Thursday, April 26, 2007

Widget anyone?

I found this cool link via Kelly's blog. After I made my selections, it seemed pretty true to me and how I view things. Give it a shout. See what it says about you!

Monday, April 23, 2007


My brother and his wife just got a new puppy! Her name is Montana and she is a black labrador. Isn't she the cutest! (says the proud auntie!)I'm told that she has a wonderful personality, is very sweet AND almost (if not completely) housetrained and crate trained! Looks like I'm going to have to get out that dog biscuit recipe.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A new week...

I love Harry Potter! I've been reading them since the beginning and I'm very anxious to read the last book that will be published this summer. I've still to read #6. I'm saving that for the summer and I like to read them to coincide with the movie releases. So I'll probably watch the DVD of the last movie, see the next movie, buy the new book, read the book previous...I know, way convoluted but it keeps the story up-to-date and fresh in my mind.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

This one hit close to home. I don't know where to begin regarding the shootings at Virginia Tech yesterday. I mentioned in an earlier blog my friend Sally who's son Christopher is getting married this summer on Long Island. We were thrilled to be invited to Chris's college graduation from Binghamton University last spring. Chris received his doctorate in Economics and was chosen to represent the the graduate students and spoke at the graduation ceremony. Christopher interviewed at several schools for a teaching/research position and was offered a position with Virginia Tech.
I was out most of the day yesterday and didn't hear the news until I returned home around 4:00 pm. My thoughts immediately went to Christopher and Sally. I called Sally at my old office at Keuka College and was relieved to hear that Chris was fine, wasn't in any danger during the shootings and had been locked in his office as word of the shootings and lock down was spread around campus. He confirmed what we've been hearing yesterday and today about people being frantic to contact family and friends on campus. Cell and land line phones were overloaded, the web-site went down, e-mails and TM were the few ways people could communicate.
Many people are wondering why the campus community wasn't notified of the first shootings earlier in the morning. I worked and lived on a college campus for a total of 10 years. My husband has been in higher education our entire married life. College life is second nature to us. I remember when 9/11 happened. My husband was away at another university in West Virginia and scheduled to fly back to New York that day. Two things I remember vividly - one, getting information on what was happening in New York spread slowly and by mouth. Two, getting a hold of Norman was next to impossible. I had to work my way through the other school's phone system (once I could get through) until I could find the contact person Norman had left me. Luckily, he had just seen Norman in the dinning commons so I knew he was all right and hadn't left campus yet. I didn't hear directly from Norman until later in the afternoon.
Keuka is a small college, nowhere near the size of VT. There is no public address system. Even on a small campus it's virtually impossible to notify EVERYONE at a moment's notice. I can't imagine what it must be like on a campus as large at VT, especially when almost two thirds of your students are commuters.
We lost several students to accidental deaths during my years at Keuka and I know how hard it is for the entire campus community. That is what a college is, a community. In many cases it's a family. Unlike an typical business office job, many in higher ed are much more involved in the "community" than others in classic 9-5 jobs. We're involved with our students out of the classroom. We know their friends, their families, and we live with these students. We see them at their worst and their best. They are our children too. We can be a little more objective about them than their parents can be sometimes. We revel in the growth and the maturity that comes with living away from mom and dad and beginning their independent lives. I can't tell you how many times I saw the change in a student from one semester to the next. It's like seeing a lamp being turned on for the first time, shedding light on what the future will hold for these individuals.
I am so, so grateful that Christopher was not directly involved in what happened. I grieve for the parents and families of those who died. I wish we could promise all the students and parents in colleges and schools throughout the country that this will never happen again and especially not to their children, but I can't. We live in an ever increasingly violent world and our schools are no longer exempt. I can only hope and pray that whatever lessons are learned from this tragedy are shared and used to make our children and educators safe in the future.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I went shopping...

I love Vera Bradley! I think my first piece was a portfolio carrier that I used to carry my counted cross stitch projects, many, many moons ago. Since then, I've added to my collection and inherited my mother's collection. I bought a great back-pack for our trip to Disney last summer and quilted bag bug bit me again last night.

