will have to wait. I did some marker coloring, some pencil coloring and some embossing with pastel coloring, so there will be a different look to a couple of these. My big thing now is to find the time to set up and do some watercoloring.
The highlight of the week was, of course, the return of my wandering husband. He managed in a day short of a month to see things beyond wonderful, to meet and visit with terrific people, to travel 7614 miles!!!- and most important, to fulfill a life-long dream. I missed him a LOT, and I am very glad that he is home, but I wouldn't ask for him to have been here instead of where he was for anything!
So, no matter how much the leg hurts, or how awful the people I work for are, my DARLING DH IS HOME!!!!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quick post!

The counter is fast approaching 2250! Make sure you post for the blog candy if you are that number! If no one claims 2250, the first one after that wins!

I spent a large part of the day making cards for challenges. This card is a preview- more to come tomorrow.

Time to get a bedtime snack- I am TIRED!

I'll be back tomorrow for my usual Sunday post.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A QUICK reminder!!

There will be blog candy for the person who is visitor #2250 and leaves a comment about it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

And another Sunday evening post

Well, here it is another Sunday evening- one of my most traditional times to post.

It's Masters Sunday and DS and I continued our family's longstanding traditions even though DH is away. We watched all afternoon, ate our traditional Masters meal, and groaned as the Augusta course beat up on the players. It's not officially over yet, but it will take a major collapse by the young man in the lead combined with a virtually impossible charge by Tiger to change the outcome now.

The weather here has been hinting spring for several days in a row, so I am getting some laundry done- actually I am giving pre-sorted loads to DS to carry to the basement with instructions for washer settings for each load- in anticipation of being able to soon wear more cheerful colors and fabrics. Tomorrow I get to go to school in sweats! It is the annual faculty retreat which is a dress-down day. Sweats may be a little more "dress-down" than normal but since I have PT after school I will be wearing something that I won't need to change.

I got virtually all of the taxes done today- just need to have DH call me with one more set of numbers, which he has in his car rather than having left here. DUH!

I am also working on cataloging more of my stamps and stamp sets today. Yesterday I did all my individual wood mounted stamps- today I am doing all my SU sets. There are only about 20 sets so they will be quick to finish. I also got all the rest of my unmounted red rubber stamps finally onto cushion mount and cut out. That means I *only* have to put the unmounted red rubber stamps and all my acrylix and other polymer stamps into the list and I will be done, lol!

I have not made any cards or done any scrapbooking while working on getting all this stuff organized, but I did do some coloring of some images, so something will be available for posting soon. I've also been playing with my Stampsmith stamps and am getting the images almost the way I want them. Look for Stampsmith cards here very soon!

I found some great storage boxes for the wood mounted stamps at They are clear plastic, stack really well, take up very little space, and hold the stamps while letting me see every one easily. LOVE them!!!

Since I don't have to teach, only listen, tomorrow, Iam going to try to stay up for the drive tonight at WildEarth. There was no drive this morning (US time) due to rain, and I fell asleep for Friday night's drive, so I did NOT get my weekend quota of animals. There might not be a drive tonight either- they have been having a LOT of trouble with their signals. The baboons who live near the camp have discovered that they like playing in the tower that holds all the cables- and that includes swinging on the cables until they break. WE is going to be building a baboon-proof fence around the tower, but that will take some time. The baboons are WAY cute, but if they keep all of us from seeing the other animals, they are NOT going to be on anyone's "favorite animals" list anymore.

I have not gotten any good snaps this weekend, but here is a beautiful lionesse I got last weekend that I have not shared yet.

Well, clothes are ready, schoolbag is packed, and it's time to relax.

Here's hoping for a good week.

OOHH- quick PS!
I moved the counter from the bottom to the sidebar- and I will re-offer the blog candy for the person who comments at or first after 2250. Seems like a good number.

Needed a change

Spring is finally feeling like it is here- so I decided I needed a change in my blog- something with a happy, summery feel.

More later- now I am alternating between continuing to mount and cut out stamps, cataloging stamps, laundry, etc, and finishing the taxes.

