Saturday, September 30, 2006

Big Bird in Paradise

I followed this guy around the lake a couple of days ago clicking away madly. He was a bit camera shy and I couldn't get him to smile!
He stood close to three feet and had been fishing his way around our little lake. I love the fact that I can look out my lanai and see birds of all kinds, turtles in the lake and an even an occasional gator. Just a block down the street is the canal where, when cooler weather sets in, I can watch for manatee and even a dolphin or two. I think our cats like the lizards the best. There is one in my hallway right now belly up. Such mighty hunters are our "boys".

It is Sat. and I have a few chores on my agenda: cleaning the upstairs for Bob and Janet's visit on Sunday/Monday (poor Janet has a cold...hope she feels better soonest), some vacuuming and the 2 x a week bathroom cleanings.

Had a great time with my friends Kim and Barb last night. The three of us and Barb's daughter, Gerry-Anne are all heading up to a Hilltop Memories crop in Sarasota on the 14th. of Oct. On that Sunday, 3 of us will head up to Ruban Rouge for some shopping if we haven't spent all our mad money at the Hilltop traveling store.

And last, but not least, Hang Ten Paper Art kits go on sale TOMORROW! Jill and I produce a limited amount each month and we have upped the amount for this kit as it is so lovely with the K-ology papers and embellishments so don't delay if you want one. The preview is up now.

Have a great weekend! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 29, 2006


Posting from Paradise

So, finally, after several months of having our web site for the Hang Ten kits listed on my profile at "that --mb, I get an e-mail saying that if I do a bad thing like this again...I might be banned and that 3 bad things will make the banning happen. So this is the 5th. warning I have gotten in the last 5 years so the powers that be must think I am ok...or the statute of limitations ran out on some of the earlier ones. I've had friends banned for only one "offense" so this whole thing makes little to no sense to me. Now, my violation you ask? The site has a profile you can fill out. Most sites do. There is a blank for web site so I put down as that is the only web site I have. I'm thinking, if they have a space for a web site, they want you to put one down, right? Wrong!

I made the mistake of doing a Shout Out (you know, where you post that someone you know has done an incredible thing) on a pal of ours who has mega projects on display at Memory Trends (for non-scrappers this is a very good thing). Unfortunately, our pal mixed it up with the powers that be on our behalf and thus I got my 5th and who knows how many warnings to go til I am (gasp) banned.

So be it!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

From Heart to Heart

by Author Unknown

Our love is like a lovely bridge
Between your heart and mine
A bridge we've built down through the years
Just to our own design

It's based on happy memories
Of the good times that we've known
The hopes and dreams we two have shared
The thougtfullness you've shown

It's stronger now than ever
For it's grown with every smile
And every act of kindness
That makes life seem more worthwhile

And now I know tha, if you're near
Or if we're miles apart
Our love still unites us
With a bridge from heart to heart

(thanks to Clare for the wonderful book Heartsongs by Pinky Agnew)

and yes, when I read love poems to my sweetie, the chef of the house, the food is oh, so much sweeter! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It's Hump Day in Paradise

Not much on the agenda for today: some kit work, take my pills, some scrapping if the hand cooperates, take my pills, put some of the Lladro statues back in the dining room curio cabinets, take my pills.
This is what we had for supper last night. I think E was feeling sorry for me so he cooked up a huge batch of my favorite crab legs. Other than the half stick of melted butter, I was really good and passed on his parsley potatoes and had green beans in basalmic and fresh sliced tomatoes.
I am hopeful this vertigo is near its is just the most disconcerting feeling watching the world turn slowly and at a 45 degree angle...other than the upset stomach, it is an unusual way to watch the world go by.
Overcast day here in Paradise with rain forcast for later in the day. Great day to scrap or just sit out on the lanai and finish the last of my library books. What ever your day looks like, hope it is a good one. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ha! I'm not nuts!

or not totally nuts. I got home from the dr. s a bit ago and I have fluid in my inner ear which is causing the room tilts and spins. Took my first med and things should settle down soonest, I hope. The dr. believes the cause is a viral inflection. Meanwhile, until that clears up, I am hoping my careening off walls like a drunken sailor are kept to a minimum.

