Monday, May 31, 2010

May 2010 Links

Links to all of my May 2010 posts

Memorial Day

I had a lovely holiday weekend and I hope that everyone else did as well.  I asked my husband to take me out on a drive to the Mandarin area of Jacksonville because even though I've been there, I haven't been able to explore too much.  I'm too nervous about getting lost because I don't know the roads at all out there! 

Tom asked me if I wanted to go all the way to Switzerland.

I laughed and said "Sure!"

and next thing I know, we are indeed in Switzerland.

Here is a close up of the sign below.

See!  Switzerland!

I had no idea the Swiss were just outside of the Jacksonville city limits :)

Tom and I pulled into the Alpine Grove Park because I thought it might be along the river.  Little did I know what a cool place it truly was.  It wasn't just a swingset and a jungle gym. 

The neatest thing was that on this day, Memorial Day,  I saw the Butterfly Garden sign.  The sign is there year round celebrating those who protect our freedom. 

I'm sure that one of my friends will be able to identify this flower, but I can't at the moment.  I love it.  Purple and yellow - complementary colors even in nature.  The flower itself makes me think of someone jumping in a pool.  The rings that form when you jump and then the waves that radiate out.

This is the butterfly garden. It was a very lovely space.

The big bell.  I think it was permanently tipped this way. 

The park has a farmhouse and a several barns on the property.  There was a sign that said that they project was to be completed by 2007 and to me, it looked finished, but since the sign was still there, I'm not sure!  This tractor looked to be pretty old and was staged outside of fairly small barn. 

This is the farmhouse.  What a cute place and it was right on the river. 

Beautiful, beautiful spot.

While I was walking slowing, taking pictures of everything that caught my eye, Tom was walking to the river.

He told me that whoever placed the swing was not a lover of the water, because the swing faces the house.  Too funny.  The other swings on the property do face the water, so maybe this one really was placed to admire the farmhouse.

Moments after we left the park the heavens opened up and it started pouring.  We spent the perfect amount of time at the park and this little corner of the world was cooled off by the much needed rain.

I hope your corner of the world is just fabulous!  Have a great week :)


POTD - U break You Pay

POTD - U Break You Pay

I was asked to find a few of my snowglobe photos and when I found this one I kind of forgot what I was doing.  I started playing with the Poladroid Image Maker that I downloaded last year and totally got carried away.   I really like the grainy green that the image maker makes.  What fun!


Oh and Jennifer - I'll get those photos to you tomorrow if I can quit playing with this long enough!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Postage Bookmark

As if I needed another reason to get love stamps and letters, I found another.  I was flipping through the June/July issue of the Ready Made magazine when I spotted this cool Reader Fix-It tip of the month.   There were lots of other cool things in the magazine that I was interested in, so I purchased this issue!

I wondered how I was going to find a neat looking envelope to use for this super easy tutorial and I finally just decided that the envelope would reveal itself to me when it was time for me to write this post. 

12 hours later I was cleaning out a small box that seemed to have a bunch of unrelated items in it -- it must have been a clear-off-the-coffeetable-box!  The very first item was a card from my sister. 


The project was started, right in the middle of cleaning out the box!

(I have since finished cleaning out that box)

Here are the items you will need. 

One book or magazine that you'd like to bookmark.

One envelope.

One pair of scissors.

Cut the corner of the envelope in a large triangle shape.

I don't watch the Simpson's but the characters make me laugh.

Now, place your envelope corner over a couple of pages in the book, to mark your page. 

I chose an antique book for this demo, but I didn't realize that the book pages were so stained.

Ahh well, I'm just keeping it real :)

When you close the book, the envelope sticks out slightly so you can still see your place. 

What a great idea!  I wish I would have thought of it myself, but so glad that I could demo this highly technical process. :) 

I'm a hoot!

Have a great day!

