Tuesday, July 14, 2015

PTI Release Week Inspiration

I'm a BIG follower of the PTI release week. They have a super talented design team, and I LOVE looking at their creations. This month PTI is giving us a chance to play along by using one of the DT creations as inspiration.

I fell in love with this creation by Nicole Heady:


I adore the colors and the design, so my card is as direct a lift as I could manage:

Thanks for stopping by.
I hope you have a great day!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

An Evening of Messy Fun!

Thursday night a local artist named, Jacki Long, came to Mission Viejo to teach a portrait collage class. I couldn't resist! I love the cabana art that she created for the community center...

(*picture from jackilong.blogspot.com)

... and the Mission Viejo Library card:

(*picture from jackilong.blogspot.com )

I met Jacki, seven very nice ladies, and one sweet dog at a night of art and fun:

(*picture from jackilong.blogspot.com )

I know it looks like I'm by myself, but there were others there. They must have been picking out paint or digging through the huge tub of paper at the time the photo was taken, haha!

Here is my collaged girl. The background is painted, the face is a combination of butcher paper, sewing patterns and yellow tissue paper. The hair is torn tissue and napkins, and I used acrylic paint to finish the face.

If you want to see more art from the night, visit Jacki Long's blog.

I hope that everyone is having a great weekend!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blessed 4th of July

I had last Friday off, so Jim and I decided to go camping. Since it was too late to get a reservation anywhere, Jim left on Tuesday after the plumber left (we had a leak soaking the carpet in the hall). He found a really nice spot over in Wrightwood.

He picked me up Thursday night and we had a great time hiking the Pacific Coast Trail.

Our campground was right at the top of the Mountain High Ski Resort:

We had a nice evening... A little wine, roasted Starbursts and a gorgeous sunset.

And everything went well until about 2:30am... Jim started having stomach pains. We left for the hospital at about 4am. The Garmin said that closest hospital was an hour away. There had to be one closer! So we stopped at the fire station to ask directions. They were really nice and took Jim vitals, pronounced him stable and gave us the address of a hospital 30 minutes away in Victorville. After Jim was admitted I called the kids to see if they could come get Jena. It was going to be 100F in Victorville, so she couldn't stay in the car. Chris said that he would come; driving 2 hours to Victorville to pickup Jena. Then he took her home AND gave her a bath. Meanwhile, Jim was diagnosed to have a 6mm kidney stone... a BIG one! They were talking about admitting him and possibly surgery. After finding out we were members of Kaiser, they called Kaiser who wanted Jim transferred to one of their hospitals... so they transferred him to IRVINE! Oh, look! Jim's first SELFIE. :oD

When Jim left in an ambulance, 7 hours later... I took the truck back up the mountain to break camp and bring the trailer home. Cheryl and Armand offered to drive up and help me. The road was really rough, so it would have been hard for them to get up to the camp in a car. I told them that I had it covered. When I got back to camp, the family in the site next to us had heard us leave that morning. They came over and asked how Jim was. When I said that I was leaving, they all pitched in and helped me break camp. The dad guided me as I backed the truck up and hooked the trailer to the truck. I did check that the hitch was locked (you'll find out why that was important later). After giving the family a roll of toilet paper (of which they were VERY grateful since all the toilets were out) and waving good-bye, I headed back down the mountain. I drove more than a quarter of a mile before the trailer came unhitched from the truck... on a dirt road... in the middle of nowhere...

My first thought was pick it back up and put it on... nope way too heavy. Second thought, get the car jack... I couldn't find it. I figured that it must be under the camping box, which is too heavy for me to move even if it was empty. So I settled for lowering the stabilizers and trying to lift the trailer up with those. As I was in the process of cranking the stabilizers down, another truck came by. The guy saw what was going on and said, "Wow, that's a bummer... Do you want help?" YES, PLEASE!!! He had something called a "Farm Jack" in the back of his truck. I didn't know what that was, but it worked to jack up the trailer. Then I backed up the truck and he reattached it. He made sure that it wouldn't come off.

The rest of the drive was uneventful, but slow... it takes a long time to get anywhere at 55mph. There was no traffic, thankfully, and I got home around 430pm. No one was home, so I unloaded the trailer. Just as I finished, Chris drove up with Jim... the Kaiser hospital sent him home! During the ambulance ride, the kidney stone had made its way to the bladder. They gave him some meds and sent him on his way.

So all's well that ends well. The post in front of the trailer will need some repair, but Jim is fine. Chris really came through by getting up early to pick-up Jena, cleaning her up, and then going to pick-up Jim. Cheryl and Armand were so sweet to offer to drive all the way up to Wrightwood to help me. I have such a GREAT family! And I'm so thankful for the kindness of strangers... the family with two teenage boys in the campsite next to us, and a man driving by on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. So, even though I can't say it was a HAPPY 4th of July... was definitely a BLESSED one!

I hope that everyone had a safe and wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Malibu Creek State Park

I haven't posted anything for a while, so how about some running pictures... Here we are at Malibu Creek State Park last weekend, also known as BullDog.

It was supposed to get up in the 90F's that day, so we wanted to get an early start. A 6:30am start at BullDog means that we get up at 3:30am. It was really nice there in the early morning:

They filmed MASH there, and there are still some movie props left in the park:

So on this run there's Steve... a veteran ultra marathoner. He's run several 50 mile and 100 mile races; and he's giving Cheryl pointers for her first 50 mile race.

