My Favorite Books

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!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Play day with Peggy and alcohol!

Last year I showed Peggy how to arm knit (you can see that post here)...well, Peggy thought it only fair to show me a new technique this year!  And believe it or not, no wine or alcohol was involved...other than rubbing alcohol, which we didn't drink!  Instead, we painted papers using alcohol inks as well as a spray or two or three or four! of regular alcohol!   The fumes finally got to us after about two hours!
Peggy paints with acrylics and watercolor and took a class this year learning lots of new techniques to paint and play with (the instructors name escapes me but I'll remember or I'll ask Peggy!).
Here are some of the pieces Peggy completed and framed!  Aren't they beautiful!

Peggy uses a paper called "yupo"??  I think that's how it is spelled..I was using photo and palette papers to play with.  Peggy frames her work or uses pieces of her artwork in cards she makes and sells.

 So here are some of  Peggy's work from today!

Doesn't this remind you of a field of flowers!

This is a landscape Peggy did!

The video (below this pic) is Peggy creating this piece!  It turned out great!!  As did all of hers...

Of course most of mine are darker and more of a southwest palette!  OK, the truth is I'm bad at blending colors and usually get mud but I'm quite happy with the results!  I will use these somewhere in my art work!!  They really look better in person!  Yea, you've heard that before haven't you!

 It was just a fun afternoon!!!  I love playing with new just never know when you might use it again.  I can see cutting these up and using fiber cards or maybe even fabric!  You just never know...'stuff' isn't safe in my house!  Thank you, Peggy!!!!   And I didn't even miss the wine!

Also, check out what comes to visit at Peggy's quite often!  Peggy said the hawk grabs her/his food and heads to their roof to eat dinner!  They hear him quite often pecking away!  Gotta love Florida!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The bird has landed!

This girl has always been at the house in Florida!  But the past few years I thought she was looking rather you can see in the next picture!

She's hidden in between the rose bush!    I think I'm going to name her 'Grace' in memory of our Gracie!!  I hope Larry and Jan like the new 'Grace'!!  It's hard to see but she does have some 'highlights'!  A girl has to you know...we love our highlights!!

Before picture!  Can you find her???

I have been doing some sewing too!  OK, not that much...but trying to finish some fiber cards for birthday's in April and May!  The month of May is really, really busy for me so I need to get some things finished ahead of schedule!
I had a small strip of hand dyed fabric I did several, several years ago.  I didn't want to cover the fabric with applique or 'stuff' so I just did some free motion feathers and edged with variegated thread.  Two down and four more to go!

On Friday, we  picked up Gracie's remains.  Jan, Marcia and I went to Ocala for lunch and picked her up on the way home.  And, yes, we had a great lunch downtown and did some walking...of course, a stop at Your Heart's Desire was a necessity, as well as a piece of cake and cookie for some of us!!

I  was lucky the vet saved the band Grace had on her foot.  Wild caught birds had to be banded when brought into the country  (around the early 1990s, they stopped importing wild caught birds-now they hide them in their underwear!  Don't ask!).

Grace was wild caught but for some reason I never looked closely at her band.  Now that I have the band, I found a web site on 'bird legbands' and started some research!  So far I found that Grace was imported to Florida!   I guess it was only fitting that she passed away here in Florida too.......

Sunday, April 12, 2015


You know we artsy folks like to have lots of space to lay out our projects!  Back home I have a large sewing table and two cabinets with counter space.  Here in Florida I have a large table that Larry and Jan allow me to set up in the 'sewing' room.  But, of course, I have so many projects ongoing they take up any space left from my sewing machine and, what to do!  Use the bed as a counter space!  My sewing room here is a bedroom.

Only problem, that's also where Kalee lays while I work.  When it's time for her dinner though, she gets quite 'active', hence...look at what happened to my hex background today!!!
Yep...Kalee threw herself around the bed and was jiving trying to get my attention.  Well, she did get my attention!  So it's back to one of the pictures I took of my piece to help put the hexes back in order!

 I only have 3 rows sewn together and have a total of 21 to do.  Actually, Kalee only messed up the bottom part so it's not that bad....yep, my glass is always "half full"...dontcha know!

I did get in some sewing today by making a few birthday fiber cards.  There sure are a lot of BD's in April and May!!
I just had to finish edging the card on the left. The fabric was a hand dyed I did a few years ago!  I like the colors so thought it just needed some machine quilting then edged each with variegated thread.   I didn't want to cut it up or cover with any 'stuff'.

So now it's time to watch the Tiger's play baseball!!  We taped the game so we could watch the Master's, which was good also!  Tiger's are ahead 6-1 so far (3rd inning).  Woohoo!

Friday, April 10, 2015

More Food!

Well, of course this post involves food!!!  Wednesday night we had a very entertaining night with Carolyn and Bob, golf buddy to Bob and neighbors behind us!  What a fun evening...we learned even more about this interesting couple and the food (we ate at Carmine's!) was great as usual.   Bob & Bob both had fettuccini with blackened chicken and I had Vegetable Primavera...yum!  And we have leftovers in the freezer....Carolyn had Chicken Marsala and it looked delicious!   I may order that next time!

Last night the 'gang' ate at Chili's and we had a fun night.  I had their Mexican bowl which was good but Bob ordered a trio Mexican dish which he wasn't that fond of!  But all in all it was another fun night!

This afternoon, Jan, Marcia and I are headed to downtown Ocala for lunch and just to walk around the square and perhaps pop in and out of stores!  The downtown area is quaint but there are some interesting shops.

Then the four of us are headed to Blanca's for dinner then the 'gang' is headed over to Jan and Mac's for cake and ice cream...we're celebrating Mac's BD!  I'll post more on that tomorrow.

Oh, Kalee and I did our mile walk this a.m.  It was quite warm but I needed to walk!!!  Have to burn off all these calories!!!  We do plan on staying home for dinner on Saturday and Sunday!  I have a freezer full of leftovers from restaurants that I need to start clearing out!  Go figure!