Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Links

These are the links to all of the entries that I wrote this month.

Last day of November

Remember at the beginning of the month when I mentioned that I was joining a group called NaBloPoMo? The idea was to physically write and post every day in the month of November. You weren't supposed to prewrite content and schedule them to post at certain times or to change the times around so it looked like you posted each day - you were just supposed to write every day and post it.

I did it.

I wrote something every day this month.

I have to admit, a few days I posted a funny video, but they made me laugh and I had to share it.

I have been out of town since Tuesday and I was sure that I wouldn't have time to post and yet, I made some time. I really enjoy sharing my life. In January when I first started writing I wasn't sure if I'd like it. Now I can't imagine not writing every day. This little challenge of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) just confirmed it for me. I've already joined the group for December.

It's been another long day today - I hope to catch up with all that I want to share about my trip so far. For now, Goodnight and hope you had a wonderful November.

Here's to the best December you've ever had!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fun and Family

When I arrived in Indianapolis I was given my cousin Keith's room. I tossed my bags in the room and my Uncle brought up the incredibly heavy suitcase! but I hardly even looked around. After chatting, laughing and eating and staying up too late, I went to bed and fell asleep within moments.

When I woke up, I looked up and this greeted me!

This is a self portrait, I do believe, of my cousin Keith and he had placed it directly above his bed on the ceiling. I have to say, it is a little bit scary to see this upon opening ones eyes. I am almost positive I let out a little sound. It wasn't a scream, but it was a gasp of air.

Then when I turned to my side, I saw this guy!

I took these photos as I was laying in the bed. There wasn't a bed frame or a box spring so this really was my point of view of The Family Guy. I wasn't prepared for him, but after the self portrait on the ceiling, this wasn't as shocking.

I took random photos of friends and family during our three day event, so lets see what we can find, shall we?

This is Ray and Liza. Ray is a friend of the family and Liza is the girlfriend of my cousin, Colin.

This is my Uncle Matthew, in his son's chef coat and his son, the Chef, cousin Alan standing next to him while they show off the turkeys. Those were the best turkeys, too. Free range and full of wonderful flavor.

This is the group gathering for lunch on Friday.

Uncle Dick, my Mother, Colin, Ray, Matthew, Marg and Keith.

I do believe that is the only picture I got of Keith and Colin. Sorry boys!

This is cousin Garrett and friend, Chris.

This is my Aunt Gail and Uncle Dick. They were standing back behind a bunch of people when I took this shot. It came out real nice!

My Uncle Matthew is pictured again. I just loved the outstretched arm in this photo. My Aunt Marg wouldn't sit still long enough for me to get a photo of her LOL But this is her home and Matthew's home where all of these photos were taken.

This is another friend of the family. She is Chris' mother. She made some incredible looking pies. I think they were both Apple Pies, but one had raspberries included in it. Man they looked good.

These two kids, were real troopers. They weren't sure if they were going to like all of this fancy food my cousin Alan was fixing for all of us, but they really enjoyed the meal. I'd tell you their names, but I never got permission from their we'll just leave it at that.

This is the rest period after the Thanksgiving feast.

This is my sister, Hillary. This was taken just before we left on Friday to head for Michigan. My Aunt Gail was trying to take this photo but couldn't get her camera to take it, so I did. I'm glad I did - I love it!

Hope you enjoyed the picture show.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Table

We had two tables set up for Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncle's home. This is the kids table.

No no no, we didn't have a kids table.

Actually, I counted and over half of us at Thanksgiving were the kids, so I guess technically, both tables were kids tables with random parents thrown in for good measure.

Here is one of the place settings and the other is below. The silverware was my Grandmother's silver that she had at the farm (they kept saying) so this meant that Grandma had this silver when she lived in Welfleet, NE and the kids were growing up, probably in the 50s. I never think to ask for dates when they are telling these stories.

It is beautiful silverware and it was a pleasure to use it.

The beautiful placemats and napkins were purchased from a shop on Etsy. My Aunt Marg posted the links in the comment section, because I didn't have them in the first edit of this post. So here they are. Thanks Marg!

Such Pretty Colors on Etsy and then the Such Pretty Colors website

Come to think of it, we were supposed to fold the napkins in some sort of lovely way, standing up like a little hat - I guess we got totally sidetracked and didn't get that accomplished. I didn't even help set the table and I was in charge of the fancy folding - so not sure what happened there! I must have been washing dishes or talking.

These are just the cutest turkey candle holders. We had two of them on our table. The little gourds, my cousin Garrett was adding wire stems and leaves to, to use a place card holders, but I guess that idea was abandoned and the ones he made were used as decoration on the table instead. He made about 6 of them before he left the house for some sort of event with his friends. When you are just back from college, seeing friends is a top priority. I remember his dad doing the same thing when he would come home from college.

So that's the table scape from my Thanksgiving at my Aunt Marg and Uncle Matthews home.

More tomorrow!
Have a wonderful weekend,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gift Received

The person who received my Secret Santa gift blogged about it yesterday. Her name is Colleen and she really enjoyed the gifts - go on over to her place and take a look at the wonderful things she had to say. Here's a picture she took of the gifts.

