Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh the places you'll go, The people you'll meet

Everyday we would head out. We would see literally hundreds of men/boys riding bikes with big baskets attached. The bikes were leg powered or some would have motors and a canopy attached. They'd be parked along the busy roads wandering the ditches looking for wood, hunting for the food for the day. If people in the states think they got it bad, come here. These people are poor. They are also happy, friendly.Guadeloupe was being honored while we were there, shrines were everywhere. It was pretty cool. The picture i took of a particular one has a spirit coming from it. (or at least it looks like its does.)
We walked along streets and could see people living in these buildings with no doors or glass in the windows. Some with no roofs or thatched roofs. One room dwellings with cows and chickens living right in there with them. The women of the house cooks the food and washes the clothes with a big kettle in the middle of the room over a wood fire. Men gather and hunt, the women cook. and do it all over the next day. That's their existence. It's different from what we are used to, but, who's to say it's bad.

We decided to go to Celestune for the day to see the Flamingos. We rounded up a fellow with a boat and were waiting to see if other people would show up, to make it a little cheaper. I was sitting in a bar a while bill went out for a smoke. About 10 min. passed and he comes running in all excited , grinning from ear to ear." You'll never believe who i ran into , She's coming in to meet you". I'm at a loss. In walked a women, Cathie, this is Cindy and she lives here. She speaks ENGLISH!!! (You have to understand, bill and i have been talking very little to any one but, ourselves). Cindy was very very nice and gave us a lot of advice and a name of a hotel to stay at., if we wanted to stay an extra day. Cindy had a story, but, i have a feeling it wasn't the story she was telling us. She had a face like a road map. A little ruff around the edges. She said she was an artist. I do believe it may have started out that way.
We Found out that she moved there 20 years ago. Bill and i were saying "oh, how wonderful it would be to Quit your job and do what you love to do." Her comment was " You do what you NEED to do." I really liked Cindy a lot. I wish i could have talked to her more. We had agreed to meet later that night, but she never showed. I think she needed to turn some tricks. sad, but a reality.
We saw the flamingos and what an incredible site. The horizon was hot pink. We were able to get pretty close. We really loved this little fishing town and stayed a night. Highly recommend this place. TO BE CONTINUED....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Exploring the backroads

Jorge, told us the best place to eat and was right on the money. Our hotel wasn't the best for food.The restaurant a little further down at "The Lodge" was cheaper and Tasted a lot better. We ate there everyday. On occasion another couple would show up.
He introduced us to Laura,she was the hotel "PR" person. We became pretty good friends. She'd tell us of places to go to experience the Mayan culture. Everyday a new map. "The puc route", small villages and smaller ruins. A place where pottery is made and the traditional clothing.We did that and drove to a large city called Campeche, It's a larger colonial city along the Gulf.
Campeche was crazy driving in. So we parked and walked as much as possible.
We found some school kids that helped us find a music shop. They were unbelievably helpful. They hung out with us for awhile and we noticed adults were looking at funny. Then it kind of dawned on me. Gulf city, age of consent is 14, sex trafficking is rampant. We were the only gringo's to be seen. They trusted us and Bill found his "Slipknot" cd. They interviewed us for their English class. We have discovered that if you need help in a foreign country, find a school kid. English is being taught. After this trip, we are going to invest in "Rosetta Stone" . Has anyone used it? continued.....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yucatan a Magical place

The 1st day at breakfast, we were approached by a man named jorge that said he would be are guide to the ruins. He was worth every cent. He gave a tour the made you feel a part of the mystery . I could just feel the energy that surrounded that place. Bill has always been in tune to things like that. Jorge turned out to be a good friend to have the rest of the trip. He told us he's been a guide for 40 years, spoke 5 languages. All self taught. He said a quide has to be a historian, singer, comedian, photographer,
philosopher.poet. He was all the above. To demonstrate the way sounds amplified in the ball court he belted out a frank sinatra song. He had everybody laughing.

back to the grind

Back from land of Sun and fun and relaxation. We had a wonderful relaxing, crazy and somewhat spiritual time on our visit to the Yucatan. The 1st strange thing was the plane was half full . Our pick of almost any seat on the plane. Then, we know from previous trips.Look out for the sharks,I'm not talking about the fish. We get out of the airport unscathed. The rental car is a brand new Nissan march, with only 12 miles on it.
We drove across the country to our hotel at Uxmal. Uxmal Hacienda, a very big and beautiful place located across the street from the second most impressive of the ancient ruins. The room was fabulous, and had been occupied by Caroline Kennedy in 1993. We used this as a base to travel somewhere different everyday. We put over1300 miles on our car. There were many days that i felt, we were the only people staying there. I'd go down to the hotel bar every day to see if was anyone new. We were the only one eating at restaurant, later in the week there were a couple of Europeans with maybe 1 that could speak a few words of English.
more tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


