Sunday, January 31, 2010

Barbie Doll

When I was ten years old, I got a Barbie doll for Christmas. Barbie was a huge hit among girls my age and she still continues to be a big hit with little girls. My granddaughters have several Barbie dolls. I only owned the one, as did most girls my age. I played with my Barbie doll for several years, until I was well into my teens. I loved dolls and I still do. I collect them now. My Barbie doll was the second edition Barbie and little did I know way back then that she would become a collector's item and worth a lot of money. I even have the original box she came in! I don't play with my Barbie doll any longer, but she does reside in my doll cabinet along with her partner, Ken. However, I did find a resin Barbie bead from my favorite resin artist, Susan Nestor -- Here is the necklace I made with my Barbie bead and yes, I can't wait to wear it (even though I am no longer ten years old)!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sea Glass Necklace

When we were in FL, we visited my sister-in-law, Chris, who lives in Vero Beach. Chris has been collecting sea glass for many years. The day we were visiting, we took a walk on the beach and she found three pieces of the sea glass. My eyes are not trained to look for sea glass apparently. I only see shells and unusual rock formations on the beach. And I did pick up a few really beautiful shells and rocks that I am going to try to work into jewelry. When we got back to Chris's house, she showed me her four containers of sea glass that she has been collecting. She dumped them all out and she told me to pick out some pieces of it to take home with me. Here is a necklace I made with the sea glass I brought home. Chris told me not to sell the jewelry I make with the sea glass. I will definitely keep this necklace for myself. But, I do have quite a few other pieces of the sea glass and I think I will make a necklace or two to sell on my website. Please forgive me, Chris!

Dallas Stars vs Calgary Flames

Bob and I went to an exciting hockey game last night. I really don't enjoy watching most sports games, but hockey moves fast and for a sports game, I don't mind watching one in person. I don't care to watch any sports games on TV. Bob won the tickets at his office Christmas party. He had four tickets, so we invited our friends Steve and Cindy to go with us. Cindy is a HUGE Stars fan and she even wore her jersey to the game! I guess we invited the right people to go with us. Calgary Flames were ahead of the Dallas Stars for a lot of the game, but the Stars tied it up at the end. They went into a five minute overtime, but no one scored. Then, they had a shoot-out. I remember the shoot-outs from my days of watching my sons play soccer. Quite exciting! The third Stars player finally put the puck in the goal and won the game for the Dallas Stars! We all -- Dallas residents anyway -- went home happy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chain Style Necklace

Not all of the ideas for my jewelry are 100% my own ideas. I look through beading books and magazines and clothing catalogues that come in the mail. I take a walk at the mall and look at jewelry, look at jewelry ladies wear, and many other places. Sometimes when I'm standing in the shower I even see patterns on the wall in the marble that give me an idea for my next piece of jewelry! No kidding! The beading books and magazines have instructions in them so you can make an exact piece of jewelry. They list every detail down to the place where you can buy a particular bead, chain, finding and so on. Since I'd rather be creative instead of just copying a picture to the exact detail, I try to use their idea but use the beads I have on hand in my bead boxes. This is what I did yesterday. I have this "Chain Style" bead book and I love the necklace on the cover of it. I decided to copy it, using the beads I had in my bead boxes. The photo on the left is my necklace I made using the idea on the cover of "Chain Style". My sister said she likes mine better!! :-) (She made the ceramic heart bead.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Misunderstandings -- I hate them!!

I hate misunderstandings! (Or, miscommunications -- whatever you want to call them). I'm having problems with my AT&T emails. At home we use Thunderbird for reading and writing emails. But, for some reason AT&T wants to filter my emails and put a lot of the LEGITIMATE emails into a SPAM folder. My SPAM folder in Thunderbird is always empty, but when I was in FL last week and read my emails from the AT&T website instead, I found 9 LEGITIMATE emails in my SPAM folder!! And one of the emails was from a friend whom I was trying to get in contact with for lunch before I left home. She thought I was going to meet her and I didn't read her email until I was already in FL! I've tried to fix it on the AT&T website, but I haven't found out yet how to do it.

And, before we left on our trip to FL, I wanted to get a prescription refilled for my allergy nasal spray. My doctor's office told me they would call the prescription in to Walmart, as it is one of those $4.00 prescriptions if I use the generic. I drove to Walmart today to pick it up and the pharmacist handed me a $68 bottle of pills!! I guess I'll be sneezing awhile longer until this gets straightened out!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We are finally back home in Dallas! Bob and I enjoyed our 10-day trip to Florida, but that was a bit too long to be gone. Bob said he was tired of living like a gypsy and I had to agree with him. I'm glad we got to visit with so many of our friends and family, but it is always nice to return to our own apartment and our own bed!!

Sunday in Florida

Bob and I went to St. Paul Lutheran Church for the late service on Sunday. We had belonged to this church for the 6 1/2 years that we lived in Sarasota and we had many friends there. Olive used to sit next to me in the choir. She is now recovering from a hip replacement and she doesn't get out much. Olive sent us a Christmas card and a note that she would like us to visit with her when we were in FL, so we did. After church and lunch with our friends Debi & Mike, Bob and I visited with Olive. This was the first time we had been to her house. Her husband died a couple years ago. His is very missed. Bob and I had some coffee cake with Olive, then we drove back to Tampa to the Hyde Park Hotel where we stayed the first couple of nights when we flew to FL on the 8th & 9th. We took Zach to dinner and hung out with him awhile in his apartment. He was pretty depressed, as his dog Gordon that he had for 12 years had died right after Christmas. Gordon was cremated and Zach had picked up the ashes on Sunday. I know Zach will be lonely for quite some time.

Saturday in Sarasota

On Saturday, we drove over to Sarasota. We had a lot of friends to visit with there since we lived in Sarasota for 6 1/2 years. Bob dropped me off at the Dutch Heritage restaurant for lunch so I could see my former Red Hat Society lady friends. There were 18 of us there. They don't wear the Red Hats and purple outfits any longer or call themselves the Sorority of the Red Hat Sisters that we did when I was living there and organizing the outings. Now, there is just a group of women, mostly from St. Paul Lutheran Church, who go out to lunch once a month. Bob met a former business associate for lunch. Then, Bob and I went to visit our friends, Dick & Gail, and to stay all night with them. We met Dick & Gail through our mutual friend Jeanette who lives in Atlanta. Jeanette has known Dick & Gail much longer than she has known me, which is about 26 years. She told me about her friends who had just moved to Sarasota and she gave me their phone number. I called and arranged a time to meet them. Well, the four of us just hit it off and we became good friends. We went out to dinners and met at each other's homes for meals and friendship over the years we were in Sarasota. Bob and I took them to dinner Saturday night and then we watched "My One and Only" movie at their house. It was a wonderful evening with good friends!

Fun with Friends in FL

On Friday the 15th, we said our good-byes to Daddy & Susan and headed to Parrish to visit our friends, Pat & Ross (dog Jack and cat Patches). I worked with Pat at Aqua Utilities for 5 years. She retired before I left Aqua. Pat & Ross enjoy taking cruises and they told us about the most recent ones they have been on and about the one they are planning to take this spring in Europe. While we were visiting them, they took their dog Jack on walks, so all of us went on the walks too. Bob and I definitely needed the exercise after all of the good eating we had been doing! Pat fixed us a wonderful dinner -- turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole and a birthday cake. We enjoyed getting caught up with all of our busy lives.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Birthday!

I've had a WONDERFUL birthday! A couple of my closest friends, my son and my sister called to wish me a Happy Birthday and I've had numerous birthday wishes on Facebook and emails. It feels so good to know that I am loved!! After breakfast with Daddy, Susan and Bob this a.m., Susan and I drove into the downtown area of Lake Placid. I wanted to do some photography of the murals. There are 43 of them on the sides of buildings. I only photographed a fraction of them. We also went to The Caldium, which is a coop of hand-made crafts. And, we went to a newly opened jewelry store. After lunch at home, I went back into town with Bob while he got his hair cut. I photographed some more of the murals. Tonight, Bob, Daddy, Susan and I drove to LaBelle, where we had dinner with some of my Florida Navy Mom friends. We ate dinner at Flora & Ella's. In the pic there is Connie, Donna, myself and Junie. These ladies live close by. The Florida Navy Moms are scattered all over Florida. I've known these ladies since 2005 and we have become good friends. I miss my FLNM friends! It was nice to be able to spend some time with these ladies. I hope I can return to FL for one of the big FLNM reunions. Junie's husband and Donna's son also joined us. It was a FUN birthday!

Trip to FL -- Vero Beach

On Day 6 of our Florida vacation, Bob and I drove to Vero Beach to visit Chris, Chelsea and Paul -- my sister-in-law, niece and nephew. Formerly from MA, they have been living in Vero Beach for about two years. Chris grew up in FL and she wanted to return there. When we arrived, we sat down at Chris's dining room table to some hot tea/coffee and home baked garlic & rosemary bread. Delicious! When Chelsea returned home from her job at Dunkin' Donuts, we went to lunch at a very quaint restaurant called Southern Sisters. Chelsea went to pick up Paul from school and Chris, Bob and I found a bead shop. I purchased a few beautiful beads, of course. Then, we headed to the beach, even though it was about 60 degrees. It was sunny and warm when we were standing in Chris's front yard, but the breeze off of the ocean was a bit chilly. I'm glad I had my jacket in the car. Chris and I found some nice shells and pieces of shells that I am going to try to wire-wrap and use for jewelry. Chris even found 3 pieces of sea glass! She told us that she usually finds about one piece of sea glass a month, not 3 in one day. She collects sea glass. When we returned to her house, Chris poured out her 3 jars of sea glass that she has been collecting for many years. She even has a piece of sea glass that Ken found when he took a trip to Israel. Chris gave me a few pieces of her sea glass that I am also going to wire-wrap to make a necklace and bracelet. Our trip is going fast. We certainly have enjoyed every minute of it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Florida Trip - Day 5

On Day 5 of our Florida trip, Bob helped my dad with a computer program called Sibelius. This program is used to compose music. Daddy started writing a musical several years ago about Henry Ford. A friend of his told him about Sibelius, but it was expensive to buy. Cindy used her teacher discount and bought it for Daddy, but he has not been able to learn how to use it yet. So, Bob helped him today. Daddy is still working on his Henry Ford musical and a series of ten-minute musicals that he hopes to get produced. (Daddy is also writing a book and submitting mystery stories to Women's World magazine. No grass grows under his feet!) Susan and I went shopping at Walmart today. And later this afternoon, Bob and I visited our friends Jeff & Junie. We'll see more of them on Thursday night. We are having loads of FUN on our vacation!

Florida Trip - Day 4 - Lake Placid

Day 4 of our Florida trip, Bob and I drove to Lake Placid. Daddy & Susan live there. Daddy & Susan met in a community band about 17 years ago. Susan plays the trumpet, coronet and French horn. Daddy plays clarinet and sax. I came to FL in Nov. 1994 when they got married. I was their official photogapher then. Daddy is a retired writer who never retired fully from writing. Susan has worked off an on at various office jobs. They are still playing in community bands. Susan likes to do scrapbooking and Daddy is writing books and musicals. We will be staying with them through Friday. Susan says she isn't much of a cook, but she had a yummy tuna and noodle casserole waiting for us when we arrived last night. Bob and I stopped on the way to Lake Placid at the Fantasy of Flight museum in Polk City. This is a great trip, visiting friends, family and seeing some sites we didn't see while we lived in FL.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Florida Trip - Day 3

Today was a very special, wonderful day! After breakfast with Zach at IHOP in Tampa (and that was special too), Bob and I drove to Gainesville. We checked into the hotel and then Michael, DeWayne and his mom and sister arrived. These are the recipients of Cavan's kidneys and liver. Michael lives in Gainesville and DeWayne lives in Jacksonville. I had talked to Michael and DeWayne on the phone many times in the past few months and we have written letters and emails, but this was the first time we had met. I had to confess to them that last night I had a couple of minutes of doubt that maybe I wasn't ready to meet them. But, the feeling didn't last long and I am so glad I did get this chance to meet them. They are wonderful men who definitely deserve to have Cavan's organs. We had lunch together and chatted through the afternoon. DeWayne, his mom and sister left to go back to Jacksonville around 4:30. After a little resting up, Bob and I met Michael for dinner at Carrabba's. I think now that today was a healing experience for all of us.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Florida Trip - Day 2

Today, Bob and I hung out with Zach & Katie. It was a FUN day! We went to breakfast at a little, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Those are always the best kinds of restaurants! It was actually brunch, as we didn't get there until 11 a.m. We couldn't decide what we wanted to do for the day, so we went to Zach's apartment. Zach had gotten PS3 for Christmas with a game called Rock Band. They decided that Bob and I needed to watch them play the game. Katie was on the guitar and Zach played the drums. It looked interesting, but not enough for me to want to try it. Then, we went to see "Avatar". This is not a movie that I wanted to see, but Zach, Katie and Bob wanted to see it, so I tagged along. It was pretty good for a Star Wars-y type of movie. Afterwards, Zach took us to a coffee house called "Hey Cafe". Zach is friends with the owner and he helped paint the walls, redo the floor and various other projects. It was fun to see this cafe that we heard so much about. And they have THE BEST Brownies EVER!! We ran some errands then went to dinner at one of my favorite Tampa restaurants called Ciccio & Tony's. I love their salad called a "Chop, Chop". We are eating well and we'll have to do a lot of exercising and dieting when we get back to Dallas! Day 2 is about done and it is going much too fast!

Florida Trip - Day 1

Here we are in not-so-sunny Florida. We left Dallas yesterday a.m. at 5:30 a.m. when it was 26 degrees and arrived to cloudy, drizzly 40 degree weather in Tampa. We decided to reserve a Super Shuttle to the airport so we wouldn't have to pay for 10 days of parking at the Dallas Love Field airport. The driver picked us up, then headed DOWNTOWN! Bob asked him if he needed to pick up someone else and he said he did. We didn't leave much time to spare before we caught our 7:10 a.m. flight and we had no idea how long it would take us to get through security at Love Field. After the driver picked up the second passenger, he proceeded to sit and write out our receipts ever so S-L-O-W-L-Y! I was panicking! Then, the driver proceeded to get on the expressway. NOT the way to go to Love Field! Bob told him to go Lemmon Avenue, so the driver turned around. Well, we made it through security just fine and we even had time to get some breakfast at McDonald's. After we landed in Tampa, we picked up our rental car and headed to where Zach works at the sound studio. We went to the Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Y'bor City for lunch. Bob and I then checked into our hotel. Zach recommended a small hotel in the Hyde Park area near his house. There were a couple of ladies who had arrived right before us that the proprietor was helping. Then, the proprietor left! We stood there wondering what had happened. We went to the office and found no one. Then, we rang a buzzer outside on the door. The proprietor told us to just go to #201 and put in a code on the key box and we'd be able to enter our room. They sure do things differently in Tampa! We do have a simple, but clean room. We have one of those Tempurpedic beds. I've always wanted to try one and now I think I'd like to own one. Very nice! I found a slip of paper in my small bag that I had checked. It said that my bag was inspected. I don't know if they left the cap off of one of my hair products or if it wasn't screwed on tightly before we left. Luckily, I had it in a Ziplock bag as it exploded! YUK! We took Zach & Katie (Zach's girlfriend) to dinner last night at a wonderful Indian restaurant called "Taj". Very yummy! First day down and nine to go. Vacation sure does go fast!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Monkey Picked Tea -- YUM!

Bob found this website called Think Geek -- It has a lot of very unusual, unique things that everyone MUST buy and possess -- especially Geeks! Doesn't everyone need these things called Bucky Balls -- "2009 Toy of the Year" says Rolling Stone. And these plush Sushi? "Too cute to eat", the website says. Anyway, Bob couldn't resist getting me some Monkey Picked Tea. I am a tea drinker. I am drinking it as I write this blog. It doesn't taste quite like my Lipton tea, but it is pretty good. Take a look at the website and maybe you can find something you just can't live without.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Unorganized Mess!

I am a very organized person and this unorganized mess in our spare bedroom closet is causing me nightmares! I need our photos albums in this closet and now I have to tackle the job of looking for them. This is NOT going to be a fun job! Soon, I will have to find a permanent solution to this problem!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lots of NeeNee & CheeChee Jewelry

Here is a photo of all of the new NeeNee & CheeChee beaded jewelry that Cindy and I made this week. We have spent nearly the whole week beading and shopping. What FUN! Of course, we've talked and laughed a lot too. I love having my Sister as my Best Friend! I don't want her to go back to Chicago today.

Some of this beaded jewelry will be for sale on NeeNee & CheeChee's Beaded Things website --