Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Field Day

Last week at Amelia's school was "field day". The kids were split up into groups, and they sometimes competed as a group, and sometimes the group members competed against each other. When they competed within the group, a first, second, third place ribbon (etc) were handed out. Amelia is pretty small for her grade, and would not have a good chance of winning in "traditional events", like the 40 hard dash or ball throw.
She is, however, a good jump roper. Her gym teacher (who absolutely adores her... says her "hello" every morning makes his day...and I can't disagree with him) said she was working very, very hard on jump roping.
Well, she won her group! Her first blue ribbon ever (her words).
This is Amelia jumping in the air when she realized she won the blue ribbon.
This is Amelia showing her friend her ribbons.

I'm not sure what makes me happier, that Amelia actually worked at something? Or that she has connections with friends who actually were excited that she won a blue ribbon? The excitement she showed after winning that blue ribbon is something I won't forget in a long time. And the thankfulness for her teachers and friends is something I will cherish even more.

Monday, May 29, 2006

One more...couldn't resist

Here's the TV. I remember this canister vacuum cleaner. We had it into the 70s. I remeber this rocking chair, too. I have this one in my house. Again...pretty stark...not much stuff around. Except my big brother helping out.

No photo editing...just photos

Well, instead of editing pictures, I have spent time this weekend scanning slides. Here's a fun one.My father took this picture using the timer feature. Some friends visited and perhaps helped them move into the new place. My dad is the one not looking at the camera. My mom is holding my big brother Steve. This photo was taken in 1958.
Here's the Christmas Cards hanging up, with my brother in the foreground. Look at how stark everything is. Not much clutter. Posessions were harder to come by back then... no Target to have many interesting trinkets to tempt you to buy something cute that would end up in the donation bin 2 years later. Money was tight, and delights were simpler (I think)
Oh...and off to the right, catch a view of the TV antenna. B&W TV, with very few viewing options. I wonder if Captain Kangaroo was around back then? I remember it from my childhood.
I won't get to "me" in for about 3 or 4 more years; in the meantime, I am enjoying the photos of my young parents.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hot! Hot! Hot!

It's the day before Memorial Day and it is hot, Hot, HOT!!!! I think it hit 97 degrees today! No wonder that the girls donned their swimsuits, ran through the sprinker, and ate ice cream. I ran to the "Pump and Munch" to get the ice cream. Mmmmmmmm.

Margaret with her chocolate chip cookie sandwich.

Amelia with her ice cream sandwich.


Today Amelia said, "Whenever that happens I lose my virtue".

Curious, I ask her to explain.

"Well, mom, when I have to wait, I lose my patience. And patience is a virtue."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Picture Project: Phase 2: rescan and lighting

I recleaned and rescanned and was able to get rid of the fuzzy piece in dad's head.
Then, I played some with the lighting and colors. Here's tonight's work...I don't know if it's where I want to go, but it is definitely better already. It's a little dark and a little too red, but I didn't like the auto-enhance settings at all. I'll probably start over with it this weekend.

One problem, a defect right in Mom's eye. I tried to get it off before scanning, but it just does not want to appears to be in the emulsion/film. I tried some zooming in and cloning, but still not happy with it.

I also used the dodge tool on mom's necklace..perhaps a little too heavy handed.
I also used the magic wand to grab mom's and dad's faces and darkened them a bit.

I can see there is a lot to learn here, but having fun!

Mommy, how did you know?

Last night the girls came in from playing outside in their swimsuits, and Margaret was very, very, very dirty.

I said: "Well, it looks like you were rolling around in the mud."

Her response? "How did you know, Mommy?"

Laughs all around (we had company that witnessed this conversation)

Tonight I think I will have time to play with my picture...looking forward to it!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Golf scores from last night

Just a quick post to put in my golf scores from last night. I golfed with an old friend (someone I used to golf with more than a few times a year back in the old days before kids). It was a nice round and a good time. (Dare I say "fun?")

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 TOT
4 4 6 4 4 5 4 4 3 38

A very nice round of golf for me. About as good as I can expect to do. Yet...I could have done a bit better...always a few missed opportunities in a round of golf. It's how the "golf gods" keep you coming back.

Enjoy your day! I'm in training again today at work. (Learning this time, not teaching) Seems like I've done a lot of this lately. Which is without learning is pretty boring. And classroom lessons are always easier than "life lessons".

