An epiphany....

Wow...maybe I'll sleep tonight finally...

I had one of those light bulb moments tonight while doing what I have done so much of since December....mourning the loss of so many trees on my property after a wild ice storm.

I have been so sad about this and have been losing so much sleep over it....wondering & worrying how I'll do trying to cut the trees up myself.....how I'll ever get it all done when dozens of snapped trees need to come down....will my property ever look the same again and what should I do to make it look nice again....will I ever forget the loss of some of my favorite beautiful trees....the sadness of coming home every day as they hang dying waiting for me to put them out of their misery.

On the good side I have all the firewood I could need for a long time & the hard work will be rewarding & good for me in the long run. But I'll be burning my favorites & they'll be gone forever...that just makes me sad. I know its silly...but its how I feel. So as I sat here tonight thinking about my back grove area that right now is just a criss cross of fallen or falling trees..it hit me. I don't have to burn all the wood...I can try to find a way to recycle and keep some of it to use somehow in my gardens and the woodland paths & gardens I want to do in the back area.

So I sat here thinking & thinking and here's what I came up with....if you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them...

1) I can make steps going down the back slope from the largest trees if I cut them into large thick slices.

2) I can use med large slices for either footpaths or I can cut them into half rounds & use them as path or garden borders

3) Large 4-5 foot long logs can be cut in half lengthwise & turned in to rustic woodland benches

4) Single 2 ft high logs can also be used as a seat when set on end

5) or they can be used as a pedastal on their own or in groups of 3 in varying heights to do a display of potted plants

6) A hollowed out stump or section of log can be used as a planter

7) A section of log stood on endcan also be used as a base for a birdbath

8) And lastly....all the small branches that have to go through a woodchipper can be turned into mulch used to create a natural base for woodland paths.

So I don't have to say goodbye forever ...I still can enjoy the trees....just in a different form. And now I have the opportunity to add some interesting new trees to fill in the landscape too.

So I'm off to bed to get what may be the best night sleep I've had in a long time. Have a great weekend everyone.


It's here....

Baseball season has officially begun. Jake had his first practice today and he was looking pretty sharp on the field with his new slimmed down physique. Oh how I love this time of year....love watching his games on beautiful spring days, love witnessing his natural talent as he pitches, love chatting & cheering with the other parents.

So what does that mean for all of you? Well....instead of just seeing more photos of snow or the dog, I may now begin boring you with baseball photos. And you'll probably see more layouts like the one below. But I'll change it up a bit too & overload you with flower & garden shots too...lol
Hope you're all having a great week....tomorrow is Friday...hooray !!!


One week from today.....

She's coming home : )

And she's bringing her fiancee Ken with her !!! We're so excited to see her & very excited to meet him. I think we may only have 1 or 2 days with them because they will spend time with her Dad also & then want to have some time to themselves in Boston. But we're happy to be able to see her again before she deploys to Iraq.
And yes...she is dressed in this photo.


Join us for a hike?

Now that most of the snow has melted we're happy to be able to get back to the mountain & enjoy all the hiking trails there. Tanner is happier than anyone as this lets him get off leash & run to his hearts content. This morning Tanner & I headed out at 8am hoping to get there before anyone else (so I wouldn't have to worry about him jumping on anyone) Care to join us for a walk in the woods of New England?

So as you can see there was still some snow on the ground but even the trails that did have snow were packed down & passable. What you cant see from this photo (or maybe you can...) is that it was really chilly at 8am....about 30 degrees...brrr. There's Tanner up ahead on the path looking back to see if I'm keeping up.

