Best Breakfast

Some of the best memories I have of my children are from when I was a single mom and struggling financially.  That’s because when you don’t have much money, you have to get creative in order to make $1.00 buy what normally would take $2.00 to get.  One way I used to save money was to use the ends of loaves of bread to make breadcrumbs.  The kids refused to eat the ends on a sandwich, and I wasn’t very crazy about them myself, so I used to set them on a cookie sheet in the oven and let them dry out.  Once dry, I’d crumble them, add seasoning, and I never had to buy breadcrumbs.   And, I didn’t waste those two perfectly good pieces of bread.  Now if it were homemade bread from my mom’s table, we would have fought over who got to eat those ends, but this was plain white sliced bread from the grocery store.  So, what does this have to do with the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten?  Let me tell you…

One of the best gifts I ever received from both my children was on Mother’s Day morning in 1993; my first Mother’s Day as a single mother.  It was breakfast in bed.  My daughter was 9 years old and my son was six.  In retrospect, my mind remembers my children as being much younger than nine and six, but still…they were pretty young. On their own, my two young children prepared and served me breakfast in bed.

I didn’t hear them that morning  as I slept soundly.  I awoke to their soft whispers of “Mom…wake up.  Happy Mother’s Day!”

As I opened my eyes, there stood my two beautiful bare-footed and sandy-haired babies in their pajamas holding a tray containing the breakfast they made for me.  On the cookie sheet that doubled as a serving tray, there was a cup of hot black (lukewarm and light brown) coffee, toast (bread that had been sitting on a cookie sheet drying out so I could make breadcrumbs) with butter and jelly, a bowl of instant oatmeal (made with a little too much water), and juice.  Everything “looked” delicious!  I made sure I ate every bite!  In addition, with each bite I told my children how much I love them. I also made sure I mentioned that this breakfast was the most delicious breakfast I had ever had.

That breakfast was 21 years ago.  Today my babies aren’t babies any more.  My daughter is 30 years old and my son will soon be 28.  We’ve celebrated many other Mother’s Day breakfasts together at some very fancy places, and I cherish those times.  I cherish any time I get to spend with my children. But, no coffee has ever tasted richer, no bread ever sweeter than that Mother’s Day breakfast in bed!

Today’s card is one I made using the leftovers from my Perpetual Birthday Calendar kit.

Perpetual Birthday Calendar Note CardAgain, this is a 3-1/2″ x 5″ notecard, but it can be easily turned into a regular size card.  Hope you enjoyed your visit today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!


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Getting Off A High Horse

Last weekend, my husband and I along with friends visited Estes Park, Colorado. Estes Park is the home of the headquarters for Rocky Mountain National Park.  I would have to say that Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are two of my most favorite places to visit in Colorado.  The town has a population of about 6,000 and it is a popular place for visitors during the summer.  It is probably popular because of the park, which is a great place to camp and admire nature.  I have been there many times to do both.   Although we did not camp this time, we did visit Bear Lake in the park. In addition, we strolled along main street and visited many of the specialty shops Estes Park has to offer.  We also planned a little horseback riding expedition on Sunday morning.  We had an excellent dinner Saturday evening at Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Taphouse with our friends.

Sunday morning, as we were waiting for everyone in the group to arrive at the ranch where we planned on riding, I happened to mention to the woman in charge of the event that I was always a little nervous when I rode a horse. To be honest, horses frighten me.  They are bigger and stronger than I am, and what frightens me is that I might lose control of the horse.   I told her that I had ridden several times before. I mentioned I always felt a little frightened of the horses. As a matter of fact, one of the times I went horseback riding when I was younger, it was at night and my horse got a little frightened by something and took off running, or galloping and I was knocked off the horse when it ran under a tree and I was struck by a low hanging branch.  I told her I was not hurt, but I was frightened to death.  Just as an aside, in my life whenever I have enjoyed doing things, it seems something has always happened to take just a little bit of the joy out of it.  Falling off that horse took some of the joy out of riding.  I know when you fall off you are supposed to get right back on, and I did.  Nevertheless, it still scares the bejesus out of me.  As I was showering that morning I was wondering why I agreed to horseback riding this weekend in the first place.

