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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 30 -- Here we are at the end of another month!  I can't believe September is gone already.  I have had so much fun participating in the Blog-tember challenge this month.  It has been really interesting reading everyone else's contributions.  I know there are a few blogs out there I am going to keep an eye on.



I did miss a few days and I did not do the Vlog yet, although that is on my list of things to try.  New books to read and some good ideas for future blog topics were also fun to collect.  Big thanks to Bailey Jean for leading us through this challenge!  I definitely will be looking for it next year!

Now we head off to Outstanding October.  I've got a few things coming up this month that will be exciting to share.  The first being tomorrow night when we see our last planned concert of the year, Scorpions.  It also is the month of a huge 60th birthday celebration for our high school graduating class of 1973 and I am going to participate in my first ever craft fair!  Hold onto your hats, here we go!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 28 -- Blog-Tember -- A day in the life...

I've missed another couple of days here but I am pretty proud of how many I have managed to accomplish.  This weekend was spent recovering from the ACDC concert (I found out I am too old to stand for 5 hours on the field fighting the crowd), and getting the house back in order after our little vacation.

Today, however, was a very typical day for me.  It started at 6 AM with the first alarm going off.  I have found that since I have the capabilities to set two alarms, I do that rather than use the snooze feature.  I set the second alarm for 1/2 an hour later and then I get up.

Coffee, coffee, coffee comes immediately after going to the bathroom and brushing my teeth.  I have been lucky enough lately that my dear husband gets it started for me!




Then comes sitting at my desk and checking emails and catching up on any important news happenings from overnight, followed by work.  Yes, most of the time I am still in my pajamas until about 1 PM when I take a break and take a shower and get dressed.  One of the perks of working from home.  (No, I'm not in my pjs in this picture and my desk is not usually this neat but you get the idea)!  



Next comes a trip in the car delivering any work that I have finished.  I have anywhere from one to three stops, depending on the day of the week and how many doctor's offices I have to visit.



Once I get home it is either some more work or starting to cook, depending on what time it is and what we have decided to have for dinner.

After dinner it is TV watching, right now the Giants but soon baseball will be over so then I don't know what I'm going to do.  While I watch whatever, I am usually working on something, either in my craft room or on the couch crocheting.

About 10:30 or 11 PM it is time to call it a night and then I will go to bed and read for a bit, depending on how tired I am.  Sometimes I only get a few pages read before I find myself falling asleep.  

That's my typical day.  What about you?  Be sure to visit the other Blog-tember peeps to see what their day is like.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 25 -- I've missed a few of the Blog-tember days because we've been on vacation but Blog-tember for September 25 is about music.  How fitting since tonight we are going to see ACDC at AT&T Park.  We have general admission, field tickets which is something we don't usually do so it will be interesting to see how that goes.  I think that even if we don't get right in front, we'll still get the feel because they usually have big video screens.  Better than being up in the nosebleed section I am hoping.

As far as three songs that are particularly meaningful for me, the first one is in honor of tonight:




ACDC  "For Those About to Rock, We Salute You!"


We have seen ACDC twice now and they were so good we left the stadium hoarse!  

The next one is "Leather and Lace" by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley.  I think this song represents my husband and I.  We are such different people and yet we seem to be just right together, each giving and taking what we need to keep each other going.    







Finally, I'd have to include "Faithfully" by Journey, sung by Steve Perry.  The original.  




Interestingly, I read somewhere that Jonathan Cain wrote the song thinking about his wife and that shortly after that they divorced so I guess the "forever yours" part didn't really come true for them but I still love the sentiment.  

Those are my three songs.  What songs move you?  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2015 - Reading Challenge - Book 15

"Friendly Fire" was pretty interesting.  It is the true, unfortunate story of a young man who was killed in Vietnam by American fire which, according to the book, was not an unusual occurrence.  So sad.  I can see how the boy's parents could want to know "all the answers" and try to find someone responsible for their son's death.

On to Book 15 now, "The Only Way I Know," by Cal Ripkin, Jr.  I am using it to fill my "memoir" category.







Cal Ripkin, Jr.



I think I chose this book to read now because baseball season is coming to an end and I want to keep experiencing it as long as I can.  Also, it may be a quick read so I can get a few more books read before the end of the year!  

What are you reading now?





