Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lessons I Learned About a Computer Crash

If you're new to this...and I am, too...some things you can do here: read my blog (no duh), sign up as a follower (way cool), checkout the ads to see what's cool and coming out especially in digital scrapbooking!! ALSO, I would love to have feedback, comments, etc. on what you read, if you're doing any of the things I've posted about or just whatever comes to mind. I've had comments from people who know me but they're not posted so others can read them which is a great thing so add your comments and have fun checking things out.  Also check out my other blog:

Things I’ve Learned About A Computer Crash
1. It can happen at any time with no warning

2. It will be a lot better if you’ve prepared ahead of time

      a. Know where all your program CDs are stored
         i. Recovery disks that came with your computer
         ii. Programs that you use or have purchased

      b. Photo on CDs or other backups

      c. Store them all in one place

      d. Look thru your computer now while it is still running and list ALL the programs you use on a regular basis and wouldn’t want to have to do without including the ones that are downloads (free or paid)

      e. Here’s my list

          i. Operating system – Windows XT (have disks) and download service packs
          ii. MS Office Professional (have disks)
          iii. MS Publisher (have disks)
          iv. Adobe Photoshop CS3 (have disks)
          v. Adobe Reader (download) latest version
          vi. Mosy backup (download)
          vii. Seagate FreeAgent (external hard drive software & hardware)
          viii. Mozilla Firefox (download)
          ix. Internet Explorer (on OS disks, download latest version)
                 1. plus anything like Google toolbar (download)
                 2. 4shared toolbar (download)
          x. McAfee Virus protection (download w/password)
          xi. SnapZip (download)
          xii. Bamboo Drawing Pad (have disk & hardware)
          xiii. ScanSoft Paper Port (have disks)
          xiv. Printer driver (have disks & printer)
          xv. Forex, ThinkorSwim and other investment software (download)
          xvi. ftp software (download)

     f. List all the web sites you don’t want to lose the address for – the Favorites folder won’t be there when you have to restore your computer to factory condition

     g. If you’re using your computer to remember your passwords - all your passwords will be gone because the cookies on your computer will all be wiped clean
3. Backup, backup, backup

      a. Have a backup

       b. Know where it/they are

       c. Have a backup of your backup

             i. I have an external hard drive but it can crash, too
             ii. So I have it backed up on CDs and even another external hard drive
             iii. Use an Internet storage service – (reference me and I'll get credit of some sort)
4. Now having said all that you’re gonna think, “well, it’s never happened to me so what are the chances that it will now”…if your computer is out of warranty (and possibly even if not) it will happen sooner or later but it will eventually crash. My computer just fell out of warranty three months ago.
And even more than that it’s human nature to ignore or put off what doesn’t feel eminent but I can tell you this would have been a simple enough thing to get through if I’d done all the things I listed above to plan for and prepare for a crash. I did, fortunately have my external hard drive and only lost a few files. But instead of taking 1 day or so to re-load it took me 5 days plus another couple of days to recreate the files I lost and some cannot be recreated.
5. Now if you’re really paranoid the next step would be to get copies of all the CDs listed above and keep them in a safe deposit box. Barring that I would suggest a firebox.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The real meaning of Christmas

PLEASE feel free to leave me comments...I really want to know your thoughts on the things I've talked about in my blog...if it's a negative comment just be gentle!!

What are your plans for the holidays?

You do have plans, right?!  I mean, no matter how low key you're planning to keep the holidays this year (and many, many are doing the low key thing) but even if you are back-scaling you probably still have things you want to do like getting the house ready for guests, decorating for your family, a few gifts, cooking and baking.  So if you make a plan for each of the things you want to do it makes the whole much easier.

Try this...write 2-23 on a piece of paper and then mark the weekends so that would be 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20.  Now you know you have 3 Saturdays before Christmas.  Write next to each day what you need to get done that day in order to get it all done before the BIG DAY!!  Sometimes it might be helpful to start from the last day.

Here's what it might look like:

2 - compile list of addresses for Christmas cards
3 - write letter for Christmas cards
4 - decide on modified Christmas dinner menu and grocery list (start looking for specials on these items)
5 - Saturday - finish making homemade gifts (this year cedar boxes for the girls)
6 - Finish letter, address envelopes, ready for mailing on Monday
7 - Clean oven
8 - Rent a movie and relax
9 - Clean and do any reorganizing needed in the kitchen
10 - Clean Family room and put up tree and a few decorations - make a little party of it
11 - Serve at Christmas Breakfast for nurses, Check out places who need volunteers (food kitchens, etc.)
12 - Finish any gift purchases needed KEEP IT SIMPLE
13 - Relax
14 - Clean bedrooms
15 - Clean living room
16 - Straighten office
17 - Clean bathrooms
18 - shop for items needed to make homemade candies
19 - make homemade goodies (fudge, pecan brittle, peppermint bark) and Christmas Party for work
20 - Hand out homemade candies to friends at church
21 - Hand out homemade candies to friends at work
22 - Bake pies and cornbread and biscuits for stuffing
23 - Finish any baking left undone, vacuum/mop floors throughout and plan to relax tomorrow - ALL DONE!!

