Friday, September 30, 2005

Wake Me Up.....

.....when September ends! For some reason, I have that song stuck in my head this morning. Could it be because today is the last day of September already? Or maybe it's because I heard it like 4 times yesterday in the car & they're wearing it out?!?! Either way, I still can't believe how fast this month has just flown by! Heck, this year has flown by! And just think......Christmas is less than 3 months away. How's that for a wake-up call? :)

We woke up to temps in the 40's this morning......makes me just want to crawl back into bed & sleep until September's over. But then reality sets in as I sit here looking at this mess you call a scrapbook room. I've been working on some swaps & just never took the time to clean up, so that's the main thing on my to-do list for today.

Thought you might get a kick out of the picture above. We saw it at a rest stop in Ohio on our way to Tennessee last month & I thought it was hilarious. Pretty bad when they don't proof-read signs before they make them. And I just love the little arrow that someone added to the sign showing them where the 'C' is supposed to be. No, it wasn't me :)

Off to clean this mess.....I mean room :) We bowl tonight, so I doubt I'll get a chance to blog again until tomorrow sometime.

Hope you have a great fall weekend,

Monday, September 26, 2005

Just Because

Jim brought me home this beautiful bouquet of fallish-type flowers the other day & when I asked him what the occassion was, he replied "Just because". So of course I had to ask him "because of what?" :) He then replied "because I love you & because you've been working so hard around the house & I think you're doing a wonderful job." Now how can a wife argue with that?

It's been a while since I've gotten a chance to sit down & write in my blog. Last weekend, we got our backsplash installed in our kitchen & I just love it! Here's a pic:
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I had a few of these medallion tiles added to break it up a little. The backsplash really brightens up the walls underneath the cabinets a lot. The same guy installed ceramic tile in our kitchen & entryway a few weeks ago while we were on vacation. Here's a picture of that:
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It feels so good to finally be doing some home improvements to our house & making our home, ours!

Besides working on the house, I've been working on some swaps, trying to get them done. I've also been working on myself & have now lost a total of 9 lbs. :) I was even able to get into a smaller size in my jeans. YAY ME!!! I have a LONG way to go still, but I'm very determined to keep going!

My Mom was moved to a rehab room on Friday & from what Linda said, she's doing a lot better. She's still in pain & I'm sure she will be for a while yet, but at least things are starting to look up. The vet was able to find a new home for both of Mom's dogs to go to together. A retired couple took them & they seem to be doing really good. I know my Mom really misses them, but she had no choice but to find them a new home as she wouldn't be able to take care of them for quite a while.

Last Tuesday, Jim & I went practice bowling at a center that we haven't bowled at in years! I used to hate bowling there because the lanes were always so dry, but they've made a lot of changes & it's actually a pretty nice bowling center now. Friday night was league night & I started out good (223 game), but then went downhill fast & only ended up with a 497 series :( We lost all 7 points, but the season's just begun.....we still have 32 weeks to go.

Then on Saturday, Jim & I went out to Gilbraltar Trade Center & I bought a new desk for my sitting room. We're going to be selling our old desk since I never really did like it much anyway & buying this new desk has made me unclutter a LOT!

That's it for now.....I promise I won't wait this long again to update my blog next time.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Yay, it's Friday! For some reason, this has been a very long week for me. Although I've been busy doing things around the house, shopping for tile for the backsplash in our kitchen, doing laundry, working on some layouts, etc., it just seems like this week has dragged by. My new couch arrived on Tuesday & I just love it so I've been trying to get that room arranged. At the same time, I'm realizing that I just have too much 'stuff'! I gave a cabinet that I had my shot glass & tea cup collection in to a friend because I don't have room for it anymore, so I decided to just pack away my shot glasses for now. I don't know.....for some reason, I feel the need to 'de-clutter'. My house isn't really that cluttered (except for maybe my scrapbook room, lol), so maybe I just need to rearrange things a little. Maybe I'm just getting bored with some of my 'stuff'. Or maybe I just have too much 'stuff'! I still have boxes in the basement that we never unpacked from when we moved to Michigan from Virginia 8 years ago. That's sad! I need to start doing what I hear professional organizers say all the time.....if you haven't used it the last year, get rid of it! Yep, that's exactly what I need to do! Especially with my clothes! I keep saving clothes thinking that one day I'll be able to wear them again. And who knows....maybe that day will come since somehow, somewhere, some way, I've managed to lose 7 lbs. :) I started a weight loss album back in July of this year, but haven't added any entries in it since I haven't really been able to concentrate on losing weight with going on our vacations & the stress I've been under with my Mom being in the hospital (see update below). So when I jumped on the scale yesterday, I didn't know what to expect. When I saw the numbers come up, I literally screamed with excitement! Now I'm even more motivated to lose this weight! I have to do this.....I need to do this.....I want to do this for ME!

