So, if you ever do get a phone call from me - appreciate it. Now you'll understand how much effort went into it. How 'bout you? Are you phone-phobic like me, or can you call anyone and everyone?
Monday, June 30, 2008
So, if you ever do get a phone call from me - appreciate it. Now you'll understand how much effort went into it. How 'bout you? Are you phone-phobic like me, or can you call anyone and everyone?
It's about a governess who gets fired and then gets mistaken for a personal secretary by some very wild and wealthy people and has some very interesting adventures, and even ends up falling in love. It's very offbeat, but really sweet and funny.
I'll definitely be getting this one when it comes out on DVD.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 10:04 PM
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Same thing with this bedspread. It's actually a lot prettier in person.
I bought these cool organizer boxes for my closet. Now instead of my scarves, belts and bathing suits being stuffed into a drawer, they look like this:
Now the top of my closet looks like this:
I wish all stores were run like this. I've noticed some of the neat things they do like offering inexpensive recycleable bags instead of the flimsy plastic ones, minimizing their packaging materials, using real plates and glasses instead of plastic or styrofoam. I got a credit for some stuff I had returned and they gave me a disposable cardboard card instead of a plastic card. They also have a free kid's play area - heaven!
It's certainly a better deal than I got. My Mom was a single Mom on a tight budget, so I started helping out with expenses when I was just 14 and by the time I was 18, I was paying about half the house payment. It sounds kind of harsh, but I think it's about the best thing anyone ever did for me. I learned at a very early age how to work and save and budget my money to cover my bills.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 9:59 PM
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 11:06 PM
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
And boy have they grown! They started out as this:
As you can see, Buster has been getting the lion's share of the food. We weighed him a couple of weeks ago and he is about 9 pounds, which is HUGE for a 1 year old cat. Sassy is a more petite 6.5 pounds.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
To put it bluntly, Nike is a slob. He's about 15 years old and I don't know if he's just gotten too fat to clean himself or if he's just lazy, but he's a big fluffy, long haired cat and he gets the most horrific knots in his fur every summer.
And here's the new and improved version:
Yes, he's plotting revenge on us. He's probably trying to figure out how he can tear up my new couch. Too late, the kittens have beaten you to it!
Monday, June 23, 2008
I've been thinking about those poor people in the flood zones today. Can you even imagine what a mess that is going to be? These people have not only lost their homes, including everything in them - clothes, electronics, furniture, papers, pictures, food, but they've also lost their schools, churches, places of business, banks, vehicles, peace of mind, just about everything that we take for granted in our every day lives.
I can't imagine how they're even managing to keep track of their friends, neighbors, and even family members. I wouldn't think that the cell phone networks are working. What about people who are elderly or sick, or have babies with them? I keep trying to imagine the nightmare they must be going through and I'm probably not even close.
Can you even imagine? Sitting there in your car with nothing more than the clothes on your back and your family members and maybe a few precious possessions in the trunk. It's Katrina all over again, only this time more widespread. And the thing I'm wondering, what is going on with where all this water is supposed to be??? It's got to be coming from somewhere and I'm sure the lack of it is going to cause some problems on the other end. It's not like you can turn the pumps backwards and suck it all back up where it's supposed to be.
I'll tell ya, we've really screwed the pooch when it comes to our weather and I think this is just going to get worse, much worse. First Katrina, then all those California fires, now all these floods. Gee, maybe now George Bush won't say that Global Warming is a figment of someone's imagination.
I'm not usually this glum, but wow, this is going to have a huge impact on the whole country, probably even more than 9-11 was. For one thing, the increased grocery prices are going to affect all of us, probably even more than these delightful gas prices. This is something like 10% of our available farmland - yikes! And now it's all saturated with gas and oil and whatever icky chemicals that seeped out during the flooding. Sounds like pretty serious stuff to me.
I had a good idea though. You've got all these thousands of people who are homeless and you've got all these empty houses around the country that have been foreclosed on. Sounds like a match doesn't it? Seems like they could hand over the deed to their flooded properties as the downpayment and then just take it on like a regular mortgage, at a greatly reduced rate. Then when the floodwaters receed, the banks could clean up the properties and either build new homes on them or turn them back into farmland. I vote farmland. I read somewhere that we need to increase our worldwide food production by nearly 50% in the next 20 years, just to keep the existing world population fed.