We are heading out to Mexico this Sunday. Flying into Cancun and renting a car and driving to the hacienda near uxmal. We will be there from the 11 to the 23 of December. I can't wait!!!! It will be pretty laid back, see the ruins and surrounding villages. visit the flamingo reserve. Flea markets in Merida.
We will be doing a 4 hour drive. advice given....keep doors locked at all times and don't drive at night. When we pull into a gas station make sure the meter reads zero before they fill er up. Also make note of EVERY ding or dent in the car before you take off.
That 's just common sense. It's all just common sense. Trusting your instinct, in other situations.
I also splurged and made the big switch. I bought an i
IMac. I'm still trying to figure it all out. Lots to take in. Bill is pretty bad at computers and is slow to embrace it. He was just getting used to the other one. I also got an IPAD to bring on the trip. Still no cell phone though. That's something i CAN live without.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy thanksgiving everybody!!

I know everybody loves the holidays. I am working. But, that's OKAY. I volunteer. The hospital usually is slow. But, transplants are always happening on the holidays. Someone asked why would that be. Well, maybe people feel more giving on the holidays. Or maybe they are always happening and since there are no scheduled cases there are just the usual amount of transplants. Those aren't scheduled. Let's just say "people are more giving during the holidays"
I know i will let them take everything that can be used. I am a donor. Why wouldn't you be. You can't take it with you. How many people do you know that have had one or need one. Lots of people that's a fact. Go on get on the organ donor list. You will make someones day "Someday".

Thursday, November 3, 2011

old man winter is almost here

We haven't had a big freeze yet. The leaves have turned. The bees have left the hives. I walked out the back door and my neighbors asparagus bed was glowing. It's a very old established bed. Beautiful!! Then my other neighbor just purchased a tumbler composter. I thought of getting one. He is finding out that it is a lot more work than they let on. I'll stick with my worm bin. Now that is easy.
Bill was out today collecting hornets nests. They can't be harvested till after a certain time. To assure they have left the nest. These are from past years. He did get a nice one today. He left it in the shed (just in case)to be sure they have left the nest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Good morning sunshine

This is what i love to see 1st thing when i get up. The sun streaming through the windows in my sunroom. It makes me feel good.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I'm still here. I've bee busy working on my niece's present. It's a tribute to her Grandmother. It's okay for my 1st try at this. Making and stamping and painting all my own tiles from polymer clay. I also used some of her old jewelry. Glass tiles and milliflora. I will say it was a lot of fun making. What next.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trying something new

This summer i went to an art show in Des moines,Iowa. I went with my sister and her daughter Abby. We saw this beautiful piece. It was a wooden plaque (very large) covered in these little tiles, with cool designs and colors, with quotes and little sayings, all combined to make a really neat piece. It was an instant favorite for all of us. price tag.... 500.00 I thought, wow i could make that.
I went home and got busy. I had almost everything to get started. polymer clay pemo and sculpty 1,2,3. rubber stamps and paint. Let me say it is very addicting. and I'm having so much fun with this. Making all these little tiles, different sizes and different designs. It's limitless. I haven't made any finished product yet. I want plenty of tiles to work with.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fabulous tapestry from India

Okay Gayle, here it is. it covers a queen size bed. Jeff and John are my good friends and the own a shop called "Dwell" in coralville Iowa. They were listed last year as being in the top 50 stores in retail (furniture) in the country. They were just picked by Ty from extreme home makeover. To do the furniture in house they are doing in Waterloo, Iowa. Anyway this came from there and at a great price. so if interested let me know. I'm buying the other one. They very beautiful. I am a sucker for cool textiles. crazy quilts and needlework.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sick as a dog

Both bill and i have been sick. It's going on 2 weeks. Dr. said it's a viral infection (in my lungs). It sucks. Sleeping all day, With so much to do. No appetite, no energy. So hopefully pick-up some antibiotics on Monday.
There has been some crazy things going on at the care center where my mom is. That has taken a toll on me. She had bruises and a cut on her ear. It seems to have been a girl that has been wonderful, very caring, professional. I felt mom was in good hands. Mom said they had a brawl (wrestled) and fell together. After having a very bad verbal fight. So did this happen or did mom fall (herself.) She can't remember anything that happened. I can't imagine this girl doing this, but.... Mom is fine and the girl suspended. there is a state inspection and a hearing and interviews. I'm leaning to the fact that this girl did have some altercation with my mom, but, no one knows what exactly. Mom is already moving on. forgotten.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