My hand problem is a different story. I will be going in for a nerve conductivity test (no needles or injected dyes...the dr. promised) in Oct. as he now believes I have nerve damage somewhere in my left arm. I have no idea what 'they' do for nerve damage so will cross that bridge when we come to it like the true procrastinator that I am!

Hoping tomorrow is a better day for all of us,even those who had a great day today. I do much better as long as I don't make any sudden moves with my head...right! Posted by Picasa

Mama's Boy

This is Jack's brother, Goofy, Jack's victim from his attack the other day. Poor, poor Goof. He is the mildest tempered, most sweet little fella and that big, bad Jack picked on him. LOL. Goof can generally hold his own with Jack, actually and their mock battles are often humorous with Jack walking away more often than Goof. I felt I had to put up Goof's picture too. Jack is the ladies man with everyone but me. He is his daddy's boy while Goof loves me best. Good thing we have two "boys" so we don't have to share!

The vertigo yesterday was overpowering. The only way I could seem to get it to abate was to stay off the computer, sit upright in a chair and sit quietly. It was awful in the morning but got better as the day went on. I do have a dr. apt. this afternoon and I hope he can figure this out. I am also going to ask him why my pinched nerve has not improved on the meds he gave me as he said it would. I told my friend, Kipster, the other day that my new theme song was going to be "I fall to pieces" by Patsy Cline!

Have a great day to sit quietly! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jack is back...

to his usual dis-tempered self. He has finished his meds and we have seen no signs of his "problem". His urinary tract infection seems to be a thing of the past. He would prefer to not discuss this at all.
One of the reasons we know he is feeling better is that yesterday he took a swipe at his brother, Goof, for no reason whatsoever. Poor Goof had a bleeding scratch on his ear and looked quite confused about the whole thing. Jack is also back to whinning non stop for E to give him his undivided attention. Yep, Jack is back! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fall is in the air

Like many of my Florida transplant friends, I am antsy for fall. I love the color, the crispness in the air and the crunch of leaves under my feet.
Every fall we try to get back to St. Louis. We celebrate my mother-in-laws birthday, hang out with our pals and go on the annual wine tour. Balducci's winery is perched on the tip top of one of the many hills in Mo.'s Wine Country. The barn is the center piece and we have placed blankets on the ground, chilled with an assortment of wines and tasty treats and listened to some great jazz there many a Sat. afternoon. If our house does not sell, we will console ourselves with a trip back home wedged inbetween a crop I am signed up for in Sarasota and a weekend retreat both during the month of Oct.
We have a couple of buyers coming through at ten this morning and an open house (our last for this year) with a full color ad Oct. 7th. If nothing occurs by the 20th. of Oct. we will take the house off the market until Season arrives and with it potential Snow Bird buyers. We will have to give up the new house if we do this but we both recognize from time to time we can't always have things our way! This doesn't mean we have given up on moving....just moving now.
Off to pick up...sure wish the wall paper had come in sooner so the dinning room was done. Oh well! Have a great day all. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happy Weekend All

I picked up my new business cards yesterday and am very pleased with how they turned out. On the back is my name and this blog address. I have a card carrier that looks like one of the enameled cigarette cases out of the 40s or 50s and I love it. I bought it in Boise Idaho on a business trip with a sb co. owner for whom I use to teach. It was a less than frugal purchase and I acutally lost it for under the front seat of our van for several months. E found it doing a deep clean on the van and I was so excited to see it again.

Now my new cards have a nice home until I can give them away one by one. Perhaps I shall leave one, like a pal of mine use to, in ladies rooms! But then, those were her ex-husband's and upon each she penned "For a Good Time, call...". You get the idea.

I woke up with a bit of vertigo this morning. I haven't had that in about fifteen years when I had an infection. It certainly is off putting as everything not only was slowly turning but seemed at about a 45degree angle. It passed in about twenty minutes and hopefully will not return.

