Thursday, August 30, 2007

mail call

Nothing like a good mail day... I actually was puzzled to see 3 packages for me all in one day. I actually won a stamp set from Unique boutique for signing on to their new website... I'm not even sure why I did-- but now I'm glad I did!!! Apparently the sent the first 1000 people out alittle prize. Then the other two boxes were from the IT studio... one was a back order stamp and the other was my monthly kit.... ahhh scrapbooking mail always makes me happy!
Speaking of mail... yet another wedding invitiation... Julianne is getting married in October-- seems to be contagious at this point!

Today Corey finally settled on his new home... it was the second try this week. Earlier this week he and Mike went to settlement only to find the fire marshall hadn't given the "seal of approval" yet--- so back they went today! now there's one happy boy in Gainsville with a new set of keys! (and a hefty mortgage payment) We tried to convince him that Bonnie was a wonderful house warming gift but that was a no go.... now I'll have to get creative... do you think Mr. wiggles would wear a bow? hahaha

Sunday, August 26, 2007


As the restful weekend comes to a close I sit here trying to think if I accomplished anything.... Laundry check
Dishes check
hmmm thats about it....

I spent alot of time in the scraproom... but couldn't find my mojo to get much done. I worked on a layout of Amanda and I at Get Croppin last February... yea February. And I labeled some stamping up containers... I am sure Nancy would be proud of me. I made a mess but didn't accomplish anything... how does that happen?

Mike and Corey worked on refinishing Coreys coffee and end tables... and the grass did get cut inbetween rain storms....

Nap Check! Well at least I won't start the new week out exhausted. Right?

Friday, August 24, 2007

not getting political or anything

I certainly am not one to get all political or anything... heck I gave up on watching the evening news a couple of years ago due to the depressing nature but this I find really interesting. Its a book a heard about (of course while reading over at 2ps)

Since everyday we are hearing about another recall from China it seems kinda topical. I know when traveling to Alaska we curbed our shopping by only buying items actually made in Alaska... That was no small feat!! it seemed that every item we picked up no matter how authentic it looked-- somewhere on it was alittle sticker "made in china"--- really it was depressing. We did find that there were stores with handwritten signs on the outside (not many mind you) that did cater to likeminded people... HOMEMADE IN ALASKA-- and we were able to part with some vacation dollars but certainly not as many as I probably would have liked (my credit card company probably would have been happy to see me spend more too... but thats another story!)
Anyway-- the question is how did this happen? how did we let it happen? my opinion-- we want it all-- and the only way to have it all is to be able to afford it. With most families having 2 incomes you would think we could have it all... but in the USA we have something called minimum wage-- in order to make the products we take for granted as being affordable someone would have to take a pay cut-- a serious one. If we made it here in the US it would cost a fortune... we don't believe in sweatshops and we can't support people now who make minimum wage.

Seriously do the math.

  • $5.85 x 40 hours =$234
  • that means $12,168 a year
  • or more simply $1014 a month.

Where can you live for $1014 a month???? and still eat, pay for car insurance, health insurance etc??????? (oh and that figure... doesn't include the taxes Uncle Sam requires from all of us)

And even at minimum wage-- I suppose a factory making a 99 cent box of crayons would have to comply with Federal OSHA rules, fire and safety rules etc that would make that box out of most of our budgets....

At this point if our government could get us out of the whole import thing with China could we as a country survive making our own goods?

Food for thought....

