Sunday, May 31, 2009

Islamorada Fish Company

Jim took me to the Islamorada Fish Company last night. It is inside our newly built Bass Pro Shop. He has been wanting to go for a few months now but I don't like sea food and I've been putting him off. Bad me! We had the best time and it really has the neatest atmosphere. (I had chicken but his fish was yummy and if we go back I'll get that!) I felt like I was at a restaurant in Myrtle Beach. It was very nautical. There is a 13,000 gallon salt water aquarium that is really beautiful. I took all of these with my cell phone so they are not the greatest. I would like to bring my "real" camera with me next time so I can give you all some good eye candy. We didn't get seated by the aquarium but we did sit right beside the 12 ft. fireplace. I really loved all the decor. The lights are all old looking lanterns or dock/pier lights. Our window looked out onto the balcony that seats 125 and that overlooks the 18 acre lake. Bass Pro has done a really remarkable job with all the landscaping and the interior decorator has my vote! Even the bathrooms have the neatest design as the stalls are metal and then patinas in different hues. I would like to copy that effect for our bar we are creating in our basement someday. In fact, I'm thinking of doing a nautical theme down there since I am so drawn to it! They took maps and painted pictures in one corner and then matted and framed with a fishing lures at the bottom. So neat looking. I'm going to try it. I'll be looking for maps now at the auctions I go to! (Something else for me to collect, since I seem to be a collector vs. a creator/artist! ha) They also have numerous fishing photos framed through out the store and restaurant. I suggest if you ever have a chance to eat there that you take it. They have a few locations in USA.

Photography Roots run Deep

Both of my beautiful Grandma's are gone now but they have left me with a gift and a love for photography. Neither of them were ever famous photographers. They didn't earn any money taking photos but they managed to take photos when times were tough and when a lot of families in America did not have the money or the means to have pictures taken or the film developed.

They shot photos of people they loved. Often times this involved standing in front of a car or truck as that is most often the "back-drop" for many shots. They also took pictures of their animals and I see that I got my love of animals, most especially dogs, from both of them. There is also landscape photos, which surprises me since both families were poor but still indulged when they were struck by the AWESOMEness of this world.

This picture of my uncle Carl when he was a small boy didn't really strike me as very artistic when I first saw it. Not until I flipped it over and read what my Grandma wrote on the back (see inscription above photo). The more I looked at the photo the more it really grabbed me. I can imagine being her and seeing my child in that calmness of the natural light and feeling that love that only a mother can know. Then I noticed the ART of it.

Make ART, even if it's just a picture. Take pictures, be in pictures and record your lives so that after you are gone other's will still see & feel the ART of your life.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What an odd day. I feel totally satisfied but don't really know why. I just feel really happy tonight. It really has nothing to do with my job other than the fact I got off an hour earlier than I was suppose too. That was nice. Valentine has been doing great and she was so happy to see me and beg food off me. That is a common thing we have going. I eat and she begs and I give in even though I know better. Once a beggar ALWAYS a beggar. But dang...she is so cute at it! We shared a bag of popcorn while I entertained myself with Facebook & several of my favorite blogs. There are so many create people in this world and it's so cool to hook up with so many of them via blogging. I could enjoy that more if Jim would let me be a stay at home mom to Val. She thinks that is a wonderful idea too. I don't think he is convinced so back to work another day tomorrow and her & I will keep scheming....

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Today I decided to make a list. My husband has been stressed and I told him it's because he has so many projects started. He needs to make a list and then get one thing done at a time. Right now he is in the middle of restoring a 1991 truck, finishing our basement, cleaning out our ditch, re-doing our driveway and that is just some of the things I can think of. All his projects are HUGE! He also has a bunch of people wanting his help with their projects. Jim is a very handy guy and I don't think there is anything he does not know how to do and he works so many hours on his job. That is why I always wish I could help out more financially so he wouldn't feel so burdened. Maybe one day I will. Right now I think I cost more than I contribute! :) He would surely agree!!!

I have had almost a whole week off of work since I had surgery on Tuesday. I was more painful than the doctor let on that I would be and so I didn't get near as much done as I had hoped but the past couple of days have been somewhat productive. I have to laugh because I guess I am a lot like my husband. I started a number of things and finished NONE of them!
  • I started a little 3x5 canvas painting of Valentine.

  • I embossed velvet and cut out some pillows, pinned the fabric together to sew later.

  • I cut & filed some brass and copper to make a pendant or pin but that is as far as I got.

