Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tipping Philosphy

This is the ‘tipping’ time of the year and I thought this would make a good post. I am a good tipper and sometimes get flack about it, which chaps me because, why do people care how much I tip? You would think I was taking it directly out of their pockets. I tip well because I was a waitress and sometimes the extra buck or 2 I got came at a critical time.

Lets say you are meeting some friends after work for drinks and appetizers at your favorite restaurant. There are 10 of you, its happy hour, and you have had a bunch of drinks and lots of food and your total bill is $150. You decide to split it evenly and everyone owes $15. A reasonable tip is 20% or $3.00 each for a total of $30. But wait, lots of people don’t tip 20% and even restaurants who enforce a gratuity on tables of 10 or more usually only require 15%. So lets say that 5 people only tip 10% and 2 don’t tip at all and the other 3 tip 20%. Now the tip has went from $30 down to (stops to get calculator) a measly $16.50 or barely 10%. This waitress who has been shlepping drinks and apps for you and your noisy friends for the last 2 hours is going to get a measly $16.50? Now you are probably thinking that its on top of her hourly rate but did you know that minimum wage for wait staff is substantially less than other types of workers? It is assumed that the wait staff will receive enough tips to make up the difference but this isn’t always the case. By the way, the 2007 minimum exception (wait staff, etc) wage is $2.87 per hour.

Here is my philosophy on tipping. If your bill is $15 and a reasonable tip is $3, why not go the extra mile and leave $5. If everyone in a group of 10 did that, the $30 tip just became $50. The $2 extra you are leaving doesn’t mean jack to you but the extra $20 might mean a lot to the wait staff.

My last comment is, just because I tip well on our group bill, doesn’t mean that some people in the group don’t need to. This is another thing that really chaps me. Lets say everyone has left decent tips and the last person writing out their check sees that there is already a $30 tip on the $150 tab. That person still needs to tip. I have seen it more than once and my daughter Jessica told me she has seen it too. What the hey!

Ok, I am climbing down off my soap box now but the next time you go out for dinner, throw an extra couple bucks on the tab. Those waiters and waitresses work hard. I know, I was one.

Monday, December 28, 2009


A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt.

The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?'

'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness.

'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed.

'Did you cut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.'

'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!'

From the movie Doubt.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Its the day after Christmas and I have to post that this was the best Christmas I have had in awhile. There are multiple reasons but mostly it was really enjoyable being with my family but I also found great gifts at clearance prices. I dont know why the 'bargain hunt' is so enjoyable for me but I was like this as a kid. When I was maybe 10, my mom and I were at kmart and they had a blue light special on purses. I bought 5 purses for a buck a piece. I dont know why I thought I needed 5 but they were on sale. The joy is in the hunt, and the season! Merry 'Christ'mas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Its been a long time since I posted so here are some quick updates.
1) I have good days and bad days. Except for yesterday, the last couple weeks have been good. Pain under control and I am not sick with anything weird.

2) Jeff was in the hospital for a week with a perforated bowel. He was very close to a bowel resection and having a colostomy bag. This was due in part to not enough fiber in his diet.

3) I am really enjoying the Christmas holidays this year. I have done a moderate amount of shopping and bought some monogrammed stockings for the little boys that are really cute. I havent decorated the house but I am really feeling the meaning this year. God is helping me to enjoy all that the season has to offer.

4) I joined Weight Watchers at work and am walking 2-3 miles almost every day. As of today, I have lost 14 pounds and feel like my health is back in my hands.

I have a pile of bible verses on my desk that are mostly motivational and I grab one every morning and read it periodically throughout the day taking a few minutes to concentrate on the meaning and apply it to whatever I am working on. My hope is that God will lead me to the message that I need for that day and help me retain and apply. I have pretty much been through all of them multiple times so today, I googled daily bible verse and the one I found was not new news by any means but the crux of my beliefs and for me, it felt good to read.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On The Road To Being a Better Person

On my way to accepting the challenges that God is giving me, I realized that if I were a better person, a person with more faith, this would come naturally or at least easier. So I googled integrity, ethics, self confidence, etc and found some sites where they give tips on how to be a person of integrity. I printed some of them and cut out the tips I liked and have them in an envelope at my desk at work and everyday (third day today) I take one randomly and leave it on my desk so I can re-read it throughout the day. Today’s tip is quite powerful and I believe was selected by God for me.

“Self confident people don’t live in the ‘victim’ position. They turn unfortunate events into a challenge, remembering to be grateful for the little things”.

Today I am grateful for my neighbor Jenny that thinks of me when she has extra peppers and makes me home made bread. It sounds little but the impact is very big.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How To Live a Long and Happy Life

These are obvious but it took me reading them to be reminded. I would also add that anonymous acts of kindness go a long way in making you feel like a rockstar.

