Saturday, January 31, 2009

Never Look A Gift Horse....

We ended up with a perfectly good desk top computer. It was one of those could you store this for a little while for me kinda things.

As you may remember one of my hopes it that Dulce the young girl who cleans for us will stay in school. It would be sooooo cool if she made it all the way through high school but that might be more then what she wants. I would be very happy if you would graduate from secondary school. Then she would have a marketable tech skill. But even this goal is difficult to accomplish. At seventeen all her friends are thinking about getting married and having babies. In this fantasy you do not need an education, because your knight in shining armor will marry you, support you and the kids and stay with you forever.

But the reality isn't even close. Dulce and her two brothers are being raised and totally supported by her single mom, Irma. Irma works 6 days a week as a house keeper and earns the equivalent of $13 (US) a day. Dulce's father lives in a shack, with no electricity, gas, or an indoor kitchen. When he works if he is lucky makes $4.00 a day as a house painter. For Dulce and her friends this is the reality of their future.

However Dulce knows that an education is one way for her to have a chance to change this reality. I must confess that I worry from week to week that she will stay in school. The peer pressure she faces on a daily basis can wear down even the most determined person. Any time or thing that LW and I can do to help her maintain her determination we are up for.

Did I tell you we had this perfectly good computer?? After visiting with Irma the three of us worked up a bit of an incentive for Dulce. She has been after her mom for months to buy a computer. Even with both their incomes a computer is out of reach. To borrow the money here would mean a 45% interest rate!! Yep in some countries that's call extortion :( So LW and I worked up a contract with Irma as the enforcer for Dulce to buy this computer. First she must come up with a $300 (pesos) down payment. Then she must make weekly payments for the remainder of the $1500 (pesos) sale amount. Side note for the peso challenged, the peso to dollar exchange is 14 to 1, so that's not a bad deal at all. :)

But that's not the end of the contract. As for the rest of it : she must maintain the equivalent of a 75 GPA, stay in school until she is 18. She must live with her mom and she must make the monthly payment for the DSL hookup. If she violates the contract Irma is to cancel the DSL service and reposses the computer.

The contract was to be signed today after Dulce was finished cleaning. Martha would translate the contract and be here to interpret cuz our Spanish isn't that dependable yet. LW would go through clean up and delete the old owner's "files" No big deal right?? :) Should be a 1-2 night job, right?? No problem with signing the contract, making the down payment and taking Dulce and her new computer home on Saturday (today) right?? Okay well maybe one little problem. The old owner an acquaintance at best had a bit of shall we say in polite circles "adult material" Actually no that's not true it was down and out pornography ;( and there was FAR more then a bit :( In fact LW has yet to open a file that didn't lead to another file of.... you got it. Thank goodness it has only been adult, cuz if there had been any children involved the old owner would be on a life time all expense paid "vacation" ..... Okay then climbing off that soap box. So every so often over on LW's side of the room you could hear a naughty word or two followed by "jeez not another one!! I had no idea there was that many sites out there!!" On my side of the room you could hear barely concealed laughter, and yes Lulu a snort or two, but just ever so quietly :) Well that was until I heard... "I guess he never believed his mother when she told him he'd go blind..." Then we both looked at each other and fell off our chairs laughing!!! :)

Contract to be signed in a few days :)

On that note I bid you good day, must go gussy up, tonight is Saturday Date Night ;) Have a most audacious day or evening Bloglandians, depending on where in the world you are ;)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What To Do When Coming Down With A Cold

The best thing for a cold is lots of fluids, chicken soup, a stack of Somerset Mags and lots of naps cuddled up with your best buddy :) I came home with a sore throat, and the I don't feel so
good :(

Now all I want to do is climb into bed with a Somerset Studio and let LW fend off the world for me ;)

Have an audacious day or evening my bloglandian neighbors depending on where in the world you are ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yeah.... It's Show & Tell :)

When my youngest son was in pre-school and kindergarten he was soooooo shy that when it was his group's turn for show and tell he would have an anxiety attack. When I finally figured out that he was always sick on his S&T day the teachers and I had an agreement that he didn't have to participate if he didn't want to. It took a couple of years but he got so every once in a while he would bring something and even show it :)

I finally have decent pictures of the Wedding planner and a few of Annalisa. Our new camera arrived by 'Mule" a couple of days ago so we are learning how to use it. Now I'm not sure if it was something I did when rotating and cropping pictures but every single one of the journal is back on their sides??? :( Hmmm guess I have a project for tomorrow. Oh but the best part is I have new baby pictures and you my friends are just going to have to grin and oh &ah :) That really shouldn't be to hard because he is rather a pretty baby. Humph I think he qualifies as a beautiful baby, but then I would :)

Annalisa is from the trades/working class. So she doesn't have a corseted body. I have a feeling that she is the daughter of the cook and the stable master on a huge country estate. She is a little bit of a thing and is the companion to the Master and Mistress' sickly daughter.

