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Sunday, April 29, 2007

new layouts.

So - I think the best part about this post is that it's 6:26 pm and the big plans I had for the day have been realized. (maybe a good omen for the upcoming week - more on that later).

First - the two new layouts:
Ladies who Lunch - celebrating three lunches Katie and I enjoyed over her spring break back in March

Live Love Laugh! photos that Katie took at our last Bistro VG lunch on her spring break. Trying out my own handwriting for the titles and a rub-on page that was perfect. And two pink and white paper flowers from my PaperSource shopping in Chicago. (any resemblance to this layout or to this layout from scrapjacked?)

Still looking for the best way to photo layouts. Worried that a scanner might be the best option ... and I'm not ready to commit to that!

Dinner well underway - shrimp pasta, caesar salad and the sure-to-be-yummy pineapple upside down biscuits for dessert. Easy to make and smell delicious. my version
and Paula's

On tap for the week:

*Monday - cookie baking - I promised to drop off at the ADPi house on Tuesday

*Tuesday (after work) - dinner and packing with Katie (maybe meeting Lee??!!)

*Wednesday - Katie home!!!

*Thursday - Sara tennis lesson and (hopefully, always depends on Sara's homework load) dinner out

*Friday - laundry and prep for

*Saturday - Katie and Mary driving to Leesburg


big plans.

so I have big plans for today - but first, a few photos from Jillian's confirmation party yesterday:
Mary, Lydia, Steve, Karen, Ron

Jillian and Lydia (just a little windy!)

Steve and Karen

Karen and her friend Mary, who was Jillian's sponsor - so wonderful to meet Mary after hearing so much about her for so many years. And her rum cake is YUMMY!

the kids - Jillian and a friend playing ping-pong and Andrew, Paula and friends playing badmitten (Paula and her friend were winning -so that'a a "high five" they're doing)

So the big plans:

*Have the house to myself right now - Marc left for the race at 6:45 a.m. and Sara's still asleep - enjoyed spending some time in blog-land, catching up and exploring. Getting inspired to create some scrapbook layouts today - yes, really, I'm going to do it!
*From the bookclub pineapple salsa brie, I have about a cup of crushed pineapple left over. So I researched on and found this recipe for pineapple upside down biscuits - Paula Deen's recipe, which means butter, but probably very yummy. So planning them for dessert tonight.
*and it's another blue-skies day, not too warm yet, so another five-mile run in the park.
*and Sky for a carwash and some journaling time. Then Kroger (funny, I don't have all the ingredients for those biscuits - like biscuits and maraschino cherries :-)
*then home to start those layouts.
*and in between laundry, and maybe getting the pix from yesterday posted to ritz so folks can download.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

ready to roll.

Katie's new rolling duffel from Land's End arrived last night. Ordered last week when I got a 'free shipping' offer. Because this duffel was $149 compared with the beautiful Tumi one for over $500. She wasn't sure she should get it monogrammed (those probably won't be my initials forever), but I convinced her - after all, for $149, if the bag makes it through Europe this summer she's probably recouped her investment. And she'll get luggage when she gets married anyway, right? So there's a monogram on the top.

And Marc played with the bag (love how guys will "play" with stuff like duffel bags - he tried out all the zippers, opened up the pockets, rolled it around) this morning and was very impressed - well made, rolls well, lots of room inside. And I had another free shipping offer. So I ordered an identical one (except for the monogram - mine says MRS) for myself. Should make the airports on our upcoming DR trip a little easier.

Not sure what to make of my horoscope for today, though:

Sidestep major expenditures and give your bank account a needed rest.

(and I read this after buying a half-case of wine at Harry's - needing to fill all the wine fridge since the Lange shipment was only six bottles).

Friday, April 27, 2007

happy fridaying.