In this photo we have
Napkins from IKEA
Little travel Kleenex with Colleens initial on them.
A photo frame in the shape of a bone, with red vinyl with a black belt.
Trident watermelon gum (YUM!)
underneath the gum is a package of hand stamped sticky notes in various sizes.
8 magnets that I made with a Christmas theme
her favorite color is purple, so I included purple paperclips
guest handsoap in vanilla scent
and a mini photo album.

She loved it.

I love that she loved it.

Thanks to Georgie over at Decisionally Challenged for putting this all together.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monkey Taunts Cubs

Need a laugh? Well, have I got something for you. As I'm hanging out in the kitchen with the family, watching dinner being made, talk of this video came about. This was so funny! Please watch it and then watch it again and show your family.

I'm already having a great Thanksgiving week, I hope you are as well!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Traveling part II

I have arrived in Indianapolis! I met up with my cousins, my Aunt and Uncle and even got a nice dinner at a place called Capri. I have kicked the youngest out of his bed and have taken it over for the weekend (boys can sleep on the couch lol.) I think a day of traveling has taken a bit out of me, as I'm dead tired and it isn't even midnight.

So I wish you all a wonderful day. I'll have plenty to talk about tomorrow.

Third place trophies are on the list of things to tell you all.



I'm leaving. I know, I know. You aren't supposed to announce to the world that you are leaving home, but my husband is staying. He just got home from his two week trip yesterday and I'm leaving today. It's a tag team kind of thing. Between the cat who is needy and the tenants in my rental condos that like to have someone around, just in case, we try to have someone in town most of the time.

So, I'm off in a few hours. I fly first to Indianapolis. One of the family members will be picking me up (I hope!) and will drive me back to their place. My Aunt Marg, who comments here every so often (Hi Marg!) is hosting Thanksgiving this year for a few of us fortunate souls. She has four wonderful boys, my cousins, and they will all be in town for the week as well. I love being with those boys, they give hugs...really great hugs. Every time I see the video, Free Hugs, I think of these wonderful cousins of mine. They will come up and swing an arm over your shoulder, too, I just love that. It's going to be fun. I'll be staying with my Aunt Marg (and Uncle Matthew, too) for three days, maybe four. Depends on when I get picked up lol

If all goes well, my Mother and my Sister, Hillary, will be arriving on Thanksgiving morning. On Friday, mom, sister and I will drive back to East Lansing, MI where I will stay the duration of my trip.

Michiganders tell people where they live by holding up a hand and pointing. See the spot on the map that says Lansing? It is just below the "N" in the word Michigan. That's where I'm going. If you could see me, I'm pointing to that spot on my hand. I just can't help myself.

I may live in Florida now, but I'm still a Michigander.

Oooh, see the city Marquette, just above the "M" in Michigan? I was born there. Or near there. I was born a yupper! (you - per) We left when I was 4 and I didn't go back until my husband took me back a few years ago.

I won't be traveling to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) during my trip, although my husband did just last week. He has a deer hunting camp up there. It's a long way and it is snowy. I may be a Michigander, but I don't care to drive in snow. So I'll be sticking to the Lansing area during my stay - with the exception of the starting point of Indianapolis!

I'll be out of town, but you all won't get rid of me. I signed up for NaBloPoMo and I've made it 25 days in a row so far - There is no way I'm going to miss a day now.

I figured out how to load pictures from camera to my laptop, so I will even have photos to share!! It was so simple, the last time I tried to figure it out I finally gave up. This attempt lasted about 30 seconds before I had success. Guess it was user error the first time around!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Secret Santa

I sent off my Secret Santa gift today. I'm pretty sure that the person who is receiving the gift doesn't read my blog, so I'm going to post the picture of the inside of the package. I altered a few of the images, so you couldn't read the actual item - I'm sneaky! A few items are omitted, so it will keep the recipient guessing even if they do read this blog. The outside of the package was decorated, too. I had so much fun putting this package together. I shopped from the information given to me about the person, but I don't think she'd see anything in there that she talked about - oh wait, one thing lol I just took the information and I found items I thought would be fun to receive.

I enjoyed being a Secret Santa and soon I will be a part of the Ornament Swap. When I get back from my Thanksgiving trip the ornaments will be on their way!

The Secret Santa Soiree was hosted by Georgie over at Decisionally Challenged. Soon the updates on the Secret Santa gifts will start pouring in. Be sure to go over and check out the goodies!

Have a fabulous week.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


My New Parrot

Recently I received a parrot as a gift.
The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.
Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.

I tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else I could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, I was fed up and I yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back.
I shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder.
So, in desperation, I threw up my hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer.

For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly there was total quiet.
Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that I'd hurt the parrot, I quickly opened the door to the freezer.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto my outstretched arm and said,
"I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

I was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As I was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey

Here's something else...


Saturday nights are pretty emotional for me. I usually spend two hours on the verge of tears or wiping tears streaming down my face. Every so often I let out a little sob, too. No, I'm not having a planned emotional break down every Saturday night, I'm actually watching TV. "John Edward Cross Country" He is a psychic medium and boy oh boy do his readings get to me.

