Friday, April 30, 2010

A tourist in our own town

Yoga in the morning and the Sponge Docks in the afternoon...the weather was perfect which made for an amazing day and I even threw in a little scrapping (see layouts posted below). Nothing is more fun than playing tourist in our own town. We headed down about 1:30 for a Greek beer and some snacks at Santorini's on their outside deck on the Anclote. We watched the tour boats head out to the Gulf and return, the Sponge diver exhibit and the tourists roam the streets. Another great day in Paradise!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My completed layouts from yesterday's crop

Sure had fun with these. I just had to scrap the Cherries photo that Janet took of Pam and me at the store where we found these tees...shame they cost far too much. Guess I'll just have to create some Cherry Love tees for all of us ACOT lovers. And I have always wanted to prove that flowers are not just for is E in all his glory cooking his famous baked apple pecan pancakes in praline sauce w/ice cream for Pam when she was here. Real men cook and they don't mind some flowers now and then.

Croppin' the day away at Ruban Rouge

Ever since Janet came up for Stamp Fest and got to meet the gals from the Friday night Crew at Ruban Rouge, we have been trying to get her back to crop with us. And yesterday was the day. Janet drove up from Anna Maria Island and spent the day with Jackie and me. Diane is still visiting her mother helping her get moved in to her new place and both Jean and Natalie had to work. So the three of us carried on valiantly without them.

Janet got two or was it three layouts done. I love her style: stitching and fabric and the 6x12 size...yummy. I got one layout completely done (for my shift Sat. morning and the challenge at ACOT) and two more almost done. I'll post the other two later today. Jackie got a lot of her photos from her son's wedding sorted and ready to scrap.

Then, we had to take Janet to Jack Willies Tiki Bar and Restaurant. That is where we induct members into the Crew or at least where we make it official with a photo. So welcome, Janet.

Speaking of cropping, A Cherry on Top is having a huge crop starting this Friday and running through Sunday to celebrate National Scrapbook Day. There will be great prizes, fun games and challenges and classes too. Roam on over and check it out.
I am on Sat. morning from 6-8 am with Pam Bennett the Paper Creative Team Leader, and with Ronny from the Digi Creative Team on Sunday from 6-8am. Even if you are not an early riser, you can still do the challenges and post them to be eligible for some prizes!

Hope you all have a great day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another fine mess you've gotten us into Ollie

In an attempt to clean up my bloggers list...there were several who no longer were valid blogs...I managed to delete everyone. If you want to be included, I want you to be on my blog list. And there are so many whose blogs I love to read so...leave a note w/your blog addy and many apologies! Smoochies

Monday, April 26, 2010

Down by the Sea

For my reveal this month at A Cherry on Top, I chose Seaside Resort papers and embellishments by Webster's Pages, a company whom I adore! I supplemented the papers with two of the Tim Holtz big dies from Sizzix that are available also for purchase at ACOT. What I love about Webster's Pages is that they are so soft and pretty, double sided and made of a nice weight paper! Can't wait to use Webster's again soon!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Welcome to my weekend here in Paradise

We met friends for happy hour on Friday and had dinner on the lanai. It is that time of the year and we both smell a bit like Skin So Soft, our sure fire method for keeping the no seeums at bay. I finally found an on line site to order some more of our hanging garden solar lights so the pathway to the lower lawn will once again be fully lit. Right now we only have about one out of every three of the lights powering.

Sat. we got up bright and early and got our things put out for the garage sale. Good thing too as we made our first sale at 6:30 am and our community garage sale did not even start until 8:00. By 2 we had pretty much sold out of what we had and made enough to cover our Rays baseball tickets, parking and some supper that night as well. And we got rid of tons of stuff we no longer use or want. We have one big box of books for the library, one box of things for Goodwill and one box of craft things for donation to either K's school if they can use them or to the senior center.

