Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fun in the Sun

After a great breakfast of dill and cheese eggs cooked by Chef Ken, we headed to the islands for the day. We buzzed through Sanibel and hit Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve. We saw pink spoonbills,
white pelicans , a family of racoons and even a baby gator. The it was on to the Beach with Blind Pass as our destination. We only stayed an hour and that is a good thing, considering how pink we all are today. We shelled and sunned and worked up an appetite. Here is our Anne in her new hat ! What a sun gal! We ate lunch at Key Lime Bistro...great fresh food, outside dining and even live music! Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting episode of Fun in the Sun!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Cabana Crew Rides Again

This is our Cabana Girl in Training. Even though my dd, Kristen, doesn't scrap like the rest of us, we are going to need someone to drive the bus when we get weekend passes from the old folk's home a few years down the road. Kristen calls this "Driving Miss Daisy" but I have no clue to whom she is referring...lol
This is a cute restaurant in Duninden where Kip, Janet, Teri, Kath, Anne, Kristen and I went to eat after our Heidi Swapp class at Ruban Rouge, the scrap store in Palm Harbor.

And here we are with Heidi herself. Terri, who ownes an embroidery business, made a cute Honorary Cabana Crew member bag for Heide and a darling bear with a tee that said, "She" (for any non-scrappers who might be viewing, this is one of Heidi Swapp's trademarks. Heidi has her own product line and taught a class at a scrap store that we attended.

And here is Janet with one of the products, Heidi has designed, her masks. These are suppose to be used on paper and painted or inked inked over. I am not sure Heidi is aware of the many other uses for these fun items. Perhaps Janet needs to show her! lol

Friday, February 24, 2006


We made it to Land O Lakes and saw a house just like ours under roof....we are going to love it! We went by the pool guy and left almost 12,000 over the budget we had set...but ya only live once, right? I have visions of us floating with foo foo drinks in hand and cool evenings in the spa!

We also checked out another lss in the area. It is too far away to be a concern. We stopped at a commercial realtors and got ideas on costs for rental space in a well traveled area...not too unreasonable.

We also learned that the development across the street from ours is also going to be a mega one...over 8,000 homes. Betting some of those women scrap, stamp or alter! That is in addition to the 8,000 planned in our community and the 5,000 plus in the one just down the street! The demagraphics are there!

Can't wait til tomorrow for the Heidi Swapp class but even more excited about seeing Kip, Anne, Janet, Kath and Teri...look out Heidi!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Rebuttle

This was posted on the mb today, long after my Creative Spellers goodnight was posted...actually the "brave person" posted this the next day and it was brought to my attention by several pals.

and if I'm not mistaken, wasn't Jules a HS English teacher? It's pretty sad that she is for the creative spelling. You must not have been a great teacher. And we wonder why our country is not the smartest.

This goes under the "things that make you go hmmmmmmm" catagory. I am so confused...was this gal a former student, did she have a problem with her English teacher or is she just against creativity in general?

First, this poster has no clue to my curriculum vitae nor, to my knowledge, has she ever seen me teach. My whole life has been about education in one way or another and for her to make these assumptions based on a few fun posts on a mb says more about her than it does me.

I have been involved in education and encouraging learning for the past 35 years. I have served on numerous committees and was our school districts motivational speaker and a personal advocate for students with learning disabilities and those who were at risk. I was the editor and proofreader for 6 adults working on their BS degrees, 7 on their Masters and 3 who obtained their PHDs . I have numerous awards and testimonials to my teaching. I do know how to spell.

What else I know is that a mb is a place to have fun, exchange information and be creative! That, not spelling a word correctly, is the keystone to a fun mb. To critique posters on their spelling, inhibits them from fully expressing themselves. A mb is a place for exchange of all sorts but not a classroom where the nun slaps hands for wrongful spellings.

For someone who has no clue who I am or what I stand for to label me in this way is a slap in the face to all educators! I did not make this country less smart with my teaching...I improved as much as I could.

I've shown you mine, poster...show me yours!

