Celtic Gathering & Games

I’m proud of my Scottish ancestry, to the point of eye-rolling according to the wee beasties, and I wholly support any event that celebrates that. I went to the Las Vegas Celtic Gathering and Highland Games yesterday.

Perhaps it’s because I went alone.

Perhaps it’s because with “games” in the heading I expected, well, games.

Perhaps I’m spoiled, and likely bias, but the Portland Highland games are much better. In fact, I highly recommend if you find yourself in Portland, Oregon on the third Saturday of July that you make your way to Mount Hood Community College and enjoy a taste of Scotland.

Clan and vendor presence is about equal between the two events. The music, as in bands and singers on a stage, is probably better at the Las Vegas event. However, the marching bands are probably better at the Portland event.

The Portland games are very sports oriented. There are more dancing, piping, and drumming competition stages at the Portland event.

The Las Vegas event includes street parties on Freemont Street Friday and Saturday nights and the Gathering/Games goes on for two days. The Portland event only happens the one day and is followed by the Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee).

I used to be a contributing sponsor of the Portland games and regularly volunteered. I’d hoped to become similarly active in the Las Vegas organization yet yesterday left me feeling blah.

Kilts, I promised you kilts. Enjoy ;)

Wicked Tinkers1
Wicked Tinkers2
Wicked Tinkers3

Caber Toss

Caber Toss


The Ladies

The Ladies Throwing the Weights


I couldn’t resist :snicker:

It’s Official, There’s a Teen Male in the House

If the rapidly increasing food bill wasn’t enough,
If the changing voice wasn’t a clue,
If the growth spurt, which caused him to pass me in height, wasn’t an indicator,
If the changing interests didn’t tip us off,
The cheesy pick-up lines did it!

Him: “Did it hurt?”
Her: “What”
Him: “Did it hurt when you fell to earth?”
Her: blushing “Thanks.”

Him: “Do you have a map?”
(Different) Her: “For what?”
Him: “Me. I got lost in your eyes.”
Her: embarrassed laugh as she walked away

We could be in trouble, LOL.

What cheesy lines have you heard, or had used on you?

Finding the Silver Lining

Yesterday was one of those days where you roll out of bed and immediately want to roll right back in.

I woke up late. Late enough that by the time I got my coffee and made sure wee beastie #1 was up, I’d lost a half hour.

Silver Lining:  late for me is still the crack of crazy for most people.

I had a lot of football running around to do with wee beastie #2 before his practice plus picking up wee beastie #3 from choir practice.

Silver Lining:  received a text from the team mum saying practice had been pushed back half an hour.

Double Silver Lining:  work was quiet and I was caught up which enabled me to leave an hour early.

I arrived at the school to pick up #3 and, because I had a few minutes to wait before choir ended, actually parked in the lot rather than the loading zone.

That became a Silver Lining when I returned to the car, kiddo in hand, and the car wouldn’t start!

Silver Lining:  the school is just under two miles from home. A walk I don’t let the wee beasties do on their own.

The pre-practice running around shelved for the day, wee beastie #3 and I started walking toward home. Sans the four-inch heels I’d worn to work. (Time to start carrying flats in the car again, LOL) And even there is a Silver Lining in that it isn’t hot enough yet that walking barefoot will give you first degree burns (I wish I was kidding about that).

I called wee beastie #2 and told him to grab his gear and start walking toward practice. Oh, and grab me some shoes. We met up and I watched wee beastie #3 enter our neighborhood. Then #2 and I walked to football practice. (I just Googled the path, works out to 3.4 miles for me and 2.1 miles for wee beastie #2. Yeah, a freakin’ long walk.)

We made it with 5 minutes to spare because of the Silver Linings:  me getting off early and practice moving a half hour later.

Double Silver Lining:  I got my exercise in for the day! (I’m paying for it this morning though, LOL)

That Man met us at the football field and, after dropping #2 off at home, we went to see what we could about the car. He’s hoping it is just the timing belt but we noticed the car is also leaking oil. We’ll find out the damage later today.

Silver Lining:  AAA. Seriously. That Man had insisted I get a membership the first road trip I made to Oregon without him. I’ve since upgraded to the Plus membership which grants more towing miles. Considering the issues we’ve had with this poor car, the membership has more than paid for itself. Anyway, the extra towing meant we didn’t have any out of pocket to tow the car to our preferred mechanic.

Yet another Silver Lining, we received our tax refund and, while those funds were earmarked for a move, they couldn’t have hit our bank at a better time.

Sometimes Silver Linings are so thin you can only see them in retrospect. Other times they jump out at you.

I’m really thankful of those Silver Linings on a day that felt like a full moon on top of the apocalypse.