This morning we biked into town for our breakfast at Tuela's on the Trail. E had his usual two eggs, sausage, rye and the trail fries but I opted for the chicken and portabella with swiss and skipped the bread in lieu of the trail fries. The only one who makes better sliced and fried/cooked potatoes here in Tarpon Springs is Lime N Coconut with their garlic potatoes which are to die for!

Quiet day here today. Nothing planned and that is just what we might do...a whole bunch of sitting on the lanai, working the crosswords and some cooking. E has veal picata on the menu.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lunch with Glo

Gloria and I originally had a beach picnic in mind for our get together yesterday but stout breezes and slightly cool temps changed our minds. Instead, I suggested we have lunch at Rusty Bellies at the end of the Sponge Docks here in Tarpon Springs.

Rusty Bellies is a rustic taste of Olde Florida. The fish market next door is owned by the same family and the fishing boats tied up to the dock are theirs as well so you know the seafood is fresh, literally right off the boat. The vinyl on the seats may be a bit cracked, the floor cement and the outside dining area a bit on the weathered side but this all adds up to authentic to me and E and I love this place.

Glo got the steamed mussels and I opted for a Cobb salad with huge deep fried shrimp. The portions are plentiful and the place was packed.

We shared an order of the onion strings and munched on the sweet hush puppies that are served in little brown paper bags.

It was great to spend time with Glo and catch up with her. She, Sandy and Marsha have been taking a beading class at the yarn shop on 19 and I can hardly wait to see what they have been creating. On our way out, we spotted a baby osprey in a nest on a telephone pole where the mama had built her next. The baby was looking around for his mama and his next meal I am sure!

Today I have yoga at 9 and am attending a baby class with Kristen this evening so Chris can study for an upcoming physics exam. Friday night is the crop at Ruban Rouge with the Crew and I can't wait to see them again. Janet is hoping to come up from Anna Maria Island to crop next Wed. and I know the Crew will be glad to see her again as they ask after her all the time.

Our community garage sale is this Sat so, if you happen to be in the Tarpon Springs Florida area, we are off Old Dixie Highway in Nature's Preserve and I'm going to have tons of scrappy stuff cheap along with a bunch of household things from our recent update.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flora and Fauna

Some recent pics from bike adventures and our visit to Janet's and Bob's on Anna Maria Island:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pam's Last Day (Monday)

After fortifying ourselves with coffee, we headed out to the cause way at Howard Park to the beach. We parked on the far side and walked to the beach, around it and back to the car. It was only a couple of miles but the weather was cool and the view breathtaking.

We spent the afternoon pool side reading and just enjoying another beautiful day in Paradise. E called after the funeral which he said was very well done. He got to see almost all his old friends and relatives and said it was an uplifting service given by an old family friend.

Pam and I got cleaned up, headed to Rainbow's End for some ribbons and fabric and then stopped to meet up with some friends at Snookers and then on to Captain Jack's right on the river for sunset. We went to Mykanos Restaurant on the Sponge Docks as Pam had been wanting some authentic Greek and this is one of E and my's favorite ones in our area.

Of course we had to get the saganaki haloumi, the flaming cheese to start and lots of other goodies to follow. We hit the sack pretty early because 4:30 am came very quickly for us.

I just got back from the airport dropping off Pam. It is so hard to say goodbye. E gets in at 1pm, so I'll do some laundry, straighten up a bit and then head on out to pick him up in a bit. It will be so good to get him back home.

My sister is in a lot of pain from the break in her arm. They did something to 'set' the break but I have not gotten all the details. Hoping she is feeling better soon so the other procedures can take place. Know I am thinking good thoughts for you, Janet!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, April 19, 2010


After a leisurely cup of coffee or two and quiet morning conversation on Janet's balcony overlooking the Gulf, we took a walk on the beach and practiced our yoga We stalked the funniest looking bird who actually seemed to pose for us and I'll put some of his pictures up tomorrow.

After our exercise on the beach, we gathered up the menfolk and headed to the Pier for a great breakfast. I can not begin to describe the seafood omelet except to say...YUM! Huge shrimp, generous amounts of genuine crab meat and sea scallops so sweet!