I did hear that McCain is offering a $300 million dollar reward for someone who comes up with an improved battery system for an electric car. I may not like him much, but that's the most sensible thing I've heard of a politician doing in a long time.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 8:59 PM
Saturday, June 21, 2008
OK girls, I am completely frustrated with my weight here. It seems like I have been trying to lose weight absolutely forever and not only am I not getting anywhere, I've actually gained a bit. Argggghhhhh!!!!
I'm frustrated because I've done exactly what all the "experts" have said to do and yet I'm setting here at the highest weight I've been at in the last five years. I've made small sensible lifestyle changes like adding exercise and cutting portion sizes. Look at the ticker -I've walked nearly 200 miles over the last six months and I generally exercise for at least 20 minutes 5 or 6 times a week. That's a big improvement for someone who really hates exercise. And portion sizes? Geez! Ghandi ate more than I eat some days. Here's a typical menu:
Breakfast - Toast, whole wheat, one piece with butter and a little jam. 16 oz. decaf tea
Lunch - Cup of soup or half a sandwich, or a small salad and a roll. Diet Coke or flavored water
Dinner - Piece of chicken or a pork chop, green beans, mashed potatoes, iced tea (sweetened)
Snack - Couple of cookies (like 2 - seriously!), handful of yogurt pretzels, or a candy bar - once in a while. I do like sweets, but I can keep it reasonable. I've had a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints in my desk drawer for a month now. I'll eat 2 or 3 and then put the box back.
Now this seems pretty reasonable to me. Maybe a bit heavy on the carbs, and low in fruits and veggies, but portion-wise, this seems like it would cause some kind of gradual, minimal weight loss. But apparently my body thinks this is a weight gain diet - argggghhhh!
The scale is making me crazy too. I swear it's teasing me. My weight used to be steady as a rock. I would stay the exact same weight for months or years at a time. Now it goes up a pound, down two pounds (whoopee!), then up three pounds (darn!), then down a pound (sheesh!). I've been playing with the same 3 pounds for about two months. I'm about ready to throw the darn thing out the window. And I even got a new digital scale too. Big mistake! Apparently, my new scale weighs about 5 pounds heavier than my old scale, so my numbers got a big bump that month. Wow, ain't I a lucky girl?
But it is what it is and I can whine about it, or I can realize that whatever I'm doing isn't working and move on to something that does work. I think I'm going to give Weight Watchers another try - I think it's like the 6th time for me. Strict rule following of any kind is not what I do best - I'm the original rebel without a clue. But, they've got a program at work so maybe that will be easier than trying to get out to a meeting on the weekends. If nothing else, it will give me a chance to make some new friends at work. But the next class doesn't start until July 5th, so I'm going to try and make a bit of progress on my own before that.
I've already told the family that I'm not going to be eating with them at dinner. I mean I'll be eating with them, but not the same foods. I'm thinking I'll go heavy on steamed veggies and maybe do up some portions of grilled chicken and salads. Maybe I'll take a shot at the Special K diet. It says 6 pounds in two weeks and that would be nice, wouldn't it? And I'm looking to add some extra walking in the evenings. Once the sun starts to go down, it cools off pretty nice, so it wouldn't hurt me to lace on my walking shoes and take a turn around the neighborhood. These are the times I wish I had a dog. Oh well, I've got Blake and he's the next best thing. But he doesn't walk well on a leash (giggles).
Wish me luck!
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 5:00 PM
Friday, June 20, 2008
This has been an odd week. I don't know if it's because it's Summer or what, but I've had all kinds of free time this week. Tony and the kids have been been off doing stuff, so I've had several hours of quiet peaceful time each evening after work. It's been kind of nice, but I'm starting to get really bored with myself. I've checked my E-mail obsessively every half hour, visited every blog I could think of and I've been reading until my eyes are starting to be book-shaped!
