Saturday, October 31, 2009

Websters Pages and Ruban Rouge

I met the girls last night at Ruban Rouge for some long over due scrappy time. We had been working on the house and getting everything ready for my trip, upcoming company and meeting all my DT deadlines that I hadn't just played in a while.

I had no intentions of buying a thing but that Becky was a horrible influence on me and I ended up getting tons of the new pretty ribbons and loads of Webster's Pages papers and embellishments. I could not say NO...and this layout of my grandparents, great aunts and my uncle Edward as a tot is the result. These papers just scrap themselves. Lisa, the owner, liked the layout so much she asked if she could display it with the product for the store. Wow. I am honored. Thanks.

We missed you Jackie and Jean and Roni, what a pleasure to meet you and what fun to scrap with you. Thanks to all with the help I needed to figure out how to get my grandmother's album together!

and Happy Halloween one and all...Have a Boo-tiful day.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Off and running again or is that still?

Kristen has to have blood drawn this morning and might be a bit late to work so she asked me to start her class with the help of the Guidance Counselor. So, at 8:30 am I shall be the one saying, Please take your seats, sit down please, in your own chairs, don't write on your neighbor, your seat not the floor please...etc. to 20 second graders. All prayers gratefully accepted!

After she gets the kids in place and doing what they are suppose to do, I'll boogie out to finish the errands I did not complete yesterday: library, post office and bank. I need to pack up some scrap stuff. This evening I am heading up to Ruban Rouge for the Friday night crop with Becky, her friend Roni whom I haven't met yet, Jean and Diane. Our friend, Jackie, lost her mom a couple of days ago and will not be with us. You have been in my thoughts a lot Jackie!

Tomorrow is happy hair cut and color day. And boy! is it time. I need to find one more outfit for the trip and then I can pack early Sunday morning. Sweet E is holding down the fort while I cavort with some gal pals both on Anna Maria Island and at Disney World...will Mickey ever recover. As usual, our dear friend, Maria, assures us she has lots of bail money should the need arise.

I'm going to have to steal the witch's hat back from the Tiki god of beer so I have something to wear tomorrow night when E and I sit in the dark on the porch, yell in deep voices "Don't ring that bell" when kids come up to trick or treat and then throw candy at them...well, we don't really throw it or at least not hard.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rusty Bellies for lunch!

We've been running like mad people lately trying to get our To Do list completed before our company arrives. Yesterday, after Weight Watchers weigh in for me (down another 2.2lbs...yeah!), E and I headed out to Landmark Nursery to pick up just four geraniums for the downside of the arbor gate. Three large and very colorful new plants for the lower garden, a new type of lavender and three pretty small plants for my planter in the front later, we headed back home. We NEVER just get what we need there...something always catches our eye and we feel obligated to take it home and plant it.

After unloading the plants and some groceries (for E a day without hitting at least one grocery store is like a day without sunshine), E suggested we celebrate our pension check in the bank a couple of days early and so off we went to lunch out. The humidity had dissipated a bit and there was a lovely breeze off the river so we decided on Rusty Bellies for lunch. This restaurant is located at the end of the Sponge Docks and is owned by the same family that owns the fish market next door. They catch most all of their own seafood and the shrimp boat, The Julia Anne, was docked next to the deck where we ate. Two pelicans and an assortment of gulls entertained us while we ate. Rusty Bellies has the very best onion straws I've even tasted so we started with an order of those...and it was our lucky day! Two fers on the margaritas. We split a Rusty Bellies Cob salad which also came sprinkled with onion straws and had the tastiest lightly fried shrimp parading across the top.

Today is yoga day and then I need to catch up on laundry, ironing and sorting clothes for the upcoming adventures with Anne, Clare and Janet. I want to get everything done I can so I can also squeeze in a fun Friday with the gang (and Thanks Becky dear for making our reservations). I too am only bringing one project to work on and one only...yeah, sure, right! lol

My friend, Jackie's mom passed away yesterday and my thoughts are with her and her family.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Forgot to take pictures...can you believe that?

