Saturday, May 30, 2009

The other day LW and I were at Office Max. This is one of those stores where we have our own agendas and shopping lists. So at the door we "fan out" as my kids say when we are on a shopping mission :) I really didn't have anything on my list so I was doing the aisle cruise dance, in case they had gotten something in, I just had to have. As I rounded an aisle I looked up to see the Crayola Crayons display :)

I couldn't help myself, it stopped me dead in my tracks and the next thing I realized I was being drawn in like a moth to a flame. I don't know about you but there are certain things that the sight of will illicit all kinds of memories starting in childhood. Things that just seeing wrap you up in a warm fuzzy cocoon. Well seeing a new box of 48 or better yet 64 Crayola crayons (with the built in sharpener) is like that for me. Making art with crayons are some of the earliest creative memories I have. In fact when I think about it crayons were part of many events in my young life.

There was always shopping for school supplies and picking out first the Fat ones, then graduating to the box of twelve skinny ones. Oh but you knew you have arrived when the supply list called for a box of 24!! :)

Ahhhhhh but then there is the Bad Boys the box of 48 and the best of the best the OH MY Gosh box of 64!!!! Now those were what daydreams were made of. You knew if you asked for crayons for your birthday or Christmas you would for sure get the box of 48. But that didn't guarantee the coveted BOX. :(

We grew up the children of an Army dentist this meant we moved a lot. When it came time to plan the move or the long car trip for a vacation, Mum would let us each pick out a coloring book and crayons. Now we could have the box of 64 if the three of us would share.... oh yeah like that was EVER going to happen!!! So for trips we settled for the individual box of 24 :(

Then came the occasions in life that you could gage how undesirable they were by the box of crayons you were given. Tonsil out, braces on, vaccines for foreign countries, stitches, casts...... Unlike most kids, crayons (and coloring books) remained a part of my life as I grew into adulthood and are still a part of my Little Art Corner. :) I took a new box of the Bad Boys and a couple of coloring books, to college with me. When the stress of a paper got to be a bit much, out came the crayons and book. My daughter was 3 months old at her first Christmas and I made sure there was a box of the Big Fat ones under the tree for her. :) I'll bet you would find a box of at least the 24s among her things now :)

One of the first things I do when I get a new box home is pull all of them out and organize them by favorite colors and the ones most used. Yes well even those well adjusted people have certain eccentricities :) The browns are always first, funny it has always been that way. Then they are followed by the blues. When I was younger I use to say my favorite color was blue because if I said brown someone always felt compelled to tell me that brown was such a ugly color especially for a girl to like. When I told my Mum, she just gave me a huge hug and whispered "there are no ugly colors they are all beautiful" :)

Yellows and greens came next. These were always very important colors because how did you make the sun and grass without them??

Reds and oranges were used lots, they were just such happy colors!!

The pinks and purples were used much less, and to this day these are not colors I really spend a lot of time using. Each Spring I buy one piece of clothing that is pink. I tell myself that it really is a lovely color and I'll really enjoy wearing it. It hasn't worked yet and I'm 53, I'm thinking it's just not going to happen. As for purple, well the only time I ever wear purple is when there is a new bruise, where I ran into my desk corner :)

The last 3 colors to go in are the white, dark gray and black. The black is essential for drawing around the edges of the coloring book drawings. It still didn't see much use cuz it's much more fun to spill over the lines with color then it is to stay within the lines!!

SO back to the other day at Office Max. Just like the moths not being able to resist the flame, I reached out to that box of 48 Crayola Crayons and before I realized it they were bought and in the bag and we were out the door. But ohhhhhh there is nothing better then when you get your new box of Crayola Crayons home and carefully open the lid at the perforations to inhale deeply the "it can only belong to" smell of 48 brand new sharpened Crayola Crayons!!! All the warm fuzzy memories come rushing out, and you can't wait to start making "Sumsing" :)

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

PS. Happy Mother's Day!! It's Mother's Day in the Scandinavian part of Bloglandia!! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