And Cheryl has a new friend, named Armand. Aren't they cute as can be :oD

And why do they call this BullDog? Well, supposedly this rock is supposed to look like a bulldog. I don't see it, do you?

Cheryl and Armand, as they say, are eating hills for breakfast!

Have a GREAT 4th of July, everyone!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Floating Islands

My friend, Mary, asked more about the floating islands. It was a fascinating place... definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

We arrived at the islands to be greeted by the Uros family living there. First stepping on the island I couldn’t believe how much you sunk into it and that it actually moves when people walk around.

It's hard to see the map, but one side of the lake is Peru and the other side of the lake is Bolivia. The Uros live on the Peruvian side of the lake.

The lake is full of reeds.

When there is a storm, the reeds get uprooted and float off. The Uros get in their boats and cut the floating reeds up into manageable sizes and drag them back. Here is a mini example of what an uprooted reed block looks like:

They tie all the reed blocks together and anchor them to the bottom of the lake.

Then they cover the island with cut reeds, criss-crossing them to make a thick base:

Then they bring in their houses...

And this is the whole happy family, living on the new island...

The people here also eat the reeds and make their houses out of reeds:

Here is what it looks like inside a typical house:

The entire family... in this case three people, all sleep in the same bed. And yes! That is a TV in the corner! Using money from tourism, they were able to buy a solar generator. Their favorite shows are soap operas :oD

They get insulted if you try to offer them money. Instead, they sell handicrafts to the tourists. Here is an example of their crafts:

The islands don't last forever, they need to add more reeds to the top of the island every 15 days. And they need to make a new island every 30 years or so.

They make their boats out of reeds too...

Here is us riding on the top level of the boat with a view of the island behind us. It's pretty rocky up there, haha!

A little more about the Uros... They dress like this every day:

The women wear pom-poms at the end of their braids. The color and size of the pom-poms indicate whether the woman is married, single, married but looking, or single but living with someone. So there is never any confusion:

Here is another island where we ended our reed boat ride. This island is more populated than the one we just left:

And you think that it looks like a beautiful day? Well, beautiful maybe... but COLD!!! 37F when we left the hotel this morning! There was still frost on the island when we arrived. The Uros are a tough people. They don't have heat and they don't even wear shoes.

Well, that's about it for the Uros and the floating islands. This along with the Amazon and Machu Picchu was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

The three....

I was going to write musketeers, but I think that they're more like the three stooges

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Peru Post Script - La Amazonia

I found a few gems on my camera that I had to share:

Our first day in Lima, we were picked up at the airport by a representative and taken to our hotel which was adjacent to the airport. We didn't know where to eat, where to go or what was safe... so we ate at the airport... Papa John's Pizza for our first dinner in Peru, haha!

Here is a little more on the Amazon. Most of our Amazon pics are on the camera, because we hadn't gotten used to taking pics with the phones yet.

People use boats to get around in the Amazon. It's safer and easier than taking your machete out to walk the trails in the jungle.

Here is our guide Julio and his every present machete (which he does use often). He kept telling us to stay on the path because there could be all kind of bad things lurking under the top soil or grass. He grew up in the jungle, and he could call animals/birds and they would answer him... just like Tarzan :oD

And now pics of our infamous 4 mile hike to Lake Sandoval through sticky, slippery, shoe grabbing MUD!

After 2 miles of mud trekking, we had to transfer to these little boats. Weight distribution was very important, so Julio positioned us in a particular order.

Wash those Willies before getting in the boat!

Down the little channel...

To Lake Sandoval!

There is a lot of wildlife around the lake. It's amazing how Julio can spot them... Howler Monkey, bats, turtles and all types of birds.

On our way back from Lake Sandoval, we saw some gorgeous butterflies, colorful mushrooms, and a toucan. We heard some Capuchin monkeys but didn't see them. We also saw several carts of supplies headed to the lake. Julio told us that there is another eco-camp on the shore. They have to cart in water and supplies every day.

When we got back to camp, we were covered with so much mud that we took a shower with our clothes on to clean them off. Then hung them on the rail to dry.

Oh, I didn't mention our cabin... it was raised off the ground (because of the bugs) and those yellow things wrapped around the legs keep the bugs from climbing up. We have a couple hammocks on the porch that we took advantage of during mid-day (when the mosquitoes were quiet).

The inside was comfortable... with mosquito nets over the beds. We had electricity from 6-10am and from 5:30-9:30pm. We also had hot water (most of the time). The water is heated by solar, so the idea is to take a shower as early in the evening as possible to get the hottest water (or else you get tepid) ;oD

We had our share of wildlife in our cabin. We had a frog who lived in the toilet. We named him Kermit...

Cheryl found a friend living in her shirt...

We also had a huge, fat, hairy spider under Cheryl's bed... it was at least 2" wide. I tried to catch it and take it outside, but it wouldn't get in the bag. I had to hit it with a shoe three times to kill it. (I used Cheryl's shoe, hehe)

Now, around the camp... We had huge lizards, tarantulas living in the trees, macaws looking for kitchen handouts, caimen, and a monkey that likes to ride around on a cat.

There were also agutis... large rodents who are very sweet...

And this is Lola... Want to know how we know her name is Lola?... Lola can talk! The problem is getting Lola to shut up...

And in the Amazon, always remember....