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Frozen Fever has Arrived!
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

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Judy G.
I was raised in South Florida back in the years when it was a peaceful and wonderfully safe place to live. We lived a mile from the beach and could ride our bikes over the intercoastal bridge right to the best beach around. All my years of growing up I was a competitive swimmer and belonged to AAU. I granduated from Florida State University with a BS degree in nursing. I am recently retired but I'm thinking of going back to work to support my hobbies.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I found this video on Pinterest, and since I and everyone I know are Tennessee Vols, Peyton Manning will always be our favorite alum. Hope you can see the video. It's narrated by his brother Eli Manning.

Sunday, April 3, 2016


I know this looks like something from Transformers, but at least I can walk with it on.  It's pretty heavy, but it's an air cast so I can pump it up to make it quite supportive while I walk.  I can also take it off at night while I'm in bed.  I'll tell you, this is a much slower recovery than my knee surgery.  I think within the next week I'll be able to venture into my craft room, which I haven't been into in almost 2 months.  Maybe then I can go to work on an album I've been planning to make.

Also, thanks to Internet sales on my Close To My Heart website, I have been able to make my quarterly minimums with no problem.  And in the month of April, new consultants can join for only $75.  Now that is a real deal!  In May the new Summer Expressions catalog comes out with all new summertime stamps.  If you're a stamper or a scrap booker, don't miss out on all these great products. Also, please visit my website at:
Love to all,  Judy

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Aha!  I have figured out what the problems with my photos have been.  I didn't have Picasa enabled to have access to my photos.  Now I can post the pictures of my new album I just made.  I went crazy and added some of the pages twice.  Actually,  the book ends with Happilyn Ever After.  Enjoy!


The time has passed slowly, but I have managed to get some creativity going in order to finish one of my mini- albums that was commissioned for a little baby boy named Benjamin Joseph.  It turned out pretty good, and the parents loved it, so I'm happy with that.  I also managed to get 5 Easter cards done to send off to my brother in Florida and our 4 grandchildren.  I haven't been able to get my wheelchair into my craft room ( for reasons all crafters know.  LOL!), so I have my basic supplies stacked up right beside my recliner.  You ought to see my husband trying to find my craft items for me in my craft room!  He's like a bull in a China shop.  I'm having trouble posting pictures on my blog from my iPad Air.  I don't know if that's a common problem with other Air users, but it sure is frustrating to me!

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Have you ever gone on a vacation that you had bad feelings about before you left and knew you should never have gone on by the time you got home?  Well, this happened to me this month.  For a number of months my husband and I had been planning on going to see a good friend of his, who is now an ex- patriot living the cheap life in Panama.  He kept telling us that the country of Panama is just like Florida, only better.  Temps are in the moderate zone, except when you're down in the city, where it's often 100 degrees.  So, on February 8th, we flew into the 3rd world country of Panama, arriving at about 9:30 EST.  Panama is the same time zone as EST in the US.  When we left Tennessee, it was a comfortable 40 degrees or so, and when we arrived in Panama and finally got through customs, it was a balmy and humid 75 degrees, but a little rainy.  We had to drive an hour up into the mountains right outside of Panama City on the bumpiest, pot-hole filled roads I have ever been on.  By the time we got to the area where our friend and his wife lived, the temperature was in the lower 60's and very windy.  I'm talking about 30 mph windy!  We went to bed that night and woke up the next morning to a beautiful day, still very windy.   Our hostess had fixed a lovely breakfast with sausage, waffles (frozen), and lots of fresh fruit.  We spent most of the day just relaxing on their porch and enjoying the gorgeous birds that they feed with bananas 3x daily.  There were even a group of monkeys that came in down to eat too.  This, to me, was thoroughly enjoyable, and, hopefully I got some good pictures.  I haven't had a chance to get them developed yet.
The next day we went down into Panama City itself and to see the Panama Canal.  So it was 1 1/2 hrs. back down those mountains over the bumpy roads.  And this trip was where I first got my good look at the ugly parts of Panama.  There were slums, old thrown-together shacks, starving dogs, and garbage everywhere.  I asked why there were so few cats, and was told that the Chinese people down there eat them.  So, I realized that in the mountainous areas, where foreigners tend to settle, you don't really see the real Panama, and what I saw was just plain disgraceful!  Poverty is still everywhere, and all the fancy high-rises the country is putting up to attract rich Americans can't hide the truth.
But enough of that.  You get the picture.  We paid a guide to give us a walking tour of the city, and it was quite educational.  I did not know that it was originally the French who started to build the Panama Canal.  They settled the area, and most of the architecture in the old city is obviously of French influence and many of the narrow streets and balconies really reminded me of New Orleans.  These restored apartments in the city are selling for big bucks to the rich and famous.

Of course the U S eventually took over the building of the Canal and ran it according to their treaty with Panama until it was finally turned completely back to Panama some years ago.  We did take a tour of the canal and watched some boats go through - very interesting.  It was about 95 degrees down in the city, and we were glad to go back up the bumpy road to the mountain.  The winds continued, and the next day we stayed around the house and just enjoyed watching the birds, monkeys , and an Olingo, which is some sort of nocturnal tree dweller.  There was even an evening of tea and wine get together for the ladies who lived close by to come and meet me.  Of course the husbands came too, but they gathered in a separate area of the porch.  It was very multi- cultural, both in cuisine and language.  All spoke Spanish, but me, and all spoke English but one lady from Syria.
There was much discussion of politics especially from the Syrian lady who had fled her country because she was a political activist.  She cannot go back to Syria now.