POTD - Arches

POTD - Arches

While everyone else went one direction to see the original stones that made up a Roman Road back in the days of Caesar (I think that's how far back they went) I went another direction. There was this building/castle we had just passed that intrigued me to no end! So I ran up the road a few hundred feet and snapped as many photos that I could until I saw everyone returning to the bus. I have no idea what the name of this place was called nor do I know how far away from the city we were. So this building, castle, church, home, whatever it is, will remain a mystery - unless someone knows and tells me :)


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bluebird of Happiness

One of my very first outings last year with my new camera was to Vilano Beach.   It was a little village that I just happened upon, as I had no idea that it existed, but what I did find was this strange little duck-bird thing.

I couldn't make out the motel name on it's belly, but I knew that someday I'd figure it out.

Until that time, I was just so very happy that I had a picture or two of the strange creature enclosed in a chain link fence.  He was just so peely and broken.  It was an unusual find to say the least.

See, it says Motel very clear but I couldn't figure out the name.

A couple of years ago the bird-duck was moved to it's current location behind the fence.  I found this photo on the St. Augustine newspaper site.  I was just happy to see a photo of this guy without the fence.

A few days ago as I was turning off a movie I was watching on the DVR, the TV news was on and showing this story about saving the Vilano Beach Bird!  If I had turned the movie off just a few moments later I would have never seen this story.  Thankfully I have a DVR and was able to rewind to the beginning of the segment.

I got out my camera and took pictures of the TV. 

I am indeed crazy.

It was 74º at 10:30 at night.

That's good to know!

So, after going to I found out a little more about the bluebird.

I found this photo!!!!!  Oh my goodness, what a great photo!!

Newt's Motel - That's what it says on the belly of the bird.  You can clearly see that it's a bird in this photo.  In fact, Wilda, of Newt and Wilda, called this the Bluebird of Happiness.

So, the townspeople of Vilano Beach raised money and have decided to (and did!) paint the bird blue and turn his little clipped wings into proper flying wings as in the photo above.  They wanted to return him to his Bluebird of Happiness glory.

There is still a question as to where the bluebird is going to live once it's makeover is finished, but it's good to know that it isn't rotting behind a fence anymore.

What I did learn from poking around is that the bluebird was originally the advertisement for a place that sold oranges.  The bird wasn't a bird at all in the beginning, he was two oranges stacked on top of each other.  The original wings of the bird, may have actually been leaves?!  That part I don't know, but they could be.  Knowing that this was orignally oranges makes a lot more sense and makes the bird idea even more fun.  That Wilda was a visionary!

Hope you're having a wonderful Memorial Day!

POTD - Vacation Rental

POTD - Vacation Rental

On this long weekend, many folks will be heading out to the water.  It seems like this is the weekend that the cottages get opened up and the boats go in the water.   Other folks head to the beach and stay in ocean condos - this condo faces the Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores, AL.  I took this photo in March when I was there visiting my mom.  I love the turquoise blue of the windows.


Friday, May 28, 2010

POTD - Lily Pads

POTD - Lily Pads

I found these lily pads coming up through the cracks in a boardwalk along Weeks Bay in Alabama.  The plants were so small that I almost stepped on them.  Just look at their size compared to the nails in the planks. 


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments!  This is the Memorial Weekend edition of Mrs. 4444 weekly event. It's one of my favorite places to go to find new blogs and to read some very funny stuff.  I can't wait to spend some time reading all of the Fraggers this weeks.  It's been ages since I've been able to read all of them, but I think I'll be able to do it this time.

I want to THANK all of the people who have made this country great by keeping us safe.  Thank you. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Today is a link fest of sorts.  Nearly everything that I collected this week was something that I read that I just had to share!  I hope you get a few moments to click on the links.  I narrowed it down to the bare minimum, so it wouldn't be overwhelming.


Mrs. 4444 is having a Gratitude Giveaway on her blog and one of the prizes is from little ol' me.  If you'd like to be a part of the celebration and possibly win a fabulous prize, head on over the Gratitude Giveway.

My friend Terri, This is How We Roll,  from is also having a giveaway.  I have nothing to do with this one, but while I'm talking about fun giveaways, I had to mention Terri!


My sister sent me a photo of baby Scarlett with her little fat roll legs.  I'm not going to be able to show that photo, but what I will do is link to Pioneer Woman's post about a cutie patootie!  You have see this little baby and her legs and her smooth moves :)

Here is my photo of baby Scarlett, my niece.  I love her eye color in this photo.


