Tuesday, April 29, 2008

observations around town

...Apparently, a few weeks ago, many cops graduated "motorcycle cop school" or whatever it is called. Now, there are tons of cops whizzing by on motorcycles, stopping traffic breakers every which way I look. It is a little nerve-racking. Not that I speed (on known streets that have many cops) but it always makes me nervous to see a cop. Guilty conscience I guess.

Anyway, today while taking Rhett to school, we saw 4 motorcycle cops stop 4 different cars on the little stretch of road in front of Rhett's school. 4! I see at least 4 drive by the same intersection every day, looking cool and scary in their dark glasses and helmets. Are they just excited or is this going to be an everyday thing now?

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Speaking of seeing many of one thing, the possum is an animal that I have never actually seen alive. Only on the side of the road, lying on its side. In the past week, I have seen at least 7 dead possums on the side of the road. And every time I think, "The possum population just lost another kin." Why are just the possums dying? Are they too dumb to stay out of the road? Or is it because they are nocturnal and cars just don't see them? These are good questions, don't you think?

****
Have a great day, don't speed and watch out for possums!

Friday, April 25, 2008

good-bye Mr. W

...Last night, I found out my high school art teacher had passed away a couple of weeks ago. I knew it was coming because he had been ill. But it still is a shock and I am still processing it. I had heard that he told his family he was ready, that he lived a great life and he knew he couldn't live forever. But those kind of people are the ones who should get to, you know?

When I signed up for Art my senior year of High School, I knew I was going to be in a class that wasn't that popular. And I was right. Art class was down a long hall by the band hall and theater. I had one other friend in that class. The others were students that were barely getting by in other classes but were wonderfully, talented in Art.

I didn't know what to expect but I was immediately impressed by my teacher's talent and ability to teach. This soon became one of my favorite classes.

Mr. W soon became one of my favorite teachers. You could just tell that he believed in his students. He believed in me. One of my first paintings won an art award. He entered my Christmas card into a contest and I was a runner-up. This is a favorite memory of mine because my dad is the one who drove me to Amarillo. This is one of the few times that it was just my dad and me by ourselves. We joked that the winner was a little boy (7 or 8!) and I was 18!

Because of Mr. W, I knew that I wanted Art to have a place in my life, even after the class was over. At first I even majored in Art, but I soon was discouraged and found another career. But I still think creating is so important to me and I try to find ways to keep it in my life, whether it is in scrapbooking or cooking or crafts. He inspired me to live creatively, to find the beauty in everyday, to teach my kids the importance of making, creating, building, painting. I am who I am today because of many people in my life. Mr. W was one of those people.

The last day of class, he gave the seniors (there were 3 of us) a gift. He had made a screen printing of a tree on a hillside. It was beautiful. I have hung it in every home that I have lived in and today it hangs in my kitchen. It is right next to that painting that I won an award for. This two pieces of art remind me of what I did and what I learned and to keep those things close to me.

Thank you, Mr. W, for changing the way I think. Thank you for being that kind of teacher for me. Thank you for inspiring all who were around you.

You will be missed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

something to share

...on this cloudy day. Hopefully, this will make you smile, like it does for me everytime. (Sorry the view is sideways, I don't know why it did that...)

video

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

10 Ways to Make your Earth Happy

...Happy Earth Day! Welcome to all the scrapbook stashers that read Erica's blog and shop at yourscrapbookstash.com! Erica directed you here for some tips to make your scrapbooking and life a little bit greener. I made a scrapbook especially for today using only scraps and things that normally would be considered trash. But it is amazing how you can make your old stash and trash into a cool, earth-friendly scrapbook!

So where did I begin? In my scrap box of course!


I am sure everyone who scraps has a box or a file or a drawer full of leftover paper. Maybe you feel too guilty to throw it away, like I am. Or maybe you think, "Someday, I'll do something with that." Today could be that day!

