Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Absentee Blogger

Forgive my absence this past week. My world has been busy, busy, busy! Last Tuesday afternoon, Libby and I embarked on the College Road Trip. We left Dallas at 4:00 pm on Tuesday and arrived in Baltimore at 9:00 pm on Wednesday. Then, there was the whirlwind of unloading, unpacking and getting settled, saying goodbye, my seemingly much loooonnngggeerrrrr trip home, and my recovery for the last several days.

I've got tons of pictures from the last two weeks and a few stories to tell, but right now I'm trying to get caught up at work. My plan is to catch up on the blog a little later this week.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ready to Fly

Only 4 more days before this little chick spreads her wings and starts to fly. I can’t believe it!

We have family in town and are planning a big be-off-with-you party tomorrow evening. Not to mention all the packing and anxiety we are already dealing with.

I'll be taking tons of pictures, and should have plenty to share next week! Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Quick Shell Craft

I was trying to decide what to do with the hundreds of shells I have collected, and playing around with a few of them. I found some old bottles, bought some corks and glued the shells to the tops.

I can't decide if I like it or not. Libby doesn't. She especially doesn't like the one with wire and beach glass. I think it would be better if the bottles were a little more decrepit and if the wire had some patina. I may go back and try adding something around the top of the cork where you can kind of see the glue - maybe some sand or wax with some baby shells embedded.

I really like the blue-ish tint of the glass. Hmmmm.... Still working on it....

Any ideas? or just scrap it altogether??

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Got the "I-wants"

I have a bad case of the "I-wants". That's what my mom used to call them. She'd take my brother and me to the store, and we would suddenly become afflicted with the "I-wants" and ask for everything in the store, it didn't matter what, just something, want it, need it, can't live without it, please, please, please....

These situations never ended well - I can remember many times when one or both of us left in tears - because we didn't get what we wanted. Instead we'd be told "stop that crying or I'll really give you something to cry about." lol

Anyway, right now, I just want to be able to buy unnecessary things and not feel guilty or worry about how much they cost. I want to win the lottery. I want a beach house. I want Chicken Little to have a full scholarship, including room, meals & books (she got a good one, but still a lot left cover). I want it to be about 75 degrees with a nice breeze and no humidity. I want a fruity drink with an umbrella in it. I want to have a job I love. I want to go to the book store and buy 10 books on decorating my house, get inspiration, and then go out and re-do everything! I want to have a clean office/craft room with a really cool organization system, and all the time in the world to spend "working" in it! I want, I want, I want...

So, instead of doing something I will regret, I'm settling for a little online window shopping....

CUTE Coach bag - love, love, love this tote. Would like to have this for my laptop and work stuff - my briefcase(s) are getting pretty raggedy. (but still entirely functional)

Martha's craft room - how could you not want this?! Also, I'm sure it's filled with at least one of all of her wonderful products! FAB-U-LOUS!

My camera is just a little Kodak digital share-something or other. It works and it's fine, but I think that if I had a super, nifty SLR digital camera like this with a big lens and a very serious carrying case that I would instantly become an extremely skilled and talented photographer, and my blog would be 100x better and I'd get 1000's of followers. (nice to dream)

Ditto on the MacBook - want, want, want, want, want, want!!! Don't know why, I guess I've just been suckered by the advertising, but I want one. I believe that it would instantly make me smarter, younger, thinner, cleverer, more creative and really, really cool. I'm sure it would also make the blog amazing! Imagine if I had the mac and the camera - I would be unstoppable! Waaa haa haa! .... dangerous!

Oh well, I don't think it's bad to want things. If you didn't want, then there wouldn't be any motivation to do better. But I do know I don't need any of this. To paraphrase a quote from Abe Lincoln (I think): "happiness comes from liking whatever your doing, more than doing whatever you like." I try to keep that in mind and be grateful for everything that I have and all that I get to do.

The last three years have been a bit of a struggle, and in addition to learning the difference between a want and a need, I have learned several other very important lessons:
1. I have a very clear picture of what’s important, what isn't, and what is just stuff.
2. I am more than my stuff.
3. Debt is bad.
4. I get more pleasure from the things I create, than anything I could buy.
5. The pleasure comes from the process and the journey, rather than the final product.
6. I really don't want more stuff, less is better and easier, and I want to downsize, minimize and simplify.
7. The more you have, the more you have to keep up with, and the more stressful it becomes trying to hang on to it.

Speaking of liking what I'm doing, I have to tell you that I really like blogging! I know that nobody reads it, but I don't care. There's some sort of satisfaction I get from doing this everyday (or at least a couple of times a week)! My whole mindset has changed - I'm constantly looking for good things, pretty things, fun things, things that are "blog-able." The process gives me a new perspective and brings me joy.

