Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve!

We had such a nice visit with my sister, Janet, her honey, Dennis, my niece, Jenn and our great niece, Kaela! We all had a wonderful dinner on Sunday and Kaela opened her gifts from us. Jenn and the kids (Chris, Kristen and Rob) all went out Sat. night while Nana (my sister) and I baby sat. Sunday we headed to Target for the sales and the Christmas store for bubble lights for my sister and niece and then Janet and Dennis headed back to Ft. Myers. Jenn and Kaela stayed another night. We made s'mores in the fire pit on the lower lawn and Rob joined us. He and Kaela played several rounds of some game or another and we all called it a night.

Yesterday, E and I took down some of the holiday array and I've been doing laundry. I leave on Jan. 2 for a crop in Ruskin and it will be good to see a bunch of the Hilltop gals and maybe even get some pages done! I picked up a few new papers and some other goodies at Ruban Rouge's big end of the year sale. Even Kristen found a few things there to help her organize her office. Gene helped Chris hang a curtain rod for the kids' new living room drapes while Kristen and I shopped at RR and JoAnne's.

I may even get some scrapping done today amongst the dismantling of the holiday stuff. Wish me luck. Off to change the tunes on here! And have a safe and good New Year's Eve...see you next year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Playing Hookey and Cooking (gasp! yes me!)

It was such a beautiful day yesterday that we just could not stay here and clean and do the things we had on our To Do list. Sometimes you just have to say, the hell with it, and answer the call. Yesterday we put the top down on Hot Mama, my transformer convertible, and took ourselves out to lunch at Miss Vickie's on the Anclote River. We discovered this fun place when we first moved to Tarpon Springs but hadn't been back in quite some time. The beer was cold, the clams crisp and sweet and the fries tasty! The people and bird watching was entertaining and we really enjoyed playing tourist once again.

I read for a while on the lanai after we got home while E watched tv. We had made no plans for supper so I decided to be the chef. We had veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, onion, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and mushrooms left from Christmas day) so I sliced and diced and sauted them in EVOO until they were slightly cooked. I used angel hair pasta, a premade pesto (Classico)and fresh parm! Yummmmmmmmmmm! and we are still alive and well today. While I don't plan on making cooking a full time job or even a part time event, I do enjoy fixing us a meal once in a blue moon!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

One Christmas down and one to go....

We had such a wonderful time with the kids: lots of gifts that everyone wanted and lots of love! Chris got his golf clubs from Kristen; Kristen got her bamboo plant, a lime tree and a yellow rose bush from us; Rob got his clothes steamer and dress socks for work and E got tons of cooking goodies for his kitchen. I am comfy with new socks and flannel jammie pants for lounging around the house and with some new cds and dvds and candles. Kristen got us matching jammies as she has done for the past couple of years and they were so soft!

The pictures from the luminary walk did not turn out very well. I am hoping Chris has some better ones on his camera!

Within a short period of time, my sister, her boyfriend, my niece and great niece will be arriving from Ft. Myers for a visit and for us to celebrate the holiday with Kaela, my great niece. Sure hope she likes all the goodies we have wrapped and under our tree for her!

Meanwhile, a bit of tidy up time and we'll be ready for Christmas Part II.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

from our house to yours! The gifts are wrapped, the stockings stuffed and E is baking his three cheese macaroni as I type! Rob and Kristen will be over around three for snacks and, when Chris gets off work, he will join us for our buffet supper of sliced ham and turkey, the macaroni and assorted other goodies!

We'll take a stroll around Spring Bayou and hunt for our luminary bag amongst the hundreds of others, take a few pics and head home for the gifts and stockings.

My hope is that all of you will be with friends and family and have the best holiday ever! Merry Merry Christmas to one and all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

T'was the day before the day before the night...

well, you get the idea! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and that is when we celebrate in our family. We use to open family gifts on Christmas Eve and stocking on the 25th. but poor Christopher has to work on Christmas morning so we are doing it all this year on Christmas Eve.

