Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good bye to 2009

I had such fun yesterday hanging out with Jackie (great idea to meet up, Jackie), Katherine and Diane (who has to have the world's bet behaved grandchildren)!!!at Ruban Rouge and thanks to Lisa for opening up the crop room to us...oh, and for the great tote was heavier by far going home! And, I actually got some scrapping done. I am 3/4th. finished with my main project for my ACOT reveal for Jan 6th.. I am loving the new Fancy Pants Vintage Valentines papers and embellishments.

We took a much needed break around 2 and headed to one of Jackie's favorite lunch places, Marathon Grill. Talk about amazing food at VERY reasonable Jackie had one of the daily specials, a Tuscan pasta salad. Katherine had the quiche of the day (and you were right, Katherine, it was light and fluffy) and I had the Mediterranean Chicken Pasta salad. I showed E the menu and we'll definitely be going to the Marathon Grill for lunch soon. And asking for Linda who was our server and excellent.

And for the lady who yelled at me in the parking lot for pulling out in front of her, you had the wrong driver and the wrong car!!!lol

Hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve, one that is safe and fun. We'll be ringing in the New Year with one of E's special meals here at home. Here is to 2010 being the best ever!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!

For the second morning in a row, we've had our furnace running. I am not complaining about our cooler temps here in Paradise, don't get me wrong. I have friends in Wisc. Mo. and Penn. whose temps are in the teens and twenties. The cooler temps are a nice excuse to cuddle down under the covers with my honey ...oh, and the two cats too! lol

I'm off to Ruban Rouge today, meeting up with some of the Friday Night Crop Crew. Thanks Lisa for letting us use the crop room to take the edge off our cropping withdrawal tremors! I finished my reveal for KnK yesterday so will take some of my goodies from ACOT and work on my reveal for that DT along with another little project I have in mind...after all, Valentine's Day is the next big date after New Year's Eve and one can't start any too soon.

Speaking of New Year's Eve, I hope all who read here (and some who don't) have a safe and joyful New Year's. We're staying in this year and E is working on special meals for us for both Eve and Day and, of course, I'll post the pics and recipes for anyone who is interested. I do love a man who loves to cook.

Have a great next to the last day of 2009 and stay warm!

Monday, December 28, 2009

And still another crop opportunity for a good cause

Achieva Scrapbook Crop
Join us at Achieva's First Annual Scrapbook Crop, benefiting Pinellas County Schools. If you would like to be a part of this exciting event, space is limited - so hurry and register today! Completed registration form and payment must be received by Friday, February 5, 2010.

My friend, Cathy Nelson, posted this one and, since my daughter is a second grade teacher in the Pinellas County School System, this one is close to my heart. I'm off to check out the details, round up a group and sign up. What about you, Tampa gals?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Crop for a worthy cause

The event is CROPPING FOR BABIES to benefit Kimberly Home Pregnancy Center. It is January 23, 2010 10AM to 6 PM. Cost $25.00 It will be held at First Christian Church of Clearwater, 2299 Drew Street, Clearwater To Register - contact Beryl at Kimberly Home 727 443-0471 NOTE: Bring a pkg of diapers or can of formula and receive (1) additional door prize ticket and (1) additional raffle ticket. For the event you will receive 4ft of crop space, a goodie bag, free make-n-takes, 1 door prize ticket, 2 raffle tickets, LUNCH and snacks too.
Also, they get the info by going to

Thanks Jackie!

Looking forward to January

There is so much going on and so many fun things to do this coming month! New Year's Eve Bill and Jo arrive from St. Louis and move into their condo for the month. We have lots of day trips and fun things planned with the two of them. Jo and I have plans for coffee on the bayou mornings and she says she'll go to yoga with me.

We've got Epiphany here in Tarpon Springs on the 6th. and Rob turns 38 on the 7th. The kids find out the gender of the twins on the 11th. and Book Club falls some time in between those two dates.

