Friday, August 28, 2009

I like (love) bling!

Today is my anniversary. 27 years of wedded bliss with the same guy. Ya, really. Bliss. And same guy. How cool (and unusual in this day and age) is that?

So, I got spoiled. Ya really. I mean I get spoiled 365 days a year and 24/7, but today I got spoiled more. Bling. Another Pandora Charm Bracelet and FOUR charms. Wowsers. A gorgeous card. A day of togetherness. What more could a girl want?

Nope, not sharing my man, just my good fortune . I am blessed... and I KNOW IT!

~ Shelley

Addendum to "our day": Anniversary was wonderful. Spoilt rotten as per usual (24/7 and 365 days, lol). We went out for a nice dinner. Didn't book a reservation as these are usually not needed and tons of restaurant choices. First choice... we arrived and it was closed for a private party. Drive to next... moved to new location open in August... yada, yada. Drive to new location, park car, walk up street, that is closed for sewer repairs, and... not open yet! It's August 28 for goodness' sake, lol. Nice walk and looking at open road and old sewer - cistern style built of bricks. Oh the history it could tell. Off to next location we notice a "tavern" we've always been meaning to re-visit since high school days... u-turn and go there. What an atmosphere, lol. It was fun. We had a good time and got a story to tell.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No Excuse for Poor Behaviour

Nope. That's what I always say. So... why did my emotions get the better of me today, then?

Maybe BECAUSE I am so in tune with the body language and vibes from my friend? She was chewing on something and I felt it... palpably; it permeated every pore of my being and left me on edge and worried. It was not the time or place to find out what. If I was offered an excuse, that's the one I'd hafta grasp at this time, lol.

Maybe because I was expecting opposition from other areas and this came outta left field (literally, lol)?

Maybe because I'm tired? When do you say enough is enough and know that it's time to move on in your "job"?

Maybe because I am feeling guilty we have not had "our time" for awhile and I've been busy making busy and have been missing our girl-time?

Maybe because last week was a real energy-sucker (but I'd do it again 'cause it was SO much fun)?

All the above and then some. But... no excuse for poor behaviour.

I over-reacted. So did she. Both of us were at fault. You seem to hurt the ones you love - ain't it true. I am devastated, depressed and crushed but I need to chill so I can talk about it. I am still shaking and on edge. I need to apologize for the delivery, but not for the message.

The message was clear and not something or a situation that I was trying to usurp. We needed more information and it wasn't forthcoming. I asked and had it thrown at me. That was wrong and hurtful; however... no excuse for poor behaviour... I over-reacted and need to say sorry... But I need to collect my thoughts. No more lashing out or hurt.

I am going to make a cup of tea. I am wounded, hurt and hurting. I need to let go of the hurt and find a way to mend myself and my friendship. I am fragile right now. It will be fine. It has to be.

~ Shelley

Monday, August 17, 2009

About Air Travel

I've decided that even as a "little person" (5'4" and "average size"), I don't like Canadair CL65's, lol. They are like being in a city bus in the air (and seat less than 50 - like sardines). A little noisy, not much legroom (and so the gentleman's knees in my back the whole way from Philly to Ottawa on the trip home from HOOT), and by the luck-of-the-draw, the second time I've been in one and the gosh darn seat won't recline even a degree! The only bonus that I could see besides the pleasant crew?... the aisle armrest can be lifted to make getting in and out much easier.

The first leg of my trip to HOOT was begun in a CL65 and the thoughts that rolled thru my mind were not good, lol. Motion sickness. Yup. I'm not the best of travellers in a car and suffer mildly from motion/car sickness. But I was in the air and the thought of having to use that little bag in the seat pocket was not making me warm and fuzzy to my future plans for air travel. Touching down in Philly was very much welcome.

The Philly airport is HUGE. Thank goodness for shuttles and directions and nice people. There was not much chance of getting lost as I had almost 3 hours between flights so I just wanted to wander, people-watch and take it all in. And oh, ya, settle my tummy. Was not going to obsess about the next flight and my queasiness. Not going to go there, lol. These are only short hops afterall. A little over an hour from Ottawa to Philly (Philadelphia) and then an hour to Columbus, Ohio. I can do it .

