Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where the day took us

We ended our delightful day at the Blues and Brews festival in Old Palm Harbor, part of Palm Harbor Florida. The area was cordoned off, the blues were hot and the beer was cold. The event was well attended as you can see from the picture here taken about six pm.

One of the micro breweries that we liked the best was this one. It is a nice mild beer with a hint of lemon and good body. I hope we'll be seeing more of this available. Peggy O'Neill's did carry it on tap. Florida Avenue (Cold Storage Craft Brewery) is having several tastings throughout the Tampa Bay area. You can go to their web site

We met Becky and her beau, Tom, whose idea it was to see what was going on at the festival about 6 ish and by 7 we were ready to eat. Peggy O'Neill's had seats for us and, as usual, the food did not disappoint. I don't think I've ever had a bad meal at this pub/restaurant.

I asked but could not find anyone who name of the blues band that played around 7pm. Whomever they are, they are great. Will have to do some digging to find out so E and I can go see them again.

Hope your Sat. was as delightful as ours and your weekend both fun and relaxing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fun Friday and Easy Sat.

The boys are so funny and our Fridays such a delight. They are working on sitting up with mixed results and crawling, mostly backwards but put them in the walker and they are greased lightening! Landon spent a great part of the time on the lanai either trying to eat Little Mama's plants or stick his fingers into the fan. Colvin just wants to chase the cat or roll all over the play mat. Colvin says something close to Nana and Landon has DaDa down pat but tends to call everyone that. What a delight.

This morning I decided that after yoga on the beach, I would make not a single plan besides the one layout I still had to do for Janet Miller and my two hour gig at ACOT from 8-10 tomorrow morning for the crop, Instead of planning to do this or do that or get more done for the upcoming Crafty Ladies Garage sale here at my house next Sat, I'd let the day unfold and see where it led.

and lead it did. Our friend, Becky, whom we have not seen in eons, text(ed?) me and asked if E and I wanted to meet her and her beau at Blues and Brews in Old Palm Harbor...ah, YES! What fun this will be. Pictures tomorrow.

And yoga on the this locale: the dolphins playing in the Gulf, the birds, the palm trees, the boats, the surf gently breaking on the shore...not sure if it added to the focus on my practice today but it sure didn't detract from the ambiance.

I may have to do less planning and more letting the day take me where it wants me to to opportunities LOVE IT.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

If it is Wed, I must have been at Posh Scraps

And this day of relaxing cropping and conversation with Jacque and Di was long over due. I got two and 3/4 of another layout done. With any luck I'll have that one finished before the day is out. I left two layouts at Posh for display and took two of my older ones home to put into their albums.

The twins turned 8 months old on Feb. 10 and both of these pictures were taken right around that time. I may have posted the one of Landon before. If so, please pardon the repeat.

I'll put the others up after the cyber crop at ACOT that starts at 4pm EST this coming Friday and ends on Sunday evening. There are lots of prizes available, wonderful challenges, points, games, fast scraps etc. Come join in the fun!

Last Wed. when Jacque could not make our weekly scrap date, Di and I elected NOT to go to Jack Willies' Tiki bar and restaurant until she could go. Yesterday's weather was perfect for sitting out on the wooden stools with the umbrella tables and watching the water. This has been one of our favorite places to go during nice weather and we had been looking forward to our lunch out there during the cold and not so nice winter. We loved the beer battered fries, the grouper fingers, the salads ...all tasty! But, this Wed. we were somewhat disappointed. While the food was still good, it took over an hour for us to get our food. The restaurant was not that buys either. And the fries were not beer battered although we were told those will be 'brought back' but no one knew when. As with most things, we will give Jack Willies another shot in a few weeks and hope the quality has been restored.

Today is catch up day for me. I have one more project to complete for the upcoming ACOT crop, some birdy themed ACTs to get out and an altered object project for my monthly challenge at ACOT.

Hope your day is a good one!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I woke up far too early this morning...

I woke up this morning far too early worrying about not getting to Jo's in time to pick her up and take her to the hospital. She was having Bill Med Evac'd back to St. Louis; enough is enough for the two of them. As it turned out, I was early but good thing as it was foggy for most of our trip. The Lear jet took off with both of them aboard a couple of hours ago. Safe journey our friends!

