Friday, February 25, 2011

Me & Ella

It's just me and Ella (my niece) on Thursdays.  Every Thursday, I pick up Ella from pre-school, and we head back to my house for some juice (Ella's beverage of choice), Tom & Jerry (Ellie's favorite cartoon), lunch, a few games and craft projects, etc.  Later then, we go back to her house to get sister Katie off the school bus before Mommy (aka, Leanne) gets home from work.

Last week, I had a interesting conversation with Ella on our way back to her house.  The conversation came completely out of the blue... here it is:

Ella:  Auntie, I have the best boyfriend in the whole world.

Me:  You do?  Who is your boyfriend?

Ella:  Michael.  But don't tell Katie.  He is the best boyfriend in the whole world.  (Side comment: Michael is a boy in Ella's pre-school class.)

Me:  Really?  Why is Michael the best boyfriend in the whole world?

Ella:  Because he looks at me all the time.

Me:   He does?

Ella:  Yes.  But he doesn't kiss me.

Me:  He doesn't kiss you?

Ella:  NOOOOO!  That would be gross!

Ella.  Age 4.  Gotta love it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lost... and Found?

I'm lost... so completely lost.  Or I'm losing it.  I think.

You see, yesterday we had another gathering of the Scrapbook Cellar Chicks.  (Check out this post for a refresher on Scrapbook Cellar Chicks.)  It was a great Saturday - we started early, finished late.  We laughed, cried a little, and did the "catch-up" on what's new in all our lives.  CT not only did a lunch run for us, but then later in the afternoon, Peggy begged CT for a Starbucks run, and since CT is such a GREAT GREAT GREAT guy, he went to Starbucks for the girls.

Anyway, I started with a clean table.  My intent was to start the album for our Disney trip we took last September.  I took out all the photos, the new album, and special Disney supplies I've purchased over the last couple of months.  Well, four hours later, I only managed to finish one very simple and quite pathetic looking page.  Here it is:

Meanwhile, Peggy, Leanne and Cindi worked diligently on all their projects.  Peggy even managed to finish 10 pages!!  Check out her blog for the results.   At one point yesterday, I just hopped on the computer and started reading out loud various posts from our blog buddies.  Well, at least we all got caught up with some of our mutually favorite blogs!

Then, something happened.  This morning, as CT helped me clean up the Scrapbook Cellar, I said to him, "Hey Hon, I need about 30 minutes down here."  CT, of course, said, "No problem.  I'll watch a little TV down here while you work on your scrapbook."

After only 30 minutes, I managed to crank out two pages for the Disney album.  Here they are:

So, yesterday, I thought I was lost.  I accomplish one page in 8 hours.  Today, I managed to create two pages in 30 minutes.  Yesterday, I was creatively lost... today, I'm not so sure.

Tomorrow, CT is off from work.  Before we go workout at the health club, I hope to get downstairs to the Cellar to see if I am still creatively lost, or if I am back on my way to some good, old fashioned, creative scrapbooking.  I'll let you know.  

In the meantime, I'm curious... have you ever been creatively (or otherwise) lost?  What do you do to find your way?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shame On Me

CT and I love going to the picture show (aka, the movies).  While I love a good romantic comedy, CT would rather see a "guy" kinda movie.  We can usually compromise on movies even though I have to nag sweetly convince CT to see a chick flick.  To document our love of movies, I came up with this great idea.  I planned on saving all the ticket stubs for movies that we see in 2011, and then design a couple of scrapbook pages with these ticket stubs.  Good idea, eh?

So, last week we saw, "The King's Speech" (really great movie, by the way.)  When we came home, I tucked the ticket stubs safely next to the kleenex box on the kitchen counter.  My intent was to bring the ticket stubs downstairs to the Scrapbook Cellar for safe-keeping until I was ready to work on the scrapbook pages.  Ok.  No problem. 

Yesterday, we saw "The Fighter" (another great movie.)  As we waited in line for refreshments, I said to CT, "Oh, give me your ticket stub.  I'm saving it."  CT replied, "Saving it?  Why?"  So, I proceeded to tell CT my great scrapbook idea of saving all the ticket stubs for all the movies we see this year.  CT then took a big gulp and said, "Oh, so you were saving the ticket stubs that were on the kitchen counter?"  I said, "Yes."  Another gulp from CT.  "Honey, I'm sorry, I threw those out.  I didn't know you wanted to keep them."

At first, I was absolutely stunned by this news.  Then, I just started to laugh.  Why?  Well, my CT doesn't throw out ANYTHING.  This is a guy who wants to keep EVERYTHING!  For example, we will buy something that comes in a box, use the product, but CT insists on keeping the empty box, "Just in case."  Just in case what?  I have no idea.  The empty box will make its way into the garage, and by the time the garage is full of empty boxes, I'm at my wits-end yelling at CT to just throw out the fricken boxes.  Oh yeah, and speaking of garage, well, this is one place I just close my eyes and ignore the piles of crap stuff that CT has stacked everywhere in there. 

Junk mail in another thing.  Magazines, sales flyers, solicitations, you know the kind.  Well, the junk mail comes in, and CT insists that he wants to read it before I toss it.  Problem is that he will never read the junk mail, and then it will just pile up until I finally just toss it out.

And then there is CT's basket.  CT had a tendency to leave little things everywhere -- his keys, mints, a comb, receipts, gum, etc.  So, I bought a basket and placed it on top of his dresser.  One day the basket became so full, it was spilling out all over the dresser.  So, I wrote a note on a post-it, and taped it to the basket.  That was two years ago.  Here is the basket today.  The note is still taped on the basket.  Stuff still piles out of the basket.

How funny is it that CT not only managed to FIND the ticket stubs on the counter, but actually pick them up, look at them, and then walk over to the garbage can and toss them!  Every time I think about this I just laugh and think, "Well, shame on me!"  Shame on me for not sharing my great ticket stub idea with CT sooner.  Shame on me for not taking those ticket stubs down to the Cellar sooner.  Shame on me for doubting that CT would ever want to clean up stuff laying around the kitchen counter (even though he completely overlooked the junk mail that should have been tossed instead of my ticket stubs.)  Yes, shame on me! 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Whewwww - What A Week!

So the Chicago Blizzard of 2011 has come and gone (although I understand that the weather is still bad in other parts of the country.)  I am very pleased to say that we survived.  After being snowed in for the last two days, we are finally able to venture out today.  The first attempt to clear the snow off the driveway was not good.  Our goal was to clear enough of an opening to get one car out to the street.  Here was the driveway as of close-of-business on Wednesday.

Here's what the driveway looks like today (sorry for the garbage can - it is garbage day today.)

The entire driveway is still not cleared (sorry, I can't do the snow removal thing when temperatures are only 8 degrees) but at least there is plenty of room to get a car out.  Oh, and we can now get in and out of the front door too.

CT also managed to dig out the mailbox, so we will be able to get mail delivery today.  Now, all we have to do is wait for the roof guy to get here.  (Yes, we have some kind of roof damage due to the high winds during the blizzard.  I found this out the hard way when, after shoveling, I sat down on my couch and all of a sudden... drip... drip... drip... water fell on my head from the beam in the family room.  I have no idea what the roof repair and beam repair will cost, but I guess that is why we have home owners insurance.)

With that said, it is Friday, and life is still good.  The sun is shining today.  After CT finishes work today, we will run a few errands, work on the driveway a little more, and prepare for the weekend.  Maybe a picture show tomorrow (I REALLY want to go see "A King's Speech", and then Superbowl on Sunday.  Since the Chicago Bears are not in the Superbowl, I really don't care who wins.  Maybe I will root for Green Bay.  Maybe not. 

Hope you have a great weekend!  Stay safe, wherever you are!  



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard Update - I'm REALLY Not Liking This

So, the Blizzard of 2011 continues for us today.

After a long and scary night full of whipping winds, snow, lightening and thunder, we woke up to find snow drifts piling up around our house.  Yes, we are now officially snowed in.  Here are a few photos:

In preparation for the blizzard, the City of Chicago issued snow mobiles to fire departments, so that rescue worker and paramedics would be able to reach those in need.  We watched the news this morning as the people were rescued from their vehicles on Lake Shore Drive.  And, all roads in most of the counties that surround Chicago are completely closed (including ours). 

CT and I ventured outside at 7 a.m., to evaluate the situation and attempt to begin the dig out.  Unfortunately, we did not get very far.

With snow literally up to CT's waist, he gave it a good shot.  But the winds started up again, and with snow continuing to fall, we gave up and came inside.  We'll try again in a few hours.  I'm thinking it will take us two days to dig out.

So that is our update.  More later.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Blizzard of 2011

Ok, folks.  It's here.  The first Chicago blizzard of 2011.

I am so thankful that CT and I are home, safe and sound.  (CT's office closed today around noon, and they've already closed the office for tomorrow.)  Since CT works in downtown Chicago, I was really relieved when he called to say that he was on the train heading home, and that he would also be home tomorrow.

We've checked-in with all immediate family members... everyone is accounted for and all are home safe and sound too.  Outside... well... not so good.  Lots of snow mixed with lots of wind.  (When I say "lots", I'm talking about 18-24 INCHES of snow in the forecast.  Factor in winds at about 40-50 MPH, and your looking at some serious drifting.)  Here are a few photos taken this afternoon:

Outside our front door:

And out our back patio door...

Considering we are only at the beginning of the storm and the worse is yet to come, I can only imagine what things will look like tomorrow.  The wind is just howling right now... it is truly unbelievable.  I'm hoping my poor little trees don't topple over in this wind and the fence holds up.  Oh, CT just said to me, "Honey, I think this is our first official blizzard together."  Gee, how romantic.   

Anyway, much of the country is experiencing what we are right now.  So, wherever you are at, I hope that you are safe and warm.  Tomorrow:  the dig out.