Author Archives: hopescraps

About hopescraps

I'm a mom, a wife, a crafter and a Heritage Maker and an LDS Activity Day Girls leader for the past 8 years.

Project ME!

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Scapbooking and Memory keeping have come a long way in the last 20 years ago.  At first it was good just to complete a photo Album of any kind and then came scrapbooks, then came theme scrapbooks, then photobooks, then we introduced digital with  “projects” such as Project Life or Project 365.  All of these steps in the evolution of memory keeping have been about finding fun and easy ways for a person to document their lives & their family’s lives.  Photo documentation has NEVER been easier.  I love it!  I really, really do.  Over the years I’ve found myself diving into one idea or another always involving family documenting; then, something happened.  About two years ago my family’s dynamic’s changed.  (We are a small family; their are just three of us.)  Without going into details, I will just say that my beautiful, amazing, teenage daughter spent some time away from the family. A LARGE CHUNK OF TIME!  For a documentarian like I am that meant that there were NO Halloween pictures, no pictures of the pumpkin patch, no Thanksgiving pictures, no Summer swimming pictures, No Family vacations.  For two years off and on there are large gaps in my family’s visual history.  GASP!  Horror!  I struggled.  I struggled with missing my daughter but I also struggled with missing my ‘calling’ so to speak.  So, I decided to take the opportunity to kinda ‘re-evaluate’ my perspective on photo documenting and here is what I came up with.  I looked through my family albums, my digital photo files, my cards and you know what I found?  Thousands (yes, THOUSANDS of pictures of my daughter, hundreds of my husband, dozens of all of my pets and about 5 of my husband and I and nearly none of ME.  No pictures of me alone, few pictures of me with the love of my life, no pictures of me with friends, no pictures of me with the girls I teach (who I ADORE!)…nadda.  This is something I’d never looked at before, never thought of.  In the past my I would have ignored that there were no photos of me, I would blow it off with-  “Of course there wouldn’t be pictures of me, I’m the one holding the camera.  Of course there were no pictures of me I’m fat/bloated/my hair looked bad/ I deleted the one where I had the double chin/I deleted the blurry one/ I have a goofy smile- Ick…/ I look too short in the photo’s and it throw’s off the proportions……”  So, what was this gift that I had spent 20 years creating for my family?  Twenty years of documenting our family’s life.  15 years of which it appears I nearly completely disappeared?  What does this teach my daughter?  That I’m important?  I say “No”.  I am ashamed to say that I think that inadvertently modeled for my daughter that I was ashamed of myself, that I am not important in the family and that I come last in all things.  WHAT?

Time to change.  So, about a year and a half ago I decided to change my perspective.  I decided to take a hint from the younger generation that has so wholeheartedly embraced their camera phone and I decided to start by simply taking more pictures of my husband and I.  I have an i-pod touch and those little things make taking quick “selfie’s” so simple.  I’m not gonna lie, it was hard.  I’m 9 inches shorter than my husband so some of those photo’s are whackily proportioned.  Quite a few have bad lighting.  All have two things in common though.  All have My JR and me.

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It’s hard seeing myself in those pictures but I’m getting used to it.  So, after I got used to taking more pictures of JR and I, I decided to step it up.  I bought an app called Pocketbooth.  It’s a cute little app.  Cost me $1.99 or so, I think.  Anywhooo, doesn’t matter what it cost.  The point is that I liked the app, thought it was fun and I decided to step up my efforts to document me and start taking pictures of me and my friends and my girls.  I’m slowly making progress.  I call it Project ME!  I’m writing this blog post (that will probably be seen by about 5 people) and asking you dear readers to consider also doing a project ME!  Project me! is simple.  Find a simple way to take pictures of yourself (phones, ipods, camera) make sure it’s something you can take with you all the time.  Try to take a photo of yourself with a friend, acquaintance or relative at least once a week.  Look around you.  Your world is full of marvelous friends, dear family, funny aquaintences…. All who add to your life to make your life richer and make you a more interesting person.  Doing Project Me! is about documenting who you are right now and who makes up your world.  It’s about it being OK to turn the camera on yourself (and if you’re like me it takes a while to get over thinking it’s a vain thing to take so many pictures of myself, and identifying it as kind of a ‘teenagerey’ kind of thing).  Later on I’m going to post some fun and easy projects you can do with those photo’s but for right now, I mean it… RIGHT NOW…. start taking pictures of YOU and your world.  Find an App you like, get a friend or your spouse in on the project, link back to this blog and show me where you started if you like or show me on Facebook.

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What Can I Do?

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What Can I Do?