I woke up this morning far too early worrying about my dear friend, Clare in New Zealand. I checked in with my morning pals, The Early Birds (we've been posting to each other almost daily for about nine years maybe more) and there was Clare, alive and well. She doesn't live near Christchurch but had friends there. They are ok but two of them had their homes completely demolished by the earthquake. It is such torn feelings...glad my friend is ok and knowing so many are not.

I woke up this morning far too early wondering if the bank had put my money back that they erroneously used to pay someone else's mortgage. And nope! So off we went with our stern faces on. And the branch manager assured us it will be back in my account tomorrow morning.

I woke up this morning far too early wondering if we would make it home in time from taking Jo's sister, Sandy to the airport with Jo's packed to the hilt car. Sandy was meeting her husband there and the two of them will drive the car back to St. Louis. And we have made it home in plenty of time since the delivery men are still not here with our new washer and dryer.

Perhaps tomorrow morning I won't wake up worrying.

Hope your sleep is peaceful this evening and your dreams sweet.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Some days are golden and some days are not

Our friend, Bill, is not doing so hot. He has a blood infection, a bladder infection and gout in the leg that had been gout free. Jo is going to med evac him home to St. Louis and we'll do whatever we can to make sure this goes as easy as possible in any way we can. As Dorothy said, "There is no place like home".

We spent most of the day running from one end of the county to the other. Our dryer shot craps and the washer's spin cycle is poor at best. These came with the house and the previous owners probably bought them new ten years ago so it is time. Our new ones come tomorrow and the dryer already has a home where hopefully someone can fix it and get some use out of it.

I found two boxes of papers more for the garage sale here (address available upon request March 5. That brings my total to 3 very very big boxes plus the Wishblade I am selling for 75.00 or best offer.

So, hoping tomorrow is more of a gold day than today but "even cowgirls get the blues" ya know!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Perfect Weekend in Paradise

Don't hate me because I live where the balmy breezes blow off the Gulf and the palm fronds sway gently in the breeze. Don't hate me because right now in Paradise our temps are in the mid to upper 70s...don't hate me because I spent yesterday at Miss Vicky's on the Anclote River and at Capt'n Jack's across from the Sponge Docks...

Instead, just come on down and join me in PARADISE!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Busy few days

I'm not sure where Thursday went but gone it is. We spent some of it trying to figure out why the bank withdrew almost 700$ from my checking account and, once that was cleared up, why the money was not put back in a timely manner. All done now but it did take up a lot of time and energy. We did ride our bikes to the bank so got our 30 minutes of exercise in.

Today we are off to play with the twins and then home to finish E's dinner for our friend, Ginni. She and I are off to Sarasota for the crop tomorrow and I can't wait. Have to pack up when we get back from the twins house this afternoon and clean up a bit here. I pretty much totaled the workroom doing a challenge for Bella (an altered art challenge board). I'll post my project on my altered art blog when the boys go down for their first nap today around ten, I hope.

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's WED. so I must be at POSH SCRAPS

Di and were sure missing our pal, Jacqui today. Get to feeling better very soon, hon. We won't go to Jack Willie's Tiki Bar without you! Had a great talk with Michele, the owner and she and I have a couple of fun things in the works. Watch the Posh blog,

And Michele, your hair looks darling cut shorter! Tres Chic!

I got 3 layouts done for my upcoming reveal at ACOT. with one to go. I finished my project for my tech at Gingersnaps yesterday and all that is left is for me to write the steps and post it for my reveal there on Feb. 26.

Between getting ready for the CRAFTY LADIES GARAGE SALE here on March 5 (will give the address a bit closer to the date for those who live in or near Tampa)and the crop at ACOT on Feb 25-27th, I've been pretty busy.

My gal pal, Ginni, who throws amazing and relaxing crops (contact her at called Crops in the Country (Lake Panosoffkee, Fl)is coming up this Friday night for some of E's salmon with baby bella mushrooms and white beans in a merlot reduction for supper. In the morning, she and I will be heading south to one of Linda Jenkins' Hilltop Memories day crops in Sarasota to crop the day away. She is also going to be one of the CRAFTY LADIES who has tons of goodies in the garage sale along with my friends, Di and Jacqui.

