Friday, April 26, 2013

Family Time

My in-laws have been in town this week, providing good distraction from the work.  Granted, I've still been working but it's nice to have activities to do after work. 

My father-in-law has been doing some genealogy work.....and that led me to dig out my huge genealogy file the other night.  Back in college, I really got into finding my family's history.  I made some great progress....but haven't done much since.  Part of the reason for this was my great Dell computer crash of 2008 - when I lost every genealogy file I'd inputted into my free software.  I cannot fully explain how frustrating that was after all the time I spent getting the information perfectly organized.

For Christmas, I asked for and received a family tree software program for my Mac.  Yay!  While in Tennessee for Christmas, I put in a lot of Mr. Higgins' family....but now I need to do my own.  And that means making sense of my huge genealogy file. 

One of the great boons of working for a university - in my opinion - is having free access to  The only problem is that I can't do everything on Ancestry remotely.  So, I may be spending some lunch breaks over the summer doing my own research at work.  

I hope to have some exciting family history stories to share later on.  In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the last few days with my in-laws before they head back to TN.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Breaking the Rules

I don't like work politics.  I hate politics in general so any that affect me are particularly disturbing.  

You've heard about my work woes.  They haven't gone away.  In fact, I think it's safe to say that they're getting worse.  The latest incident leaves me truly perplexed as to how to proceed.

My boss has asked me to do something that is against university policy.  And he's blatantly told me that he's going to do it without trying to get the permission from our chair, also known as his boss.  So, now I've been asked to break the rules and lie about it.  

Let me be clear: I will not break the rules.  I like rules.  I like following rules.  I loathe anyone who does not follow the rules.  If I have to call in sick the day when I must break university policy, I will.  

But I know that other people deal with this and even more complicated issues in their workplaces.  I know this stuff happens....this is just my first encounter with such a thing.  And I don't know what to do.  

Let's just say that I'm really looking forward to Friday and that margarita at Happy Hour!  Work-weeks are overrated.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Scrapbook Retreat, Spring 2013

I'm back from another scrapbook retreat at Memory Lane Inn in Tyler.  I started a scrapbook of two Colorado trips...and finished the scrapbook by the end of our stay.  Now that's what I call productivity!  

It was a fun time.  Unlike our last stay, the inn was full, which made for a different experience.  There were some interesting ladies there...but we got along with most of them.  Our room had a private upstairs patio which is where we ate most of our meals.  

Tyler is gorgeous in the spring.  The azaleas are in full bloom along with the dogwoods, wildflowers, and tons of other flowers.  For anyone who has never been to East Texas, spring is the time to go!  All the way there, the bluebonnets were in bloom along the highway.  For sure, all of Texas is at its best in the spring before the hot summer sun turns everything brown.

Now, off to scrapbook the retreat in Project Life!   

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Page

Here's my April page for the Creative Memories frame.  Obviously, a picture will go in the green space.  All of the little pictures are from Graphic 45's monthly line.  I love this company!  (The picture on the bottom right is upside down, I know.  It will be clipped onto the ribbon on the CM frame.  No worries!)

The colors in Graphic 45's designs this month were great and I loved making this page.  I think it's one of my favorites, so far.  

Looking ahead to May, I can already tell you that the color scheme of Graphic 45 will not work.  I have no coordinating paper.  So, next month you'll see a departure from this adorable line.  

Stay tuned!  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fiber Fest 2013

On Sunday, my good friend, C, and I went to the DFW Fiber Fest.  This was my third time going and my second time in a row - and with C

I'm always amazed by what I find.  This year, I was prepared to be unimpressed.  Surely, I wouldn't find anything I'd want.  Surely....  Well, not so surely.  We both spent most of our money at our favorite local alpaca farm/yarn-maker.  Oh, it's so soft!  And we found sock yarn....always sock yarn....

Above is our combined bounty.  Can you guess what all is mine?  Ha!  I can't wait to work with my alpaca!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kitchen Adventures

I was in the mood to do some cooking over the weekend.  Two of the recipes I made were new....

- Skinnytaste's Broccoli and Orzo.   I had never made orzo and was intrigued by this side dish - which could easily be made into a main dish.  It was good.....though a little lacking in flavor.  I put a fair amount of parmesan cheese on it....and it still lacked a little something.  I'd really like to experiment with it, as it really has a lot of potential!

- Also from Skinnytaste: Overnight Oats in a Jar.   I found chia seeds (an amazingly good food for you!) at Trader Joe's and was excited to find a recipe that looked good.  Unfortunately, my chia seeds did not expand or anything overnight.  They looked the same the next morning as they do in the bag...only they were in a soggy mess of oatmeal and blueberries.  This was definitely a recipe I'll not make again.  It seemed like an easy breakfast solution....but, no.  

I hate it when I try a recipe that completely flops.  It really take all my cooking motivation away for quite a while.  I may stick to baking alone this week!  


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ear, Cowl!

I wanted to make an ear warmer for our Alaska cruise in June.  I found a good, easy pattern on Ravelry and went to Madtosh for some yummy Manos del Uruguay.   

My one gripe about our newest LYS is that they wind yarn waayyy too tight.  Wool stretches and looses all of it's shape if it's wound too tight.  I came home and re-wound the skein.  Isn't it pretty???!

Two weeks later I have a finished ear, no, cowl.  It's a bit too tight for my, apparently, big head.  I can't wear it comfortably over my ears.  So, I'll wear it as a cowl on really cold days.  

I have plenty of yarn in the skein to make another attempt at the ear warmer.  I'll add eight stitches and several rows, I think.  It's a bit too skinny and barely covers my, also apparently, bigger-than-average, ears.  Ha! 

I'll let you know how the second try comes along.

Pattern: Ear Warmer by Kate Morgan
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Maxima
Needles: US 7
Made for: me
Time to completion: two weeks

Thursday, April 4, 2013


About a month ago, Becky Higgins, creator of my beloved Project Life, announced an upcoming appearance on HSN.  On the show, there would be two core kits for sale....brand new core kits.  

At first, I was uninterested....  Until my mother-in-law (she's an internet master) found out which kits would be for sale.  These kits are in the new Project Life catalog, to be released for winter 2013.  There are no "old" kits in this catalog, everything is new.  

Now, I don't like change.  I like things to stay the same - especially my scrapbook products!  So when I found out which kits were being sold, I looked them up.  Out of all the new kits being offered in the winter, the one I liked most (Blush) was going to be sold on HSN.  

And I couldn't believe the deal being offeredFor $60 you got a binder, the kit, 60 page protectors, and dividers.  Wow!  When the kits became available on HSN, I got one.  I couldn't resist!  I'm all set for 2014 and it feels great!  (Especially considering I still have to find another retired Cherry edition binder for this year!  Eek!)

Yes, I'm slightly addicted to Project Life.  I love it! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Clark Gardnes

A few weeks ago, before Spring had officially and unofficially sprung, my mother and I headed out west to Mineral Wells.  Our destination: Clark Gardens.  My mother had heard about the gardens for years but had never been.  We had a free morning for girl time so off we went!

Though the plants and trees were just beginning to come out, I was pleasantly surprised by what the gardens offered.  It was all much bigger than I anticipated, as well.  The main pool was gorgeous....

There was a chapel for weddings with a beautiful English side garden attached...

This is a cool circular white garden.  If the flowers had been blooming, they would have all been white!

Another addition to the gardens was a huge network of miniature tracks and trains.  The tracks were elevated, went around, below and above little rivers...  So cool!

We'll have to return to the gardens when everything is in bloom!  I encourage you to go as well!