Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Crafty Backs

I'm still having computer issues. I realized that our printer is not loaded back on here yet so I can't print anything or scan anything into my computer or make copies. Which really means trying to find the software to re-load it~truly that is the real problem here. Lack of organization and/or time. Plus I still have not loaded my PS back on this new hard drive & I've lost a ton of photos unless my hubby can figure a way to get them back off the bad hard drive..
This is all an inconvenience to my create side!

In the meantime, I thought I'd post a couple of tips to make your backs feel better. I have been seeing a physical therapist for 2 degenerative disk in my lower back and she has helped me so much with some simple corrections and some exercises. I can't really explain the exercises but I can tell you these posturing tips she gave me are worth a million dollars!

Tip #1: Always stand on 2 feet with out shifting your weight to one side or the other. Women tend to "throw" our hips to the right or left and its terrible for your lower back! When my back pain starts creeping back I will realize I'm standing with all my weight on one foot and my hip to one side. As soon as I correct the pain starts going away!
Tip #2: When you walk try not to wiggle your butt! (I know! I know! )That shake or sway is very hard on your lower back. Concentrate on using your butt muscles to walk so your rear end is not swaying from side to side. When you first do this it will feel like your walking like a zombie or something but it will become more natural. Once again, if I start having a spasm while walking it is usually because I forgot this rule and when I correct my stance my back pain eases up.
Tip #3: Keep your stomach muscle sucked in at all times, even when "resting". It will become 2nd nature and you won't have to think about it so much but you have to get them working or they will get very weak (like mine have done) and then they put extra strain on your lower back. My back is already so much better without any shots or surgery just from these first 3 rules!
Tip #4: If you wake up in the morning and your lower back is killing you-this is the likely culprit. Your disk fill to their max with fluid overnight. If you have one pressing against your spine it will be the most painful in the morning when you stand. Once you move around some that fluid will gradually leak out making it less painful for you. Before you get out of bed lay flat on your back. Bring your knees up and roll from one side to the other with your knees. This will make the fluid empty some before you stand and it will not be so painful.

I hope this helps someone else. I know working on crafts we are always stooping or sitting or crawling around on the floor at times and we punish our backs a lot. God Bless!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Orleans Photos!

I made several collages to make it easier to post some pictures. I had a ball just taking photos so I really got carried away. New Orleans is rich in history and architecture. You can actually "feel" the old. I loved it! I think this is the oldest city I've been to so I would go CRAZY in Europe!! That is my dream vacation! I hope my readers enjoy my photos. They are followed by a couple of fattening, sweet local recipes from NOLA! Yummy!

This first collage is of a couple of New Orleans' above ground cemeteries. New Orleans is famous for those because the city sits below the water table and if they bury the dead they don't stay buried. These were in the French Quarters but there are several through out the city. I really fell in love with all the iron work.

I absolutely loved the gas lanterns and lamp post! So pretty!

This is my fun collage of my friend Robin and her family and me having the time of my life! Ahhh, to feel like a kid again (but not have to ask Mom & Dad for anything) is grand! I wish Jim could of came with me but maybe next time. He would not of liked all the shopping but did you see that fish I caught?!
This next New Orleans collage is all about Art and Entertainment. There were carrots as big as zucchini, street performers, sculptures (adore the bunnies, can you tell?!), beads hanging from trees (and though not shown here, they were on a lot of other things too!!)from years of Mardi Gras celebrations (and NO, you don't have to show your "pillows"). Also, I don't eat clams (or any seafood for that matter) but loved the photo of the clams and beer in the window. Also note the water meter cover. Those have become really famous and I don't really now why. They are replicated in jewelry and home decor. The silver mannequin with the blue feather boa is sitting in front of some amazingly framed photos. I loved how the artist/photographer mounted them between what looks like plexi glass and patinaed the metal behind. Hope you can see them better when you click on the collage to enlarge it. I just had to capture the window with the crab pants too. Who really wears those?! Too funny!! Did you find the giant VooDoo doll?

This collage is buildings in the French Quarters of New Orleans, LA (NOLA) Very quaint!
My last collage is all the neat signs in the French Quarters of NOLA (and one off the beaten path that says "Dixie Beer") I love digital photography!! I never would of been able to indulge in taking 100's of pictures of old signs, lanterns, buildings, etc. if I had to buy film and pay to develop it.

And now my friends, just so you get the full experience of NOLA here are the promised recipes that are favorites of the area:
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
61/2 - 7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shortening, softened
Oil for deep frying
Powered sugar
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water; stir to dissolve and let stand 5-10 minutes. Add the sugar, salt, beaten eggs and milk. Mix well, add 4 cups flour and beat until smooth. Add shortening and blend in remaining flour. Cover and chill 4 hours to overnight. Roll out on floured surface to 1/4 to 1/2 in. thickness. Cut into 3 inch squares. Heat oil to 360° Deep fry a few at a time until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Makes 24-36 beignets.
Pecan Pralines:
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups pecan halves
Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and milk in a heavy saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Wipe crystals occasionally from side of pan. Cook to 238° or until mixture forms a soft ball in a cup of tap water. Cool to 220°. Add butter, vanilla extract and pecans. Beat until creamy. Drop from a large spoon onto a buttered surface or waxed paper. Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen pralines. Store individually wrapped in air-tight container.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Orleans was AMAZING!!!!!

