Monday, September 28, 2009

Buddy had a great Sunday

Yesterday we took Buddy back to the clinic for a re-check. The vet was pleased with how well Buddy is doing ... his bite wound is healing nicely, he's walking OK, and he's chipper. We're SO thankful!

And when we got home he gleefully helped Sal finish an Italian ice, so cute:

Saturday, September 26, 2009


After a long week, I really needed a break/distraction today. Something fun. So it was one of my local scrapbook stores to the rescue!

All day today Everything Scrapbook & Stamps hosted a ScrapPink event ... annual fun, all in pink, of course! ... to support breast cancer research and survivors. I enjoyed some time with friends, along with some pink lemonade & pink cookies, played "for-the-cure" bingo, and got inspired by all the creative projects on display around the store. And I picked up a raffle ticket for a chance at winning this big bundle of pink scrapbooking goodness:
Hope you're enjoying the weekend,

Friday, September 25, 2009

must-see TV

In my experience, there generally aren't a lot of great TV shows to watch on Sunday nights.

Not so this weekend!

On Sunday, PBS will be premiering the first of 6 parts of a new documentary film by Ken Burns ... The National Parks: America's Best Idea. I can't wait! I love our national parks ... and it was thrilling to visit 5 of them in Utah this year (see my blog posts from late March & early April). To me, the parks are special places, and it looks like this film will really capture that.

So I'll be tuning in to PBS all next week, I don't want to miss a minute of this film! Please let me know your thoughts on it ... and what is your favorite national park?


Thursday, September 24, 2009

a step forward for animals

U.S. House Representative McCotter (R-MI) has sponsored an amendment to the tax code that would allow pet owners to deduct veterinary expenses (up to $3,500 annually).

This is a phenomenal idea! It's intended to promote healthcare for domestic animals, and to alleviate the financial burden during these trying economic times. And in turn, hopefully, fewer animals will be abandoned due to expense.

You can read specifics about the bill HERE. And please take a moment to sign this online letter that the ASPCA will immediately forward to your local member of Congress (determined by your zip code). With these letters, your Representative will realize that this issue is important to his/her constituents, and that will further encourage them to support it.

On behalf of animals, THANK YOU! :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

an update ...

Hi everyone and thanks so much for your thoughts and kind words about our recent trauma.

Buddy has been resting comfortably, and his ability to walk has improved a lot. So thankful for that! Yesterday, the radiologist didn't have any major concerns, but said that we need to watch for any signs that Buddy's abdominal cavity may have been punctured. But, the vet didn't seem to think that that had happened. {thankful again}

We're monitoring the bite wound carefully for signs of infection, and consulting with his vets often. One vet recommended that I put warm compresses on it, and he really seems to enjoy that. I'm sure it's soothing.

I'm still reeling from the shock of it all, it took a while for my hysteria to wear off. And I'm trying to stop replaying it all in my mind. I'm a bit sore, either from landing on the pavement or from the dog pouncing on me (or both?), but other than that I'm OK.

As traumatic as this was, it could have been much worse...

Thanks again for your concern, it's so appreciated,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a traumatic night

Yesterday evening it rained, and since that made it a little cooler outside, I thought it would be nice for me, Sal, Buddy & Aruba to go for a walk around our neighborhood.

That turned out to be a horrible idea.

Before we could comprehend what was happening, a large dog (we estimate about 120 lbs!) bolted from our neighbor's house and jumped on me and Buddy (who is only 36 lbs)! It was AWFUL !!! We were both knocked down onto the street, and although my hands were stinging from scraping the pavement, I was struggling to keep my body between hers and Buddy's, hoping to protect him. It was dark and I couldn't see everything that was happening, but I could hear Buddy yelping from pain. OMG, I'll never forget that terrible, terrible sound of something harming my angel Buddy! And I remember that during the ordeal I was able to see that Sal had scooped Aruba up in his arms, so she was totally protected ... and she is OK, but was shaken up! (I still am)

Afterwards, Buddy could not walk and was in obvious shock. I was hysterical at this point! We rushed him to an emergency clinic (the same one where he had his lung cancer surgery), and a trauma vet took X-rays and tended to his bite wound. Thankfully, the bite did not puncture any organs. But Buddy sure is sore, is walking slowly, and is on pain meds and antibiotics. And of course as a cancer patient, this is the LAST thing he needed. Now we'll need to carefully guard against infection from the bite, since his immune system is compromised from the chemo.

Buddy loves to go for walks, and I was just trying to give him some joy. It has been a rough summer for him, he has been through so much. Instead it turned into a night of trauma, for all of us.