Friday, April 11, 2008

End of a LONG week

I went back to school on Tuesday and worked the rest of the week. Things got rapidly better. The change of braces on the leg combined with greater restrictions worked very quickly- now to discover what will need to be done to make the smaller brace usable and get me more mobile again.

Things have NOT improved at school- I still work for idjits and they are still idjits.

I played a little with a few of my new toys. I am totally NOT satisfied with how I am doing with the Stampsmith stamps- I need a better ink pad for starters. Will have to do a little research on that. I made one card with the Rubber Stamp Tapestry peg stamps and I think, no I KNOW, I am going to love these. Such fun- just kind of stamp the leaves and the vines and the flowers all over and VIOLA! a garden or a wreath or whatever- lovely!

Tonight I spent a little while trying out my Derwant watercolor pencils- and I like the effect a lot. The project is not finished so nothing to post yet from that.

Between my normal procrastination and the "stuff" of the last month, tomorrow it's the TAXES!!!!

Sunday I will reward myself by playing and enjoying the Masters. For now, I will toodle around, as much as I can, get a few things done, and try to stay awake for the WildEarth drive tonight. I want to see LIONS!!!

So, who gets the blog candy????

The counter clicked over past 2000, but so far no one has claimed it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

A really nice end to a BAD day!

OK- first you get the whining. Last night was horrific. I could not sleep because a) all I could think about was the confrontation that was coming with the administration at school over their continued harassment, as exemplified by a memo left in my mailbox late Friday afternoon; and b) my leg was screaming at me with my shoulder joining the chorus- the result of two hours at the Stamp show on crutches. And the insurance company says I don't need a motorized wheelchair!
So, I was still awake at 3 AM when I finally resorted to the heavy duty pain meds; I called out shortly after 6AM, and then finally fell asleep until about noon.
When I woke up I realized the fibromyalgia had reacted to the combination of pain and stress and chosen today to flare up in the worst attack I've had in years. Along with the screaming pain in the leg I had dull achy typical fibro pain everywhere, a headache, and an upset stomach. Then, the final kicker- I got lost going to PT.

Now, having "fibro-fog" is a symptom that all FMS patients complain about from time to time. Forgetting things, like my husband's name- did that once at a party- met someone I hadn't seen in years and could not introduce DH because I could not remember his name! It hasn't happened to me in years, but in the early days of my FMS I used to get lost going to familiar places. I'd suddenly not be on the right road to where I wanted to be, would know where I was and where I wanted to be, but had no clue how to get from where I was to where I was going. Happened today. I knew exactly where I was- it was outside the high school my daughter attended!; I had no idea why I was there because it is not on the way to PT; I knew where PT was but could not figure out how to go from point A to point B. Drove around following familiar roads until I found a place where I knew how to get back on the right track.

I finally got to PT, late, where the routine was significantly downsized, due to the combination of pain and the obvious limitations the therapist saw. She saw enough that I also saw the doctor today even though I wasn't on his schedule.

Well, I am back in the immobilizer brace, 24/7, and significantly restricted- basically back to shortly after post-op. My PT routine is now limited to maintaining range of motion and he's going to do more X-rays next week and maybe order other tests then.

At this point, I am pretty depressed!

I come home, check the mail and what do I find???? A TAG CARD FROM LEE!!! It is totally beautiful inside and out.

How's that for something to cheer you up????

Then I IMed with my friend Etha- she of the magnificent talent and wonderful blog (see left sidebar)- and that made me feel even better. We talked about my medical stuff, then we talked stamping, mostly Clear Artistic Stamps and Artistic Outpost, both of which she designs for. I also told her about Stampsmith, which I fell in love with this weekend.