We had a wonderful time at Rob's new place yesterday. Talk about a little slice of heaven here on earth. The house is spacious and his roomie, Dave, is so funny and very talented to boot. The burgers were done to perfection and the day would have been complete without the corn snake they found in the garage just as I was walking in. What is it about snakes and their attraction to me, I ask you? Is this akin to people who don't like cats (all 3 of them in the universe)whom cats can not get enough of?

E got his test results today. All is clear except for something growing on his spine which is a spur which might have to be removed eventually. Tentative surgery date for the final removal of the cancer on his forehead is early Dec. He has to have an EKG prior to the surgery due to his heart condition but looks like all systems are a go.

So, til I have anything more to report...stay tuned and don't change that dial!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

For those who requested the mac n cheese recipe

BLT-stuffed Tomatoes from the Rachel Ray Show

1/4lb. elbow macaroni
salt and pepper to taste
4 pieces of bacon, chopped
2 leeks, hlaved lengthwise, thinly sliced and washed
2 tbs flour
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
2 cups (14 oz) aged sharp chedder cheese, grated
8 lg Roma tomatoes (or beefsteak), halved lengthwise and seeded , tops cut off and scooped clean (thin slice off the bottom so the halves stand up)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
(four servings)

Preheat oven to 400. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil to cook the pasta. Add salt and the pasta and cook just shy of al dente

While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium size skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy or about 5 min. Add leeks and cook until tender, about 2min. more. Add flour and stir cooking for 1 min. Whisk in stock, milk, salt and pepper and bring to a bubble. Stir in the cheese in a figure eight motion, reserving 1/2 cup for garnish.

Drain pasta and combine with the sauce. Spoon pasta into tomato shells and garnish with a sprinkle of the cheers. Place these onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 min. until golden brown on top.


We had the left over mac n cheese separate the next day for supper with our chicken. E put it in a casserole dish, heated it in the over and put some mozzarella on top to brown. Enjoy!

Celebrating the good news at Miss Vickie's on the Anclote

When the kids called us Friday with their wonderful good news, we met them up at Miss Vickie's to celebrate. One of us was having ice tea and water and the rest of us split a pitcher. We all ate an early dinner with some of the best burgers around and crispy fries, just the way I like them. It was a wonderful day. We'll find out in a month if the kids are having one baby or two! Nothing could have made us happier than to have this dream of the kids finally come true.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Garlic Lime Chicken and home made cheese and mac

Last night's dinner was to die for and, since I share nicely, here is the recipe for the Garlic Lime Chicken which was melt in your mouth yummy. And yes! I did help!

(from the food by Robin Miller)

Prep time: ten minutes Cook time: half hour Serves 4


1. cooking spray
2. 1 cup diced onion
3. 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4. 2 tbs fresh lime juice
5. 1 tbs molasses
6. 2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
7. 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
8. 1 tsp. dried oregano
9. 1/2 tsp. salt
10 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
11. 1/2 cup pitted and sliced Greek olives (kalamate, of example)
12. 3lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast halves (the amt. of chicken is for 3 meals based on chicken. If you are only preparing for one meal, use 1lb. )

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine chicken, onion, garlic, lime juice, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.

Transfer chicken to prepared pan and out over any remaining marinade. (We used all the marinade on 2 chicken breast halves). Arrange olives over and around chicken in the pan. Roast for about a half hour (we went 30 min. and the chicken was a tad on the dry side). Serve, refrigerating remaining meal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lovely weather

here in Paradise and I have been outside as much as possible either reading on the lanai or down on the lower lawn. It has been way too nice to stay inside.

E did have a dr. apt. this morning to get the carcinoma removed from the small of his back and the shoulder spot biopsy came back as negative so we have good news on that front. The other dr.'s office did call and he has an apt. on Monday to discuss the procedure he will undergo for the removal of the melanoma on his head. While the office nurse could not say much about the results of the MRI and the CT scan, she did say things looked ok. We are hoping this is the start of a rash of good news.

As always, yoga was so invigorating and yet relaxing. I stayed after class to talk with the instructor who is a wonderful young woman about Kristen's age who is on a job search and with a woman my age who is fighting the insurance system to get her chemo treatments for a cancer. I have met the most interesting people lately and feel my life enriched by each encounter.