What Silver Lining has blessed you recently?

A Word For 2014

Last year I discovered the idea of picking a word for the year. A word for all areas of life. A word to strive for all year long. A theme.

My theme for last year was BALANCE. While I feel I fell short of balancing work and family, I do feel more balanced overall and therefore call it a success.

How do you find your one word?

Well, first off, there are no rules. The word doesn’t have to mean anything to anyone but you. It can be the acronym of a phrase. It can be an action or a thought or an emotion.

Think of the challenges you faced last year, or you may face this year. Is there a word that could be the theme of your year?

The idea is for the word you choose to be more than a goal, more of a way you identify yourself, and thus, a guiding light for your efforts. The word should remind you DAILY to take action.

This was a tough one for me this year. What one word reflected all the areas of my life I want to see change?

2014 is full of new opportunities  for us as a family and I want to grab hold of as many of those as possible.

2014 is also a year I need to see progress in my health and writing goals.

Tenacity-Amelia Earhart

The goals, the decisions, are written down…

My theme for this year is TENACITY. And, yes, I have printed that out. I’m taping it to my computer (both home and office), my bathroom mirror, and my refrigerator.

It’s the spark.

Invite the word into your life. Live with it. Let it speak to you. Follow where it leads.

What is the one word you want to represent your year?

Summing Up the Year

Beastie Girl Xmas 2013Christmas is done. The wrapping recycled. The food devoured. The wee beasties in gaming heaven. Even Beastie Girl is enjoying the fruits of the season.

The New Year is around the corner. A fresh new start. A chance for a do over on those things not quite reached.

A time to reflect.

A time to set goals.

2013 was a crazy year. Lots of ups and downs that derailed the grand dreams I had this time last year.

I also learned how much I suck at making and achieving goals.

There were a number of times I questioned following this writing dream. Did I want it enough? And as we move into 2014 I’m still asking that question. I don’t have a definitive answer so I will push forward.

2013 landed both That Man and I in new jobs with new demands on our time but also with a sense of financial security we haven’t had in more years than I care to count. It will be exciting to see what 2014 brings in this area.

I found some of the balance I was looking for in 2013. We created more quality family time, as a family and with our one-on-one relationships. We look forward to continuing and improving this in 2014.

We’re looking forward to a wedding in the spring, a move to a house with a pool come spring/summer, and another holiday trip over the winter.

As for specific goals…I’m still working on those. The best steps to take to achieve them. And what my word for 2014 will be.

How did 2013 treat you?

Being Thankful

I’m most thankful for my family. The immediate and the extended. I was blessed by some pretty awesome in-laws, too.

I’m putting the blog on hiatus for Thanksgiving week so I can be thankful for my family WITH my family.

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!!

See you in December…

I Don’t Get It

I don’t understand people who hurt others for kicks and giggles. I don’t understand people who hurt the elderly and children. I don’t understand people who hurt animals.

Seriously, what did that rabbit do to you?

Bugs_BunnyLet me go back. As you know, Bugs Bunny followed wee beastie #2 home last year. He was underweight from being on his own for a length of time but we fattened him up and he’s as healthy as a little bunny could be. However, he’s a wee wild.

Keeping him caged up isn’t fair to him. A couple weeks ago, with the milder temps, I decided to try him outside. I set up the top part of his cage in a corner of the backyard. He has his sleeping castle, food, and water in there. I took off the door and covered the top of the cage so the inside would stay dry (not that we get THAT much rain). This gave him the run of the back yard. It also allows him to leave the backyard if he so desires, much like an outdoor cat.

We weren’t sure what would happen.

I’m pleased to say, it’s working out beautifully. Bugs is happier and he’s friendlier.

We know he takes off to explore. He likes hanging out in the rocks of our front yard, which has caused a couple neighbors to knock on our door. “Um, did you know your rabbit is loose?” Most days, we see him in the morning before work/school, then again in the afternoons when he’s looking for food, and late at night.

About six days into this experiment we had a scare. No one remembered seeing Bugs one evening. And he wasn’t in his usual spots the next morning. I wasn’t going to panic, he knew where home was.

#2 texted me on his lunch break. Some seventh grader had been bragging on the bus, and showing pictures, of the rabbit he’d shot with his BB gun the night before. #2 didn’t know this boy so didn’t want to get too close but a glimpse of one picture lead him to believe it might be Bugs.

We had two different reactions. My son was upset that his pet might be dead. And I was there with him. However, my initial reaction was more along the lines of here’s a psychopath in the making.

Why? Why would you use an innocent animal for target practice?