Then Cindy called and we talked about how much fun we had this weekend and how much we learned and how she already made FIVE cards with her new toys- and all of them are beautiful!!!! Here's something she made with some of the Rubber Stamp Tapestry sets she got this weekend:

I really want to play with these as well- we each got a couple sets so mine will be different from hers but they are all just GORGEOUS!!! They are "peg stamps" which means they are mounted on 3" long dowels, which make them really interesting, and it seems, easy to use. Hopefully one day soon.
Now it is time for me to call my DH, who is in San Francisco visiting my cousin. THAT should be the best thing yet for cheering me up.
So, after all the whining- and this is the longest whining post I hope I ever write!!!- the day is ending on a cheerful note- from the knowledge that I have a wonderful DH, and lots of friends, and things I love to do and I can do most of them even if the $%^& leg ISN'T working at the moment.
So, off I go to chat with DH and MAYBE, just maybe, even play a little before bed. At least I don't have to get clothes ready- that's already done!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Countdown to Blog Candy

I cannot believe it is time for blog candy again already! Actually I got to 1000 hits a while ago- it just seems more recent because it took me SOOOO long to get that package in the mail to Lori. I think DH carried it around in his car for days, if not weeks.

Anyway, there will be blog candy for whoever posts that they are visitor #2000, or the first one to post after that. Not sure yet what it will be, but I'll put together a good package in the next few days.

Believe it or not, Cindy and I went BACK to the stamp show today- like we didn't buy enough yesterday???? It was a case of getting everything home and thinking "oh, I should really have gotten....." and there were enough reasons to make the trip back. Considering it was only about 15 minutes from my house, it was easy on me- poor Cindy had to do the majority of the travel time. We did only go for the last 2 hours, so I did the crutches- it was easier than getting the wheelchair out of my car, into hers, out at the show....etc. Almost everything I got today was supplies- tape, embossing powder, stuff that I discovered would work with my new stamps when I went exploring last night to investigate my new purchases.

Oh, and I just discovered why I went brain dead when posting last night about Stampsmith. The two ladies at the show were named Estelle and Estrella- well, ANYBODY could get confused over that, right? Anybody as old as me and as confused as I was by then, for sure!

Well, it's Sunday night so time for the usual drill- getting the clothes, schoolbag, etc ready for the morning so I can go back to school tomorrow. Long day tomorrow- school + PT= exhausted by the time I get home. I WILL get to play with my new toys one of these days!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A really fun day!

My friend Cindy and I went to the Stamp Scrap Art Tour today. That's a vendor fair for stamping and scrapbooking supplies, for the uninitiated. It was crowded, there were soooo many things to see, and we had a great time!

We did a couple make-it,take-its; those are mini-classes where you try out a new technique. We did watercolor painting with wonderful paints called Twinkling H2Os, which are really shiny and look so pretty. We also did a different kind of watercoloring class, where you stamp an image and then use a waterbrush to get a watercolor effect. We saw a bunch of demonstrations as well- Cindy went nuts over the pastel chalks and embossing pastes for stencils. (I already have both, so I was able to be an enabler, lol!)

I got a really GREAT stamp sheet of Albert Einstein quotations from Stamp Camp- these are WONDERFUL for a physics teacher!!! The lady at this booth was super helpful and really nice.

The watercolor class used stamps from Art Impressions, and I could not resist getting the beach collection of stamps after that class. Julie and Mary run StickyScrap and were really fun to meet.

From The Stencil Collection I got a magnificent Lion stencil, and one that is a safari scene of elephants, giraffes and trees. These will make wonderful cards and I will LOVE having them to go with my Africam passion.

The best of the day I cannot show you. Stampsmith makes lots of stamps from old photographs, which are really neat. What they do not have on their website, but they had today, was a photo stamp of Shirley Temple!!! Now, I know it is considered by most to be silly to still like Shirley at my age- but I cannot help it, I DO! However, I can show the Greta Garbo stamp I also got (although I got it unmounted) and their beautiful Ophelia stamp, which if you go to the link is way down near the bottom of the page. Estelle did a demonstration for us of how to color these stamps with chalks and it was really neat. Both ladies at this booth were super nice and fun to talk to.