We're off to Lowe's when my honey gets home from work. I am still on my quest for a new fall flag, having eliminated JoAnne's and Wilford and Lee's here in town. I also need two flowering plants for a planter on the front porch where I am off to shortly to read the morning paper. E needs new trimmers for the bushes so we'll do our usual roaming aisle to aisle at the home store.

Have a great Sat/weekend. Do something fun for yourself and I'll do the same. I have posted still another layout in Jules'Creations from the ScrapVillage Cyber Crop. I sure got a lot done those couple of days! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 22, 2006

Gifts from the Sea

I love the book by Anne Morrow Lindberg written mostly while she was staying on Captiva Island. She gains serenity and peace from walking the beach and exploring the gifts offered up by the sea. One of the beauties of the shore is the Sea Grape. I love its broad leaves veined in red, its firm fruit and the fact it holds the sand, preventing erosion.
Many of the novelty stores here sell a sea grape jelly but I have never had any. I am putting that on my 'to do' list along with rereading Anne's book.

Off to Lowe's today when e gets home from work. He 'needs' a new trimmer for the shrubs and I want two small plants in pots to replace a couple on the front porch which have seen better days. I also need to find a new fall flag for my flag pole on the front porch. Most of my fall decorations are in the kids garage in Palm Harbor but the flag in that box has seen better days. I didn't care for any of the ones I saw when I shopped yesterday for Kip's candles so will continue the seach. I want a flag rich with the colors of autumn. I know exactly what I want; now to find out if anyone makes it.

Have a great day. I'm putting up a new layout in Jules' Creations until I run out. These have all been from a cyber crop at Scrap Village. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Shrimp Boats a 'Comin'

I love the Back Bay with all the shrimp boats and live aboard boats. There use to be a little pontoon boat ride we could take that would do tours of both the Back Bay and Hurricane Bay for $5.00. The guy who did the tours took a year off to travel on his motorcycle but I hope he returns soon.
The county has removed several of the derelict boats, some of which had actually sunk into the bay and were blocking the course around Estero Island. Now, in order to keep a boat in the Bay, you must tie up to one of the county bouys and pay a monthly fee. Many old timers feel the Bay is being gentified and that they (and the shrimpers) are being pushed out.
This happens so much down here. Small mom and pop homes in desirable areas (read 'near water') are bought up, huge McMansions are erected by rich folks who only spend a few weeks in them, and then everyone complains that the area has lost its allure.
With the increase in insurance, taxes and impact fees, I often wonder how the public employees such as teachers, fire and police can afford to live anywhere near where they work.
Off my soap opera and back to the Bay!

P.S. Just heard the sonic boom as the space shuttle crossed over Florida to its successful landing! Welcome home! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mid Week Musings

Janet is coming for a visit. What fun this will be. She and Bob will be in Orlando at the end of Sept. and will head here from there on Oct. 1st. E is already hunting for tantilizing yummys to serve for lunch and dinner. Maybe Janet and I will hit her, Kip's, Anne's and my favorite store here : Home Goods! The last time we all were together here, we hit Home Goods and a couple of other stores and both Janet and Anne had to ship boxes back to their homes.

Not much on today's agenda. I wish the wall paper store would call so we can get this dining room back to its pretty self. Just Jack the Cat is doing much better and has almost finished his doses of meds. He has taken the drop quite well considering!

Am off to post another layout in Jules' Creations. Have a great day! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Crazy Daze

Posting from Paradise

Kit work this morning: one for our field tester for Oct's kit...and many thanks, Linda; one for Zora who was so nice to hunt high and low for the little containers for our Grand Opening kits!

We spent a lot of time last night trying to figure out what we can do in this workroom should we end up staying in this house if it does not sell soon. If we put in a murphey bed, we'd have to have the fan in the ceiling moved, get rid of the armoire for Harry (main computer) or move Harry and his house to somewhere in the family room along with at least one scanner and 2 of the printers. The kids could have the futon (it has a real mattress) and Rob can finally have the end table that he has been lusting over for several years. The closet needs a big make over for sure...wonder if the Murphey bed people do that too.

