Friday, July 24, 2009

Going to visit my parents again

I'm flying out to visit my parents tomorrow (and luckily we had enough flier miles it's not costing me anything either). They were planning on coming out here today, but my dad got so sick from his chemotherapy last week that he had to be hospitalized. He was released from the hospital yesterday, but traveling so soon was still out of the question. They're starting hospice care for him so they can call someone if they need them, and my mom doesn't think he's going to be able to continue the chemotherapy since it made him so sick. I really felt I needed to go out there, so I talked to my store manager and got time off next week approved and I'll be spending a week with them and be back to work Monday, August 3rd. I'm really glad to be going out there.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Visiting my parents in Ontario, Oregon

For the last 2 weeks I've been visiting my parents in Ontario, Oregon. I'm really glad I was able to come out, especially for Father's Day, though it's been a very emotional visit. Starting last Saturday, my dad started to be in a lot of pain despite his morphine. It was so painful to see him wince every time he moved. My parents went to Seattle to see his doctor earlier this week, and they decided to do an MRI to see if they could find out why his pain was so much worse. It turns out that two of his vertabrae the cancer had spread to previously have been completely replaced by cancer, which is causing the pain. The cancer has also spread to his lungs, liver, and kidneys. The doctor estimated that he has a couple months to live. My sister is visiting right now also, and Wednesday night, after my parents told us, we all spent some time crying together. My dad is withdrawing from the new clinical trial they were just about to start because he needs to undergo radiation because of the cancer in his vertabrae. Luckily they can do the radiation here and they won't have to travel to Seattle for that. They also more than doubled his morphine, and he hasn't been in as much pain.

At this point, only a miracle could save my dad. My mom is trying to get in touch with a doctor in Los Angeles that was recommended, but I'm not sure treatment-wise what we could hope for at this point. My dad will turn 49 in August. I'm still praying, I believe that miracles are possible, but they don't always happen. As always, I appreciate everyone's prayers for my dad, and for our family.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post Christmas Card Sharing

So there were a few cards I didn't share before Christmas in case their recipients might see them early, but I took pictures before giving them away, and now I will share them.

Left: "Stitched Candy Cane" was for Jessica. Right: "No People Like Snow People" was for Delori.

Left: "Poinsettia Merry Christmas" was for Lita. Right: "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" which I gave to two cousins.

Left: "Fluffles Tree" for my Mom. Right: "Fluffles Stocking" for my Dad.

And this one for my sister and her husband. This was kind of an inside joke, or maybe not really a joke... but when we were little we had one of these plants and we would play outside all the time and pretend the circles were money, so I wrote something inside the card along the lines of giving her a money tree. I wasn't sure if she would remember, but she did.

Personally, I think I'm a little relieved to be done with my Christmas cards. But now I have a few Thank You cards I should probably make... and a few birthdays around the corner, not to mention Valentines...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Home for the Holidays

I feel the need to share the horror of my holiday travels, and I will strive to make it concise, as the experience was anything but concise. I was planning on flying to Boise to visit my family for Christmas on Sunday, December 21st at 11:55am. My flight was delayed twice, and then canceled. I spoke with the Alaska airline representative and she got me a boarding pass for a 7:40pm flight later that day and on standby for an afternoon flight. The first flight was canceled, then I found out around 6pm that all of that day's flights were canceled. Then I stood in line for around 45 minutes to talk to a representative about getting out the next day before an extremely unhelpful man told me that you can only be put on standby for same day flights and the first flight not fully booked was Christmas day. Crying and telling him that my dad has cancer did nothing.

So then I went to retrieve my checked bag, they told me that all of the bags that were supposed to go to Boise were sitting in a row, that they weren't done unloading them yet, and that it might take as long as 2 and a half hours to finish. Of course, my bag was not there. I asked if I could come back the next day for it, and they told me that they had no place to lock up all those bags, they might send it to Boise without me, I might not see it for a week. So I waited. A half hour later, they said that all the bags had been unloaded (they had only unloaded about 15 bags in this time) and that if your bag was not there to go to the baggage claim office to file a claim. So I went to the office, and the office is filled with bags! And sure enough, my bag is there! Of course, I was glad that my bag wasn't missing, but why couldn't someone have told me to check there from the beginning!!

So my uncle kindly picked me up from the airport and I stayed the night at their house which is much closer to the airport than mine. My uncle took me back to the airport the next morning. I waited in a line for people who needed to reschedule their flights for 3 hours. When I finally talked to someone, they put me on standby for 2 flights, they told me I was #8 in line. I went through security, and waited as the time for the flights grew closer. Eventually I went up to talk to a representative to see if I was still #8 and found out I was now #31 and had been bumped by MVPs, MVP Golds, and other people who are more important than me for various reasons. I started to cry and told the lady that my dad has cancer, she winked at me and asked if I would like to talk to her supervisor. So of course I said yes. The supervisor came up, I explained everything to her, and she said they would do everything they could. They said 20 people had not checked in for the flight yet, and they got me a boarding pass for it. That flight was also canceled. I got put #5 in standby for the next one. And finally, finally, I was called and the flight went!!! I talked to so many people so desperate to get to places, and I really hope everyone got out of there, because I felt so badly for everyone. It ended up being about a 16 hour ordeal, and I am so thankful to God that I am home for Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy being a copy-cat

Well, I have finished my grandparents Christmas card (a little late I know, but I will be giving it to them in person). And really I'm just a big copy cat. The design of the card I copied from the Northwoods display, and I stole the technique from Chelsea of using Prisma Premier Colored Pencils and baby oil. But I'll give credit where credit is due (okay, maybe not to my grandparents), and I'm just happy with how it turned out. So thanks Chelsea!