I loved New Orleans!! I took over 600 photos! Those of you that know me are not surprised! :)

I was so inspired by the art in NOLA and I can not wait to put together some great photos to share on my blog. This one is a bit dark but it's me and my friend Robin. She was the best and totally spoiled me rotten. I feel as though I LIVED in New Orleans since she made me feel so right at home. Now that is truly a good vacation!

In the meantime, we had to install a new hard drive to get our computer going so I have not re-installed photoshop and a few other programs so I don't even have all my photos loaded at this point. I just hate computer trouble...you just get comfortable with all your settings plus I had so many favorites stored and now much of that is gone forever. A small glitch in life I guess and not really that big a deal. Just very time consuming so will mean even less time to make art. Ouch.

If I didn't have to rush off to work today I'd be all over it! So stay tuned and hopefully I can inspire my readers with all that I seen and the "little" I could capture and reflect in my photos. You must take a trip there sometime to see for your self. Warning: It's very, very HOT and steamy (high humidity!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bad Hard Drive

Just wanted to let you all know that our hard drive went out in our computer and with me leaving for New Orleans in 3 days I won't get anything posted for a few days! Hopefully while I'm gone my hubby will get the computer fixed and then I can post some great photos of my trip. In the meantime, keep on blogging so I'll have some catching up to do when I return!! Stacey

Monday, June 8, 2009

Good website

This is a mini post for me!

I found a really cool website I wanted to share. It's all about GLUE and I think you will find it very helpful! Happy gluing!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What a FUN weekend!

I have been so blessed to have had such an wonderful weekend. For starters it was 3 days long!

On Friday my sister and I went to garage sales. I got some really pretty old silverware that I'm going to cut up and make some jewelry out of. I also found several books for 25 cents. One I started reading yesterday is called The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Here is some of the exert off the back of the book "Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons in the Book of Genesis" "Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood-the world of the red tent." I am only on page 69 but it's been a very good read so far. When I got home from running with her my husband, Jim was ready to go to dinner & a movie. We saw Lost in Space. It was entertaining. I like Will Ferrell though, he is pretty silly.

Saturday Jim, myself and my sister drove 2 hours to a beautiful lake. Jim and I were going to try to scuba dive in it but the water didn't look very clear. It was a very windy day so that may have stirred it up some. We swam for several hours off one of the docks instead. It was peaceful and nice. I told Jim I would like to look into getting a lake lot there somewhere. We have talked about it for a few years now but always talk ourselves out of it. It was a great day. We came home and relaxed and I even managed to work on a couple of my "already started" art projects. They are still not done yet though.

Today was really fun. I got to spend it with both of my sisters which is a rare treat. I took my new underwater camera with me and we all went to the public pool with 2 of my great nieces in tow. It was fun just being with everyone. We made some silly underwater photos. You can judge which one is the funniest....

That is me with my cheeks puffed out looking like the beached whale! Deb is my older sis and hers is pretty funny. Shannon my younger sis has her eyes squinted. We are all pretty funny. I have to say I laughed out loud when I seen them all! It's fun to be silly.

I worked on my suntan all weekend as I leave for New Orleans in 11 days!! I'm excited about that. I'm going to visit a very good friend from my HS days. She has already promised to wear me out so I can see & do as much as possible in just the few short days I'll be there. I'll take lots of pics, maybe even some more underwater ones!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not Paula Dean!

Today I got off work about 45 minutes earlier than usual. Since I got home I have been getting caught up on laundry and dishes (and blogs & emails-hee, hee). My husband and I eat out often. Since our kids have grown we have gotten in the habit of doing that and sometimes I just miss a good home cooked meal. I decided tonight I would cook!

I have had this recipe torn out and ready to try so tonight I decided to give it a go.

First, I had to check to see if I had chicken. Yes, I had boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins. That should work even though the recipe calls for bone in chicken breast halves.

Next, red onion. Nope not an onion in site. I did find some onion flakes...guess I'll use those.

New potatoes? Nope. But I did have Idaho Potatoes so I cut those up. Here is how it's looking so far.

Luckily I had baby carrots, just not fresh whole ones~ I have the mini one's that I use for Valentine's dog treats. She loves them and it keeps her girlish figure nice and trim. I think she was upset that I was stealing from her supply. Here is a photo of her watching me use her carrots. You can see the look of concern on her face. Too cute.

So I came this far and guess what one ingredient I didn't have?! Chicken Broth!!!!! Wow! I thought I had several cans of it but forgot I had made chicken and noodles a few weeks ago. But wait! I do have canned chicken and noodles so in it goes!
Guess we'll see what that turns out like! The other ingredients (spices) I had to substitute dried for fresh.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Kitty Bath Time (it's only fair to Valentine!)

Missy turned 16 years old in Oct. of last year. (that's like 115 years old in human years!)I have not given her a bath in some time because normally cats take care of that themselves. Lately she has been doing this really odd thing of sleeping in the litter box and she is really stinky. She climbed in bed with me yesterday morning & YUCK! So bath time! Valentine looked very satisfied!!! I should of gotten her picture as she looked on!

On another note, I got this really cool email that I wanted to share. I think there are some great quotes here to use to inspire, remind, & uplift!

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, for The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH. "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written." "My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more":

  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends & parents will. Stay in touch.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the 2nd one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. don't wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words "In 5 years, will this matter?"
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive everyone everything.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative--dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  42. The best is yet to come.
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.