Tuesday, August 31

I Screem , You Screem...

We All Screem for Ice Cream!

I can't believe the "ber" months are here.... September October November December! ... and what a perfect way to end August with this darling Ice Cream Cone Card, case'd from Debbie Henderson.

To create this card,  you'll need to use your Big Shot and the Square Scallop Die. Once this shape is cut-out, use your Background Texturz Plates to add the waffle textured look. Then use your bone folder and fold 2 creases. Use the picture below as your guide:

Start both of your creases at the first scallop and fold to scallop #5 on each side. This will form your triangle fold for each side.

For the ice cream scoops, use your Scallop Circle Punch and punch 5 in Pink Piroutte cardstock. Then use a Sponge Duaber to add Pretty In Pink ink to all the edges of each scallop. The little candies are stamped with a stamp from the Sweet Scoops stamp set in Chocolate Chip ink. Add a cherry by punching a circle from the Punch Pack, hand-draw a small crescent and adding a skinny strip of Chocolate Chip cardstock for the stem.

The sentiment is from A Word For You which I think is perfect to go along with the cherry! Use the Scallop Border Punch to decorate two sides of the square. Lastly add a small piece of velcro to keep the card closed.

Now think I'm gonna buzz down to 31 Flavors and get me some Rocky Road!

Monday, August 30

Watercolor Wonder

I haven't been able to stamp for awhile now ... since putting in the new floors everything is really a mess.. but there's light at the end of the tunnel as the floors are almost done and I hope to be able to "find" all my stuff again... hope being the key word!

But in the mean time thought I'd share with you one of my new favorite Stampin' Up! stamp sets... Awash with Flowers... it's a perfect set to "watercolor" using your daubers or you can "squish" your ink pad so it leaves some ink on the plastic lid part... get a small paint brush wet and dab into the ink.. voila you can watercolor super easy!

Stamp the card using black ink, Staz On is one of the best as it won't smear when you watercolor... this will give you your basic template. Then you can use as much or little of that card to trim for your final project.

Here's one version... see how you can emphasize colors on the petals... from light to dark...

And another version... I also love that you don't have to "stay in the lines".... a true watercolor affect...

Until next time.. keep on stampin'!!!

Sunday, August 29

Brayden's BBQ Bash!

What an awesome day! This afternoon we had our first annual Brayden BBQ Bash! I was going to have a  "Jack and  Jill" Baby Shower .. but you know how all the guys just love that... so we decided this would be way better! Besides then Jerry got to BBQ his favorite hamburgers for everyone!

Brayden is now three months old.. that just amazes me. He's starting to coo and giggle and smile so much.. just too precious! I think Holly is convinced he's going to be walking by 6 months... but we'll see. He is very strong and just a little munchkin... ya just wanna squeeze his little chubby cheeks!

It was a wonderful celebration and I was so excited to show Brayden off to everyone! Thank you all for coming and putting up with "Grandma Gail" xoxoxoxo

Here's a few great shots of the party.... and what a perfect beautiful afternoon by the pool... we didn't get Brayden in the water.. but at least the little kids gave it a shot... The food was awesome and the time spent with friends was the best! Chris made a darling "piggy bank" for Brayden and had everyone sign it.... she doesn't know it but we decided it will show up at the annual BBQs... what a great tradition!

Snoozin' with Grandma Gail

David & Holly get to relax

Aunt Claire soakin' in the love.

Allen and Dave catchin' up together.

The girls chat... Barb, Shelly & Nancy

Barb gets her hands on Brayden

The twins David & Jenna love to swim!

Barabara is an expert at this Grandma stuff...

Brayden's piggy just waiting for him to wake up!

Aunt Claire tickles Brayden with his new piggy..

Aunt Shelly.. another expert "grandma".. wow Brayden's got so many now!!

Out like a light...

Aunt Donna plays "patty cake"

Donna shows Brayden his new Elmo book... ready to read?

Brayden loves his new "tag blanket" that Aunt Donna made him...

This tag blanket is just a small little square blanket with several "tags"around each side....
each tag is made from a different material (silk, cotton, grossgrain, leather etc)...

....and it seems to soothe babies as they feel each different type of tag..
amazing it seemed to work so quickly with Brayden!

Top Chef Jerry... loves to BBQ!

The guys waiting for their burgers....

Brayden's gift display among the M&M Margarita mix!

Nothing like a cuddle from Mama... makes for a happy baby.

Happy mama too.

Holly opens gifts at the "no gifts" BBQ... everyone is so generous..
stubborn, but generous!!

Is that Pooh Bear? Oh we love Pooh Bear...

