Friday, August 30, 2013

Bridge Goes Electronic

Our director at bridge yesterday introduced us to electronic score keepers. I get excited about anything technological these days. My mind is always boggled by what computers can do. I really can't figure it out.

Anyway, my bridge partner, Joan, who plays north to my south, is the scorekeeper. We used to trade off once in awhile, but about 5 years ago, I forgot to record a score and screwed everything up---not just for us, but for the whole group. Since then, she's not taking any chances. She doesn't "let" me keep score---ever.

Once the electronic gadget was put on the table, I figured that would change. My partner is "old" and she admits that she wants to have nothing to do with technology. She has no clue as to how to use a computer and doesn't care to learn. In fact, her cell phone is from the "olden days"---mid 1990's. The phone itself is humongous and heavy. She gets frustrated every time she tries to use it. It rings during bridge---which is a huge "no no." She doesn't know how to put it on silent. I usually do it for her.

I was itching to get my hands on that scorekeeper. Surely Joan would acknowledge that this was MY department. But no, she started messing with it. I was getting a little edgy as I thought she might be messing it up. I couldn't see a thing from across the table. As I asked her if she wanted me to "do it," she said "no, I've got it." Really, I had to hold my hands in my lap to keep from reaching across the table and grabbing it from her.

Now it's time to begin the first round. The scorekeeper has to enter the names and ACBL bridge numbers of each player. Duplicate bridge players "have to" join the ACBL every year. Anyway, we start to bid the first hand. At the end of the bidding, Joan has to enter the bid in the machine. I ask her again if she would like me to do it. I reminded her that she has to enter the opening lead. She snapped at me, "I know, Barbara." It was clear she didn't want my help. Turns out, she didn't need it either. Apparently, at the Vanderbilt Bridge Club---where she plays often, they have already been using the electronic scorer. I was able to relax and let her handle it. Still, I would have liked to see how it operates!
It's larger than a calculator. The old score sheets were paper. They were called "travelers" and tucked in to each "board." You can see the boards with the cards in them above the scorer. They travel around the room, hence the name. Now I sort of wish I had some "for old times sake" and my scrapbook! Just like that, something is gone that I had no idea would become important to me.

Anyway, the beauty of the electronic scorer is that you can see right away how you are doing compared to everyone else. Then the information is emailed out to us---for those of us that use the computer! You get to see how everyone played the hand. I love that! I spent about a half hour last night analyzing my play. BTW, we came in third---and it was a big game---9 tables.

I'm comfortable now with Joan handling the scoring. She knows what she's doing. But I hope that maybe, just once she would let me. It's hard to believe that one tiny mistake (okay, huge) would lead to never getting a second chance!!

And now, for your enjoyment, I saw this on one of the blogs I follow: All Things Thrifty ( So funny---man cold.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mysterious Finds

When you've been out-of-town, you just never know what you are going to come home to. I have a couple of mysteries---well, one of them has been solved.
I found this cake in the refrigerator. That tells me that someone had a party here. The worst of it is that they had a party without me!!
Considering the mystery of the turtle's appearance and disappearance in the pond, I figured someone is really "messing" with me. This cute and colorful turtle is on the refrigerator.
Upon photographing it, I looked a little closer and saw "Santa Rosa Beach" printed on it. Then I knew where it came from, but still was surprised. Butch was down there last week. I couldn't believe he would buy something like this---a bit out of character for him. Then I hit upon the only way he would have done it---he found it at the dollar store. I asked him about it tonight and he said he actually found it in the condo, but it was missing the magnet, so he brought it home. Well, it's cute enough that I think it will stay here.

It's going to be a busy weekend as we get ready to get out-of-town again. It's fun being retired and being able to pick up and go any time, but it sure makes for a crazy life!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Scrapbook Layouts

