Nov 30, 2005

i always suspected as much...

OMG...Becky! i'm just as anal-retentive as you!!! No wonder we get along, sistah!!!

tell me how you turned out...

Nov 28, 2005

well, i WOULD be home, but...

Mother Nature had other ideas.

Started snowing this a.m..

No driving for us.

City girl out taking pictures.

I so am from Southern California.


But it's beautiful when it snows in Reno.

Nov 21, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

We regret to announce that Random Thoughts will be on hiatus for a few days to celebrate the roasting of a giant bird.

Be thankful - be safe. Whether you go over the rivers & through the woods, or up the 395.

Have fun. i'll see y'all next week.

Tryptophan Rules!

Nov 20, 2005

i know why i'm still awake...why are you?

so it's almost midnight.

i'm still awake.

charliehorse in my left leg...just enough to let me know it's there & irritating.

went to Toys R Us & dropped about $140 in cash & prizes for the Niece & Nephew's Christmas. i have the feeling Uncle Brendan & Aunt Balerie are going to be HUGE heros this year.

i LOVE toy shopping for kids. love, love, love the feeling that, most of the time, what we get is gonna go over huge.

i remember that with my mom. any gifts she got me, as a kid (with the exception of the non-purchase of the Valerie doll...but that's another blog) just...well, ROCKED.

she was totally cool. every toy she got me was cool.

i wanna be that cool. not that it's soooooooo important to give kids what they want every time, i know it isn't.

i just wanna be the cool auntie that these kids want to spend time with. even though B & i are "old."

my best friend, Kristie, has two of the coolest kids on the planet. J, now 13, was 5 when B & i married; she was our flower girl.

these two kids LOVE Disneyland (knew there was a reason why they rocked!). but, more important to my ego...they LOVE to go to Disneyland with ME.


couldn't figure that out. after all, i'm older than their mom. and in that world, people, that's OLD.

then, one day, Kristie laid it on the table for me. i, according to her kids, was more like a huge kid than an adult.

right on.

as a kid (and even now), i never had much use for most grown-ups. they usually ruined everything. but, time munches on. i grew up.

sort of.

but, Disneyland is still one of my favorite places to go. matter of fact, i'm now thinking of ways i can coerce my husband into going tomorrow...if only for a few hours.

but to realize that these kids would rather go with me, old as i am, to Disneyland than any other adult...


if i can't be that kind of parent, at least i can be that kind of auntie.

life's good.

Nov 18, 2005

Happy Friday

(ah, but every day is a Friday, since i've been off!)

about to head off to the TressTamer, desperately need a cut & color refresher.

not much going on today....OH! i did get a letter from the state disability people; my SS# was (finally) corrected & they have actually shown my wages. could a check be possibly far behind?
keep your fingers crossed. i need to get some Christmas shopping done before we head out for Thanksgiving.

stupid factoid of the day: the can opener was invented 48 years after canned food was introduced.

rock on.

Nov 17, 2005

this is totally cool!

as hard to belive as it may be, i never saw "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" as a kid.

actually never saw a lot of movies as a kid - but i certainly made up for it as an "adult."

so, when i finally did see WW&TCF, i was almost horrified. what a scary-ass movie! Gene Wilder, while beyond insane & brilliant, was the best part of the movie..the rest, i thought, was almost a nightmare.

today, i rented Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. wow. this is a great movie. there's just enough "darkness" in it to keep it still a fantasy, but not nearly as disturbing as WW was to me.

and as for Johnny friend has been in love with him for years...i'm kinda seeing why. not that he's so handsome in this movie, but there's something about the roles he chooses...

what a great movie. i so need this for Christmas.

in other news...

got a letter from SDI today, with a correct SS# and wages. finally.

could a check be far off? stay tuned.

happy, happy, joy, joy.

Nov 16, 2005

if only...

wonder what Santa would do if he got this wish list...

if only...

* i were a size 12

* i could create cards & scrapbook pages like i want

* i could take pictures & write as good as i think i do

* we could have babies

* i didn't need to dye my hair (not that i do...nooooooo)

* i could be an actress (a real one, not a Drama Queen)

* hot fudge sundaes had no calories

* ditto Mexican Brownies

* my marriage was puuurrrrfect

* ditto life

* there really could be Peace on Earth

'nuff said.

wanna play?

seen this traveling around, so i thought i'd give it a shot...enjoy!
(p.s. - if you put this on your blog, let me know - i wanna see your answers!)