The EMB170 to Ohio from Philly was a welcome relief. Still a small commuter/regional plane by airport standards, but more legroom, a little more sound-proof, seats about 70 and... much smoother in the air and along with the lower noise transfer (apart from passengers who, although using earbuds have to have their music so freakin' loud all you hear is "noise". Geesh)... was a much easier ride for me. Didn't have a lick of queasiness. Whew.

Touchdown in Ohio and time to find baggage claim and a taxi. Yippee, bag is there. I had not relished the thought of my checked bag not showing up at my destination. The way home, okay, but to start the week and hear all these horror stories... A good start, lol. Okay... so I was paranoid. So shoot me.

Find the taxi stand and happen upon a lady walking aimlessly thru the shuttle/taxi area. Ask her where she might be going (yes, I talk to strangers, lol) and find out it's also the Hyatt Regency, but for an Adoption Conference being held there, not the Painting Convention. Carolyn and I share the cab and a brief conversation. Money saved, $10.00 - $15.00 (cab ride is just under $24 plus an airport surcharge of $3.00). Good start to the week.

The way home was uneventful. I made all my connections no problem. Poor Willow couldn't make her Chicago flight for a hop to Winnipeg so luckily was able to transfer to another airline to be able to get home that night (Aug 16). What a nightmare for a single mom who's had a long working week and just wants to get home to her little girl. Happy ending. The only touchy part for me was finding my way to Terminal A from Terminal C in Philly to find the Duty-Free. Didn't I already say this airport is HUGE ? A bottle for a friend but no ciggies for my mom . Then back again to Terminal F all within a short hour to make my connection.

Touchdown in Ottawa was a welcome relief. Even the knees in my back couldn't douse my excitement of being home, lol. A long, tiring week, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

~ Shelley

On Autopilot...

Well, I'm home from HOOT and I must say, the morning after came far too early, LOL. I was definitely feeling a little fuggy (foggy and muggy and generally blah ).

My final walk through customs into Ottawa I was in the "zone" and snapped out of it the moment I laid eyes on my man. My wonderful, considerate, supportive, loving, keeper-of-a-husband! There he was to greet me with a beautiful bouquet of mixed florals with my favourite flowers (carnations) front and center and a huge, loving smile on his face. I was home.

It was a WONDERFUL week!

Okay... admittedly, I knew. Knew it was going to be a tough, tiring week. Thought that I could keep in touch with you anyway. How wrong was that?! I was flat each night after doing "books" and visiting. The only thing I could think of was getting into bed and hoping that sleep would quickly find me and that I would awake re-freshed and ready to ramble.

How wrong was that?!

I did awake each morning. Refreshed? Hmmm, probably not. But I was having SO MUCH FUN managing a booth (The Princeton Brush booth) where the excitement just radiated from it and the whole exhibition floor that... well, I never crashed and burned, grin, 'til day's end. I roomed with Holly Hanley (of Sunshine Kisses and Warm Winter Wishes fame, Lydia Steeves (Pause for Painting and Debbie Cotton (designer of antique signage and labels and country designs - They were represented in our booth and demoed fabulous new brushes for the excited convention goers. We all worked alongside Willow who's new book, "Painting Wildlife and Birds", was released at the convention. One word... awesome! All American Crafts did a fabulous job with this book. Also ready and newly released at the convention and on display was the DAC's new book "The Painted Quilt". I was able to pick up my copy that I had paid for and ordered in June in Peoria. I was like a kid in a candy shoppe! Two fabulous new, BIG books, priced to fly off the shelves. These you have to see for yourself. I love conventions for the "reveals", lol. And it turned me into a celebrity chaser as off I ran whenever I was "let off for good behaviour" to seek out the artists.

This was a new-to-me side of the show. I don't think the average registrant/convention goer really understands what it takes to "get there". The hours of preparation. The endless inventorying and ordering and prepping and creating and planning and co-ordinating and packing and shipping and... The travel, the missed meals, the sleeping in a strange (maybe uncomfortable, lol) bed. 100's if not 1000's of dollars and the SWEAT EQUITY, lol, to open on Exhibition Night. The game faces. The smiles. The feelings of optimism. The atmosphere. The excitement. The noise. The visiting and reconnecting with old friends and new. The excitement of showcasing your booth and offerings and the excitement of the convention goers.

