She dances around the fire, beats her fist on her chest, high-steps it Gene-Kelly-like … SHE DOES ALL THE THINGS!  Her family is protected!  Her family is INSURED … She can breathe again!

So, next up – ‘Margueritaville’ … YOU stand NO chance CORONAVIRUS!!!  [I’m a rum and coke (Jamaican) girl at heart!]  Winking smile   But, we WILL defeat YOU!

defeating the enemy

I will rejoin after this regularly scheduled weekend!  PEACE & HUGS Y’all!



A Quick Escape …

From Margueritaville – where NO Corona is served!  [HaHaHa!!! … while pounding chest!]

I received my new Tim Holtz alcohol inks today (ordered back in late January/early February).  So, I had to pause for a moment and try a J.McGuire technique. 

  • Maybe, 1):  I shouldn’t be so SURE of myself [Umm, listen and follow all instructions!  What?!?  Me???]
  • and 2):  Maybe I shouldn’t take her instruction quite as literally as I did (Heavy, liberal ink application … ???).  Not sure – but I like the results.  I can definitely make a card or three from what I’ve done so

A couple of hints: 1) For certain – DO NOT use translucent Yupo (very thin) … it just begs to be warped under any amount of FAST/GENTLE heat; 2) Four passes (2 each way) of my regular cardstock (Neenah 80# Solar White) in my manual Big Shot die cutting machine to ‘capture’ the re-wetted surplus ink is probably 2 times too many – allows for EXTRA (too much!) smooshing/oozing of the alcohol ink … ummm, EVERYWHERE!!!

But, I like these first trials, and I have four more pieces waiting to go.  So THANK YOU, Mrs. McGuire!  I appreciate YOU!!!

Now – moving forward with my own family (insurance) crisis … Apparently, I will be spending several hours on the phone later today, combining the right amount of pleading and strong-arming conversation, along with a ‘hold no prisoner’ attitude until I have an answer – one way or the other.  (We do have a plan B, and plan C … but they stink, to be honest!)   FINGERS CROSSED!!!

I made my favorite once a year comfort food, [No photo – but it’s my great-grandmother’s fridge-cleaning meatloaf recipe.  Nothing penicillin-esque, I promise – just some burger, rice, onions, cottage cheese, spinach, eggs, chicken mushroom gravy (IT WAS IN THE FRIDGE!), and a few spices …] apparently in preparation for the mental/verbal phone battle to come –  along with much-needed preparations for another 24 hour fun-filled ER nursing weekend in Margueritaville!!!  Fingers Crossed!  Winking smile 

Have a safe weekend, Y’all!  And stay out of the ER’s if you can! 

In Limbo …

While I wait to hear back from my boss, who has offered to ‘check into things’ regarding my family insurance situation … So, I’m (still) staying busy. 

I made cards:  A few Hugs & Kisses cards; I turned some alcohol-inked background pieces into birthday and Hello Friend cards; along with a couple die cut rose-thank you cards.

hug-kisses-cards AI-smile-friend-cards rose-thanks-cards

We’ve tried a couple of new recipes:  Air Fryer air-fryer-cauliflower-frittersCauliflower Fritters (a blending of a few I found online), and Smothered Chicken with Bok Choy  (Thank you April!).  We used regular bok choy – as that’s what I had on hand, but I’m sure baby bok choy would be better (more tender).  This is essentially all cooked in one (cast iron, stove top) pan – but I made a double batch, so we had to pull out our 12″ electric skillet.  Our youngest son stopped in, just in time for dinner, and he agrees both recipes are keepers!

Smothered-chicken-with-bok-choy steamed-bok-choy chicken-mushroom-gravy

I even have the studio production kiln revved up, cooking glass!  It’s a batch of spoon rests.  I cut for 15, so it’ll take a few days to get the blanks done.  And, I hope to play with some silk screening glass designs … maybe tomorrow!

In between, I play with pups.  Rotunda is all baboon-aszzy (in heat) at the moment, so she’s sticking with me in the studio when we aren’t all together.  My poor hormonal girl is sleepy – and needy!  Luv you, Ro!sleepy-Rotunda

Have a safe weekend, Y’all!  I’ll be heading back to “Flu-ville” for 24 hours of bob-n-weaving ER nursing fun!  [There will be no mention of Corona – or any other beer-brands here!]  Winking smile

Getting back up – dusting myself off …

After last week’s huge mental blow, DH and I are starting to correct the insurance situation.  I’ve reached out to my employer’s HR, but don’t hold much hope for assistance.

In the meantime, I’m cooking like a fiend.  And making cards.  And making desserts.  Apparently keeping busy is helping me …

spinach-cream-cheese-mozzarSo, we’ve tried a few new recipes, along with some tried & true comfort food:

The Spinach Cream Cheese Mozzarella Chicken is a keeper! (Thank you, Christina!)