Ok, so somewhat in backwards order - but after work today, I picked up my 4th shipment from the Lange Winery Cru Club - three bottles of white and three bottles of red delivered three times a year. So not quite "delivered", more like "picked up from the close by UPS depot" because wine deliveries require someone over age 21 to sign for them...and I'm never home when the UPS guy comes. My wine fridge is six bottles fuller and I'm looking forward to enjoying the new selections. Of course I still have bottles from my 1st delivery and it reminds me I need to get busy drinking - especially the pinot gris and sauvignon blancs which aren't for aging. Katie comes up Wednesday and I plan to open something special to celebrate TWO years of college ... finished! (and Katie does like white wine...not like I'm trying to put anything over on her!)

I had a really good week at work - doesn't always happen - and I wasn't really thinking it would turn out so well. I'm down a key manager (who had skills I've never way I can fill his shoes, just trying my best to bridge the gap gracefully) and we had budgets due. But by some miracle it all came together and I was making my next week to-do list early this afternoon. Love it! and to celebrate the good feeling, I took a few photos of my work space - I do spend a lot of time there, and figured some of my family who read this blog might like to see it!

what I see most of the time - this is the straight-on view of my desk - great wallpaper on the laptop from american crafts - pink starbucks mug is an anomaly (marc took sara to school this morning so I got coffee at starbucks on the way in ... early) stacks of paper, lots of files, I pride myself on being able to find stuff quickly!
the view from my window (I did pull up the blinds) - how wonderful is it to look out on trees and so much green?
a closeup of the view - zooming in on the very pretty bridge over a creek and so many trees
So - not so bad a place to spend so many hours...

Making me smile:
*Article in today's AJC about recent movie DVD releases - one of the reviewed DVDs is for "Farewell to the World: Crowded House" ...which I remember from Cathy Zielske's blog is a favorite. And I know they sound familiar. And I holler out to Sara - hey, have you heard of Crowded House. And she answers "Yes, Mom...duh...and you've asked before...and you've heard them like a hundred times" (or something like that). And I apologize for lack of memory. And check my iPod. And sure enough - a Crowded House song - Fall at Your Feet. And I listen. And I like it. (and I think maybe I need to get this DVD) [and I did spend 5 minutes on trying to find the article...unsuccessful - if anyone has suggestions on how to find the on-line articles from the actual paper, please let me know!]
*Hair cut/color with Carla tomorrow morning - yeah!! - four weeks seems to go by awfully fast these days.
*My neice and god daughter Jillian is getting confirmed tomorrow - such a milestone and I'm honored to share the celebration with her.
*Marc's going to Talladega (oh my, no idea if I'm spelling it right and no way am I going to check!) on Sunday...all day...Aaron's has a car and Marc has a new hat (actually more than one) and a new shirt - and I'm glad he's going and glad I'm not and glad I might be able to work on my creative stuff all day (after I run, buy groceries, pay bills,...but still)
*I ordered Ali's new kit... not at all pressured because only 33% of the quantity was still available :-)
*These new blogs I discovered in my ramblings this week:
la vie en rose...a sweet life - beautiful photos and words

jamie waters - there was this one time- she's featured in Ali'sbook(s?) and I love getting a look into her 'real' life

life love paper - how about Alaska? seems so far...geographically...from Georgia, but maybe not so much - and she has the same blogspot layout as we do - what a difference the colors make!...and from this site, I found

scrapjacked - which seems much more approachable from a 'dares' standpoint than the effers. I know Katie loves the effers, but I'm not sure I'm creative, in the moment, enough for those. But I'd like to try something...
{all these links are stored in my trial run favorites folder}

People find out I blog, and journal and scrapbook and ask how I do it all. Common answer, not so well. But really, they're all very different and I just have to manage my time well to find time for all. The blog is the most public - I put stuff here that I think might interest other people - mostly my family and friends (but I do harbor a secret wish that I might meet other interesting people this way...but where would I find the time to really get to know them!). The journal is the most private. Katie started it for my as a birthday gift last November. There I try out things - happy thoughts mostly - and try to be creative - it's very colorful. And the scrapbooking - I'm trying to get out of the mode of 'notated photo album' and more into capturing thoughts...but it's hard. I love Elise Blaha's daily cards - love how she creates something every day. I'd like to do that too, but it's not realistic right now. For me, maybe blogging a few times a week, journaling a few times a week and maybe one scrapbook page a week would be a terrific accomplishment. start next week!