As we got deeper into the woods we started to see more & more tree damage from the ice storm in December

Looks like they have been busy at work though making the trails usable.
Can you imagine what a loud noise this monster of a tree made when it was uprooted & came crashing down?
You can't tell in the last picture quite how big it was...but in this picture with Tanner you can see that the base of it was at least 3 feet wide. Makes me sad to see such a beautiful majestic old tree laying here dying.
This was a trail I hadn't done before...but it was really pretty with nice views on the right looking south (toward my house) That white dot up ahead to the right is Tanner leaving me in the dust again.
Tanner appears to be enjoying the views too.
Such a handsome boy !!!
As we headed down a different trail we came upon this pretty mountainside stream...
There was still some ice so I'm sure this water was very chilly...I was not testing it to find out...
That didn't stop the water dog from playing around in it for a few minutes though...
The last stretch of our hike took us through a large pine grove full of huge 50-60 foot trees. This was the area that seemed to have the worst storm damage. I scurried quickly under a lot of trees that were leaning precariously against other trees. It looked as if it would take just a good wind to dislodge them from the small branches holding them up...and today, as luck would have it, was a windy day. Tanner loved this part of the hike the best though. You wouldn't believe how fast he raced back & forth through here hurtling over downed trees.
If you follow this monster way up past where it bends off to the right you can barely see that it is just small branches on the tree to the right of it that is holding it up. I did NOT go under this one !
The floor of the forest was carpeted with debris.... But storm damage & all this really is a beautiful place to spend the morning exploring.
So that's it...you can now say you have hiked the lower trails on the south side of Mt Wachusett. Thanks for coming along...


Make & Take

Hi all,
While visiting
Kristi's blog today I saw she had an idea there that sounded fun so I decided to follow her lead & do the same. Heres how it works....very simple.

Make a comment, and take something handmade from me!

So be one of the the first five people to comment on this post and you will get something hand made by me especially for you! This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
2. What I make will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year.
4. You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be photography, scrap related, painted...I may sew or bake something. Who knows?
5. I reserve the right to do or make whatever I want!

So what do you have to do? Just leave me a comment! Could be fun if you copy this and repost for your readers too. :)


Look who's 1

The little sweetheart turned 1 yesterday . For a special treat I made him a heart shaped burger all for himself. These pictures didn't come out too clear because I was trying to take the picture quick before he decided to eat the burning candle.

Note to self : Dont tell the dog trainer I have a blog. : )


Happy St Patricks Day

I'm not Irish...a little bit of everything else...but no Irish in this girls blood. I do still like to wear green though just for the fun of it. So what did I choose to wear today? Brown slacks, brown, black & gold shirt & a suede jacket. Um...yeah...I totally forgot what day it was today till I got to work and was surrounded by people dressed in green.

The sweet pup turned 1 today and we gave him a birthday burger all his own for dinner...heart shaped even and with 1 candle on top. He didn't quite get the blowing out the candle thing but he was in heaven eating his dinner tonight. ssshhhhhhh...don't tell the dog trainer....she'd kill me for encouraging him to want people food. Back to dog food tomorrow but I wanted to do something special for him today. I took a couple of pictures so I'll share soon. Right now I'm too tired though so I'm off to bed.


Scary news

I spoke to my daughter today & she gave me the bad news that she (on the right) and her close friend (left) are deploying to Iraq on May 8th : (

It was originally thought that being stationed on the West Coast near Seattle that they would go on deployment to Japan...but sadly that's not going to be the case. They do have a relatively safe job working sonar equipment in a large plane that flies too high to be shot down with the weapons that Iraq has on hand...but regardless this Mom will not rest easy till she is back safe on American soil. And I'm sure Megan's parents feel the same way.

Someone said to me recently when I told of her rigorous training "and she chose to do this willingly?" I know it was an innocent comment and no harm was meant but I felt like responding "If she (and others) did not willingly commit themselves to serving our country in the military while the rest of us go on living our everyday lives of luxury then we wouldn't be the free country we are now." but I bit my tongue because as I said the comment was not meant in a bad way at all. But I do think we all sometimes forget...even if just momentarily...that there are so many out there putting their lives on the line for us & our country.

Come home safe Mand !!! Love you so much & I'm so very proud of you!! (p.s. - you're stuck with me !)


goofy self portrait

Just a quick post tonight as I'm fading fast. Its been a busy day. Took the day off to get some work done on my car & while it was in the shop I got a lot done around here before the weekend even started...plus walked almost six miles. I'm beat !!!

I picked up my bike tonight & while I was there I picked up some necessities. I took this silly self portrait while modeling some of them & thought I'd share & give you all a chuckle at seeing how goofy I'm going to look out there on my new bike.