Monday, September 21, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 21 - Blog-Tember question:  "What is your favorite quote or expression and how has it impacted you?"

I've been writing down quotes that speak to me for a good 10 years now.  There are a few that really are my favorites...

"Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful."  Annette Funicello.  This one really means a lot to me because she was talking about her battle with multiple sclerosis, which my brother-in-law also suffered from.



"Just when the caterpillar thought his world was over, he became a butterfly."  I really like this one because it speaks a lot about the ability to change and to keep on plugging even when things look difficult.

A lot of my favorites have to do with keeping a positive attitude.  I really believe that if you put a negative energy out there, that is what will come back to you.  Stevie Nicks said, "If I've learned nothing else it's that time passes and anger doesn't do you much good."

One quote I really use is, "Smiles are contagious, pass one around."  I make a concerted effort to smile during interactions with people or even just when passing someone on the street.  You never know what that smile will do to someone who is having a less than perfect day.

What about you? Have a go-to quote to share?


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 20 - Blog-Tember Question..."What is your guilty pleasure?"

I must confess I do have a few guilty pleasures...

Scrapbooking supplies, especially pretty paper and wash tape!  I know I have way more than I need but the colors and patterns just call to me!


Pretty paper
Washi tape
























Bob Seger



Concerts, and getting seating as close as I can, is also a guilty pleasure.  I LOVE being able to sit in the front section.





Scrapbooking magazines









And I have to include books and scrapbooking magazines.  So many good ideas to try!
I guess I could have worse guilty pleasures.  What about you? Anything you need to hide before you bring it in the house?  Love to hear about it.  Be sure to check the other Blog-Tember players!


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 19 - Blog-tember question of the day, "Tell us about on of the best days of your life."

I'd have to say I've had a lot of really good days, fortunately.  There are 4 that stand out and I have to share them all, so sit back and relax a minute!

The first has to be my wedding day.  Even though it was 31 years ago, I can remember it like it was yesterday.  It started out with my fiancĂ© locking his keys in the car and ending up having to call AAA to get them out, so we were late getting started.  It was okay, though, because it was a very small wedding and we were at Vista Point in Zephyr Cove overlooking Lake Tahoe.  That, alone, sounds so romantic to me.  The weather was wonderful.  There had been a ceremony just before ours and as the bride was coming around the corner she handed me her bouquet!  I had just gotten a wristlet for myself because we were trying to keep expenses down and I couldn't see spending money on flowers that wouldn't last.  The bouquet matched my dress perfectly!


After the wedding we went to Harold's Casino and had lunch and then everyone went off to gamble at the casinos.  I managed to win enough on the slots to pay for the wedding almost!  I remember everyone stopping us to congratulate us on our wedding.  It was a truly special day and I don't regret for a minute that we didn't have a huge church wedding with a lot of people.  

The other three "best" days are the days our children were born.  Each one was as different as the children are, although all three were so comfortable inside that they had to be induced to come out!  


Amanda, our oldest, didn't have a name until after she was born.  We thought of Michelle and Tiffany for example, but once she was born Amanda seemed to fit.  She took all day to come out and when the doctor asked if I wanted medication I said, "No, not yet."  Later, when I said, "Okay, I'll take those drugs now," they told me it was TOO LATE!  Now I am glad she was born naturally, but then I was like, "Why didn't you tell me there was a time limit?"

Our son was late also.  Jeff was supposed to be a 4th of July baby but he waited and waited.  Finally, my doctor said that he was going on vacation so if I wanted him to deliver the baby, I needed to be induced again.  I really liked the doctor and didn't want to run the risk of having the baby without him so we induced.   This time I said, "I did it without meds the first time so I can do it again."  How easily we forget the pain of childbirth!  Jeff's shoulder got stuck and in the middle of delivery they had to put the head of my bed down so that the doctor could manipulate the baby.  That was kind of scary but everything turned out okay.

Last but definitely not least is our Rachel.  Unlike the other two, Rachel was early.  In fact, my water broke while I was still working.  I was on my last week of work and was supposed to lead a meeting that night since I was president of the PTA.  I had to call the vice-president and ask her to take over for me.  Fortunately, I worked right across the street from the hospital so I was able to get myself checked in and then called my husband at work.  Still, Rachel was not quite ready to make an appearance and we had to induce her as well.  Nothing was happening so I told my husband to go home and get some sleep.  The next morning they started the medicine to induce and I called my hubby and said, "If you want to see this baby being born you need to get here now!"  As he was coming down the hallway he said he could hear me screaming!  There's that natural delivery for you.

