Monday, December 31, 2007

Day late and a dollar what's new?

We were off and biking early this am so did not have a chance to blog from yesterday so here is Day Two! We headed out after biking the Trail yesterday morning and took Alt. 19 down to Maderia Beach. While Dee Dee and I shopped the boardwalk and the cute shops up the street, the guys hit Scully's for some cold brews. After working up a sweat shopping, we headed across the bridge to Gators (and Kim and Kipper, you were place) for brews and great food. There was a live band but the fun dolphins and the draw bridge kept us nicely amused. We called it an early evening...saving our selves for today and this evening.

More later...Happy New Year's Eve all...kind of sad! My last blog entry for 07! Wow!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day One...the adventure in Paradise

We picked Steve and DeeDee up at the airport and by 1pm. had started our dollar special tour of Tarpon Springs. We breezed through the Sponge Docks as the girls will shop that while the guys watch football on New Year's at Chris'. We ended the tour at Rusty Bellies at the end of the docks. Kristen and Chris met up there and we had a great reunion of all of us. We had the specialty of the house, onion straws, for a starter and proceeded to grouper, mussels, rock shrimp and peeled steamed shrimp.

Our next stop was Miss Vickie's for sunset, boiled peanuts in cajun sauce and cold brews. The kids headed home and the four of us sat us watching football and talking until my eyelids were shutting far too often to be polite.

We are heading to breakfast at the Alley Cafe in town via bikes and the Pinellas Trail. We have to get in some exercise here or we'll all weigh 20 lbs. more than when Steve and D2 got here. Then it is off to John's Pass for a day playing tourist and yes, Kipper, we are planning food at Gator's!

Hope you have a great is the last Sunday of the year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

TGIF on the Anclote River

Kip came over yesterday to pick up some things she had left in our road trip car, Hot Mama, and we all went out to lunch at Miss Vickie's on the river. This place is the typical river bar here in Florida with the tattered beer flags, the cold beer and, of course, right next to a marina. The food is excellent and on weekends there is live music...beach music of course ala Jimmy Buffet!~

There is a little county park next door to the restaurant that is very popular on weekends and often the overflow parking can clog up Miss Vickie's small parking lot...but a wait is worth it.

Our company is due in around 11:30 am today and it will be so good to see Steve and DeeDee. I think the last time we saw them was when we went home to St. Louis right before Thanksgiving either last year or the year before. We enjoy their company so much and they know us well and love us

I doubt I will be able to do much scrapping but I sure will have a mess of adventures to share. I'll try to blog every day if I can.

Our game plan for today after the airport, is to come back here and let them unpack. Then we'll hit the Sponge Docks for a late lunch at Rusty Bellies and try to find the elusive 9ft. Sponge Christmas tree that we keep reading and hearing about but have never been able to find. Lunch will be followed by the dollar tour of our cute little town and then home for libations and a light supper. What will really take place is anyone's

Have a great day, all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Not a lot of time to post tonight

as I am so sleepy, I can hardly keep my eyes open. The road trip home was a good one...many laughs as always when the Kipster and I take turns behind the wheel. She always drives the Sunshine Skyway Bridge for me as that bridge gives me the willies. She remarked as we were getting off at Cracker Barrel for a mid morning repast, that she sure wished her last name was Barrel...I told her Kippy Cracker had a much better sound to it...and so we have assumed our new secret addition to Julie and Margaret, we are Jules and Kip, Thelma and Louise and now Jules Barrel and Kip Cracker. I think it is one of those 'had to be there' moments. We seem to get more and more of these...I believe some people refer to them as Senior Moments.

Speaking of Senior Moments...Kip is renowned for always (ALWAYS) leaving something. In turn I have had to mail her from Ft. Myers her huge tool tote, her cell phone and I just know there is more. She carefully checked Barb's house this morning hoping she had not left anything behind. And she didn't...there! She just e-mailed me that her glasses and a cute little cupcake soap that Barb gave us had been left in my car. The good news is that she will be coming this way and I don't have to make a trip to UPS! Yeah!

Off to crash on the couch. Love to all, Jules Barrel

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hi from Ft. Myers

We're having fun...see Kip's blog for details!

Thelma and Louise are hitting the road again

I'll update when I can. Look out Ft. we come! Meanwhile, I leave you with pictures of our resident chef in his new Mario apron from Janet M and our pretty Christmas Day table.

And to DeeDee if you are reading know how we love you and we are so sorry to hear about your mom. Know our thoughts are with you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Season't Greetings

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Broadcasting live this Christmas Eve from Santa's Workshop

where the procrastinating elf (moi) got left behind because she had not finished all her appointed craft Hope these dry soon, hope the noses stay on, hope the eyes and smiles don't smear and....hope my neighbors like their Santa's RAKs.

But, most of all, I hope you all have a glorious and very happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thanks Dad!

We got a nice Christmas card from my dad this year with a crisp hundred dollar bill inside. We decided to use this to take ourselves out to a lunch and a dinner. For the lunch we went to Miss Vicki's, one of our favorite places on the river right before it empties into the Gulf. The food is plentiful and tasty and the beer cold. The view is what we love so much.

We had fully intended to give the new Italian place in the historic part of Tarpon Springs a shot. When I drove by the other day, waiters in proper attire were inside and one waved at me. I had assumed the place was now open for business. So, we dressed up (me in my new silver holiday top paired with a long black skirt and E in long pants for a change) and off we went. But, alas, it was not to be...the place had all the tables set but no one was home.

E had been wanting to try a place up on 19 called Angellino's so off we went. 19 is like any other thorough fare...6 lanes of non stop traffic with chain restaurants, home repair place and strip malls galore. I would rather eat someplace cute like The School House Restaurant on Alt. 19 that is quiet and has, if not a view, at least atmosphere.

But we tried Angellino's and were pleasantly surprised. The food, as you can see, was more than plentiful. We'll be having this for lunch and supper and maybe even another lunch before it is gone. The place is softly lit and the staff attentive. We did ask to be moved from the tiny booth we were first given but our request was honored pleasantly. My only complaint would be that the front desk staff was a gaggle of young girls who seemed a bit more interested in chatting amongst themselves than they were making sure we were ok. Our waitress was an older woman who was attentive and knowledgeable about the food selections. I just wish that when she took our picture, she'd have mentioned my bra showing a bit when I leaned into the picture...oh well. I had veal in a white wine sauce with mushrooms, green veggies and 2 kinds of melted cheese over pasta. E had a shrimp dish that was to die for.

So, many thanks Dad and happy holidays to all!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Love the cards...

One of the downsides of our move last May was the loss of our Christmas card list and our angel that hung from a door where we displayed our holiday cards. I have been trying to resurrect the list and have often replied to cards sent to us rather than having mailed them from our master list.

Once the cards started arriving, I was faced with the problem of where to put them. So many wonderfully creative friends have hand made lovely cards to send (like Janet Planet and Michele to just name two)and I wanted to display all the ones hand made or otherwise somewhere.

Bless Pier One....I found this wonderful iron Christmas tree that has plenty of curls from branches in which to tuck the beautiful cards. and bless all of you who have sent us cards. You have made our first Christmas in our new one to remember.

Happiest of Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Every year I made a short list of resolutions, most of which are forgotten by the end of February. Some are personal goals like stop procrastinating, keep caught up on laundry, stay know, the usuals. Often I make one or two about how I create. This year, I have not only focused on creating but used the wonderful little "Ten" kit from Dude Essentials (available at actually put my resolutions down on paper but to also have a system in place to check my progress. Most of the papers are Basic Grey (periphery line) and the clocks are Heidi Swapp. I also used one of the ghost birds by Heidi to do one of the tags. To create the hands for the clocks, I reversed brads and shortened one of the wings. While the screw needed a larger hole than I could punch with either my Japanese screw punch or my Crop-0-dile, I replaced it with a hinged o ring. I'll add ribbons and beads later. This can hang right on my bulletin board in front of me daily as a reminder.

Maybe this year, I can keep a few of the resolutions I make.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Been Scrappin'

I got my kit from KnK last week but we had company and I could not scrap. Finished this one the other day and am really pleased with how it turned out. The papers in the Jan. kit are awesome and I hope to play with this kit and the sponsored kit from Scenic Route I got from Creative Scrap Shack later today.

Meanwhile, I have tons of piddly stuff to take care of before I can lock myself in my work room and play play play. I have some gifts to wrap, some cards to address, a couple of things to get into the mail (happy after Christmas, laundry and about 3 other things. I guess the sooner I get off here, the sooner I'll get those taken care of, right?

Later gators and have a good one. Only four more shopping days til Santa!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It is gingerbread house time for the second graders

I spent the afternoon with 6 parent volunteers, one teacher (my dd) and 16 second graders who fueled up on sugar more and more as the afternoon went by. We divided the candy, icing, graham crackers etc. into 5 plates of each and one of the bravest women I have ever seen led these wee ones through the steps to create their own gingerbread houses. What a fun time! These are some really creative kids and you can sure tell from the one little guy's Christmas (palm) tree where they live! lol. The parents were a delight and I would work with any of them again any time...I know how much Kristen treasures their assistance in her classroom.

I won't post pics of the kids themselves as I do not have their parents' permission and might not even do it then. The pics of each table of kids will be printed out and given to my daughter for her class room bulletin board.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

KnK Jan. kit is available for purchase

This is such a lovely kit this month. Gerri-anne out did herself picking out these lovely papers and the embellishment kit is icing on the cake. I am having such fun with this one.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It is official...I have a cold!

After all the girls left yesterday morning and I got E off to Kristen's for their marathon cookie bake, I cleaned up some, started laundry, laid down on the couch and slept off an on for the next 6 hours. It is official...I have a cold. I am achey and have a stuffed head and a headache to boot. Maybe it was our Christmas walk around the block or more than likely, I had just let myself get worm down. Whatever the reason, this comes at the wrong season so will be taking it easy for a couple of days until I feel better.

The pics are of Just Jack after his return from the brink. Once we got him home from the vet's, he is a milder kinder more appreciative cat who still loves his daddy best. He has taken to spending about half the night with us which he would never do unless it was really cold (we call these colder nights Two Cat Nights). He doesn't hiss at his brother any more and we actually found them sleeping side by side...something they have not done in years. His fanny is finally starting to get some fuzz on it and, before long, he can resume his tail over his head John Wayne swagger around the house. I love the pic of Jack on the head of our Tiki god of beer that Kim and Jerry gave us for a house warming gift last July.

I think this pic of he and the Kipster is so cute and got one of her and the Goof as well when she was over for the First Annual Stocking Exchange.

Hope you all are feeling better than I do...and those of you in the frozen tundra of the north...stay safe and warm.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The First Annual Stocking Exchange

Everyone here is still sound asleep except E, the cats and myself. I will probably be the first to blog about the hilarity and commraderie we had last night at the First Annual Stocking Exchange. Kip arrived around 3 to set up Michele's surprise Christmas tree as our food table center piece. Teri arrived next followed by Michele. The others arrived a bit towards 6 and we didn't stop laughing until midnight when the four gals left and the rest of us headed to beddy-bye. It was such a great time. I had drawn Teri's name and it was such fun shopping for her....lots of girly things for her to scrap her daughters' lives with. And Mary Mary drew mine and boy! was Santa Mary good to me. I'll post more on my goodies later but just want to say "Big Smoochies to you Mary....I love it all"

Here are a few of the pics from my camera and I know that Kip and the rest will be putting theirs up too when they get up. We drew names for next year's event and added Jill, Gerri-Anne and Barb to the mix. What fun this is going to be.

Friday, December 14, 2007

You will have to picture this in your mind's eye

A bit ago E and I were watching the news when we heard sirens. The last time we heard these, one of our neighbors was in distress and needed emergency care. This time we were in for a pleasant surprise. Coming through our small town was a huge fire truck bedecked with tons of lights and playing Christmas music between horn toots. And what to my wondering eyes should was Santa sitting on the very top in all his holiday glory.

Should any child be on the verge of non-belief, all he had to do was to be in my small town tonight. I know I believe!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

From Ginni via Kipster

Thought provoking challenge from Ginni....

1..What one person has most inspired you, in your career? A science teacher who I had in 8th grade. He told me that if I wanted something badly enough and worked hard, the world was mine. I had been told prior to him, I would not amount to his honor, I became what I wanted to be all my life...a teacher!

2. If money were not an issue, where would you live? Half the time in Italy and the other half right here in Paradise (aka Tarpon Springs)

3. What is the best advice you ever received? Thank your parents for everything good in your life and take responsibility for the rest.

4. What is your favorite time of day? Morning when the sun is just coming up and the river is calm and the demented squirrels in our trees are not yet awake.

5. What is the best invention since sliced bread? The internet...I would not have met all my good pals (Kip, Janet, Anne, Pete, Moni, Jayne,Shar, Darla, Clare, Kath, Janet Planet, Karen, Pam, Roz and Kelsey, Linda, Pam in WI,Carman... ok...I could list all of you who have made an impact on my life through the internet but there are only 24 hours in the day and I am not a spring know who you are and you know how much I care for you...named here or not. (and a bunch I did not meet thru the net...Barb and G-a and Kim)!

6. Not including family or friends, the top three things you're thankful for? My creativity, my love of life and the fact I was born in the US

7. If you had that mobile phone service, who would be your top five? WOW...Gene, Kip, Barb, Linda, my son in law Chris (because Kristen never answers her phone)

8. What things need to happen for you to have a good day? I need sunshine, a glimpse of the water and time to create

9. What is your favorite every day outfit? jammies? lol

10. When you are alone in the car, what do you do? Radio since I haven't learned how to use my cd player yet...mostly jazz! And I think, lots! and sometimes give that one finger wave to cars who do bad things in my lane.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? G6 convertible top down baby....and her name is Hot Mama!

12. What one person, whom you have never met, do you wish you could have lunch with?
living? oh oh...most of the ones I'd like to chat with are dead. about Sean Connery and we shall be staying late for stirred not shaken!

13. What is the one part of your body that you like the most? My feet...I have really cute feet.

14. What song, when playing on the radio currently, is your favorite to hear? Don't hear it as often as I use to but Crazy by Gnarles Barkley

15.What is the one piece of advice that you wish you could give someone? Live life to the fullest every day as if there were no tomorrow....this is not a practice session ; this is the only day you have!

16. What are you looking forward to right now? our Saturday stocking exchange with my good friends (ditto Kip)

17. What are the tv shows you watch every week and hate to miss? Survivor, Greys, anything CSI, Bones, anything Law and Order...see a pattern here?

18. What is the dinner that you or your family eats once a week? chicken

19. If you just won $100,000, what would you use the money for? Pay off Hot Mama and go to Italy

20. Name one random fact about you that you think most people do not know. I once fell through a house that was being built from the attic to the basement...and I still have the scar on my wrist to prove it (I was 13).

P.S...If Kip is a stamper, please address me as Queen Elizabeth!

I tag Chris, Janet M and Kath (Twinks)

Cover to cover

Yesterday I organized my ribbons which were snaking their way towards permanent entrapment of me and then cleaned up a mess that resulted when my brad bucket tipped onto the floor....what a fun day! But, I can find any ribbon and any brad you need!

Once I quit procrastinating (I was thinking of alphabetizing my rub ons actually finished a project I had been wanting to do. Gerri-anne, the owner of Kit n Kaboodle, sent several of us a nice thick sheet of embossed chipboard with which to create. (there are a couple of styles available at in the store) Kip turned hers into a lovely wreath and mine was still sitting there in the December kit bin on my desk. What I ended up doing with this was creating a 12x12 album with this piece as the cover. I added ten sheets of cardstock and, for the back cover, another piece of 12x12 card stock. I spritzed the embossed card stock with Glimmer Mist (from I patted it with a sponge brush and used Lumiere paint to highlight the "Dream" words and the flowers on the page. Once the mist and paint dried, I bound the covers and pages together for my "Dreams" album for 2008.

I got my Jan. kit from KnK and it is so wonderful. Can't wait to get started on my projects and tech for that month. Scenic Route is the sponsoring company for Creative Scrap Shack for Jan. and the kit I was sent is so chocked full of goodies. Watch this spot for more layouts and projects.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Still working on the stocking stuffers for Christmas

I tried the Glimmer Mist in Coffee Shop on glass today and loved how it turned out. It is so hard to see how truly lovely the glass over the image turned out as my camera (and the lame photographer behind it...ah, moi!)just can't seem to capture the sparkle.
I posted the steps I followed to get the old tarnished mirror look on the glass at Creative Scrap Shack where Carman has all the Glimmer Mists a girl could ever want.

The necklace is reversible and many thanks to my new scrap pal, Sandy, for getting me hooked on these oh so easy and oh so lovely necklaces.

In keeping with new traditions

While I worked on my snowmen gifts yesterday, Anne created her name tag for the guest room. While Kip has always claimed the guest room as her own, we now have a lovely collection of name tags to argue the opposite. In Ft. Myers, we would take a picture of each of our guests and put them into precut mats that said, "Welcome" and "Friends" but we were running out of the photo display letters and new house, new traditon. Since the guest room is done with my inherited antiques, what E and I have proposed to do is take each guests photo with their room sign, turn them into sepia and find old frames at flea markets. These will all go over the closet door!

Speaking of my snowmen. I made these for friends one year in St. Louis and everyone seemed to enjoy them. You put the snowman over a candle or one of those neat new flickering non-flame ones and he is illuminated from within. I am in the process of completing six new ones this year. One goes to my Secret Stocking pal this coming Sat. night for the exchange and one to my next door neighbor that leaves me four...what oh what shall I do with these? I have a couple of pals who will be receiving them as gifts over the next couple of weeks and, if you like these, you can make your own. I am posting the directions at Creative Scrap Shack later this afternoon after we take dear Anne to the airport. (

My two favorite sites of all times are both offering real deals on shipping. Gerri-anne at Kit and Kaboodle( is offering free shipping on store purchases when you buy the December kit up until Dec. 24 and Creative Scrap Shack has gone to one price shipping of (hope I am correct here)...4.95, with free shipping on orders over 60.00....

And Hang Ten Paper Arts is having our first ever December Christmas sale with many of the kits at reduced or half price. Check them out at