Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dad's Birthday Gift, Wendy's "Poof" Fairy and a Surprise for Maddy Moose (but don't tell her, Jodie! lol)

I finally finished the little scrapbook I was working on for my dad's birthday. I had done myself a "book of Dad" not too long ago, but I decided I would do one for him for his birthday, which is next week. Dad's not a sentimental kind of guy so I don't know what he'll think of this. I hope he likes it, though. He's so hard to choose gifts for. I think that's true of most dads, huh? Anyway, here's the cover (this book is only 6" x 6"): The next picture tells, on the left side, of 12 things my father taught me. The right side tells of twelve things my father never taught me. I used the same photo, but used a program that makes it look like a water-color painting. Then for the picture on the right, I reversed the image and changed it to black and white.These next pages show my dad's parents (on the left) and on the right is a picture of Dad with his brothers, individual pictures of his sisters and a single picture of me.
This next one shows, on the left, an action shot of Dad sliding into 3rd base. He used to play on a softball league out at Tinker Air Force Base. Those games were a lot of fun to watch. The right side shows Dad demonstrating his perfect bowling form! My parents were always in a bowling league when we were growing up. In fact, that bowling alley is where I got my first real job. First I was a waitress in the snack bar, but kept forgetting to give people silverware. Then they switched me to short order cook. I still can't believe they didn't just fire me and be done with it. lol I think it's because the owners liked my parents so much, they didn't have the heart to tell them their daughter was a dork!
The next page I did (below on the left) tells my dad about some of the things I feel certain I inherited from him. (most of which I'm sure he'll agree with!) The page on the right is a picture of Dad and his lovely wife, Wendy.
These next pages show Dad's kids on the left and Wendy's kids on the right. His and Hers.
And then "theirs" (below) - the left page is all the grandchildren that Dad and Wendy have, combined. I whited out the names because I don't know if their parents would want their names all over my blog. The page on the right is a note to Dad from me. I blocked out some of it because that part is particularly personal.
And here's the back cover, featuring my brand-spanking new stamp that I so love. I know you guys are wondering why I've started showing so much scrapbooking stuff lately, aren't you? Well, aren't you? You're interested enough to wonder, right? (Say yes. You know I need the validation. lol) Anyway, the answer is simple. It's the easiest way I know to show this stuff to my daughter-in-law, Jodie. Loading these pictures onto e-mail takes forever and a day. Unfortunately, it means I'm now boring you guys to tears, I'm sure, but bear with me. I at least tried to make the background of the pictures bright and happy so they'd look halfway interesting. :)
Moving on...has anybody else seen these "Poof" fairies? I love 'em. I found them at our local Hallmark store and they just crack me up. Wendy's birthday is a few days after Dad's so I got her a "Poof" fairy to celebrate. It says "Poof! You're 29!". LOL They have ones that say "Poof! The dishes are done!" and "Poof! The house is clean!" (I could really use one of those...). Here's what they look like, although the different phrases come in different colors. They're so ugly, they're cute.
This next picture is NOT FOR MADDY'S EYES, JODIE! Do NOT let Maddy see this! This is the new Build-a-Bear they came out with today. It's a Topaz bear. I had to get it for the Moose because Topaz is her birthstone (she's a November baby). This is the cutest little thing! I named her Daisy May. Shut up, you guys! I happen to like that name! Although I kind of wish now that I had named her Buttercup, 'cause that's what I think of when I look at her. Not that I've been playing with her or anything. ha! The trick will be for us to hold off giving this to Maddy before her birthday. It's hard to hang onto something that long. It's the reason I can't shop for Christmas gifts throughout the year...I always end up giving the gifts waaaaay before Christmas and then I have to buy more.
Okay - that's enough goofiness for now. It's almost midnight (Yikes!). Time for all little bear buying, fairy poofing, scrapbook making chicks to be in bed. Goodnight, ya'll!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sweet Things