See what I mean...I tried to only do a thing or two per day, remember a lot of this will be in the evenings because I'm at the office all day, and if the bathrooms are really deep clean a week ahead of time then on the day before it's hopefully just a matter of a few minutes to spot clean.  And, if I've missed something there's a good chance I'll remember in the next day or two and can add it where appropriate and I'm not scurrying around at the very last minute to do 15 things at once.

Well, what do you think?  Seem doable?  What does your plan look like?  Have you made one?  Should that be the first thing on your list - like for today - make a list!?

So, now with the tasks planned you have time to really think about what the holiday means to you, your family and now that you've got the planning under control so you don't lose the meaning amidst all the hustle and bustle.  What does Christmas mean to you?  Do you celebrate Christ's birth?  Or is it a time of sharing?  You might share your faith, your own resources, your love for mankind...what do you DO?  I've read some incredible stories from Delilah's newsletter ( about how people have been impacted from others.  One story was about a mother who knew she didn't have but enough formula for her baby but the bottle she was about to give her and when she got home that night there was a bag of groceries and formula on her doorstep.  To this day she doesn't know who did it...but God gets the glory and that is all that matters.

Friday, November 20, 2009


If you're new to this...and I am, too...some things you can do here: read my blog (no duh), sign up as a follower (way cool), checkout cool stuff on the Google search, checkout the ads at the side of each day to see what's cool and coming out especially in digital scrapbooking!! ALSO, I would love to have feedback, comments, etc. on what you read, if you're doing any of the things I've posted about or just whatever comes to mind. I've had comments from people who know me but they're not posted so others can read them which is a great thing so add your comments and have fun checking things out.

Wow, it seems like this year has just flown by...where does the time go?!  I have been reading and thinking a lot lately about the things I am thankful for.  There have been a number of friends and/or acquaintances who have gone on to be with God this last week.  And all of them were young or at least not people you'd think had lived their whole lives.  I'm sure they didn't think so either, but they had.  One was a young mother at RAKscraps, another a father of young teens.  When God decides you have been here long enough, it's time to go home. 

So, what are the things you're thankful for in this life?  What if today is your last day...have you done all the things you need to do in this life?  We've not been promised a tomorrow.  And neither has anyone in our family or any of our friends.  Have you told them how much you love them?  How much you appreciate them?  Have you done everything you can to protect them if you were suddenly not able to be with them?

This is a time of year that many of us get to be with our extended families and if you are one of those people will your family know when you go home or go home at the end of the holiday that you LOVE them.  Does your family end up fighting your way through the holiday.  Is there anything you can do to make this year different?

What are you thankful for?  How do you show God that you're thankful for whatever that is?  How do you show the people you're thankful that you are thankful for them?  If you're thankful for a thing does that thing have a proper place in your life or does it take precedents over people.

Just some things to think about...let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Making time for the holidays

One of my favorite ways to save time during the holidays (or any time really) is when I cook a meal I double it and then freeze the doubled part. Then all I have to do is pull a meal out of the freezer in the morning when leaving for work and then either cooking when I come home for dinner.

Some examples would be meat loaf (freeze before cooking or only cook half the time), beef stew and chili (both of these you’d cook completely – you can actually make lots of meals worth at one time), beef stroganoff (freeze meat mixture without sour cream and then make noodles when ready to eat), and pot pie (make two complete pot pies or you can just freeze the mix and put together but it seems to me it takes less time to do all the assembling at one time).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Deer coming to breakfast

Hey check out this really cool movie.  I tried to download it so I could send it here but couldn't seem to get it to work.  Go to this web page, scroll down a bit and look for the video of the deer coming to breakfast.  So neat.  I don't know how long it will be posted so look quickly.  Just FYI...this is from the radio station I listen to most mornings and Woody is the announcer.

Have a GREAT day,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Get back to the basics

If you're new to this...and I am, too...some things you can do here: read my blog (no duh), sign up as a follower (way cool), and check out older postings!! ALSO, I would love to have feedback, comments, etc. on what you read, if you're doing any of the things I've posted about or just whatever comes to mind. I've had comments from people who know me but they're not posted so others can read them which is a great thing so add your comments and have fun checking things out.

Physical care ROOM OK, I'm back on track I hope...I am drinking more water, walking during lunch and trying to watch calaries.  How are you doing?  We're getting into that food, food, food time of year...need to get the good habits established so that when the food is there we're not as likely to over do it.

Social growth ROOM I've been going and doing and working at being more social with those I don't know.  It has been my habit that if I go to a conference or event where I don't know many people to just sit and do my own thing (read a book, work on the computer, do nothing) but I have really made a concerted effort to be more outgoing.  The people who sit near me now I engage in conversation.