  1. Compliment three people everyday
  2. Watch a sunrise
  3. Be the first to say "Hello"
  4. Live beneath your means
  5. Treat everyone as you want to be treated
  6. Never give up on anybody; miracles happen
  7. Forget the Jones’s
  8. Remember someone’s name
  9. Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage
  10. Be tough-minded, but tender hearted
  11. Be kinder than you have to be
  12. Don’t forget that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated
  13. Keep your promises
  14. Learn to show cheerfulness even when you don’t feel it
  15. Remember that overnight success usually takes 15 years
  16. Leave everything better than you found it
  17. Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do
  18. When you arrive at your job in the morning, let the first thing you say brighten everyone’s day
  19. Don’t rain on other people’s parades
  20. Don’t waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them
  21. Keep some things to yourself and don’t promote havoc by backstabbing people you love

Friday, September 4, 2009

Latest From the Mayo

I updated my last post with the exact spelling of my leg pain diagnosis. Its Meralgia Paresthetica. Wiki describes it as 'Injury to the nerve that extends from the thigh to the spinal column resulting in acute and disabling pain.' You can check out the link at if you are so inclined. Essentially they said that it is difficult to treat but that treatments include injections and drugs. Surgery is a poor option as it has unfavorable results. I did get an injection the time before and am hopeful it will work. He said it could take up to 2 weeks.

In addition to this information, the neurologist also said that I have a bulging disc, or rather 2 of them, in my neck. One is moderate and the other is severe. Neither of them are currently impacting my spine but someday the severe one could whereby I would lose my bladder and bowels and be paralyzed from the wasit or chest down and would have to go to the emergency room for imediate surgery. I also have some 'blip' in my brain that showed up on MRI that he said means nothing.

I am trying very hard to not feel sorry for myself but its not working. I dont know why I have all this crap to deal with and am feeling so frustrated and angry and depressed. The good thing I guess is that he confirmed that I didnt have MS, which was my worst fear.

I am going to spend my entire weekend stamping and not think about it. I finally found my camera so I will post some pictures later.

thanks to all my friends, I appreciate you more than you know.

Friday, August 28, 2009

News from the Mayo

I am back from round 2 at the Mayo. Note to self: next time you stay overnight, stay at the Grand, its worth the extra $30 for a room.

I seen Dr Mark Hurdle this morning. I like him. He seems knowledgeable about my problems based on the questions that he asks and he is approachable. He told me his working diagnosis' for me are Trocanter (lt hip) Bursitis and Meralgia Parasthetica. He also said my MRIs were abnormal but that I could get the results from those when I see Dr Stevens next week. I recieved 2 injections today and my leg feels very week, more than normal and my calf and hammy huirt but not the thigh. Thank God for small miracles.

Is any miracle small?

Anyway, I feel like I atleast have some diagnosis now.

Thanks again for your prayers!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thank you to my friends

I have had many emails from friends and relatives telling me they are praying for me so I really need to say thank you to everyone that has prayed with and for me. I am seriously struggling with my faith here so I want everyone to know that your prayers continue to encourage and uplift me as well as ask God for help for me when I can not.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Home From the Mayo

Preparing for my trip to the Mayo clinic was mentally exhausting as I just kept thinking that this was my last attempt and that no one was ever going to help me. At the last minute, I threw a book in my suitcase called Surprise Me God, a 30 day faith experiment by Terry Esau (Minnesota author). I am not even sure how I got this book or how it became readily available right when I was walking out the door but apparently God surprised me before I even asked him to.

When I got to the hotel, I didnt really want to stop reading my current book but I had so much anxiety, I just read the first couple of pages to see if it would calm me down. It did. I really wanted to ask God to give me the ability to completely convey my symptoms since that has sort of been a challenge for me but I kept it Surprise me and then went to bed.

The mayo doesnt mess around, when they get you there, they keep you. I checked in at 6:35am and didnt get back to my room until 6pm. Here are the tests I had, what I know so far and when I have to go back;

Tests Yesterday
Hip xrays
Nerve study
MRI Head
MRI Neck
MRI Back

See spine specialist on August 28th
Test results and plan September 3rd

So what they think so far is that my leg pain is caused by my left femoral nerve. He called it soemthing special but I cant remember. The only 2 procedures to fix it is to do steroid injections in the groin or 'hunt and peck' surgery and apparently neither of them are likely to have positive outcomes because its so hard to find the exact problem.

He also said that I might have some spine problems which are causing the tingling in my extremities and now in my groin (sounds more fun than it is).