What with all of the turmoil going on in our house lately, I forgot to show you guys what Randey gave me for our anniversary. He was in Florida on the actual date but he sent me these flowers: Aren't they beautiful? They're red and pink roses...I love the pink, he loves the red so it was a wonderful combination for us. Before he left for Florida, he gave me this:
It's a Brighton charm necklace. The shamrock is to honor our Irish ancestry, the "Lucky" circle is because I'm darn lucky to be married to him (my interpretation, not his! lol), the "s" is for Sissy, which is what Randey and everyone else in my family calls me (my sister cursed me with that nickname from birth. It stuck. What can I say?) and the "r" is for Randey, of course. I love this necklace. The picture doesn't really do it justice, but in person, it's very, very pretty. I love the idea of the charms, too. I can't wear a charm bracelet, but only because I can't stand the thought of having anything around my wrist for too long a time. I don't even wear my watch unless I'm leaving the house and then I take it off as soon as I walk back in the door. So having a charm necklace is the perfect solution for me. Now I'm looking for charms that remind me of my children....
And last, but certainly not least, here's the absolute best thing I've ever, ever, ever, ever, ever gotten for our anniversary:
My dearly beloved, the same man I've been at loggerheads with for the past several months, stopped off at my absolute favorite place to eat in the whole wide world (McGuire's Irish Pub) in Pensacola on his way home from his trip that Friday. He had them wrap two of their out-of-this-world, uncooked Peppercorn New York Strip Steaks in several layers of foil so that he could grill them for us that Saturday evening. Okay, so A) the man knows the way to my heart and it's through McGuire's, [ha!] and B) It was the sweetest gesture! He had an 11 hour road trip ahead of him, but he went out of his way to stop at McGuire's to get my favorite food and bring it home so we could have an extra special anniversary dinner together. You know, those steaks could have tasted like cardboard and it still would have been the finest meal I've ever eaten. (Happily, they didn't, though! They were grilled to perfection and tasted outstanding!) Just knowing of the effort he went through to make this anniversary special...well, when you think of all that's gone on around here lately, it was truly the most touching gesture ever. I'm always telling Randey - usually in the middle of one of our "discussions" - that talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. This time, I gotta tell 'ya, I heard him loud and clear. Not because of the flowers or the necklace or the steak. But because he went to so much trouble to shine a light on the good parts of our marriage during the middle of a very dark time for us. And that, my friends, feels absolutely priceless!

Hillary: An International Candidate?

I read today that Elton John raised $2.5 million for Hillary's presidential campaign. Elton says that he is amazed at the misogynistic (woman hating) attitudes of some people in our country. Elton says he's always been a supporter of Hillary's and feels there's nobody better qualified to lead this country. Ummmmm....he is British, right? I mean, Elton, while having a home in Atlanta (I think), is still a citizen of the United Kingdom, is that not correct? So why is he raising money for a U.S. Presidential candidate? I get how what happens in American politics can and does affect the rest of the world, but it feels a little strange to have a non-American involve himself so heavily in American politics. Now don't start thinking I'm a xenophobe! I'm a lot of things, but I don't believe that's one of them. I love learning about different cultures and customs. I love how we can have so many differences across the globe and yet be so much alike in other aspects. That totally fascinates me. And I certainly love the British people and culture. I truly, truly do. Sophie, Mary, Jayne and all the rest of my British blogging buddies hold a special place in my heart and mind. You guys are great, you're fun, you're intelligent, you're're all just wonderful people to know. However, no matter how much I love interacting with my fine British friends, I, quite frankly, think I should leave the election of their leaders to them. I would never presume to know more about what direction their country should go in than they do. The absolute only thing I care about when it comes to anybody's elections is that they are free and democratic and without fear or intimidation. Am I wrong to feel like that? Do all of you think it's okay for a person of a different nationality to raise money for a particular American candidate? Would it be as acceptable for an American to endorse and raise money for a candidate in another country? Has that happened? Do Americans campaign for certain candidates in other countries? I must admit, I'm a bit cloistered here in the states and don't know about what goes on in your countries during elections. Fill me in! Tell me if this sort of thing actually does happen. I'd be very interested in knowing. I'd also be very embarrassed and outraged to think of a George Clooney hanging out in Europe somewhere trying to convince people of another country to vote for this guy or that. As you all know, I'm not a big fan of "Hollywood" endorsements anyway. I'm constantly amazed at how much credence we give to people who earn a living entertaining us, with music or acting or athletic ability. I know, I know. I harp on this. But it simply boggles the mind how much weight modern society gives to the opinions of the pretenders and the players. I don't believe they are "less" than us mere mortals or that their opinions are of less value than ours. I just sure as hell don't think they're more valuable, that's all.
Hey, one other thing...anybody else find that picture of Elton and Hillary looking like they're on the verge of a lover's kiss ever so slightly disturbing? (okay, okay...that was a cheap shot. But look at the picture, for Pete's sake! It's ookey!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

American Idol Picks and "What's in a Name?"