Update on my Mom: I got a call from Linda on Wednesday afternoon & she told me that Mom made it through her surgery okay. What surgery??? I didn't even know she was having another surgery! :( Come to find out, Donna & Barb didn't know about it either until the day of the surgery. They finally stitched her leg back up & had to do a skin graft from another part of her leg to cover it, so she's in a lot of pain right now. Plus she's also back into her psychotic frame of mind :( I called her yesterday & she kept asking me where I've been all day. I said "Mom, I'm in Michigan" & she said she's been trying to get ahold of me. She was telling me that the vet gave her dogs to some teenage kids & that they were in her neighborhood barking like crazy. Then she said that she saw the dogs outside by themselves & she went & grabbed them & brought them in her house & now they are penned up in their cages all alone. Well, none of this is true. Linda called the vet yesterday & he still has the dogs there & he hasn't been able to find homes for them yet. So now I don't even know what to think. Why does this keep happening to her? We thought it was the morphine, but she's not even on that. I'm praying that she'll snap out of it & fast! Right now, I'm afraid to even call her anymore because I don't know what she's going to say next & I don't know what to say in reply :(

While we were home earlier this month, my Dad gave me a picture of himself when he was in the US Army years ago, so I decided to make a copy of it & scrap it using this month's Scrap Goods kit (see layout above). Pretty simple layout, but I just love the way it turned out & how well the pattern paper in this month's kit goes with it. It's from Diane's Daughters & I gotta get me some more of it!

It's going to be a very busy weekend, so I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to blog again. Tonight we bowl & then we're gonna see if some of the guys from bowling will come over & help us move our treadmill upstairs into our bedroom. It just doesn't fit into my new sitting room anymore. Then tomorrow, I have to do more laundry & pick up some more tile pieces for our backsplash that I'm hoping to get installed on Sunday. I also still have to put up the wallpaper that I picked out for the kitchen. Although it's rainy & gloomy today, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous the rest of the weekend (in the 70's), so I'm hoping to get some yardwork done as well. Phew! I'm exhausted just thinking about everything I have to do! Maybe I'll sneak in a nap somewhere, too :)

Have a glorious weekend,

Monday, September 12, 2005

Happy Birthday Karen

Today you would have been celebrating your 53rd birthday. I always thought it was neat that we were exactly 10 years minus 1 week apart in age. I always used to send you cards about you being the older one & you would get such a kick out of them. We shared so much together.....not only the same birthstone, but also a closeness that only sisters can share. And I miss that so much! I miss you so much, Karen! Not a day goes by that I don't think about you & shed a tear. You were always my inspiration, my shield, my guardian & my friend.

When I went home earlier this month, I decided to buy this ring from Donna because I knew how much it meant to you. It was our grandmother's ring & when she passed away, Mom got it. Then Mom needed to sell it & she offered it to you first, but you couldn't afford it at the time. Donna agreed to buy it so that she could keep it in the family & then I bought it from her so that I could cherish it since I knew that it was very special to you. I now wear it proudly on my index finger of my right hand, along with my other 2 sapphire rings....the one that Jim gave me several years ago for our anniversary & the one that belonged to you.

I honestly don't know how I've made it through this past year without you, Karen. It definitely hasn't been easy! Everyone keeps telling me that it will get better & easier to handle as time goes by, but it really hasn't :( I've been trying to enjoy my life as much as possible because I know that is what you'd want me to loved life so much yourself! I just wish I could tell you how much of an influence you have been to me. Just one more time, I just wish I could tell you I love you!