Janet and Bob arrive at their island home here in Florida Jan 4th. and we have plans with them for the weekend of Ruban Rouge's mega LOVE classes. They guys are doing something and Janet and I are going to RR. They will be down until March or April so I am sure we'll be seeing more of each other...the boys do cook well together!

The Ruban Rouge Friday night crops start back up in January and I am so glad. I have missed Jackie, Jean, Diane and Nat and Lisa lots. And am hoping Becky and Cathy will be able to join in the fun too. When is the next parade, Becky? I'm ready.

The Child Rescue crop is here in Tampa on the 23rd...many thanks Jackie for getting all of us a table.

So, hurry up New Year's Eve and bring on the fun!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twas the Day after Christmas

'Twas the Day after Christmas
and I must confess,
The entire house
Is quite a mess.

There are wrappings galore
all around the tree
and dirty dishes abandoned
with disturbing glee

The unwrapped presents
stacked hither and yon
make an obstacle course
for tripping upon

And this morning in my jammies
with sleep in my eyes
I can only wonder
whose house do I spy?

It's obvious that we
sure had some fun
and worth all the clean up
that must be done

And Tidy Maid said
as she drove out of sight
I'm not cleaning your house,
It's too much of a fright.

So you know what I'll be doing
far into the night
Merry Day after Christmas
is not a delight!

Hope your Christmas was a good one and that Santa brought you all on your list!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

and Merry Christmas from our house to yours! May your Christmas be filled with hope and joy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Kristen and got on the road about 10:30 this morning after a slight side trip to Sam's for the giant economy size box of infant diapers and baby wipes. Then it was onward to Brooksville were we promptly got lost and circled downtown several times but such fun. Brooksville is a lovely, hilly, historic Southern town with wonderful Victoria homes on most corners and live oaks that stretch their branches across streets and are festooned (I do like that word) with Spanish moss swaying in the slight breeze we had today.

We ended up eating at a cute place in town called Main Street Eatery. The food was very tasty and we had such a friendly mama to be waitress! She and Kristen compared a few notes.

And then it was on to Rogers' Christmas Village for lots of eye candy. We oohed and aahed our way through the several cottages all deco'ed out with Christmas array of all shapes and sizes with something for everyone. I've posted a few of my favorites here and the big building is the Court House in Brooksville.

We headed across the street to the Paper Porch which reminded me so much of my beloved Flower Peddler in Old Town St. Charles and there I found a pair of darling crystal snowmen earrings so I shall be festive tomorrow.

I loved every minute of our day...we are going to have to get the men folk to commit to watching the twins next year so my daughter and I can have our day together! Now wouldn't that be a lovely early Christmas gift to us?

Hope your day has been Merry and Bright!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One day closer...

and, as soon as E leaves for his cardio check in today, I'll become a wrapping fool. I have about an hour of opportunity to get all his things done. Wrapping the kids gifts is no biggie as he has already seen them. He had to go back to the dermo dr. yesterday to get a stitch removed that had escaped being removed the first time around and that would have been the perfect opportunity for me to wrap but I was out and about getting the last of his gifts so that one went by the wayside.

We searched high and low this year for what is known as a candy cane poinsettia. He bought me one our last Christmas in Ft. Myers and we have not seen one since. The one here is not a candy cane but is so pretty I just had to include it on the blog. We went to a miniature train and flower exhibit three winters ago in St. Louis and all the flowers pictured on my blog have been from those I saw at the Missouri Botanical Gardens along with a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit through out the Climatron. E did get us two huge red poinsettia plants for the pots that sit on our lower lawn and they look so festive.

Hope your holidays are merry and bright!

Monday, December 21, 2009

That holiday spirit...

is alive and well at our house. We are almost done with our shopping. I still have two more gifts to buy and a bunch to wrap but it is sure feels a lot like Christmas here in Paradise. A cold snap has come through and, during our walk through the neighborhood to look at the lights last night, several other residents were either doing the same thing or working on putting up some lights. Everyone seems to have that holiday feeling intact!

