Friday, December 28, 2007


So it's been a while since I've blogged. Here are some pictures from Dec. 20th. As you can see, we've had a lot of snow. This was the Sunday storm that came right after the bad Thursday storm. Since we don't have much of a yard, we quickly ran out of places to put the snow. Luckily we have since had some warm days and the snow has melted a bit. In fact, there's a little bit of grass visible int he front yard. And the neighbors built a fort out of the piles in front.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bowling, Birthdays, and Baking... oh my!

So every couple of weeks we get together with some friends (mostly Chris’ co-workers) for Game Night. This week we decided to go bowling and it became a larger than normal affair with some extra people invited. It also was semi-close to various people’s birthdays, so we took the opportunity to celebrate. And of course we had to try to embarrass them with party hats and balloons.

Given the number of people I picked up two cakes. And we combined the ages and put the number “81” on the cake (York and Kristin were both turning 24 and Esch is 33).

The timing actually worked out rather well since we got there towards the end of the league so we went into the lounge for drinks and cake before the lanes opened up.

And then it was cosmic bowling. Any ideas on what light setting to use when taking photos under a black light? All of my pictures are blue and blurry. The blurry I understand, but I’d like to know how to avoid the blue if at all possible.

Our next Game Night will be on Sunday afternoon and we’re doing a Yankee Swap. We’ve bought one of our gifts but still need to get one more.

Saturday I had my second skating lesson and realized that I’m the worst skater in my class. I think I’m ok with that, but it’s frustrating at the same time. One problem I have is that I feel the teacher goes over too many techniques in one class so there is no opportunity to actually master any of them. Finally, rather than trying something I didn’t feel comfortable with; I just started doing my own thing. And as a result, I actually got better at skating backwards- one of my goals. Now if only I could master stopping.

After skating I came home and finished prepping for the annual Cookie Baking day. Maybe other years are just as bad, but this year I felt it was exceptionally stressful- mostly because of my dad.

So first of all, my dad has a recipe that calls to be baked "in a moderate oven, 350-400 degrees". Sometimes they come out hard as a rock, this year they all fell apart. Find a temperature and stick to it! You can't bake something in a 50 degree range.

Then he had another recipe and after he's added most of the ingredients he realizes he used baking soda instead of baking powder. He thinks he can just add the other one and it will be fine. We tell him no- throw it out and start over. He says, what, we're not going to bake these as is? No, throw it out! In the end, he did throw it out and they came out fine, but I can just imagine the disaster otherwise.

And as to the timing- since I had skating in the morning we decided we would start at 11. But then they were late. And then we had to have lunch. So it was easily 12:30 before we started. And then they had to leave (not sure of the time, 4-5 maybe) because Hanna had to go get a tree with her dad. What? Why couldn't they do that a different day? Aaaargh!

We did manage to get most of the recipes made before they left- just one other that had to go into the oven. As a result, we got all of those cookies for ourselves.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Return of the Christmas Forest

The Christmas Forest is back in my scrap room this year. Not the best picture- I'll try to get better ones when I have less stuff in my room. But I've got the 5 foot pink tree, the 4 foot green, and then on my cubes I have a 3 foot pink and an 18 inch silver. (Ok, so I completely guessed on those heights, but you get the idea.) I love them! Kind of wish the trees on the cube were more noticeable, but I do the best I can with the space that I have available.

In other holiday decorating news, I made this wreath for our front door. It came together pretty quickly and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

The house is pretty much all decorated now- even have some lights outside. Cookie Baking is this weekend. All the presents have been bought and mailed for Chris' family. Now if only I would actually get into the holiday spirit a bit I would be happy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Birthdays, and Craft Faires and Scrapping, Oh My!

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to head to my church for their second annual Craft Faire. Last year Chris and I shared a table, and this year we had planned on having 2 tables, but I never got my act together. So instead it was just Chris.
Here's a photo of his table setup, and if you want to see better pictures of his items (many of which are still available) go here.

Then in the evening we had our semi-regular game night- this time at Jason and Kelly's house. Last year they pretty much were all at our house, and this year we're rotating a bit. Totally makes sense- especially since Jason and Kelly live in NH and it's not fair for them to always come down to our place.
So in addition to celebrating my birthday (which was Sunday) we played Scene It and Life.
Next time- bowling.

