Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review

Word cloud from
Wow - where did the time go this year. I mean seriously, it feels like the year just started!

I am surprised there were enough words from this years blogging to create a Word Cloud from - but there you go - surprise, surprise, surprise.

  • Well - the beginning of the year we had the winter from hell. You can check out pictures of the snow and me all bundled up here.
  • Mom and I participated in the Echo Creative Club challenge. That was so much fun and got us out of rut using something new.
  • The ABS Monthly Challenge - well, that was a a complete fail for us this year. We did create one piece from February's Challenge. That piece actually sold in September to a wonderful customer who ended up buying our Tail Feathers piece the following week. To be honest mom and I really didn't think someone would buy the necklace, we thought it might be too over powering for someone. The customer pulls it off and says she receives compliments whenever she wears it - which makes us feel great!
  • We participated in the 3rd Annual Challenge of Music. This time it was mom who picked the song and the piece we created. I think she did a fantastic job!
  • I went to Las Vegas in March. I have driven through Vegas but I had never stopped - except in traffic jams. This time I went for a SharePoint conference for work. It was an interesting place to visit but I don't think I would care to live there full time. If you are friends with me on Instagram you sure got bombarded with pics :)
  • Mom and I are still taking pictures of flowers and you can see the first flower pics of the year by going here.
  • Mom and I participated in the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party.
  • Then there was a large gap in blogging - May to September - here is the link to let you know we were still alive ;)
  • I actually started on a goal from 2013 - exercising. Here is the link to tell you about my new passion (besides lampworking and enameling and making mom's life hell).
  • I am also still patiently waiting on my mortgage company to approve a short sale on my house. It was actually a year ago in December 2013 when I put my house on the market. I had an offer on the house in January and we submitted the paperwork on January 17 to the mortgage company. We are still waiting for approval almost a year later. I have a whole blog post I will write at a later date - once the house is out of my hands!!!! That is one reason I started exercising - I needed a stress reliever!!!!
  • Mom and I sawing away on Christmas ornaments - that was such a great day to be back at sawing!
  • This year was another year for health issues with mom. Mom has had a lot of stomach issues and they finally, finally diagnosed her with gastoparesis. Now we know what is going on and we can treat it with the right foods. Mom also had a partial knee replacement surgery on December 3rd - go here if you would like to see pics of before and after surgery of mom. There is one pic I think you guys would get a hoot out of :)
  • It has been a year since I moved back home and I don't regret a minute of it! It is so great to be able to sit on the couch with mom and talk or just sit together and veg. Here is a link to a pic of us together.
  • The end of December to the first week of January I am participating in a challenge at Studio b -where I do my Zumba, Tabata, Zumba Toning and Pound. We have to fill up a snowman with "Snow Flakes" to win prizes.  This link will show you the schedule and the pics of the snowmen hanging on the walls at Studio b. As of right now I have 25 snowflakes and there is one lady ahead of me in the challenge. This has been so much fun to see if I can do what I set out to do. There has been a few classes I couldn't finish or get myself up at 6:00 in the morning to go to - but overall I am really happy with what I have done!
  • Mom and I participated in Sally's Holiday Ornament Swap.

The goals for this year:

  • There are two brand new shows mom and I want to try this year. So, we will prepare our portfolios and submit them and see if we can get in. One is in Zionsville - which I just found out about this year and the other one is in Indy. Mom has been looking at the show for several years and I think we are ready to try for it.
  • Have a healthy year for both of us!
  • Have the house's short sale approved so I can get that load off my mind!!!!!
  • Continue to exercise!
  • Blog and create more. This year has been a stressful year - I thought 2013 was bad - but I think this year was just as bad for mom and myself. I think creating and writing will get us back into the groove again.

So, that is a wrap of 2014.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Holiday Ornament Swap

Mom and I are again lucky enough to participate in Sally's Holiday Ornament Swap this year. This year Sally paired us up with Kim from Kimmykats.