Here she is before we started the ageing process

I removed a cheap looking metal cap and cut back the lining so that the wood stop shows. Now I need to keep an eye out for a cool lamp finial to cover the screw with :)
I decided to age her in stages. The instant coffee and then glace trick would have worked except for our humidity and salt air. I asked Luci once where I might find and old dress form and she told me they just don't exist because they disintegrate after a few years. Remember the old forms are cardboard that are padded and covered. So I decided that turning Annalisa's muslin cover into "oil cloth" was the best way to go. I grabbed LW light cafe colored shoe wax and picked up a tin of the natural color and went to work. I lightly rub on the cafe and then really work in the natural. Then repeat the process. After a couple of time I make sure LW was busy some where else and buff the heck out of Annalisa with his natural boar hair buffing brush :) shhhhh. Well heck it's not like LW spends much time polishing his web sandals, ya know ;)

It's hard to tell by the pictures that there is much change, but the lace collar was the color she started out as. She needs a few more treatments but I wanted to give the material time to absorb the wax. Of course poor Annalisa will never be able to have her Sunday frock on again (the wax will leave grease marks) but at least she won't be attacked by mold, mildew, and various creatures :) Then I think a bit of decoupage on her stand and she should be quite cute.

The journal I think turned out rather well. I tried to honored my daughter's simple no fruu fruu likes but still slipped in a tiny bit of old tatting and a button or two. :) Because this is a working journal and not a coffee table book it needed to withstand being flung in the car, riding on various air planes, taxis, sleeping in motels and hanging out at the multiple water venues she is at on a daily basis. So the tags on the front cover are actually a print of ones done earlier. You will also noticed that I was able to use a few of the 188 Scrabble letters I bought on eBay :)

I started with a cardboard cover 3 ring binder. First I covered all four surfaces with pages from an old novel. Then over that glued the print of the tags, and Artist papers from old Somerset Studio mags. Then applied 3 coats of decoupage medium (watered down white school glue) For the page dividers I collaged prints of the different aspects to a wedding.

The ring at the top left of the page is a picture of the engagement ring. Here is a little better close up

I also punched holes in a couple of plastic pouches glued a couple of pictures on them an put them in with the dividers.

So there ya have it. Now the big Question is finding a "Mule" to take it up to the Northern Lands and post it for me :) Preferably before the wedding :)

And finally here he is Little Cutie Patootie Dylan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) He is now four months old and already has a drop dead smile!!!

SO that is all for tonight's Show and Tell my Bloglandian friends. And maybe just maybe I'll (well we all know the I'll is really LW ) have the little problem of the side ways pictures figured out by the next Show and Tell :) Have a most audacious day or evening depending on where in Bloglandia you are ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mango Season Already & Date Night

Just a short little note tonight. I promise pictures of "Annalisa" in her young state and how she aged in a couple of hours. Also the picture's of the completed Wedding Journal tomorrow. I took them with our new canon and being a rather lazy girl tonight I don't want to do the editing thing :)
On with the title. With our new camera I took a couple of pictures of the huge mango tree in the neighbor's patio. And low and behold the mango trees are putting out their buds!!! They will bloom next month and then in June we will have the most delicious delectable, juicy sun kissed fruit of the Gods!! :) Our little state of Sinaloa is known for it's luscious mangos, plump red tomatoes, and spicy peppers!!!

