Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September Links

Here are all of the links to the posts written in September 2009.

Briskers and whiskers

I'm getting things ready for my husband while I'm away.
Have I mentioned that I'm leaving town?

My husband will not be eating the Fancy Feast, but dear sweet Mocha will and she would be very upset if she didn't get the exact food she loves and adores.  I though I'd save them both the trouble and I bought another box just in case Tom ran out. 

The shiny object behind the Fancy Feast is a Brisker.  Have you ever heard of a Brisker?  I love ours. My mother-in-law has one and when Tom and I moved to Florida I asked her for one.  I was subtle about it, I promise.  She said "Do you have a Christmas Wish List?" and I said "I want a Brisker" and she said "Great!"  Then I promptly forgot that I told her, so when it arrived I was thrilled to find just what I had been wishing I'd had.  Cool, huh?

OK, a brisker is an electric appliance that is a lot like a heated bread box.  It keeps the humidity out of foods that you want to stay crisp - like crackers, croutons, even salt.  The Brisker website says that you can put cookies in the brisker, but unless you like really crunchy cookies then I'd just stick to crackers and such.  The crackers are warm when you take them out of the brisker, which makes them 100 times better!  It was the warm crackers that my mother-in-law always serves that made me really want a brisker and it was the humidity in Florida that made having a brisker a necessity.  (a luxury, I know)

Oh, that's me peeking over the cat food, smirking at my reflection :)  Oh wait, speaking of Mocha...

I took the duvet cover off the bedspread to wash it and it wasn't 30 seconds before Mocha had gotten herself all cuddled up in the middle of the bedspread.  She's holding it down saying --- don't move it! It's all mine!  haha

The update in last night's blog post on the gal who got the call - well, the liver wasn't good, so she didn't get transplanted.  It's OK.  We only want the best liver for her body. 

Have a wonderful week!

POTD - Awning

Awning - by Kristin Corlett

A little bit of rust, dirt, paint & mold.  There's even a glass doorknob.  I love the decay and yet it's so sad to see a home get so run down.  Found in the Riverside neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I'm about ready to call in reinforcements.  Ring Ring

OK not really, but goodness, I've got a million things to do still and my days are dwindling before my departure.

I've also got several social obligations to attend before I go.  (quite the social butterfly!)
and two new tenants to meet and help move in.

Two of my former tenants are back in Mayo, so I went over there today to visit and see how they were doing.  

I had to get my oil changed and tires rotated on my car - got that done this morning.  It's really nice living just a mile from the dealership I was able to drop off the car and walk home.  Then when the car was ready, I walked back up.  Thankfully it was only 70ยบ this morning so I didn't fall over from heat stroke at 10:30am when I had to go back for the car.

Laundry is now finished, that's great!  I just folded the last article of clothing.  Michigan just hit a cold spell, so pretty much all of my clothing that I wear here in Florida will be useless, so at least most of it will be clean before I go and it will be ready for me when I return.

Then it's just the usual stuff, pack, gather toiletries, pay the bills, etc.  The only difference is that I've never left my husband for a month.  I'm terribly nervous that the house is going to be a mess when I return, so I'm trying to make it as clean and picked up as possible (and I'm not a neat person, so this is a real stretch!)   I won't work myself into a frenzy though because I'm driving to Michigan and I just can't be exhausted then take a long drive.  I'm just going to have to trust that my husband will feed the cat, take out the trash and do the dishes.  Ahhh, that's what phones were designed to do - - - to call someone up and remind them to take out the trash :)

Actually, I'm so excited that I'm just vibrating.  I haven't been home for this long in a really long time.  I've got my own car, I've got people to see, things to do, events to attend, photos to take and so much more.  My trip begins with a stop at my Aunt and Uncles home in Indianapolis, IN.  I've always wanted to stop there on my trips to Michigan but there home is just not the right distance from Jacksonville in a two day drive.  This time I'm taking three days so I can stop in Indiana.  Then on Sunday I'm meeting up with Keetha!  She's a blogging friend and we're meeting for the first time!!

The countdown begins :)

tick tock

tick tock


EDITED TO ADD...How interesting that I chose to use the phone as my photo for today.
I just found out that one of our support group friends just got the call for a liver transplant.  I hope this is the call that they were waiting for as the potential recipient as been so sick the past few months.  She's young and she has been sick most of her life.  Prayers to you honey!  I'll see you tomorrow.

POTD - One Eye

One Eye - by Kristin Corlett

Mocha being cute.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Burger King

Growing up, this building was a constant in my life.  I know that through the years the buildings changed and morphed into what we see today, but in my mind, this is the way a Burger King building looks like. You see, my grandfather opened up one of the first Burger Kings in Michigan and expanded until he had 8 stores in the Lansing, MI area.  My entire family worked there in one capacity or another.  This was our family business.

This is the King on a Bun. It may have an official name, but this is way I've always known it. I posted a photo of the King on a Bun that I have in my own home - HERE. He hangs in my laundry room and I smile every day when I see him. I actually don't remember this King in the stores, (in our family the Burger Kings were called stores) but I remember him more being a piece of art, hanging on the walls of family homes.