Around one pm, Pam and I loaded our things into Hot Mama and, in a bit of a rain, headed back north to Tarpon Springs. We video chatted with Clare who was home sick with a cold (get better soonest dear Clare) and were still so stuffed after our huge breakfast that we snacked on crackers, cheese and sausage for our dinner.

We have a walk planned for Spring Bayou this morning and some roaming around town for the rest of the day with a side trip to Dunedin perhaps or we might even make a road trip to Violette's as it has been far too long for me and I don't think Pam has even been. We're contemplating a Greek dinner down on the Sponge Docks but time will tell.

Pam's flight leaves tomorrow morning early and E's gets in early evening. It was not the same sleeping in that empty on one side bed last night. I miss him! I talked to him yesterday afternoon and he was out with Steve and Dee Dee who are taking excellent care of him. The viewing is from 9-11 CT and the service for his mom at 11. There is a reception following that. Losing a parent is never easy. It is a severing of a part of oneself from one's past and one's connections.

Additional good thoughts please for my sister. She was to have undergone a procedure today to determine the extent of the treatment for her cancer. Instead, she will be getting a cast or something done to her arm where she broke it yesterday. It doesn't rain but it pours. She is blessed with an attentive boyfriend and daughter!

Hope everyone has a great day.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pam's visit Day Two: Sat.

We headed down to Sarasota around ten and shopped our way around St. Armond's Circle to meet up with Janet at the Columbia Restaurant for our favorites: black bean soup and for Pam, gazpacho, and the 1905 Salad! And then it was more and more shopping. Don't we just look so stunning in our "South Beach" hats? We inducted Pam into the Mad Hatters Society before we headed back to Janet's.

We were joined by Janet's brother, Steve, whom we all love to pieces and Marsha and her husband, Bruce, who are good friend's of Steve's. Janet and Bob outdid themselves with steaks cooked to order, an assortment of veggies and Pioneer Woman's smashed potatoes. We sat over Baily's and Janet's can't be beat pine apple upside down cake and double chocolate brownies.

Nothing beats toasting the sunset from their balcony on Anna Maria Island on the beach!

Stay turned for Day three!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Adventures in Paradise: Day one

After a breakfast of E's infamous baked apple pancakes with roasted pecans and ice cream, Pam and I hit the road...rather, we walked and walked. We went through the Anclote Park, over the bridge toward town, back across the Alt 19 bridge and back home. We did about four miles and at least walked off the ice cream.

We headed out to Port Richey to the Crab Shack, which is open despite rumors circulating to the contrary. E and Pam split a doz oysters and we dinned on fried clams and crab stuffed mushrooms while we listened to some steel drum island music and enjoyed the breeze off the Cotee River.

Our next stop was Hooters on the Gulf for a brew and view and then on to Snookers to tell Suzie where we would be after she got off work. From Snookers, we headed out to our favorite spot on the Anclote River, Miss Vicky's. Kristen joined us, along with Bob, Suzie and Justin, and Buddy. We ate a late supper and then all headed back to our house for some pool time.

We had a great day and I think it was good for E to be surrounded by friends and fun. He will have little of the fun in the next couple of days as he heads home to St. Louis to say goodbye to his Mom for the last time. Good thoughts are appreciated.

Friday, April 16, 2010

This is for all of you...

feisty ol' gals over the age of 50 and for those of you under 50 who are feisty ol' gals in training. ( and I love the message of the ad!)

And thanks to Amy Alfaro for putting this on facebook!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

If it's Wed., it must be Jack Willie's

We did crop at Ruban Rogue yesterday, honest we did. I got two layouts almost done before we decided we were in need of nourishment. Jean is on Spring Break and has not been able to join us for our Wed. crop and lunch until this week. It was so good to have her join in and contribute greatly to the hilarity that accompanies our get togethers. So, after a couple of hours of laughing and cropping at Lisa's store, we relocated to our new favorite place, Jack Willie's Tiki Bar and Grill in Oldsmar.

