Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pepper Update

Remember the little green pepper we were growing (top picture)? I finally picked it the other day...we had had a cold snap, and the plant was looking droopy, plus the green pepper was turning red. I put about 1/2 of it into my tuna noodle casserole last night. I felt so "pioneerish" growing one of my own ingredients *LOL*.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking at houses

We are, thankfully, moving into a new phase since selling our house on 10/27 - shopping for a new home. Although we have a lot in Tarpon Springs that we want to build on, the idea of living in the RV for another year or so while that's going on is pretty daunting, not to mention the expense of renting the RV site and paying to have all our household items stored.

We decided to buy a small house to live in, reserving the majority of the proceeds from the sale of our home for building the new house to at least the C.O. stage. Since we are crazy people who are addicted to the DIY and HGTV channels, we want to buy something we can fix up and then at least break even when we turn around to sell it. As it turns out, this is easier said than done!

We have what seem to be reasonable criteria - 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage, 1500+ sq. ft. and priced below market value. We're probably naive, but we thought there would be DROVES of houses to look at, what with all the foreclosures on the market, but there are actually just a few, and we looked at them this weekend.

We've got 2 that we are considering, so I'll post updates as we go through this process.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

It's an annual tradition at our house. I think they turned out beautifully!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Picture of Procrastination

This is a picture of procrastination. Or perhaps I could call it "Wishing You Had a Frost-free Fridge Doesn't Make It So".

Friday, October 15, 2010

Twice-Baked Potatoes (aka Once Grilled & Once Microwaved)

When my daughter and I visited my dad, we pretty much cleaned out his freezer supply of twice-baked potatoes that my sister makes for him. K liked them so much, that she asked me to get the recipe and make some to keep on-hand for snacks. Baking the potatoes in the oven heated the camper up so much, that I adapted the recipe to do the cooking on the grill - works out great!

I buy a 5 lb. bag of baking potatoes, and make a HUGE batch - these things go fast at our place! Wash and scrub the potatoes with a brush, pat them dry, and rub a light coat of extra virgin olive oil on the skins. I place them on an insulated baking sheet on the grill, and cook them on low for 2 hours, turning them once after an hour.

Let them cool off for 10 or 15 minutes; Cut each one in half lengthwise along the skinny side so that there's a nice wide shell for filling.

Use a spoon to scoop out the cooked potatoes, leaving about 1/4 inch along the skin. In a large mixing bowl, mash the cooked potatoes to the desired consistency - I like to get rid of most of the big chunks, but I don't try to make it as smooth as mashed potatoes.

Add 1 cup of light buttermilk, and 1 cup of fat free sour cream. Now, this is where I kind of wing it, but it always turns out nicely...pinch a nice fistful of shredded 2% sharp cheddar for each potato you cooked (e.g. 10 potatoes=10 healthy pinches of cheese). I use the same haphazard measuring technique to add chives - use 2 or 3 chive leaves per potato, and snip them with kitchen scissors. Add one 3 oz. package of real bacon bits (Publix makes good ones.) And finally, toss in 1/2 tsp. of sea salt. (I forgot the salt in this batch, but it still tasted fine.) Mix the ingredients well.

Start with the nicest shells, and heap them full of the potato mixture. This particular 5 lb. bag yielded 24 filled shells. Stick them in Ziplocs in the fridge or for longer storage, the freezer. Microwave them when you're ready for munchies...they're wonderful. The teens around here rip through them like a swarm of locusts!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sign of Fall

OK, I'm having my first cappuccino since last spring, so fall must officially be here. I laid off cappuccinos when the weather got warm, since drinking anything hot made me feel like a human radiator.

