Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday early AM

Hello! I'm a bit more energetic now and don't feel like I'll fall asleep in the middle of a blog post ... perhaps I'm finally coming off east coast time?

Friday was fabulous here at Creative Escape! Four amazing workshops, a delicious sit-down dinner, and then another fun project in the evening as part of CE's "Friday Extravanganza". I'll have to give you pics and details about those after I get home ... for now, I've only downloaded miscellaneous photos from my iPhone, and none from my camera. So I thought I'd start sharing a few scenes from this amazing week. Until I get home and have a chance to empty my camera's memory card and can give you the whole scoop!

A couple of iconic scenes welcomed me back to the southwest: a stately cactus and a breathtaking Arizona sunset that I enjoyed from my room's balcony:
You may recall that the official colors of CE are pink, green, black & white ... and that this year, as a twist on that, the b&w took the form of zebra stripes. That has been wild ... we look like a herd of zebras meandering throughout the hotel, LOL! It has been crazy seeing what everyone's doing with it, including me! From zebra-striped purses, shirts, hats, sb'ing tote bags, to my sandals ... complete with the pink & green ribbons that I added. Not to mention my pink & green toenails! What a hoot! The CE photographer even approached me to ask if he could photograph my feet for --- what else? --- the CE 09 scrapbook! Too funny!
Well, unfortunately, that's it for now ... my laptop and I are both running out of juice.

I'll be back with more fun details & pics either sometime this weekend, or on Monday after I'm back home ... and recovered from the jetlag.

Enjoy the weekend,

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday early AM

It's the middle of the night here in Arizona, which seems to be the only free time that I have to blog!

I've been constantly on the go here at Creative Escape ... one super fun activity after another, and lots of socializing ... I have so many details & pics to share with you, but I can barely keep my eyes open right now! Sorry!

One thing I just have to share tho is news that just can't wait! It was announced tonight during the Opening Ceremony that there WILL be a CE in 2010 !!!! Holy cow,we were all kind of stunned after all of the rumors swirling that the sour economy was taking a toll on the event. Imagine a room full of 600 jubilant scrapbookers when we were told this news! People were immediately texting the 2010 event dates to friends & family. And it'll be held here again at this beautiful resort, how wonderful ! I am totally thrilled!

I guess I'd better get to bed ... geez, I have to wake up soon! On Friday CE gets off to an early start with 4 workshops and then an "extravaganza" that lasts late into the night! Hmmm ... so I might be MIA again ...


Thursday, August 27, 2009


Hi everyone! Sorry for the long time, no write...

I had a smooth trip out to Arizona, but I've been on the go every second since my plane touched down!
And now it's late Wed night and I'm exhausted! As in beat. Bushed. Wiped.
But I assure you it's from all good things. :-)

I need to collapse into bed. I'll be back here with pics & details soon...promise!

Susan <--- who's blogging from the tiny screen of her iPhone, so cool!

Monday, August 24, 2009

here today ... gone tomorrow

boarding pass printed? check!
Hurricane Bill gone? check! (whew!)
scrapbooking supplies packed in zebra-print tote? check!
craft apron (for the "messy" workshops)? check!
pink & green & zebra-print stuff to wear? check!
everything's packed in -- what else? -- my new zebra-print duffle? check!
scrapbooking & travel magazines to read on the plane? check!
Phoenix sb'ing stores programmed in my GPS? check!
Gwen Stefani's "The Sweet Escape" on my iPod? check!

OK then, I guess I'm ready to head to Phoenix to attend Creative Escape 2009!

My flight departs Ft Lauderdale (very) early AM tomorrow. {yawn}

But that's OK ... I can't wait to get to Arizona for CE 09, to see 600 of my scrapbooking peeps and get the fun started! The event doesn't officially begin until Thursday, but I'm arriving early to enjoy the beautiful resort (and spaaaahhhh), relax, spend time with friends, and -- of course! -- check out some of the local scrapbook stores (a.k.a. "shopportunities" LOL). Like Utah, Arizona is loaded with them! Perhaps you remember the fun I had scrapbook "shop hopping" my way around Utah earlier this year? (check out my March 23 and March 27 blog posts)

I'm excited !!! As Kramer says while pointing to his head in one of the Seinfeld episodes, " ... up here, I'm already gone...". One of my favorite lines, so kooky! LOL

So I'll meet you back here on Tuesday night ... I'll be blogging live & daily from the 107-degree desert southwest!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

T minus 2.5 days ...

