Just Jot It January – 2019 – Mementos

Well, I’m excited about the #JusJoJan prompt for today, “Memento,” as suggested by Tara from Daisy Smiley Face (cool blog name isn’t it?)

This is one of those times when I feel like I can safely showcase some of the things I do since “Mementos” are a specialty of mine.  As I was remarking on one of the other blogs today, every time I make something, whether it is to give to someone I know or to sell to someone I don’t know, I try to make it a memento that they will want to keep rather than just look at and throw away.

One of the first things I made is a little mini-album for some friends of ours.  We had gone to a concert together and I of course took pictures.  I put this little memento together for them.  It is made using paper bags.

We had a tailgate party in the parking lot before the show.

I included some pictures from each band we saw:

Night Ranger



There are little things that pop out from the top and pockets.

And I included a set list of the songs each group sang.

The back cover.  This little memento isn’t going to take up much space but it really shows the fun we had that night.  I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out.  

Another thing I did was to make a scrapbook for another friend who was getting married.  She wanted to do something special for her mother so she brought me some of the things she made when she was little and as projects through grade school.

I added some embellishments and used a lot of her “art work” as the background pages.

She said her mother cried when she gave it to her.  I love to hear that!

I have also made keepsakes for a baby’s first year.  

It is using paper bags too and there are spots to put pictures and make notes of important things that happen during the month.

Again, they are not very big and don’t take up much space but they serve as mementos of the important things.  
The most recent thing I made was a birthday card/mini-album for a woman who came by my booth at the Holiday Boutique.  She wanted a special memento for her son so I came up with this:

 There is room for pictures and special notes.

It keeps opening up to about 2 feet when it is fully open.

I’m pretty sure you can’t get something like that at the dollar store and hopefully it will let her son know how much she cares about him.  
I’ve mentioned the shed that we are going to be putting up in our backyard for my craft room and I am going to use one of the “Happy Albums” from Creative Memories to document the process.  

It has an undated calendar and there are some extra pages I am getting for the pictures I take as we are under construction.  I think I’m going to add pictures from when we did the roof, siding and bathroom remodel too.  It will be my “house” memento keeper and I can document the changes we’ve made to the house since we bought it 22 years ago.  (Since we only started doing things to it in the last few years, it won’t be that thick – LOL). 

What did you think of my little projects?  Have any special things going on that you would like me to create a keepsake for you to remember it with?  In addition to my Etsy site, I am also a Creative Memories consultant so there are lots of ways I can help you with your mementos.
Hope you don’t mind the plugs, but if I don’t do it once in a while, you might never know how talented I am!   😂

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Just Jot It January – 2019 – Master and Song Lyric Sunday

Linda says the prompt for #JusJoJan today is suggested by Sadje and is “Master.” 

We have learned this morning (or maybe last night if you are in a different part of the world) that Helen Vahdati has to take a break from hosting the #SLS group for health reasons.  Fortunately for us, Jim Adams at A Unique Title for Me has volunteered to take over as MASTER of Ceremonies for the group.  He has given us the prompt of “doctor/health/medicine” in honor of Helen. 

My choice for today is Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi

Bad Medicine
Your love is like bad medicine
Bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
There ain’t no doctor that can cure my disease
Bad medicine
I ain’t got a fever, got a permanent disease
And it’ll take more than a doctor to prescribe a remedy
I got lots of money but it isn’t what I need
Gonna take more than a shot to get this poison out of me
And I got all the symptoms count ’em 1, 2,3
First you need, then you bleed, and when you’re on your knees
(That’s what you get for falling in love
You get a little but it’s never enough
That what you get for falling in love)
Now, this boy’s addicted ’cause your kiss is the drug, whoa
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
There ain’t no doctor that can cure my disease
Bad, bad medicine
I don’t need no needle to be givin’ me a thrill
And I don’t need no anesthesia or a nurse to bring a pill
I got a dirty down addiction that doesn’t leave a track
I got a jones for your affection like a monkey on my back
There ain’t no paramedic gonna save this heart attack
When you need, then you bleed, on you knees
(That’s what you get for falling in love
You get a little but it’s never enough
That what get for falling in love)
This boy’s addicted ’cause your kiss is the drug, whoa
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
So let’s play doctor, baby
Bad medicine
It’s what I want. Bad, bad medicine
Ow, it’s what I need
I need a respirator ’cause I’m running out of breath
You’re an all night generator wrapped in stockings and a dress
When you find your medicine you take what you can get
‘Cause if there’s something better baby well they hav’n’t found it yet
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
There ain’t no doctor that can cure my disease
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
There ain’t no doctor that can cure my disease
Bad, bad medicine is what I want
Bad bad medicine. Oo baby, oo babe
I gotta go I gotta I gotta go I gotta medicine
I got I gotta do it again, wait a minute wait a minute
Hold on I’m not done. One more time. With feeling
Come on. All-right. Help me out now
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
There ain’t no doctor that can cure my disease
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
There ain’t no doctor that can cure my disease
Bad, bad medicine is what I want
Bad bad medicine. Oo baby, oo babe
I gotta go I gotta I gotta go I gotta medicine
I got I gotta do it again, wait a minute wait a minute
Hold on I’m not done. One more time. With feeling
Come on. All-right. Help me out now
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
You got the potion that can cure my disease
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
You got the potion that can cure my disease
Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need, whoa
Shake it up just like bad medicine
You got the potion that can cure my disease
Songwriters: Richard Sambora / Desmond Child / Jon Bon Jovi
Bad Medicine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