The nerve studies were quite painful and I had some anxiety during the 90 minutes I was squeezed in the tube of death the mayo calls the MRI machine but i do feel like they can help me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

Last Friday, Jesse and Tamra were working so Ken had Austin for most of the day but dropped him off with me for the last hour I was here. He was playing with his pixter and he says loudly of course for everyone on the 3rd floor to hear "Something stinks! Did you fart?" I hadnt but I still felt like walking out the door and never coming back. Here are a few more from him over the years;

'Gramma, you have teeth like a beaver'

In response to me asking him how to get to heaven. "Sharkboy and lavagirl. They have superpowers."

I will post some more little jewels later on

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jesses Restaraunt Grand Opening Incentive

Big Slice Pizza in Ridgedale opened with much fanfare yesterday and to keep the momentum going, I am offering some incentives.

If you show me a receipt from Big Slice Pizza in Ridgedale I will give you 15% off any Stampin Up order placed with me between now and 8/15. No minimum order and/or I will also give you 40% off of a Mary Kay order that is $100 or more. Mary Kay orders must be placed by 8/30.

Their restaraunt is right inside the East entrance, across from Taco Bell.

Please say a prayer for their business. Oh and if you are in ridgedale, stop and say hi. Its going to be just the 2 of them for awhile.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Memories of My Mom part 2

Here is the Parable I used a few years ago to create a memorial scrapbook for my mother. I get a little teary reading it and thinking about my mom and that it could be many more years before I can see her and my dad again. I hope she can see how I am keeping her and my dads legacy alive by telling Austin and Logan about them.

For the last couple weeks Logan wants me to go into my studio closet with him and then pick him up where he waves and says 'bye' to something that isnt there or that I cant see anyway. One time he said 'bye' and then some other word that i couldnt understand but it sort of sounded like Bob which is my dads name. weird!

Parable of a Young Mother by Temple Bailey

The young mother set her foot on the path of Life. "Is the way long?" she asked. And God said: "Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning."

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed with them in the streams, and the sun shone on them, and life was good, and the young mother cried: "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this".

Then night came, and storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle and the children said: "Oh, Mother, we are not afraid for you are near, and no harm can come." And the mother said: "This is better than the brightest of days, for I have taught my children courage."

And the morning came and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children: "A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed, and when they reached the top, they said: "We could not have done it without you, Mother." And the mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said: "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of difficulty. Yesterday I gave them courage, Today I have given them strength."

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth - clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: "Look up! Lift your eyes to the light." And the children looked and saw above the clouds an Everlasting Glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the mother said: "This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God."

And the days went on, and the months and the years, and the mother grew old, and she was small and bent. But her children were strong and tall and walked with courage. And when the way was hard, they helped their mother; and when the way was rough they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And the mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them."

And the children said: "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: "We cannot see her, but she is with us. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence."

Memories of my mom

My friend is making a memory for the family of a friend who recently passed away. Her friend left 2 small children behind and asked me about ideas for pages and 2 things immediately came to mind. A song by BJ Thomas that played at my wedding and a story I scrapbooked about a mother who protected her children in a storm. Here are the words to the BJ Thomas song and I will post the story later when I have more time.





Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I have a reminder on my calendar to read an inspirational message that will help me better myself. The website is ( The one I read today was under Choices - Decisions - Commitment and was called 7 Keys for Joyful Living. Here is a blurb but I encourage you to check it out.

KNOW YOUR PURPOSE - Nothing will bring you joy more than knowing what it is that you are about on this earth.

LIVE PURPOSEFULLY - Let your actions and schedule reflect your purpose. Don't react to circumstances and let them cause you to live without your purpose fully in sight.

STRETCH YOURSELF - Whatever you are doing, stretch yourself to do more!

GIVE MORE THAN YOUR TAKE - It brings happiness to accumulate.

SURPRISE YOURSELF AND OTHERS TOO - Every once in a while, do the unexpected. It will put a little joy in your life, and theirs.

INDULGE YOURSELF SOMETIMES. - If you will allow yourself an infrequent indulgence as a reward for a job well done and a life well lived, you will appreciate the indulgence and experience the joy of it.

LAUGH A LOT! - Learn to laugh daily, even if you have to learn to laugh in bad situations.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Great News

My dr called me this morning and told me that my test results came back negative. No cancer cells. I sent an email to a couple of friends who were anxiously waiting to hear. Well probably not as anxous as I was, but still. Anyway, Deb replies ' Thats the power of God. THE POWER OF GOD. Just 4 little words that mean so much. I have much to be thankful for. Now if I get hit by a bus tomorrow on my way to work, I want these songs at my funeral.

  1. How Great Thou Art - Elvis version because thats what we did for my parents
  2. Above All - Michael W Smith
  3. I can Only Imagine - Mercy Me
  4. Our God is an awesome God (for Austin, he likes this song) - maybe Chris will sing it

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Waiting for Test Results

A few weeks ago my dr called to let me know that the test results from an endometrial biopsy I had, showed that I have endometrial hyperplasia and that I needed to have another procedure to see if I had cancer. On top of the chronic pain issues I am having with my leg, I wasnt equipped to deal with this and had a minor breakdown at work.

