Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marcia Ball at Skipper's Smokehouse - how about some boogie woogie blues

If you know Marcia, you know the piano boogie woogie blues. She always looks like she is having a ball (pun intended) and the crowd always has a wonderful time dancing when she plays. I posted a few videos on YouTube but mine really don't do her justice. I haven't figured out how to shoot and dance at the same time!

Battle over the rawhide

Maggie spent last Saturday night at my house. She brought with her a huge rawhide. Elsie decided she wanted to chew on that bone and over the next 24 hours they switched back and forth. I shot a couple of videos when this started and they made me laugh til I cried. After a few hours they just shared and one would have the bone then the other.

First video: (about 35 seconds)

Second video (A little over a minute...this one really made me laugh and still does!)

I tried to upload the videos direct to the blog but blogger would not cooperate so the links take you to

Let me know if you think they are funny or am I just crazy and in need of entertainment?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to Liz

Friday night we spent listening to good music and celebrating Liz's 30th (cough cough) birthday. Yes, 30. I kinda remember that year.
Happy Birthday Liz and many, many more!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gift Card Holder

Totally CASED from this site: (great video tutorials)
Cardstock- 4.25" X 10", score at 3", 4", 5", and 8" (round the corners if you desire)
Inside patterned papers:
4" X 2.75" Cut 2
4" x .75" Cut 2
4" X 1.75" Cut 1

Outside patterned papers:
4" X 2.75"- Cut 2
4" X 1.75" Cut 1

Adhesive for applying paper and super sticky tape to seal the card holder area.
Dark green cardstock shows the score/crease marks. If you corner round the cardstock, corner round some of the patterned paper as well.
After you have all paper applied, you have this little fold. Use the super sticky tape and glue the base together. Add the tape close to the base - the open bottom of the triangle in the photo above. After you have that sealed, use your paper cutter and cut the top of that edge off so that you can insert a gift card. (see pic at start of blog)

After you make one, you'll think of ways to enhance the finished product. The video (link above) shows how to make a ribbon wrap with stamped image to add to the finished card.
I am going to add a glue dot to the inside flap for secure closing and maybe a button or some other little bling to the front of the flap.
Another idea is to attach a long piece ribbon UNDER the outside back decorative paper. The thinking is that the long ends can be wrapped to the front and tied.

I know of at least one blog reader who has asked for something like this for a while... please email if you'd like to add some of these to your card stash. Send me colors, sentiment ideas, etc. (Happy Birthday, Congratulations, themes, whatever!)

Fred Eaglesmith, Ace's Bradenton 1/9/2010

I saw Fred the first time in 1999 at Skipper's. I remember sitting at the picnic table wrapped in a blanket and enjoying every minute of the stories and songs Fred performed. Since then I've tried to see him when he comes to town. It has been a few years but he is booked on Delbert's Blues Cruise which leaves from port of Tampa today. I have tried for years to get a cabin on that cruise too. I guess you have to know someone who knows someone. This is the last year of the cruise too. (Another fav of mine, PTB is on that cruise. Why didn't HE book a Tampa show???)
Anyhoo, Friday Fred was at Ace's in Bradenton and I convinced Scott and Liz to venture south with me. It was another great show (except for the bad mics) and kind of a 'greatest hits' night. The Ginn Sisters were with him singing back up and they are wonderful as well.

The New Yorker magazine said it best: “If you’re missing Fred Eaglesmith, you’re really missing out.” An award-winning and acclaimed music auteur of the highest order, he has forged a singular and distinctive legacy with his songs, recordings, live performances, achievements and impact unlike that of anyone else in contemporary music. And done so as a fiercely independent and original artist through the sheer power of the music he creates.

His 17 albums over the last three decades — many of them released on his own label — have consistently evoked critical raves, and he’s been compared to a broad blue-ribbon list of musical icons. His fellow songwriters regularly record his songs and sing his praises. He hosts a number of music festivals across North America, where he plays hundreds of dates a year in addition to touring Europe and Australia. Devoted fans follow him from one show to another to savor what one reviewer calls the “fury and fun” of his concerts. His releases consistently hit the upper reaches of the Americana charts, and he’s the only Canadian to ever write a No. 1 bluegrass hit. His songs have even become part of the course curriculum at two colleges, and the paintings he creates when not making music have been shown in numerous prestigious galleries.

Eaglesmith comes by his exceptional musicality and lyrical command naturally and honestly, through dedication to his craft and delivery and building his following from the grassroots upwards ever since he left the family farm at age 15 to become an itinerant budding troubadour. His life story could in fact be the subject of one of his songs, which is one reason why Eaglesmith has such a deft touch for finding the literary significance within the lives of seemingly common people and rendering their tales, thoughts and feelings with profound humanity and sensitivity alongside a knack for creating a contextual sense of time and place that resonates with reality.

In live performance, Eaglesmith and his band “rock like punks on a mission.” and deliver “a truly timeless brand of primitive rock’n’roll [that is] exactly like the sort of music you dream of hearing in some crowded, hot, beery bar near closing time,” observes in reviews of his live albums. Onstage he is also a sharp between song raconteur whose tales and observations are as keen and compelling as his songs and frequently as hilarious as the best stand-up comedians. For many years running, he has hosted the annual Roots on the River festival in Vermont, the Fred Eaglesmith Texas Weekend at Gruene Hall (the mother church of the Lone Star State music scene) and two more yearly festivals in Canada. His youthful travels hopping freight trains inspired the Roots on the Rails rolling music festivals, for which he currently hosts two annual rail trips that ride everywhere from scenic and historic narrow gauge lines in the American West to, this last year, into the Canadian arctic.


