Monday, February 28, 2011

My Achey, not Breaky Arm

I'm really getting tired of this. My left shoulder was described by the doctor as a frozen shoulder in January. I had noticed the sudden (?) lack of range of motion on morning in early January. I say sudden because one day, my left arm didn't cooperate in fastening my bra. Yowza!! it hurt when I pulled that arm up mid back, the same motion I had made for most of my adult life. Right arm and hand up there mid back waiting for its partner left arm. Left arm not willing to participate and answering back with a stab of pain.

Ok, like most occasions, I waited a few days, tested it out again, OUCH!, and made adjustments. Bras can be twisted, fastened in front and re-twisted. A bit of a nuisance but something I could live with. However I realized I did need my left arm to be part of the team a little more, and went to the doctor. "Frozen shoulder" she said, which I had never known as a medical diagnosis, I mean no Latin phrase?

I started my bi-weekly trips to the Physical Therapist. It's a wonderful practice, all the staff are great and they did say it wasn't a rotator cuff issue. That was a big relief. With a variety of exercises and stretching, my arm made great progress in a lot of the angles an arm can move in. But behind my back, and the one where you reach up and back to get the seat belt from its fastener up by your left shoulder you drive..uh, uh.  It still hurt or was pretty much undo able.

Oh, and did I mention sleeping? I was and still am, waking up about every two hours, needing to shift, twist, turn and get myself into a new position and hopefully fall back asleep. If himself is snoring hard, I drag myself downstairs, and pull out the sofa bed. Seriously, I can now do this without totally waking up! WooEE. Yeah, right. I've tried a night or so with Ambien. I still wake up even tho one pill lets me sleep through a noisy trans-Atlantic flight.

Wednesday, I have a re-evaluation with the PT Dr. How would I describe how my arm feels a lot of the time?  achey (continuous dull pain is the definition - that dull is so accurate), burning and now I often have a stiff neck too. I've never been a napper but I could go to sleep easily most afternoons. I'd like to spend the whole night in my own bed and be the sound sleeper I once was.

In the scheme of life and issues, it's not a serious big deal, but just one that's wearing me down. I'm tired, and I'm tired of it. I would like to fasten my bra behind my back but mostly I just want my arm to stop hurting.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Flashback Friday 11 02 25

I was attacked by a cactus once on this 2002 trip. I learned fast.  A flashback to a November Arizona and New Mexico vacation. I'm outside of Sedona here and NO we did not have a camper or RV.

I also saw a lot of this place and was thrilled to see the light snow frosting. Yes, the Grand Canyon is even more spectacular than you can imagine. Go. Make sure you see it in this lifetime.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Connecting the Dots

Thanks to Holly at decor8  for this inspiration. Where were you then and where are you now..connect those dots. Ok, Holly, I'm connecting.

The first thing that came to me is one I think of often when I read someone in an on-line class or digital forum talk about not understanding the digital process or being so frustrated in doing something in Photoshop Elements, the supposedly simpler little sister of the heavyweight, muscular Photoshop. I think I did my first bit of digital experimentation in 2006. Seeing things like this digital card I received and feeling they were so far beyond me. I felt as if I would never get to this point!

I was working in PSE4 on a Mac Mini. I had Photoshop CS but was totally clueless in how it worked and decided to get the PSE program. That was still frustrating because PSE6 was the standard but that version wasn't available for Mac yet. I would watch tutorials like Jessica Sprague's or Ali Edwards' and do my best to follow along. There was a lot of frustration, and there were even tears at times. My little old Mini would freeze up and/or crash, and usually by then I was just glad to lose what I had done. Sometimes I still had it saved but mostly I just wanted to get away from it all. I understood the layers concept but the clipping of a photo to a layer mask was so hard for me to do. The photos tended to wander all around the page and I felt like they were trying to get away from me.

Christmas 2007 saw the arrival of my beloved 24" iMac. What a difference that made. I had more memory, the crashes ended, and I feel I took off. My first digital layout was in may 2008. I also dealt with my frustration by making ATCs and digital postcards to exchange.