I knew that when the first cool morning came, it would absolutely, positively need a cup of cappuccino to go with it. I frantically searched for a replacement for the little carafe that the (darned) cat had broken over the summer, and I finally found one online. Yesterday morning hubby kindly made me my first cappuccino of the season, and we sat outside enjoying our hot drinks, along with a couple of slices of toasted sesame Ezekiel bread for me (hubs says it's like eating dirt! LOL). It doesn't take much to make me happy :o)

What do YOU do that officially makes it fall for you? Leave me a comment - I would love to know!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I am so proud of my friend, John M. Floyd. He has just had his third book published, a collection of short stories, mostly mysteries, called "Clockwork". You can read all about the book on the publisher's web site at Dogwood Press.

I met John over 30 years ago, when I began working at IBM in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1977. When I first saw John, he had his then 2-year-old son Michael by his side while his wife Carolyn was in the hospital with their new son David. John and Michael were getting ready to leave the office and John had stooped down to button Michael into his coat. "Daddy, you need to put your coat on, too," Michael said. This tickled John. "Gotta take care of your old man," he said. My first impression was that this guy was a good egg, and I still think that 33 years later.

I had known that John was an avid reader and movie buff; his development as a writer has been a real delight to watch. I'm amazed at the mysteries and thrillers that come out of his head; sometimes I think I should tell Carolyn to sleep with one eye open :o)

"Clockwork" is a great read, as are his first two collections, "Rainbow's End" and "Midnight". Treat yourself or the book-lover in your life to an autographed copy by ordering direct from the publisher at Dogwood Press. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oreo, the floppy-earred chihuahua

Meet Oreo, sometimes known as O-dog, our chihuahua. She's only about 6-1/2; don't let the white face fool you. She's just prematurely gray. She's quite special - for instance, she does a very convincing imitation of roadkill, as you can see.

She also has floppy-ears, which takes the edge off the chihuahua look, and we find it very endearing. When she was a puppy, they told us the ears would eventually stand up, and for a while, the fold in each ear worked it's way up, until there was just a little flap folded over at the top. Then, it was like the effort was just too much, and both ears flopped over big-time and have been that way ever since.

In the past couple of years, she has developed an interesting tongue feature - it often hangs WAY out the left side of her mouth when her mouth is closed, even when she's sleeping.

She's extremely friendly, which surprises people who think chihuahuas are mean. The only time she's gets testy is when the other pets crowd her at her food dish or on the sofa... I totally understand; I'm the same way myself :o)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thermostat Wars

Here's an equation for you:

1 post-menopausal woman who's carrying around a little more weight than she'd like +
1 man on medication to lower his blood pressure and slow his heart rate = PERPETUAL THERMOSTAT WARS!!

I never thought it would happen to us. I used to shake my head at the bickering between my parents over turning the A/C up or down. "Wow, it's so great that we both like the house at the same temperature - we're just so compatible," I'd think to myself.

And then, a few years ago, it changed - I morphed into this woman who seemed to be constantly overheated. I've been known to throw a pair of jeans into the fridge just to tolerate putting on long pants. About the same time, hubby started heart meds which made it harder for him to stay warm. It's a pretty common sight at our house to see me sitting on the sofa sweating in a T-shirt and shorts, while he's bundled up in quilts like Nanook of the North.

A few days ago, hubs asked for a Hershey's kiss from the candy bag on the counter. I passed him one, and when he popped it into his mouth, he casually asked, "Why is the candy soft?" "Because - it's - so - HOT - in - here!" I practically shouted.

Maybe when we build our house here, we can incorporate some little custom environmental zones - a hot spot for him, and a cold one for me :o)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Footing the bill

Recent foot problems and a trip to the chiropractor led to an unusual (for me) purchase - a pair of Skecher Shape Ups. It was unusual for a couple of reasons - ordinarily I would never consider spending $80 on a pair of sneakers. However, the inability to walk without pain can drive you to do strange things. Second, I wouldn't normally buy a shoe where the sole is shaped like the bottom of a rocking chair. But, what the heck, at that point in time, I would have given shoes with Hovercraft abilities a try.

I have to admit, they took some getting used to. I had to endure the snickers of my family as they watched me try to stand still on these things, but instead, swayed to and fro, trying to find my balance. I had the misfortune of stepping in doggie poo once, and as you can surmise by looking at the treads on the sole, cleanup was no fun.

After I had gotten over the sticker shock somewhat, the chiropractor threw a curve ball my way.
"You know, you'll only be wearing these shoes for about 6 months, 'til your feet get back to normal. Then you'll switch to a "maintenance" shoe with a different shaped sole."
"No, I won't...I just spent $80 on these shoes - I want to be buried in them." Well, I didn't say that, but that's what I was thinking.

I will say that, after a few weeks of wearing the Skechers, I am a convert. My feet feel great, and I don't even wobble around on them anymore. Hmmm, do you think if the chiropractor said they were medically necessary, they would be tax deductible? I'll have to check into that. Hubby also wants a doctor to tell him that an 18' Sea Ray 185 Sport is medically necessary to reduce his stress...guess I'll have to check into that, too :o)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shoveling Seagrass

We like to go up occasionally to our lot in Tarpon Springs and hang out, dreaming of the day we'll build our house there. (Yes, we're pretty boring people.) Low tide exposes a beautiful little sandy beach and the sunsets are spectacular.

A few months ago, we noticed sea grass washing up on the beach. As the weeks went by, more and more sea grass washed up until it created a thick, slippery mass of sea grass that made it just about impossible to wade out in the water. After a little research, I discovered that it's a natural annual phenomenon, which essentially turns your shoreline into a big compost pile.

We decided to reclaim our little sandy beach. We purchased a pitchfork and tarp at Home Depot and got busy. A little trial and error directed the removal efforts. The most interesting thing we learned was that there was a top layer that scooped off pretty easily with the pitchfork. Underneath that was a layer that had been decomposing for quite a while, and was basically - muck. Stinky muck. REALLY stinky muck. Hold-your-breath, cover-your-nose-with-your-shirt stinky muck.

We decided to haul the intact seagrass over to a pile to dry out. We spread the muck out in another spot because it looks like it will make a great soil amendment when it dries. After one session, here's what the beach looked like:

A few more sessions should git 'r done, and we'll have our lovely little beach back...'til next year :o)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Advice for Dog Owners

Never leave your dog alone with a watermelon. Period.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

One Little Pepper & How It Grew

K got a Topsy Turvy planter for her birthday in June and we filled it up with pepper plants. It's grown and grown, and flowered and flowered, but no peppers - until now. A lovely little pepper has appeared.

It's not very big, but I have big plans for it...I'll use about 1/4 of it for a tuna noodle casserole, and split the rest between a batch of Mexiburgers and a homemade pizza. Grow, little pepper, grow!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Just received a goodie bag from Rings & Things today...they have a drawing each month to give away goodies to their blog partners and this month I was one of the lucky winners!

Here are the goodie bag contents:

Now, to the untrained eye, this may look like a shopping trip to Home Depot. However, to those in the know, these are components used in steampunk design. Whenever I see steampunk items, I think of an old TV show from the 60's that I was crazy about, "The Wild Wild West." Secret service agents West and Gordon guarded President Grant and they alway had the coolest futuristic gadgets!

What exactly IS steampunk, you may ask? It's tough for me to describe, so I'll just quote the definition on dictionary.com:

"a genre of science fiction set in Victorian times when steam was the main source of machine power"

O-o-o-kay. Still a little vague. To give you a better idea of the style, here are a couple of Etsy items by artisans who do steampunk design:

This beautiful piece by Cerriousdesigns is actually a USB drive. Steampunk frequently has gears and an aged patina look. For more info on this item, click this link: http://www.etsy.com/listing/54001079

Here's another great steampunk piece:

This beauiful cuff bracelet is by edmdesigns. Notice the use of gears, metal and the industrial feel of the sawtooth blade. For more information on this piece, click on the following link:

Now, I will be the first to admit that I've never made a steampunk item in my life, and I'm not sure I could. However, I've had several requests to make some masculine phone charms, and I think that the industrial look of the steampunk components would make a fine "man charm" :o) So excuse me, but I've got some designing to do!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you on this day?

I had just dropped my daughter off at school and come home. I had a a little while where I could weed some flowerbeds before I needed to go shower and get ready to pick my mom up at the airport. She was coming in to town to visit for Grandparents' Day at my daughter's school.

While I was weeding, my cell phone rang. It was my sister. When I saw it was her, I was afraid that Mom had gotten ill and couldn't make the trip.

"Hey, what's going on?"

"Have you seen the news?"

"No, why? What's going on?"

"Well, a couple of planes have hit the Twin Towers in New York...they've grounded all flights in the U.S. It's bad."


I could not picture what was happening in NY, but knowing that every flight in the U.S. was grounded told me that this was something truly horrible.

"Go inside and turn on the news. It's bad. Mom's at home; she hadn't left for the airport yet, but she won't be coming for a while. It's bad."

I rushed in and watched the news in horror. Other news began to surface, like a plane down in Pennsylvania, and another hitting the Pentagon. I went to pick my daughter up at school, talked to my husband on the phone. I wanted to have those I was closest to, close to me.

In the days and weeks that followed, I remember fighting off panic as the story unfolded. I no longer felt safe. My heart broke for the people who had lost loved ones. The stories of the heroism that surfaced were unbelievable. I will always remember 9/11/2001.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Box of Checks

I had put it off as long as I could, but yesterday I finally broke down and went to the bank to order a new box of checks. Now, why would this be something I would put off, you might think? The fact of the matter is, I knew we would need to change our address from our old house in Orlando to our new location, a campground in Largo. I felt that putting our new address on our checks would make it official...we are now - TRAILER TRASH.

Never mind that we still OWN the house in Orlando and are trying to sell it in a terrible economy. Never mind that we have 80 acres in Monroe County, AL, to use when we retire. Never mind that we have saved throughout our careers to have adequate retirement funds in our IRAs and pension plans. Our official address is now a campground, and that kinda smarts.

However, when I look around at the rest of the "trailer trash", I see an awful lot of nice people. On one side of us is a lady in a modest camper with her cat; she's working in Clearwater while her husband holds down the fort at their home in the Carolinas. On the other side of us is a family with a son who homeschools; they moved from a large home to a camper here because the husband had been spending hours commuting to his job in St. Pete. Next to them is a very nice lady who's a retired guidance counselor and psychologist. She has a young Cavalier the same color as ours; she offers frequently to have our dog come visit for play dates. Behind us is an elderly widow with a shy Chihuahua; we occasionally chat while we're out dog-walking.

So, all in all, it's not so bad, and (hopefully) a temporary thing :o)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Save the "25"

We had the blessing of celebrating our 25th anniversary last week. Actually, it was on the 18th, and we didn't so much celebrate as we did just take note of it. I didn't want the occasion to slip by without doing something special, so I ordered a special cake from Cake City in Safety Harbor. This lady really does works of art. I described in very general terms what I wanted and here is the lovely cake she came up with.

We took it to the pool to share at a weekly Friday evening social. One lady joked that we should freeze the "25" - she said we could take it out to use it for our 52nd anniversary. I said, "Yeah, I'll be 82 and he'll be 84." I hope we make it that long. Here's a photo of the bride and groom...wish I had an old one to post for comparison, but all that stuff's in storage.

We got a picture of us recreating the cake-cutting moment. It reminds me of an anecdote I read years ago in Reader's Digest. A lady attended an anniversary party for an elderly couple. She noted that, as they sat next to each other, they constantly held hands. She commented to the older lady, "I think it's so sweet that, after all these years, you two still hold hands." The older lady replied, "Honey, if we ever let go, we'd kill each other!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Cat's IN the Bag

This cat's IN the bag - and she has a definite preference for Vera Bradley. (She IS a little miffed that they retired her favorite pattern!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Get Your Ducks in a Row

Saw the cutest thing this weekend. A mama duck was trying to lead her 13 babies over to a nearby canal, but the installation of a new fence had apparently blocked her old path. She waddled frantically up and down the length of the fence until a good Samaritan dug a little hole under the fence for everyone to get through.

Have had lab tests and MRI done to discover (hopefully) the cause of the vision loss in my left eye and allow it to be treated so that my vision is (hopefully) restored. Will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Better Letter Answers

Did you have any luck with my word puzzle? Okay, just in case you're still working on it, I'll give you a hint: the category that all the new words belong to is "animals".

Now, to see the answers, scroll on down....
***** A N S W E R S B E L O W *****
***** *****
***** *****
***** *****
***** *****
***** *****
***** *****
***** *****

dig dog
car cat
deck duck
house horse
sheer sheep

Hope you had fun!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Better Letter

Here's a fun word game that's easy to play - my version is called "Better Letter" and I make up all the puzzles myself. It works like this - I give you a list of five words. You must change one and only one letter in each word to make a NEW word. All the new words will be related to each other in a secret category. Give it a try - I'll post the answers in a day or two!
Dig __ __ __
Car __ __ __
Deck __ __ __ __
House __ __ __ __ __
Sheer __ __ __ __ __
Tip: The letter which changes can be any letter, not just the first one.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Color Blind?

Just grabbed an Etsy Treasury...I forgot how much fun it is to put one together.
This one will be up for 3 days if you'd like to take a look :o) Just click on the link below:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Middle Wife

Credit goes to my cousin Pam, who sent me this hysterical e-mail - it's too funny not to share!

The 'Middle Wife'
by an
anonymous second grade teacher

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest.. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lucky Me

Lucky me! I received an expresso/cappucino maker for Christmas. It actually was an effort to economize, since I discovered hot lattes at the drive-thrus at Mickey D's and Dunkin' Donuts, and had to have one almost every time I drove past.

Now I get to have a luscious latte anytime I want - and I get to enjoy looking at it all pretty in one of my glass mugs, instead of hidden in a styrofoam cup with a snap-on lid!

The only thing I need to do is get the hang of that little frothing thing on the side - I swear I look like that Bounty commercial of the couple and the mess they make with their cappucino maker - only 10 times worse. I did discover that if I don't clean it immediately after steaming the milk, it will suck up an entire cup of water, and you will sit there for 30 minutes waiting for the steam to run out!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

If Animals Could Talk

With the cold weather, the animals like to pile in bed with hubs and me - last night was a three dog (plus one cat) night.

Got some cute shots of our cat Sheba and Casey. They are quite the pals.
I can just imagine what they might be saying to each other:

Casey: "Hmm, your perfume is delightful - what's it called?"
Sheba: "Essence de la jolie chatte - you like?"

Sheba: "Casey, hold still - you've got a little schmutz on the side of your nose."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Casey, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The youngest puppy in our dog pack is Casey, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, who is about 8 months old.

It all started when my daughter and I began to visit a nearby puppy store on Saturdays, while Jim went to Orlando to do yard work at our old house. We talked Jim into going one Sunday afternoon. As he walked by the CKC spaniel cage, the little girl pup stood up on her hind legs to be picked up. Jim obliged, and she snuggled next to his neck for a long time. When he started to put her down, she tried to hang on to his shoulder. We went back several Sundays in a row, and by then, Jim was completely smitten. We took her home in September.

Casey loves her peeps and always wants to be in someone's lap. She expects to ride to school each day to drop off and pick up my daughter. She practically does backflips when Jim gets home at night. What a great addition to our family!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Meet Angel

This is Angel, our 9-year-old Pekingese. She's the old lady of our dog pack. She's quite a sweetheart, for those of you who've heard that Pekingeses tend to be snippy little dogs.
She was very fascinated with this box of
papers...I finally figured out that I had dropped a few kibbles of the dog food into it as I was scooping the food out of the bin. The last straw for Angel was when I set the empty dog food carton into the box to go out for recycling. She climbed into the box and curled up as if to say, "No, I can't bear to part with it!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009 Recap

I feel like a slacker for not sending out cards for the 2nd or 3rd year in a row. However, I love getting cards from family and friends, especially those with a letter highlighting everyone's year. So although it's a tad late, I thought I'd give you a recap of our 2009 (it will probably help explain why we haven't sent out cards :o) )

January began with Jim in job-hunting mode. He had lost his office manager job at an Orlando engineering firm in Sept. 2008, following a company merger. What would normally have been a little bump in the road took on sinkhole status as the economy took a nose-dive in Oct. 2008.

Realizing that the job market in Orlando was pretty bleak, Jim begin looking nationwide for a similar job. We decided in March to put our house on the market to prepare for an eventual move. In April, Jim accepted an offer from Greenhorne and O'Mara to be their office manager in Clearwater, FL.

We decided to take our 5th wheel to a campground in Largo, FL so that Jim could stay there during the week, and come home on the weekends. During the summer, my daughter and I began to spend a week in Largo, and then come home for a week.

By August we decided to stay in Largo full-time so that our daughter could take a couple of classes at a local private school, while continuing to be a homeschooler.

After 8 months of listing with an agent, we decided to take our house off the market. And to make a long story short, our next-door neighbors decided to rent our house and we signed a purchase agreement with them to close on or before June 9, 2010.

After we close, we'll be able to purchase a home here. We've run across a house that's finished on the outside, but just studs on the inside. We've love to get in and finish it ourselves. Timing is important, so we hope it will still be on the market when we get our money out of our old house.

We added a new member to our family in September, Casey the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - she's a little doll! That puts us up to 4 dogs, 1 cat, 1 guinea pig and 2 robo hamsters.

So that's our year in a nutshell. We feel very blessed. We're all in good health, Jim has a good job, and our daughter's in a good school. I'm doing local craft shows twice a month just for fun, and have a shop on Etsy called CellChic.

Hope everyone has a happy and prosperous 2010!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Continued cold

OK, this is just TOO cold for Largo, Florida - the temperature dipped into the 30's last night...I'm having to wear socks with my sandals - haha.

Everyone likes to snuggle up inside with the (electric) fireplace going, and stay warm as best they can. Sheba, our cat, has a couple of nice strategies:

If alone, Sheba curls up into the tightest ball that she can - she's hardly recognizable as a cat!
It cracks me up how she invariably tilts her chin skyward when laying like this.

If there's an available lap, Sheba will opt for that, stretching out in a "boneless kitty" fashion. Not only is it a good deal for her, but the lap provider gets warm, too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all!!

Just returned to our snug camper with a popcorn shrimp basket from DQ - I originally headed there craving a chili cheese hot dog, but opted for the shrimp at the last minute...maybe it's a teenier bit of a healthy choice.

Glad to have the holidays over, and get back to "normal" - as normal as you can be in a 5th wheel with 3 people, 4 dogs, a cat, a guinea pig and 2 robo hamsters. It is so COLD here in Largo - today is in the 40's...I know that sounds whiny to a lot of people in colder climes, but this is FLORIDA!!! Your blood gets thin after being here a while.

Did a fun craft show last Saturday - the Ybor City Saturday Market. I've signed up to do the first Saturday each month. A lovely lady who is the daughter of a classmate of my Dad's came by the booth - Dad had sent her some Vallagret cheese from Miss. State. He gives them out to family at Christmas and had an extra that he wanted her to have. We had a nice chat - she enjoyed telling me a story about how, not long before her mom died, her mom and aunt were on speaker phone with my dad...she said the two little old ladies sounded like they were fussing over which one my dad belonged to. Nice lady - she also purchased the first phone charm of the day.

Donna (left) and Bonnie say "Cheese" - Vallagret Cheese, that is.

Listed my latest phone charm - a Finesse Tech Deck skateboard, which can be removed from the cell phone, played with, and put back on. Skateboard fanatics would LOVE this.