Also, Chelsea, I love the Versafine! I can't believe I went so long not owning any! I'm really glad to know how great it is, because customers are usually drawn to the colorbox and all the colors. But I like Versafine a lot better now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Soooooo cold!!

Just so everyone knows... I hate snow. It's a shocking kind of thing to say to a lot of people around Portland, because to them snow is a novelty because it doesn't snow every year and it usually just snows a tiny bit and melts off when it does. But I grew up in southern Idaho about 30 miles outside of Boise, and I learned to get awfully sick of snow. Sick of how cold it is. Sick of driving in it. And school snow days probably happened out there less often than they do here, because heavy snow was normal. I think I had 2 or 3 in my life.

So I just looked up the average annual snowfall for Boise and it's 20.7 inches according to this website (I don't know how reliable this website is, but it sounds reasonable to me.) So what does it say Portland's average annual snowfall is? 6.5 inches. Higher than I would have guessed actually, but believable. It just hardly ever snows that whole bit all at once. 6 inches of snow all at once in Boise is a lot more common.

One interesting thing I found though is that overall precipitation for Portland is 36.3 inches and Boise's I would have guessed to be significantly less. Not so much. Boise's is 33.5 inches. So why is it so beautiful in Portland and sooooo ugly around most of Boise? I don't really know. I think it's because most of their precipitation is in the form of snow and it melts off into creeks and streams down into rivers, so you end up with beautiful tiny areas by the streams and rivers, but as soon as you get away from those it's ugly and dry.

So, moral of the story is, I hate the snow on the ground right now. But I like Portland better.

Too bad I haven't done the "there's no people like snow people" card I've been planning on making, because it would have been fitting here... but I just haven't had the time. Maybe I will now that I'm stuck in the house due to snow.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

This and That

I thought I would share a few more cards I made at my October stamping classes. All of the ones I'm sharing today were made in a class for the Fiskars Border and Corner punches. I love these punches. And if you haven't tried them, you need to try them, because they're just the kind of thing that you don't love until you try them.

So there are my cards from the Fiskars class. No special comments on them really, although the snowman's arms are what you punch out with the "Comin' Up Roses" punch. Always fun to make a couple of cards and use scraps from the others. All of the stamped images were pre-stamped by the instructor, so I don't know what company makes the stamps.

Thanks for looking :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A First Entry

Well, I decided to give this blog thing a shot. After following Chelsea and Jessica's blogs for a while it looked like it could be fun. Not sure how often I'll post, this is going to be an anything blog, from crafty things I make to whatever I feel like sharing. Today, I am going to share some photos of some of the cards/projects I made at some stamping classes I went to in October.

This next one was one of my favorites, it was actually the very last make and take project I did on a very, very long Sunday. I was only required to be there from 9am-5pm, but there were make and take projects going on until 9pm. (It was at a hotel near the Portland airport and many of the attendees were staying at the hotel, I however, had to drive all the way back to the west side.) I told myself, okay, I'll stay a little bit longer to do the make and takes, maybe 7pm at the latest, and there I was finally walking out the door at 8:30pm, having to be back at 9am again the following morning. Who can turn down make and takes?

So this one above used the Dreamweaver embossing paste on a red velvet paper and two beautiful stencils by Dreamweaver. It was so easy, I just taped the stencils down over the paper so that the paper was totally covered and slathered the paste over them with a knife. I then carefully removed the stencils and sprinkled different colored glitter over the pastes. So easy, and so beautiful! I was impressed, and their display boards positively blew this out of the water. Unfortunately, I didn't think to bring my camera that day, and I don't think they were there the next day.

This was supposed to be part of a hanging Christmas display, although I never tied all of mine together for display. This one is pretty large for a card in my opinion, but it was the largest of the 5, and it was too tempting to turn the others into cards. The Season's Greetings was embossed in advance by the instructor due to time and electrical outlet constraints, but what I loved about this one was the Clearsnap Design Adhesives. Eight beautiful designs! The adhesive reminded me very much of Thermoweb PeelnStick adhesive sheets but precut into lovely designs for card making or scrapbooking. Given the size of them, I think they're probably better for scrapbooking, but some of the designs could potentially be cut down for use in cards. The only problem with these? There should be more than 8 designs!

Here are two more of the 5 card Christmas display I made in a Clearsnap class. I think the only real product of note in these was the Sparkle Fiber used atop the trees. It was a cute finishing touch, but I wasn't enthralled by it, glitter could have been used for a similar effect. The Sparkle Fibers are more dimensional of course, but that wasn't enough to make me fall in love with it.

I made a lot of other things that day that I would love to share, but seeing as how wordy I'm being about everything, I think I'll save them for another day.

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!