This morning, I'm waiting to hear from a radiologist about additional analyses of Buddy's X-rays, and will keep you posted.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

in bloom

Wanted to share the beautiful bougainvillea tree in our front yard. Sometimes it's "quiet", with no flowers ... and other times, it just blooms and blooms ... and blooms. That fantastic magenta color makes me happy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

QQPR event: part 2

So I'm (finally) back here with details and pics of the rest of my Quick Quotes Private Reserve (QQPR) scrapbooking weekend.

Actually, on Monday after the event, we had planned to go to SeaWorld, since we were already in Orlando and had SW tickets leftover from our plans to go last year. But Sal wasn't feeling well, poor guy, it spoiled his weekend ... he went to a clinic and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, no fun! But with some rest and meds, he felt better quickly and thankfully we were still able to celebrate my Mom's birthday with my parents, as planned.

So now back to the event ... continuing on from my Sept 12 post ... Saturday was filled with tons of fun workshops and activities! Here are random glimpses of some projects:
(yes, that IS a giant paperclip binding the mini-album ... how cute & clever, right?)

My tablemates ... from left, Kim, me, Marilyn & Diane ...
And our work-in-progress, what a mess! LOL
On Saturday evening, Sal and I had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Orlando, Nile Ethiopian. If you're never tried Ethiopian food, please consider it! So, so delicious! And with this restaurant's authentic atmosphere, you feel like you're in Africa. We always order their "Taste of Nile" vegetarian platter ... a tempting array of vegetables & spices. And with a cup of Ethiopian spice tea ... perfect! And everything is eaten with small pieces of injera, a "sticky" & slightly sour (but delicious) pancake-like "bread" that you use to pick up the food, instead of using utensils. So exotic!
And speaking of food, QQ provided lunch on Saturday and Sunday ... a delicious buffet one day, and yummy wraps the other (including vegetarian, yay!)
And just look at that dessert table ... isn't it so "scrapworthy"?
The event continued Saturday night with more non-stop fun ... more great projects, plus the owner of QQ, Patsy Gaut (with me, below), gave a keynote address about "enjoying (and scrapbooking) the little things". She was the creative force behind the launch of the Quick Quotes company ... she writes the poems that are featured on their vellum embellishments!
On Sunday morning, we got an early start working on an all-day 20-page album project. We spent the day creating 12" pages ... I only finished 10 of them (I'm a slow scrapper!), but I had a blast and was proud of what I created. You can see 6 of the album pages HERE.

The event wrapped-up with a slideshow of fun photos captured during the weekend, and drawings for lots of prizes. Look at all those goodies!
Here's a group photo (courtesy of Michelle with QQ) snapped before we all departed (I'm in the middle, to the right of the window, 3rd row back, peeking out between the lady in orange and the lady in red):
I'm always sad when these events come to an end!

Kudos to Quick Quotes for an event that was fun & super well-organized, with lots of nice surprises! The QQ staff works hard and it shows! Michelle (with me, below) was an awesome teacher! I highly recommend the QQPR event ... several more will be held around the U.S. later in 2009 ... in Washington, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania & Arizona. Check it out! They're not coming back to Orlando in 2010 (bummer!), but I hope they'll return to Florida sometime soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

fun celebrating with Mom!

Sal, Buddy, Aruba & I had a fabulous time celebrating my Mom's birthday yesterday! So glad that we could all be together for her special 65th birthday.

Here are some highlights of the celebration:

... my Mom & Dad together during our breakfast out...
... the gifts.... some great new things for my Mom to enjoy in her garden ... a beautiful brass watering can, a copper hanging birdbath, and a gorgeous magenta-colored bromeliad plant ... and of course, Buddy & Aruba were eager to help with the unwrapping!

... the cake ... so pretty in pink & yellow ... and yummy too!

... Mom enjoying her new gifts ...

... me & Mom with a plumbago plant in her pretty backyard garden ...
We ended the day with dinner out, and then Sal and I had to head home in the evening ... we'll miss you, but will see you again soon, Mom & Daddy!

P.S. ~ I'll be blogging about the rest of my scrapbooking event (from last weekend) within the next day or so. Please check back soon to see all the great projects!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

it's my Mom's special day !!!

Happy 65th birthday today to my Mom! She lives in Seminole, Florida and we're so glad that we're here celebrating this milestone birthday with her.

We wish you a FUN & MEMORABLE day, Mom! :-)

We love you Mom,
Susan, Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Saturday, September 12, 2009

what? another one?!?!?