We all picked up some sun as our table was one of the few without an umbrella but we had a great view of the water and the jumping fish kept us (particularly Diane) entertained.

Here is Jean demonstrating the British method of hair protection...I am not sure that the paper napkin she knotted and wore is quite the same as the kerchiefs but it was fun!

and then there was Jackie in her off the shoulder peasant blouse striving for a better tan.

One of our servers was a little gal in training. Poor thing...a table full of silly ladies was her baptism by fire! Oh, and Diane, my turn to pop for the fries next time.

Jackie and I got our usual order of beer battered jumbo shrimp appetizers and Diane hers' of grouper bites. But, after seeing Jean's Caribbean shrimp salad and hearing her rave about the balsamic vinaigrette dressing, I may have to give that a shot next time.

Good thoughts go with Diane today as she undergoes a procedure to relieve the pain in her neck.

Pam arrives in twelve hours and E and I can hardly wait. Lots of fun plans afoot and Janet, we'll see you Sat.!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oprah's Tenth Anniversary Issue

I got this magazine in the mail a couple of days ago and have been reading one article after another, in the doctor's office, at stop lights, on the lanai with coffee...I have been a subscriber for a year and just didn't renew. I found I was donating them to our library half read. But this one! Oh my! It is chocked full of great recipes (clipped them and gave them to E, of course), sage advise and some great book picks.

My two favorite articles were short ones. The first was by Martha Beck and was entitled, "10 Rules I've Unlearned". Two of the ones I liked the best and will hope to unlearn are: "Problems are bad" and "Success is the opposite of failure". And the other article was by Dr. Oz and was entitled "10 Things I Know for Sure" My picks among his ten were "Change is possible-but only if you believe it" and "It's not about living longer-it's about living better".

Which brings me to another point made in an article called "Failure is the only Option". The author, Elizabeth Gilbert says the key to a well lived life is to "screw up (often and boldly), learn from your mistakes, repeat". I really like that!
One of my favorite rubber stamps says, "Do foolish things and do them with enthusiasm"

Because of the long and strong history of cancer in my family on both sides, I don't know how long or when or if I'll be next. I don't sit and dwell on this but it is a presence in my life. And for that matter, none of us really know about tomorrow. I think what these authors are saying is LIVE! Do it with gusto and verve and to the best of one's ability. This has been a good day for a multitude of reasons and the articles I read over the past couple of days are a good reminder to me to make each day a good one.

Off to renew my subscription to O!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gail and Jules Day Out Part I

How two women can cram so much into such a short amount of time, I'll never know. But we did. I met up with my friend Gail in front of the train station today in Dunedin. From there we hit the shops on a run. We found far too many pretties and had such fun.

I inducted Gail into the "Mad Hatters Society". And this cloche is right her alley, don't you think. Next time she is in town, we'll have to hit Retro Rosies just past Sarasota! Now they have some hats.

Gail was not suppose to look so great in the hats but this one was stunning on her and she bought it for her walks back in Vermont. Ah, I did not buy a hat for obvious

After shopping we jumped into Hot Mama, my transformer mid life crisis convertible, put down the top and tooled down to Bon Appetite for lunch on their veranda.

Gail had the fish and chips and I love how they serve the fries in these cute little cones.

I had the firecracker shrimp in a sweet garlic butter sauce and it was sooooooooo good. Spicy but not too !

(and thank you dear Gail for turn next time).

Be sure to scroll down to view part II. It was so good to see Gail. We met on a scrap booking message board (as close as we can figure) in 2001 or 02. We were part of a group who would post to each other early in the morning. We'd say hello, tell about our lives, our goals for the day and beyond and, over time have become a group of good friends who, to this day still start their mornings together. We've lost some, gained some and we no longer "meet" on that old message board but have moved to a private one but every morning, like clock work, we check in with each other and many of us have met in real life. Our group has members from four countries and many many states from the east coast to the west, north and south. Raising my glass to the Early Birds...long may they cheep!