Recently I spent 3 days with my beautiful child in the hospital.  This was the third hospitalization in a year for her.  The nature of my daughter’s medical event was severe enough that she could not be alone while in the hospital.  So, again with no warning I was living in a hospital.  Once again I was unprepared to live in a hospital.  I’ve decided that I need to have a plan of action, or should I say a better plan of action.  Honestly, having been through this two other times previously, I did have an action plan.  I took my daughter’s biography (see my post ‘Of Necessity‘.  I also took my ‘contact form’ that I had created. My Contact Form is a single sheet of paper that contains the contact information for my husband and I (quite helpful since when I’m in an emergency I frequently can’t remember my own phone number, let alone my husband’s work address), two Contact in case of emergency people (phone & address), doctor’s & psychiatrist’s phone numbers, insurance information, prescriptions & immunizations.  This little form is super duper handy!  I use it all the time.  I also grabbed my favorite big sweater (hospitals are always cold).  What I didn’t grab was anything the stay the night in the hospital. (In my defense, we were hoping it would be a quick trip to the ER. ).  I don’t plan to have ANY of this happen ever again.  I really don’t want to go back to the hospital with my child and I really, really, don’t want to sleep in the hospital again…but, I’ve found that not wanting to do something doesn’t always predict whether something will happen or not.  So, I’m going to hedge my bet.  I’m going to make a ‘hospital packet’.  I intend to include: 

deodorant

shampoo & conditioner

change of clothes including socks

toothbrush, tooth paste

tweezers

lip balm

hair brush

rubber bands, bobby pins

cash

sweater

I will have this packet somewhere easily accessible.  I may even stick it in the car.

Soooooooo…….. 

Over this past year I’ve had people ask me what they could do for me?  I always say nothing.  Honestly,  I can’t think of anything at the moment.  Meals are pointless because we’re eating at the hospital.  Cards are sweet but I may not get them for days since I’m not home.  Calls & texts are nice but I can’t always respond and sometimes my brain just goes into overwhelm.   Over the years I’ve known other people who’ve had a loved one who have a medical emergency.  (that sentence is so not grammatically correct).  I’ve always wondered what I could do to help and I’ve usually just resorted to saying something like “I’m sorry and I love you” the next time I see them.  Now that I’m the one that people are wondering about I’ve actually got an answer.  check on me, tell me you love me, don’t expect any answers…. and if I’m going to be in the hospital overnight, give me an overnight packet (like I described above).  A care packet or care basket for the loved one who is waiting can be a really loving gesture.  Friends could easily all contribute a small amount, one small item to a basket.  

So, now I’m saying what I can do and what you can do……..

Memory Lane

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I recently had the opportunity to take a little trip down memory lane.  Trips like that can be fun or frustrating.  Mine was fun.  What made it fun you ask?  Well, my memory, which is known for being a tad spotty was kinda spot on.  Thanks to my spectacular hubby, a functional GPS and a memory that actually worked I was able to find everything I was looking for

When I was 10 years old I lived in a town called Cottage Grove, Oregon for a whopping 10 months!  They were a very memorable 10 months though.  I have memories of about 5 things.  One: I loved our weird little house.  Two: I hated the elementary school.  I was totally miserable the whole time I was there.  Three: I practically haunted the public library and read every Nancy Drew they owned (twice).  Four: they had the coolest swinging bridge that I got to cross every day on my way to school.  Five: In the summer we went swimming at a fun place called Tarzan’s hole and it was COOL (literally).

One of the first things we looked for when we drove into town was the swinging bridge.  Cottage Grove has a tour of 7 bridges (6 covered, 5 originals) that can be toured and then there’s the swinging bridge.  It was right there on the map.  Located a few blocks off main street we found ‘my’ bridge.  Giddily I jumped out of the car, ran up to it and began jumping up and down…. funny how the site of a bridge turned me into a 10 year old again.  It was exactly how I remembered it.  EXACTLY!!

Walking across the bridge I told my hubby that I could find my old home.  I felt very confident that if we used the bridge as a starting point that I would just ‘know’ where to look.  I assured my husband that the house was 2-3 blocks up and on a street to the left.  Everything looked familiar (it’s ben 27 years!!).  I saw the bushes that the neighborhood bully pushed my little sister into, and then I recognized the house of the grandmother of the bully…. the house that I marched up to and yelled at her grandmother that her granddaughter beat up my sister!  Confidence took me three blocks up and then to the left and nothing looked right.  Baffled I walked up and down for a bit and then decided to walk one block back.  As I walked I decided to call my mom to ask her if she remembered the address.  Reaching down into my pocket I grabbed my phone, looked up to call and realized I was standing right across the street from our former home.  Recognition hit in waves.  It looks very much the same.  The landscaping’s slightly different but it was still oh so familiar.  In this house I celebrated a very memorable 10th birthday.  In this house I had fun sleepovers in a cubby hole in the wall in the basement.  In this house I spent hours playing hide and seek, my favorite hiding spot being the laundry shoot. In this house I played wallball with my sister and friends in the basement.   All such vivid memories.  I’m so happy I found it.