2 names you go by:
Val (HATE it, tho')
Valley / Valshmal

2 parts of your heritage:
(which means i'm pale & drunk)

2 things that scare you:
HUGE barking dogs

2 everyday essentials:
Clinique's moisturing gel
Juice City smoothies

2 fave bands/artists:
Garth Brooks
Sheryl Crow

2 favorite songs
ANYTHING on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
Standing Outside the Fire - Garth Brooks

2 things you want in a relationship (other than true love):
Eagerness to take out the trash and give massages. (amen, Cyn, amen)

2 favorite hobbies:
Duh. (again - thanks, Cyn!)

2 things you want really badly:
to see "Wicked"
kids (well, ain't gonna happen)

2 places you want to go on vacation:

2 things you want to do before you die:
travel to every continent
be a size 10/12

2 ways in which you are a true girl:
love, love, LOVE manicures/pedicures
ditto spa days

2 things you are thinking about right now:
how am i gonna survive a drive to Reno
what am i gonna bring to Reno for Thanksgiving

2 stores you shop at:
2 many scrapbook stores to count (ha!)

2 people guaranteed to make you laugh:
Bill Engvall
George W. (ooh! political smackdown!)

Nov 14, 2005

i'm just so damn proud (sniff)!

took this with my new telephoto lens, too...

one of the eaves @ Disneyland's Main St. Train Station.

Christmas is already here...and i have no shopping done.

bah, humbug!

full moon over Anaheim...

trying out a new lens for my camera today...only wish i could've gotten more detail.

we went to Disneyland for a little bit - i just wanted to try out my new lenses & had such a good time taking pictures.

next stop - Reno & pictures of really cute kids.

Nov 12, 2005

i always suspected as much...

You are Snoopy!"> Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by

Nov 11, 2005

ooooooh - organization!

well, i have traveled over the many points of Buena Park today (OK, i only went to 5 stores) on a Quest: to find index card dividers & Cropper Hopper's vertical paper dividers.

i'm 0 for 2.

i went to Office Depot & Walgreens trying to find the dividers. all i can find are laminated ones or ones with laminated tabs. all i want are dull, boring cardstock ones to try one of the projects in Donna's book. oh well. tomorrow begins again, right?

now for the Cropper Hopper.


no luck there either. and the fine folks at my local Michaels were as helpful as...well...

i sometimes wonder if that's on the job description for these people. not just at Michaels, but anywhere. "whatever you do, as an employee of this store, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES HELP THE CUSTOMER. never mind the fact that their purchases help pay your salary. ignore them and on the occasions when you must help, be as short and as curt as ever."


so, at Office Depot, i found vinyl folders for work orders. 9"x12". so i got them, some labels, and spent about 40 minutes, sitting on the floor (which hurt like hell, believe me) & sorted my papers by colors. i know...i could order them online. but i want 'em, and i want 'em now.

now i feel like my papers really are organized. but i still (surprisingly) have more cardstock than patterned paper.


on to my other rant for the day.

got another letter from the Good People that administer the state disability claims.

it is my firm belief that when Michaels employees leave, they go to state disability offices.

the letter says, again, that i am not eligible for disability because my employer pays my full amount of salary.

no, no, no, no, no. they don't.

i'm only getting 1/2 my salary now. i really could use the rest of my pay.

oh, and did i mention they still have my SS# wrong? bloody hell.

thankfully (only for them) i have between now & Monday to calm myself down.

i realize these are just minor speed bumps. but it's the most absolute frustrating thing. just gives me the worst headache today. it's taken 4 Aleve to feel better.

but it's Friday - and heaven knows i don't want to start the weekend on a bad note.
go out & have some fun this weekend.

and if you see those index card dividers, let me know, willya?

peace out & rock on. : )

why do we create?

so this a.m., i was checking out my myriad of blogs that i love....and i found this on Loni's blog.

the question of the day: why do you create.

there's so many reasons why i think i participate in this insanity called scrapbooking because even though my favorite subject all through school was art, i was told on more than one occasion, to "stick to writing."

unfortunately my writing ain't dat great.

but i digress. again.

i create to fulfill a need in my soul. a need that i cannot get filled from any other source. as a long-time reader of this mindless drivel knows, we don't have kids, so all these albums will end up going to a niece or nephew. that, sometimes, hurts. not that i think that no one but one's children can love scrapbooks created by someone other than their parent, but, well...i guess it's just not the same.

scrapbooking evokes a feeling i can never describe.
the way i feel when a project is complete.
happy, but sad.

but i love the feeling.
to create.
to enjoy.
to be.
that's why i do it.

