Sunday, October 31, 2021

Aunt Marie

I have mentioned my Aunt Marie dozens of times over the years and posted many pictures of her. About the second week of the lockdown, she had a stroke and never recovered. The last year and a half has not been good for her---or us for that matter. She had very brief moments of recognition, but mostly nothing. 

Well, on Tuesday, she passed away--she was 87. It was time. We're sad, but also relieved--for her AND Uncle Tony. 

Here are some of my favorite photos of Aunt Marie--she was beautiful-- and some with me!
With the exception of this picture, Aunt Marie is in her 80's in all the rest! 

This is the last picture I took of her--right before the lockdown.

We had a special relationship and I'm going to miss her!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Just a Little Something

Halloween is tomorrow. I had just a couple things I wanted to share before it's too late.

Mindy bought this watch band for her Apple Watch. It's Disney's haunted mansion wallpaper! I think it's adorable!

When Steph served the Halloween mimosas at her house last week, I failed to mention her Halloween nails! Each one is different with some glitter involved. And check out her necklace.

There's still time to make these darling--okay, yucky---sugar cookie fingers! You could make it even easier and use that refrigerated sugar cookie dough. 

Until next Halloween.

I hope you don't get too spooked!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2021


So today, I thought I would do a Public Service Announcement---or, post!

Last week I reported about how I got scammed with Kate Spade purses. Well, this time, I'm going to talk about those pesky emails we all get. They seem like they could be legit. But the key to not getting scammed is to NOT click on anything. 

I cannot tell you how many times I get emails that look like they are from my account through the Apple Store. Usually they are for really expensive apps--hundreds of dollars. Or one time, it was for a new computer--over a thousand dollars. What I do in that case is go directly to my Apple account and check my recent purchases. They are all there. Not the scams--which tells me that they just want me to click on something.

Here are a few others:

This one looks like it's from PayPal. This one wasn't for that much money, but still, I didn't click on anything or call that number at the bottom! I went to the PayPal website, logged in and checked my account. There was nothing there that I hadn't authorized. So, I'm good and just sent that email to junk.

Then there are these types. Trust me, there is nobody anywhere trying to give you money! You do not have any lost relatives that have died with millions of dollars that they've left to you. Seriously, don't you think you would know a relative with a lot of money? They just wouldn't suddenly show up after they die trying to leave you their money. 

The thing about these types of scams--is that they must work. Otherwise they would quit doing it. Maybe people are just curious and click on something. Then it's too late. 

Just be careful and don't respond or click on anything you are not familiar with. We "old" people need to be extra careful! They say we are easy targets. Well, considering my scam last week, maybe that's true. But I happen to know a few young people that have fallen for a few things too. 

Just be careful out there on the World Wide Web!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

What I Buy Wednesdays

Let’s talk about tile. 

The two upstairs bathrooms are being remodeled as we speak. Mindy’s bathroom—I guess it will forever be known as that even though she doesn’t live here anymore—is going to be black and white. Remember, I’m going with a French farmhouse vibe and using pictures from our France trip. The bedding and window treatments are black and white toile. So black and white tile just makes sense. I also wanted it to be shiny. We have this tile in the rec room bath and I love it. 

I like shiny floors, so I knew I wanted shiny tile.  I told Christy that if I couldn’t find what I liked in shiny, then I would just use this again. But, I would really like to have something different.

I really liked these two, but the one on top wasn’t shiny at all. The one on the bottom was a smaller scale and round, but only the black penny tiles were shiny. It was okay—and I probably would have “settled” for that if I hadn’t seen this:

You can't tell it from the picture, but it's all shiny. I'll be using a medium grey grout, so it will look pretty much like you see it here. It's kind of an optical illusion. The tile above is definitely black flowers with a white center, while this one is white flowers with a black center. Or some people might see just polka dots. 

All of it is shiny! I love it. The shower is going to be this shiny black glass tile with a niche made with the floor tile.  I've picked the 3"x12" (center one).

The tile for the other bathroom was easier to pick out. I didn't really have anything in mind, so it was easy to find something. It's when I have something in my head that is a problem. I want what I want.

This tile will be on the walls and is 8". It is a subtle teal color in person.
Here is everything together. The large, rustic looking white will be on the floor with the little penny tiles on the floor of the shower and in the niche. You can't tell it from this small piece, but the little white pennies are outlined in the teal. I'm wallpapering this bathroom. 

This is happening:

This is my view from the kitchen. Usually, I'm looking out over the garden and pool. Now it's dark. The reflections you see are what's behind me in the kitchen and dining room. Makes it kinda dark. It's all because of this:
They have made a chute of sorts to get the demolished "stuff" out---big stuff like the vanities and tub. There's a linen closet coming out too. They put a dumpster in the driveway. There's going to be a lot of hauling. 

This has already been a lot of work and we're not even finished with everything we need to do to prepare for the new carpet. Then, when it's all finished, it's going to take a lot of work to put the rooms back together. We're overwhelmed! Oh, the mess...

You'll just have to stay tuned for further updates!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tuesday Thoughts About...

...craft projects!

I don’t like ‘em. It’s true. I don’t like craft projects. But, the girls do. Every year, they ask for a craft project right around the holidays. I always come up with something, well, because it’s the girls. I’ll do whatever they want. It means spending time with them and I’m all about that!

So, this year, Steph and Mindy’s friend (and my friend too), Bonnie, told us she had a project. I should add here that we’ve included Bonnie in some of our projects too. Anyway, they set the date. Originally, I was not going to be able to attend. When our plans changed, I told Steph that I was coming, but not to mention it to Bonnie—basically for a couple reasons:

  1. Having taught many scrapbooking classes plus craft projects, I know the work involved. I know what it’s like adding more people later once you’ve already put together the class kits. Designing a project is a lot of work in itself--then there's the cutting and gathering. But then to have to go back and make another is so much extra work.
  2. And secondly, well, it’s a craft project! I don't like 'em!

When we got to Stephanie’s, she greeted us with festive, Halloween mimosas. 

You can't tell from the picture, but they are all glittery and sparkly!

Morgan showed up with Joey. He is an Ausie Doodle—Australian Shepherd mixed with a Poodle.
Here's the gang: Bonnie, me, Stephanie, Morgan and Mindy.

On to the project. 

Bonnie got her Cricket in January and has made project after project ever since. You might recall she made everything for our anniversary weekend. 

She is not a scrapbooker, so her focus is on cards, banners, party and home decor. Considering I ordered my Cricket 6 months before they ever came out—what—10-15 years ago—AND taught classes for it at the local scrapbook store, Bonnie is way ahead of me!! She really knows what this baby can do! She uses the Cricket Design Space while my “baby bug” does not have that capability. Design Space gives you access to everything Cricut has to offer. I’m still using my Gypsy—a little computer that has all of the cartridges I own loaded on to it. That works for me and I love it. Unfortunately, it is now obsolete and no longer supported by Provocraft. When it dies, that’s it. But, I digress. Back to the project.

Bonnie even made cute gift bags with each person't supplies. Those names are 4 layers thick! 

As you can see, the project is so darn cute: a glittery framed piece, "pick your poison," two little votive candles and a "witches brew" bottle with purple glittery fluid.

Bonnie used vinyl. You might recall, I used that for the “beach” sign that Butch made for me. But what I was mostly impressed about was how tiny and thin the letters were. I have never tried to cut anything that small—assuming it would just tear. Notice how precise those tiny letters are. They are only about 1/4" tall. Even the tiny, tiny broomstick is perfect!

The girls had so much fun. Stephanie made a delicious, fall salad with apples and pecans along with some acorn squash bisque. Then, for dessert, she made caramel apples. 

When it was all over, Bonnie presented me with the completed project! That was so sweet of her! We had a great time and the girls loved the project. 

I’m more than happy to pass the reigns of planning craft projects to Bonnie. But I do have a couple others up my sleeve just so she can have some fun too! 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Monday Mystery

Well, this is a good one---right before Halloween!

On Saturday, we were heading over to Stephanie and Nicky's for a craft project and football. As we were walking through the garage, Butch said, "Where did this come from?"
I replied, "I have no idea! I thought you brought it home!" 

We started trying to figure it out. None of the family has been by this week. My garden girls were not here. We finally concluded that perhaps the lawn people found it in our yard--maybe it blew in--and they just stuck it in the garage. That seems like a stretch, because I don't really see them being concerned about something like this. But there's really no other explanation.

Considering Halloween is right around the corner, it seems like an appropriate mystery. Now the next mystery---what am I going to do with it? Hmmm, I suppose I could stick it in a planter out front. But, then, if the neighbor who it belongs to sees it, they might think we stole it!! I guess I'll have to pay attention and see if anyone near me has some sort of gravestone display and drop it by. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

While the Cat's Away...

...the mouse will play! Or at least some of the time. Actually, I got quite a bit of work done too. 

Two weeks ago, Butch went to Morocco with a couple of his buddies. This trip was a postponement from 18 months ago. It was touch and go right up until about a week before as to whether it was really going to happen. Air Canada canceled their flight at the last minute. That left them scrambling to find another way to get there. They had a very brief amount of time to catch their connecting flight in Detroit--which meant that there could be no room for error. Now-a-days, it's scary with the airlines canceling  flights, delays and long lines through security. Luckily, after the stress, they were on their way and ended up having a great time. 

While he was gone here's how it went for me:

What I accomplished:

I cleaned out my closet--again--seems like it's a monthly thing now!

Cleaned out my nightstand

Cleared Mindy’s dresser in preparation for the remodel

Cleaned out another file drawer--only one left

Painted the old chandelier

Had Karolyn and Pam over to plan out our South Dakota layout

Did my part of the South Dakota layout

Put together my scrapbook kit for AYM

Started planning for our scrapbook retreat (unfortunately, The Memory Make Inn has closed. That means now we have to bring tables, lights and FOOD! There's a lot more planning involved)

Did my challenge layout

Where I went:

Took the girls to Char for dinner

Went to the Rolling Stones Concert

Met the family for brunch at The Row for Mitchell’s 25th birthday

Met Connie to see The Many Saints of Newark

Saw these movies too:

Free Guy

Time to Kill

Addams Family 2

Went to the dentist for step one of a crown

Had a doctor appointment

All the usual errands: grocery store, bank, pick up photos, Target and a few extras: picking up Steph and Nicky’s print from France from the framer, Service Jewelry for a necklace and a few other things.

Lunch with Madelyn

So as you can see, it was a productive week with quite a bit of fun too. The week went by pretty fast, but I have to admit, I was happy when he got home. We reviewed his pictures as he told me all about his trip. He decided which of his pictures he wanted me to scrapbook and I sent them to Walgreen's for printing. I'll be leaving on Wednesday for our fall scrapbook retreat at Kentucky Lake. I'll be working solely on our trips. That way I can just bring all of my travel related papers and embellishments. That will definitely make it easier to focus on just one thing. 

The demolition part of the remodel starts on Monday. I'm not looking forward to this--it's always a mess and soooo much work--on both ends. Because we're getting new carpet in three rooms, all the stuff has to be moved. I'm not quite sure how that's going to work. We'll already have the stuff from Mindy's room out. But then it will all have to be moved back to clear the next room for carpet. As for my office, that furniture is pressed wood and so heavy. Christy, my designer friend, tells me that the installers will be able to handle it. I haven't ordered the new furniture yet as I figured I need to wait until everything is finished rather than have more stuff in the way that just has to be moved from room to room. Currently, one of the vanities is in the garage. I have no idea how they are going to get that upstairs. It's huge and weighs 400 lbs. Christy tells me not to worry--it's her problem! That's why I hire her! She does the worrying. We'll see how that goes.

I'm already tired!

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Scrapbook Saturday

Taming the chaos!

For my scrapbooking friends, I thought I would share a few of my organizational ideas. 

When we go on a trip, we end up taking way too many pictures. Way more than I can or want to scrapbook. Since we are traveling so much, I decided that from now on, I will only do one, double page spread per trip. That means I really have to pare down the photos and the scads of memorabilia that I collect. 

1. While traveling, I try to edit my photos every day just to keep on top of it.
2. Once we get home, I go through all of the brochures and pamphlets and pull out anything I might use and recycle the rest. The object of this is to reduce the bulk. 
3. I put all of the brochures in a big manilla envelope along with any trip notes I made while traveling.
4. I choose all the pictures I want to print--more than I'll actually use--I want to make sure I have plenty of choices. I have the photos printed right away and add them to the envelope. That envelope might sit for a very long time--possibly years!
5. Once I'm ready to tackle the page, I dump everything out:
And, of course, I must have my tea. Then I'm ready to get started.
See those little slips of paper around the edge of the table?
6. That's how I start. I have a scrap for each day with a list of the activities and sights from that day.
7. Then I just start putting each item in the pile for the day that activity or picture happened.

This was our 7 day South Dakota trip with friends. 
As you can see, I have way more stuff than I could possibly use!

8. Once that's done, I gather each day and take another regular size piece of paper, fold it in half and tuck each day's worth of stuff in to it. I put it all back in the envelope until I'm ready to start scrapbooking. 

On this particular trip, my friends, Karolyn and Pam (who were on the trip) and I decided that we would do this page together with each of us doing a section. For this particular trip, we are making a fold out that will then technically be 6 pages while only appearing to be a single double page spread in the album. I do that sort of thing all the time with interactive pages--fold outs, flip ups, photo cascades, pockets, envelopes and folders--whatever I need to fit it all in.

Karolyn requested the title pages. Then Pam will have the first two pages for days 1-3. I'm doing days 4-7. 

I've already done mine:
I prefer to make a timeline for the trip. I use numbers (I have tons in my stash) along with a date label. I try to contain each day in just that section. So on this layout, each page is divided in half. Rather than add any patterned paper, I use the brochures and maps. I also cut titles from the brochures too. I add all the journaling--somewhere. Sometimes it's hidden like here:
I like using Kraft cardstock--especially for travel photos. It's a good neutral that works with any colors.

Next week, Pam, Nancy, Jeanne, Janet and I are meeting at Kentucky Lake for a long scrapbook weekend. I'm planning on scrapbooking only trips---I probably have 9 or 10 of them to do. The beauty of focusing on one thing like that is I can just bring my 12x12 plastic bin with all of my travel related things in it--stamps, papers, journal cards and embellishments. Makes it easy. 

The last time we went, I did only Christmas. By doing that, I can get "caught up" on a whole category! 

I'm really looking forward to it! Other than my once a month AYM layout, I get most of my scrapbooking done on these retreats.