Now this King I remember. When I was in 2nd grade we did a local Burger King commercial where we had this king suit, which my mother wore, and I came up to the King and was handed a balloon. Then there was type that said come to a special event at these Lansing Burger King locations. When the commercial came out I was a mini celebrity in my classroom for about a day. It was fun.

This is my very favorite Burger King logo.  I really really really dislike the round BK symbol that's used now.  This one will always be the best :)  Gosh, growing up we had all kinds of Burger King logo items.  I think my sisters had more than I did because merchandising changed at some point and more logo items were available, but we had shirts, shoes, clocks, necklaces and even these weird Halloween decorations with a Burger King logo on them.   Those Halloween decorations were so cool.  I don't think a photo of them exists unfortunately.

When my Dad was the manager of one of the stores, this was his business card of sorts.  He used to hand these out all the time.  This is where I got that picture of the store in the first photo (sneaky, huh?!!)  He used to have a whole pile of these cards sitting on his dresser and I used to look at them, count them, pile them into stacks of ten and examining each one.  Who knew that the two that I have now would mean so much to me.  I really should get these framed.  Right now they are in a clear plastic box frame.  They need a frame.  They really do.

A while back I talked about and showed pictures of the Lansing Mall Burger King (here) where I worked as a kid.  Take a look if you haven't seen it before.  It's a hoot.

I hope you have a Fabulous Monday!
My mom scanned the photos from the Green Album

I'm inside - That's my mom :)

Left to right - my sister Alison in the high chair.  The Burger King sign with all of the bicycles lined up.  You'll have to get out your magnifying glasses for that one.
Second row - The store filled to the brim with the deCylces bike riders. (My Aunt Gail is holding my cousin Jody and the dark haired gal next to those two is my cousin Amy.)  My Uncles Matthew and Alan posing in my grandparents backyard.
Bottom row - The deCycles bikes and kids in the backyard.

POTD - Guard

Guard - by Kristin Corlett

I haven't found out the name of this statue yet, but I will. This guy had a brother across the street and they seem to act as the guards for the city of St. Augustine.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Here She Is...

...Miss Treadmill!

I thought a view of the treadmill was in order for this Sunday evening.

So what do you think? Looks good, huh?  She's not as pretty in real life as she looks here.

I couldn't get a good photo of the side bars, but they were bent in so far that the tread part won't go down.  I did however get a  close up of one of the fat plastic wheels.

They used to be perfectly smooth...before the thrill ride!

The garage sale was a pretty darn good success.  Between my husband and I we carted over seven loads to the garage sale site and tonight we only carted one load home.   The treadmill went to the curb at our friends house - hopefully someone will pick it up for parts - otherwise we'll have to call a large appliance disposal placed to come get it.  I also boxed up about 3 small boxes for the Goodwill truck that's coming tomorrow. 

We had a lot of different types of stuff for sale.  Dishes, pottery, boxes of stationery, bedding, an air compressor, two battery chargers, hundreds of t-shirts from our former business, bicycle parts and the list goes on and on.  We wheeled and dealed our little hearts out and ended up making just over a thousand dollars.   I think the biggest thrill I had was when someone offered us $30 for the remaining t-shirts.  I said yes so quickly that I thought my husbands neck was going to fly off!  We were selling them for $1 a piece and probably had 200 shirts left.  But the thought of having even one shirt left at the end of the day made that $30 worth it.    The photo above shows a few of the boxes of shirts and sweatshirts that we had available.

I made a lot of deals on Saturday, but today was Let's Make A Deal day for sure.  Whew!  It was a lot of work, but worth it.  I cleared out a lot of possessions that Tom and I had packed up 4 years ago and have never opened in that time.  This was a very good purge of those items, however,  I'm done with garage sales for the year.  This was my second one this summer and I'm done done done :) 

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stuff for sale

This is the truck that I've followed around town many many times this week.  This is my husband's pick up truck filled with items going over to the garage sale.  I think we had 4 truck loads in this vehicle and 3 in mine.  This is also the truck that carried the treadmill.  Shoot, I forgot to get a picture of the treadmill!  I saw it for the first time this morning.  It's totally destroyed.

In case you missed the announcement on the treadmill, here it is again...
One of the items going into the sale is my treadmill.  I can't use it here in our condo, so it's been sitting in a garage I own about 15 miles from my house.  The darned thing is about 10 years old and so heavy that I'm really ready for it to go away.  Dear dear husband and this wonderful friend loaded this very heavy machine into the back of Tom's truck along with many other items and proceeded to go drop it off at the friends home.  As they were turning onto the expressway, the treadmill went flying out the back of the truck, barely missing the car behind them. (I cannot imagine the heart attack those folks must have had seeing that giant treadmill coming right at them!!)   The boys retrieved the treadmill and put it back in the truck and somehow made it back to the garage sale site.  Rather than being a really good deal at the sale and maybe bring us $50 or so - now it's going to be free for the taking and who knows if it works.   I still can't believe he didn't tie the thing down! (from the Friday Fragment post)
So the treadmill is junk.  I'm not sure what we are going to do with it.  We may have to pay to get it thrown away - now that's sad.