Headline: A year without 'Made in China'

Byline: Sara Bongiorni

Date: 12/20/2005

BATON ROUGE, LA. - Last year, two days after Christmas, we kicked China out of the house. Not the country obviously, but bits of plastic, metal, and wood stamped with the words "Made in China." We kept what we already had, but stopped bringing any more in.The banishment was no fault of China's. It had coated our lives with a cheerful veneer of toys, gadgets, and $10 children's shoes. Sometimes I worried about jobs sent overseas or nasty reports about human rights abuses, but price trumped virtue at our house. We couldn't resist what China was selling.But on that dark Monday last year, a creeping unease washed over me as I sat on the sofa and surveyed the gloomy wreckage of the holiday. It wasn't until then that I noticed an irrefutable fact: China was taking over the place.It stared back at me from the empty screen of the television. I spied it in the pile of tennis shoes by the door. It glowed in the lights on the Christmas tree and watched me in the eyes of a doll splayed on the floor. I slipped off the couch and did a quick inventory, sorting gifts into two stacks: China and non-China. The count came to China, 25, the world, 14. Christmas, I realized, had become a holiday made by the Chinese. Suddenly I'd had enough. I wanted China out.Through tricks and persuasion I got my husband on board, and on Jan. 1 we launched a yearlong household embargo on Chinese imports. The idea wasn't to punish China, which would never feel the pinprick of our protest. And we didn't fool ourselves into thinking we'd bring back a single job to unplugged company towns in Ohio and Georgia. We pushed China out of our lives because we wanted to measure how far it had pushed in. We wanted to know what it would take in time, money, and aggravation to kick our China habit.We hit the first rut in the road when I discovered our son's toes pressing against the ends of his tennis shoes. I wore myself out hunting for new ones. After two weeks I broke down and spent $60 on sneakers from Italy. I felt sick over the money; it seemed decadent for a pair of children's shoes. I got used to the feeling. Weeks later I shelled out $60 for Texas-made shoes for our toddler daughter.We got hung up on lots of little things. I drove to half a dozen grocery stores in search of candles for my husband's birthday cake, eventually settling on a box of dusty leftovers I found in the kitchen. The junk drawer has been stuck shut since January. My husband found the part to fix it at Home Depot but left it on the shelf when he spotted the telltale "Made in China."Mini crises erupted when our blender and television broke down. The television sputtered back to life without intervention, but it was a long, hot summer without smoothies. We killed four mice with old-fashioned snapping traps because the catch-and-release ones we prefer are made in China. Last summer at the beach my husband wore a pair of mismatched flip-flops my mother found in her garage. He'd run out of options at the drug store.Navigating the toy aisle has been a wilting affair. In the spring, our 4-year-old son launched a countercampaign in support of "China things." He's been a good sport, but he's weary of Danish-made Legos, the only sure bet for birthday gifts for his friends. One morning in October he fell apart during a trip to Target when he developed a sudden lust for an electric purple pumpkin."It's too long without China," he wailed. He kept at me all day.The next morning I drove him back so he could use his birthday money to buy the pumpkin for himself. I kept my fingers off the bills as he passed them to the checker.My husband bemoans the Christmas gifts he can't buy because they were made in China. He plans to sew sleeping bags for the children himself. He can build wooden boats and guitars, but I fear he will meet his match with thread and needle."How hard can it be?" he scoffed.The funny thing about China's ascent is that we, as a nation, could shut the whole thing down in a week. Jump-start a "Just Say No to Chinese Products Week," and the empire will collapse amid the chaos of overloaded cargo ships in Long Beach harbor. I doubt we could pull it off. Americans may be famously patriotic, but look closely, and you'll see who makes the flag magnets on their car bumpers. These days China delivers every major holiday, Fourth of July included.I don't know what we will do after Dec. 31 when our family's embargo comes to its official end. China-free living has been a hassle. I have discovered for myself that China doesn't control every aspect of our daily lives, but if you take a close look at the underside of boxes in the toy department, I promise it will give you pause.Our son knows where he stands on the matter. In the bathtub one evening he told me how happy he was that "the China season" was coming soon."When we can buy China things again, let's never stop," he said.After a year without China I can tell you this: You can still live without it, but it's getting trickier and costlier by the day. And a decade from now I may not be brave enough to try it again.