Ten Tips On How to Go Green in Scrapbooking And Life

For my scrapbook, I used part of a cardboard box for the front and back covers, the folder that my pictures came in that I ordered from Shutterfly (that made 4 pages!), the plastic packages that stickers and rub-ons came in, tags from clothing and bags, old ticket stubs, ribbon, flowers, brads, stickers, patterned paper, tags and chipboard leftover from other projects, green paint and colored pens and markers already in my stash. It is important to note that I bought nothing new for this scrapbook. That makes this not only earth-friendly (reduce! reuse! recycle!) but also friendly on your wallet!

The front cover:

Note: The blue horizontal tag is from my Kate London bag. I have kept it for 6 months. I am glad I did. It matches perfectly with the patterned paper! It reads (if you are having trouble reading the image-the photographer--meaning me--did not do so well on this shot--ha!): Here are a few of my favorite things...GO GREEN: Ten tips on how to "Go Green" in Scrapbooking and Life"

The front inside cover:

Pages 1-4 are made from the Shutterfly picture folder I talked earlier about.


I painted it green and used the label space to write the subject and date. This was fun!

Open The folder and you have 2 more pages. Green Scrapbook Tip #1 and another green tip are found here.

Close the folder and you find page 4 with a green tip that gives you ideas on how to involve your kids in your green living.

Page 5 and 6 were also fun. I made those two pages out of a small plastic package that some scrapbook embellishments came in.

Here is the back or page 6:
Yes, those journaling tags are the back of old movie stubs.

Page 7:

And the tag on the side of page 7 reads:

Page 8:

I used another plastic bag that held embellishments to make see-through layers. I cut the plastic so that 3 sides were open and then placed chipboard and stickers on each layer. It is hard to tell in the photo, but the top layer has the star chipboard circle and the "i", the second layer has the blue circle and the word "see" and the bottom layer (the cardboard) has the biggest circle and the word "you!"

Page 9 and 10 is a thin sheet of cardboard that came in a package of scrapbook rub-ons. It had writing on the front so I just covered it with scraps of patterned paper.

Page 9:

And Page 10:

The ticket stubs read: Reuse the chipboard outlines of flowers, shapes and letters over and over by painting inside the shape! This is one of my favorite things to do. It saves me from having to buy a stamp or stickers and lets me experiment with different colors and textures!

Back inside cover:

This is probably the best tip that I can pass on to you. I have read many things about "going green" and most of them come down to this one thing: Simplify. I hope that this scrapbook helps you to simplify your scrapbooking. I am not saying to never buy new supplies. But I am saying that think of everything you use as a possible supply for your projects. And think of ways to reuse the things you do buy.

Back cover:Do you have any green tips on scrapbooking or everyday life? Please feel free to share on Erica's blog (link on the right under Scrapbooking) and have a chance to win a prize!! You are also welcome to share your tips here too!

Have a great, green day everyone!

Earth Day post coming soon

...Blogger is experiencing techinical difficulties at the moment...hopefully, it will be worked out in a few...stay tuned...

Monday, April 21, 2008

fyi

...From an email from Erica, head of yourscrapbookstash.com (it is also on her blog):


Greetings!
Come celebrate Earth Day and GO GREEN with us this Tuesday! On April 22nd, we will spend the day trying to save the Earth one step at a time.

Join
Aimee Houston, Design Team Member and resident 'Greenster' as she shares with us ways to save the environment. And yes! That includes scrapbooking as well! No! We're not telling you to trash your stash, but Aimee will show you ways to turn your trash INTO stash.

We will run a contest that day on the blog. Post a comment on thats days post letting us know how you are 'going green' or trying to change things. It can be something small or something BIG! Just let us know. By sharing your easy tips with others, we can make a difference.

We'll pick winners throughout the day from the comments posted. Check the blog on 4/22 for more information.
So look here tomorrow for a special Earth Day post and if you want to be a winner, post a comment on Erica's blog tomorrow! It will be fun!

Friday, April 18, 2008

earth inspiring

...I have started a new feature on my blog: Be Inspired Friday. If you haven't noticed, that is okay, I've only done it once.

And since we will be celebrating Earth Day on Tuesday (be sure to check here for an Earth Day/scrapbooking related post), I thought I would share some inspiration on that subject:

*Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Aromatheraputic Housecleaning products are awesome! They really work, quite well in fact, and they smell wonderful. I bought the surface scrub and I love the fact that you can use it to also clean those stubborn stains on your pots. I also have the toilet cleaner and it leaves the bathroom smelling great.

