Pre-Planning of the Trip

Prior to the event, we had homework.  For example, Barb made a “Flat Stanley” named Dee Dee and sent it to everyone who wanted to participate.  The person with Dee Dee would bring Dee Dee as we go on our daily lives and take photos with her.  Afterwards, Dee Dee would be sent off to the next person on the list.  With our photos of Dee Dee, we’d make two 8×8 scrapbook pages that would go into a special album that would get raffled off during the event.  Our family brought Dee Dee to Fort Mason and took photos of us and Dee Dee with Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background (that’s two different photos, by the way), and we went to Chinatown for dim sum and took photos on Grant Avenue.  Here’s a photo of Caitlin and I in front of… Dee Dee Boutique!  What a co-inki-dink!

Dee Dee Daze Visit-09

Another project was to make name tags that we’d wear, and I would give out a prize to the one voted “best” or “most creative.”  We also were tasked to make a scrapbooking t-shirt (or two) to be worn on the other days, while Beth designed the official dmarie t-shirt for us to purchase.  Cathy asked us to bring a photo of ourselves as a baby or young child, and whoever could guess the most would win a prize.  Bringing the only photo of an Asian baby, I ensured that everyone got at least two correct, me and themselves!  Barb’s other game was for us to take a photo of our scrapbooking desk, and whoever could match the most owners to the desk would win a prize.  I might have missed another game, so someone let me know, and I’ll include it.

14 women signed up to attend the scrapbook retreat which was from Sunday morning through Wednesday morning, June 7th through June 10th.  McPherson is about 1 hour north of Wichita.  When I first tried to book my airplane tickets, I found out it would cost me $400 more to arrive on Sunday than Saturday, so I figure if I arrived in Wichita one day early and spent less than $400, I’m ahead!  I can’t remember exactly what happened that led to this, but Barbi, who lives in southern CA, and I figured out that we could fly from our respective airports to Denver, meet up on the same flight from Denver to Wichita, rent a car, and stay in a hotel together Saturday night!  We also found out that we could take the same flight from Wichita to Denver together before flying back home by ourselves.  We were so quick with our airline ticket booking that we were able to book seats together on both flights!

Soon after posting our potential fun adventures on how the two of us were going to paint the town, it turned out that 7 other ladies were going to drive from Denver and arrive in Wichita Saturday afternoon as well.  Of course, we had to figure out what we were going to do for our 24 hours in Wichita.  After some research, we decided to stay at the Wichita Marriott, have a buffet barbeque dinner and watch a theatre act at the same time at the Mosley Street Melodrama, have breakfast at Jimmie’s Diner, and attend a quilt show at Botanica, the Wichita Garden before driving up to

Those were the plans, and technically,that’s what we did, but I’ll be telling you what really happened…  Oh wait!  Disclaimer:  these next several blogs are hilarious to those who were there and may not be that funny to those who weren’t, so it may truly be one of those “you had to be there” events, but I appreciate the fact that you’re reading.  Anyway moving on…

Friday, June 5th

Late Friday night, I went online to “check in” to my airline; that would be United Airlines.  However, it wasn’t that simple.  First, it asked if I wanted to pay $15 more for extra 5″ of leg room.  I declined.  Then it asked if I wanted to pay more to preboard.  I declined.  Next it asked if I wanted to pay more to accelerate how my miles were awarded.  Again I declined.  The scary thing was that it auto-populated to opt in for the different services, so I’m sure many unsuspecting passengers ended up paying for the extra services because in the end, the total came out pretty much the same as the ticket price, so if you’re not careful, you may think that you’re just scrolling through each screen.  After declining all those extras, it was time to pay for the baggage.  The first bag was $15 as long as it was less than 50 lbs.  Bags over 50 lbs. were charged $100!  The second bag was $25, again with the same weight limits.  I paid for 1 bag, printed my tickets, and went back to packing.

Next post:  One Day in Wichita


How I Ended in Kansas Early June 2009…

If all goes well, the next handful of blogs will be on what I did in Kansas… but first I will explain how this all happened…

In 1998, I started scrapbooking… if you don’t know what that is, you can either google it, or I’ll blog about that some other day… At the same time, I started visiting scrapbooking sites on the internet.  Sometimes the sites were educational like www.gracefulbee, which is no longer there.  Others were shopping sites that were either brick and mortar ones who also did business on the internet or just internet business like  Others also had a forum (AKA message board or community).  I ended up on one of these and have been on the site for over 10 years.  Their IRL and virtual stores are no longer in business, but the owners were kind enough to keep the website so that we’d have a place to communicate as a group.  Through the site, we asked questions both scrapbooking and non-scrapbooking related, shared prayer requests, talked about our families or problems we’re going through, and along the way, we became great virtual friends.