Forever your little sister,

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Remembering The Heros Of 9-11

It's so hard to believe that it was 4 years ago today that the United States was attacked by terrorists....the day that changed the way Americans live forever.....September 11, 2001. I remember it like it was just yesterday. I had just gotten both of my kids off to school & was reading my emails. As I switched screennames, I saw a newsflash on the AOL welcome screen. I immediately turned on the tv & was in tears as I watched with horror & sadness in my eyes. I called Jim at work to see if he had heard about it & he said yes & that everyone was leaving work. I was so tempted to go pull both of the kids out of school, but I decided not to. Jim & I were both glued to the tv the rest of the day, sitting in tears, not knowing what to expect next. The above layout I did about 2 years ago & titled it "The City That Never Sleeps, Now Forever Mourns". Shawn & I went on a high school choir trip to NYC back in April of 2002 & when we went to see Ground Zero, I just froze! Just knowing that so many people lost their lives there on that tragic day, seeing the walls with all the names of the heros & knowing that the freedom we once had will never be the same again.

This weekend has turned out to be a good weekend for sports. Rusty ended up finishing 3rd in the Nextel point standings, so now he has 10 more races to go for his final chance at winning another championship. GO RUSTY!!! But unfortunately, Kasey & Kevin didn't make it, but there's always next year. Then the unthinkable happened today.....the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers :) Final score: Detroit 17, Green Bay 3. Jim's a happy camper right now! I told him not to get his hopes too high just yet though & he replied "hey, we're off to the Superbowl, Baby!" LOL It would be neat if the Lions were in the Superbowl this year though since it's being played right here in Detroit. Guess I need to start cheering them on a little more now :)

That's it for now.....gotta get some sleep & get back into my routine again,

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Boring Blog & Bowling

There was a post on 2 Peas the other day asking questions about your blog & the last question was to describe your blog in one word. My response: Boring! LOL One thing I'm not is a good writer.....never have been & probably never will be. I don't know how to come up with neat & clever ways to describe my thoughts & feelings. I just write whatever's on my mind. But even though my blog is boring, it's 100% me :) Nothing in it is fake (okay, so maybe my age is because I still haven't changed it, lol). My blog is just about my day-to-day life, my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my family.....all 100% me.

Last night was our first night of bowling on our mixed league & boy, did we have a blast! I just LOVE our teammates! They are so much fun to be around! I really feel honored to be on the same team with them :) I didn't bowl too bad last night, except for the second game. I shot a 171, 138 & 174. We ended up taking 5 out of 7 points, so we're off to a pretty good start. 32 more weeks to go, lol. The above picture was taken inside of the Biltmore Estate.....yep, that's a bowling alley! It was in the basement & even the bowling balls were made out of wood. Too cool! Jim & I had to restrain ourselves from picking up a ball & throwing it down the lane when we were there :) Yep, I love bowling as much as scrapbooking!

Speaking of the Biltmore Estate, I just did a layout today of the Estate. You can see it here: Almost everything on this layout is from the September Scrap Goods kit. I just love this month's kit & since I'm one of the featured Design Team Members for this month, I've been having a lot of fun working with it. Have I mentioned lately that Scrap Goods ROCKS?!?! :)

Tonight, Cassandra & I met Jim at JoAnns when he got off work as I needed to buy some fabric & a pattern for Cassandra to make some pants in her sewing class. Then we went out to dinner at Steak & Shake & while we were there, Cassandra started asking us some questions about college & what types of classes she would have to take to pursue her field of music & art. Let me tell you, I almost passed out when she asked us that! Jim & I had basically given up the idea of her going to college because she never seemed interested in it before & we aren't the type of parents that push our kids into going to college if they don't want to. She then went on to tell us that she doesn't want to end up like Shawn & that she wants to be successful. My little girl is maturing right before my eyes! And I love it :)

Hug your family tonight,

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Home SWEET Home!

I never thought I would be so happy to call my home my Home Sweet Home until the day we returned from our vacation to Tennessee, North Carolina & Pennsylvania! Don't get me wrong.....I love going on vacations, but after taking 2 in the past month, I just wanna stay home now for quite a while! Once again, I'm going to break down our vacation in this entry into days:

Day 1 (August 24th): We left Wednesday morning & drove through Ohio & Kentucky to Tennessee. It was a little over 11 hours due to a traffic accident in Kentucky in which we had to take an alternate route to get back onto I-75. From what we understand, a van swerved in front of a hazardess waste truck & both the husband & wife in the van were killed instantly :( They had to shut down I-75 south for several hours to clean up the spill from the truck. When we arrived in Tennessee, we checked into our hotel & almost immediately went to sleep.

