Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Best Grandma Ever!

I'd like to share with everybody the first part of this post today and also the news that Grandma Bonnie passed away peacefully at her home last evening with Lloyd at her side, which is exactly where she wanted to be.

Do you believe in God Winks? I have one for you... Richard and I had just stopped by to give Grandma and Lloyd some dinner, nothing fancy because we were in a rush last night. We took her some chicken strips which she loved, and one of her favorite things, a fruit smoothie.

We came home and were scrambling around trying to get the new motor home packed up and fixed for Memorial Day camping. Now, Richard has been working non-stop on the electrical system for two days. No one, not even the previous owner was able to help us find out what the problem was with the lights. We were standing there scratching out heads for the 10,000th time when Rich suddenly had a thought, and started fiddling with more wires. Eureka... He fixed it! The lights came on.... Everything was going, and our big blue (coincidence?) camper was working. He was ecstatic... Seconds later, the phone rang with the news. Our angel Grandma Bonnie surely had a hand in this miracle. I believe fully that she showed him the way. If you knew Grandma and her love of camping, you would know that this would be exactly something that she would do.

Please think of my in-laws today, who have lost a dear mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Bonnie is no longer sick and she is having the best day ever. The rest of us will be ok with time. Love you, Grandma, Karen, Clint, Kevin, Brian, Lloyd, Richard and everyone. . .

Bonita J. Hill - May 25, 1928 - May 21, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Scrappy Backgrounds

Have you been checking out the Tuesday Tutorials over at Stars & Stamps?
Last week's tutorial on using up scraps by Cara was especially fun. Here is my go at it, minus the embossing folder. I liked the strips just plain, but I am totally going to do another one embossed. This technique is really fun and a great way to use up scraps. I used mine from the latest Express the Moment
Kit. Fun colors, right?

This week's tutorial by Jenny Is also fantastic.. I love Jenny's technique of paper piercing using Spellbinders dies, and I love how she shows the colors of Copic markers she is using in her photos. What a great help!

Wrangling these tutorials has been a ton of fun for me to do but I can always use more ideas and tutorials submitted! Got a tutorial or a suggestion? Drop me a line at my OWH mail, nancy at operationwritehome . org is the addy to use! Meanwhile, check out these links for some really fun ideas... Also stay tuned for lots of fun events coming up this weekend... A blog skip for Armed Forces day this weekend, and a huuuuuge blog hop for Memorial Day weekend.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Update... fries!!

Just an update about the baby guppies or fry if I may be so correct. I learned a lot about this experience and I am so glad that we got to enjoy this adventure as a family!

Friday, when I got home from work there was one tiny baby in the bottom of the isolation tank. Hooray! I pulled up a chair and watched the birthing happen in between making dinner and hanging out with the boys.

Momma fish would get kind of agitated, swim around rapidly and then stop, arching her back slightly and a few more eggs would pop out, 2-3 at a time. I found myself coaching and saying, "push!" a lot. :) Some of the eggs drifted down and a baby fish would quickly pop out and swim off. Even though I tried very hard to keep Momma fish fed, she seemed to eat a lot of the babies that swam up through the grate to surface. She also passed a lot of what looked like unfertalized eggs. These sank to the bottom and interestingly, seemed to be a source of food for the babies. In all, I saw a few dozen babies and eggs. Some of the babies seemed to be still-born or at least not developed enough to swim, but several were healthy and robust.

I'm very sad to say that my photography skills are not mad enough to have captured any of this for the archives. Several minutes passed between births, and the births happened very quickly. I was never fast or focused enough to get a good shot. Maybe next time!

I left Momma fish in the isolation tank overnight, as suggested by a few of the websites I was reading as we went along. In the morning, we woke up to a very un-pregnant momma fish and five healthy babies. Momma is back in the main tank now and the babies will stay in the little one until they are big enough to not be food for the other fish.

Although five doesn't seem like many, the ones that made it look very healthy and they are thriving and even growing at an amazing rate. They are still very tiny and nearly transparent. We're it not for their huge eyes, they would be very difficult to see. Best of all, we have plenty of room in the main tank for five new-comers so I do not have to do an unpleasant thing known as culling which would mean getting rid of the ones that are not wanted.

One of the more amazing things that I learned was that baby guppies are born in a gender-neutral state. They will develop into males or females in a few weeks at which time we will start to see their amazing color patterns if they are males, or hope for more babies if we get more females! They should be ready to move to the main tank around that time too. Here is one for now, and I will hopefully brush up on my fish-photography soon. Hooray!

Now then, there are five... Since they were born on Star Wars day (May the 4th, be With You!) should we name them Han, Luke, Leia, Chewy and Aniken? It was the morning of Cinco de Mayo when we woke up... Are they Jose-a, Jose-b, Jose-c etc? Or maybe since I blogged about them here, they should be Freedom, Independence, Spirit, Patriot and Hero? :) Help me out, folks!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Time is dwindling, I took some time to hang out with the family. We had the nicest pork roast for dinner. I talked to the Grandfolks in Albuquerque. They are doing well! Now the boys are hanging out... AJ is re-arranging his bedroom again. We watched the new episode of Game of Thrones... And I just finished this little fella for the Grey and Blue challenge at Allison's, and Beth's Die-cut challenge.

This little cutie is available in red rubber now from Stamper's Best. maybe this is Ciara's adorable cousin. :)


Oh wow, I apologize for this mornings' posts... I was going to go back and fix them, but I think that I will leave them alone as a reminder for myself that I should not blog when I am tired.