I have met some of these people in real life as well.  In 1999 or 2000, I met a group of women from this special site at a scrapbooking convention in Pleasanton.  I have also attend crops led by several of the ladies from the site.  In 2007, I met several of them in Las Vegas when I was on vacation.  My local scrapbooking buddy is from the site as well.  At this point, you’re wondering what this has to do with Kansas, right?

Late last year, there was buzz on the forum about going to a scrapbooking retreat, so we could meet each other.  I signed up!  We would be renting a house that is geared towards crafters.  How is a house set up that way?  It has several large rooms on the first floor that would normally be the dining room, living room, family room, or possible bedroom.  Instead of furniture for those rooms, they fill it with 6 foot tables (like the ones you can buy at Costco or rent from a party store) and special lighting. 

Crop Room

They decorate the bedrooms in cheerful paint colors with appropriate family-oriented framed art to provide a comfortable environment for crafters to get together.  Our house is called Maple Memories and located in McPherson, KS.

That’s how I ended up in Kansas on June 6th – 10th!

Next post:  All the pre-planning that happened prior to the trip…

Live Like You Were Dying

I started this on May 9, 2009 but didn’t finish it, so here goes…


I just finished watching a story on Connie Culp, the lady whose abusive husband shot her in the face that basically left her with half a face.  Through a donor, she just received reconstructive surgery and now has a face.  She’s able to sneeze, smile, and smell, things we generally take for granted.  During the interview with Diane Sawyer, she mentioned a song by Tim McGraw titled Live Like You Were Dying.  Below are the lyrics:

He said I was in my early forties with a lot of life before me 
when a moment came that stopped me on a dime 
and I spent most of the next days looking at the x-rays 
Talking bout the options and talking bout sweet time
I asked him when it sank in that this might really be the real end 
how’s it hit you when you get that kinda news 
man what’d you do 

and he said
I went sky diving; I went Rocky Mountain climbing 
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu 
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter 
and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying 
and he said someday I hope you get the chance 
to live like you were dying.

He said I was finally the husband that most the time I wasn’t 
and I became a friend a friend would like to have 
and all the sudden going fishin wasn’t such an imposition 
and I went three times that year I lost my dad 
well I finally read the good book 
and I took a good long hard look at what I’d do if I could do it all again 

and then 
I went sky diving; I went Rocky Mountain climbing 
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu 
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter 
and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying 
and he said someday I hope you get the chance 
to live like you were dying.

Like tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about 
what’d you do with it what did you do with it 
what did I do with it 
what would I do with it? 

Sky diving 
I went Rocky Mountain climbing 
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu 
and then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter 
and I watched an eagle as it was flying 
and he said someday I hope you get the chance 
to live like you were dying.

On today’s episode of Flashpoint, it was focused on a young woman who had only two weeks to live.  Yes, it was a night of depressing TV shows, but it led to my thinking, so what if I only had a short time to live?  What would I do?  What would I not do?  Obviously, it is unrealistic to live every day as if you were dying.  No one would exercise; we’d all gorge ourselves on our favorite foods; we’d quit our jobs.  We’d use up all our money.  But… we might say “I love you” more; we might smell the proverbial flowers; we might scrapbook more… or decide not to scrapbook anymore.  Well, sadly, with the cancer in my female side of the family, it isn’t too far-fetched to think about having only a certain time period to live, so here’s my list of things to do on limited days:

  • Quit my job and have Daniel take family leave
  • Pick up Caitlin right after school, so I can see her more
  • Get right with God, not so that my rewards in Heaven would be better but that it’s the right thing to do
  • Eat good quality food at every meal instead of whatever’s on sale
  • Order food I really want at the restaurant instead of the cheapest item
  • Fret less
  • Do more outdoor things, like swing at the park
  • Ice skate
  • Watch less TV and surf the net less; use the phone more
  • Make a date with each of my best friends separately

And I am extra blessed to do it, I would take that world cruise:  106 days…

Dream, friends…