Not a believer??? From where you are sitting I challenge you to find 5 items within hands reach that are MADE IN THE USA

Sunday, August 19, 2007

flowers fairies and rain

Certainly seems to that the beginning of school and the weather are coinciding events. Its been overcast and rainy here… the mood I am sure of those starting the new school year. However I wouldn’t know because my daughter has dropped off the face of the earth… ok not really but she certainly hasn’t been available to chat either… (hint hint)

I lifted a weight off my shoulders today and finally shipped off David and Ruth their wedding pictures.. Where does the time go? I swear it was just June! With that off my plate I am excited to jump in with two feet to work on all the summer pictures that I have been stacking up on my desk. Like this one….
Speaking of David it has taken us all summer to identify this plant that he gave us. The leaf shape had us stumped and it wasn’t until we were actually present to see it bloom (its one of those plants that closes up at night) that we were able to figure out it was a Passion Flower. Armed with this knowledge I now have to get it out of the pot it’s in and actually plant it in the ground if I want it to be around next year.

While drinking my coffee this morning and readying through my list of blogs I was drawn into Jessica Spragues--blog —that led me to another sight Urban Fairies --- ok let me say I need to add this to my list of wants—Fairy doors should be in every home…especially if there are children living in the home… ok so there aren’t any in mine… but I am a kid at heart and that’s what counts. Now to convince Mike that he needs to make me one….. He’s not real keen on putting nails in the wall for pictures I can only imagine what he’ll say about making a home for invisible fairies----

ever changing life

It only takes 24 hours to change your life. In 24 hours we:

  • drove to Christiansburg

  • Slept in a house with no electricity

  • picked up a rental truck

  • Emptied out Amandas house

  • Filled a rental truck

  • Moved Amanda in her new apt

  • Said good bye to Madison

  • Said goodbye to Amanda

  • Drove back home

  • Gave Bonnie her second ever vacation

In 48 hours...

  • We filled our garage with boxes ready to move over to Coreys new house next week

  • Emptied Amandas belongings that won't fit in her Apt into our basement

  • Re-arranged her bedroom here at home to accomodate furniture from her old house

  • wandered around our house picking up puppy toys that didn't make the move.

  • Returned the rental truck

  • Missed our girls more than we thought we would.

  • Had a impromptu cookout with uncle mike

Yes within a weekend our lives changed...again... Amanda now lives with 3 other girls in an apartment, Madison has moved back to college leaving our house very quiet, our emptied basement is now full again and yet another room in our house has been rearranged.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer is offically over

Not just another Thursday night... a very quiet Thursday night. I knew when I opened the door and there were no little sounds of happiness, no little feet running in circles that she was gone. That didn't stop me from looking just to be sure... but the carseat was gone... the leash was gone... and the house was quiet. Amanda went back to school and took Madison. There are still toys scattered across the house. ..Her pink travel bag is laying on the floor and her cage still standing in the family room.. but they are gone.. and its quiet.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


So disappointing..... last week we bought a huge bag of peaches... yummy.. they were just PERFECT-- the drizzle down your chin kind of perfect.... yesterday we got some new peaches... but they just aren't ready yet... so ran off to the store during lunch.. grabbed a few more that smelled ready-- felt ready-- but when we bit into them.... nothing... no flavor.. no drizzle.... So disappointing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

She's home again

It was like christmas when Amanda came this weekend. Kinda an odd christmas-- but lots of shiny treats-- she brought home lots and lots of Loreal products... More Shampoo and conditioner than anyone could ever use.. and various creams and lotions, eyeshadows and lipsticks-- The odd part... some of it was in "test containers" visualize White bottles with little white labels with numbers and letters identifing the contents... Amanda assures me that all the products have passed clinical trials. and are perfectly safe..... After I picked and choose the products I had to try we packed them all up... she will be one popular roommate with all the Matrix and Keils hairproducts--I can only imagine that those girls will have the shiniest hair on campus.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Its just hot.

