Thursday, January 30, 2014

Say What?

I whistle while I work.

I crank up the stereo and dance like no one is watching.

I sing, sing a song.

I trip and stumble and say a few choice words $#!*

I ask questions like "what the hell?"

What are todays' possibilities?

And yet they never say a word to me.
They like me, they really like me!
I am blessed.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I've Got a Fever

Last year about this time, I wrote about something similar on my blog. 

In the month of January 2013 I wrote about my favorite beverages, snowflakes, fuzzy socks, fireplaces and books.  I think this January I could write about the same things, and maybe a double or triple dose of everything!!!

It's like the movie Ground Hog Day... repeating itself over and over and over again. 

I have an extreme case of Cabin Fever .... Cabin fever is an idiomatic term, first recorded in 1918,[1] for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.

I'm stuck!  I really hope it's not for too long.  I'm coming up on half a century pretty soon and I need to start the next chapter in my life because I'm getting pretty restless!

Instead of a cup 'o Joe, maybe some Mystic Chai Tea will stimulate the POSSIBILITIES to help stumble across some wide open doors of opportunity.
In a world of possibilities
imagine yourself as one

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter: No Joke

My dogs wouldn't go outside.  I opened the door and they looked at me like I was insane!

The Adventures of Cooper and Tucker.
It's a beautiful sunny day, but the temperature is -2° degrees with the windchill it feels like -25°.  it's an Arctic Blast... Polar Vortex.... I have frozen Pupsicles!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Team (kevin) Bacon

With 2014 being my Year of Possibilities
 .... if I think it
.... I can do it!!

During the Christmas/Winter break my 20 year old son and I were talking food.  Now that he has lived in is own off campus apartment for more than a year and a half, he's had to fend for himself ... no more dorm food.

We set him up with the basics: pots, pans, wooden spoons, spatulas, mixing bowls, measuring cups etc... and a few recipes.  On those days when there is a little extra $$ in the food budget and he gets tired of the Ramen noodles he likes to try family recipes.

All the pictures below were attempted by me, a 'seasoned' cook ... but inspired by a conversation we had.

While growing up my mom cooked a lot.  We had the basics, hamburgers on the grill, boiled hot dogs, meat loaf, pot roasts, split pea soup ... good All American standards.  And on special occasions we had some traditional German food.  Food that my dad grew up with.

Beef Rouladan was one of those traditional foods.  During this past break my son had a friend over whose family heritage is German as well.  Kyle thought he would 'trick' me to see if I knew what Evan was having for dinner.... as I was tossing chicken for our Chinese Stir Fry. 

They both seemed surprised that I knew about Rouladen ...  a German meat roulade usually consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is then cooked. In some countries, the roulade is also known as "beef olive".

My meal was as wonderful as it looked!  Yum!  And sadly, Kyle did not partake in this delicious home cooked meal.  He went back to school to start his 2nd semester as a Junior at the University of Iowa.  Oh, I'm not that bad of a tease... the idea was brought up the day before he left.  I need to 'perfect' it before he comes back 'home' to visit!

And look!  This week my mom even sent me her recipe.... sort of. 
She was taught to make it from my dad's stepmother.  It appears that some recipes call for pounded meat to surround bacon and others call for the meat to surround a pickle spear ... just like any food, the recipes change by region, and by what the family has on hand to create the meal.
If you'd like my recipe, I'd love to send it to you ... just email me at
I'd love to hear from you ... but too, with modern technology, you can just as easily Google search to find the hundreds of varieties of Rouladen recipes.  Team bacon or team pickle?
I'm learning to become an expert in Possibilities!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Recognizing Possibilities

Today is full of possibilities!
I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist, but a possibilist.
But what is a possibilist
Some definitions have it affiliated with a political party that attempts to reform, or its a theory of cultural geography.  Here I found a good definition. A Possibilist is someone who recognizes that all possibilities exist though they may not yet have manifested in this time.
That's still a little too technical and vague as a complete definition for me.... a Possibilist is someone who is in constant search of the good that is ahead of them. 
 2014 is my Year of Possibilities and I'm not completely sure what it means just yet.