The garage sale went very well.  It's a 2 day sale, much to my chagrin.  I like one day sales.  At the end of the day, load it all up and drop it off at GoodWill.  Since I wasn't in charge and I didn't do anything but haul my stuff over to someone elses house, I got no say in the matter.    So tomorrow, Sunday, we are selling from 9-2.  I sold a little over half of my treasures today and I hope to sell nearly everything else tomorrow.  :)

I have two - one car garages at one of my rental condo properties and they have both been very full.  I think we cleaned out one whole garage.


I love clearing out the stuff that I no longer need or want or love any more.  And even though garage sales are so time consuming, I really do enjoy chatting with all of these interesting people that stop by the sale.  I love the people who want to bargain with me on things that I won't bargain!  I had a duvet cover & sham set, never used, in the package marked at $5.  The woman who wanted it offered $3.  I told her that the sale just started 10 minutes ago and it was a two day sale - I was expecting to get $5 from it.  She offered $3.50.  She offered $4.  I kept teling her that it was $5, no other price would do.  She found another duvet and sham set that I had.  Those had been used, but came with 2 pillows.  I told her $5 for that one, too.   After trying to bargain with me on and off for about 20 minutes, she purchased both of the duvets and shams for $10 :)

What  a hoot.

So that's what I did today and what I will be doing tomorrow.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

POTD - Main Street Bridge

Main Street Bridge -  by Kristin Corlett

We have seven main bridges in Jacksonville.  This beautiful blue bridge is the Main Street Bridge. 


Art-O-Mat love

picture from Art-O-Mat
Madame Pickwick
Sherbrooke, QC

On Saturday of last week (titled Very Interesting) I talked about the Art-O-Mat and posted a video on how one of the artists put together her art for the machines. If you haven't seen it, you still have time to run over there and watch the video.  The Art-O-Mats are former cigarette machines that now dispense packs of art.  The list of artists that participate in this program is extensive.  (see the list here)

So stick with me here.

One of my Wreck This Journal friends, Kavindra wrote on my Confessions post.  She gave me a wonderful pep talk about taking my fabulous self to my reunion in a great looking outfit.  Then she mentioned that she had also read the Very Interesting post and watched the Art-O-Mat video, then visited the website, then jumped in her car as soon as she realized there was an Art-O-Mat near her!   She also mentioned that if I wanted one, she would gladly pull the lever again and mail off a special gift to me.

I wrote her back and said that I wasn't too proud to say YES to her offer.  I wanted something from an Art-O-Mat and I wasn't afraid to beg.   Actually I was just so excited that she had one near her and that she got something that it was a shock to my system to read that she wanted to send me something!!!

From her description of the events it sounded like she took off like Batman to the nearest Art-O-Mat.  She then emailed back and said that she was actually Batman and Robin because her husband got in on the act with her!

The story just got better and better.  Superheros, art, giving and blogging. 

Well - The envelope arrived today and I jumped up and down, up and down when I pulled the package out of the mailbox.  Here's what Kavindra picked out for me.

She sent the Seek Peace card along with the pack of art from the machine.  She even put a lovely sticker on the front of the purple envelope, which is a Chagall painting (The Flying Sleigh.)  Purple is my favorite color :)  and she posted the envelope with real stamps, so I can add those two $1 stamps in my Wreck This Journal stamp page!  All this excitement and I still hadn't opened up the box or read the card.

The box was titled "Dreams" created by Nikki Wheeler and according to the note included in the pack...
...the "Dreams" series began during the creation of some fabric beads.  The little scrolls tied up spoke tom me.  Inside they hold so many dreams.  These dreams are easily effected by one's experiences and circumstances.  Each little work speaks to different situations one may be encountering, with the hope of one's dreams for the future.

Nikki Wheeler goes on to say...I am honored that you now own a little creation of mine.  I would love to hear from you.
This is just such a cool piece of art!  I love the three scrolls.  I don't know if it reminds me of dreams because right now with my sister having a baby next month and this will be her third child - I'm seeing my nieces and the new baby in this piece.  Maybe I'll think of them having sweet dreams!  This was a great pick.  Perfectly wonderful.

Then! Then I turn over the Seek Peace card to read what Kavindra wrote to me.

I really think that blogging is the best thing that has ever happened to me when it comes to friendship and giving.  So many of the bloggers that I have met are so incredibly giving.  I have to admit that I hadn't gotten over to Lisa's (Kavindra) blog for a few weeks, but while we were in Wreck This Journal I was there each week.  I really enjoyed her blog, her creativeness and her whole attitude.  So to have her read something of mine, go out and buy something because of something I suggested, then to buy something for me, write a note, go to the post office, stand in line and mail off this package to me is just so lovely. 

Delighted?  You're delighted?  Oh I'm totally delighted, too.  Thank you Lisa!  Thank you so very much.  This made my week.  Thank you.