Wow- could it get any hotter? crazy weather over 100 today and when you step outside you can feel the air-- almost as if its a blanket.
Been busy getting ready for Amandas move next week-- dealing with the real estate agent.. all the "people" who have to do their part for inspections and trying to get things together on this end. I have been very lucky that we have some great tenants right now who are helping out every step of the way..
Tonight I plan on taking down her bed here at home so we can use the frame in her new place. Not sure where to put everything we store under there... and then hopefully I can spend alittle time in the basement making room for what won't fit in her new place. I know some of it has plans of landing at Coreys new place-- should they ever finish building it... until then we will be back to looking like a storage unit. At some point this madness has to end!
I've been trying to explain to Madison that she has to start packing her belongings-- but she seems more content to pull every chewy and bone out and deposit them all over the house. She has a rude awakening ahead of her.. apartment living... no more backyard to run wild in... but I think she will come to enjoy long walks on campus with her mom... at least I hope so.
Did I mention that it was just plain old hot??

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Weekend wedding

It is hard to believe but we went to our first wedding of "one of the kids" this past weekend. Hard to believe they are old enough-- hard to believe we are old enough-- Hard to believe that the same kids who we took to cub scout camp, taught to fish and cheered loudly for on the soccer field are getting married.

And getting alittle wedding cake "fed" to them

This weekend David married his high school sweetheart Kristin. Yes it was 100 plus degrees, yes it was way out in Orange, and yes we had to drive back and forth to let the dogs out... but I wouldn't have missed it for anything!
We had a BLAST-- The food was good as always- Doug does a fantastic job in the kitchen-- Lisa made sure there were Cosmo's by the pitcher ready to go-- and the DJ was Awesome-- so good infact that Dancing started before dinner even began! And was still going strong when we left!
I didn't want to bother with taking pictures--rather just be there and enjoy-- but couldn't help myself-- I only wish now that I had taken pictures before it got dark!

Father Dave-- doing a line dance..... More line dancing....


If you wake up early enough mother nature will surprise you with treats like this! I have waited all summer for this one flower-- and it took until August for my dreams to become reality!
Mike set up this little water garden for me so that I could grow all the pretty water plants that my Koi seem to want to eat in peace. No more dumped pots with dirt all over the big pond, no more little nubs where they ate every thing--Whats amazing though is that this garden has taken on a life of its own. Its turned into its own little eco-system-- We have more and more frogs every day-- (not the same variety as the big pond), the goldfish are multiplying and the plants are seem to be taking root quite well.
It has taken Madison all summer but even she has found her place in the water garden--The frogs have kept her from drinking the water until now-- but she finally made peace with them

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Last weekend

It has been so long since I have updated here... where does the time go? Its already another weekend and I haven't shared last weekend!
It was a train adventure last weekend... yes I traveled by myself on a train up to Philly where I met up with Amanda and then we took another train to Exton where Heidi and Leah picked us up. Just getting to Union Station was an adventure-- Corey took me so I wouldn't have to leave my car all weekend... ofcourse my antidirectional friend missed the exit and we found ourselves chasing what would be the next metro stop in Vienna... all was good-- he got me there and with alittle help from the station attendent I figured out how to get a fare card.
Metro Center was yet another adventure-- escalators, doors closing and full rush hour trains but I made it to union station with a WHOLE 5 minutes to spare... And who thought I couldn't travel public transportation alone????

The weekend was great-- Heidi, Leah and I have made it
a tradition to get together once a year (sad huh?) to go to one scrapping event-- this year it was CK Valley Forge. While we didn't take any classes we did do some serious shopping. And it fun to include Amanda this time.

Heidi also made sure we got our fill of sight seeing in-- we stalked the countryside for Amish sightings... unfortunatly most of my pictures show alot of "motion" or are obviously taken out of the car window-- at the time we were laughing so hard it didn't seem to matter. So glad we were all able to get together... Heidi and her husband were great hosts.. it was fun to meet their new baby Alex and see their awesome new house. Totally what a girls weekend away should be!