Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monthly Links for 2009

Monthly links for 2009

December (55)
November (55)
October (57)
September (43)
August (35)
July (37)
June (42)
May (52)
April (45)
March (39)
February (33)
January (36)

December Links 2009

Ten Wishes

Ten wishes for the new year in my personal life.  I have many worldwide wishes - peace and good will toward men for example, but this list is aaaaall about me :)

Ten seems to be a nice round number.  Short and Sweet. 

1. I wish to no longer have "enhancement" come ons in my email.  Even in the spam folder.  I want them to go away...forever.

2. I wish to see my family at least twice this coming year.  (actually, once a month would be my ultimate wish!)

3. I wish to have a guest room instead of what has become a storage room and kitty sleeping quarters.

4.  I wish to meet a few more blogging friends this year.

5.  I wish to be a part of the Riverside Arts Market selling my photos and greeting cards.

6.  I wish to see Bob in person - it's been two years since we've sat together and laughed in person!

7.  I wish for my husband's business to really take off.

8.  I wish for more transplant patients to come to our group meetings so we can get to know them and they know us.  It's a fantastic community, so we are all going to work on getting the word out more and more.

9.  I wish to talk to those who comment on my blog more often.   Talk via email or even special interactive posts on my blog.   You all are so much fun.  I enjoy the things that are put in my comments so much, but I rarely reply directly. 

10.  I wish to learn more and more about my camera, about blogging, about writing, about story telling, about about about.  As long as I don't have to go back to college, I'll continue learning :)

My ten wishes.  Not necessarily my Top Ten, as I didn't work to terribly hard on coming up with the perfect list, but it's a real good representative of what I'd like to see happen in 2010.   I'm going to IKEA on January 2nd, so I didn't have to include "go to IKEA" on that list.  That freed up a valuable spot.

I hope you have a very Happy New Year!

**The basket photo was one of my "brown" photos that I took for the weekly photo challenge.  Those baskets are a part of my organizational system in my linen closet.  My closet is now a bit unorganized since I emptied out these three baskets so I could photograph them. 

POTD - Potato Bunny

Potato Bunny - by Kristin Corlett

This is one of the last photos of dear sweet green bunny that I'm going to have. You see, today is Bob's birthday, so in honor of that special day, I decided to stop tormenting her with photos of bunny. 

Happy Birthday, Bob!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gifts and such

I had a very nice Christmas. It's a little different when there aren't any kids around or any family events to attend, but it's they way I've spent my Christmas for the past 5 years. The nice thing about Christmas when you live far away from friends and family is that gifts arrive in the mail! I love going to the mail box in December. Christmas cards and gifts and good wishes.

One of the envelopes that arrived contained this little gem.  It was from my blogging friend Leigh (Tales from Bloggeritaville) - What a lovely ornament!  I just adore this Santa.  This is one of my favorites - he's one of the old time santas in that style that I love.  The back of the ornament looks like an old postcard.  I love it, Leigh.  Thanks so much.

Tom gave me something that I've been wanting for awhile now.  Granted, I sent him out on a mission to get it, but I was delighted with the quality.  He put a ton of thought into finding the perfect TRIPOD for me!  I got a tripod *dancing around the room* I got a tripod!  I took all three of the photos today of items in my Christmas tree because I could finally do it without having it blurry or needing to use the flash.  I love my tripod.  I'm so excited.  He also gave me a portable DVD player, some colored pencils, dishtowels and a calendar for my purse.  I think there were a few other small items, too.

My sister Alison is framing some business cards for me - I took the business cards to her in October and told her to pick the frame, the design, the everything and I know I'd love it.   I guess she decided since she had so much control over the whole thing she might as well gift it to me :) She's a smart kid!

My Mother sent me this Santa cup.   It's one that we received as kids and she sent it on to me this year.  When I opened up the box I burst into tears.  I seriously love it when that happens.  It's an honest emotional moment.  What a delight to receive a childhood memory in the mail.  About a second later my sister Hillary called.   She asked what I was doing and I said - crying! haha.  The Santa cup once had a red cap and handle, but nearly all of it has flaked off.  I find it interesting that the little blok markes on the cap are still intact.  They must have been painted first instead of painted over the red. 