I went to a "Get Motivated" seminar - it was AWESOME...I got to hear Gen. Colin Powell, Zig Ziglar, Phil Town and Suze Orman plus many others.  I took this picture as he was telling stories about his time as Secretary of State.  Wow, did I ever learn a lot.

Financial ROOM I am going to take the plunge...I've been listening to Dave Ramsey's CDs but now I am going to take an investing class.  There is no reason why I cannot invest a little on my own and hopefully become financially independent.  With good money management and good investing I should be better able to do the things that are important to me.  Has anyone heard of FOREX? 

Dreams or crafts or “me” time ROOM Anybody scrapping?  What about photos?  Are you taking photos of the normal, regular, usual events of your life?  Do you have photos of everyone sitting down to dinner? Playing in the back yard?  Going on a picnic?  Hiking in the woods?  Whatever those events are you may want to have photos of those times, too, not just the big events like the birth of a baby, birthdays, Halloween parties and costumes, weddings, etc.  Then once you have the photos be sure you write a bit about them even if you're not ready to put them in a scrapbook quite yet.  It's amazing how quickly we forget the moments that made a story so...whatever. 

Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture ROOM On Facebook the other day some of my cousins mentioned reading Isaiah 58.  What a great chapter.  It's about fasting partially but there's a lot about making your fasting mean something and not for show, to loose the chains of injustice, to set the oppressed free, share your food with the hungry, to clothe the naked.  That's just a start but I found it a really encouraging chapter.  Read it and tell me what you think!!

Saving money in a Tight Economy ROOM The best way I find not to spend is not to go in the store AT ALL...and if I have to go, make my list, go when I don't have time to browse and get what I need and GET OUT!!  Of course, all the stuff you know: eat before you go grocery shopping, take cash for what you've budgeted and no more, make a list and stick to it, etc.  Get rid of credit cards and only use a debit card.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A couple of sites to download kits and Creating your first digital scrapbook page

If you're new to this...and I am, too...some things you can do here: read my blog (no duh), sign up as a follower (way cool).  ALSO, I would love to have feedback, comments, etc. on what you read, if you're doing any of the things I've posted about or just whatever comes to mind. I've had comments from people who know me but they're not posted so others can read them which is a great thing so add your comments and have fun checking things out.

This is a great site with some good information about doing stress-free scrapping.  I have some great templates if anybody wants some.  Templates help to make your scrapping about as easy as it can get.  You choose photos, a template and use a kit.    FIRST download a scrapbook kit like the ones available from from the 15th to the end of each month for FREE.   or go here to download some sweet little kits anytime for FREE.

Step-by-step instructions

Creating your First Scrapbook Page

Open Photoshop - Double click on PS (Photoshop) icon on desktop.

Create a new blank document: File, New

     Select or enter size of page (12x12, 8x8, 11.5x8, 8x11.5 or 8x10)
     300 pixels
     Color – RGB

Open 2 coordinating Background papers in PS. Click on the background paper to activate that document in PS. With the Move tool (V) selected drag the background paper to your new blank document. If you hold the Shift key while dragging (let go of the shift key after letting go of your mouse button) the paper will drop exactly in the middle of your page.

We’re going to use a 2nd background paper, select the rectangular marquee tool and drag a rectangle about 1/4 to 1/3 the size of your page on the second background. Drag to your scrapbook page and move to the desired location.

Now you will need to pull in or open your photos.

You may either drag them from wherever you store your files – or select the file name from File, Open and open the file or if you’ve used Bridge you can open them there, too. (If this is your first digital scrapbook page in Photoshop I would go with the first option for now.)

Once your photo is open go to Image, Image Size to verify that it is 300 pixels. If it is not 300 pixels - unselect the last option (Resample Image) and change to pixels to 300. DO NOT do it all at once. Change the resolution 10% at a time and click OK, redo until you reach 300.

Close the window.

Now drag the photo to the page with the background you have chosen for your page.

Adding pictures and elements to your scrapbook page:

Re-select the move tool (V). Drag your photos to your scrapbook page.

Move to desired location.

If you choose you may re-size the photos. This is resize on the page not the resizing of pixels that we’ve already looked at on a previous page. Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) will give you selection handles around the edge of the photo. Move your mouse over a corner handle and when the double headed arrow appears, hold the Shift key and drag either in (smaller) or out (larger). The Shift key maintains the integrity or ratio of your photo while resizing.

Working with Layers: Add a mat to your photo

Select the background layer in the layers palette. Select the Rectangle tool (M). Drag a rectangle slightly larger than your photo. While drawing the rectangle (mat in this case) and before letting go of your mouse use the Space Bar to move your rectangle into place. This action will add a new layer below your photo but above the background layer.  NOTE: the layout I've included for you but ignore the color, really bad.  I think Blogger is having a bad day for uploading files...eeks!!