I was still seriously learning and when I found the forums at Designer Digitals I started asking questions and learning. Finally I was able to get PSE6 for Mac which came free on a $99. Bamboo Fun tablet. I've never got round to using that tablet but...the PSE6 really got me going. I WAS finally having fun. I played around with making things on my own to see if I could do it, and I could. However, I also came to realize that it was well worth the $3 or so to pay a designer for something that would never run out or expire! I knew how to tweak things so I could change a lot ...if I felt like it. Things fell into place in 2009 and I started taking on line classes. I almost overdosed on classes, but boy what a godsend that was. I still have not found anyone nearby who scraps digitally so my computer has also become my classroom and my community. 2009 also saw me install additional memory by MYSELF on the iMac and the arrival of a Macbook at Christmas. I could now scrap on vacation, tho 13" is not the same as 24" to these old eyes.

2010 found me comfortable with digital scrapping, making Shutterfly albums and documenting lots of trips both long and short. I am now up to PSE8 and while I have PSE9, I dread the process of relocating all of my actions. I am still enjoying digital classes but more for subject material and inspiration rather than technique. I like learning more of the how-to's but realize that I do like simple the best.

I've left my point and shoot digital camera behind and switched totally to my iPhone4. I also realized that I wasn't as concerned about the quality of the photo as I was about telling a story. I know I can still use a lot of guidance and inspiration in adding some of the 'pretty stuff' so I look at others, see what they use and how they use it, and test it out myself. I see that I have posted 377 layouts since May 2008 which amazes me. I like to help others learn the easiest ways so I am most likely to post in answer to a digital question. PDF tutorials are good but I much prefer a video. Hello Vimeo and YouTube!

Now I just have to get around to installing PSE9 and all those actions! Soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cheap Slut Olive Oil and other Food Perversions

Sometimes it seems that food just can't be food. I asked my ds about a recipe he had made in the restaurant where he works, and he said, x, y and 'good bacon'.  I didn't take it as a personal affront, but really, I've rarely gone into a store and asked for poor bacon, bad bacon, or inferior bacon. Now I do buy the chopped bacon bits at our Amish market, but it's still good bacon and works just fine for rendering some for a roast.  Lately I have seen the term 'good bacon' bandied about a lot.  If you are reading this, please tell me you have used non-good bacon!

I put that term in the same category as the sign at a local fast food joint.... Naturally Cut Fries.  As opposed to 'unnaturally' cut? Is that some sort of food perversion or fetish? Actually, I really don't want to know more and I suspect you don't either. If your fries aren't good, AND bad for me, I believe the method used is not relevant.  So there.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Not Just for Valentine's Day

This was such a good visual instruction  of Tim's that I figured even I might be able to do it. Not tissue tape here so I'm thinking of alternatives. We shall see. What we'll probably see is a trip to the craft store for something pretty to use as tape. But you know how that goes, don't you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flashback Friday 11 02 18

Not flashing back too far, just to November 2008. It was our first visit to Orvieto Italy. Just a one day visit on 'our' first visit to that country. We took a tour that included 3 days each in Venice, Florence and Rome, with side trips to a few other cities. It was a great overview for himself and a wonderful reminder to me. This was my first acquaintance with a wild boar, and I knew I never wanted to meet one of these creatures in the flesh.

November 2010 we spent a week in Orvieto, after having one more taste of the city in spring 2010. This time I did meet the wild boar again, both her on the street, but even better in cinghale on a plate. A perfect late autumn dish and the best way to come in contact with that wild boar.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Project 365 Week 6

A week at home alone...time seems to be going faster now. Is it the increased hours of daylight or just galloping old age, galloping? Whatever.

I'm really liking having one template to work with and then changing out the background paper and elements each month/week. Since this is my first time, I can see that I would have been overwhelmed trying to make it totally new each week.  Maybe another template would have been better but I can always change that quarterly if I like. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Project 365 Week 6

This was a week I had to myself as 'the boy' went to Florida. I could have gone but decided to stay home, keep at the PT and just chill. It was a good week, the kind I need once in a while.

That's really all there is to say about it but the process goes on. I like recording time like this. Do you do anything like this?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Yesterday was one of the Quarterly Chat Days at Designer Digitals . The chats started at 8am and were hourly up to and including 11pm! This was the first chat that I made it through to the end and that's a lot of eyeball to screen time!

Each chat has a challenge, and a freebie to use. The most difficult one is always Cassie Jones' chat which is a 30MM (30 Minute Masterpiece). You can just feel your heart rate go up!! Cassie has marvelous tutorials which really take you step by step through the digital process. However, for this challenge she stuck to the Valentine's Day theme and her love wasn't as tough as usual! The rules were easier I think! Oh yes, the winner of each challenge wins an 8" Shutterfly Book. How 'bout that!