Last night was Saturday night Date Night for us. Yes we do spend all day together, and yes we can go out to dinner or coffee or what ever any night the mood strikes us. But we have set Saturday night as our night to go out on a date :) We both know that it is so easy to slip into little routines where you start to take things and each other for granted. So from the very start we established our "Saturday Night dates". It's our time to be together to focus on each other and tune the rest of the world out ;) Last night we went down to the historical part of town where the original city beach is. We had dinner at out favorite Greek restaurant. Okay so it might be the only Greek restaurant in town but it still is very good. The owner /chef is a Greek- Mexican :) When he isn't to busy he will make Baklava (yum!!) So we had him pack two pieces to go and we set off towards Plaza Machado. It is one of the many plaza in town, this one is also in the Historical Center and has gone through a revitalization a few years ago. Now there are restaurants and the opera house bordering the plaza. Our destination was the little coffee bar on the square. On Saturday night lining the plaza square artist, mostly jewelry makers set up tables and sell their creations. What a treat fresh Baklava, coffee, and a little people watching for good measure :)

Another lovely Saturday Night Date!! Thank you dear LW :)

Do have a most audacious day or evening my Bloglandian neighbors depending where in the world you are ;)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sittin Spinnin

I thought maybe I should surface for a bit. I really am keeping busy actually I'm barely keeping my head above water, but then that's not really anything different :)

I have been making my Daughter a Wedding Plan Journal. She and Joe will be marring in November, in Charleston SC. That is a very looooong way from here. So I decided that A little planner journal might be a way for us stay a bit connected. Besides being the first born she is also my only daughter so this is a special time for both of us. Here is a picture of the journal almost finished just needs the fine tuning. I'll post the detailed tour tomorrow. I'm rather pleased how it came together :)

I also have been putting the final touches on the Puppy Love Valentine swap Karla is having. I have to get those to the courier tomorrow morning so they will go out Monday otherwise they will never get there in time

I also have been altering this rather nasty looking cupboard for my little art corner. It was one of those press board with fake wood grain paper jobbies. So I'm doing a bit of decoupage and froofing.

And finally.... this dress maker form I bought on eBay made it down here it's only out of the 50s and has always been in a box so she hasn't any character marks yet :( She's a little bit of a thing and will answer to the name of Annalisa :) However she needs to get a bit of age on her.
Okay I had pictures of these for you but Blogspot has put it's foot down and I can't get them on here tonight. Maybe tomorrow

So many projects and sooooooo little time :)

It's time for this little Bloglandian to say good night. Shhhhh LW bless his little heart has fallen asleep in the big reading chair. Have a most audacious day or evening depending on where in the world you are ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some Large Steps & Some Baby Steps Today

Some of ya guys know LW and I live in a very middle class Mexican neighborhood. The nearest English speaking family is a number of blocks away and every once in awhile we pass each other when walking the dogs. The language spoken here is Spanish. Our neighbors are very patient and helpful with LW and my stumbling around and total butchery of their beautiful language, But if we wish to communicate with our neighbors it is done in Spanish. Actually it's more like Spanglish :)

We have worked very hard in the 2&1/2 years that we have been here to fit in and quietly be accepted as part of the neighborhood. We don't try to be Mexican and we don't scream, look at me I'm from the US. Because of this we are slowly earning the respect of our neighbors. We are now greeted by them as we pass their house or pass each other on the side walks.

I have read many of blog entries and news reports talking about the atmosphere and positive feelings about today's historic events. Now you would think that living in a foreign country in a foreign neighborhood today would pass by as any other. But that has not been the case. Today many of our neighbors have congratulated, and commended us for electing a person into the highest office of our land for his leadership abilities irregardless of his skin color. That our country has managed to raise above it's prejudices and move a small step closer to a more human society. Our neighbors have made a point of shaking our hand and telling us we should be very proud of what we have done as a nation.

On the surface that doesn't seem to be a very big deal, but really it is. Today our neighbors stepped out of character to visit in a very familiar way to the strange Americans. For LW and I it not only has been a historic day for our home country it has also been a day that we moved a bit closer to being accepted by the people of our adopted country :)

Have a most audacious day or evening Bloglandian friends depending on where in the world you are ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009

One World One Heart Day 1 !!!! {LAST CALL FOR THIS STATION IS 10PM}

Happy 11th of Feb. !!! When I guess it's not really if you are still riding the Gypsy Caravan :( But like all good things the ride is pulling into the station. We are reaching the end of another grand journey :) I'm not sure how to ever thank Lisa for the creation of her magic tour!! I have had a chance to meet some wonderful bloggers and artist from all over the world. Bloglandians I might never have met any other way!! :)

Just thought you might like to know that the caravan pulls into my little station for the last time at 10pm Mountain Standard Time. Thank you so much for all of your visit, I'm truly amazed at the awesome amount of Bloglandians who have stopped by for a Howdy Do ! :)