(this blog was editied for typo correction)

Life is too short ( a list)

1To not have fun ( memo to self...have more fun)

2To drink cheap wine (and we just picked up a lovely and not
a jug wine for a change)

3. To stay inside and work when the weather is the best
it has ever been.

4. To allow some one's bad opinion of me to define who I am.

5. To not forgive old grudges (this takes up soooo much time
and energy)

6. To not enjoy a good, funny movie (love anything by Billy
Crystal, Bill Murray, and that
whole gang)
7. To not get on my bike and ride til my legs hurt

8. To not tell my friends and family that I love them...tell them often and tell them loudly

9. To hug and smooch on my sweetie (can you say, "kisses sweeter than wine?)

10. To fall asleep reading a great book.

What is on your list of Life is Too Short ?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Small Town Fun

One of the things I have loved most about living here in our small (unless it is Season) town is the small town atmosphere abundant in events.

Ft. Myers' Beach has its annual Shrimp Festival which is such fun. It reminds me of a high school homecoming parade gone bad...lol. And that is good. The parade has people dressed in furry pink costumes sans arms but with lots of feelers...a bystander informed me the first time I attended that these were the much beloved Shrimp People. OK.

Pine Island had it Mango Festival. Everything you could ever want to know and more about mangos...we actually attended twice forgetting there was no beer served!

And Ft. Myers proper has the Thomas Edison Light Parade. The excitement builds for weeks and weeks ahead of the event with the upper crust debs and (what do they call the guys?)their escorts being touted at balls. The Children's Parade was last weekend and now for the grand finale....the Light Parade Sat. night.

For weeks, locals have been marking off the choice spots on sidewalks along the parade route. These spots are honored by most, non-natives being the exception. I read in the paper that some families have had the same spot for many many years. As you drive to downtown, you can see these masked areas and also lawn chairs chained to fences where possible.

We shall be going downtown early and tail gating in the high rise (4 or story) parking garage with 3 other couples. We don't want to miss the craft fair and the food fest which are held on the river front park or the race even though we don't know anyone running this year.

I am hoping that our new town has some of the fun festivals that our present home town has and can't wait to find out.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

There is something to be said for comfort food

It is a cold, blustery day here in Paradise. It reminds me of the first days of winter up North and puts me in the mood for comfort food.

E just asked the usual morning question, "What do you want for supper" (it is not yet nine am...and he is late! lol) and I replied, "Comfort food!". We are now having muffalatas for lunch made on his new penini maker and chili for supper. E puts a dash of cocoa in his chili and it is sooooooo yummy.

Everyone has their faves for chili connoctions. A friend of mine makes the most wonderous white chili but I prefer the old fashioned mix where you throw in cans of beans, tomotoes and chopped sirloin and top the whole thing with fresh onions and tons of cheese. Lots of people crumble crackers but I am a wheat bread and butter gal...two slices slathered for dipping. Is it supper time yet?

Speaking of food, last night we had the most amazing strawberries. It is that season here now and these are locally grown, huge and soooo sweet. It was the topping that made such a delight for the taste buds....a basalmic glaze by Gia Russa that E found at Publics. Oh me oh my!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Things I miss about Italy

Watching the opening to the Olympics and today's start of the games has made me homesick for Italy, if that is possible. We were only in Italy for about 8 days but I loved so much about it that seeing Torino just leaves me pining.

I miss the food. The freshness and the taste is undescribable. My E is a great cook and he has come very close to duplicating some of the dishes we had. He says the key is the really good (meaning very expensive) olive oil. So much of the food was veggies and the herbs just were amazing. Fresh! That is what I miss.

I miss the countryside. Tuscany was beautiful beyond description. Hills and vinyards and antiquity all rolling mile after mile before us.

I miss the town on Lake Garda with the winding streets, the flower merchants and antique dealers and the bakery aromas wafting around sharp corners. And then there was the castle, perched on the hill top, standing sentry over the postcard perfect town. And more good food and lovely rustica wines.

