My Favorite Books

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We're Home!

Yep, we made it home around noon yesterday (Monday) after a pretty pleasant trip.  Not too much traffic and weather was decent, with just some rain a few hours before home.  Of course, we unloaded the car (totally!) then I headed to grocery store and meat market, home to cook dinner then we unpacked our suitcases/bags.  I forgot to take a picture before our bed was full of bags (space saver) and suitcases!

Nothing left in the dining room!

Same with living room...

The only room that was bad  was my sewing room!

I'll take another picture tomorrow but it's all clean now!  I finished putting everything away after dinner tonight. item that is still in the room!  So's empty...every time I walk in the room I expect Gracie to be there to say hello...she would always say "Hi Grace" when I would walk in the room!  Parrots are repeaters...and I would always say "hi grace" to her...I do miss her.

Tomorrow I'll take her cage apart and see if I can donate it to either a rescue organization or to someone who has birds.   The cage we had in Florida went to a good home.  A friend of Jan's was getting another parrot and needed a cage so that worked out for both of us.
Tonight we're relaxing watching the Tiger's play baseball....I'm hoping to start some art work Friday but who knows.
I still have my  spring cleaning to do...I  finished the master bath today...slowly working my way through the next, followed by the LR, bath, computer room, sewing room then on the the downstairs and family room, bathroom and then end up in my dye room!  Whew..maybe I'll finish in time for us to head back to Florida next winter!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Sad to leave.....

Well, our last Thursday  dinner out with the 'gang' was tonight!  Bob and I have enjoyed dinners at Blanca's here in the community.  And tonight was no different...although, it was a bit sad leaving our friends until next year!  We will miss having dinner and discussions with everyone!  We didn't get to say goodbye to Patricia (who was staying with her grand daughter!) and  Jan and Larry!  Jan came down with a cold last night and wasn't up to par today...but at least we got to see her last night!

Marily & John

Verna and Ron

My Q bud, Susan and Harvey

Jan and Mac

Patrick and his 'bud',Bob!

Patricia was playing 'grandma' for a few days so Bob filled in for her so Patrick wouldn't feel lonely!

Well, no more eating big dinners out for awhile!  That's not a bad thing!  I think our stomach's are stretched out!  But we'll reduce them in the next 8 months so we can start all over again!!!

Tomorrow is packing up the clothes, last minute laundry, more packing of golf equipment, then pack the car...we should be finished early afternoon as we're pro's at this packing 'thing'!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

S & P!

No, this post isn't about Salt and Pepper!  It's about Stumpknockers and Packing!

We haven't eaten at Stumpknockers in several years so last  night, LaPlantes, Bob and I met Larry and Jan for a great fish dinner...well, we didn't all have the catfish...some had frog legs, you go John!  Marilyn, Bob and I each had shrimp and Jan and Larry had catfish.  A great dinner, as usual!  They never disappoint with their meals...and for once it wasn't hard to talk!  During the winter months when "we" snowbirds are around, the place is packed and unless you have reservations, you're going to wait!  Last night we did have reservations but there wasn't a huge crowd and you could easily talk at your table!  Snowbirds are gone!!  Well, except for us!

Of course, I had to take some pics!  Poor Jan was starting to get a cold, but the trooper she is, she still had a smile on her face!

Of course Marilyn and John are always smiling!

And then there are the two bad boys!  Always getting into trouble!
It was a fun night and tonight is our last night with the 'gang' at Blanca's for 2015!  We are certainly will miss our Thursday night outings!!  I'm sure Bob and I will talk about them on Thursday nights while we sit at home! OK, maybe not but we will miss our dinners out!  Back in Michigan we just don't go out to dinner that often...maybe once a week...maybe every two weeks.  But that's OK.  We make up for it during the winter! 
So, this is the 'P' for packing!  I had boxed up all my art supplies and placed them in the spare room (or better known as my sewing room!) closet.  

And this is the back seat of the car...actually, the boxes are on the floor in the back seat area.

Space saver bags go on the seat so there area is raised up for Kalee's crate.  She sits behind the driver's side in her crate but being higher up she can see out the window.

And this is my 'stuff' in the back behind the passenger seat.  That bubble wrap item on the seat is my painted canvas I purchased at the art fair this year.  It will be going in the back with the suitcases and golf least that's my hope!!!  Yikes!

Well, time to get ready for dinner....tomorrow is leftovers and then we leave on Saturday!  Boo hoo...but I am anxious to get home and see my family, friends and our house.  Now to hope for good weather so Bob doesn't complain about not being able to golf !

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hardwood BBQ

 Well, it's been at least a day since I posted on a food outing so not to disappoint any foodies I have as followers!  Last Thursday the 'gang' head off for a BBQ dinner at the Hardwood Smokehouse in Ocala.

Now, as you know,  I'm not a great fan of beef or pork BUT the food was fantastic!  I mean excellent!!  And I ate both pork and beef!


Bob and I shared a selection called  Q for Two...  a sampling of their signature smoked pulled pork, chopped beef brisket &  Baby Back Ribs.  It was so good!  And we even got their peach cobbler for dessert!  