It's only day 23 of the new year and I've raised my sights, according to Dr. Norman Peale. I am actively searching for the chance, the likelihood, the potential of many new things.
I've tried a few new things and am somehow trying to document them in my new art journals...I've tried new recipes* (will share that tomorrow), I tried to learn how to crochet and have made 3 scarves and I'm trying to learn how to do watercolors. 
Yes, I am an artist, I am proud to say that... but my medium has been pencils, pens, markers and simple doodles....

I need to change the above sentence! In the wise words of Yoda, Do or do not, there is no try...
I do new things, I do document them in art journals, I do (attempt) new recipes, I do learn how to crochet, I do learn how to water color and I do discover possibilities in a lot of different things!
Although TRY was one of my words this week....  it's a whole 'nother story (because I am not currently working outside the home, I complicate my LIFE by adding challenges to my daily routine) ... each week I incorporate new words into my vocabulary, I raise my sights... I challenge my mind, body and soul.
It's time to Brighten Someone's Day.... wishing you every possibility!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

He's a Smoozer

My alarm clock is covered in fur, has 4 legs, a wet tongue and no snooze button.

On the Adventures of Cooper and Tucker ... if you have a pet you know that there is routine.  They have some sort of internal clock, obviously I haven't taught them how to tell time.... yet :0) !!
There is time to eat, time to sleep, time to eat, time to play, time to eat, time for a walk, time to go outside, time to eat, time to bark just because the neighbor's dog is barking, time to take a ride in the car and time to chill out on a pillow or in the kennel for safe keeping.
It depends on the activity the night before, but Tucker is our alarm clock on the weekends.  Although he is almost 5 years old, he can't be trusted to have freedom in the house unsupervised.  I'm not worried this pint sized terror will destroy something, but we've not been able to break the habit of him marking in the house, so he is put in his warm and safe kennel each night.
With tiny little barks at first, we hear a little wuf! any time around 6 am.  If the first wuf! isn't heard then it goes a bit louder, wuff!  and if the third one isn't heard we hear WUFFFF! It's time to get up, be let out, have some breakfast and then cuddle time next to us in bed for another hour our two!
Cooper, he's wonderful.  He just goes along with the flow and is very content to when the front door is open, the food is in the bowl and to when it's time to hit the pillow!
It's a dog's life.

Monday, January 20, 2014

I'm Hooked

Do or do not,  there is no try ....

Today is full of  POSSIBILITIES!

I love a good challenge. 
I didn't want to learn to knit or crochet when I was a kid. 
That 'stuff' was for old ladies ... I guess I've arrived. 
Just like anything.... any hobby, sports activity or learning experience... some things come by learning very easily, or they don't.  You enjoy doing them or they frustrate you to high heaven.  I'm sad to admit that my mom tried to teach me about 'yarn art'... but I didn't have the patience or desire to sit and learn it when I was little.
But now, I'm most curious! 
I mentioned to Jeff that knitting and crocheting is a science.  And he laughed... 'it's not a science', he said. 
Okay, that might be going a bit far... but have you ever looked at a knit or crochet pattern... there is a mix of formulas, stitches, loops, textures, weight, integrity... and wo(men) can leave it be for a few days and then just pick it up where they left off and create amazing things!
Knitting and crocheting has gone in and out of fashion.  The word KNIT is from an Old English word, cnyton which means to knot.  When you knit you use two (or more) needles.  Knitting and crochet are part of fiber arts, which is also a fine art.
Crochet, which is how I stitched and looped the above scarf is a French word meaning hook! You use one hook to create loops and wrapping of the yarn.  Crochet patterns have an underlying mathematical structure.
I've knitted probably 50 scarves and was happy to give my 'art' away... actually I was pretty proud. And this is my 3rd crochet scarf... still trying to feel comfortable with it.... but I think I'm 'hooked'.

I wish crocheting burned more calories because I'd be one skinny hooker!
(don't know why the m didn't show up).
I was willing to try something new.... and now the possibilities are endless!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oh Look

I love looking out our kitchen window out to the backyard, it is a beautiful spot, winter, spring, summer and fall. 
The dogs like to look outside too!  Recently I've been seeing this view.  Well, one of them can see with no problem the other sometimes gets a boost, he can also see from stairs.