Anyway, those are four of the best days of my life.  How about you?  Love to hear about yours.  Don't forget to stop by the Blog-tember page and check out some of the other participants.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

Blog-tember Day 17 -- Wow, 17 days and although some of my posts have been late in the day, I've only really missed one day!  That's pretty good.

Today's prompt is to write about our current obsession.  Well, I think aside from scrapbooking, which is an obsession but also a release mechanism and a potential earning endeavor, I'd have to say that I am obsessed with challenges and self-exploration this year.  My Word of the Year in 2015 is CHANGE.  Since the beginning of the year I have participated in a lot of different challenges and e-courses hoping to learn some things about myself and help facilitate some changes in my life.  You'd think that at 60 I'd know everything there is to know about ME but that is not necessarily true.

In January I started the 2015 Reading Challenge to attempt to read 52 books this year.  I'm only on book 14 right now so definitely behind but I am going to continue to go through the list and get as many done as I can.

In addition in January I took part in the Creative Dream Incubator Workshop with Andrea Schroeder.  Through that experience I learned about change and how it is a choice you make and that things don't have to be bad for you to want a change.  Also through this class I was introduced to Susannah Conway who talked about authenticity and sharing you story.

That led me to join Susannah's April Love challenge where she gave us different prompts and we were to take pictures that reflected our interpretation of that word.  Such a fun concept and interesting to see everyone else's interpretations of the same prompt.

I continued to participate some in the aftermath of that group, but in May my hubby got sick and from then until July I was concentrating on getting him better.

In July I started the Inner Excavate Along with Liz Lamoreux, another wonderful woman I had "met" through the Creative Dream Incubator in January.  This Inner Excavate-Along follows her book Inner Excavations and is something I will be going back to again and again.

In August I was involved with two things at the same time, Sparkles with Jaime Ridler and August Break, another Susannah Conway photo project.

Which brings us to September and here I am doing this Blog-tember challenge.

Through all of these experiences, I am "meeting" lots of interesting people, learning plenty of new things and slowly but surely making some changes to myself and/or learning to accept the things I was unhappy with, realizing that they weren't that bad after all.

Right now I don't know of any other challenges for this year but I think I have my hands full with the ones I've got going on at the moment.

Obsessed with challenges!  What's your obsession currently?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 16 - Blog-tember question of the day, "The real you versus the online you, are they the same or different?"



I pride myself on being honest.  My family will tell you I never lie and I don't appreciate people who do.  So, as far as my online me versus the real me, I'd say they are pretty much the same.  The whole purpose for this blog is to share little things that I think might bring a smile to your face, to showcase my scrapbooking and card making projects, perhaps to put a spark in whoever reads this (assuming someone does actually read it) to make a bit of a difference in their world, maybe to share some bit of trivia that you didn't know.  If someone happens to stop by my Etsy shop using the link on the side of the blog, more's the better!







There are some personal things that I don't share, either because I don't think it would interest people or because it involves someone else who may not want the "world" to know their business (again, that's assuming anyone but me actually reads this!)

So, that's the real, online me!  Don't forget to check the other Blog-tember posters.  Lots of interesting stories out there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 15 - Blog-tember prompt - "What's in your bag?"

I have lots of bags, as in purses.  I like to match my outfit as much as I can and sometimes I need a bigger purse than others.  Sometimes I need a bag with a secret pocket so I can sneak a camera into a concert!  SHHH



This is the one I am using right now.  It has my wallet, a notebook, my glasses and a pen.  My phone is in there also, when I'm not using it to take pictures.  I also keep a few of my business cards and, because our state now makes us bring our own bags to the store or charges us a quarter for a bag, I have the re-usable, fold up bag I got at Parent's Day at Sonoma State.



Sometimes I just bring my wallet, which has a spot to slip my phone in and also has a strap that I can put over my shoulder.  That's what I use most of the time if I am just making deliveries for work.  It is just an in and out of the car thing.



These are the grocery bags in the back of my car after a $400 grocery shopping trip!  Those are few and far between now that it is just my husband and I at home most of the time.

