Saturday, January 29, 2011


Posted by PicasaHow did we live before we were "rewarded" with so many cards? 
      The is only a small sampling of the cards that I have been "rewarded with" recently.  The cards were given to me either because I am such a great customer or because I should be such a great customer.  One of the cards I even bought--how dumb is that--but they promise I'll save money if I use it.  Another reward card  should be called  a "punishment card" because I'll pay twice as much for the same item if I don't use the card.
     There are so many programs and too many cards.  I need to retire so I'll  have time to keep track of all these rewards. 
     The first time I signed up for a reward card was from Dorothy Lane Market when we lived in Ohio.  The great thing about that card was that they used it to send personalized offers.   No more dollar coupons for stuff you had never used and never would.   DLM sent coupons for stuff you actually had bought in the past.   And, if you spent enough money, you'd get rewarded at Thanksgiving with a coupon for a turkey.  I knew we were eating way too much the year we received a coupon for a free one!
     The worst card is the one where the benefits could only be used by an army.   Save $10---but only if you spend $1000.00.  
     My newest card is from Michael's, and I can't wait to use it.   Michael's is always a fun store to shop in because everything fits and everything is for fun.  No chore items here.
     Ulta is my Christmas-time card.  I always go there to look for girly presents, and usually end up stocking up on lipstick and nail polish.
     The most-used card is from CVS pharmacy.   No further explanation needed.
     The Enterprise card does the least for me.   Actually I haven't found that it does anything, but maybe I haven't figured out how to use it.   The Choice Privileges gets us free nights, which are a nice treat.      
     I use the Starbucks card when we are back in Ohio, visiting family and friends.   We have Starbucks here, of course, but I rarely go.   I always brew at home.   There are two Starbucks that we go to in Ohio.  One is in Springboro, and we stop there in the mornings on our way to see my mother.  The other one is across from the Dayton Mall.   It's a hang out for yuppies and yuppies-at-heart.  We go there late at night because I usually need a caffeine hit, and I love the energy there.   Whenever I see the Starbucks card I think of home and family.   Which makes it my favorite card.    

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Card Making Sunday

       Whenever we go back to Dayton I always stop at Marco's, my favorite paper store.  Even though they're on the web, it's always more fun to walk around and see what's new. Feel the paper, smell the ink.
      On the last trip I found a Wild West Card Kit by TJ Designs (Tweety Jill).  On a previous trip I had bought the Rodeo Sweethearts stamp collection so I knew I would like the designs.  The card making kit comes with everything you need, but I had to modify it to make it my "own".  I swapped out the plain beige card that is provided for one I made from Wausau Royal Fiber Cover paper in "Sunfower".  It gives it a better feel, and the color blends perfectly with the photos supplied in the kit.        
     The paper, photo, and burlap are all provided in the kit, which makes it easy to put together.   I tore one edge of the top paper and distressed it with Ranger's Walnut Stain.    Pictures are provided, too, for inspiration.  For this card I chose one of the cowboys because it is going to our friend Lou for his birthday. 
      The gold star was also included, and I attached it with some wire I had handy.  I added a black line of Sticky Stitches where the two papers met.  I also added a backing to the photo to make it "pop", but the photo and photo corners came with the kit. 

      The inside of the card shows the "sunflower" color better.   I used Marvy Matchable Dye Ink in Dark Brown to stamp the words.  "Howdy partner" is from Stamp a Mania.   It is one of the new stamps I bought at Guadalupe's Fun Rubber Stamps in Santa Fe.   "Happy Birthday" is from Azadi Earles, and I have enjoyed this stamp for years.  Azadi stamps can be bought at many places on the web, but I don't remember where I found this one.   I added the barbs to the letters with a Marvy La Plume pen so it would match the barbed wire look of the "Howdy partner" stamp.     