remembering.... madame sofie

Bill and I were reminiscing about our 1st trip together. I'll give you some background. Bill and i worked together and I really had it bad for him, unbeknown est to him. I invited him over one night and he literally NEVER went back home. We never even had 1 date. That was in June of "83". We both quit our jobs in November of that same year and backpacked Europe for 1 and half months. Believe me, you really get to know someone. With eurailpass in hand and "Lets go" Europe book (our bible) mix with a passion for adventure we were off. Certain things really stand out. We had read about madame Sofie in the lets go book. She was in nice, France. She was in her 70's or 80's and lived in a big pink palace called "Palace' Maria Christine". She was a holocaust survivor. Every morning she would get fresh flowers for our rooms. She showed us where to buy food. We were able to use her kitchen. For the past week (in Germany) all the blood sausage and skin/lard spread for bread, the sight of "corn flaks made me salivate. I bought the milk and flakes, she took the milk out of the fridge and put it out in the screened shelf (outside). "Refrigerator only for good things". I Thought "What the hell" But, i let it go. The next morning I had my cereal, the milk came curdling out. It's good for you. She keep saying."Eat, it will put hair on your chest", in her thick accent.She Was our favorite grandmother away from home. She gave us lots of needed advice. We wanted to rent mopeds to tool around nice, Monte Carlo, ESE Village (very cool place) Vallauris.She was so dead set against us doing that. It was very very dangerous. We went against her advice and went on our moped adventure. If she knew we would have been booted out. Any way, madame Sofie was a national treasure. She had a guest book That was filled with thousands of visitors comments with great stories. Her walls were covered with towels (from other countries) that people had sent her. I could go on and on with her stories.I've tried googling her but, nothing comes up. So, I'm putting something out there in hopes others who know her might google her and find this post. But, there has to be someone out in the land of the Internet that remembers madame Sofie. We were both in our early 20's and what a grand adventure it was. We hit Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, France. Maybe more adventure stories and the people we met, later....

Monday, August 29, 2011

mosaic high heeled shoe

My latest project. It was fun and easy to do. I filled the shoe with plaster of Paris. Then covered it with epoxy clay. after it set, on went on the cut glass and baubles. It came out pretty good. now what next.
On another note. I had to get a new hard drive. An HP. I am having loads of problems leaving comments on other blogs. (vintage green, the one that never works) I've enabled 3 party whatever, makes no difference. Gary i know you gave me some advice but, i can't find it. Any advice?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

body world

Today bill and i went to Des Moines to see "Body world". It was incredible. It was so hard to believe it was actual bodies and organs we were looking at. It was pretty impressive. For anyone not familiar. In 1977, "Plastination" was invented as a way to preserve medical specimens without formaldehyde. The technology replaces natural fluids with a flexible plastic. The result is amazing. You can see tendons and capillaries organs, muscle as they are.They have people posing in different activities, dancing (flamingo dancer) acrobats, runners. If you get the chance to see it, go it's worth a visit. They are looking for donors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The lost art of letter writing

I read in the paper the other day, that at least 20 or more post offices will be closing in small towns all over Iowa. What a shame. I'd really miss our post office here in lone tree.
Who out there doesn't love to go to the mail box and discover a handwritten letter addressed to you. It's exciting and the anticipated joy of reading what a friend or family member took the time to write. All the junk mail and charities and bills, but finding a letter amongst all that garbage is a real pleasure. It also something that can be saved and read over and over. Something that years later can be found in a long forgotten box and read again and bring joy and fond memories once again.
I happen to save every letter anyone has ever sent me. It's like a form of recorded history from my life. What was going on at that time in my history.
When my family and i were going thru mom house, sorting and throwing things. We came across a LARGE box full of letters. All separated into 4 piles. 1 for each of us. Letters from all the kids (4 of us) from the time we left home to present. Another box full of letters my Dad had written my mom, asking her to marry him. (i wish i had her letters that she had written him)
When i got home. I started pulling out letters I had written from when i was 18 and 19 years old and in college. I read what i had written and thought. If i had been mom and dad I would have arranged an intervention, Or traveled to Iowa City to drag me back home. When i wrote i was very truthful in what i was doing. Lets just say i was a party girl. But, it really brought back many memories that had disappeared many years ago. It was a treat to read them. I also got my hands on about 50 or more years worth of dairies that my mom wrote in religiously every day. VERY COOL!
So, everyone! Go write someone a letter.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

new treasures

I went to large art festival, it was in Des Moines. Beautiful and mostly expensive stuff. but i did pick up a couple of things. Last year i bought a neat vase but broke it about a week later. Luckily i found her here at this festival and bought a new one. Then a beautiful hand made tile. I couldn't resist.
My lilies are blooming, the prickly pear cactus is blooming to. Bring'm on. my favorite time of year. Coming home at night and the air is filled with the most intoxicating fragrance.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

wool work

Bill and i went to fairfax over the weekend. We stopped to see barb of simply iowa I always find something to drop some cash. More things to say "where am i going to put this?
My weakness is folkart or crafts that have survived from the 1890 and early 1900's. Wool work, hair art, shell work, the list goes on. These are my latest finds. I can imagine all the hours spent weaving every one of these petals. with fine wool yarn. all hand dyed. Also a real plain but, interesting hair memento.