AND... HE LIKES TRAINS! :) How can you NOT love someone who likes trains??

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful....

Frost on the roof... on the grass... covering my gardens...

Just one of many casualties.... poor lizards... guess this one crawled on the deck hoping to find a little warmth.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Global Warming?

27 degrees here this morning. Even colder just a few miles north of Tampa. No key limes again this year from my tree.
Poor birds. The bird bath is frozen. Should I buy one of those heater thingys for the water to keep it warm?
I think it is time to move to another weather zone. I LOVE Tampa but I don't like these freezes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Elsie and Maggie make their own cookies!

No, Elsie and Maggie didn't REALLY make their own treats. But they were always there helping Liz and me, licking the floor, cleaning the crumbs, etc.

Recipes used:
Cheese, please!
1 1/2 cup oat flour (grind regular oats into flour! Thanks Magic Bullet!)
1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
2/3 cup water

Mix all ingredients thoroughly until a dough forms. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface (I used the rice flour to roll). Cut shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet. They can be close together because they don't spread. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Shelley's notes: I doubled this recipe. Liz rolled and cut while I just made little balls and hotdog shaped treats.

Recipe 2
Peanut Butter Carob Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cup oat flour
1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup carob chips
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter - unsalted if you can find it
2/3 cup water

Combine first five ingredients and mix until dough forms. Mix in the carob chips (I did this part by hand since the dough was so thick). Roll into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 18-22 minutes.

Freeze or refrigerate.

Shelley's Notes: Recipe doubled. I also didn't use as many carob chips - I used about 1/2 the bag so I have enough to make another batch someday. Also, cookie 'rounds' were made by shaping the dough with my hands into circles about the size of a half-dollar along with the bite-sized balls. Well, bite sized for Maggie, Dice, Bailey, Sookie, and Dexter.

One more note. Elsie is not usually allowed on the kitchen counter. Thanks Aunt Liz for letting Elsie break the rules today.

These recipes made PLENTY of treats to divide between all paws. We have decided to not buy dog treats again. These were easy to make and now I know what the paws are consuming. No preservatives, no weird ingredients, and they smell so good!

Elsie and the giant rawhide

When Elsie has company she always gets to sample new food and try new things. I don't think she's ever chewed on a rawhide bone this size. She worked on it for a few minutes and then went back to bed.

Bedtime with the paws

Maggie sleeps on top of the covers and Elsie underneath. Daisy the cat sleeps on the absolute corner/edge of the bed so she can make a quick escape if needed.

Good morning! Bedtime is Playtime when Elsie is involved.

Maggie looking at herself in the mirror.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Breakfast with Maggie and Elsie

I put down two bowls of food. Elsie's in her usual pink princess bowl. Maggie's in the large silver bowl. Almost immediately the girls switched.
After Maggie licked the pink bowl clean, she moved to her bowl and then they were sharing.

Maggie spends the weekend with Elsie and Daisy

Maggie's mom is in Miami this weekend. This looks innocent enough. Two dogs getting to know each other.
Yeah, happy, sweet, little Elsie.... until you look a little closer at the pic. Kujo Elsie!
These were taken soon after Maggie arrived. Since then we've all watched movies and napped together on the couch.
I'm not certain the video at the end of this post works so here is a link to it on You Tube:

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Last night we had a party of 11 to add to the 400 or so (maybe more? i don't know how many tickets were sold) in attendance at Skipper's Smokehouse. WMNF hosted this NYE party details:
WMNF Tribute to 1979 celebrating WMNF’s 30 years and a great year in music, 1979. Top Florida bands:
Ricky Wilcox and the Moonsnakes as Graham Parker and the Rumour
Urbane Cowboys as Joe Jackson (WHAT??? I totally missed this because I was waiting in the bar for my food. DANG IT~)
Talk To Mark as The Cars
Scott Elliott w/Talk To Mark as The Talking Heads
Captain Obvious and the Duh! Patrol as AC/DC (Freight Train Annie ROCKED the house. Videos are posted on You Tube... My friend Mike on guitar!)
Johnny Zoom Cheerlead Squad as Elvis Costello and the Attractions (Tie wasn't skinny enough but he pulled it off. Gotta love Elvis Costello)
Sons of Hippies as Blondie
Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets as Supertramp (Thank goodness Donald Downer wasn't there last night)
Will Quinlan and The Diviners as Neil Young (What a great voice. I need to get to a WQ and Diviners show SOON)
Ted Lukas and the Misled as Tom Petty (They could have played the entire Refugee album and I wouldn't have minded)
DJ CenFlo and Ryan Bauer as The Sugarhill Gang (these guys were incredible too. how in the heck do they crank out that rap without taking a breath??)
Palantine as The Clash
Barely Pink as Cheap Trick (something about the hair distracted me thru this set but they were entertaining as always and had the crowd jumping. literally. dude in front of me nearly smashed me a few times)
Jeremy Gloff as Stevie Nicks + the midnight countdown (black dress, lace shawl, blonde wig, top hat. HE had it all!)
Vodkanauts played some 1979's singles + a disco mini-medley (by this time I was ready to head home even the V's are a fun band to watch - and they get the crowd dancing which is always fun to observe as well... )

At midnight, instead of the crystal ball.... Skipper's drops the MULLET and we all cheer. Bunch of dang drunks! Yeah, that's the stuffed mullet hanging above our heads. The pic doesn't do it justice.
Not me last night! I had 1/2 glass of wine and then switched to water.