Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Roll call

There are currently 187 followers to this blog. That is a number much larger than I ever, in my wildest dreams, expected to see. I think that it's a pretty fair assumption that not all 187 of you actually visit me on a regular basis. Just for fun, I thought that today I would take attendance and see how many of you are present and accounted for. If you are presently a follower, just say here, or whatever other word you choose (yo, yep, present). If you aren't a follower, well, why not?
I want you to know that if you are not present I have hired a very skilled truant officer to come looking for you.
He has the nose to sniff you out wherever you may be hiding.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An airport bum

As promised today I have a very short piece that my father wrote. I found this in a drawer among a bunch of other papers. It was typed on the back of an old letter that he received from his insurance company. This is exactly as he typed it minus his typos.

An Airport Bum
by Michael Surovick
They say that I'm an airport bum. Well maybe really I am but one thing for certain, I never go out there on a  Sunday morning. I would never dream of missing church on a Sunday and perhaps that's because I've had the hell scared out of me more than once thy those airplanes, and the Tri-Pacer is no exception.

There was a loud explosion and I was hurled from contentment to terror. Instinctively I reached for the transponder to switch to the hijack code, 7500, but at the same moment I caught my passengers eyes and they were also filled with horror. Realizing my stupid assumption I surveyed the rest of the cabin and low and behold, the little left side window blew open. I vowed to stop watching hijack stories and latch the window properly.

Shortly after purchasing the Tri Pacer I went out to practice landings and takeoffs. I was just about ready to give the Tri Pacer and A+ rating and then all of a sudden as the airplane accelerated on takeoff I was hurled to the back. For a few minutes I was a passenger with hair standing on edge. Luckily I had the trim set for climb and there wasn't any cross wind. In that moment of anxiety, luckily the previous owner wasn't around or I might have clobbered him.

 This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad. He was a cadet in the United States Army Air Corp.
I found it really amusing that my dad wrote "I've had the hell scared out of me" since he would never dream of using the word hell out loud unless of course he was referring to the undesirable final destination. You know, the more I think about it, I'm sure that if my dad was still alive, he would probably be a blogger.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Dinosaur

I found something the other day that reminded me I have a dinosaur living in my craft room. You don't see many of these things any more.
I remember when I was a kid, thinking how cool it was that we had our own typewriter. When I was in high school I had a typing class and by then the old Royal was outdated. It was the age of the electric typewriter and they were so much better in every way. It was still handy to have this thing around though when you needed to type a letter.
My father was the one who used this relic the most. He was convinced that typing would keep arthritis from taking up residence in his hands. He may have been right, because he never seemed to have a problem. I would often find him in front of the old manual typing away. He had no idea what the home row keys were but he didn't use the old hunt and peck method either. He saved junk mail to use as his typing paper and he filled the back of each page before going on to another. If he made a typo, instead of using white out to correct the error, he would just space and then try the word over again.
He often talked about writing his memoirs and he did in fact begin a few stories. He had one published in a small Tri-Pacer magazine. I have a copy of that story and maybe some day I'll share it with you. 
Come back tomorrow and I'll share a very short piece that my dad wrote while exercising his fingers.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I like sparklies

Maybe I'm crazy, but I remember hearing in some cartoon a character saying "Sparklies, I like sparklies". I can not, for the life of me remember what movie or cartoon I heard it on though. Does anyone know? Does anyone want to know what made me think of that in the first place?

I won a runner up gift in Marie's giveaway over at Spun by me. She had a fantastic giveaway for a 24 pack of  glitter. She said that since she had so many entries she decided to choose 3 other winners to each receive one bottle and I was one of the ones drawn. YEAH!

