Sunday, November 29, 2009

A most delicious weekend!

It all started with the all day crop at Ruban Rouge where I completed 5, count 'em, 5 layouts. Anyone who knows me at all, knows this is a rarity for me. And here is one of them...our own dear sweet KIWI, Clare and her bff, Minnie! I hung out with my scrap pals, had fun with the owner, Lisa, and chatted with tons of people (one of whom recognized my siggy from much fun is that?).

Moving along to Sat. when E and I hit the stores full speed ahead. We got ribbons, and bows and a gift for a couple we know plus some other goodies which we did not need but just had to have. Then, after watching football (E) and sappy Christmas movies(me), we had our first fire in the fire pit on the lower lawn. We toasted the season with our holiday wine glasses and a nice Merlot from our wine stash.

And then today, Sunday...we made a Sam's Club run for paper ware for the party and found a few more fun gifts for pals. We walked through the craft fair here in town and went to Crabby Bills Tiki Bar for lunch. We ran into a friend of E's and I met his wife...nice people! Not sure what is in store for the rest of the day but so far so good.

The only sad note is dear Clare is heading back to NZ today. I know she misses her son and her friends there but we have all grown so fond of her, we all want to keep her with us forever and ever. She and I have already started thinking about her next state side does a group get together in San Francisco sound with at least 2 or 3 days touring Napa Valley? Who is in?

Hope your weekend has been wonderous and happy holidays!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday Fun

I took a pass on the frantic Black Friday shopping this year and, instead, I headed to Ruban Rouge where Lisa threw a great Black Friday crop. I got there before 8 so got my 40% off all my purchases through ten am. Jackie, Diane and Jean picked up the papers they would need to make the trees like mine from last year and, after a trip for coffee, we merrily scrapped the day away. The lovely banner was awesome and we oooh and aaahed over it! Lunch was yummy sandwiches and wraps, salad and brownies that were so fudgy and delish, it took all my will power not to snatch them up and run far away with them all. We had Chinese for supper and our fortune cookies all contained perfect messages.

I got an amazing, for me, five layouts done during the crop. I am not sure how this happened as we were sure having a good time laughing and roaming through the store and catching up with each other but it did! I really love the two I did of our dear Clare. I can't show all of the four done with Webster's Pages as those are for my reveal at ACOT.

Speaking of reveals, my second one with the December kit from KNK went up today. Be sure to check KnK starting on Nov. 30 when a full week of Holiday Gift ideas begin. Each day of the week a designer form KnK will be posting a gift idea with full directions. I've gotten a sneak peek at some of these and WOW. You won't want to miss them.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all

I have dozens and dozens of things for which I am thankful and will, in due course, list a few here. But first, are these not the cutest little ladies? These darling girls belong to our dear friend in St. Louis, Jadee. We get to spend time with these two cuties and their equally cute mom every two years at our time share. Meanwhile, Jadee keeps us posted with wonderful pictures of the girls and we can watch them grow! We have the very best time picking out their Christmas gifts each year as we do buying for my great niece and best scrapping buddy, Kaela! This year we found these darling outfits for Jadee's girls. Both have pink (hard to tell in the sweater, cuffed capri length pants and scarf) and I sure with that fun fur sweater vest came in my size!

E and I sat over a glass of wine while he cooked supper last night and thought about the myriad things for which we are thankful. So here is a partial list.

1. Our family and the fact we're in expansion mode adding two more wee members come this June, the fact all the kids have jobs and incomes and no one wants to move in with us (lol), that we enjoy each others company and are invested in our love for each other.

2. Our health (precarious as it is from time to time), that we have access to good doctors through our insurance (and that we have good insurance despite the outrageous cost per month), that we are making efforts to take better care of ourselves and stay active.

3. Our friends who support us emotionally, have fun with us, miss us when we are gone, laugh with us, invite us to join them for outings and events and just plain love us for who we are not who they think we should be.

4. Our pensions and the fact the people who administer our money have made wise choices in investing through rough times so our income stays stable and that our eons of working continue to make our lives good years later.

