Saturday, November 28, 2015


One thing I have learned from having surgery is how weepy and vulnerable I feel after a procedure. I cry for no reason and my emotions are near the surface. Still, I am happy I have done these. My knee has been the most wonderful story. I am still a bit bruised and swollen (and not wearing makeup yet); so, the plastic procedures are hard to be enthusiastic about; though, even now they look good and I know in a few months will even be better. I am glad the eyes are done and I think no more procedures.) I feel more myself. However, my husband has been the most patient of men as I work through the emotional stuff.
Obviously, one procedure after another has had its toll on the blog. It's been hard to do more than Facebook recently. I am getting enthusiastic about scrapbooking again and I am looking forward to being done with school for the semester. I am producing a few interesting prints. I plan to post those when I have more done. My French has improved even though I have not devoted the time I should have to my lessons. Art history has been fun. I think I like studio classes best though.
I had some wonderful travels in October and hope to pull things together into some scrapbook pages. I did try to keep up on Facebook, as I took the trips; but, looking back is a lot of fun and I get to use my DSLR pictures!
Here are a few layouts from the past few months that I made for Get It Scrapped at It's been fun creating a variety with digital, paper and pocket pages. 

Thank goodness for the Creative Team projects! They've kept me creating even when I've been challenged by the wear and tear of surgical procedures. The fact that I've been making art, too, has me reflecting that I have been busy! Just not blogging much. I've always found it a challenge to keep up even in the best of times but I do keep this for a personal record and like to look back. So, I am sure I'll keep at this.

Friday, October 9, 2015

On the Road

 This summer was not only consumed with time off for surgery but also travel. I attended CHA's Paper Arts Show in Chicago in July, then the Podcasters Movement convention in Fort Worth and now am finishing up in Wisconsin at Club Scrap's annual retreat. Very busy!
How's the knee? Healing well, though I ought to be doing more exercising. I always use wheelchairs at airports as it's not just my knee but also my arm and neck that limit my activities. Walking has not been neglected when I can control the pace, distance and duration. The facelift and arm lift went well too. Very happy with results.

Wisconsin, the summer is delightful there. We were tempted to get a summer home. The big problem in the Midwest is the air conditioning. Folk there dial the temperature down very low in buildings in places like Chicago and Green Bay. It helps control the humidity, I suppose. Pack sweaters, jackets and long sleeves! Outdoors, though, is beautiful! Even rainy days! (A real oddity for a Californian like me.)
Of course, I love California and was anxious to get home. A backyard swimming pool and reasonable air conditioning do help one's tolerance for the hot weather. There's always the chance of a quick trip to the coast to cool off and that cool air does rush into the valley at night to make Sacramento more livable.
My opinions about the shows I attended follow.

Paper Arts was too small for me, though the manufacturers who attended did well in general. I think the buyers would have appreciated more vendors and a wider selection. I loved seeing my friends and I did a little photography for Charity Wings. Do check Charity Wings out at Videos from the Paper Arts Show and another craft show from Utah are available there.

Podcasters Movement was very inspirational and educational and Fort Worth is a wonderful city to visit. I learned a lot and made new friends. I'm definitely planning on going to go to the meeting in Chicago next year unless we go on a river boat cruise in Europe before the Medical Women International meeting in Vienna, Austria. Thinking about that!

Club Scrap's retreat is always fun! I had a bit of  a head cold that kept me from some of the activities. I just spent time with Cal and rested. That was nice. The creativity of the Club Scrap staff always amazes me! Their products are very carefully considered for quality and usefulness. Impressed as always. Lovely people at retreat, too!

I'm going to encourage you all to take time to travel or try new things. Travel always gives me new energy and despite set backs like travel delays, viral illness, and early morning false fire alarms is over all a positive experience!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Getting a Facelift and other thoughts on surgery

 Maybe one is not supposed to admit to plastic surgery. After reading a recent article in Time magazine, I realized that a lot of folk are not being silent about "having things done".
I'm no stranger to plastic surgery, I had some procedures in my 20's when feeling a bit self conscious about my appearance. In particular, my nose, which on reflection was not bad at all. However, with frequent negative comments from the first ex-husband about the nose, I felt my self-confidence eroded and did the procedure. As I look back, no regrets. I'm happy about my past procedures.
Now, I'm planning on a lower face lift. My hairdresser has been after me to have it done for some time now. I decided to go ahead after a man, who I met recently, guessed, without hesitation, my age at about 60. This is, of course, true and was not a negative comment at all; but, I realized the tell tale signs of age were there. Now, he's an artist and attentive to detail, nonetheless it made me realize I'd like to appear a little more ambiguous when it came to my age. A little hesitation before answering would be nice. I am proud to be over 60 and to have all the life accomplishments behind me that I do. Still, it remains a youth oriented culture despite the large number of baby boomers around who are now seniors and elderly. Some of us just like to look our best, too. I have a good dermatologist and have taken good care of my skin but that doesn't help with underlying structure. Losing weight, while wonderful for my health (no blood pressure meds!), does accentuate the sagging of the face. I tend to pick the most flattering photos for my Facebook and blog posts but I'm posting one here that illustrates those soft jowls and turkey neck I want to be gone.

So, September 1, I will be having the procedure done. September 30, I plan to have a procedure in my plastic surgeon's office to tighten up my saggy arms. They are the result of weight loss as well as age.