I had gotten a catalog from Vera Bradley and it ended up in my "look at later" pile of mail. Going through it I found the cutest cell phone holder and (this cinched the shopping trip) an iPod Nano holder. There went the paychecks I deposited on my way to work!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I want a new drug...

Many of you know that chocolate is my drug of choice. I don't need those fancy, old fashioned illegal grown-up drugs, no, just give me chocolate. Good chocolate, preferably, dark and I'm a happy camper. Nothing can jump-start me better, soothe me better, calm me better than chocolate. However, it hasn't been working that well lately. My giddy-up has gotten up and gone and is not showing any signs of returning soon. I know I don't work a "real" job as Alexa calls it but I do have responsibilities here at home and I'm telling you, they are just not happening! Things like cleaning, laundry, taking a shower, SCRAPPING, yes, even playing. I'm so unmotivated, so stuck in the mud, so uninspired, so BLAH!

So what am I doing? Playing on the computer, my 21st century addiction. When I was a kid my grandmother gave me a portable television set for my room - bad, very bad. Now, I know today it's common place for kids to have TV's in their rooms but it won't be happening in my house! Alexa has already expressed her displeasure at that decision. I was seriously addicted to TV. Even today, I'd rather have the TV on as background noise than music or a radio. I'm a way more visual person than an audio person. When I was a kid I would secretly panic if I missed an episode of a show. My make believe games were based on TV. My friends and I would play - and I'm dating myself now...Bonanza (we all wanted to be Little Joe and no one wanted to be Hoss), Spin and Marty, Swamp Fox (all from the Mickey Mouse Club), and the Virginian. We'd use the fence posts in my backyard as horses. We'd turn over the picnic table and that became a boat, put it on it's side with the benches on the other side and we had a fort or a house or whatever prop we needed. Bottom line - it fed our fantasy life.

Today I'm pleased to say I'm not as dependent on TV as I once was. I even have an iPod Nano! I can actually listen to music! But, take away my computer - you are dead meat! I have to check my e-mail, check my blog (that's new), read my daily Harlequin fix (I know, very lame and superficial - buy hey, that's me!) read the 'General Scrappin' and 'Pub' boards on 2Peas, check in with about 15 different blogs, do my bills on line, check my bank balance, check my lottery numbers if I have a ticket, update my horses for the Kentucky Derby Challenge Fantasy Site, update my NASCAR drivers in my ESPN-2Peas Fantasy League, see if anything is new on the JDRobb site and enter any on-line contests that you can enter once a day. Then when I run out of things to do, do I turn off the computer? NOOOOO... time to play Snood and play Snood, and play Snood and play Snood again! I am such a sick puppy!

The ends I will go to to avoid doing anything! But I know I'm in trouble when I use the computer to avoid scrapping or even playing with all my stuff. When my drug of choice won't even make me want to play it's not good. I'm in deep do-do. I need something! As Huey Lewis said - I want a new drug!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You can't go home again...

My grandmother sitting out front - 1954 83 Ocean Ave. - 1953

A week or so ago I had the pleasure of traveling with my friend Sally down to Long Island to find a place for her son's wedding rehearsal dinner. (That's a whole separate story in itself for a later time.) Anyway, it gave me the opportunity to visit the neighborhood I grew up in. For those of you who don't know and those who do, I grew up in Massapequa Park, Long Island, NY. I was then, am now, and will always be -- a Long Islander (accent and all).

This past winter I had heard that the people who bought the house I grew up in had made a few changes. I also heard the neighbors weren't real thrilled. I wondered how bad it could be? Well, I found out. My area of Massapequa Park is filled with identical blocks of cookie cutter houses. You might have a two by four block square that are all Cape Cods, then next to that several blocks of ranches, then several blocks of split levels. Not very original in the initial design, but it was post WWII housing for the thousands that flocked to Long Island after the war to work in the city and in the growing white collar industries popping up on the Island. Everyone took pride in their homes and while they looked identical from the outside, everyone found a way to make their house their own and distinct from the one next door or across the street.

