Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Competitive, much?

A couple of weeks ago I had the flu. It absolutely flattened me. I ran a fever for five days, which is very unlike me. And, what with this flu season being what it is and my working in the public schools, I wasn't allowed back at work until 24 hours after I stopped running a fever. So, I was out from work, Monday through Friday. Crazy.

I am not the only one who lives in this house. There is a dog, a big ol' chocolate lab who can't catch the flu from me, and a husband; a frenzied, harried, second-year grad student who is anticipating graduation in June but has to jump through the hurdles of a research project, comps, classes, and clinics before he dons cap and gown and walks up to the dean to receive his M.S. A husband who also works part-time. As everyone knows, part-time usually turns into full-time work for part-time pay. We were praying that the flu would skip Jon but, no. And, being Jon, he had to do it one better than me. He is running a higher fever. He started his flu while we were on vacation in Vegas. And, stinker, he's been going to work. At a school. With a fever! Where are the flu police when I need them? He should be in bed, drinking lots of fluids and resting, but is he? Noooooooooo! I lobbied for his taking time off. I pleaded, I cajoled, I scolded. And then I gave up. He's accruing clinic hours at work and he swears he can't give up those hours. I get it, I really do. I went through the exact same program and I know that clinic hours are like gold and not to be taken lightly. But, seriously?

That's my husband: tough guy. Can't just stay at home in bed like his lazy, flu-ridden wife did. Nope, he's got to soldier on and head out to work/clinic/classes. Competitive, much?
Here's my guy in happier, flu-less days. Trying out his stethoscope before a clinical rotation at St. Bernardine's and studying on the back porch.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crazy People

We had just finished up a Student Study Team meeting with a parent. (An SST is a meeting with the parent of an at-risk kid to develop strategies, interventions, and supports to help the kiddo succeed before we proceed to drastic measures like testing for special ed placement.) It was a good meeting and the kid is making good progress and everyone was pleased. As the parent was packing up her things and getting ready to head out, she said, "Well, I'm off to work with crazy people!"

And I replied, without thinking, "Me, too!"

Possibly not the best reply to the parent, when her son is one of the "crazy people" I would be working with today. In my defense, it was still pretty early in the morning. And I don't drink coffee. But after a brainless comment like that, maybe I should start.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Decorating

I'm not much of a decorator. Basically, my decorating philosophy is encapsulated into the following: "If you've got a lot of books in the room, then it's decorated." Not that I want to be the kind of person who pulls out 200 different Santas right after she washes up the Thanksgiving dishes. I think that's overkill.

Luckily, Jon is willing to paint. So some of the rooms in our house are painted and I love them. The rest of the walls are white and I'm ok with that, too. The books are tastefully arranged in an enormous bookshelf unit that Jon built. Well, some of the books are tastefully arranged in an enormous bookshelf unit that Jon built. The rest are tastefully arranged throughout the rest of the house in bookshelves, nightstands, the linen closet, and random stacks.

I like to think the net effect is one of coziness. Probably because I find the presence of a whole bunch of books indescribably soothing.

But yesterday, the last day of my stay-at-home-with-the-flu days, I actually did a little bit of decorating.

Angela Harris makes the most gorgeous trim tags. The are simply lovely and she has a bunch of different designs and color combos and I adore them. So I ordered two sets and when they arrived I just looked at them for a bit and sighed because they were so sweet and then I put them away because I realized that I had ordered these two sets just because I loved them, not because they went with the colors in my house! Bummer.

Yesterday, I gritted my teeth, pulled my tags out of their bags, and disassembled two of them. Honestly, it was hard. I gathered a bunch of supplies (ribbons, feathers, twigs, charms, etc) that went with the colors in my house and also made me think of Fall.

From my assemblage of stuff and Angela's base tags (how does she achieve that deep color?), I put together my own trim tags. They are nothing like Angela's; I just don't have her eye. But I really like them. And when I put one tag in each shadowbox and added a couple of leaves, I took a step back and said to myself, "There, I've decorated."

Friday, October 16, 2009


Yesterday, the doorbell rang and there was a beautiful priority mail box on the doorstep and it was my free Scarlet Lime kit in all its turquoise and orange and brown glory! And that, yes, was a run-on sentence.

Back to my kit. It all started when I got the Scarlet Lime newsletter and saw that Erin Clarkson was going to be the guest designer for October. Erin Clarkson! I have loved her scrapbooking for years. Literally, years. She has designed for Scrapbooks Etc and Making Memories publications and it's always good. Very colorful but still very clean designs. Great photos. And she's the mother of one of the cutest little girls on the planet; it can only elevate your pages when the photos are of one of the cutest little girls on the planet.

All of which makes me sound a bit like a "Swimfan." It's only going to get worse when I say that, years ago, I sent her a card, telling her how much I loved her work (see, even more "Swimfan") and she sent me back the sweetest card, thanking me for my card. I've still got that card up in my scraproom. We started a bit of a correspondence through e-mail and she told me about a book she was working on for Scrapbooks Etc and invited me to submit a project for it. Ummmmm, ok!

