Monday, December 29, 2008

Yup, I needed this break!

Aaaahhhh. Hear that? That's a sigh of relief. Relief that Christmas is over ... isn't that just sad? Lol. I still love Christmas, don't get me wrong ... but it's just so much work. Yet, I still made it to Christmas on time after all. Sister D picked up her package at the post office on Christmas Eve, and all was well!

So we actually had a pretty low-key Christmas, all things considering. A nice dinner at my sister M's on Christmas Eve, and then turkey-and-all-the-trimmings here on Christmas Day. Despite agreeing on a one gift, $50 limit policy between the husband and I, he spoiled me terribly ... among other things I got a Senators blanket, Senators travel mug, Senators slippers, Senators scarf (if you sense a theme going, you're on the right track!), Senators tree decorations, and a gift card to the spa. I was also spoiled with scrap stuff, by the boy and Sister D (and have been in a creating frenzy as a result).

The dog got spoiled too ... not only did she have a stocking stuffed with chew toys and treats, she also got some chew toys from the boy AND the girl AND Sister D sent her this cute Wubba toy, which Lexi loves very much:

I've managed to spend a few hours in the scrap room ... the first hour or so was spent cleaning up of course. Here are some of the layouts I made:

Frozen Fun

Supplies include K&Co patterned paper (Amy Butler) and gem, Queen & Co felt border (gift from Sister D), flowers and ribbon slide, Making Memories snowflakes, gem brad and rub-ons, K&Co gem, and American Crafts Thickers alpha (gift from Sister D). The woman in the picture is my friend Carrie and the layout is all about the fun we have at their hunt camp in the cold of winter.

Summer at the Narrows

This one did not turn out the way I had seen it in my head - oh well. Supplies include K&Co patterned paper (Amy Butler), Making Memories patterned paper and journaling pad, American Crafts alpha rub-ons, dollar store foam alphas, and Prima flowers (gift from Sister D). I really felt like making a summery layout but I think the pink is just too much!

Can You Believe It?

I just love how this one turned out. Supplies include DCWV Pet Stack patterned paper (gift from the boy), Making Memories metal word (old stash!) and journaling pad (great use of scraps - the other half is on the previous layout!), American Crafts rub-on alphas and rick-rack, Prima flowers, Basic Grey brad, button unknown, and the big sunflower is from a silk flower bouquet that was my mother's, which I took apart. This layout is all about how the girl didn't want a dog, and despite having fallen in love with the dog, still thinks we shouldn't have gotten a dog. I can't believe what a cute little puppy Lexi was, and how much she has grown!

Thanks for visiting - ciao!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Update on Errant Package

Ha! The Canada Post site says it's reached its destination - well the post office anyway. Hopefully Sister D got home in time to pick it up. Gotta give it to Canada Post - apparently they make it to Christmas on time!

This could be the year!

Every year, I worry I won't make it to Christmas on time. And every year, somehow, I do. But I'm actually wondering if this will be the year where I in fact am late for Christmas. Decorating is done, cookies are made, presents are bought and wrapped; and I'm on schedule for everything that needs to be done for tomorrow's Christmas dinner. However, I just checked the Canada Post website where I've been tracking the delivery of a Christmas package to sister D, and according to the site, the package has been in Quebec City since 5:09 a.m. yesterday and doesn't appear to have moved since! Aaaaargh! Sister D, if you're reading this ... and you don't get the package today ... just think of it as strettttttccccchhhhing Christmas out a few days, ok? :o(

I managed to get some gifts made for my staff (biscotti and personalized ornaments). I'm happy with how they turned out. Ah, the joys of using up scrapbooking supplies for non-scrapbook things ... MM rub-on alphas were just perfect for this project (and I became very creative at creating missing letters out of miscellaneous body parts of other letters!).

I think my favorite Christmas decoration this year is my new Senators nutcracker. I bought it for myself, from Avon. It sits in the hutch in our front foyer which 11 months out of the year holds various crystal pieces and other decorative objects. Around Christmastime, it becomes a display case for my nutcracker collection. I just love my nutcrackers, and I absolutely love my gift-to-myself Sens guy!