I was also extremely angry this kid was shooting a gun in my neighborhood. Where’d he live in relation to us? To the park at the center of the development? Yes, it was a BB gun, but those can hurt a people as much as a larger one can.

I texted #1 wee beastie, who would get home first.

Tired BugsBugs was fine.

I called the school and left a message for the Dean. Our rabbit was fine but someone’s wasn’t. And as this happened on the bus, on the way to school, I felt the school needed to be the first point of contact. I’ll trust that if the situation warrants it, the police will be called.

We all loved on Bugs.

Another thing we’re thankful for this month.

What fur babies are you thankful for?

Making Time Management Pretty

I spoke about this Weekly Planner in my Craziness post. I had to wait longer than I’d have liked for it to arrive as I ordered it along with a number of large items and didn’t rush the shipping.

The time management aspects of this planner rock. The daily grids are roomy enough for my scrawl. The goal setting and tracking pieces are perfect for me, though there is one worksheet I haven’t a clue how to use, LOL. There is even a journal section to reflect on how you did over the course of the year.

It is big. 8.5 by 11 and maybe half an inch thick (certainly not for everyone). It is also very utilitarian with a rather flimsy cover. Something I was willing to live with due to the awesomeness of the rest of it.

Then. Then Joely posted what she did to her planner!

DCWV Garden Tea Party StackWell, heck. Why hadn’t I thought of THAT? It isn’t as though I don’t have more scrapbooking supplies than a sane person should :P

We’ll start with the paper. I had been gifted this paper a few months ago. It’s gorgeous but not the style I usually scrap in. :cough: Boys. :cough: Thus it had been hanging out in my craft closet. But it was perfect for my planner!

With all the sections in the planner, tabs were next on my list. Well, I have a Stampin’ Up Tab punch complete with pretty stamps to go with it. I dug through my paper scraps and found this beige-tan card stock that complimented the Tea papers. A brown ink pad, a sepia tone pen, and ta-da…
Stampin' Up Tabs

BookmarkAnd, of course a bookmark was a must. Again to my scraps I went, this time to my ribbon supply. I found this peachy ribbon which works with the majority of the Tea papers.

I vaguely remembered having a tea pot charm stashed away amongst my scrapbook hoard, er, collection. So digging I went. Turns out what I was remembering is actually a jewelry toggle set, tea pot and spoon. Undeterred, I attached them to the bottom of my bookmark.

Then I attached the top to the back cover of the planner and covered it with a Tea paper.

Inside Back Cover w/ Attached Bookmark

Then it was just a matter of adding Tea papers to all the blah pages and finishing off with the tabs.

Note-Journal Page

November Page

Goals Page

Completed Planner

Now, I’m looking forward to next year’s planner just so I can decorate it!!

Behind the Scenes

There has been a lot going on behind the doors of Casa de Barclay. Not THOSE doors. Get your minds out of the gutter.

We’ve reached a state of cautiously optimistic and I can share a bit now.

That Man was laid off early this summer. Corporate restructure, or some such nonsense. Probably a blessing in disguise as he was increasingly unsatisfied with the company. However, he would much rather have left on his terms.

Then the stress of our primary source of income being cut off hit.

Considering how popular That Man is within his chosen industry we thought it would be a relatively quick process. HA.

It was touch and go for awhile. One company practically hiring him without an interview, only to turn around and say the big wigs in the home office wanted to interview more people. I think it took more to recover from that than the actual layoff. Companies who’ve said over the course of his career they’d hire him in a heartbeat if ever he was available not responding to resumes. It definitely took a toll on That Man and me. Trying to keep a positive outlook on things for the wee beasties without hiding the process, including them while reevaluating priorities and budgeting and exploring options.

Angela Brown talked about the slippery floor of rejection, and That Man slip-slided his way across. He’s a bit worse for wear but, finally, he is once again gainfully employed.

Whew :wipes wrist across forehead: Clearly our Thanksgiving this year.

What are you thankful for?

Technology Hurts My Head

“I’ve giv’n her all she’s got captain, an’ I canna give her no more.”

~ Scotty

AA021481Calling all computer programers, IT gurus, and all around computer savvy people!

I must update my technology. A new laptop for me. A wireless printer for the whole family. And maybe, just maybe, a new desktop for the wee beasties.

I know the sales folks will try to up sale me. I don’t mind spending more if it truly does give me more bang for my buck.

The only thing I’ve researched so far is the laptop. It must be at least 6GB, prefer 8G, and the number pad on the keyboard. I’m interested in what you think has the best, longest battery life.

  • What are your favorite brands?
  • What kind of battery life do you average with your laptop?
  • What are your favorite features?

Seriously, this inquiring mind desperately needs to know :D

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