Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back From NOLA

The days since we got back from our trip to New Orleans have been super busy so I haven't had a chance to do a post about the trip. I finally have some free time so here's a little bit about our trip.

We left at an ungodly time of 4:50 am on Saturday to get to the airport by 5:45 where we sat and waited for our flight to board. When we got to N.O. we hit the ground running. We dropped our bags off at the hotel then got some fast food then went on to the church we would be working at all week. We did some decorating and setting up for the week of summer day camp that we would be teaching. Then back to the hotel.
Then next five days were basically all the same. Basically. Get to the church, prepare for the day, meet the kids and go go go. The children were on a rotation that consisted of recreation (games and activities), crafts, Bible study (they were taught different stories from the Bible) and Lagniappe (which I think means "a little something different", in our case it was music), lunch then pretty much the same four with different activities, crafts, etc. If there were outside projects that needed to be done we would send off four or five of our team members to do them. Those projects were yard work two days some promotional stuff for the upcoming arena football league championship and some swag bag stuffing for a PGA tourney. Those last couple things are a long story on how we got involved with them so I won't bore you with it. Then Friday night we got to go out and eat and go down to the French Quarter and do a little bit of touristy stuff.

It was a great trip overall. But heartbreaking. It rained 3 or 4 days in the middle of the week and everytime it would start a lot of the older kids would hide under a table or desk because they still so traumatized over Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that happened. We heard so many stories about being rescued from roofs and that kind of thing. It just broke my heart. We also drove around some of the hardest hit areas of the city and there are still only about 40 - 50% of the houses that have been reinhabited, if that. Most of them are still standing there abandoned and gutted. The occupants who knows where. We came across quite a few people that are now homeless who weren't before the storm. Here a couple pictures of some of the homes we saw.

If you can see the paint on the front of the house, there's some on most of the houses we saw. The only ones that didn't have it were the ones that people had moved back in and repainted. The TFW stands for Toxic Flood Water so basically all the houses near any source of water (basically 80% of the city) had this painted on them. They also spray painted whether they found any dead inside whether it be human or canine. We saw a few of those and it really did break my heart. I had a hard time keeping the tears at bay, which basically means I didn't keep them at bay. The help this city still needs is overwhelming, not to mention it makes me incredibly angry at the lack of progress.

I could go on for days about this but I won't. I'll leave it at that. Here are some happier pics of some of the kids that we worked with so that I don't leave this post on a sour note.

Monday, July 28, 2008

This is...a day late and a dollar short.

But that's alright. How could I not do this week's post?!?! We get to have free whatever we want. So.....

I chose This secret indulgence.

I know, it will no longer be a secret but that's ok too...after all, admitting you have a problem is the first step to getting help.

So, here it is, my secret indulgence(s)....

I love the show Wipeout! I can not get enough of watching other people do crazy dangerous stunts for money. Those of you out there that are familiar with Japanese game shows know that this show is nothing compared to those but I'm telling is heeelarious!

The other one, I'm a little more ashamed to say I watch. That darn Harvey Levin! TMZ is, I'm sure, one of the catalysts for the downfall of our society but I can not help myself. Now, realize it's usually only about 5 minutes and then I get disgusted with both the show and myself and I turn the channel but for those 5 minutes I'm hooked...

Edit: I was told by Cathy that the video for TMZ wasn't working so I tried to find another video on YouTube to link to but my computer decided to poop out on me so instead, here's the link to TMZ where they have all sorts of videos on their website that you can check out. Thanks for the headsup Big Cat!

I am ashamed and will now go hide myself away. Thank you to Angela for the chance to do a free for all this week.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This is...what makes me happy

This post is actually being done on Saturday cuz we're leaving at 5am tomorrow and won't have a free moment until around 10pm tomorrow night and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be asleep at that point.

Ok, these are a few things that make me happy...

Friends (these in particular)


and, of course, my Bub (doesn't he look dapper after today's haircut?).

Those are the big ones, the ones that make the smiles last for more than 5 minutes.

The 5 minute smiles are caused by pretty simple things...