Still…I really would like that mac... :-)

"Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"And he said unto them, Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Luke 12:15 (ASV)

Home is where the HE{ART} is

Chicken Little will be heading off to college next week. I’m driving her up to Baltimore where she will be attending the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). I’m so excited for her, but really sad for me. (And to be completely honest, a little excited for me, too!)

We’re throwing a going away party for her this weekend. Most of her friends have already scattered to the winds to go to their different schools, but all the family is getting together to let her know how much she will be missed.

I created this as the invite to the party. She is my heart, so I thought the image/message were appropriate. This is the first crafty/creative thing I’ve done in quite a while. It’s a little bit of everything: paper, ribbon, ink, and then the words were digitally added. It’s a little off kilter, but overall I was pretty happy with it and thought I’d share.

Planning to bake and decorate and try to make it a fun event. I’ll post more pictures after the party/wake. :-/

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lake Michigan

Here are just a few final shots from last week. The weather and the lake were gorgeous! Even though we worked hard, it was really a treat to be able to spend a few days up there.

This is the view from the back of the house where we were staying. The lake is so big it feels more like the ocean - you can't even see the other side! It was rough.

Just some of the pretty plants and flowers growing everywhere. It was so lush.

The view from an inn down the road. This is White Lake which feeds into Lake Michigan.

Monday, August 16, 2010

White River Canoeing

I mentioned that one day last week we went canoeing down a river. This activity was billed as “teambuilding”. Hmmm….

Looks like a promising start, huh?

All those colorful kayaks and tubes looked like they would be so much fun! The tubes weren’t even an option, so we had to pick a kayak or a canoe. Not being that familiar with how to operate either vehicle, I chose to partner up with someone and float down the river in a canoe.

This is a relatively tame example of the vegetation in and around this particular river. There were so many fallen trees, stumps and branches in the river; it quickly became obvious why tubes were not an option. You would be moving along just fine, and then out of nowhere you’d be wedged between a couple of fallen trees, or tipped over by a submerged stump.

A perfect example of how I experienced most of this particular river - from the side of an overturned canoe.

The first casualty was the beer (refer to picture #1), the second was our dignity and poise, the third was the nice buzz most of us had from the few beers consumed prior to the tumbling, and finally the last thing to give way was our good humor.

I’m all about adventure and having fun, and I really LOVE almost any activity involving being on, in or near the water. This, however, was more like one of the challenges you might encounter on a reality TV show. Half way through our trek, there were more than a few people I had identified who should be voted off the island (or in this case, out of the canoe). By the end of the journey, we were all dead tired and starving, but we were a team again – with everyone grateful just to have survived!

In spite of all the ins-and-outs, it was a pretty fun afternoon… Everyone had a good time, with only a few bumps, bruises and missing flip-flops.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Last Week

I’m back and I’m better. Sometimes I just get in a funk, usually instigated by a case of too much “gotta do this” and too little sleep. Still suffering from the first part, but I did get NAPS both days this weekend – YEA!

I’m in HR, and one of my “clients” is our global Finance team. Last week, our CFO held a leadership meeting at his house on Lake Michigan.

Work hard, play hard – that was our motto. We would meet every morning (8 AM, regardless of how hard you may have “played” the night before), and we’d work until early afternoon. The play part consisted of golfing, NAPPING, kayaking on the lake, reading, canoeing down the White River (more on that later), and lots of good food and drink!

It was gorgeous. It rained two mornings, but by the afternoon the sun was always out. It was also unusually warm (90-ish), still that was balmy compared to Dallas lately.

This is the first picture I took, and it was from the car on the drive in from the airport. I LOVED these sunflowers. It looked like how I imagine the south of France looks.

Obviously, I was really diggin’ the farms. There were so many that I wanted to take pictures of, but I never had my camera ready. Argh - frustrating - oh well, lesson learned…

We really got a lot of good work done. It was great to be so productive, while at the same time getting away from the daily grind. Probably the best part was the team-building. I think many of us arrived as co-workers and colleagues, but ended up leaving as friends.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

Ahhh - middle school.....

OMG! That hair and those glasses! Wow! Nothing like Sun-In to create such a lovely, natural shade of orange. But I was lovin' life at that moment and singin' proud!

Just posting this particular photo because it cracked me up, and I needed a laugh.

I need a lot of things, mainly an attitude adjustment. I haven't been blogging this week because I've been too damn grumpy. When you can't stand being around yourself, it's a good sign you probably shouldn't share the joy with anyone else either.


My mama said if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I'm trying.

I'll be back when I'm tolerable...