Happy Friday! and p.s. did anyone notice I've decided I was being WAY too lazy with all the uncapitalization in early posts. So I'll try to do better. Definitely not promising complete sentences which would be way too hard...and boring...and besides no one really talks that way. But hopefully the improved capitalization will make for easier reading for all of us!


stamping therapy.

we officially kicked off what might be the 3rd (?)generation of a stamping group last night at karen's house. the idea is that we meet every other month or so at someone's house for a fun evening of making cards with stampin up and our wonderful demonstrator sharon. and lots of talking and laughter and making messes and generally being creative. and good food and wine. therapy for sure.

this photo shows a little bit of the mess (there were three 'stations' of cards - so three other tables that looked a lot like this one!) and karen, gratia and lisa. it was lisa's first time with stampin up. and she did great and got the therapy too, i think. joey and her friend beth were also there. anne, kelli and sally weren't able to attend, but we helped put together two of the cards for them and got the 3rd card ready for the glue dots.

one of the really good things about the stamp club is that sharon does all the designing and cutting for us - we just have to assemble, with a few creative options (maybe a different stamp, or slightly different assembly - say turning a horizontal design into a vertical one?). last night's cards were a great start - not as hard as "masking" (a technique i simply can't seem to master), but not so easy we finished before we got that full dose of therapy. sharon decided this was 'patterned paper and punches' (and glue dots!) - and featured the au chocolat paper from the spring mini catalog.

here are the three cards that sharon designed for last night:

and to give you a taste of our creative spin - here are two of our completed cards (sharon's original is on the right)

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

we heart trader joes.

$4.99 for 10 tulips. very yummy (especially for frozen) key lime pie. organic cranberry lemonade.

called katie last night - she was at a new trader joes (not sure where). she texted me after:

Think i'll be a faithful trader shopper until i can afford whole
foods. This one seemed really great. Lots of veg and org
options. Spoken like a true atl college girl...?

2-buck chuck is actually $2.49 here in roswell, but still a great deal! have a bottle of the cabernet chilling in the wine fridge for the weekend.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

belated bookclub.

oops! so much internet unreliability these past two weeks (yes, again last night, but it was ok today - still feels like walking on eggshells, or maybe glass?). i journaled about the bookclub, but never posted anything.

so - in short - it was good - good to see so many friends - and good to talk about something other than work, or me, or dsl! there were only about six of us left by the time we got to talking about the book (beautiful dreamer). unanimously difficult subject. interesting - about half of us grew up outside "the south" and half "in the south". we all agreed tennessee was more south than atlanta. and that new york was more prejudiced. and that we hoped the book took place a long time ago - the 1950's?... but that we suspected it could've happened last year. sad....

and at the end of the night the food was almost gone and i had 3 bottles of wine left. i overbought the wine, i guess (but am enjoying it still). hit appetizer was "fiesta brie" from eat, bitch and wine (a christmas gift from sue, in honor of our many w(h)ine lunches) - or at least my version of it:

1 brie (the small one - I think 4"-5"?)
Slice brie in half horizontally and scoop a little of the cheese from the bottom half to make a small well. I had a small handful of brie from the scooping out. Place brie in a greased dish - I used a ceramic 9" pie plate and Pam and it worked fine.
About 1 cup of pineapple salsa (made by mixing 1 c mild salsa, 1 tomato chopped, 1/2 c drained, crushed pineapple, 1/2 c cilantro, chopped and 2 green onions, chopped - combine - this makes more than the 1 cup you need for the brie - save the rest).
Spoon the salsa onto the bottom half of the brie, ok to have some spill over. Replace the top half of the brie and secure with toothpicks (I used 3 - evenly spaced around the outside). Microwave on high about 1-1/2 minutes. Brie should be really soft and oozy (microwave longer if necessary). Remove toothpicks. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips. I had wheat thins, triscuits and lots of vegetables - it all worked.

there weren't any leftovers, so i don't know how it will last!

