Simply Thanks
It's ALL About the Love

Riding the Roller Coaster

Hi there!  I hope all is well in your world.  Things have been a bit of a roller coaster for me in the last couple of weeks with my "day job," family, and pets.  It looks like things may be calming down now.  We'll see for how long.

For those of you who don't know, my "day job" is at the Kennedy Space Center.  I work in an engineering area that supports the Space Shuttle Program.  The recent announcement of the changes to NASA, as proposed in the President's budget submittal, is distressing to those of us who were looking forward to the next human space adventure:  Constellation.  Facing the end of the Space Shuttle Program was tough; however, looking forward to the "next step" in human space exploration was exciting to contemplate.  At the same time, we were moving forward in support of the recent launch of STS-130 with Space Shuttle Endeavour.

(NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connell)

Standing in front of the Launch Control Center and watching the night sky turn to day as the Space Shuttle rose from the launch pad was awe-inspiring.  Night launch or day launch, I am always thrilled and amazed with every lift-off.  I think of all the thousands of people who contributed to the thousands of processes and procedures that must occur successfully each and every time in order to make this event happen.  It's the same feeling each time the Space Shuttle lands, whether it's here at the Kennedy Space Center or at an alternate landing site.

I also think about all the technological advances that have occurred since the beginning of human space flight.  It's surprising how many of these new technologies have translated into commodities that we now take for granted in every aspect of our daily lives.  Where will these advances come from if human space flight is no longer available?  I shudder to think that after all these years that we, as a nation, would be content to take a back seat to any other nation in microgravity research and development.

Shortly before all of this occurred, we were blessed to welcome a new addition to our family, our grandson Randall Charles.  Isn't he gorgeous??!!  He was slightly jaundiced at birth, but he's doing great now.  Thankfully, there was plenty of Florida sunshine available to treat it.  We traveled to South Florida to meet our new grandson just a few days after his birth.


This week I finished up a card for a color swap with a number of Stampin' Up! demonstrators.  Our challenge was to create a card using only one color from the Bold Brights color family, Basic Black, and one other neutral color (either Whisper White or Very Vanilla).  When I entered my name to participate in the swap I thought this would be a no-brainer; boy was I wrong!  I really struggled deciding which color to choose and then selecting a stamp set that I could use to showcase the color.  In the end, I decided on Eastern Blooms and Tempting Turquoise.


We were also directed to use at least three layers and an embellishment.  Once I picked the color and the stamp set, everything else seemed to fall into place.  The embellishments for this card are Tempting Turquoise 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, a clear/white button from Button Latte, and small and medium Clear Rhinestone brads.  Two single flower stamps are inked once and stamped three times randomly across the Whisper White cardstock panel on the upper card front.  One of the flowers on the right hand side of the panel was chosen and a hole was pierced through the center of the flower to accommodate the medium Clear Rhinestone brad.  You can see that the small Clear Rhinestone brad is inserted into the button holes of the button and then through the center of the flower before the brad legs are set into place on the back of the flower.  The flower petals were rolled under with the help of a bone folder.  The flower is attached to the Whisper White panel with a Pop-Up Glue Dot so that the petals of the flower don't get flattened.  The Designer Series Paper used for the lower part of the card front comes from the Pink Flamingo Designer Series Paper pack.  I liked how the graduated flowers tied in with the button.

The Medium Whisper White envelope was decorated in a manner similar to the Whisper White panel on the card front.  The large flower was stamped first, then the smaller flowers were inked once and stamped three times around the large flower.


I mentioned pets in the beginning of this message as being passengers on my roller coaster ride.  We brought a Shih Tzu puppy into our home in mid-December and we've been working with him and our 5-year old Golden Retriever.  Our Golden Retriever, Maxwell, has finally accepted that this new addition will be staying and has begun to play and romp with the Shih Tzu puppy, Zorro.  Zorro is beginning to understand the routine now and I think he is finally on his way to mastering the art of using the yard instead of the carpet.  We are enjoying watching the two of them play together as they romp around the yard and play tug-o-war with their toys in the house.

Life is that way, isn't it?  Mixing up the fun with the not-so-fun so that it becomes a pattern of contentment.  On this Valentine's weekend, I think about all the things in my life that I love and I feel overwhelmed with the blessings in my life.  My husband, my children and their spouses, grandchildren, parents, brothers and sisters (and their spouses, children and grandchildren), friends and even pets; they enrich my life and bring me joy.  I am so very thankful for all of you.

In the same vein, I am grateful to you, my blog readers, for taking the time to stop by to visit with me.  Your comments and encouragement are important to me and I appreciate your support.


Stamps:  Eastern Blooms, Teeny Tiny Wishes; Inks:  Tempting Turquoise; Cardstock:  Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White; Embellishments:  Tempting Turquoise 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, Small and Medium Clear Rhinestone brads, Button Latte; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Mini Glue Dot, Pop-Up Glue Dot, Stampin' Dimensionals; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Modern Label punch, Word Window punch, Paper Piercing tool, Mat Pack, Sponge; Other:  Medium Whisper White Envelope


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Catherine Harwood

What a beautiful baby!! Big congratulations.

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