Mom and I don't have an indoor tree - because well - the cats would destroy it and anything on the tree. So, for us to enjoy the gorgeous goodies that Kim sent us we have them hanging on a shelf in the kitchen. This allows mom and I to see the ornaments every day.

Here are all three of the ornaments together - aren't they fabulous!

I love all the different details in each of the pieces - mom and I had a lot of fun passing the ornaments back and forth looking at them.

Mom and I both love the idea of using silverware as part of an ornament - this piece is awesome!

Thank you Kim for being such an awesome partner!

To see what mom and I sent Kim you can just hop over and check it out.

Thank you again Sally for putting on a wonderful blog hop!

Here is a list of the other participants:

Have fun checking out what everyone created!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gloomy Out - But Have a Challenge

It is that time of year again where it is yucky, cold and gloomy out. This is my least favorite time of year because I seriously don't like the cold.

The one nice thing about the weather is that I go to mom's side of the house and sit on the couch with her. We are wrapped up in her fuzzy blanket, cats are laying on both of us; and we either sit and read or just talk nonsense. This is time when I am so glad I moved back in with mom - even if I have my own side of the house - it is great to go over and just sit with mom.

Fitness Challenge calendar
A few months I posted about starting to work out and taking care of myself more. I have been going to Studio b since June and I love it - the ladies are so supportive and a great bunch of people. Well - they have stepped it up for the holidays'. They are having a fitness challenge with 65 classes you can attend. All the classes highlighted in blue and pink I plan on attending.

For me - this is a personal challenge to see if I can do it - I want to see how strong and in shape I have become. Though I am not sure I can do the day with four classes in it - last night I did all three classes and I was exhausted but felt so good. It is the old body - the feet were screaming by the end of the last class and the shoulder is saying "What are doing???".  We shall see.

This is a picture of all the participants (don't have all the snowmen in the pic - but you get the idea). This challenge we have snowmen to fill up with snowflakes. It is so awesome to put a snowflake on the snowman to show that I completed a class. I feel empowered and happy - which I haven't felt in a long time. So, for me this is an awesome challenge!

I just felt like sharing what I am up to for the next month - especially during this dreary weather! What challenges do you have for yourself during this time?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Show, Clothes Shopping, Ornament Swap, Surgery and Etsy

Mom and I had our last show of the year a few weeks ago. This is us in front of our table at the Harrison Band Booster Holiday Fair. Mom and I did pretty good this year, though the first half of the show was pretty slow and we were a little worried. It all turned out good in the end.

I have finally broken down and finally started clothes shopping. I have been doing Zumba and Tabata for the last few months and my clothes were very baggy. I went shopping over Thanksgiving weekend when there were sales going on - I am not paying full price for clothes - especially when I am losing weight!!!!

Glimpse of what sent to Kim
Mom and I are participating in Sally Russick's ornament swap again this year. Our partner this year is Kim and you can check out her blog here. I got Kim's ornament shipped out yesterday - while waiting for mom to get out of surgery. I am so looking forward to what Kim sent and crossing our fingers that Kim likes what we sent her. You will have to check back in a few weeks to see what was sent.


This is mom right before her surgery yesterday - she had a partial knee replacement.

The above images is her artwork on both legs. The nurses and her doctor got a kick out of it.

And...this is mom after they wheeled her into her suite at the urgent care. They kept her overnight to check for infections and to make sure she didn't have any adverse reactions to the meds. As you can see she was not too happy with me taking pictures. But hey - she was laid up and couldn't beat the crap out of me :)

This is mom today - much better! I got her home around 10:30 today and got her setup on the couch with the water doohickey that is supposed to help with swelling in her knee.

So, while mom was laid up I finally got those holiday ornaments posted to the Etsy store.