I managed to destroy the wontons in this Shrimp Wonton Soup with added mushrooms.  Minus the wonton disaster – DH likes the soup …

shrimp-wontons-FAIL shrimp-wonton-soup

And, DH felt the need to cook up an enormous steak.  So, I added some sweet potato fries (love our air fryer!)

DH-makes-steak    airfryer-sweet-potato-fries

baby-cardI finished the baby shower card for my sister, made a few thank you cards, revisited my rose stamp, and cut up one of my alcohol inked papers for a couple ‘Beautiful’ cards.  Then I played with water coloring … Hmm – not great, but it’s learning …. Next up, a few more alcohol inked cards, I think.

heartfelt-thanks-cards   rose-cards   alcohol-ink-beautiful-cards   


lemon-turnoversAnd, desserts – because DH loves them.  While not pretty – the Lemon  Cream Turnover is an easy make, and YUMMY! (Thanks, Julie!) My version of Puff Pastry Cinnamon Apples look more like baby rotisserie chickens, but they taste good!  And, tonight we made Instant Pot Chocolate Cheesecake … They’re still cooling, so – we’ll see.

puff-pastry-cinnamon-apples     IP-chocolate-cheesecake

Meanwhile, our moms and pups are all doing well.  I’ll leave with a quick pic of Georgie’s girls, Yennifer and Penelope … Awww. Smile



And – In an Instant …

I’m so defeated!  My year has been turned upside down, all on one day.  At first I was incredulous … Then it started sinking in, and my hands started shaking, and then – as I was tearing my office/studio upside down, I broke down and cried.

Thus went my Friday …  pre-filled with crazy ideas of playing with glass and stamps, making happiness … Hmm, uhhmm, ahhh … NOPE!!!

Apparently, last November, when the deadline was approaching, DH and I went through my employer’s latest SUPER-TRICKY employee benefit package.  It was so difficult, we ran up to work to grab a ‘cheat sheet packet’ to help us bob-n-weave through the confusing mumbo-jumbo – to choose the best (new, modified – with cuts in coverage, and increased personal costs …) medical insurance package for our family.  So we did it, TOGETHER(!), step by-excruciatingly-confusing step …

Fast forward to today, I called my employer’s health fitness on-line presence, as DH kept saying he couldn’t start this year’s BULLSH*T ‘good-health’ quarterly on-line health assessment … so I called.  After several painful phone calls/transfers, I’m told that I signed up for medical coverage for JUST ME.  I continued the dental and vision coverage FOR MY FAMILY, but I opted for medical coverage for JUST ME …  WHAT?!?  … no, No, NO!!!  I did not.  I would not!  This is a part of why I work where I work.  WHAT!?!  So, as I spoke with my company’s HR representative  – she was less than understanding, less than compassionate, and completely unhelpful!  When I asked if it was possible that there was a mistake – not on my end, she said, ‘Sure … if you can find the confirmation page you should have printed …”’

So, I had a full-fledged melt down, UGLY TEARS and ALL.  My studio and all printing areas have been turned upside down.  I’m a mess.  Eventually, DH says, ‘No problem – we’ll just pick up extra insurance.’  I feel like I can cover doctor visits for a mere $1500-2000 more,  but inpatient … catastrophic-only coverage  … KILL ME NOW!

And then – my love, my mate, my Mr. Forgetful says … ‘Well, maybe you did check that box for just you …’  ***WHAT*** ??? …. Ohh, buddy!  Oh-partner-of-mine … WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY???

I’m beat.  Down and out!  I give up … Thanks, employer! Thanks, partner!

[Good thing I’m covered – as I feel I may need all the anti-depressant medications and therapies available … up to, and including possible INPATIENT … Grrrr!]

Leaving with some cute canine photos … I love these guys!

pup-2-20        >georgie-n-girls

Back on Track …

We struggled in the nursery for a bit, as our Gina had her pups on Friday.  Juggling the needs of the babies, new Moms, the rest of our four-legged crew and dinners … Whew!  As we watch the newborns 24/7, DH and I flip to our best schedules – he takes the day watch and I do the nights.  Those first few days, with Mom being a ‘finicky eater’ at best(!), while watching a giant dog try to maneuver gracefully among the squirming mob of babies … Can I just say I’m glad we’re here now.  The pups have more than doubled in size, Moms are eating like they’re feeding an army, DH and I are cooking in batches (for everyone!) and I managed to get a few card tops colored.

airfryer-popcorn-chickenSo, here are the photos:  We tried our hand at air fryer Popcorn Chicken and Avocado Fries last week.  They were good.  avacado-friesEarly this week (I think), I made a big vat of Sausage Cabbage soup (with loads of other veggies).  [I apologize for the blurry, ‘action camera’ photo.  I was trying to get the good stuff stirred up to the top …]  And last night DH cooked pork chops, so today I made mashed redskin potatoes and Garlic Butter Tuscan Mushrooms (minus the sun dried tomatoes, as I just don’t love them) for a gravy for the meat and potatoes.  Even the moms liked the potatoes and gravy! Winking smile [Thank you for the recipe, Karina!]

sausage-cabbage-vegetable-s mashed-redskin-potatoes Garlic-Butter-Mushroom-Grav

first-try-mastiffI Copic colored that mastiff stamp, twice.  Not great (realistic), but I think the intent comes across (it looks like a blue Neapolitan Mastiff), right?  I’ll try again, I’m certain! 