I first heard about John Edward and his TV show, "Crossing Over," when my husband and I were attending a conference at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. What a great place to stay, by the way.) The show was on in the morning and I remember standing at the foot of the bed unable to move until the commercial breaks. I have always been interested in mediums, psychic energy, fortune telling and astrology. This man that was on TV was incredible. I remember even calling my Mother and telling her about this man and she said that she'd caught the show once or twice.

When I got home I forgot about looking for the show, but in the middle of the night, I'd remember of course. I finally found the show and taped a few episodes, but they were hard to find. So for the next few years it was hit and miss if I saw his shows. I bought a few of his books and have read them a few times.

John Edward is back on again, fairly regularly. Now I have a DVR, too - so I can just record the shows and watch them when I'm alone or when my husband is asleep. The only problem is that I can't go to sleep after watching the show because my eyes will puff up something awful while I sleep. My eyes will be nearly swollen shut when I wake up in the morning. If I stay up for an hour or so after, I won't have those puffy eyes.

The WE TV channel that carries the John Edward show has started carrying a new show called "The Locator" in the hour before John's show. This is about a team of people who reunite people who have been lost to each other for a long time. This can be parents who gave children up for adoption, a person looking for their long lost best friend or children looking for parents. Oh goodness - talk about a cry fest! sheesh.

I had the house to myself this Saturday and just finished watching those shows. Now I'm in my hour of "detox" so my eyes will be be recovered enough to sleep. To outsiders, it may seem like a lot of emotional distress to put myself through, but I love the stories told in the shows, I love the feelings the readings bring out in me, I love thinking of my loved ones.
For years I have ended my seminars and groups by asking people to communicate, appreciate and validate the people they love in their lives.
John Edward
This is just so important. Talk to your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Tell them you are proud of them. I hope I do that enough, although my phone calls to my sisters are not as frequent as I'd like, they know I love them. I tell them, they don't have to guess. I tell my husband I love him. My maternal grandparents both passed this last year and they knew I loved them, too. Don't just assume that the people you love know you love them - tell them. If you get nothing else out of this tear filled, sappy blog post - communicate, appreciate and validate.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gift ideas

I absolutely love buying things online. I love shopping from my couch, clicking on the different views of the product and placing that order. I can spend hours looking for cool things for myself and others. I don't actually buy a lot of things, but I do have a whole section in my BookMarks section of my computer that is titled "Shopping." It is in that spot that I keep the links to the great shops I have found in my travels. I just found this one today and wonder what has taken me so long!

I've got something to share with you all -- I just found this site - Poppytalk Handmade.

Poppytalk Handmade is a monthly online street market curated by Poppytalk to showcase, buy and sell handmade goods of emerging design talent from around the world.
Poppytalk has mined the deep caverns of the internet, collecting the finest gems of the handmade community and putting them all in one minecar (actually; placing them on virtual market tables) for you!
We've invited the great artists and designers that you see within our market to participate and join us in order to bring you some of the best handcrafted items available!
If you're an artist, designer, or craftsperson with great things to sell, please contact us!

Many of the items you can find on the site are for sale on Etsy and I have seen them before in my travels through that vast shopping extravaganza - but most of the items I have not seen and wish I had! If you need to get your shopping started (or finished!), if you need to find some Christmas cards, if you want to create your own wish list - go over to Poppytalk and take a look.

The Christmas (Holiday) section will be available until Dec 12th, so hurry!

I love Etsy, I really do, but unless you start searching for specific key words, it's hard to see all the cool stuff - PoppyTalk seems to have done that for you and you get to see a picture of a representative item in the shop along with other pictures all on the same page. Awesome!

Here are a few other places I thought of while I was internet gift browsing today...

When I first started really looking for fun, handmade stuff online I found this shop SusyJack. I had originally found it through another online mecca of all things Officy and organizational - See Jane Work. I really like both of these shops.

One last place - Tip-Junkie posted this list of Mom-Prenuers. The tag is "Buy from Women this Holiday Season." I haven't actually visited but just a few sites on that list, but the ones I did see where real nice.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It Sparkles!

I was following behind this car the other day. I was going to take a picture of it because it was purple...I really like purple. However, this paint job was just, well, there was something about it that wasn't quite right. It kind of looked like it came out of a spray can. The car is a Mercedes, so that struck me as odd that a Mercedes would have a bad paint job. I loved the license plate frame with the Dollar signs all the way around.
I took this picture and it wasn't until I got beside the car that I noticed the glitter in the paint. I didn't dare take another photo when I was driving right next to them, so I was hoping you could see the glitter in the shot that took from behind and sure enough, you can.

This was one of my laughs of the day. I may love purple, but I just don't think I could ride in that car.
Have a great weekend!

Things marked off the list

I got a ton accomplished today... This is the DONE part of yesterdays ramblings. Whew! I may actually get everything finished this weekend.

I need to buy a box of business sized envelopes. DONE!

I need to buy a mailbox to hang on the outside of the Springfield house. DONE! A new one was $13 and was prepainted.

Mocha needs new/more kitty litter - she's nearly out. Food, too. She's nearly out of both wet and dry food. DONE!

I want to change the sheets on my bed, it's been awhile. DONE!

I need to find a shower chair for my new tenant. DONE!!

Pay bills for condos DONE!

Deposit checks DONE!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I need to...

