Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project 365 Day 23

We decided to make some yummy food for the games today and here's what we ended up with.   We did cheat and use a boxed brownie mix, so no pictures of dessert.   (That being said, Jason is whipping up some homemade vanilla ice cream to go with the brownies right now!)

Project 365 Day 17 thru 22

It's been cold on and off down here and the kitties are always in need of some snuggling.   Sometimes they will snuggle together, sometimes with us, and if we leave the bedroom door open, they will pile up on our bed down at the bottom where the electric blanket is.   I decided to take a nap and not long after I woke up, my quilt was claimed as the cat bed.   :)

I woke up to this on Tuesday morning.  :)    I guess the cat toys get hungry at night?    Or there was a lot of "mousing" and he needed to show me how hard he was working so he could be fed?    Such a silly boy.
Looks fun, huh?    I started my class on Wednesday.   I don't love it yet, but we'll see.  I've been doing homework all weekend and I'm a little grumpy about the quality and information of the textbook.   I have never been so thankful for all the information available online.  It helped me finish up my homework and figure out what the heck my book was talking about!
See what I mean about them crashing on the bed?    The blanket was on and it was a bit chilly in the house, so I couldn't get them out of bed on Thursday.   Thankfully they made room for me so that I could sneak in a nap with them.   :)
That about sums up the week.  It has been cold out and everything is bare and looks so sad right now.   I love the colder temperatures, but I miss the leaves and flowers.
I finally have another Stampin' Up! event!   I get to do a workshop/club type thing for 3 ladies this week and here are the cards I came up with.   I hope they like them.   I had fun making them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project 365 Day 14, 15, & 16

Pictures of bags?   That was the best I could do?   Well, those bags were FULL of pop tabs and sample-sized toiletries that friends and family had donated for the Ronald McDonald House.    Friday was the two year anniversary of Eli's death and we followed our tradition of purchasing the linking crab toys (200 this year) to donate to the children's hospital.   We drove up and made our two stops at RMH of Houston and Children's Memorial Hermann to drop off the items.   I guess that's better than sitting at home drowning in our sorry.  

Coffee is great.  Coffee with a friend is the most special of treats.  On Saturday I woke up early and headed over to my friend Fran's for some coffee and girl time.   Those are the mornings that I cherish the most.   I miss having a best friend so much.   I love just hanging out.  Just talking, sharing, getting out all the pent up frustrations or sadness that always build up.   Most everyone I know here has kids which means no time to do anything but parent.   To meet up takes much planning and most of the time, the kids have to tag along.    Obviously that's not the idea situation for me, so I'm lonely.   Very, very lonely.    I keep joking with Jason that we need to move and become urbanites, but lately I'm not sure that I'm really joking at all.   Suburbs are for families and we don't fit in.   I hate it.   Anyway, that's my pity party for the week.  Moving on...

Finally, here's how I spent my Saturday night and Sunday.    I made 4 sets of each of these to sell at the consignment shop and on Etsy.   I now have 4 things in my Etsy shop.  :)    Now if I can just sell something!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Project 363 Day 11, 12, & 13

PSA:   Don't mix cleaners, especially one with bleach and one with ammonia.  I went on a major cleaning spree on Tuesday and in my haste to get the shower clean, I randomly grabbed cleaners without looking at the ingredients.   That's a huge no-no and as a former chemistry major, I know better than to do that.   I made some lovely chlorine gas and ran out of the shower coughing and not able to breathe.   Thankfully some fresh air, a nap, and a good husband who cleaned up my error was all that was needed to fix things, but it did scare me for a bit.   
I usually post my card pictures over on my card blog, but this one come with some news.  I finally started an Etsy shop!   Now before you get excited, it has 1 item in it, but hey, it is started at least.   I have no idea if I'll ever sell anything, but I figure I should try at least.   I am going to donate $1 from each card or item I sell to my favorite SMA fighters, the Strongs.   I just need to get more items in there and hope that it will help out a little.   I also need a shop name and I think a header or something, but I'm still figuring that part out.   If anyone has more knowledge than I do about all that stuff, let me know!   I'd love some help/ideas.