Do you know someone who'd love to have a piece of art from all of their friends and family?  What about a big birthday coming up for someone far away?  Or maybe a college kid who is getting a bit homesick?   Here is a fun project!  You send out cards to friends and family and then when they send them back they make a picture for the recipient from Oh Joy!    I would love to be able to do this for someone.


I've tried a few times this week to remember pick up some Greek yogurt so I could make the Tzatziki recipe from Little Brown Pen. Tzatziki is a yogurt, cucumber,garlic and dill sauce (or dip or dressing) that I just a wonderful addition to scrambled eggs or cold chicken or even a gyro! Yummy. (the recipe is at the very end of the post)


I saw this little ditty and I should have it as a daily mantra.  I should actually chant it while I clean out the boxes of stuff that I keep holding onto.  There is a lot of wisdom in these 9 lines.

mnmlist : less

Stop buying unnecessary things.
Toss half your stuff, learn contentedness.
Reduce half again.
List 4 essential things in your life,
stop doing non-essential things.
Do these essentials first each day, clear distractions
focus on each moment.
Let go of attachment to doing, having more.
Fall in love with less.


I adore Color Me Katie and her cat, Moo, is such a hoot.  She posted the 12 Things She Loves about Moo yesterday with 12 wonderful photos.  You may fall in love with Moo, too!


If you didn't get a chance to read my post yesterday about the SIGH in my life, please do.  I think my husband and I are going to need some prayers.  Thank you.


I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend.  Be safe and take care!


Thursday, May 27, 2010


We are cruising right along without a care in the world (hypothetically of course) and all of a sudden a routine event comes along with different results.  So now it leaves us scratching our heads and wondering what in the world we are going to do.

Tom has blood work once a month just to make sure that everything is going along swimmingly with his liver, kidneys, etc.  For the last four years the blood work has been the same for the most part.  Last week the blood work was different. 

Liver enzymes were high. 

That's a sign of rejection.

Depending on the numbers it can be a mild rejection or extreme rejection.

I think we are in the mild range.

So this week he had another blood draw and the numbers were nearly identicle.  Sigh.  We thought maybe the high numbers were from some herbal suplements he had tried for a few weeks.  Guess not, otherwise the numbers would have gone down this time.

So in another week he's having another round of bloodwork. If the numbers are the same or higher I think they are going to do a liver biopsy.  This will end some of the guesswork and we will have the next steps talk with the doctors.


I hope all is right in your world.  Have a delightful weekend!

POTD - Nervous

POTD - Nervous

I promise...I was at a complete stop when I took this photo.  I had about a full football field between me and the guy ahead of me so I could get this photo at the stop light, but I was stopped :)

These mattresses were not stable.

They were frightening.

If you have ever watched a mattress come flying out of the back of the pick up, you would know the reason why I wasn't behind this guy for very long. 

I have a story. 

Wanna hear it??

Hillary and my Mother were in the pickup with the mattress and I was in the chase vehicle behind them.  Mom started driving too fast, the wind caught the mattress and it went flying out of the back straight at me.  I pulled over and ran out into the middle of the expressway to try to haul the mattress over to the side of the road.  Mom finally stopped and Hillary ran out to help me.  We did manage to get the mattress out of the road before the semi truck hit us, so that was good :) 

That was the short version!

I'm always very aware of mattresses when they are being transported, but this joker.  Oh goodness.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Album Covers

The other day I mentioned (in the POTD Side 2) that I took photos of the albums that I found at the Gulf Shores Condo.  Well I was telling the truth!  I really did and I'm finally at the right place and time to talk about it.  The American Idol Finale is on, so I'm thinking about music.  It's amazing how things just come together some times.

I don't think that the Idols will be singing any of this stuff.

Hall and Oats are on right now.

I always like them.

OK,  so back to the task at hand.

The only records in the house are housed in this ancient record stand.  I rather like it, but I'd love to paint the legs and put a different spin to that table top.

Ah!  Spin!  as in record!

A decoupaged top?  A cool piece of fabric under glass?  a solid color?  ahh, the ideas are flowing through my brain.