Have a great weekend everyone !!!


This is soooo cool !!!

While reading my favorite blogs tonight I found a really cool photoshop technique posted by Brenda's husband Wayne. It looked so cool I had to go try it right away. I got a bit carried away & tried it on a whole bunch of photos. I could have done this all night...it was so fun to watch the photo transform with each step and then see the end result. Too too cool !!!! Thanks Wayne !!!

So here's the photos I used (before & after)...

This photo of a staircase in San Antonio....

became this.....

And this pretty fall foliage.....
turned into this....
A photo of metal wall decor in my bathroom...
turned into this....

A photo from my garden...

now looks like this....
And my favorite Hosta...
looks like this....
I was curious what this photo of the library & town hall in my town would turn into...
I never would have guessed it would be this ( this is one of my favorites !)
Lastly I was curious what it would do with a portrait of my handsome son...
The second step had me laughing so hard I had to share that too...
And the end result is just as funny...cracks me up to see his hair & eyes at the top & his smile at the bottom. Too too funny. Thanks again Wayne.

If you'd like to see the step by step instructions on how to transform your own photos you can check it out here on Brenda's blog. Warning : Its addictive !!!



Wow were we ever spoiled this past weekend here in Massachusetts. Gorgeous weather in the low 60's I think made us all feel like spring was on its way.

NOT !!!

This morning we woke to more of that lovely white stuff. I was amazed at work today how many people were surprised it was snowing again. I don't think of spring as starting till April so snow was no surprise to me really. But March snow doesn't bother me too much because I know it won't last to long with the warmer days we get here & there. and March is already one third of the way over so spring is close.


Just a quick post tonight because I am sooo tired. Changing the clocks ahead always gets the better of me so I'm off to dream land soon.

I went out with my sister today to do some more looking at bikes. I decided not to get the seafoam & white one I loved because it was a bit pricey. What I did get is the less expensive one below. I had hoped to get something prettier but unfortunately I'm tall and have broad shoulders so the bikes that were specific for women (and came in pretty colors) were too compact for my frame. This is a nice bike though & I'm excited to get it home. The shop is working on getting it all ready for me to pick up later this week.
It looks black & white in this photo but its actually silver & a very sparkly charcoal grey.

In other news for the day...the new dog trainer came tonight for our evaluation & we really liked her. The changes in the dog for just the couple of hours she was here was amazing. She gave us homework to work on and so far Tanner is eager to learn some new behavior so I feel good about this. Hopefully we'll end up with a good family dog with good manners. Keeping my fingers crossed.


Saturday randomness

The weather in Massachuseets was glorious today. In the low 60's and sunny. It felt like heaven.

The foot of snow dumped on us last Monday is melting quickly

I'm not silly enough to think winter is behind us though...

Poor Jake had to go to school today..one of 4 saturday school days planned to make up for the many days the school was closed when the ice storm hit in December

Tanner & I took not 1 , but 2 nice long walks today. Felt so good to be out there enjoying the beautiful day

In between walks I went & looked at bikes & fell in love with a beautiful seafoam & white Fuji bike

If I start riding living here in Princeton I'll have legs of steel in no time. There is no riding bikes in this mountainside town that doesn't include uphills...lots of them.

That would be a good thing I guess since I want to do a couple of mini triathalons this summer with my 2 sisters. I volunteered to do the bike portion...Deb will swim & Kim will run.

After Jake got out of school I took him out to get a new pair of sneakers he needed badly. I love that every time he gets a new pair of sneakers he has to put them on as soon as we leave the store so he can run & show me how fast he is in them : ) Do all boys do this I wonder?

Do you know what the picture below means?

It means I indulged and bought a pair of shoes for myself too...
was wondering tonight as I ate my dinner if this dog will ever stop begging.....

I'm thinking it may be a while....

A long long while..... we'll keep working on it though...
Its been a long busy day & I'm beat. Heading off to bed....thanks for reading my random ramblings...

Dare ya !!!

As I was browsing some of my favorite blogs I find that my dear friend Brenda has posted a challenge of sorts. A photo challenge....

