Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rainy Days and Thursday's

With apologies to The Carpenters! But we had a Rainy Day on Monday here this week as well, so either would have worked.

Spring is notorious for being dry here in FL with fire danger always high. We got 7.5" of much needed rain here at the house on Monday and I woke up to thunder and lightning this morning as well. We've had another 4" already and the weather report said we could see heavy off and on showers again all day today. There is the potential for some tornado activity and high straight line winds as well.

John just called to let me know he and his partner are stuck at a McDonalds up the street from the Wal*Mart that they are supposed to be servicing right now. Apparently there's been a pretty bad wreck at the intersection in front of W*M and power lines are down and there is no power in the store, so they can't go in to service it. So they are cooling their heels, waiting on a call from the receiver to let them know the power is back on.

Meanwhile, I'm high and dry. Snug as a bug in a rug! And loving the rain!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Datz Chef's Kitchen lunch

I joined Groupon a couple of months ago and the first thing I bought was a Datz Chef's Kitchen lunch. Sounded interesting. Only 12 spots available 5 days a week and the chef prepares a special meal just for those lucky 12. Not reading the not so fine print, John and I trundled our happy butts down there one day and come to find out, ressies are required. Yep. Right there in black and white that I didn't read. Two people were late, so the mgr gave us their seats. We sit down and proceed to nosh on the appetizer that everybody else was already finished with and lo...the "fashionably late" (my read. Rude and inconsiderate asses) show up 30 minutes past the time that lunch was supposed to start. So we gave them their seats and we went and ate in the dining room. No great loss. I got my pastrami sammy and got a half doz of their oh so fab half sour pickles to bring home. And I'm not even telling about the three that I ate while we were there! So I came home that afternoon, went online and booked our 2 seats for today. Two months ago. That's how "in demand" the Chef's Kitchen seating is. And once you eat, you understand why. Chef Nikki was our most personable host. There were four no-shows. (My read again. Inconsiderate rude asses!) We started with a wonderful cheese plate. The cheese is called No Woman. Seriously! Damn good cheese! We bought some to bring home it's so good. Some bitty bite-size toasts that had a fancy-schmancy name, but I don't remember it! And some wonderful roasted in olive oil skinned almonds that were then sprinkled with sea salt. They were yummy too!

Our lunch was "street food"; grilled and roasted in the oven chicken served on pita bread with rice and caramelized onions, crumbled feta cheese and "crack sauce" based on traditional Greek tzaziki sauce. Greek yogurt with shredded cuke, chopped mint and a bit of mayo. I could have just let Chef Nikki put THAT on my finger and eaten it all day! Then dessert was Baklava with honey and chopped mint with a strawberry garnish. Didn't like that at all. No sir-ee! Not one little bit. I keed! I kid! Baklava and I have been friends since I was a wee child. Back when dirt was a baby! Being raised so close to Tarpon Springs and the Greek community and dad having gone to school with all of the Pappas boys, Pappas Restaurant was like a home away from home for us! I actually only ate one of my two pieces and since John is not a big sweets fan ('cept for me of course!), I got to bring his home so I have his full dessert plus one piece of mine! John did eat the strawb's! Chef Nikki also served a cucumber martini. Neither of us are gin fans. I think it's the juniper. I tried it. I wasn't impressed. Nothing personal Chef!

And of course, since we drove all that way! (it's about 35 miles one way for us and having to take a second mortgage any more to put gas in the tank) I couldn't go without bringing home a pastrami sammy for me! I wrap it in aluminum foil and heat it in the oven for about 20 min and it's wonderful. And a half dozen half sour pickles. And a couple of macaroons which were new since the last time we were there. And some pink salt caramels. And the cheese. So glad I had those half off coupons for the Chef's Kitchen from Groupon!! I vertainly made up for it, and then some!

We'll do the Chef's Kitchen again. I'd like to see what other creations Chef Nikki has up her sleeve.

