It’s Christmas Season!

Christmas Season is my favorite time of year. It’s colder and there’s the fireplace in use most days, planning goes high gear, implementation knocked out as can do all the next month.

Of course, we just got done with Thanksgiving Day and my daughters birthday the next day, and I got sick over that time. I hate colds, I hate them! I’m really in no shape to do much, it’s enraging when there WERE things you had wanted to do, but have no way of forcing yourself to care about those things anymore.

Easy tasks are now nightmare. I don’t have the energy to do more than blow my nose, drink coffee, play on my PS Vita, or read something (book, on PC, Tablet, phone, etc.)

For instance I took no photos the last couple of days. Oh no!

Even now, there are beautiful maples Β in my yard, getting redder by the day, and I have taken none. My Thanksgiving meal, that day, nothing. Daughters birthday, nothing. Ugh.



Tested Once Again

My cat died less than two weeks ago. He was just 3 years old. It was shocking and still has me off-kilter.

Two days after he died, my 5 year old boy turned 6. That wasn’t fun. I tried hard, but still. It’s like you are a stuffed animal. Something takes the stuffing out of you. You’re just a skin with no filling. That’s what it feels like.

Sometimes I can forget about it now. But then I remember. So here we are, tomorrow is the Fourth of July. I have to make the day in my cat’s honor. I need to. Bang! Poof! Ahhhh! You know, fireworks..

Post Birthday 2011

I got my last birthday present yesterday. It was something that was ordered but couldn’t be delivered to the store until then. Unfortunately my husband decided to make it a mystery gift, wouldn’t tell me what it was, had nothing but a mystery coupon about it in my card … so nothing to “open” or make it a surprise that was a good thing.

For me I DO NOT like strung out things, leading on, shocking me on purpose, etc.

I like a good surprise, a pleasant surprise, but not one that is hinted at, teased, dragged out.

I could recount many stories of these sorts of things, with a couple being big time bad things in how they make me feel, whether good or bad on the other side. No bad surprise is a good thing, and it’s usually, IRL something that happens all of the sudden … well, guess what? Good surprises are like that too, or should be. Otherwise they are not surprises, but something expected, whether or not it’s a totally known entity.

The way my personality is, I’m not going to live up to a gifters expectation in how I react when some drawn out thing finally culminates…

…Which happened yesterday. I got an HTC EVO View 4G tablet. I love it. Don’t expect a video of my reaction, or a recounting of how excited I was. I wasn’t. It was just “time for it” and a “thank you very much, leave me alone, get on with it, let me leave with it” kind of thing.

For me, receiving gifts is my main “love language” — packaging is important. Unveiling important. That means, good gift (great!) but it’s not like a giant greatly wrapped with pretty paper and bow box to open, if so, then, it’s this: “thanks”

If it’s presented wonderfully, with a lovely thing to open to take out said good gift, :”AWESOME!” “Thank you!!!” etc.

My emotive external-ness is dependent on the process, or lack thereof, depending on circumstances. Up to birthday, expectation, secrets, air ripe with promise, just like Christmas … that’s OK. Day of, lovely pkg to unwrap is phenomenal.

I just don’t wish to go into the other versions of this, the negative ones.

I think my husband would like the lead-on’s for his own-self –so in the coming days I’ll try that and see if he likes it. Well, maybe. I mean, it’s not a strongsuit of mine. His birthday is over a week past, so …it’s not an easy task.

I mean planning and making it a thing to bring life to a beast of an expectation on one side or the other … but string it along … something mean on the end, or something good, doesn’t matter. It all FEELS the same. At least to me it does.

OK, back in the days of yore I was about 8 or 9 and it was Christmas morning. My Dad was a prankster a-times, and this morning he used that ability quite meanly. He was the distributor of gifts. So he picked up one and tossed it to a sister of mine (who was in on it) and she didn’t catch it, but let it fall. “Crash” They made a big deal out of it and blah, blah, blah on it went until they gave it to me, shaking it well beforehand, so that when I opened it up there was a dust/dirt cloud when I opened it, broken glass … it was a canister, with a special label made for it stating “Murphy’s Soup” … which was a horrible name they called me sometimes (my name was “Mary Sue” back then, so they thought it funny, me being the youngest, the brunt of every joke, awful.)