*Buying and eating what is in season is better for the environment. Here is a recipe from Martha Stewart's site for Swiss Chard. If you haven't tried Swiss Chard, you should. You won't regret it.

*Who knew that if you iron clothes less, you'll help the environment? That little article made me very happy. :)
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

fast as the wind


...I hadn't posted a photo in awhile, so here is what I had on my camera: Noah at his soccer game last Saturday. It was windy, windy, but he seemed like he had a good time. In this picture, the wind is probably pushing him down the field. Each team who had the goal downwind scored many goals!
I think this Saturday it is actually going to be a nice day, so I'm looking forward to going to his game, sans blanket and hooded coat.
Speaking of wind, it is howling today. And my neighbors still have those windchimes on their tree. Clankety, clank, all day long. :)
I can't believe this is the last 2 months of school. Pretty soon, Noah will start the big K and Rhett will be a 2nd grader! I am looking forward to this summer. I want to just hang out with the boys and enjoy not doing anything. I think they are too. Noah asks everyday if it is a weekend and Rhett has even started saying that he doesn't want to go to school--and he loves school!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

on the plus side

...Earth Day is next week. I am already doing some projects for Earth Day that I am excited to share with you. I am really trying to get in a good "green" groove and be more aware of how I can make an impact--both positive and negative.

+I can tell you that these past few weeks, we've only had about 1-2 bags of trash (from the kitchen) a week. The rest we recycle or I put in our "Creative Reuse" box. This box has milk cartons, plastic lids, cartons that held mushrooms or strawberries and paper towel holders. Cardboard is not recycled here in Edmond (or at least they don't allow us to put it in our bin) so reusing it is the way to go. I hope the boys go wild with their imagination.

+I have been saving lint from our dryer. You know, for pillow stuffing....Just kidding!!! Actually, I read that you can stuff lint in toilet paper holders, then cover with newspaper and ta-da--instant fire starters. We have a chimanea, so this will be perfect for this.

+I have been making my own tote bags. Yesterday I made a bag for my friend out of a big, burlap sack that held 50 lbs of rice. My friend bought this rice from an Asian market and gave me a few pounds of it and the bag. (This rice is the best I've ever eaten, by the way. I will never go back to Minute Rice.) Anyway, I found some fabric on sale and with that fabric, I made a lining and straps for the burlap tote. I didn't get a picture of it but it ended up looking rather cute and my friend loved it.

+We have replaced almost all of our lights with CFLs. Only a few rooms left that have regular lights. The problem is--What do you do with all the regular lightbulbs? I have a bucket full of them. I hate to throw them away. Any ideas?

****
-We still take too long in the shower. All of us.

-I can't bring myself to lower my thermostat down to 68 degrees. We have left it at 71 degrees and I still feel cold. And yes, I am wearing a jacket in my house right now.

-We leave the outside lights on all night (for neighborhood safety reasons) but sometimes I forget to turn them off until late afternoon.

-We rely on our cars too much. But we live in a place where neighborhoods are far away from stores and jobs. But I could carpool kids to school and I don't bother to ask anyone.

I think this year, more people than ever will be aware and know the importance of Earth Day. At least I hope. I encourage all of you to do something to celebrate Earth Day next week. Small or large, by yourself or with your kids or family. The best thing we can all do is simplify our lives. Conserve. Protect. Enjoy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

be inspired

...Just a few inspiring things on this wonderful thing called the internet that I've found this week:

1. Kristiana Parn's artwork is so neat. Scroll down to one of my favorites, titled "Cardinals Under the Mountain Ash Berry Tree." I found this yesterday because I was searching for pictures of cardinals and the image of the artwork popped up. I was searching for cardinals because I saw the beautiful bird sitting on top of a pile of tree branches by the side of the road while driving home yesterday. I didn't have my camera, so I made a scrapbook page with a hand-made cardinal on it. This was the inspiration. (You can see the scrapbook page next month on yourscrapbookstash.com and I'll also post it here later.)