As we were leaving, I go to start the truck and there's a loquat tree right smack in front of the truck! How I missed it on the way in I have NO idea! My maternal grandparents had one as you turned off the main road into their driveway when I was growing up. Every year it was us kids job to climb up in the tree and pick the loquats as they got ripe and Nana would either make jam with them or just put them up in some sugar water. Then we'd have loquats all year round. Course it was kinda like the mulberry tree that was across the road from their place. We'd eat a few. Put a few in the bucket. Eat a few. Put a few in the bucket. Same when we'd go to the strawberry fields over in Plant City after the workers were done. Three strawberries for me. One for the bucket! Anyway!! I thought I was full. I didn't think I could eat anything else. I was wrong! Last time I had loquats was when we were in Japan in 2003. We were at mom's favorite Uncle's Temple and we had been treated to afternoon tea by the family and some friends. As we were leaving, I spotted a loquat tree across the parking lot. I high-tailed it over and the Japanese family was amazed that not only did this American girl who was married to Yaeko-san's son know what a loquat was, but more-so, how to eat them! They are considered a "trash" tree in Japan. Most people don't eat the fruit. They have a skin that you have to peel off. There is very little fruit, rather there are 3 or 4 large seeds in the center. But I can tell you that they are worth the little bit of effort is you ever get the chance!

Thank you again, Chef Nikki for a most enjoyable lunch. We'll see you again soon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In like Flynn...with t!m

Mah man t!m Holtz is heading back to the Tampa Bay area in May to teach more classes! This time at Whim So Doodle in St Pete. I just made 169 calls and John made 96 before I got a clear line to ring thru! On call rang instead of the beep, beep, beep of a busy signal! Oh sweet glorious ring! I told the gal who answered you'd think t!m Holtz was coming to town or sumthin! I am in for two of his four classes. The two I'm not taking are ones I've taken before. His Grungeboard class and his mirrored square class I've taken, so I'm doing two new ones. The first is Creative Outlets in which we will be inking and adorning tags and the second is Creative Blocks where we will create a multi-layer canvas project. Soooooooooooo excited!! May 6 and 7 can't get here fast enough!! Happy dantcing here!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The neverending mouth saga continues

It just keeps getting better. Not!

I went today for my 6 months post-op re-eval with the Perio. And while the bone grafted areas look great (that's the good news!) I have two more molars that are going to require root canals and crowns (and THAT'S the bad news!) Oh joy. This time the molars are on opposite sides of my mouth and have pretty much given me grief since the bone grafts were done. The one on my left side has bothered me now for close to 7 years. Just like the one that we did the root canal on last year. It's the molar right next to that one. And while no where near as painful as the other, coupled with the molar on the right side being sensitive to hot and cold, it's been quite challenging eating and drinking and trying to keep both rear molars covered with my tongue. So hopefully when I go see the good Dr Horn on April 6, all of this will be behind me. I'm still faced with bone grafts on the lower jaw as well, just most likely not this year since the root canals and crowns will eat up most of my dental benefits for 2011. Oh well, I'll have something to look forward to in 2012!

Monday, March 21, 2011

take me out to the ball game

Maybe I jinxed the team. Jacob is playing baseball and they were in the finals and playing elimination games. They'd been winning. Until I showed up. The boys played their hearts out this past Saturday, but the other team won. And they SHOULD have lost in the 3rd inning. The coaches are supposed to report their teams stats and any changes in the lineup to the official scorers after each inning and the opposing team hadn't been doing it. So the umpire said they should forfit the game. But Jake's coach said no. That he wanted his team to win or lose fair and square and not to a forfit. So then the other team turned on the "dirty" tactics. And in the end, Jake's team lost by one run. So they are eliminated. At this age, it sould be about learning the fundamentals of the game. Not teaching the kids to play dirty. As a non-parent, it frustrates me when the coaches place more emphasis on winning that learning and having fun. got me out of the house for the afternoon and it's always good to see the fam! Joy was so darn cute. As we were leaving, she said, I guess we'll see you at our house for Easter! I'm taking that as my "official" invite. Even if nobody else in the family gets one! I'll be at Joy's house!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mah Man t!m

If anybody is up in the mornin'...mah man t!m holtz is gonna be on HSN from 6 AM til 9 AM Eastern time. THREE solid hours of t!m!!! Squeeee! I've half a mind to drive down to the HSN studios so I can see he and Mario! But then I couldn't see what-all he was offering! According to his blog, there will be numerous Ranger bundled items. John says he's taking the credit cards with him tomorrow. So sad. Too bad. I've got those numbers memorized!