When using layers (especially when you are going back and forth quite a bit) it may be helpful to put a check mark in the Auto Select Layer in the top menu (note: you’ll only be able to see this when the Move tool (V) is active).

Decorate your page: Adding elements, and shadows

First let’s add shadows to your photos and possibly even the mat. Select the photo layer. Now select Layer, Layer Style, Drop Shadow. You can play around with the settings. Note that you will see a preview of your drop shadow if you move the window out of the way of your photo.

Now, let’s add an alpha. In this case let’s choose a 4 letter word (or thereabouts) that describes your layout. I have used HOME.  Select each letter and open or drag to your PS window. Note that it doesn’t matter how you open a document (drag over to PS window; click File, Open; Select from within the Bridge). They all accomplish the same thing.

Drag each letter onto your document and close each letter. Now place the letters in the location you wish. First we will line up our letters to make sure they’re even. With the Move tool (V) selected note the align tools highlighted below. Select all the letters of your alpha in the layers palette. Click on the first one and hold the shift key while you click on the last one. This will highlight or select all the layers of your word. Click on either the top align or bottom align button whichever works better for your word.

In our example we’re going to move the whole alpha to the left side of our page. So keep all layers selected (from the above step) and click Ctrl + T so that you have selection handles around your whole word. Move your mouse outside the selection handles and it will change to a tiny curved double ended arrow. Drag around until your word is the direction you want. In this case it will be perpendicular to our page and we will place it on our left side paper (see finished page below). Note that in the information bar at the top of your window there is an angle ticker. We want a perfect -90° angle. You can play around with it and try to get a perfect square or work with the angles. When you have the alpha where you want it - click the check mark (Commit transform) in the upper right hand area of the tool bar to accept.

To add shadows to your photos select the photo layer in the layers palette. Click on the fx button at the bottom of the layers palette. Select the Drop Shadow… option.

Play with the options until you’re satisfied with the look.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Way cool stuff you can do & scanning your photos

If you're new to this...and I am, too...some things you can do here: read my blog (no duh), sign up as a follower (way cool), checkout cool stuff on the Google search, checkout the ads in the side panel and at the bottom of each day to see what's cool and coming out especially in digital scrapbooking!! ALSO, I would love to have feedback, comments, etc. on what you read, if you're doing any of the things I've posted about or just whatever comes to mind. I've had comments from people who know me but they're not posted so others can read them which is a great thing so add your comments and have fun checking things out.

OK, now on to scrapbooking. 

Do you have a bunch of photos either scanned or taken digitally and on your computer?  That is your task for this week should you choose to accept it.  I've scanned some of my old photos and plan to use them on scrapbook pages.  Back before we could take photos digitally the only way you could see them was to print them.  So you may have photos sitting around that you'd like to put on scrapbook pages.  Scanning is really easy to do on the all-in-one type printers (scan, fax, print) you can get these days or you can do it at most of the do-it-yourself printshops these days.  

Most scanning printers will give you the option to scan in .jpg and that's probably the best option.  You have to have the printer connected to your computer in order to access the completed scan.  Most printers I've seen the process is as easy as placing the photo on the screen, pressing scan and you may have select options like telling it to scan a photo and you want it in .jpg (pronounced Jaypeg).  Then you simply wait for the scanning process to be completed and usually the scanned object will appear on your computer screen.  Be sure to save the photo wherever you save all your photos. 

I find it best at this point to name my photos rather than allowing the computer to assign a photo1.jpg name to it.  You might consider naming the photo something to do with the event, person, or location, and adding a date which may only be the year.  For example I have a photo I've scanned of my parents wedding 50 years ago.  The name for it might be something like this:  "M&Dwedding1959.jpg"  I did not use spaces in the name here but I usually do use spaces.  It is strictly a personal preference thing these days.  I know that anywhere I have M&D that it means Mom and Dad so that may or may not work for you.  Whatever conventions of this type that you use just be consistent.

You will notice on the two photos I've shown here that one is crooked, don't worry about that just try to get it as straight as you can but in Photoshop we can fix that.  The other one of my parents wedding was a rather dull photo and in Photoshop I was able to bring back a bit of the color using curves and levels.  Ignore the terms just know that you can fix old photos and it will be just awesome once we get going on it.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS...if you don't want to start with older photos and want to use your newer ones (which are already digital) don't worry we're about to get started.  I will be posting the first scrapbook page tutorial in one week so if you are planning to do a 30-day trial on Photoshop or Photoshop Elements you will want to wait until that day to actually download your trial copy.  If you have already downloaded a trial copy and want to get started please let me know and I'll get the first lesson to you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Did you know you can download Photoshop for FREE for 30 days?

You can download Photoshop for free for 30 days to try it out from and if you like it then you can purchase it.  In addition, if you already know you want it you can get it for sometimes a lot less than the full purchase price on ebay.