The reading part is nice. If you've been reading my blog, you know what a book maniac I am - here's a post I wrote a while back about my rather odd reading habits. I've actually been on something of a book binge lately. It's fairly normal for me to be reading 4 or 5 books at a time, but lately I've been more in the 8-10 book range because I've been studying up to prepare my materials for my upcoming Messy Mom classes. I've even been reading while my E-mail loads and while I'm cooking, just to get caught up.
D'ya like the name Messy Mom's? I've been struggling to come up with a good name for my group and that's what I'm sticking with for now. It's short and simple and gets the point across, I think. Here's a partial list of all the books I'm reading this week - I say partial because I'm too lazy to go digging around the house to find them all:
Sink Reflections by Flylady
The Messies Manual by Sandra Felton
Living with a Messy by Sandra Felton
Speed Cleaning by the San Francisco Clean Team
Body Clutter by Flylady (OK, I've been reading this one for months now and I still haven't finished it)
Never Check E-mail in the Morning by Julie Morgenstern
SHED - When Organizing Isn't Enough by Julie Morgenstern
Dakota by Julie McComber (this one's just for fun)
Harmonic Wealth by James Arthur Ray
Five Good Minutes in the Morning by ???
Gremlin Taming by Rick Carson
The Power of Body Language by ???
I'm also listening to the audio books Gone with the Wind in the car and The Fiery Cross and The Good Earth at work. I started The Money Makeover by Dave Ramsay, but I set it aside to catch up on some of these others from the library. Plus a few miscellaneous magazines here and there.
Is it any wonder I'm not completely psycho yet??? Of course, maybe I am and I just don't know it yet (tee hee!).
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Here's hoping that you had a nice Father's Day. We did too, though it was fairly uneventful. Tony got a couple of movies and a smoker grill that he's been wanting for a long time, so he cooked up a brisket for dinner that was really yummy. The boys made pancakes for breakfast, so I guess my diet is pretty well shot for the time being. Oh well...
Matt had the great idea to go downtown to the Olympic Fountain, which is always really fun. It's got a big snowflake set in the ground and it has these jets of water that come out of it in random patterns, sometimes to music. It was a legacy of the 2002 Olympics and is right under the wall of volunteers (which bears my name, of course!) The kids get to run through the fountain and play in the water. The big highlight for them is to take an empty drink cup and put it over one of the jets, then watch it soar into the air. I took a video of them with my new video camera. I'll see if I can figure out how to upload it.
Other than that, we didn't really do much. Father's Day is kind of a non-event for us. My father has been gone for many years, Tony's father has been gone for four long months now, and it's also the anniversary of my mother-in-law's passing. She died on Father's Day, June 15th, five years ago. So, it's not really a happy occasion for us, but it's a nice time to reflect and remember the ones who loved us.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 11:40 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Don't you just love this Embrace Life set? I think it's my favorite and certainly the most used set from the new catalog. We used the Aqua Painters and my Watercolor Wonder Crayons to add a little pop to the flower.
I like this one too because it shows off the Faux Silk background a bit more. This is such a simple and great looking technique. All you do is stamp and color your image on plain white tissue paper (we've all got a lot of that around!) and then crumple it up. Then you take a little white cardstock, attach the tissue with a glue stick and wrap it around the back. Quick and easy!
We also did this little set of note cards. These weren't a specific CASE, but I found a project out on Splitcoast that had these pretty rainbow colors and I thought that would be fun to use, even though I had to use a couple of retired sets because I didn't have anything that was the right size and shape.
We also did some of these cute little jars I found at Robert's. They are similar to the ones I made here for prizes for our Bunco night, except I let everyone pick out their own rub-ons, ribbon colors and coordinating tags. I love easy little projects like this that you can just throw together on a whim.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I got an E-mail from our oldest son and daughter-in-law yesterday. D'ya think they're trying to tell us something???
Those are our three grandchildren that my stepson Ryan has posed to make all the letters to spell out Happy Mother's Day - very clever. However, if you look closely, there's a little something extra in the corners - an ultrasound! Yep, looks like next Mother's Day, there will be four little faces in the picture - whoohoo!