Well, I had better get back to Christmas preparations. While they're (mostly!) on schedule, it's a tight schedule. By 6:30 p.m. tonight everything has to be done, as we're going to my sister M's for Christmas Eve celebrations.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Catch you on the flip side!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowed In

and couldn't be happier about it!

Environment Canada is calling for 15, maybe 20 cm to fall today and the way it's falling right now, and blowing around, looks to me like their predictions will come through. Knowing that I wouldn't want to be on the roads today, I made a final push yesterday to finish the Christmas shopping. I was at it until suppertime - came home for a bite, then went back out around 9:00 pm to do my Christmas groceries. Three things about doing groceries late at night. 1) It's great, because you can actually navigate the aisles without having to dodge people especially the large families who seem to enjoy doing groceries together on a busy Saturday; 2) it's not so great, because many items need restocking and people have picked out all the good produce earlier in the day; and 3), it's not so great because there's only one cash open.

So today, because of the weather, we decided not to go to hockey practice and we're also not going to go for our weekly visit to my mother-in-law's. You know what that means? I have a whole, entire day at home to Get Stuff Done. So far I've finished decorating the tree, have put away all the Christmas storage boxes, folded a few loads of laundry, made a batch of biscotti, organized all the presents, and done some wrapping. And it's barely lunchtime.

The boy had a GREAT time playing outside in the snow with Lexi ... until she stole his hat right off his head and played catch me if you can!

I still need to bake some more cookies, keep wrapping, and put together the 8x8 adoption gift album (pages are made, just the cover needs to be decorated). Lots of work to be done, but I'm just so grateful to have a full day at home to do it!

Speaking of the gift album, here are a few sample pages ... you'll just have to imagine it filled with pictures of a sweet two year old toddler from China! In case you're wondering why there's both French and English titling ... little Noah will be raised in a bilingual home.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Don't Like Mondays

Mondays come way too fast. I spent the weekend avoiding thinking about the bus strike and this week's commute. The plan for today is to ride in with my sister, along with one of her colleagues who has a parking pass. I'll have to figure something different out for the rest of the week as my sister won't be going downtown after today.

Got some house cleaning done on the weekend, and the beginnings of Christmas decorating. Hoping to get the tree and lights up tonight, and ornaments on the tree tomorrow night. Whether it gets done remains to be seen!

Some days, I wish I could just stay tucked in bed ... in my safe place ... where the world can't get at me. Guess the dog shared that emotion this summer - she found herself the cutest little safe place in our back yard:

Supplies include Making Memories patterned paper, Chatterbox stickers, Dollar store chipboard letters, and Making Memories suede flowers.

I'm getting lots of mileage out of those layouts I created at the end of November! Don't let these frequent layout posts fool you - I'm not getting much scrapping done at the moment. Although, I am 99.9% finished a gift album for a friend who's adopting ... I'll be posting that here soon. I've had lots of fun creating with the Basic Grey Archaic line of patterned paper and embellishments.

Here's hoping you have no problem getting to where you need to go today!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Public Transit, I Miss You ....

Blog readers from outside my hometown are probably unaware of this, but Canada's Capital is currently in turmoil. Nah, I'm not talking about coalition governments and political subterfuge. I'm talking about the crippling transit strike that has made the last two days a living hell for anyone needing to get to and from the downtown core. Day 1 of the strike was coupled with the tail end of a winter storm that dumped close to 40 cm of snow on us and made street parking an impossibility. By the time I made it downtown, parking of any kind was impossible to find (though I tried - and ended up damaging my car to the tune of $2,000 or so when I scraped a post in a tight-squeeze parking garage that, to add insult to injury, had no parking spots available anyway). I ended up parking about 15 minutes away from work. Yesterday was not much better. I took a ride in with a colleague; it took 1.5 hours to get downtown, and after driving around for an additional half hour looking for parking anywhere in the downtown grid, my colleague ended up at a shopping mall about 15 (walking) minutes away. Last night when we left, it took 45 minutes to make it from the parking garage to the Queensway (main expressway through Ottawa) - which normally takes under 3 minutes.