I need to buy a box of business sized envelopes.

I need to buy a mailbox to hang on the outside of the Springfield house. I could just paint the one that was there. Hmmmm, not sure. I'll have to think on it.

I must clean off my coffeetable - I had a minor avalanche today.

Mocha needs new/more kitty litter - she's nearly out. Food, too. She's nearly out of both wet and dry food.

I have hamburger that I need to cook up by tomorrow night.

I want to make some magnets for Thanksgiving, but I can't find my paper punch. I bet I have enough premade. I must look again.

I want to change the sheets on my bed, it's been awhile.

I have a secret santa gift I want to send off by Saturday. I can't forget to get the ribbon on the packages.

I'm in an ornament swap, but I mistakenly sent her ornament to my mothers house in Michigan. Guess I'll have to mail the ornament from Michigan lol

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving in Indianapolis, what should I wear? Do I need to buy a new outfit? Do I want to go shopping? I don't think so. But I may.

I am LOVING my Blackberry and finally understand the "crackberry" name it received...although I don't think I need to experience crack to understand what it means lol I want to text my sister. How does one do that? Hold on...
Ooooh, found it! How fun!!

I need to find a shower chair for my new tenant. That's a need for tomorrow. I need to return the shower chair that didn't fit.

I should download the pictures of Springfield I took today.

What books should I bring to read on the plane? Should I bring my blanket?

Don't forget to pick up Richard's wife and son at the airport on Saturday.

Tom comes home on Monday!!

Pay bills for condos

Deposit checks (or maybe deposit checks, then pay bills!)

These were just all of the lovely things swirling around in my brain. I have a lot of needs. I bet most of those items can be more of a want, rather than a need.

I have already written a list of all of the little items left to do at the Springfield house. I thought we were almost done, but I've filled up 5 pages of Post-It notes! Usually when my husband is not at home for an extended period of time I clean sections of the house -- like the time I pulled out nearly every item from our walk in closet. That was brutal, but productive! The closet looked beautiful. This time though, my time has been consumed by this flip house. I've decided that I'm not working over there Sat, Sun or Mon. It will be a very welcomed break. I'm hoping to dust during those three days. Maybe get to the coffeetable, too.

I feel better getting part of my list of things to do off my chest. Do you have anything to add to my list? If so, just let me know and I'll see if I can squeeze you in.

Have a fabulous, wonderful, incredibly magical Friday and weekend!


Jeannie over at Musings from Left Field posted this on her blog, so of course, I had to take the quiz and see what mine was...

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.

People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

Well, I'm just not sure if I agree! They'd miss me alright and they know why, too! Because who else is going to talk non stop all day? LOL

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting to know you - Christmas

My friend Leigh over at Tales from Bloggeritaville posted this GTKY (Getting to know you) and asked us to answer in her comment section or post it on our blog -- So, I posted it!

If you'd like to also fill this out, please do so in the comment section, or in your blog - but be sure to post a note in the comment section so we can all come over and see it.

GTKY - Christmas Edition

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like wrapping paper best.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial
3. When do you put up the tree? Sometime before Christmas!
4. When do you take the tree down? Before Valentines day. (I'm serious)
5. Do you like eggnog? Not really
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A stereo system w/ record player. I just loved it.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Daddy, it's you! My husband comes in a very close second.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Me! hahaha My sister.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? 100% snail mail.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? anything scented because I can't use it - but the worst gift that "we" received was a Billy Big Mouth Bass.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story & It's a Wonderful Life.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually during art fairs through-out the year.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Oh yes.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My Mothers Christmas breakfast
16. Lights on the tree? I like the big mulitcolored lights.
17. Favorite Christmas song? The old fashioned classics - Bing Crosby and the like.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? It depends. The past three years I've stayed home. My husband and I usually spend the afternoon at the Mayo Clinic hospital talking with transplant patients.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen. (and Rudolph.)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have a star (painted as a Santa)
21. Open presents on Christmas eve or morning? Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? traffic
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don't have a theme, unless not a theme is a theme. My favorite ornaments are those that my sisters and I get every year - our mother started giving us each an ornament from the same design type but a different figure. One year we all received painted wooden Guatemalan houses, in miniature of course lol But each of us got a different house.
24. Not sure what happened to #24. -- so lets see, I'll make one up! What do you do on Christmas Eve? When I am in Michigan I go around to all the neighborhoods and look at the luminarias all lit up. In Florida, we usually go out and look at Christmas lights.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? My Christmas would be fabulous if I could find something that my husband liked and was excited about -- so that's what I want for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In the Mail

I got a gift in the mail the other day. It was so exciting that I almost didn't want to open it! I had to though - these weren't just for me. I bought some cards and something else to give as gifts.

I got these lovely packages from Nesta an Etsy seller. Go ahead, go on over to the site and see what fun and funky stuff is available.

Aren't these so nice? That little black and white silhouette is an actual pin. I just never expected such nice packaging.

I love a fun surprise!!


Monday, November 17, 2008


I tempted fate today.

I have been wanting to wash the curtains in my bedroom for a few months now. I could see the dust and kitty fur on the tops and bottoms of the fabric - If I could see it laying in bed with the lights off, it was pretty thick. OK, the lights were on, but still.