Chris also has to work until 5 ish on Christmas Eve so Kristen and Rob will come over mid afternoon and we will wait til Chris gets here to walk Spring Bayou hunting for the luminary bag with our family names and have supper. Then come the gifts!

The rest of the family, my sister and her boyfriend, my niece and great niece will all gather here sometime between the 28-30th for our Christmas with them.

I have a couple of small things to complete today and a few last minute cards to write and get in the mail. I'll 'fluff' up the house tomorrow and call it done. I taped Pearl Harbor off the tv the other night and want to watch that sometime soon. E is cooking the turkey and ham for Christmas Eve's supper so the house is going to smell so yummy.

K and I ended up having lunch at Daily Eats in Hyde Park. What beautiful homes there are there...I could move into any one of them at the drop of a hat. We had a great day and K found the cutest top and some jeans on sale when we hit the International Mall (my first visit there!).

More tomorrow...have a great day!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Parade

There is something special about small towns. And this is one of them: the Christmas Parade. E had a chance to go fishing yesterday, something he has not done very much of lately so I gathered my stadium chair, a book and my camera and headed to town. Since we only live a mile from there, it didn't take me long. I had a chance to watch the little kids and their parents gather and stake out places along the street and watch the anticipation build.

There were (I heard later) over 125 entries and they were pretty much what one would expect. My favorites were the Shriner clowns and the long array of antique fire trucks.

After the parade, I walked down to the bayou and did a bit of manatee watching then took myself out to lunch in town at the Greek Pizza, a place I had never tried. Oh my...I'll surely be going back there again...yummy!

signing off humming, "I love a parade"! and happy holidays to you all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

For KnK kit lovers...

take a gander at the January kit. Is this not lovely? Our very own Sonia, (aka Sophia)did a fantastic job in gathering together all the wonderful parts and parcels that make this kit so chocked full and so delightful.

If you are not a subscriber to KnK, you can be by contacting Gerri-anne at These will go fast, believe me. I'm off to play with my kit now!

Love to all,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting more of that holiday spirit!

The cards to our friends and family in Mo. are written and sent and I have a dozen or so left to write to my scrap pals all over the place. It feels good to have this done! E is wrapping the kids' gifts so those will go under the tree today. I'll do his when he leaves on one of his many grocery shopping expeditions. I found him several things he has been searching for; fortunately, I was more successful than he was. He is hard to buy for to say the least...there are only so many kitchen gadgets that he does not have!

I am moving laundry along quite nicely and may even get a chance to scrap a bit. Linda, who was my Secret Stocking Pal, gave me the most amazing paper mache letter J. This thing has to be at least 2.5 ft. tall and I can't wait to paint, stamp, and create a vintage J with it! Maybe I can get started today after Rob leaves.

He is coming for lunch and to help me figure out what to do with Minnie. Everything seems to be ok with her except the keyboard...wondering if a wireless we have in the garage might be able to work until I can save my pennies for another laptop or if a cleaning by Staples would do the job. Rob knows much better than I do about these things.

Off to move laundry, get dressed and decide what to do with the rest of my day. Hope yours is a good one!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stocking Pals Exchange Part II

The photo of the fish and chips is from our lunch out in Dunedin on Friday. I love the little holder for the meal and our waiter was a wonder. Bon Appitite has the best fries and French Onion soup. And dear Barb discovered the wonders of Petroli in her margarita! Too funny.

We exchanged gifts after the Stroll through Tarpon Springs 'downtown' and our light tour around Spring Bayou. We ate tons of great food that everyone had brought and I need a bunch of recipes now for E (Kip's pork, G-a's baked brie, Barb's turtles, Mary Mary's wonderful onion goodies, the scalloped potatoes and ham ( good) that Linda brought and on and on and on...). And, if you think we had tons to eat, you should have seen the stacks and stacks of presents to and from each other. Amazing grace and generosity. I don't think there was any single unhappy camper amongst the group!