I can't believe the amount of wasted time and productivity this strike has caused so far. Personally, I have worked just over half my scheduled hours in the last 2 days. So, today, I've decided to forego the commute from hell and work from home. In my Senators jammies, no less. I don't officially start til 9 so I have 5 minutes left to whine at you about how horrible this transit strike is.

While my car is still driveable, the panels on both passenger doors will both have to be replaced, and possibly the back quarter panel too. When I drive over 40 km an hour, the wrecked door handle rattles in the wind. The word "scraped" doesn't completely describe what happened. It's more like "crushed as though the outside of the car was nothing more than tin foil". Ugh. Hopefully my father, who gave me this car, is way too busy doing whatever people in heaven do to notice what I've done to it. Thankfully my husband, who tends to get upset about these sorts of things, has been really sweet to me about it and even gave me a pep talk to the effect that I am not in fact a bad driver and that I shouldn't be nervous behind the wheel just because this happened.

I've been a bit cranky over the last couple of days, but am feeling better today, what with staying in my Sens jammies, and also the possibility of going to the Senators-Tampa Bay game tomorrow night (the husband thinks he can score me some last minute tickets).

So even when life is bad, life is still good. There are far worse things in life than bus strikes and damaged cars. I know, I've lived through a few, and survived those, so this should be a breeze.

Here's hoping the city and the union manage to come to their senses over the weekend (although they're not currently talking), and that if you need to get anywhere this weekend, you have the means to do it!!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lexi Update

Surgery went well. Not sure who was more traumatized re the no food for 12 hours before surgery - Lexi or us. It sure was hard. She gives new meaning to "puppy dog eyes".

The boy and the husband went to pick her up around suppertime. She came home kind of groggy but showing definite signs of her usual self (as in, no one could open a cupboard or fridge door without having her trot into the room looking for handouts). She passed out early on her pillow in the family room, didn't complain when we sent her to her crate for an early bedtime and had a good night's sleep. She seems to be following her usual routine this morning.

All we have to do now is keep her fairly inactive for 7 days (lord help us - as a well-exercised, tired lab is a very good lab and an inactive lab is hell on four legs).

While the boy was worried about his dog, I think the husband was the most worried of all of us. It really warms my heart to see the connection between George and Lexi (I think they not-so-secretly worship each other). I never realized when we got a dog how profoundly it would change the husband. I can count on one hand (ok, maybe two) the number of times he's agreed to accompany me on a walk around the neighborhood in 20 years we've been married. But since we got Lexi in July, he's been for long walks with her every single day (and some days twice). He's lost weight and even feels comfortable running now. And it's not just good for his physical health - he's calmer and more patient, too - well with her, anyway :oP.

Supplies include Basic Grey patterned paper, Prima flower, Daisy D linen stickers, Making Memories letters, dollar store metal brad and Making Memories small brads, and I think both the little letter stickers and the journaling block are 7 Gypsies (but don't quote me on that).

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend Catch-Up

For the first time in a long time, I actually feel like there's enough time this weekend. I've been wandering the house for the last couple of hours without being in any kind of "gotta get this done" frenzy. There's plenty to do, mind you; but not much point doing it right now. See, dh is getting the foyer area ready for painting tomorrow. There are plenty of nail pops which means plenty of plastering which means PLENTY of plaster dust. So no point in dusting and cleaning, right? And, no point in putting up the Christmas decorations, as they will get dusty, and in any event, my foyer furniture is crammed into the living room so no place for the tree.

And, no hockey today. The boys won the first game they played in the tournament, but then lost the next two so we're off the hook for today. It was fun, though. They were really, really good in that first game (it was a shut out, even) so things started off in a really great way. And while we were shut out ourselves in game 2, we managed to score 2 goals in game 3 against a team who hadn't allowed any goals in their 2 previous games (but 2 wasn't enough, they got 6 in - and our goalie had plenty of awesome saves).