Wow, it's almost time for Creative Escape 2009 !!! Ah, that long-awaited and fabulous scrapbooking event...

Today I'm busy packing and finishing up last-minute stuff before I head to Phoenix on Tuesday. I'm behind on everything (!!!) ... but, in my defense, I was preoccupied with Buddy's medical emergency this week. By the way, he's doing well today ... still somewhat tired (it was an ordeal for him, poor angel), but he's eating and even barking a little today; he's getting a little more energetic. Thanks again to everyone for your concern!

So now that I'm feeling relieved about Buddy, I'm getting back into "excitement mode" for CE! I'm SO filled with anticipation of all the fun and surprises that await! They don't call it "the ultimate scrapbooking indulgence" for nothing! It'll be a hoot to see how everyone incorporates the zebra-striped CE theme into their wardrobes this year ... I have lots of fun zebra-striped stuff to bring and/or wear too! I can't wait to show you while I'm in Arizona, so here's a sneak peek ... a pair of sandals (soon to be decorated with pink & green ribbons!) and a cosmetic bag that was a RAK from one of my CE pals. Such fun! :-)

OK, back to packing...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Buddy's home !!!

This afternoon I got a call from Buddy's oncologist ... she had the BEST possible news! His blood cell counts have come up (although they still have a little way to go) and his chest X-ray was "clear". That is, NO pneumonia and NO evidence of cancer in his lungs! Oh, it's a HAPPY day here! I went straight to the hospital and picked him up.

We're so excited to have our little Buddy home with us again! As expected, he is exhausted and is already sound asleep ... it has been quite a draining couple of days for all of us. So, lots of rest and pampering for him this weekend!

Aruba was thrilled to see him ... she was mopey and depressed the entire time he was in the hospital.

And it's so good to see him with an appetite again ... when we got home, I was even able to tempt him with his new favorite "chemo snack" --- carrots! (I had to snap the photo quickly ... he's fast!)

We love you Buddy!

Thanks for checking in on Buddy's progress,

Buddy update - Friday AM

Hi everyone and thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers for Buddy ... so appreciated!

I have good news!

His fever is gone ... his temperature was normal throughout the night!

And he's eating!

The doctor said that she'll be doing blood cell counts on him around 12 noon today ... she wanted to wait and give those more time to come up.

Also today, she will do chest X-rays to make sure that Buddy doesn't have pneumonia (which can develop with low blood cell counts), and to make sure that the lung cancer is remaining "quiet". Sal and I are SO nervous about this! We're hoping there's nothing wrong in Buddy's lungs. Please, no more tumors!

I'll be back here this afternoon with an update on our angel Buddy ... hopefully, he can come home today.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Buddy is in the hospital :-(

We awoke this morning to find Buddy not quite himself ... lethargic, absolutely no appetite, apparently feverish. After waiting a little while to see if he'd perk up ... perhaps it was just one of those "bad chemo days"? ... I realized that he wasn't improving and went into panic mode. I called the cancer clinic and said that I need to bring him in right away.

His oncologist was glad that I didn't wait. He had a 105-degree fever (!!!) and his white blood cell counts were very low ... only 1/10th what they should be (!!!). She immediately got him admitted into an animal cancer hospital in Fort Lauderdale, and Sal and I were there with him this afternoon. He's on an I.V. of fluids and antibiotics. He'll be there at least overnight, and possibly most of tomorrow too. We're hoping that they can get his fever down and his cell count up soon. He apparently is reacting to one of his chemo drugs. But hopefully he can be back home with us sometime on Friday. Poor Buddy!

I'll post updates on his condition here often. In the interim, I'm comforted knowing that he's in a brand-new, modern, comfortable, high-tech, cancer hospital that's staffed 24/7. So he's in very good hands.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ana & Bill

As you can see in my sidebar, Tropical Storms Ana and Bill have unfortunately now formed, and I'm tracking 'em closely. Not only do I have the normal amount of worry about the storms coming here to south Florida, but I'm sick over the thought of them ruining my trip to Creative Escape 2009. I'm scheduled to leave in only 9 days! I don't want to miss the event, oh no! And it's rumored that this may be the final CE, which makes me even more upset about the thought of not attending.

Go away Ana & Bill, leave everyone alone! Please just fizzle out in the Atlantic somewhere!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

our anniversary celebration

I meant to post the details of our anniversary celebration sooner ... but I had such a busy Wednesday!