Today I decided to fall back in love with my old favorite, reading.   I went to the library and picked up a few random books that caught my eye.   I'm now on page 92 of this mindless book about a serial killer and totally enjoying getting lost in a world not my own.   It has been quite a while since I picked up a book and I need to do a better job of doing the things I love.   I have sucked most of the joy out of my own life and that's just not good.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project 365: Day 9 & 10

I love to see where the kitties will end up sleeping next.   Bandit found himself a warm bed by the fire last night.   It has been so nice to have some colder weather; we love a nice fire in the fireplace.   Normally we only do it a few times a year, usually on Christmas, but we've been able to branch out a bit this year and enjoy it many more times.   After the fire was out, Bandit found himself a new expensive bed, the Target bag!   Remember, don't let the cat out of the bag!

I found a laser pointer on clearance at Target, so the babies got a new one for Christmas.   It has a been a while since we had one, so it has been so fun!   Jason managed to get them all huddled together tonight and it looks like a bit of a worship service to me.   :)  It is awesome to watch them run and play like kittens with this thing.   They might be 8 years old, but they can still move when there is a little red light to chase.  

I hope to capture some non-cat images tomorrow.   Yesterday was just too rainy to get outside and I worked most of the daylight hours today, so it was indoor or nothing.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Project 365: Day 8, Dreaming

When I got out of my car today, I looked around and saw the most beautiful sky.   I know most people equate clear skies with beauty, but I love clouds.   Not the dark, dreary clouds that bring rainy days, but the fluffy cotton candy clouds that come with sunny days.   As a child I can remember taking a blanket outside and just laying there looking up at the sky.   I would scan the skies to see what I could find hiding out up in all those clouds.   As I've gotten older, imagination isn't a big part of my life and that's a bit sad.   I think losing the innocence of childhood is a part of that, but we should never become too old or jaded to imagine.   

So what do you see in the pictures above?   Anything?   I found a frog, alligator head, and a pterodactyl as I was scanning the sky and captured my imagination on film.   It is fun to sit back and look at them tonight to see if I can find them again.  I think I need to make a promise to myself to go out and imagine a bit more frequently.   

Friday, January 7, 2011

Project 365: Day 6 & 7

I missed posting yesterday.    We had another round of sick kitty on Wednesday night.   My poor boy wasn't all the way blocked up, but he was definitely having trouble peeing so back to the emergency vet we went.   He had to stay overnight and honestly, I wish I had brought him home instead.   I just get a bad vibe at that place.       I was hesitant to leave him, but I was afraid to bring him home and have him get worse and me be asleep and not know it.   Now I have cat who acts like he had 3 shots of espresso and won't come out of his carrier.   We went to our normal vet today and we are eliminating one of  his meds to see if that will calm him down.   I'm worried.   I am terrified of something happening to him and this would be the worst time for that.    I think I'm even more paranoid after seeing a man leave the vet's office with an empty carrier and a box today.   I cried for him.   And for myself because I'm scared.   I'm terrified.   I already lost one boy, I am not ready to lose another one yet.  Especially the one who has been my source of comfort for the past two years.   He is temperamental, grumpy, and not well-behaved around company but he's mine and I love him.
Clocks are neat and I thought it was fun to take pictures of this one.  Photography always make me think about  how a picture can bring forth emotions or thoughts that were hiding out.   Time has become a huge issue for me lately.   I finally decided that I've had enough grieving time.  Well, active grieving time.   I will always have grief, but I've had enough time to wallow in it.   I started looking for a full-time job again last night.   I think I'm ready.   I hope I'm ready.   I can't sit home all the time anymore.   I'm lazy, unmotivated, and a waste of space right now.   I need a purpose again.   I need to feel like a contributor to the household again.   I need a new definition for who I am.   And I need to put new batteries in this clock because time has stood still for long enough.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Project 365: Day 5 New Endeavors

The ladies at Merry-Go-Round over in Kingwood have been amazing to me since day 1.   Suzanne entered our lives when Eli was less than a week old and is still active in helping with the fight against SMA.     I'm sure many of you have now seen the Hope Calendar that is raising money for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation; Suzanne was the person who nominated GSF in honor of Eli.   Angela is another great friend that works at the store.   She has ordered the linking crabs for us at a discount for the past two years so that we are able to donate a large quantity to the local children's hospital.    If those two ladies aren't enough, then we have Kim, who organized the memorial walk the first year and made all the signs and provided water this past year.    I could write another novel on all that my friend Sara does; she probably does more for SMA awareness than I ever could.   That store is just full of support and love!

