Update: We got up very early (and you all know how I like early - but we did enjoy a lovely sunrise), packed up the last bits, did the goodby (I did well, for me!) and set off. About 20 minutes on the road, the engine light came on, stayed on. Never happened before, and our truck is fairly newish (3 yrs old) and is maintained well. In fact, just serviced a week before we left home. Stopped, checked all that Mr. knew to check, dug out the owners manual, read....etc. We think (hope!) it is just faulty electronics with the light, BUT....we decided we didn't want to take a chance, perhaps get stranded along the highway. So called the DD, let her know we were coming back. All the places are closed today, but she thinks perhaps the local dealership is open a few hours on Saturday. Had to unload enough stuff to stay another night. Mr. just said, he's not driving over the weekend. Today traffic would have been ok, but not the weekend. I'm thinking perhaps our Guardian Angel was at work, and telling us to stay off the highway today. I do believe things happen for a reason! So talk witcha latah. Hope your overnight celebrations didn'd have any bad repercussions this morning. I watched some awesome fireworks out over the water, as I sat at the laptop watching some videos.

Good Morning! As you read this post, we're on the road back to Upstate South Carolina...sorry to leave the sunny warm climes of South Florida and of course the Daughter. But life has to return to normal, and there it is. We had a lovely Christmas, quiet, but we were together as a family....the folks I love best in all the world, so a real blessing to us all. It was a gorgeous sunny day too.

 Looking forward to the start of the last season of Downton Abbey...which I think is to start on our Public Broadcast Station this Sunday. Perhaps Series 7 Doc Martin too, but I've seen that on Acorn TV already, plus have the dvd set. I'll watch it again though. Love my Doc Martin.

DH & DD went to see the new Star Wars. Since that genre is not something I enjoy, I stayed with the poochies. (One girl has been ill - won't eat, listless - so many vet trips, and still no resolution.) Wednesday was a trip to Sarasota to see a veterinary neurologist, and that night, DD had to get a tiny camera down her throat. Can you imagine this kind of technology? Now they're checking her intestines & stomach.  At least after some tests (think it was an MRI) the neurologist felt confident to rule out a brain tumor-- which we're told could cause some of her symptoms. Dallas was not thrilled to have to swallow the camera, but she was very good about it. Poor dog couldn't have any food 8 hours prior - which is why the vet didn't handle the camera bit; then after it got swallowed, no food until the next morning. Now when she's outside, she has to be watched for when the camera is passed...UGH! DD has a stronger, less squeamish stomach than I do. However, if it is not passed through her system  & found - surgery will be required to remove it. We're hoping she will eliminate it. I was amazed at how well DD handled her baby to get her to swallow this camera, which is about the size of my little finger joint. I worried that the dog would get choked, but she didn't. Hope this is not TMI...I thought it was kinda interesting...had no idea this kind of thing is done with animals.
I hope that all my blog friends had a good night to celebrate the dawn of a new year. As for me, I can't believe just how fast 2015 sped past. When I was a kid, I'd hear old people (younger than I am now!!!!) talk about how fast time would fly. I was so puzzled, because time moved along slowly to me, 24 hours to the day, 7 days per week, etc. etc. So how could it move any faster than it did? Utter nonsense.  Thought I'd never be 16 years old. Then -- forever  for the 2 yrs until 18...and on to 21. Then my husband was in the service for 4 years......gone overseas for 2 years and we thought that would never end. It did;  ever since then, time just seems to keep moving faster & faster.Our daughter grew up so fast.  My brain tells me, this isn't really true...but good heavens, we just celebrated 2015...and here we are at 2016 awready!!
Sorry to say I did very little coloring while away. Just dragged along the big copic bag for nothing. I did practice watercolor with the Zig brushes one morning, and it was absolute rubbish. I'm not sure if it was the thickness of the watercolor paper (I think I had stamped on Strathmore 140# paper since my plan was to experiment with different papers). Stamped in black Versafine, embossed with clear. Now I've embossed the images previously that I watercolored with these markers, and was pleased with the results. So I don't think embossing was the problem. I think perhaps the paper OR could be that I just wasn't in the mood.
Oh yes, we did manage to go to 2 lovely stamping stores while we were here: Sparkle n Sprinkle (Ruskin)  & WhimSoDoodle  (St. Petersburg). Had some delicious foods at a favorite Italian place (a marvelous old Italian market that also has a scrumptious bakery along with grocery goods and the most delicious sandwiches..yum), and a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, where the service is as good as the food is. I happen to love most ethnic foods.
We've had a relaxing quiet time. Read my kindle - a very good book called Jubilee Trail - very old - by Gwen Bristow. Finally got published in Kindle form, so I saved it to read on this trip. It's set in 1840-s, and about a well bred young lady from New York, who longs for adventure, marries a fella who comes to New York from far off California. Which most people of that time had never heard of. Then they travel back to California, over the Jubilee Trail by mule train. So much hardship. This author has written other books, which I've enjoyed. I tend to read authors, and I love historical fiction, if it's well written. I had read this book as a teenager, enjoyed it immensely, and have read it several times over the years (much like Gone With the Wind...that's a book I have to re-read about every 5-10 yrs). Don't think it's in print, but I did find a hardback on Amazon some years ago, and paid a high price to buy it from a dealer. I had had a copy long years ago, but loaned it out, never got it back. That's about when I decided if I really love a book, I don't loan the hardback. I try to find a paperback. It's lovely to have the story on Kindle. I'm so pleased to see some of my old beloved books now in Kindle format!
OK.. enough rambling on with trivia. When we get home, I expect we'll be busy for a few days with the unpacking, collecting the mail, paying bills. Also had our credit card compromised just before we left home; thankfully the bank caught the fraud, so we only got the aggravation of having to get a new card. We do have a backup, but that one is for internet purchases, etc. and has a low limit. So that must be sorted on our return. So maybe I'll be too busy to feel my usual 'down in the dumps' mood from missing the kid!!!
Please have a wonderful day, and God Bless you all. I pray that ALL of us will have a good year, and have lots of crafty fun. Hugs


  1. So glad you had a good Christmas Mary! Roy's daughter, my eldest and youngest sons were here for Christmas Day. Middle son and family came Tuesday before Christmas. Hope the pooch gets better soon. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. So pleased you enjoyed your trip to Florida and Christmas break with your family, Mary. What a relief that Dallas doesn't have a brain tumour - let's hope whatever it IS is fixable. Lucky you getting to see the lovely Margaret at SnS and the lovely ladies at Whimsodoodle too. Now, if only you'd been able to visit Diana at Violette's in Lakeland that would have been a hat trick!!!

    Wishing a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, your family and your readers


  3. Happy New Year!
    Hope it turns out to be a faulty light, and that the dog gets better!

  4. Health and happiness to you and yours for 2016 Mary!

  5. Hi Mary, I haven't understand all, my english isn't too good and I find hard translating all that you write.... but hope that now the doggie's health is good and that your car is ok!
    I wish you a very Happy New Year, that it brings you all you wish!

  6. You weren't meant to leave extra weekend with your loved ones!! Wishing you a year full of many good things xx

  7. Hi Mary, Good job you were still near enough to turn round and go back.

    Will keep everything crossed Dallas does pass the camera and it doesn't show anything nasty.

    Hope you get your credit card sorted soon.

    Everyone is saying how fast 2015 went.

    I hope 2016 is the best yet for you and your family, including the fur babies.

    Sue, Polly & Honey

  8. Whew! Lots happening! I'm sorry for the troubles, but glad you enjoyed a pretty New Year's! I hope your Christmas celebrations were extra special. I'm beginning to emerge from this last exacerbation, and hope to be visiting more regularly, soon! Happy New Year! hugs, de

  9. Happy New Year Mary, Cathy x

  10. Amen to that Mary.
    Gosh regarding the time passing thing you sound just like me.
    Glad you had a good trip, pity about the worry of the car.

    Kath x

  11. Good to hear you had such a lovely Christmas, Mary ... hope the car is ok, that the dog recovers soon and that you have a safe trip home after the weekend! Happy New Year to you ... hope it's blessed with all good things! Hugs, Anita :)

  12. Happy New Year Mary.
    Hugs Pam x

  13. Glad you are taking it easy coming home. So sorry to hear about your furbaby and hopefully the little tyke will pass the camera without incident but icks to having to find it after. I hope they find out what is wrong with your little one. I am hoping to get back into card making since Christmas always makes things tough. Tomorrow the tree comes down but then there is everything else. Happy New year to you!! May everyone be happy and healthy.

  14. A very Happy New Year to you Mary and have no doubt that 2016 will travel just as fast if not faster than 2015. I did not see the new year in and neither did the fireworks wake me just too darn tired.
    Margaret M

  15. AHH - those engine lights - been there done that, turned out we needed a new oxygen sensor.........
    Sounds as though you have had a wonderful break Mary. Being with family is something I really treasure now, and we have just had a day with another branch of the extended family :-).
    May 2016 be blessed with peace and joy and good health for you and yours

  16. I know you are enjoying more time with Dana! Worth the hassle of having car trouble. Gwen Bristow is one of my favorite authors and I think I've read (and own) most of her books. I discovered her when I was in high school. Safe travels and Happy New Year to all of you.

  17. Mary I don't envy you car trouble on a trip but I can see how the delay was a plus to put you in safer conditions
    I can not vision getting a camera into our little fur baby it is a trick to get a small pill into him
    WoW now I need to know all the purchases You made at the two shops I DT for Sparkle in the past and loved their stuff Our group is hinting at a trip to Violets in Feb Mar so if you want to shed those points I will accept HAPPY NEW YEAR MARY

  18. Happy New Year to you Mary. x

  19. Happy New Year Mary....sounds like you and your Mr. have been having a fabulous time. Wishing you a safe journey home and looking forward to seeing your creations for 2016!

  20. It definitely sounds like the fates conspired to keep you on your vacation visit a bit longer. My truck randomly started having "check engine" light issues and every time it was traced back to the gas cap not being on tight enough. Eventually I had to replace the cap. Hopefully yours is a quick and easy fix like that!

  21. Hi Mary. Definitely the right idea to go back to DDs for another night or two. I'm with you. These things happen for a reason and I'm glad you're not on the highway travelling right now. Enjoy the bonus time with your family. Definitely outweighs the hassles with the truck :) All the best to you and Joe for a happy and healthy new year. Love, Loll

  22. Hi Mary. You visited my blog and invited me to stop by Yours. Thank you for your kind comments. I'm glad you were able to be with your daughter during the means so much. Hope everything is ok with the truck! We have on child, a daughter. She lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband and two daughters. I know what you mean about the down in the dumps aftermath of your visits, as I feel the same way when we part from our dd and grandkids and sil (even though they only live a couple of hours away, it's far enough that we don't see them as often as we would like, especially with upstate New York winters).
    May you be blessed this new year. I will visit again, and invite you to do the same. I will go now and look over the rest of your blog, and follow you. Lynda

  23. Gosh Mary, what a time you have had of it, I really hope the truck doesn't have too serious a problem and also that the dog is OK. Happy New Year to you, hope 2016 is a great one for you! Hugs, Anne xx

  24. Wishing you all the best for the New Year Mary, hope you'll have a safe journey home after the car is ok.

    Love and hugs

  25. Happy New Year! Wish you all the best and a lot of creativity!
    What a pure luxery to spend more days away...We here have schoo, study and work that plans our calender...
    Enjoy the relaxing time! Hugs, Gerrina

  26. Sounds like you had a good visit! Happy New Year! Question what was wrong with the truck,lol. And how is the dog doing??

  27. SO glad you enjoyed your holidays and are safe and sound back home, it's always a worry and yes! I believe you were sent back, glad you listened.

    Time definitely goes quicker, even with less to do, funny that LOL. Hope the pooches are OK now.

    I had a look out for the Jubilee Trail, I had Amazon voucher for Xmas, so will use that ;) Love the cover of the Paperback though. The Kindle cover is too modern for the time it is written in.

    Sorry to hear about your credit card, hope you didn't lose anything.

    Happy New Year and God Bless, Mary to you and your hubby and Daughter.

  28. I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip! I'm not into Star Wars either lol! Was there anything wrong with the truck? Good idea to turn around!! I've never watched downtown abby, will have to check it out. I don't have cable and usually watch Netflix, but prior seasons might be on there! Happy New Year Mary!!

  29. Sorry for your problems in getting home and hope all has been resolved. I have been away myself for a few days over new year so a bit belatedly I would like to wish you a happy, healthy and wonderfully creative new year Mary, and thank you for being such a lovely blogging friend over the past year. x

  30. Happy New Year, Mary! You're right about time passing so quickly. No idea where 2015 went! TFS about your trip - sounds quite an eventful one. xx


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