I got it in the mail the other day and it came in the cutest little box, with an adorable card.
I got a wonderful bottle of florentine gold glitter. And yes Marie, the prize did indeed add a bit of sparkle to my spring.
Thanks again Marie, you're the sweetest.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

First official project

I told you the other day that I did my first official craft project using my Cricut. I've actually used it quite a bit but just playing around trying to get it all figured out. I've cut a lot of different things from plain cardstock that I may eventually use but at the moment who knows.
I saw a tutorial on Christine's blog JAZ creations and I fell in love with the idea. Of course I fall in love with lots of ideas and have good intentions of getting back to them and actually making them. THIS time I actually did. I've been bringing home garbage from work again, a.k.a. art material. I started saving corrugated cardboard to use for this project.
I won't bore you with all the details. If you want to make something like this you can check out Christine's tutorial. Here's what I made.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A day in the sun

Duke had a great day out in the back yard. The grass is finally showing again and there are so many things to explore. It looks like he found something interesting  sitting next to the ball that he left out to get buried in the snow.
Not much of a view, but Duke likes to keep an eye on the sidewalk. You never know who could be walking by.
 Ah, nothing like laying in the cool grass enjoying the fresh air.
Have a great day everyone.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's not much, but it's a start

I was out in the yard the other day with my camera and I noticed the tiniest buds on my forsythia. It's not a lot but it's something. It won't be long before they are covered in those lovely yellow flowers. I know you can't really see the buds in the picture but believe me, they're there.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Swinging into spring

I've got spring fever. The weather is starting to get nicer but I haven't seen any flowers popping up yet. I keep seeing signs of it on other blogs. Well if I can't have flowers, I'll make my own.
Yeah I know, Duke's a boy and I shouldn't be sticking him in a flowery picture. He just sort of snuck in there, honest.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back on track

Or at least I hope to be. I seem to have fallen behind in just about everything. I had a 3 day weekend and I think it just made things all that much worse.
Saturday I spent the day cleaning, mostly. I started a project and really had no intentions of it being a big one. Before you know it I had all the bedroom furniture moved around. I just want to know where the heck all that dust came from.
Sunday, well yes, it was my birthday. I didn't really do anything though. I decided to walk around the mall and just browse. Me, myself and I spent who knows how much time in the craft stores. I've been interested in learning more about stamping and embossing. I had a gift card that my mother sent me so I figured that would be a good thing to spend some of it on. I had no idea what I wanted or needed and stared at the shelves forever. I finally asked a lady who was looking at some stamps if she could help me. I would have asked an employee but do you think I could find one. Any way, the woman was very happy to help and gave me some great information, however AC Moore didn't seem to have what I needed.
Monday I took a vacation day just so I could have a longer weekend. Didn't accomplish much then either. I did manage to get some posts scheduled for this week. I also made my very first official cricut project. I'll be posting pictures of it later this week.
Other than that I did a whole lot of sitting on my butt, played a little with my camera and played a little more with photoshop elements.
And one more thing before I go
Duke says hey!

Monday, March 22, 2010

some people are so darn sweet

Since Duke went and blabbed yesterday about my birthday, I'll tell you today about a couple really sweet people who helped make the day special.

First there is my bestest daughter Amanda. She sent me the cutest card.
Amanda always picks Snoopy cards. So I was loving this card from the beginning, then I opened it up and...
Snoopy came sliding out of the mailbox. Now how cute is that?

I also got this adorable card from my friend Debbie
Then look what she put inside
This is sitting right on my desk, but it's too cute to put a drink on.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Did you know

Well hello everybody. I'm taking over for mom today because it's a very special day.
Did you know that today was March 21st?
Did you know that it's the 80th day in the year?
Did you know that there were some very important people who were born on March 21st?
Matthew Broderick and Rosie O'Donnell were both born on this day. They really aren't all that important though. 

This is Ian. He's Amanda's boyfriend and today is his birthday. If you want to wish Ian a happy day you can stop by his facebook page

Today is also my mom's aunts birthday

And to make it a triple special day, it's also my moms birthday. Want to know how old she is? I'm sure she won't mind me telling you but she's REALLY old, she's 48. Did you know that's 340 in dog years? If you want to know how old you are in dog years it's really easy to calculate.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you'll discover will be wonderful.  What you'll discover is yourself.  ~Alan Alda

 A little self portrait, a little thinking about who I am and what I want, and a few quotes I found along the way.