2. A honey cupcake recipe that I found after some searching. This produced a very light and fluffy cupcake, almost angel-food like. Very yummy. And tasting of sweet honey. I wanted to find this because the boys were still in their "Save the Bees" mode and I thought it would be fitting. Only one neighborhood boy complained about them. He said, "This is not a cupcake. A muffin maybe, but now a cupcake." (I left off the frosting.)

3.yougrowgirl.com has many ideas for an eco-friendly and laid-back garden. I haven't gotten the chance to look around too much, but I love the home page!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

it's so silly!

...Last week, Noah's teachers let them have fun with Silly String. So, of course, Noah wanted Silly String of his own. Because I was feeling generous (or crazy--sometimes I think these two go hand in hand) I let him pick out 2 cans.


He waited all afternoon (oh, those 3 hours until we picked up Rhett were torture I tell you!) to use his Silly String on his brother.


A short 3 minutes later all of it was gone. But, it really was fun for them while it lasted. Shouts of "Let's get some more!" were heard while I was picking up all of that {silly} string out of the grass. I could have said what I was thinking, which was, "Never!! I will never buy this $3 can of stuff that doesn't last but a few minutes again!"


Instead, I said, "Maybe this summer, okay?"

I know, I am such a nice mom. :0

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What do you think of my new blog header? I wish I could say I designed it myself, but I didn't. I found a site that lets you use blog headers for free and when I found this one, I thought it was perfect. So, thanks Jonathan M., whoever you are.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

i like


...my new weather radio. I am addicted. In the morning, I hit the button and it gives me an update. It will sound an alarm when there is inclement weather approaching. It is like a friend--always watching out for us, always making sure we know what is going on. With the weather. Ok, so it is not like a friend, but it is neat.

This time of day when Noah has his tv time and I get to have my computer time. We both get what we want and are happy.

Lemon Cake Cookies. Noah wanted to make a Lemon Pie yesterday but I talked him into these cookies instead and they are so good. Light and airy with a wonderful lemony glaze on top. Delicious!

This beautiful sky. Last night I took a few photos of the clouds, before storms hit our area. It is amazing to watch the clouds rise higher and higher.

My new paper bin. I cut "used" paper into notecard size and now that is what I use for grocery lists and to-do lists. It is great!
Have a happy day!

Friday, April 04, 2008

little activists

...Yesterday evening, I had just parked the car at swimming lessons and because we were a little early, I looked at a magazine while the boys did their thing in the back. (Which means fight). I came to a page that had a picture of honeycomb and a bee and both boys noticed right away. They asked what it was and I told them what it was and why it was in the magazine.

me: "Bees are in danger of extinction and if they all die, which may happen when you are 35 Rhett, crops such as apples and carrots and blueberries would suffer without their pollination. Then we would also have no more honey."

(They have just seen Bee Movie, so I didn't have to say anymore than that)

Rhett: Oh no! We have to save the bees!
Noah: Save the bees!
Rhett: Mom, roll down the window. Please.

I was a little afraid of what they might do. Sure enough, as soon as I rolled down the window a little bit, Rhett yells at the top of his lungs:

SAVE THE BEES!!!

A woman walking by smiled. I felt proud. A little embarrassed too. But proud.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

not there yet

...So do you think that buying a magazine whose theme this month is "Going Green" is defeating the purpose of "going green"? I mean, I am not sure that this magazine is printed on recycled paper. And one of the things I am trying to get better at is not buying so many magazines. Oh well.

Going green is hard. I always forget my reusable bags or I buy too much to fit in the 2 that I bring with me. I still use and throw away sandwich bags. I want to compost, but I think it is too hard to start and keep at it. I throw away too much. I have too many projects that I want to do (make a blanket out of old jeans!) that I get overwhemed and don't do any. Aaah!

I am trying to get back on track. One thing at a time. First thing I am going to do is to start with my mailbox. Catalog Choice is a new free service that you can log on to and indicate which mailing lists you want off of for good.

And then I am going to visit earthday.net and find out how I can get involved with Earth Day activities. It is April 22, so it is coming up!

Have a nice day!