     I used one of the cowgirl images for this card and left the inside blank for now.   I swapped out the kit card for one from the same cover stock mentioned above.  You can't see the sunflower color in this picture.
      On this card I glued the burlap down first and added the paper, raffia and photo on top.   All of the materials came from the kit except for the copper brads.   The kit includes four brass brads, but I wanted ones that would look more like the ones found on jeans.
      Hope you liked my latest cards.  I had fun making them.   

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Kent!
        We celebrated Kent's birthday at the Cimarron Night Club last night.   I don't have a picture of it, or even of the Cimarron Center that is here in Sun City Grand.   But I had a great pix of Kent that I took during our trip to New Mexico earlier this month.   (Isn't that the way of it--lots of pictures of far away places and none of places close to home. )
       So the above picture was taken at Andaluz Hotel in Albuquerque.   The hotel is beautiful, with a Spanish Moroccan decor. Around their main lobby are five or six "living rooms" where friends can meet for wine and cheese and quiet conversation.   Each one is different.  We picked the one with air plants.   Before we flew back home, Kent and I enjoyed a little wine and a great cheese plate here.
        Andaluz also has a fantastic restaurant called Lucia.  After we found it, we kept returning.   We had two dinners and a breakfast there.   It was close to the hotel where I was attending a conference, and 
Lucia's food was excellent.   I had Honey Glazed Muscovy duck the first night.  I love duck, but  I usually only get it once a year.   It's hard to find duck at the places we usually go to eat.   I was looking forward to having it for our anniversary, but the restaurant in Prescott was sold out of it.    So Lucia's Muscovy was my duck for 2010 and (probably) 2011. 
        At Lucia the duck is excellent.  They serve it with a pomegranate-blueberry sauce, which is perfect.   Not too sweet.   Kent ordered the Pan Roasted Salmon and said it was delicious, too.   The second dinner I had there was also an unexpected treat.   Colorado Bison Short Ribs.   I had seen Bison (buffalo) on the hoof and on the menu in Yellowstone, but I hadn't tried it.    Lucia's version is served with mashed potatoes.   Very tender and very yummy.
         In comparison, Kent's birthday dinner was very sparse.   We only had time for a quick bite before going over to the Cimarron Center.    But the Night Club made up for it.   The cabaret/night club is a new item at Sun City Grand, and it seems to be a hit.   It's small--holds less than 80 people--and features a show once a month during the snow-bird months.  
         The January show just happened to fall on Kent's Birthday.  The entertainer was Mary Jo Johnson, who sang all our favorite songs.   She performed a wide range of easy-listening, lite jazz, and a little country that even Kent liked.  Her show is titled "Songs in the Key of Life," which is very appropriate.  She did songs made famous by Sinatra, Anne Murray, Patsy Cline, and many, many others.  Her rendition of Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father" was especially touching. 
         Chris and Lou joined us, too, which made it extra special.   Wine, music, and friends made for a great birthday celebration.      

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Breakfast at San Marcos Cafe

        Last Sunday morning we drove from Albuquerque to Santa Fe along the Turquoise Trail. The Trail is a National Scenic Highway that is a great alternative to taking Interstate I-25.  It goes to the east of the Sandia Mountains, through small, historic towns, past the Cibola National Forest, and through a lot of grasslands.   We saw a herd of buffalo, some really huge cattle, and looked for, but didn't see, antelope.
We were hoping for a place to eat breakfast since we had left Albuquerque early.  But because it was early, the shops were still closed.  They had looked really interesting, and I hope to get back there sometime. 
       But at that moment I was hungry and really needed more coffee.    The caffeine hit from the little cup that I had brewed in the hotel room had long worn off.
     Just as we reached the end of the Turquoise Trail and thought we would have to find something in Santa Fe, we spotted peacocks and turkeys.  They were strutting about in a yard that had a sign that said "Opern".    We had stumbled across the San Marcos Cafe.  