So I got very little done on my retreat--amidst helping people, problem solving and answering questions. Doesn't matter to me---there's nothing I like better than talking scrapbooking even if it limits my productivity.
 A little misting and masking on this "Summertime" layout.
 This was my layout for "A Year of Memories." The assignment I gave the group was to tell 8 lessons you learned from your mother.
 Unfortunately, I used some really old Heidi Swapp acrylic letters. In person, you can read the titles, but in a photograph, it is really hard. The left side is "cooler Queen." The right side is "Relaxing bath."
 Back in January, my friend, Sian "from high in the sky" allowed me to tell my scrapbooking story. I'm finally getting around to scrapbooking my story. I used a picture of Sian, and thank you note that I got from another UK friend, Jacky for a swap I participated in. I included the stamp and post mark from the envelope. I also made a list of "10 Reasons I Should Have Been Born British"---only to find that I repeated one accidentally. We'll see if anyone ever notices. They are: 1. The Royal Family: Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince George, 2. The Beatles, 3. Twinings Tea, 4. The theater, 5. The accent, 6. Blog friends, 7. The gardens, 8. Agatha Christie, 9. The accent, 10. DOWNTON ABBEY!
Need I say more?
Prior to my class, someone asked me if I planned to teach them how to make masks or stencils. I hadn't planned on it, but decided to give them a couple of examples. I took a piece of cardstock that I didn't think I would ever use (actually, it came from either Jeanne or Janet) and cut out some stars on my Cricut. You can use any die-cut machine. I also cut a border of grass to show.
I used the mask to make an accent for this page. I just sprayed the other side with both colors. I used Heidi Swapps Color Shine.
Here is the finished layout. The take-away here is to keep the negatives from your die cuts and use them as masks. Such a simple concept and a great way to extend your scrapbook supplies. About the page: left side: "Sister's weekend" about our weekend every year in July. The right page is titled  "walking tickets." A few years ago, 2 of my friends and I were walking on Belle Meade Blvd. (where the rich people live). We were cut off by a police car and given 3 tickets each!!! I was looking around to see if it was some sort of joke or "Candid Camera." It wasn't. We got tickets for: 1. Walking on the wrong side of the road, 2. Walking three abreast, and 3. Failing to yield---apparently, when walking, you are supposed to stop at each drive way to make sure no car is backing out. We went to court. After much laughing from the audience, the judge threw the tickets out and we were not fined after all. I was glad that we didn't have to pay for being "stupid."
I sprayed the slick chipboard star and let the mist bead up. It dried in to a mottled effect. I also sprayed the bright orange chipboard alphabet with the teal mist to help tone down the orange.

I did a couple more layouts, but I guess I forgot to photograph them. Maybe next time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of School, continued...

I've always taken first day of school pictures. When Jordan and Morgan lived with us---they were 2 & 3 when they moved in---I started the tradition of having pancakes on the first day of school. Steph used to bring them over here on the first day so we could get the pictures. They're all grown up now. I miss them coming here and the breakfast together.
 Morgan is in the middle. They are "big, bad" seniors this year---as signified by the yellow sweaters and saddle shoes. 
 They make a huge deal of hunting for just the right ribbon for their ties. Morgan's are the chevron ones at the top center. She's the one who took this picture. She wants to be a professional photographer. She really has a talent already for finding the most interesting things to focus in on.
 Jordan had to take a "selfie" of herself on her first day of school---at college. She said it rains all the time, so she's wearing her rain coat and zebra boats. Her dorm room is done in zebra print. Did I ever mention that she LOVES animals?
And did I ever mention that you might think she's 10 years old? She had to bring her "squinchies" to school with her. I mean, they are adorable and all, but who would have even thought to take them? That's Jordan. I talked to her this morning after one of her classes. She's doing fine and meeting a lot of new people. She said that she can't remember any names. I told her that she'll learn them. She's coming home on Friday for Labor Day weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing her and hearing all about her first two weeks.
Not exactly the first day of school, but it is the first Titan's game that Butch and Mindy have gone to this year. I was on my scrapbook retreat. Mindy texted me that her dad was in kind of a bad mood because of the traffic (he always gets like that about traffic). She said she was afraid to ask him to buy chicken tenders. I laughed---he'll buy her anything!
And even thought it's not pancakes on the first day of school, Mindy posted this on Facebook with the caption: "Nothing says 'professional business woman's breakfast' like Cinnamon Toast Crunch!" That's about right!

I'll be posting layouts on the AYM blog---here.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm Home!

After over a week away, it feels so good to be home! The first thing I did was unpack, open the mail, shower, then nap! Considering I didn't get home until 3, that was the whole day!!

I had a great time in St. Louis and then at the scrapbook retreat. Wildwood Springs Resort is an old place where the wealthy people from St. Louis came in the summer. It's charming (although it could use a really good cleaning and some paint). I love the old furniture that I'm sure is still from the beginning.

 The old fashioned sink is in the bedroom. There's a shared toilet and shower between two rooms. 
 You can see I tried to stay out of the photo. I really like the dresser. The wood is so dark, it's a bit hard to see.
This strange bug walked across the top of my computer. It's a shiny green something or other. It sort of freaked me out. It's about an inch and a half long. Kind of BIG!!
Here is the "Tools and Techniques" class that I taught at the retreat. We played with mists, masks, punches, fibers, and stitching to create a great title or end page for any album. I'll share a few of the layouts I did at the retreat another time.
 As we were packing up to leave, there was this glorious sun. The rays were so beautiful---we just don't see that too often.

On to a busy week. But first, I challenged my "A Year of Memories" club to decorate a paper doll to go with the August assignment---"8 Things My Mother Taught Me." If you'd like to see them and join in on the vote, please visit:

Next up---more first day of school pictures.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Day of School

I'm blogging from my scrapbook retreat now and will fill you in on that when I return home. But for now, here are the "first day of school" pictures that Sandy sent me.
 You've heard me talk about how tall Mitchell is----well, he hasn't been to the doctor's for his yearly visit yet, but I'm a betting woman. I'm sayin' 6'4". We'll see.
 E's back pack is bigger than she is! Check out the new Sperry's. I never did go see about getting me those sparkly ones.

 Victoria started the day after Mitchell and Elizabeth, so technically this was their second day of school picture. E's wearing her new pink Converse. V's got on her new Sperry's.
I really like that their school uniforms are so casual. No stuffy blazers or ties. V is riding the bus this year to Elizabeth's school so Sandy can get by with one stop there. Mitchell will mostly be driving himself. I'm anxious to see if he got a parking spot or will have to continue to leave at the "crack of dawn" for one of the limited "free" spots.

I hope Stephanie didn't forget to take Morgan's first day of school picture. Jordan would have had to take a "selfie." She texted me that her first couple of classes have been okay. She's made a few friends and seems to be doing fine away from home. I'll see her next Friday night at happy hour. I'm really looking forward to catching up with her.

Next up---scrapbook retreat photos and layouts.

Friday, August 23, 2013

More Pictures

Driving through Jeanne's neighborhood, I saw these garage doors. I just love them. They remind me of carriage doors. When I need new ones, I'm getting this type. I've never replaced garage doors before. Something tells me that it would be too expensive to do it on a whim. But, when I got to my cousin, Chrissy's, this is what I found:
Yep, she changed hers on a whim. I should have asked her how much it cost.
She took me on a tour of her garden. It was getting pretty dark, but the pictures still turned out okay.
The elephant ears in the pot go from year-to-year. She just pulls (and I DO mean pull) the pot in to the garage for the winter. Of course, the foliage dies off, but sprouts anew in the spring.
Judy and Chrissy---my favorite cousins---they are sisters.
Chrissy surprised me with a darling little frame. I'll be putting this picture in it.
I tried to get a close-up of a frog---it's little---about an inch and a half. She says she has them all over. I've never seen a single one at my house.
I got to see Angie and Brian's new house on Sunday. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of them, but I got plenty of cute little Travis.
He's 15 months old and a pro at kicking a ball---already---and he's really good at it. I think he's destined to be a soccer star!

He's also a bit of a show-off! There's something about babies---they keep us so entertained. We just sit around and stare at them! 

More later...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I have no idea what I did, but somehow, the pictures made it to my computer---well, except the ones I took today. We'll see if they magically appear. This iCloud completely mystifies me.
The craft fair that we went to on Saturday was in old town St.Charles. This is a statue of Lewis and Clark along with their dog, seaman, who used to be on a ship.
I bought this plant stake. It's pretty neat---you just thread your clay pots on it, fill with dirt and plant.
This one they had filled with herbs. It's a great way to contain things like mint or oregano.
What a coincidence that I would see and photograph these at the fair. Just today on one of the blogs I follow (can't remember which one) they showed the exact same thing---old keys, decorated with buttons and baubles. I'm going to be making some for sure. I think they would make fun Christmas ornaments.
I spent a little time at Michaels. They had a great sale going on---everything on clearance was an additional 50% off. I picked up a few journaling things and a pack of washi tape---as if I needed any more. But whatever was on this display for a penny must have been good---there wasn't a single thing left.
Jeanne's front garden is very welcoming. She has a nice variety of textures and colors.
 I got to meet this little cutie at the Cheesecake Factory. I met the Eads girls there for lunch. This is Brynn, Marci's baby.
 She was really good in the restaurant. Not a peep out of her.
I couldn't resist these adorable little jelly shoes. Her little feet are so cute.

More to come...