She Coughed, Sputtered and Died :(

Just like the cities up in "North Land" our water is provided via pipes from the municipal reservoir. We pay a monthly combined water/ sanitation bill not unlike up north. However there are a few things that are different here. Water is considered a life sustaining element, and therefore the city must provide you water.
A couple of interesting asides then I'll wander back to my story with a happy ending :) Besides having to provide water they also can't cut off your water for non payment. Yep you read right, if you don't pay your water bill you will continue to have water, as long as you don't move. The water account/bill stays with the house not the human. Because of that it's really important when you go to change residencies you check to see if there is an outstanding water bill attatched to the house you want to move to. Because if there is the city can and will refuse to turn the water back on until the outstanding bill is payed for. Never mind that it's not your bill and the bill is older then you are. If you want water you pay the bill. :) Since water is life sustainable the cost for city water/sewage must be a fee a majority of the community can afford to pay. That translates into the rates being very very inexpensive. Our H2O2/ sewage bill runs about $4 US a month. The downside to this cheap water is that the city never has enough money to do anything but the minimal amount of repair or updating. :( Sooooooo that is the number one reason why NO ONE drinks the water. The purification systems can't possibly keep up.

We also have a rather.. okay very inefficient pressurized delivery system. In fact getting water up high enough to turn a first floor shower on isn't always possible. Ahhhh but since this is a country that's motto is there is always a way. The solution is to use a small pump, to pump the water up onto your roof into a huge holding tank called a tinaco

Now the water is above shower head and waa-laa we have a shower. Some houses if you are really lucky have an in ground cistern so that the city water flows into your cistern, then your pump, pumps it to the roof where the tinacos store it. We are one of the lucky ones, so if our cistern and 2 tinacos are full of water, we would have water for close to 2 weeks. Longer with conservation. :) In a hurricane, tropical storm area this is a very good thing!!!!

We know it's time to fill the tinacos when we only get a dribble out of the tap. One of us walks out to the garage and flips the switch to turn the pump on and in 15-20 minutes we have full tinacos. The other morning LW went to turn on our poor, old, over worked pump and she coughed sputtered and died!!! But, but I need a shower....

Never fear LW gives the plumber a call who said he would be here at 4pm and sure enough he was here at 4pm. Takes a look at his patient, diagnosed it as the bearing were fried and need to be replaced and the pump rebuilt. He'd take the old girl home with him and rebuild her after dinner and by the way "I'll spiff her up with a coat of orange paint" he said :) He would be back in the morning to install her.
So okay I can go one day without a shower. Next morning there was Dr. Plumber with our reconstructed water pump. Yes I can be having a shower in no time, right?? Ahhhhh not quite. The old gal was straining at the bit ready to do the job she was created for. But when they turned her on the check valve in the cistern... yep it died. :( This is starting to look like the "all we have to do is replace the seat on the toilet, but before you are done every part has been replaced" kinda jobs. Not to worry the Dr Plumber says I'll go get a new one and come back at 2 today to install it.

Will I have to go another day without a shower?? Heck no 2pm came along with the new check valve. Our hero the plumber installed it and...... IT"S A MIRACLE!!!! Pattie got her shower!!!

Now you might ask "How much did this little service call cost"?? Well 2+ hours of service and rebuilt time. six trips (back and forth 3 times) new bearings, rebuilt pump new check valve. Oh yeah and a new paint job!! The bill came to $400 pesos (that's about $30 USD) Pattie's shower- priceless :)

Life in Paradise is back to normal. Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on what part of the world you are in ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Few Finished Jewels and One Fat Knee

There are a few of you guys who are familiar with my Bloglandian Sister Lulu from Coastal Sisters. Well about 5ish weeks ago she, strained the ligaments under her knee and has been laid up since then :( Now I'm the first person to jump to the head of the line when a Bloglandian friend wants to share. BUT I draw the line when it comes to sharing pain!!
Last night while going down the stairs I could feel my right knee catch with a slight click. Hmmmm not good with these joints of mine. But the catching stopped and besides I wasn't going to let a little clicking keep me from going on our Saturday date night!! Hmmmmm in hind site might not have been the most prudent decision. I woke up at four this morning with the whispering call of the bathroom, stood up then nearly fell down. Dang if my right knee didn't hurt. Turned the bathroom light on and what did I discover?? A knee the size of a basket (okay a child size) ball!! :( Hmmmm could it be I strained the ligaments behind my knee?? Now where have I heard that before? Sooooooo LW has confined me to my little art corner, our bedroom and bathroom. It really is for my own good you know. There is no going to the Doctor option, not unless I'm finally ready to yell uncle and let the surgeon and gas passer have their way with me :( Yikes no not yet, if I behave myself it will heel enough to stave surgery for a bit longer :)

Since I have had my wings clipped, I spent the day finishing up a couple of pieces of jewelry I've been playing with. I have been saving little hearts for quite awhile now to make a heart charm bracelet. I finally had enough to hang a heart on every link

I made this bracelet with one of those "I wonder what it would look like" and just "how could I hook 2 separate strings of beads together without using any findings" experiments I'm really liking this one. It might never make it to the gift stash. :) Well maybe I should test drive it a bit to be sure all the bugs are worked out. ;)

Not really much to show for a whole day, but when you factor in a siesta and having lunch with Martha it'll pass. Oh and LW cooked for us since I couldn't meet Martha at our favorite cafe. His pasta with bolognase was nothing short of sublime!!

