Sunday, July 31, 2011


The challenge this month was to make and use flowers on the page. Here are the results. Unfortunately---not really a bad thing---there are so many people in our group that I cannot always remember who made what.
Besides the flowers on this page, Kathy hand-stitched lines between all the pictures. Fabulous layout.

 A few of the girls who were absent last month, brought their projects. The challenge then was to use a vintage item on your layout or card. Jann made this lovely card using a vintage buckle.
 For these cards, she made a flower from torn circles. On the right, she made a zipper flower.
 Jann also made this book in memory ofher daughter. Below is just a couple pages from the inside.

 Tanya made a card box (not shown) full of these cards---using all types of flower techniques.
 This is an extra layout that I brought to show. The guys AYM topic this month was to list 5 things they loved and hated right now. I liked the idea so much that I wanted to do it for myself to.
For my challenge this month, I started with naked chipboard flowers. I painted them green, then masked them and painted cream over the top. When all that dried, I added glitter glue to make them sparkle. To the middle, I added silver buttons.

Sandy made ribbon roses for her layout.

Sandy made accordion flowers for this dance layout. More ribbon roses below.

Another accordion and torn flower

This is Pam's layout---I love the color combination. When we were at our annual spring "farm crop", I taught a flower making class. This was one of them. You punch circles from double sided paper, fold in two sides, then line up in a circle. Add a button to the center for the cutest flower ever.
Lola has taught several flower-making classes. She brought an assortment of flowers that she's made.

Here is a "fascinator" that she made. (My sister scoffed at these, but fascinators have been around here for awhile. In fact, Mindy bought her first one at Christmas Village last November. They just became even more popular after the Royal Wedding.)

Lola had a huge box full of these flowers. Below is a handmade flower on the lid of this hand made box.
The challenge for next month is to use squares on a game related layout. That will be easy for me since our family plays so many games----I have tons of pictures.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

That Green Eyed Monster!

This past weekend, Butch and I decided that it was a good idea to get all the boxes of the girls "stuff" out of the attic. Turns out that most of it was Stephanie's New Kids on the Block stuff---about 4 or 5 boxes worth. It was a nasty, dirty job, but we did manage to find a few treasures. I was so excited to "find" this. It was in a box of Sandy's keepsakes. I had this St. Aloysius pennant since I was a little girl. Since Sandy went to St. Aloysius in Peewee Valley, KY for 1st and half of 2nd grade, I had given it to her. I completely forgot all about it---until I saw it in Jeanne's scrapbook room. I remember thinking, that I was sure that she had my pennant since we shared a room growing up. I was pretty jealous that she had something so cool from our childhood. Then all of a sudden, I wasn't quite so sure that Jeanne had this after all. I called her and she confirmed that all she has is the St. Aloysius "patch" from her volleyball uniform. Yet, I would have sworn that she had this pennant. And I even built up this whole jealousy thing in my mind. 
Although Jeanne and I laughed about it, I am seriously concerned about my mind! To completely fabricate something---and actually have the emotions to go along with the fabrication---that's bad! Really bad!

The only good thing to come out of all of this besides the pennant, is that we have moved out at least a dozen boxes from the attic. Can't wait to get up there and vacuum!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It's been awhile---things have been crazy around here. First, the sisters visit, then our farm crop----came home on Friday just is time for the Lapps family to arrive. They will be here all week.  I have a lot to blog about, just not enough time to do it right now. In the meantime, here are the layouts for this month's A Year of Memories/2. Their assignment this month was to complete the phrase: "Happiness is..." They were also to pay attention to the advertising around them and pick something as an inspiration piece.
Kim used a page out of the Dick's Sporting Goods catalog to make her page.

The flower takes the place of the underwear clad torso above.

Suzanne used this Cheerios box as her layout inspiration.

It's a little hard to see in the picture, but she frayed the ends of the placemat under her pot of soup. Really clever.

Sally used this cookbook as her inspiration.
If you look close, you can even see the stitching. She is planning to add 6 photos and some journaling. She wants to take some interior shots of their cabin the next time they are out there.

I'm really enjoying seeing what these gals come up with every month. Even if their families don't always "get it", by the end of the year, they will have an album filled with little glimpses of their life---what they love, what's important to them and what makes them happy. That's what it's all about! Did anyone say "hokey pokey?"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Second Harvest

You'll get a kick out of this.

So I checked my tomatoes this morning---I still haven't picked one---and decided to wait until this afternoon---just wanted to let a few ripen a bit more. Well, I came down from upstairs and found 6----yep 6---picked and sitting on the counter. I just about jumped all over Butch. He said he didn't do it. That leaves only one person---Margarita! What the....will I ever get to pick my own tomatoes? Plus, I like them a little riper. Don't I get to decide?

See, growing my own food doesn't work for me either! Between annoying little sisters, a well-meaning cleaning lady and all the wildlife, I can't win!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My "Peeps" and the First Harvest

 My "peeps"were here this weekend---Jeanne, Janet and Janice. This is mostly what we did---with frozen pool drinks, of course! So nice to just hang out and relax in the pool.

Stephanie had a work related party at her house that she invited us to.  For the first time in my life, I was the oldest in the room. All of us were the oldest by nearly 25 years, but still I was the OLDEST! That really struck me. When did that happen? Anyway, we had different martinis---the chocolate and bubblegum were the best. I only had one chocolate since I was the designated driver, but I'm told the bubblegum were excellent too. It was a whole lot of fun---really---more fun than we expected. I hope we "Zimmermann's" didn't embarrass Steph in front of her work people. Several told us as we were leaving that we were a hilarious family. I agree---we are pretty much fun.

Here is my first tomato harvest. My sisters took great delight in picking them first---they can be such babies---reverting to little kids to annoy the hell out of me. Didn't they get enough pleasure out of that 50 years ago? I guess not! A couple could have stayed on the vine for another day. But oh, no, they had to pick them all! They are pretty small---notice the glass and the regular sized tomatoes in the front---those bigger ones are from Nancy's garden. Mine are not as small as cherry tomatoes, but about the size of golf balls. I joked that I was going to send these home with them to St. Louis with them so they could have some really little sandwiches.

These are how my tomatoes look in their gro-boxes. There  are two plants here with a basil plant.

There are two plants here too, but the one on the right is the one that the rabbits ate all the flowers from, so it has no tomatoes.

We played poker on Saturday night. Here is Janet's pile.

And here's mine. When it was all said and done, Butch lost the most---about $16.00. I was the big winner with $12.65 and Janet won about $7.00. Janice broke even---although, I find that hard to believe. Seems to me she broke a hundred somewhere along the line. Maybe she was just showing off. I heard that Texans do that sort of thing. Jeanne said she lost about $4.00. We had a great time---as always.

Then, right after the game, those big babies ATE my entire first harvest. They thought it was so funny, until I reminded them that they just ate what I was sending home with them for those teeny sandwiches. Then Jeanne hit me with a zinger---"Well Nashville tomatoes aren't as good as St. Louis tomatoes anyway." Next time, I'm just going to throw the tomatoes at them!!

And Janet and I have a little bet going that Jeanne will need to stop three times on the way home to use the bathroom. She definitely has some issues there. I've got $5.00 riding on it.

Can't wait until they are here again. Jennifer, Sharon and Joyce, we missed you and you missed a good time! Next summer....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

To All of my Cricut Loving Friends

Thought I would share a link to this Cricut blog I just discovered.

I love blogs and follow over 200 now---all the things I'm interested in---scrapbooking, decorating, cooking, gardening, vintage finds, needleworks, and some for just plain fun. Keeping up with that many blogs would be extremely time consuming and nearly impossible. So, I installed a "blog reader." It does all the work for me---when I click on my blog reader, it just loads new posts. That way I don't have to go to each individual blog on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, there can be as many as 50 posts a day with this many blogs. But it's really easy to click through them to get to whichever ones have something I'm interested in.

I will say, that one blog leads to another and before you know it, you are following 200!! Actually, when I have a few extra minutes, I'm going to clean out a few. When I get around to doing that, I'm going to post a few of my favorites for you to check out.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homemaker of the Year

Remember last year when I spent $125 on canning products? Well, it's that time of year again to try to justify that purchase. I decided that since I had such a prolific crop of basil, I'd make some pesto. I wish I had taken a picture of the basil in my "gro boxes" so you could see how much I had.
 Anyway, here's a sink full. I actually had 2 sink fulls. It took me 2 hours to wash each leaf. I had bugs, teeny tiny 1/4" green grasshoppers and other types all over the kitchen. I had to be diligent with that washing.
 Thank goodness for my salad spinner. It would have taken me forever and a couple rolls of paper towels to dry all those leaves.
 When it was all said and done, I got only 3 cups. Pretty unbelievable that it condensed to this.
After all this work---only 3 cups. I envisioned giving it away to family and friends---so proud of myself. What a letdown. I sure hope it tastes good---pine nuts, olive oil, salt and garlic. I'll add parmesan after cooking. Does this make me "Homemaker of theYear?"

So here's the deal. If you take into account the cost of the supplies, plants, water, fertilizer, and the time it took me to make it, I'd say these little guys are worth about $49.95 each. They say you are supposed to get satisfaction out of doing these kinds of things yourself. The heck with that. I'd rather have been scrapbooking. I guess it just depends on how you want to spend your time. I did all this kind of stuff in the 1970's. I stopped for a reason. It's really not a lot of fun, just all work. And to think, that I don't even know yet if the stuff is any good. Either which way, I can buy really great tasting stuff at the grocery for pennies in comparison. I think I'll do that from now on.

On another note, the battle with the wildlife in our backyard continues. I also have planted a few tomato plants. I love fresh tomatoes. In fact, my grandpa Preli would always save me his "biggest" tomato of the season. He expected me to eat it on the spot. I was only too happy to oblige, but sometimes those tomatoes were the size of small cantaloupes---too much to eat at one sitting. I don't have that problem growing my own. They never get that big---and even if it seems like I'll have a few the size of tennis balls, the squirrels beat me to them---leaving behind big gaping holes.

This year, I have a different problem. I noticed that one of the tomato plants, although huge, has no tomatoes. When I remarked to Butch about it, he said that he saw the rabbits eating the flowers off of it. What the heck? (Did I mention in a previous post how the squirrels have chewed up our pool "noodles" too). I give up. The animals win. But their free smorgasbord ends this year. I'm not planting anything next year. That'll teach them. Really.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


On Saturday, coming home from vacation, Mindy realized that she had forgotten to leave Margarita a key for her bi-monthly cleaning. She had to call and cancel---which was bad because she had to cancel her the last time too---since she had out-of-town company. I asked her if she was going to be "bummed" after being out-of-town for 2 weeks and coming home to dirty apartment. She said "no" because she had DEEP CLEANED before her friend, Drew came from New Orleans. I'm thinking, "what the heck is she talking about? Margarita does the deep cleaning." So I asked her what DEEP CLEANING meant to her. She said that she had "wiped out" the bath tub and sink!! What a hoot. Truly, she has no clue.

In all fairness, the girl has never had to clean in her life. By the time she was born, I already had a cleaning lady. When she went off to college, she thought Windex wipes could handle it all. She used the Pledge as pest control---using half a can on each gargantuan roach that can only be found in New Orleans. Those suckers can carry off a newborn---I've seen them. Aside from the roaches I rarely stayed with her because I couldn't take such low cleaning standards. I did clean her apartment once when she first moved in, but I'm not the type of mom that's going to "bust my butt" cleaning when I don't even do my own! I love my girls, but there are limits. That's why, when Mindy moved back to Nashville, Butch and I made Margarita mandatory---the best 100 bucks she spends each month. And any time we go over, it's nice---you don't feel like you have to have the hand sanitizer in your hands the whole time.

Here she is after coming home from Curves, getting ready for work and having breakfast---pancakes with a Diet Coke. The girl definitely is one of a kind. We're glad she's our one of a kind.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Holy Grail

Here it is---the Holy Grail---mom's Scrabble game---the one I learned on at 5 years old---when I could only spell 2 and 3 letter words. After mom died, I didn't really give anybody a choice---I snatched it right away. It has a lot of sentimental value and memories for me. I played Scrabble with my grandma Zimmermann too. I love the game.
Mom had this original word guide in her game. We've used it hundreds of times. But, alas, playing with the family on our vacation, we discovered, that this guide is hopelessly outdated. I'll be keeping it for the memories, but I do need to get another more up-to-date version.

On our vacation, the grandkids really got "in" to Scrabble. When we would sit down to play, Mitchell would say, "okay, we're playing for second place." Meaning that they knew they couldn't beat me. Still, they liked playing and played many games with me. I taught them my "tricks" and secret moves. I wowed them by playing the word "d-a-r-k-e-n-s" for a total of 98 points. Then I told them the story of playing a 7 letter word with Jeanne recently, but I couldn't remember the word or how many points it was worth.

I look forward to the day when the kids start beating me. I don't think I beat mom for the first time until I was about 22 years old. After that, she still beat me most of the time---of course, she had the advantage of her crossword puzzle vocabulary---but I won once in awhile too. I love that we're now on generation #4 with Scrabble. Mindy loves it too. Steph is a sore loser, so she doesn't like to play with me---nor does Butch. Sandy plays, but since only 4 can play, she didn't get a game this trip. August when they are here, she'll definitely get a chance.

A couple vacation shots. I thought I had a good one of Greg and Sandy, but that must be on Greg's camera.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How Time Does Fly

I can't believe that Elizabeth will turn six in September. Where has the time gone? It's always so much fun to have a baby in the family, but she's not one anymore. Still, she provides us with quite a bit of entertainment. One afternoon this week, she and I were playing Sequence. She won the first game, I won the second. I said we'd play a third to see who was the champion. She said, "no thanks, grammy, I'm kind of "boed." She still has trouble with her "r's," but it sounds so darn cute.
Tonight, we went to dinner at Bayou Bill's Crab Shack. I asked her, "if you could pick anything in the whole wide world to eat, what would it be?" She said "ribs." I told her she could get them.When the waitress came around, she ordered cheese pizza. I asked her why she didn't order the ribs. She said, "because I'm wearing my new shirt and I don't want to ruin it with ribs." And here I thought I was the only one (well, except for Connie) that had to worry about slopping on my shirt!!! Anyway, we convinced her that she would be okay with the ribs and she was. Near the end of the meal, she said, "I didn't even have to use my napkin once!" Like that was a special feat! I'm going to miss these cute little things she says. We are so lucky that she's such an easy-going kid and so much fun to have around.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I HATE the Beach!!!

So, as I'm sitting on the beach this morning, I asked the fam what it is about the beach that they love. I'll agree with beauty---you can't find a more beautiful spot---snowy white sand and turquoise waters. But as far as I'm concerned, that's about it. If I never bury my tootsies in the sand for the rest of my life, that would be okay with me. In fact, the gorgeous views below are from our porch---a nice, breezy, relaxing spot. 

 Back to what the family loves---the smell---are you kidding me---smells like dead fish with a little tanning oil thrown in. Not a great combination.

They like the  sounds--- to me, the ocean itself is so loud, that the kids can't hear you yelling at them---and with our family, there's a lot of that going on. Butch rented a kayak for the day today. Right away, I said this was going to be something that caused nothing but fighting ("I want to go first, I didn't get a turn, why do I have to wear a life jacket, etc."). I wasn't far off. Steph and Mindy went first as the teens were still sleeping. They were supposed to be trying it out to see if you could "fall in" and still be able to get back on the kayak. They paddled pretty far out---farther than Butch expected they would just to test the "rockability" of the craft. He started freaking a little about the fact that they did not have the life jackets with them. When we vacation these days, he still thinks of them as little girls. Actually, they're okay with that as he fills the cooler and hauls everything for them---anything for his girls. They love him for it and so do I. Anyway, they made it back okay. The teens arrived and immediately wanted to "go." From the adults: "put on sunscreen, you have to wear the life jackets, take off those expensive sunglasses, only two people can row, etc." I'm just sitting back laughing. Too darn much trouble if you ask me. Just let 'em go. They'll figure it out.

Another thing Mindy says she loves about the beach---playing games. She gets Butch to play this paddle ball thing they brought. I was laughing so hard---one hits it, maybe the other returns it and then it's chase after the ball and pick it up to start all over---truly, never more than two hits at a time. ridiculously NOT fun. Mindy was getting mad at me for laughing, but I couldn't help it. I was rolling in the sand, laughing hysterically. There is no way that was fun---just hot and sweaty. When they quit---it was less than 2 minutes---Mindy said it was because I was laughing.
Another fun thing per the family is hunting for stuff. Hunting for these tiny little sand dollars was fun for about 5 minutes. You had to watch for them as the waves roll in and try to grab them before the wave went back out. It's pretty hard, but they sure are cute---about a half inch wide. Other than that, there's not much I want to find on the beach. Butch brought a metal detector, but I've never known anyone to actually find anything worth finding with one.

They say they like to read on the beach. Not me. Ruins your book. I only bring magazines and consider them trashed after.

I do my obligatory hour and a half, then head for the pool. The beach is just plain too hot. Give me my float in the pool, now that's heaven! Today, I had it to myself for about an hour. Then Victoria and Elizabeth joined me. We still had it to ourselves until the teens decided to get in---with a bunch of other teens they met. It was about time for me to make lunch anyway.

After lunch, we were cleaning up. After 3 days, the recycling is piling up. I've about had it with that. There are no recycling bins here. I had the girls call the office to find out where to take it---3 miles down the road. Butch and I loaded it up and took it there. I really respect that he's so committed. There's one thing you can say for Butch, he definitely lives his principles! As a matter of fact, we hauled all our recycling home from our trip to Alaska since he found out the ship didn't recycle. I told him that I was drawing the line if our luggage was overweight. No way was I paying 50 bucks to haul trash home! I don't know anyone that has "flown" their recycling home. Kudos to Butch.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Family Minute to Win It

Whenever the family is together, they always want to know the itinerary. I usually post it on the refrigerator. It includes all activities, food and sometimes the job list. This time, I listed one of the activities as "grammy and grandpa's surprise." I planned a family "Minute to Win it" game. I knew they would get a kick out of it. We usually play all kinds of games from charades to kareoke, cards, poker, dice games, domino games, you name it. I knew that they would like this since it was something different than we've ever done before. It took quite a lot of pre-planning and organization to pull it all together, but they are loving it. I have 10 rounds planned. We did 3 tonight.

The first thing we did was draw for teams---5 with two people on each. I'm the MC. Everyone gets to do each challenge and you don't lose a life unless both team members fail.
 The first challenge was called "Be a Baby." You have to strap pedometers on your feet, lay on your back and then kick like a squalling baby to rack up 250 steps on the pedometers. It is so much harder than you think. Kicking your legs for 60 seconds is really tough---and painful. I told Victoria and Elizabeth that they would get an extra minute on all challenges. About half way in to this one, Victoria said she didn't want the extra minute! She watched everyone struggling in pain and didn't want to endure it any longer than necessary. Everyone managed to pass round one.

 The second challenge was to toss cards and make them land on other cards. Everyone succeeded here too.
 This one was hard. You had to knock down six empty cans by shooting them with rubberbands. Elizabeth went first. With her extra time, she was able to knock them all down. Butch also succeeded, but that was about it. Elizabeth said that she has taken gymnastics for 3 years, so she's good at everything. We can't figure out how that relates to shooting rubber bands. That girl does not lack confidence!

We called it a night after 3 rounds. We were all tired and it's already 10 p.m. Actually pretty early for us.

I spent 5 hours on the beach and in the pool today. I came in to take a nap at 2. The kids weren't far behind me. We ended up playing Racko and then scrabble until 5:30. I'm tired now. I love my naps. I get up early and naps get me through. All I need is an hour---30 minutes reading and then 30 minutes actually napping. Works for me. Rejuvenates me. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to make sure it happens. After all, it is vacation.

I'm ready to relax for a bit with my book. Another fun and busy day tomorrow---shopping, then more beach/pool time. Personally, I hate the beach---all that sand makes me nuts. I suffer for a couple hours to hang with the fam and then hit the pool. I'm okay with that. So are they. Usually the kids are back and forth, so I have plenty of company. In my perfect world, I take my nap in the pool. I did bring my float.