What attracts the squirrels is the bird feeder (not shown).  Some of the house sparrows and the cardinals and the woodpeckers kick out the wild bird seed mix.  I don't think the squirrels mind the leftovers at all.
We had four squirrels earlier this week, they were all chasing each other, up and down the trunks of the trees, tumbling over each other and having snack breaks.  It was unusual. But very entertaining.  I believe we've had a young couple that frequents our home every day.  One has white ears and the other is smaller.  So, it was odd to see a black furred squirrel in the mix the other day.  S/he stood out against the snowy white back drop.
Cooper will sit in front of the window for 15 minutes watching their silly antics.  Sometimes his tail wags and I hear this brushing noise whipping on the tile floor.  And sometimes he whines, but it's very quiet.  I think he gets hypnotized watching them.  Tucker just tries to jump up and get a view. His barks scatter the wildlife.  He often doesn't even know what he's barking at.  That is a typical Pomeranian trait.
If you saw the animated movie UP! a few years ago, when Dug the dog talks he admits that he has a little bit of ADD... anytime we walk the dogs ... it's amazing  how well the imagineers 'get' what all dogs think...
"I don't have a short attention span.  I just ... oh look a squirrel!"

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shameless Plug

Hey, I'm glad you stopped by!

Can you believe we are halfway into the month of January already??

I feel great when the sun is shining... blue skies today... it is beautiful!!! What are the POSSIBILITIES?

Currently I am watching 3 darling little squirrels frolicking in my backyard.  They love the bird feeder litter.  Cooper is watching out the window as well.  I told him he is not allowed to play with them, they are our friends... we'll see if there is any fun adventure that could come out of  this.

Back to card making... my first  (creative) love.  If you like my cards and I know that you do ... help a friend out... buy a few for your stash, buy a gift pack for a friend, or link my blog to a friend who loves to help a small business. 

My greeting cards are quite unique... you will not find them anywhere else ... all you have to do is think a bit ahead and figure out what events you have coming your way... birthdays, anniversaries.... someone who needs a bit of FuN MaiL.  Most cards start at $3.00 each and if you purchase more than 3 at one time... it will include shipping and handling!

Valentine's Day is coming up. And then card making season goes crazy... St. Patricks' Day, Easter, Mother's Day.... any day is a great day to send a card... 'thinking of you day' or just because day... they all work!!!

I do other paper crafts as well... all uniquely handmade.  The above is a Pinterest success... book paper flower wreath.... I love it!  I make mini scrapbook albums, tags, notebooks, invitations and personalized items.
Maybe this year, you've decided to give the little guy some of your hard earned cash because you want to support local artists. 
I don't want to shame you in buying from me :0) ... but the next time you are in the grocery store at the last minute buying a greeting card for $3.99 + tax .... slap your forehead and think you could have gotten a special creative greeting for less.
***** the only shameless plug I have planned *****
Brighten Someone's Day and send a Creative Greeting by prdesigns!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Apple before Atari

If you were to do a search on Pinterest... probably with any search engine, really ... and put in the word APPLE.... where do you think the Internet will take you??

Apple Computers, Macintosh, Steve Jobs, iPads... pods, tunes etc.... and way, way, way down the list it might actually bring you to the fruit. 

Who would have thunk that Sir Issac Newton's discovery of the Universal Law of Gravitation when an Apple fell on his head, would be completely forgotten and refer solely to a company that wanted their name before Atari in the phone book.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away???
I hope so.  I've eaten 13 apples so far this year.
And then I thought of  some other Possibilities . . .

I baked an apple pie. 
I'm not much of a baker.  I know I can do it... as Rachel Ray always says... you have to be more precise in following the recipe or you can ruin the end results.... too much salt, not enough corn starch, too much oil.... See, I don't want to have to EAT my mistakes.  So, it is quite possible for me to bake an apple something!