Monday, May 22, 2006

My picture project

Here is the picture I have selected as my "picture project" to work on in Adobe Photoshop.
Here it is as I scanned it into my DiMAGE Scan Dual IV from Konica/Minolta. No adjustments other than the dust remover from the scanner. Bad Exposure, some scratches. Originally it looked a lot worse, but I cleaned up the slide with Undu photo care solution and some canned air. Looks like maybe there is still one small fiber I can remove, but I don't have time right now. I'll rescan tomorrow to see if I can get rid of that little scratch on my dad's head.
This is an early picture of my parents together, before they were married. Here's what I know and/or assume from other slides in this batch and what I know of their courtship. The picture was taken at a Six Fat Dutchmen concert in Rochester on New Year's Eve 1955. They were engaged and planning to be married in the coming May. They knew each other less than six months. My mom had just turned 20 years old, my father was 25.

I won't get a chance to play before Tuesday night, but I wanted to get my candidate out here for you all see!!

They do grow up!

My friend Minda posted about how her Adult children are becoming (have become)...surprise...adults!

Her thoughtful comments got me thinking about how my little girls are going to become adults. But thinking about adulthood is too far away for me to fathom, so I'm just thinking about them becoming pre-teens. That I can fathom (definitely not teen-dom...that is a bit harder to comprehend).

On Saturday, Amelia got herself breakfast. Not just a bowl of cereal, mind you, but waffles with butter and syrup (yep...Eggos), applesauce, and a glass of apple juice. I was downstairs watching cartoons with Margaret and I either didn't hear Amelia ask for breakfast, or she didn't. I came upstairs at one point and there she was...eating her breakfast. Pretty significant if you really think about it.

And when I was doing her homework with her (she does still need constant prodding to get it done) I was amazed that she really has learned her number (addition and subtraction) facts. She doesn't want to admit she is good at math, but I think being able to add with carrying and subtract with borrowing and knowing one's facts through 10+10 is pretty significant for a second grader. Halfway through the school year I was lamenting that she couldn't even add 5 + 6.

She speaks thoughtfully on many topics. She asked me this weekend to "remind her" what AIDS was and how you get it. (We drove by Hiawatha park as people were gathering for the AIDS walk). BTW...I commented that it was gotten by sharing blood, and that she didn't have to worry about it. I didn't want to talk about "sharing body fluids" and, since she gets a shot every day I didn't want to talk about "sharing needles"...I didn't want to scare her unnecessarily. She seemed satisfied with my answer (thankfully).

Margaret is so ready for school; I suspect she is not going to sleep the night before Kindergarten starts, she is soooooo excited. She still has the voice and articulation of a young kid (kind of "lispy" in the middle of words? Does that make sense?), but her thoughts are starting to grow up. I'm not thinking of an example at the moment, but she often amazes me with her comments. Having an older sister is part of that, but part of it is just being 5 and being Margaret.

I'm lucky to have two such wonderful little girls. They are keeping me on my toes, and I love it that way!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A party and a photo of my mom

The girls and I went to Target yesterday to get presents for the birthday party they were going to today. I let them each pick out an outfit. Here's what they came home with (except the jean jacket on Amelia).

The birthday party was a dog party. Each little girl brought her favorite stuffed dog (plus Amelia brought Pat, her bunny). They did face paiting. Amelia is a greyhound, Margaret a dalmatian.

While they were at the party, I played with Photoshop with a friend. I learned about brushes and layers. Now I feel like I have enough knowledge to be dangerous! Here's one of the photos we played with.

This is what the original looked like. It is a good shot and really doesn't need too much work, but it was the one I happened to pull up to "dreamify" and "grunge". Look here for a better example of the before and after...from the source/inspiration of the technique.

I don't know if I'll have time to "play" this week, but I think I'll pull up a photo badly in need of work and show you all the things I do with it. Fun, fun, fun. (Hey, is that my new word, or what

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Outside, Inside...

Here's our new lilac bush. Thanks to John and Karen from church for giving us one they culled out of their yard! Margaret and Amelia helped me de-sod this spot by pounding and shaking the sod pieces after I dug them up. See the window well next to the bush? That's my craft room. Now to the inside, to look outside.