Hope your evening and week are good ones. I'll get back to scrapping tomorrow but for now, I am enjoying the out of doors.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My first reveal for KnK with NOV kit

Fun kit and lots of cool ideas are flowing. I'll post my Gratitude Box within a Box on my altered blog in just a bit. Right now, the hot tub is calling. It is a brisk almost 50 here in Paradise and I talked E into turning on the tub for our morning coffee. Yeah. We'll bike after that and then ease into our day. Hope yours is a good one!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Scrappy Sataurday

Cathy and Becky both arrived around ten and we spent the next couple of hours getting caught up on each other's lives over cheese and crackers and Bloody Mary's that E surprised us with. We were missing one of our pals who had been feeling ill (hope you are doing better today Ginni) but we thanked her for not wanting to expose us to whatever she might have. Cathy had to leave shortly after noon for a salsa lesson and Becky and I got to work. Well, not exactly as we decided we needed substance for our creative juices. E took us out to lunch at one of our favorite local places, Lime N Coconut, which has the best burgers and the garlic potatoe slices are amazing. E had fried grouper, Becky a pressed Cuban and I had a new salad they are offering with hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, peppers, olives and shredded lettuce in an olive oil herbed dressing.

One we had something under our belts, Becky and I scrapped until after eleven last night each of us completing 3 layouts, starting a 4th each, and solving most of the world's problems as women are apt to do. lol. I pulled out some of my unscrapped photos from our tenth anniversary trip to Italy from five years ago and worked on those. Becky was scrapping some of the Savannah pictures from her trip with the girls.

Becky has a bunch of pictures of our lunch as I forgot my camera and some from our creative evening and I am sure she'll have them up on her blog some time today. She brought oreo cheesecake tarts and we might just be having those for breakfast today! They look divine. Oh, and be sure to ask her for her recipe for Sangria's...oh my!

I will be sad when Becky has to leave. She has four furbabies whom I am sure are missing their Mama. The kids are due over around 3 for some pool time and supper. It will be good to see them as it has been a while.

Our weather here has been so wonderful: cool with a lovely breeze off the Gulf. We slept with the windows open last night snuggling under the covers. Nothing short of Paradise.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Been too long since I blogged

I got my kit from KnK for November Wed. and have not stopped scrapping. I had not done anything creative for over a week, maybe more and now, in just a day I did 2 layouts, a Gratitude box within a box and a fall card. See what how all the goodies in the kit inspired me? Order yours

It was so good to see the Ruban Rouge gals last night: Diane (who gives me vertigo), Jackie (and her wild cruise adventures)and Jean (who embodies Kismet)lol. And seeing my pal, Becky ( of the driving Miss Daisy fame), was the icing on the cake. We have plans abrewing for Simply Scrapping Boutiques extravaganza next year in La. I was invited this year to bring some gals who would get to help with the big name classes being taught. Since I couldn't make it to this year's, we've been talking about planning to go next year. By then, the saving for the cruise for E and I will be topped off and I can have a bit more discretionary funds. It is always nice to have something like this to look forward to so am hoping for that reason and many others that the event was wildly successful.

Scrapping away the weekend here in Paradise. I have three local scrappy pals coming by, two spending the night and my honey is cooking up yummies night and day. Since Creep Over (Hilltop Memories Retreats and Traveling Store) was not in the cards for this year (hope your all are having the greatest time BTW), scrapping with others who also could not attend is a nice consolation prize.

HOpe everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ghosties and witches and things that go bump in the night

Bring on the trick or treaters...we are ready. Oh wait! No I'm sure E has it on his list.

I'm off to help with the second graders today and then we have company coming for dinner: swordfish steaks and something else equally yummy I am sure. If it is really good, I'll put the recipe up tomorrow with a pic. Hope everyone has a great Wed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The only thing better than sunrise at Janet and Bob's

is the breakfast that follows. Great view, wonderful companionship and super waffles...does life get any better?

E had his CT scan today. He had to drink some sort of barium concoction but said it wasn't too bad. Guess they have improved this muchly since I last had to have some tests run. Or he was

Yoga was wonderful as usual and we spent the afternoon so far floating in the pool and running some errands. We're off to meet some friends for an afternoon snack and hear one's tales of a recent cruise. We have company coming for swordfish steaks tomorrow night and I'm heading up to RR Friday night to hang out a bit with the gang.

