Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Winter 50 Photo Challenge

Well, I've managed to gather 36 photos ... and I've got 3 days remaining. Click here to see my slideshow on Flickr! If you click on the info spot, it'll tell you what the photos represents on the list, over on the main challenge blog.


edit #2: It's Feb 29th at 10:00 pm ... and this is all I'm getting done. I think it's 41 total! :D WHEE!

Monday, February 25, 2008





















*giggle* You're so busted. Yes, Amanda. I'm talking to you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Year in the life meme

If you want to play, leave the year of your birth as a comment and I'll give you a year to discuss. hess42 gave me 1996.

Actually hess42 gave me 1996 way back on February 7th, and I was pretty busy at that point, 2 weeks ago, so I figured I'd wait until I had some time to reflect on 1996. Since now and then, I've done some reflecting, and recalled a very few highlights. 1995 and 1997 are definitely more memorable, so I figured it was time to crack out my scrapbook from that era and see just what was going on that I missed. Those of you who know I scrapbook & have seen said scrapbooks know that I own, gosh, 5 huge albums that span the era of 1970-2000. So that comes out to something like 300 pages. Mathematically, each year should have about 10 pages, on average. So, I found 1992 and worked my way forward. Guess what? 1996 has a single page, about my rubberstamping obsession. I mean, I was seriously into rubberstamping, but it did not encompass my entire year. Other things were going on, I am quite sure of that. It's like a huge void in my life. There was another page in 1996, which was about my parents' vacation to Mexico.

By flipping forward to 1997, which I have said is quite memorable, I read a few notes that help to jog my memory about why 1996 is so bare. 1996 was the year I taught reading and study skills classes to college students at the U of I 3 days a week, worked 2 days a week at Pastoral Care and Counseling, worked 3 days a week at Clark Dietz Inc, took classes full time at the U of I, and worked frantically, late into the night to get my research data collected, entered, and analyzed.

The rubberstamping only made center stage in the scrapbook because I actually attended a convention with other rubberstamping fans. The other past time I vaguely recall engaging in was Heroes of Might and Magic, a break for eyes tired of looking at strings of numbers. I think this may have been the summer I was desperate enough for cash I tried to supervise a corn detasseling crew at 3:30 am. I say "tried," because after 3 mornings of it, then proceeding forward with the rest of my obligations, I was so sore and stiff, I couldn't even get my arms to bend far enough to fasten my bra, and I said there was no way I was that desperate for cash. 1996 may also have been the year I cut my toe on a mysterious shard of glass in my white dress shoes & spent an hour with a sterilized sewing needle digging it out of my left big toe, rather than go to the emergency room and wrack up a medical bill I could not afford.

Like I said, I'm making guesses on the last bits, because I don't have it documented, but I'm fairly confident it didn't happen in 1997 or 1995 ... and I know I lived on Church Street for both of those incidents. Oh, and that reminds me ... I think 1996 was the year that Theo, my rat, died. Yeah, there are lots of reasons why 1996 didn't get much press in my scrapbooks!

extra note, 6 hours after original post: I think 1996 was also the year I fell on the ice outside the Pizza Hut, just off Green Street. I remember my brown skirt flew up & I landed hard on my butt, but didn't injure anything. I gave credit to ages-past ice skating class, for falling successfully. I bring this up only because tonight I fell, not once, but TWICE, in the span of less than five minutes. Can you believe it??? I remembered thinking, "Gee, I haven't fallen on ice since ... hey, I think it was 1996, 'cause Dad got me that brown skirt in the summer of 1995." I, this time, give credit to 8 years of tai chi, for not breaking anything. My right knee took it hard, skinned up badly, thanks to the freakin' useless sand embedded in the pointy ice, hidden under a light gathering of snow. Shovel your freakin' sidewalks, people!!!

Lunar eclipse

Last night was a full lunar eclipse in my corner of the world. Here's the best shot I was able to capture, without a tripod. Not too bad, but it doesn't come close to the WOW factor of seeing it in person, watching the moon get eaten up ... and watch the stars appear to become so much brighter. Even though the wind chill had temps close to -10F, it was well worth it to race outside every 5 minutes to see the progress of the eclipse!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Chocolate Covered Cherry Heaven