And it looks like we're getting a little girl this time. Two boys and two girls - you couldn't ask for a more perfect set. They got the age off a little bit though. It was working out pretty nicely - Noah 4, Evan 6, Anika 8 and Blake is 10, so we'll have a bit of a gap there, but at least we'll be able to stick with our pattern of odd years and even years so it's easier to keep track of everyone.
And finally I'll have an excuse to shop on the pink side of the store for a change. Anika and Evan came from a previous marriage so they were already 2 and 4 when Ryan and Tammy got married. So I never had a chance to do the "baby girl" thing, although I had a ball picking out some fun outfits for baby Noah and I always send a few cute outfits for everyone for birthdays and Christmas. But after 25 years of nothing but boys, I'm ready for some of those pink frilly outfits - boy am I ready!
The timing is nice too. Ella is due right around my birthday, so with a little luck, maybe we'll get to share a birthday. It's just a shame that they live 3 states away. With these gas and airfare prices and and with not having my father-in-law's home to stay at any longer, trips to see the grandkids might be an expensive proposition. But we'll find a way. We've certainly got a good incentive to plan a road trip now!
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 10:02 PM
Thursday, June 5, 2008
OK ladies, I've been thinking a lot more about how I want my decluttering classes to be. Do you like the name? I'm not sure if I like the "Adrian's Cleanup Club" or if I want something completely different. Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted!
For the format, I'm thinking something similar to a Weight Watchers-type format. A combination of lessons and individual sharing and group problem-solving. I'm planning to limit it to no more than 4-6 participants so everyone will get a chance to talk. I'm thinking 4 sessions of about an hour and a half - maybe like 4 consecutive Thursdays or something. Here are some of the topics I want to cover:
- Session 1 - Get aquainted and introduce the program
- Session 2 - Basics of decluttering without crashing and burning
- Session 3 - Getting help from husbands and children (should this be lesson 2??)
- Session 4 - Building good habits for the long run, books, resources and Speed Cleaning tips
Obviously, being the on-line queen of things, I'm thinking of setting up some kind of an on-line resource for my group. I'm just debating whether to set it up as a blog or a yahoo group. I like the new feature that lets you pre-load blog posts so I could set up tips about a week or so ahead of time. But if I set it up as a Yahoo group, then it's more interactive and they can posts questions and responses to each other. I dunno. Needs more thinking about.
I've got a CD coming that is supposed to give me a lot of good information on how to set this up, how to advertise, plan my lessons, etc. I alternate between thinking that I'm not going to have enough info to fill up 90 minutes and thinking that 90 minutes isn't going to be nearly enough. I guess I won't know until I get in there and try it.
I'm thinking I would charge $40 per person for the whole four sessions. Does that seem about right? That's $10 a class and would give me $40-$60 a night if I get a full class of four. It's not a fortune, but it's enough to help out with some bills plus a few supplies. I'm thinking I should put together some kind of folders for them to organize their information and whatever handouts I put together. I'll also want one of those big easel things that you write on.
Thanks for giving me a chance to talk things through and get them out of my head. Sometimes that's helpful to get your thoughts organized. Any suggestions, please leave me a comment. Although, looking at my poll, it looks like we've got a lot more "cleanies" than "messies". Hope I can find enough participants!
Monday, June 2, 2008
I've got another one of my squirrelly ideas and this time I'm going to go through with it.I'm thinking about putting together a class for those of us who are - ahem, shall we say "domestically challenged".
It's still in the planning stages. In fact, I haven't even told my husband about it yet. I'm just not sure if he'll "get it". In fact, I'm not sure that I "get it" yet. I just feel like I've got something I can share with people and help people, specifically other women, and if I make a little extra money to help my family out with a few bills, that's great too.
I've been a big fan of Flylady for years. I don't currently subscribe to her E-mail service, but the valuable lessons I've learned from her will stay with me for a lifetime. I've also learned a lot from all the dozens of other books I've read. Things like a positive attitude, appreciating your spouse and children, motivating yourself, setting goals, organizing and decluttering, even some tips on speed cleaning from the San Francisco Speed Clean Team.