5. The internet that keeps us connected to friends and family who are far from Paradise.

6. Paradise itself (which is often more a state of mind than it is an actual location) which gives us balmy weather, a lovely little town, a trail upon which to ride our bikes, a library close by, cultural and community events handy and a lot of people just like us.

and I am thankful for those who read this blog! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I must have slept on my back wrong or something because I woke up in great discomfort. I have a pinched nerve in my shoulder that acts up from time to time. It is this nerve that my doctor says brings on my occasional attacks of vertigo. Fortunately, no vertigo waves yet. But boy oh boy am I not a happy camper right now.

I am taking a pass on yoga for sure today and will try for the Sat. practice instead if I am doing better by then. The spirit is willing but this old body of mine is not.

One more sleep til the Macy Thanksgiving Day parade and lots of yummy food. Can't wait. Hope yours is wonderful!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Breakfast is on the house...

and the cook was ME! Breakfast has long been one of my favorite meals of the day and, while E cooks a mean breakfast with his crepes, apple pancakes (a la mode) and his spicy breakfast casserole, he is not the only one who can put breakfast on the table. I am not a big sweets eater and I love a good breakfast like the ones we get at Tuela's on the Trail when we bike into town. It was overcast the other morning, so I decided to give Tuela a run for her money. And, while my 'trail potatoes' lacked that certain something that she has, they were still good: golden and crispy with sauteed onions and mushrooms and my four cheese omelet went down pretty smooth according to E. Now that is a compliment.

Life is picking up speed here. I have a play day (lunch out) with a couple of pals either tomorrow or Wed. with WW weigh in tomorrow am and yoga on Wed. morning. I need to get to Q's in Dunedin with the last smear of my favorite lipstick to get a match at their new store. I've had this tube so long, I can no longer read the 'flavor' on the bottom but, if anyone can match it, it is at Qs new store on Main!

E has his surgery on Dec 3 and I have Book Club that night if he is feeling ok. He is getting a skin graft after the extended removal of more melanoma off his forehead. We have to go about 45 min. from the house to St. Joseph's hospital for the out patient surgery and have to be there at 6:30 am. This procedure had to be coordinated with his heart dr., his regular dr. and the two dermo guys plus the anesthesiologist. Can't wait to see this bill...and praise the Lord for our medical insurance!

Dec. 5 is our Open House like the one we use to host in Ft. Myers. I am excited about this as it is a tradition we loved and have missed it since we moved. Dec. 12 is the Stocking Pals exchange at Linda's this year and the 19th. weekend is Thankmas with our family from Ft. Myers. and then Santa comes and let me tell you...Mrs. Santa has been very very busy lately.

Hope your Monday is a good one!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Sat and only 31 more days until

Christmas Eve...will we or will we not be ready? That is the question. We still have to put up the big tree and my retro one here in the work room and fine tune some things all by Thanksgiving evening when we turn on the lights and bask in the glow. Since it is just Rob, Gene and I for that holiday next Thurs, I am hoping that after we eat, I can lure the guys away from football and down to the lower lawn for a bit of time in front of the fire pit...thinking my chances a bit below 50%...any takers on that bet?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Early Christmas joy!

When Clare was here visiting she gave me these oh so funny flip flop socks...she calls them Mrs. Semese socks or jangle socks. I modeled them for E and he got a good laugh!

And don't you just love my new pool decoration! We gave the Tiki god of beer a Santa hat last year and now, we've added the floating Christmas tree!

Hope you have a great day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Updated video

with lots of smooching going on...Not only is Hector a super photographer but his prices are incredible...check out the updated video below!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

KnK's club reveal for December

Great products chosen with care in hopes that Saint Nicolas soon will be there...! Another filled to the brim kit and so many pretties! Today was my first reveal and I used this great picture of my niece from three Christmases ago...maybe I am making some progress on getting caught up? Nah! lol

The second project I did will be used to place a gift in and slide under the tree. This was so easy to make with the goodies from the kit!

Thanks for looking! Have a good one!

Monday, November 16, 2009

This award is bestowed onto blogs that are exceedingly charming. These bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.

