So, This Happened …

DH woke me to tell me we have chicks!  OMGoodness, they are so stinkin’ cute! Now the pressure is on him, as these babies will need their coop within the next 3-4 weeks …


We talked at length and settled on some plans for building the raised bed garden.  Here’s my non-architect sketch.  Those are 15 foot beds in there, which will also need to be ready within the next 3-4 weeks!  Who’s a spoiled girl?  This GIRL!!! Winking smile


sweet-potato-slipsSo, with that in mind, I continue to scour the ‘net, searching and learning all things gardening.  With my latest discovery, I’m trying to grow sweet potato slips.  It may or may not be too late to start these for a successful growing season … It all depends on what kind of Indian-summer (mild fall) Michigan decides to give us … We’ll see.  Here’s a quick photo of my (indoor) ‘kiln garden’ starts …

I had a few requests at work for additional thank you cards for our (ER nursing) unit to hand out.  So, I made some … 

more-thank-you-cards thank-you-card even-more-TY-cards

Next week, I need to clean this studio and work on a few glass projects.  And, play with chicks, and puppies, and … … …

Have a safe weekend, Y’all!

Hello … Spring???

Where are you?  Michigan and spring are so NOT-IN-TUNE with each other …

seafood-alfredoSo, while we’re experiencing frequent snowfall in between teaser-weather days, I’ve been cooking.  We made Seafood Alfredo, a big pot of Spinach Sausage Bean soup (with added vegetables), and tonight we triedsausage-spinach-bean-soup Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto – with a substitute … I couldn’t find any fresh basil, so I used watercress instead.  That may have been the mistake, as we just didn’t love it.  I paired it with chicken (Spinach Chicken casserole), which helped …

zoodles avacado-pesto chicken-and-zucchin-avacado

I played with embossing folders and a ‘faux metal’ look with distress inks/perfect pearls to make some pretty card tops, and pulled a few together as cards.

faux-metal-embossed-backgro   faux-metal-hi-cards

I’ve also been stream-line producing spoon rests in the production kiln all week.  I have 25 blanks completed, and another batch ready for slumping.  I hope to get our ornaments back up to par in little production-kiln batches over the next few weeks.


We got our indoor seed starts planted.  I’m trying an experiment with a store-bought Roma tomato.  It may work, and it may not … we’ll see.

indoor-seeds  roma-experiment

chcken-warmerOur pups are opening their eyes, which means we can step away from the whelping box for short spells … I’m hopeful DH can make some progress with our coop next week.  Our chicken warmer arrived this week … I’m so excited!  We may be bringing some chicks home soon!

Leaving with a quick photo of one of our girls, who is just barely peekin’ … Winking smile  Happy Weekend Y’all.  Stay safe!!!


Bring on the Spring …

I have spring fever.  I am so ready to do some things in the yard.  I’ve been reading up and watching YouTube videos, and I think this year DH and I are finally ready to bring home some chickens!  I’m so excited.  But first, we’ll be converting an old shed into a coop for them.  Kind of like this photo (Not My Photo), but with a large attached fully (fenced) enclosed ‘run’.


And, I’m excited about the garden this year.  I’ve researched and recorded the best planting dates for the various vegetables we hope to grow, and I’ll be starting the seeds that I can next week.  We plan to do all raised bed and vertical gardening (also not my photo) this year, so I’m hopeful we’ll have better results. [Fingers crossed!]


unicorn-cardI’ve donated some of my cards: Thank You cards for my nursing unit to give for all of the generous meal contributions we’ve been receiving over the last few weeks; Hello/Thinking of You/Just Because cards for a friend to deliver to some elderly/nursing home residents. Which means I’ve been finishing card fronts that I made over the last couple of years; And, I made a special birthday card for a great coworker!

thank you cards  card donations  more cards

We’re staying busy with our four-legged family. too.  Our Xena had babies last week.  She’s doing great (and getting her appetite back, thank goodness) and her pups are growing by the minute (eyes aren’t open yet though); Viola was giving her sexy pose by the arborvitae; And Linda and Vi taking a much needed nap …


I even have a few glass loads planned for the production kiln, and some new recipes I’m ready to try in the kitchen … But more on that later.

I’ll leave with a quick photo DH caught at dusk over our pond.  Our house = My happy place!  Stay safe and out of the ER’s!  Hugs Y’all!


It’s called FAITH!

TWD-daryl…  I needed to remind a couple family members of this recently.  I’m an ER nurse.  [Apparently, I’m also AN ESSENTIAL … (Wow – doesn’t that sound post-apocalyptic!  You and me Daryl – We Got This! Smile)]

But honestly – it’s just FAITH …  I struggled with this early in my nursing career.  When we ‘intervene’ to give life saving drugs/techniques/measures … are we stepping-on-Jesus or playing GOD?!?

No.  We are doing our jobs, through Him … What is meant – will be!  Fast forward 30 years … If I am here, it is because I’m meant to be here.

And, if you wake up with me wearing this mask … It’s because I’m an ER nurse, and I have a twisted/sarcastic sense of dealing with STUFF!

jason mask covid

So, I’ll be heading off to work in a few hours.  In the meantime … I share.  This week I played with pups, cooked some good food and ‘created’ with paper – because it was my down-time … 


Soon, I will put on a MASK  (not the one I’d really like to wear, and there is no guarantee the one I wear will protect me any better [- PLEASE DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE NECESSARRY PPE TANGENT!]  … take a deep breath, relax my shoulders, …) and  I WILL TAKE CARE OF THE NEXT PATIENT …

Peace, stay safe, and – have FAITH, please! heart emoji


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!!!