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So Here’s How It’s Supposed To Work…

So, you know I’m infatuated with my new journal project.

And you know I’m trying to go back and catch it up from the first of the year.

And you know that I’m working on it almost daily.

Well, in a perfect world, each day would get done at the end of the day, but it hasn’t been a perfect world.

HOWEVER, it ALMOST happened. Just missed by a day.

Yesterday I took the darlings to the Jelly Belly Factory. I took photos and brought home a hat and some stickers to use as embellishments. But by the time evening rolled around I was just too beat to get the day documented.

So I did it today! Yay! Just got out my Selphy printer, printed up the photos and got it done!

Plus I even worked backwards and made a bit more progress toward catching up.

On another note, I was a very bad girl and bought a bunch more washi tape (it is PERFECT for this project!) and ordered (and received) 3 more little suitcases from Queen and Co. for storing it. It’s more storage than I need for now, but I’m afraid they won’t be around forever (in fact, I couldn’t find them on Queen’s site and had to order from Amazon!) That brings me to 10 little suitcases, and I’m going to try VERY hard to live within that space.

For you washi freaks, Tim Holtz just did a release of  4 (at least) tubes of awesome tape that is right up my creative alley. I ADORE it. And yes, I bought all 4. And had there been 10, I would have bought all 10. I am THAT crazy.


The Journal is Actually Happening!

I’m happy to report that my super duper deluxe journal project is actually a real thing!

I’ve been spending time working on the dates and making notes for “catch up” pages, even dabbled a little with a few pages, but until a few days ago, I hadn’t actually completed one.


Part of the problem was figuring out how to do photos for it, or even if I SHOULD. Regular 4×6 photos are okay if you only have one or two for a day, but for this format, smaller photos are more practical, and if you’re having them printed, 2x3s come on a sheet of four and are significantly more expensive than 4x6s. And then, do you even need photos for a journal? But with this large format, I was thinking yes.

Awhile back (like maybe YEARS) I got a Canon Selphy photo printer. I played with it a little bit, but never did really use it. I decided to pull it out and relearn to use it for this project, but hadn’t taken the time to do it. Until today. I had a day with no kids, and no MAJOR projects I needed to take care of, so I went for it.

I made a few mistakes along the way, wasting both ink and photo paper, but I’ve got a pretty good handle on it now. Hopefully, I’ll continue, and it will be less time consuming not having to “re-learn” every time I get it out!

And, ta-da! An actual completed page!

And another one!

And another one! Woohoo! I’m on a roll!

And yet another one!

Well, ALMOST finished! Still needs a little work down there in the right hand bottom corner!

Now my next issue (and there’s ALWAYS an issue with me, isn’t there?) is that there does not seem to be a way to print from my computer, just my phone. And if the desired photo is not on the phone there seems to be no easy way to get it there. In my “free time” (Bwahahahahahahaha!) I’ll keep researching.

LISTEN UP APPLE! If you want to add something amazing to the iPhone 8, add that capability!!!

So. I’m not taking a victory lap just yet. A few completed pages do not a 365 day journal make. But, I’m working on it, making progress, working out bugs, and over-coming difficulties without giving up. For me, that’s HUGE.




Hannah’s Big Adventure (part two)

When we were planning the trip we put a lot of thought into whether to fly coach or business class on the long leg of the trip. Domestically we almost always fly a bargain carrier. But when we fly long distances, we almost always fly business class so we have the opportunity to rest and not lose time when we reach our destination. We are cranky travelers, and the times we’ve flown coach, we’ve lost a day or two of our trip recovering. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Heeheehee!) But Mr. Tattered was concerned about totally spoiling the child. She said, “But, Da, if we fly business class I will get a taste of what I can have if I work hard in school and get a good job!” How can you argue with THAT kind of logic?

So business class it was. She took to it like a duck to water!

We woke up just in time to land in Quito, Ecuador.

Da had booked a tour guide to show us the highlights of the city. We had a great day going on the tram to the top of the mountain,

followed by a drive around the area, a stop at his favorite place to get empanadas and ice cream, to the crater of **** volcano

and to the museum at the equator. All along the way our guide told little stories about the city, educated us about the flora and fauna, and taught us a little Spanish.