My parents were one of those newlywed couples who began their American dream in the suburbs of Long Island. I have a picture of my mom and one of her oldest friends standing in front of our house just after it was finished. I may not have even been born yet when the photo was taken. There are no trees, just saplings and the lawn is marked out with stakes as the grass seed hadn't taken hold yet. My brother and I grew up in this house, I was married from this house and my parents had a "burning of the mortgage" party and finally a going away party for all their Long Island friends when they sold the house and moved to North Carolina for their retirement. The last time I was on the front steps of the house was shortly after the new owners took possession. Trying to hold back a tear or two, I wished them a lifetime of happiness in the house that had provided us with so much happiness.

May 1989 - The Day my parents moved

Well, what they say is true, you can't go home again. Sally and I pulled up to the house and for all intents and purposes, it's gone. There is a fairly attractive, country, farm style, two story house with an awkward one car garage in it's place. It takes up almost the entire front lawn and I was too awestruck by it to actually cross the street and peek into the backyard. All our neighbors homes are as they were, maintained with loving care, small changes in colors, porches, etc. but a block of mid-century Cape Cods. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I'm glad I have pictures of the old place and to be honest, it's not my house anymore. I think I feel the worst for my old neighbors. They must look at it and just remember my parents and what it was like for the 30 years they lived there and realize the past is really past. I know my Dad would be very upset to see it; he put so much work and care into it. I think my Mom would just be sad but would acknowledge that we have no more say in what happens, life moves on. I think I feel the same way too. So for those who remember 83 Ocean Avenue, here it stands today. No longer the Kenzie's.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter 2007

As you can see by the picture on the right, tulips are a favorite of mine, red tulips especially. When we stopped at Wegman's yesterday I couldn't resist a bouquet or two of tulips. This morning we noticed this "two-headed" tulip.

I have to admit that Easter is not one of my favorite holidays, but having a 10 year old in the house makes it a day for egg coloring, egg hunts and a present or two. Alexa announced she wanted to have a scavenger hunt for Easter morning so the Easter Bunny managed to hide a dozen plastic eggs for her to find.

I try to go easy on the candy as Alexa likes it too much and we have "cavity issues" with her. So I made up a make-up tote (one of her passions) and filled it with all kinds of things including Peeps, her favorites (Norman's too!) Then I made the mistake of telling Alexa about Mom's new blog. She wants editorial approval on anything that includes her - pictures, stories, etc. When I told her that it was my blog and while I'm not going to embarrass her (right!) I wasn't going to totally omit her from my entries. She stormed off in her usual pout -- and came back 5 minutes later with pictures she had taken of her Easter loot - for me to post on the blog!

I hope everyone has a blessed and hoppy Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2007

And so it begins...

I've been intrigued by blogs for a long time. As a scrapbooker, I've been reading the blogs of many of the famous designers and personalities in the industry and I've gradually developed a daily list of "must check in withs". I even have a few friends who have taken the plunge, all of them telling me how easy it is and encouraging me to join the ever increasing number of people who have taken to publishing their daily thoughts, life moments, and personal insights for the world to see.

That alone should scare me off but with all the awareness of a deer caught in the headlights, unable to move - I'm bolding going where (if I had any sense, I wouldn't) gone before. I'll worry about not only what I write, but how I write it. I'm a stream of nonsense, I mean conscience writer and therefore, my grammar will probably suffer. I'm also wondering why in the world I want to open my life to ANYONE who may link to this blog.

Whoever said scrapbooking is cheaper than therapy never scrapbooked a page in their life. I'm thinking that all those who have told me that creating a blog would be easy and painless may be of the same mindset. I can see this blog taking the place of therapy and as it's being broadcast over the web, it may turn out to be just as expensive, if in a different way.

I can't see me sticking to scrapbooking as all I write about so beware, you may be subjected to the rest of my life - and it ain't always pretty! So now that I've gone on for about three paragraphs more than I initially intended, please sound the trumpets, this is the official beginning of my blog.

I hope you enjoy, feel free to comment and Tracy and asked for it!