And, I made a blended heart background – for the bunny from last week (which I like), but tried the watercolor penciled unicorn on it … and laughed out loud.  It feels like a 70’s velvet Elvis poster … Smile

blended-heart-background bunny-heart-card unicorn-heart-card

I do like the daisy flower background.  And today I made some distress oxide (watercolor) backgrounds … just because.

daisy-background   DO-backgrounds

Still no photos of the babies to share, as I’m struggling to get images from my phone to our laptop in the nursery (I have wifi transfer in the studio) … They’re coming, I promise!  Hugs Y’all!!!

Pup Watch & Staying Busy …

As a first time mom, Georgie and her pups are doing great!  She has even adjusted to having a whelp-mate in the nursery, as Gina is waiting for her pups to arrive (- and growing bigger by the minute!) …  So, DH and I are staying close.  I’m so grateful we have a finished basement with second kitchen.  I’ve been coloring card tops with pencils, watercolors, ink pads and alcohol markers … I even managed to get a few finished as cards!


And tonight, I perused the ‘net to find a soup recipe to make, while still overseeing the girls/nursery.  Loosely based on this Chicken-mushroom-souprecipe (thank you, Chunguh!), I added some other veggies that we had on hand (cabbage, parsnip, spinach), ultimately altering the liquid portions to accommodate all those veggies.  I finished the soup around 5:00 this morning, and woke DH so he could sample.  He says it’s great, and I like it too!

Work has been stressful – due to the blasted EPIC charting system.  But, I know every shift I finish, I’m that much closer to being competent/comfortable.  And, I have cute pups waiting for me at home!

I hope to color this image before heading back to work.  I just couldn’t resist this Stamping Bella stamp when I saw it!  Who doesn’t love Neo Mastiffs?!?  Winking smile  Photos of our babies to come soon … Happy Thursday Y’all!

Busy … But with Downtime

We’ve had a busy week … welcoming pups on Tuesday.  Our Georgie is doing a great job as a first time Mom, but we’re staying close to keep an eye on all. 

unicornSo – I’ve had plenty of time to work on cards – stamping, masking, die-cutting, coloring … And(!) – I organized my growing pan of Daniel Smith watercolors:

stamping      pigs wavyroses-diecuts watercoloring-cards 


chicken-stewCooking has been near the nursery, and in the crock pot … We made a big batch of chicken stew Friday to roll into the weekend with (some) ease, as DH takes over the nursery watch solo-style.

Leaving with a cute photo of Victor and Rotunda (hanging out in the kitchen) – and one of our pups (the girls) … Awww

victor-ro      our-girls

Happy Weekend Y’all … Wish us luck (as I go back to ER nursing EPIC fun … Doh!)!!


Birthdays, Card Making & EPIC

Wrapped up all of my mandatory nurse classes last week, YAY!  Got through the weekend shifts, and heard such bizarre complaints, I can’t even mention them… My goodness, but folks are losing coping skills by the bucket-loads! Moving on …

On Tuesday, DH and I made nachos, making the chips (cut tortillas) in the air fryer.  They’re good.  bavarian-cream-hand-piesNot as good as actual frying, but the time saved and healthier benefits outweigh the frying.  And they taste much better than store bought chips!  After dinner, I made Bavarian cream hand pies (photo).  Not bad!  I have a hankering for lemon curd pies next …

I’m in card making mode.  I made DH a birthday card, and I’m working on a ‘welcome baby’ card.

sharkey-card baby-card

I also pulled out my alcohol inks to make a few backgrounds.  So much fun and I love the results!



DH turned 53 this week.  We went out for a nice, low key dinner.  I’ll be making (grilled) swai and veggie foil packets tomorrow when we celebrate with some of the kids.

This afternoon I started playing with my Daniel Smith half pan watercolors.  I hope to stamp a few images on watercolor paper to have on hand …


This weekend starts pup watch for our Giorgana (Georgie).  So I’ll have some down time in the nursery next week.  This weekend is also the EPIC launch at work (should be a fun, stress-free weekend!?)  So, yeah Georgie puppies and a new computer charting system at work … should make for an EPIC WEEKEND! Smile

I’ll leave with a quick photo of our Josie.  She just keeps growing those wrinkles – my beautiful, silly girl! 


Stay sane, Y’all!!!

Hibernating …

I haven’t decided if I’m battling some wimpy bug or just hibernating this week.  But, I’ve been sleeping for long spells, with short periods of consciousness – to eat, peruse the internet and play with cards/paper.  And then – back to sleep …



Tomorrow is going to be a long one, with mandatory work competency 3 (of 4), followed by an ER nurse weekend.  Stay safe, warm and dry y’all during Michigan’s ice storm!