Next it's possible to create an apple, there are watercolors.
No transition from baking to painting.... boom! Just like that I did this.  It makes me giddy! 
Yes, you can all say I'm an artist.... but do you know how many kinds of artists there are ? .... I gave myself permission this year to explore the possibilities and I'm trying new things! Watercolors vs. a pencil doodle.... something quite different all together!
I have found an excellent and reasonably priced tool ...  YouTube.  You can learn anything there!!
I just put in the search engine Watercolor Apple Tutorial and followed along.
I wont be inviting you to my gallery opening any time soon... but it's possible!!!
Dwell in Possibilities ~ Emily Dickens

Monday, January 13, 2014

Can't Have Just One

Ever have a pesky little friend who always seems to be right there?
In the way
A squeaky wheel

Poor Cooper the black lab mix.  He really had no choice in the matter about 4 years ago when we brought home the rescued Pom, Tucker.

Cooper is sweet. 
Low maintenance.
He has soulful eyes. 

And when he was about 3 our wonderful dog who would sun himself on the steps like a Tom Cat and wag his tale gleefully when anybody would stop by ... had a life altering change.  We, his human family, needed a little more excitement, a bit more energy and we decided to find him a companion. Then along came Tucker.

Dogs are like potato chips .... it's hard to just have one.
At a shelter for Pomeranians, Tucker was advertised like a criminal on a wanted poster on the Internet .  We didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into.  'Elfie' was cute.  But at 11 months old, they couldn't tell what kind of life he had before he came to the shelter.  The word was his original owner didn't know that he needed to be groomed, often, that he needed to get 'fixed' and that he was a yappy little fellow! But we were smitten!
It took a while for everyone to get used to him!!  We changed his name on the hour drive home from the shelter.  Tucker, Tucky, Fozz, Fuzzy Bear, 'Lil guy, Buddy.... he answers to them all!
Although tiny at about 10 pounds, he was and is a tough little guy.  Don't mess with him.  He's bitten us all... broken the skin and drawn blood.  And made the girls cry!!!So much for the loving, cuddly little lap dog.  But just like anyone else, he was telling us that that was not the time to be right in his face... he needed and still needs his space.
We didn't want to give up on him.  And now, 4 years later he still is in charge.  But poor Cooper really takes the brunt of the abuse.  We give him permission all the time to knock Tucker down.... but he wont do it!  And even during our cold snap last week.... it was -5 degrees outside.  And a bit drafty on the floor.  Not often.... but Tucker decided to plop down in the middle of the fluffy softness to share Cooper's bed.  (Mind you, Tucker has a few of  his own soft and cozy beds) And the big guy let him (he was hanging off the side) .... I guess to stay warm you cuddle any way you can!
Cuddling literally kills depression, relieves anxiety and strengthens the immune system.
And being the owner of two very different dogs has been quite an adventure.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

All Tied Up With A Bow

being creative
is not
a hobby
it is a
way of life

How many mantras can one person have, honestly!?!
But I have tried and failed. 
If I do not create something every single day... I really feel a part of me let down. 
Is that truly possible????  Possible... get it?  Since this is my year of  Possibilities.
I feel I let myself down if I don't create something, every day.
Today, I will show you some things I've been working on... and hopefully I don't get interrupted by a call from the local police department!
As you may know, I dabble a bit in making greeting cards!!!
I've had a request for 40 cards with an animal theme to them.  My task is complete . . . 20 sets of two cards w/envelope each all packaged up sweetly with a bow!
I'm doing it pro bono in hopes that somewhere at the IACUC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees  (at the University of Iowa) I might generate some clientele.  My Iowa sales rep is quite handsome and I couldn't turn down his request... let's see if he can sell me!!

What comes to mind when you think of the word SHINE?  I'm still a fan favorite of the House of Shine and I think big things are going to happen this year!
If I were to drop some playing cards would they fall perfectly like this?  I think not, but to get them in one picture, one must lay them out flat to be seen.  I'm taking a class, that I can't even describe, but I get to play and get my hands dirty and the results Pick Me Up!
So, if you are still with me... and curious about the call from our local Police, no need to be alarmed...
I witnessed a car accident yesterday ... I was on my way to an appointment and feel guilty I didn't stop to help.  So, I called the non-emergency line and left my name and number with the officer that was on duty for the incident.  I'm not sure if they need any further information.
All I can say is that when you are driving a vehicle... use your turn signals, if you use your turn signals... make sure you decide beforehand where you are going to turn and if your view is blocked.... certainly wait patiently until the road is clear.  Until I actually see the car turning in front of me.... it will take me a very long time to BELIEVE an oncoming car is actually turning... I will wait until the car actually is turning into position!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Post Packer Season

The Adventures of Cooper and Tucker...