Sunday was a fairly uneventful birthday. I had great plans of scrapping all day, but instead I watched Casper, putzed about the house, raked 7 bags of leaves by myself, and then in the evening finally started to get into a scrap groove.

And here are links to the latest LOs. Many of these were from a couple of weeks ago when I went to an all day crop.
As you can see, there has been great progress on the vacation album. Unfortunately not quite enough. I was hoping to have it done to bring to Thanksgiving, but I still am a long way from that point.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Trying to get back in the blogging routine

Yay- it's almost my birthday. (Only 10 more days!) This is an interesting year since we started the celebrations so early. I also just got my gift from my mom the other day. I had been at my local camera store checking out something else and I noticed their used camera equipment. I had been wanting a larger zoom lens, so I looked at the couple that they had and also compared it to a new model that they had. I decided that I would be happy with one of the used lenses. Later that evening I called my mom and mentioned this gift idea and she said go for it! Yay. So, I think this is my lens. I say think because they all have different code letters and I was having a hard time keeping the names straight. Can't wait to play with it some more.

I also signed myself up for figure skating lessons. This will be a Christmas gift from my dad. All of this shopping for myself kind of takes the surprise away, but at least I'm getting things I enjoy. Skating starts up on December 1st at 9am. Ugh. I had a choice of 9 or 11 for class and thought 9 would be better so that I wouldn't feel like I was wasting my day. Unfortunately, this means I'll have to get up earlier on Saturdays than I do for work.

Lots of creativity going on since I last posted links, so here you go. I kind of wish I could post images, but there are just too many so I have to give it to you in list form. Yikes- in a little less than a month, that's 20 layouts/cards. Yet I still feel really behind! This weekend there's a big crop going on at TallyScrapper. So many challenges have been issued it's hard to keep them all straight! Plus I really want to get a lot of my vacation album done. I was hoping to have it done for Thanksgiving and I'm a long way from completion. However, next weekend is a craft faire that I was hoping to sell at and I've made 1 new thing so far. Better get cracking with that! I do have plenty of leftover stuff from previous years, but I was hoping to make some new things as well. Looks like I have a busy weekend ahead.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en!

These pumpkins are outside. I had wanted to carve the letters on them, but life got in the way. The other side of the steps had some pumpkins that my neighbors had painted. I also put some spiderwebs on the metal of the entryway. I thought it turned out pretty well, especially since the metal was a bit on the rusty side.

After going through the main outer door, there is a small entryway. I had this wreath on our door and the rat down in the corner. It's been kind of funny listening to people's reactions for the past month as they see the rat. He's pretty gross looking, and if you're just looking quickly I think he looks fairly realistic.

As we move further into the building we come to our living room. I really enjoyed making this little ApotheSCARY shop. Thanks Rachel for the inspiration on this. Unfortunately I lost some creative steam so there are a few empty or nameless bottles. Maybe next year I'll get it finished? In the meantime, here are some more detailed shots of what I've got.

Here we have my buffet in my dining room. On the left are the bat and luminary candles, the ghosts in the middle, and the pumpkins on the right. Now that Halloween is over I'll keep the pumpkins out but pack up the rest.

And finally, here's a picture of me. Kind of blurry, but I like how it turned out. I love my lashes. I think I need to wear fake lashes more often. The skeleton earrings were a bit heavy, but I think once a year they'll be fine.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October review

A few weeks ago was "Chainsaw Weekend" a time when my dad gets us all to go to his vacation house to clean up the yard and woods a bit- taking down trees that the beaver started on, removing trees that are blocking the view of the lake, etc.

We also took the time to celebrate fall birthdays. This was Boy Chris, Dad, Andrew, and for the first year- me! The other three birthdays are pretty close to each other, but mine is in November and lately has been forgotten a bit. So this year we decided to include mine with the others. It felt weird celebrating a month early. And according to this cake, my youth has died. :(

We also took some family pictures, but I can't post those now. I'll need to blur Hanna before I can post. But speaking of Hanna, I can't believe how grown-up she is! She's almost 13 and doesn't seem to have gotten the awkwardness that I had at that age. She's absolutely gorgeous!