While conversing with this woman, the wranglers start bringing the horses to the corral. I comment on one of the horses being pretty and she says, “That’s Pearl.  She has been with us about 20 years.”  I could see over Pearl.  She was light chocolate-brown in color and petite and about four hands tall. That would be 4 feet in regular language because one hand is equal to four inches. One measures a horse’s height from the ground to the top of its shoulder. I said, “That’s what I need.  A horse that’s small, and old, and slow…just like me!”  We had a good laugh together.   I am 5 feet tall and you could say…older.  J  Notice I did not say old.  Ninety is old, and I have a way to go before I am 90!

Finally, the wrangler in charge of our party starts assigning horses. He mentions we needed to remember our horse’s name because that would be the one we would be riding.  My friend Karen, about my height, gets a horse first.  The wrangler says, “Karen, you will be riding Pearl.”

“Okay,” I am thinking, “I am cool with that. There are other small horses.”

Everyone has a horse when he finally looks at my husband and me. If you know my husband, you know he has a slight physical handicap, but nothing that keeps him from being active. It does make it difficult for him do some things, but it does not stop him from trying.  My husband is about 5’10” and he gets Dillon, a big horse.  My husband and I exchange quick glances.

The head wrangler looks as me and says, “Ma’am, you will be riding Oleo.”

“Okay.” All the smaller horses assigned, I ask, “Which one is Oleo?”  .

“This is Oleo, Ma’am,” says another wrangler. “He is my horse.”  I could tell by the way he said, “He is my horse” that this man truly loved this creature.”  I almost felt guilty for having to ride him.  Who was I to come between a man and his horse?

I look at Oleo who is a beautiful golden brown color and bigger than a house! My husband says teasingly, “Oh, Josie. Oleo?  Smooth like butter.  You are going to slide off!”

“Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, sweetie.” He knew I was a little nervous because I had told him so earlier.

Oleo stood about 17.75 hands tall. That is taller than I am! I mentioned earlier that I am only 15 hands tall (60” or 5’).   I am not exaggerating when I say I COULD NOT see over Oleo!

The wrangler asks, “Can you put your left foot into the stirrup, and I will help you mount?”

Seriously? I respond, “Ahhhh, No!” I have not been able to elevate my leg so my foot would be even with my head since I taught aerobics when I was in my 30’s.  Even then, I was not able to do that without any kind of trouble.  I have never really been THAT flexible.

He says, “Let’s go over to the steps then.”

HELLO! I am assessing the situation to myself, “If I have to climb a stepladder to get onto this mount, then that is a horse of a different color!”

I climb to the top step, and I mention to the wrangler that I am a little scared and concerned. He says, “Don’t be scared, Ma’am. If you are scared, Oleo will sense it, and he will think he has reason to be scared.”

Well, that reassured me. NOT! No matter how much I tried, I now was even more anxious.  I had visions of this horse being petrified  of me and doing menacing things as I rode him. I put my left foot into the stirrup, grabbed onto the saddle with both hands, and heaved myself up whirling my right leg around back to the other side.

“You’re kidding, right? “ Oleo’s back was about as wide as the Grand Canyon. It smarted to sit with my legs spanning such a wide expanse.

“You know what? I think I am not going to do this,” I said to the wrangler.  “My feet don’t even reach the stirrups.”

“We can adjust them, Ma’am. It’s gonna be just fine. Oleo is a good horse.”

“I’m sure he is.” I know I offended him, but I insisted, “No, that’s okay…I don’t really have to do this. My gut tells me not to do this today.  It’s not as if I have never ridden before.” And I am thinking to myself, “Not no how! Not no way! This ain’t happenin’ today!”

I have learned to follow my gut. Had I learned to do so earlier in life, it would have saved me a great deal of trouble.

Getting off a high horse is just as difficult as getting on it.