My husband (not my MASTER even though we say he is Head of the Household for tax purposes) says that Bon Jovi is a chick band and perhaps that is true but we have seen him a few times in concert and I notice that the hubs can get up and dance and sing along with the songs pretty well so…

Yes Master

Do you have a master in something?  Like Bon Jovi?  Hope you are not sick and need some good medicine!  Get well soon, Helen.

Combined the two prompts for today so you don’t get bombarded by emails from me because I’m sure you have something better to do.  Be sure to visit the other #JusJoJan and #SLS participants too! 

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Just Jot It January – 2019 #SoCS

Our prompt today for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday/Just Jot It January is “sap/sep/sip/sop/sup.”  

The point of the Stream of Consciousness is to let it flow without too much thought or correction so here goes:

I’m a sap for cutesy things so when my daughter called and asked if she should buy an owl Christmas decoration I said, “Sure.”  Owls have become my new favorite, I don’t know why.  I still love koala’s but isn’t this guy cute?


This owl and his buddy, an elephant, have been outside on our front porch as part of our display but guess what?  It’s raining cats and dogs today and no one else is home so I had to get sopping wet bringing them inside.  Mr. Owl and Mr. Elephant are now sitting in the middle of the hallway getting warm and dry.
Since my husband is out of town also, the cat (he calls her Puppy because she follows him around) and I are alone.  This is her waking me up in the morning with the insistence that is it time for her to have breakfast.  Normally this is SEP (which I just learned today means Somebody Else’s Problem and I really like that so I’m sure I’m gonna be using it more!) but now it is apparently MP (my problem) so I had to get up and feed her.


Since I was up, I got my coffee and had a few sips while I was reading everyone else’s offerings for today.  There’s some really good stuff out there.
Finally, I got this set of stamps recently and I can’t wait to start making some cards and things.  My son says, “Sup?” all the time so it reminds me of him.  Not that he looks like any of these guys really, just that he says the word – lol.


Image result for tim Holtz stamps sup
I think they are hilarious.  I’ll bet I could make SEP work with them too!
Okay, there you have it.  Hopefully you followed the ramble to here.  Please stop by some of the other participants in today’s
See you tomorrow for Song Lyric Sunday and #JusJoJan…bet you can’t wait!

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Just Jot It January – 2019 – Enigmatic

Well we have a fancy word for today, “Enigmatic,” as proposed by Virgobeauty.    She’s making me think! 

I talk about my crafting a lot but my “real” job is as a medical transcriptionist.  I have been fortunate enough to be able to work from home for the last 18 years doing transcription work.  At my busiest I was transcribing for 6 doctors.  Most of them were orthopedics but I also had a dermatologist and an ear, nose and throat specialist. 

Here is a sample of one day’s pick up from one doctor.  Fortunately these were medical reports and not just office visits so I had a couple of days to work on them.  You can see the microcassette in the envelope.  That is how I was listening to the dictation.  
By definition, enigmatic is an adjective and means difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious.  Anybody who has gotten a prescription written by a doctor knows that their handwriting is just scribble and the terminology they use is enigmatic to say the least.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to do much reading of their handwriting since it was all dictated but I did have the charts in case there was something that I didn’t quite catch on the recording.  In fact, I consider myself pretty good at deciphering the handwriting of most of the doctors.  Knowing the meaning of the terms helps a lot with the spelling as well.  There have been some doctors I have transcribed for who have accents, however, and that makes their dictation a little enigmatic as well.  
The transcription business has evolved quite a bit over the last 18 years and I no longer have any doctors who use the microcassettes.  I can get all my dictation sent as files through an email and I type the reports and send them back that way as well, all password protected of course so that the confidentiality is intact.  I rather like it because it means that I don’t have to go to the office to pick up the tapes and files.  Keeps my desk much neater, plus I can work from anywhere that has internet access.    
Can you read your doctor’s handwriting or is it an enigma to you?  
Written as part of #JusJoJan as directed by Linda G. Hill.  Please be sure to stop by some of the other participants and come join us if you’d like!

