Monday, July 21, 2008

Finished INK!!!

I went in yesterday to finally finish my tattoo. After 2-1/2 hours the end results are amazing! This time was a bit more bearable than the first session. Outlining sucks so bad. Not to say that shading and coloring are a picnic, but for some reason it's not as torturous! I am just glad it's finished, it's been a long time coming. Now I need to let it heal, see if there is any touching up that needs to be done and there you have it... permanent artwork! It's a good thing I really love it! ;-)

This is Scott Ellis, he is the one who brought my ideas to life!

Round two... color.

Finished product, SOOOOO pretty!

Heading out

Thanks to an invite from the folks, I'll be packing up the Piglet and the Monkey Man and heading over to New Mexico this week. We'll stop in Clovis for a couple of days, then head to the cabin in Ruidoso for the rest of the week! I am SOOO excited! Granted, I'm not looking forward to the gas prices or the 9 hour trip in the car with a crabby toddler, but I am looking forward to time at the cabin. We haven't been since last year and although I'm sad that Big Daddy has to stay home to work and take care of the garden, I think the kids and I will still have a good time. The cabin is always a good time! You just can't beat the fresh air, the mild temperatures and all the critters that visit. We usually see chipmunks, hummingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers, squirrels, deer, elk and the bears have been out in force this year! The kids are excited as they will get to see all three grandparents and their great-grandmother as well. So it is very likely you won't hear from me for about a week and a half. But I will come home with great pics and hopefully good stories!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Country For Old Men

We sent the kids to bed early last night so we could watch a movie with more than a "G" rating! Big Daddy had downloaded "No Country For Old Men" by the Coen Brothers. It was actually meant to be our amusement on the way to Mexico. I have to admit, I am glad we didn't watch it before Mexico, it was NOT a movie that would get you into a "feel good" vacation mode. In fact, it was downright depressing. Brilliant... but downright depressing! I have always been such a Coen Bros. fan, my faves being "O Brother Where Art Thou" and "Fargo". This definitely went right along with the typical Coen Bros. character development (which never ceases to amaze me) and Tommy Lee Jones was nothing short of spectacular. The villain was just awesome, scary as hell, but awesome. I was tickled that the dialect that they tackled this time was redneck Texan! Sounded just like home! I think what I found most compelling, yet annoying all at the same time was the fact that it was just this moment in time. You really never quite get the motivation or a serious resolution, it's like someone took a 3 or 4 day time frame, cut it out of life and that was it, nothing before and nothing after exists. The movie is based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. I am tempted to buy it, however, the last McCarthy novel I tried to read, "All the Pretty Horses" bored me to freakin' tears and I gave up on it about 50 pages in. The reviews of the book are good though. Anyway, this is a tremendous piece of cinematography and I highly recommend it. NOT for the squeamish or faint-hearted as it is filled with excessive, psychopathic violence, staying true to many of the Coen Bros. films.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

High hopes!

I don't remember if I posted or not, but on July 4th we completed our second raised bed in the back yard. I planted seeds on Tuesday. Some golden zucchini, dark green zucchini, lemon squash, lemon cucumbers and yes, I planted a pumpkin vine for my kids! These are the first seeds I've planted, the rest of the plants in my garden were transplants, so needless to say, I was quite excited to go out to water this morning and see that one of the cucumbers, 2 golden zucchini, one green zucchini and 2 lemon squash seedlings are peeking out of the soil! The Monkey Man was pretty excited as well! The rest of the garden is doing well. The cantaloupe vine is covered with small melons, two of my 3 tomato plants are producing small harvests, and the jalapenos are producing well. Wish I could say the same for the bells, HOWEVER, I did notice that the green bell has a teeeeeeny little start of a pepper, so it may be rallying for a comeback! But I have high hopes for the second bed. The borers are close to the end of their breeding cycle, the temps are still hot but not miserable and we are actually getting some decent lows at night to cool things down. I just may end up with LOTS of squash! Which is great, more to eat, more to freeze for the winter and more to share with friends!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

San Gervasio Ruins

One big iguana!

One of the ruins, wish I could tell you which one.

We were impressed to see that the ancient Mayans invented screen doors! ;-)

Another one of the ruins, so cool!