In a couple of weeks I am going to start posting step-by-step instructions about how to create scrapbook pages with Photoshop.  I'm posting a couple of pages here.  They are not all that great but I thought I'd post them because they're about me.  Next month (October) I am being interviewed by RAKscraps on their monthly newsletter as a new team member and one of these pages will be used.  That web site is: to see it.  I thought I'd give a heads-up in case you might be interested in learning a really fantastic new software. 

In addition, if you just want to purchase either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements you can do so, usually for a fairly decent price on ebay.  It can take a while because you may have to watch the bids but it's possible.  Also, Photoshop Elements version 8 which is brand new is just coming out.  If you buy that from Costco you will also get a FANTASTIC CD to learn Elements (you won't even need me-so maybe I shouldn't tell you about that one, right!!).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Scrapping a story & Debt free

If you're new to this...and I am, too...go to my first post below (scroll down) and then read this!!

Physical care ROOM Sometimes it is just so much simpler to go for a walk than to try to do exercises even on the a Pilates machine which I love. Working on it.
Social growth ROOM We did not end up getting to go to the movie this weekend. We volunteered to work at the concession stands for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders). It was actually really cool. We were with friends; we had fun and made about $600 for the student center where I volunteer my days anyway. I think we’re gonna do the same thing this weekend but it will be for the football game not bull riders.

Financial ROOM Wow, if you have not checked out any of Dave Ramsey’s financial planning stuff you should. It really is what we all need to be doing (living debt free) anyway and he is inspiring. He makes you feel like you can really do this. I am not taking the course, my sister is, but they have a guest class you can go visit and I went to the one about debt and paying off all your credit cards, tearing them up and NEVER using them again. I sincerely look forward to the day I don’t have to worry about debts anymore.

Dreams or crafts or “me” time ROOM “What stories about your family would you like to tell for yourself or future generations? I had a grandmother, who unfortunately is gone now, but I would love to scrap her story.” I wrote that in my last entry and my niece told me that she and her mom (my sister) laughed and laughed about the phrase, “scrap her story” but I have to tell you that’s what you’re doing. Ok, maybe I have been in scrapbooking circles too long now but when you’re writing a story and showing it in pictures and possibly using some “clip art” or in scrapping lingo that would be “elements” to fill in or make it more vibrant you are said to be “scrapping”. It does sound rather funny though!!

Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture ROOM Are you thinking about encouraging those around you and being aware when others are encouraging you? Do you have any encouraging words you’d like to pass along? I could use some. It feels very funny to ask but if you don’t ask you may not receive. Read Romans 1:11 & 12. Did you read it?

Saving money in a Tight Economy ROOM One way to save is to not spend…what a concept. I am not going to the store unless I just HAVE to and when I do I’m making a list and sticking to the list. Have you tried this? Does it work for you?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Savings ($500) and Journaling some photos

If you're new to this...and I am, too...go to my first post below (scroll down) and then read this!!

Physical care ROOM Confession time…I have not done my video exercises even once. I am ashamed. BUT, I will do a lesson tonight. And, if that is not bad enough I haven’t walked in a few days either. It’s time to get things back on track. Argh!! This is a real trial for me but I am determined to succeed. How are you doing?

Social growth ROOM You would not think that just trying to get together with folks would be that big of a deal but with everyone so busy and our lives so very active that it is just so difficult to add one more thing even if it is a good thing. Since I cannot seem to get anything lined up with friends I’m going to be taking my niece to see “Not My Sister’s Keeper” one night this week. At least that gets me started and since I saw the trailers for this one it seemed rather interesting. Have you seen any good movies lately or done anything you’d suggest as a particularly fun social thing to do with either friends or nieces?

Financial ROOM I am working to save $500 as suggested by most financial programs and particularly by Dave Ramsey ( In addition, I am listening to the CDs of his 13 week study. They are entertaining and motivating but as important I am working on getting the initial $500 in the bank.
Dreams or crafts or “me” time ROOM Even if you do not have your photos all sorted you can start telling some of the stories about them. What stories about your family would you like to tell for yourself or future generations? I had a grandmother, who unfortunately is gone now, but I would love to scrap her story. The minister mentioned at her funeral that in her lifetime she had traveled across country in a covered wagon and near the end of her life by jet airplane. How cool is that? What a story there must be to her life. I want to gather as much as I can and as many pictures as I can to scrap her life.

Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture ROOM Are you thinking about encouraging those around you and being aware when others are encouraging you? Do you have any encouraging words you’d like to pass along? I could use some. It feels very funny to ask but if you don’t ask you may not receive. Read Romans 1:11 & 12.

Saving money in a Tight Economy ROOM Do you buy in bulk? Even as a single person I buy bulk items and separate into meal size packages and freeze. Sometimes you may only save $.20 per pound but with a 5 pound package of meat that’s a $1. And in addition to the money you save that time it may even save you a trip to the grocery store. I buy almost all of my meat in bulk. You can also buy canned items and repackage them and freeze. I have to admit I have not done a whole lot of this but a number 10 can, the really, really large industrial size cans are extremely inexpensive per serving. It wouldn’t make sense to do it for something you’d hardly ever use but things like tomato sauce it could be a great money saver. Let me know what else you buy in bulk and repackage.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Movies, Scrapping Software

If you're new to this...and I am, too...go to my first post below (scroll down) and then read this!!