The next item in the box from my mom was the "Three Legs of Man" or the Manx triskelion.  It is the symbol of the Isle of Man (IOM) and since we had taken our trip there in May and the Corlett side of my family came from the Isle of Man, it was an unexpected treat.  I'm so excited to have this in my ornament collection.  Thanks Mom!!

Tom's parents sent us gifts, too - I received several dishtowels (poinsettia designs - love them!) and the most gorgeous scarf/shawl with three large buttons.  I've already decided that I'm taking it to Rome with me.  I needed a giant scarf like that when we went to IOM in May - I can imagine that Feb in Rome I might like it as well.  Anyway, I loved the scarf. :)

On Christmas morning I got an email that I had just received a gift card to  My sister Hillary thought I might like a few new titles downloaded onto my Kindle.   I was thrilled to pieces! 

My Dad sends food.  He's sent two prime rib roasts and a filet mignon roast.  Goodness, they are so good!    He sent one for Labor day I think, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.  We finally caught up and now only have the Christmas filet roast left in the freezer. 

This little brown glittery ornament is not a gift that I received this year.  Actually I bought it and a dozen more a few years back.  Today, however, I noticed that the ornament was brown.  Brown was the photo prompt for this week's photo challenge from Shutterboo and I was having a terrible time photographing brown things.  I found a lot of brown items, but I swear, not a single photo was worth the effort.  When I was editing the photos of the ornaments in the tree, I realized that I should probably with my own theme for the day and take a picture of the brown ornament in the tree. 

This is only my second week participating in the photo challenge.  It's been going on for 19 weeks so far, so there are still plenty of weeks to join in, if it's something that appeals to you.  Shutterboo's website has a black background, so it breaks all my rules...I can hardly stand to read a blog with a black background.  But the photo pool is on Flikr and I can read her blog in my reader, so I'm making an exception because I like the photo challenge idea and the prompts.  It's been fun so far.

I hope you have been having a lot of fun these few days after Christmas.  New Years is just a heart beat away!


POTD - Gate

Gate - by Kristin Corlett

What a lovely gate that I found in the Riverside neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL.   I love the concrete, the wood, the iron and the keyhole.  Aw Heck  - I love the whole thing.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Danish Advent Doll

This little guy totally stole my heart.

Then when I realized he was an Advent Calendar, I thought he was even more cool.

If I could sew, I would make this.  Actually, if I could sew I'd make a lot of things.  Maybe that's why I haven't picked up that hobby.

The fabrics look vintage, but according to the owner of the shop, this was made from all new material.

Imagine what fun little notes and treats that could be placed into this guys pockets.  There are even little D rings where you could tie things on as well.

Look at those little cuffs - perfectly frayed and those little tubular feet. Ahh!  Love them.

At $125 I think it's a real bargain, seriously.  I think it's a fabulous piece.  But once again, I admired it through the lens and not with the pocketbook.

 If I had kids I could probably have justified the purchase 10 different ways!  He was just grand.

My Christmas was so very nice.  I got some really great gifts, too.  I'll talk about those tomorrow.  I haven't taken any photos of them yet.

I wish you all the best in 2010!

POTD - Barn Window

Barn Window - by Kristin Corlett

I discovered this barn next to a gravel yard and the local landfill, in Lansing, Michigan.  There was a huge mound of dirt dumped in the driveway so that people wouldn't drive onto the private property.  There was a tiny overgrown path around the dirt mound where brave souls trekked to see this gorgeous, neglected barn.  It was worth trespassing.  I bet it's really pretty right now all covered in snow.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Mocha and Bunny

Bunny wanted to hang out with Mocha the other day.  Mocha likes to lay in the guest room on this comforter.  She's gotten so much fur on it, that it may become hers and hers alone, but Bunny wanted to go visit anyway.