Back to the music.  Here's the album cover that started it all.  Alison asked me to get a picture of this specific cover for her husband.  It's so funny - all those guys in chef's hats and that name! 

When I was little Dr. Zhivago used to come on TV on the same night at either Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or the Sound of Music.  I remember this because I would have to watch my show on the little TV upstairs while my parents were downstairs.  I have never seen the movie actually, but after watching Must Love Dogs and seeing how it's portrayed in that movie, I really don't know if I'd appreciate the movie.  I'm not sure if I'd be a Sherry or a Sarah.

Anyway, I had to laugh when I saw the album in the stand.  I would have never thought of this particular album being a best seller.

I remember this album cover.  Not sure if I remember it from my own house and my parents collection or from my grandparents house.

I wish I had a record player.  I wanted to play this one.

I mean - what exactly is the music that is "Romance with a Spanish Accent?"  haha!

Aloha Moods.

I guess that says it all.


Tiny bubbles
In the wine
Make me feel happy
Ah, they make me feel fine
Those tiny bubbles

The Beatles, White Album.  This was unexpected, until I noticed that my uncle Alan's name was on the back.  He died in 1979 at the age of 21, so there are a few things of his that seem to stick around.  I didn't know that we had this item though, so that's cool.

Oh, I do love the movie The Sting.  I remember when everyone who owned a piano learned how to play this song, too.  Funny the things you remember when given a little visual prompt!

Love Love Love Love this movie.
I would have loved to have had this album as a kid.  I probably would have worn it out.

and, the final album that I've showcased is the Christmas album with Glen Campbell, Ella Fitzgerald and Bobbie Gentry.  The Lettermen and Sandler and Young are also on this album, but I honestly can't say I know who they are at this moment. 

There were several other albums in the rack, but I must not have been interested in them enough to photograph because I can't find the covers.  Too funny. 

Hope you have enjoyed a stroll down the vintage trail!


POTD - Yellow

POTD - Yellow

When I was rushing down to the main office of the energy company for two of my condos I spied this lovely sight across the street from their office.  I ran inside to pay my bill and thankfully even though I was late, I got it there before the late fees got tacked on. As I was leaving, completely joyful, I decided to grab my camera and snap a few photos.

I've always liked yellow houses, so this was a particularly lovely scene for me.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


One of my favorite products, the Reynolds Handi-Vac, recently gave me quite a headache.

I ran out of the incredible, wonderful bags and when I went to my local grocery store to buy more, they weren't there.

I went to three other stores.


I finally asked my grocery store next door to scan the box (which I saved) to see if they could give me any information on the product line.

The official answer...It is no longer being carried in any of our stores.

OK, there had to be a reason.

I love the internet, when I actually remember to use it for something like this.

I looked up the Hand-Vac and found out that they will no longer be sold in stores.

They will only be sold through HSN and will be a part of the Debbie Meyer Green Bag line.  They will be called the Debbie Meyer GeniusVac bags.

I'm not pleased that I have to now pay shipping and handling charges, but I'm very happy that one of my favorite kitchen tools has not been discontinued.


The photo above shows the Lipton Tea Bags that one of my tenants left.   I haven't found anyone who wants them yet and I didn't want them to get stale or whatever tea does, so I sealed them up tight.

When I went up to the hospital the other day to visit someone, this momma and her babies were hanging out by the outdoor patio. They were so well behaved. I wonder if the babies will take up residence on the Mayo grounds or if they will fly away. I wonder.

I hope you have a great day!

POTD - Windmill

POTD - Windmill

I spied this windmill last year when my mom and I were driving along some back roads in Alabama.  This beauty  was next to a large barn on horse farm and I wanted to take pictures of it so badly.  Heck, I would have loved to wander around the farm and take photos, but I never got the chance.  Just a few weeks ago I drove up the driveway fully determined to ask if I could take photos.  I wandered around, I  poked around, I knocked on the door of the house, hollered hello in the barn and didn't get an answer anywhere.  I almost got back into the car, but I couldn't.  I had to get a photo of this windmill!  So I did!  I'll ask for forgiveness later :)


Monday, May 24, 2010

Etsy Treasury

I was fortunate enough this past week to have been included in two treasuries on Etsy.  A Treasury is, according to Etsy...

