Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

More thrift store love....

A great wicker chair I found at a thrift store in Austin a few weeks ago. $10! It's hanging out in the guest room for now. May stay there permanently. (My paint really does not look like a baby poop yellow in real life! Swear!)

A chandelier I found yesterday for $15. Wasn't sure if it would look ok since our kitchen table has wicker and black iron accents, but I figured it would be fine since we have silver/stainless accents throughout the kitchen (your thoughts on the mix of black and silver? I see it on HGTV shows and it seems to work ok).

It sure beats the ugly ceiling fan the previous owners had up there!

Not a thrift store find, but since we put up the new chandelier, Hubs and I bought a new pendant light tonight to go over the sink. It just had the ugly builder-grade brass fixture with ugly plain globe. I hated it. I've been wanting a pendant light. Hubs picked out this new one. Wasn't my first choice, but I like it.

And just for grins...we took Cissy to the dog park today...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heaven on earth

While waiting not-so-patiently for spring, and since we've been having such weird weather lately (cold, then warm, then cold, then windy, then rainy), I think it's important to be reminded of perfection.

A.K.A. the USVI.

About 3 years ago, at my company Christmas party, I shockingly won the grand prize! Out of about 5,000 people, I won two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental US, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or Caribbean.

Yes! I was shocked, really, because I never win anything. Ever.

I've always said the storked dropped me off at the wrong house in the wrong part of the world, because I am a total beach hound. I could happily live the rest of my days on a beach, as long as it's warm.

I always felt gypped. So now, every chance I get, I go to the beach. Usually it's the gulf, which is fine by me, because we have a place that is special to us. San Diego was wonderful too. But nothing, NOTHING beats the Caribbean! And when I had the chance to go there with my free airfare, I jumped at the chance! I literally did jump up and down when I found out I'd won this prize! I jumped, danced, sang a giddy little song and went from cube to cube to share my excitement with my coworkers! ;)

Hubs had a passport at the time due to his worldly travels as a musician, but I didn't. And we needed to book our vacation fast (per the rules of the winnings, we were under a time limit). So under the advice of coworkers, we looked into the US Virgin Islands since no passport was needed.

We looked into St. Thomas and St. John, because we could visit both in one trip since they are just a short ferry ride from each other. We really wanted to stay on St. John since it appeared to be less crowded, but because of our short notice, we couldn't find anything available. So we booked a cute, funky resort on St. Thomas. We loved this place. Hubs and I are not 5 star kind of people. We aren't into stuffy, pomp and circumstance, hoity-toity. We are real, and even on vacation, we are real. The resort we booked was very cool by our standards. It had a neat history, and was very eclectic...totally our style! It was built to blend in with nature, and had the neatest gardens and nature trail.

There were a lot of beautiful, and "interesting" plants on the nature trail.

We had lots of visitors as well...tons of lizards, iguanas and stray cats. There were lots of cats. They just looked so sad and skinny and full of mange. Most of the cats were skittish, but one kitty was especially sweet and would come visit us every time we went out on our patio. She looked to be either pregnant or nursing, and we figured while we were there, she (and the other cats) would have a good week of eating. We went to the grocery and bought a bag of cat food. The day we left, we heard her meowing, and we looked up to the balcony above us and saw her with her kittens. It was almost as if she was saying "here are my babies, thanks for feeding us!"

On St. John, we saw lots of wild donkeys! That was probably one of the highlights for me. There's something to be said about sitting on the beach with a donkey next to you! ha!

Hubs and I love to try to blend in with locals no matter where we go, stateside or otherwise. I mean, what's the point of visiting somewhere if you want it to be exactly like "home?" So we asked around and went to eat at the places the locals recommended. We stood on the side of the road and caught a safari bus into town. Those are quite the experience! Pick-up trucks are outfitted with bench seats in the bed. You pay $1 and can ride the loop around the island. Scary at times, especially when driving on the side of the mountain and there's nothing to keep you in the truck, or to keep the truck on the road! We got to meet lots of locals that way, and they were awesome!

We also stayed away from the touristy beaches that are havens for cruise ship passengers and instead opted to go to the beach that we were told was a favorite with locals. Coki beach happened to be next door to our resort, so it was a quick 5 minute walk. I can vividly remember sitting in the sand, looking out onto the turquoise water, watching locals with their kids snorkeling, and hearing reggae music blaring behind us with the scent of "funny cigarettes" and food being grilled floating in the breeze.

