Sunday, July 31, 2011

200 things: part 9

40. The word "penultimate". (It means second to last.  How cool is that?)
39. Getting lots of green lights on the way to work.
38. Getting a red light when I need to read or send a text.
37. Getting the whole text in before the light changes.
36. Baby's feet.
35. Dr. Suess books. (Yertle the Turtle? The Sneetches? So many life lessons for kids!)
34. The Peanuts.
33. Baker's twine.
32. The movie 1776.
31. Sarah Vowell talking about history.
30. Toy Story. (especially II)
29. Being in my groove. (Happens about 4 times a year. :P)
28. The Google machine.
27. Peanut butter straight out of the jar.
26. Peonies!
25. Watching planes land at Cleveland International.
24. Coloring.
23. My bed.
22. Carved pumpkins.
21. A-ha moments.

And so concludes this penultimate installment of 200 things.  Tomorrow is the big day.  Ok, not really.  It's just the last day. And then we'll find something new to talk about.  Maybe 200 things that piss me off. :P   Just kidding.  But don't think I couldn't do it. ;)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

200 things: part 8

Went out to dinner tonight with my manfriend, to one of our favorite local burger joints (so refreshing to have a favorite spot that isn't a chain) and we're talking about our days.  He's telling me a story and suddenly it occurs to me that his face looks funny.  Funny, but a familiar funny.  About three years ago he had a bout of bells palsy that left the left side of his face paralyzed for about 4 months.  It didn't hurt, per se, but the paralysis means that the affected eye doesn't close properly, which makes it hard to sleep and causes the eye to become very dry and uncomfortable.  He actually had to tape his eye shut  for a couple of weeks when it was at its worst.  There's also issues that crop up with eating, since it's hard to control the lips.  At any rate, sitting there trying to enjoy my burger, the implications washed over me.  It's already been a really rough year for him health wise, and this is so minor, and yet still such a pain in the ass.  The recurrence isn't a huge surprise - everyone I know that has dealt with bells palsy once has had to deal with twice.  But still.  Back off.  Find someone else, okay?

So here we are.  Day 8 of the 200 Things project, finding myself really needing this opportunity to focus on the happiness.

60. Brown Bag Burgers.
59. diet Pepsi, over crushed ice.
58. Today. (Not including the whole BP realization.)
57. Really good coupons.
56. Punches.  (I know I love my Silhouette, but damned if I'm not semi-addicted to buying craft punches.)
55. The Cuyahoga County Public Library system. (Amazing.  They have everything, the website ROCKS, there are DOZENS of branches...and free entertainment when money is tight?  Hell yes!)
54. January 7th. (The first day after the Christmas return period, when we can finally breath a sigh of relief.)
53. October.
52. June.
50. Laptops.  (Like portable joy!)
49. Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art.
48. Scarves.
47. Swinging. (Actual swings at the park. Get your mind out of the gutter.)
46. Photo walks.
45. Discovering new music.
44. An unexpected compliment that is believable.
43. My memories of living in Indiana.
42. NOT having a mother-in-law!
41. Having a vocabulary buddy. (Her eyes lit up when I used "lugubrious" in casual conversation...and that's how it started.)

Friday, July 29, 2011

200 things: part 7

I had about 7 things that popped into my head after I finished yesterday's entry, and now...  Oops.  Should've written them down.

80. Big Love.
79. Just about anything to do with polygamy and/or FLDS.
78. The Help. (If you haven't read it yet, now is the time.)
77. Funny typos. (I recently texted that I let a customer get a way with something because I was a "pullover".  Push, pull...same diff, right?)
76. (OMG, this is an instant bad mood lifter for me.  I will giggle until I turn red. Not pretty.)
75. Random interesting things I learn through work. (Today I talked to a guy who's taking part in the 48 Hour Film Festival here in Cleveland.  Really very cool.)
74. Banana snowballs with marshmallow topping. (apparently "snowballs" are really regional to Maryland.  I'd kill for a trip to The Original Snowball Stand in Woodstock, MD, where were used to go 3 or 4 times a month growing up.
73. While we're talking food, I'll admit that a real Philly Cheesesteak is my all time favorite food, and when I take that first bite I close my eyes and thank Jesus for cheese. And cheap meat products. And, apparently, grease. :P
72. Summer break. (You don't appreciate time until you hardly have any to yourself.)
71. Cable.
70. Talking in the dark.
69. 69?  Hee hee hee.
68. Have I mentioned IM yet??
67. Hard crabs. Picnic tables.  Bottles of beer on ice.  Old Bay seasoning.
66. Angry Birds.
65. Gray hair. (Ok, not on me, but there are people I know who rock the salt'n'peppa and it's hot.)
64. Gift cards.
63. Watching my kids play Dance Party on the Wii.
62. Printed pictures.
61. Back to school sales.