There is a simple solution to all my storage and work space woes....someone buy this house SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

I will be posting some of my most recent layouts from my participation in a cyber crop this past weekend in Jules' Creations. Thanks for taking a peek!

Monday, September 18, 2006

She who does not like to have her picture taken...

For years, I was notorious for taking lousy pictures. The kids would pose as I would ask and then one would say, "Memorize your shoes" as often heads or parts of head would be missing from the final results.
Although I have improved in my photography skills some, I am a slow picture taker. I try to arrange the picture with the theory of thirds, take the shot from unusual angles...all the common tips I've read over and over.
The result is that my subjects often stand and stand and stand. My daughter has mutinied. After getting some fun shots demo'ing my new Sony for the kids this weekend, Kristen waited til the last minute and stuck out her tongue! Voila! Snap! and here she is!

I finished 8 (count 'em) layouts at a cyber crop this weekend at Scrap Village. That is probably more in 3 days than I have ever finished in the same time period in the past eleven years of scrapping. And I even like most of them. I'll be posting some of them in Jules'Creations over the next couple of days. Each layout was for a different challenge. The design team gals at Scrap Village came up with some really fun challenges and I applaud them!

New week, blog readers...hope it is a good one for you all! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Party Continues

The kids arrived yesterday just a bit before E got home from work. We fixed salad, baked potatoes and steak and didn't burn a thing!

We played with my new Sony digi camera and I got these great shots of the rest of E's birthday bash. Kristen and Chris gave him lots of Pampered Chef gadgets and the cookie cooling trays that he had been lusting after!
Got great shots of Kristen and Chris too and one of 'angel child' sticking out her tongue at the camera. Can't wait to
scrap that one.

After supper, we had a little wine, watched part of a movie and all hit the sack early. Today we're off to the outlet malls and Costco, lunch when E gets home from work and the kids will head back to their home in Palm Harbor. Wish Rob could have made it down too but we hope to see him soon!

Have a great Sunday! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 16, 2006

More birthday pictures

In the back of the table are our friends, Karen and Dewey. The last time we all got together here was about 4 months ago and we were celebrating their marriage. Dewey helped us unbelievably with Papa Joe's estate and all the grayhound racers that Joe had owned partnerships in. E and Dewey still meet at the track when they can to "donate" a few dollars to the dogs
The restaurant sits on the back bay on a mangrove cove. We've seen gators and bird and crazed mullet fish while we eat. There is a screened in porch for seasonal folks and for smokers.

And another view of the magnificient sunset that night.

The kids are due in today for the weekend; E has to work until around 2 and then we are all cooking him supper. I have left the menu up to the kids as Kristen is a Pampered Chef rep after all! Will post the results tomorrow.
Have a great weekend all! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Birthday Boy

E had a good birthday! We met our friends, Karen and Dewey, at Vencenzo's. The food was divine (as it always is) and, as you can tell by the posted pics, very plentiful. The wait people serranaded E with a huge piece of cake and one diplomatic candle.

This was the view off the restaurant's dock of the magnificient sunset from last night. The reflection in the water was amazing.
E had Veal with porcini mushroom sauce and I had the Veal Limone...he belonged to the clean plate club and I get mine again for lunch.
A good time was had by all. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Honey

Today is E's 61st. birthday...pretty good lookin' for an 'old guy' too, in my opinion. We have supper plans with our friends from Naples at one of our favorite restaurants, Vincenzo's in Bonita. Fantastic food, great service and a view of a cove off the back bay.
The kids are due down Sat. to continue the celebration and it will be so good to see them again.
My great niece, Kaela, turns 5 towards the end of the month so a big Happy Birthday to her too. Her parents, Nana Janet (my sister) and Kaela are celebrating at Disney World this weekend...have fun all! and hug Mickey for me!
Enjoy your day! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Is it the weekend yet?