Mocha wasn't quite sure if she wanted to have a guest...

but decided that it might be alright to share her space for awhile.  Bunny was quite happy and gladly stayed for a few hours.  Bunny never did fall asleep, but Mocha did.

Mocha can always find time to sleep.

I hope you've had an enjoyable day!

POTD - Coffee Cup

Mom's coffee cup - by Kristin Corlett

This is a coffee cup that my mother has had forever...mid seventies, maybe? 


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dec. 27th


This isn't any sort of anniversary or anything, but it is just a few days away from the end of the year.

The end of the year!

Can you believe it?

I'm going against one of my  main "rules" for starting the new year and I'm going to make it a goal to lose weight in January.

Speaking of losing weight - don't go to Food Gawker and see what they have over there.  It isn't diet friendly.  I found myself there today and am totally kicking myself.

I don't make resolutions for a new year, I just never have.  I know myself well enough to know that I have next to zero follow through with so many things especially if I feel I'm being forced into it - even if it's me doing the forcing!

However,  I have been gaining weight like crazy the past few months and I have to stop this cycle.   Some of it is medication related, but most of it is self related.   The medication started the cycle and I just allowed it to take over!  eeek!

I know how to lose weight and I know how to do it in a healthy way.  I even love eating the foods on my weight loss plan.  In fact, I eat very well - healthy - most of the time.  What I don't do as often is exercise.  So that's what I'm going to move to the very tippy top of the list.

In fact, I haven't even waited for the first of the year (because I don't like those New Years Resolutions) I've started today.

Since it's good to have a date to shoot for, I've picked one.  02/10/2010  That's the date.  It's the day before I leave for Rome.  I want to be 25 pounds thinner than I am right at this moment.  It's totally doable.  I'm excited.

Happy Dec 27th!! (for another 8 minutes!!)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post Christmas Fragments

Mrs. 4444, from Half-Past Kissing Time, hosts Friday Fragments each week. This week it's the Post Christmas, Saturday Fragments.  Aww heck, with so many days off and events going on I have no idea what day it is anyway.  I hope you've had a delightful Christmas and gave and received fabulousness.  Please visit Mrs. 4444's Fragmented post so you can find even more severely fragmented posters like me.  I wish you a very Happy New Year, too, if you don't make it back this way before then.


I love it when my kitty tries to find a spot to rub her cheeks especially when everything she tries to rub is too flimsy.  She's like a boxer - she is goes in for a jab and back out, dancing in and out trying to find the sweet spot.  I finally took pity on her and grabbed a little booklet and held it up for her.  I don't think I've ever heard her purr so loud.  She rubbed both sides of her head, chewed on the corners with her teeth, back to rubbing her cheeks, then she got the top of her head real quick.  I just love my kitty.  It really takes very little to bring her so much joy.


Speaking of kitties - You must must must go to this page of the Pretty Good site.  She has some of the loveliest photos - but this one of her cat with the brief commentary is hysterical.  


I found this fun little snowflake maker - just use your mouse to cut out shapes on the triangle and when you are finished you click create and viola!

I got carried away.


I have been going to bed very late at night/early in the morning.  Two in the morning is about the time I'm ready to hit the hay and that is also the time when my husband starts snoring.  It's happened almost every single night the past few weeks.  It's like he knows I've just turned off the light and am heading for bed... silence silence silence.  Light goes off. Snnnnooooooorrrrrrrreeeee!



I have been wanting to go to IKEA for many many months.  My sister and I were going to go when I was in Michigan in October, but illness prevented us from going.  I'd put off going all summer because I knew I was going to go in October.  Well, here we are in December and I still haven't been to IKEA this year.   A few days ago my husband said that he wanted to go away next weekend and where would I like to go?  IKEA!! and then I said that I'd like to go to the gulf side of Florida. (I've never been)  He combined the two and we are going to the IKEA in Tampa and staying in a really nice hotel for two nights (thanks to Priceline accepting his $40 a night offer.) 