Physical care ROOM Wow!!  It's been a difficult week all around for just a multitude of reasons.  I am just doing OK on drinking water...what about you?  I don't get all 8 glasses drank every day but I am working on it. 
How about walking?  Are you getting that in?  I try to walk three times a week and do fairly well at it.
Now, I want to add working out with a video at home.  I will try to do that about three times a week.  I may althernate it with jumping rope.

Social growth ROOM OK, so far so good.  I am going to a movie with two friends and the friend who said she was going to have several of us over hasn't called yet but I that's not within my control.  Have you seen, "My Sister's Keeper" with Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin?  It looks incredible.  It was created by the same guy who directed, "The Notebook" a wonderfully fantastic movie if you haven't seen that one.

Financial ROOM I have been working on this.  Two first things to do here...ha how are you supposed to do two things's start one and then start the other but you're working on both together.  The first, first thing is to start keeping track of every penny you spend.  You may already have this but if not start.  If you keep a calendar just add expenses.  If you buy a $.59 soda write it down.  When you pay the mortgage write it get the idea.  The second first thing is to start saving an emergency fund if you don't already have it.  You should have a minimum of $500 but $1000 is better.  This is not for ANYTHING but a real emergency.  Your car breaking down is an emergency, the water heater going out is an emergency, wanting a new outfit is NOT an emergency, wanting a new printer is NOT an emergency unless you use it for your business and then only if you really NEED it for your business.

Dreams or crafts or “me” time ROOM I have gone through tons and tons (OK it feels like tons) of photos and started scanning ones that I want to scrapbook.  How are  you doing on this if you've decided to do it...I totally understand that this is not everyone's thing but it really is important to me and I enjoy it.

Do you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements?  I am going to start giving short lessons here if you're interesed.  You can buy either one on ebay and for a lot less than the going price especially if you're willing to take an older version and I don't mean so old that it's not relevant.  The latest version of Photoshop is CS4 but you can get CS3 for about $100 which is an incredible price considering that CS4 is in the neighborhood of $699.  YIKES!!  And even better you can download for FREE a 30-day trial version of CS4 to see if it's something you'd like before you ever have to buy it.

Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture ROOM "During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king."  Daniel 2:19-23

Saving money in a Tight Economy ROOM This time I am thinking about cutting out as much expense as I can in all kinds of ways because I am trying to save that $500 I talked about above for emergencies and as I don't have a job that is going to be a trick.  I'm seriously considering a fall garage sale.  I have to have junk sitting around that I have either not used, looked at or in some way taken advantage of in the past year that needs to get out of my house.
If you're new to this...and I am, too...go to my first post below (scroll down) and then read this!!

Eeks!! I am so....behind!!  I will write later this afternoon.  How are you doing on water, walking, finances (some good stuff here) and scrapping?  If you are reading this I really would like to know how it's going!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 8 - 4th post

If you're new to this...and I am, too...go to my first post below (scroll down) and then read this!!

Physical care ROOM Ok, end of week one:

How are you doing on drinking 8-8 oz glasses of water every day whether you started with me or you've been doing it forever (or some facsimile thereof) or are you still thinking about doing it…hahaha?

1. Do you feel any different?
2. Are you ready for the next step?

The next step I’m going to be working on is walking every other day. I want to walk for 30 minutes every other day or about 3 days a week. You gonna join me?

Social growth ROOM I really need ideas here, what do you do to make sure you’re growing socially? I’m not so good at this? I need ideas. Please feel free to pass any along that have worked for you.
Financial ROOM I balanced my checkbook, so that’s something, I suppose. More on this later.
Dreams or crafts or “me” time ROOM If you have stacks and boxes and bundles of photos around take a section of them and set it next to your TV watching chair, recliner or whatever, and the next time you’re watching a flick pick up a stack and start sorting. Sort by something that makes sense to you: family, vacations, places, events, etc.
Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture ROOM Who did you encourage today? Who has encouraged you this week? Do you need to get any discouragers out of your life or not as much a part of your life?
Saving money in a Tight Economy ROOM I take the used or printed paper from the office and turn it over to the unprinted side, staple a stack of about 20 sheets or so and place in various places (by the phone for messages, in the kitchen for shopping lists, in the family room on the end table for notes while watching TV) and even cut one up (in a quarter page size) for in my Bible and in my purse.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 6 - 3rd Post

If you're new to this...and I am, too...go to my first post below (scroll down) and then read this!!