Back at home, my Halloween mantle has made progress, and I think it pretty much has gone as far as it will for this year. Maybe next year I'll finish up some of the other labels. I think the part I disliked was coming up with the names for everything. I'll try to get some good pictures tomorrow night and post.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Catching up

I wanted to get all of my vacation posts posted before I moved on to other subjects, and now I feel like so much has happened since August but I've forgotten half of it!

On the scrap front, I've gotten my mojo back. I think my mojo was on summer vacation. Good thing I have a reserve of premade cards or some people wouldn't have gotten them for birthdays and anniversaries.

So, here are links to my "recent" creations:
Stokes, Appalachian Trail, Halloween Countdown, Christmas 1977, Birthday card for Chris, Eleanore, Andrew- Halloween 1980, You Light up the Place, Looks Like Fall, Hammonasset 2007, Halloween Trick or Treat, Oh Baby card, Halloween 1978, and Typecasting.

I'm really liking all of the challenges as a way to push me to get some things done, and also as a way to work on some of my older photos. Also most of these LOs and cards are fall/Halloween related, which just happens to be a favorite subject of mine.

In other news...

For the second year in a row Chris and I served as chaperones/ advisors for our church's youth group trip to Hammonasset. As always, it was a fun time. However, we both got stuck leading a station for the Saturday activities. Mine wasn't too bad (name game where a famous person's name is taped to your back, and by asking yes or no questions you have to figure out who you are) but Chris got to lead the station where they were coloring placemats for prisoners. That didn't really go over so well.

We had brought our badminton set, so in free time we got most of our group playing. And Sunday morning Pastor Eric tried to get us all to rotate through- hit the birdie a few times and then pass your racket on to the next person. Yeah, that didn't go over so well.

I had an absoultely wonderful time meeting Minda and Lisa, two gals from TallyScrapper who came out to Boston for the weekend. We spent some time in the Boston area sightseeing and then we went up to New Hampshire to hang with Tami and Jen.

Who knew that we could get along so well with complete strangers. It was more than I ever could have hoped for. I wish I had the funds to take a trip out to Minnesota to see them again. I'm trying to figure out if I can go to Wisconsin for a crop with them and other Tally gals, but I just don't think I can swing it. There's always next year, right?

At the end of September was Chris' birthday. No, the letters around the edge of the cake don't spell anything out. I just figured that since I had bought all of the letters I should use them. The day after his birthday we had a number of friends over for "Game Night" so it was a nice excuse for a mini party. We played Cranium. Guys against girls, and the girls won. Woo hoo! However, there was a disagreement in the interpretation of the rules and some shouting occurred.

And that pretty much brings us into October. Last weekend was The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch at MIT. You may remember me discussing it last year? The pumpkin pics at the top of this post are from this event. The crowds just keep getting bigger and bigger! Last year we got there a little after 9, this year we arrived at 8:15, but we were still about the same place in line- number 180! Yikes.

After getting our tickets to reserve our place in line we checked out the perimeter of the patch, trying to find some that we liked. We saw some in the back, so when we were finally allowed in Chris went straight for those. I took my time looking at the other patches trying to find some in the lower price ranges. Unfortunately by the time Chris got over to them the 3 we liked were gone. We wandered some more, and then I saw someone carrying one of the ones that we liked. I went up to her and offered to trade any of the pumpkins in our box for the one she was holding. Score! She traded. (It's the yellow one with the tall stem in the back of this picture.) We also got three others- 1 more for home, 1 for work, and 1 for a gift. The picture is of all of our pumpkins from the past 4 trips to the patch. Time to start saving for next year!

And the last item to discuss, is my Halloween mantle. This picture is from a couple of weeks ago and it has evolved a little since that time. Stay tuned for more pictures once it's completed.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vacation Post #13

The day started with the perfect feel for a day touring battlefields- cool and foggy. Unfortunately, by the time we left the campground and got to the battlefields, the fog had lifted and the sun was shining.

We picked up an audio driving tour and started on our way. This was much more Chris' kind of thing than mine. Whenever we stopped he would read every placard and I would kind of wander off and see what pretty flowers were around. I tried to give him time to see things, but I think he quickly realized I was bored.