       San Marcos Cafe is described as a country cafe in the European tradition.   The San Marcos Eggs that I had were definitely more Latino than European:  scrambled eggs surrounded by guacamole, green chiles, black beans and diced tomatoes, placed inside a tortilla and covered with cheese.   Yummy!!!    Kent liked his choice, too, and we split a cinnamon roll.   The cinnamon rolls are fresh-baked and looked to be one of their specialties.   It definitely tasted special--and it was huge.    This was a breakfast that took us through the day.   
      On this Sunday morning it was a lively, busy place.   We had a table near the back of the front room that gave me a good view of the interior.    There was a pot-bellied stove, brightly painted chairs, and interesting antiques filling the room.   Near us was a smaller version of an ice box that was very similar to the one that had belonged to Kent's great, great uncle.  
      Off of the main room was another dining room that looked like a newer addition.   Its main attraction were the large windows that offered a great view of the animals that roamed just outside the door.

One of the peacocks.

The turkeys were the largest ones I had ever seen!   They strutted along with the peacocks in the front yard.  What a sight! 

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Stamping in Santa Fe

 Last weekend we took a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.   Being a rubber stamper, I had to visit Guadalupe's Fun Rubber Stamps, which is located in old town Sante Fe.    It's above a Starbucks--a perfect location for me.

Lee Kellogg was working that morning, and I had a great time chatting with her as I shopped.  I could have stayed for hours.   


This is their store--what a fun place!!!     And here are the treasures I brought home with me.   I can't wait to use them.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Arizona Cotton Rats

Early every Friday morning my friend Chris and I walk for an hour or so on the walking trail near my house.   We frequently see rabbits and hummingbirds and occasionally coyotes.   This morning I saw an Arizona Cotton Rat.    In fact, he ran right in front of me--I nearly stepped on him!

The photo above was taken by someone at the Sonoran Desert Museum.  Even though my little friend seemed slow for one of his kind, he was too fast for my camera.

The walking trail goes behind some houses and eventually connects to the sidewalk next to the main road through Sun City Grand.    My little buddy came from a grassy area between the sidewalk and the street.  He ran in front of me, but behind Chris, and disappeared under a bush.   She missed seeing him.   I'm sure she was disappointed.

He was 4 to 5 inches long and very well fed.   I know some people hate anything to do with mice or rats, but I don't mind them--in the right place.   And this was a good spot for him.  There were no houses nearby.   He should be able to live here happily until he becomes lunch or dinner for a coyote or Harris Hawk. 
They always say that Walking is good for you--and you never know what you'll see.     

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Posted by PicasaThis is Keenu, my 140 pound Alaskan Malamute Grandpuppy.   What a beauty!  
      We visited him and his parents (my son and daughter-in-law) over the Christmas holidays.   Had a great visit with them and other family and friends.      We even had a White Christmas since their city has had snow on the ground since Thanksgiving, and a few more flurries fell on Christmas Day.
       When we returned to Arizona, we brought the cold weather with us.   We had a hard freeze two nights in a row, and it has remained chilly during the day.   All the plants that could be moved were placed in the garage.   Frost cloth was draped on all the others.    We've been a little under the weather ourselves since then so I haven't had a chance to see if the cold weather killed any of my favorites.   I hope not.
       My Christmas Cactus will be blooming soon.  They are actually succulents, not cacti, and I hope to get a good picture when the blooms finally open.   I need to fertilize it again to help encourage more blooms since there are only about seven buds right now.   There should be a lot more than that!  It only blooms once a year, even though it takes up space all year and has to be tended to. If it's only going to be showy for one month out of 12, I expect a really GOOD show.
       I've been seeing a lot of Red Tail Hawks on the drive to work.   They love to sit on the telephone polls to watch for mice and other tasty meals.  On Sunday morning a nice sized coyote walked down the sidewalk in front of the house, too.   They are plentiful, but I can't seem to get a good picture of any.  
        I haven't made any New Year's Resolutions (if you don't count the perpetual "lose weight") so maybe my resolution will be to work on getting better blog photos.    Which means I need to make a resolution to Blog more.   
        Hope you had a great New Year's.   If you made any resolutions, please post them.  Maybe you'll inspire me.