Here was a piece of wood that looked like an iguana to me, thought it was a cool pic!
Big Daddy and me enjoying ice cold coconuts on a beautiful beach!

Mommy and baby!

Little striped fishies! These guys would greet us anytime we entered the water. It was like they were checking us out too! However, if you stopped moving they would come up and nip at you!

Some sort of fish

Cozumel pics continued

Yikes! Cocodrilos!

Stingray off Chankanaab.

Celarain Lighthouse, southern tip of the island

Me on an extremely jagged and rocky beach.

Turtle tracks... cool!

Look kids... Big Ben, Parliament...

Ok, really it's some pics from Cozumel! I'm about 3 weeks overdue on posting, but what can I say? Life has a tendency to snap you right square in the eyes with reality when you come home from holiday! It was a wonderful 6 days and 5 nights. It was incredible spending time with Big Daddy and being able to discuss whatever, whenever and not worry about little ears. It was nice to stay up late, the surroundings were, of course, incredible, the resort was awesome, they catered to our every need and it was just wonderful! We did some snorkeling, it was alright, we did see a stingray and that was definitely the snorkeling highlight. I have to admit, the reef is not what I expected. Cozumel is supposed to be one of the top diving destinations and who knows, maybe if you go out farther and actually dive, the reef may be healthier farther from land. There were beautiful fish and the waters were clear and pristine, but most of the snorkeling right off shore was kind of sparse. We're not dive certified though, so there you have it!

We did rent a Jeep one of the days and drove all over the island. We went to the southern tip to see the lighthouse and the turtle nesting areas. We didn't see turtles, but we did see turtle tracks which was cool! There is an lagoon close to the southern tip that has wild crocodiles or "cocodrilos" to the natives. They had a 3 story lookout to check them out and it was neat. We participated in a dolphin excursion in which we were allowed in the water with dolphins. We got to pet and hug and love on them and they did some of their tricks with us, like pushing us up out of the water by putting their noses on our feet! What a rush! Talk about a powerful animal! They were beautiful! One of the dolphins had an 8 day-old baby that was too cute, needless to say we didn't get to swim with them!

We checked out the San Gervasio Ruins. They were awesome to see, but they didn't have any tour guides that afternoon, so we had to walk around on our own and for some reason in Cozumel, they don't really label things in any detail. Here in the US, you get these huge Historical Landmark signs with more info than you ever really wanted to know about something, but not in Mexico. The ruins were cool nonetheless, and the whole area was crawling with iguanas! I almost stepped on one and it scared the crap out of me!

And I know this sounds ridiculous, but one of my favorite destinations was the supermarket across from our resort! It was crazy to see that in Mexico they have Campbell's soup and Speed Stick Deodorant, yet the produce department has vastly different offerings and the bakery and deli sections were amazing! The pastries, cookies and cakes were amazing and at the deli counter they had all these crazy things like crystallized fruits (limes, oranges and such), strange cheeses and meat offerings that I was scared of! And contrary to popular belief... there is nothing cheap in Mexico! Yes they will barter, but not much. I was hoping to bring home some great beaded jewelry, a bunch of t-shirts for family and friends and some Mexican blankets. We managed to get t-shirts for the immediate family, a toy for the Monkey Man and 3 blankets, but that was all we could afford. I guess inflation is everywhere!

The trip was most amazing though in the aspect that I had the opportunity to re-connect with the love of my life. No kids interrupting conversations or anything else for that matter, and the time to just sit and be with one another as adults, as a couple. This was so needed and we swear that every other year, we will take the grown-up vacation, so we can take time to re-discover ourselves. Anyway, on to the photos!

Here's a view from our room, nice right?

Here's Big Daddy hangin' in the hammock enjoying the view.

Here I am waiting on a batch of quesadillas, enjoying the best bowl of pico de gallo I've had in years!

Dolphin kisses, I think I'm in love!

Sunset from our balcony.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Just trying to help...

