Monday, August 31, 2009

Dixie Picked A Winner!

A couple of posts ago, I showed the Photo Blocks I had made and asked my readers to comment if they wanted to be in a drawing to win one. Last night was the drawing and
Dixie (my Bichon/Yorkie Poo mix who dreams of being a Retriever)
and Chuck (my husband friend mix) assisted.

I had 9 comments......printed them out and cut them into strips.

I know you're thinking....she could have used one of those random drawing technical gadgets. No, she could not. She is not technical. And she only had 15 minutes until Design Star came on.

I removed all family members....

Catha, you know that's against the rules of all prize drawings.

And you know you will be getting one anyway. (wink)

I wadded each comment up.....professionally.

And yes, those are the hands of a working girl.

My assistants, Chuck and Dixie, are preparing for the drawing.

They will be thrown into the air and then we'll see which one Dixie retrieves.

But first, Dixie had to dance for it.....she spun around 3 times and then.....

They're down and ready for the choosing.

Official time. Right before Design Star comes on.

After saying, "Dixie, get it, get it, get it!"......

she grabs one in her mouth and under the table she goes.

And she is mad. MAD. Do you see that wad of paper in front of her?

She thought it was going to taste like beef. MAD.

And the winner is .................DEBBIE!
Debbie, you didn't leave an email so please contact me through a comment and let me know what colors and what wording you want on your custom Photo Block. Thanks for playing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A letter to Will

Dear Will,

I am writing this letter to you the evening before you leave for college. You are my last child to leave for college and while I am so excited for you, it is hitting me a little harder than when your sisters left. Now that's not because I didn't love your sisters....but when they left there was still a child or two here.

I am not finished raising you. This day got here too soon. There are a million things going through my head (and heart) that I think I should still teach you or at least tell you. Bear with me while I type up a few of them.

1. I hope you remember to pray. You will have some scary days, some sad days, and even some extremely happy days in the years ahead. Turn to God in prayer....for strength, for guidance and even to thank him. You will hear him best in moments of take some time for silence every day.

2. Try to eat healthy. You have always loved fruit and vegetables so I'm not too worried about you ....but eating most of your meals in a cafeteria, you may be tempted to eat a lot of pizza. Just throw in an apple now and then.

3. Be kind to your roommates. Treat them like you want to be treated. Clean up after yourself. Pick your things up off the floor. Hang your towel up. Rinse your toothpaste out of the sink.

4. Go to class. Listen and take notes. Re-write and re-read those notes. Study. Teach yourself. Even if it's not a subject you care will feel good about the good grade. Think to yourself....I am smart. I can learn anything.

5. Do not have sex. Ever. If you do, it should be in a loving relationship. And always use protection. Always. Every time. Every single time.

6. Make lots of friends but choose them wisely.

7. Do your laundry at least every other week. Cold/Cold. Extra Large Load.

8. Stay true to yourself but allow yourself to change and grow.

9. Please don't get any more tattoos. I heard they're going out of style.

10. Don't text and drive. Actually don't do anything else and drive. Just drive when you're driving.

11. It's not legal to drink alcohol until you're 21. NOT LEGAL.

12. Don't get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. Call a cab. We'll reimburse you.

13. Finish college. You are not allowed to quit. However, you will have a time get busy.

Now, a few things I want to tell you again.....

1. You are my direct hit from God. He knew I needed a third child and a son.....even when it wasn't on my list.

2. You are funny.

3. You are handsome.

4. You are kind.

5. You are smart.

6. You give the best hugs.

7. Thanks for being a good kid (except that ONE incident...which I know you will never do again). You have been a joy (except that ONE incident....which I know you will never do again) .

8. Thanks for teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School with me. Those will always be some of my favorite memories of time you and I spent together.

9. You are extremely talented...especially with your photography...but I suspect what we have seen is only the tip of the iceberg.

10. You will be successful at anything....I hope you find your passion.

So tomorrow, if I cry, just let me cry. I am looking forward to your new beginning but first we must get through this ending.