Wise old Cooper .... should he trust the cute fuzzy BEAR?
Things we think about being Packer fans living just on the other side of the Cheddar Curtain (state line between Wisconsin and Illinois) in Bears territory!!
Never ever EVER give up... or at least wait until the referee blows the whistle!!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Long Term Planning

If you will bare with me ... it's only day six of 2014 and I'm sure it's possible to do what I think I want to do... but I'm not sure how to do it. I live in the moment.... do I have to plan out long term???

Images, ideas and impulses ... I can't focus!!

(source, google images)
I really, really like this!  It's not mine.  I found it on the Internet... but I think I could incorporate this somehow for 2014.  It is like my 'brighten someone's day' and the image I think of when I want to SHINE ☼
 I've seen lots of 'signs' that have validated that 2014 will be the year to 'imagine the possibilities'... yet I can't keep it to one word like some....I need to embrace change to fulfill the entire message.
My horoscope read just the other's a great time to imagine where your industry will be in 5 years, 10 years...long term planning suits your mindset now, especially if you're looking at the big picture and not just budget details....hmmm is my industry cardmaking?
And then I saw this sign at Hobby Lobby... I should have bought it... but it is possible for me to re-create it somehow...
Oh, I don't want to be a Pollyanna and think it will be all roses and lollipops... but I think I want to embrace being a possibilitarian... raise your sights and see possibilities ~ always see them, for they are always there. Dr. Norman Peale
Over the weekend I also saw Saving Mr. Banks, the Walt Disney movie with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, I highly recommend it.  I always have remembered that his artists, his cartoonists, his engineers and his imaginers are called... Imagineers..... I so LOVE that word!!!
The term Imagineering, a portmanteau, was popularized in the 1940s by Alcoa to describe its blending of imagination and engineering, and adopted by Walt Disney a decade later to describe the skill set embodied by the employees of WDI, known as Imagineers.
This year I plan on incorporating... imagine, possibilities, believe, embrace change, developing the energy that makes it possible to see things, brighten someone's day.... and others....I'm still working on it... you will have to stay tuned to see what colors my thoughts!!!!

And finally, as I sit here and ponder... it is -5 degrees out with wind chills in the - teens, and I laugh at the thought of global warming and I smile at the thought that it's great to be a Packer fan living in Illinois, we went farther than the Bears!
The sun is shining... go brighten someone's day!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Cooper's Corner

We are just laying around the house. 

Everyone is home.  Some are still sleeping. Others are 'working' on their computers. 

We can feel the cold air falling to the floor.  Sometimes it's hard to get comfortable and cozy.

Our new year came in very quietly. 
I heard some fireworks being let off in the distance.  I don't like fireworks, they make my body start to shake and quiver.  But when I get a hug from my human mom, it seems to calm me down. 
Anyway.... there were a few hoots and hollers as the clock struck midnight. 
We are in the year 2014. 
What will happen?  My friend Tucker and I plan on going on a few adventures.  Care to join us?
A little step may be the beginning of a great journey.... imagine the possibilities!
This year Tucker will be adding a few words of wisdom to the blog ....
Currently it is 14 degrees out and it had been snowing lightly for almost two days straight.  I don't know the official measurement, but when I go outside to do my duty.... my belly drags in the snow... so maybe 8-10 inches of new fluffy stuff. 
No walks.  Tucker's paws can't handle the cold.  He almost tumbles over while trying to lift his leg.  He's wobbly like that anyway... he'd get lost in a snow drift!  The wind is very chilly.  But I like the fact my entire family has been home all together for a few days.
Happy 2014, your friend Sly "Cooper" Robinson,  8-1/2 years old


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