I'm excited.  The Tampa store will be added to my list of the cities I've visted to go to IKEA.  So far I've been to the Atlanta, Chicago, Burbank, Orlando and Detroit IKEAs.  I may have to start a little pilgrimage.  One new IKEA a year.  There are 38 IKEAs so far in the U.S.  Maybe one IKEA per state per year.  That narrows it down to 20.    20 years haha   I don't think this is what was meant when I was asked "what are your long term goals?"  haha!


I have been looking for a book in my house for the past three months (maybe more!)  I've looked in closets, under beds, in boxes, suitcases, bags, bathrooms - I've looked!  I found it last night when I was dusting off the entertainment center (as I do each month or two)  It was on the shelf with all of the books.    Front row, right there.   You'd think with as often as I dust the shelves (insert hysterical laughter) I would have seen it!


My husband actually likes to shop, but when it comes to Christmas gifts he tends to buy the strangest things.  Things that he wouldn't buy in a million years at any other time.  This year however, he did a fabulous job.  I just wanted to let you know, husband of mine - who doesn't read this blog, that you done good :)  No really - Thanks.


We had Christmas dinner with about 40 of our transplant friends and their families yesterday.  It's a free dinner sponsored by TRIO of NE Florida.  This is the third year we've been to the dinner but the first year that we were able to volunteer.  What  a delight it is to be a part of a Christmas celebration with people who are displaced due to illness or recovery.   My husband's liver transplant came December 23rd, 2005, so Christmas is an important time for us to spend with the transplant community. 


I hope you had a blessed Christmas.  Now, who's going to start that diet before the first of the year??

Have a great day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

POTD - Palm Tree Lights

Palm Tree Lights - by Kristin Corlett

I found this house down by the beach in Jacksonville.  They had at least four of their palm trees decorated.  The wind was blowing so much that this is about the only photo of them that wasn't completely blurry.  

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

My sister sent these photos to me yesterday - goodness I miss seeing these kids all the time. She sent me 5 or 6 photos, so I had to show a few of them.

Zora usually gives goofy faces, but in this case, it's Stella with her tongue out that steals the show.  I just love those striped pants that Scarlett is wearing.  How cute.

If you click on this photo you can see the ring of chocolate ice cream (I do believe) that rings Stella's mouth.    Too funny.  That would probably explain why she had her tongue out in the previous photos.  She's trying to lick the chocolate off her face.  Zora did a lovely job in these photos.  She looks so grown up next to her two baby sisters.

I took this photo in October when I was in Michigan.  Scarlett is about 8 days old.  I tried to take a family photo of this goofy bunch and this is by far the best photo!  I'm not kidding. I love it.   Jim is the best face maker ever and he's passed that trait down to his kids.  Alison is going to have her hands full when all these girls grow up a bit more.  She's never going to get a groups shot with smiles!

In this photo I'm playing with my dolls in my brand new cradle.  One doll must have been bad because I'm kneeing her in the back while feeding another.  The red thing in the far right is a teeter totter.  I loved that!!

I think I showed this photo off last year - but this is me at my grandparents house.  The flowered suitcases on the floor were given to me that year.  I used those things until they fell apart.  I think the little one held barbie clothes years later. 

One year a friend, Becky, gave me all of her barbie dolls and their clothes (she was about 10 years older than me).  I don't think she actually had any Barbies, they were off brand barbie dolls, Kelly & Cricket I think.  But the clothes...goodness, she had so many clothes!  I'd never seen so many in all my life.  The dolls she gave to us were a bit rough.  They had been loving chewed by her dogs :) but we played with them and played and played.  I will never forget that gift.  You see, my mother didn't allow toys with small parts.  This included Barbie doll clothes - those little shoes, small purses and the tiny accessories were too much trouble according to Mom.  Because of this unwritten rule, we just never got into Barbies --- until Becky gave me the clothes.  Alison and I were talking about those barbies when I was home and she said that that gift singlehandedly opened up the door to getting small parts in the house.  That next year for Christmas the girls got a Lite-Brite!  

Merry Christmas.  Thank you for being a part of my life. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Signs of Christmas

A few years ago my Aunt and Uncle sent a Christmas card from the Cayman Islands.  I loved the stamp, so I framed it.

