I finished my mad creating scramble last night and was able to put my completed projects into the mail.  Now I have the worst case of the “slows” — all I want to do is lie around and read for the next couple of days.  I do have several books to review, as I have been reading all along.  Perhaps one or two will get written tomorrow.

Sweet dreams.

Reality bites!


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This morning after our Bible study at Valhalla, I ran into an old friend from my early days at the Kings/Tulare UniServ Unit.  He looked more tired and less upbeat than when I last saw him a few months back, so my first question was about his wife.  With great sadness he told me he placed her in an Alzheimer’s care unit a couple of months ago.  They have been a couple for 50+ years, and although their marriage (like most eventually do) went through a very tough patch a number of years back, they have been partnered for most of their adult lives.

He is adrift, rattling around in the house “in town” they bought for their old age and fixed up for ease in navigating, hating to cook for only one, not knowing how to shop for only one.  She is in a secure care unit, not understanding why she can’t go home, moving from sadness to anger at being confined.  My heart is breaking for them both.

Then this evening I had a call from a colleague and friend, telling me of the suicide of one of our students.  And whether or not he had specifically been in my class, in a school as small as Woodville, each student belonged to every teacher.  I grieve the loss of this young man, barely out of his teens, and the little brother who will always wait for his big brother to come back home.  So much sadness, so much promise gone awry.

The bright light today?  While at Bible study, a couple stopped at our table to share a photograph of their most recent grandchildren…twins born just this morning and doing well.  It was my privilege to admire the picture and wish the family well, anticipating their joyful meeting at the hospital when their daughter was ready for visitors.

I am grateful for the bright lights that illuminate the darker parts of our days, and have promised to visit my friend’s wife (who has also been my friend for many years), even though I will have to explain to her who I am and why I am there.  I pray for God’s peace for all who are hurting tonight, and ask for Her safekeeping as we sleep.

Creating “on demand”


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“Disciplined creativity” seems like somewhat of an oxymoron.  Yet anyone who needs to deliver a creative product of any sort is called upon to do just that — be creatively disciplined.

Prior to my weekend scrapbooking retreat I knew that I had a series of projects that needed completing by today.  I also knew that I would not have the necessary uninterrupted design/create opportunities here at home.  So I purposefully planned to create my projects this weekend.

Of course, when the time came my creative juices were running pretty low, and I struggled to come up with the proscribed pieces.  With the encouragement and input from friends and family, though, four projects made it from conception through fine-tuning and finishing, in time for mailing tomorrow.  (I will share pictures later this week.)

I am relieved that they are done, and pleased with the final products.  It will feel good to clear off the kitchen table again, too, and get all my Close To My Heart goodies reorganized and rearranged.

More projects await!



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It feels so good to be home!  After a glorious weekend up in Oakhurst at ECCO with twenty-two other like-minded scrapbookers (and one self-sacrificing husband), I am home, unpacked (sort of), and contemplating sleep.

Roxybonds Scrappers (including me) were an unqualified success with the School of Rock Retreat.  We even have three deposits for retreat #2, Winter Wonderland.

Lots of beautiful layouts and cards were created, but more important were the bonds of friendship and love that were strengthened as we worked and told stories.  Above all, scrapbooking is a relationship business, as was well demonstrated throughout the weekend.

Here are some of our usual Second Saturday ladies, all together at ECCO.

From left:  Trina, Fawn, Amie, and Sherri, taking a scrapbooking break.

From left: Trina, Fawn, Amie, and Sherri, taking a scrapbooking break.

Adulthood, the next chapter


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Over the past several weeks since my wreck I have had to behave in an adult manner more often than not.  And it all culminated in finding a car that was interesting, test driving it, finalizing the finances (with help from dear ones), and — most adult of all — going to the dealer with a pile of cash to buy it.  I seriously felt like a minor drug lord counting out all that cash.

And here we have the end results of my search, goaded on encouraged by my children who wanted me driving something very safe:  my new (to me) 2005 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon.  It is immaculate inside and so very roomy…Trina and I will be traveling in style to our scrapbook retreat this weekend with it packed to the brim with activities and Close To My Heart products.

My new Subaru, just waiting for her personalized plates.

My new Subaru, just waiting for her personalized plates.

Craft challenged


Here for your reading pleasure is today’s post from Photo Fun with Fawn.

Originally posted on Photo Fun With Fawn:

I am totally “craft challenged”.  Even though I still do fairly “naked” scrapbook pages, I am still the slowest dancer at the party.  If I were being paid by the hour for my crafting, I would most likely starve.  But I craft anyway, and I like to think I am getting better!