It's funny, but 20 things no longer seems like enough...I want to keep going.  But we're going to stretch out the goodness. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

200 things: part 6

I'm impressed with my sticktoitiveness on this.  But actually find myself mentally bookmarking things to put on the list throughout the day.

100. That I'm signed up for a my first math class in 21 years. So exciting!
99. That I've already come up with a hundred things that I love or make me smile. Yay me!
98. Movies that are made for kids, but have humor that goes over the kids' heads and right to mom and dad.  Awesome.
97. Echo Park.
96. Little letter stickers. (Even though I did say that I didn't like them.  I lied. Or changed my mind.  Or something.)
95. Thinking about my new camera. (That still hasn't arrived.  I'm so frustrated, but so very excited!)
94. Tim Gunn.
93. Easy A.
92. Footie socks. (How odd, and yet opening my sock drawer and seeing them all lined up waiting to make my feet cozy: aaaaah.)
91. Golden hour.
90. Right after a storm, when it's cooled down and the humidity lifts and the sun comes out.
89. Messenger bags.
88. Breakfast Hot Pockets. (And every time I think about them I sing Hooot Poooockets, a la Jim Gaffigan)
87. Christmas lights.
86. The white party/string lights in the screened-in porch.
85. Watching the snow fall. (But only if I don't have to drive in it.)
84. Funky silver jewelry. (This is headed my way.)
83. The library.
82. Snickerdoodles. (Even the name of them is fun.)
81. Watching the dog watch me as I spread peanut butter on her rawhide bone. (It's all just anticipation, but I like to think of it as love.)

Another easy-breezy installment of 200 things that make me happy.  Tune in next time.

p.s. Did you know that the correct spelling of "pouring" in the context of "pouring over pictures" is actually "poring"?  True story.  Too bad I didn't know that little factoid the week I signed up for Shimelle's blogging for scrapbookers class a year and a half ago...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

200 things: part 5

120. Sharpie markers. (The fine point ones, that are actually kind my handwriting with these.)
119. The smell of Pec 12. (It smells like artificial banana, only better.)
117. Friendship bracelets.
116. The Maryland flag.
115. Sex.  (Oh, hell, no one's actually reading this anyway)
114. Modern furniture.
113. Speaking of which, Crate and Barrel.
112. Legacy Village.
110. Lewis Black.
109. My sofa!!
108. Autumn leaves.
107. Woodwick candles.
106. Whip it!
105. Bagels and cream cheese.
104. Tide detergent.
103. The color orange.
102. Going to the pool.
101. Craig Ferguson.

It's funny how much easier these lists are after a happy day. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

200 things: part 4

140. Finding someone else who's read the same good book as you and actually wants to discuss it.  (Maybe I should join a book club?)
139. Crossing that nagging thing off the to-do list.
138. Getting that important email or phone call you were waiting for.
137. Getting that totally unimportant email that makes your day.
136. Freshly cut grass.
135. A new Scrapbooks, Etc in the mail.
134. Dinner with the whole family.
133. The sound of waves crashing. (especially at an honest-to-goodness beach.  The lake pales in comparison)
132. Air conditioning.
131. Baby Ruth bars.
130. Zooey Deschanel. (Is that creepy??)
129. Grey's Anatomy.
128. Solving math problems.
127. Watermelon.
126. Sleeping with the windows open.
124. Wristlet purses.
123. Winning the gas game.
122. Funky silver jewelry.
121. Graph paper.  (How nerdy is that?  And yet, every time I see it I get a little googly-eyed.)

I've really had a rough couple of days.  Nothing major, stupid stuff that's just added up and worn me down.  It's been kinda cool to make this is part of my day.  It's neat to focus on what brings a smile to my face.

Monday, July 25, 2011

200 things: part 3

160. Seeing bird's nests built into storefront signs.
159. Cozying up to another body whose skin is either warm or cool, depending upon what you need.
158. Red Bull.
157. The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  (they make me so grateful for my drama-free life)
156. This blog.  (Lest it sound conceited, it is it's own little walk down memory lane for me)
155. Being able to wear (long) shorts to work.  (I ♥ my casual work environment!)
154. My road to teaching.
153. School supplies.
152. My EVO phone.  (Nerdy, I know, but it keeps me entertained.)
151. The end of laundry day, when it's all folded and put away and drawers are bursting with fresh footies and t-shirts.
150. Puns and word play.
149. Angry Birds Rio.
148. Being able to check my account balance online. (Although, I'm not gonna lie, I'm usually grimacing and praying as it loads.)
147. Maggie's artwork.
146. My space heater.  (Man! That's hard to admit with the weather we've been having this last week!)
145. Scrapbooking.
144. Target.
143. Time alone.
142. Realizing that the headache is gone.
141. Finally figuring out where my numbering on this went askew!