Yesterday my husband came home with a large bag of tangerines. I thought he purchased them until I actually looked into the bag and saw the stems and leaves.  The owners of his office building gave these to him, picked fresh from the tree in their backyard.

Tom handed me the bag and I started mumbling something like - will they look best in a blue bowl or one of the red ones?  I think the red one is too small to hold all of them.  Then I asked him - Do orange and blue go well together?  and he said that it's the Florida Gator's colors.

Well, I don't actually root for the Gators, but the tangerines did look better in the blue bowl.

Study of a tangerine with a leaf.

Look at it's simplicity.

It's beauty.

Awww heck, let's look at some photos of my sisters and Scarlett.  Hillary took these photos tonight at the Christmas Eve dinner at my Mother's house.

Hillary, Alison and Scarlett

Hillary and Scarlett

Alison and Scarlett. Scarlett is Alison's littlest one...about 9 weeks old.  Goodness, I need to go home :)

Oh, this just in - here are the other girls!  Stella with her tongue out.  I think that's her new look. The photo I'm posting tomorrow Stella has her tongue out lol   My mom is in the middle and Zora in green. 

I wish you all a blessed Christmas.

POTD - Starlight

Starlight - by Kristin Corlett

It's a cut tin Christmas tree with a star on top.  This was taken on one of my store trips to Target.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Nativity set

My nativity set. 

I've had them forever.

I have absolutely no idea where this set came from, but I call it my little mexican nativity set. 

I often wonder if I got it when I lived in Albuquerque.

Who am I kidding.  I'm clueless.

Only one of the people has their eyes open and it's this guy.  

Well, the bunny has her eyes open, but she isn't an original piece to this set.

I bet you couldn't tell, though.  Bunny fits right in :)

Every year I have re-remember that those are not pot holders on this poor girl's hands. 

Can you say baby lambs or is that redundant?  How about baby sheep?  also known as lambs. 

Anyway, she's carrying little white animals...sheepish type animals.

I'm just assuming they are babies because she's one of the smaller girls in the set and if they were sheep, I don't think they'd look like pot holders!

Oh Goodness!  I just realized something.  I have one of the little girls holding a sheep standing next to Joseph.  I have Mary standing bhind potholder girl. 

Good thing I'm not getting graded on this.

Merry Christmas.

POTD - Tinsel garland

Tinsel garland - by Kristin Corlett

Another found decoration.  This garland is for sale at Anthropology and it is gorgeous!  It was 25% off, but I still couldn't bring myself to buy it.  It looked antique and came on those spools.  I thought it would make a great decoration as is, but I would have needed to have more than one spool - so I just took a few photos instead.  Ahhh, already a much thriftier alternative!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm passing out snow!

This is one of the photos I used on my Christmas Cards.  I had about 100 of them printed up when I realized that I wanted a few more designs, so I wasn't going to use all that I had printed.  I'm finally finished with all of my cards and as I suspected, I've got some of these leftover.  They are 3.5 x 5 glossy photos and I hate to have them just languish on my coffeetable (because if you know me, things can languish for years on my coffeetable!)

So I put the photos in my hot little hands and took them with me when I went to the post office.  I was just sure that there would be a nice long line of people that I could pass out some Michigan snow to, but alas, I was it.  Can you believe it?!!  I was the only person in the place.  I gave my first photo to the postal employee and I did meet a few people in the parking lot. Surprisingly, almost everyone was quite excited.

I thought it was just going to be a funny little thing for me - accosting people and making them take a photo of my mother's snow covered fence - but instead...

One person said that they had never seen snow in person. 

One woman said that this was her favorite kind of snow - on film!

I walked around my car to give a photo to the man who had pulled into the spot next to me and he actually got back into his car and sat in the drivers seat looking at the photo, smiling. 

I had so much fun with those few folks, that I decided to head to my favorite spot - Publix grocery store.  It was crowded!  BINGO!

