Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mystery Craft and seeing stars, again......

Well Howdy Y'all!!!!!     I do hope and pray that this day finds everyone doing well.     It is a very soggy, wet Saturday morning in my neck of the woods.     As they say, "April showers bring May flowers".     There has been so many very beautiful flowers in April already, so I can only imagine that the flower show that comes with May will be even more spectacular!!!!     I LOVE the beauty of nature, even though I can only enjoy it with my eyes.     In reality, nature makes me itch, sneeze, swell up, scratch, wheeze and any other number of things.     So, I have to enjoy it from afar, but at least I can enjoy it.    It blows my mind that for someone who grew up in the country, out in the nature around me every day of my life for many years, is now allergic to the very thing that I always loved.     Thank God for allergy meds!!!!!     I am very serious about that!!!!     One other thing about nature is all the little creepy, crawly, buzzery (my new word, you seen it here first y'all) things.    I have always said that if it stings, stinks or bites, it will be after me and leave everyone else alone.   My husband even notices it.     We can go out on the back porch and it starts as soon as the door shuts behind me, so help me it does.    hahahaha     Buzzzzz, swat, slap, knock, flailing arms like a crazy woman, and I just give up and go in!!!!!     hahahaha      A stroll thru the grass, unless I have winter boots on, will leave me with itching ankles and calves and then itching all over and nothing will stop it till I take a shower, even if it has just been 30 minutes since I just took one.    grrrr     I guess I have resolved myself to being a concrete and asphalt girl instead of the country girl I once was.     But as another saying goes, "You can take the girl outta the country, but you can't take the country outta the girl".     So, I may live in an area considered city, I still bleed country!!!!!    I always will!!!!   hahahaha     God knew what He was doin' when He made country folk!!!!!!

So, y'all know I love to do all different kinds of crafts, whether I have success at it or not.    Last Saturday, I was involved in an online all day stamp kaarving fest in a hangout over on the +Kraafters Kommunity on Google+.    You could pop in and out of the hangout and kaarve along with the other ones or you could just watch, as I did.    I tried to learn from them and after it was over, I kaarved something I had been wanting to do for a long time.    I got out my carving stuff, don't remember what it's called, just pink stuff.   Looks kinda like an eraser, just not as crumbly and drew on my feather and started carving it.    Had no idea what I was doing, but I got it finished and lo and behold, the angels were singing, "it stamped beautifully!!!!!    Yeah, I'm hooked!!!!  

The image with the circle at the top of it is the one that blurred when I tried to stamp it on my knee, so it blurred, but the others are great.    Was kinda proud to finally get a carved stamp under my belt.  All of the gals are really fantastic.     I hope to be one day too, but till then, I'm giddy over my stamp.  Yay!!!!!

A month or so ago, we had a Mystery Craft at the Extension Office and of course, I went.   The only ones there were ladies from my church and my FCE group, there may have been one lady there that wasn't, but I just can't remember.    If it wasn't 15 seconds ago or 40 years ago, I can't remember.   hahaha     I've always heard that called "selective memory", I guess that's right, I  can't remember.    hahaha      Anyway, the craft turned out to be decorating gift bags with supplies she had on hand.    We had to bring some paper or cardstock, a pair of scissors and ribbon.    I forgot the ribbon.    hahaha     Anyway, the lady in charge was wanting our ideas for decorating bags and then she will use those ideas and more later on in the summer when they have the regional meetings and do crafts for two or three days.     So, her craft will be decorating bags.     We all made totally different bags.    I was really proud of mine when I finished.    I had no idea what I was gonna do, I just started doing.   This is the result.    I hope y'all like it.
This is my finished bag.   I was really happy with the way it turned out.    I cut a circle from plain paper and then cut the center from it and was left with a wreath shape.    I took the My Creative Memories punch and punched hexagons from two diff pieces of decorative paper in the two diff sizes the punch made.     I found a little ink pad with a complimenting color and inked all the edges of the little pieces.
I then just started placing the pieces on my paper wreath, varying papers and sizes until the whole wreath form was covered and making sure no white showed.    I then glued the paper wreath to my bag and added dots of bronze glitter glue.
I really love the colors in this, even though no purple was used.    hahaha    I just can't believe it, really I can't.   gggg
Then I made a bow and added a drop bead hanging from the center of the bow with jewelry wire and then added a button after I cut the shank off the back.
So, this is my bag and the punch I used.    I loved the punch and I didn't have it, so I got on Ebay, ordered it and got it shortly after.   I don't know if you can see it or not, but I glued my hexagon on in such a way that I could raise the hexagons, just a bit to give it a bit of dimension.    That's why I didn't glue them directly onto the bag.

Ok, I just have to warn you, really I do.     Crafting can be very dangerous!!!!!    Oh, yes it can!!!!    There are various ways one can get injured while crafting.    Burning yourself with a hot glue gun, cutting yourself with sharp tools, picking up the wrong end of something...........and the list goes on and on.      Well, I was in my craft room shortly after getting my hexagon punch, pictured above.    I went to one of my cabinets that house much of my supplies and opened the door.    I have all my hand punches in box that is more than overflowing.    Well, I opened the door looking for something and bumped the overflowing box and my new punch started falling towards the floor.    In my mind I was saying, "Oh, please don't break my new punch, please don't break my new punch.......!!!"   That  quickly changed to, "Oh, please don't break my little toe, please don't break my little toe.......!!!!     Hey, don't believe me, look at the last picture!!!!      That's why the title of the post had, "seeing stars, again....", in it!!!     I wasn't seeing hexagons, just stars and a nice lump and bruise just about 10 minutes later!!!!  
See, I told you crafting can be dangerous!!!!    I may have to start wearing steel toed shoes when I craft!!!!!!   hahahaha    On the redeeming side of this little mishap, I must say that I bruise beautifully!!!!!!    I am beginning to think that may be why I love purple so much, because I wear it so well in the form of bruises.     hahahaha     This pic was just about 10 minutes after it happened.   It got even more beautiful the next day, I just forgot to take a pic of it.    hahahaha     Oh well, bruises heal; the main thing is that my punch was ok.    hahahaha    Lemons + sense of humor = Lemonade!    That's what I made, Lemonade!!!!

What do you look for?     What are you searching for?     Have you been looking all of your life for something?     Have you been searching for something, but you have no idea of what you are searching for?     I have heard people say that they have been looking for something and don't quite know what they are looking for.    Back when I used to sew all the time, I would go on a fabric hunt.    I would have an image in my mind of what I wanted to make and nothing would do, but to find that piece of special fabric.    I didn't know what I was searching for till I laid my eyes upon it, and then and there, the "God-given" image in my mind started coming to fruition.    Just any piece of material would not do!   It had to match the image of what was in my mind and the second I spotted it from the corner of my eye, I knew that was it!!!     I never went on a search for fabric but what I came away with the perfect piece for the outfit I was making.     I knew then and I realize even more now, that God was helping me find what He wanted me to have.

The only way that He could have helped me find what He had placed in my mind, was for me to have realized at some point in time that I was on a search for Him.    He was never hidden from me, but sometimes we don't know what we are looking for and it turns out to be God.    God does not hide Himself from anyone.    Every person has the same access to God that I have, they just have to want to access God and then He will make Himself known to any seeker, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.    The redeeming work of Christ on the cross is the ONLY door to God the Father!!!!

1 Chronicles 16:11   Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually.

What ever we are searching for, we will find it!!!!    If we are seeking the Lord, we will surely find Him!!!!    Our lives will produce the fruit of what we are seeking after.    If we are seeking the world and all that it has to offer, we will surely find that!!!!     Our lives will produce the fruit of what we are seeking after.

Acts 4:12   Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

How much plainer can this be said?    Not much.     Just about as plain as it gets.     Yet, people are still searching and seeking after other ways to Father God that simply DO NOT exist.    There is NO other way to be in presence of Father God, except thru the blood of the cross of Jesus Christ, that's it!  
I hope and pray that today, if you are still seeking after the way to Father God, that you will realize that there is only One way to Him and that way is Jesus Christ.    God loved you enough to provide you with a way to Him and that way is Jesus.     Jesus is as close to you as a whisper of His name.     At the mention of His name, demons flee!!!!     If you don't know what else to say, simply say "Jesus", He will hear you.

Ladybug, can't wait to see you again, real soon.    Still enjoying our time the other day with the "5 Cracker Barrel Cuties", such a great day!!!!    Sweetpea loves you!!!!

That's about it for today.    Share what you have seen and read here with someone you love, you won't regret it and neither will they.    God loves y'all and so do I!!!    hugs, Patty

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Seeing Stars and "You can't do"..............

Good afternoon Y'all!!!    I hope and pray that y'all are enjoying this day, where ever you are in the world.    While hubby and I were setting in the living room just a little while ago, we could hear the sounds from outside.    A lawnmower in the distance coming from one direction, a weed trimmer coming from another direction.     Birds singing loudly, proclaiming that they are happy that with each passing day Spring gets a little warmer.      Amidst all the noises, there is a lone little frog that has made his or her home in a shrub just under the living room window.     And when all the other noises are taking place, this little frog is making noises just as loud and making itself known.     When everything else quietens down, so does this little frog.    I would love to know what's taking place in this frogs mind.       It really doesn't matter, I don't guess.      I think God put it there for me to hear and take pleasure in.     If we delight ourselves in the little things that God puts before us, think how much easier it is for us to delight ourselves in the bigger things He does for us.     I got out of the car yesterday and noticed some of those little wild purple violets in the yard and oh my, it just thrills my soul to see those things.      Along with the wild strawberries that are in bloom, just gorgeous.      And then there is a tennie tiny little 5 petal flower weed in the yard that is also in bloom.   It's little bloom is no bigger than my little finger nail, but it really stands out in the green grass.     I just love the little things that God puts in front me, waiting for me to see and then thank Him for those things.     So, today Father God, I thank you for the small things that you put before me!!!!!