What about you?  Do you have a go-to bag?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 14 -

I missed yesterday's Blog-tember theme which was to collage the season we just finished. A lot of the season was spent taking care of a husband with an acute sciatica flare-up.  I did manage to see 4 concerts: Neil Diamond, Pat Benatar, Huey Lewis, and Heart with comic Ron White thrown in between May and August, but there were also two emergency room trips, back injections and finally a back surgery as well.  Maybe someday I'll collage all that.

As for today's prompt:  "Books that left a mark."  There are lots of books that i have loved but I'd have to say the ones that made the most impression are these (in no  particular order):



The Secret of the Old Clock, a Nancy Drew Mystery.  This is one of the first books I read growing up.  It definitely gave me a love for mystery stories.  Today that is still my favorite genre.  I have quite a collection of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes books.



Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  I fell in love with this family story and named my daughter after my favorite character, Jo.  I just recently saw that there was a new book out about the daughter, Amy, and I'm definitely going to check that out.


Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence.  I consider this my first "racy" book.  I remember feeling like I was reading an x-rated novel with the images that this book brought to my mind. 


 The Secret by Rhonda Byrne goes hand in hand with The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews.  Both of them hold the keys to a successful future.


The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin.  This is the first "self-help" book I read and it is full of highlights.  It is one that I will go back to again and again.

So, that is some of what is on my bookshelf.  What about you?  What has made an impression on you? Don't forget to click on the Blog-tember link to see what others have on their shelves.  I love prompts like this because it gives me so any new ideas!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 12 - Blog-tember prompt, "What are you up to currently?

Taking the suggestions from Bailey Jean at the Brave Love Blog, here is what I am up to currently:




Reading - I am reading "Friendly Fire" by C.D.B Bryan.  It is Book 14 of my 2015 Book Challenge.  It is going faster than some of the other ones but given that I am only reading at night before I fall asleep, some nights I only get two or three pages read.
Playing - Along with this Blog-tember Challenge!
Watching - The Giants on TV whenever I can.  Baseball is my favorite sport and it is getting down to the wire.
Trying - To focus on getting things organized again.
Cooking - It's been really hot here lately so my "cooking" has been mostly consisting of making salads!
Eating - Healthier.  Since there is just my husband and I at home now, I have told him that I need to follow my Hungry Girl meal plans again.  I was able to lose 26 pounds the last time, I know I can do it again.
Drinking - Coffee, lemon water
Calling - My mom to make sure she is doing okay.  She is 92!
Texting - My kids and my niece mostly.
Pinning - I just starting pinning things on Pinterest.  I was slow to hop on that bandwagon.
Tweeting - I don't tweet yet.
Going - To a comedy club tonight to see Josh Blue.
Loving - Reading everyone's posts in this Blog-tember group!
Hating - That I can't just automatically wake up and be thin.
Discovering - New techniques I want to try on my projects.
Thinking - About what to work on next.
Feeling - Excited to have lunch with my girlfriend today.  She moved recently and we haven't been able to do our monthly lunches for a long time.
Hoping - I can make some good sales at the craft fair I am participating in next month.
Listening - iTunes shuffle whenever I can.
Celebrating - Being alive!
Smelling - The scent of the candle burning in my scraproom.
Ordering - A new iPhone I think.  Not the newest one but the 6 because I can get it for $99.
Thanking - God that my husband's back surgery came out well and that he is no longer in pain and can function again.
Considering - Remodeling the bathroom and buying a new car.
Starting - To plan for our mini-vacation in a couple of weeks to Boulder Creek.
Finishing - The cards I started making the other night.


Quite a laundry list of things!  Notice doing the laundry is not on the list but probably should be!

What about you?  What's your current situation?  Love to hear about it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 11 - Blog-tember question of the day...

"It's a Friday night and you decide to stay in.  What do you do?"

First of all, it is September 11 so like most Americans I spend some time in remembrance of the tragic events of 14 years ago.  Being so close to the airport, it was a very unusual and slightly unsettling feeling without the airplanes going overhead all day at that time.  Today we flew our flag at half mast.




But, on a happier note, this Friday night I am immersed in card making because I am going to be having a table at a craft fair next month and I need to increase the inventory.  These are a few of the ones I am working on:





And of course I have the Giant's game on.  Hubs just ordered a pizza so I don't even have to worry about cooking.  