It was a very exhausting week at HOOT. Very exhausting but VERY EXCITING. The HOOT ladies put on a WONDERFUL show and it is a magnificent venue. The class areas are large and well-lit. The information booth, class sales, 2 hour specials, art show, demo area, memory box painting area, decorations, people (wonderful, awesome, smiley, helpful people!), monitor station, raffle, registration booth... are well-marked, well-staffed (with those wonderful, awesome, smiley, helpful people), beautifully showcased and... well... I WOULD HAPPILY DO IT AGAIN! Just try to keep me away, lol.

Phyllis Tilford told me,warned me, but I don't think anyone or anything could adequately convey the energy and excitement and just plain old FUN that occurs on the exhibition floor. Would do it again (and ya, am already signed on) in a New York minute!

Okay... this is the LONGEST post I have written in a while, lol (ya... unbelievable, huh?)... expect more notes, but slowly as I come down to earth from the high of the week and all the trappings and get back to normal (or what qualifies as "normal" for me ). I plan to get some "stuff" done... before I take off again, lol. Oh ya, I did tell you next stop PIA (Paint In Alberta)... didn't I?

~ Shelley

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The best laid plans...

Well, I had lots of plans to do some stuff around the house in preparation of leaving for HOOT next Tuesday (OMG...osh, that's a week away!), but was laid low today. The weather's been pitiful and I guess my body figures it needs to be in sync with the crappy weather too, lol. Oh well, I have a very supportive husband and I still have a few days .

Did I tell you it was still raining? A LOT! Where oh where is it all coming from? We had a huge storm hit again this afternoon with 100 km winds and lots of thunder and lightning and torrential rain. Geesh. I think my plants are starting to cry "uncle", lol. Well, the weathermen are saying we're actually going to have some sunshine for the rest of the week. Hmmmm, we'll see. Maybe they're just saying that 'cause they're starting to be hated more than the politicians 'round here, lol.

Tomorrow's another day and if it's nice (and even if it's not), I get to spend some quality time with my better half and hopefully I will get a few things done on my to-do list.

Good news... my youngest has got a job! Yippee! He'll be working at Wendy's (the same fast-food restaurant his older brother is working at). Hope he enjoys it... I know I will .

~ Shelley

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's raining... AGAIN! (and still!)

Thought the song was appropriate. Also, It's Rainin' It's Pouring, lol. Remember that from childhood?

Somewhere, someone announced that we had only 5 dry days during the month of July. Sigh. The 5 dry days were either taken up with indoor activities that had been pre-planned (previously mentioned bridal shower being one, lol) or were also "threatening". Geesh.

I know, we on the East/Central coast shouldn't be complaining as the West Coast has had horrendously dry conditions and even fires in some areas, particularly British Columbia. But gosh darn it, I'd be happy to share some of this rain. It's depressing.

So... I did it. I added something to my stash that I said I wouldn't, lol. Never say never, it'll come back to bite you. My wonderful, awesome husband (and I say that, not just 'cause I know he reads my blog and I need brownie points, but because it's TRUE, every last word) took me shopping at a scrapbook store that was having a half price sale. Of course I had to pick up stuff I DIDN'T need, lol. One of the purchases was a bottle of Glimmer Mist. Remember my post a couple weeks ago 'bout that product? I think I said "it wasn't for me". Well... my excuse was 1) it was half price and 2) I could use this particular colour as a "tea-dye" and antiquing on my paper. Ya right. But that's my story and I'm stickin' to it, lol.

I have a 101 things to do this week. Piles to make disappear, lists to make of what I need to take for the booths at the HOOT Painting Convention, laundry... and number one on my list is to spend time with my husband while he's off work. This I happily do.

Am running a bit of a challenge on the list. Have been offered a packet from and by Carol Forsyth ( and thought I'd award it to the member who "posts the most" for the month of August. Now to keep track of all the posts... WHAT was I thinkin'?!

I'm also hoping to play with the video part of my camera this week. I'd like to start "trying" to put together a few technique videos. Stay tuned, we'll see how that plays out, lol.

~ Shelley