I have a craft project I wish to share with y'all today.     I had seen the sizzix five pointed star die and wanted it, but not bad enough to pay the price, so I went to ebay and looked for it and found it for 5 bucks and I snatched that thing up!!!!      Quicker than you can say"snatched that thing up" 5 times!!!   hahaha     Anyway, I had in mind of making some of the stars to put in our Country Bazaar we will be having at our church in June as a fundraiser.     I quickly got busy and made some and I have to say, the image I had in my mind, manifested itself in the finished pieces.     I love it when that happens.     In one of the pics you can see what all I used on them and it was basically the same on all of them.    Other than the clear crackle paint.      I just used it on 2 of them.      One of them I just put one coat of it and just got small fine cracks.     On the other one I put two layers of it and got big cracks that allows some of the coloring I done to shed off and then I had to put a finish over the top of to prevent any more from coming off and it looks like an old weathered piece of metal that has tons of peeling paint and rust on it; JACKPOT!!!!!    That is what I was going for, yay!!!!    Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics.
So, the pic above is the first one I made.    It is just a frozen pizza box chipboard with aluminum foil glued to it and then die cut using the sizzix 5 pointed star die and my old worn out cuttlebug.     I cut five points and glued them together.     The star itself is about 8.5 inches across, point to point.     I used a chicken wire embossing folder for this one.    Then I put the first layer of color on and it was one of the folk art colors.      All the colors I used were metallic in nature.      Blingy, you know.    hehehe    After the first color, I just started putting a drop of color on an old cd and using that as my palette and spritz the color with water till I got a real soupy runny mixture and then started smearing and dobbing with my fingers.      I done that about 15 to 20 times alternating colors and just doing spots here and there but making sure all the foil had color on it.
 The above star is actually my fav.     I put two layers of the clear crackle paint on it and let dry really good between coats and brushing off some of the crackle after each time.    Then I went back in and put on just a really watery layer of some of the colors and actually left some of the aluminum showing then I put two coats of diamond glaze over the top of it to seal it and keep any more crackles from falling off.     This one looks just old painted and rusty metal, where there is layers and layers of all diff colors paint showing.     Hubby could not believe the texture and color of this one!!!!     I really wish you could see and feel the texture on this one, it is amazing.
 I tried to get a good shot of some of the colors and textures on this one.    I used a paisley embossing folder on this one.
 It looks just like rusty old painted metal and it feels like it too.
The above star I did not use any crackle paint nor much of the folk art paints.    I did use a copper folk art, but I thinned it down to really watery consistency, just like I did with the Inka Gold metallic rub.     That stuff is better than squeeze cheese!!!!    No joke, I just love it!!!!!
I used a quilt embossing folder and put the pieces in the same place on the embossing folder each time.      I had no Idea that the center point would match up like it did!!!!!!     If I had planned it that way, I guarantee it would not have worked out like it did.     The foil on this is the tape foil I got at Lowe's.     It worked so much better than the others with the foil that I glued on.     It wanted to tear the foil when I bent it in the scored marks after die cutting.     But the foil tape didn't tear and it also made a little firmer star.      This is what I will be using from now on instead of glued on aluminum foil.
 This one I used a brick pattern embossing folder.    I like the way it turned out too.    I just used all my fav colors on the four of these stars and I'm thrilled with how they turned out.      I made a wire hanger and glued it inside one of the points on the backs of each one.
 You can see a little of the cd pallet on the left.    They are really great for that.   When the paint dries on it, just use it again for a diff color.     On some of the places on the palette that I used inka gold, I would just re-wet it and used till it was all gone.      So if some is still on there a month from now, I can re-wet it and use it till it's all gone.
This all four of the stars I have made so far.      Each one is different and unique.     Each one was fun to make and I hope to make a few more between now and June.      Just trying to get a few things made to put in the bazaar.    

What have you or someone else told you that "you can't do"?

Imagine yourselves, if you will, at 8 months old, but with one have all the life experience in your head, of all the years you have already lived.   Chew on that idea for a second.    I know, it's not the usual thought and until the Holy Spirit led me in this direction, I had never thought about it either.    Now, with this really weird image of yourself in your mind (hehehe), what have you done or accomplished in your life that you would have told your 8 month old self that you couldn't or would never ever do?    What about the simple basic stuff.    Would you have ever learned to walk, by taking the "risk"  of falling?    Would you learned to talk, by taking the "risk" of not saying words correctly?    Would you have ever learned to feed yourself, without the the "fear" of dropping food on your clothes?    These are just some of the basics of life that we learned to do without having to tell ourselves that we can or cannot do those things.   We just DID  those things and more out of basic necessity.    Now I realize that at 8 months old, we didn't have rational thoughts like that.    Survival instinct kicks in and has a lot to do with what we learn at the encouragement of our parents and those around us.  

But, at some point we learn or are taught to be "afraid" to take a chance or a "risk" at doing something.  How old were you the first time someone else told you that "you can't do" that?    I'm not talking about doing something harmful to ourselves or someone else.     I'm talking about the things that we would have loved to do, but for some reason, someone told us "we can't do"  that.     What dreams have we or someone else kept us from living?????     When did we stop taking the "risk" simply out of "fear" of failure?

What if we tackled life as adults, with the mind set that there are NO limits to what we can do, what we can learn and always telling ourselves that we CAN do those things.     That no dream is too big or too small.    What about "perfection", has that ever gotten in your way of doing something?    I'll bet it has!!!    "Perfection" is one of those words that can suck the life right out of a dream or desire!!!!     Did people ever praise you for coloring "outside the lines"?     Probably not!    And that's what I'm talking about.    Of all the things that people may have said to you, what are you most likely to remember?     The time the teacher wadded up your coloring sheet and tossed it in the trash because you colored outside of the lines?     What about the time someone told you that you can't sing, or you have no musical talent?     Or you can't draw good enough.    Or you are not smart enough.    You get the jist of it.     One person, at some point in time, having said "You can't do".... has shattered more dreams than we can even imagine.    Why do we give others that much power over our lives?     As kids, we may not have a choice, but as adults we do!!!    

What I want us to see is this:   We are all teachers!!!!     We can teach those around us and maybe even ourselves to have the "courage" to pick up a pencil and just draw.    Pick up a brush and just paint.    Open a song book and just sing.     Walk out of our homes and just volunteer.    Go to the local area of higher learning and just take a course.     What ever your passion is, just do it.     Leave the "I can't do"..... in the trash.     Prove yourself and the nay sayers wrong.    Will you be great at what ever it is you desire to do?     Maybe so, maybe not.    But we'll never know!!!!     Why?     Because we have told ourselves and listened to others that have said "You can't do".......!       Does being great at something really even matter?      NO, it does NOT matter!!!!     Willingness to take the "risk" is all that matters!!!!    Who am I writing this for?     ME!!!!!!!    And, who knows, maybe you.    
Philippians 4:13 I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!!!!!

Psalm 37:4  Delight yourself in the Lord. and He will give you the desires of your heart. 