Kristen and Chris stopped by yesterday to pick up somethings from us and both had been out shopping. They were on their way home to put a fire in the fire place and watch, White Christmas, a favorite of all of ours this time of the year.

I am really looking forward to K and my date on Wednesday. Look out we come. Jackie and Ginni both have given us ideas on places to go and things to see so I am sure the day will be fun.

We got amazingly wonderful news from a friend last night that served to remind us that not all gifts come wrapped in pretty papers and ribbons...some are just great news!

Have a wonderful day...and only four more til Santa comes. Are you ready?

Adding this for some interesting reading: (thanks Rob)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Thankmas Time in the City!

Thankmas is a funny tradition in our family that started the year that E and I moved to Tarpon Springs. My sister,her boyfriend, her daughter( my niece), then husband and my great niece, Kaela would pick a weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas and drive up to our house. Originally we'd draw names the year before and buy for one person. This has been replaced by all of us here in this area buying gifts for Kaela as she is far more fun to watch open packages than the adults! lol. When Rob and Chris both got off work yesterday, Chris picked up Kristen and we all met her for one of E's famous turkey dinners with all the trimmings. After supper was cleared, our second funny family tradition took place...Matt, my niece's good sport of a boy friend read the Cajun Night Before Christmas in dialect to all of us assisted by Kaela who will do the honors of the reading next year. Then it was Kaela's turn to open her gifts from us...3 new tops, a pair of dress black pants and two sets of Disney scrap paper sets complete with stickers. She completed a layout while the adults talked. She also modeled some of her new clothes for us. It's a Wonderful Life played last night at our house starring assorted members of our family! Hope your holidays are proving wonderful as well.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Parade Day

we gathered at Spring Bayou at 9#0 am armed with coats and sweatshirts, Santa hats and gloves to watch our town's little Christmas parade. There were floats and bands and Shriners galore and even a marching bagpipe band (had to get shots of this for Clare, Janet and Anne!). The wind blew, the bands played, candy and beads were thrown and sometimes even caught. Saw my yoga instructor and some of the gals from our class even.

Kristen, Becky and I headed to Tuela's for breakfast and the rest are just arriving home now. E is putting a fire in the fire pit and we're doing hot dogs on sticks for a late lunch. Kaela is taking a nap before the evening's festivities and I may just join her.

Having fun, wish you were here! And Becky, thanks so much for joining us today!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Watch this spot....

my family (some of them...miss you Janet and Dennis) are coming. Parade tomorrow and time with family and friends...does life get any better ? (oh yeah...calls from dear friends!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bright and Bold...KnK's Jan. kit

I am loving the colors and designs and all the goodies in the January kit from KnK. And check out what Pam Bennett from the KnK Design Team has done with this here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Celebration time (sing it now!)

Getting the good news about E's biopsy report was the best thing (besides the good news about the twins) that we have had in quite a while. The results came back as clear and that all the melanoma is gone! His incision is still a bit raw but will heal over time. All twenty some stitches came out clean!

So, we decided to take each other to lunch yesterday to celebrate. We headed to one of our favorite places, Bon Appetite, in Dunedin just south of us. The restaurant sits right on the water and has a wonderful view of Honeymoon Island and the causeway. Lots of boats go cruising by and we always see tons of gulls and pelicans. And we have always had a good meal there. But, the closer we got to Dunedin and the Gulf, the more foggy it got. By the time we reached the restaurant, we could only see a short distance in front of us.

We decided to try a place nearby where I'd had lunch but E had not. We headed to Sea Sea Riders and opted to eat inside as it had gotten even cooler out. The restaurant is in an older cottage and close to but not directly on the Gulf. We split and order of the best crab cakes I've had (outside of E's)and an order of seafood pasta. Both were divine.

After lunch, we stopped at the nursery to try to find a camellia that we saw in Southern Living but it looks like we will have to order this on-line. Our last stop before home was Snookers to let Suzie know E was aok. I got some great shots of the gators and this is one of my favorites.