I am at the stage of life now where this kind of night is just about perfect.  What about you?  What's your stay at home Friday night like?  Click the link at the top of the page or the image at the side and see what other Blog-tember peeps are doing.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 10 - Blog-tember question, "What's on your bucket list?"

Bucket list, as in "list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket."  I suppose the smart thing to do would be to make a long list so as to prolong the "kicking" of it.  One of my favorite quotes is, "God put me on this earth to accomplish certain things.  Right now I'm so far behind, I'll never die!"

Even though I am a routine list-maker, I have never really sat down and made a bucket list.  These are a few things I have in my mind that I would like to do someday in no particular order:


  1. Go to Disneyland during the holiday season.  I have been to California many times but never during the holidays. 
  2. See a baseball game at every major league baseball park.  I have three so far, Oakland, Anaheim and San Francisco.  
  3. Visit Cooperstown and the baseball Hall of Fame.  
  4. Tour the White House.
  5. Visit every state in the United States.  I have California, Oregon, Nevada and Alaska.  
  6. Have a house in the country, but not too far from necessary amenities.
  7. Own a scrapbook store.  My husband thinks I have one already with all the supplies I have in my room and I tease my niece about going shopping in my store if she needs something but I mean a real store where I can host crops and classes and let people come and work on their projects.  We used to have one in our town but it didn't last.  Maybe because a lot of people have gone to digital scrapping but I'm one of the old fashioned types.
  8. Meet Stevie Nicks.  She is my idol.  


    That's all I can think of right now.  Most of them are not too far out there and I might actually get them crossed off.  How about you, got any things you need to get accomplished?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 9 - Blog-tember Day 9

Send a letter to 16-year-old you.

Well, it seems from looking at some of the other blog participants on this journey that I am among the oldest, if not THE oldest, member of the group.  Given that I turned 60 this year, going all the way back to sweet 16 is a challenge of its own!





Dear Janet:

Going into the nursing profession is your dream right now but in a few years you'll get some advice from your sister, Judy, that will change your future.  By following that advice, you will eventually be able to work from home doing medical transcription and have a lot more freedom than if you had a 9 to 5 nursing job.  It may entail working some nights or early mornings, but working in your pajamas at 11 PM or 5 AM doesn't sound quite as bad as being in a hospital or doctor's office at that hour.  



You will have weight struggles all your life.  Get used to it, get over it and do what you can to keep yourself as healthy as possible.

I know you think right now that you will never find your true love, but relax, because although it does take a while and you do make one brief mistake, you will meet a man who loves you for who you are, not what you look like and he will treat you like a queen.  



Children are not something that you are looking for right now either because you are burned out from watching the nephews and doing babysitting work but you'll have three of the best kids in the world and you'll handle it well because you've got so much experience!



Keep scrapbooking and crafting because that, too, will lead to a significant part of your future.  Imagine selling something you made!  It's a great feeling.

 

Hold your family and friends close, you will lose some of them much sooner than you think possible.

Keep listening to music.  It will help you through the bad times and make the good times that much better.

Trust me, you're going to have a great life!

All my love,  Janet


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Spectacular September - 2015

September 8 - Blog-tember Challenge Day 8

The question is, "What is your favorite season?  Why is it your favorite season and what does it say about you?"

Living in California, I really don't get a huge change between the different seasons; however, I am much more a fan of the warm weather than the cold so, while I like Thanksgiving and Christmas for the holiday spirit they bring, give me the good old summertime!



Mini-album I made for summer

There is something so relaxing about summer, even in our already laid-back state.  The days last longer and it can still be warm at 10 or 11 at night.

When I was younger, before we knew how bad it was for you, I would lay out in the sun for hours on end, reading and turning my skin a golden brown.  One summer in my teens I read the entire book "Jaws" in one day, laying out in our front yard.




There are fireworks right in the middle of summer and that is always a fun thing to watch, not to mention my favorite sport of all, baseball!  Go Giants!



And the summer concert series at the Mountain Winery!




I love going to the beach and watching the waves, although I never went in for the surfing sport.  I just love the sounds and smell of the ocean and the feel of the waves at my feet.  My astrological sign is Pisces so maybe that has something to do with it.

Summer has the best fruit too!  Juicy watermelon, peaches and nectarines, apricots and plums.  Winter fruits seem so boring...apples and oranges...some pears.

Yep, give me that good old California summertime!  How about you?  What's your favorite season?