Kristin - The Goat

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday Fragments

Mrs. 4444, from Half-Past Kissing Time, hosts Friday Fragments each week. It's a great excuse to get all those little snippets that gather in the brain and don't seem enough for one post but together they can make one fun blog post!  This week has been crazy weird, so this fragmented post may be just as nutty as my week!



First off.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  For those of you who do not know, I rent condos to people who are going through the pre and post heart, lung or liver transplant process.  My husband had a liver transplant almost 4 years ago, so this is a way for us to help give back to the community that has helped us so much.  However lovely the idea of renting these condos to the transplant community, it is frustrating when I don't have anyone in them.  It means that I'm paying for the condos.  For the past two months all three of my condos have been empty and so has my bank account.  I've been sending out a whole bunch of prayers and then last night I did a whole visualization thing - visualizing families coming to me and handing me checks and me handing them keys.   I did that several times.  Family, check, keys, repeat.    Today I rented two of my condos and have a definite maybe from a third person.  Coincidence??  Prayers answered is what that is.  Thank you!

When something so fabulous comes to you, I believe you can never say Thank You enough.  I think I've said TY a few hundred times today!


I entered to win a giveaway over at Olive Rue.  I didn't win, but because she had such a terrific response to the giveaway, she decided to offer her fabulous chalkboard gift tags on her Etsy site for a great price.  I decided to take her up on the offer because darn it  I wanted them and I had talked myself out of them several several times.  Those tags arrived today!  Thank you Olive Rue!!


A friend of ours was talked into having a garage sale by my husband and I.  :)  Thankfully he agreed!  One of the items going into the sale is my treadmill.  I can't use it here in our condo, so it's been sitting in a garage I own about 15 miles from my house.  The darned thing is about 10 years old and so heavy that I'm really ready for it to go away.  Dear dear husband and this wonderful friend loaded this very heavy machine into the back of Tom's truck along with many other items and proceeded to go drop it off at the friends home.  As they were turning onto the expressway, the treadmill went flying out the back of the truck, barely missing the car behind them. (I cannot imagine the heart attack those folks must have had seeing that giant treadmill coming right at them!!)   The boys retrieved the treadmill and put it back in the truck and somehow made it back to the garage sale site.  Rather than being a really good deal at the sale and maybe bring us $50 or so - now it's going to be free for the taking and who knows if it works.   I still can't believe he didn't tie the thing down! 


I'm watching Project Runway, which has been moved to Lifetime for this latest season.  The judging panel is supposed to consist of 3 regular members and 1 guest judge. Every so often one of the regular panel judges couldn't make it, when PR was on Bravo, but this season is just insane. I think the 3 regular judges have only been there once so far out of what? 6 shows? It's actually been the Heidi Klum show. I want Michael Kors. I want Nina Garcia. I want a guest judge that I recognize. sigh. I still like PR but it was better on Bravo.


I want to Thank everyone who left such lovely comments about my Confession the other day.  I just wanted to mention that there was never a question about me going to the reunion.  I was the person that got the reunion ball rolling and got the first committee together, so I'm going and I'm excited :)


 I decided last week that I was going to do a Photo of the Day (POTD) Monday through Friday.  I've taken a lot of photos that I really can't work an entire blog post around, so the Photo of the Day is a great way to show one photo and let it just stand on it's own.  I honestly didn't think I'd get any comments on the POTD and I've gotten a good response this week.  Thanks everyone!  I so enjoy the participation.  Thank you!


Please come back to see the other blog post for Friday.  I was going to include it in the Friday Fragments post, but it was MUCH longer than a fragment, I realized after I started writing it.  It's about a fabulous gift that I received in the mail today.  It's posted now - called Art-O-Mat Love.


Turns out I had a  Fragment theme!  It was Thank you!  I said that in nearly every paragraph. :)

I hope you head on over to Mrs. 4444's place to check out the other Friday Fragments.  I so enjoy it each week and am happy to be able to participate. 

Thanks for stopping my!

POTD - Classic

Classic - by Kristin Corlett

This home along the St. Johns River in Jacksonville reminded me of the beautiful buildings on the campus of Michigan State University.  You can click on the photo to enlarge


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ruby Slippers

photo from Google images

Today was the 70th Anniversary of the film, Wizard of Oz.  In honor of this anniversary theaters around the country showed an enhanced (High Def) version of the original movie as well as a 20 minute behind the scenes documentary of the the Wizard of Oz.   We learned such things like Buddy Ebsen was the original Tin Man, but the powdered aluminum that was put on his face during a rehearsal completely coasted his lungs.  He had to be rushed to the hospital and was unable to continue his role as the Tin Man.  I had no idea that before he was Jed Clampett, Buddy Ebsen was a singer and dancer.  I knew he was talented, but I  had no idea.

It's been eons since I've seen this particular movie.  I just don't ever choose to watch it when it's on TV but I just couldn't resist seeing it in the theater.   I saw Gone with the Wind when it came out in an anniversary edition in theaters and I'll never forget it.  I'll never forget this event either.

So I went.

and I sat with about 400 others.