It was a devistating time for me. I lost faith in family for sure at that point.

Years later, reading about Love Languages, I understood myself much better by then and that information helped me even more … things like what happened at that young Christmas are not forgettable, but put away-able. They haunt me, but only because they were horrible, intentional, and didn’t shape my “receiving gifts” love language, only accent to me how real it was and still is, never changing, always the same. I appreciate beauty and decency. Gifts are that.

Sarcasm and such is for other times. Amen.

So … I do like my gift this year, I wanted it anyhow, it was a known entity to me and something I know he knew I knew about. I guessed it was what was what. But never said what I really thought. I wish I had forced the issue on my birthday, then it’d be a glad thing instead of something that just kept going trying to fool me to the end. I am not ranting or complaining, only stating the status of my birthday, the status of my feelings, the status of which takes more than 140 characters to say. It is nothing more than a Status though. Plain and simple.

Yesterday was my birthday

July 18 was my birthday. My daughter made coffee cake … she’s 12. It was very good (from the recipe I make.)

We then left to go to the movies. It wasn’t really a present, sort of ended up as one, kind of. Me and my two eldest children saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D, while my husband and the two youngest children saw Cars 2.

All along, this year, we three intended to see Transformers 3 in IMAX, but didn’t get to go because it went out of IMAX before we were able to get to a show. Really crazy, a movie that was gonna open on July 1st, but opened a couple of days earlier, but still, less than 3 weeks in IMAX before H.P. knocked it out.

We went to an AMC theatre that we don’t normally go to, to see T3 in 3D yesterday. Our usual Regal theatre is what made us mad, plus it enable us to look at it differently, we could see the 3D version of the movie at AMC for less than the 2D one was at Regal.

We’d have loved the IMAX version of the film, so it was a hard decision on what to actually do about seeing it anywhere. So the final decision was 3D at AMC. We had the theatre to ourselves. It was a small theatre room, the sound was good, but not awesome. Win some, lose some.

Transformers 3 was a great movie though. It was awesome in 3D, it translated well in Real 3D, we feel. The story was good. Reviewers online have overstated how thin the story is, and how much you need a big picture and shaking seats big sound to get the value out of it. Hmmm. Not quite.

Big sound would have been so very awesome, but we so much enjoyed it as it was, and would like to see it again, in 3D always. The detail is incredible. Gorgeous environments.I could go on and on, this isn’t a full movie review post though. πŸ™‚

My main present was LEGO Alien Conquest UFO Abduction. It was my first major LEGO set. We get stuff for our boys all the time, and a few things have caught my interest over the years, with this last year being more, and then when I saw the new Alien Conquest line I knew that was it. My time had come.

I built the thing in one sitting. It was easy enough. I know how to put the things together, helping my children through the years. This was MINE though πŸ™‚

I didn’t put the stickers on (still haven’t) I don’t like doing it during the project. I prefer afterwards, when one feels like doing it, slow and painstakingly applying the stickers.

Anyhow, the UFO Abduction is a nice piece. Feels good, solid, playable. The Alien is Ugly. πŸ™‚ The abduction light is awesome!

My daughter gave me a coupon for one Alien Conquest Battle Pack.

Also, my husband gave me a coupon for seeing The Lion King in 3D IMAX this Fall. ( …old story behind that …)

We had homemade pizza for my birthday dinner. Then we watched Pitch Black, then X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

My daughter also made a birthday banner for me. I never made any before this year, but I made one for the first birthday of 2011 in April, and one for the next birthday in June. I didn’t do one for my husband’s birthday. But a week later I got one! It’s very nice. We’d heard her banging away in her room for the previous few days, the reason was apparent finally.

My Birthday Banner

My Birthday July 18, 2009

We did go to SC and get some fireworks 1 2 for my birthday, and to pick up milk from the farm yesterday.

I have my birthday cheesecake in the oven. (yes, I am making my own birthday cake, beats having one from a store …)

Frank had me open my presents already. A bunch of scrapbooking stuff from Target, the $1 stuff, but it’s good stuff, a cool throw he found in a store in Greenville, SC the other week, it’s a baseball thing, made of 90% cotton/recycled cotton, remainder virgin acrylic. I’ll have to get a picture taken & uploaded, or find one online …

My big gift was a Wacom intuos 4 graphics tablet. I’ve wanted on for years, and this is a nice one. It’s the S version, a start-up for me (he agreed, planned that already, that this would graduate to the children and I’d get a larger tablet someday.)

So now I need space to work in. More than ever.

Happy Birthday to me!

Best present comes later … setting off the fireworks linked above. Also have several Crackling Jets and Magic Crystals; as well as firecrackers left over from the 4th, which were part of what we bought and got “free” from Phantom with our purchase then, so they are NOT the ones I prefer. I like Black Cat firecrackers.

My Cricut Expression Birthday

My birthday was on Friday. We were out of town for a family wedding. So compensation was in order to amend how that was for me. My big present was:

A Cricut Expression machine.

If you click the above link you can see that, right now, the msrp is $499.99. We bought it from Costco online … for $349.99 (+ tax) and the price includes S&H. Well that was a few days before my birthday that we ordered it. We arrived home on Sunday night, and my package was on the doorstep.

I didn’t open it until the next night, being tired from the trip and lots of things to re-organize, and being so tired …

I played around with it a bit, and then yesterday I watched the DVD disc that comes in the package, then went and tried a few new things. I made a rectangular “bag” for my daughter, to put some of her small hair accessories in. I put flowers on the two wider sides as well. All this from the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge that comes with the original package. I then made a {belated} birthday card for my sister using the same cartridge. I didn’t finish it until today, putting some of it together last night, and the rest today. One of the fun things I did, was to make heart confetti to put in the envelope with the card.

I was more creative with this stuff than I’ve been in months and months (with no cutting tool except my scissors and craft knife … blah.) I didn’t want a Cricut when they first came out, but since the Cricut Expression has come out I’ve thought about IT here and there and finally came to realize that this is the tool I wanted the most, not a manual cutting system, and I liked how it seemed to work (from afar) and just decided it was right for me. I was very happy to be able to get it for my birthday, for a decent price.

So then I started writing this post, and I went to the manufacturer’s site and then to to look at the product on each site. That is when I about blew my stack when I looked at the Costco page and saw that, “what ….? $269 …? What is THIS!?”

the Cricut Expression page on Costco’s site.

So then I went to our bank online and looked at the transactions to verify the charges, and sure enough, we paid a lot more than that. So my hubby called our Costco store and they assured him they’d be able to adjust the price for us, corporate Costco, so he then called the right number and sure enough, they will refund the ajusted amount withing 48 hours. How nice, and how right for them to do so, with just a week or so between our purchase and the price change, or less than that, I don’t know for sure.

I finished my sister’s card today, then decided to cut out a few things for potential scrapbook pages, then got inspired to make another card, one for a friend, for no particular reason except for that (being a long-distance friend.) I have all the basic parts, just need to finish the inside ideas, then put it all together. With this card I went and made shadows for my title. Wow does it look great, and it wasn’t hard to put them together with my glue stick. (Yes, using the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, again.)

I didn’t take a picture of anything yet, I haven’t sent my sister’s card yet, but I have it sealed up, so I can’t take a picture of it anymore. I will try and take a picture of my next card, maybe the “bag” I made. I’m sure I’ll make a new bag next. A rounded one out of 12×12 paper/cardstock. πŸ™‚

The best thing about this is I have ideas for cards and now I can implement them easily, and make a coordinating envelope out of really nicely patterned paper so easily (when before I’d just use a stock plain envelope, or no envelope at all for cards to immediate family members.)

I’ve always liked scrapbooking, and using scrapbooking supplies to make cards and other stuff, but I haven’t always made stuff very often, and I haven’t really scrapped much at all, in reality. I have scads of photos in boxes, and even more now that are digital (way more photos taken since going digital!) Now the Cricut Expression will have me making projects galore, and hopefully that will include getting several scrapbooks completed before the years end.