Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Heart Is Breaking

I have to share this because if I don't I think I'll die.  Tonight my daughter calls me and when I tell her that I'll pick up the kids sometime Saturday morning to go yard sale-ing she tells me that I'm going to be mad at her.  I ask her why and she says that her boyfriend (who is almost my age) won't let me take the kids because I won't pay his rent.  He gets social security and welfare pays almost all his rent except for $43.  He won't pay it and they are two months behind already. 
I've got a problem with him anyway because I know he mistreats my daughter and if he isn't physically abusive (although I believe he is) I have heard him be emotionally abusive.  I know he is towards the kids as well but nobody will admit to it.  Social services has gone in to investigate and have decided that a complaint was unfounded so I'm pretty sure they're useless.
My fear is that the kids, who had a small get-a-way with us each week, are not going to get a break and will surely fail to thrive in their environment.  However, if I give in to this piece of crap and his blackmail, I will be in his power and I cannot and will not bow to this, for lack of a better word, jerk.
I think that I'll contact the commissioner of the DOSS in the morning and see what I can do.  My boyfriend told me they could be taken away and put in foster care and that I might never see them again.  That I don't mind if they are in a good, stable environment, but what if they get into a bad foster home?  I could never forgive myself for taking them from a bad place and putting them in a worse place.  I love these kids so much and my heart is breaking into a billion bits.  I know he'll let the kids come back to me as soon as he gets tired of them being around the house, but the boy is acting out in school again and the girl is gone to her friend's house whenever she can leave.  He's six and she's seven and it's not normal.   At least from what I remember of my own childhood.
I'm not related.  My daughter isn't married to this jerk, she's not their mother although they call her mom.  I have no legal recourse, so what do I do?
I know these blogs are supposed to be cheery and fun and crafty but tonight I just need to vent.  Anyone go through this? Any suggestions? How do I save these children from the ignorance of their father? 

Monday, May 23, 2011

We Have A Winner!!!

I'd like to take a moment to thank you all for stopping by this weekend for the We Love Our Hero's Blog Hop!  I love the great comments, and for my new followers - thanks for signing up! You didn't have to so I totally appreciate it.  I will try to keep you updated on my projects and all the other things that I bring to the lounge.
So the moment we've been waiting for - the winner of a small bit o' blog candy is...

"I love the distressing with ink on the cards. So happy to be in this hop with you. I am a new follower."

I'm sending you an email Melanie!  To everyone else I'd like to say that I'm sure I'll be in another hop soon, so stay tuned!

Thanks for your comments, as always they are greatly appreciated, and stay scrappy!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Hero's Blog Hop - Day 2

I posted this previously on my fb page but I thought it would be appropriate to repost here as part of this hop.  Jack is one of the heroes in my life that I'm not related to.  Jack's been gone three years now, but I think of him every day.  Please read if you have a minute.   

  Today is the birthday of a very dear friend of mine.  His name is John, but we all called him Jack.  Jack was born in Brooklyn NY in 1919.  He served in the US Army during WW2.  Jack landed on Utah Beach on D-Day and fought in the Battle of Normandy and earned two purple hearts.  Jack got married in 1964 and stayed faithful to the same woman for the rest of his life.  Best of all, Jack was my friend.
   When I met Jack, he took me under his wing.  He kind of adopted me, although I had both my parents at the time.  He was like a surrogate grampa.  I never had a grandfather, that I knew anyway, they had all died by the time I was born.  Jack checked in with me almost every day.  He stopped by to see if I needed anything or if I'd heard some bit of news.  That's how it was in the beginning. 
   When my dad died Jack showed up at the wake in a suit.  Someone told me I was the only person they knew of that he did this for.  Jack usually wore green work pants and a green work shirt and sometimes a red thread-bare vest.  He had plenty of new clothes, most of them still in packages.  These were the ones he loved to wear. 
   Jack walked his dog Freddy, every day.  When Jack had to have a procedure done he asked me if I would come by and walk Freddy for him.  I would.  Freddy was a good dog.  A little King Charles Spaniel. 
   Jack and I used to have long conversations, sometimes discussions, where we would disagree and be a little pissed at each other.  I think he would get frustrated by me because of my youth and the fact that I knew everything.  I know I would get frustrated with him because he knew everything and was so stuck in his ways to not see he was wrong!  I'm laughing as I write this because I know we felt the same exact way about the other, but in the end we were friends and respected each other immensely.
   Jack got sick, and in May of 2008, he passed away.  I still miss him.  There are days I wish he was around for the advice he used to give.  I wonder what he would say about the things that are happening in my life today.  I look at things he told me to do, and I am so glad I listened to him.
   Jack was a rare breed.  Jack was a true friend.  He is missed today, not just by me, but by everyone that knew him.   I would give anything to hear one of those old stories that he used to tell, over and over, because he forgot he told me already.
   So Jack, wherever you are tonight, and I'm sure you are with Stacy, happy birthday old friend.  I miss you very much.  
   I'm getting on, and I'm trying to keep the faith. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

We Love Our Hero's Blog Hop is Finally Here!!!!!!!

Today is Armed Forces Day, so again, this is a hop to support and bring awareness to the works of Operation Write Home . You should have arrived from Darlene at, if not please start at Misty’s, so You don’t miss anything this wonderful group has to offer. In addition to card makers making cards for service persons to send home to their families, OWH has what they call ‘Hero Mail’. These cards can be any size; not just the usual required A2. They also include a personal note to ‘Any Hero’. We call them Hero’s, because OWH covers all branches of service. These are passed out to  deployed hero’s, who might not get much mail, or just passed around to enjoy news from home.  Here is more info.
Thank you to All of our Heros, past , present and those who serve on the Homefront as well!

My Project:  I used regular cardstock and Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Pad to give it that weathered look.  I cut the stars, hearts and tags with my George cartridge on my Cricut. A brad holds the tag on, and the tag is inked with a gold inkpad for definition.

The back of each card has a heart, sending love

Your next stop is with Linda..

  In case you get lost along the way, the complete hop list is below.

*1. Misty...


3. Kristal..


**5. Amy...


*7. Kathie..

*8. Rexann..

*9. Vicki

*10. Jenny

*11.  Darlene

*12.  JennyB  YOU ARE HERE

*13.   Linda..  GO HERE!!!

*14.   Patti

*15. Jazzy

16. Momo...

17. Paula...

*18. Melanie

*19. Jan

20. Gina

I'm offering a small gift to one person.  I will draw a name at the end of the Hop of anyone who leaves me a comment.  You DO NOT have to become a follower.  However, if you look at my posts and like what you see I would be delighted if you would follow me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sorry So Long!

Good morning cyber friends!

It's been awhile since I posted and I have to say that it's not because I didn't want to, it's because I've been so busy!  It seems lately that everyone wants/needs some part of my free time and I've been overwhelmed.  I'm also planning to take a moment this weekend to just scrap!  Last night I put together some photos that I'm sending off to the printer to get me motivated to start a new album and to work on some that are in-progress.

That said, I have a couple projects to show you.  One is a thank you card that I made for a friend of my boyfriend's who sent me all her scrapbooking supplies.  It was a hobby she thought she'd like to get into and then decided it wasn't for her.  She ended up sending me a load of paper, stickers, and some markers.  I think the kids will have a ball with it and there's some that I've kept for myself, but I neglected to send her a thank you and I've been kicking myself for a month now to get one out to her.  Sooooo, the other night I made myself make one.  I cut out and put together a flower pot of cardstock and then used Tim Holtz distress ink to make it look textured.  The stems are cut from textured paper and I used a Fiskars flower punch and layered the flowers and used a coordinating brad for the center.  I also used a gold stamp pad to ink the edge of the card.  Here's how it came out.  The thank you is actually written on the inside because I couldn't figure out where to put it on the front.

My next project is a two page LO for the kid's album.  I'm doing Christmas right now.  I had to skip Halloween because I don't have the right paper and it's driving me crazy!  I'm still looking and will hopefully have some soon!  I have no idea who the paper is by but it's from a StoryTeller's Club kit (  If you're looking for a kit club I loved that one!  I joined it the year I quit smoking.  The way it worked (in my head) was that I would spend my smoke money on scrapbooking.  I used the Winter Woodlands Cricut cartridge for the lettering.  Now, I just found out that it had a font option.  I've had that cartridge for a year now!  It really helps if you read the booklet that comes with it! The pictures are matted on coordinating cardstock, and I used some of the embellishments that came with the kit.

I don't know why it won't insert the correct way! Sorry for having to look sideways!

It's funny, but I am enjoying these children so much.  I know I've said it before, but everything with them is a first.  This was the first time that they met Santa.  If they ever did before they can't remember, and I feel so honored to be a part of their lives.

Saturday night we took Gaige to a dance recital.  He sat through the whole thing, all three hours of it, and he didn't get fidgety until the end.  He asked what the kids names were, what the next song was, was it ok to point at them when asking questions about them.  It was just amazing his interest in them.  I asked him if he'd like to take lessons and he said yes.  I'd like to do this for him, and his sister as well, only I have a feeling his dad won't allow it.  Lessons start up again in August or September and I'm going to look into it.  Maybe if his dad realizes that it's hip-hop and not ballet he'll let him go.  I have to say- he seemed to like it all, including the ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

Well, I'm running on and on, so I'll stop here.  I hope you enjoyed the projects.  This weekend is the Hero Blog Hop which I have my project all ready to show.  I hope you'll stop in and check it out.  I may have a small giveaway too, so be sure to hop in!

As always, comments are always welcome!  Happy scrapping!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Project - Sympathy Card

Ah, so today was the funeral.  I've been wracking my brain as to what I can do for my friend and I ended up making my macaroni & cheese and a gorgeous tossed salad.   I should've kept a photo of that because it was truly beautiful.  I dropped that off to her the other night, along with a note (on the back of a Michael's coupon - it was the only note paper in my purse!) to let her know that if she needed anything that all she had to do was call.  That was bothering me too.  Why didn't I know what she needed?  Why couldn't I just figure it out and do it? 

Last night I made her a sympathy card.  I did some research on line and looked up sympathy sentiments.  Then I headed over to the Fiskateer website gallery and looked for some inspiration, then set down to work.  I started with basic dark brown cardstock cut to 6" x 8" and folded it on the 4" line.  I was looking for muted colors, but pretty, and I ended up using this pad of papers by Colorbok that I picked up last fall.  I loved the colors in it but I haven't used it yet.  The description on the back of the pad says Earth Tone, but it's mainly blues and browns - both colors that are calming and subdued enough for a sympathy card.

I cut a 4" x 6" piece of blue glittered, flower patterned paper for the front and then just blue scroll for the inside.  I used polka dot brown paper to cap the fold and I used a Martha Stewart border punch to give it a little class.  I printed the sentiments I found on a stone look piece of cardstock so that it would pop on the card.  I used the Heritage Cricut cartridge to do the frame on the front of the card and the George cartridge for the inside.  The front frame ends had to be cut off so it would fit on the card but it worked out pretty well.  Last but not least I added Heidi Grace Designs flowers to the front.  They're brads but I ended up gluing them on with Aileene's Tacky Glue because I didn't want to punch them through.

On the back I added some scroll work from the Heritage cartridge with a piece of cardstock stating that it was me that made the card.

That said and done I gave my friend the card today.  I hope she likes it. She couldn't look at it there because she was trying to stay composed.  She's lost her mother.  But I'll be making another card for her soon, as her birthday is Sunday and she'll be celebrating that as well as Mother's Day with her own children.  I'm sure it will be a bittersweet day for her and I hope my card helps her along.

As for not knowing what to do - I spoke with her husband before I left and he told me.  Just be there.  Make the phone call.  Stop by unannounced.  Make plans and then tell her she'll be there.  Make her included now more than ever. 

This I will do.

So cyber friends - as always your comments are greatly appreciated.  I hope you like my card and if you do please let me know!

Be well!

Monday, May 2, 2011


A lot of talk today is going to be out there about the death of bin Laden.  Last night the world lost, besides a terrorist, a wonderful woman.  The mother of my best friend.  So forgive me if the word of bin Laden's death doesn't excite me.  At this moment I am in mourning for someone far greater.

Leona had a good but tough life.  She had three great kids and two wonderful husbands.  She lost her son when he was nineteen.  She lost her first husband about 10 years ago.  I'm sure she was welcomed by both as she gave her last breath, and I'm sure it was a beautiful reunion.

I also know that the pain left behind will be hard to soothe, except for the fact that she's not fighting for her life and in pain any longer.  She left two daughters, a husband and three grandchildren.  She left them with a legacy of fighting the good fight with grace and dignity and knowing when to let go. 

My memories of Leona are selfish.  I remember when my own child was very young and she lived across the driveway.  She would take my daughter and sit outside and watch her play.  We would talk and drink tea or coffee and my daughter called her "Gramma" just as if she were her very own.

I remember when her son died she told me he loved me.  That he had talked about me all the time.  I held on to that for so long.  I still do, and I have no doubt that she is finally able to look upon his face and smile.

I remember her relationship with her daughters and how close she was with them.  I tried to follow her example with mine.  I'm still working on it.

I'm glad she's not in pain any longer.  I'm glad she's able to be with her son again.  But I mourn for the pain that will be in her children's homes for a while.  I mourn that her grand children's memories will fade in time and she'll be a distant memory in the not so distant future.  I mourn that her daughters have become orphans overnight.

And I mourn that I wasn't there for my friend at that moment when she needed someone.  She had friends and family around her, but I wasn't one of them.  A phone call here and there, and I meant to call this past weekend and then life happened and I never got near the phone.  And then death happened.

So my dear cyber friends, I am going to go take a shower and then I'm going to make a phone call.

Rest in peace Leona.  You will be missed and remembered.