The waitstaff was excellent as well!  Janice and Railyn were a hoot (yet professional!).  And the server who brought our food was a perfect gentleman!!!  So polite and he was serving 11 of us!  You order up front then your food is brought to your table and they serve wine and beer!  What's not to like!!!

If you're in the Ocala area and love BBQ, head to Hardwood's...I don't think you'll be disappointed!

As usual we had such a fun evening...only one more Thursday to be with the 'gang'....we'll be heading home on Saturday and will miss everyone!! 

 Tonight, Bob and I joined Peggy and Sammy for a great meal at Pavarotti's !  The garlic knots are to die for!!!!  So, so good!!!!  Their salad is cold and fresh and their Italian dressing is made on site and very, very good.  I had the stuffed shells, which were great and so was everyone else's dishes!
Of course the meals are so large you'll always have leftovers, which isn't bad...except we only have two nights (so far!) that we'll be eating at home!!!  
Speaking of Peggy....I'm going to her house tomorrow a.m. to see a piece she's been working on and one that I've been taking pics of her progress.  She's creating a textured piece on canvas using Gesso and gel medium, string, cheese cloth and other 'finds' from the garage!  Can't wait to see the progress and to post so you can see as well!  Until then, it's off to do my 7 minute exercises...hmmmmm  maybe I need to do 14 minutes because of the extra knots I ate!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Exhibit in Michigan

Our fiber group is so excited!!  One of our talented members, Chris, is vending at the Needle Art Conference on Mackinac Island May 1-6.  She is also curating an exhibit of our fiber art!! There are 41 quilts from five of us (Chris, Carol, LoisAnn, Mary and myself), as well as  art items for display and sale!  

The picture below are signs and a matching cover for the gallery catalog that Chris made!  Aren't they beautiful!!!  Chris is a master free motion quilter and does beautiful work!!!

 We are very fortunate that Chris offered to put this exhibit together so we can share our work with others.
Let's face it...whenever you tell someone you "quilt", they automatically think of those wonderful, old patchwork quilts on grandma's bed or even on their own beds!  Art quilts are not for beds!  They're for on the wall (or, as you can see above, to cover a book!)...they really are works of art.

We don't use a patterns, most times we dye and/or paint our own fabrics, use different fibers or medium to sew on our quilts and finish by machine or hand work.  I think we 'art quilters' have all been influenced by traditional quilting.  Thank goodness that "art" form was our springboard which taught us the fundamentals for design work and workmanship!   Those 1/4" seams must be accurate, right!  And thus, our art quilt 'life' began!

So, I thank Chris for allowing us the opportunity to share our work with others and introduce them to our fiber art world!  Thank, Chris!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Gypsy Gold Horse Farm

What a great day we Zippers had for our outing today (we decided to stay on the ground for this outing!).    Marcia suggested we take a tour of the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm here in Ocala and it proved to be a perfect suggestion!   Eunice, Marcia, me! and Nako!  Sorry...I don't remember the horses name nor his handler!  This was a can see a head shot of him further down in this post.

 I'm not going to write about the history of this beautiful animal, that's what they have a web site for (and Google!).   If you have any interest in horses at all, you should read the information on the web site....just so fascinating.  Better yet, if you're in the Ocala area, sign up for a tour!  Then you can hear from the "horses mouth"!  OK, I had to say that didn't I!

The tour started out with us sitting in the barn area and listening to Dennis Thompson, the owner of the farm, providing stories on how he discovered this unique breed and brought them to America.   A beautiful animal isn't he!

Mr. Thompson is definitely someone you want to have dinner with!  He had such interesting stories to tell and knows so much about the history of this breed in addition to knowing history, period!  Just a fascinating gentleman.

After his talk, which lasted at least 30 min., they brought out two of their stallions that were beautiful about a disposition!  Mr. Thompson refers to these horses as the Golden Retriever of Horses!  That's a fitting statement.   I was so impressed with all them on the farm.

There were also four huge bird aviaries which housed Macaws...beautiful animals too!

I am going to research and read more about the Gypsy Horse just because I was so intrigued with the breed.  Sure made me want to ride again!!!

Well, no day is complete without eating, right!  So off we ladies went and had lunch at MiMi's...I've mentioned this restaurant before (Susan and I ate there a week or two ago).  We had a really good meal and it was the right finish to end our Zipper day together!  I do look forward to next year and to see what trouble, I mean, outing we'll do!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Portable project

I've been working on dismantling  the sewing 'room' these past few days and have everything ready to load in the car...for the most part.  99% of my supplies are packed up and ready to put in the car but I'll still have to put away the 6 foot table, dust and make sure all of the Miller's 'artifacts' are put back in their place!

 I've also put the hexes back together on the hex board that Kalee bumped so the rows were now in order once again.  Yesterday,  I placed each row on its pin and the rows are now ready to be sewn!

 This will be a good project to work  on for the drive home...after all, we're on the road for 2 1/2 days!  I can sew or read or just look at the surroundings!

We'll be home in two weeks!  Seems like we just got here but on the other hand, I feel like I haven't seen the kids in ages!!!