Do you tell God about your dreams?    Do you just enjoy spending time with Him?   I do and I enjoy telling God how I love to do the things He has allowed me to be blessed enough to do and I also enjoy telling Him about the things that I would love to do.     So, for myself and all those out there that have told themselves or had others tell you "you can't do"......, DO IT!!!!!!!     Dream big!!!!!     Give that dream to God!!!!    I have a friend, and she will know who I am talking about when she reads this, who has taken up ball room dancing and she is so beautiful!!!!   I haven't seen her dance yet, but I hope to one day.    I have seen pictures of her in her ballroom dresses and she could be on Dancing with the Stars, easily!!!     She finally told herself that she could do it, and she HAS!!!!     She has also started painting and loves that!!!!!     We just need to realize that, as adults, we are the ones that set limits to what we can do.    God doesn't!!!!     He wants us to dream big.     He doesn't want us to limit our dreams or anyone elses dreams.    Let us be encouragers to those around us and to ourselves.    Step out and do that thing that you had dreams of doing years ago.    Or, it may be a new dream.     Talk to God about it.    Do it!    Go for it!    I feel like every time I go into my craft room and do something, "I win"!     Dream big, share the dream with God and just do it!!!      Live life with God sized dreams!!!!!     God sets no limits on dreams because He is limitless!!!   WOOHOO!!!!!!!   Shout that to the mountain tops!!!      There has got to be someone that can say "Amen" to that!!!!

I went to church last evening and while walking thru the Fellowship Hall, I noticed some vases of fresh cut flowers on most of the tables.     They were beautiful.     I took a few pictures and wanted to share this one with y'all.     It just wanted to have it's picture taken, so I obliged and I'm thrilled I did. Hope you are too.
How's that for a beautiful dogwood?   I couldn't believe it when I got home and looked at it on the computer.     I even love the white background of the table.     I was so tickled with this and I hope y'all enjoy seeing it too.

As I leave you, I would like to ask you to remember the ones that are sick or going thru tough times, whatever the situations, remember them in prayer.     One of my Mom's really good friends is in desperate need of prayer!!     Please remember her in your prayers.      God knows who she is.     Another one of her friends was at church Sunday, the first time in a very long time and she didn't think she would ever be back.    "But God!"      Don't you love that!!!!    I do!!!!     Just pray for God's will in all circumstances.  

That's just about it for this afternoon.     I hope you seen something here that inspires you to just do something, something for others or for yourself.     Tell a friend about what you seen here, share it with someone.     I hope to be back soon with some crafty goodness and maybe a word or two that will encourage us all along this road of life.     Remember, God loves y'all and I do too!!!    hugs, Patty

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dreaming............Carnival Cruise Dreaming

Hello Y'all!!!!!    I do hope and pray that Feb., March and April has been and is playing well with everyone.      It's wet one day here and windy the next in my neck of the woods, but I'll take that over tornadic weather any day, yes I surely will.   We just now got all the debris cleaned up around our driveway and back yard from the last snow we had (in my last post).    It's such a shame to walk out and look up the sides of those big beautiful pine trees and see how badly damaged they are.    I feel like someone will eventually cut them down.      The property that the trees are on is up for sale now and has been for quite a while, and the trees may be something that is hindering the sale.    I know I wouldn't purchase something with huge trees that could be liabilities under the right circumstances.     We have got to where we dread the snow and ice and also the windy times.     I fear the wind toppling one over on our house or garage and that is a very real possibility.   But, so far, we are and continue to be blessed that it's just branches and limbs that we have to deal with.     Anyway, I just hope and pray that where ever y'all are, it is beautiful and the "SON" is shining in your soul!!!!!

Ok y'all, look at the title of my post today.    That was a hint and I wonder if anyone caught it.      I have a friend that has been on several cruises and my mom went last year with her and some others on a cruise and I had been wanting to go on a cruise for a while, but didn't figure I would ever get to go.     My hubby, as wonderful to me as he is, he always said, "this country feller ain't goin' on a cruise".     hahaha     I get it, really I do.     There's things that I will not ever be interested in doing.     But........he never said I couldn't go on one.     hahahaha        And so he gifted me with a cruise!!!!!!!!   Yay, I got to go on a cruise with my Mom!!!!!!     Yes, I sure did!!!!!      She and I started saving our pennies, and pinched Abe Lincoln till he cried "uncle" and we scraped up enough change to go!!!!!   Whoopee, yay, hot dog!!!!!    

So I will put pictures on this post and try to explain as well as I can about each one, or each group of pics and please excuse any misspelling and anything else you may notice.   I've been working on this for so long and it's just time to get it posted, mistakes and all.    hahahaha

We took the 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans on January 31st and back to port on February 7th.     Our ports of call were Mahogany Bay on Roatan, Belize and Cozumel Mexico.    The cruise itself was such an awesome adventure for my mom and I to do together!!!!!     All I can say is that we had a ball!!!!!!      We never laughed as much in our lives as we did on the cruise.      We had rough seas, or so they say anyway.      I do know there was some bad weather to come ashore from the rolling seas we had.      But all in all the weather was pretty good for us.     There was one day that it misted on us, and that was our last post of call, at Cozumel, Mexico.

We spent a couple of nights in Slidell, Louisiana before we headed to the Carnival Dream in New Orleans on Sunday morning.      The motel we stayed at was right next to a Waffle House.       So mom and I would get up and head over there for breakfast or whatever meal we happened to be there for.        I haven't been a really huge fan of WH for many years.       They do have good food and good coffee, but just not appealing to me in some way.      Anyway, we had a window seat and was sipping on our coffee and waiting for our meal and I was just watching out the window, looking at the traffic go by and taking in some of the scenery and sort of got lost in that for a few seconds.   Mom didn't see this, I don't think, but I was sitting there staring out the window and it seemed like there was a shadow that came over the place from the outside.      You know what I'm talking about, like when an airplane flies between the earth and the sun, it creates a shadow for a split second.       Well, that's what happened and I looked outside up in the air, and I will tell you I almost fainted for a second.      It looked just like a pterodactyl, you know, from the movies, and I kept looking and looking and all of a sudden it came into closer view.         Hehehe, it was just a brown pelican!!!!!!!     Yes it was!!!!  It just about scared the life out of me though!!!!!        hahaha   I was ready to pack my bags and head back to good ole TN, land that I love,,,,(we don't have pterodactyl pelicans there) but, was just a pelican!!!!        Some of the people we were with got a good laugh over that one.  I can laugh now, but at the time, I was kinda freaked out.        I was remembering Tippie Hedron in the movie "The Birds" and that wasn't fun at all!!!!!