Nov 10, 2005

for those of a "certain age..."

how many of you remember any of these?

EasyBake/Suzy Homemaker ovens....Crissy & Velvet Dolls...Dawn dolls...klackers..."hi" signs...Knit Magic...Sew Magic...Colorforms...Liddle Kiddles...Jewelry Kiddles...Donny & Marie...Shaun Cassidy...the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries...the DeFranco Family..."Billy, Don't Be A Hero"..."Muskrat Love"..."The Streak"...Saturday Night Live - Bass-o-Matic "mmmm - that's good bass!"...

there's more. but at my advanced age, i don't have the energy to add 'em. it's nap time.

Nov 7, 2005

in case you were interested...

this is one of the albums i'm working on that's from Donna's book...sorry it's a little dark, when i put the flash on, it washed everything out. oh well, you get the idea. Donna's is, of course COMPLETELY better than mine, but i thought this wasn't too bad. thanks for looking & i'd love to hear your critique!

is there a 12-step program for scrappers?

something like..."hi, my name is Valerie & i scrap"?

decided to spend some time tonight cleaning up my corner of the 2nd bedroom.
we have a two bedroom place, and the smaller room is an office/kitty/scrapping room (kitty, because his box is in there. won't fit in the bathroom). so i had worked on a project, then found some papers i had bought but not put away.

40 minutes later...

oh dear Scrapbooking Powers that Be. say it isn't so.

i have 5 of those Cropper Hopper vertical paper holders (for those that don't know they're about 12" high by about 4"wide & they hold scrapbooking papers. for those that don't care, please skip down). three are filled with different colors of patterned paper, one with tall embellishments, letters, etc. one is (after tonight) completely filled with cardstock.

oh dear.

after i whispered "i should never buy paper again," i decided to start on organizing my ribbon & fibers.

i won't even go into what i had.

i had no idea i even had that much.

what is wrong with me? am i that sick, that all i do is buy products & do nothing with them?

OK, not entirely true...i have been working on some little albums stolen from Donna's book.
but mercy...i had NO idea i have this much stuff.

so see, i feel better. step one is admitting i have a problem. step two is trying to stay away from the siren call of Bazzil, Basic Grey, GinerationX & ImaginationStation.

step three is actually using this stuff.

stop me before i buy again. i hear there's a sale at Michaels.

Nov 6, 2005

happy Sunday morning

and welcome to another Lovely Day in Paradise!

or, another Beautiful Day under the Smogberry Trees.

i love Sundays here...even though it's 9:30 a.m., not many are up in the complex, so it's very quiet. the Husband is still in bed (he got home very late..1a.m. from work), and the cat is snuggled on the top (yes, top) of the recliner that i'm sitting in.

yep. life's good.

ooooooooooooooooooooooo. found out yesterday that Donna Downey is coming to teach some classes in Irvine. not until January, but she's coming! i'm so excited, and am counting the days till the store opens up registration. then, baby, i am SO there.

still congested (for those of you following my flu status), but at least i don't feel like walking crud.

oh .....more good news: Disneyland is starting the Christmas season early (i'd say just like the mall, but they started at Halloween)...November 11. it's my favorite time to be at my favorite place...and no one decorates like they do. it always puts me in the seasonal frame of mind...the tree, the decorations, the lights, the music...for whatever reason, it always recharges my batteries & i feel ready to face the insanity of the season head on. maybe i can talk the Husband into taking me..only during the week, though. we could rent another wheelchair, but i'm afraid he'll try to dump me on Main St. like he did last time (crossing the street, and got the wheels caught in the trolly tracks. stopped the chair cold, but i was almost flying!).

may your days be merry & bright.

Nov 5, 2005

where have all my juices gone?

pull your mind out of the gutter.

i refer to my creative juices.

every night this week, i've spent minimum of two hours in the office/scrap/crap room, working on one project or another (certainly not my wedding album, which i should be working on).

but not tonight. for whatever reason, i just can't get it together.

i've measured wrong. ever hear of the old saw: Measure twice, cut once? i'm a big believer.


i've measured wrong. twice. and only found out after i've cut once.


so i limped back into the living room (yes, limped. back ain't cooperating in the Feel
Good Department today). put on The Simpsons season 6 DVD.

have mercy. i'm sick of that, too.

can't be that i have cabin fever. i still am snotty (head-wise, not personality. but some would say that i am that, as well). feel kinda puny.

i don't wanna go out, but i can't stay here.


ah well, i'll try it again. head on back in & put on Disco Saturday Night on the local radio dial.

maybe i can boogie my way into creativeness. peace out.

Nov 3, 2005

getting sentimental..again.

for some reason, i started thinking about more icons of my childhood gone forever.

anyone remember Japanese Village & Deer Park in Buena Park? i remember thinking it was so cool to get a pearl AND feed deer.

what about Santa's Village up near Big Bear? i remember getting lost in the hall of mirrors.

Marineland in Palos Verdes? i remember going with my mom & grandma and spending untold dimes riding on this huge slide. sheesh. the thought of climing up those stairs again puts my back in a spasm.

the original Pike in Long Beach? sorry, can't help you there. living with my great auntie as a child, i wasn't allowed to go there. her thought was that i was going to get stuck with a needle & become a heroin addict. (yes, she did live in a strange world)

so many memories.

hmmm....this ain't right...

it's not bad enough that my back hurts...but now i'm sick.


got a lovely case of the legs ache & i'm completely full of snot. gotta love it.

on the other hand.....
a friend at work emailed me photos from Halloween @ work. i would never have recognized some of the folks on our management team!

last year i went as Britney after a blonde wig, a pair of hip huggers & a cig. fat Britney. total trailer trash. hey, i won most humorous costume. this year i could've been Miss Frankenback.

speaking of...the scar is still nasty looking. called the doctor the other day because it was really red (call me paranoid...but never having had back surgery before...) and they calmed me down. then the mail came in & i was told by the State of California's Glorious Employment Development Department that i was ineligible for state disability benefits. why? certainly not because i've been at my job for 18 years....

because the EDD typed my social security number in wrong.

isn't that nice?

so, after a short 40 minutes on the phone, it got straightened out...but will take 7-10 business days to do so.

so frustrating. i'm rather easily stressed these days, so this bothers the beejeebers outta me.

on the bright side...

tuesday i spent most of the night in the craft/office working on a project i found in Donna Downey's "Yes, It's a Scrapbook!" book. i love that book. i love her. her ideas are totally cool...and she's actually emailed me in answer to some of my comments on her blog.

she's very cool.

and the project (a mini album made out of old cd's) i thought turned out really cool. i'll post a picture tomorrow.

time for Typhoid Mary Frankenback to go to sleep. peace out.

Nov 1, 2005

it's the end of an era...sort of.

another relic of my childhood, down the tubes.

Movieland Wax Museum opened May 1962...same time i did. i remember it being a part of my mom, God bless her, would use an entire week of vacation taking me to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Japanese Village & Deer Park and Movieland.

last time i remember going was back in the 70's. i remember an attraction called The Black Box. don't remember for sure what all it entailed, but the commercial always made me was a girl named Rosemary Kabbibbe and the tag line was "The lights are on, but nobody's home."

oh for the memories.

B wanted to go on Sunday, but the line to buy tickets was going around the building. i don't think so. so we shot for Monday, which was better.

it was still crowded, but not as bad as Sunday would've been. took about 2 hrs to go through the entire exhibits. took pictures of every single figure...

made me sad. not that this was such a killer attraction, and if you saw some of the figures, oy.
you could tell that some were 43 years old. dang. i looked better than some of 'em. i guess i'm sad because i just feel old. places i wanted to show my niece & nephew are gone or going.

but every generation has to have their Sacred Places, i guess. one day, some generations will mourn the loss of Vans' Skate Park.

i guess.