Here's my window sill in my craft room...with my CREATE letters and my new flowers. I finished the flowers on Thursday when I cropped at Scrapbooks Too.

Here's a close up of the Jenni Bowlin flowers with the Making Memories Boho Chic paper. Mmmmm.

Here's a close up of the Michael's wooden stars and hearts with the Winnie's Walls paper. Both bouquets are in dollar spot bins from Target. (Long gone...sorry if you missed them) I still need to get real florists foam or aquarium rocks or something to hold them up.

I had a great week! Golfing (twice), cropping, finishing my flowers, and gardening! Lots of fun stuff. I wish Charlie were home this weekend to help out with the girls, but we are having a fun time. They have a birthday party tomorrow, and while they are gone, my friend Minda is coming over to get me started on Photoshop. Should be a great start to next week!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

50 posts!!!!!

I noticed from my blogspot site that I have reached 50 posts! Not bad for a beginner, eh?

I golfed a 44 yesterday. Two pars, Three bogies. One eight (yuk! goal is to never get an 8) It was gorgeous out and I had a great time. Only one 3-putt with two 1-putts. (I like to avoid three putts, also)

My iron count is down to 9. (Blood iron, not number of iron clubs in my golf bag :-))Can you say "Anemia"? Back on the iron pills. I guess I need to stop donating blood...I have enough iron to donate, but it does seem to take the body a while to get it back. I have enough trouble with energy levels without draining iron from it. But donating blood is such good and easy thing. I guess I'll have to make sure I add a multi-vitamin with iron once I get over this low count episode.

I'm golfing with my hubby tomorrow am and then cropping the rest of the day at the scrapbook store. Sounds great, eh? I needed a day off...away from kids. Charlie will be out of town again this weekend.

And now...before I log out...a picture...just to clarify my love affair with historical pictures (remember the bloomers a few weeks back?). Enjoy!

Monday, May 15, 2006

More "flowers"

I went to Michael's today to buy dowel rods to make stems for my flowers.
I found these hearts and stars on sticks. They come as bare wood. Tulips are also available, but they were sold out. :-( They were 50 cents each (or less). I bought four.
I have finished one heart. I used the Winnie's Walls paper from SEI. These will go in another Target bucket on my window sill.

I won't stop until all four Target buckets I have are filled with decopauged cool stuff. (By the way, I walked out of Michael's having spent only $2.61. Pretty good, eh?)

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Margaret was my helper making flowers today with the Jenni Bowlin kit I featured yesterday. She made about half of them.
I think they are so cool. I still need to give them stems before I can put them into their pots. Also, I think I will make some leaves and add other ribbons. Margaret doesn't understand that the flowers she made are still going into my office pots. I may have to give up one for her to keep.
The tag in the photo is a tag that came on some 7gypsies stuff I bought. When I took the 7gypsies class at CKU, she used the tag in the project, I thought it was a cool idea, and so had to use this one, too. I will likely hang it from the flower or stem with one of the flowers.
I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day...I did...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Jenni Bowlin Studio

I received my Jenni Bowlin Studio kit in the mail Friday. Oh...the stuff is too cute. I ordered both kits, the monthly papercrafting kit and the monthly project kit.
The cool part is not the paper, some of which I already own. It's the embellishments. Look at the cool dotted bookplates. Look at the fabric flowers. Look at the chipboard flower frames. Cool. Cool. KEWL.
This is the project kit. Love the chipboard flowers. Look at Jenni's site (linked above) to see what she did with them. I am going to make them and put them in the $1 Target buckets in my front of my Donna Downey "CREATE" words. I'll post a picture when it's done. Maybe tomorrow? Likely not, but I'll get started, anyway.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fifty Years Ago Today

Fifty Years ago today, my parents were married at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in West Salem, Wisconsin. They were young and in love and full of hope.

My mom, Ruth Marie Anderson, was 20 years old. My father, Kenneth Duane Shaler, was 26. They had met during the previous year in Rochester, Minnesota where my mother was working as a Medical Transcriptionist and my father was attending Rochester Junior College. A friend of the family recently told me that they were engaged after only one week of dating!

A year after their wedding, my older brother Stephen was born (May 29th...the big 49 coming up for him!). Five years after that I arrived.

We had a typical 60s life in the small city of Beloit, Wisconsin. My father was a design draftsman, my mother stayed home with me until I started school, then started working as a typist at the Beloit Corporation where my father worked.