Kip, G-a, Barb, Jill and I got moving and shaking the next morning, heading out to the Christmas Store in Clearwater. G-a bought some lovely lights for her tree for next year and her hubby's gift for this year. Barb fell in love with the Dept. 56 Dickens Village and Kip entertained me on the bench while we waited for the others to check out. We swapped bathroom adventure stories...don't ask!

Home for lunch with another great one by E and then we moved on to Ruban Rouge. Barb and G-a left for Ft. Myers from there. Here is a pic of them packing up the SUV...they should have brought the trailer! lol

Not much on my agenda for today: address Christmas cards and move that laundry along. HOpe to scrap some things with the Jan. KnK kit either today or tomorrow! Have a great day all.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where to begin...

You wait and wait for a special event and, before you know it...poof! it is past! The past four days have been so filled with love and laughter and joy that I am at a loss for words. Yes, I know. You are probably shocked! lol

I'll try to start at the start since this blog is often for me a day by day record of my life. It enables me to recall specifics that often blur into hazy recollections, mostly happy ones but hazy nonetheless.

So, on Friday, E and I drove to the airport to pick up dear Jill who had flown in from North Carolina. We got her settled into her room (which Kip, who is the actual 'owner' of said room, according to Kip, had so kindly loaned Jill)and fed her some breakfast. Within a few hours, G-a and Barb called as they were crossing the (gasp) Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Barb said she was glad I was not there as the winds were gusting and it would be hard for G-a to see if I was sitting on her lap in fear!).

When the girls arrived and we got them settled in, we all four took off for an adventure. Barb had not been to Dunedin in eons and the little town was decked out in Christmas array. We had lunch at the Bon Appetite on the Gulf and then shopped til we dropped. (no pictures here of that but will upload some tomorrow). E fixed us a divine supper of pastititso, Greek salad, olive bread and lime cheese cake topped with fresh raspberries and a raspberry glaze. We stayed up late late talking and laughing.

Sat. morning we hit the deck running. E put fuel in our tanks by way of a Mexican casserole with salsa on the side. Our first stop was the hairdresser for Barb and G-a. Now, Barb and I are like sisters and, if you can't tell your sister when she really really needs a haircut, than you are not close! I called to make her an appointment at the my salon and G-a wanted one too. OMG...wait until you see what my gal, Heather, did to these already attractive gals...they look like dynamite! Way to go Heather. While they were getting swanky, Jill and I headed to TJ Maxx as her packages for the Stocking Exchange arrived in what we will say was less than pristine wrapping paper was called for immediately.

After TJ Maxx, out for a tiny bit of holiday shopping...once you start, it is so hard to stop, you know! And Barb, G-a and Jill all had to make a grocery store run. It was the discovery of a Starbucks right close to my house that did us in!

We had to be home by 1pm as the Kipster was on her way up from St. Pete. E served us a muffalata salad for lunch and we hit the road running. After lunch, we all hit Big Lots and Beall's Outlet and one other store which has been lost in that haze I was telling you about.

(Part II tomorrow)

I have missed blogging so be prepared! Love to all

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Moment of Silence, please

I believe my beloved laptop, Minnie, has bitten the dust. Last night she had a too close encounter with a half glass of white wine and is now resting comfortably in a bed of rice securely wrapped in saran hoping this will pull the moisture out of her. She is in an upside down position but I don't hold out much hope. Her parts were wearing out slowly but surely but the old girl still had some life in her yet.

I will be saving my pennies if she does not make a recovery for (I can't bring myself to use the word 'replacement')another pal in the form of another lap top. Meanwhile, I'll be sharing Harry, our main computer with E. I'll try not to cut into his free cell and Spider time too much!

Cleaning day here. Good thing my friend Jill did not get her ticket changed to today: we have tornado warnings and rain squalls throughout the morning. See you tomorrow in fairer weather, Jill. And you too, G-a and Barb. I can't wait for all the girl friend fun to begin. I wish Janet M and Anne and Jayne,Chris and Sophia and many others could be here too!

