Tuesday, July 31, 2012

At the beach

We got here on Sunday afternoon after a stop at "Peach Park" in Alabama. All I can say is O-M-G!!! That fresh peach ice cream was the best I've ever had. Actually only the second time I've ever had it. The first time was when I was a little girl. My grandma Zimmermann made it when I was staying with her one summer. It was so delicious. Those memories came rushing back with my first bite. I've had that type of thing happen with smells, but this is the first time it happened with a taste. (Well, with every first bite of a Frito, I can always recall when they first came out in the 60's.) Anyway, we're stopping at Peach Park on the way home. I'll get peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon too. The cantaloupe that I bought there was the best I've had all season. I'll be getting another peach ice cream cone. I might have to get a double this time.

We're staying at the beach house of our friends, David and Linda, in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida---the beach destination that is our family favorite. It's a girls' trip. Linda is the best hostess---except she likes to freeze us out and doesn't believe in kleenex! She has exceptional taste in decorating. I'll for sure take some pictures to share. All the colors are bright and cheery. You feel like you are definitely at the beach. They just put in a little pool---I like to think---just for us. We're hoping to try it out tomorrow after getting the go ahead from the pool man yesterday.

We spent yesterday at the beach in the morning. We came in for lunch and then headed to the pool at Gulf Place. It ended up raining in the afternoon. We stopped at Goatfeathers to pick up fresh fish and shrimp. I made fish tacos---my latest favorite thing---for my dinner. I had never made them before. I got  mahi mahi and grilled it. I blackened it first. It was soooo good. I'm going to make it at home. Maybe I can take some fish back.

We played poker last night. I won $1.90.

On a sadder note, our friend Susan, had to go home. Her dog is sick and her husband had to go out-of-town. I took her to the airport early this morning. It ended up raining all day. We stayed in. The girls worked a puzzle while I read. We watched a movie and stitched.

Oh, and did I mention the fabulous daiquiris that Karolyn makes? Everyday, a different flavor. We've had strawberry banana, peach banana and tomorrow is going to be mango banana. This is the life!

Sorry, I haven't taken a single picture yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

To My Scrapbook Friends

I made the decision on Tuesday NOT to scrapbook at the beach. I knew that no matter how detailed I planned I would not be able to get the pages done the way I wanted. There are a couple that I want to use my sewing machine on and my Cricut. When you are traveling with 5 women and 2 cars (and only one car returns with 4 women), there was just no way we could get all of our stuff---plus the beach chairs, floats, umbrellas and all the regular stuff we take on vacation. I pack light when I scrapbook anyway, but there are some basic things that you have to have that take up a lot of space---Ott light, simple cutting system (not my Quickutz or Cricut), and my tool bag is huge.

Once I made that decision, it really freed up my time. I got so much accomplished. I got the title page done for one of my AYM (A Year of Memories) groups. Three years ago, after debuting "Making the Most of My Memories" workshop, "A Year of Memories" was the natural next step. Now that the pictures are organized in a new way, AYM put it to the test. Every month, I provide a kit of materials and a topic. My first group is on year 3. I have another group on year 2 and a group just in their first year. All that in the way of explanation. This workshop is about telling your stories. I design the title and end pages for all groups. This is for my beginner group---keeping it simple for them while at the same time teaching a technique. On this page it's the hand stitching here and there.
I also got kits together for 2 groups. Then I started cleaning out and re-organizing. I've been traveling so much, that I had not put away all the leftover stuff from several retreats. You know my philosophy about that---I put all of the leftover bits and pieces in zip locks by color. These I store in a mesh bag. I put that in my rolling tote whenever I go on a scrapbook retreat. That way, I have a little something extra if I need it.

Then I moved on to sorting photos. I had let them get a bit out of control. The beauty of getting them organized is that now I have page kits together. It's so each to pick up a set with papers and embellishments already decided. That way, when I have just a little snippet of time here and there, I can actually accomplish something rather than waste all of my time hunting for just the right thing. I put together enough for the August retreat AND my "cousin's crop" in October.

On Thursday, I was asked to teach a class at the retreat in August that Jeanne, Janet and I always go to. I've taught there before and enjoy it. I'll get that planned when I come back from the beach at the end of the week.

Anyway, everything is under control in my scrapbook room again. I would love to call it my studio, but that sounds a little pompous to me. Ahh, what's in a name...

I'd show you some pictures, but since Mindy came over last Saturday and left her mess, the room is still a wreck. I think it will be another couple of weeks before she finishes. I'm not going to let her do that again. Either she finishes, or packs it up and takes it home with her.

On a sadder note, I have a friend, Sandy Good, who is seriously ill. It is not looking good. Please keep her in your prayers.