  • great shoes,
  • wild flowers,
  • kids (other people's bring about the 5 minute smile, I don't have any of my own),
  • being able to link two difficult actors with the 6 degrees game (gloria that's for you)
  • finishing a Friday Sudoku
  • having the opportunity to sleep in past 8
  • not going to work on a weekday
  • finding money in a pocket that you had no idea was there (especially if it's more than a dollar)
  • wandering through Ikea by myself
  • unexpected compliments (yes, sometimes I do expect compliments...nuthin' wrong with that!)

Those are just 10 random things (I stole that from this week's theme hostess) that bring me happiness, there really is so much more than that.

Thanks to One Little Acorn for this happy post. And to Angela for the whole This Is... meme.

They're here!!!

Yesterday, when I got home from work, guess what was waiting for me!!


I quickly tore into the box (didn't even wait to find a pair of scissors) and was so happy I just sat on the sofa with them in my lap. Then I started sorting them first by color, of course, then by the how-much-I-like-them ranking system, then back to by color.

So here's what I received...

First the "cool" colors...

I realize that pink is technically not on the "cool" end of the color wheel but so what.

Then the "warm" colors...

Then the ones that have both, plus a lot of white...

Here they are in all their glory, all laid out...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to Elizabeth who organized this swap! She's awesome!

The bummer is I'm not going to be able to do anything with them for a whole week!! That's all right, that gives me plenty of time to think of some really good ideas.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Three days to go!

I mentioned a while back that I was going on a trip with my church but haven't said much about it since then. Partly because I've been busy but also because there really wasn't much else to say. Well now that there are only three days to go I find there are somethings I want to say. Weird, I know, it must have been building and building and now it just wants to come out.

First is that I think I might die in New Orleans. I signed up for this trip without much thought other than it's going to be a good trip because we're doing good things we're not just going for vacation or to go sight seeing. We're actually going and working. We're doing what the Bible asks Christians to do...go out, spread the word, etc. Of course it's going to be a good trip. However, I did not take into account my severe dislike for heat and humidity. I'm going to one of the most humid areas of our country in the middle of summer...huh? Maybe I'll learn to like sweating.
Second, this is a mission trip with my church and I'm not generally the mission trip type person, mostly because I tend to be very introverted. And while I realize that just like any team of people a mission team needs all types, I tend to shy away from trips like this because of, well, being shy (and a little anti-social).
Third, I am looking forward to this trip with a bit of trepidation. Mostly because I know that a lot of the area that was hit by Hurricane Katrina still looks a lot like it did two years ago. I'm preparing myself for an emotional overload. I'm a cryer by nature so I know this is going to be an emotional rollercoaster for me.

In the grand scheme of things these issues are nothing compared to the problems of the people I've signed on to help. I do realize this and that's why I've tried very hard not to mention any of my misgivings prior to now. But with the trip on the horizon I needed to get it out so that I can take a breath and (hopefully) get past it.
So, if you've read all the way to this point, thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blech!! and Yay!!

I'm sick! I have a summer cold and I hate it! Stupid germs! This cold is preventing me from the much needed relief that sleep provides, that is why this post is being written at 3:37 am. Which is actually a first, usually all I can do is sleep...stupid cold! Anyway, I got a notice in my email today from our lovely postal system that a package is coming my way.

It says that Elizabeth has shipped my vintage sheet fatquarters to me!!! I'm so excited!! All those pretty vintage sheets headed my way - I can't wait! Get a load of some of the cute little packages she's sending out...

And get a load of the total haul before any of the packages were made!!

She said that the the final tally is: 2,314 fat quarters in 318 prints from 72 swappers. I can't wait...sorry I said that already...I blame the fuzzy head...stupid cold!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This is...what gives me goosebumps and what boggles my mind.

I promised I'd get my This is post in on Sunday and look at that...2 hours or so to spare. I'm awesome.
So this is what gives me the bumpies...

It's not just Josh Groban that gives me goosebumps. It's pretty much anybody with a beautiful strong singing voice. Needless to say, Jessica Simpson and Brittany Spears have never given me goosebumps.