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Confession and a Seed of an Idea...

Confession first. I have kinda been sucked into one of those all I want to do is make art kinda vortexes. You know what I'm talking about. There are all these ideas floating around in my head... "oh I can make that this way", and "what if I do that this way" and "gosh wouldn't that make the perfect..."
Courtesy of,
Makes me want to shut myself up in my Little Art Corner and make art to my heart's content. I mean who knows how long the vortex is going to hang around, or when it will decide to come back!! :) But I haven't been able to shut myself up in my Little Art Corner... cuz well you know there are all those dang things you have to do in one's day to day life :( Here's where the confession comes in. I've sorta been ignoring those day to day things: wash, cooking, Blog postings, you know anything I can say "Just let me finish this and then I'll get right to it"

I might be to "busy" to be sure that LW & I have clean "unmentionables" but I'm never to busy to pass on a piece of exciting news. Little Vanessa of Fanciful Twist has sent out her invitation for her annual Mad Tea Party... Woooo Hoooo!!! :) Be sure you head over to her little spot of Bloglandia and except her invitation. Give the invitation (down there) a press and it will take you there. All the madcap fun that she and the "Mad Hatter" can come up with is yours for the taking :) Just don't be trying to take the Mad Hatter's striped socks!!

Now for my little seed of an idea. Have you ever been part of a Round Robin??? Have you ever wanted to be??? Well I never have been part of a Round Robin and I sure have wanted to be!!! Soooooo I've been thinking maybe I'd just put a call out for one. Maybe a sorta Around the World Treasure Hunt, with treasure maps and hunting for clues in exotic places.

Hmmm have a bit more thinking to do... so maybe I'll let the idea peculate another day or so and then post the invitation. What do you think, anyone out there interested in an around the world trip hunting for clues to the location of good ol' Auntie Aggie's Last Will and Testament?? Well think about it and start looking for your old compass and knapsack. I'll post some details in a day or so. Oh and of course you wouldn't have to have a blog if you wanted to join in on the hunt :)

photo courtesy of Disney Studios

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Little Reminder

Sometimes I need to remind myself...

It is the sum of all the parts....

That the whole is created from.

When you put all the pieces together you find...

a portrait of a most remarkable and unique person!!

Your life is what you create, you are your actions :)

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mother of the Bride

I'm here to tell you that this is the first time I have ever been reduced to tears shopping for a dress. If you have been following along you'll probably remember that my daughter (only and oldest child) is getting married in Nov. :) Because we live here I thought it might be a good idea to start shopping for my dress as early as I could. Mexican women are all about frills, bows, lace and lot did I say lots of bling!! My taste doesn't fall in any of those categories. Every store window we pass I sneak a peak in. I've trolled the different web sites and flipped through a number of catalogs.

So now here's where the tears come in. Where are all the clothes for the young feeling, retired professional, educated, fun loving 50ish women????? Well if you know would you PLEASE share your knowledge??? Surly I can't be the only woman who isn't ready to wear the non-color matronly suit dress. Or even better the two piece formal dress with the sequin or laced top and wide gathered (1inch elastic) waist skirt. In some hellacious color cambos, fuchsia, teal, multicolored, polyester that feels ever so much like silk :(

Don't even get me started on fit. Now mind you I no longer wear my clothes on the clingy side, hmmm it seems to me I never did but I could if I wanted to :). But I do want my clothes to fit and flatter if just a little bit. It took a bit of hard work and will power to shed all those 5 extra pounds that jump on the scales every time I weighed my self.

A few weeks ago while flipping through the different websites summer offerings, I stumbled on to a site with not just a dress that might do. But a dress that could be perfect. So I threw caution to the wind and ordered it, had it sent to Jackie D's house in Texas. Being the good and understanding friend, she "muled" it down for me.

Thanks to the patron saint of middle aged mothers of the bride it fits!!!! YAAAAAAAAA HOOOOOOOOOO :) Happy Dance!!! It's also rather flattering, with not one bit of lace, bows, sequins, glow in the dark colors, and is real soft lovely draping silk!! Thank god it's even long enough, not that ever so flattering length. You know the thick part of your calf one!! ?? Want to see a couple of pictures??