I really needed this today.  It's funny how this just helped me pull out of a funk.  Yay for thinking about happy things. ☻

Sunday, July 24, 2011

200 things: part 2

179. Texting.
178. Fans on a hot day.  (but not hot days.)
177. 76ยบ and 20% humidity.
176. 92.3fm.
175. That first day that you realize that the trees are really all the way covered in leaves.
174. Reading a book at the pool, especially if you're lucky enough to score a lawn chair.
173. Ice.  (how did this not make it in the top 20?)
172. Reading blogs.
171. Facebook.
170. A really good photo, especially of someone I love that really captures what I see in them.
169. Colorful Melamine plates.  (I hope they never link Melamine to cancer, because I'll be a goner.)
168. BIC Roundstick pens
167. Tulips.  Pink and purple, especially.  (and odd that I would specifically list general that's my least favorite color, but in tulips, it's so beautiful.)
166. Laughing.
165. Thunderstorms.  (even though they scare me a little, too)
164. Watching Ted play baseball.
163. Bejeweled.
162. Cotton t-shirts.
161. Short hair.

(I realized after the fact that yesterday I did 21 things.  Boy, you can't stop me when I'm on a roll! :P  So today I'm "only" doing 19 to get myself back on track.  Yes. I'm a dork.)

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

200 things

I don't have anything to complain about.  Like so many, my needs are met and I'm fortunate beyond measure.  But sometimes it's easy to lose sight of that fortune and mire, instead, in the less-than-perfect aspect of life.

Enter: 200 things.  Things I'm grateful for.  Things I love.  Things that make me smile.  Things I couldn't live without.  Things that aren't even things.  (well, some, anyway)  I don't know that I can come up with 200 today.  How about twenty as a good start?

200. The internet.  (I love that there is so much interesting stuff out there and so many fun ways to waste time.)
199. Being a mother.  (Are my priorities askew? Possibly.  But the internet doesn't walk around outside in white socks or throw up.  nuff said)
198. My manfriend.  (Now I'm just running through the obligatory stuff. :P  No, seriously, he's a wonderful friend, funny and supportive and I'd argue that he's handsome, too)
197. Sausage.  (OMG.  Grateful for doesn't even begin to cover my appreciation for sausage)
196. Clean cotton sheets.
195. Sleeping past 8:30 on clean cotton sheets.
194. Documentaries.
193. A really meaty discussion.
192. Project Runway.
191. Secure Digital cards.  (No, I'm not making this up.)
190. Rolling Rock.  And now, Select 55.
189. Dinner out.
188. Closing time.
187. Shorts.
186. AvantGarde font.
185. Routine.
184. Watermelon.
183. My Silhouette (how did I not mention this sooner??)
182. Cuticurra soap. (It is, in fact, top 20 good)
181. Keen sneakers
180. Days off!

That's a good start.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer 2011 ♥ mini book

I think it's funny when people say "I carry a little notebook to write down my ideas so I won't forget them!"
Since my head, at any given time, is filled with thoughts like:
•How many people will be home for dinner tonight?
•Who has a game today, which uniform do they need, and is it clean?
•Have I had any vegetables or water today?
•Why are there Chewy bar wrappers in the wash? Why can't I teach them to empty their pockets?
And the like.  There's no room for ideas, much less the quantity or quality that would merit a dedicated notebook.  Oh, how I envy those who can look at freshly laundered Chewy bar wrappers and have an a-ha! moment.  I'm not one of them.

Soooo, you can only imagine how thrilled I am that I not only had an a-ha! moment but that I actually made it happen...even without the benefit of having written it down in a notebook.  Yay me!

A little back story:
I've been shooting a Nikon D300 for the last 3½ years and I've loved it, but in the last year or two I've been noticing these weird, oily looking spots appearing on pictures.  At first it was just one or two, and they weren't always there.  But as time went by the number of spots rose as did their size.  It got to the point that I couldn't ignore them or just quick-fix them in PhotoShop.  So I packed it up and sent it off for repair.  But repairs take forever, and it's summer.  So when I saw this cute little Fuji 7s that instantly spits out wallet size pictures, I decided that it could help me through the summer.