As far as what scrambles my brain when I try to understand it...The home buying process is mind boggling to me. There are so many little things you have to pay attention to and so many things that people are constantly telling you to beware of, it's not only mind boggling but intimidating too. If you haven't picked up on it yet, we are in the process right now. By we I mean my sister is actually purchasing it cuz my credit is in the sewer but it's really our house, I think. Here's the one we put an offer on today...

This is the front, nice curb appeal, I'd say.

This is what you see when you walk in the front door. Huge space! The kitchen leaves a lot to be desired but that's part of the fun, putting your own stamp on things. Although I do like those pendant lamps.

This is the wall that's between the dining/kitchen area and the living room. If it's a load bearing wall we're making it into an archway so that it's more open, if it's not, the wall is going bye bye so we have one huge room. Oh, and that mantle and paneling is going to go too.

This is the hallway...just a hallway.

So that's the house. Hopefully it'll be our house soon.

If you'd like to see the other mind-boggling, chill-inducing posts, go on over to Three Buttons. Thanks to Juddie at Flightless Boyds for this week's theme(s).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Are You A Labelphile?

I was at a mall today to get out of the heat, walking around with my sister and a friend. While they were in Old Navy shopping like fiends I was sitting in a massage chair when this woman walked by. My first thought was dang, I wish I had my camera! My second and third were How much money did she spend on all those designer labels? and Is wearing more than one designer considered clashing? She had a Coach purse, Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, Diesel Jeans and some top that was probably a designer shirt (without a visible label I have no idea which designer it might have been). Is it me or is that just a bit rediculous? If nothing else, it's a complete waste of money. Especially the jeans. They had this fakey fading and wierd pockets and this wierd fake folding at the hips, maybe to mimic the way good comfy 6 year old jeans really look after all that time. All those little things aren't going to make them last longer or even guarantee that they'll be in style next year. Waste of money!

This is my dog's "tux".

Anyway, those of you that know me outside of this blog, know that I don't usually buy any designer anything. There are two exceptions...1) my Tommy Hilfiger purse from the thrift store (still had tags on...can't pass that up) and b) my dog's Coach Collar that I got at the Coach Outlet for super cheap. He doesn't wear it every day, it's just for special occasions which basically means he has yet to wear it. (Hey, anybody up for a dressup-and-bring-your-pets-along party?)

So, having said all that, (and no offense meant to anybody who likes to buy designer) I'd like to hear from all of you buy designer or not?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Flickr favs Friday

This flickr mosaic is for all you animal lovers out there.

Here are some links (mostly US links) that you might find interesting, useful, etc...

*technically photo # 13 is an insect but it's so cute I couldn't resist!

1. Korkeasaari 2008 #05, 2. funny-baby-animals-screensaver, 3. Cinnabun, 4. Koala, Melbourne, Australia, 5. Lemur, 6. The cutest animal..., 7. Lily is Cute, 8. How cute am I?, 9. Just cute!, 10. Very cute chicken, 11. "Am I cuter than Mocca?", 12. 6 wk old puppies, soooooo cute..., 13. Cute Tiger Moth Caterpillar, 14. Meg is just too cute to be true!, 15. Cute cat alert!, 16. Maddie after a swim

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Where am I? What day is it? What the...?!

Do you ever have one of those days that flashes by in such a blur that you don't remember what the heck you did all day? That was today. I remember cleaning my desk off at work (it was soooo messy! Bad for a front reception desk!) but that's about it. The rest of the day is just this mash of monotony, routine, redundance, etc (much like this sentence). Ever have one of these?

The best part was getting home, settling in and watching So You Think You Can Dance (don't judge me - there's some real talent on that show). I find that this is how more and more of my weeks go by. Blur blur blur, a couple of memorable TV show moments, weekend. Maybe throw in a couple of crafty moments and some serious quality time with the Bub and you know my routine without having met me (unless you have met me, then you already know how sadly true this is).

I also find that the longer this goes on, the less I want it to change. Go out on a week night? Are you crazy? Meet new people? Yeah, right! I'm doing something fun...I'm going to go home and blog!