...and much looking forward to the next meeting to talk about eat, pray, love!


Monday, April 23, 2007

hembree park.

inpired by today's real simple quote of the day:

"after a day's walk everything has twice its usual value." george macauley

which i read on my 'just before i leave the office' check of my earthlink email. and it was 4:15 and i thought why not? i could take a walk after work. and i did. and i really enjoyed it. hembree park is about a mile (probably a little less) from my house. then there's a 1.1 mile track that winds through woods and around ball fields. i usually visit only on a run, early on a weekend morning. the park at 5:30 on a monday evening was a much different place. i did one lap (my run is usually 3 laps) in the opposite direction. which way you take the hills is critical for a run - and the running direction has a very steep uphill - that my shins couldn't take in the other direction. but walking it was nice. and i loved the completely different perspective.

of course i took my camera along. to take more pictures of all the different shades of green. and one patch of beautiful yellow irises - which i hadn't even noticed on my weekend runs. (yikes, won't even contemplate what else ... good stuff, anyway... i could be missing on my runs!)

note to self - if i make this a habit - which i would really like to! - need shorts to walk in. my clothes are either hardcore running gear, or 'strolling' pants. today i wore a lucy skirt with bike shorts. probably looked ok, but it got warm. definitely won't do for those 80+ degree evenings we'll have starting soon.

oh - and i realized after i finished yesterday's post that i forgot about the potato sausage... thank you, mother, we'll enjoy it. and here's the documentation of the 'handoff' from lydia's trunk to mine after saturday's lunch.

safe travels to steve, who is headed to florida tomorrow to see mother & daddy.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

ideas from other people.

(and a few of my own!)

this arrangement was inspired by this shot

that I found on oh joy! and then explored here. beautiful beautiful. this one made me think of katie

sara and i enjoyed the movie. she's promised a post about it. so i'll just say it's a good mother/daughter movie. and we saw a preview for across the universe. sara says it looks like a katie movie. i say we need to get the soundtrack. we both agree we want to see the movie!

yesterday was wonderful. i finally got caught up on what i missed on-line during our internet-less week. some good stuff. a 5-mile run in the park. then sky for a car wash. a visit to jo for waxing and facial. then lunch at rancho grande with karen, paula, lydia, p.j. and andrew. a quick trip to trader joe's for dessert (key lime pie - very good!) and wine to take for dinner. time with marc. a very short nap. finished julie & julia. dinner with the bauers. to bed at midnight. whew!

lydia and mary

mary and karen

lydia, karen and mary

p.j., paula and andrew

lydia, karen, andrew, mary and p.j. (i just love andrew's expression in this shot and he'll likely hate me for it, but hopefully he won't be reading my blog!)

so - it's been months since we'd seen tom and vicki (so long i honestly can't remember the last time...), but we clicked right back into it - like we'd just seen them a week ago. marc does see them more than i do - he and tom play golf together a good bit, and vicki joined them for 9 holes friday evening. but since i'm on a golf break, i don't have that opportunity. i promised last night that i would get back out on the golf course, this summer, once school is out and my schedule quiets down. sometimes, though, i think marc prefers golf with the guys. so i don't feel guilty about not playing.

and now it's sunday afternoon. sara studying (too much lately, i think, but probably a complaint many parents would love to have, and i feel a little guilty for the good fortune of having not one, but two, daughters who have always been diligent, maybe even gifted, studiers!). in my sitting room with the back door open and an ever-so-slight breeze confirming that spring is still here. feeling pleasantly sore from another 5-mile run. and good about trips to kroger and harry's, four loads of laundry and balancing the checkbook for the first time this year - yes, four months worth (sorry, mother, but it's true - i no longer balance the account each month!)

from yesterday morning's exploring, i found this. daily candy for atlanta. and sujean rim. love her art!

in closing, thank you, mother, for the new book Art Lovers Quotations (inscribed "for mary and her blog - found in darien, ga)

(claude monet, "blanche monet painting")

"the artist is the person who makes life more interesting or beautiful, more understandable or mysterious, or probably, in the best sense, more wonderful." george bellows.