So I did. I dragged Jon to Best Buy (yeah, sure, like any man has to be dragged to Best Buy) and we bought a scanner. I created some projects, scanned them, sent them in, and Erin picked the one she liked best. And it was published! In a book! If you pick up a copy of Scrapbooks Etc Photography and turn to page 137, you can see the very first project I ever had published.

Since that time, I've had other projects published in various magazines and idea books. Not a ton, but enough to keep me submitting. It's so much fun to see your work in a magazine. And it's also fun to get a check for doing something that you already love.

Who here doesn't see the connection to my free Scarlet Lime kit? Just wait, it's coming.

Erin and I lost touch a while back but I still leaf through my latest issue of Scrapbooks Etc looking for all her pages and smile when I see them because they are still the best. And when I saw that she would be guest designing for Scarlet Lime, I went straight over to the SL website to check out her projects. And came to discover that Erin has a blog! I clicked straight over to Erin's blog and read the whole thing (luckily, she hasn't been blogging long so I wasn't too far behind). And, since she was guest designing for SL, she was offering one of the October kits as a giveaway for leaving a comment on her blog! Not that I needed an incentive to comment. So I commented and the Random Number Generator picked my comment number as the winner of the giveaway!

See? It's all coming together now, right? The kit arrived yesterday, which is the fastest turn-around time ever. I only got my contact info to Erin over the weekend and she got it to SL and the kit was in my hands by Thursday? That is customer service, people. The kit itself is, well, dreamy. Arguably one of my favorite color combos, ever. And all the little details (the buttons, those trims!) and the patterned papers and the fact that they don't include cardstock (every scrapper has more cardstock than s/he could use in a lifetime); it's all so very good! If you like what you see, I think they have a few more left. Go pick one up; I highly recommend it. As for me, the first order of business is to sit down and create two thank-you cards. One for the awesome people at Scarlet Lime! And the other for Erin. So glad I found her blog.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Summer in Fall

I am still home with the flu!!! What is this?!? Let me tell you, I am so over being sick. And the cough? Now I sound a lot like a seal.

It's been chilly the past few days, which is perfect for people with the flu. I mean, I'm already feverish, right? So a chill in the air helps tone me down a bit. (Not that Jon's 600mg ibuprofens weren't doing it, too, but a natural cool is even nicer.)

But today I woke up to weather in the 80's. Ummmmm, no thank you. I don't want to feel warm when I'm already feeling warm. Besides, it's October! I don't want to be sporting shorts and t-shirts (ha! like I'm sporting anything besides pajamas with this stupid flu) in October. I want to be pulling out my sweaters and anything corduroy and, dare I say, tights! That's right; I'm ready for tights!

Well, ok. If it's going to feel like summer around here then I am going to engage in a Summer 2009 retrospective.

First up, our trip to San Diego in June:

Oh, wait, that's not our trip to San Diego in June. That's our trip to San Diego in April. Oh, well. I have the flu; I can make a mistake or two, right? And I'm new to blogging. I seriously can't figure out how to delete this page and put up the right one. Not that it matters. Because, is that kid cute, or what? That's my nephew, Luke. He's holding tight to Shamu. And her baby (What, you didn't know that Shamu was a girl? And a mom?), Bamboo. That's right, Bamboo. Luke's choice. The two guys in the background of the photo are Kurt, Luke's dad (my brother-in-law) on the left, and Jon.

Well, all that posting the wrong page and trying to figure out how to delete it to put up the right page and then giving up was exhausting. Usually I have more stamina but, what with this stupid flu, now I am so tired that I have to go lie down. And probably cough some more.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Urrgh. I have the flu. This is so wrong. But ... I actually went to the doctor early. And I'm taking my antibiotics faithfully. And I'm hoping to be over this soon. You should hear me cough; I sound like some strange animal at the zoo.

The silver lining to the flu is that I get to stay home from work! Not that yesterday was much fun. All I really did was writhe around and moan and ache all over. But today the writhing, moaning, and aching are greatly reduced; all I'm really dealing with at the moment is the cough! And, in computer-land, nobody cares if you cough. At work, people care. People care a lot. People do not want to be around a cough like mine. It seems like step one toward H1N1, which I do not have. Jon had a couple of patients with H1N1 during his summer clinic so he's keeping tabs on me to make sure that I really, truly do not have H1N1. He read in the paper that the average age of patients with H1N1 is 38 and I said, "Ha, see? I could not possibly have H1N1. I am not 38. I am 37!" You can see why he'd be concerned.

This is my stay-home-from-work buddy. Actually, he's my any-time-Jon's-not-around buddy. Because Beasley's heart belongs to Jon. But when Jon's not at home, then he's totally devoted to the person who's next up on his list. And that would be me!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day One

I can't believe I'm starting a blog. Why me? Why today? I guess I'm writing this blog because my memory has never been the best. I find that I can't remember the details of the funny stories, the happy moments, and all the little things, the snippets, if you will, that make up this life of mine. This is my one life and I don't want to forget any of it! So, it looks like I'm starting a blog.