I have yoga this morning and E heads to the heart doctor this afternoon for some more tests and to get wired to a monitor for the next 24 hours. We'll see the dr. tomorrow and find out what the next step with his heart meds. Step by step, we're going to get this hubby of mine back in prime health!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What a day...

We had an appointment with our bank first thing in the morning yesterday to file our fraud papers over the stolen ATM card. The young man who helped us told us the thieves had already been caught. We'll have the money back into our account (new ATM card coming)by the end of the week.

Our next stop was Target for the last of some gift buying and our continuing search for a friend for a Snowman shower curtain for her bathroom. Sorry Suzie, no luck yet!

I headed up to Ruban Rouge to help set up for Lisa's Open House. While I could not stay for the actual event (back to the bank for some other papers that we were not told we needed to sign that morning), I did get to play with the new Kaiser Kraft Christmas papers and embellishments that were fresh off the Fed Ex truck. I set up the display for her while she and the crew worked on putting out the food and setting up the make n takes (way cute too btw). I helped cut some ribbons and some dies and then had to head towards town and the bank. I did get to chat with my friend, Jackie before I left and we are making plans to do a mini crop at one of our homes over the holidays until our Friday night crops at Ruban Rouge resume.

And here are the babies: Baby A and Baby B at nine weeks. The kids called last night to update us as to the kids progress at twelve weeks, 5 days. While there is no guarantee, the sono tech made an educated guess that one is a boy and one is a girl. All tests came back aok and the babies were rocking and rolling away.

My blog post went up at today. Take a gander if you get a chance...with thanks.

Off to WW check in today and then for my mammo exam. Hope your day is a good one

Monday, December 14, 2009

Busy Week here in Paradise

Happy Monday to all! Today is the Open House at Ruban Rouge and I plan on spending some time at this scrap store this afternoon. I know that Lisa has some fun make n takes planned and I always find something yummy in her store. I am meeting some of the Friday Night Crop group too and it is always good to see them. Kristen has an apt. with her ob/gyn and we are one week closer to finding out the gender of the twins. Yeah!

Tuesday is weigh in at Weight Watchers for me. E has his dermo apt. to get his stitches removed and to find out the results of the biopsy. Here is hoping the dr. got all of the melanoma this time!

Wednesday, E has an apt. with his cardio dr. for more tests and I have yoga in the morning.

Thurs. we head back to the cardio dr. to find out the results of the tests and to discuss what steps need to be taken to regulate E's heart.

Friday, Jenny, Matt and Kaela come for the weekend with the Tarpon Springs Christmas Parade on our agenda for Sat. and breakfast at Tuela's for Becky and I. There is a children s' event following the parade. We have our Thankmas Celebration that evening. I am sorry my sister, Janet and her boyfriend, Dennis could not be here but do understand their reasons.

The last of the Christmas cards go out today and the last package. Only ten days until Christmas Eve. Hope your day and your week are good ones.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A lovely evening was had by all

Last night was the 3rd. annual Stocking Pals Exchange (and for me, my last). I drew Michele's name a year ago and spent the last eleven months finding things I thought she might like. I hope she was happy with her gifts. I was ecstatic with mine from Gerri-anne. And the best of all was the life sized dress form torso whom I am holding a blog contest to name (I shall post a picture tomorrow and start the contest!). It is my last because life has a way of changing and I always told myself I would try to stay as adaptable to the changes in our lives as I could. So, giving up the Stocking Pals was one of my adaptations to the changes we are embracing and facing in the year ahead.

My(our) priorities have shifted significantly this year: we are to become grandparents, we are facing some very serious health issues and having to make some life altering decisions about them. To those who do understand, I thank you. To those who don't, I am sorry that you don't.

This week is going to bring some medical results that can affect how we live our lives this next year. The less impact these decisions have on others, the better as then our choices are easier made in our best interests. I can not, in good conscious, sign up to participate in a year long quest when I can not guarantee that I can follow through financially or physically. I am entwined in a family that is close and whose emotional well being is bound between us. When one of us is in need, the others are there 110%.