Not even a week into my new love affair with the Fuji Kerig and I went on a mini adventure that included a trip to Hollo's Paper in Brunswick.  Now, at the risk of offending the owners of Hollo's: this place is a dump.  However, it is the exact kind of dump that any papercrafter secretly enjoys.  It's like a giant garage sale of office and restaurant supplies, they have envelopes of all sizes and room full of the super inexpensive, good quality card stock in basic colors.  After my recent LOAD, I needed to restock my pile of white cardstock and $1.75 got me a stack that would have cost $15.99 at Archiver's: SCORE.  While there I came across these cute little coin envelopes (they may not be the exact same size), only sold individually for something crazy like 3¢ a piece.  Even I can afford 10 or 15 of those!  And it occurred to me that they were just the right size for the little wallet sized photos the Fuji makes.  Hmmm.  Wheels-a-turnin'!  I see a mini-book.  Another thing that caught my eye was a stack of old fashioned ledger paper.  I tried to find something like it to show you online, but apparently this has been sitting at Hollo's since roughly 1957 and they're the only ones who still have it.  At any rate: $1.50 for one hundred sheet? Yes, please!  Do I care if it's acid free?  Like I care if this shit holds up after I'm dead...   ;)  But maybe it is?  I would think that paper meant for accounting documents would be made to last.  Maybe.

After we went to Hollo's we headed to Fairlawn, where I got to shop at Archiver's.  As luck would have it, I am dating one of the few men who understands the notion of scrapbooking.  He's also very patient with me, because it's not like shopping for scrapbooking stuff is quick.  After probably an hour of hemming and hawing I headed to the register and we were on our way.

And the Fuji 7s + Hollo's envelopes and ledger paper + misc scrap supplies = Summer 2011 ♥ mini book.

See how perfectly sized these envelopes are to work with these photos?  Love it!  And the Fuji 7s has a little itty-bitty mirror on the ring around the lens, which is super wide - perfect for arms-length self portraits for two.  :)

Here is where I point out that the camera is not, by any means, perfect.  That is one very underexposed manfriend.  But the ice cream looks yummy, no?  ;)  Oh, and I'm going to roll my eyes at that flower every time I look at this page.  I had one that was green, blue and red plaid that really went with the colors, only I grabbed the wrong one.  Didn't notice my error until long after I had stuck it down with Magic Tape, and we all know that stuff doesn't just peel up for a quick change.  Oops.

Ok.  And this is where I confess that I was watching the mini-series "The Kennedys" on Netflix while I was doing this.  And I wasn't paying 100% attention to either.  Which is why the left page sports a little pocket. When I did the other side of this envelope (the picture of the ice cream), I didn't realize that I was adhering everything to an upside down envelope.  Oops.  So the pocket is two-fold: it serves to cover up my massive Oopsy! and it also holds this page's journaling.  Each page has a little note writen on that ledger paper I talked about tucked side the envelope.  That really doesn't work if it's going to fall out of the bottom every time it's picked up.  So yeah...major drop back and punt going on here.  And yet, if I didn't tell you my secret you'd just think I was shakin' things up a bit.  Maybe.

One of the interesting things that I found out about this camera is that it turns over-exposed parts of the picture black.  And that is SUPER weird, because standard film and digital just makes it white.  So my head is strategically placed in front of the sun, because the black circle that appeared for the sun in our first try was really disconcerting.

I think if I were to do this again, I would take more care in the whole placement for the rings.  I had to go through and cut a notch out so the envelopes can be opened. Doh.  Obviously attention to detail and thinking things all the way through are not my strong suits.  Oh well, live and learn.

And this is why the pockets need to be accessible. Each one contains some journaling, as well as extra pictures.  The ones that I used on the outside are all I need to tell the story, but at a $1 a pop, I'm not throwing the decent duds away. (The bad duds?  They get tossed.  But the others stayed)

I love the freedom of mini-books.  You pick some colors, you pick a shape, a theme and the rest is just barreling through and creative play.  I like that you can make things as fat as you want them because straining page protectors aren't an issue.  I love that journaling tucked in pockets can still be read without a major hoo-ha. I love that I can step away from my usual clean style and try something new.

And that's my visual supply list, minus the can of ancient American Craft plastic flowers I forgot to take out of my pocket for the picture.

I'm proud that:
•I had an idea and I actually made it happen.
•I used so much stuff from recent shopping trips.  with the exception of the envelopes, nothing was purchased with this (or for that matter, ANY) project in mind.
•I dug into my stash of old stuff and used things that I've had for years and years.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you read all of this: holy hell.  Sorry!  I hope you at least enjoyed the pictures!
☺ Caroline