Next report from the beach!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another Trip

It's been a busy week as I get ready to go out-of-town again. This time, I'm heading to the beach---Santa Rosa, FL---with my friends. We're leaving on Sunday and coming home on Friday. We're just going to read, play games, watch movies, stitch, float in the pool---and I might have to go to the beach. I might have to go shopping too. I'm going to go with the flow, but I can assure you that I will not go to the beach more than once. I pretty much hate the sand---and the taste of the ocean. Just walking along the beach and you can be sure that water will splash up. Plus, this is not a good beach to find stuff.

There's really not much to report, but I have a few photos to share.

 Remember our turkeys from the past few years? They quit coming this year. I see them in the morning down the street on my way to Curves. But for whatever reason, they have stopped coming our way.
 Some things never change. I came across this note recently---written while Mindy was in college. He could almost write this today---except, Mindy has (as she likes to say) become a financially responsible adult. And she has. Way to go Mindy! She's just getting ready to buy herself a new Mac this weekend since it's tax free.
 What the heck? One of my sisters left this behind. I didn't even know they still made the stuff. I haven't heard of it since the 60's before blow dryers. Washing your hair required rollers and sitting under a hair dryer. Quite an ordeal. I used to get up at 5 a.m., wash my hair, roll it and go back to sleep under the hair dryer.
 I am just loving my new tree hydrangeas. I haven't cut them to bring inside. I'll have to see if they dry as well as my annabelles. I love the droopy nature of them.

 The tree hydrangeas show up so well on either side of the porch.

 We lost another part of our Oklahoma Red Bud. One of my favorite things about red buds is the horizontal nature of the tree. But now without the rest of the tree, ours just looks lopsided.

 Little Evie fell asleep while reading.
Butch hard at work in his home office! I've adjusted after 2 1/2 years to having his office junk on the baker's rack. I still don't like it. But after all, he lives here too!

That's it for now. Next report from the beach! I'll show you Linda Bohan's house, where we'll be staying. It's beautiful!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Janice Update

Janice is home now. She sent me a new photo of her re-attached finger. Even that one is too gross to post here. It's half black with black stitches all around with a pin sticking a half inch out of the top of her finger. She said that it really hurts if she bumps it. I'm surprised it isn't wrapped up in some way. The fact that she has feeling in it is a good thing.

She said that her dogs are finally back to normal after being mad/scared of each other. I forgot to mention that by the time Janice was able to unhook Gus' tooth from Lola's collar (with her dangling finger), Lola had already passed out. Janice thought she was dead. She gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and was able to revive her.

I guess that would be the ultimate definition of "dog breath."

My Hands Have Been Tied!

Yesterday, Mindy came over to scrapbook. You know what that means---I didn't get to scrapbook. When she comes here (which isn't that often, so I don't discourage her), I become her retriever. Since she doesn't know where anything is, I spend all my time fetching stuff for her. Considering I'm not a huge dog lover, it turns out I'm a pretty good one.

Anyway, I mentioned that it's too bad I no longer can blog about her. She said, "why?" I said, "because you tied my hands." She has forbidden me to post pictures about her without her approval. She says I pick bad pictures. Well, that's just not gonna' fly. I'm a journalist (albeit---just a family one), but I ain't a gonna' answer to no one!

I have a few stock photos that I'm going to use. How can she argue with these?
I purposely picked this photo because she made this dress herself during the summer before first grade. Yesterday, she used my sewing machine on her scrapbook page for the first time. She hadn't sewn since this dress. She did a good job---made a nice straight line.

I have a few others, but I'm probably already in trouble for not getting permission to post these. I would sure hate to say goodbye to her on my blog. She is such a good source of fun stories.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Lagniapp is a french term for a bonus or extra gift. That's how I feel about these cute photos of Travis.
 Jeanne holding her (nearly) 3 month old grand baby. He's a pretty good baby. We like good babies.
 This is the cute little "crabby" oufit that Sandy, Stephanie and Mindy bought him. Notice the darling little matching shoes.
 Jeanne thinks this is the first time Johnny has ever held a baby. Having new babies in the family is so much fun.
 The water hyacinths are in bloom in the pond. They are pretty little things, but they bloom for just one day.
 You can see that our goldfish are happy in here. I think they have enough foliage cover to protect them  from the blue heron. You can click on that to refresh your memory of what happened last year.
 I've already showed my new refrigerator, but now that I've had it for a few months, I thought I would tell you how I like it.
 The pull out freezer is working out just fine. We don't keep a lot here because we have a big freezer in the mud room.

 It's all working out really well. But here's the thing. There are way too many nooks and crannies that are hard to clean. After a few more months, I see needing q-tips to really clean it well. I don't think I'm going to like that. We'll see....
 I had to snap this shot. On the hottest day in the history of Nashville---109 degrees---Butch was sitting outside. I opened the door and asked him what he was doing. He said, "reading the paper." Duh!!
This is the most recent needlepoint pillow that I've finished. On our sister's weekend, Jennifer asked if she could put her feet up on the coffee table. I told her, "yes." What I didn't know, was that she planned to put my pillow on the table first. I about freaked out! Since they don't do needlepoint, they have no idea the time and expense involved. I forgive her---this time! (And by the way---I keep this pillow on a chair that doesn't get used. I just photographed it on the couch. I don't even want people sitting on it!)

One last thing. Would anyone like to guest on my blog? You can write about anything you want. Especially some of you that don't have blogs. You might have something to say. Just email me! Nothing political, please.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Twins

Connie mentioned that she didn't realize the twins were identical. Of course, as adults, with different hair styles and color, they don't look as much alike as they did when they were kids.
 Except for this first picture, Janice is on the right. Here, Jennifer is on the right. No one outside of the family could ever tell them apart.

Here they are 58 years later. Janice on the left, Jennifer on the right. I got some disturbing news today. Janice nearly lost her finger trying to come to the aid of her dogs whose collars got tangled and were choking to death. Somehow her finger got caught in the collar and got nearly ripped off. She is still in the hospital after a night of surgery. I just hope they were able to save it.  Jeanne sent me a picture, but it is far to gruesome to show here.

Turns out that we Zimmermann's shared similar responses. 3 of us said, "well, that manicure on Saturday was a waste!" Joyce's first response was "those damn dogs!" In any situation, you can count on us to keep our sense of humor! To people outside of the family, our responses can seem inappropriate, but our humor is our stress reliever!

Janice just called me to let me know that she's going to be in the hospital over the weekend. They won't let her get out of bed---not even for the bathroom. She can't have any caffeine including chocolate because that makes your veins restrict. The surgery was 4 hours. All her nerves were severed and the bones crushed. They took a nerve out of her wrist and put it in her finger. It's the ring finger on her left hand. She's under a heat lamp and can't have air conditioning in her room. She's liking the popsicles. They're keeping her drugged up, so she's not feeling any pain. She does have feeling in her finger now, so that's a good sign.

Here's the amazing thing---her manicure didn't get messed up!!

"I think the ants are winning..."

These were the first words out of Butch's mouth yesterday. I've been using Terro ant killer, but the ants are arriving by the hundreds. The last time my "bug" man was here, he said that using those types of baits that are supposed to attract the ants---they are supposed to carry it back to their nests---just attracts more. After fighting them all weekend---granted, the kitchen wasn't as neat and clean as usual---I've about had it. I thew away the Terro and called the "bug" man back. He's coming tomorrow morning. Lo and behold, they are just about gone. I only saw 2 today. I guess he's right---all those ant baits just attract them. Hopefully my problem will be solved this time after tomorrow.

On another "aunt" note. I had a dream last night about my new niece, Evie. She's just about 2 months old now. I have no idea why I dreamed what I did---dreams are just strange. I wish I knew what they meant. This is what little Evie looks like.
I dreamt that we saw her at church---Janet was holding her. She was this little baby with Janet's face. Now usually, when I see a baby, I can't always tell who she looks like. That's the case with Evie. I think she must look more like Greg did when he was a baby because I can't really tell. Anyway, little Evie saw me and got all excited. Janet gave her to me. While I was playing with her, she saw a dog and said, "dog." Janet and Jackie tried to tell me that she was 6 months old. I knew she was only 2 months old.

Crazy dream. I guess it means that either Janet and Jackie can't count, or Evie is going to be one smart kid. Probably the latter---considering who her parents are!

Oh, and I'm glad she doesn't have Janet's face. That was a little weird. Not that Janet doesn't have a good face, but an adult face on a little baby just doesn't work!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sister's Weekend Observations

This weekend, 5 of the 6 sisters came for our annual "Sister's Weekend." Our sister-in-law, Sharon had to cancel at the last minute because her mom went in to the hospital. We call Janet and Sharon our sisters because they are. They've been with us for over 35 years---or maybe I should say---put up with us for over 35 years!

Janet and Jeanne arrived on Wednesday night. The other girls started arriving on Thursday. Every one of them had some sort of delay.

This is how we began---at least Joyce did. The upside down Corona slowly pours in to the margarita. Jeanne was too cheap to buy one.
Morgan "waited" on us Friday when all my friends were here. It's nice to have someone get drinks, make lunch, and handle the music. Everyone gave her a tip besides what I paid her. She made out like a bandit!!
Someone was bound to be thrown in the pool. Joyce started it by throwing me in. I had my suit on, so it wasn't really a big deal. Janice got Joyce---with the help of Karolyn. My friends moved to the far side of the pool. They didn't want to be involved in any sort of retribution! Chickens.

Happy Hour---everyone came including the teenagers and their boyfriends.

I don't recall what this little tiff between Janice and Jennifer was about. But no one wants to take a "noogie" from Jennifer!!

Our only group shot outside of Longhorn. I had planned for us to go to the Bonefish Grill, but they couldn't take us. Besides, our group is pretty loud, so it's probably just as well. From front row, left to right: Joyce, Janice, Jennifer, back row: Jeanne, Janet and me.
Only Jordan could pull off suede boots and a pea coat over a strapless sundress in the middle of summer! She said the coat was her rain coat---but it's totally a wool pea coat. We all set her straight. You can barely see the top of her boots here. I didn't want to make her feel too self-conscious about them---she actually looked pretty cute. She "waited" on us on Saturday and served lunch. She had Spencer to help. They both made out like bandits! Next year, I'm going to reduce what I pay them since they get tips. Isn't that exactly how waitresses are paid---low wages due to good tips??
We talked about how the twins---unbeknownst to each other---do/buy the same things. I bought the flip flops, but they have bought the exact same shoes on two different occasions. They live in different states. Janice and Jennifer decided to go for pedicures on Saturday morning. Neither realized that they had both chosen the exact same nail color. Have you seen the 100 or more choices? Eerie---always! Don't they have identical toes?

Joyce is the cooler queen. I couldn't believe how much alcohol I bought for the weekend. When Joyce got here, she needed "red ones." Huh? Turns out that means Budweiser---not to be confused with "blue ones" which are "lite" or the select. She thought she was going to need 3 cases---since Scott wasn't with her. I said I was only paying for one! By the way, I never did pay for one. I don't really think she drank 3 cases. When she has a little too much, she doesn't talk too much or get too loud. She just grins ALL the time!

Jeanne requested Budweiser Select. Butch did the beer/alcohol run. He came home with the Select 55. Wrong ones. I just don't know beer and don't particularly care to learn.
Getting a "yahtzee" in "left, right center" is NOT a good thing. With one roll, Butch lost all 5 of his quarters. We have NEVER seen this happen! No one could believe it.

I got Jennifer set up on Facebook. I thought this was so sad. Even Janice had 8 friends---wait, she had me "de-friend" one, so make that 7!! While they were getting their pedicures, we got Janice a whole bunch more friends!

Ever since our family trip to New Orleans, Jeanne has not worn her matador outfit. That didn't keep Janice from wearing her bowling shirt!

Joyce would rather drink than eat. She doesn't want any snacks on the poker table! Actually, we felt like Ronnie was with us! They are just alike in every way. They are the lucky ones that got the "skinny" gene.

Janet just blends in. She brought her amazing chocolate chip cookies. They weren't allowed on the poker table either! She also brought some darling pictures of Evie---her new grand baby.

Jeanne brought a million few pictures of Travis. My friend, Nancy asked her to narrow it down to 3! She was just joking, of course! Or maybe not.

Apparently, I can only beat the Zimmermann's at poker when I'm in St. Louis. I lost $8.40 for the weekend.

It continually amazes me that the grandkids and their boyfriends like to be around the family. They don't want to miss games. Carson came back on Sunday to pick up his motorcycle and said he thought everyone was hilarious. Maybe that's what keeps them coming---the comedic entertainment! Kind of like the last time when Butch brought Gumby to the table!

When it comes to getting ready, Janice is the pokiest in the family. Jeanne says it's because she never had kids.

Everyone talks at once. The loudest wins! When I go to bed at night, my ears are ringing. I have to admit, I'm right there with them. That's what growing up in a big family does---you have to be heard!

Butch did a good job of fading in to the background until needed. He handled recycling---and believe me, there were a ton of bottles and cans. He blew up Janet's raft for her. I was going to have Jordan do it since she was our pool girl that day.

We lucked out with the weather. In spite of so much rain, we managed to get in the pool both days for several hours.

Hosting sisters and ants on the same weekend was too much to handle. I've been fighting the ants for awhile now. Maybe all this rain...my "bug man" can't seem to handle it, so I decided to try something on my own. Janice suggested the bay leafs---they're coming in around the switch plate. They didn't work. The jury is still out on the Terro ant killer as it can take as much as 2 weeks.

Until next year---or if any of you sisters have anything to add, I'll be happy to post an update!
I love you guys.