So that is the latest from my little slice of Paradise.

Hope you are having a great week!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's Tues...and I miss Jill and Kelly

We had such fun with our pals from St. Louis. Miss you both so! But we do have Jadee's upcoming visit in May to look forward to. Last year, she told her husband all she wanted for Mother's Day this year was to spend it with know who spoils ya, girlfriend! lol

So, an interesting day. I finished two projects for Gingersnaps I needed to get done (watch my altered art blog this next couple of weeks) and even balanced my check book when to my dismay, I found a debit of almost 700$ for "incidentals" on our refinancing closing that we completed last Dec....what the hell? And why no notice at the time of closing that 2 mo. later we'd be debited this, why were we not told at closing (we'd have written the check then)and what are "incidentals" anyway? Then the bank calls back today after our visit and asks that we bring up the closing packet so they can figure out why we were charged this...shouldn't they already have a copy of our closing package? Feel like the opening chapter to a Gothic novel, " It was a dark and stormy night"

Repeating my mother's words, "this too shall pass", "this too shall pass", "this too shall pass".

Tomorrow I am cropping at Posh with my gal pals, Di and Jacqui and I can't wait. Discussing teaching some classes with Michele, the owner so watch for some upcoming events.

Working on some fun stuff for ACOT tomorrow and can't wait for my reveal. All I can say is my next reveal is going to make a big dent in my Savannah album!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far...and Glee is on tonight!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

While Jill and Kelly played 18 holes of golf with our son in law, Chris, E and I cleaned up a few things around the house and set up for the Shrimp Boil party we were having that evening. Our timing was perfect as we finished up right when the golfers returned. The day started out with an actual frost and they had a delayed start time at the course. By the time they got back to our house, the temps were climbing and Miss Vickie's on the Anclotes River was calling to us...

We had taken Jill here on her last visit and, like Clare, she had loved the Cajun style boiled peanuts. We introduced Kelly to this southern tradition and we all sat and watched the river go by enjoying the sun and each other's company.
We ate lunch there and headed home.

Jill's favorite place at our house, besides the hot tub, is what E and I refer to as the lower lawn...a misnomer if there ever was one. There is no lawn, just our winding path and a garden we're still in the process of creating. But, with a small fire in the fire pit, a glass of Chianti Classico in hand and the company of good friends, this place works for us as an at home, getaway.

Although Kevin and Michele were unable to make it to the shrimp boil, we had a good time with Bob and Becky, Suzie and Justin, our company and the kids. Chris and Kristen were unable to stay for supper, which was delayed , as the boys were getting sleepy and a bit too over stimulated. You've got a rain check kids!

E puts andouille sausage, hunks of white chicken meat, potatoes , corn, onions and, of course, pink gold...shrimp in his shrimp boil and it was finger licking good.
We're having the left overs for lunch.

Jill and Kelly's plane should be taking off right about now taking them home and back to their very cute little son, Liam. I know they missed him. We are already planning a return visit and maybe E and I should consider a trip home, say around the grape harvest next fall? It is always wonderful to see old friends and we spent some time this morning going through my scrapbook of a trip we took together with two other couples to New Orleans Spring Break of 2001. Good times with good people!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy 8th month b'day to the boys and welcome Jill and Kelly

The boys are getting so big. We "celebrated" their birthday at Molly Goodhead's restaurant in Ozona yesterday with Jill and Kelly, Kristen and the boys. We love this place not just because the food is terrific but because it is so family friendly and yet has adult sections too.

Jill and Kelly arrived Friday around 2 pm to our house from the Tampa airport and E went home from our fun day with the boys to greet them. Kristen got home and off I went to join everyone. We all rendezvoused at Snookers and introduced them to many of our friends who meet there for happy hour on Fridays.

From Snookers, we headed down to Dimitri's on the River to have a glass of wine and watch the lights on the river and down the Sponge Docks twinkle on. We headed across the street to our favorite Greek restaurant, Mykanos and got to chat with the owner's daughter, Sophia who, with her husband, were in the birth and baby class that Chris and Kristen took. Sophia's little girl is about a month younger than our boys, as is Jill and Kelly's little fella, Liam! Then it was home, more catching up and bed. It had been a long day for all of us.