I wish I had a better label for these morsels than simply "chocolate covered cherries." My Aunt Mary Ann made them & shipped them down to me. They are just amazing. Each one is a work of art ... and delicious beyond description. I found out from my mom and dad that she (with the assistance of my uncle) went through an unbelievably complicated process of obtaining stemmed maraschino cherries, making fondant, rolling it out to wrap around each individual cherry, and making sure everything's at the right temperature, so they can be enrobed in chocolate, without melting the fondant, at least until everything comes to room temperature. Wow. Just .... wow. I am limiting myself to one a day, and I know I will be sad when they are gone. What a wonderful treat!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Museum of Modern Ice

As a lover of winter, I just had to check out the Museum of Modern Ice, before it's gone at the end of the month. It's situated in Chicago's Millennium Park, just east of "Cloud Gate" (aka "The Bean). As sunlight strikes it, even the refrigeration system can't prevent it from becoming a work-in-progress. It consists of several huge panels, double sided, with colored ice sheets, in a variety of shapes and sizes, cut at different angles. I tried to get lots of different pictures so you can get a feel for it. It was, quite literally, COOL.








Thursday, February 14, 2008

Feel da love

My honey got me one red rose on Monday & one pink rose on Tuesday. I admit, I kind of expected another rose on Wednesday, but our schedules were nuts & it was more than enough for me that he did all the sous-chefing for dinner, unasked, on Wednesday. I figured tonight he'd probably bring me home a third rose. Nope. He brought me a dozen, in a box, tied with a gold ribbon, each one of them hand-picked by him. *grin* I love this man.

And the winner is ...

... going to be announced shortly. *grin* Yeah, I know ... terrible. But, hey -- I wanted to "close" the entries when I first logged on this morning, but want to get some breakfast before I do the random number thing & pick a winner & then contact winner, etc. Shouldn't be much longer now. I'll just go make some eggs benedict & a mimosa. Just kidding. I'm just pouring myself a bowl of cereal. Geez. Calm down! LOL.

An hour later ...

...And the Violets Are Blue Random Number Generator says: #44! *counting down the posts* *mutter, mutter, mutter*And the winner is: Izabella! Congratulations! I'll be tracking you down to let you know.

I checked my email ... and I've also won not one ... not two ... but THREE prizes! How lucky am I?! So, I am feeling compelled to draw more winners for other surprise-type packages. Stay tuned!

3 hours later ...

WOW! I've won a fourth prize! This is just unbelievable. I am definitely drawing more winners. I've found a couple of things that I think are prize-worthy. I'll be picking some more people later tonight!

2 hours later ...

I'm sending good vibes out into the universe & drawing some additional names for surprise packages! Here are the new winners:
1) #53: Karla from Day Dream Studios
2) #6: Nikki from Whimsy Love
3) #75: Cookie from The Cookie Sheet
4) #48: Antonella from Quilling, Art and Expression

*smile*

4 hours later ...

You won't believe it. I won a fifth prize. *stunned look*

3 days later ...

I just got an email this morning (Sunday), notifying me I've won a SIXTH prize. I am just sitting here with my jaw dropped into my lap.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

*angelic look*

You Are 8% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.
Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Random Blogthings....

Oddball? Yup.:

You Are A Walnut Tree

You are strange and full of contrasts... the oddball of your group.
You are unrelenting and you have unlimited ambition.
Not always liked but always admired, you are more infamous than famous.
You are aggressive and spontaneous, and your reactions are often unexpected.
A jealous and passionate person, you are difficult in romantic relationships.


I think this one's a big over-the-top. I don't think I'm THAT creative:

You Are 88% Creative

You are an incredibly creative person. For you, there are no bounds or limits to your creativity.
Your next creation could be something very great... Or at least very cool!


And to think I don't even LIKE olive green ... or green olives!:

You Are Olive Green

You are the most real of all the green shades. You're always true to yourself.
For you, authenticity and honesty are very important... both in others and yourself.
You are grounded and secure. It takes a lot to shake you.
People see you as dependable, probably the most dependable person they know.


My scrapbooking buddies would sure agree with this one:

Your Superpower Should Be Super Speed

You're quick witted and fast to act.
You're mind works at warp speed. From your perspective, everyone else is living in slow motion.
You get so much done, people have accused you of not sleeping.
Definitely not a couch potato, you feel a bit crazy if you're not busy doing something.

Why you would be a good superhero: You're be the first on the scene... and likely to finish the job before anyone else shows up

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Being bored by everyone else. Including other superheroes!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

One World - One Heart

2/14/08 9:00 am CST: The contest is now closed. I will be drawing a winner shortly. Look at this post for details. Thanks to everyone who entered & visited & prompted me to expand my world just a little bit more! *grin*

Here's a little bit about the event, directly from One World - One Heart's website: " I created this event in 2007. The original idea behind this giveaway event was to bring bloggers together from around the world who may never ordinarily meet. It closes the gap of the blog community and enables us to interact, discover new and wonderful people, and in the process possibly win a prize or many prizes along the way. Last years event had roughly 85-90 participants and many connections were made because of it......friendships that are still going strong a year later.
We had a strong showing the first year for sure, and now this year(2008) we have just about tripled.
This is more than wanting to win something.......that is only the means.......in the end it's about finding kindred spirits. Someone may be fairly new to blogging, not sure how to navigate, find others and have others find them....Some are long time blogg
ers and in some cases well known in the art community. Whatever the case it brings all of them together. This is an INTERNATIONAL event that has and had participants from the US, Canada, France, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Malaysia, Brazil, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, England,Wales and more. It transcends geographical location, socio economics, political affiliation, religious beliefs......it's a coming together like the giant community we are on this planet. If only it took a simple giveaway to create PEACE everywhere, in the mean time here we give from our hearts. What more could I ask for, my little idea has surpassed my wildest dreams of what it could become. This year I created this blog especially for OWOH - it will remain up all year and beyond.
My heartfelt thanks go out to all who chose to board the Love Train.
XOXO
Lisa Oceandreamer
www.heartofthenest.blogspot.com
www.imaginationcafe.blogspot.com
"

I've elected to participate & as such, I have selected the following as a gift to share with the world ... i.e. one of you. And by world, I mean WORLD, so please do enter, wherever you live! (I know it's not handmade, but I really really really want to participate, and quickly, and I have nothing handmade just sitting around to gift to someone!)


The drawing for the winner of the prize will take place on Valentines Day, a day of love (regardless if you've got a partner to share it with or not!), so hop on the Love Train, leave me a comment (and make sure I can track back to you, if you win!), and do a couple of acts of kindness today!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow ... for now!

We were supposed to get snow starting last night around 6 pm ... the forecast was for, as some acquaintances put it, "The Winter Apocalypse." Here's a photo from this afternoon. Doesn't look all that bad, does it? Again, the forecasting is WAY off. It didn't even start snowing until 8 am ... and it was just fitful almost all day long. I think that the city maintenance departments all decided the forecast was full of crap, because I saw fewer plows out today than I think I've ever seen during a snowfall. I know when I drove home, there was easily 2" of snow on the main roads ... and supposedly we got a total of 1.6" snowfall...so I can make the argument the plows weren't doing much of anything. I saw ONE plow, on my way home tonight ... none at all throughout the rest of the day, from my window at home or my window at work, through which I can usually see (and hear) the plows moving around. *rolling eyes* I describe this stuff as "fitful snow". It's too pebbly to be good snowman, snow fort, or snowball snow. *sigh*

And yes, I am the only adult I know who is wishing for more snow.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Snow ... rain ... fog ... and snow?

The weather's been playing us tricky and false. Last week, I lost all of my lovely snow as it melted away on Monday when it reached 48 degrees F. Then, on Tuesday, the temperatures dropped and we got about a half an inch of snow. Thursday, midday, hours ahead of "schedule," snow started falling. And it kept falling through Friday morning. I was a happy camper. I was delighted last night when it snowed almost 5" without any warning. (The forecast in the morning was for 1-2 inches of snow ... and it changed in the afternoon to less than an inch of 'wintry mix'. WRONG.) Now, it's almost 40 degrees, with fog. The snow is melting ... and rain is pelting down. It's supposed to stay above freezing all night long ... so, by tomorrow morning, I expect our snow will all be gone.

And now, the forecast for tomorrow afternoon, through Wednesday midday? 6" of snow. This is just hysterical!

I continue to work on the 50 Winter Photos Challenge. My photos are here ... I still have a lot to collect!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Man Cold

Hit the pause button on the music playlist on the right column.

And just know that "999" in Britain is the same as "911" in the US, I believe.



"Poor little bunny." ROFLMAO!!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

SNOW DAY!

It's official. Schools are closed. My morning class at the park district was canceled. And my back up class at the gym ... also canceled.
The plows are trying to keep up with the snowfall ... and the blowing snow, since it's windy & the stuff is so light & fluffy, it's getting all over the roadways.
I'd say we have gotten almost a foot of snow in 23 hours. It started on Thursday at 11 am ... and just let up around 10 am this morning.
Of course I went outside to make a snow angel. I mean, honestly, who can resist that?
I LOVE snow!!!!

STILL!!! :D