Friday, April 20, 2007

connections made.

all the right lights are lit...and we're finally back on line. Marc made the right connections Wednesday morning. And we've had the internet back for two nights. I'm still holding my breath, but hopefully it's permanent.

We do have a little mess with the wires. That's a chair that the modem and router are sitting on. But we can get that fixed...later...once we're confident we won't be messing around with the equipment or the wires...when we've been connected for maybe a few weeks. When Katie's home to help us! I can get back into the internet groove - working from home every morning, and playing on-line in the evenings. And back to posting on this blog.

I think spring is finally, definitely here. These are the azaleas in our back yard. Guess these are later bloomers than the ones I photo'd a few weeks ago. Those, sadly, are not very pretty right now - thanks to the freezing temperatures over the past several weeks, their blooms are brown. But we have plenty of these light pink blooms to enjoy. And the irises are starting to come up. Tried to photo them, but the colors didn't come out very well. Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow, when I can see things in the real daylight. The above was taken at about 5:30 p.m.
One of my favorite things about my yard is the trees. We've had all the pine trees taken down (anyone who lives in Atlanta should do this - we get way too many windy storms and those trees can make a huge mess if they fall!) so it's just hardwoods. These are the trees in my front yard. A little of the japanese maple with its deep red leaves, the river birch with its bright green and on the right, one of the two really tall trees (?called? maybe I'll remember later, after more coffee edited to add - they're red maples - and it wasn't the coffee, it was Marc who knew!). Anyway, I love the different shades of green.
Busy day today - Fridays are usually like that, I guess. Cleared my calendar at work to focus on budgeting. By close of business next Tuesday, I have to have 2007 and 2008 costs forecasted. For my six accounts. I'm looking forward to some focused time on this one thing. And I enjoy playing with the numbers. What I don't enjoy is the system we have to track all the data. It doesn't seem to be very stable and I have LOT of data to enter. But I have Friday, Monday and Tuesday (and Sunday, if things go really bad today!)
And Sara and I are going to see the new Adam Brody movie, In the Land of Women, after school. Treat for her who's worked hard on school stuff this week. And has another weekend of studying ahead. So a Friday night break.
Tomorrow is looking very good for me - Spa Sydell at 10, lunch with Karen and Lydia (promise pics, mother and daddy!) and dinner at the Bauers (our friends Tom and Vicki moved to a new house last Thanksgiving - this will be Marc's first visit at the new house and I haven't had a real conversation with Vicki since before New Years when Katie and I took her out for lunch).
Sara has a biology test on Monday and a paper due Tuesday (for English, on the effects of birth order...not sure effects on what, but guess I'll have a better idea after the weekend!) So Sara is spending the weekend on school work. I cannot wait til this year is over!
Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

still no dsl.

so glad marc's back this week to help think through the problems/solutions? (and definitely to share in my misery). we got the new modem yesterday and all seemed fine - even got the wireless router back up again after a quick call to linksys tech support. and we were back on-line just like before...for about two hours. then it went bad again. just like last week.

at this point, i can't bear making any more calls to earthlink. so marc and i did a little troubleshooting on our own. we moved the modem and attempted to hookup to my laptop (eliminating the basement phone line and computer - at one point last week, the problem was diagnosed to be the ethernet card in that computer). still doesn't work. so we have a new modem. the router's not the problem. we have new ethernet cables. our computer's not the problem. so we think it's the dsl (which bellsouth supposedly 'fixed' last week - friday or saturday?)

marc is home this morning to get sara to school and then get on the phone. thank you marc! ...and i'm sitting at my desk at work. so weird to be here when it's dark outside and no one else is around. but i'm looking forward to a few hours of catching up (yes, that's a daily requirement for my job).

and bookclub tonight - i'm going to try two new things - an herb dip from ina garten and a hot brie appetizer that has pineapple salsa in the middle. looking forward to the beautiful dreamer discussion - just to see if anyone else shared my reaction to the senseless racial hatred portrayed so well.

