Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've got the blues!

I don't mean to bum any of you out, but right now I am feeling so down and blue. It might have something to do with spending the last week (including my whole three day weekend) non-stop, day and night preparing for the kit shipment and then packing and shipping our monthly kits. And I find myself tonight still packing up the last 10 or so. Just so much work and I am struggling to make ends meet. I think what I am most down about is the economy. Gas is over $4.00 a gallon - never thought I would see the day!!!! And that is now affecting every aspect of our lives from food prices to money we have to spend on extra's - like scrapbooking. I am also so disappointed in some of the scrapbooking manufacturers and other major players in the industry, like Creating Keepsakes and Prima. Having worked in Workforce Development for 4 years, I have a basic understanding of how industries thrive and grow and the kind of things that as an industry you just don't do if you want that industry to continue to thrive and grow. I am not sure what it is about the scrapbooking industry, but it seems to think that the scrapbooking industry is immune to the industrial laws and principles. I am watching major players make tremendous mistakes driven by greed that are leading the scrapbooking industry down a dangerous path. In most strong and thriving industries, everyone has a certain place and contributes to the industry in a particular way - but every part of the whole is critically important. In other industries you would never see the industry magazine venture outside of its role into manufacturing its own products, distributing Kits of the Month because it then shifts the industry equilibrium and enters into a competitive role with the companies that pay huge amounts of money to advertise in the magazine. Which I will tell you that I will not pay for advertising in CK, however, I have advertised in Simple Scrapbooks which is also owned by CK so I guess I am kind of guilty in that respect.

Similarly, Prima - a large industry manufacturer of scrapbooking products, recently announced that they were going to launch their own monthly kits. Now, this is not only monthly kits. It will be based on becoming a "monthly kit member" with duration options just like a Monthly Kit Club. Now, Prima not only has an awful customer service reputation and is completely unreliable on their shipments to vendors, but they too seem to be driven by greed and will now venture out beyond their important role in the industry and continue to move the scrapbooking industry towards collapse. The immediate affect of all these things is it makes it impossible for companies who sell the products to compete with the companies who make the products. This is how the industry begins to collapse.

It is hard watching all this happening and not sure...what are these people thinking? Do they think they are different and immune to the principles of business and industry? Do they care? Do they even know what the principles of business and industry are? I am starting to think that they either don't know the mistakes being made or they are just merely driven by greed and have no concern for what that does to the scrapbooking industry. Because it's not as if these two companies don't make enough money already.

O.K. That felt better to get that off my chest.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

When I was most afraid...

Suzanne challenged us to write about when in our lives we have been most afraid. This happened for me back in the Spring of 2005. My daughter, who has significant developmental disabilities, was not able to attend public school, we had lost our 13th childcare provider in the same week that the public school would not allow her to attend any longer and here I was with a full-time, demanding and well-paying job. I spent 6 months total on a partial leave of absence from my job that was originally supposed to last only about a month trying to straighten out our situation and get my daughter stabilized. It became very clear to me in the Spring of 2005 that this was not a quick process, my daughter's needs were very complicated and there was no way I would be able to hang on to my job. Since everything was falling apart, I decided...heck! Why not? I would also take the plunge and free myself from my horrible life with my daughters father. It had been 12 years of awful emotional abuse and somehow I found the strength within me that I didn't think I had to finally free myself and live a life free from abuse.

When I handed in my resignation at my job and began to prepare my house for sale and began the court proceedings to end the domestic partnership with my daughters father, all at the same time...I would say that I had fear pulsating through my body. I had no idea what was in store for me and my children. I wondered if we might be living on the streets soon, if I could provide food for my children. And, of course, my daughters father found every possible way to punish me and tarnish me that he could conjure up. He always left me thinking...what is coming next? You can't describe what that kind of fear feels like. I lived in constant fear for a long period of time with fears of safety and meeting basic needs.

Three years later, I feel like I am still climbing my way back up out of that deep dark pit...but I can see the light ahead. I find ways to protect and shelter myself from my x's ongoing resent and punishment. I can meet my families basic needs each month. My daughter is progressing and maturing. I have a part-time job working in the field of children's mental health, moving forward very important family principles to make the lives of families with children who suffer from developmental and behavior disabilities better. I have Scrapdango, although it is a tremendous amount of work it provides me with a therapeutic outlet and friendships and support. And I have a wonderful man in my life who loves me dearly and doesn't abuse me.

I have dreams and wishes and plans and I will continue to move toward the light I see ahead so I can reach these.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pink and Friend YITL

I am so happy that I made some progress on my YITL cards this weekend! I am not as far behind as I was when the weekend started! I still need to do my FUN, BELIEVE and TIME cards. Here are my Pink and Friend cards...

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I am a little behind on my YITL cards because it is clearly Summer now (99 degrees here in the Portland area the last two days) but I finally got my Spring Card done!

Is it Passion or is it ... Obsession?

Interesting concept...is it passion or is it obsession?
Passion is feeling very strongly about something and obsession is becoming consumed by something.
Passion is something you have in your heart, obsession is of the mind. Passion is something you care about and love, obsession is something you think about all the time.
It appears there is a thin line between passion and obsession. Yeah, I guess I have to admit it...I think I fall into the obsession category when it comes to scrapbooking.

My passion card for YITL Challenge.

Scotty's Senior Prom!

Where did the years go? I can remember when he lost his first tooth, learned to ride without training wheels, and played in his first t-ball game. I can't believe my son is graduating from high school, and from the same high school I graduated from 20 years ago this year. I am proud of this kid. He is handsome and has a kind soul and good heart. Scotty and Kelcie were a cute couple and so excited about the prom. He wasn't very happy about having to take the Scrapdango Van to the prom...but we took care of that issue now. He has his own new car so he can have more independence and not have to feel embarrassed driving the Scrapdango Van around town. Aren't they cute?

Guess what I came across today...since I am grieving that my son is all grown-up, I have to show you what I found today - Scotty's 1st Birthday pictures...


Ain't that the truth?
Finally catching up a bit on my YITL Challenge cards!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We have a new addition...

We have a new addition here at our home! We have squeezed in a 2001 Hyundai Accent in the driveway! I no longer have to share the Scrapdango Van with my 18 year old! Scotty will make the payments on his new car which are only $85 ~ very, very affordable and we got a good deal on it! I was amazed that it was a 2001 and only had 64,000 miles on it! I am pretty sure I come pretty close to putting that many miles on my van each year! I am so happy for Scotty. He deserves to have something go right for him and bring him some joy and independence. He's a good kid. I don't know how I am going to break it to him though...I have plans to steal it from him for the 40mph gas mileage!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Where did the years go?

I keep saying "I'll get to this or that once things calm down" but that never seems to happen. Sometimes it feels like life is just passing me by and I don't have time to enjoy it. My 20th High School reunion is next month and I am really asking myself "where did the years go?" I still feel like I am about 25 years old in someone else's body. I have wrinkles developing, bags under my eyes, I am putting on weight and for the first time in my life it is a struggle to keep my weight down even with exercise and I am starting to have aches and pains all over my body. I will also have my 38th birthday next month too. I dread my approaching birthday every year. I don't want to get older. I think it is because I spent so many years of my life in a miserable relationship that I feel like I lost out on some of the best years of my life. I wish I could have those years back and "live" them. I am not sure what the secret is to living and enjoying life but I wish I could figure that secret out.