I was driving the kids to activity co-op this morning down a fairly busy 4-lane highway. I saw ahead of me two old Labrador Retrievers walking in the road. I could tell they were older as the were kind of droopy and really slow, they had obviously escaped from a backyard and taken a swim in a ditch bank or something and they were tired. As I drove by, I couldn't stand it, two good ol' dogs on a busy road. I made a U-turn and headed back, kids in tow. I pulled up behind the doggies, put on my flashers and attempted to get the old guys in the car. They looked like they were considering the lift, but not sure. I had my doors open, calling for them, all the while getting honked at, flipped off and yelled at. Eventually another mom in an SUV pulled over and she and I managed to at least herd them off the road and into an open field that looked like it might have connected to the neighborhood that they may have escaped from. At that point, they were at least off the busy road and had a chance of finding their way home. So I got back in the car and drove off, hoping I wouldn't drive back down that road to go home later and find 2 dead dogs.

Yet again, the lack of compassion in the general public makes me sick! All I was trying to do was get a couple of good dogs, who were probably well-loved by someone, off the road and only one other person stopped to help and the rest heckled, honked and yelled profanities at me... NICE! I mean what should I expect? I was blocking one of the two lanes in that direction and therefore people actually had to drive around me and they may have been 30 seconds late to where they were going! I am absolutely disgusted with a large majority of the human race! A bunch of ego-centric assholes with no concern for anyone or anything else on the planet and we wonder why things are so screwed up! Common courtesy, polite behavior, concern for others, all gone. It's all about numero uno and everyone else can go to hell. I personally don't like this arrangement and I have complete disdain for all those that are OK with this status quo. I'm sorry, but you still open doors for old ladies, you still give up your seat on the bus for a pregnant woman, you still let someone with two items ahead of you in the grocery line if you have a full basket, you still stop and try to help two old dogs off the road to keep them from getting mashed!!! It's the RIGHT THING TO DO! I can only hope that at least some of my generation is raising their kids to have better manners, because at this point, manners are all but obsolete and it is really driving me crazy! And all those people that honked and yelled at me today can just piss off, someday karma's gonna come around and bite you in the ass and I'm sad I won't be there to see it!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Flaunting my skills!

We celebrated the Piglet's 2nd birthday last night. Just a few friends and family and one of her little friends. We had a wonderful time, hanging outside, drinking beer and enjoying some good food! But the highlight of the night was cupcakes! Big Daddy and I made up the cutest batch of "McDuff-cakes" which were fashioned after her favorite book character, a little West Highland White Terrier named McDuff! Check out the mad skills hubby and I have! How the hell are we gonna top these bad boys next year!?!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Although many told me it was too hot and I would NEVER get any cantaloupe out of my vine, I am happy to report... THEY WERE ALL WRONG! I have been noticing the past week or so that my cantaloupe vine is a major hang-out for the local bees. This gave me great pleasure due to the fact that bee populations have been on the decline. I just knew in my heart with all that good pollination going on, my vine just HAD to produce at least one melon. Well, I went digging around in the vine, as it is huge and taking over my yard, and what do you know. baby melons! There are 2 that are about 2-3" in diameter, one that is 1" in diameter and two brand new ones just starting. So FIVE folks, FIVE melons growing on my vine, yee-haw!

My jalapeno plant is producing fairly well, the bell peppers are starting to rally in the cooler (by this I mean less than 100*F) weather, and the tomato plants are starting to produce! The "sweet 100" has little teeny tomatoes all over it, in fact, we harvested 3 bright red ones yesterday! I had to laugh, as I had no clue what "sweet 100's" were, as it turns out they are very small, very round little tomatoes. Very cute, but hardly a mouthful! So it's good that the vine is covered because it will take 30 to make one salad! The cherry tomato vine has a little tomato on it, so there is hope there and the "Golden Boy" is actually flowering like crazy, so maybe tomatoes to follow!

I also got the great news yesterday that I can replant zucchini and squash in mid-July here. The temps start decreasing, the borers are out of season and from what I understand, Texas has 2 summer growing seasons, the late spring through mid-June season, take end of June and early July off, then replant for the second round in late July. Then I get to plant a winter garden. I hope by next year I'll have this all under control. I do know that I need to get that second bed done though in the next couple of weeks as the cantaloupe vine has taken over my one bed, so I have no room for zucchini and squash! No prob though, I can knock a bed out in a weekend! I even still have dirt leftover from the first bed. I am loving this gardening stuff! And just as a note, those little tomatoes may have been completely puny, but nothing ever tasted SOOOO sweet! Ah yes, the taste of fresh, home-grown tomatoes and with a pinch of success thrown in!