Driving Miss Doris

As mentioned the other day, last Saturday, mom and I headed south to visit some family. We have a cousin, Happy and her dh Ray, who live in Mass who came to FL to visit her brother, Bob and his dw Penny. They wanted mom to come visit, but she doesn't drive long distances any more, so she asked me if I'd go and drive her. So I was "Poke" and she was Miss Doris for the day! It was a bit over 2 hours to get to Bob's in Port Charlotte. Course that was AFTER a stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast!! We had a lovely visit with the family and after lunch, Bob took Miss Doris, Happy and I for a car tour around their little corner of the world. We saw Charlotte Harbor, where Hurricane Charley came ashore in 2004. They had to completely rebuild the bridge over the harbor. We saw the Spring Training facilities for the Tampa Bay Rays and if all of the games weren't sold out already, John and I would go down and take in a game this year. Guess we'll just have to wait til next month when they come "home" to St Pete for the regular season. And next year, I know to get my Spring Training tix early! We drove along the beaches in Charlotte County and they are much prettier than the beaches up our way. We even got to get out and dip our toes in the (still) cold (to us Natives!) water! The water usually warms up enough for me about mid July! Til then, the Nawtherners can have it!! It was a very nice day and we topped it off by stopping in Tampa at Krispy Kreme for some "hot now" donuts. It's against my religion to pass the "hot now" sign!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Buttons. Buttons. I've got buttons!

Last Saturday, my mom and I went to visit our cousins Happy and Bob and their spouses in Port Charlotte, about 2 hours south of us. More to come on that later!

When I picked mom up, she hands me a gallon size Ziploc bag of buttons that her friend Ruth picked up cheap at one of the garage sales she went to. Ruth is a dedicated garage saler! Every weekend you can find her out looking for the next bargain or something she never knew she needed! She knows I'ma crafter, so she picked up these buttons for mom to pass on to me. I've been having the best time going thru them! Some are on cards, but most are in these adorable little envies that I'm saving to incorporate on my cards or layouts. There was also a vintage CocaCola tin with a sewing kit inside it and an old (I think!) blue glass rabbit. So cute! He will now have a place of honor on my craft shelves. I've not even scratched the surface of separating the buttons as you can see by the still bulging Ziploc bag! I wonder what other treasures I'll find.....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chickens at the fair

I'll admit it. My fave thing to do at the fair is oooh and ahhh over the chickens. Most people have no idea how many different breeds of chicken there are. There were little ones, big ones and ones in between. Combs were smooth, waffled, multi-tiered. Feathers were smooth and frizzled. Some had feathers on their feet and others didn't. It's amazing. Love me some chickens!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


We had so much fun watching the little girl take every Blue Ribbon for every goat she took in the ring! And most of them were almost as big as she was! The little Nubian kids were so cute! They just stood there smiling while I took their picture.
And I'm gonna let you in on a secret. The "nubian goat" title was supposed to go on the OTHER page. The one with the Nubian goat kids on it. Hmmm...what a concept! But I was not in my right mind (no comments from the peanut gallery) and as I put the last letter on, I realized what I'd done. And of course the first ones I'd put on (with my Glossy Accents) were stuck. like. well...Glossy Accents. There was no way in hell they were coming off. And I was NOT about to re-do the page. So I left it. In all it's glory. With two titles on one page and none on the other. In the grand scheme of things, who cares!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Japanese family

I think most of you know that we have cousins on John's mom's side of the family in Japan. We have been in contact with them and they are all fine. They are on the Island of Kyushu, which is the southernmost island of Japan. They are almost 500 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake and tsunami, so they never even felt it. Of course they have had some power troubles and the trains have been messed up, but everyone is fine. John and I appreciate all of the emails we've been getting from friends and family who are worried about them (and us!) And my friend Jill who is currently stationed on Okinawa is also fine. Oki is further south still from Kyushu Island and they had even less effects from the earthquake.

Fair layouts

Here is the first of a few fair layouts I've been working on. I was inspired by Scrapbooking & Beyond, a magazine I picked up bundled with Paper Creations at Sams when we made a run there last week. For most of the layouts I'll be sharing, Scrapbooks & Beyond was my inspiration. I used CTMH Emporium paper pack, which is now discontinued. It's geared more towards zoo layouts, but I figured since most of my pictures were of the animals at the fair, why not use the animal paper?!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


After a few tears (me) and a bit of cussing (me AND John!) we finally have successfully changed out the bad hard drive and installed the new one AND found everything that was once lost. Like all of my favorite places that I visit daily. They were out in cyber-space for a couple of days. John just found them for me today, so there is once again peace and harmony at Sue and John's. Well, as peaceful and harmonious as we can get anyway!

So stay tuned! I've been scrapping away during the desktop hiatus. Layouts to follow soon!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hard driving

My new hard drive arrived today. Don't know when because FedEx doesn't knock, ring the bell or anything else. I only know because the box was at the front door when I went out to get the mail. So remember all that talk about Big Gurl Panties? I may need a bit of help getting them on!!! I got the new hard drive out of the box fine. No problems there! I got my desktop up and running and when I went to back up everything, it tells me I should back it up to an external hard drive. John and I have been discussing getting an external hard drive, so I have decided to wait for him and we will go get the external hard drive and install it, then back up the old one and install the new one. So much for my Big Gurl Panties!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Well Poo

So my desktop needed a break! My less than 8 month old desktop!

Got a warning yesterday that my hard drive was ready to crash and I should back up all of my files, lest they be lost in the land of cyber doom-dom. We took the tower to Best Buy last night and they wanted to charge me $300 for THEM to send it to HP because it's under warranty and they can't work on it if it's under warranty. Ummm. Lemme think on that a minute............. Not no. HELL NO. I will take my tower back home and I will call HP and they can tell me what I need to do. So after talking with the uber-nice Beau for amost an hour this morning, he is sending me a new hard drive which he assures me a child could install. So when it gets here, I will put on my Big Gurl Panties and attempt to change out my hard drive. He also assured me that should I have one ounce of trouble, I can call the hot line and someone will assist me and not laugh at me. Much. Gee, thanks Beau! I feel so much more confident now!

So I'll be over there...working on projects and sharing none. Because my photo editing program is not on John's laptop and I aint puttin it on here either! He's gonna kill me as it is because I've added about eleventybillon of my favorite places. I am a creature of habit and I have my sites that I must visit daily or I will combust. He can just delete them once he gets his laptop back. I wll be taking pics of my projects and I will share when my new hard drive arrives. And if anything earth shattering happens before then, I'll let ya know.

I hope my desktop enjoys it's break!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The brightness that is bright!

I never was particularly fond of this paper pack, called Floral Tapestry. It was BRIGHT! Yet I held on to those last few remaining pieces. But now it's gone...thanks to Deb and her run/walk. Some lucky person will go home with a few of these bright cards. Hopefully they will brighten more than a few peoples day! This is the last of the cards I'll do for this year. Need to get them boxed up and on their way.
And now I'm on to other things. What things you ask? Who knows! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Pear-thday Thitou!

It's my Thito's birthday today. I *think* she's 21. I know I'm not much older than that, so she can't be either!:::that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!:::

I pulled out CTMH Mayberry paper pack to make her card with. LOVE this paper! I found a real cute card design on SplitCoast called tri-fold card and decided to use it. I used my Cuttlebug and my Coluzzle for the card. The stamp set that comes with the WOTG is also called Mayberry and I did a play on birthday with pear-thday and used the pear stamp in this set. I think the card is cute as all get-out and hope Jan thinks so too!

Happy Birthday Thitou! We love you.