I was surprised at how many people came out for the movie, but I was thrilled, too!  The theater probably held about 700, so I had an open seat on either side of me.  Even better :)

The theater was full of families.  Small kids, high schoolers, moms and dads, couples and a few like me - singles.  There wasn't a single crying child, no one with a nagging cough and only a few people furiously text messaging during the show.  It was a very nice time.  I'm so happy that I went.

Before the movie started the family next to me decided to do a little school work.

Vocab.  I got a B- in spelling in 6th grade.  It still isn't my forte.

I brought out a business card and a pen (blogging material if nothing else) and wrote down what I heard.

Honey, spell dissuade. dis-suade.  Do you know what it means?

Fathom was next.

Then interrogate.

I didn't have a clue how to spell the next one.  Entrepreneur.  At least not without writing it down.

Indignant, indispensable and interrupt were in there, too, along with a whole slew of words I either didn't hear or just didn't know!

I was feeling like I needed to go back to school until we got to indifferent.  I knew that one.

It's always good to have a vocab lesson while waiting for the movie to begin :)

Thankfully the movie started and vocab was over.

If you didn't get a chance to see the Wizard of Oz in the theater today, do yourself a favor and rent the movie (no commercials) it really is good and was a pleasure to see a childhood classic. 

Have a fabulous day!

POTD - Retired

Retired - by Kristin Corlett

I saw this couple at The Jacksonville Landing.   It was a fairly windy day and the spinners behind each of their heads were spinning like mad.   I just got a kick out of the twin chairs, the twin hats and the twin spinners. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Egg Salad

Egg Salad is something that I really wasn't very fond of when I was growing up.  Even when I got into my 20's I tried to make it a few times and ate it only because I'd just made it, but  still, not a favorite.  The past few years I've made egg salad about once every two months.  I've really started liking it.  I wonder if it's just because I have a love of mayonnaise :)

The other night my husband asked me if dill pickle relish went into egg salad.  I told him that I didn't think so.  I didn't make it that way, that's for sure, but I decided to Google "egg salad" just to see if it was a common ingredient.  Turns out it wasn't listed at all on the recipes that I found on the first page.

Pretty much egg salad is made the same way, I learned from looking through those dozen recipes.  The way I make egg salad really isn't all that different, but it's always good to share.  So here's my official egg salad recipe.

I first start off with freshly hardboiled eggs.  If you'd like my procedure for hard boiling eggs, then please click here.  I don't mind peeling HB eggs anymore because of this method.  It's just a breeze.   I've also gone through several egg slicers the past few years, so I finally broke down and bought a fairly expensive one (just under $10 I think) and this one has now lasted a full 6 months - a record in my household!  I think it's going to make it a full year at the minimum, which is just fabulous.


I slice the egg one way in the slicer, then I turn the egg and slice it again, so it's in small strips.   Then I toss it with a fork because it's fun.

Then I add in this cast of characters.  Mayo (Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise), a squirt of yellow mustard, some garlic powder, celery salt and regular sea salt.  I add in onion powder sometimes, too.  I add in the sea salt because my husband is usually eating it with me, but for just me, I tend not to salt anything.  Eggs are naturally salty, so you can get away with it  fairly easy.

I believe that the mustard is an absolute necessity.  It gives the egg salad a lovely yellow color and keeps the salad from being too bland.  Most people would look at these ingredients and would wonder where in the world is the freshly cracked black pepper?  Well, I really and I stress really dislike pepper.  If I feel a dish needs pepper but I can't stand to see the little black flecks (I will pick them out) then I fool myself and put in white pepper, but in the case of egg salad...pepper is not necessary. My husband disagrees, so he has a pepper grinder at his disposal.

Here's my favorite little tiny dish filled with my egg salad.   I usually eat this with several large lettuce leaves.  I sort of scoop up the salad with my lettuce and eat it that way.  I should probably wear a bib when doing this.

It may be the first day of fall, but it's always a good time to have egg salad.

Hard boiled eggs
Yellow Mustard
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder
Celery Salt

Mix and serve.

If you make egg salad what do you put in it?

Have a wonderful day!

*The red bowl is one of my favorite pottery bowls.  I got it in Chicago when I traveled there with my husband.  We went to a two story warehouse type of place where a lot of artists showed their work.  It was a gallery and a studio and a work space.  Very cool place.  I just asked Tom and we have decided that we think it was just north of Chicago in the Lincoln Park area.   I can pretty must describe exactly where I found all of my pottery pieces and who I was with when I purchased it.   I say it's one of my favorite bowls, that's sort of the truth.  All of my bowls are my favorite bowls!

POTD - Shiver

Shiver - By Kristin Corlett
Statuary found in the yard of a home in the Riverside neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL


Monday, September 21, 2009


25th Grand Ledge High School Reunion invitation by Alison Corlett

This isn't something I'd normally talk about on my blog - I try real hard not to talk about things that require me to be vulnerable.  I like to talk about memories and things that I observe but when it comes to talking about my personal struggles I just don't want to go there.  I see my blog as a real fun place to come to each day, but today, I'm just so bummed that I have to say something.

Here it is.