Bright and early Sat. morning, we all bundled up and walked the Trail into town for breakfast at Tuela's on the Trail. Kelly and Jill both had the Cajun crab cake Benedict which I have never tried and pronounced breakfast wonderful. We walked home through town and I got these pictures of our friends.

We cleaned up and headed back out to show Kelly the town, the beaches and the local attractions up and down Alt. 19. Jill had been to visit us last year and had already had our 50cent special And then we met the kids and Little Mama for lunch and conversation.

Our next stop was Dunedin and the Dunedin Brewery. I had the apricot pale ale and it was great. E had a dark ale and Jill and Kelly opted for the freshly made red sangria.

After the Brewery, we toured Dunedin a bit and then headed back up Alt. 19 to Old Towne Palm Harbor. Billy Jack's Burger Shack was buzzing so we stopped in for a cold one there and had some great people watching. Our favorite place in Old Towne generally speaking is the Backyard but it was so crowded at the little bar that we tried the Shack for a change of pace.

Then it was home, a fire in the fire pit while the hot tub heated up and then a nice soak for all of us. E fixed his infamous French Market Meatloaf with balsamic green beans, mashed potatoes and tomato gravy. Not exactly on my WW list but ok with reasonable portions.

Today, Jill and Kelly had a golf date with our son in law and E and I are doing some cleaning and set up for the Shrimp Boil we are having tonight for ten of our friends. This is one of my favorite meals for large groups. I think we'll head out to Miss Vickie's when Jill and Kelly get back as Jill expressed a desire for the Cajun boiled peanuts at this Tiki bar restaurant on the river...and we aim to please.

For all of you who have kept our friend, Bill, his wife and his family in your thoughts and prayer, Bill was moved out of ICU last Friday and into his own room. He starts physical rehab on Monday and has been receiving speech therapy since the middle of last week. This is such good new!

Hope you are having a great weekend.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life in Paradise by me

Day Two with the boys and they were sure a trip today. We put together the puzzle mats and rolled all over them along with jump jump jumping in the jumpy chair and scooting all over in the walker, Nana was sure ready for a nap! lol

Tomorrow is our last day this week with the boys and we finally got with the rhythm. We had them down for an hour ten nap in the morning and yesterday two hours and a half in the afternoon, but this afternoon only an hour and a half. We came home and finished our cleaning for our company who arrive tomorrow.

Jo and Jeremy are coming over for dinner tonight after Bill's visiting hours end. Bill is still the Incredible Man...he is doing so well (except for a cough) that he may get out of ICU before the weekend is over and into day long rehab early next week. Their condo lease is up the end of Feb and we welcome Jo here as long as she needs to be.


I did tell her she'd have to help me work the 4 woman Crafty Garage Sale we're having here March that date! Jo said she'd be happy to help. Ginni will be coming down from Lake Pan and Jacqui and Di are also bringing goodies to sell.

And did I share that I have switched to D ring albums? I got one at a Hilltop Crop from Linda Jenkins and loved it. Since then, I've been accumulating them. Why did I take so long to switch...these are wonderful.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Watch for pics of our upcoming madcap adventures with our friends, Jill and Kelly!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Day with the Boys Part I: Colvin

I have decided to give each of our darling boys their own blog spot today, so be sure to scroll down for PartII: Landon.

Colvin is quite the flirt and loves the ladies. If he is not getting what he considers his fair share of the attention, he has this phony little cough that clearly says, "Ahem, I am here too".

Today, when I played "stinky feet" with Colvin, he wrinkled up his nose like I do when I tell him he has the stinkiest feet ever. And then he laughed and laughed.

(Here comes {insert name} down the street, dirty socks and dirty feet. Ain't no lie; ain't no bluff, [ insert name]don't wash his feet enough". This is a little ditty that my grandfather use to chant to me when I was a little one and I am passing it on to the boys.)

Colvin would prefer Five Star Service...feed himself, not now thank you very much...that is what Mamas and Daddys, Nanas and Papas are for, right? But he does love to sit up. He is not the sturdiest little sitter in the world but sure gives it a good try. He also is a roller but gets up on his knees and is working on getting his hands under him as well.

He finds both his Papa and me quite amusing.

This is day one of three in a row with our grandsons and it was a great one. Landon's pics and blog follow.

A Day with the Boys Part II: Landon

He sure kept us amused today. This kid is ready to take off. He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks rocks rocks, then puts one hand out, lowers himself and either pivots to get where he wants or just rolls til her gets there. He doesn't like to sit up but loves to stand up in his walker without holding on. He feeds himself finger food like the torn up noodles he had for lunch along with apple sauce and peas. The last two were not finger food although enough ended up there , they might have well as been. He does love his food.

He wakes up happy and singing to himself and loves bright shiny things like my bracelet and necklace. I no longer wear earrings when we sit for them. He adores E's glasses but pretty much ignores mine. And he loves to have me tell him he has "stinky feet" and a "shiny hinney". The things those boys put up with.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Doing the HAPPY DANCE here in Paradise

When Jo went to the hospital this morning, Bill was sitting up, responsive, both eyes open and scheduled for speech therapy. He'll be in ICU for at least a week or a tad bit more but so far, better than could have been expected. The doctors are amazed and we are thankful.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Wandering thoughts

Our friend who has suffered the stroke is holding his own. His wife, my oldest friend since we were 14, has the comfort of her grandson who arrived yesterday and she knows we are nearby should she need us, a car, a warm meal or a hug. They needed to be together as a family. The doctors are a bit surprised that our friend is doing a bit more than holding his own. One of the ER nurses told his wife they were delighted to hear our friend was doing so well.

I put out a prayer call to numerous friends and please, those of you who are praying people, please continue. Our pal, Glo, called her sister, the nun, and she has a whole convent praying for our friend. It is working!

And, in the midst of this, life goes on. We ran errands today, made plans for our upcoming company and quietly held our breath awaiting the latest news. And it was good.

And E spotted this Polka Dot bug climbing up our screen door. Does anyone know what this is?

Kiss the ones you love and hug the ones you don' will just confuse them! lol

Sunday, February 06, 2011

In one moment

life can change. A dear friend is in the hospital with less than a slim chance at recovery. Just a day ago, we were all four planning our next trip together, a dinner here at our house, a trolley ride and in one moment everything changes.

Before we got the sad news yesterday, E had asked me to take some pictures of our garden. We had two very bad freezes this past winter and we lost a few plants but yesterday morning, I took these. In one moment, life changes. Perhaps the lesson is to appreciate each day, each moment and each bloom. Or perhaps there is no lesson at all, just sadness and a heavy heart for our friend, his wife and family and anyone who know him.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Yoga on the beach and an update on the boys

Sandy told some of us about a yoga class being held on the beach at Sunset Park here in Tarpon Springs so I gathered my things, loaded my mat into the wonderful yoga bag Clare gave me at our Christmas on Captiva gift exchange and headed out. While the sun was shinning when I left home, half way through a great practice, not only did the wind pick up but the fog rolled in and we even got a tad of rain towards the end. Glad the city elected to build a wonderful covered pavilion right on the water as the view was so lovely.

Jo gave E a day off yesterday and she and I had the best time playing with the boys. Colvin is so close to sitting up by himself and he signed "milk" to me . The kids have been teaching the boys some basic sign language and I saw proof it is working. Silly Nana, I thought he was waving goodbye but he was patient with me and repeated the move until I caught on.

Landon is up on his hands and knees and is rocking back and forth and pivoting . He can get one hand moved forward but hasn't got it all figured out yet. It won't be long before he is off and crawling. Both of my kids crawled backwards before the went forward so we'll see if this is an inherited trait or

Off to get a much needed haircut and then we have Dinner Club tonight. It is at Suzie and Justins and our theme is Latino. E is making a pina colada mousse as we have dessert in this month's rotation. Will take pics!

Hope you have a great weekend. I took a bunch of pictures of our garden in bloom. It is recovering nicely from the frosts we had here this winter and I can't wait to show it off.