Note to self:
Remember those days (not too long ago) when going to a 10pm movie showing on a Wednesday night was the routine? Or going to Old Town or Huntington on a Friday or Saturday night was not in the least a daunting thought? Remember that? Jeez! Pretty soon you'll be eating dinner at 4 in the afternoon at that restaurant that gives the free pudding for dessert, then going to bed at 6pm. Holy Crap! You're on the verge of buying orthopedics for crying out loud!!! Snap out of it!

On a side note - I bought this sketchbook from Emily over at The Black Apple and I loved it so much that it sat for about 2 weeks before I even took it out of the envelope it came in. I cracked it open tonight but haven't written in it steps! I don't wanna waste a single page. Anyway, isn't it cute?!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Yay!!! My first sale!

I had my first sale in my etsy shop yesterday!!! YAY! Technically, I had my second but not really. A co-worker saw some magnets that she wanted and handed me some $ but I told her I'd just make her some more instead of depriving the general public of the chance to buy the ones in the shop. That would just be silly. So, I really made two sales. YAY! Hopefully, a lot more to come.

Monday, July 7, 2008

This is... my most treasured childhood possession

Well, this is actually the only item from my childhood that I have with me. There are countless treasures that are either still at my parents' house or have been heartlessly tossed out or given away. Included in these is my first teddy bear (tossed) that was all white with really long soft fur and blue eyes, a favorite stuffed chimp (at the parents' house) whose hands and feet and face are plastic so the poor fellow suffered through many toe and fingernail paintings, and my most favorite baby blanket (also at parents' house) that was a hawaiian print like you've never seen (think smiling happy coconuts). Going through everyone else's posts makes me wish I had these three items with me, if for nothing else but to look at and maybe stumble upon a memory I had forgotten.

Since I don't have any of those with me, I'm posting my baby ring as my most treasured childhood possession. Given to me when I was born, I find it amazing that any of my big old sausage fingers actually fit into it (that's my pinky in the picture). It's a Black Hills Gold ring which just means it's tri-colored. It needs a good cleaning but I think you can see it pretty well in the pics (forgive my unmanicured cuticles).

Just a side note...there was also a very treasured white plastic guitar with Shaun Cassidy's face on it that was unfortunately thrown away by a cruel & heartless parent...oh Shaun, with that feathered hair and big brown eyes...*sigh*!

Thanks to Teacups on Treetops for this week's stroll down memory lane. Take a look here to see other treasured memories and childhood ephemera.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New shop and I'm, once again, running a day behind

Hello all! My busy week is over and I'm about to start a new one so I'm taking this short bit of free time to announce our (my mom's, sister's and my) new etsy shop. We only have these goodies listed right now

but in the next week or so we'll have more. We've been hording stuff, mostly stuff our mom has been making, for about 6 months meaning to open the shop but finally, this weekend got around to doing it. Hey, all you other procrastinators have nuthin on me. We each are eventually going to have stuff listed under the one shop (it's called Generations At Work) but at the moment there are just my few things. The three "shops" or product lines are Our Mom Knits, GrapeApe Products, and, of course, CrissyGirl Creations and the items will eventually range from magnets to ceramics to quilts to knitted/crocheted throws to who knows what else. So please please check it out. And if you're so inclined you can hit the I <3 this shop button too.

As far as running a day behind, my This is post will (for the 3rd week in a row) be posted a day late...I'll get back on track next week, I promise!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Flickr Favs Friday

I'm a slacker, I know it, I freely admit it. This week has been so crazy that I let my poor little blog fall by the wayside. So, here's my flickr favs on Saturday, again...

A plug for Softies for Mirabel and some other cute softies for your viewing pleasure

1. Softies for Mirabel, 2. finished cushion with pocket, 3. Mushroom boy, 4. Usagi-san, 5. easter egg softie, 6. Softie Awards winners are announced..., 7. Handmade Softie swap - received, 8. the sun softie, 9. cupcake softie, 10. Purple Softie, 11. Scotty dog softie face, 12. My first softie