I passed out about 30 photos there.  I heard about one gal's first time driving in the snow, which was last week in NC.  She's originally from Jamaica.  Another woman said her family is coming in today from Detroit and the Store Manager told me that he was 17 when he first saw snow.  A little boy was so excited when I handed him the photo that he asked his dad if he could put it on the tree! 

What fun.  I had no idea.

I still have some photos left, I may have to go out again tomorrow.


POTD - Giant Lights

Giant Lights - by Kristin Corlett

My favorite type of lights are these large bulbs.  Well, not this large generally, but large.  I love multi colored with a few blinking lights tossed in for a little bit of drama or tacky :) When I saw these decorations I was literally jumping up and down and so very thankful that I had my camera on me.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Finger food

My blogging friend, Ruth Ann at My Remodeled Nest took this photo today. These delightful little cookies were "remodeled" by her son, Alex who turned three this week.

This is what she had to say about the photo...

2 dozen cookies ruined this morning! Alex knew not to touch them, but waited until I was upstairs getting dressed and he took his finger and smooshed the chocolate in each one! He ate most of the chocolate! When I came downstairs I couldn't find him...he was hiding under the kitchen table and was saying "I sorry!"

I asked her if I could post this because it's just so sad and so funny all at the same time.  I just can't imagine what Ruth Ann's face looked like when she got back to the kitchen and saw the destruction.  Oh goodness. 

I also decided to blog about this because she hasn't blogged in a month and this is a story that needed to be told...

and I didn't have anything to talk about today :)

Thanks Ruth Ann!

POTD - Baubles

Baubles - by Kristin Corlett

These ornaments were on an outdoor tree in an area of Jacksonville called Neptune Beach.  Thursday was the final Art Walk Thursday before Christmas and I finally got a chance to attend.  I'm so glad I did, as this giant pine tree was decorated from top to bottom with hundreds of ornaments and gorgeous colored lights - my personal favorite.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

The little S's

My brother in law snapped this photo of Scarlett last night at their Christmas Party.  She's now 2 months old and I can't imagine her not being a part of the family.  I hear that her eyes are blue, but I can't see that in this photo.

My mom is now watching Stella one day a week.  The other day she (my mom) mentioned that Stella had taken the ornaments off the tree a few dozen times.  I doubt it was all of the ornaments, but I'm sure it felt like it.  This is just one of a series of photos my mom took of Stella playing on the stairs and admiring all of the Santa ornaments hanging from it.

Zora must be hiding in her room or something because I haven't seen a new photo of her in ages.  So all we are going to get today are the little S's - Scarlett and Stella. 


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sheet Music Tree

Isn't this an interesting picture?

Know what it is?

Wanna know what it is?

Leigh from Tales from Bloggeritaville blogged about this tree today.  Well, actually I sent her an email with some photos and I tried to describe the tree a bit.

I did not make this tree.  A guy named Todd Mack made the tree for an event called Festival of Trees in Lansing, MI.  Companies and organizations around town would decorate trees for this event, then the trees would be auctioned off.  Some businesses would get a tree and fill it full of ornaments and a few wrapped gifts underneath or piled high with toys.  Hardly anyone actually made the tree from scratch like Todd did.  His tree was exceptional.   Todd was a friend of ours (my sister Alison worked in his frame and gift shop for awhile) and we all fell in love with this tree.  Thankfully the trees had a Buy It Now price as well as a silent auction feature.  If someone used the BIN option, the auction feature was void.  My Mom used the BIN option and just got the tree.  Whew!  It saved a lot of heartache trying to get the tree for less.

So anyway, that's part of the story of the tree.  The rest of the story is over at Leigh's place.  Go on, take a look :)  There are a lot more photos over there, too.


Edited to mention -- Festival of Trees is no longer an event in Lansing - bummer because I loved it - and Todd Mack moved from Lansing, MI to the Chicago area.  Here is a link to his company blog - Foursided.  His stores are called Twosided and Foursided.

Friday, December 18, 2009

POTD - Essentials

Essentials - by Kristin Corlett

Pretty much the essential ingredients in holiday baking.  Butter, flour, salt and eggs. 
What are you baking up this year?