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Downtown Eustis Cruise In

Last night we went to the Downtown Eustis monthly cruise-in.  We were going to take the '54 Buick, but it was uncooperative (fuel issue), so we ended up taking the '66 GTO.


The last time we had gone was a couple of months ago, and at that show the turn out didn't seem like much.  This time, for one thing we were late, but even so, the place was loaded with people.  I was quite surprised.  Since we were late, we actually got a prime parking space right on the main strip. Our friend from Daytona went along with us, and we've also been starting to meet some of the local people.

We were able to walk around a bit and got a chance to see all the cars.  When the show was over we headed out and had dinner at Gator's Dockside.  It's a chain restaurant, but not something we have down in Miami, so it was new to us.  The food was pretty good, and the service was excellent.

The thing I keep finding interesting is how in these (what I would call) small towns, everyone seems to know everyone else, and everybody is polite.  Not something we're used to in Miami.

{P}inspired ... Beer Cake

A few weeks ago, I saw this pin on pinterest.

It was about making a three tiered cake out of beer.  This is not a cooking thing, you actually used beer cans to create the cake.  Now, when I saw this, I immediately thought of my friend Cindy who would be celebrating a milestone birthday this month, so I filed it away on my craft board.

Cindy's birthday is Sunday, and since I work with her, I left the cake on her desk for her to find when she came in to work yesterday.  I would have posted yesterday, but I didn't want her to see it before she got to work and saw it in real life.

So here's my interpretation of the beer cake pin.


For those that want to make this, I used 12", 10" and 8" cardboard cake rounds.  The first hurdle was finding the cake rounds.  Most are sold in multipacks, and since I don't bake, I didn't want to have 9 of each size left over.  I found a pack of 3 - 12" ones at Michaels, and just cut 2 of them down to size.  The second hurdle was the happy birthday ribbon, which I also found at Michaels.

Pretty much, you just stack the beer cans on the cake round and then tie the ribbon around it.  The ribbon sort of keeps it in place, but I also used glue dots to give it some more stability - not on every can, but on several.  The very top, I put a flameless candle, after all, you can't have a cake without a candle.  

I was pleased with how it came out.  She was pleased and Miller Lite is her favorite, and several people at work thought it was a pretty cool idea, of course, I couldn't take full credit since I found the idea on Pinterest.

{P}inspired ... Yogurt covered Blueberries

Ahhh ... another Pinterest find.  So yummy.

I like blueberries, I like greek yogurt, and they're both a healthy snack.  I found this link on Pinterest where the blueberries were dipped in yogurt and then frozen.

The instructions seemed simple enough.  You pour the yogurt in a bowl, put a blueberry on a toothpick and swirl it in the yogurt, then freeze. 

I used blueberries, and blueberry greek yogurt.  My fridge/freezer is a side by side, so I couldn't use a full size tray, so I used a foil covered paper plate.


Although it seemed easy, it wasn't as easy as it sounded.  Because the greek yogurt is kind of thick, the berries kept wanting to jump off the toothpick.  Some berries had full coverage with the yogurt, others didn't.  You could also see where the toothpick was, which I didn't particularly like.  Let me say, it wasn't a complete fail.  It worked, they froze well, and it was a tasty treat.  I just don't think that I'd spend the time doing it again.

Here's my finished product:


I would consider myself a lazy cook, so for my next try I think I am going to dump the yogurt in a bowl, gently stir in the berries, then use the toothpick to move them from the bowl to a sheet and freeze.  It seems to me that it would go much faster.  I'll let you know when I try it ... who knows it could be a big failure.

One other thing I thought I'd mention ... when you take these out to eat, they unfreeze quickly, so I just take out a few at a time when I want a treat and I'm at the freezer -- you know ... you're standing there with the door open contemplating what's going to satisfy you at the moment.  Instead of reaching for the tub of icecream or the chocolate bar, having these yogurt blueberries works much better ... especially if you are trying to eat healthier - LOL.

Card - Wishing You Well

I've had a little time lately to be crafty, and I've been making some cards.  This is one I did using a DCWV paper pack called La Creme.  It's been out for a while but you can still find it in some of the stores.  it is one of my favorites.  The papers are all black and creme, and some of the papers have flocking on them.


All of a sudden, I've felt like stamping and scrapping. It's been a long time since I've felt creative.  All I know is it makes me happy.

{P}inspired ... Brown Sugar Scrub

I am a big fan of Pinterest.

I probably pin too many things, and some might say I need an intervention.

That being said, I do sometimes find great information, like how to kill ants, and how to fold a bag of chips so you don't need a chip clip, and my personal favorite, how to fold up those plastic shopping bags so they aren't a big wad of mess (like mine used to be).

I also have found lots of crafty stuff to try, and this past weekend I did just that.  I made a Brown Sugar Scrub which was originally pinned from Stephanie Lynn's Under the Table and Dreaming Blog.  I started with this craft, because I had recently bought some containers at Walmart (I don't remember what exactly I bought them for in the fist place), and I had all the other ingredients in my pantry.  Being a scrapbooker/stamper didn't hurt either because I had all the decorative items to complete the jar and make it look nice.