It is good to feel lost... because it proves you have a navigational sense of where "Home" is.  You know that a place that feels like being found exists.  And maybe your current location isn't that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.  ~Erika Harris,

and finally, one of my favorites
It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.  ~Lucille Ball

Whatever you may be doing with your weekend, I hope that you enjoy it.

Brenda Photo Challenge - Macro Fruit

I'll be putting a post up later today at my usual time but I wanted to do a separate one for the Brenda Photo Challenge
This time the theme was macro fruit. I thought this was going to be a cinch. I like fruit, I sometimes even buy fruit and bring it home with the intentions of eating more healthy. Oh that reminds me, I think I need to clean out that bottom drawer in my refrigerator. I did have some bananas but do you think I could remember to take a picture of them before I ate them. No, of course not. Well why not just take the camera to work with me. I can always find a slow time in the day to take a few pictures of our produce department. However, since I wasn't actually on an official break when I did that, I thought it was best to grab a couple of pieces of fruit and take them back to my little bakery corner of the store.
This one looked pretty peachy to me.

 Now I have to reveal the fact that I don't remember what this one is called. Never even tried one but I like the way it looks.

 Head on over and check out the rest of the entries in the Brenda Photo Challenge and please come back later for my second post of the day. Duke misses you

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blast from the past

I was looking through some old folders and found a picture to share with you.
I don't know how old Duke was here but it was under a year. How is it possible for one little dog to have so much stinking cuteness? Obvious how I fell in love with him.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I know that this is maybe an odd picture, but I rather liked it. I find myself rather odd sometimes. This was the result of layering 3 photos. Can you see what the three different items are in the picture?

I started out with this as my background picture.
The second layer was added and the blending mode was changed to screen. Here is the second picture
The third and final layer was the next picture with the blending mode changed to soft light. 
I included the changes in the blending modes for those of you who like to do photo editing. For those of you don't, just enjoy the pictures. Although I don't see anything all that interesting in a photo of  an energy saving bulb or a ceiling fan. I do like the picture of the bolts though. 

Here's just one more picture for those of you who stop by expecting to see Duke

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A wish

Duke's wish for all his blogging friends.
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
 an Irish blessing for a friend found on Island Ireland
Happy Saint Patrick's Day from me and Duke

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'll try anything if it works

I'll be the first to admit that I can be a huge wimp sometimes. I don't always handle stress very well. I tend to go in spurts though. One day I'm tough as nails and the next I could be a sniveling idiot. When I'm feeling a lot of stress it usually results in that nervous, pit in your stomach, feeling. I had read somewhere that herbal teas can help. Ginger and peppermint were the two that I heard about the most. Well I like tea, I haven't had any in a while but if it works I'll try it.I went to the store and bough a box that had 6 different flavors. I put the water on and opened the box.
I started feeling better just by reading the packets.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Duke's excellent adventure...the whole story

Another Monday morning and Duke was left alone while mom and dad went off to work. Not happy with his usual routine, he decided today he would do something different. The minute the car was out of the driveway, Duke decided he would saunter down the road to see what there was to see.

He made his way out of the house through the secret passageway he had made the night before. As soon as he got out to the street he found the biggest  bone he had ever seen. Knowing that there would be other dogs wanting a piece of the action, he grabbed the bone in his mouth and began dragging it to his favorite hiding place. The only problem was that in order to get there, he had to pass by his nemesis territory, a dog hater and bully called Mr Spiky.

Mr Spiky always sit at the front of his house, protecting his delicate garden zealously. When he is around, he always carrying a big garden hose--on and ready for action. He just waited for dogs like Duke to come by his property so that he could soak them with the cold water.

Duke was on to Mr. Spiky though. And he knew how to get by him. What Mr. Spiky didn't realize is that Duke once dated a Lab, and the two would spend most of the time cooling each other off in cold water.

