Monday, March 12, 2018

Back to Basics - Scrapbooking!

I have a great group of scrapbooking friends. We've know each other for close to 20 years, yikes! For the most part we met, one way or another, through a store in the Rochester area called Scrapbook Creations. The store is sadly gone but the friendships live on. Long story short, most of us first met while attending a weekend scrapbooking retreat sponsored by the store. Over the years our little group split from the main group, met independently, and have continued to do so for the last 15+ years. This past weekend was one of our gatherings and, I sadly had to miss it. I work almost every weekend along with Thursdays and I would have had to have taken off two weeks in a row because I had eye surgery the week before. I didn't want to do that to my boss and fellow co-workers who would have had to cover for me.

One of my scrappy-scrapertons (don't ask, we have so many goofy names for ourselves, many not printable on-line!) made a very serious, extremely selfless donation to a little girl miles away who needed a new kidney. Wow! you hear of these stories but this is the first time someone I know has been on either end of this type of kindness to others.  Anyway, Amy, my friend, asked if we would help create a Disney album because little Miss Hazel was going to Disney World! Bummed that I couldn't go on my retreat and knowing I had leftover Disney stash, I put together a few pages. I still think I have a few more in me before I mail these out to Amy but here is my creative work for the week.

These are 8x8 pages so don't freak thinking they have to have huge pictures. I think I may have a few photos left over from my own visit to Disney last year. Maybe there will be some 12x12 pages in my future, after I finish my kits for class, the travel album I need to create, birthday cards for my sister-in-law and nephew, and Easter card for Lex...maybe!

Monday, February 5, 2018

It's been a Long.....Time

I feel like bad blogger, bad blogger. I just haven't been in the mood to write or post on the blog since we lost our sweet Abigail. I've also become a lot more cautious about writing personal stuff period. The social media world is so vicious and I'm not crazy about it's being a tool or more accurately a weapon for others no mater how innocent I think my posts may be. I'm also more protective of my family and friends. So, if I don't write about me and what I'm doing or what my family and friends are doing, what do I write about? See my dilemma? I'm thinking I need to go back to my creative hobby and post what I create. My only problem is that I've been terribly bad at being totally original in my creativity. I'm a great scrap/card/idea lifter. Not a stealer! I always, always, give credit for my inspiration to the originator and I do not sell my creations. So maybe I'll go that route.

My daughter (who HATES when I write about her) is doing a semester abroad. Her birthday is coming up so I had to quickie make something to send her. You may know I'm not quick under any circumstances and this is no exception. The good news is the card is in the mail, the bad news is she won't get it on time, the better news is she we will be away from her home base on her birthday so it won't matter! She'll get it when she comes back! Valentine's Day - forget about it! No way will a card arrive on time! Unless, maybe, I get it in the mail today or tomorrow...

Anyway, here is the card I did for her, kudos to Lawn Fawn (their die box) and My Favorite Things and Pinterest for stamps and coloring combo.

We'll see what else may come down the pike, but for now at least I feel better I posted something for 2018!

Monday, June 12, 2017


We had to make the painful decision to put our cocker spaniel, Abigail, to sleep last week. She had endured too much and her future was in serious doubt. We couldn't, in all good conscience, let her suffer anymore.

I'm kicking myself because I can't find a picture I had of her as a puppy. It was taken within a few days of when we brought her home. She was adorable! A classic cocker spaniel. Abby was our second cocker. When Norm and I lived in Keuka Park we had our first cocker, Kasey. He was our dog and not too crazy about anyone else! He was a black cocker and I only have a few pictures of him and none that are digital. He was happy being an only child and wasn't too crazy about us going away for two weeks, leaving him with family and friends and then coming back bearing Alexa! They had a typical sibling relationship. Kasey would try and steal food off Lex's plate and she would in turn bop him on the nose!

When we moved to Buffalo we thought we would get another dog. We went to the local Buffalo AKC show and looked at many different breeds but came back to the cocker spaniel. We found a breeder up in Wilson and got on the waiting list for one of her dog's puppies. We were sent photos of the litter when they were around two weeks old and I picked out the one I liked and sent the photos on to Norm for his opinion and we agreed, Alexa - not so much...She liked another puppy in the litter but we chose Abigail. We didn't even change her name. The breeder had named her puppies and we thought the name fit perfectly. I have a picture somewhere, but again I'm kicking myself because I can't find it, argh!!

Abby was a human's dog, not a dog's dog. She loved her humans! All equally, but differently. Here she is with my mother-in-law, Joyce. Joyce loved Abby. She's been especially hard hit by her loss. I was skeptical about getting a dog with Joyce living with us but these two hit it off. Abby was a wonderful companion for Joyce when no one was home. She would sit next to Joyce up in her room and look up at her with her soulful eyes which Joyce interpreted as her saying, "I love you Grandma, I'll keep you company."

Abby and Alexa had a bit of a sibling relationship. Lex would get exasperated with Abby at times but every year we had to have a photo session with antler ears under the Christmas tree - whether Abby liked it or nor!

Most of all Abby loved Norm. She was content to stay with me or Joyce during the day but when Norm came home from work, that's where she wanted to be.