This is the front:

This is the back :

The color in the pictures isn't exactly right. It is quite a bit darker but the blues from the light to the navy are more gray then green so it's more like the range of say a Copenhagen blue.

I love it and I think it's perfect for a November beach wedding in Charleston North Carolina. Now maybe I can find a cute white knit shrug to go with it. Could be a bit cold for this tropical kinda gal when the sun goes down :)

Before I sign off for the evening let me leave you with a new picture of young Dylan. If he keeps growing like this he is going to leave his 6' 3" father and grandfather in the dust!!!!

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time To Recharge

I know it's hard to believe, that a woman who is basically retired, has no real day job and reports to no one any more, should get that overwhelming feeling that her life isn't her own. But I have to tell you some times it happens. I'm tired, cranky, not sleeping well, can't remember where I left my inspiration.

When I get to feeling like I've become a human subspicies I know I need to get to the beach for an afternoon of me time. There really is no way to describe what being there does to my soul. I have always been a water baby. When I needed to think, solve a problem, climb inside my head, or the stress of life use to get to me, I would head to the pool and pound water and dream of being at the beach :) Although I no longer have the same demands placed on my life, I still head for the water when it's time to recharge. The wonderful difference is I no longer am inhaling chlorine scented air and dreaming of the beach. Now the dream is a reality (yaaa hooo) and I don't walk around with green tinged hair from all the hours in the pool :)

Today was one of those well over due beach days. LW took his book. I took the new Somerset Marie Antoinette issue. Yep you know the one that came out the first of April. Well it only took 6 weeks to get my copy here :( I think there is a very happy mail/customs person enjoying the first copy that was sent. Thankfully Somerset never questions when you say an issue didn't get to you.

It was one of those days when we only had to share the beach with a few other sun worshipers :)

I brought my grocery bag in hopes of finding a few shells or the allusive Mermaid tears. As you can see the beach couldn't have been any more bare :(

The only gift from the sea on the beach today was this beautiful heart,which went home with us.

What do you do to recharge your batteries. Do you read, take a walk, a bubble bath, listen to music??? Just what do you do???

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

On our little block any day is a good day for a party. Mother's Day is a very good reason. :) Carmen our social coordinator, was around earlier last week to collect the needed signatures for the permits to close off the block and have a band in the street, and to collect table and chair rental orders. Around 8ish PM give or take and hour or so the band arrives and people start setting up their tables.
In the US Block, work, church, social get togethers that involve meals are generally pot lucks. Everyone brings something to share, it all goes on the communal table and each person helps themselves. Here the pot luck concept isn't practiced. Each family fixes their entire meal, it's brought out to their table and served to their invited guests and family.

Don't get the wrong idea it's not that anyone of our neighbors wouldn't share their last tortilla with you. It has more to do with being able to take care of, feed and love your family. Each women knows what is best for her family, no one can cook as well as she can, no one knows just exactly how you like your meat spiced, etc etc... In this culture a women's value to her family, community, and herself centers around her ability to care for and feed her family. If the concept of a pot luck was presented to my neighbor ladies the first thing out of their mouths would be " what you don't think my cooking is good enough, you have to eat Senora..... chicken and rice?? Does she know how to peel the skin off or salt it just the way you like it?? NO, you will eat right here, I will cook for you."

Each family's table is set up next to their neighbors but each family brings their dinner from their kitchens and sits down together to eat. Now when you start visiting from table to table rest assured that every table you stop at will insist that you have something to eat :) It's that old unwritten competition thing again. To refuse is to insult, to eat to much or enjoy someone else's food is a guaranteed insult to the women of your family. Feeuuu!! who knew life could be so complicated!! :)

The street being set up just before the music arrived.

Boys are boys the world over!!

This is our little table. Because it was 10pm when most people sat down to dinner LW and I ate much earlier in the evening. We had planned to have desert and champagne when everyone else had their dinner. Hmmm that looks like tuna salad and beans not desert to me. Yep remember that who thing about being offered food??? :)

I've decided that it just must be unmanly for men to dance in public once they reach a certain age. But it's not unwomanly!!!!!

That is until you have loosened your joints up with a goodly amount of cervesa. Then to heck with this unmanly business :)

Once again that special little block on Bernardo Vasquez had a wonderful fiesta and it was very quiet on our block until sometime late in the morning :)

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)
Blog Widget by LinkWithin