Hello from Orlando! I'm here attending a terrific scrapbooking event (yes, another one!) called Quick Quotes Private Reserve '09. It's put on by a great family-owned sb'ing company called Quick Quotes (hereafter QQ), and I was thrilled when I learned that they were bringing the event to Florida! I love their products, kits, & creative ideas.

I arrived Friday evening and am having a fab time already! And making it even better is that Sal is with me! On the way here, he patiently waited (thanks sweetheart!) while I browsed at my fave scrapbook store here in Orlando ... Scrappy Boutique. They have a nice selection of the latest & greatest sb'ing goodies, I love visiting their shop every time I'm in Orlando. If you're a scrapper and will be coming to Orlando, be sure to put them on your "must-visit" list! They have unique projects on display too, like these oh-so-cute decorated S-C-R-A-P letters (photographed with permission, of course!):

On Friday evening, the event began with some make & take projects ... one of them was to create and personalize our own name tags, love that! Here's mine:

And some of the projects were using sb supplies to make cards to send to our troops, I loved that too! They're gathering the blank cards that we made and sending them overseas so that the troops will have a big supply of cards handy to send to their loved ones. How nice is that? I thought it was especially appropriate since Friday was the Sept 11 anniversary. Such a sad day, and not forgotten even though we're attending this event.

The QQ gals are giving us tons of goodies, here I am enjoying some of my new "loot":

Notice that I'm wearing the charm necklace that was designed by Heidi Swapp for Creative Escape 09 (see my previous post for an up-close pic of it) ... and it's getting lots of compliments here! It's so pretty.

They also have an on-site store set up where you can browse all the fun QQ kits ... such nice projects!

A room full of pretty tables invited us into the Welcome Ceremony, where they introduced the QQ staff and gave us an overview of the event.

We worked on a couple more small projects, and then it was time to crop til midnight ... but I got tired way earlier than that!

I really miss Buddy & Aruba, but am happy that they're having fun with my parents. "Grandma" even cut up some fresh carrots special for Buddy to snack on!

Unless I'm too exhausted, I plan to be back here blogging during the weekend ... until then, you can go HERE to get a sneak peek at some of the projects that we'll be working on.

Enjoy the weekend,


Monday, September 7, 2009

Creative Escape: Friday & Saturday

Hi, I'm back to continue on with details of my 2009 Creative Escape ... Friday & Saturday ...

Friday at Creative Escape:
After breakfast, the event began early ... 8:00 AM ... with the first of 4 workshops that day ... first up: Heidi Swapp! Pretty cool for me, because she's my fave sb designer! She gave a nice introduction about capturing "once in a lifetime" moments in our scrapbooks. And that was the theme of her mini-album-with-an-easel project too:
(sorry, but none of these pictures will do the projects justice)

Next was Lynette Carroll's workshop ... a stunning wall art project! All in an elegant color palette of black, cream & gray:

Here's my CE pal Renee from NY (so great to finally meet you, Renee!) working on Lynette's beautiful project:
During one of my Friday classes, the CE crew came in with a cart full of RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) to give away! Yes, more fun! My goody bag included some fun embellishments, bling, and an acrylic album. Sweet!
Here I am in Debby Schuh's workshop ... don't I look happy? I was !!! :-) And notice my new zebra scrapbooking tote next to me?
Debby had us create a cutie pink, black & white Creative Escape-themed mini-album. She gave us lots of great ideas for collecting memorabilia on any trip, so clever!

My final class on Friday was with Marah Johnson. We worked with a box that contained 12 tiny books, and we used scrapbooking techniques on each one and on the box too! Who knew that spraying Glimmer Mist on flocked paper would be so beautiful, or was even a possibility? Gorgeous!
In some photos, I'm wearing a necklace that was designed by the ├╝ber-talented Heidi Swapp ... it's oh so pretty! And I felt pretty wearing it. Here's a close-up:
It's a beautiful toggle design, with each of the charms having symbolism and chosen for a specific reason, and providing reminders of CE:
heart ==> my love & passion for scrapbooking
butterfly ==> fun, and the chance to be renewed
wing ==> the freedom that comes from learning new techniques
crown ==> my life is important & worth remembering
pearl ==> a reminder that with time & effort, something remarkable and precious is created
crystal ==> a reminder that I am multi-faceted and that I can shine