Day 2 (Thursday, August 25th): As we were pulling out of the hotel parking lot this morning to go shopping, Jim stopped me when he saw a Ford Dealership across the street.....this wasn't just any Ford was Rusty Wallace Ford! Of course I had to pull in & get some pictures :)
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As we were sitting in the parking lot, a salesman came out & said he knew we were Rusty fans right away. He took us into see his office which was like a Rusty Wallace museum! He had pictures, clocks, name it. I wanted it all! Then he told me that they had some replica hoods for sale that Rusty autographed. Yep, I bought one :) He was also telling us that Rusty was going to be at his Pontiac Dealership between 3:30 & 4:30 that afternoon signing autographs. Jim & I tried to go, but we never did find the dealership :( We even called & asked for directions, but the lady got us really lost! I was so disappointed! I've had the opportunity to meet Rusty before, but it really would have been special meeting him again since he's retiring after this year.

Jim & I headed to Sevierville & Pigeon Forge to do some shopping. First store I knew I had to find was Your Scrapbook Superstore & Warehouse ;)
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Really nice store, but I was a little disappointed that they didn't have any new pattern paper. They did have some Prima Flowers, though, so I'm glad I made a list before I left of what I still needed. I'm determined to get every bottle of every color of every size ;) I bought a few other things as well. Then Jim & I went to the Nascar Cafe for lunch. Boy, is that place cool!
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While we were there, one of the waitresses was telling us that Kasey Kahne was going to be at the Stony Mountain Knife Works Store between 6 & 8 p.m. signing autographs. I just knew we had to go! We got Kasey's autograph on 2 knifes that we bought there that are a limited edition of 300 (one for us & one for my Dad) plus on a diecast car that we took with us & a picture. He is such a sweetheart! And a cutie, too :) (See my previous blog entry for a picture of me with Kasey.) We then headed back to the hotel & called it a day.....a very exhausting day at that!

Day 3 (Friday, August 26th): I knew one of the things I wanted to do while we were down this way was to go to the Biltmore Estate. I see commercials all the time on HGTV about it, so I wanted to see it in person. Wow, is this place beautiful! Here's a picture of Jim & I in front of the Estate:
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The only thing I was disappointed with is the fact that you can't take any pictures inside the Estate. But I did manage to snap a few ;) Here's one of the bowling alley in the basement:
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When we saw that, I just knew we had to get a picture of it, being the bowling nuts that Jim & I are :)

We headed back to Tennessee & decided to do some more shopping as I wanted to go to the Boyd's Bear Country store:
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I wasn't much of a Boyd's Bear fan until I walked into this store! I bought myself a Kasey Kahne Boyd's Bear & Jim got a Kevin Harvick one. We also made a cat for Cassie in the workshop. They had so many different types of bears that I could have spent a fortune there if I wasn't careful! After we left the Boyd's store, we went to the Nascar Speedpark & picked up a few souvenirs there then we headed back to the hotel as we knew that we were in for a very long day on Saturday.

Day 4 (Saturday, August 27 (off to BRISTOL, Baby!!!)): We had to check out of our hotel by 11:00am & then we went to Perkins for breakfast before heading up the road to Bristol. Almost every person in Perkins was going to the race & even the waitresses had Nascar shirts on. After breakfast, we had about an hour & a half drive. We hit a little bit of rain along the way & just as we arrived, we started getting out of the car, but quickly jumped back in as it started raining again. I was so afraid that the race was going to get rained out, but luckily, it didn't. From where we parked, we had to walk about a mile to get to the track:
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Our seats were awesome, even with the pole in the way. Like they say, there isn't a bad seat in the house at Bristol! We were underneath the awing of the seats above us so if it did rain, we wouldn't have gotten wet at all:
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Right after the driver introductions, they honored Rusty Wallace with his own grandstand section & a gorgeous trophy in the shape of the speedway. Then a section of the crowd held up letters to form the word Rusty in red, blue & white. It was so cool! There was a parachuter that came down into the track with a US flag attached to him....that was really neat:
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I have so many pictures of the race, but I'm just posting the start of it here.....and we're OFF:
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Unfortunately, Kurt Busch won the race & led most of the laps. Both Kasey Kahne & Kevin Harvick ended up in crashes which put them out for most of the race. But at least Rusty had a decent finish.....5th! I was really hoping he would have won (and he may have if he would have pitted when everyone else did), but I'm happy that he's still 4th in points right now :)

After the race was over & we got through the crowd (2 hours later!), we drove up to Roanoke, VA as we had reservations at a hotel there since we knew we were going to PA the next day. BIG mistake! It was a 2 1/2 hour drive & Jim & I were both exhausted already. But we finally got there around 3:30 in the morning & got to sleep a whole 5 hours before having to head to PA.....Zzzzzzzz.

Day 5 (Sunday, August 28th): We didn't arrive in Williamsport, PA until just after 8:00 pm as we hit a LOT of traffic on I-81 because of the race. As soon as we got there, the first thing we did was to go visit my Mom in the hospital. She finally seems like she knows what is going on & is pretty much back to herself. She's in a LOT of pain right now as the back of her leg is cut open & they have some type of foam inside of it to keep the muscles relaxed. She seemed really glad to see me (for a change). We stayed there for a little over an hour & then headed to the hotel to get some much-needed sleep.

Day 6 (Monday, August 29th): Today was a very difficult day! Not only was it the 1 year anniversary of the day that Karen & Jimmy were killed :*( , but it was also the day that Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf states & destroyed so many homes & businesses, killing people & leaving thousands upon thousands of people homeless :( It truly is devastating!

I came up with the idea for all of us to drive up to Montrose to the cemetary today so that we could see the gravesite & also so I could put the dirt back on the grave that I got the day of the funeral. Unfortunately, Mom couldn't come since she was still in the hospital, but all 4 of us sisters went along with Dad, Jim & Dave (Linda's husband). The headstone is absolutely gorgeous! So much detail in it. It has an owl to represent Karen, a deer to represent Jimmy as he loved hunting & then a couple on a motorcycle along with some wedding bands & the date they were married engraved on them:
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We all cried, hugged & shared some memories while we were there. On the way back, we stopped by the accident scene & just stood there, staring at the crosses along the road for a few minutes:
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I still can't understand why God took them away from us! It just really hurts & I miss them both so much!

When we got back to Williamsport, Barb, Linda & I went out to the hospital to see Mom. She was in a really bad mood today & complaining about everything & anything. Then she wanted one of us to go pick up a cell phone she had ordered. Why she wants a cell phone while she'll still be in the hospital for quite a while is beyond me! Then she started saying some things about her Power Of Attorney & contacting her lawyer. Apparently, she was in the process of having me taken off as her POA & putting Linda on. Fine by me because I do NOT want to be held responsible if anything is missing, etc.

After we left the hospital, Jim & I went up to my Dad's house to see him. It was so nice to just sit & talk to him. My Dad left my Mom when I was only 9 years old, so I never even really knew my Dad very well. But I'm working hard on changing that!

Day 7 & 8 (Tuesday & Wednesday, August 30 & 31): Nothing really exciting happened. Visited my Mom again & then on Tuesday night, we went to the Democratic Club with my Dad, Barb & her boyfriend Doyle. Wednesday, we went to Trail Inn with Dad & Donna & while we were there, I got to really talk with my Dad. I learned some things about my family that I never knew before. I won't share them here, though as it's a very long story. But I'll just say that I'm so glad that my Dad told me what he did! I feel so much closer to my Dad now.....and I don't ever want to lose that feeling again!

Day 9 (Thursday, September 1st): Well, it was time to head back home. But I gotta admit, this is the first time I actually didn't want to leave! It was really hard to leave, knowing that my Mom is still in the hospital & that I'm just now forming a relationship with my Dad after 30+ years. After going to see Donna at her station & say our good-byes, we went out to the hospital to see Mom again before leaving. She was just getting ready to go to therapy, so I decided to go with her. She did really good.....she was able to take a few steps with a walker. It was so hard to leave her, knowing that she's in so much pain right now & there's nothing I can do to help :( But we had to get back home. We didn't even leave PA until 2:00 in the afternoon. We decided to drive through Ohio instead of going through Canada because of everything that has been going on with gas, etc. due to the hurricane. I'm just glad we made it back home! We came home to a brand new ceramic tile kitchen & entryway floor. The guy that installed it did an excellent job, but now I'm questioning myself on the color I picked . Ah well, too late now! Now it's time to get back into a daily routine & relax at my Home SWEET Home :)

I think I'll stop for now since this blog alone has turned into a book :) Thanks for reading & I also appreciate any comments you would like to leave. I always read them & you don't have to be a member of blogger to leave a comment. Just click on the "comments" link at the bottom of any entry you want to comment on & type away :)

Until I blog again,
P.S. Please ignore any typos that I may have in this entry as it's too long to even proofread right now ;)