Thanks again to everyone for the beautiful afternoon and your shower of love!

Watch next Summer for Brayden BBQ Bash II.

Saturday, August 28


If you know me, you know that my very favorite music group now and always will be is The Beatles!!! Paul, George, John and Ringo. They were my heart-throb in high school!

Today is the 45th Anniversary of the Beatles one and only visit to San Diego!!! Do you remember?? I do!

The Fab Four performed August 28, 1965 in Balboa Stadium!   And get this.. the tickets cost $3.50, $4.50 or $5.50 each. I didn't get to go but I do remember watching them on The Ed Sullivan Show.

While 27,000 tickets were available for The Beatles' concert, only 17,000 fans turned out for the show. The band's pay? $50,135, just $135. more than the $50,000 the group was guaranteed for the performance.

The Beatles performed 12 songs: Twist and Shout, She's a Woman, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket to Ride, Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby, Can't Buy Me Love, Baby's in Black, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day's Night, Help!  and  I'm Down.

I thought those were some pretty cool facts... and take a look at this old picture of John, Paul and George taken in 1957..... I don't think they have a clue here what impact they were about to make on the world!

And do these bring back some memories?
 I STILL have every single one of these albums:

Does anyone still have this poster.. it must be worth a mint by now!

I don't care what anyone says... I'm still their greatest fan!
She Loves You Yay Yay Yay!

Friday, August 27

Old Poway Park Railroad

For several years now Jerry has been volunteering at the Poway-Midland Railroad. The Volunteer Group has been around since the early '90s, but Jerry just started there about four years ago. They’re dedicated to the restoration, operation and maintenance of the antique railroad and trolley equipment in Old Poway Park.

He’s had this love of tinkering forever… so he found another good outlet for it… and at the same time is contributing to the Poway community. They not only “drive” the trains, but learn how to maintain them as well. He volunteers one Saturday a month plus nearly every Tuesday you can find him down there… especially during the school year as that is where many of the schools bring classrooms of kids on field trips.

The train operates every weekend plus they have several special events throughout the year… from Old Fashion July Fourth Celebration, to Christmas in the Park. One of the most popular events in Poway is the Poway Days in the Fall… where they hold a Rendezvous in the Park in September and in October they have several Train Song Festivals. Check out their schedule on line at PMRR. For Poway, it’s pretty much “Grand Central Station”.

Here's the crew in the last July 4th Celebration
Where's Waldo???

Once a year the City of Poway acknowledges ALL their community volunteers with a nice Recognition Dinner. Last night we were invited to this year’s event where they had a Picnic in the Park. It was really a treat where they served us a nice picnic dinner complete with entertainment by a 'pickin' and grinnin' three man band. In years past they’ve had the Recognition Dinners at the Poway City Hall grounds, and even at the Poway Performing Arts Theater. It really is a nice time when not just the Railroad volunteers are acknowledged.. but the entire City’s volunteers, from the Park Rangers to the Blue Sky Trail and CERT Rescue workers… the list is amazing.

The Railroad Park is located on Midland Road and over the years that entire area has been restored by the City. You really should go sometime to see it for yourself... of course the Hamburger Factory restaurant was probably one of the original merchants. There are also many quaint "old" shops across the way and there's a beautiful, nearly unknown, park which the train circles on it's rounds. Templer Hall, an original Poway church hall used now for anything from to Quilt Shows to Weddings, plus there's a great gazebo and beautiful water fountain in the center of the park. Also located in the park is the "oldest" house in Poway which was transferred there from the Garden Road area several years ago when it was dedicated as a Poway Historical Monument. There's a barn where blacksmiths still pound out horseshoes and cast iron tools, plus every Saturday there is a very popular Farmer's Market where you can buy fresh eggs from Ramona, avocados from Fallbrook and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally.

It was nice just to sit there last night as the sun set, listening to the country music, having some pulled pork and potato salad with a glass of wine, enjoying conversation with fellow volunteers and just soaking in the history of Poway. No wonder it's called the City in the Country.

I’m so proud of Jerry for sharing his time with the Community.. I know many of you have seen him there with his Railroad garb on… blowing the train whistle and letting off a little steam! Come on down sometime and let him take you for a ride .....  maybe he’ll even let you toot his horn.

Thursday, August 26

What I Did This Summer

Yesterday was “back to school” day in Poway. I was late for work… and I don’t even have kids in school any longer!

We live within one mile radius of four different schools, two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. It was great when my kids were in school (btw they WALKED to school), but now we do everything in our power to avoid being remotely near the area during school hours… What happened to kids riding the school bus?? Why are they all empty.. and there are a gazillion cars on the road with one kid each in them…. Amazing.

But I digress…. More fondly I remember the first few days of returning to school and the teacher made you write a paper on “What I Did This Summer”… remember? Oh that actually was pretty miserable too…. As I was sure I had the most boring summers of any kid in my class….

But anywho, I thought I’d take a moment to tell you What I Did This Summer… Actually we don’t usually take “Summer” vacations per say … since we’re Empty Nesters, we have the luxury now to avoid the Summer crowds and generally vacation in the Spring or Fall… but this year we took off for a couple of weeks in July and checked off one of our Bucket List items… we went white water rafting! This was an act of faith on my part… “living on the river” for four days and three night… tent camping and sleeping on the ground… can’t remember the last time I did that…. Not even in our desert camping days as we’ve always had a camper or trailer or at least the back of the truck to rest our weary bones.

But nonetheless we signed up with OARS Tour Company… they have several locations and after much research and knowing we wanted to head toward Colorado, we selected the Green River going through the Dinosaur National Monument and through the Gates of Lodore It’s actually in the tippy top north east corner of Utah at about 9000 ft elevation.

They prepare you pretty well for the trip before hand… we had to either rent or bring our own tent, sleeping bags and pads/pillows. Of course limited amount of clothes and shoes, but mind you they insisted you have gear “for all seasons”… so in went the rain jackets along with the bathing suits… weird. We covered 45 miles on the river in basically four days.

If you’re familiar with rafting, it was a Class III river.. pretty mild actually (compared to the Class V we did in Alaska!)…. Minimum age was “7” so I figured.. if a 7 yr old could do this.. then I could do this.. right? First of all let me tell you were we the oldest couple in our group of 18 people plus 6 guides…. And it was really fun! We of course became “family” with everyone and the Guides were all so incredible… knowledgeable and personable… you couldn’t help but feel like family (Hey Judi if you’re reading this you still owe me that game of Farkle.. and Amy how’s the wrist healing?)

The rafting was pretty mild as the river water was at “medium” level… actually for that time of year it could have been lower so we were fortunate to experience what “rapids” we could. It was definitely a very relaxing trip… loved that the cooking was all done for us. Most days were we on the river by 9am and setting up camp by 4pm. They offered organized hikes 2-3 different times. The weather was great for the most part… probably about 85 during the day… only one afternoon had some consistent drizzles yet it was still pretty warm therefore humid. But we constantly wore a hat, kept us doused in sunscreen (and bug spray) and so we faired pretty well.

Their motto is Leave No Trace. And they are serious.. and we were glad. Because of that the entire National Park was BEAUTIFUL… not like any other Park we’ve ever seen. They literally teach you to not leave one crumb of food (we ate “over” the river as much as we could). We took all trash with us.. and I mean ALL. We learned to live with nature… and I do me “a la natural” when it comes to the serious business… think about that for awhile.

Here’s a few pictures you might enjoy…. First one is just paddling through one of the smaller rapids… I couldn’t take pictures of the larger ones as I was hangin’ on!!


Look closely at these next two… first is one of our lunch beach stops.. again notice how clean the sand is… not one speck of food, trash, paper.. anything. The second is one of our first camp sites… look closely at it.. you’ll see our Guides (aka Chefs) preparing dinner on the left… in the left far background you can see Jerry playing horseshoes with some of the others. To the right is the “living room” where they set up camp chairs every night. And notice the right front portion of the photo is the “key to the bathroom”…. you can barely see the yellow box. That was the container that held the TP. If it was sitting there that meant no one else was “down stream” so it was safe to take it and go… literally. You’ll also see the blue plastic water container and pump.. this was the “wash station”. You can see some of the tents in the background. Cozy hun?

Here's a couple of river rats:

and our traditional "Self Portrait"


We really did become friends with so many. Jerry and I especially took up with Tom, one of the guides, and his girlfriend Judi…. Aren’t they cute????

Tom even let Jerry paddle his boat for awhile….. in the calm waters that is.

It was one of those vacations I’ll never forget and am sooo glad we did. Seeing God’s creation in almost untouched form and living in nature was awesome. Now mind you do believe God determines the times and exact places that we should live…. That’s why he didn’t make me a pioneer in the 1800s nor a Plantation owner related to Huck Finn….

The last final day before we said our farewells, we snapped a shot of the awesome Guides.. and one “family group picture”…. Note the hats.. remember this was after 4 days of no shower or shampoo…. Be grateful you don’t have smell-a-vision.

After leaving the Raft Tour in Utah, we headed to Colorado to spend time with our friends Walt and Sheryl. That’s another story for another day…

Until then, keep those cards and letters coming in!