Another Christmas card is posted here.  It is a simple one.  Sometimes the simpler the better as far as I am concerned. In other words, less is more.

Cut Out Festival of Trees

When I made this card, I punched the tree image out of the white card stock before I ran it through the Texture Boutique Machine.   I then stamped the tree image on another smaller piece of Whisper White card stock and lined it up with the cut out.  I then adhered it to the card base.  I used Stampin’ Dimensionals to adhere the embossed card stock  to the Garden Green base.

Hope you enjoyed your visit here today.  Thanks for stopping by.   Until next time…

Happy Stamping!







Not a Diplomat

I am not always diplomatic.

Most people that don’t KNOW me probably think I am a WITCH with a capital “B”.  The people that do know me will tell you that sometimes I can be. Just ask my husband.  What woman isn’t when she feels she has been treated unjustly or wronged in some way? I am sure the people that don’t know me well think I am this way because I have a tendency to be aloof until I begin to feel comfortable around whomever I am associating at the time. That’s a fault I have. However, the people who do know me will tell you that I am a kind person. I am a good person. I am a generous person. I am a moral person. I can also be funny. But, I am not always diplomatic.

I have more faults than one person deserves! Another of my faults is that I bottle the feelings I have until I cannot hold them in any longer, and then I explode like an ugly vomit that just will not stop. I will tell it like it is, and I can be less than diplomatic when I am telling it. Nevertheless, I believe I HAVE gotten better as I have grown older. I have strived to become more like my mother and father as I’ve aged. My father never said much, but when he did, he always hit the nail right on the head and said exactly how things were. He spoke the truth, no matter how hard it was to hear for the person that was hearing it. He could on occasion be tactless. That’s where I get it. My mother has always been the opposite. She has always been able to “keep her mouth shut”, but speaks up when something needs to be said. So, she was just like my father; although, she always had more sensitivity in how she comes across to the other person.

I used to feel bad when I would speak my mind. Even if I was tactful in the speaking, I would feel bad. I felt bad because I was afraid it would make the people to whom I was speaking my mind feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. The truth hurts, you know. I know, because I have been hurt by it on many occasions. Now, at my age…I do not feel bad anymore for speaking my mind, because there is nothing wrong with telling people how you are feeling or have felt. I still do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I strive to be diplomatic. However, sometimes I just am not! L In addition, I have realized that if what I am saying makes another feel bad, that is THEIR problem. Do not get me wrong, I would never INTENTIONALLY be mean to someone. Perhaps that was why other’s perception of me has always mattered. I do not want others to think I am a big meany head! That is not who I am. If a person thinks I am a bad person for speaking my mind, I have learned, that is also THEIR problem. If I don’t stand up for me, who will? I will even speak my mind when the “standing up” will not benefit me. We should all “stand up” when necessary because our “standing up” might make it better for someone else. And, if my lack of diplomacy makes a person feel bad, I am sorry for that! That’s my “bad”!

Now you know that I can sometimes be less than diplomatic.

I know I haven’t imparted any new pearls of wisdom here. You have to admit, though, I had to write about something. If you can think of a topic, I am always open to suggestions. .

Oh, and I can be sarcastic too…but that’s another blog entry.

Here’s today’s project.

Starburst Thank You-1

Starburst Thank You-2

A word about the card.  I made it by cutting the star bursts out of the white card stock and placing a piece of  the designer series paper underneath the white.  I attached the dsp flat onto the card base and used dimensionals to pop up the white piece.  The vellum piece is stuck on flat, and glue dots are used to attach everything else.

I hope you enjoyed your visit here today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!



I’ll NEVER Do THAT Again!

I would say I am an adventurous person.  I like to try daring things every once in a while.  But once I try them and see what they’re  like, the chances of me “doing it again” are slim to none.  I lived in Colorado for twenty years before I got up the courage to go white water rafting.  You see for me to do something daring or adventurous, I have to work on “getting up the courage.”  When I was in my twenties I  would just do things without thinking, but as I’ve grown older I’ve grown a little more cautious.  Or maybe I should say “smarter”?