I've gained 20 pounds in the past 2 months.  I'm just so upset about this I can hardly stand it.  More than likely it's medication related as one of the side effects of two of my meds is weight gain.  I'm already overweight but a few years back I lost 50 pounds and I have never gained any of it back.  Five years and I didn't gain it back and now in two months 20 pounds.  It's seriously depressing.

I'm going to my High School reunion in a few weeks, 20 pounds heavier than I ever wanted to be.  I'm going home to Michigan for a month, 20 pounds heavier.  My clothes are tight, my bras aren't fitting, my face is rounder, my eyes are puffier, it's taking more insulin to cover the same foods I ate before the weight gain and worst of all, my feet hurt more than ever.  

I thought when I first noticed this weight gain that I was just needing to get used to the medication and that I'd just go back to my starting weight in a few weeks to a few months.  Yesterday when I stepped on the scale and I noticed a two pound weight gain from just a few days earlier, I knew that my optimism was futile in this case.  In order to gain two pounds of fat I would need to have consumed about 7,000 extra calories and I haven't consumed 7,000 calories in two days.  I'm sure some of the weight gain is purely fluid retention which is nice in theory, but still not easy to lose.

Some changes are in my very near today.  I just cannot afford to gain any more weight and I can't afford to feel bad about myself.  So I've now put it out there (gasp) in print.  I'm not going to be able to ignore it or forget about it because I've got it written right here.  Actually it's more like I have another layer of accountability, I haven't been ignoring the weight gain, I've been seeing every ounce in full technicolor. 

I'll go back to my regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, but I'll be sure and give some updates on my progress in the coming weeks and months. 

I feel about 20 pounds lighter getting that off my chest.  :)

Oh!  Speaking of the reunion.  The reunion invitation that my sister designed for my classmates is above.  I love it.  LOVE IT!  Thanks Alison!


***Update - You all are so sweet.  I have talked with my doctor.  The weight gain started within moments after upping the dose on one of my meds.  We've discussed an alternate medication, but so far it's not looking like it's going to change for a while. I may be asking to reevaluate that decision though, as this weight gain is not acceptable.  Thanks everyone!***

POTD - Open

This is the first of my Photo of the Day (aka - POTD). I think I'm going to run this M-F to start and see how it goes. My goal is to have an interesting photo and just a small blurb underneath it. No long story - just a photo of the day.

 Open - by Kristin Corlett

Extreme close up of a water valve taken in Jacksonville, FL.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Art and Houses

Fixture from the River Hall House we toured.

Ya know, there are some days where you just want to sit in the house and not do a a darn thing. Then there are moments when you know you need to go even though it really is one of those "sit in the house" days. Today was one of those days. Tom usually goes out on Sunday afternoons looking at houses. He wanders around town, going to open houses and talking with the Realtors. I don't normally like to go because I've heard my husband's tales a million times AND I get the house for several hours all to myself. But today when it was time for him to shoot out the door I asked him if he'd like me to join him. He said yes. 

The few houses that we saw were OK.  Nothing made my heart go pitter pat, that's for sure.  We did see some original terrazzo floors though, but that house was otherwise a disaster.  All of the Realtors we met were fabulous though.   I took my Kindle with me which was real nice because one of the places where Tom was off on some tangent with the Realtor, I suggested that I go hang out in the car. This made him happy that he could chat and it made me happy, that I didn't have to listen!

We also visited a place called Works of Art. It's like an art gallery, but an artist can rent their own space and sell their work. There is no commission charged for having your work there, just a booth fee and 4 hours a month volunteer work at the gallery. When I told the woman that I was thinking about displaying some of my photographs she asked how long I've been taking photos (about a year) - she frowns.  Where did I go to photography school? (I didn't) - she frowns.  How do you know your work is any good? (She really asked that???!!  I was shocked.  After a moment I said - I have a blog and I've been getting some real nice feedback on my photographs.)  She said - But this is just from your friends, right?  (Blogging friends, yes, but not a lot of my lifelong friends read my blog.)  She put her hand to her chin and said,  well, when you get some things framed we'll decide and take it from there.

She was totally unconvinced.  haha  That's OK.  I enjoyed the store and I just may put my work there or I may just sell it on Etsy :)  but I will definitely go back.  There's a lot of great items and the prices were fantastic.  (I would have taken photos, but I was asked not to...but I wanted it for the blog!  She just didn't understand.)

My day was pretty low key, but nice.  Tom and I spent the day together and had a nice time.  He's got a job in the morning and I think I have a showing tomorrow - a new pre-transplant family coming in.   Wish me luck on that - all of my rental condos are unoccupied at the moment and I really need them rented.

Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Very Interesting!

Here are a couple of items that I've been holding on to and I think today is a good day to release them out into the universe.

OK, so they've already been released, but I'm re-releasing them :)


Jessica Claire is a lovely photographer who was hired to photograph this family. I swear I'm in love with this session. It's just lovely. If you have a few moments, take a look at this Beautiful family!

I rarely eat at fast food restaurants anymore, but this video on Chick-fil-A is very funny. I found it originally on the "We Are That Family" blog. It's just a minute and a half and funny.