Anyway, back to the picture and story that goes along with it...   Tomorrow I am taking over some of my craft projects to set up as a vendor in the store!   We already sell cards there to raise money for the foundation, but they actually thought my other work was good enough to sell too!   I will post more things as I make them and hopefully a picture of my display once we get it all set up.   I'm super excited about this new path for my hobby!   I am also considering doing a shop on Etsy, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Project 354: Day 4 Perseverance

  continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition
This is the orange tree that we planted in our backyard not long after we bought our house.   Last winter was a cold one down here in Texas and we forgot to cover it up a few of the nights of freezing temperatures and it was pretty "dead" by the end of winter.   Jason almost dug it up, but decided to leave it and after 9 months, here it is.   The green is all new growth, but you can still see the dead branches that was the tree before.  

 If someone were to ask me the things I enjoy the most, I'd say stamping/card making, reading, and photography, but especially nature macro photography.   The macro lens can capture so much that you miss with the naked eye.   I just spent about 5 minutes outside snapping these today, but I loved every single second of it.  
 This rose reminds me of myself at this moment.   What was once a whole, complete flower has been decimated by the happenings of life, but one petal remains.  
 And this one, life.  It can be thorny, but with the thorns does come beauty.   It all depends on the season if you have beautiful flowers or just stems full of thorns.
This is Eli's tree right now.   It usually blooms out beautifully for his birthday, so it is only fitting that it is brown and dead with his angel day approaching.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Project 365: Day 3

(sorry for the bad picture; it is hard to catch a quick shot of the TV screen sometimes)
A girl can dream, right?   I have it in my head that winning the lottery is now my only path to happiness.   Why you ask?   Well, the cost of a round of PGD/IVF or private adoption is so far out of our reach that it feels like it would take millions to make us parents.    I know it isn't as drastic as that, but most days it does feel that way.    I guess we learned the hard way how unfair life can be in that aspect.  It is frustrating to see others struggle to provide basic needs for the kids when we have so much to give.   More frustrating are the news stories about babies found dead in dumpsters or shaken/beaten to death.   We'd gladly take those babies; there is no need for them to be killed or hurt.

I do miss living in the world most others live in.   I'd love to try to get pregnant, be excited for months, and give birth to a healthy baby that grows up to give me grandchildren.  No matter what path we chose now, pregnancy would never be a happy or exciting time for us.   It would be stressful time that would only end when we saw our child move normally for the first time.  No amount of testing would ever be enough for me; I'd have to see normal movement, normal development to ever be able to believe that everything was okay and even I'm not sure that would be enough.  

Dealing with bad genes and lack of insurance coverage/money has really put a strain on our relationship over the past couple of years, but we are still hanging in there.   It is not an easy path to navigate, but we hope that in this instance, love IS enough.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Project 365: Day 2

It rarely gets cold enough to use the fireplace, so we normally only burn one on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day.    It was a little chilly today and we still had a starter log that my parents brought us, so Jason fired it up tonight.   It is nice and relaxing to just sit and watch it, but I took it a step further tonight and did some aperture practice with the camera.
When I sat down to upload my pictures, my sweet boy just looked too adorable so I had to snap one of him as well.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year: Project 365 I decided to try to do Project 365 this year.   Don't know what that is?   You can read more about it at  Basically you take a photo a day to both improve your photography skills and document your life for that year.    Sounds fun, right?  

My first picture is of one of our cats, Bailey.   She HATES when the camera comes out and most of our pictures of her remind us of Jim Brewer after a few joints.    I am determined to get some good shots of her this year so I started off with her.  

I love my kitties.  They have always been "my kids", but even more so after losing Eli.    I get angry when they wake me up scratching at the door at 4 or 5 am, but I guess I should be glad that they love me so much that they just need to see me.   :)    They bring us much laughter and always seem to know when we need a little snuggle.