Have a good one and I will keep everyone posted on any progress with poor dear Minnie!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blogger Award

Stacy Cohen (her blog link is on the left in the list) gave me this award as did my good pal, Chris, and I am so honored that they would select me. Chris and I met at Creative Scrap Shack when she was the DT lead and Stacy and I worked together, however briefly, on the Gypsy Rose Paperie CT. Chirs is the Queen of Cards and Sketches and Stacy a wonderous artist as well. The "rules" are to pass this on to people whom you believe to have creative blogs. Perhaps my interpretation is a bit different than others because I include entertaining in with the tag creative. I have one friend who does not post her creative work on her blog but does write the most entertaining blog I've ever read. Another friend's blog is inspirational and on and on. So, my nominees are an assorted definition of creative and I encourage you to visit them all. You can find their blog links on the left in the list of blogs I love to visit.

Linda from Hilltop Memories
Anne (one of the original Cabana Girls)
Carla from SNR
Pam from KnK (and a good wine thirty pal)
W.O.T.E (Katherine)

As Stacy said in her awarding, it is a busy time of the year so gals, if you don't have the time to pass this on, I will not be offeneded. Tis the Season and I understand. Have a wonderous day all!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The packages are wrapped and under the tree

and stocking if filled with goodies from me...and all this is for my Secret Stocking Pal for this year. Most of us have been shopping through out the year for our Pal as we pull names from a bowl as soon as all the gifts have been exchanged for the next year.

As much as I hate to wrap presents, these do look pretty under my tree. E is doing menus and grocery shopping up a storm to prepare for our company. He is fixing a yummy Greek dish for Barb, G-a, Jill and I for Friday night, farm house breakfast for us Sat. am, some kind of pressed sandwich and salad for lunch on Sat. plus his crab dip for Sat. night. and on and on and on.

Have a great day all!

P.S. I put my last two Reveal projects for KnK Dec. kit on my altered art blog (

Monday, December 08, 2008

My friend Barb is a Rock Star!

She did this amazing acrylic card and this darling gift basket for KnK's 12 Days of Holiday Gift Giving and I LOVE them! For all her great hints and how tos on these projects using acrylic overlays, check out the KnK blog at ( Barb also puts together some great kits which can be purchased through the KnK store! They sell fast when they go up in the store so don't dilly dally if you see one you want.

To find out more about Barb's great stuff and how to see more from all the gals at KnK, send an email to

Way to go Barb!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tarpon Springs Boat Parade

They could have canceled the parade when so few boats had signed up to be in it but the valiant little city did not want to disappoint the scads of little kids who turn out here every year to see Santa arrive. So, they went ahead with the parade...all six boats. And they were beautiful and my hat is off to the owners who, in this sucky economy, expended money, time and effort to create a winter wonderland, however brief, on our waters.

E and I parked ourselves on a hillside overlooking the basin of Spring Bayou and listened to the holiday music coming from the display on the wharf and watched the kids get more and more excited. The houses on the bayou were lit and aglow and the reflections in the water were so lovely. And then, around the bend came the first boat and the second and a pause followed by a few more until the biggest boat of all, the most decorated one turned the corner and we heard, "Ho Ho HO". The boat parked at the wharf and off stepped (or rather jumped) that darling jolly ol' fella himself, Santa Claus, with candy and well wishes for all.

Bravo Tarpon Springs. I am proud to call this home.


Be sure you stop by for directions on how to make my Snowman luminary! or better yet...join us at Contact Gerri-anne at for details.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A fairy from New Zealand

I came home yesterday from my haircut (love it by the way)to find a lovely package on my doorstep from my MerMaid friend, Clare in NZ. Two of the three pressies were wrapped and I will save those until she gets the one I sent her. We will try to be on MSN and open them together. But, there was this delicious little fairy who was not wrapped, who stole my heart and who now resides in a prominent place on Lucille, my small retro Christmas tree here in my work room. Thanks darlin' Clare. You know me oh so well.

Got all my patterned papers sorted and am half way through my cardstock. Why do I have so much blue? All the other colors are represented in about equal amounts but I have mega tons of shades of blue. Must have been having one of "those senior moments". Sunday is the dreaded sorting and organizing of the rubber stamps which are tumbling off my shelves and co=mingling with abandon.