This next video is about the Art-o-Mat. Actually, it's more about one artist, Robyn, and the items she makes for the Art-o-Mats. There isn't an Art-O-Mat near me, but maybe on my drive up to Michigan in October I might be near one...I didn't think of that until right now. Cool. Anyway, here's a video Robyn made about what's in the art package that she puts into the vending machines.

Art-O-Mat website - here
Robyn's website - here

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Fragments

Mrs. 4444, from Half-Past Kissing Time, hosts Friday Fragments each week. It's a great excuse to get all those little snippets that gather in the brain and don't seem enough for one post but together they can make one fun blog post! Enjoy!


Last week, Mrs. 4444 mentioned that her name is to be said as Mrs. Fours.  Goodness, I had no idea.  It's so much easier to say Mrs. Fours than to say Mrs. Four Four Four Four, which is exactly what I was doing.  Thank you Mrs. Fours :)  Thank you for explaining.


Dr. Oz has his own show now (Click Here for the website).  He was on the Oprah show for 5 years (just like Dr. Phil) and now he's doing his own show.  I've see three episodes so far - not bad. I have already learned a few things, too!


I got my hair cut & colored yesterday :)   I've been getting blonde highlights for years now, but in the fall last year I got a darker tint in my hair to match the seasons.  Today I went dark.  Really dark.  It's actually a scary dark for me.   My husband, who rarely notices a difference in my hair about fell out of his chair when I got home.  His first response?  "Will it get lighter? after you wash it?" He'll get used to it.  :)  I put the photo on Facebook last night and the phone lines were buzzing! I had no idea I'd get such a response and it was a lot of fun.  I thought I'd let you all get a peak, too.



The before shot shows my perm that lasted about an hour.  Pretend that my hair is stick straight in the first photo, too! 

More TV talk - I'm thrilled that Project Runway, Survivor & Amazing Race are all on.  OK, Amazing race hasn't started yet, but it's coming soon. 


I went to the movies last week and one of the ads before the show mentioned that the 70th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz was coming up.  There is going to be a nationwide one day only rerelease on Sept. 23rd.  I think I'm going to plan on going.  Come to think of it, I saw the message in the theater, but they didn' t say if it was going to be shown in that theater.  Guess I need to find out!  If you are interested, be sure to look it up and see if it will be in your town - Sept. 23rd.  That's a Wednesday.


Thanks for stopping by.  Check out more Friday Fragments over at Mrs. 4444 (fours!!).  Enjoy your day.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thrifty purses

Welcome my late edition of Thrifty Thursday hosted by Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville. This gives us all a chance to have a fun time hunting around the house, the garage, someone elses house and garage or even a thrift store or two to dig up some cool finds.

Be sure and check out the other Thrifty Finds, from the other participants. I'm always amazed at what folks submit and how often I wish I'd found it, or bought it or noticed it...whatever IT is :)

I went shopping this week and actually bought something!  I went to Target (we have a Super Target) because they have a very large selection of turkey products.  As I finished with the grocery side, I went over to the other side.

That's the expensive side for me at times.  Especially when I know I need a few things and I knew I need a new purse.  My current bag is really looking beat up.  I've had it a year and it's traveled a million miles.  I still think that I want to take it with me to Rome because it can hold SO much and I can carry it easily.  So I need something to replace it for everyday.  I spent nearly 30 minutes in the purse and bag section and the payoff was fabulous!

These photos don't do the bags justice - the red bag is a gorgeous leather bag.  I don't know why it looks like it has white rings on it.  It's all red and I really like it.   The weird purple bag is a thin fabric bag that has a giant long strap.  I wanted it to hold my camera and a some money - It's just a get-out-of-the-car-with-the-camera type of bag.  Not my everyday-haul-everything bag.


Oh goodness!!  They were both on clearance!

The weird purple bag - I know, it's not a beauty, so no kidding it was on clearance, but it was $3.  Three Dollars!

The red leather bag - $12.

I'm super pleased.   What I'm even happier about is that I knew if I didn't find the right bag for me, I didn't need to get one today.  I went through all of the bags available and the ones on clearance were the perfect ones.  Yipppeee :)

If you get a chance, please go visit the others at Leigh's Thrifty Thursday.  Have a great day!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monthly Calendar

It occurred to me that I hadn't updated my calendar making at all this year.  In January I talked about the calendar I had decided to make this year - here.  After looking at that page, I realize that I've gotten a bit better at doing these.  I didn't want to make the entire year right away, so I make the next month usually around the 15th of the current month.


Yesterday, I started October's calendar.  The sketch pad I use is quite large -- 14 X 11.  Opened up it's 14 x 22 of usable space.  I finally bought some 2" square post-its, which fit perfectly on the pages.  Each month has a different layout, so where there is extra room I add in diamonds, rectangles or triangles to use as note taking areas.

I've laid out the calendar grid for October and have used my stamp pads and stamped over the top of the post-its.  I used some autumny colors.  I know I should have said a fall pallette, but I like autumny :)

When everything is covered sufficiently...