We crammed a lot into one day!

The next morning we hit the airport again to head to Baltra and the beginning of our Galapagos adventure.

As you’ll remember, Mr. Tattered and I had been to the Galapagos before. But most of the stops on this trip were not duplicates, so we were looking forward, not only to seeing the islands through Hannah’s eyes, but to seeing some new things ourselves.

Day one was spent getting moved into our new digs, our home away from home for the next six days, on the “Silver Galapagos,”

familiarizing ourselves with the ship, attending a safety briefing, and learning the ropes of the buffet. (Which I might mention, was pretty impressive for a small ship.) Where our first trip to the Galapagos was pretty primitive, this was quite a bit more luxurious. I felt a tad bit guilty about enjoying the luxury, but what can I say? Mr. Tattered didn’t want to “rough it” again, and who am I to question his judgement? Heeheehee! We were off to a good start.

The section of the Galapagos we were about to see is called the North Central area, and encompasses the islands of Genovessa, Seymour Norte, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Española, and San Cristóbal.

I have spent many hours whittling down photos from about 3,000 to just over 700. I’ll save the ones that didn’t make the cut on the original camera cards, but they just can’t be on the computer or in scrapbooks. Before I print them, I’ll attempt to thin them even more. Sometimes when I let a few months go by, it gets a little easier. You would think that once you’ve seen one blue-footed boobie, you’ve seen them all, but each photo captures them just a little differently.

How I’m going to decide which ones to show you is beyond me. So I guess I’ll just jump in and make a selection that tells the story, and we’ll see what happens!

Galapagos 2017


Hannah decked out and ready to explore!


The Zodiac was our mode of travel to and from the ship.

Red-footed Boobies

A species we didn’t see last time and didn’t even know existed!


Nazca Boobies


Our favorite, Blue-footed Boobies

Mating ritual


Photographing the Sally Lightfoot Crabs (love them!)



A Frigate with his wares on display!

One of many beautiful sunsets

Land iguana

Small marine iguana

They like to huddle for warmth.

Photographing is fun because the animals have no fear of humans

Albatross – Hannah got an eyeful of THEIR mating habits!

At the fish market, the critters hang out waiting for scraps!

Swimming with the sea lions!


The sea lions pretty much own the place!

Lots of nursing pups

And, finally, the tortoises


Playing with a shell…

…and her best turtle face!

All too soon, it was time to head back to civilization…

Hope you enjoyed our little tour! If the Galapagos are not on your bucket list, you might want to add it. It is a unique experience, and we’ve just touched on the highpoints – WAAAAAAY more to see!



Hannah’s Big Adventure (part one)

Now that I’ve put a bandaid on my photo issue, it’s time to play catch up.

To try and go back and get COMPLETELY caught up would be almost impossible, but there are a FEW things I feel compelled to share, even after the fact.

So, let’s start with “Hannah’s Big Adventure.”

We decided a number of years ago that when each of the grandkids gets to be 13, we should take them on a grand adventure to anywhere in the world their interests (and parental consent) would be appropriate for them.

Hannah almost immediately jumped on The Galapagos when she saw our photos of all the wonderful iguanas. She had (and still has) a fascination with reptiles, and this was like her perfect trip.

And when she found out we were flying into Orlando to start the trip, she mentioned to her Da (Mr. Tattered) that Universal Studios has a Harry Potter section (her other love!) So of course he got right to figuring out how to make THAT happen, and before long we had added a few extra days to our trip!

At the time it seemed like it was so far away, then we blinked and it was time to leave!

Mama, Daddy and Sissy were sad to see us leave (okay, Mama and Daddy were!)

We arrived at the hotel and Hannah found the gift shop complete with a Hogwart’s robe and wands. Which one to choose was hard, but she finally found the perfect one!

These doodads aren’t cheap, but we figure she doesn’t have much little girl left in her, and if she wants to “make-believe” we’re going for it!