Most of the rest of what I got were supplies- diamond glaze, clear embossing powder, stuff like that. I found a set of small metal charms of safari animals- lion, zebra, elephant, rhino and giraffe- WAY cute!

And how, you may ask, did I manage all this? In a wheelchair, of course. But, I gotta get one with a BASKET!!!

So, it was a GOOD DAY!!!

Now, it's time for the WildEarth drive, so I have to go watch that, then I'll collapse. Tomorrow, if I am not totally wiped out, I want to start mounting my stamps so I can play!!!

THEN you will get to see SHIRLEY!!!!

For now, here's an old picture:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I cannot stand it!!!

So, after being shifted around multiple times, getting those aggravating mechanical voices where you have to "select 1" for whatever and "select 2" for the other guy, I finally get a human being who says she can tell me why it has been SIX WEEKS since my doctor prescribed a motorized wheelchair or scooter and I still don't have it.

After 9 minutes on hold- listening to another mechanical voice telling me why this insurance company is SOOO GREAT, she comes back to tell me the claim was denied!!! I ask why? She doesn't know. I ask why I wasn't notified. She says there "will be a letter coming". I ask when? She says the claim was denied last week so I should be getting the letter "soon".

I reminded her that the reason the disease spread to the 2nd leg, and I had needed surgery, was that I spent 18 months abusing the previously-good-but-now-bad leg while protecting the previously-bad-but-now-better-of-the-two-legs leg BECAUSE THEY DENIED ME WHEN I INJURED THE FIRST LEG, and that without the means of transportation I was looking at 2 years of pounding the now-less-injured leg with the obvious logical result and did the insurance company really want to guarantee that I would be permanently crippled?????? I asked her was the insurance company really anxious for me to sue them?

She, of course, was very sorry, but it was "not her department" and I should contact the appeals office, after I get the letter, whenever that might happen to be.

This was after a really bad, infuriating day at school (no, not the kids) so I'm pretty peeved. I'm going to go do my Flylady evening routine, have a little wine and go to bed early and just HOPE I can wake up in a better mood than the one I am in now.

Sorry for venting.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Posting before bedtime

This little guy was a siggie gift from one of my Flybaby friends on the SOAR board. Since my school is on "intensive" or block scheduling, every quarter is the equal to a semester at a school on a "regular" year-long class schedule.
Well, my grades are done- so I am one HAPPY camper. I'd be doing the "happy dance" but I don't think either my doctor OR my leg would agree!
My wonderful DH is in Carlsbad, New Mexico, getting ready to tour the caverns there tomorrow. I hope he gets some good pictures. I wonder- do you think HE will learn to scrapbook when he gets home with all these amazing pictures of all the places he's been? Nah!

This card came from Firecracker Designs by Pamela.
It is a lovely card- I have no idea how they did the fuzzy effect on the flowers but it really looks great IRL. So, I loved getting this card. But the BEST part was what was inside!!! I won BLOG CANDY from Pamela's blog- so there was a sheet of stamps inside the card! The set is the beautiful collection called Bliss. Once I get some free time- say either after I finish PT or after school closes, whichever comes first- I am looking forward to playing with these and all my new stamps.
Speaking of stamps, I am going to the StampScrapArt Tour on Saturday. I have no idea how I will manage if the %^&* insurance company doesn't come through with the wheelchair by then, but going I AM!!! There was a scrapbooking show connected with a quilt show at a convention center near here several years ago and I saw some stamps there, but not a lot. This will be the first time I get to see a show primarily dedicated to stamps and I am really looking forward to it. I will probably totally break my budget for the Stamp-to-Spend challenge at SCS, but when you get a once-a-year at most chance like this, well, what's a girl to do?
I'm finally getting back into the swing at school. I stayed today and did a little tutoring, and the craft club girls started working on Mother's Day cards. We're going to sell these just like we did Christmas cards and add whatever we make to the money we raised at Christmas. I hope we make enough for some really nice playground equipment for the town in Appalachia. As soon as I remember to bring a few home, I'll post what the girls are making.
Time for bed- another long day tomorrow at school and I still get tired really easy.