On the ship, after we got settled in and decided to brave it, mom and I started going to shows and comedy acts, puppet shows and karaoke and just doing what ever we could find to do, and that was a lot of fun.       We really had to coordinate our time and make some tough decisions about what we really wanted to see and maybe miss something else that we wanted to see.      It could be tough at times to make the decision.
A good pic of the Carnival Dream Cruise ship (when we was at Mahogany Bay, Roatan Honduras)
Leaving New Orleans.
Mom and me outside on the deck of our stateroom before leaving N. O. LA
Mom looking out over the waters after we had set sail.
We took in an art show one day and had plans to go back to it later on, but there was something else we wanted to do too, so we opted to do the other thing and I can't remember what it was.      I wish I could though.       We really enjoyed the art show.       I wish I had taken pics and notes because I don't remember who the artists were.       And I really don't know if picture taking would have been allowed anyway.       One of them was into mixed media art and what he done was so awesome!!!!!!! There was a butterfly that was painted in metallic colors and that thing looked just like it would fly off the canvas.      It was soooooo beautiful!!!!!         Both of the artists was from the southwest United States so their work reflected the landscape and the beautiful rich colors associated with the southwest.       We both really enjoyed that and wished we had taken in more of the art show.       We just knew when it came time for the auction, we couldn't afford what we had seen.       Plus, we was afraid we might reach up to rub our nose and make a bid on a $20,000 piece of art and hear someone say "SOLD"!!!!      Hubby would not have liked that at all!!!     hahahaha

Floor 3 Atrium 
Atrium from floor 5 overlooking the stage where a musician/singer was most of the time.
A comedian on stage in the Encor Lounge.
The cruise ship entertainment director.
I had mentioned too that we loved to take in karaoke.       Now, we didn't sing, we just listened.       But we both soon learned that it doesn't take a lot of skill to do karaoke, just lots of "GUTS"!!!!!!     hahahaha       You talk about fun, we had fun with a capital "F-U-N"!!!!!!       It was just too fun.   Especially when you are inadvertently made a part of the stage show!!!!        We had just gotten out of a comedy show and was looking for something else to do.       It was about 10 pm and entirely too early to go back to our room.        We walked out of the Burgundy Lounge which is where the comedy show was, and to the left of that exit was "The Song" room and to the right was "Sam's Piano Bar".       We looked at each door and decided on the "The Song" because there was familiar sounds coming from that small room.      It was just about full and the only place we seen was seats right on the front row, just about 2 feet from the small stage.       So we sat down and started enjoying the singing.       There was a man singing George Straight songs, another one singing Frank Sinatra, a woman singing Loretta Lynn, another woman singing Crystal Gayle, another man was an Elvis impersonator and just so many more.       These that I mentioned could actually sing pretty great.       One guy sang a James Brown song, "I Feel Good".        We had heard him several times and that was one of his go to songs.      This night, someone was singing when we came in and sat down.     We got nestled into our seats and was getting into the music.      This persons song was over and the emcee called another one to the stage and it was the David,  "I Feel Good" singer.       He had on sunglasses, ball cap, t shirt, shorts and tennis shoes.      He was a funny guy and we loved him already.        We was so close to the stage and as he grabbed the mic, the music started and he jumped about 3 feet off the stage and hit the stage and about the time his feet landed he screamed in the mic "I feel good" and mom squealed to the top of her lungs!!!     I thought something had happened to her and I started reaching for her and asking what's wrong, she finally lowered her hands from her face and said "he scared me"!!!     I just screamed out laughing when I found out she was alright and he kept on singing and we sat there and laughed all during his song, we could not help it.      Everyone behind us noticed and heard us.       How could they not!!!!!!    He finished his song and left the stage and we was still sitting there cracking up at what had just happened.       Then the Frank Sinatra wannabe went to the stage and before his music started, he told the guy that had just gotten off the stage that he just about scared these two ladies sitting at the stage half to death and we kept cracking up and everyone in there was laughing.        After Frank got done with his song, that David was called back to the stage and on his way up, he stopped by us and reached his hands out to both of us and shook our hands and apologized for startling us.     We just laughed and said it was just too funny and that he didn't owe us an apology.       Of course, our giggle boxes was on and in high gear and we laughed the rest of the evening.        hahaha        So, be careful where you sit, you may get startled and then be a part of the act.

There was a lot of great singing, but for all the great singing, there was a lot that wasn't so great.   But, that is part of the fun of karaoke and one reason you will NEVER hear me singing like that.   hahaha        We really enjoyed it and it would certainly be on my go to list of things to take in if I ever get to go on another cruise.

When there was time between our planned out list of things to do, we would go to the 4th floor and sit down around the area overlooking the Atrium that was on the 3rd floor and there was a small stage about one and a half levels up, between 4th and 5th floors, that had a glassed in stair case up to it and then the stair case went on up to the the 5th floor.        On the stage, there was room for a singer and a musician and there was usually someone singing and playing a guitar or a keyboard and then sometimes they would also have a drummer with them.     These were employees of Carnival and they were great singers.      We would sit and listen to them sing and watch people as they got up and danced.       There was several older couples that could really do some good ball room dancing.

When there wasn't dancing going on in that area, they was playing corn hole.       We really loved to watch that.       I have never played corn hole before, but Mom loves it.       One of my brothers made her some corn hole boards for the Village where she lives and they play every chance they get.      So, I know she was wanting to go down and get in on the corn hole games, and I told her we could go and she could play but we didn't.        If I had it to do over again, I would have played.       But it was fun watching it every chance we got.