Physical care ROOM How are you doing with your goal of drinking 8-8 oz glasses of water a day? I am assuming here that you have decided to do the same…don’t worry if not…I don’t blame you…I’m not real big on it either BUT I do feel better when I drink the water and I do know it’s good for me. The good thing is that I have been able to quit drinking as much soda as I used to. I quit drinking the soda as much long before I started writing this blog. I decided I needed to lose weight so I started drinking diet soda but though I was able to do it they weren’t all that great and then somehow I was just able to quit. Now I drink a soda maybe once a week or less. That’s a whole lot better than a 32 oz. soda every single day. Wow!!  Have you changed some other habit that you’ve been able to keep up for a year or more?

Social growth ROOM I truly was going to ask the friend I talked about to a movie. She wasn’t there or at least I didn’t see her. Ok, ok, you’re right I could have asked someone else and in a way I did. I asked the other teachers I teach with if they all wanted to get together for an evening out. One of the other teachers said we should all get together at her house and she’s planning it.

Financial ROOM My brother got a job today. He lost his job on almost the same day (within a week) of when I lost mine back in January of this year. He had accepted another job but it did not work out – it was as a salesperson and people just aren’t spending so he quit because he was on the road 75 miles each way and only getting commission. Gas alone was costing him too much. But because he’d quit he was eligible for unemployment again.
I made a couple of inquiries to friends, fellow teachers, etc. about the missionary thing at the student center. There were some positive and some not so positive comments, suggestions and a little encouragement. I’m still thinking about it and how to attempt it or not. I REALLY would love to hear from anyone who has any thoughts on this.
Another thing – have you heard of Dave Ramsey? I recently ran across some information about his silmulcast live event. It is coming up on September 19th. I've not been yet but I understand they're pretty motivating.  You might check to see if there's a location that will be part of the simulcast in your area.  My understanding is it's supposed to be pretty good so my sister and I are going to go together. Here’s the web site if you’d care to check it out:  I have absolutely no, none, nadda kickback or whatever in this, I'm simply interested and passing it along.  If you know something about it that I should know let me hear from you.

Dreams or crafts or “me” time ROOM How many photos do you have sitting around that are neither organized nor in a book of any type of scrapbook either. Whether they’re digital or paper they still should be organized in some fashion. I have bunches of photos both digital and paper. My paper ones are so old it’s not even funny but I don’t want to lose them so I’m in the process of scanning the ones I really want to keep. That way not only are they saved on my computer and on an external hard drive but I also have the hard copies.

BTW (by the way), do you have your photo negatives or copies of your digital photos stored in an alternate place besides your house? My family home burned down when I was in college and for years and years I thought all my baby photos were burned up. Fortunately, when my grandmother passed away I found out that she had a whole bunch of them and I just got those. I still miss her so much. I’d rather have her than the photos but since I can’t have her I will certainly take the photos.

Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture ROOM Do you make an effort to be an encourager? I have been around people who seem to make an effort to be discouragers. After a very short time it’s hard even be around them. I do NOT want people to feel that way about me. I’m on a campaign, in a small way, to be an encourager. I want to shower each of you, my readers, with love, grace, hope and happiness. So, how do we do that? How do we encourage each other? For one we are positive. That doesn’t mean happy, jolly, or funny per se when something is sad but when something IS sad we don’t wallow in it forever. And, how do we encourage someone else when we’re discouraged? I would bet that if you try to encourage someone else when you’re sad yourself that you will end up bringing yourself out of the doldrums as well. Give it some thought and let me know what you think!!

Saving money in a Tight Economy ROOM The paper towels and the hand soap savings that I've talked about are such minor little things but lots of little things like that over a year add up to significant savings.

Do you eat out a lot? There are two elements here. Eating out is full of extra salt, extra sugar and too much fat. It’s just part of the picture. So, not only is it bad for you but it’s expensive. If you take lunch to work rather than eating out you can save an unbelievable amount of money. It doesn’t seem like it when you think, “I only spent $7.50 for lunch.” Think about if you take a lunch that only costs you about $1.00. When you make dinner, make a bit extra and pack for lunch. If you don’t like to eat the same thing for lunch that you had for dinner the day before offset it by a day. In other words, take tonight’s dinner for lunch day after tomorrow and tomorrow take what you had for dinner night before last.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 4 - 2nd post

If you're new to this...and I am, too...go to my first post below (scroll down) and then read this!!

Physical care Room So, have you joined me in drinking 8-8 oz glasses of water a day? I love milk so I am making myself drink a glass of water before I can have a glass of milk (or coffee for that matter) each morning. Then when I get to the student center (where I volunteer each day) I have to drink another glass of water. Sometimes I even have the cup of cocoa or an International Coffee. Anyway, I am keeping up with it. How about you? Or maybe you already drink all the water you’re “supposed” to and have some hints for me especially if it was ever hard for you to do.

Social growth Room I had an unexpected “vacation” night in Branson, MO at one of their Resorts. OK, honesty is the best policy…right!! I went with my dad. He had some things to check out at his condo but hey it was a night out. I won’t count this as my social commitment made yesterday. On Sunday I will ask a friend to the movies. It is really sad that I have not been to a movie theatre in months and months.