This is my favorite photo of the two of them together. Norm was the dog walker and by that I mean Norm loves to walk. He'd take Abby with him and they would walk for miles! Abby was always up for it especially if it meant she'd get to chase a squirrel or a deer or a rabbit - once a turkey. Luckily she never caught anything or any of the rabbits that live around our back yard.

Abby would hang with Alexa when she came home from school and parked herself on the recliner with Lex the day she got her wisdom teeth removed. (Lex, forgive me the photo). 

She would also be on the look out for the bus when Alexa was younger and took the bus to school. Later Abby is watching from the window as Lex is taking her driving lessons.

She had her share of injuries and ailments - this is the famous bot fly infection aftermath. I have to go through more photos and see if I can create more scrapbook pages of her. I'm pretty sure I have a few already.

She also had a not so fun side. Human food could never be within reach. She would gobble up anything she could find! She got into Norm's stash of dark chocolate nonpareils a few years back with a trip to the emergency room and some serious treatment afterwards. Tissues, food wrappers were her favorites - all garbage cans, pails, containers had to be kept out of reach. She hated thunder as many dogs do but she also hated the sound of my guillotine paper cutter! If I was cutting paper for cards or scrapbook pages and she could hear that cutter blade drop, she would run for the hills, hiding behind anyone she could find!

Abby developed a spinal infection a month after she had had ACL surgery. We ended up taking her to the Orchard Park Veterinary Hospital but they couldn't manage her pain and recommended we take her to Veterinary Specialists in Rochester for more extensive testing to determine what was wrong. Both facilities were wonderful to Abby and to us. They treated Abby with deep care, compassion and expert knowledge and experience. However, her system had been through so much that it just could not rally. She was a fighter till the end. She gave us kisses and love until the end. She was our sweet, sweet girl and we miss her every day but are comforted in the knowledge she is no longer in pain or suffering. 

We love you Abigail. You will always be in our hearts.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bad Blogger, Bad, Bad, Bad...


I've been a very bad blogger, It's June and I haven't blogged since January. Technically, however, that's not entirely true. I have been doing my weekly store blogs for Buffalo Stamps and Stuff, but home, not so much, nothing really.

One of my mottos is 'Life is what happens while we are making other plans." and technically that's what has been my "life" for the past six months. Nothing hugely going on except for my daughter's last six months of high school - HUGE, I know, but...I have had other things going on and frankly I've been a bit overwhelmed by everything, certain family issues and health issue particularly. If you know me, you might get that I don't want to talk about them here, I don't want to talk about them anywhere, really, especially if I can't make a funny, joke, or just laugh about it all. So there it is. Enough said.

Instead I'm going to share a few photos of the last six months for your viewing enjoyment and shameless proud parent promotion...

January 2015

This may not look bad at first glance but Abigail is standing on top of snow that's frozen hard enough for her not to sink. Norm had to go out and shovel a path for her to walk out on because the snow was too high for her.

February 2015
Alexa's 18th birthday dinner. I am done with birthday parties, yeah! Russell's eh, not impressed...

February in NYC, Brrrrrrr! It was frigid! Alexa and I went to visit NYU. She ended up being wait listed. I got to go to the Ink Pad and to the 9/11 Museum. Alexa got to shop...

To be very honest, I will never set foot in this place again. It is hallowed ground. It is incredibly moving and powerful and it was too upsetting for me. That's not to say it wasn't worthwhile, it totally was and should be visited by every American. Even though I did not personally know someone who lost their life that day, I'm a born and bred New Yorker, and a downstater even though I've spent almost more of my life outside of the metro area. I am close to people who did lose loved ones and acquaintances. My sister-in-law's cousin is a NYC fireman and by the grace of God was off duty that day and couldn't get into the city. If you go to NYC it must be on your Must Do list and you must take your children so that they see and understand. 

As you go higher in Macy's in Herald Square they haven't replaced the original escalators they are still made of wood!

Alexa before the last winter/spring dance. 

March 2015
Norm's birthday at the Chocolate Bar, Alexa's choice, of course and this is my drink, a chocolate martini. Dad wouldn't go that far!

March Retreat! Go my Scrappin Sistas!

April 2015
Alexa and I took one last trip to Boston in April. Our story was we were going to confirm Alexa's choice for college. Alexa was going to find a prom dress...the Ultimate in Peabody, MA. This place was your typical dress store - ON STEROIDS!! What you can see here is only a fraction of the selection. 

We spent a day at Boston University and then met up her friend Renuka and her dad at Northeastern. Alexa was accepted at both and both put on quite a presentation to get you to say yes to their school. 

I lobbied for the Duck Boat Tour!

That's the Boston City Jail in the background...

Sailboats on the Charles with our original nightlight, the Pru rising from the Back Bay. 

May 2015
But in the end her choice was...

June 2015
Here we are, June. The first big event is behind us PROM! It was not without teenage drama. 

The Big Reveal!

Alexa and her date Simon. 

Some fun photos - the Cornell Crew 

Lex and Laryssa

Selfie Stick time

The Charlie's Angel shot

It was like sending them off to kindergarten the first day! All the parents watching and waving as our kids got on the bus! Then we went inside had a drink or two, nibbled the food they left behind and talked about our kids and college!

Now for the summer! Alexa needs a job and I need a vacation...preferably on another planet.