4th floor view of atrium and cornhole players.
There was an area on level 5 that was called the Fun Shops.       We spent a lot of time and money up on 5.         Every day, they would run special sales on all kinds of good stuff.      We got purses, hats, scarves, necklace and earring sets and t shirts, just all kinds of stuff.      I got a gray wrap that I really love.      We wore our hats and purses when ever we got off the ship and we wore our purse when was on the ship too, it was the perfect size for a camera and a water bottle.

Mom and I and our sassy selves!!!    See that bag I'm wearing, I got us those at the Carnival Fun Shops and we rally loved them.   Just the perfect size.
This was at the very back of the ship and that is where the pic above was made also.    So happy no one pushed us overboard.   hahahaha
One day between running here and there to catch this show or see this comedian or what ever, there was a line dancing class on the itinerary.        We went to that and had a ball, you guessed it, just watching, but it was soooooooo much fun to just watch that.      Just like singing is not everyone's gifting, guess what, neither is dancing!!!!     hahahaha     But big kudos to the ones that gave it their best effort.      Needless to say, they weren't handing out trophies, but it was still fun!!!!  

An upward view of the glass elevators from the Atrium.
Mom and me up to some meanness!!!   hahahaha
Mom and me up to some more meanness!!!    hahahaha    There was no alcohol in those drinks, I promobleised, uh, I promise.   hahahaha
A shot from our balcony.   Can you see the cross in the circle in the cloud?    I just now noticed that.    Wow!!!
One of the best things was meeting all the people.       We met some great folks from all over the United States and the world.       The waiters was some really outstanding people and they were from all over the world.       Every night we ate in the formal dining room that our group was assigned to and the staff made it so pleasurable and enjoyable!!!!!!        Mom and I wanted to bring them home with us just because they were so fun and made dining a great experience.

Allan, one of the server team and my Mom!!!   We loved him!
Servers putting on  a show during our dinner.  
More dancing.
More dancing.
J. J. waving at the camera.   We loved him too!!!
Beautiful Ni Ny, she was an amazing young lady, we wanted to bring her home with us!
The server crew was getting ready to sing to us.
Allan and Ni Ny singing "happy birthday" to Mom on Saturday night.
Some of the servers dancing with the children.
One thing I will have to say, the food is not what I expected it to be.        Some of it was great!!!!!     On the other hand, some of if I wouldn't feed to the hogs y'all!!!!!!        Yeah, I know, some of it is because of my southern roots and the cooking that comes with that.        You know, there are some dishes, traditional dishes, that you just don't monkey with!!!!!!       hehehe     You just can't!!!!!!        When something is as good as it gets, leave it alone!!!!!!!         You can't improve on perfection, really, you can't.        Say for instance, there is no humanly way to improve upon southern fried frog legs!!!!!!       Sorry for that, but you just can't.       Ok, you know where I'm going with this by now, don't you.       "Frog legs" was on the menu one night in the appetizer section of the menu.       I thought, OH BOY, this is gonna be so goooood.        I had that thought way too soon.        Don't ever think something is gonna be good till after you at least see it.      hahahaha         Did you notice I did not say "southern fried frog legs"?   For good reason, they were just sauteed in a little bit of oil of some kind and put in a little oval dish.     Let me tell you, this little southern gal was just totally heart broken.      I believe in eating what God put on earth for us to eat, that includes southern fried frog legs, but I am beginning to think that God should have put some guide lines in the Bible, like some foods should always be breaded and deep fried!!!!       With frog legs being at the top of the list.   hahahaha

Another dreaded appetizer, was another deep fried southern delicacy.       Fried green tomatoes.      I love fried green tomatoes and fried frog legs so much in fact, that every time I go to mom's for a couple of days, we go to Slappyz in Russellville and that's what I get!!!      Well, I got fried green tomatoes for an appetizer and when they brought it out, it had some kind of pico or something on it that just made me sick to look it.      Not because it was so displeasing, but because if you go to the trouble of deep frying something, you don't want to sog up the good crust it has on it.     Boohoohoo!!!!!        I told mom she needs to see about getting a job as the "master" southern chef on one of the cruise lines.       Lordy knows they could use her 65-70 years of southern cuisine expertise on the cruise we were on.        hahahaha

These were the little baby towel animals.   They were so cute!!!
This was some of the larger towel animals.  They were fun to see.
Now, for the good stuff, really good stuff.       Warm Chocolate Melting Cake!!!!!!!!!!!       Baked and served in a small souffle dish.       Oh my goshie, was that "thang" ever delicious!!!!!!!!         That deserves 3 thumbs up and before I had surgery I could have given it 3 thumbs up!!!!!        Just kidding, throwing in a little weird humor here.        I still have all 3 thumbs!!!!!!       hahahaha       Done it again, sorry.     Just 2 thumbs, but if I could, I would certainly give 3 thumbs for this delicacy!!!      It was warm and chocolaty and when you stuck your spoon in the top of it, it was so ooie gooie runny inside and it was fab!!!!!!       You got one little scoop of vanilla ice cream with it and I always just put it on top of the cake and stirred it in.     It was sooo luscious and creamy and yummy!!!!        Oh my goodness, I wish I had one right now, make that two!!!!        hehehe         I also got a really good lobster mac and cheese.       I enjoyed that.        They had a bbq area set up on the back side of the ship and they were grilling hamburgers, wieners, sausages, pulled pork, mixed veggies, baked beans and that kind of stuff and we had that for a couple of lunches.      Sometimes it was so windy that you had a hard time packing your plates and going inside to eat, but it was good.

One of things that we got to where we would do is get some of the drinks minus the liquor.       Since mom and I neither one drink, we still wanted to enjoy the drinks.        So, when we went to a show or what ever we was doing, we would order us a drink minus the liquor and get to enjoy all the frozen fruit juices, yummy for the tummy is all I can say for some of them.       The one I enjoyed most was one with lots of frozen mango and peach juices and then it had a generous streak of grenadine for color.     Beautiful and delicious!!!!!!        In total, I think we got 5 or 6 different ones to try.    I can't remember all the ones we tried, but it was fun trying them.        When we got off at Cozumel, we went to Fat Tuesdays and got a frozen strawberry daiquiri without liquor and we enjoyed that a lot.

One of the funniest things, every morning to start the day, one of the guys on the ship would come over the intercom system and no matter where you were, you could hear him.       He would tell about the upcoming events of the day and what ever needed to be told.       Something he always said was, "bye, I said bye" and then that was it.         Everywhere you went you heard people saying "bye, I said bye".       We was on the elevator one night coming back to our room after a great evening and there was several of us on the elevator.     When the elevator stopped at our floor, most everyone got off and we all talking as we got off.       We took several steps and my mom stopped and looked back at the people that was still talking and she said "bye, I said bye" and I thought they was gonna get down and roll.       There was a younger girl in the crowd and she said, "I was really hoping someone would say that before the night was over!"       Leave it to my mom!!!!        She's a comedian in her own right!!!!!

We got off at Mahogany Bay on the Isle of Roatan, Honduras.        I believe that is the one that is owned privately by Carnival.      The day before, we had gotten the itinerary for the stop at Mahogany Bay and it gave all the excursions you could go on.        Since we don't swim, we figured snorkeling was out.      Not much on dirt biking or canoeing or any of the other 75 different things to do, but low and behold, the angels were singing and the harpists were playing their harps when my eyes rested upon this one excursion!!!!!!!!        Not only was it something that we both could do, but we both wanted to do it, and it was in our price range, almost free!!!!!!        hehehehe         It was called "Magical Chairs", and it was a ski lift that took you over the main part of the island that was open for us to see!!!!!!!       Now, that's right up my ally and mom's too!!!!        We rode it down to the area of the beach and gift shops and walked around for a bit and looked and seen what we wanted to see and then we got back on the ski lift and went back to the starting place and asked if we had to get off.     hehehe     We didn't!!!!       That guy said we could ride it all day if we chose too.      We didn't ride it all day, but we did ride it another round or two and it was so much fun!!!!!       I could ride that again and really enjoy every second of it.

Mahogany Bay from our balcony window.   You can also see one of the jacuzzi's on the ship. 
Mom and I at the official Mahogany Bay welcome sign.
Beautiful flowers at the sign.
One of the views from Mahogany Bay.    Our ship in the background.
Mom and I gracefully getting on the Magical Chairs.    hahahaha     Our one wild excursion.   hahaha
Our ride to the beach and shopping area.   It was such fun.
Overlooking the shopping area.
The sign to Mahogany Beach.
View of Mahogany Bay and Beach from our balcony.    You can also see the giant chess board down on deck 5.  We was on level 9.
This is our sassy selves sporting our little hats that we got at the Fun Shops up on level 5.  We love our hats. 
Mahogany Bay.   The water goes all the way around this little island.  You can see the roped off beach area and there is also a small private beach that you could pay a wazoo amount to spend a few hours in and they had fancy chaise lounges and all kinds of perks.
Every day the people looking after our rooms and taking care of us would leave towel animals.      We couldn't wait from one day till the next to see what we was gonna get.      It was always such a fun treat.       Up by the main pool area was a desk outside where you could get extra towels and stuff like that and they always had some of the towel animals on display.      One morning we went through for breakfast, and on that desk was three little baby chicks made from wash clothes with a sign that said "Just Hatched".        They were the cutest things I ever seen!!!!!!      They even had a day where the employees would make the animals and put them on display in the foyer just off the elevators on level 10 for the guests to vote on.        The worst thing was that they just had them on display for a very short amount of time.      When we came back through from breakfast, they were all gone and I didn't get any pictures of them and I was so grieved over that.

Tender boat coming to our ship to take guests to Belize.   We didn't go. We didn't want to ride that thing 45 minutes to Belize. They were hop skip and jumping across the waves, just bouncing on every 5th wave, not for me at all.  hahaha
Another tender boat coming back to a ship.   There was 4 or 5 ships anchored out in the ocean while the tender boats took people to and fro all day;
One of the comedians talked about when he was a kid and all of his jokes were clean, by the way, but mom and I sat there and listened to him and we just about got down in the floor and rolled.       Mom said "multiply that by 5, and that's what it was like in my house with five boys"!!!!!        Neither one of us could remember a one of his jokes if our lives was dependent on it, but he was just plain funny.     We laughed and laughed and laughed till our sides were sore and I finally decided that is what we were meant to do, just laugh till we couldn't laugh any more and then laugh some more.       It wasn't meant to be remembered as much for his jokes as it was for mom and I laughing so much that our sides were sore and us wanting to laugh even more and we did.       Most nights we just fall into our room laughing and wake up in the middle of the night laughing and get up in the morning laughing.

Looking out at Cozumel Mexico. It was misting and the wind was bad you could hardly stand up straight.
Walking the "plank" to the customs building at Mexico.   The wind almost blew us off this thing!!!

Main street in the shopping area just passed customs.  That's where they suggested we stay and Mom and I did.
Man and woman singing and playing musical instruments on the area close to the sandy area.  Just behind them are some of the ships that was docked.
Mom and her pet burro.   hehehe
Just taking a break at Fat Tuesday's before we headed back to the ship.   We had alcohol free strawberry daiquiri.  It was delicious.   Wish I had one right now.  The mist and wind really done a number on our hair!
Proof that we was at Fat Tuesday.   hahaha    My brothers just don't have any idea what all fun we had, and it's better off that way!!!!  hahahahaha   
Some of the little shopping huts down the streets.   I bought some little bottles of shells and sand and I will mix that sand with the sand that I scooped off the beach in Mahogany Bay and make some craft projects with them.
There was a time or two that we just looked at each other and said "what happens on the ship, stays on the ship" and then crack up laughing even more!!!!!         The ship furnishes these really plush white robes.       Some people used them at the pool, other just used them at night  sitting on the balcony and other people wore them around on the outside decks at night if they were out strolling. We was getting ready for bed one night real late, or maybe it was early morning, I don't remember.   I had already gotten into my bed clothes and mom was in the bathroom.        I was looking at my cell phone or something and she came out of the bathroom and I glanced at her and thought to myself that she looked like a little sumo wrestler.       She walked by me and stopped, jumped and took on a karate stance and done a little yell and I screamed and fell back on my bed and laughed till I thought I was gonna pass out!!!!!!!     She did too!!!!!!        She said, "I just don't know where that came from!" I thought to myself, "I don't either, and I hope she goes back to where she came from and leaves my momma alone!"        hahahahaha         We have laughed over that till I just crack up all over again!!!! Some time after we got home, the sun was shining and she was feeling pretty good and she sent me a text saying she felt like she wanted to give someone a karate chop.       I told her to be careful, because I wasn't in the mood to visit her in the slammer for letting her "cruise alter ego" get her in trouble.       For some reason, I just don't think the judge would find it as funny as we did!!!!        Again, we laughed till our sides hurt!!!!!
There's a lot more I would love to share with y'all and many more pictures than time and space will allow, but I am so thankful and grateful that Mom and I got to share this adventure together!!!!!!      I wouldn't take nothing for this time well spent with her.      I am so happy that my husband and love him all the more that he made it happen for me.    It is truly an experience that I'll never forget as long as God allows me to remember it.      I hope and pray that these are memories that I will have as long as I live.

Just as a cautionary note, if you are gonna go somewhere with other people, make sure you know who you will be going with and ask questions.     You have the right to know if someone smokes, or drinks or does drugs or whatever else you can fill the blank with, and then you can make decisions based on your own health and well being.     After Mom and I already had our trip payed for, someone else decided she wanted to go and neither one of us knew her.      I had no idea I should have asked questions, so I didn't.     I blame no one but myself on this matter.        Having said that, I used to be a smoker.     I know how harmful it is to self and everyone around you.      It's really hard to quit, been there done that, so I don't want to be harsh on smokers.   It has been a long time since I have smoked and been around smokers.       Had it not been for God, I might even still be a smoker.     If I didn't have a reaction to it like I do now, I would NOT care at all.      But, over the years I have developed many many allergies, and lost a lot of my hearing due to sinus infections and bronchitis and infected Eustachian tubes, and one of my big allergies is smoke, smoking and second hand smoke and I now wear hearing aids due to my loss of hearing and deal with debilitating vertigo from time to time.       Smoke cuts my throat like breathing razor blades.       For example, I can walk thru the WalMart parking lot and walk thru someones second hand smoke and have a scratchy throat by the time I get inside and then if walk thru more when I leave, I can and will get bronchitis from that.     Were it not for that, I wouldn't care what anyone does, because I can't make anyone care about other people.

With that said, the other person was a smoker.     She didn't smoke in the vehicle, but she had to have the window cracked (blowing on us in the back) and air conditioning full blast (blowing on us in the back, not even on her,) because she is claustrophobic.      Anyway, an 8 hour trip was 13.5 hours due to smoke breaks.       She said it was due to her back, I really don't know!      I just know she always had to have a cigarette or two at every stop and then we got to smell and breathe her ashtry breath.     Before we got out of the state of TN I had a sore scratchy throat and it got worse by the minute.       I finally just said that if mom and I would have had all the info we should have had, we wouldn't have been on this trip and that I will have pneumonia by the time we get home.     I know what happens to my body when I am exposed to that much smoke and it did happen. I have just now gotten over the pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus infection due to not having all the info to make a healthy decision.     I have been about as sick as I have ever been in my life with this. My throat is still very scratchy and I still have a terrible cough and days that I don't feel good at all, but I am getting over it and hope to make a full recovery in the near future.      I just praise God every day that my mother did not get sick from this!!!!!!      That was my prayer when I realized what we was in for.   Hubby said for mom and me to get a motel room somewhere and he would come get us and had it not been for the loss of her money and mine, we would have done that.       There is more I could say on the matter, but no use beating a dead horse.      With this experience, I just know now that I DO have the right to ask questions and should ask questions and tell you that you too, have the right to ask questions to help you make healthy choices.     I know I will be exercising that right from now on and so should you.

I already want to go on another cruise.    That is just wishful thinking, but I can say this, I will know more about who I will go with than I did this time.        I will ask questions so I can make a healthy informed decision based on all the facts.      Now, with all that said, I would not take all the money in the world for the time that my mother and I was blessed to share!!!!!      That was and is truly priceless!!!!!!!       I am so blessed that I got to do this with my mother.       My hearts desire is that we get to go on another cruise together!!!!!!        Who knows, it just might happen again, until then, I will keep laughing and remembering this Carnival Dream cruise, because it was a dream come true (minus pneumonia)!!!!!

Scripture says: Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm37:4

I just have to say Amen and Amen to this scripture!!!   Isn't is awesome and exciting to see how God wants to bless us when we are joyfully in a right relationship with Him and seek to spend time with our Creator.    It was awesome to look out over the ocean and to think that God had this time marked on His calendar for Mom and I to enjoy together.   He truly gave me the desire of my heart and I will forever be thankful to Him for that.

Hope and pray y'all enjoyed just a glimpse into our cruise.   I would loved to have shared all of with y'all, but as I said earlier, space and time won't allow.    Hope y'all come back soon.    Remember that God is waiting to give you the desires of you heart, just delight yourself in Him.

Till next time, God loves y'all and so do I!!    hugs, Patty