We'll certainly miss our social life....

Monday, April 20, 2015

Antique Mall

Saturday, Susan and I headed to the grand opening at the new Ocala Antique Mall about a mile from the house!

 What a fun place!   Very well laid out, bright and clean!   And of course we ended up having lunch at MiMi's after...yum...we had Quiche Florentine with side salad and a blackberry muffin, which was awesome!
I had visited the mall with Nancy a few weeks ago but because they were having their grand opening I thought it would be a fun morning to go back....and it was.  So many cool antiques and yes, I did purchase something!  S&H, AP and Top Value stamps!  And there were a few books, waiting for stamps!, in the package as well!

 Remember those!  I know I'll be able to use them in collage work or even on fabric!  Plus, it's fun just to look at them!  I remember my mom saving these stamps, and, as kids, we would paste them in the books for her!  I'd show a picture of what I purchase ($4!) but I've already packed them away!  I took this picture of the Top Value stamps from Google!

Check out the dog and pony show they had at the mall!

 SOOOOO cute...although, it was quite hot and I felt bad for the little dog.  But I was happy when they both ended up going inside the Antique mall where there was air conditioning!!  Their trainer was allowing kids to feed the little dog treats.  Really cute!!!

As always, Susan and I had a nice time together and ended up after lunch browsing at Barnes & Noble to look and buy some books.  Susan found a cool bird coloring page book for me and I picked up a cheap book for the drive home (Silken Prey by John Sandford).

Jan and Larry ended up coming over to the mall so when Bob got home from golf we ended up going out to dinner!  Yes, that's right...another night out...tomorrow we're headed to the Freezer with Howard and Karah.  They invited as a few weeks ago so Bob was thrilled...the Freezer is his favorite place!   But I did cook dinner tonight...OK, maybe it was left overs...but I still had to reheat the food!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Only one food picture!

Thursday we had another good dinner at Blanca's here in the community...I have to admit it is one of my favorite places to eat and they make a good margarita!  So what else is new!  Well, Susan, who usually wears some great socks met her match last night!  Jan arrived to dinner with socks matching her blouse!

Doesn't she have the best smile!!!  And her socks did match her blouse!  How cute is that!

We only have two more Thursday's with the 'gang' and we will miss them all this summer!   As will we miss our other friends here in Ocala Palms!  We are so fortunate to have such great folks to hang with!!  We've made some great memories, shared great food and had more laughs together than some folks have in a lifetime........

Because I have to show a food pic...this was some of our dinner tonight (yes, I do cook!)....we've had corn 3 times already and each one was as good as the last!!!  So sweet....reminds me of summer in Michigan!

And 'Grace' is back in her spot in Larry's rose garden!!!  Doesn't she look nice!  I think she needs a black and white zentangle collar on!  Just thought of that!  I think I might do that before I leave!!!  She just needs to be dressed up!!!  But I'll check with Jan and Larry first!

Saturday, Susan and I are headed to the Grand Opening of the Ocala Antique Mall across the way from us.   It's probably one of the nicest indoor antique malls around.  Very organized, good lighting and lots of cool 'stuff'!  Afterwards, we're headed to lunch, then Bob and I are going out to dinner Saturday night!

 Monday it's dinner out and then again on Wednesday!  And yes, I've started back on my 7 minute exercise routine along with planking!  Speaking of which, there is a great 7 Minute app that has an alarm to remind me to exercise, keeps track of my exercising and even has other exercises you can do.  I should have know "they have an app for that"!  Jan was the one who put me on to this one.  I've always used a picture of the exercises (and my kitchen timer!) but the app is great!!!  Have to  keep in shape you know....OK, I only have to do all this add'l exercise because of all the eating out!  I admit it!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Winding down time!

Yep...we're winding down our wonderful time here in Florida!  Tonight we had another fun evening with Karah and Howard at our Wednesday hangout!

YUM...and we even have leftovers...just what I need...more food in the freezer...we're eating out again tomorrow and Monday...that's all I know about so far!  Bob just comes home and tells me when or where we're eating!  Fine with me!

Today I finished up the last fiber card I needed to make for mailing before we head home on the 2nd.
This is the card I made for Mac's BD last week.  We had a fun evening celebrating his 83rd BD!  The group picture in the middle is from Jan and Mac's trip to Australia.  They just got back about a week ago after a 3 week visit with their grand babies.   I thought Mac would enjoy seeing the picture!

And this is the back of his card, which shows his BD cake from last year's celebration!

And these are more fiber cards I made today.  I need to mail out two of them within the week and the others will be mailed in May after I finish edging them!

I wanted to make bright happy BD cards so I think these will do!

  Now my machine can be put to rest for a month!  The first week we get home is way too busy, so no sewing for me, although I do have a project due the end of May for the online group!  Yikes!   I also have a major project which entails quite a bit of  'writing' and documenting, so that will consume my time until we leave and then after we get home.  I have a target date of June 5th.  I'll talk more about this project later in June.

  Hard to believe we'll be leaving in 2 1/2 weeks!!  Fortunately, we have the packing 'thing' down pat...or should I say "I" have the packing 'thing' down!