Having just had a total knee replacement I'm a bit nervous about having more surgery. I realize that a total knee is an incredibly major procedure and not the easiest recovery, though I'm being told I'm doing way better than most folk. The knee was a very necessary surgery and well worth it, I might add. I'd highly recommend the procedure to anyone having significant knee arthritis where the operation has been advised. So many folk say "I wish I'd done this sooner". I, too, think I'd have liked a referral for this long ago. The knee replacement and the injections in my neck and in my finger joint have really helped me cope with living with arthritis. I'm still challenged by pain and restrictions but feel more hopeful that getting older will not be as dreadful as I was imagining just 6 months ago.
Also, I want to look my best and look forward to the results of my plastic surgery.
There are risks and limitations to surgical approaches to solving the signs and symptoms of aging and illness. It's not an easy decision to make. I'm nervous about the surgery; yet, I feel it's a good plan for me. Sure, I could have complications. I'm confident that even if adverse occurrences, ultimately, I'll be fine.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Post-Op Recovery

Here I am at Blogging after my knee replacement. I have not had too much trouble with conversation though, a little. I was falling asleep writing simple Facebook posts of a couple of sentences. With the pain, the drugs and fatigue I just said, "Avoid keeping up on the blog. Just too much."

I'm still on the powerful prescription drugs though taking a little less than before. The pain still comes but is much better controlled. I never did have the really awful pain after surgery that folk experience. I had a successful nerve block which worked well for about four days. I'd highly recommend that as pain control to folk planning surgery where a block could be a pain control option. Also, if planning something like an elective knee replacement, really work hard at exercising almost daily, as much as you are able for at least 6 weeks pre-op. I did well in my recovery and I told everyone who was impressed with my progress that "I trained for this". I really believe that it helped. I, also, needed to work on walking without a walker or cane because of my chronic neck problem. That was highly motivating. Still, it's a long recovery and I will not be really recovered for another 8 weeks.
Photo of knee at 4 weeks. I think it will look pretty normal in 2 months.

It's hot here in Sacramento. You may have all heard about it if you are watching the USGA Senior Open. It's being held at Del Paso Country Club, just across the street from me. I think it's been very well organized. Very little disruption to our daily lives. Weather is a little cooler for the last two days so golfers should enjoy it more; spectators, too.

I brought my niece down from Canada to help me. She's been driving me around, making sure my to-do-list is getting completed; and, just generally, has been fun to have around. I'm not sure what I'd have done without her.

The gardens are growing nicely here and over at my other house, where my son lives. Love the fresh produce of summer!

Lots of spring/summer repair work needs to be done to spiff up the houses and the yards but it's all getting done, bit by bit.

Of course, summer is the time to be lazy, rest by the pool, read books and visit family. Getting lots of that done, too.

Well, wrote the entire piece without nodding off! Will add some photos later and hope to post this soon. Feeling very accomplished!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No longer a jungle, garden started

 It was but is no longer, a jungle despite our drought conditions. Almost scary to walk out into the yard. Now it is beautiful. The weeds are gone and the scraggly plants contained.
Joe helped start a garden for us since Cal has had hip surgery. Cal is actually getting out to the garden a bit this week. I plan some updates on how the garden grows. Here's a few photos from May 1 when the garden went in behind the oleanders. The area of of power line easement at the back of our large yard gets the most sun and is where Cal plants the biggest garden.
I'm going to try and get some morning photos of the yard to post.
Naturally we have tomatoes since it is Sacramento. The Farmer's Market held weekly is only a couple of blocks away so we do not grow everything but there are peppers, melons, cucumbers and squash in this plot.
The other garden has potatoes and chives and not much more at the moment.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Friday, May 1st Live Podcast

 We are having a live show at The Digiscrap Geek Podcast. Even if you are unable to attended, there is a link on our site to enter for prizes # dsgpromo we will record the show for future listening, of course.

Join us, if you can. We will have active chat available.

Happy National Scrapbook Weekend!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Back to the Blog

 The household is settling down once more. My husband had a hip replacement but is recovering. Just took this photo last night. The kids brought food and I could not resist this photo of Cal and grandson Austin with their hairy faces. Too cute!

Slow on the scrapbook front. With hospital visits and art home work I'm pretty busy. The art homework is a bit behind, too.
Sill here are a few of my recent pages and finished art project. The pages have been done for Get It Scrapped and for fun on the community blog, too. It's my favorite scrap site on the web.

The embellishments are from #Freckled Fawn and #Little B, cardstock #Club Scrap, #Prima flowers,patterned paper #Ken Oliver Crafts, #Simple Stoies DIY overlay 

Supplies: kit is from #The Digi Files 72, a collab, LoveLivesHere. Journal card - Becky Higgins, Project Life, Cherry Ed; shadow styles - #mommyish and #One Little Bird; glitter style - mommyish, fonts - Garamond, Avenir,  scattered hearts from #WM2(squared) xoxo kit

I used the matchbox die as a starting point for my page and included the journaling and another photo inside the matchbox, next making the size of the patterned paper rectangles to match the matchbox.
Supplies: Cardstock #Bazill, patterned paper - #Jen Allyson lime twist MME; buttons, Baker’s twine - stash; matchbox die and white chipboard - #Little B, die cuts - OUR LIL’ MONSTER, Noteworthy, #Bo Bunny; chipboard word art - Bundle of Joy, #Echo Park, stamp - #Dear Lizzy, dimensional sticker - Ready, Set, Go, #Amy Tangerine, #AC

Pastel drawing After Claude Campion

Our gardner are here today working on the yard. I think Cal will be able to get in a small garden with our younger son Joe's help. Should motivate him to recover more quickly as he loves being out there in his garden. I must do a post on the yard. It is wonderful! It really had been neglected. Cal's hip was just getting to be too much of a problem and he would not admit it. I think it will be better now since his surgery. But, I think we'll still be keeping the gardner. It's an awfully big yard!