We've had a good bit of snow this morning. It was fun to watch Lexi play in the snow, her puppy-ness sure came out as she pranced around attacking piles of snow and rolling her tennis balls through them. I wonder if she'll miss the snow when summer comes? Or if she'll have just as much fun playing in the water as she did last year ...

Supplies include Luxe Designs patterened paper, Making Memories journaling pad and my very favorite kind of foam letter - the kind from Dollarama! Flowers include Prima, Daisy D and I think Basic Grey.

Lexi is getting spayed tomorrow. Poor baby. We aren't allowed to feed her after 9 pm tonight; you have no idea what torture that is going to be for a lab and her lab owners! This dog LIVES for the HOPE of a MORSEL of food. She's going to think she did something bad and we're punishing her, or something. Poor baby. Wish us luck (and wish her luck as she goes under the knife tomorrow!). I'm planning on taking Tuesday off to keep an eye on her.

Maybe that's why this weekend hasn't felt rushed. I've had quite a few days off lately and I know I have one more coming. With any luck, I'll be able to do some Christmas decorating while Miss Lexi lies around quietly and recuperates (yah, right ...).

In other news, the girl submitted her university applications yesterday. So much easier now that everything's online. In my day (you know, before electricity), we had to fill out individual applications by hand for each school we applied at. Anyhow, within minutes everything was filled out and sent off. Now the waiting game starts. I'm convinced we're going to be wading in early admission offers by January. The girl, not so much.

That's it for now ... I'm starting to feel guilty about doing not much of anything this morning, so I'll go see if I can rustle up some laundry or something.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hump Day

Wednesday. Commonly known as Hump Day because it sits right in the middle of the week. Well for me this week, Hump Day celebrates the 2nd half of the week rather than the middle, as I am off on Friday. The Boy has a hockey tournament. Yay! (Yay for being off ... Boo for having only 4 days this week to catch up to 3 days off last week!).

In honour of said hockey tournament, here's a hockey layout I completed last week:

Super simple really and using lots of old scrap supplies including some Making Memories definitions and rub-ons and Alphabitties sticker letters.

To warm up my hockey cheering (also known as screaming) voice, I'm going to watch my Sens play tonight ... just on tv though ... we raffled off tickets for this game at work to raise money for the charitable campaign, and through some very unfair twist of fate, I didn't win them. Oh well!

Happy Wednesday!

PS - Sister D - I haven't forgotten that I need to send you an email. It'll get done today!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Morning

If Monday mornings weren't bad enough, apparently this one is going to start with the tail end of a winter storm. As I sit here typing this at 6:45 a.m., I don't see much going on outside at all, except maybe for some rain, which doesn't appear to be the freezing kind. The weather and news websites are still predicting chaos so who knows. All I know is that my mini vay-cay is over and I have to face Monday - ugh.

Had the usual busy weekend, including hockey, groceries, laundry, housecleaning, and not enough scrapping at all. Now that I've started scrapping again I have the BUG! I want to scrap NOW! I want to scrap LOTS! (And the state of my scrap room proves it. I don't think it's ever been quite that messy before!).

I ended my weekend on a lovely note, speaking to sister D on the phone and catching up. I'm going to make an early New Years resolution to call her more often, no matter how busy life gets. It was so nice to hear her voice.

Anyhoo, in honour of today's yet-to-be-seen winter storm, here's what winter looked like around here last year ... the pictures actually really don't do it justice, I should have had someone standing by the snowbanks to give a real idea of how high that snow really was.

Supplies include SEI Holiday Hoopla and BG Blitzen patterned paper, Making Memories sticker letters and really cute journaling rub-ons by Scenic Route.

Well, I better go and face Monday like a big girl now. This week is going to be a busy one - catching up at work after 3 days of vay-cay PLUS being out of the house 3 nights this week - Tuesday is info night at Carleton U, Wednesday is parent-teacher interview with the boy's teacher, Thursday is info night at Ottawa U. And to top it all off my kitchen is getting painted starting today, so not sure whether I'll be able to cook dinner in it tonight ... awwwww ... might have to go out for dinner! Poor me! (Lol).

Happy Monday everyone!