I wanted to wait to wash the curtains for a time when my husband would be gone for a few days in case something happened and I'd need to go out and get new curtains. I didn't want the stress of having to explain the mounds of fabric being tossed in the trash, if that should be the case.

My husband is gone, but I haven't had a ladder! I was going to bring the ladder home the day I got into that accident. Then my rental car was that tiny Ford Focus and maybe a 6 foot ladder would have fit in there, but I decided not to try. However, this morning I got a phone call - The car was finished and ready to be picked up. I brought home the car and a ladder! The car looks incredible, by the way.

OK, so I brought the ladder in and took the curtains off the rod and as I was pulling down the last one I looked at the tag and it said "Dry Clean Only." I looked at the ingredients and it said - Rayon and cotton. Ahhh heck, I wash rayon and cotton all the time. I've still got a week before the husband gets home, so into the washer the curtains went. I do have a front loader washer and dryer, so that helps. I put the setting on Handwash, cold and extra rinse. Then when that was over, I had it spin again on medium to get a little more water out.

As I took them out of the washer I was holding my breath. I was sure I was going find lots of fuzz and lint and possibly thin spots in the fabric. Nothing. These curtains washed like a new pair of jeans. They looked incredible and smelled so clean!

Now those curtains are in the dryer - on low. I'm not tempting fate that much to put the suckers on high heat. I am so excited. Clean curtains.

Here they are! Clean and back to their original post.

It's a Cheap Thrills Monday night!

*Not sure why there are lots of little white spots on the picture - but they aren't on the curtains lol

Update on Springfield Flip

The picture below is the before shot. It is the only photo we have and I didn't even get the entire front of the house. It's located in a section of Jacksonville called Springfield. So we cleverly named the house Springfield!

I haven't been very involved in this house until recently. We ran out of funds and interest a while back, so the house just sat waiting for us to get our energy back. I asked my husband about a month ago how long he thought it would take to get this house on the market. He said one - two weeks.

Well, I've been at this house nearly every day for three weeks now and I still have a week to go I think. There was so much grime inside the house (insert shudder) closets that were covered in who knows what! that of course had to be cleaned off before painting. I'm cheap labor, so those type of jobs fell to me.

I hired out the exterior painting.

What do you think?? It's a new house! I don't miss that florescent blue around the windows, do you? The steps leading into the house and the concrete floor inside on the screened in porch have not been painted. I thought we might want to leave that for last. Less of a chance of me scratching the paint or getting it dirty.

I love that POP of red on the shutters. The front and back doors were also painted that red. The red door is easy to see standing on the street, but not as easy to see in this particular photo.

The car in the photo - it's a Ford Focus (that's a down payment on a Ford that movie) and it's my rental car while my Hyundai is in the shop. I keep forgetting I have this car and when I park it at the grocery store or something I can never find it...but I digress.

I caulked and painted base molding two days in a row (as well as painting and caulking doorframes and window frames) but the base molding in particular was quite a project. It required bending and squatting and painting with my head down and rear end up in the air. All the while trying to paint (or caulk) without getting the white stuff on the hardwood floors. Today I was at one of my rental condos getting it ready for a new tenant and everytime I had to bend down for something the backs of my thighs resisted! I forget how stressful baseboard painting is to the legs and thighs.

Tomorrow is day 6000 working at Springfield (not really) and I have just one more room to caulk and paint the baseboards. The man I hired to paint the exterior is helping inside as well. He and his son worked Sunday and I am hoping hoping hoping that all of the windows are finished and the closets are done. This means we only have the walls to do, the floors to sweep and mop and ohhhh, we have a small section of base molding that hasn't been installed in the kitchen. I forgot about that. Maybe he installed it. Anyway, we are almost done.

I'll take more pictures this week. I can't wait to be done!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Clean desk

The other day I posted a picture of my desk all because of a post that the Organizing Queen did on decluttering our desks. I said that I was going to get it cleaned up this weekend and as the end of Sunday was counting down, I got my butt off the couch and cleaned it up.

Here is the new and improved computer desk area.

I love IKEA desk lamps, so I do have two on my desk. They are just perfect if I don't want the glaring overhead light on. My mouse pad and coasters are actually Mouse Rugs. I love them. I've had them for years and can hardly function without them! My husband even loves the mouse rug mousepad. Lets see what else is in the photo -- The little kitty in front of the monitor (with the cat screen saver lol) is actually a tape dispenser that my sister Alison gave me one year as a gift. Next to that is the wooden bowl my mother gave Tom one year for Christmas. I put paper clips in there. I am always using paperclips. Also on that shelf are my Super Sticky Post-It notes. The large silver board is a magnetic project board. I really like it so I can see my projects or notes quickly. Since I cleaned everything off, the only thing I had to put up there were my VistaPrint address labels. The wire baskets are full of push pins & binder clips in one and the other holds checkbooks, stampers that say Thank You and Paid, a calculator, a roll of address labels that actually have my home phone number, my cell phone number and my husbands cell number on it - as well as our names. I stick them on cards and letters and on items that I lend. I have my page-a-day "The Secret" calendar and a legal pad with my current notes.

So that's my newly cleared off desk. Whew!