As Duke approached, the sight of the garden hose spitting out cold memories had him thinking to himself...And how the Lab stopped dating Duke, because in reality she hated the cold water and instead of telling Duke, she just disappeared on him.

This hit deep into Dukes broken heart and knew today would be the day that his nemesis would pay for the constant badgering.

With flames in his eyes and vengeance in his now crazed mind, Duke jumped over Mr. Spiky's gate and
came a splash of cold water from the long garden hose. The terrifying Mr.Spiky had been watching Duke from the inside and was very keen to every move by the furry dog. With laughing boisterously, he aims the hose to Duke. But the brave little fella was very clever that he grabbed the hose and turned it on his nemesis. What made this is even better was Mr. Spiky was wearing hip-waders, which were filling up with the cold water. Mr. Spiky started to shiver. His boots were over flowing with water. He slipped and fell and then Duke started to feel bad since Mr. Spiky was old and now very wet and cold. So Duke went to turn off the water and came back to lick Mr. Spiky's face to help him warm up.

Mr. Spikey . . ....turning his cold and wet face towards Duke, sputtered and choked out the cold hard truth of his hatred towards Duke..."You remember that Lab you were dating and she just up and left 'ya?"
Duke, trying Not to remember her, shook his head yes.
"Well, she didn't just disappear, she "took me up on my offer of the biggest bone she'd ever seen if she would leave you, never to return. Yea, I have to admit, she hesitated, scratching her ears a few times, but in the end, she picked up that big 'ole bone and headed on down the road towards Pepe the Spanish Water Dog, who is known as a very insatiable Latin Lover who himself has a rather large bone he enjoys to show off.

Mr. Spiky knew the lab couldn't dismiss the charm of the Pepe and laughed when he saw poor Duke broken hearted.

It was time for Duke to finally put an end to Mr Spiky's reign of terror and decided to melt Mr. Spiky's frozen hear once and for all. You see Mr. Spiky's  didn't really hate Duke, he was jealous that he didn't have a dog that was as wonderful as Duke was.

Duke remembered where he was born, so he headed on over to see if his birth mom and dad had any new pups. As luck would have it, they did, and they were just the right age to be adopted. Duke bundled up his baby brother and delivered him to Mr. Spiky's door. Mr. Spiky's eyes welled with tears when he saw what Duke had done for him. From that day forward Duke and Mr. Spiky were steadfast friends and Duke's little brother Drake turned out to be almost as great as Duke.

Contributing authors
Bossy Betty
Everyday Living
Vanilla Seven
Duck & Wheel with String
The Urban Cowboy
Fledgling blogger
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Grampy's World
Audrey's Country Crafts
Made in Heaven
The Sewing Mom

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A designer what?

Working in a grocery store, having a box cutter is a necessity. Working in a grocery store for 13 years, you manage to collect several of them. They either get misplaced, or someone "borrows" it and never returns it so you grab a new one. When I was cleaning one day I discovered I had quite a collection of these things.
Here you have your typical boring, box cutter. Now if someone picks it up and walks off with it, it's hard to say that it's yours because they all look the same. One of the girls at work had hers sitting out on the counter last week and I noticed it had a piece of masking tape with her name written on it. That gave me an idea. 
Now we all have designer box cutters. I made one other one but didn't get a picture of it. The girls all loved them and I even had one of the guys ask me to make him one. His of course wasn't quite so girly looking.
Now if anyone happens to take mine I can definitely say "Hey, that's mine".

Due to the amount of spam comments I've been getting lately I've made a couple changes. Posts over 7 days old will be moderated and I've also added the word verification. I've never really liked the word verification but now I see that it's a necessity to help avoid the junk. I hope all of you who have helped make my blog what it is today will continue to leave your wonderful comments that brighten my day. Oh, and Duke loves them too.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The giveaway that keeps on giving

Remember this post when I talked about the giveaway that I won on Jen's blog? Well when I entered I thought I had read that the prize was a t-shirt. When that fabulous package arrived, I figured maybe I misunderstood. Well guess what? I didn't misunderstand at all.
 Here's Duke checking out the shirt I got from Diana and Blake Schneider from Say it in sign. I feel like a bit of a twit though because I got this and forgot all about putting up the post. I'm so bad that way. I really love the shirt and wanted to thank Diana and Blake again. If you didn't check out Say it in sign before you should head on over. Just to let you know, they do screen printing, so if you need a shirt that's a good place to look.
Uh Oh I better go put that shirt away, Duke looks like he's thinking about trying it on for size.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Duke's Excellent Adventure

Duke has been on a most excellent adventure, or he will have, after you take him. I've played this game before over at Sandee's blog, Comedy Plus and it's tons of fun.
I will start you off and you will continue the story in the comments (I'm hoping you will any way). Each person that comments picks up where the last one left off. Monday I'll post the entire story exactly as it was written by all of you. Just for playing along I'll end the post with a list of credits for anyone who participated. So lets get the ball rolling shall we?

Another Monday morning and Duke was left alone while mom and dad went off to work. Not happy with his usual routine, he decided today he would do something different. The minute the car was out of the driveway, Duke...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who has the best daughter in the world?

I do that's who!

Last week, my daughter, Amanda, called me to tell me that her and her boyfriend had bought me a birthday present. She said she knew it was early but wanted to make sure I got it in time. The catcher was that even though it was coming early I wasn't allowed to open it until my birthday. OK so I deserve that one, I certainly tortured her enough making her wait to open gifts.
Monday when I got home from work, I pulled in the driveway and spotted the box sitting on my front porch. Oh great, that means I have 13 days to sit and stare at this box and wonder what's inside it. I got a little closer to the porch and suddenly I was doing a happy dance. Well, an internal happy dance. I didn't want anyone driving by to think I was on drugs or going into some kind of seizure. Just take a look at what I saw.
And here's another side of the box.
Can you believe that? I give her a call and our conversation goes something like this
Me: I found a box sitting on the porch when I got home today.
Her: I wonder who that could be from
Me: Um, I hate to tell you this but I know what it is without even opening the box.
Her: What do you  mean you know what it is?
Me: The outside of the box says Provo Craft, description Cricut Create machine
Her: We told them it was a gift, it was supposed to be descreet
Me: Well when we get off the phone I'll take a picture of the box and text it to you.

Lucky me, I didn't have to 
She bought me the machine and her boyfriend Ian, who by the way is the bestest also, bought me an extra cartridge to go with it. 
I lost track of how many times I told her she was the bestest daughter with the bestest boyfriend. I had to keep asking if I had told her or not. She said that I had but she didn't mind hearing it.
Now I can't wait for the weekend so I can really do some playing. Isn't she just the best?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The camera doesn't lie but sometimes pictures do

I just love it when I get one of those pictures that is totally NOT what it appears to be. Most of the time when we take pictures, we stand in front of the subject and shoot. But when you mix things up a bit, shoot from above or below the subject, you can sometimes get a much more interesting picture.

My example for today is a picture I found while searching the old folders for something interesting, entertaining and in this case, maybe even a bit controversial.
I don't remember the exact situation, but I do know for a fact that Wade wasn't kicking the dog. Because of where I was positioned when I took the picture it sure does look like it though. The icing on the cake is the expression on Duke's face. It sure looks like an "OUCH that hurt" expression if you ask me.
I posted another example of interesting angles in this post, This one looks like poor little Lydia has her finger in the flame of a birthday candle. 

Be assured that no dogs or babies were harmed in the process of taking these photos.

On another note, I was doing my blog visits earlier and came across the sweetest post on Christine's blog Jaz Creations. If you've never been there you really should go. She creates the most beautiful fractal art. Loved the post Christine, you're the sweetest.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I've never been one to watch the Discovery channel but I do love it when I make a discovery of my own. I found an amazing blog recently that I have to share with you. It's called Shadowhouse Creations.  The author of this blog is Jerry Jones, a self taught Photoshop digital artist. Let me tell you, his work is amazing. Aside from being very talented, he's also very generous. He offers textures, brushes and tutorials.

I picked up a couple of his textures the other day as well as a mask and did some playing around

This next one I used his mask and a texture. 

Of course my two example can't even compare to what you'll see on his blog but I had to show them.
Go on over and check it out. Shadowhouse Creations.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Something from the oven

I got the urge to bake. Why I would want to do that at home when I bake 40 hours a week at work is beyond me but I did. Wade has a thing for shortbread cookies so I thought I would make him some.

I gathered my ingredients
Before you say it, I know, that's imitation vanilla. It's also super cheap dollar store vanilla. I can't help it, remember "thrifty".
I got out my ancient hand me down cookie press.

I haven't used this thing in ages. I'm sure one of the new fangled ones would be much easier to use but this one works.
And here are my cookies.

These did not last long at all. He had them eaten in no time.

Shortbread cookies
2 cups butter 
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla (feel free to use REAL vanilla if you
4 cups flour

Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla. Slowly add flour. Put through cookie press. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Before I go I want to send a big THANK YOU and hugs to Audrey at Audrey's Country Crafts. I was checking out her blog earlier and what a surprise it was to see that she mentioned me as the blog of the week. What a sweetie she is.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My thrifty ways

Now that you're all aware of my thrifty background, I can share a recent shopping experience. As you may, or may not know, I work in a bakery. My first job of the day is to fry donuts. (insert the groggy sounding "time to make the donuts") If you haven't guessed this is a bit messy. No matter how careful I am, I always get grease spots on my pants. For that reason alone I hate spending a lot of money on something I'm going to ruin. When I need new clothes for work I don't buy "NEW" clothes. I go to my favorite second hand store.
I walked out with four, count them four, new to me pairs of pants.
 Now how much do you think you would spend on four pairs of pants, in excellent, like brand new condition?

You probably can't make out all the price tags but they total $21.60. BUT, one of the pairs was on sale so my bill was $20.15. Now is that a bargain or what?
Man I love that place.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A little of my history

Today I have a story to tell you about my father. He was a very thrifty man. He wasted nothing. Back then I wasn't impressed by it, and I even dared to call him cheap on one, and only one, occasion. His reaction? He pulled out his checkbook and proceeded to give me a lesson in economics. I was fully aware from that day on of the cost to run a household.
(left to right Dad, my brother Mike, Fernando a foreign exchange student and me) 

He had some of the most amazing talents. The man could scrape a peanut butter jar so clean it looked like there had never been anything in it. This is a skill that I've been working on perfecting for years. It makes me grin every time I get to the bottom of the jar and start to scrape the sides.

Bread bags were never thrown away when the loaf was finished. And yes, he always ate the crusts. He saved each bag and reused them. Most of them transported fresh vegetables from his garden to friends, family and neighbors. When he became a grandfather those bags were used to bring "grandpa cookies" to the kids.
(Dad proudly wearing his boy scout leader uniform)

Dads casual and work attire was grey work pants and shirts. When the collars on his shirts started to fray you would think he would have replaced the shirt. No, he would carefully remove the collar, turn it over and sew it back on. He said that the other side was perfectly good and had a lot of wear left in it.

Once when he was attempting to instill the "waste not, want not" theory in me, he told me a story about one of his cousins. He said that the cousins family had been wealthy but very wasteful and eventually lost their fortune. On the other hand, his family was very careful about not wasting anything and that God always provided them with what they needed. To this day I don't know if that was fact or fiction, but I'll take his word for it. He never steered me wrong.

He had a heart of gold, a faith that could not be shaken, a love for his children and a passion for flying. Flight may just be a post for another day.
(one of the last pictures ever taken of my dad)

The reason I'm telling you all this is to impressively lead up to my silly little post for tomorrow.

See you all then.
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