And, my job today was cookie taster and I did it well. While E and Kristen had their annual cookie cook off, Chris and I finished decorating the tree, put out the set arounds and cleaned up the lanai so Chris could hang the holiday lights there. Then we googled Pinellas County Twins groups and signed Kristen up for a mommy support group.

I wish I had pictures to post of the Stocking Pals party as the event at Linda's was wonderous. Thanks Linda for hosting it and making my last year as a member so special. And thanks to Ga for the lovely gifts and to her and Barb for our friendship.

I have EDITED this post because, upon reflection, I do not feel that my reference to "those who live independently of others might not understand my position" was not fair to my many friends who are not married and/or who do not have children. Marital status has nothing to do with understanding. These are my feelings and my reasons for the choices I make and I am sorry if some chose to take these far more personally than they were meant to be.

Friday, December 11, 2009

You better watch out...

'cause Santa Claus is coming to town. I feel a bit like Mrs. Claus tonight. I finished wrapping all my gifts for my Stocking Pal for tomorrow night's gift exchange. I elected to go with a blue and green non-traditional color scheme and, if I do say so myself, the packages look very festive. I filled two huge bags and all that is left to do is wrap the gifts I made for everyone, put the brownies, salsa and chips in the car and figure out what I am going to wear.

I currently own exactly 2 pairs of pants and 2 pair of shorts that fit me. This is not a bad thing. Since last April I have gone from a very tight size 14 (it was the having to purchase a size 16 one time that drove me to Weight Watchers)to a comfortable size 10. I have 7 lbs. to go to goal and then have to maintain it for several weeks to get my Life time membership. This is the best Christmas gift I could have given to myself. I have more energy, more flexibility, and more fun now!
Merry Christmas to me.

E did not get an A+ at the a matter of fact, he got somewhere in the vicinity of a D. His heart meds are not doing their job. His heart beat has returned to its erratic and inconsistent beating. He goes Tues to the dermo dr. to get his stitches out and to find out if the melanoma is gone. He goes back to the cardiologist on Wed. for more tests and on Thurs to find out what we need to do next. At least there is a back up plan and we may be looking at a pace maker. Getting old is a b-tch! That much is for sure.

The best present Santa could bring me this year is two fold: my honey's health improved and a successful and happy pregnancy for Kristen and Chris. That's all I want Santa, Baby "so hurry down the chimney tonight"!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Join in the chorus...

and sing along...tis the season to be jolly...fa la la la (ect.) These are our musical toys that,thanks to Kim and Jerry, we have managed to accumulate far too many of. (let that dangle...I am not an English teacher any longer. lol)They are fun and cute and provided lots of entertainment at the party last Sat. night and even some singing along. AS you can see, we are out of room. No more musical, moving, light up and sing along toys...none, no more, zilch!

Last Sunday was such fun I just have to show you some pics. Kim, Jerry, E and I met Kristen and Chris at Tuela'a on the Trail for breakfast. We love to sit outside but the tables there are too small for 6 and the weather was on the chilly side anyway. I had the seafood benedict and trail fries and wonderful meal as always. We all had a nice visit with the kids and, after they left, Kim and I decided to shop while the guys went to Peggy O'Neal's in Old Palm Harbor to watch the football game. AS we headed toward the mall, the guys called to tell Kim and I that there was a huge arts and crafts fair so we give up the mall for the fair. I found two very pretty gifts for a couple of friends and Kim found...kettle corn. The fair was huge and the streets were closed down for several blocks. There was even a doggy parade and they were all decked out for the holidays! We found the boys at the restaurant, had a snack and then all headed home. Kim and Jerry made it back to Titusville in record time. Now it is our turn to visit them.

Our weekends are filled for this month and January is filling fast too. Jo and Bill arrive on New Year's Eve and will be at the condo they have rented in Tarpon Springs for a month, Janet and Bob arrive in Anna Maria shortly thereafter, there is Book Club the 7th. and the Friday night crops at Ruban Rouge, a fund raiser crop on the 24th. (thanks for booking our table Jackie), a "Love" event at Ruban Rouge with Janet and Bob coming up that weekend and some road trips during the week days.
Our Christmas tree may just stay up a bit longer this year...hehe!