Tonight we will grab our stadium chairs, blankies and head out to Craig Park along Spring Bayou to watch Tarpon Springs' lighted boats parade. I head a wild rumor that Santa might be on board so am writing my "I've been soooooooo bad, but give me goodies anyway letter of apology to the old guy". lol

Have a good one

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ran out of steam

It has been a busy ten days and I've had such a good time creating things but yesterday I simple ran out of steam. I have these darling little mittens all cut out of the paper from the DEc. KnK kit and they keep staring at something with us! Do something with us!

Well, little mittens, Mama is on break!

Book Club was interesting as always. The house where this month's was held was on the water and the view was wonderful with all the lights from other houses reflecting and shimmering in the night. The conversation was stimulating and food was great. Can't wait for next month's meeting. Maybe I'll even get the book read this time.

It is happy hair cut day for me and just in time for the Second Annual Stocking Exchange which is to be here at my house. Jill arrives on Thurs and Barb and G-a come in to town on Friday, followed by the rest of the girls on Sat. Some will arrive at four when we head into Tarpon Springs for a Victorian Christmas and the rest at 6:30 when we feast and have the exchange. It will be so good to see everyone again!

Tomorrow E has his annual cookie bake off with Kristen and he and I are planning on heading to Craig Park for the lighted boat parade on Sat. night. And Rob is due over on Sunday...a packed weekend which is why I am on BREAK!

Hope your day is a good one.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's Wed. here in Paradise

I found this darling little HoHoHo wooden piece for a dollar at a craft store. It was painted red but I soon fixed that with the wonderful papers and goodies in this month's kit from I also used the papers to cover the paper mache ornament in the pic!

and I've got some great news! KnK has a blog! Check it out!! and the 12 Days of Holiday Gift Giving that we (the DT ) are doing is being put on the blog! Pam Bennett and Chris Pozzi have some amazing projects up already.

Also, several of us are being featured on Scrap Scene ( over the next few days for our projects. Most of these projects can be completed in under two hours and make great gifts for friends and for exchanges!

So, check out the new blog and, if you don't already subscribe to Scrap Scene, do is a great source of inspiration! See my side bar for the links!

P.S. my friend, Kath Freeman, has some pages from her altered acrylic wine bottle shaped album (My Acrylic Albums) appearing soon in Scrapbook News and Review! Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Are the stars out tonight?

Well, actually, these are planets. Not the best picture I know but what you see is Jupiter and Venus and the moon. I was out on the lanai admiring our lights last night when I glanced up at the sky. There they were all bright and shiny. Then E called to me and we went out in front for a better view! Lovely. I use to have a sky map and, as a child, could locate tons of constellations but sadly have forgotten most of them. I believe they still sell these maps which you adjust by turning wheels (kind of like a color wheel) for location and time of the year.

I am knee deep in about five different projects right now and need to clear some of these today. I am, as usual, down to about 3 square feet of work space. The art bins are piling up and my Slice is sitting here calling to me to play. Soon, dear little machine, soon.

Got great news that Barb and G-a may be coming up on Friday (Dec. 12)for the Stocking Pals Exchange party(Dec. 13). Jill gets in Thurs and I think we will all head to Dunedin for lunch Fri. and some shopping. Sat. some of us are heading into town here for a Victorian Christmas event staged by the town and the merchants at all the lovely little shops before everyone arrives for the exchange at 6:30pm. This will be our second annual Stocking Pals and I can't wait.

Off to get an early start on some of the projects....Have a great day

Monday, December 01, 2008

We must have been really bad....

'cause this is all Santa left us under our Christmas tree! lol

When the boys were little guys, we would put up the tree, sit back and find two pairs of shiny tiny eyes staring back at us from amongst the branches. Now that the boys are older (and fatter), they are content to loll around under the tree instead of napping up in it! Thank heavens!

Chirs gave me a wonderful blog award that I'll be putting up on my altered art blog later today and sending the award along to four other bloggers so watch that spot!