I love you. Mama

Sunday, August 23, 2009

More Photo Blocks

I made a Photo Block (that's what I'm calling it for lack of a better name) for a baby shower gift a couple of weeks ago. Some of the girls at the shower custom ordered after seeing that one. So now that they have been delivered, I thought I would show you what I made.

This one says Cy-Fair Brigade.....made for a gift for a new drill team member.

This was made to match the family room colors of a family whose name starts with a J.

And this was made to match the pink and brown nursery of a baby girl due in December.....her sweet name is on here....and the mom swore me to secrecy as they hadn't told anyone the name yet. But she's announced it since I think it's okay to show it.

Once the pictures are clipped on, not so much of the paper background shows and the bling and ribbon goodness top it off like icing. These are way more fun to make than dinner.

Now....Do you want one? If so, leave a comment and I will draw a name from all the entries one week from today....August 30. I will put the winner on here next week...and contact you if you leave your email ...or you can contact me via my email. I will customize it to your liking...your colors, your saying...a quote, an initial, a favorite scripture, a tell me. These are made to hold a 4 x 6 photograph. When it's ready (and dry!) I will send it to you. Sound fun?

School starts tomorrow. Bring 'em on. I can't wait to see what this year holds. I know there are some precious children in my very near future.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Several very minor items to discuss....

I wanted to post something this evening....this last evening of summer. Before I fall into the large black hole called going back to work. Sometimes when I come in here to post, I feel very selfish. Tonite is one of those times. I know there are people out there who are in deep physical or emotional pain. And while I am not in either of those...I am on the verge of tears. Just the verge. The verge that gives you a little headache. I am at the point where a good cry would actually feel better.

Last week, as I started thinking about returning to school/work and my car rider duty, I almost wanted to cry. I am hot and sweaty in an air conditioned just thinking about standing outside in the heat for at least 30 minutes at the beginning and end of my day....well, like I said.....cry. When you're on the verge of tears, just thinking about sweating can make you cry. So I got my hair cut very short...and went back to high maintenance highlights. I was trying to save money by coloring it myself...but I'm over that. Here's a before and after. The after doesn't really show how short it really is, but it does feature my long ears. I really don't know when that happened. Cry.

Another thing...Cameron just left to go back to College Station.....and it seems I have fallen in love with her cat. I know. Stupid. But I'm just being honest. I'm going to miss that cat. He and I spent a lot of time together this summer....while his mama was at work. He made me laugh. He's a funny cat. I know I sound like a stupid cat lady....but this is the only cat I have ever bonded with. Cry.

I will miss Cameron, but she's been like a ship in the night. We barely passed each other this summer. She was a working girl......leaving at 7:45 am and going to bed early. My schedule was more like Brunch to Midnight Buffet. I know she's ready to get back to College Station and get on with her senior year.....and order her Aggie ring tomorrow. Cry.

And then there's Will. Who leaves tomorrow for Jack Camp. This is the freshmen orientation camp for Stephen F. Austin. The camp where they spend the whole week playing silly games and doing alot of bonding around a campfire. He just informed us he's not going to like it one bit. He's not into that kind of stuff. That's not how he makes friends. Cry.

Oh, and he broke down last week and finally told us he didn't want to go away. Cry.

But he's going. And I am going to miss this sweet boy. Cry.

And this morning in church, I sat beside and behind two of my friends....teachers I adore and have the honor of working with. I love that they are there. And that we can sit by each other and hear the same message. Cry.

If you've ever noticed the words in the header of this blog...Changing Moods's because I never know what the post is going to be about. Today I am feeling a little teary. But I'll be okay. We're all going to be okay. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

God Moment

I am participating in MamaKat's Writer's Workshop this week and I have chosen the prompt given to her by my very own daughter, Jordan....Tell about a God Moment.

My first true love, my fiance, had broken up with me just weeks before our wedding date. I was in the deepest, darkest place I had ever been. No light. No laughter. Nothing. For over a year. I was going through the motions of living but I wasn't alive.

I was still calling this guy and begging him.....BEGGING him to reconsider. Begging him to tell me again why he had broken up with me. Begging. I couldn't breathe without him. It was gross. He was my future. He was all I wanted. I had no Plan B. I was wallowing in the deepest, darkest sewer of hell. I was stuck in this place for over a year. A YEAR.

One day, I was walking into a drugstore and had already walked several paces in. A voice in my head said, "Turn around and look." Along with the voice, I swear I felt a tap on my shoulder....yet there was no one around. So I turned around.

There was a stand of postcards....and my eyes landed directly on the one that said,

"Happiness is the best revenge."

Now, I know that doesn't sound like something God would say, but it was like being hit over the head for me. That's it. I get it. I would go out there and get happy....and he would want me back. I am telling you....I was in the dark...and it's like every light in the football stadium just came on.

This funny thing happened on my way to getting happy. I became happy. I was living. I was breathing. I was laughing again. And I realized I didn't need or want anyone that I had to beg for their attention. Hello! I realized I was the only one who could make me happy. It had to come from within me and I alone was responsible for going out and finding it.

This transformation didn't take place over night, but the saying on that postcard....that I never would have seen if that voice (God) hadn't spoken to me to look back....became my daily mantra and changed my whole outlook. My happiness didn't start on one particular day and I was still sad at times, but I did have an awakening.

I am happy. And of course, sometimes I am sad. But I know for sure God is watching over me and will grab me by the collar after he has given me ample time to figure it out on my own.

God Moments. God's Timing. God's Plan. He has never asked us to understand. He only asks us to trust him. He's not going anywhere.

PS....I got happy. Married a great guy who is my best friend....and we put up with each other on the hard days and enjoy each other on the good ones. I had 3 beautiful babies who have grown up into wonderful adults. It hasn't always been easy. But I have always known that God's got my back.

Do I still have trust issues after all these years? Oh, yes.....let's just say Jesus and God may be the only 2 men I trust. Do I still wonder why in the world that guy could have let me go? Wouldn't you? ha. Do I still think about him now and then? Yes...but when I do, I think more about the girl I was then...and realize I had way more growing up to do and way more living (and wonder if my happiness has been the best revenge.)

God really does have a plan. And a time table. And he thumps us on the head now and then with a God Moment.

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 11, 1985

Happy 24th birthday to.....

the first baby.

the one with big dimples.

the baby that could tan while her mama burned.

the little thumb sucker that could fall asleep anywhere.

the one with all the hair.

the one we went to school with first.

the one with big bows...and ALL the hair.

the playroom boss.

the girl who loves cats.

the big sister.

the Aggie.

the girl in Arizona.

Happy Birthday Jordan
with love, from all of us.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

They're married!

My sister has been busy this summer with a bathroom remodel, having her whole house painted and even some new flooring here and there. I jumped into helping her because the only thing I love better than spending our money, is spending someone else's. And she is a great client. She listens to me and does whatever I say. I love a client like that!

We had fun shopping for new fabric for some pieces she had reupholstered and for accessories....which is my favorite part of design. While out shopping one day, we saw a painted buffet with all the colors of her new direction. We snapped a photo as I said I was sure I could copy it. In my decorator talk, I told her, "Oh, this is the piece that would marry all the colors together......." because that's how I talk when I'm in decorator mode.

Their painted piece for $ tax.

Large, beautiful and only $1399.00 plus tax too much.

My painted version on a chest of drawers from our childhood.
(Mama, are we in trouble for painting on the furniture?)

Customized colors....aqua, cherry red, golden yellow and shades of green.
The checkered part is a pull out tray. And I think every room needs a little checkered something. Ode to Mary Engelbreit.

Free for a great sister.

I have been working on this piece off and on all was all over my kitchen island and floor....along with paint, brushes and the mess that all makes. Even though I now have a craft room, this was way too big to do in there and I was NOT going out to the garage. My house now smells like varnish and the dogs are high.