This was for the Organizing Queen project. You should really go over and see what she's up to. The OQ asked us to Honor the Memory and not the item the other day. I told a quicky version of the day I gave away my wedding dress, in her comment section. She liked my story so much that she posted a note on her website to come see my post. How very cool. Here is her post - and here is my wedding dress story.

I'm so happy that I cleaned off the desk tonight. I was tired and wasn't in the mood, but sometimes it doesn't matter what the mood. The project was a success and I don't have to think about doing it tomorrow! It did take over an hour to cull through everything. I had a lot more things to file than I had anticipated. I also had to check my facebook page and read a blog or two. OK, I need to get this posted before my Sunday is over.

Have a fabulous week!

Welcome to Gator Land

Tom and I saw this fella while we were out looking at houses. Doesn't he look fall festive?

I love mailboxes. Old one, rusted ones, new ones. Red ones, green ones, white ones. Alligators, manatees, and big mouth bass.

I've talked about mailboxes once before, but I don't think I've ever seen this particular alligator.

Happy Fall!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tribute to Life

Last night I attended the Tribute to Life, a Donor Sabbath Celebration to honor those have given the Gift of Life. I knew it was going to be very emotional and since I'm a crier, I was coming prepared. No mascara for one, and several packs of travel Kleenex.

This event was held at a beautiful church in Jacksonville, FL, the Deermeadows Baptist Church. We heard from a donor family first. The story was of a 17 year old boy who was in an accident during his senior year of High School. He signed up to be an organ donor when he went for his drivers license, the year before. This young man was able to help the lives of 5 other people. His heart went to a 12 year old girl, right here in Jacksonville.

We then heard from someone I know, the Chaplin from the Mayo Clinic. She runs the Liver transplant support group as well as being involved with many of the transplant folks both before and after surgery.

There was a video presentation of pictures of donors. Walter & Liz, who were my tenants and Walter is a lung recipient, saw the picture of their donor in the presentation. To say that was emotional would be an understatement. After that we had a candle lighting ceremony to honor all of the donors who have given life to so many. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house, yet it was so uplifting and beautiful.

After the service we followed the luminaries to the reception Hall where we could mix and mingle with donor families and recipients. There was even a fabulous table of food. Lots of veggies, cheeses, meats and tiny sandwiches. It was all quite tasty.

All around the room were quilts with pictures and names of those who were organ and tissue donors made by the families and friends that loved them.

This is in the middle of each quilt - "The Strom Bryson Memorial donor quilt. Is a tribute to the kindness of others. Each square in this quilt was hand made by the family of an organ, eye and/or tissue donor. The storied depicted on the patches relate to the lives of the donors, from their hobbies and talents, to their passions and characters. Named for a young donor from Tallahassee, this quilt is our showcase of how the lives of all donors live on through the generosity of their giving."

Liz on the left and Walter on the right, were tenants of mine. They stayed for 11 months in one of my condo rentals, while Walter waited for a lung transplant. At this event last night, Liz and Walter met Lori, in the middle of this photo. It was her brother who matched Walters need. It is her brothers lung that saved Walters life. Lori almost didn't come last night. Liz and Walter just happened to be in town for his 6 month evaluation. They almost stayed home. Neither one had met before this evening. It was an incredible meeting. It was an incredible gift to have witnessed this reunion.

I'm standing between Suzette and Charles in this picture. I have to tell you that I was standing in the middle of the room chatting with some folks when this woman came up to me, put her arms around my neck and gave me a big kiss on the cheek. Then she backed up and looked at me with as much love as a grandparent would look at a grandchild. I was totally stumped....I kissed her back but said to her, "I'm sorry, I don't recognize you." She laughed and I knew. I could hear that Georgia accent, one I knew so well. She said, I'm Suzette!

I met Suzette in 2006. She was my very first tenant. She was so ill at the time, so frail looking and tiny. She needed a liver transplant, just like my husband, and she received one while staying here in Jacksonville. They were here just a few months, but she has sent me several cards over the two years telling me how much she still thinks of us. I didn't recognize her because she is so vibrant! I had only seen her quite ill and then she left just three weeks after transplant. However today, Suzette is no longer this frail woman. She looks amazing. I never expected to see them at this event, but what a joy to see her again.

Suzette & Charles were hoping to meet up with their donor family, too but it seems they attended an event that was in a different city. I don't think either one realized that there were two events in Florida this month. I'm sure they will meet their donor family as they keep in touch. I'm just grateful I got to see them.

So this is what I did last night. My husband is on a little R&R trip to Michigan this week, so he was unable to attend, but I said a prayer for the person who donated their organs so that Tom was able to live. What a gift.

Are you on the Organ Donor list? Does your family know of your wishes? If you are, please let them know. Even if you want to donate your organs after death, your family is the one who makes the final decision. Let them know your wishes.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Round Face

I have a very serious post coming sometime today. Not bad serious, just serious. The event I went to required me to get a bit dressed up. I even showered before the event! So after I showered and put on my make-up (although I didn't put on any mascara, which is normally a necessity) I realized that I wanted to take a few pictures. I was in a goofy mood, so why not.

As most of my self-portraits are, this one was taken in the bathroom. I like to be able to see the picture on the view screen in the mirror, so the bathroom is the easiest place to do this.

Out of the 20 or so pictures, these three taken in a row and getting closer with each click, were the best of the bunch. I wish I had put on some mascara...but I knew I was going to be dabbing my eyes all night, so I just couldn't put any on.

So what do you think? Do I have a round face?

Friday, November 14, 2008

K-Tel Music Express 1975

This morning a little email sent me on a minor quest to find the record that I loved so much as a kid. I used to play this record over and over and over again. I also used to play the 45 "Slow Dancing" over and over again...but that was a few years later I think.*

So I did a quick Google search this morning for Philadelphia Freedom + K-Tel and found exactly what I was looking for. I knew that Philadelphia Freedom was on that album as well as Run Joey Run, but I didn't like song as well and didn't want to Google it lol I found the album cover on this site, Vinyl Records - Canada, as well as a list of what was included on the album. What a hoot this was to be transported back to the basement of the house I grew up in in Lansing, MI. Visualize yellow shag carpet. Brown paneling. A yellow laminate wet bar at one end of the walk out basement. Instead of using it for jumping rope, I used the jump rope as my microphone. I was never much into exercise, but singing I could do!

Come join me in my childhood.

Music Express - K-Tel Record 1975

This has 20 original hits by the original artists.

Songs and artists include:

Captain & Tennille - Love will keep us together
Elton John - Philadelphia Freedom
Frankie Valli - Swearin' to god..
Johnny Rivers - Help me Rhonda
April Wine - Tonight Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love
Micheal Murphy - Wildfire
David Geddes - Run Joey Run
Shooter - Train
Wednesday - Here today gone tomorrow
War - Why can't we be friends
Barry Manilow - Mandy
Sammy Johns - Chevy Van

Side Two

Austin Roberts - Rocky
Phoebe Snow - Poetry Man
The Ozark Mountain Dairdevils - Jackie Blue
Mike Post - The Rockford Files
Gladys knight - The Way We Were
Charity Brown - Beat me to the Punch
Ambrosia - Holdin' On To Yesterday
Gino vanelli - Powerfull People
Patricia Dahlquist - Keep Our Love Alive
Stampeders - New Orleans
Harry Chapin - Cat's in the Cradle.
10CC-I'm Not in Love
Ozark Mountain Daredevils-Jackie Blue
Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin'

*AND because I mentioned the 45 of Slow Dancing, I HAD to find the lyrics for it. I didn't realize that this song was considered Country Music. I would listen to this for hours. Amazing. Is that sort of like watching the same episode of Project Runway over and over again, or watching the same movie (Music and Lyrics) over and over and over again? Like it's ever going to end differently! I think I'm secretly hoping they'll throw in another song. Anyway, here's Slow Dancing...

Slow Dancing - Johnny Duncan 1979

It’s Late At Night And We’re All Alone
just The Music On The Radio
no One’s Coming No One’s Gonna Telephone
just Me And You And The Lights Down Low

and We’re Slow Dancing Swaying To Music
slow Dancing Me And My Girl
slow Dancing Swaying To Music
no One Else In The Whole Wide World Just You Girl

we Just Flow Together With The Lights Are Low
shadows Dancing All Across The Wall
music’s Playing So Soft And Slow
the Rest Of The World So Far Away And Small

and You’re Slow Dancing Swaying To Music
slow Dancing Me And My Girl
slow Dancing Swaying To Music
no One Else In The Whole Wide World

hold Me Aw Hold Me
don’t Ever Let Me Go

as We Dance Together In The Dark
so Much Love In This Heart Of Mine
whisper To Me, Hold Me Tight
you’re The One I Thought I’d Never Find

and We’re Slow Dancing Swaying To Music
slow Dancing Me And My Girl
slow Dancing Swaying To Music
no One Else In The Whole Wide World

and We’re Slow Dancing Swaying To Music
slow Dancing Me And My, My, My, My Girl
slow Dancing Swaying To Music
no One Else In The Whole Wide World, Whole Wide World

Thursday, November 13, 2008

QVC, HSN & Etsy

I have purchased many items from QVC and HSN. I have found great deals, free shipping and great food, too. Right now I'm watching (and reading blogs on my computer) but the TV is on the Great Gifts segment on QVC. So far, not great gifts. You can put a picture on a coffee mug! You can get a faux mink blanket. Lets talk about CD cases. uhhh, it's all blah blah blah. I'm totally not in the mood.

Usually I get sucked into the hype of a great vacuum or the flawless look of mineral makeup. In the past, I've purchased a little cell phone holder with a great pocket. It was my purse for several years. I've purchased ribs from Corky's BBQ in Memphis, TN (Awesome ribs by the way.) I've purchased many a Christmas gift from QVC or HSN, but so far none for this year.

Maybe it's the host, maybe it's the product or maybe it's because I've found Etsy. I have seen & purchased so many cool handmade items on Etsy this year I can just hardly think of anything else. Nothing seems to be as wonderful or quirky or fabulous.

I'm still going to get my dad some applewood smoked bacon. He told me it was one of his favorite things to have on hand and he rarely does. I just filed that piece of info into my brain because my dad is one tough cookie in the gift department.