Sal and I began our day with breakfast at a cafe near the beach, where he gets his favorite pancakes & strawberries. We love it there, in part because we can see the ocean.

Then it was just a short stroll to the beach, where we spent hours enjoying it. Perfect weather. Warm sun. Clear water. Blue skies.
The fun continued with dinner out at an Italian restaurant on a lake, so nice. Although it was a little warm, we ate al fresco to enjoy the view and the summer evening.

That night, Sal gave me the pretty gift that had been teasing me on the kitchen counter for the previous 24 hours. Look at the beautiful wrapping that he did! And the bow is not just any bow ... it's the same fabric (shimmery white "crystal" organza) that my wedding gown was made of. So special! How did he find that???
And anytime there's a gift about to be unwrapped, Buddy comes running! He loves to unwrap (actually, I mean rip into) gifts ... he thinks any and all gifts are for him ... it's incredibly cute! So I gladly let him help me unwrap it, and eventually Aruba joined in too. Inside was a great addition to my iPhone ... a mini battery pack. The # 1 complaint of iPhone users is the limited battery capacity, and how the battery drains too quickly. This little gadget will give me hours of additional juice, especially while traveling and it's not possible to re-charge (like during a long flight). And I've been in airports where there's not an outlet to be found, grrr! So thanks, sweetheart! :-)

So we had a really nice day together ... celebrating 19 years of marriage! Love you, Sal !!!

And thanks to everyone for all of your anniverary wishes & cards ... they made our day extra special !

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

(yesterday was) Tim's special day!

My nephew Tim, who lives in Gulfport, Florida, celebrated his 12thbirthday yesterday ... and I'm sorry that I didn't post it, Tim! I guess I got busy celebrating my anniversary with Uncle Sal.

But we enjoyed chatting with you last night, and wish you a new year that's full of fun and good times! :-)

Aunt Susan, Uncle Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I {heart} Sal

Today marks 19 years for us! We got married on August 11, 1990 ...

We have a wonderful day planned ... best of all, Sal's taking the day OFF. No teaching, no students, no research meetings, no laptop.

I'll be back tomorrow with all the sweet details of how we celebrated. A hint, you ask? OK. It involves the beach (of course)! And Sal came home last night with a gift wrapped up in pretty paper and ribbons. ooh la la ... he's got me guessing! What is it???

Happy anniversary, sweetheart! I love you!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

it's Mark's special day!

Happy birthday today to my brother-in-law, Mark! He lives in Gulfport, Florida.

We hope you have a fun & fabulous day! :-)

Susan, Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Thursday, August 6, 2009

... round 5 ...

I took Buddy for his 5th round of chemo today.

His remission progress exam went well, which is always a huge relief! Everytime we go, my stomach is in a bit of a knot, hoping the doctor won't "feel a lump" or say "something doesn't seem right with him." Like I've mentioned before, cancer is like a dark cloud, hovering.

But on the positive side, Buddy is doing pretty well. We are so thankful! He eats big meals, although he's picky-choosy about what's in his dish. And he has even gained a few pounds! He's also pretty active, even initiating playtime some days! :-)

And on our way home from the clinic, Buddy and I stopped to enjoy some junk food at Sonic ... our tradition on chemo days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

the joys of life

Earlier this week I attended a scrapbooking class at Cherry Blossom Studio in Coconut Creek. The project was an oh-so-cute 6"x6" mini-album with a "Joys of Life" theme:

I absolutely love it, and had such fun making it (a big thanks to our teacher/designer, Ashley!). The color scheme is so cheerful ... turquoise, soft yellows, reds, with a touch of brown. We used the "Just Dreamy 2" paper collection by My Mind's Eye.

I'll be filling the album with pics of my "joys of life" ... Sal, Buddy & Aruba ... travel ... scrapbooking (duh) ... blogging ... geology ... decorating ... and even everyday things that add joy to my life and that I appreciate, like sunshine (& my sunroof!), iPhone, Dr. Pepper, my pool, the beach, on and on.....


Saturday, August 1, 2009

a RAK ... from Sal !

When Sal got home last night, I showed him the cool iPhone Life magazine that I got in the mail. I said that it must be something that they send as a freebie to new iPhone customers ... ??? ... because I didn't request it ...

He grinned, a BIG cute grin ... and then I realized ... oh, HE got it for me! How sweet, Sal surprised me with a subscription! Thank you, sweetheart! That'll be some great beach reading.

Have a great Saturday,