...the Treasury, Etsy's ever-changing, member-curated shopping gallery. Create collections of items. Comment on other members' collections. Share collections and enjoy! Treasury East collections have no limits and no expiration. Beautiful, diverse collections may be featured on Etsy's home page.

The first time I'd ever heard of such a thing I got a message that my photo "Loops" had been featured in a Treasury on Chairs. I was so excited! The other photos showed a full chair or more, so I was surprised to see that Loops was chosen as it's just a portion of the chair. Still, it's one of my favorites and one of my first Etsy listings.


Then Saturday night as I was trying to get myself to fall asleep early, I got a message that one of the photographs that I just listed earlier in the day, "Keep Off", had been featured in the Treasury titled Orange Sky. My photograph looks like it completely belongs with all of those other orange and blue items. I was beaming from ear to ear.

I can hear Navin Johnson say "I'm Somebody!" when he sees his name in the phone book in the movie "The Jerk." I feel that same way, right now.  I'm Somebody!  

Go check out the treasuries - Chairs. and Orange Sky if you get a chance.

Have a great day!

POTD - Antennas

POTD - Antennas

One of my Rome travel-mates and I walked around a neighborhood together when all of a sudden she pointed out this metal cross. When I saw all of the antennas on the houses I had an idea! This is the result of the idea :)  I wanted to make the cross look like it was just another antenna.  Thanks Erin!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mustard and ToGo containers

I received gifts in the mail over a week ago and I'm now just finally getting my act together enough to talk about them.    My friend, Lori,  sent me this lovely gift.  They are items from her neck of the woods.  She included a jar of oh-my-goodness-it's-so-good mustard and two bags of coffee - one was chocolate almond and the other chocolate cherry.  Leelanau is a county in Michigan - the upper pinky region of the state.  The rubber bands that she used as a packing material are probably not from the area, but they were fun to receive nonetheless. 

It is a good time to start something new!!  I'd also really like to be happier, so I'm wondering what difficult test I'm going to need to pass in order to achieve that happiness.

I have to say this before I start getting coffee in the mail :)  I don't drink it.  I worked in a coffeehouse for years, but never drank the stuff.  I appreciate the smell of coffee though...goodness, it's wonderful.  Well anyway, I gave away the coffee to a friend of mine, but that mustard, it's all mine. 

She also gave me a really funny card, but I can't show it because I was given instructions to give it away - so I don't want to give away the secret.  It was a funny card, so who ever receives it will get a kick out of it!

Thank you Lori.  Thank You.  It was such a sweet guesture. 

I just realized...

Those rubber bands look like pasta. 

Hmmm, pasta.

Yummy Pasta.

Speaking of pasta.

These are the ToGo containers that I received from Maggiano's Italian Restaurant the other night.  The ones that I was thrilled to get a few extra of so I could further my refrigerator food storage love. 

Here is a stack in my fridge.  The bottom one is the ravioli from the restaurant.  The middle one is a piece of steak from dinner a few nights back and the top one is a block of cheese.  Usually I have half of one of the containers full of already grated cheese and the other half holds the remaining block of cheese.  It's my favorite way to store cheese.  Saves on baggies and the cheese has never gotten dried out from this storage method.  I also have to admit, it's also nice to have some grated cheese on hand to sprinkle on my salads. 

I don't buy preshredded cheese for lots of reasons, but the main reason is that I really dislike the dusting powder that they coat the cheese in so it won't stick together.  The second main reason is the cost.  I can buy a block of cheese, shred at will and store it in this container. 

Here I am promoting a product that's a take out container! Too funny.

So there are two of the things that I wanted to share.  I still have some more Rome photos (like 700 or so!) and I need to talk about the metal sculptures that I saw in Alabama and there was something else.  Hmmm, I can't think of it right now.

Oh, a penpal.  I have one of those, too.  I need to discuss that project, too.

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend.

Thanks again to Lori for such a thoughtful gift.  You are a delight!