Thursday, September 29, 2011

Balloons Balloons Balloons

PhotobucketDuring the ten days of Balloon Fiesta, life in Albuquerque takes on a different pace. In one sense, it's a slower pace, because the traffic is snarled-up with all of the chase vehicles and tourists, many of whom are towing motor homes of one sort or another. And in the mornings everyone is gazing skyward, even as they drive to work. Yes, there are more fender-benders during this week than normal. But there is definitely an air of festivity. How can there not be with hundreds of multi-colored balloons dotting the sky?!

The Fiesta begins on Saturday, but even this week things are gearing up. There are more balloons in the air than on a normal early-fall morning. So it wasn't that surprising when my boss, Betsy, received a call from the Foundation President's Office this morning to cancel a meeting she had scheduled with the president. Why? He couldn't get to the office in time. He was caught in a traffic stand-still due to a balloon landing on the road.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Few Lasts and Firsts

When you plan a move as far ahead as Dan and I have this time, you start accumulating a lot of "lasts" and "firsts." I began thinking about this when it dawned on me that Balloon Fiesta will begin next weekend, and that it will be my LAST one. Albuquerque's ballooning tradition is going to be one of the things I most miss about New Mexico.

Here are a few other "lasts" we've already passed:

I've taught my LAST toddler's Bible class at Northeast. I'll miss teaching those little sweethearts, and hope I'll be able to help out with the Bible class program once we get settled into a new church family in Temple.

I just went through my LAST performance review at the UNM Foundation. In fact, that was probably my LAST performance review . . . period. (Don't get any ideas, Dan!)

On the day we moved out of our house, we pulled out of the garage for the LAST time, and said good-bye to our dear neighbors across the street. It would be the LAST time they would be our neighbors, but if there's one thing we've learned through all of our moves, it's that there's no end to some friendships. Let's keep in touch, David and Lorraine.

Now that fall is officially here, we've spent our LAST spring and summer in Albuquerque. Dan has celebrated his LAST birthday here. He saw our dentist for the LAST time, last week, and I saw my optometrist for my LAST eye exam.

But with every "last" comes a "first."

We just signed the closing papers on our house, and, with that, have just purchased our FIRST house in Texas.

I'm excited for the FIRST Sunday night, after we retire, when we don't have to set our alarm to get up for work the next morning. (Yes, we might still set an alarm, but it won't be for 4:30 a.m., which is Dan's normal rising time.)

And maybe my favorite first . . . I'm so looking forward to the FIRST time we can have a family holiday meal at our new house. "Over the river and through the wood, to Grandmother's house we go" will be my new theme song! (For those who are precise, I realize that the original lyrics are, "to Grandfather's house we go." He'll be there too, of course, but I'm changing the words to make the song mine.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting Scrap-anized

Since December, 2006, I’ve had a subscription to Scrapper’s Guide, an online digital scrapbooking group headed by Linda Sattgast, from Portland, Oregon. Each month, as a member, I receive a new digital scrapbooking kit, as well as training videos and a newsletter. I’ve been careful to keep the kits in one place on my computer, each kit in its own folder; and, inside each folder, subfolders for such things as background papers, embellishments, alphabets, frames, etc. But recently, locating any specific element I needed from those 58 main folders and three-or-four-times-that-many subfolders, had become an impossible task.

Last week I began an effort to re-organize my kits, using iPhoto. I finished this project last night, after many, many hours of work. My iPhoto image count shows that I have 5,842 different graphical elements in my collection. No wonder I was struggling to find what I wanted! But NOW I can enter a key word or a combination of key words to hone in on what I need when I'm designing a page.

Do I need a green marble? Just select keywords “toys or games” and “green” – up pops the green marble, along with a few other green toys or games.

Do I need to find a blue jeans pocket? Just select keywords “clothing”, “blue”, and “denim.” Up pop a couple of images from which to pick - one, the pocket; and the other a denim belt loop.

Or, perhaps, I want a red and white background paper with snowflakes. I choose "paper", "snowflakes", "red" and "white" and up pops this pretty paper.

My scrapbooking sessions are definitely going to be less frustrating, less time-consuming and more fun!