First thing in the morning we were off to the park.



Hannah and I hit the “Dragon Challenge” ride (Da passed!) and then we convinced him to go on “Forbidden Journey” with us. He wasn’t a fan.

A quick ride on the Hogwart’s Express took us to Daigon Alley and the second part of Harry Potter world. Since Da had discovered pretty quickly he’s not a “bumpy ride” guy,  he headed back to the hotel.

Hannah and I were on our own to take wizarding lessons,

sample “butter beer”

and “butter beer ice cream”

and bumpy ride ourselves silly until dinner time. Da discovered a “Yardhouse” fairly close to the hotel, which meant some nice vegetarian selections,  so we went there for dinner. Yay!

The next day we were up and it again. We got in a few Dragon rides and another Forbidden Journey before it was time to meet Da and our guide for a “behind the scenes” VIP tour that included all the major rides in the park and not standing in line ANYWHERE! Hannah was pretty impressed with THAT! We went on all the roller coasters she was a little wary of, only to discover she LOVES roller coasters! Yay! I have a roller coaster buddy! Even Da went on one of them. We were shocked!


We had lunch at an English Pub in Daigon Alley where we sampled the delights of pumpkin juice. I originally ordered pear juice, but I sampled Hannah’s pumpkin juice and immediately wished I had ordered it. The “wizard” overheard us and suggested I trade mine in. I said, “that doesn’t feel right, I already drank out of it. Can you DO that?”  He insisted, saying “What kind of a wizard would I be if I can’t change pear juice into pumpkin juice?” I thought that was a pretty good line! It was like liquid pumpkin pie! Lunch was pretty good for park fare. With full tummies we rejoined our small tour group and continued through the park. Ultimately, Da went back to the hotel for a quick nap while Hannah and I continued running ourselves ragged. I help up pretty well for an old gal!

Then it was back to the Yardhouse for dinner again, returning to the hotel to crash!

Once again Hannah and I were up early to head back to the park for a few more hours of rollercoastering before checking out and heading to Ft. Lauderdale. With all the back and forth we were VERY glad we stayed on the park grounds!

On the way out of town we had one of the best little treats of our young trip as we introduced Hannah to the joys of Waffle House. We hadn’t been there in many, many years and it was just as we remembered…PEEcan waffles – to die for! With a side of hash browns, scattered and smothered!



That evening we met my Uncle Marlin and Aunt MaryLou for dinner at Ole! – our favorite Mexican restaurant in the area. It had been a long, long time since I had seen him, so it was nice to catch up over a good meal. They recently moved from the desert in So. California (and we NEVER got down to see them there!) to Florida. He thought it was pretty funny when I told him we’d probably see him more often in Florida than in SoCal! But it’s true!

We stayed in Ft. Lauderdale that night, then in morning went back to Waffle House (Hannah tried grits this time! Not a fan, so she was glad she’d ordered a waffle, too!) Then it was off to Miami to catch our flight for Ecuador!

We’d ALREADY had a crazy fun vacation, and we weren’t even to the main attraction yet!

Stay tuned for Part 2 – The Galapagos!






Back At It

Yeah, I disappeared again. But this time I have a plausible excuse (or reason…take your pick!)

I have photo issues.

That’s not news, but it has impacted my blogging these days.

Mr. Tattered calls my computer the “world’s most expensive thumb drive.” This is where I store my photos. Needless to say, it is a bone of contention.

My last computer was a Mac Air. I filled it with 20,ooo photos (which, apparently is the point at which the whole system goes tilt.) So, I bought a new Macbook Pro, telling myself I would manage my photos better this time. (Yeah, I tell myself a lot of silly things!) Makes, sense, right? You fill up your computer with photos, so you buy a new computer…

See, I just don’t trust the cloud yet. At least not with important things like my photos. And if I print them all up, I have real world storage problems instead of digital ones (plus it’s a way too disturbing visual of how far behind I am on scrapbooks, and who needs that?) Anyway.

Fast forward 2+ years (or let’s be charitable and say 3,) and I’m approaching capacity again. I did NOT manage them better, but then that doesn’t come as big surprise, does it?