In 1971, at the age of 35, my mother died of lung cancer. She had gone through two years of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, etc. Life was no longer typical for any of us during her final year of life and after her death.

In 1990, at the age of 60, my fater died of lung cancer. He had happily re-married, and I had gotten three great step-brothers out of the deal. Sixty is too young to die, too.

So I think of them today, and their marriage that started out with such joy, and ended too soon, too tragically. Were they here today, they would have four grandchildren to share the event with. My Nephew, Ross, 18 years old, My Niece, Kelsey, just turned 16, and my two daughters, Amelia, 8, and Margaret, 5. I know a big party would be scheduled for tomorrow. We would all have been there, somehow.

I really want to celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary with my current husband, with both kids there.. and hopefully some grandkids, too...that would be nice. I acknowledge (more than the average person will, I think) that 29 more years together is less likely than many other options. At times I am filled with pessimism that there is any chance it could ever happen. Other times I am filled with hope that it can. Today I choose hope, in memory of my mom and dad.

This picture is of Charlie's parents on their 50th wedding anniversary, seven year ago. (The same day as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I golfed last evening. Did well. Had fun. Enjoyed being outside.

Here's the scorecard. Not bad considering I haven't golfed in five years.

Monday, May 08, 2006


The crop I went to this weekend had a wishblade on the premises. I had soooo much fun with it. I used it on almost every page I did.

On this layout I cut the letters 3 inches high. I love big letters and the one thing I don't like about Sizzix and QuicKutz is that the letters are small. With Wishblade you can pick any size you want. The only drawback I saw was that you cannot put 12x12 paper into the Wishblade. Despite that flaw, I think it's going on the Christmas list. Or maybe I'll start an envelope at work to save $10 or $20 a week in. It now will cut any True Type font, so you have an infinite number of choices (ok, truly not infinite, but more than I would ever have time to look at or use) without buying any extra fonts. Of course, the ones they have are real cute and have shadows (this was one of their fonts).

Must have...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Unhappy baby girl

Here's how a very tired 5 year old reacts to being told she can't have hot chocolate at 8 pm.
Poor baby girl. But the pictures are really kind of funny.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Foiled again...or maybe not?

I had planned to attend an ALS benefit crop on May 13th. All signed up and everything.

Unfortunately, my husband now needs to travel to Atlanta for a funeral of a close family friend. So I can no longer attend (unless I wanted to try to find a sitter and pay for that in ADDITION to the crop...NOT).

This had happened to me in August, when I had to miss a weekend at Raspberry Ridge due to a family "emergency" in Albuquerque that Charlie needed to attend to.

But...since tomorrow in National Scrapbook Day, I am attending an all day crop tomorrow instead. My long-time friend Donna is a wonderful CM consultant and is having a full day event at her house. I will be there instead.

So...original plans plans in place!

Have a great NSD. Get lots done and preserve those family memories.

Now for our picture for today...

This is me at age 4. Pretty cute, eh?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A page...

Here's a new layout I did this past weekend. I love the paper. The layout is fun but not great.

Here's a picture of my toes while I was taking a picture of the above layout.

Here's my new storage system for "embellishments". I wasn't really liking the ScrapRack (it's for sale, if you'd like to make me an offer). I bought this Iris cart at JoAnn's. Each drawer is actually a locking bin that holds 12x12 paper. I have each drawer labelled for theme. That way I can pull out the bin, rifle through it, choose my items and then just put the bin back. Pretty easy. A lot more room than the scraprack.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Squirrel Attacks Squngee...

We had a squngee in our tree. Until yesterday.

It had been hanging without corn since the snow cleared up. (I figured the squirrels would find plenty of food in the spring without my squngee). Yesterday I saw a squirrel chewing on the twine we had used to hang it in the tree. He was attacking it rather vigorously, as if to say "FEED ME OR TAKE IT DOWN!!!" Maybe (s)he wanted it for her nest.

You may not be able to tell from this picture, but the business end of the squngee (the hooks where the corn goes) was in the tree, and the twine end (user attached... not part of the high quality, well researched, and patented Squngee product) which had attached it to the tree was hanging downward.

Seeing as I had no corn to hang on it, I took it down. After taking this picture, of course. Pesky squirrels.