My pal, Amy,( from gave me this award...many thanks hon! And now I pass it on to Pam, Deb, Sus, Teri and Liz (java girl)!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blessings Abounding

Meet the twins: Baby A and Baby B. Kristen and Chris found out yesterday they are having two babies, doubling their pleasure and doubling our fun! Chris had to work for the appointment yesterday, which also happened to be Kristen's 34th. birthday, so I got to go along and see the sonogram! The kids won't find out the babies' gender(s) for another seven weeks or so. The kids came over after Chris got off work for Kristen's birthday dinner (cooked by yours truly and no one got sick or anything!)and the night was even more joyous as we learned Chris' mom is in remission from the leukemia and has only one more round of follow up chemo to go.

We have a busy weekend ahead of us. We're slowly but surely getting down the Christmas things. We like to have everything up and ready to turn on by Thanksgiving Evening. Sat., I've been invited to scrap with a pal at her house and there is yoga that morning. We have a photo sitting for all 5 of us Sunday with Teri's husband, Hector and I think we are heading to Spring Bayou for this with maybe a couple taken in the back yard. And either Monday or Tuesday, Chris is coming over to help E hang the outside lights (that reads to keep E off ladders!).

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

And then there was one...

This is the first morning I've been without one or two or all of the girls and I don't like it. But, I am trying to be brave and to share our Clare nicely and realize we all have lives that go on when we are not together.

Today, we got all the Christmas things that were stored in the attic. It is only suppose to get up to 68 today and that makes climbing the ladder into the nornally hot garage attic tolerable. We've put those things into the Guest Room as we have no other company expected until after Thanksgiving. We're having our Open House on Dec. 5, our Thankmas with my sister and all her family here on Dec. 19 and lots of fun holiday things planned in between. We like to have the whole house decorated by Thanksgiving Day so that evening we can kick off the season by turning on all the lights both inside and out. Hoping to avoid the power outages of years
Every year we say we're going to cut back and every year we say, just one more year of full out Griswalds! lol

Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clare does the Sponge Docks

We started our Tues with coffee in the hot tub and some of E's pancakes which are more like crepes. We headed out to tour the docks and do some shopping. Most of the shops were just opening and the docks, which are usually teaming with tourists, were quiet. Clare became quite friendly with a Cuban cigar maker who invited her to visit his humidor and he posed nicely for photos. We headed back to the house to get E and then began to fulfill a few more of Clare's requests, the local dives of Tarpon Springs.

We began at Molly Goodhead's which is actually in Ozona where E and Clare had oyster shooters. Our next stop was lunch back on the Sponge Docks at Mykonoes Greek restaurant which is one of my all time favorites in town. When the cathedral priests eat there, you know the food is pretty authentic. Our next stop was Miss Vickie's on the river for cajun style boiled peanuts and beer. It was pretty quiet there too as the sky was becoming more and more overcast. Clare seemed to like the boiled peanuts better than the biscuits and gravy she had when Anne, her and I went out to breakfast at the Tarpon Dinner (Tula's was closed on Mondays)the day before.

Our last stop was Snookers where we met up with our friends Becky and Bob, DJ, and Suzie who was just getting off work. We were forced by inclement weather to have another round until the down pour ended.

E fixed us steak with blue cheese and mushrooms and asparagus. We talked over a glass of wine and all of us headed to bed early. We sure crammed a lot into one day and I am going to miss Clare sitting beside me on the lanai every morning as much as I miss our dear Anne and our crazy Janet! I'll be pretending all are here with as each day dawns.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Happy Monday to all

Now we are three. Janet Miller left yesterday after we shopped our way through Dunedin and had a lovely lunch on the water at Bon Appetite restaurant. It was sad to see her go but we sang to her later on the phone in "Chinese" so she would have a lullabye to sleep well.

Today, Anne, Clare and I are taking coffee to Spring Bayou in the search for manatee. Every time Anne has come to visit, we've only seen the 'footprint' but never the creature. I feel that today could be the day. They move in from the Gulf when the weather gets cool and hopefully Anne will finally get to see one. We'll head from there to Tula's for Greek omelets and trail fries and do some shopping through the antique shops here in town before E fixes us muffalata sandwiches for lunch. Anne wings her way back to Nashville early evening leaving us with just two and E.

These are some of the highlights of our trip to Disney. We collectively took close to 1200 photos plus 98 that the Disney photogs took for us. This is going to be one thick

Have a great one!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Wed. evening and Thursday (days four and five)

We came back Wed. night almost too exhausted to eat. We waiting til after the grand finale show on the castle (so pretty)and then headed home via boat. By the time our boat docked, it was darkening so we fixed a make shift supper of cheese and crackers and helping of chicken salad Anne had made us before we left Janet's. HIt the spot. Then we walked down to the dock for the fireworks which were such fun. We had one Nana who had been with four of her grandchildren for three days straight who wanted to go AWOL with us!

Bright and early yesterday morning we were up and running. On today's agenda was Hollywood Studios and the Block Party which was high energy and had all of us on our feet dancing. Where those young kids get the energy to perform that over and over is amazing. That is youth, right?

I loved the Indiana Jones Stunt exhibit and the 3D Muffetts Movie the best but the Back stage ride was a fun on too. Hollywood was more geared for small children and I've made lots of notes about what to do (and not do) when we someday bring the grandbabies to Disney!

We took the monorail to the Grand Floridian as Janet said we had to see this to believe it and we did. In the lobby, a man in a tailed tux was playing (whatelse) a grand piano. I made the girls pose on the staircase just to give you an idea of the magnitude of these. We took one boat back to the Magic Kingdom and a second from their back to the Wilderness Lodge aka home sweet home.

Janet was able to get us last minute reservations at the Whispering Canyon Restaurant right in our own hotel. We never made the hot tub last night and I'd say, once again, we were asleep by ten at the latest.

Today we are off to Epcot with dinner reservations at the German themed restaurant and fire works at 8. Tomorrow is our last half day at Disney and then, with one stop at Violette's, onward to Tarpon Springs and the search for the elusive manatee. Anne has yet to see a one in any of her trips to Florida and so that is our goal. Check out the others' blogs for more photos and versions of our grand adventre.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

end of Day Three and most of day Four

We headed to Cortez for lunch at Starfish on the water. Clare loved the ambiance but loved the fried oyster Poo' Boy more. Not so much on the hush puppies. After that it was onward to Disney. We checked into our room at the Wilderness Lodge (a simply amazing place)and, when Janet's brother, Steve arrived we headed to supper at the Artist Point here in the lodge. Two of us had the salmon on the plank with a mulled wine sauce and three of us had the sea scallops. No one left hungry! We watched a bit of tv and then hit the sack. We knew we would have a full day ahead of us.

Day Four: the Gobsmacked Goddesses do the Magic Kingdom.

We started with Main Street, headed to Liberty Square, on to Fronterland, did Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Swiss Family Robinson, Jungle Cruise, It's a Small World (and do you know Janet can sing that in Chinese?), road the railway, Clare and I spun ourselves silly on the Tea Cups, Toon Town where we went through Minnie and Mickey's houseS (they are not married you know and still reside separately since this is a family resort) (and btw, Pam in Moncton, you are right the duck)and then we took the boat home...where we had a light supper of chicken salad, cheeses and crackers and some of us stopped at the pool bar and others just opened the wine in the room!

We are not waiting for time to head down to the dock to watch the fireworks at 8pm. We'd go back to the resort except we are too tired and they won't let us wear our jammies or take our wine glasses into the Magic Kingdom.

P.S. Clare is insisting I tell you that Minnie loves her best! sigh. And we are making Minnie an honorary Gobsmacked Goddesses!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Morning Day Three

Our wild adventure Part I is coming to an end. We stayed up late last night laughing and posing for pictures but still managed to get up early for a brisk walk to the Pier for coffee and breakfast. Clare, our brave little KIWI frolicked in the 74 degree water in Janet's pool while I dangled my tootsies in the hot tub. Janet wanted to show us how some of the buttons worked and, long story short, we are now waiting for the pool man to fix whatever it was Janet did. She is off to the chiro guy AGAIN, Clare has hiked up to the post office and Anne is packing up some of the huge amounts of food Janet has been plying us with since our arrival to take on to Part II of our adventure: lunch in Cortez and on to Disney. More updates to follow.

The picture of Clare with the plate is her first ever bite of Key Lime Pie (a from scratch one by Janet). She was in heaven!!!

Hope everyone has a great day!