Now what? I’m afraid to load anymore photos on the computer, but I NEED to in order to blog. So, I need to either dump photos off the computer, or buy a new computer. You can imagine I’m not wanting to have THAT conversation.

So, I printed the photos from 2 segments of a vacation in 2014, (to the tune of 3,000 photos give or take,) copied them onto a hard drive, and dumped them off of iPhoto.

Then I was able to copy 2,000 photos off my iPhone (I know! It’s just crazy! Or I’M CRAZY!) including the ones from our recent Galapagos trip, AND this last trip, plus all the every day photos in-between, and have a little wiggle room for more.

I haven’t gone through and thinned them out, which will be even more space, but I have to let a little time pass to be able to jettison them.

So, I think I’m ready to get back at it!


Artistic License

Normally I’m not one to mess with other people’s art.

But sometimes I can’t help myself.

Case in point, the Lori Mitchell figurines I’ve been buying for my grandchildren (well, I’m buying them for me, for now, but with them in mind.)

If you’ll remember I started with the Christmas ones,

and now am basically going to all holidays. If there is a hall tree for the season or holiday, there will be a set of kids to go with it!

Sometimes it’s easier said than done. For example, St. Patrick’s Day. There are plenty of leprechauns, but I needed three girls (or at least I THOUGHT I did when I was doing the ordering for that holiday.) And she only had two.

So, I ordered a 4th of July girl,

and am in the process of turning it into an Irish girl. The original was holding a flag (which I cut off before I photographed it) and I will be replacing it with a shamrock. The star on the dress will also be transformed.

Sorry, Lori, but a Gaga has to do what a Gaga has to do.

So with these three, the set will complete.

I hadn’t yet ordered the Thanksgiving figurines, and Hannah informed me she would rather be a turkey than a girl. SO I’m going with it. Josh will be the pilgrim boy, Bea and Lexi will be the pilgrim girl and an Indian girl (I haven’t decided which will be which yet,) and sweet Hannah will be a turkey. I’m laughing so hard!

Looking back, I’m not sure I showed you any of them other than the Christmas ones, am I right? I think I only had two of the Valentine’s Day kids the last time I wrote about them, and they are safely packed away now, as are the Easter ones. I haven’t yet found any for plain old spring.

These are the 4th of July ones that are on display now (Hannah lucked out and it a firecracker, so she doesn’t have to suffer the indignity of being an obvious girl!)

And I also have summer and Halloween, but I’ll save those to show you later.

My daughter decided there should be a “Gaga” figurine as well, and got me one for the summer set, so I’m thinking of expanding the fifth figurine into the other seasons, as well. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Tattered will get one, too!




Wreck This Journal

Have you heard of these journals?

They are designed to be trashed. Seriously. Trashed.

A friend of Hannah’s bought her one last year, and she liked it so much, when the new version came out, they gave her a new one. She immediately jumped into trashing it, and it looked so fun it made Josh and Bea wish they had one, too.

So, in typical Gaga fashion, off to Barnes and Noble we went.

I don’t know if it was a good idea or not. This whole thing is giving me heart palpitations.

I’m not a “trashing things” kinda girl. I’m all about creating beautiful things, not taking beautiful things and ruining them. But ruining is what this all about, in fact, there’s a little contract inside,

whereby the owner promises to trash or “wreck” it in every conceivable way, even over and above the suggestions.

So after I chastised Hannah for being over the top, she read me the instructions, basically demanding that the owner go over the top! Ha! Boy did she get me!

So, let me show you around the “Wreck This Journal…”

It starts out quite cute.

Then it gets slammed around, bent, twisted, the spine broken, things dripped on it, holes punched in it, screws driven through it,


And even gets driven over…(yes, we did that!)



I don’t think I’ve ever heard them laugh so loud.

So, here’s a sampling of pages, some started, some pristine (so far!)










..and so much more!

I’m trying to get past my reservations, and look at it from their perspective. I have to admit, it DOES seem like good summer fun, doesn’t it?!


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