As you can tell by this long narrative, so far our adventure was a pleasant one.  Our hosts were wonderful, and they went out of their way to show us a great time.  However, on Friday, February 12th, our lovely vacation came to a sudden end.  That day about ten of us were going to go on an Indian dugout canoe ride down the river to the native Emberra Indian village, where we were going to be fed and entertained with their native customs.  We drove 2 hours to get to the canoe landing, through horrible roads, bans trees and jungle folate - all interspersed with cobbled together houses covered with leaky tin roofs.

We were given bright orange Mae West life jackets to put on.  Mine was so much up in my face that I couldn't see my feet or tell where I was stepping.  I went to step into this big canoe, not realizing that I was stepping onto the slippery, slanted part of the bow of the boat, and down I went with the speed of light!  It happened so fast that I was down on my back with my right leg folded under me before I even blinked.  I was so concerned that I had done drastic harm to my new (R) knee that I had just gotten a little over a year ago, that I didn't notice that I had broken my ankle until the people tried to get me up.  It was then that I noticed my right foot was flopped one way, while my leg was pointing in the other direction.  My knee was fine, but I had broken both the fibula and tibia of my right leg right at the ankle bone.  We splinted the ankle with my Mae West life jacket and it's straps, and we then undertook the 2 hour drive back to Panama City and the San Francisco Hospital ER ( not
 in California).  We had no ID and no passports, as we had left them back up the mountain, but somehow our hostess, who was fluent in Spanish, managed to convince them to let us in for treatment.  After X-rays, I found out that I would need surgery.  No surgery in a 3rd world country for me!   By the next morning our vacation had abruptly ended, and we were headed back to the US.

Thanks to Delta Airlines, wheelchairs were available to me at all times (except in restrooms) and an employee assisted us in expediting going through customs, etc.  It felt so good to get home finally on Sunday, Feb. 14th!  Unfortunately, because of the swelling, I didn't have surgery until Thursday, Feb. 19th, but at least I'm home.  I will be in a non-weight bearing cast for over 6 more weeks, and then I will be in a walking cast for 4 weeks after that.  Then probably rehab. This has been worse that my knee replacement in 2014, because now I am confined to a wheelchair.  Crutches and I don't get along.  So there you have it.  That's my sad story.  My advise is - visit Panama if you must.  But don't move there.  T's cheaper, but it is definitely NOT Paradise.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Since February is the time to send a lot of Valentine Cards, I decided to challenge myself to see how many cards I could make out of a 6 x 6 pack of 2-sided card stock.  I chose a Doodlebug pack that was mostly Valentine themed and spent the majority of one day making simple A2 size cards for Valentine's Day, Birthdays, and general Hi themes.  The following pictures are what I managed to make and the scraps that were left when I had finished.  I started out using some card sketches, but when I got down to the end, I didn't have very large pieces, so I had to start improvising.  In all, I ended up with 21 decent looking cards, which I have already started using.  I left the insides blank, so I could stamp on them whatever the situation required.  I love the look of the black matting, as it really sets the individual pieces up.  Feel free to let me know what you think.

Monday, November 30, 2015


This past Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent.   We had just finished eating our Thanksgiving left-overs, and all of a sudden, a new time of year ha begun.  At our church we have an Advent candle with 4 smaller purple candles in a circle around it, and each week a family lights one of the purple candles at the front of the church, and talks about the Christmas traditions of their family.  The first candle is the candle of "Hope".  The hope that comes at this time of year is a message that dispels our fears, and this world has been a rather scarey place lately.  The things that have happened lately are beyond my comprehension.  So, instead of trying to make sense of it all, I will simply let the spirit of this Season of Advent soothe me and say to myself:
             All shall be well,
             And all shall be well,
             And all manner of things shall be well.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


I wanted to make of video of Close To My Heart's November special deal. I just got mine,and I love the products. Enjoy the video and be inspired?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


For the past month I have been totally immersed in a local play that we just finished with this past Sunday, Nov. 6th.  It was called "Let It Shine", and was the 5th installment of yearly plays about out town written by Mike Everett, who was born and raised here in Maryville, TN, and very fondly remembers how things were in the good old days, when this was just a little county town filled with crazy country people.  I didn't have a speaking part because I was off on a scrap booking retreat, but Mike kindly cast me as a member of the choir of the Maryville Holy Roller Missionary Baptist Church.  That's a mouthful, isn't it?  The play was basically a musical - filled with lots of good old gospel songs, some sang off-key, which was all part of the laughs.  Anyway, it totally took over my life for the past month, and after the 6 performances were over, I was exhausted and hoarse!  I'm glad I can get life back to normal, but I made a lot of new friends, and I am definitely going to do it again next year!  Here are a couple of the pictures my sister took after the play.  The time period was 1963.  Enjoy.
This is me with David Harris, who played a man dressed as a woman.  He was hysterical.
This is just me in my outfit (without hat)
This is a lovely young woman, Bethany Rose, who sang in a quartet with me.
The lady in the wig was a friend I had done other plays with.  Her wig was great, and she was the main character.
This guy played Clyde, the vacuum cleaner salesman.
(L) Mike Everett, playwrite, then "Minnie", 88 year old tapdancer, 2nd from right, David Dwyer, professional actor and director.
David Harris (r) and my sweet husband, Norm
A GREAT photo bomb!

So, as you can see, a great time was had by all.  Will up-date on more happenings later.  Bye.