October 2008


click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

 

For My World Tuesday I put up a Cottonwood photo that was not yet in full autumn regalia, so I thought it might be a good time to post a yellow one–against our blue sky.

Our “monsoon season” appears to be over for real, so our skies look like this pretty much every day. The sunrises and sunsets are very pretty, but they are exactly the same every day. So my choices are to find something interesting to put in front of the sky or go into the archives. Today I thought this was interesting enough.

Below is a not-so-good picture of the “green mile” which is now the  “yellow” mile–the river valley filled with Cottonwood trees. I took it by holding my camera in the appropriate direction while I was driving, thus the bit of askew-ness.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

For those last week who expressed concern over my camera lens–I am still without an 18-55 mm lens. I am trying to decide if I want to replace it or get an 18-200 mm lens. I need to do something soon because shooting sky pictures only with my 55-200 lens is a bit of a challenge at times!

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures,  head to the SkyWatch blog hosted by  Sandy , Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Klaus.

This was SO. MUCH. FUN for me!!!

Why? Because it let me see what some of you like and what some of you think about me.

But first, let me tell you about something else that has affected this contest.

Last Sunday was my daughter’s Fall Festival. (This is a mini carnival of sorts.) It is an annual fundraiser, and I was in charge of it this year. One of the activities was a Silent Auction. When we decided there would be a Silent Auction, all people involved were supposed to bring 3-5 items to be auctioned. These items would come from businesses that the people themselves do business with–hair dressers, oil change places, etc. There were also supposed to be quite a few items left over from the last silent auction. I personally drummed up 6 items, but guess what! No one else drummed up ANYTHING! I thought it would be OK because of the previous stuff, but when I was putting it all together on Friday, I realized there were only five items from the previous auction. What should I do?

I do not like asking anyone for anything, so the fact that I had six contributions myself was enormous. It was too late to have Prince Charming do my work for me. So I decided to make a couple of things and donate something else I had already made.

But THEN guess what! NO ONE BOUGHT THOSE THINGS. I am not even offended by this because I realize the type of crowd I am apparently dealing with (starting with sad lack of volunteers and continuing with kids who came to do my activities on Sunday without tickets of any kind with their parents looking at me like I was crazy for expecting them to have tickets). So what this means is that I am including two of the three auction items in this giveaway! (I selfishly kept one of them that I REALLY liked and cannot duplicate because it was made out of retired items that I entirely used in the process of its creation.)

Here are the new items that are now included in the giveaway:

Thanksgiving Shadow Box--click to enlarge

Thanksgiving Shadow Box--click to enlarge

"JOY" Pennant Banner--click to enlarge--the letters are in chunky clear/white glitter

So instead of one winner, there are three! I am so excited by this I can hardly stand it!

The first winner is the only person who correctly guessed my favorite card. Here is the favorite:

8 - It's a Sign

I mentioned that this is quite unlike me, but I have to say I love the color combination here. They are not even the colors to which I am normally drawn, but I just like it. I also like the layout. This card makes me happy.

And here is the winner:

(NOT my handwriting!)

(NOT my handwriting!)

Painted Maypole gets first pick of what she wants.

The thing about your responses that made them so interesting is that lots of you guessed what my favorite SHOULD have been. Here are three that could have easily been my favorites, and people who know me well would have chosen one of these.

Because I love trees and leaves.

Because I love trees and leaves.

10 - Snowburst

I love the sparkle as well as the subtle coloring on this one.

Everyone loves this; why wouldn't I?

Everyone loves this; why wouldn't I?

So the next drawing was from the people who guessed the customer favorite correctly. There were seven of you who correctly identified that card which was Pretty Amazing (the one with the butterfly above). Those seven are Chrome 3D, Jeri, Shimmy Mom, Stacy, Lynn, JessicaStephany and Christopher. (Apologies to Stacy and Christopher for whom I had no readily available URL’s.)

Here is the winner of that drawing:

(Prince Charming did the drawings.)

(Prince Charming did the drawings.)

The cute thing about this is she sent me an e-mail before her trip telling me to just leave her prize on the doorstep because she knew she would win.

Well, Jeri, YOU MIGHT get a choice. I’ll have to get back to you. If Painted Maypole chooses the Shadow Box, you get your choice of the remaining items. But I regret to inform you that if she does not, you get a paper item because I cannot afford to ship the shadow box to you. Unless POSSIBLY it is somewhat reasonable to a base and I can ship it there, but the US Postal Service has started shipping based on distance which is not pleasant even within the “lower 48.” We’ll talk.

So the last drawing was from everyone who entered. And I do not really apologize that you will get whatever is left because in theory you would not have gotten ANYTHING. So I hope you love what is left, because I do. The winner of the drawing from everyone is:

I just have to say that Jan leaves me the nicest comments, and I KNOW that even if she hates what I am sending her, she will say something lovely about it. She is just a wonderful lady!

One final note. Whomever gets the Shadow Box will have to wait until after November 6 for shipment because I am having a class for making it on that date and need it for an example. It will hopefully ship right away on the 7th. (Prince Charming is my shipper, so I am somewhat limited by his work schedule which has apparently been extra crazy lately. I believe him because I have not been getting lots of e-mails from him with articles to read–for which I never had time–and cartoons.)

This was so much fun for me that I think I might start stock-piling things to do it again in the future. I am not sure if it will always be a contest, but I will think of something.

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments and especially to the ones who entered!

Note: I wrote this to post yesterday, but forgot about the My World meme. (Scroll down if that is why you are here.) So it’s today. But I was too tired too lazy did not feel like changing all the references about “yesterday, etc.” to make sense. If something does not make sense, then think about it a day earlier… or just get over it! (I am certain many things I write/say do not make sense!)

You just might be a redneck if… you are a mom.

Since I have been a mom, it has been a rare day that I can remember to put sunscreen on all exposed parts of my body. My children are always slathered in sunscreen. Chic has red hair and Chicklet has somewhat strawberry blonde hair (definitely reddish), and they have the skin to match. Neither has ever been really sunburned in her life. I never forget to put sunscreen on every exposed inch of THEM. But since they came along, their mother gets one or two good sunburns a year. Sometimes I forget to put it on entirely. However, I usually remember to put it on; I just miss an area. Yesterday it was my neck and chest. This is the result:

no photo enhancement; this is real

It was the annual Fall Fesitval for Chic’s school. It was a PERFECT day. It was hot, even for me. (I had two snow cones.) I wore several layers and was down to the sleeveless shirt before it even started. (I was in charge of the event and was there early to set up my own portion and direct everyone else.) My arms are not burned. My face is not burned. But I completely forgot my chest and neck when I was applying sunscreen.  Those children suck out brain cells when they are inside of us, and somehow there must be an invisible umbilical cord remaining to suck out more after they leave us.

If you knew the lengths I go to with what I wear to avoid a “farmer tan” or red neck, you would understand why this is so irritating to me.

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Card Giveaway

I will schedule a post of the results from the giveaway to go up on Wednesday when I am not here. This has been a lot of fun for me, and I hope it has for you, too!

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Why I am So Far Behind with Blogging

In my very short time blogging, I will be the first to tell anyone that it is OK to get behind, to not post, to not visit, to not do any blogging at all because we blog about life, life is not blogging. However, I for some reason feel the need to explain why I am so far behind, and some of you have not “seen” me in 3 or 4 weeks.

Do you know that in Google Reader, when you have more than 1000 new posts to read, it just says “1000+?” Well it does. This morning it said that. I quickly skimmed enough things that I just “look at” to get it to a number I could figure out, and there were 1066 in my reader this morning. A month ago this would have made me CRAZY, but 1-1/2 weeks ago, there were 1356 in there. In the past 1-1/2 weeks, I have gotten it into the low 600’s, but more keep coming, and there is just too much going on here. This is what it is…

First, I was on a trip to Missouri. (Oh yes, before that I had guests here.) I do this twice a year for business reasons and to spend time with my family. While there, I have computer access most of the time, but the time to do anything more than check important e-mails (which is not even the e-mail address for my blogging) is quite limited. While there, we play and visit.

Chicklet and "Boots"

So I came back and put a little effort into trying to catch up, but my life is a busy one. No, I do not work outside of my home, but I have a home business. Although it is not as on fire as it was a couple of years ago, it is at the limit of what I can handle these days. Last week I had three events relating to it. THREE! I usually try to limit it to one, but things just happened that way.

In addition to the business, I teach art weekly at Chic’s school. This is all day on Wednesdays. It is my third year doing this (Chic was not even a student there when I started), and it is a volunteer position. I really like doing it most of the time, but it is an entire day every week that nothing in my private life gets accomplished. This year is better than last because I have one less class (which means most of the time I actually have time between classes to tear down and set up for the next one), and I give students art grades rather than their teachers giving them grades for my class. (Which means that I have more leverage in class for their sometimes unruly behavior. But the Kindergarten teacher has shared with me that after parent-teacher conferences, one parent is quite angry with me and wants a meeting because his child got an A- in art. I will not elaborate on this other than to say that I grade on attendance, behavior and following instructions. I do not grade on ability–which I would like to do sometimes, but I am sure the parents would really flip out over that.)

On Wednesday nights Chic and Chicklet have a program at church called Pathfinders. It is similar to Boy Scouts/Girls  Scouts, but it is co-ed. In addition to this, in order for the kids to not get home at unreasonable hours on a school night, they start early–too early for some to go home after work, so there is food at this event. Who do you think makes the food? I trade off with one other person, and last week was “my” week. (It was not really my week, but it seems I get a few more than the other. I think it is because I “don’t work.”) So last week I was entirely tied up Monday-Thursday with my business, art, and Pathfinders. I forgot to mention we have to go to gymnastics after school on Tuesdays (it is a school program, but not at the school), and do not get home until 6. You can imagine when I made the food for Wednesday night. (I didn’t. Prince Charming did it this time.)

Friday I spent the day tying up loose ends for Fall Festival. My problem with THIS part of my life is that volunteers are scarce. At the last minute we had plenty food for the event, but we never had QUITE enough activities because we just did not have enough volunteers. I personally “manned” three separate activities. Prince Charming was in charge of two. (Which meant our kids were largely unattended, so we just spent a fortune buying them tickets so they would be entertained. Now we have PILES of loot that they won… PILES. (We could do our own carnival with their winnings.)

Saturday is a rest day for us. But Saturday night, we had a Pathfinder function to attend. It is not normal for those things to happen on Saturday night–maybe once or twice a year, but wouldn’t you know it would be the day before Fall Festival?

The Fall Festival was good. I do not know the money intake yet, but it seemed to be well-attended. It is only my second year of involvement with it, so I do not have a lot to which to compare it.

The point is, I had a LOOOONG week.

But the good news is that this week is much better. NO business events. NO Pathfinders. (I do not know why it is canceled, but I will never complain about that.) Nothing other than some Halloween activities. So after I catch up with bill paying and my Church treasurer job and some organizing stuff I need to do, I will attack the blogging thing. But the best thing about getting so far behind is that I can handle numbers in the hundreds on my reader.  I can go to bed without a second thought with an overflowing reader. So I guess all this activity has had its benefits.  But I am EXTRA glad it is over (for now–I have lots of projects coming up-but I have a week “off”… sort of.)

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The Dress

One last note. I got the dress. It IS pretty.  The color is nice, and it does not look horrible on me, and it actually fits in the hips (surprise), BUT, I cannot zip it up. I have always had a large rib cage, but after children, it expanded. It just will not zip. They are going to exchange it for a larger size, which IF it zips up will likely mean I have to alter the rest to be smaller. I will keep you posted. And that reminds me. Your comments on that were SO funny! I did not have time to reply (see above), but I am replying today within the comments, so check it out if you would like. (There are comments about SkyWatch in there because I do not know how to move the comments from the top to the bottom, so you will just have to skip over those.)

And check back tomorrow to see the results of the Giveaway! I’ll be posting 4 days in a row this week. How crazy am I? (Don’t get used to it!)

I wrote a whole post for today explaining my blogging absence and catching you up on some things, then I remembered that My World Tuesday is really on Monday for me.

So there will be another post tomorrow. It is already finished!

Last week I showed you a picture of our mountain which is one of the defining things about where I live. Another is Cottonwood trees. They are not everywhere; they are mostly in the river valley. But they are big and impressive and have so much “personality.” (I love trees.) There are all kinds of things around named for them (even a mall). In the Spring, it seems like it is snowing from the “cotton” that comes from them.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

Right now, since we got frost last week, the river valley is yellow from the mile-wide section of Cottonwood trees that stretch as far north and south as the eye can see.

The above tree is on the edge of a pond at a local trout farm. We had a field trip there about 3 weeks ago, so the tree has just the first hints of yellow on it.

I hope to show you more Cottonwood trees in the future. In the winter, without leaves, they are amazing things.

My World is a brand new meme put on by the same people who do SkyWatch Friday. Go check it out and see the worlds of other people!

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

This was taken on Monday, which started out with an amazing sunrise (for a later post), then had these clouds in the early part of the day, then some really interesting other clouds later, then an amazing thunderstorm cloud at sunset (at which point my damaged camera lens completely quit working). It was an incredible day!

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures,  head to the SkyWatch blog hosted by Tom, Sandy , Imac , Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Klaus.

I am 43 years old. My age is not something I am afraid to tell people. My weight, on the other hand, is a giant secret (one which at the moment I do not even know).

I have been gone all day–about 14 hours. Well, I was  home for about 45 minutes in the afternoon. Anyway, I was just checking my e-mail to see if there was anything pressing because I am tired and want to go to bed. But I got an e-mail that made me laugh so hard, it just seemed “blog-worthy” to me.

This was the attachment (taken with a camera phone, I assume):

 

You don't WANT to click to enlarge!

You don't WANT to click to enlarge!!

This is a dress like one I am supposed to wear in a wedding in March. Are you laughing, too? It is strapless. Please, people! I am in relatively good shape, but I am no Supermodel or even non-Supermodel! I have NEVER worn strapless dresses–even in my young, willowy days. My dress has already been purchased. (The bride, by the way, saw this for the first time just a few hours before I did–also after the dresses had been purchased. Another wearer of said dress was on a trip where inexpensive clothing could be obtained. Am I crazy to think it is a little too fitted to be purchased without my trying it on?)

My weightlifting routine has been sadly neglected since last winter. Apparently it is time to kick it back into high gear.

OH NO!!! I just, as I was typing, realized something else. In March, every shred of my desert tan will be GONE! I am of Irish descent, and my skin is a clear indicator of that. What am I going to look like in March in a celery strapless dress? (Mind you everyone else but one in the wedding is of Hispanic descent. Their beautiful skin will look lovely next to this color. Mine will look hideous potentially a little pasty hideous.)

I just quit laughing. Now I am crying.

I may as well add here that I was doing a pretty fair job of catching up on blogs after my trip. But I will not be home a whole lot until Monday without a major project going on. I WILL get there. It is just taking a very long time a while.

On a happier note, if you have not done so already, please check out my card giveaway post here. You have until October 27 to enter.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

This is a picture at sunset of the Sandia Mountains. This mountain is one of the most defining things about where I live. It is always there. People know what direction they are going by looking at it. It can be seen from pretty much anywhere in the sprawling city. It creates weather from time to time and usually looks good in pictures. Even though I am used to it and sometimes take it for granted, it still has a massive beauty of its own.

My World is a brand new meme put on by the same people who do SkyWatch Friday. Go check it out and see the worlds of other people!

For my regular readers, if you haven’t checked the post below, please do so if you have a moment!

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