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Just Jot It January – 2019 – My Blog

The #JusJoJan prompt today from Linda G. Hill is to write about my blog.  Why I started it, what my theme is and how it has changed my life.

I’m going to be honest here, I originally started my blog to promote my Etsy shop and try to interest people in my cards and crafts.  See, here I go:   

I thought I’d be rich and famous no problem.  Quite quickly I realized that no one knew who I was so no one was reading my blog and that makes getting sales a bit difficult. I decided to join a few challenges to try to “meet” some people.  

Nothing much happened but slowly I began to realize that I was enjoying the blogging and didn’t even mention my Etsy shop very often!  Then I found the A to Z Challenge and that really made a difference.  I started following a lot of people and began learning so many interesting things.   
I even got an award which I thought was really cool at first because, you know, mystery, but actually I’m not even sure why it is called that.  Since then I’ve gotten a couple of other ones but I don’t feel comfortable nominating other people so I didn’t participate.      

Now I am blogging because I enjoy it.  I am an introvert so big crowds are not my favorite thing but I can easily “talk” to the 130 followers I have no problem.  I’m not sure 130 people actually read what I write but whatever.  I still participate in challenges and I like to try and come up with interesting tidbits of my own to share with others.  For example, they call the city I live in the “City With A Heart” because we have a heart-shaped street. 

My husband and I go to a lot of concerts and I like to share the pictures I take and tell about our experiences. 

I don’t even mind sharing a picture or two of myself once in a while.  This is me on the occasion of my first birthday.  Aren’t I cute?  

I did add some affiliate marketing into the mix because I’m still trying to make some extra money.  Creative Live is one of the ones I belong to and they have some pretty fun online classes in a lot of different areas, not just creative ones.  I’m definitely not getting rich (yet) but I have gotten some money from the affiliate links (probably from the classes I took myself!) and I did actually make two Etsy sales from people who saw my things in the blog (thank you Jay and Dawn!)  
My “theme” is “sharing smiles” because I really believe that smiles are contagious and we could all use a little more of them.  I call it “Janet’s Smiles” for that reason – also because my last name is Miles but my maiden name starts with an “S” and when I wrote Janet S Miles it kind of hit me that way.  I try to make my posts fun although every once in a while I have posted a story that was not so fun (when we had to put our cat down).      
And then there are pictures like this:

Maybe I’ll start my own challenge one of these days…

Thank you, Linda, for another fun day in bloglandia.  How about you?  Read my blog much?  Write one of your own? 

from Blogger http://asmile4ufromjanet.blogspot.com/2019/01/just-jot-it-january-2019-my-blog.html

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Just Jot It January – 2019 – Reading Challenge for 2019

For the last few years I have been doing a reading challenge following the PopSugar List.  Last year I was able to read more than what I had set for my goal of 25 books.  In fact, I read a whopping 38!  I think that’s pretty good considering I usually only read at night before bed.  This year I have set 40 books as my goal.  I am on Goodreads which helps me keep track of what I’ve read and what I want to read.  You can find me there as Janet Miles if you want to be my friend 🙂

One of the last books I read in 2018 was the second in the Braxton Campus Mysteries by my blogging buddy, James J. Cudney, called “Broken Heart Attack.”  When we left our sleuth, Kellan, at the end of “Academic Curveball” he had just been offered a new job at the Braxton College and was secretly informed that his deceased wife, Francesca, was not in fact really dead.  Since Kellan had started to rekindle a friendship with a girl he knew in college, things could get a little sticky.  He also had to decide whether or not to tell their six-year-old daughter that her mother was still alive. 

That is just the beginning of Kellan’s busy life when one of his grandmother’s friends dies while watching a play put on by the college and “Nana D” asks him to find out what happened.  More missing relatives, cocaine-laced medications, secrets and lies abound and Kellan does his best to make sense of it all.  He figures out who the guilty party was of course but will Kellan be able to figure out his own life?  Not until at least Book 3 in the series.  Nice going with the surprise endings, Mr. Cudney.  Way to make us want to continue reading!  “Broken Heart Attack” and the other books by Jay can be found on Amazon.  I have to say that it is because of these books that I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited and read them on my iPad, which is something I had never done before.  I like to hold the actual book in my hand generally, but if James keeps churning out these great stories I’ll go broke if I buy hard copies of them all, not to mention my husband will kill me as the books overtake our house! 

I think one of the reasons I was able to read so many books last year is because I went through the challenge and tried to fill the categories with books I already owned or could get easily from the library.  I’m doing that again this year and some of the books I’m listing are:


Phil Collins, “Not Dead Yet.”  This was on my list for last year but I ended up choosing a different book.  This should fill “Book written by a musician” don’t you think? 


“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” by Ann Brashares as “A book with an item of clothing on the cover.”  I have the second book but never read the first and I don’t want to read the second until I do.  I didn’t see the movie either for some reason.  Maybe I’ll have to find that too.