i cried last night on the way home, listening to the npr reports on the killings at virginia tech. was a well done story. the part that got me was talking about the on-line memorials to the kids on facebook and my space. and how college kids from all over the world are posting thousands of comments. the world is such a different place for kids these days - in a few bad ways, but also in many good different from when i was in college. i'm thankful i have the opportunity to see the changes (the good ones) and experience them just a bit through my daughters. thanks, girls! p.s. know katie has a facebook page and sara has myspace, but i've never visited either one!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

algebra 2.

yes - so proud. sara won the prize for honors algebra 2. very cool. but all the joy she might've felt from that award was overshadowed by two more hours of algebra homework afterwards :-(

and the dsl is still not back. marc is taking sara to school this morning so i have a few minutes at the office to post this and attempt to regain a bit of my sanity. how quickly my life got to a bad place without the internet to work (and play) at home. another two hours on the phone with earthlink last night. the modem was shipped yesterday (despite my being promised by several people on saturday that i would have the modem on monday) and should arrive today. we'll see!

...and need to start thinking seriously about hosting bookclub - at my house - tomorrow night. twelve ladies. and it's supposed to rain again.

send happy thoughts my way - need them today!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

oh boy, long weeks.

i'll start from the beginning...
very stressful first couple of weeks after new york; getting things together for the summer and upcoming fall semester...lost keys, hard tests, not seeing friends and other people, no sleep, no running...

the lists.

but then, everything started to get better...

mama, i love you...and have never gotten anything like this how special you are to me. (but hate how hard this week ended up being for you too...maybe we should have a de-stress lunch or coffee before getting into the exam swing)

had time to write, and get nails painted in a very happy pink...

relay for life was amazing (and we raised $104,000 in combined donations to ACS and funds going directly to cancer research programs at Tech) and at first I was very frustrated and overwhelmed about ohhh, all of it--getting things set up for friday and saturday night, and being responsible for making the event bigger and better for next year. But, this huge contribution has really made me remember what it's all about, which has helped me keep the right attitude and state of the list of relay 2008 ideas begins.

at relay from 12 noon friday to 7:30 am saturday morning; slept 8:30 am to 12:30. then up and about...last minute make-up at MAC...big-time smoky eyes that I fell in love with; cannot even stop smiling when I think (even now) about the new dress, new boyfriend (who showed up at my door in tux with beautiful purple lilies....haha, it looks like I've been sick or someone died when you see all the flowers in my room). Had formal at the View at King Plow Arts Center...need to explore that 'center' more, because I loved the venue and am wondering what it's really all about.

Danced all night (and my feet fo sho still hurt) to marvin gaye, al green, otis redding, van morrison. won-der-ful...then hit the pillow and fell asleep. immediately.

rainy chilly weather today, oh boy. slept for a little while, watched 8 1/2 and from what i actually was awake for, kinda digged it--maybe amelie meets silent film meets eternal sunshine of the sleepless italian. then to atlanta book exchange, and bought El general en su laberinto to read this Spanish, whoa. And Four Quartets, TS Eliot. Then to the Flying Biscuit for an early dinner...brie, salad, way too much coffee for a sunday night. Felt very chilly, but I really liked it. Will never stop loving scarves and sweaters, and love feeling like I could read a book and mull spices and knit all day.

Hoping to go to some showings for the Atlanta Film Festival; wishing I had some cute colored headbands like Sara--who is prettier every day! o!; listening to Elliott Smith's Angel in the Snow and Cat Power on serious repeat (and impatiently awaiting the new b-sides/rarities release); planning weekend trips in Europe (going to book hostels and flights...thinking Dublin/Edinborough, Vienna, Prague, London...and...?); being a serious list-maker.

Will be out of town friday to sunday--at amicalola falls...better not be this cold! ah! can't remember the last time I went camping; but think it was the staff overnight when we got lost on the midnight hike and hiked something like 20 miles. boo. that is not happening again.

( all of my new york papers.)


can't wait to see you monday. love for everyone. so much.