Financial Room I applied for another job today. The sad part is that it really did not appeal to me all that much. I will eventually find one.

The wife of the director of the student center where I volunteer (did you follow all that?) came in to talk to me and said that I should see if I can find missionary support and be a missionary right here in my own town. Who says a missionary has to GO anywhere, right!? It’s better all the way around if you stay in your own community to serve others. I’ll have to think about that. I already volunteer at the Christian Student Center and the college students seem to be willing and even eager to talk. Anybody already do anything like this? Any thoughts? I would probably approach the churches around here for possible funding. I’ve never attempted to do anything like that so to be honest it’s a pretty scary prospect.

Dreams or crafts or “me” time Room I create scrapbooks for my family. I love to use my camera and I had to have some way to share all those many, many, many pictures I was taking. When I first discovered digital scrapbooking I made a scrapbook for my sister, my brother's wife and for my parents. I want to make a scrapbook for my other sister and my other two brothers but I haven’t done that yet. I don’t have any children of my own so I take pictures and scrap them of my nieces and nephews. I have found it is a great way to share my passion.  If I were doing these totally on paper I would have to buy all those supplies 7 times over.  Doing it digitally I can create it once and print it out however many times I want or need.  Too cool!!

Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture Room I have a verse I love for times of trouble:

“Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.
I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fall while I wait for my God.”

Psalms 69:1,2 NKJV

Then I love the praise of Psalms 63:1-5

Saving money in a Tight Economy Room Are there things that frustrate you when you see money wasted for no good reason. I like paper towels – in their place - but to use paper towels for every little thing is just a waste, pure and simple. I have placed cloth hand towels (and replace them often) in all the places that I used to waste paper towels. I put several fingertip towels in the bathrooms, and dishtowels in the kitchen. Every time I go in the kitchen to cook a meal I pull out a clean kitchen wash rag to wash and rinse my fingers as I am cooking a meal. I never use it for meat unless I’ve already washed with the soap form the dispenser I talked about yesterday. (ha how’s that for linking days?!)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Writing Rooms:
Physical care (this will be goals, aspirations, thoughts, comments, whatever that I want to work on and maybe you will join me. My very first goal here is to be better about drinking water. I make a pledge to drink the 8-8 oz glasses of water that you’re “supposed” to drink for good health every day. At one time I was doing this but went through a bad time and somehow it left this good habit go so now I am making the attempt to do this again. I’ll report back next week and add another new thing each week while maintaining the previous. Care to join me? Or maybe you already drink the water you’re supposed to and want to give me tips on how you do it.)

Social growth (this will be goals for social growth and interaction but I already know I pretty much suck at this so this may be where you as the reader will have to help ME. This week I will invite someone to go see a movie with me. I will ask them to go see a matinee since I have not money (jobless) and we won’t have popcorn but I will GO OUT. Again, if you have some good ideas feel free to respond here.)

Financial (This will be goals or things to work toward in a financial sense.  I want to be better at managing my own finances and that may involve finding sources for that or just sharing what I know and having some accountability.)  My first goal here will be to get a job.  Eeks.  I’ve been trying for a while and still don’t have all that many prospects that really interest me. Sad, but true!

Dreams or crafts or “me” time (this will be where I will share some stuff mostly on scrapbooking with Photoshop. As I said I love to scrapbook. If you haven’t tried it you should, no REALLY. It’s great. You can express yourself in pictures, tell your life story, write about your ancestors (your family’s story), catalog your kid’s lives or your nieces and nephews lives or just write a blog essentially that you may or may not publish for the whole world to see. I will also include some other stuff here like: What do you dream for your life? What do you do for “me” time? What would you do if money was no object? Dreams, you know, sometimes it’s really just fantasy but who cares.)  Why do you scrap?  or Why don't you scrap?

Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture (I am a spiritual person and love God with all my heart so I will always include a scripture and a spiritual thought or concept to meditate on or to help center me in my life and who knows God might speak to you through those thoughts, too. I welcome your thoughts or words of wisdom if you have something I should hear or pass on.)  My favorite verse is:  "Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!"  Phil 4:4  What is yours?

Saving money in a Tight Economy (This is where I want to share ideas for saving money in all kinds of ways especially right now when it’s so tight for most of us in the general economy.) My first and probably one of the easiest things I do is to add just a bit of water to my hand soap dispensers in the bathroom and the kitchen. This way I use just a bit less each time I use it but I still get the full clean effect. By the way, if you have distilled water you might use that instead of tap water but I wouldn’t think that was entirely necessary.

I am going to call these writing rooms in conjunction with the name I’ve chosen “All around my house” for my Blog. I have to give credit for the name to my nephew, J.D. He was at my house and I told him I was considering creating a blog and he said I should call it, All around my house. So, that is what I’ve done. WELCOME!! Come back any time; invite your friends, family and acquaintances.