“The Nutcracker” by Alexandre Dumas is the book I am starting the year with.  I know about nutcrackers but have never read the book or seen any of the performances.  Shocking, right?  It was on sale at Barnes and Noble for $4 so I picked up a copy.  Cute little thing with the pages edged in gold.  Fills “A book inspired by mythology, legend or folklore.”

“Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt as “A book about a family.”  I got this from the library book sale recently.  For $7 you can fill a grocery bag with books.  I got quite a few. 

I was excited to see the category “A book about a hobby” because I got this book, “Make, Take, Murder” by Joanna Campbell Slan at a scrapbooking event I went to last year.  Of course I love to read about scrapbooking!  I was even more excited when I opened it and found that it had been autographed by the author!


I can’t remember reading or seeing the whole movie of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee either so I’m using that one to fill “A book with at least 1 million ratings on Goodread.  Apparently I’ll be one in a million! 

So there are six of the books to get me started.  Are you a PopSugar Challenge follower?  On Goodreads?  Have any suggestions for the other categories?  By the way, message to James Cudney, one of the categories in the challenge is “a book that is published in 2019” and another one is “a book set on a college or university campus!”  You can help me with my challenge reading if you write another Braxton Campus Mystery! 

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Just Jot It January – 2019 – Vision Cards

Last year I participated in #JusJoJan for the first time and it was really fun so here we go again.  The prompts for this project are coming from Linda G. Hill.  Come join us!

Today Linda suggests “Resolutions” so I’m going to Jot about the Vision Cards I made for 2019.  I’ve been doing this practice for the last five or six years now and I really find it helpful to keep me on track with my goals.  I don’t say “resolutions” because those are easy to dismiss.  Goals are a better word for me because while I may not actually reach the goal, even if I take some tiny steps toward them I am succeeding.

As I did last year I made six cards and they represent:  Home, Healthy Living, Crafty Business, Money, Relationships and Adventure.  It’s a little bit of a process as the first thing I do is get my pictures and words/phrases together and arrange them on the cards.  I use 8-1/2 x 11 inch cardstock and then cut it in half.  Last year I used them vertically but this year I’m trying horizontal. 

Once I am satisfied with the way they look, I glue everything in place and add a few touches here and there. 

I call this one “Go Places.”  I’ve used Travel as a theme before and this time I’m concentrating on the things we can do around our own neighborhood.  There are many “tourist attractions” close to home that I’ve never seen.  After all, I didn’t walk across the Golden Gate Bridge until I turned 60 even though I’ve lived in the Bay Area all my life.  Alcatraz Island and the Winchester Mystery House are easily accessible. 

Next is Health.  I’m not saying I’m going to lose 100 pounds this year, although if that happened I’d really like it!  Simple things like eating healthier, walking on a regular basis and doing some dancing will help me lose weight and get in better physical health.  I want to be able to go on those adventures!

Money!  With the crazy stock market the way it is, I’m worried about our financial future since both my husband and I are collecting Social Security now.  Our “retirement fund” is secure but it is not much and I’d rather see the market up rather than down.  We also need to get a handle on credit card use, etc.  I at least need to see where we stand at the moment so I can figure out the best course for us.

Connect – I am an introvert so big parties are not really my thing but that doesn’t mean I have to live like a hermit.  We had a great evening with some friends having dinner and then going to the beach to watch the sunset in 2018.  I’d like to do more things like that.  I also need to connect more with the hubby.  Even though we are in the same house 24/7 most of the time I am working either at my typing or in my craft room and he is in the living room watching TV or in his garage.  We go to concerts together but I’d like to watch more movies with him or go for walks, etc.  

Crafty Work – In a month or so I will be getting a shed in the backyard to use as my workshop (A SHE SHED! – LOL – We are not calling it that though).  I really want to increase my Etsy business and I have a few other ideas for using my craft skills to add to our income.  Plus, it’s just so much fun!  Making a buck or two here on the blog wouldn’t hurt either.  Or maybe I can be a break out YouTuber with my how-to videos!  

Last but not least is our house.  We have done a few major things to the house over the last few years, new fence in the backyard, new roof and siding on the house, new bathroom.  When our daughter moved home from college we painted her room and when our son moves back home (hence the need for the shed in the backyard) we’ll paint that room too.  But, not all the things around the house need to have such major changes.  A lot is just giving it a deep clean from room to room and making some small adjustments here and there.   

As far as I can see, all things tie together and if I start working on one area, it should benefit one of the others as well.  What do you thing of my vision cards?  Consider making some yourself.  I learned about them from Jamie Ridler and they have really been helpful for me. 

So, that’s my #JusJoJan for January 1.  How are you doing today?  Make goals/resolutions/plans for 2019?  Share!

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