I'll see ya here at 10:05 pm when LW draws the name of the winner :)

Addendum: The long awaited Jasmine oil has finally arrived. I finished the sachet last night and there is a picture of it posted down (down down down) at the end of this post along with pictures of the rest of the give away :)

Today is the first day of Lisa Swifka's brain child, One World One Heart. This is the third year for her world wide Bloglandian block party. I mean can you imagine Bloglandians from all over the world headed on a HUGE mobile block party! :) For me stumbling into Bloglandia has been a grand adventure!! It has been great fun discovering different blogs, making friends with people from everywhere. And the best part is discovering those very rare humans that become kindred spirits. Many of these friends I will only know through the internet, but none the less they have become a very important part of my life. :)

I have also discovered that one of the positive side benefits to playing here in Bloglandia is I have become if only minimally more proficient with this "dad burn contraption" !! Really I have! It still takes forever but I can do more then manipulate my mouse around my email and eBay ;) Now if I could just gain even a tiny bit of control of photoshop!!

So back to OWOH first you don't have to have a blog and you don't have to have a give away in order to go a visiting or to register for many of the give aways. As for my little give away it's open to all who would like to sign up. There is only one rule but for me it's a Jiyhugest one. Leave me a comment on this posting and when you do leave me a most definite way of contacting you if you are the winning visitor. Soooooo if you don't have a blog to link back to PLEASE leave me an email address, and don't sign with that guy anomamos's name :) Okay so that takes care of my give away what about the hundreds I do mean hundreds of other meet the Bloglandian and their give aways ?? Well for that all you need to do is head over to Lisa's special One World One Heart blog and she has the links to all the other participants. You can get there by pressing on her OWOH button right here :)

There isn't a big rush to have to cover all the blogs right away the block party lasts until February 12th when we will all draw the winner's name for our give aways. You can leave a comment on this posting any time between now and then to have your name thrown in the hat :) BUT (yeah I know there is always a but) you have to leave it on this post :) Ah but no worries there I promise to make it easy for you to navigate back here :) Now if you are a blogger and this is sounding like way to much fun to miss out on, head on over to Lisa's blog and register, there still is plenty of time!!

Let's see did I cover everything??? Yep I'm thinking I did...... Oh well I guess there is the matter of just what my little give away is <<< ;) >>>. Well in the spirit of the heart theme I have collected a couple of hearts and a few things that are truly Mexican.

There is a clay wall hanging of the sacred heart. The heart in Mexico is a very spiritual image used in all types of art. The hearts are sighed by the artist. In fact everything I have put together is hand made by a Mexican artisan.

I found this little hand made blank book, made out of handmade paper and hand stitched. It's stamped with one of Freida's images. She and Diego are considered two of Mexico's finest artists.

This is a small treasure/coin/whatnot purse. It's just the right size to stash those happy little finds you stumble on while out walking the dogs, cats, or rabbits, It is made with the inner shell of the coconut and stained with dye made from the pods used to make Jamaica juice.

There is a tiny little hand painted palm bark box and inside of it are atty bitty hand made worry dolls. They are made out of match sticks pieces of paper and scraps of cloth. The legend says that Mexican children are given these little boxes of worry dolls so that each night they place one doll under their pillow it then becomes the dolls job to worry about what ever is troubling the child.

There isn't a picture of it yet {there is now ;) }but there will also be a lovely heart shaped sachet made my ME :) I'm waiting on{finally came} the freshly distilled jasmine oil that will be at the market at the end of the week. When I get it put together I will post a picture of it also. {Look down} I made it out of a piece of vintage jacquard velvet The ribbon is vintage tatting, along with a piece of muslin printed with a line of music and the title of the piece "My Heart Sings" Then I attached an old gold & rhinestone musical clef. It can be hung by the tattered bit of ribbon at the top.

Soooooo there you have it. Have fun and be sure you visit as many new blogs as you can. It's a great way to meet wonderful people and you never know which ones will turn out to be a kindred spirit!!

I'm off to go "A calling", have a most audacious day or evening bloglandia depending on where in the world you are ;)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Very Quiet Saturday

So here it is 9:30 on a Saturday evening and we are still in our sweats ;) It was just one of those days. You know the kind I'm talking about.