We did do a few touristy things, like go into town, ride the cable car up the mountain, shopped at the millions of stores, visited Blackbeard's Castle, etc.

The local food was so good, as was the music. And I could sit for HOURS listening to the people talk! I love the accent!

Groceries were expensive, as would be expected on an island. However, rum was cheap. A gallon of milk cost more than a bottle of rum. A six-pack of pepsi cost more than a bottle of rum. guessed it...we had lots of rum! ;) In fact, one morning, we sat out on our patio, eating cereal and drinking rum and coke at 7am. Good times. ;)

We did spend a day on St. John, and honestly, if I could, I'd sell my house and move there today. It was more our style as well. St. Thomas rocked, but it has a larger population (40,000 vs. St. John's 4,000) and is more metropolitan. Which is fine, we enjoyed the restaurants, art galleries and shops, but St. John had the natural flavor that is more our style. On the advice of the activities director from our resort, we snorkeled Waterlemon Cay (less of a touristy beach). Our safari bus driver was probably one of the nicest people I've ever met. In his 70s, he told us he was one of the few residents on St. John that actually was born there and still lived there. The only time he ever left was when he was in the war.

The sugar mill ruins were beautiful.

Because Waterlemon Cay is not on the usually tourist route, it doesn't have a supply of taxis waiting to take tourists back to the ferry. So we made special arrangements with our driver, and he came back to get us at the end of the day. Since we were his only customers at this point, he stopped along the route, pointed out special things and gave us the story. He pulled over at the Trunk Bay overlook and let us take pictures. We really enjoyed the time with him.

When I die, if I don't go to heaven, I hope I go to the Caribbean! :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

A new project: glass garden totems

*Linking up with DIY day on A Soft Place to Land since I have nothing craftworthy this week to share*

About 10 years ago, I started reading a garden forum. I've never claimed to have a green thumb, but I still try my best, and most of all, I love seeing pictures of everyone else's gardens. On this forum, there are some great folks with lots of ideas to make their gardens more fun. Some people are so keen and can whip up beautiful creations out of common household junk! So very inspiring!

One of my goals while being on this "paid vacation" has been to tackle some projects that I never had time to do before.

Starting with garden totems.

I love these. I think they are so funky and fun, and such a great way to recycle/repurpose/reuse (my motto). I mean, who doesn't have cabinets full of old vases, candles holders and such that you can't seem to get rid of, but have no intention of using?

And this is how we get garden totems! Fun "pretties" to sparkle among the flowers and shrubs. When the sunlight hits them, they shine.

Here are the four I made last week.

These are so much fun to make, and they go pretty quickly. I've hit a few thrift stores looking for more glass, so I'm hoping to make a few more this weekend. I'll try to get some pictures of these out in the yard if the sun decides to come out.

Also, I noticed I lost a follower. :(

I have more projects to share soon, once I can get some pictures taken. Happy weekend! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Good news and bad news

Good news.

We took Sammi back to the vet this weekend to see how her heart medicine is working. It's doing it's job! Her heart murmur hasn't progressed any further, and the vet said she's doing well. Yay! I even got to listen to her heart with the stethoscope. Now I know what the heart murmur sounds like.

Bad news.

My parents had to put their dog down today. She's a german shepherd named Baby. I know my dad is probably taking it extremely hard, as she has been his side-kick for many years. As is typical with german shepherds, she has had hip dysplasia and her back legs haven't been working well. It's gotten bad lately. I was down in Austin last week visiting my folks, and it was so sad to see her struggle to get around. Other than her hips, she's seemed to be in good health. But today mom said she thinks Baby's kidneys are failing as well. Say a prayer for my parents if you can spare one. I'm sure my dad is feeling lost without her. She was like one if his kids. I took this picture of her this past week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lost....Spoilers. Questions. Answers?

I'm a few days late regarding Lost, but I've been out of town this week (did LOTS of artsy crafty stuff...will share soon!). Who watches Lost? This is my one must-see tv show. I loved Wednesday's episode! But I have been pondering some things...maybe someone can help me out here. :)

Remember in an earlier season where Desmond turns the fail safe key? The sky lit up, and we heard that strange high-pitched sound. A thought just occurred to me...when Desmond has his "dreams" where he can see into the future, is he really moving through time, since he did something to cause the purple sky/high-pitched noise?