  • I made 3 Bingo charms but they still need to be soldered.

  • I printed several charm size photos and cut them out & they lay in a pile.

  • I took a little pig I got at my last auction and made some plaster wings for him that I painted and a twirly wire tail, I glued everything on but still want to fashion a big cone type birthday hat for him so he is unfinished....

  • I fired some PMC that I had previously made only to watch it flop! I think I'm making my stuff to thin and my bezels are breaking off when I burnish them.

  • I took photos that I'm going to eventually make note cards out of. First I want to distress them a bit in Photoshop. Here is a couple of samples.....

Maybe when I blog again I will have something finished!! At this rate I'll never get an Etsy site going! But I don't feel stressed like Jim~ my stuff is not things I have to get done so I'm pretty content just creating little bits here and there. One day, I'm sure it will all come together....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer is:
Birds chirping
Frogs croaking
Color everywhere
Leaves blowing in the wind
Sleeping with the windows open
The whirl of a fan running
Swimming pools
Bike rides
Grass stains
BBQ cookouts
Shorts & Sandals
Pony tails
Bathing suits
Cool drinks
Longer days
Drive-in movie theatre
Children playing
Dogs hanging their heads out of car windows
Cats bird watching
Holidays in the sun
Ice cream
Lying in the hammock
Love & Passion
Bare feet
"Sweet childish days, that were as long as twenty days are now."
William Wordsworth

Monday, May 18, 2009

ART from above

Lately I have been going up to the local high school track and walking for 30 minutes. I have been trying to do this every day but sometimes I get too busy or the weather is lousy and I don't get to do it. I have been feeling guilty about it because my little dog Val can not go with me if I go to the school. Besides the fact they don't allow pets on the track she would not be able to keep up with her bad back and hips. Her stroller is buried under some heavy "junk" in the garage and I have not dug it out yet. So tonight, I'm getting all ready to leave and she gets all excited and starts jumping around thinking she is going with me. She really does not know she is an old dog!! I truly love that about her! I just couldn't run off and leave her~even for 30 minutes so I decided to walk for 30 minutes on my own property. Now, why didn't I think of this before now??? We are blessed enough to have a lovely 10 acres and I take leisurely strolls every once in a while but it never occurred to me that I could walk for 30 minutes on it as I do at the track. It's a lot more strenuous than the track that is for sure & I will call it hiking from now on!!
I started off on the south end and look what was waiting for me in our wood pile! Isn't it the prettiest heart you have ever seen? I called my hubby and told him about it and jokingly asked if he carved it for me. Of course not... so I told him that God must of carved it for me letting me know He loves me. I couldn't wait to blog about it and tell you all that He loves you too! Valentine was very happy to walk & walk~ and I'm most happy that she is my best friend and always wants to be with me, even if it exercising. :)

Goofy, I know but someday I will be so happy I have these little phone videos! (Can you hear all the Missouri frogs??)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Old Dogs Party TOO!!

We had a surprise 70th Birthday Party for my step-Dad, Jerry. It went over beautifully EXCEPT for the bad thunder storms that kept my older sister Deb & her family from being able to come. They made it part way here and had to turn around from the blinding rain. :(

Valentine was the first to don the hat! I think she looks amazing considering she was 16 in January!!! Oh man, I truly love this little dog! I have been really, really blessed to have her for so long. Speaking of being blessed, I have such a wonderful family and I'm really lucky that we have all been so healthy and alive. I would post a picture of my mom and Jerry but my mom might suddenly die if she knew so I better not!~ That is one woman that thinks she always looks terrible in photos and I think she is so beautiful.
I took each person at the party and had them put on a birthday hat and pose with the birthday boy. I think they turned out very cute! Here is me, my hubby and my sister Shannon in some of the pictures.....

Silliness I know but what fun! I also played around with one of Jerry's pictures.
He is a famous 70 now!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pigs are so cute

I got this video via e-mail and had to share. We used to see several pigs as pets years ago at the veterinary place I work but hardly ever now. Partly because the city banned them since a few were picked up running at large. They don't stay THIS small but look how cute while they are! Enjoy!

Friday, May 15, 2009


I was reading about a celebrity (and now I can't remember which one) but in the column it talked about all the different places the guy worked before he became famous. I found it pretty interesting and surprising. I decided it would be fun to blog about my own work history not counting any allowances I may have "earned" from my parents. So here goes.....