Here's something that I've never been willing to admit to anyone, yet here I am blasting it into cyberspace - I'm not a very good housekeeper. There, I've said it!!!! My big, guilty secret is out of the bag. If I were taking that quiz, I would fit firmly into the messy housekeeper category. I want a clean house and I'd love to have one, but hey, I've got other things going on here.
I work full time, plus a 50 mile round-trip commute almost every day, I run my stamping business, and I'm raising two kids (and a husband!). Plus I have a blog and a web page and a rampant reality TV addiction. All of that adds up to not a lot of time for household chores. I hate to cook, I hate to do yardwork, and I'm not terribly fond of cleaning. It seems like there's never enough time or energy to keep up with all the housework too.
However, one big benefit of doing this class is that it's going to force me to change too. I'm going to be teaching this class right in my LIVING ROOM. Now, fortunately that is the cleanest room in the house, mainly because I don't allow anyone to ever set foot in it, just so it will stay clean for company. But if I'm going to teach a class like this, I have to clean up my act (pun intended) or I will just feel like a big fat phony.
I think I can do it though. I look back at when we were first married and how far I've come since then and like the old commercial says - you've come a long way, baby. I come from a long line of working women and my Mom was the collector/accumulator type. She would much rather be spending her time watching TV, reading, and doing her many crafts than scrubbing and polishing.
Tony's Mom, on the other hand, was a complete neat freak, but it seems like none of that really rubbed off on him. I suspect she just did most of it herself, because she didn't have the patience to let him do it. So he never learned those habits that are so necessary for keeping a house clean on a daily basis.
But, thanks for Flylady and others, I've learned to control my shopping compulsion, keep my storage spaces reasonably organized and uncluttered, and to never let a room get more than 15 minutes worth of messy. That means that any room in your house can be made totally company-ready in 15 minutes or less. I've figured out the trick of taming Mount Washmore through daily laundry missions, and I've drilled it into my family's heads that it only takes 3-5 MINUTES to empty the darn dishwasher!
Now I just have to get the whole daily routine thing down and that is always the hardest challenge for me. I'm always going in 9 different directions with my hair on fire and making 5 new resolutions an hour, so it's going to be a tough transformation, but I think I can do it.
So, please help me out a bit by telling me what your housekeeping challenges are. I'm going to have more posts asking for advice on how to set up this class. Don't worry, I won't try to hit any of you up to sign up or pay me any money, it's strictly for local ladies and most of you are far away, but you can give me some ideas on how to set it up, how to advertise, how to price it, etc....
But right now, it's still all in my head and I need to get it down on paper. But, just think, wouldn't it be cool to be able to help some ladies who are struggling and see them be able to Fly???
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Blake and I had a great time yesterday and we were able to help some people too. A bunch of businesses in our town get together every year to give away about 1,000 bikes to needy children. They also give them helmets, bike locks, and a bit of hands-on safety training.
I got involved in it because as a former Olympic Volunteer, I am on the official state "volunteer list". I get E-mails from time to time asking me to help out with things like this and when I have the time, I try to help them out. It was funny because the event organizer was my Stampin' Up! Team leader from the Ronald McDonald House - gosh that girl gets around! I thought it would be fun for Blake to come too, so we loaded up his bike and off we went on Saturday morning.
I thought he'd just want to ride his bike around and have fun with this kids, but surprisingly he wanted to help us out and he was a great helper. Our job was to fit the kids with their helmets. He would ask them what color they wanted, go get the helmet, help me fit it and then direct them to the next station for their safety training. It was actually kind of funny because he wouldn't allow me to do any part of "his" job. I was only allowed to fit the actual helmet and give the little safety spiel.
I think it's wonderful when we can involve our kids in activities like this that provide service to others and give them a chance to help others less fortunate than ourselves. And you could tell that these kids were really thrilled to be getting these bikes.
Funny enough, Blake ended up getting a new bike himself the next day. We've been talking about getting him a bigger bike and this week is the big garage sale at our church. We wandered back there after church and sure enough, there were two nice bikes that had been put in for the garage sale. They were only $20, so we went ahead and got him one. I like to think that someone had a little reward in mind for him after helping all these other kids get their bikes.