Holiday Wreath
Snowflake Ornament

Red/Green Snowflake Ornament

Red/White Snowflake Ornament
Pink/Purple Snowflake Ornament
Large Red/Green Snowflake Ornament
And I had one bird pendant I added to the store:

Bird Pendant
That is about it and what we have been up to. I will keep you posted on how mom is doing - but so far she seems to be doing great. The physical therapist said she is going to do great for a few days and then hit a wall. I am waiting for that wall to hit because trying to keep mom down is going to be so much fun!!!! I already need a drink thinking about it :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sawing and Enameling Weekend

Moving to the computer room - tools and copper
This weekend mom and I worked on sawing out some snowflake ornaments for our last show of the year, next weekend.  But first we had to move all of the tools and copper inside because it is now too cold to saw out in the garage.

Setting up the work bench
Last year mom bought a table for us to use to saw out the copper. We each get a side of the table and then we go to town on the sawing, filing and sanding.

Caught mom in a Zen moment
Mom sure is very intent on that sawing :) We both have head phones that we use because we both like different types of music as we work.

Mom caught me sawing - can you see the saw going up and down - this also
proves I do saw out things - sometimes :)

Me catching mom taking my picture - boy do I look thrilled

We sawed out 10 ornaments but I only ended up enameling eight of them. Let me tell you - I HATE filing and sanding!!!! But I sure love the end results.

Transparent layer goes on first
Sunday is usually my enameling day. Mom went out early and set up heaters for me so I wasn't totally freezing as I was enameling. It actually wasn't too bad out in the garage.

Colored layers go on next
It was a good day enameling. I like working in batches - or like an assembly line. I like to have one set cooling as I put color and fire the next batch - so I am constantly working and not waiting on stuff. I am so don't like waiting!

These are the results of all the sawing, filing, sanding and enameling. I am really happy with them!

All the snowflake ornaments

Whatever ornaments don't sell at our show next weekend I will list in our Etsy store.

So, that was our very busy weekend. It felt good to be creating again. I seriously hope next year is much better than the last two years have been for us in the creation department. Thanks for stopping in and looking at what we were up to this past weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day - Very Special for Me

via Pinterest
I have to say Veteran's Day is very special to me and for any other person who has served in the Armed Forces. I think it is a special kind of someone who serves their country. For me, serving was something I knew I wanted to do instead of going to college. 

via Google Images
I had no desire to go to college, and I knew I wanted to be a Russian linguist in the Army (I had Russian in high school and loved it). I think it also helped I was an Army brat for 12 years of my life, and I loved every minute of it.
via Pinterest
Of course you really don't realize how small the Army is until you get to basic training and find out that your drill sergeant was actually stationed with your dad in Germany. Yes, one of my drill sergeant's worked with my dad in Worms, Germany. I found that out when she took a group of us to get our hair cut and learned about it when I was asking where she was stationed. Yes, it is a small world!

via Pinterest
I was actually 18 when I was told I had to make a will. I remember it was in basic training and I was thinking to myself - "What in the world do I have to leave behind? Who should I make my beneficiaries? What the hell is a beneficiary? Crap, give it all to mom and let her sort it out."

That is really an eye opener to be asked to make a will as a teenager. Of course we had to do that every time we practiced to be deployed, which was about every fiscal quarter - depending on what your post did for training purposes.

via Pinterest

I will never regret my time I spent in the Army. There are so many instances when I miss it still - especially the friends I made. I am sure mom is sick of hearing me talk about the various things I did and things I really shouldn't have :) I feel honored for serving with those men and women every day and I miss them every day!

via Pinterest
I just want to thank all of those who have served our country and those who are still serving.  You all are my heroes!!!

via Google Images

 And to my personal heroes:

Upper left hand corner: Grandpa Ralph McCord, Marines WWII - served in the
South Pacific; Center: Grandpa Lee Dettlof, Army WWII - served in the
European Theatre; Upper right hand corner: Great-Uncle Gerald Brewer,
Marines WWII - died on Iwo Jima; bottom left hand corner: my dad Ralph
B. McCord, Jr., Vietnam Veteran and served more than 20 years in the Army
(got out a month before I joined), lower center and lower right hand corner,
me - Beth McCord, Sgt., Russian Linguist

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