  • My first paid job was babysitting. I was only a kid myself....4th grade, so I don't think I was very good at it. Let's change that to I know I wasn't good! I remember talking on the phone, watching TV and eating the peoples food. I don't really remember much about the kids, in fact, I don't think I could even tell you their names now. I babysat for extra cash until I was 15 years old.
  • In 5th grade a friend of mine and me decided to go next door and ask her creepy neighbor, (whose grass was up to our knees)if he would pay us $10 each to mow his yard. He agreed. It took the both of us the whole dang day to do it~He spied on us out the window the whole time. That was our first and last lawn job.
  • When I was 15 I got a job at the amusement park World's of Fun. I worked in the African section in a toy store. My job, kid you not, was to play with the toys in the store. I would walk a puppet around, bounce a ball or have a fake snake around my shoulders and just talk to the customers. I think my boss was only 16 or 17. It was a really fun place to work. Very, very low pay $2.65/hour- that was less than minimum wage at the time. Missouri didn't have to pay min. wage if you were under 16 years old. I got to sale t-shirts for some of their concerts. In fact I watch Eddie Rabbit preform 4 times in one day. Some of my friends worked there too and their jobs were operating the rides. After hours they would let us on the roller coaster and run it without stopping several times. The park would also have parties for the employees and show movies and have free food. It was a really fun place to work! Those were the days.
  • I worked at McDonald's for about 2 months. I HATED it! My older sister had already worked there for 2 years and when I came along everyone was so mean to me. I call those my Stevie Nicks days. I would have to go clean the parking lot often and guys would cruise through and holler "Stevie!". Of course I took that as a compliment but it was the perm- very in style in those days....
  • I worked for a telephone soliciting company. That was a hoot! Hang up! Hang up! Hang up! We had a script we had to follow or get fired. They would listen in~ No matter what the person said, we had to keep on going with our script. The hang ups were ALWAYS a blessing!!!!! My friend Kendra always drove and we were always late. They didn't seem to care too much about that. ha.
  • I worked at a clothing store called 579 shop. I don't remember how long I worked there- several months, maybe a year. I learned 2 things there. I learned to count back change ( a dying art), and I learned that one day when I grew up, I would have a magical steamer that got all the wrinkles out of clothes in one fail swoop.
  • Sometime after that I worked at Sears. I stayed there for many years. I worked in men's clothing and shoes. I would put together whole outfits for men of all ages and now my husband won't even let me pick out a shirt for him and he hates all the ties I buy him. Go figure! There must of been some horribly dressed men walking around in the 80's. I worked with some good people and made some friends. It was fun but didn't pay the bills when my son came along.
  • My 1st "big" job (one that paid MORE than minimum wage) was for a corrugated box plant. I was hired in as the billing clerk. I could write so many blogs about stories in that place. It was fun at times, torture at times, tiring at times and down right ridiculous at times! I wore many hats and had many titles while I was there. I met life long friends & a couple of boyfriends too. I lied to get the job and told them I knew how to 10-key. I had to learn fast! Guess no one knew or they just let me get by- I was the youngest person working there until I quit 8 years later to become a technician. The day I got the job is a special story that I will have to share sometime.
  • "What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?" I also waited tables in a bar for a couple of months to earn extra money to pay off a hospital bill. That taught me to tip well. Did you know that at the end of the night the waitresses have to tip out the bartenders, no matter how crappy their tips are for the night AND if you did not tip out your bartender they would make your drinks really bad so people would complain & not tip you well. I knew this going into it because my brother's girlfriend got me the job but there were some nights I only worked 2 tables and made about $6 in tips and was expected to put money into their bowl too. Plus the "veteran" waitresses would steal your tables and your tips any chance they got. I absolutely hated that job. Mostly because it was a bar- I bet restaurants are not so cut-throat....

I think that about sums it up. I hope I'm not forgetting anything. Nothing real exciting but maybe a few surprises here or there. I can say~to date at least, that I've never been fired so I've been lucky and I've never had to go without work.

Work: it can be a blessing or a curse.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Paint like a kid again....

This is art by Morgan. She is the grand-daughter of a good friend of mine. I have several of her pictures in my computer but this is one of my favorites. I like children's art. It makes me want to get out the watercolors and go. I think I like this one because it makes me want to see palm trees again, take a vacation, relax. I say, let us all keep our childish imaginations and let the paint flow freetly! Go grab the crayons or fingerpaints or paint something and then reward yourself by hanging it on the fridge or better yet....hang it on your blog! :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I had a Happy Mother's Day!

It was a wonderful day! I can't believe all the cards & wishes from my girlfriends on this Mother's Day, that was what was really different about it compared to other years. My kids all remembered too, even if it was just a phone call. It was all so very nice. Jim got me roses & so did Brandi. I got to talk to all my mom's. I have my one & only, then my step-mom, and then my mother-in-law, and then I have my Lou who is my son's grandma. I'm lucky to have her in my life as she calls me her "adopted" daughter & has also helped to mold & shape me into the woman/mother I am today.
I've been very blessed! I hope all you, Moms or not, had a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have really been running out of time these past few days. Have you ever looked up the definition for the word time? It's pretty neat.

Time n. 1 every moment there has ever been or ever will be

Of course, the definition goes on and on but I think that is a pretty amazing description, and it's my favorite of the list of possibilities. We should value our "moments" a little more preciously and really enjoy life to the fullest.

I really enjoy reading every one's blogs. I have several favorites and that takes some major computer time. I really find so much inspiration in all of them. Some inspire me to be more spiritual and others to cherish my family more and then there are so many that make me just want to make things and be all crafty.... oh! I can't forget about the blogs that make me want to grab my camera and just shoot away!
I splurged last Friday (payday) and bought this book. I have spent alot of time reading it from cover to cover. Then I spent time ordering some supplies off the internet. I highly recommend it! There are so many great directions on how to make some really fantastic jewelry. I already ordered some Apoxie Sculpt to play with. It arrived today. It's a clay that requires no kiln or baking and it was very inexpensive. I found out that I have gall stones and will be having surgery on the 19th so I took that week off of work. I will have a large amount of time to myself so I'm going to make up some "stuff" if I feel up to it and then try to get an Etsy site up and running. I don't know if I'll get that much done but that is the plan for now. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time now. I've been kinda chicken and Karri from the Daily Be is helping me to jump in, she did just that with Etsy and I find that very inspiring.

Over the weekend I drove and hour away and took some senior pictures for a very nice young man. He wants to be a doctor someday and he has a really great personality and it shows in his photos. What fun!

Taking senior pictures is something I really enjoy doing. It's very time consuming as the shoot will usually take a minimum of an hour or two plus drive time, then editing. I really like how much I can bond with the kids and they relax around me. That makes me feel really great. When I first start the shoot off they are nervous and tense and then at some point they just really get into it and start directing what they want to do next and being themselves. It's fun to see them come out of their shells and it makes the pictures turn out really nice. Tomorrow I am doing a photo shoot of a 2 year old. Wish me luck on that! They are tough to capture.

I also missed some work today to go to my step daughter's ultra sound appointment. It was really worth it and a moment well spent. She is going to have a boy. I think I will really enjoy
my time as Grandma Stacey. He's not due till October but I'm looking forward to having a little one around once in a while. I'm sure I'll end up babysitting often and I'm also sure he will be photographed so much he will grow up knowing all about posing!! ;)
Enjoy your time, your moments this week!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Feeling crafty.......

I went to Westin, MO with a group of girls again yesterday. It's such a quaint little town. There are many unusual shops and the owners are all so very nice. It was very inspiring to say the least! First, there is the Old Geezer's Mantiques & I found some wonderful old watches and coins that I plan to use in making jewelry or charms. Then we almost passed up Pacific Breeze because we thought it looked "expensive". It was the coolest store ever! A really super nice lady from Taiwan owns it. She and her sister make almost everything in the store., including a gorgeous panel of store curtains that were hand-painted by her sister. I would love to have a store like that. They have some amazing clothes, purses, shoes, jewelry and "what-nots". I bought a bandanna that was hand blocked by them and plan to wear it today with a black T. There is a Celtic store that is somewhat expensive but they carry some very beautiful things. I especially liked the camera store. Vintage cameras from all eras and hundreds of old music sheets that are so artistically done. I plan to go back when our basement is finished and pick out a couple of nice ones to frame above our piano. He also had just hundreds of hold photos that were taken in the KCMO area around the early 1900's. Most of them were from an old theatre so there is some really neat movie star shots and the dresses are lovely. He followed me around the store like he thought I might steal something (and everything in there was huge so I don't know how anyone would) or else he was just a lonely store owner- who knows- but that was my only complaint of the day. I'm done gathering "stuff" and ready to make something with all my finds. I'll be sure and post whatever I may come up with so stay tuned!