Hope everyone is having a great Wed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crab and Surf Restaurant on St. Armand's Circle

The International Arts Festival

was being held while we were at the Ringling site...we sat on the covered porch at the art museum, had something cold to drink and watched the Asian performances. The drums were wonderful, the dancing dogs were great fun and the acrobat/gymnast was amazing. Janet and I found it downright painful to watch some of her moves though. When we left the museum after our tour, we were entertained by some live rock n roll and jazz while we waited for the tram.

One more post and our 24 hours of fun and excitement will be coming to a reluctant close. Remember to check out Janet M's blog for more pics. and thanks for looking here!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's intermission again....

Get a drink, go to the bathroom, pop some popcorn or get some ice cream...the program will start again soon. (so, this is the wonderful Roadhouse band that played at the Sunset Beach Concert here in Tarpon there the first Thurs of every month...and I think the next one is it til Jan? and E and I slow danced in the sand to some dreamy song from our youth...had we only known each other then! But we are making up for lost time, let me tell you that)...

Outside of the mansion...and the view was breathtaking!

Ca d'Zan

Our next stop after the Circus Museum was the Ringling's Venetian style mansion on the Bay. This was one of the more opulent mansions I had ever toured. Everything was gilded and heavy and with crystals hanging everywhere. We only saw the downstairs but that was more than enough. E and Bob were fascinated with the kitchen, its pantries, ovens and a flour canister under a cabinet. My eye was drawn through the many window to the view. The dining room reminded E and I of the one at the Kehoe House in Savannah with its giant sideboards and long long table. Please check back this afternoon and I'll have the outside loggia pictures up...the stone workings are wonderful and the view...let's just say, had they been serving some light snacks and drinks there, the four of us might still be sitting there today! lol.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Interrupting this program...

to announce I actually scrapped today. After spending such a wonderful time with Janet and Bob, I decided to do an entire album that will consist of our friends (mine, his and ours). Bob and Janet, you are next...I have that wonderful one of the four of us at the restaurant on the river! And to all the rest of our wonderful pals...I am hoping to do 3 a week so watch this spot.

Yesterday Part II

(Be sure to scroll down for Part I of the Eickmeier's and the Miller's exciting Getaway Adventure...and check out Janet's blog for more pics and info).

Our next stop was the Ringling complex and we spent hours all over the grounds and in the exhibits and museums. Our first stop was the Circus Museum. This was established in 1948 and the first of it's kind. There are wonderful posters, billboards and fliers everywhere but, for us, the highlight was the miniature museum carvings by Howard Tibbals who has been carving tiny replicas of a circus for the past fifty years to emulate the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus fro 1919-1938. It is so hard to imagine how this one man could carve so many wonderful figures, cars, animals and on and on. The entire display is 3/4 to the foot scale and covers 3,800 square feet. We were mesmerized to say the least.

Stay tuned for Part III...coming soon to a blog near you! lol

What a difference 24 hours can make...

We have just spent the most wonderful twenty four hours with Bob and Janet. E and I had been so worried about a variety of things (well, ok, me more than him just because he is pragmatic and I am the worry wart) that we needed a get away and Bob and Janet were the perfect couple to get away with. At their suggestion, we met them at a wonderful outdoor restaurant in downtown Sarasota called Mattison's City Grill. E and I had meandered a bit off path and were running a bit late. Fortunately, there was a wonderful artist's fair going on right outside of where we were meeting up and Janet and Bob had fun shopping til we arrived. Bob even found a darling little wooden cutting board for E that says, "I always cook with wine and sometimes I even put it in the food". Thanks Bob...perfect choice!

Now, how can I explain the about FANTASTIC? AMAZING? DELIGHTFUL? ah, yes and if I had my thesaurus close at hand, I could probably come up with more superlatives. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

So, this was our first stop of many in our much needed and greatly appreciated get away adventure with our beloved tour guides, Janet and Bob. Stay tuned for the next stage of our getaway. I'll try to post another before evening is over...there are about 6 sets of pictures (since I am cheap and won't pay for typepad I can only post 5 pics at a time). So bear with me...I think you'll enjoy the view!