I have always loved to paint but I don't do much of it anymore. When copying this piece, I had a hard time figuring out what exactly I was painting. I'm not sure if they're bulbs, pomegranates, peaches or onions. And then the red sea urchin kind of things and pine cones? I do better copying something when I have actually seen one in nature. But if you go back and look at the original you will see what I'm talking about....what the heck is some of that stuff?

Whatever they are....they are now customized in the color of my sister's decor. And finally, all her colors are married.

When's the reception?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spoiled Rotten

We have lived in this home for 10 years and 4 months. Our homeowner's association fees have included back door trash pick-up. What?

Yep. Back door trash pick-up. Our trashcan area is beside our garage and the garbage men wheel these huge garbage cans on dollies up our driveway, dump our garbage into this humongous can and ride their dollies back down the drive. It has always been somewhat entertaining to watch. These men are like little boys on the way down the drive. Much like watching skateboarders.

But then the economy crashed....or is crashing....I don't think it's hit rock bottom yet. Positive Polly that I am. And our HOA cut out this special service. What?

Yep. We have to take our garbage can aaaaaaaallllllllll the way down to the end of the driveway ourselves. Tell me I'm not affected by this depression our country's in.

Garbage days are Monday and Thursday. Always have been. Still are. But guess who cannot remember that?

Yep. Us. Ever. We never had to before. Because when the garbage bag was full in the house, we just took it out beside the garage to the outside can. And little dolly riding elves picked it up on Mondays and Thursdays.

But now? Now it's out there spoiled rotten and we missed garbage day again. It's going to get pretty rank smelling around here by Monday.

Somebody should warn Chuck that I'm going to go all "Kate Gosselin" on him if he misses it on Monday.

Oh, I can do some "Kate Gosselin" ....but we don't do ugly on this blog.

I'm just a little old-fashioned when it comes to garbage.

I think that's the man's job.

(did I just say that?)

Maybe I'm spoiled rotten.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Troubled Times

...The sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared
with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
-Romans 8:18
My last post might have been sort of heavy for some of my readers. They say you should never discuss politics, religion or sex. But somehow those subjects tend to come up sooner or later. Most of my friends are conservative Republicans.....they dislike our president. And I voted for him. I like him. I love these people...but we certainly have some differences.
The funny thing is, I will admit I am not politically informed enough to even have an intelligent conversation. I was raised in a Democratic home but am married to a very conservative Republican. I have 3 children....1 is Republican, 1 is a Democrat...1 is a Libertarian...
not in birth order.
No matter who the president is, I think we should all keep him in our prayers.......
and realize he is fighting an uphill battle....
and then there's the congress! Throw them in your prayers, too.
When I came across this scripture quoted on Brin's blog....I had to bring it over here. There have always been troubled times. Always. What goes up must come down. The rainbow follows the storm. We would not recognize "happy" if we did not know "unhappy." Black, white. Yes. No. Liberal. Conservative. The ebb and flow of the tide from forces of the moon and the sun.
Get it?
Our country is in the hands of our elected leaders. But those leaders are human....just like you and me. And no matter who the president is, there will always be troubles. Some within his control, some not.
My daily life has never really seemed affected by who is sitting in the Oval Office. My daily life is more affected by my attitude. And the weather.
I will place my trust in God. He seems to have an effect on my attitude. And he certainly controls the weather.
End of discussion.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I have watched very little television this summer....except to have HGTV on in the background...with an occasional glance at what they're doing. So I have not been listening to the "gloom and doom" of the status of our country.......the economy, the bail-outs, the health reform bill, etc. Of course, I hear the bullets that come on before the news or the constant talk on CNN or Fox if I happen to come into the room when Chuck has that on. But, I do not listen to that stuff.

All "that stuff" is driven by our 24 hour media stations and they ramp it up to near hysteria. I would like to think I don't have my head buried in the sand....but rather, I am choosing to not go down that dark, depressing road. I had to learn to stay in the day (my kids are rolling their eyes right now...because that is my mantra and they've heard it so much) and enjoy the moment at hand.

Yesterday, I enjoyed the company of my co-workers and before long, politics was brought up. I am not political. I think of politics as a football game. One team is always going to win......and never will the two teams compromise. Can you just imagine football players on opposing teams in a huddle together saying..."you guys can win the game....we'll play a while, then let you have the game's win on your record."

Our country is in financial and moral trouble. And there are 2 teams, liberals and conservatives, fighting over how to fix it. And I am just old enough to know that this has been going on for years. Years and years. And years.

I have my own beliefs based on my life's experiences. I was still a young girl when the Viet Nam war was going on and I can clearly remember the daily body count being shown on the evening news. It was disturbing for me then and I can't even wrap my brain around it now. So therefore, I do not believe we should be in a war. No war. No where. Is that naive? Maybe. But it's how I feel.

I see the money being spent on that war and think of all the good we could be doing with it. Naive? Probably. But damn frustrating.

I was newly married in the early 80's when the housing market fell in Houston. Chuck and I had a $105,000 mortgage on a home that wouldn't sell for $70,000. I could look out our front door and count at least 4 houses that had been walked off from. Oh, and our interest rate was 14%. I was pregnant with my second child and my company filed bankruptcy....and when I lost my job, I was losing an income of $33,000. So I think I know a little about what a bad economy feels like....the fear it instills and the worry about how in the heck you're going to pay your bills....or buy groceries when you only have six dollars in your checking account until payday....5 days away. And you owe the anesthesiologist a payment of $1000.00 up front for the epidural.

Health reform? I certainly don't know a solution to the incredible mess our health care....meaning insurance and cost of health in. It's always been a mess. I can remember taking home the sanitary napkins that were left over in the box in my hospital room after my first baby was born. Those things were great! They were like mattresses. I packed them in my bag...because I figured they were just going in the trash if I left them. The insurance bill that came a month later, had a charge for $65.00 for those pads. That was 1985. Wow...those were some great pads. I think I understand a little bit about our ridiculous state of health care.

Just last month, I went to the doctor and paid my co-pay. But my insurance wouldn't let me go to the lab in their down the hall from where I was standing. I had to drive to another lab for my bloodwork. And then I had to return to the doctor the next my co-pay get the results of my lab work. And this is for a doctor of my choice. Well.....choosing from the list my insurance will allow. We pay hundreds and hundreds a month for our insurance premiums. And I am thankful that we can. But what if my husband loses his job? Will there be a safety net? And all those hundreds we have paid in for years and never used? What happens to all that money? Did it buy a yacht for MR. PRESIDENT OF THE INSURANCE COMPANY?

Reform means change. And I think it boils down to most people are all for change....unless it affects them in a negative way. Or cost them. Or only for it, if they reap the benefits immediately. Sometimes, change is necessary for a better tomorrow. But most people, don't want to make that sacrifice.

As long as there has been a democratic government, there have been systems in place to help those in need. And within moments of the systems being in place, there have been those who figured out how to abuse it. grrrr. Figure that one out. If they're smart enough to figure out how to abuse a system....can't they use that brain power and energy to get a real job?

Believe me, I am just as angry about it as you are.

I remember getting laid off and applying for Unemployment. And feeling guilty. Like I was one of those leeches that took from our government. When, of course, my employer had paid into it for years and it was there for me.

I believe in birth control, a woman's right to choice, security of our borders, an equal income tax for all 10%....10% of nothing or 10% of a billion...wherever you fall in that salary write-offs. I believe if you are over should be legally and you should be paying taxes, too. I believe our country is so big.....that in our lifetime, we won't see a change for the better. I believe I have a right to my opinion and you have a right to yours. I believe if you listen to one side only, you will never know there is another side.

I believe we are only here for a short while. And we should all be getting our hearts in the right place. I believe I will think like a child and see only 5 feet in front of me. And try to please God each day.

I believe I will stick to watching HGTV. Where the worst thing that happens is color choice.