Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Collage Camp Special Offer....

KC Willis and her Collage Camp! Love it. I bought the DVD, and she has just announced she is having a "special"! You can take Collage Camp for only $75, instead of the usual $95. Not only that you can also buy her classes on DVD, and she is currently offering her three follow up classes for only $35.00! A real bargain.

I love her DVD, K C shares all her knowledge on gathering materials, composition and collage. When you finish you have lovely heirloom pieces to enjoy and share. I have found they have several applications. Don't take my worked for it, just visit her at the Lipstick Ranch, or here at the Camp and check out the slide show to see:


Now run, don't walk to the Camp and take advantage of her generous offer. I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Don't Walk......

Can I just say that this is my "Favorite" Sesame Street song. I loved it when it first aired and stumbled on it on YouTube. Enjoy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hear, Speak, and See.......

This Christmas was quiet, and while I missed the old, I made the most of the new. Our son John showed up unexpectedly Thursday night, after work. He wanted to spend time with us is what he said. It was good to see him. He did his laundry and we visited, talked about Stephen Kings new book (John and I both love them) and watched Harry Potter. Kim was home from work at 6:00, and visited with us before leaving for her boyfriends. Steph and Pat called and asked us to come over Pat's parents, but I had already showered and reserved Harry Potter so we chose to stay home.
Christmas morning was quiet and we slept in. Kim received a re-built bike from Mike, and they took a ride (yes, in the rain). I made a breakfast for us then Steph and Pat came over and we opened our gifts. There wasn't much to open, but everyone was happy and seemed pleased with what they received. Steve and I though received the best gift of the lot. You see they had all met and had photos taken. Yes even Pat, Stephs fiance joined in (I will post that one later). I think it was great that they did this for us. I also like that they really hammed it up this time and had fun. The photo above is one of my favorites. Let me introduce you: John, hear no evil (he is the bass player in a rock band called "Seasons of Eden" look for their CD, and on the RIF), Then there is Kimberly, our youngest, speak no evil (my hippie, go green, save the planet, peace child), and Stephanie our oldest, see no evil (our own "Dog Whisperer" and animal rights champion).
This is the second time, the last was over five years ago, that they have done this. The first time I cried. You see, my children are like me, I don't like to take pictures. I do not photograph well and frankly I have yet to see any pictures of me I care for. It seems my children feel the same way (except for Kim, who seems to actually like's having her photo taken. She doesn't mind and always looks good in them). Although they always look good in their pictures, we all share an aversion to picture taking. Since I feel this way I have always respected my children's right to just say no.
The fact that they went and spent a day posing, picking out frames and then presenting us with these pictures mean more than words can say.
John and Steph like to wear black, that one in the middle, well not as much (she says she did not get the memo). I like the contrast, and can't help thinking what beautiful people they are, inside and out.
The photographer who took the pictures is a friend of my son's who will be taking Stephs wedding photos. She did a great job.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It is Just Different......

No, this isn't my home. Although I have a fireplace, this is very decorated and well. my home isn't. To be honest time is flying by. I do not "feel" the Christmas season. Perhaps it is because the children are older, and wrapped up in their own things. Maybe it is the poor economy and the way everyone has been snapping, impatient, and worried. The thought of losing ones job, home, and all that it entails can be overwhelming. Even more so this time of the year when we expect and want to feel more jovial and giving. It isn't the gift giving I am talking of, although for some thatmay be a factor. For me it has been the gift of time. It is as though we have all become afraid to celebrate, or spend time together just having fun lest we be thought of as spendthrifts and foolish, Yes things are bad, but they have been bad before. The media has pounded in the fact that it is because we, the American public, have not been thrifty enough. we want. we spend. (Yeah, that same media that tells you that you need that big TV, vacation to the Bahamas, and blames the lack of "spending" for the poor economy and the public facing the loss of their jobs and homes) which is not entirely true. Many have saved, but watched Wall Street steal it with Congress's blessing and get bonuses and a bail out to boot. Many pay their bills on time and their mortgages, only to lose money because banks dumped homes and the value of their property drop, and raised their rates. Believe me I have tried to get in the spirit, but it has been tense here. My position is tenuous, my daughter is only working one day a week, and I have a wedding this March to prepare for. There will be no Christmas morning of unwrapping presents here. My eldest will be with her fiances family, my youngest will be with her friend as they leave to spend the day his family. I hope to see my son at Steve's family dinner later Christmas day. It will be quiet, and that's okay. Still I cannot help missing having my family together. It cannot be helped as we know, things change. I will keep hoping things will improve and that the people in our government will stop fiddling with my future and the future of my children. I have stopped watching the news. They show so much despair and need at this time. Charities are feeling it too, after all it is hard to give when you don't know if you will need that extra to live on yourself. It will be quiet here this year, and I will just ride the waves, and hope for better times ahead. I know many have posted cheerful things on their blogs, and that for them it may be better, or perhaps they are just trying, like myself, to maintain some sort of peace or joy in their own way. I don't mean to sound melancholy, but as my friend Terri would say "It is what it is". It's not that I am really sad, but not exactly happy either. It just does not feel like a holiday for lack of a better reason. I am truly grateful for what I do have. It's just been a lot happening lately, as I said things change, and I guess they are just changing too fast for me lately. I suppose I could put on a happy face here speak of all thing merry and bright, but it is not how I feel right now, and I want be able to just say it. I will be fine, It will be okay, it is just...... different, and somedays different isn't easy. I do want to wish all a Happy Holiday, and let's all make a wish for a better New Year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Okay our cell phone contract is now up. We have been loyal AT&T customers since Cingular, almost ten years. Now I am ready for a change. It seems they have become a bit arrogant. As I mention we have been loyal customers for a long time, so when my daughters phone stopped working instead of offering to help they instead wanted to charge us to replace it. Of course that was when we found out the "new" phone we had bought her was actually a rebuild.
My friend has Verizon, her phone broke and they just replaced it, no questions asked, no insurance (did I mention we had been paying insurance on my daughters phone?). My oldest daughter has Verizon, she likes it, despite the fact that she gets poor reception in her home(?). My son had Verizon, he hated them? He has T-Mobile. He loves it.
So I have been doing the research and I have checked many of them out, their plans, customer service, etc. We have had a great offer from Sprint, but they have had a bad rap for service, and quality. I wonder, because I do not know anyone with this service I can ask. My son said he was really not impressed with T-Mobile the first year and had coverage issues, but they have greatly improved in the last couple years. Hmmmm
What do I like about T-Mobile? Well for one, "no contract". Yeah I have to buy my phone, but I do not have to worry about being "stuck" in a plan I hate or cannot afford. Still I worry about reception. I do not want to buy phones then hate it.
Sprint has offered everything we want, it is a two year plan however, still much less money and the texting my daughter wants.....but again I know no one that has Sprint that can tell me if they are happy with their plan.
I have been upset with AT&T. I have had issues with them "adding" things to our bill (they for several months allowed a ring tone company or companies to add charges to our bill. I keep having to call and get the charges off since we never have signed up for anything. We had the text, data plan options blocked since the onset, and that took four calls). They offer nothing really affordable. The problem is I have been with them for a while. At one time I had their service for my home, Internet, and cell. They offered me a great deal to bundle. That lasted one month before they decided they were losing to much money and jacked up the plan price. Instead of the 20% off they promised they lowered it to $3.00 off a month. Needless to say I no longer have them for my home and Internet. Now I need to address my cell bill.
My friend has a "go" phone and she just buys so many minutes each year. She does not use her phone as much as our family does. It might work for me, and maybe my husband, but not for our daughter. I would get a plan just for her but it actually would be more expensive to do that. She is in school full time and working part time. She cannot afford a plan of her own but can pay her part of a family plan. I need to find a solution that will work for all of us.
What I can tell you is that I talked to a Rep from AT&T. I told him that I had up until the last few years been happy with them (not their pricing or adding those charges), but noticed in the last two years we have had several dropped calls and no signal. He said "Well cell phones are constantly upgrading and your phones are old and out of date."
I thought about this, then I said to him "Really? Because we resigned only two years ago and so you are telling me that your company sold me phones that they knew would be out of date in less than a year then committed me to a two year contract knowing that there would be trouble, drop calls, not get a signal, etc.?"
Of course he stumbled around saying how things are always changing, blah, blah, blah. All he did was validate any suspicions I had that they change signals, and such every so often to get you to change phones or services. It is all a game to generate sales and upgrades. Yeah, I know I am probably stating the obvious to many. Which brings me back to what to do.
I will be making the trips to all these stores and checking them out, but I would appreciate any help or info anyone could share with me. Suggestions, warnings, or better plans out there? I have time but want to do something soon and many have holiday offers, no activation fee, phone deals,etc. I do not need texting, but of course my daughter wants it, and has offered to pay for it (with what I do not know). I would like the max minutes for the buck of course, but most important is customer service (I want to be treated as though my business is important, which sadly AT&T has not done), and call quality. We will be checking out a couple options this weekend and hope to be able to make a choice next month. I would feel so much better if I knew someone who had a Sprint plan and what they liked/dislike about them.
Yes there are other choices, PCMetro, Nextell (I beleive they just merged with Sprint), and I am sure there are others but I think I will stick to the bigger names as I like that they offer nationwide service, and some of the smaller ones do not offer this. My brother had Nextell, and my sister but he left for AT&T when he could not get service in Indiana (he travels for work). My sister left them too, for better service and prices (she lives up north).
What to do, what to do........

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We Interrupt this Blog for an Important Message...

Why Helloooo there, I have a message for you. Happy Birthday to You........... who? Why you of course.... Happy Birthday, to you......mmmmm, yeah babe............. Are you taking this all in? Happy Birthday dear Debra................. let's bring it home now....... ..............Ha-p-p-y B-ir-th-day to you! Yeah you guessed right hon I am all yours...... Behold these perfect plastic pectorals, the way the light shines off my washboard ab's, and these glistening guns. Hey, I know you may have wanted one of the Chippendale men on your birthday, or that guy from the movie "The Mummy", Oded Fehr, but this is all your going to get for a dollar babe, so deal!