E turns 61 on Thursday and, as is our tradition since we have moved here, I am taking him to Vencenzo's on the back bay in Bonita. It is a lovely restaurant with a beautiful, serene view, impecible service and melt in your mouth good food. We're joining two of our friends for the evening. Now to figure out how to tape Survivor so I don't miss the first episode!

On Sat. the kids (see above) will be coming down to visit. Not sure about Rob yet (far right above) but Chris and Kristen have made dog sitting arrangements and will be down Sat. morning. E has to work so I said we would cook for him for a change...YIKES! Kristen's reply was that she didn't know E liked "Mama's Char Chicken" (old family joke about my perpensity (creative spelling moment) to over cook everything). E suggested

Going to call the dr. back for a follow up apt. about the is no better and the "burning" has spread to two more fingers and past the wrist. Just Jack appears to be getting better and then has a relapse so may have to call the vet as well. The Oct. kits are almost done so I can gert those out to Jill along with the polo Teri did for us....these are so beautiful. In addition, Lots of nit picky stuff to attand to today.

Am hoping our wall paper comes in as the dining room looks terrible. E has stripped off all but one section in preparation and I packed up a bunch of our curios out of the cabinet.

A friend e-mailed me about a friend of hers who is undergoing chemo and radiation. My friend is asking for 2 page spreads for this woman so she can finish her albums of her children. She has a boy and a girl. If you are interested in helping, please let me know ( and I will forward the information to you.

Hope today is a better day than yesterday for you all. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 11, 2006

A day that will go down in Infamy

I was not born when Roosevelt announced these words over the radio when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor but I was around for several other "days of Infamy" the assasinations of the Kennedy's, the death of countless young men in Viet Nam, the intensity of the Gulf War and the horror of 9/11.

It is only human nature to want an explanation, to want to sort things out and attempt to make sense of the senselessness. We turn to our family, our friends, and even strangers and ask, "Why"? Committees are formed, investigations undertaken, reports issued and still we ask, "Why?"

Sometimes there is no answer to the question. Sometimes there are so many answers that the one we are really seeking is lost in multitude. We taught with a man for many years whose son was lost in the Tower. The man and his wife were first told their son had survived, that he was in the hospital unconscious but alive. When our fellow teacher got to New York, they discovered it was not their son, but another young man to whom their son had given his wallet and his place on one of the last elevators down the tower before it fell. Why? Far too many answers to this and many other questions.

The sacrifices made by so many on that day were incredible and the sacrifices many continue to make seems never ending. This is probably why it bothers me so very much and makes me so very angry when our politicians use this "day of Infamy" to their own political ends. To me, this shows such a lack of compassion, such a lack of respect that will find it hard to vote for any of those doing this in any election...and I am keeping track, believe me. One vote can make a difference!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Small World After All

One of our favorite restaurants on Ft. Myers Beach is Smoking Oyster Bar Brewery or, SOB. E use to have the kiosk for the Chamber Of Commerce right next door to it when he worked down on the beach. He would swap recipes with the chef, wave to the meter maid and knew all the waitresses by name.
On the day of the air and boat show, we ended up cooling our throats at SOB and getting an order of their famous Beach Bread before we went home. On most afternoons and evenings during season, there is live entertainments too. This guy started singing and then chatting up the patrons.
Not only was he from St. Louis, but he graduated from the same high school as my daughter, just a few years before her. Now Pattonville High School is not a large one and is located in an odd area of St. what are the chances? Small world in the grand scheme of things! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Just Jack the Cat

Poor ol' Jack has a urinary tract infection and has been moaning and groaning around the house. Since Jack spends a lot of time moaning and groaning every day, we did not pay too much attention to him. We have an apt. with a vet early this to figure out how to lure Mr. Chubs into the new cat carrier.
Jack is more E's cat than mine. Goof is Mama's boy. Jack follows E around the house, sits next to him at the table and cuddles with him during football games. Jack is a needy boy most days but when he started wanting to cuddle with me, we knew he was not well. At best, on one of Jack's good mood days, he tolerates me. So off it is to the vet soon. Kip, who has had a cat with the same problem, says the meds work fast and Jack will be back to his usual crabby self before we know it.
Meanwhile, poor Goofy got locked out on the front porch over night. Our boys don't go outside but they do roam the garage and lanai hunting for bugs and lizards and hang out on the front porch to chat with their neighborhood cat pals who do go outside. Apparently, Goof missed last call and spent the night out on the screened porch. Now, before you yell cat abuse and call the authorities, we have a fountain on the front porch and a settee with a cushion so he was not deprived. He sure made a mad dash for his food bowl though!
Just another day with kitties in Paradise!~ Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's the Weekend

and boy am I glad. Even though I am retired, I do work out of my home. I try to set a schedule but when something like this pinched nerve in my arm interferes with the schedule, I get thrown off kilter. Much of the work I do involves the computer and my hands. When one doesn't work well, work is harder than it should be.

On top of the fact this pinched nerve keeps me from full nights' sleep when it acts up, I am still concerned about getting this house sold so we can move when the new house is ready. That worry is also a distraction from both work and relaxation. We've been exploring alternative financing and options at our disposal for some sort of resolution to this problem before we both end up with ulcers.

This is not just another day in Paradise.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Just another day in Paradise

Last fall, the kids told us about a small but very cute winery up near Tarpon Springs, where Chris works. When we were up visiting them, we took a break from working on their house and visited the winery. I fell in love with the rod iron lace work, the small garden and the very nice selection of mostly imported wines.

Today is a catch up day for E and I. He has a day off work, the termite guy is coming to treat the house (which will give us a warentee to offer the new home owners when we sell), and we have some odds and ends shopping to do.

We had a very pleasant evening catching up with our neighbors across the street and down the street at a bbq at our house. Wonderful salads by Deb, flavorful grilled veggies by Kathy, ribs, sausage and pork states by E...we have been invited to a Christmas tree decorating party at Kathy and Lyman's on Thurs evening. They are seasonal home owners and put their tree up now so when they return in Dec. it is all done. Too funny!

Off to catch up on everyone's blogs....have a great Tues. and don't forget to vote! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Kipster!

E just left for work at Sweetbay (he loves the early shift) and Kip is still dozing away upstairs. The cats are watching their pal from across the street at Inky roams the streets. He'll be over soon to chat with my boys as he does most mornings. There are two gifts sitting here waiting for kip to open...Anne mailed hers here for Kip and I finished mine for her yesterday about an hour before she arrived! Talk about procrastination.

Kip showed me the wondeful AL stamps that Linda is carrying in her store and told me Linda is about cleaned out. Hope she is going to reorder as I love the one set of flowers and the swirls II.

I am now lusting over the big chipboard swirls that some company is coming out with...the lss gal her told me she will call me when they come in! Yeah!

Picked up some great papers and fun embellishments yesterday and hopingKip and I have some time to scrap today...time will tell. Nothing much gets started in this town on a Sunday before noon.

Have a great one...I'll post some pics later.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Happy Sat.

This is a pic of e preparing the Blackberry treat that Kip has requested for her birthday supper. Yummmmmmy. Can't wait. She should be here very soon. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 01, 2006

If I could sing....

I'd be crooning something like, "Oh, what a day..." Our kits went live at midnight and we sold out...did you hear me? WE SOLD OUT! I am struck dumb or almost so...

I want to thank all of you encouraged us, nurtured us, and promoted us...and(thank you E) fed us!

As for a couple of hints about upcoming kits

Oct.: It's in the Mail

Nov. Tick tick tick

Dec: wishes

Thanks to all!

Hang Ten Paper Art KIts

We're live! Hang Ten Paper Arts has gond live! and, when I woke up this morning, one of each of the kits had already been sold! Here is the link in case you missed it the other gazillion times I've listed it here...

YEAH! and for great sb supplies: