Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
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.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
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
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
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
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
Monday, May 17, 2010
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
Now, to see the answers, scroll on down....
***** A N S W E R S B E L O W *****
Hope you had fun!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The 'Middle Wife'
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
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
Sheba: "Casey, hold still - you've got a little schmutz on the side of your nose."
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
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
Friday, January 8, 2010
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
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
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.