However, I did find this statue to be interesting since it was sculpted by the same guy who sculpted Mount Rushmore. I thought it interesting that we would see two of his works in such different parts of the country on the same trip. He also did Stone Mountain in Georgia, but that will have to be another trip.

By the end of our tour around the park (about 3-4 hours later) even Chris was getting bored. We skipped the visitor centers and decided to head for home.

By 7:30 we were home! Hooray!

Total Miles: 6901.4
High Points reached: 9
Attractions/ destinations visited: 17
States driven through: 22
States/provinces license plates seen: 59
Gallons of gas used: 267.731
Cans of soda consumed: 54
Maps used: 12
Days of rain: 3
Hikers in bed of truck: 8
Bugs killed on windshield: too many to count
Moose seen: 0

Vacation Post #12

Today's adventures cover two days; August 23 - 24, 2007

After leaving the motel in Illinois, we headed across the state and across Indiana. Just before the border into Ohio is Hoosier High Point. It is located in a small wooded area alongside a corn field. I had been here before, but Chris hadn't and since it was on our way we decided to stop so that Chris could claim the state.

A couple had recently gotten engaged at the site, and they had left fake rose petals strewn across the ground. Since this was private property and access could be denied at any time, we decided to be nice and pick up all of the litter. I would have thought that anyone getting engaged at a site like this would have had enough sense to treat the space with respect, but obviously not.

We then continued on our way across Ohio. As nightfall neared, we stopped for the night at a KOA. This was was much cheaper than the one in Niagara Falls, but it wasn't exactly the nicest. Not bad, but a little run-down looking in some places. However, it wasn't crowded so that was nice.

In the morning we headed off to Pennsylvania. Mt. Davis was another high point that I had been to before, but again, it was on the way. This one was another "drive-up" with just a short walk to the fire tower and views over the trees.

After this trip, I have now been to 21 high points and Chris has gotten 13.

We continued on our way, stopping at yet another KOA, this one just outside of Gettysburg. This KOA was another one that was on the pricey side, but it was the nicest one we had been to. I liked that it had a wooded feel to it, so you didn't feel as if you were right next to your neighbor.

Vacation Post # 11

I realize that my blog has been seriously neglected as of late. I hope to remedy that.

I shall now resume the tales of Chris' and Chris' Great American Road Trip- August 22, 2007.

Our first stop was Taum Sauk, the highest point of Missouri.

This "high point" is another very flat one. It's in a state park and the path to the peak is paved. There is another hike in the area (part of the Ozark Trail) but it seemed a bit more strenuous than we were up for and we didn't have enough water with us.

After the high point we headed up to St. Louis to visit the McDonald's Monument. What, that's not what it's called? Sorry, the Gateway Arch. Huh, that's not the name either? Yeah- we were shocked to learn that it's really called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

The engineering of this monument was amazing. We watched a film about it, and it just blew me away. And I was also impressed that in the 50s and 60s they had enough forethought to film the construction so that we could watch it. But can we talk about how un-safe it was? No one wore harnesses of any kind! We took a tram ride to the top of the monument. Again with the forethought to make it hollow and lay track so that people could do this! Granted that tram was pretty tiny, but it was worth it. Great views from the top. They also had diagrams showing what the buildings were and also noting what had been there when the monument was erected. Interesting to show the changes. We go to see where old Busch Stadium was, and where New Busch Stadium is today.

When we got back to the ground we walked around the park area for a little while as I wanted to try to get more pictures of the arch from other angles. And then we started thinking....

Hey, this isn't Fenway Park. New baseball stadiums are much larger. I wonder if we can get tickets to a game. So we called Chris dad to first find out if there was a home game that night, and then also to find out what the range in ticket prices was. There was a game, and the prices seemed decent, so off we headed to the ballpark. Score! Decent seats at a decent price. This wouldn't happen back in Boston!

We had originally hoped to get a few more moles driven after the arch, but since we went to the game we knew that wasn't going to happen. No big deal though. Instead, after the game, we crossed the river into Illinois and stopped at the first motel we came to. It was a late night, but we'd had fun, so it was worth it.