After finding ‘my’ bridge and ‘my house’ the next place I wanted to find was ironically, the library.  This, I found to be different.  The library I found didn’t look at all like what I recalled.  I was disappointed.  Until I found the children’s section.  Something felt familar and yet not…. all at the same.  Immediately my eyes found the Nancy Drew section.  My heart leapt.  I probably read those copies?  After all, how often would they be replaced?  When we moved to Cottage Grove I was already an active, proficient young reader but I’d never been able to go to the library by myself.  This library was close enough that I could bike.  I didn’t really go by myself (I don’t think)… but my sibs and I would go together on our bikes while my mom walked behind with her stroller.  For me the library was freedom.  For me the library has continued to be freedom.

My last sentimental stop was Tarzan’s hole.  Tarzan’s hole is a swimming hole that we used to go to.  My husband found directions to it on the net and we set off.  All along the way he’d say does anything look familiar and I’d say no.  Then, he said it should be right around here and I looked up and recognized “it”… there it was.  It was smaller than I remember and the water was low but it was beautiful.  Tarzan’s hole is a stream fed swimming hole.  It’s freezing!!!  There’s a rope that we would use to swing into the water.  My mom would sit on the far side on the rocks with my baby brother Richard splashing in the shallow end.  I remember that it was always busy.  Popular with the locals.  I remember that the first time we went there I was unnerved by the idea of swimming in something other than a pool.  I was afraid that there would be fish and they’d nibble my toes. My fears were quickly vanquished and I learned to be not so squeamish.  I remember my father loading me onto his back with my arms nearly choking him and then swinging out and dropping into the water.  I’d hold my breath the whole time and then gulp in air when we erupted to the surface. Then, my father would pry my freezing arms off his neck and send me off swimming while he grabbed the next kid for another drop into the  Tarzan’s hole.

So, now I’ve shared my memories.  This is a blog about preserving our memories.  I urge you… what are your treasured memories?  Have you written them down?  If not…. take the time today to do so.

Do you want some jumping off topics?

Where did you live when you were 10?  What did the house look like?  Where was your bedroom?  Did you share a room?  Who was your best friend?  What did you do for fun?  What school did you go to?  Did you like school?  Why? Why not?  What were your favorite toys?  Activities?  What makes that year memorable?

Go!  Write!  Remember!

I hope they’re good memories!

By Request

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Per request here is a photo of my new table in use in my livingroom.  Forgive the poor photo quality.  My livingroom is tricky to take pictures in to start with and when the light from outside is poor….well…. I’ll try to take a better picture when the conditions are better.  I love these table.  We put our feet on it and our plates when we occasionally eat in the livingroom, it’s quite durable.  I’m tinkering with putting some baskets on the lower level for storage but don’t actually have a huge need for that extra storage at the moment.  I love that it only cost us $15.00.  Of course that’s because we already owned (or could get for free) everything but the wheels and from what I hear the wheels would have been cheaper at IKEA but that’s a bit of a trip for me so for my money and time the wheels we have are perfect!

Getting back my Mojo

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So, I think I’ve lost whatever few readers I had accrued…. my life got a tad on the crazy side and I stopped blogging.  BUT I’m back, sorta.  You may not hear from me often but I do intend to get back to this blogging thing.  I find it therapeutic, and I am in need of some good therapy!!

So, for my dive back into the blogosphere I wanted to show you the project that my hubby and I made the other day. I have been trolling Pinterest lately.  I love Pinterest, it fuels my creativity and is such an accessible way to see the links that I like.  So, while browsing Pinterest a couple of weeks ago I saw a fabulous coffee table at The Writing on the Wall made from a wire rope spool (in the blog they call it a cable spool but at my home we know better…. My hubby sells Wire Rope for a living and he always tells me it’s NOT CABLE… so now you know).

I fell in love with this cute little coffee table (although I think theirs is more like a side table)…anyway I adore this cute little table.  We’ve been needing a new coffee table for over a year but my dear, darling hubby and I could not agree on what we wanted.  I love old and antique and funky and he wanted ottomans or footstools (which I was OK with except we couldn’t even agree on a size or style of ottoman or footstool to make it fit my cuteness scale and his comfort scale).  So, enter a wire rope spool, something we can get for FREE.  My cute hubby scouted out the discarded wire rope reels at work and brought one home.  It was delightfully aged and banged up.Image

I decided almost right away to revise my plans to paint it, instead I chose to not only embrace it’s aged appearance but also to age it more.  I also chose not to include the dowels because I so wanted to keep the aged appearance and the dowels would be discordant… I briefly considered experimenting with rebar or even some old shelf brackets I have but ultimately chose to not include any of the vertical supports.

This project took us probably an hour and a half.  It helps greatly that my hubby has the skills and materials to do what was needed but if you don’t it would take a little longer and if  you choose to paint it or finish it it will take longer but it would still be an easy one day project.

We started with the reel (a reel beaut!  get it!)

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Hubby took it apart.

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There are metal supports (kinda like large screws) that run all the way through the middle.  Using a socket wrench to loosen these supports he took the reel apart, it literally falls apart.  Hubby took the curved slats that make up the middle of the reel and he cut about 8 inches off of them.  I took them and lightly sanded them with a sanding block that is for between coat sanding.  I largely just knocked the dirt off.  I  took off the stickers with a little undo and I also sanded the top and bottom of the wheels, knocking off the dirt and sanding down anything that might cause splinters or get caught on anything.

Next, the first tricky part- hubby cut the bolts down with a hand saw and re-threaded them with a threading die.  You can buy these bolts in different lengths for just a few dollars at hardware stores but we chose to use what we already had, first off to be frugal, secondly to retain the weathered appearance of the end of the bolts.  If you’re painting this that is not an issue.

Then, the other tricky part… putting it back together.  First you slide the bolts back on until the reel is shaped like…well, a reel… you’ll want help with this part.  Holding it together is tricky.  Then, one of the people slides the panels back into place.  They fit into these grooves in either side of the wheels.  It takes some finageling but it all goes back together and then using the socket wrench, tighten each side and until all sides are secure and nothing wiggles.

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Then, we flipped the reel over so that it’s top is laying on the ground and we added wheels.  We chose wheels that swivle.  We chose 6- 2 inch wheels and the height seems fine.

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And there you have your table.  I am going to apply several layers of either a polyurethane or an aged wax, I haven’t decided, until then it’s quite durable, moves wherever I want and looks cute to boot!

of necessity

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I know I haven’t posted in a long time and quite honestly it may be a long time before I post again.  The reason behind this post is that I believe that we are responsible for passing along valuable information, or at least information that we find to be valuable.  So I write this in case someone, somewhere needs this information.  Likely, I just write for myself but still……

On a personal note.  Those of you who know me are aware that my daughter Peekaboo has been needing some medical interventions lately.  The last year or so I have been engaged in these interventions.  They have introduced a dramatic learning curve to me titled “How to admit your child to a hospital or institution with as little stress as possible”.   I have become somewhat of a profession on filling out paperwork on my kiddo.  My first times doing it I was emotional, the paperwork was filled with blanks that I had to fill in later or call my hubby or others for the info but as time has progressed I have come up with some ways to facilitate the institutions needs while decreasing my stress while doing something inherently tremendously stressful.  It occurs to me that what I’ve learned can be useful for other parents with children who are medically in a fragile situation and it’s also useful for our own use as we age and go through our own transitions…..

So, here’s what I’m talking about.

In a previous post I taught about my home notebook, specifically Peekaboo’s notebook.  A 3 ring binder I have used for several years to keep track of all of the paperwork that is generated in my child’s life.  Well this BINDER has become my lifeline, along with becoming a much larger notebook. It’s now bursting at the seems in a 3″ three ring binder.  I need to clean it out.

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For Reference, here are some of the things it contains.  It has an individual plastic packets with the name of each hospital or significant intervention.  Keeping the information all together also allows me to file the entire folder or put it into my safe if necessary, at a later date.  I also scan and keep copies of anything I have signed.

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 In it are all of the contact information that we are given about each doctor, treatment, discharge papers, etc. I also always have a list (in my I-Pod touch as well as in the notebook) of all of the addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers etc. associated with each doctor, institution, educational program, etc.  I also keep a list of all medications, current and past with their dosages, doctor who prescribed, and any pertinent information such as it not working, or being used briefly- even prescription medications such as anti-biotics are included.  I also always have an up to date copy of her immunizations, multiple copies (whenever we leave a doctor’s office after getting immunizations I ALWAYS ask for a copy of the updated records). I also have a section specifically for her prescriptions.  Whenever I get a prescription filled or re-filled it always comes with all of the warnings for side effects, etc.  I keep a copy of those in my folders with a note at the top of the dosages, etc…. I keep them in case my daughter has an adverse reaction (as she HAS frequently had) so that I can quickly look it up and see if whatever she is experiencing is on the list and if it is, I contact her doctor.  Also in my folder I keep pictures of my daughter.  I sometimes attach them to packets or paper work so that those who handle the paperwork are reminded that she is not just a case, she is a supremely valued daughter and individual.  

If you would like to make a similar notebook here is my suggested list:

3 ring notebook

dividers

  • physical health
  • mental health
  • dental
  • education etc.

a plastic pocket for each treatment, program or center

test results

school info

  • such as an IEP or other educational programs or interventions (including detentions, suspensions, etc.)

phone, address, fax info for each doctor who is or has treated 

phone, address, fax info for each institution

section for medications & prescriptions

  • dosages of all meds
  • name & contact info for all prescribing doctors
  • phone number of pharmacy
  • notes on whether medications work
  • prescription info from the manufacturer

up to date immunizations

photo of your child (optional)

In addition to all of this I recently followed a friend’s advice and wrote up a timeline of significant events for my daughter, specifically medically.  I use it as I’m checking her in to give exact dates and info and then I hand a copy usually to the supervising person (in my daughter’s case the psychologist in charge).  The kind of information included starts with birth (birth weight and length, was it full term?), any significant events that show difficulties developing (in our case I don’t have that since she’s adopted but I do have some mental health info on Bio Mom, so I include that).  After that include any information that may be pertinent to your child”s health, in my child’s case that includes several different documented issues, and medications along with their dosages and reactions (in my child’s cases largely negative), hospitalizations and dealings with institutions including dates, length of stay, etc.   try to be specific and detailed but not overly long.  I’ve done this often enough that I know what questions they’re going to ask.  My daughter’s biography is 4 pages long.  I add to it periodically.  

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So, I don’t know that anyone will find it useful but I feel cleansed having shared it.

 

 

 

 

Cats & Birds

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Animals have been an important part of our family life.  I grew up with lots of pets and I was usually pretty dismissive of them, considering them pests.  Then, I met my hubby bubby and he had a beautiful dog named Tipper and a not so pleasant cat named Sandy and the three of them became my family.  I became an animal person because of my hubby.  I love the company and the personality of having pets.  The hard part of having pets is that they die.  In the 18 years that we’ve been married we’ve lost 3 cats and 3 dogs.  Most recently we lost my cat Cordellia Anne.  Cordi. Cordi was only 8 years old.

Cordi came into my life because I craved a baby.  I was unable to have one and so my hubbs OK’d getting a kitten.  We had a friend who had some kittens that were hidding from her and we went up and coaxed my baby out from behind some boxes in a shed.  She was half wild but immediately quite loving.  I was her mommy.  She was an immensely loyal and loving cat.  We all adored her.  Last week she got sick and within 4 days she’d died.  All the way up until the moment she passed she wanted my attention.  I think she had faith that maybe I could make her feel better.  I feel sad that I couldn’t.  We burried her in the pouring rain in a short, simple ceremony.  She will be missed.

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Now, I address our newest members of our family.  We had been planning to add some feathered friends to our family for quite some time and ironically the passing of my Cordi coinsided with the additions of our birds.  

Introducing:  Megan

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ImageThat’s Right!  WE are now urban chicken farmers!

WE have made the choice to raise chickens for the purpose of having fresh eggs, a little pest control and free fertilizer.  I’ll post pictures of our coop later.  I’m so excited to finally do this.  I am greatful to live in a city that is accepting of urban chickens.  

Right now our chickens are in a cage in our kitchen.  They are growing so fast.  Just last week they were these cute little butter balls and now they are growing real feathers on their wings and Oreo & Squirt have got little tiny tail feathers.  In a few more weeks (probably early may) they will have fully feathered and can go live in their coop outside.

Their personalities are so cute and so distinct.  Megan is the baby of the bunch.  She’s cuddly and soft and will go wherever it’s warm.  She makes hardly any noise.  She’s Mellow!  Oreo is very curious.  She cant’s her head to the side so it’s always slightly cocked.  She has an inquisitve personality and is very bonded to her mommy (My daughter).  Squirt came by her name quite literally…she poops on everyone and everything.  She’s the fraidy cat of the bunch and is a total dumb blonde.  She’s always the last one to figure out what’s going on.  She does LOVE to perch though and she loves to show off on the perch.  She’s totally adorable.

So, that was our sad/fun week.  Definitely mixed blessings.  I am grateful for the animals we’ve had in our lives.  They have filled holes in our hearts and given us a lot of entertainment.  They are individuals and deserve to be loved and taken care of.  So, I am grateful.

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