Peel off the post-its to reveal the squares.  (I save the post-its to use again - I've been able to use them for about three months worth of calendars)  Doesn't that look cool?  It takes very little creativity to make these calendar pages, but of course, you can get as creative as possible.  I choose to doodle and add stickers and what not as the month progresses.

I don't number the squares in order, because I learned years and years ago, that I always miss a number.  So I go down the page, looking at another calendar for reference and write in the number, checking to make sure I've got it correct for each number.  This way I don't have to use a lot of white out :)

I do add in the month, the days of the week and the dates in each square.  I add in the activities that I know are going to happen and that's it!

I've really enjoyed making this calendar.  It's been a nice creative outlet (it takes about 15 minutes) and I'm able to get ink on all of my fingers, usually a forearm or two and if I didn't drop one of the stamp pads on the floor (ink side down) then it wouldn't be a craft project!  I do keep a wet papertowel next to my work surface and I have tile floors, so the ink comes right up.

I'm leaving in a two hours to go gather my husband from the airport.  He's in Atlanta right now waiting for his flight to Jacksonville.  He hasn't had much time to talk to me since he's been gone, so I'm looking forward to find out how it all went and how his family is doing.  I think we may even go out to dinner :)  hmmmm, what to eat?

I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Doin' Laundry

This is a photo of the laundromat where my husband and I spent a few hours one rainy evening in Dublin, Ireland.  I remember him asking me why in the world I was taking a picture of the washers.  I really liked the repetition, the numbers, the post-it hanging from one, and the lone backpack - not to mention all of the reflections.

I was playing around with the photo yesterday and came up with this one, below.

It's a cropped version and enhanced using the "fresco" application in photobucket.  I love it!  I love it so much, that I may just have to print it, frame it, hang it.

I've been wrestling with the idea of getting photoshop.  I don't want to get it in a lot of ways, but when I start seeing how these photos that I take can be changed just a little and become something kind of cool - well, then I want it.

I'm really happy with the way some of photos come out SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) and I wonder sometimes if it's wrong to tweak them.  I also know that some of my shots can be fantastic with just a bit of tweaking but right now they are duds.

I think I'm talking myself into photoshop...again.

Starting next week, I'm going to start posting a photo a day (without this much chatter!) and also a separate post on what I would usually chat about...which is who knows what!  Two posts a day! Can she do it??  LOL

Have a lovely day doing laundry!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Showing the Way

I went exploring in downtown Jacksonville yesterday. It was a Sunday, so there was very little traffic. This meant that I could make mistakes, drive slow, peer down roads before I turned and not cause a ruckus to the people traveling behind me. I literally saw about 20 cars during my two hours and didn't get lost once :)  Always a good thing.

I decided to take one of the roads that I knew (Riverside) and then take every every right turn and see what was down at the end of that road, along side the river.  My goal was to take photos, but to also explore my city.

One of the first places I saw was a YMCA (which was very crowded with cars and families - it was good to see) and behind that, near the water, was this sculpture.

Here is the shadow that the sculpture made on the ground.


When I first saw this picture I wanted to say - Missed One!
Do you see one of the holes that doesn't have a screw and nut through it?  Silver, Yellow, Red and Blue.  It all looks so pretty.


Here's where we see the title, artist and date.  A family walked by on the river trail and the woman said that she thought this was brand new, as she hadn't seen it before and they've lived in downtown Jacksonville for years now and walked the river trail often.  A few moments after they left I found this plaque and I can see now that this sculpture is dated 2009.

This sculpture is called "Showing the Way" by Brower Hatcher in memory of the life and work of U.S. Representative Tillie Kidd Fowler.   "The three orbs represent the levels of energy of Tillie's spirit:  Family, Community and Country." 


Here's a another closeup of the three orbs.  You can click on this picture to make it larger - which makes for an interesting abstract of colors.


Downtown Jacksonville really is a beautiful city and being able to catch a couple of the buildings next to this sculpture was pretty cool.  I didn't even need to teeter close to the river to get this shot!


Brower Hatcher came up with a lovely piece of art and I'm so glad that in my travels yesterday I found "Showing the Way."

If you have been thinking about exploring a part of your city, but don't want to mess with the traffic or crowds, figure out a time when the traffic will be slow.  I know that when I go to downtown during the week, I'm so frazzled just getting off the expressway that all I want to do is go home!  Now I go to the RAM (Riverside Arts Market) on Saturdays and if I'm not getting drenched like this week, I have been exploring a new neighborhood after I leave the market.  This week, since I was SOAKED after leaving the market, I decided to go back on Sunday and do my exploring then.  I'm making a point of getting to know this city.  The joke is that I only know 5 streets in Jacksonville.  If what I need isn't on those 5 streets, then I don't go.  Now that isn't necessarily true, but I really am limited in my knowledge of this big city and I'm sunk if I get lost.  I'm a candidate for a GPS, that's for sure!

It's the new camera that has prompted this exploration...but maybe it was the blog, that prompted the photography, that prompted the exploring.  So that's it!  It's my blogging thats helping me expland my world.  Cool.  Very Cool.