So I had the procedure on July 7th, a hysterotomy and D&C and I am now waiting for the results.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Being Wise

My very awesome pastor, Dave Reno, sent me the slide deck for a sermon he did on being wise. I asked him to send it to me because I have a lot to learn. I aspire to be like some wise people I have known (my dad, Uncle George) and some I havent (Jimmy Carter). Essentially, Dave said, that being wise isnt your IQ or your knowledge, its 'Navigating life without regrets'.
  1. When confronted with my sin/disobedience, questionable ethics or inconsiderateness, I do not blow it off or ridicule the standard or it’s presenter. Fools mock at making amends for sin, Proverbs 14:9
  2. I rarely put people down or make fun of the inadequacies of others. Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended. Proverbs 22:10
  3. I regularly seek and accept the counsel of wise & godly people. He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20
  4. Others feel safe in confronting or correcting me. I respond without anger or defensiveness. "Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. [8] Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Proverbs 9:7-8
  5. My thoughts & decisions regularly seek God’s perspective. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, Proverbs 1:7. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5
  6. I am known for my humility & do not draw attention to my accomplishments or opinions. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13
  7. I am slow to anger and am self controlled when annoyed, frustrated, or hurt. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Proverbs 12:16
  8. I am submissive to authorities in my life. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
  9. I was/am submissive to my parents & made them proud when young. A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. Proverbs 10:1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. Proverbs 13:1
  10. I carry my share of the family load & others agree. He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. Proverbs 10:5

How do I get wise?

  • Ask God
  • Read the directions (bible)
  • Ask for advice and take it
  • Accept rebuke
  • Hang with the wise
  • Be submissive
  • Seek God in everything

Please pray for me to apply this (and for me to get my swaps done)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Swaps, Swaps, Swaps

To get my creative juices flowing, sometimes I participate in swaps. I do other things to like go on Splitcoaststampers or look at magazines but its always easier for me if I am challenged to do something and then have some product to hold in my fat little hands. I have been stamping a loooooong time so to break out of the doldrums, a few months ago, I signed up for my first inchie swap. Inchies are 1"x1" squares decorated as you would a card. It was so much fun that I signed up for another and another and another and now I am hosting my own beach theme inchies. I have also been doing quite a few ATC swaps and joined 2 new 2009/2010 catty swaps but havent started working on them yet. I get high when I am stamping and think its the greatest drug in the world, hence the name of my blog.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Getting ready for my first class in a loooong time

I have been re-invigorating my Stampin Up business and have scheduled events every 2 weeks all summer. Today is my first class - Hoppy Memories - using the Hoppy Memories Simply Scrappin kit. It didnt occur to me that I would have to scramble to find the materials for this class but this kit retired and then quickly sold out before I could order it so I had to beg other demos to sell me their kits just so I had enough stuff for the class. I hope my other classes and stamp camps go a little smoother.

Friday, June 26, 2009

First Blog - Ever!

I am finally into the 21st century. My children would disgree since I ask them to come over to do the most menial electronic things. Like hook up the DVD player, reset the time on my car clock when its daylight savings time, and hook up a router on my computer because it was too slow. Ok Ken did the car clock thingy but I really did need Jeff to hook up the DVD player and Jesse to set up the router. Poor things stuck with a mother like me. What’s worse is that computers are my business or that’s what everyone thinks. I am really a Business Analyst so technically, I write software development requirements but because they are for computer/web apps, all my non industry friends think I work at the help desk. I just let them think that because it’s easier than trying to explain it for the umpteenth time.

Thats my day job, but by night (or really early evening since I am asleep by 10:30) I craft. I scrapbook. I stamp. I make stuff out of paper and glue and brads and ribbon and hardware and pretty much anything that comes into my studio is fair game to be used in some way to further my paper crafting. Like last week, Austin and Logan were playing in my studio while I was halfheartedly watching Somewhere In Time/sadly missing Christopher Reeve and looking at the Splitcoast gallery when I seen Logans elmo doll. I wondered if I could make an elmo out of punches and then cut off some of the hair on his elmo doll to add to my card. ok, I DIDNT CUT OFF ANY OF HIS ELMO DOLLS HAIR. SHEESH. I am just making a point here, if it comes in the room its fair game.

That’s all I can do for now. Maybe tomorrow I will share one of my many bathroom stories that my sister thinks are so funny that she can tell her friends about it. Then when she introduces me, they say, ‘Is this the one that got stuck in the bathroom with her hand stuck down her pants?’ Sheesh