Basically, you just put Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Oil (I used olive oil because I couldn't find sunflower), and Vanilla in a bowl and mix (you can get the exact measurements from the link above). Easy, easy recipe.  Just mix, scoop into jars, and decorate.

Here's my finished product:


The recipe made these two jars full, which was plenty.  The flowers and ribbon on the jar where from Michaels, and I stamped the tags.  I put the flowers on the side because I didn't want anything on top where you open the lid.  Just my way of thinking.


When I was cleaning up the mixing bowl, I used the remnants and it really did work as a scrub, it smelled pretty good, and since it was all made with food ingredients, I did a taste test and it tasted OK too.  All in all a fun, easy, quick, project.  I could see this being a project at a girl scout meeting (do they have those still ?), but also for adults.


The prior owners of the house had a thing for bird houses.  They are all over the yard and part of the decor on the outside.  This weekend I added one of my own.  My mom loved cardinals, so this is a nod to her and the part she played in helping us realize our house dream.  Mom didn't get to see our final choice of houses, but I know she is looking down smiling at just how perfect a fit it is for us.

On the base it says "Welcome to our Nest".  I like it and the best part is I can see it from my porch, which is where I spend quite a bit of time.  I read, or sleep, or talk on the phone.  I can see the whole back yard and the birds and the ponds, and at night I can hear the crickets and frogs singing.

This past weekend, I had another surprise.  The roses were in bloom.  Two weeks ago, I thought they were done.  I didn't see any buds - but this past weekend the bush was loaded with flowers and buds, I think we'll still have some flowers the next time we're up there.

Man, I hope these rose bushes are mature enough to do their own thing and keep growing and blooming.  I have no clue how to take care of roses as well as the fact that I normally have a brown thumb and kill most every plant I touch.  I'm sticking with the "look but don't touch" theory for the time being.  Maybe between now and next spring, I'll have read a book, or found something on Pinterest on how to care for roses.

Missing Mom

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the loss of my mom.

It's been a tough year.  It doesn't get "better", you just come to terms with the fact that she's no longer there.  I still find myself reaching out to call her when I'm working late at work.  It was just something I did.

Toward the end, I was showing her the different properties we were thinking about, and I know she is pleased with our choice even though she didn't get to see it. I can just picture her doing a crossword puzzle on my back porch/florida room - I think she would have enjoyed it here.  She loved cardinals, and every time I see a cardinal in the yard, I think it's her dropping by to see the place.  I found a little cardinal bird feeder last weekend, and hubby is putting it up in the yard today - on one of the trees near the house so that I can see it when I'm on the porch.

As I look back over my life, I am honored that she was my mom.  I owe pretty much everything I have become to her.    At times, she was my confidant, my biggest fan, my moral compass, my medical advisor, my comfort, and my kick in the butt (when I needed it).  I drew strength from her strength at dealing with problems and adversity.  I lead my life today by a saying I learned from her ... "If it is to be ... it's up to me."

Today I am sad that she is no longer here in physical form, I miss her dearly, but I take solace in the knowledge that she is no longer having to fight and is now with the others that have gone before. 

I love you and miss you mom.  You are forever in my heart.


Tonights the night ....

Tonight starts BB14 (Big Brother).

I've been waiting with anticipation. I've checked out the houseguests and can't to get started. One of the twists is that four veteran houseguests are returning. I guess I'll know for sure tonight. I've got my live feed ready and this year I have WiFi, so I should not have connection problems and time outs.

While I've been waiting for BB14 to begin, I have been watching ABC's glass house. At first I thought it was a Big Brother knockoff, which it sort of is, but after watching for a couple of weeks now, it has it's good points. The first episode, I was looking for Big Brother, so I was dissatisfied. I still watched another week, and it started to grow on me. I've got 4 weeks down, and I'm liking it. There is a lot more audiance influence. You can vote for what the house guests have to do in the house, wear, eat, etc. You can ask questions via Twitter. The houseguests ask questions and you get to vote on the answer, and most important the viewers do the voting on who leaves the house. It's only a one day a week commitment, and ABC has the full episodes on the website, plus they run free live feeds at different times throughout the day.

It won't change my love for Big Brother though. I've watched every season and for the last several seasons have followed with the live feeds.  To me the BB House is a micro version of real life.  Different cultures, different personalities, all having to deal with each other.


Mad Max

A recent picture of Maxwell.


Of all the cats, he is definately mine.  He is always close by me, either on the back or arm of the chair, or in the kitchen or laundry room with me.  He's got a few weird quirks ... one ... he loves olives.  I've never seen a cat that likes olives, but he hears the jar open and comes running.  I'm afraid they're too salty for him, so I just give him a little juice from my finger.  The other oddity ... he likes blueberries.  I think mostly because they roll well.  I dropped a blueberry the other day and I think he batted it around for a good 1/2 hour, then squished it.  I had to keep an eye on him (and the blueberry) because I didn't want him to squish it and stain something.  He mostly played on the tile floor in the kitchen.

He is always a source of entertainment, I'll give him that.