And, for that matter, in an earlier season (maybe it was 1 or 2), there was a scene were the losties were on the beach and saw the purple sky and heard the high-pitched noise. The door from the hatch went flying and landed on the beach. Did they move through time then as well, but just didn't know it?

When the people are moving through time, do the people who aren't moving through time wonder what the heck happened to them? Or is all of that gone from their memory once the losties have moved to another time?

When the main island moved, did the second, little island move with it?

And does the island actually move (since it seemed to disappear when the losties were in the helicopter) or do the people on the island move, but the island stays where it is? Because it appears the people are moving when the purple sky/high-pitched noise appears.

Are all of the losties being brought back to the island because of some other connection? Are they descendants of the original Dharma folks/Others (Jack's/Claire's father is somehow important for the island, Charlotte's parents were in Dharma, Daniel's mother is involved, etc.)? If so, is that why the island wants them there? Why?

Is that why there seems to be connections between the losties from their life off-island before the crash?

Why did we see the flight attendant (who ended up being in the tail section) in the Others' camp, looking like she was one of them instead of being held by them?

Does the entering of the numbers and pushing the button (in the hatch) somehow keep the island from moving through time? Because the one time they didn't push the button, everything went haywire (and isn't that how the plane came down anyway? Because we saw in an episode where Desmond was looking at the print outs and saw where the one time he didn't do it, it was the date the plane crashed).

And what's the deal with the foot statue? That never came back into play.

Who were Adam and Eve (from the cave)? Will we ever find out?

What was the point of the "movies" that the Others were showing to people Clockwork Orange-style, like Alex's boyfriend Carl? The movies were psychodelic and said "Jacob will love you as I do (or something like that).

Will we find out what terrible thing happens because Aaron is being "raised by another" (Kate)?

I have more. But this will do for now. ;)

Please, help a girl out! :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Crime and punishment

The crime.

The perpetrator.

Notice how she won't even look me in the eye.

Does this face say "guilty" or what?

The punishment: a heavy dose of scolding. It hurts her feelings (as you can see by picture #3).


Friday, February 6, 2009

I love Jesus but I drink a little

I'm sure some people have already seen this, but it really brings me to tears every time I watch! So funny!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A fun little tag game

Natalie tagged me for this round. I've always been one who has loved filling out surveys and such (honestly, is that weird?), so it's not surprise I love these sorts of things! :)

Here are the rules:
Step 1: respond and rework—answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.

Step 2: tag—eight other un-tagged people


What are you wearing now? jammies

What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading? Kathy Reich's "Bones to Ashes" (I *love* forensic type mysteries)

Do you nap a lot? Now I do!

Who was the last person you hugged? Hubs

What’s your current obsession/addiction? Baskets...I've always loved baskets and have them all over my house

What was the last thing you said aloud? I can't remember, but I scolded one of the dogs

What websites do you always visit when you go online? blogger, yahoo, facebook, etsy, ezboard

What was the last thing you bought? a couple more aqua globes (they really do work!)

What are you listening to right now? nothing

If you could have any super power, what would it be? I would love to make the trees in my yard grow money. haha

What is your favorite weather, and why? I love warm weather because I love wearing shorts, tank tops and sandals and I love to swim

What time do you usually get up? Usually 7 or so

What is your most challenging goal right now? Having patience and faith while searching for a new job

Say something to the person who tagged you: I'm glad you worked things out on the job front and wish you luck if you decide to keep looking!

If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? The Caribbean! I love the US Virgin Islands, and would {LOVE} to have a house on St. John!

Favorite vacation spot? The beach! Preferably the Caribbean, but I do love the Gulf too. Port Aransas is a fave of ours.

What is your favorite item of clothing? Jeans

Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you: Pepsi

Favorite pair of shoes you keep going back to over and over, even though your closet is overflowing with a zillion others: Anne Klein black slingbacks

Name one thing you cannot live without: my flat iron!!

*My added question*
What time is bed time? Usually anywhere from 10pm to 1am

I tag: