Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas

It was a wonderful Christmas this year. We went to Pete & Mo's (Drew's brother & sister-in-law). We were joined by Robyn (Drew's mother) and a few members of Mo's family. We played Trivia Pursuit and ate too much. It was a good day and I had a lot of fun.

We had today off from work and we didn't waste it. Normally we'd go winery hopping or some other fun daytrip, but this year I got the DIY itch. We did work around the house. The plan was to clean the upstairs bathroom, re-caulk the tub, re-paint the ceiling and put in a new light & fan. We got as far as clean and re-caulk, but it was an exhausting job. And the tub has never looked so good. We found that Magic Eraser is about the only substance that will clean our tub, which is apparently made out of some space-age ceramic.



Whoever the moron was that put in the tub/shower walls should be shot. Nothing really fits. My camera doesn't really show it, but it's CLEAN!!!



My mother will be pleased to see we put up the shower shelf she gave Drew for Xmas. We're debating getting the entire ceiling-to-tub pole unit that they have in their bathroom now. We quite like it.

One of the reasons we didn't finish the ceiling and light-fan portion of the job is that we did several other things, like clean the kitchen (including fridge, freezer and stove), clean the livingroom, re-organize some of the diningroom, and put together the necklace rack!!



I wanted a rack to hang my necklaces on because they are too big and there's too many for the armoire. So we went to Home Depot today and found some parts to make our own. Drew put so many screws into the thing when securing it to the wall I think I can hang shanks of meat and dead bodies from it. That sucker's not going anywhere! I love it though.

And because so many people asked for them...here are some photos of the newly re-decorated bedroom.



We haven't gotten around to putting up pictures or decorations yet. I'm almost afraid to.



Yes, that is a little cat portal on the bottom right-hand side of the door. Anyone who owns a cat knows that you can't close the door. They will either:
A. claw a hole in the door,
B. claw up the rug under the door,
C. bang their head into the door until you open it, or
D. all of the above.
Our cats are D's. So there's a little cat door for them to get in and out of the bedroom because the door is almost always closed.



The ceiling is the same tin-look cardboard composite as the other ceilings we've done, but the pattern is larger. We kept it white. The crown molding is a whole bunch of pieces put together. And we have our standard corner block pieces along with the corner trim strip. All that trim is for hiding the imperfections in our very-not-square Victorian house, but it looks very ornate without being too grotesque. I love it!!!



The walls are a dusty rose and the curtains are wine colored. I picked a semi-gloss paint for the walls and that was a mistake. It's a little "shiny". In retrospect, I should have stuck with matte. One nice thing about it is it's almost washable. And we're slobs, so that's nice. HAHA!



I don't have a good picture of it, but the rug is a lovely mixed brown color. The color of a really good beer. It's super-soft and plush. We didn't skimp there. It's the one thing I demand in my bedroom. A nice rug. We got a high-grade pad under it too, so it's super soft. And Drew insulated the room so well that when we come home and the house is 60 degrees it's 70 in the bedroom. Heavenly!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

RIP Charlie

Drew's father Charlie passed away last weekend. Today was the funeral. Charlie suffered from Alzheimer's and his passing is a sad blessing. Now neither he nor his family have to suffer anymore at the hands of this horrible, debilitating disease.

I learned today that I didn't really know Charlie. Not like his family did. I believe I met Drew about the time the Alzheimer's began. Charlie was a kind, happy man. He always greeted me with a smile and a hug. He liked to laugh and make faces, especially at the grandkids! But I didn't know the man in his prime. That is unfortunate, because he sounds even more wonderful than the sweet man I will remember.

Robyn, Drew's mother and Charlie's wife for over 40 years, is a strong and caring woman. She took care of Charlie for as long as she could. I'm certain that when the VA came to evaluate him if they hadn't stepped up and said, "It's time for us to take him now," she'd have kept caring for him up until the very end. He spent the last month of his life under the excellent care of the VA Hospital.

It's sad to lose a loved one, but it's worse to watch it happen. Instead of spending Christmas at the hospital or waiting at home for the dreaded phone call, Robyn will be spending it for the first time with my brother-in-law Pete and his family. This has been a very tough holiday, but come Christmas morning it will be a peaceful one for the Scharoun family.

At least until the grandkids wake up. Good luck Robyn!!


Charles E. "Charlie" Scharoun

SYRACUSE - Charles E. 'Charlie' Scharoun, 81, passed into the care of the Lord on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. Charlie, son of William and Helen Scharoun, was born on July 23, 1930 and grew up on the Northside of Syracuse. Charlie proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Charlie was an electrical technician by trade and worked for General Electric in Syracuse for more than 40 years, retiring in 1994. Charlie was predeceased by his parents, brother, Frederick and sister, Dorothea. He is survived by Robyn, his wife of 42 years; sons, Andrew (Stephanie) Scharoun, of Auburn, and Peter (Maureen) Scharoun, of Onondaga; and grandsons, Keegan and Casey Scharoun. Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 at the Edward J. Ryan & Son Funeral Home, 3180 Bellevue Ave. A funeral mass will be celebrated on 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22 at Holy Family Church, 127 Chapel Drive, Syracuse, NY 13219. Burial will be in Assumption Cemetery in Syracuse. In lieu of flowers, donations that are made to St. Francis Social Adult Day Care, 1108 Court St., Syracuse, NY 13208 would be appreciated. The family would also like to thank the staff at VA Hospital in Syracuse for the wonderful and professional care they provided for Charlie in his final days.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8th



Isn't pretty? That's my front door. The wreath in the middle is a new addition this year. A gift from my BFF Stacey. She made it. It's gorgeous! And is perfect between our only other decorations. Ok, it's not our only other decorations, but the only decorations we put up. Our house is so full of stuff we don't dare bring out Xmas decor. We have no place for the tree, which the cats will just pee on, or chew on then puke up. We're not bah-humbugs. We're just not fond of housework. Decorating falls in that category.

But we do absolutely love our porch. The picture's not great, but it really is so lovely when it's lit up. And the best part? The lights are on a timer. NO MAINTENANCE!!! HAHAHAHA!!!



That is the world's smallest Amaryllis. It's full name is Naughty Lady Dwarf Amaryllis. "Naughty Lady" refers to the color. And I didn't make that up! Google it! "Dwarf" refers to the size. Although, technically speaking a Dwarf Amaryllis is apparently supposed to be 18-22 inches in size. This plant is only about 8 inches. I'm thinking it's a Hobbit Amaryllis. Or Garden Gnome Amaryllis.

It comes as a bulb in a box. You plant it, water it occasionally and it just grows. This was planted and grew to this size in less than 2 weeks. My parents sent it to me because they hate me. (I despise plants. It's agricultural housework.) Years ago Drew & I grew a huge Amaryllis Mom & Dad sent us, but the cat knocked it over and it broke. This one I took to work to avoid the same fate. It's just my fate that I would grow the world's shortest Amaryllis on my desk.

It's quite lovely though. And there's two more flowers on it waiting to bloom very shortly. Maybe even as soon as tomorrow.



This is my co-worker and buddy Hoyt at trivia last week. It was his birthday. Everytime he answered a question he'd yell out, "The balloons have spoken!" He wore the crown for a good two hours before anyone told him it said, "Winging Beauty."



He was thrilled to hear it.

And my final piece of news...



Yes. It's another book that we published.
Yes. That's a creepy cover.
Yes. It would make a great Xmas present for anyone who likes creepy stuff.

Buy it on AMAZON. For someone who likes horror.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A story...

I don't have any cards or news to share that's of any remote interest, so I will share a story.

This is me. Yes, that is me sitting in the middle of a mess in nothing but my underwear.



Well, that may look like a mess to you, and it probably was to my mother, but it's not just a mess. It's a million memories in one snapshot.

The boxes in the background that look like they belong in a basement or attic ---those are filled with depression glass. My parents were avid collectors. In the early 70's, they sold quite a bit of it and made a decent amount of money too. Enough to put a down-payment on the house in Cayuga. The house we would move into on my 5th birthday. The house we would live in for about twenty years.

The box on the right with kitten on the front of it. That was my toy box. I'm not sure where my father got the large pictures from, but had a ton of them. And he'd make me scrapbook-sized picture books with them and he'd glue them to boxes to store my toys.

The toys ... ok, that's really just a bit of a mess.

As for me hanging out in my underwear, well, I did that a lot as a kid. The joy of being at home and not wearing pants was something I inherited from my grandmother. Lord, if that woman wasn't wearing a mini-skirt or short-shorts, she was walking around in a long shirt and no pants. I told her that today too and she said she doesn't remember that. Really?



Look Grandma...No Pants.

Friday, November 4, 2011

To make cards, or not to make cards???

I'm still debating doing the Holiday Cardmaking workshop this year. I'm trying to summon up some holiday spirit, but Halloween sucked a lot out of me. No regrets about it, but I'm exhausted still.

In the meantime, I've been trying to come up with some designs for simple Xmas cards. The below is definitely simple. The bow was a bit of a pain in the arse, but that's mostly because I picked a pretty ribbon that frays. I hate it when I do that.

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts


This is a design I've seen on several websites.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Belated Halloween

It was a crazy Halloween this year! We had the Undertaker's Halloween Ball on Saturday. It was a lot of fun!! It was nice to see people show up that I didn't expect! Including two of our authors from the Look What I Found! book - Dale & Jeremy. I may have links to pictures later, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I'm still kind of recovering. From a food hangover. Drew & I are still eating appetizers. Yeah, we kind of overdid it.

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts


I made some Halloween shadowboxes this year for friends. I loved making these, but the box was a pain in the tuckus! Need to get better shadowboxes and I'll make them for every holiday!!

I got the idea from Lorri Heiling's website. She admits she got it from somewhere else, but doesn't remember where.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Xmas Card of the Season

I took the day off from book stuff to make cards and do laundry. I decided I wanted to make some Xmas Cards.

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts


I'm very pleased with them. I have no idea if I'll be sending them out or selling them or what. I just know I wanted to make them.

The Cardinal punch design is from Frenchie's website.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Books & Cards

I've been extremely busy lately. We released our book "Undertaker Tales"!!! You can find it at Amazon now.

And we're getting ready for the big Halloween Party on the 29th.

Plus we have plans for a couple of Xmas books that should be quite interesting. It's an ambitious move on our part as it gives us about a month to put it all together. More about that later.

I've been making lots of cards lately.

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts


These are cards from the swap (Top L to R - Jess B, Shirley P, Teresa H, Stacey G) They're all so fantastic!

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts


These are my contributions to the swap. I made two because Drew never makes his but insists on being included. (HUH????)

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts


These are a couple of experiments. A pumpkin box and a candle shade. By the time I was done with them I was so ticked off that I gave them to Stacey, who adored them. That's why she's a BFF!

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts


This is card #1 for the next swap. It should be a secret, but I show people anyway. I'm very pleased with these.

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts


And this is card #2 (because you know Drew won't do it!) I blatantly stole this idea/design from Lorri Heiling at Confessions of a Stamping Addict. And she got the turkey idea from Lynn Pratt at Stamp-N-Design.

I'm exhausted.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ginny & Larry's Wedding Card




Our good friends Ginny & Larry got married today. This was the card I made for them. They have a great sense of humor and I think they'll really like it. The design idea was completely lifted from the internet. I should say where, but I can't remember or find it now. My bad.

I will likely make more in the future, but honestly, it was a pain in the butt. One that I am glad I endured because this card cracks me up!

The wedding was beautiful and the food at the Sunset was great. We had a wonderful time! Congrats to a lovely bride and handsome groom!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mirabai Ceiba

A couple of weeks ago my yogini Theresa, I and several other students attended a musical event at the Auburn Public Theater featuring Mirabai Ceiba. Mirabai Ceiba is Markus & Angelika. This fascinating couple play "world devotional music blending Gurmukhi mantras from the Kundalini Yoga tradition with original songs in English and Spanish that reflect a Native American influence." Sounds complicated. What it is some of the most beautiful and peaceful music I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. And I got to experience them live!

After the concert I purchased their newest CD "Awakened Earth" and it has become - hands down - my most favorite album ever. I listen to it almost every night. No matter what I'm doing - writing, editing, cardmaking, cooking, cleaning - it suits my mood. In the morning I try to listen to "Har Mukanday" before going to work so I'm filled with peace and joy before what will undoubtedly be a stressful day. And when the stress does hit, I hum it in my head to help eleviate some of that stress.

I shared my purchase with my yogini and she shared hers with mine along with other yoga music CDs from her collection. Together we have amassed quite a large range of world music. I already had a vast New Age collection which I adored. This expands it to greatly.

If you are interested in yoga music or just love beautiful music to play around the house or to go to sleep to, I highly suggest you check out Mirabai Ceiba.

www.mirabaiceiba.com
www.youtube.com/user/MirabaiCeiba

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Look What I Found!" has been released!!!


NorGus Press is proud to announce that we've released our second book for sale. "Look What I Found!" is a 300-page anthology with stories from authors all over the world. The stories were edited by Michael Joosten, who is Bonny Angus' niece's fiance!

The tales all center around the idea of finding something. It can be an item, a person, a place or even a state of mind. But the story needs to be about a discovery! As you can imagine, horror is a common theme amongst the stories. That is the genre most of our writers prefer.

We're very proud of our second book. Especially that creepy, creepy cover. We are good at covers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Undertaker Tales" Book Cover



Myself and three good friends/co-workers formed NorGus Press last year. We publish anthologies. It's mostly horror-themed anthologies, but we will be doing children's and romance anthologies in the future...hopefully. The anthology "Undertaker Tales" is the personal project of myself and my BFF Stacey Gilfus. It's coming out this Halloween.

Today we released the book cover, which Stacey & I created with the help of an awesome picture we purchased from the Dreamstime website and a great free font from Sinister Fonts website.

We are very excited about this project!




NorGus Press Website
Front Cover Photo © Eric Simard | Dreamstime.com
Cover Font is Sanctuary by Chad Savage from www.sinisterfonts.com

New Card

I sat down to make a birthday card for my girlfriend last night. Didn't happen. What I did do was make a pretty note card. I had intended to put Happy Birthday and a ribbon on this card, but I loved it so much as is that I couldn't do it. We'll make another card later for my peep.

From Paper Making, Cards, Crafts

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Good Start


I have a new toy. A bowflex. I purchased it for a very good price from a co-worker. Drew & I both wanted it. Drew liked working out in the nautilus room at the Y last year and he's been looking forward to getting back to it. And I have to admit that I find it cute when he comes back after working out and says, "Check out the guns!" Cracks me up!

It's an intimidating piece of equipment. When I open the door to the front room I'm blown away by it. It looks like a torture device or a piece of equipment a dominatrix would envy. It's actually quite simple to use and very diverse. Thankfully it comes with this handy poster with the routine printed on it and it has photos of what to do.

So, the plan is each morning Drew & I will switch between who gets the bowflex and the treadmill. Hopefully this will help us get back into a healthier state and keep us out of the doctor's offices. It's Day One and I feel better already!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

News cards!

I have quite a few new pics of cards that I've made over the past few months. I've just been too lazy or headachy to post them. I did put them in the Picasa Webalbum I have for such things though.

The new pics are at the end of the album.


Paper Making, Cards, Crafts

Monday, August 29, 2011

I have a blog. I've totally sold out.

I always swore I'd never have a blog because it allows others to comment and I honestly don't care what other people think of my ramblings. But that's total bunk because I get a huge thrill whenever someone mentions my website www.skdeal.com and about something they saw on it.

When Microsoft announced they would start charging $6 a month beginning in October 2011 I decided it was time to go the free and simple route. That's actually a very cheap price for a website, especially one that I loved to work in, but I have to draw the line in the budget somewhere and that's going to be it.

So, welcome to the new blog. I will be posting the usual stuff. Comment if you want, but you don't have to.