Here's me (looking tired!) & Michelle from California (Dog Mom to Max & Fenway, who often "write" e-mails and blog comments to Buddy & Aruba ... so cute!):

me & Denise (from Idaho) ... so happy to meet you, Denise!:
me & Vicki & her daughter Ashley (who live near me here in SoFla):
At the Friday night dinner, there was a neat little gift at each of our places ... a custom-decorated Creative Escape cookie ... too pretty to eat! (although I heard that Tim ate his right away, LOL) Those nifty CE surprises thrill me!
After dinner, it was time for the "Friday Extravaganza". The fun never stops at CE (that explains why I was too beat to blog)! We worked on an album that is based on Natasha Bedingfield's song Unwritten (which is now on my iPod) ... the project purpose is to, as the song suggests, inspire us to document our life's journey, not to leave it "unwritten".
While we were enjoying the Friday night festivities, CE had the hotel staff deliver goodies to our rooms ... how fun to walk in and find this on my bed! It was filled with great stuff ... some cardstock, Philosophy facial cleanser, and lots more. It's just one fun thing after another at CE!

Saturday at Creative Escape:
The final day of CE began with a class from Carol Wingert. She designed a 3-D pyramid box with a clear panel that lets you peek inside at whatever special something you want to put in it! Very unique!
Next was a workshop with Deb Crouse & Paula Cheney from 7 Gypsies. We made another beautiful piece of wall art:

And then it was on to a colorful and cheery mini-album workshop with Heather Bailey. It was very detailed, and I didn't come anywhere near finishing it!

Heather also has a line of stunning fabrics, and they were sold in bundles of fat quarters (wrapped in pretty tulle ribbon) in the CE store. Now you know why I got up early and got over there for the store's opening! Her fabrics were gone in a flash! But I was lucky to get some and I look forward to using them in my scrapbooking projects.
My final class of CE was with Tim Holtz. I love arriving at a class and having a class kit and fresh workspace waiting, such a treat!

And his project was totally adorable ... and perfect for me as a travel fanatic! ... a teeny-tiny (2.5" x 3.5") album in a teeny-tiny suitcase! (photos courtesy of Tim's blog):

A great place to record our "moments from the journey". So is that cute, or what???

After the final workshop and a short break, we gathered for the Saturday night dinner & Closing Ceremony. It's a fun time to reminisce about the weekend's events, especially during the slideshow (and yes, my funky feet were featured in the slideshow!), but it's also sad that the event is wrapping up.
During the slideshow, they played fun songs like Gwen Stefani's The Sweet Escape, Natasha's Unwritten, and Fabulous from the "High School Musical 2" soundtrack. Of course, they're all on my iPod now.

And as is a CE tradition, at the Saturday night dinner we "eat dessert first". And it was delish!

And it came with a little zebra purse that contained either some pretty pink & green beads, or a bracelet. The one lucky gal who got the bracelet also won a spot at CE next year, wow!

During the dinner, they awarded lots of random prizes ... just kept drawing name after name. It was exciting to watch, and some other lucky Susans won! Here's Susan from NY (top) and Susan from Atlanta (below) with their bundles of scrapbooking goodness. Congrats girls!

Saturday evening closed with a keynote speech by Melanie Wellman. It was an inspiring continuation of the "unwritten" theme, encouraging us to live a life worth scrapbooking!

Oh, and one more thing that I love about CE ... collecting the pins (buttons) ... otherwise known as "flair" if you're a fan of the movie Office Space! *wink* Anyway ... they have lots of fun designs, like "creative bliss" and "it's a dry heat", but my favorite has to be "I got in!", referring to our name being drawn in the CE lottery to be able to attend! I put my pins all over the straps of my tote ... loved it!
I spent Sunday morning hanging with friends ... and after a delayed flight out of Phoenix, I landed in Ft Lauderdale at midnight and was greeted by Sal's smiling face! Although I had a fabulous and memorable time, I was glad to be back home with Sal, Buddy & Aruba ... and to be back in Florida where there's some humidity, LOL !

Now, I'm awaiting delivery of my box of scrapbooking "loot" that I shipped home ... according to UPS tracking, that brown truck will be pulling up to my house with it on Tuesday.

And as usual, I'm still unpacking ... I know, I know I've been home for a week ... but I'm not putting my suitcases or scrapbooking supplies away just yet! I'm off to another exciting sb'ing event later this week, woo hoo! This one's a little closer to home ... Orlando ... stay tuned for all the fun details!

Also ... to everyone who gave me RAKs during CE ... Renee, Faye, Jody, Michelle, Kyoko, Debby, Georgia, and everyone ... THANK YOU! It was such a treat to have a fun surprise handed to me out of the blue, or to go back to my room and find that you had a RAK delivered to me! Your thoughtfulness made CE extra special for me!

And to all my CE friends ... thanks for the fun memories, and I hope to see you in Phoenix at CE 2010! :-)