The rules:
1. Take a picture of yourself right now, no primping or preparing. Just snap a picture.

2. Load it onto your blog.

3. Tag three people to play. Remember, if you are tagged on another blog, we will all be heading to yours to see if you played along.

So as I'm reading this challenge I'm thinking why oh why couldn't I have read this as I was dressed for work with all my hair not all ratty & my makeup in place. No...I had to wait till just after getting back from a long walk with the pup...no makeup, no hairstyle. eeek !!! No one can look at this photo and say I cheated & did some primping first right? But yes this is me...and pretty much my weekend look. I tried to set the camera up on self timer & as I was waiting for the picture to take Tanner decided it was time to play ball with me....so this is the picture I got.

5 minutes after I took this picture I was on the phone & the dog ate my memory card for my camera that I had foolishly left within reach. Nice big tooth dent in the middle of the card by the time I pryed it out his mouth. I thought I had been saved from posting this photo but alas...when I looked at my camera I hadn't had the card in to begin with when I took the picture and the phoro was there in the internal memory of my camera...darn, darn, darn !!!

So who will I tag? I guess I'll choose a few of my favorite bloggers and see if they are less scary than me with no primping...lol...... Trina because I have enjoyed her blog & admired her work for quite a while now , Lisa because she takes fabulous photos & hearing about her trials of owning a lab that chews everything in sight make me feel less alone with my half lab who does pretty much the same thing (did I mention I had to buy a new memory card for my camera today?), oops...brb...must go get the couch pillow from him before he destroys it.....and Cathy because no other blogger makes me laugh like she does and if she decided to play along you can bet there would be some of her wonderful sense of humor included.

So there you go...and as always anyone else reading who wants to play along....have at it!!! Have a great night everyone.

Finally a layout to share...

Well I've been a pretty bad blogger lately haven't I? I have done some scrapbooking but have decided to submit some pages to a few magazines so I thought it probably was wise not to put those pages on here. I'm not sure what magazines policy's are but I'm guessing they'd prefer pages that haven't been seen before. Not that my blog is seen all that much.....but if you are someone who reads my blog here & there then thank you for that. Send me a message sometime...I'd love to get to know more fellow scrap artists.

Anyway...enough rambling...Its a gorgeos day in the 60's here & I'm anxious to get outside & enjoy some more fresh air. So here's the layout I have to share today...

Bet you can't guess what the paper line is here?

Yup...my favorite..Basic Grey. This is their newest release. I believe its called Marrakesh? not 100% sure on the name..and even less sure on the spelling...lol. But I love this one almost as much as Ambrosia. I love color !! I usually lean toward the colors of nature onmy pages...neutrals, greens, blues etc. But lately vibrant colors make me really happy. I think choosing colors for my layouts is my farorite part of the creative process.

Below is a closer look at part of the layout....2 new things for me used here...

I purchased 3 new slimline border punches from EK Success recently that I LOVE. Michaels just got them in stock & it was so hard to by only 3. I love border punches lately & seem to be accumulating a collection of them. But these slimline ones I really love a lot. All 3 are used on this page. The green border to the right of the photo, and the turquoise & coral colored borders at the bottom. Also new on this page is glitter...edging the photo & the flowers as well. I picked up a few from Martha Stewart crafts along with the glue that goes with them for the glitter to adhere to and although glitter is a real mess to work with I do like the little bit of sparkle they add to the page.
So thats it for now....I'm going to go enjoy some more sunshine but hope to get some more scrapping done tonight. Have a great weekend everyone.


Enough already !!!

Spring is 3 weeks away. So seriously...what are you thinking Mother Nature?

2 days ago it was in the 60's and finally all the snow is almost melted...and now we're due for 12-or more inches of snow tomorrow. Ugh...I am soooooo done with winter & ready for spring !!!

Not much else new here....I haven't posted any pages on here in a while....I did 2 recently but am planning to submit them to a magazine so I guess I shouldn't put them on my blog. But I do have another page almost done that I should be able to share soon though.

Going to bed...need my energy for shoveling tomorrow : (