I miss the accents of the people and their friendliness. The hearty handshakes and welcomes and smiles. I miss our tour guides and just listenin to them talk with the upturned sounds at the ends of sentences and the extra "ah" added to many words.

OK...off to dip some bread is some of our expensive EEVO and I may not even add parmagano ragano cheese or the herb mix we found. I'm just gonna dip and let it run down my chin...and watch the Olympics in true Italian style!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

One more day in the life of....

We've finished off two rooms so far with deep cleans top to bottom. The real estate gal comes back tomorrow afternoon to take inside pics so guess what we'll be doing before she gets here? I told E that the house would look so good that we'll not want to move.

I managed to finish my altered project for ScrapLovers and then got a HUGE box from one of the companies that offered me work when I was at CHA. There is so much stuff in the box that I hardly know where to start. Am putting a bunch of Sunday to one side to give this some quality time.

I need to e-mail the cruise company and get my resume in. It sounds almost too good to be true...the cruise for 2 for classes. Guess we'll see soon enough.

Tomorrow is scheduled for deep clean on the lanai if it does not rain. The realtor felt the house would sell for what we want within 3-5mo. ;since we are not in any big hurry to move, we can be picky (to a certain extent) about our buyers.

Life goes on...day by day.

Monday, February 06, 2006

To open a store or not to open a store?

That is the question...we've been tossing this one around ever since New Year's Eve when one of our friends asked us if we would want to open an lss with him as a silent partner as he has some funds he needs to show a loss on. (OK, that part...showing a loss bothers me but I understand it).

This is a lot of work for two old farts like e and I. He is 60 and I'm not that far behind. Again, if we don't do it now, we never will.

I don't want just an lss. I want to embrace a larger and yet more intimate concept...."a boutique for scrappers, stampers and altered artists" with nitches and corners of fun surprises with one leading into the next. I want big, feathered hats hanging from cabinet doors with lucious papers and goodies peeking out, waiting for the perfect person to seize them up and carry them to the check out. I want women to flock to the store for one of a kinds and classes that knock their socks off.

and now about the name...as much as I love Nana's Closet, my pal Kipster is right...this might be off putting to some of the 20-30 somethings with green burning a hole in their pockets.
Something to be said for getting 'em young and training 'em, what? So, other names we came up with...Julie's Attic, Julie's Closet (I think this is too much like Cloe's Closet but maybe not).

An old house would be ideal with the idea of eventually expanding to a specialty gourmet shop for e. A recent article in Retailer's suggested not just restricting an lss to scrapbooking and some of the suggested connection shops were more far fetched than this.

All imput, ideas and suggestions are appreciated. We have some time to make this happen if the Scrapping Gods so will it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My thoughts about CHA

I have been reading and hearing about how unhappy independent designers are about their treatment at CHA. Having attended two years (once with a guest badge and once with a retailer's) here are my random thoughts from under the palm tree...for whatever they are worth.

CHA is a trade show. Manufacturers go with one purpose in mind...sell their product. Retailers go with one purpose in mine...buy the best product for their clients. It is all about the money, honey! While independent designers can obtain their own badges, getting a job designing for a major manufacturer does not fit into the manuf/retailer/money equation. Sorry gals...is really is NOT about you. It is about the money.

If I had gone as a retailer with a sizable budget (which could concieveably be Summer CHA), I would have walked away from any booth who spent more time chatting up a designer than the booth owner did with me...and yes, I saw designers take up retailers time with product owners.

Designers have a valuable place in the equation. They promote and demonstrate ways that products can be used and can sell product in unbelievable ways. The solution to the manufacturer/retailer/designer problem (as I see it...and you know what they say about free advise...)is to have a job fair for designers prior to the official opening of the convention. Manufacturers could sit at tables, interview potential designers and have a confab party after the couple of hours of appointments.

Retailers could get into the booths; manufacturers could sell their product unobstructed, and designers could set up interviews with far less interference.

Just some random thoughts from under the palm tree here in Paradise.