I am the proud owner of a Cricut Expressions2 that I have had for at least five years and have plugged in twice.  I have every intention of learning to use it, and haul it with me on a regular basis when I scrapbook.  Perhaps I will actually use it this weekend at our School of Rock Retreat.

All that being said, I yearn for a dedicated papercrafting/scrapbooking space.  I buy every issue of “Where Women Create” when it hits the news stand, and pore over the beautiful photos of studios and “open concept” rooms, lusting after stacks…

View original 186 more words

Writer’s ?


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I know some people struggle with writer’s block, which keeps them from writing anything of substance.  I seem to be suffering from a similar (but not nearly as serious) affliction known as “writer’s blah”.  This is the second day for this strange ennui, and I’m sick of it already!

I much prefer sitting down to write, having a subject float around in my brain for a while, then write my blog post.  But that’s not happening tonight.  Any ideas I might have had seem to have sunk, rather than floated.

Tomorrow night will be better.

Praying for Visalia


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For the past several months a small group of Visalians have been meeting at Lincoln Oval Park to pray for our families, our community, and our world.  From 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. we read our Bibles, pray, write in our journals, or meditate.  There is no leader, no script…just an open invitation to pray.

Today I was the only one there, and I must admit to feeling a bit ill at ease.  I have been to Oval Park many times, but never alone — and that changes things.  But my Bible fell open to the Psalms, so that’s where I stayed.  I received some curious — even hostile — looks from Oval Park regulars.  None approached me, though, so I simply prayed until 1:00, then went home.

Next month we will be praying at Oval Park on Thursday, September 17.  You are most welcome to join us.



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I went out this morning with every intention of taking a zillion-step walk so that I could finally reach that crazy 10,000 step/day goal.  I got off to a great start, even jogging the width of several houses’ yards.  Then I got to Ana’s, and couldn’t go any farther.  You see, I used to live next door to Ana, and we quite often began our day with coffee and tea together.  I miss those morning visits.  So all thoughts of a long walk went by the wayside as I stopped for a chat with my neighbor.

An hour later, when I resumed my walk, I discovered that 82 degrees (on the way to 106) was uncomfortably warm walking weather for someone who hates sweating as much as I do.  So I cut my walk short, went home, and sat in front of the fan for a while.

Tonight after the “Tour on Trafficking” event downtown, I went back out into the cooler evening to try walking again.  As I neared the end of the street I checked the temperature.  Sure enough, it was once again 82 degrees.  Why is it that 82 degrees in the dark feels so much cooler than 82 degrees in the bright sunlight?

There is another family who lives down the street (I won’t call them neighbors, as there is absolutely no relationship here) who have turned their house into a fortress.  With motor homes parked in both the front and back yards, swamp coolers in both of the front bedroom windows, and wall-to-wall “stuff”, they have chosen to decorate their fences with “Smile, you’re on camera” signs and security cameras pointed not only at their property, but onto the sidewalk and street.  Every time I walk past I have to stifle a powerful urge to make an obscene gesture into the camera (while smiling, of course).  I hate that they feel entitled to record anyone passing by, and am now walking all the way across the street to avoid their cameras.

The heat finally got to me once again and I gave up on today’s walking, falling about 800 steps short of my goal.  Perhaps tomorrow.

Walking with a purpose


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When Lily was a tiny baby, we started taking daily walks.  This gave us time outdoors, exercise for the new mommy wanting to reshape her body, and, most importantly, time together.  Our pace varied depending on the quality of sleep received the night before, and most of the time it was fairly brisk.

Once Lily was old enough to voice an opinion, our walks became more investigative than aerobic.  I will never forget the morning she saw a fuzzy black caterpillar crossing the sidewalk in front of us.  I picked him up and placed him on Lily’s arm, so that she could both feel up close and feel how his zillions of little feet felt crawling on her.  I remember how soft he was, and how tickled Lily was to have him.  We did the same thing after Olivia was born, but without the regularity to our walks.

Now my purpose has changed, as I walk for a combination of aerobic exercise (still trying for that elusive 10,000 steps) with pushing myself to walk faster and longer each day.  But I am enjoying the “up close” view with my neighborhood, learning which houses have barking dogs, which have owners gone all day, and by all means enjoying the flowers blooming in the yards.

Today’s walking was confined to work, so I didn’t get very far.  I’ll be back at it in the morning.  Sweet dreams.


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