I was fairly unimpressed with American Idol last night. Nobody really blew me away but nobody really turned my stomach either. All in all, it was pretty darn boring. In fact, just about the only person that stood out in any way was David Cook, and that was only because I seriously did not care for his song. Yes, my favorite of this year picked a song that left me with my eyes crossed and my ears hurting. Oh well. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or would have been too much to ask for me to love every performance from him, right? Anyway, I'll only pick 2 for the bottom this week since we're down to what? 8 idols now? I say that Syesha and Brooke will be in the hotseat(s). Shame, too...I really like that Brooke. She moves like my granddaughter. That is to say, she lacks somewhat in rhythm. lol
Moving on to another subject. I recently bought a personalized stamp to use with my scrapbooking. This stamp is so cool. I got it so I can stamp the back pages of these little albums I've been making. I promised my daughter-in-law, Jodie, that I would post a picture of the stamp so she could see it. I'm a little slow in getting that done (sorry Jodie!), but here it is: I first saw a stamp like this when I received my beautiful and fun Christmas card from Terri. She has one with her address on it, if I remember correctly. Anyway, I was quite enamored of it and decided I had to have one. Then I got caught up in this, that and the other and forgot about it. A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through a scrapbook magazine and saw an ad for these stamps. I got online and ordered one. (For anyone interested in ordering one, go here). I think with shipping and handling and tax, I paid a little under $40 for mine. By the way, it shipped a whole lot sooner than the website indicated it would. I think it actually took about 10 or 11 days after I ordered it for it to arrive via UPS. Anywho, when I went to order my stamp, I was undecided about how to do my name. I know, I know. It would seem to be a no-brainer. I mean geez, your name is your name, right? Well, that's kind of the thing. When I got married, I had to change my name. I guess I didn't have to, but it was the socially acceptable thing to do. Still is, as a matter of fact. A man and a woman get married and the woman loses her name - the one she's grown up with - and replaces it with her husband's. Why is that? Why does my name matter less than my husband's? Why must I change my name to his? Don't get me wrong. I love my husband and he's got a perfectly wonderful last name. But so did I, before I got married. But now my name is his name and I'm left wondering if that means I'm a little less important. This is not a new thing for me...I've long wondered about this. I'm a big believer in equal rights for women. Sounds kind of funny coming from a housewife, eh? But before you start rolling your eyes and envisioning me hosting a bra burning rally in my backyard, let me clarify. I think men have certain capabilities that a woman simply cannot match. I also believe that women have certain capabilities that a man cannot match. Niether case means one sex is more dominate than the other. To advocate equal rights between men and women is not to say that men and women have equal strengths (or weaknesses). It's saying that they should have equal rights to express their strengths and to have those strengths appreciated based on performance and capabilities rather than their sex. You know, many years ago, I made a conscience decision to stay home and raise my children when I could do so. I worked when I had to, but when given the choice, I stayed home. I did that for many reasons...Randey had much more of a career than I did (and that was thanks more to my poor choices as a teenager versus his good choices, than anything else), and was therefore capable of making more money for our family. I was more the teacher as well as the disciplinarian in our family (Randey was generally more apt to turn a blind eye to things) so my mindset was more geared towards the responsibility of raising children than perhaps Randey's was. For those and many, many more reasons, staying at home and raising our children was the career choice for me. Of course, now that the kids are just about raised, I'm left with outdated job skills and a fairly old fashioned looking resume' so my choices when it comes to re-entering the job market are somewhat limited, but that's for another post. The point I'm making here is that while I stayed home in what would be considered the more traditional role for women, it wasn't for that reason. I stayed home because that was what made the most sense for our family. Had I gone to college and had a career path in motion at the time Randey and I had gotten married, things might have gone differently. He may have been the one staying home with the kids while I went out and made the bread money. That's kind of the beauty of how far we, as women, have come in our society. We now have choices and aren't limited by ridiculous concepts of what we can and cannot do. So where does all this tie into the name thing? Because the "name thing" just illustrates for me, personally, how much further we have to go still. A woman shouldn't have to alter her identity when she gets married. It shouldn't be expected that a woman will change her name to match her husband's. It should be a choice. My choice is to compromise. I've taken my maiden name and added it to my last name. It's the best solution that I can think of to retain my identity without rejecting my husband's. And now if I could just get him to accept my maiden name, too....
P.S. I've been a bad, bad blogger lately but am hoping to start visiting all your blogs again soon. I have to take care of some business that I have ignored for far too long, but once that's done, I should be back to full blogging strength.