You see, Monday through Friday I work in an office for a fantastic specialist.. I love to work there, but I also stayed on per-diem at the hospital. Mostly because I have been there since the darned building was built, but also to keep up my mad nursing skills and to work with other fossils like myself. I prefer the night shift because I have worked it for almost 20 years and... well... it's a night shift thing. Most people don't get it. At any rate, I didn't want to miss out on any of the fun and so I did a few more cards when I got home, before my nap. Ugh... Sleep scrapping! It's dangerous!

So here is Card 5 from the Stars & Stamps blog... The challenge is to use five things.

How about patterned paper, a border punch, a star punch, a scallop punch, a sticker or three, and some cool crimped paper... I think that is more than five... Oh well. :) Party Time!


Yvonne is encouraging us to make cards from. Brightly colored paper!! I stil had plenty of leftover Imaginisce paper. I have learned from watching those reality TV programs like OBSSESSED and HOARDING: BURIED ALIVE! That when you have anxiety about parting with inanimate objects that you should face your fears. Today is a very therapeutic day.


Lisa'schallenge... Food as a focal point. I could also claim this as a "hoarding supplies" card because I bought these adorable Imaginisce products last year and I have had them set aside for a special occasion ever since.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rebel VCMP 2

The next challenge is from Carol who challenges us to make a card using supplies that we have been hoarding. I tend to hoard my Close To My Heart supplies the longest because they are my favorite. I have especially been stashing these Sonoma papers because they are so pretty and they are my favorite colors... I love purples! I used a sentiment stamp from the Card Chatter - Sympathy set and a lot of Smokey Plum ink. (and last weekends' card sketch from OWH!)

Join the rebels!

This weekend I am joining the rebellion at Stars & Stamps... We are making cards instead of scrapbooking on Scrapbooking day. Tee hee!

Go check it out at Stars & Stamps if you want to join in too!

The first challenge is by Sherry over at Bits Of Cheer and the challenge is to make a paper pieced image for a child's card.

I used paper from the DCWV Rockstar stack, a cute dragon stamp by Imaginisce, a sentiment by Studio G and the flames are off of my Born To Ride CTMH set. I love this little guy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Making Frys!

I'm very excited. We got a fish tank as a Christmas present for the family about four years ago. Since then, we have had a lot of fun with various aquatic life... Fish, snails, a few crabs... Would you like to see?

It's really prettier in person. We have some cute decorations, and some pretty silk and plastic plants inside. I have been practicing taking photographs of the tank and the fish now and then. Fish are hard to photograph, you know? They move fast and there is a lot to learn about the lighting.

Sooo... Last Christmas, my friend Angie gave us some of her Dad's guppies. We hadn't had guppies before. I heard that they were easy to breed, and that sounded fun. So started my adventure.

Let me tell you that I have done a lot of Internet reading about tank conditions and etc. to make the fish breed. Now let me be honest... Our tank is "established" meaning that we have had it for a long time, with the same fish and plants in it for years. I don't remember the last time that I did anything fancy like checking the pH. We keep it at a pretty constant 78-82 degrees. It is filtered and aerated nicely, and we rarely clean it. Aside from the guppies, we have the same tetras, algae eaters and mollies in it that have lived there for 4 years. The guppies started breeding as soon as we added them to the tank. I noticed the females having babies a few times, but the other fish would quickly eat them up. :( Sad day! Our plants weren't sufficient hiding places for them to get big enough to survive.

A few weeks ago, I added this isolation tank to the corner of our little fishy home. It wasn't long before one of our two female guppies started looking pregnant again. I decided to move her to the isolation tank today, because she started looking "close" and I didn't want to miss the birth again.

Here is Momma fish. The dark spot on her belly is the babies inside. This female is pretty translucent. You can even see the individual eggs inside of her. Each one has a tiny black dot. I wonder how many babies she has inside!!

Here is a video I made of the Momma fish. The other two guppies that you can see are very colorful and animated. They are both males. They are much smaller than she is. I love their bright colors and spots! I am hoping for more pretty male babies to add to the tank. I have also noticed that the males really chase after the females when their birthing time is close. Even now that she is isolated, they are right outside her little holding tank, giving her grief. Silly boys!

Here is another great shot of the Momma fish, and you can see the eggs really well. There is the tail of one of the males, right outside the isolation tank. I have been feeding her the usual flakes and a dried meal worm now and then. Just like any other pregnant momma, she seems hungrier than usual and eats a lot. At this stage, she doesn't seem to mind being separated from the other fish too much. It actually seems like a bit of a relief to me to have her in the separate tank so that she isn't getting chased around so much.

So! We are hoping for babies, probably by the weekend. I am hoping to catch some of this little miracle on film. It's so much fun! Thanks for stopping by, I will update as soon as something exciting happens. Let's have a baby guppy shower! :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For a swap...

Here is another from the Born To Ride stamp set, I love these for makin' man cards!

Did I post the other? I don't even remember... I know that I entered it for a CTMH challenge. How fun will these be for Father's Day? Oh... See the silver stuff? It's actually cut from a scrap of self-adhesive brushed aluminum stuff that is actually used in detailing. . . It's extra shiny. :)

Just a quick one

For this weeks flower challenge at Stars & Stamps... It's the May Stamp of the month from CTMH, more from this stamp later. . . It's a realy nice set of sunflowers! I colored with watercolor pencils. Isn't it nice that I finally already had a card done for something ahead of time? :) I wish I had a week off to catch up all of the projects I need to work on!