I managed to get three challenges done, and fortunately many have deadlines for today. That's good because a beginner can be overwhelmed trying to watch the chat screen and scrap. What am I's still pretty impossible for me! I guess I am still in digital grade school which is fine.

Here are the ones I got done yesterday, and the first is that 30MM. ok, so maybe it's not a Masterpiece but it did get done in 30minutes!

Next one was for an iTunes challenge where the cover art had a split torn image. I used photos of me and my son, both at around 10 years of age.

The last one I managed was for Cathy Zielske's Type Challenge. Use just one font on a page. Word art allowed.

I know I won't get all the challenges done today, or even at all, but it really was a lot of fun, I have about $50 worth of free digital supplies, and lots of great advice and info from the chat leaders and fellow chatters.It was a really good day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Flashback Friday 11 02 11

When my dh goes on a trip by himself he always adds the info of where he's staying on our digital calendar. He almost always makes the reservations for stops on his way there and returning. After 10 years of this, I have learned he always comes home early. Someone makes fun of my being a homebody, but boy he's the one who always cuts his trips short. But I love him, and have learned that if there's something I want to get done while he's gone, I'd better do it in the first days rather than the last.

Here's that cutie pie with the unruly hair as a boy, circa 1949.

I bet I could Photoshop that hair into submission...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Project 365 Week 5

Still enjoying this after all of 5 weeks! If my memory goes any time soon, I'll still have this. ;-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Me and my One Little Word - Learn

Poor old literal minded me is having a bit of a go with my word I'm afraid.

Geeze, word, it's been a whole month. You have to be a bit clearer with me. Subtle often alludes me. I did learn one thing last month. I learned that my parents really were in love, long, long ago.  It's been so long since each of them died that it's easier to see the people they once were rather than the people I 'knew' growing up a child and a young-ish adult. I mean both of them were dead by the time I was in my mid-30s.  I had so much life learning to do. So, ok word. I was just a slow learner. Maybe you are doing as much with me as I'm letting you do. I'll be patient. Ok, I'll try to be patient. Is that better?


I hope you get a chuckle about how I see myself and you. Maybe at the end of February, it will all look different. Bye for now Little Word. I know you're around, and I'll keep an eye out for you. Oh yes, I'll keep and open heart too. Cya!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One Little Word Blog Hop

Hop hop hop. I decided to join in this one which is unusual for me but thought what the heck. Try something different. I think I am about one of the last ones to join in but we all get there in the end.

I've done One Little Word two years ago and my word was RELAX.  I found a wooden Relax and liked having my word up in my studio to look at all year. That was really all I did to incorporate it into my life. It was a good reminder to slooooow down. Take it easy. I was retired and didn't really need any 'have-to's' in my life.

Last year there was no word. A lot of our life and thoughts were taken up with our little granddaughter who was dying from aplastic anemia. We also had that Snowmagedon. I had other things on my mind and occasionally missed having "A" word.

This year Ali Edwards has a class on incorporating your chosen word in your life. Who doesn't love Ali's way of teaching the profound through simple scrap booking. I glammed onto this.

My word wasn't one that thrilled me at first. You know, you think about a word, roll one or two around in your head and heart and somehow one just fits. You'll know it when you feel it.  I waited for one to come to me and thought, I want to be open to what comes. Well the word that kept coming was LEARN. I didn't like it, but darn you word, you just wouldn't let go, would you?!?!  So I accepted that God/the Universe had a plan for me for this year, and I would learn what it was in time. I would LEARN.  I don't know now because I have to...learn.

me and my word book

Now that you've read all about MY word, how about going and seeing Cheri. She's the next on on the bloghop list so go her a visit! (That's me, number 27.) Cheri is just after me below at number 28.

Then you may want to see all the other OLW'ers who are playing the bloghop?

1) Margie
2) Jill Conyers
3) Monica
4) Lynn W
5) Miranda
6) Mandy
7) Kathy
8) Lisa
9) Donna
10) Abbey
11) Sam
12) April
13) Nicky
14) Rebekah
15) Relly
16) Nancy
17) Cynthia
18) Kathryn
19) Nikki
20) Heather
21) Gayle
22) Kristina
23) Debra
24) Becky
25) Amy
26) Marlene
27) Maureen
28) Cheri
29) Monica Scrapmom
30) Jan
31) Junelle
32) Margaret
33) Sharyn
34) Tere

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