Wake up without a whole lot of ambition, dink around reading the papers (on line for us) having morning coffee and before you know it "Where in the heck did the morning go??" Jeez it's almost noon think we should think about a shower, I suppose but let me just get this done. Okay I'm ready. Oh it'll be just a minute I sorta started this while I was waiting for you to finish your project. No problem, I can check my mail. Okay I'm ready , oh jeez hang on just a minute I'm right in the middle of answering this email..... The next time you run into each other it's now 4 PM, Oh heck why bother now it's so late :)

And so that's the way today went. It's not like we got nothing done I started decoupaging a nasty looking fiberboard cabinet for more stash room. LW worked on the kitchen sink facet that insists on leaking. See we did do things we just did then without getting cleaned up for the day. Which is sometimes a good idea cuz you are guaranteed to be stuck at home. I mean I'm not willing to take the risk of causing the emotional scarring of young children or the elderly :) We are also not willing to risk not being allowed back into the neighborhood.!!

So that pretty much limited our Saturday evening options to staying home listening to CDs and reading mysteries. Not exactly Mr & Mrs. Excitement but we like life this way these days.

Nope we didn't turn the TV on or put a DVD in, because we never replaced our TV when we moved here. We decided the old one we had took up to much room in the trailer(remember 5'/8' is not much room) We would buy a new one when we got here. That was 2&1/2 years ago. We really didn't watch much when we were up north so we didn't have any shows we just had to watch down here. Sure makes life kinda simple and it's one less piece of furniture that has to be dusted:)

Have a most audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on where in the world you are ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Meet The Kids

Kinda a quiet Thursday evening and I haven't the energy to generate one creative thought. So here are a few pictures of the guys or as they are known here as the "girls and the "kids" I'll introduce them with the oldest and the biggest and then head down the list . Interestingly, the oldest is the biggest and so on until you get to the last one who of course is the youngest and the smallest. Makes things easy that way. And boy let me tell you with 5 dogs we love easy!! :) All of the guys but little Rubi Ru are adopted. Rubi Ru is a gift from one of my closes and dearest Mexican Friends, Luci

Okay as Ed Sullivan use to say "an oooon with toenite's shoew"

This is Talli LW adopted her from the Shelter in Boise when she was but a tiny fluff ball No longer :) Tallie is a swelt 80 lbs of Yellow Lab. She and LW have been together for 12 years in our dog pack she is our alpha

This is sweet Nickie, I adopted her from the Boise shelter when she was 4ish. She is our mystery child. We don't have any info on her past but we know she was beat and yelled at. She is our little lover she is shy, and never argues, she is just happy be be with people that love her. She can never understand why the others grump from time to time :) She is our midsize black lab she's 8 years old and is 75 or there about lbs

This is Nena. Luci and Tony rescued her from the street as a 5 week old puppy that boys were abusing. :( She is a real live breed called a "street dog" Her parents were from the streets back many generations. These are very different dogs that look the same and have the same behaviors the world over. She was full of worms and covered in ticks None of the four of us, or even the Vet was sure she would live to be a healthy dog. But oh my she is one (no actually) she is 10 big handfuls. She is perched up on greyhound legs and weighs around 35-40 lb's of pure muscle!! She is still a big pup at almost 2 years :)

This is Charli he is our little "Full Priced" rescued Chihuahua. He was sitting in a tiny cage in an unheated store window with no water and food to big for him to chew last winter. He was dehydrated and minutes away from hypothermia. He was a puppy mill baby that was pulled from his litter at 4 weeks so he could be sold as a Christmas present. The store owner gave us a 100$ break if we payed cash for him right then. So my white knight reached into the hip pocket of his armor and said fine. I guess I don't have to tell you that the two "men" in the family are each others shadows ;) Chari is 14months old is maybe 4inches tall and 4lbs of big bad brave :)

This little sweetheart is Rubi Ru (pronounced like Pooh's buddy Roo) She is the first daughter of the last litter of Rubi and Chewi's pups. She is a gift from Luci and Tony, so like I said she is our only non rescued pup. She and I tend to chum around together. She loves to sit on my lap when we are in our little art corner creating together :). She is 8 months old (fully grown) and weighs in at a hair under 3 lbs and is about 3&1/2 inches off the ground.

So there they are the whole famdamily!! And if you don't think we make quite a sight motoring down the hi-way in the "Yellow Submarine" :)

Have a most audatious day or evening Bloglandian friends depending on where in the world you are ;)
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