As people can tell and, like most bloggers, I have a site meter that allows me to see visits to my blog, duration of the visit and from where the 'hits' come. I appreciate all who visit so, will the Homasassa person who visits here and the one from Chicago please email me at You have been my most frequent visitors this month and I'd like to send you a little something to thank you!

Hope you all have a great day.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Light the tree and let's be merry...

When the kids moved out and into homes of their own, I gave them all the childhood ornaments from the tree the three of us had as a family. Of course, that meant I had to start almost from scratch and I had the perfect person with whom to do E!

Every year, right before Christmas, E and I would go to Old Town St. Charles (in Mo.) Old Town is a little area down on the Missouri River which has been revitalized and restored to its vintage glory. We would always try to time our visit to coincide with a celebration called Las Pasadas (Mary and Joseph's travel to Bethlehem). We would roam through the wonderful little shops and boutiques in search of two ornaments to buy each year. We started off just collecting glass ornaments but expanded this to include hand blown glass vintage Santa ones as well.

Once we found our special ones for that year (usually more than 2 and most often found at the Flower Peddler), we would head to the winery on Main. The winery had gas firepits and it was always better if it was lightly snowing. After a glass of the winter wine which was often mulled served warm with spices, we would head to Lewis and Clark restaurant where we had made reservations. We would request a table on the top floor and out on the balcony with the heaters and from there we would watch the procession come up the cobblestone street. Whe would join the carolers who follow the procession to the lighting of the tree and then we would go home.

I miss this tradition of ours but we still shop each year for 2 (or more) special ornaments and also be sure to pick up one from our travels. I am thinking we might be able to find not a replacement for the one in St. Charles but a new tradition in either the Victorian Stroll here in our little town or the Old Fashioned Christmas in nearby Dunedin.

This is our big tree and some of our collected ornaments. The last vintage Santa was the one we bought this year. Some one once commented that they could not wait to have an "adult" tree like ours...we love it!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

My Reveal for ACOT went up today....

I worked with Webster's Pages products for my reveal this month and Love Love Love this stuff. I've done several vintage layouts with the Webs before but this was the first time I tried some contemp photos and I could not be happier with the outcome.

ACOT carries four different lines of Webs and tons of the oh so pretty embellishments. Pam and I fell in love with the alphas at summer CHA and I am now the proud owner of at least 4 different sets. So versatile!

Have a great day and thanks for looking!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Deck the halls with...

lots of presents. Janet and Bob's wonderful box of goodies arrived today. These protectors for the twins will be put to good use I am sure and the Swedish Chef from my favorite movie or tv show of all, the Muppets, sings and the lobsters talk when you push the button...too funny but not nearly as funny as Janet's note on the pkg. saying the store was out of the Chinese version...she ssng to Clare, Anne and I in Janetese Chinese for a lot of our vacation together...some times we even joined in

Kim and Jerry, Gene and I have a standing tradition of exchanging of musical Christmas toys. We have tried dissuading them from this gift exchange as our counter over floweth with them already. (I'll have to post a pic sometime soon and we have weeded out a few too). This year we could not resist getting Jerry a floating Christmas tree like ours and Kim, who collects cookie jars, one shaped like an big ornament. They said they will be shipping the musical toy to us...nOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. They gave me this darling tee shirt! How perfect.

And at the party Glo gave me this cute pin that she made, that creative gal Glo and a wonderful pkg. of raspberry filled chocolates and not just any favorites, Ghirdelli's! And my blog pal, W.O.T.E. gave us this luscious bottle of toffee liquor. We're saving it for some evening down by the fire pit or in the hot tub and will toast you, Cathy!

Thanks to all for our lovely gifts. Hoping the ones we've sent out are perfect for those to whom we have sent them! Season's Greetings and may you not get socks or a toaster unless you asked for 'em.