I finally went white water rafting about five years ago when my nephew and his wife came out to Colorado for my daughter’s wedding.  Their two young girls were flower girls in the wedding, so they decided to make their trip to Colorado  their vacation that year.  White water rafting was something they wanted to do.  What is it about people who don’t live in Colorado that makes them think that all we people who DO live in Colorado want to do is white water raft?  Anyway, they wanted to go and asked my husband and I to go with them, so I agreed. My daughter came along as well.  My older sister, my nephew’s mother, well let’s just say she’s older than me so she is a little more cautious.  I won’t say “chicken”.  🙂

We booked a half day trip down the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge with Raft Masters.  It was a guided trip in that we had our own guide on board our raft.  Chicken me wouldn’t go any other way!  Did I just call myself a chicken?  I was going on this trip!

The Royal Gorge is known as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River.  It is located near Canyon City, Colorado and measures about 50′ wide at the bottom and a couple hundred feet  across at the top.  Its sheer rock walls climb approximately 1200 feet from the river to the  top. While sitting on a raft at the bottom of the gorge, a feeling of  insignificance over took me as I looked up at the Royal Gorge Bridge. Built in 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge is the world’s highest suspension bridge at 955 feet high and 939 feet long.  This part of Colorado is a major tourist attraction and a sight to behold!

Anyway, back to the rafting trip.  First thing we had to do was slip into a wet suit.  Well this was a first for me.  And slipping into a wet suit sounds easier than it actually is.   I found it nearly impossible to get into as it was wet, cold, skin-tight, and smelled like bleach.  It had been sanitized after the last person used it.  My daughter had to help me pull it up, and I had to do the same for her.  I hadn’t needed help pulling up my pants in years!  Wet suit finally on, next was a jacket, life jacket, helmet, boots…why was I doing this again?  Oh yea, now I remember…a moment of insanity when I didn’t want to disappoint my nephew.  Gee I am a good Aunt!  I hope he realizes it.

We took brief bus ride to the spot where we would be putting our rafts into the river.  During the ride we were given what I would assume was the standard safety briefing.  We were told what to do if we fell overboard.  Huh?  You mean I could… I looked at my husband with tear in my eyes and said very softly, “Gary…I don’t want to do this.”  He looked at me and said, “Oh, come on Jos…yes you do.  Besides we already spent all that money for this.  I bet we won’t get it back if you don’t go.”

We arrived at our destination and got off the bus.  I cried, “I don’t want to go!  I am scared!  Do I have to?”  Everyone in my party reassured me that yes, indeed, I was going.  “As a matter of fact,” our   guide said, ” you can  get into this raft right here.” As I climbed in I searched for a place to hold on.    Imagine my surprise when I learned there are no hand holds in a white water raft!  The raft’s occupants hold themselves in place by jamming their feet under the sides and seats of the raft. Hands need to be free for gripping the oars.  AND, the guide told me,  if you are rowing, then you don’t even sit IN the raft, you sit on the EDGE of the raft.   Well there was no question about it, I was not going to row.  I was not going to sit on the edge of the raft.  I was sitting in the middle in the back.  “And you see this rope here?”  I said to the guide.  “This is what I am holding on to.  I  hope that’s okay, because that’s what I am going to do.”  My nephew and niece sat in the front of the raft, my husband and daughter sat on either side of me behind them.  Behind us sat the guide.

Water was extra high that day because we’d had a lot of rain and there was a lot of run off from the mountains..  We encountered class III and IV rapids that day.  In one word, the adventure was AWESOME!  No one fell overboard; although, we had a close call.  My daughter just about went in almost taking me with her.  As she began to fall, she put her arm around my neck.  Motherly instincts set in and I let go of the rope to grab for her. It was an excellent time.  The build up to the trip was more fearful than the trip.  But I will tell you what….. I will NEVER do THAT again!

Here is my card for today.  It is CASEd from the Annual Catalog.  Then there are a few photos from our rafting trip.

Perfect Pennants

Hope you enjoyed your visit here.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!