Oooh, we have makeup on QVC right now -- Jet Set is the product. 18 shades of Lipstick! (I use one color) I'm turning the channel. I think I taped Survivor this evening.

Have a fabulous night and go browse through Etsy and see if you can find something wonderful to give someone on your gift list this year.

It's a Slinky

My Friend GalPal just sent this video to me - I thought it was a hoot! I was going to call it a human slinky, but silly me, kitties aren't human now are they?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More 11:11

I forgot to post these yesterday on my November 11th day post. I snapped these pictures at 11:11am yesterday morning.

The phone one is a bit blurry, but I wanted to keep it. The other picture is of my DVR. I love my DVR!

My desk area

I don't know what I was thinking. I have just started visiting this blog, Organizing Queen, and she posted something about a computer desk. The picture was just a pristine desk with hardly anything on it. Then she suggested that some of her readers might like to post their desk areas. I laughed and posted a comment saying something smart alec-y about did she want before or after photos.

She sent me an email back and said that she wanted before -- Oh my goodness.

A few brave souls posted their desk photos today - Go on over and take a look.

I have to preface this photo with this...

Ever since I got my laptop, I tend not to work in this room. I pay the bills from here and upload pictures, but try real hard not to use this ancient computer.

I have paperwork, Christmas presents, tape gun, calculator and stamps and pens galore on this desk. Chances are this would take only 30 minutes to clean up - and yet, I haven't.

So here, in the world wide blog-land, I am exposing my desk.

Please come back.

I didn't mean to scare you off completely.

I'll clean it this weekend and post an after photo. Promise, pinky swear.

OK, I posted it. I'm glad that's over.

I'm going to go watch Oprah that I recorded on the DVR today. Peter Walsh is on and he's talking about Clutter! lol Of course that's todays topic, of course.

Go on over to Organizing Queen and see what she's got on her website. I've been enjoying her site ever since I found it a few weeks ago.

*** I just noticed that the screen saver has the most unusal picture on it. It is a picture of my friend's child (he's the nekked one in the middle) with his cousins. I have actually never met any of these children. I think this picture was taken in Norway where my friend is from, although she lives with her husband and child in the Canary Islands now.

Cast Iron Pan cleaning instructions

This week Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer is talking about buying jeans at a thrift store and a few hundred other people will also be giving their tips that work for them. Go ahead and leave a comment here first, then head on over to Rocks in my Dryer.

My Tip for you this week is...
How to clean an already seasoned cast iron pan or how to get your rusted or old cast iron pan back into use. Already seasoned means that you have been using your pan, oiling it, using it, oiling it, etc. If you have a brand new pan & it doesn't have this nice thick coat of black on in it, then I would recommend skipping the soaking in soapy water part. Use hot water and salt and then the oil. The black coating will come in a few months.

This pan has been used to make bacon or hamburgers or something and is now ready to be cleaned.

I usually take a silicone scraper and get all of the grease and bits out of the pan and put it in a small grease can. This weeks grease can is Publix brand crushed pineapple!

My cast iron pans are sitting on the counter with hot hot hot water in them. I let the pans sit while I finish up the rest of the dishes. wash wash wash. clean off the stove, wipe crumbs from the counter. OK, done.

I either put the pans into the hot soapy water for about ten minutes or I let them sit on the counter with hot water. Either way is just fine. Don't soak for very long - all you want to do is just break up that top layer of grease. The one that came from cooking tonights meal. Or...

I dump out the water and grab my nylon scrubby sponge, pour some Ivory liquid soap onto the sponge and then scrub the oily bits off the pan. I know all of this is just making some folks twitch. Soap and cast iron pans are a no no to a lot of folks. If your pans are well seasoned and you give them a nice coat of oil, this process here is not a big deal. I'm just taking off the top layer of oil, which is the layer from cooking.

If there are still some bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, pour in some regular salt. Scrub the bottom of the pan with the salt and a paper towel. I use Bounty Select a Size. scrub scrub scrub done! (Rinse with hot water after this step) It comes right up usually. If you still have just a little stubborn spot - just leave it. It'll get oiled and come right up by the time you are ready to use the pan again. Or do as I do and just leave it. The spot has been washed, rinsed, sanitized and oiled. It'll burn off in the next cooking!

Here is the star of the show. My little can of solid Crisco shortening. I have one can that is just for the pans. It usually lasts me about a year.

I heat the pan up real quick, just to get rid of any of the moisture in the pan from all of the soaking, scrubbing and rinsing.

I turn off the burner. Then I take a small piece of papertowel that I have swirled around in the Crisco container to get a nice blob of shortening and I oil the pan.

Let the pan cool and put away.

This seems like a lot of steps and fiddling around, but each pan takes about 3-5 minutes. If I soak the pans I am usually doing that while I dry the dishes, taking out the trash, or something else in the kitchen.

In the comments I am noticing that some of you think this is too much work -- This instruction is for really stuck on foods or when the pans need scrubbing. I know that people are sometimes afraid to use their cast iron for fear of something sticking. If you keep the pan oiled up, things just don't stick and if they do - use the tips above.

The everyday use of the pan, I rinse, wipe, heat and oil.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to go see other great tips at Rocks in my Dryer.