Thursday, December 27, 2012

Here's a New Year's Resolution for you.....

Please       Don't     Runover     Turtles........

I just read this article and sadly a part of me is not surprised at the results but at the same time
i was shocked....personally  i'm one of those people who will get out of the car and help the turtle across the road.......I'm one of those people who cringes and slows down when i'm driving thru the migrating Monarch butterflies........and cried when i could not help but runover a raccoon years ago....to just willfully take a life like that is just beyond me......to runover them just for pleasure or a 'hobby' as one guy put it......really?Didn't know it but i guess i'm a turtle hugger too not just a tree hugger....lol 

Slow down.............miss the turtle......Hugs! deb

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Hobbit Movie Review..........

............Raindrops and Cactus.........I miss my plants from Tx.........what can i say? I get attached. :) Many of them i had nursed back to health from the clearance rack. One of my favorite is the Christmas Cactus.........I suppose it evokes strong memories of my grandmother........she had a very old ,woody, misshapen one that for most of the year was banished to the back screened in porch but this time of year it came into its glory...kind of like an ugly duckling.......so this year....in our new home i bought three for my window sill....each of a different color and it felt like a warm hug from grandma.......

I know your looking for The Hobbit review....and its coming........but i wanted to show you a peek in the craft room...........I cannot tell you how fabulous it is to have more than one work station........its the best decision i've made.....I'm showing you two here........the third one has something rather morbid i'm working on......morbid for this time of year anyway.....its more for Halloween. I'll wait until at least after the Holidays to share it. :).......I wanted to start working on some of the oldest projects and that was it!

This tote bag given to us by the VA when we first arrived has fabulous long handles on it and the weave in the canvas it wonderfully tight and small so at the very least i thought i would use it as a practice painting canvas........I'd like to paint on totebags.........just not sure how to go about it........see the black outlines thats fabric paint in a big bottle with a pointy tip ....difficult to work with........at least for me......my lines are very shaky......and of different thickness....depending on the pressure i put on the bottle.......maybe that would get better with practice....not sure........The other lines in the corners with the green is using a fabric roller pen......looks neater and a little easier to handle but i had to go over it a couple times.........I'm having fun! I love experimenting!

........And now that you've been so patient i'll give you my thoughts on The Hobbit........First i guess you should know i LOVED the book........haven't read it in years and probably should go back and reread it.....so i cannot tell you how closely the movie followed the book all i can do is give you my opinion on the movie........I LOVED the Lord of the Rings books AND the movies......I think the LOTR movies were a great credit to the books. I consider them epic and tend to compare all other movies to them..........The Hobbit........It was to their credit to use some of the actors from the LOTR movies.......I'm not sure i cared for the way they portrayed the dwarves...some of them were fine but others were just a little too comical and i think they missed the mark.......This very much comes across as a 'B' rated Lord of the Rings movie......to me anyway it was obvious they did not spend the time or money on the Hobbit that they spent on the Ring movies.  If it makes any sense to you it did not have the 'weight' or 'presence' of the Ring movies......Oh they tried and there were some sparkling moments...I would have watched the movie just for the scene of Bilbo and Gollum and the 'Guessing Game'in the cave....wonderful! The actor who played the dwarf leader Thorin was wonderful too, he has a great onscreen presence....In some places it seemed the returning actors forgot how to play their characters and did not behave as they would have in LOTR movies......ahh...am i being picky?......probably....and you should go its a great ride....Am i glad i went........a resounding YES!.....One huge disappointment i will mention though......I heard rumors of people feeling sick after watching the movie and it was because they used a higher speed film......well i can tell you we did not feel sick but there were many blurry moments in the film that was very disappointing.......whenever the camera would pan quickly everything blurred.......I think they used the higher speed film because it was also made as a 3D version and i guess that works better with 3D. We don't like 3D (read I don't like) so we saw the regular version... All that blurriness was pretty bad.....maybe it will be better when it comes out on video ......So even though i have some misgivings about it and it didn't quite live up to my expectations the movie did get better as it progressed.......is it worth going to the theatre?  Yes! Go! Gorgeous scenery shots and definitely some meaningful heartwarming moments.......Merry Christmas All! Hugs! deb

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MailArtLove Intermission.......

While i'm still working on painting that purple......(taking several coats) i thought i'd show you some postcards i made............these are oversized......and cost a little more to send than your avg postcard but i'd rather work a little big.........this top picture here is the back of the postcard that is in my header ('Sea Monster') I used blank cd labels that my hubby was going to throw away. ( Good heavens man don't you know better than to throw anything away by now! lol) I colored them using watercolor . I have a feeling i used really cheapo watercolors as they became powdery when dry and i had a difficult time writing on them but after i gave it a coat of mod podge i was able to write fine. Lesson learned! It was very easy to get some pretty mixed colors of red/orange/yellow.....much easier than acrylic..........
Heres another postcard...........both these postcards are painted on cereal boxes......the base coat is metallic blue.....i added glitter to the crescent moons......Snow walker is cut from the dust jacket of a book i recently finished.  Excellent book by the way....  :) Playing with paint has been so much fun. I cannot tell you how much. And painting on cereal boxes has really taken alot of pressure off to be 'perfect'............and just relax and play........

This is the back of the above card and again cd labels and water color.......Now back to that seed pod tree..........Hugs! deb

Monday, December 17, 2012

Congratulations !!!!


...........................to Jill and June for guessing Magnolia Tree seed pods! And thank you to everyone who played along! Hubby found these laying in the Staples parking lot. It took me a second to realize what they were then my craft brain kicked in and it was like surely i can DO something with these.....I've had a couple suggestions of spray painting them gold and i'm pretty sure after all this is over with i'm gonna wish i had done just that.  :) 

..............but no..........when i look at these i see a little mini tree......sigh.....I've learned to stop fighting my imagination and just go with it.........so i painted it a metallic peridot green and honestly i LOVE the way that came out....the pictures do not do it justice....the metallic really shows the texture of the pods which is kind of furry and fuzzy..........lots of nooks and crannies........tedious....turned on the Christmas music and sang along while i painted......I was in my element....for some reason i gravitate toward the tedious and time consuming projects.........sigh...........at some point you just gotta quit fighting it...LOL!

Then i ran into my first snag...............Do your craft projects always turn out the way you intended?? Well mine sure don't.....but i try to roll with the punches and usually end up with something worthwhile.....so we'll see........okay the parts i didn't paint green (not including the stem) the little holes where the seeds would have been ..........well i had a vision of staining that with wood stain to keep some of the natural element.  it was shiny and i had some misgivings that the stain would not stick and i was right the stain did not stick.......sigh.......okay what now?   I love metallic paint and own several colors but purple is always close to my heart....AND i LOVE green and purple together........i know some people do not and i  really think its either a love or hate relationship but me LURVE!.....So this is where i'am at now and the purple is taking a couple coats.........as you can see the stem did take the stain and i like that....Many more steps to come.........Hugs! deb

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Question...............

.................for you to ponder over the weekend (okay a couple questions)..........What the heck is this??? I know but do you??Second question : What am i going to do with it??....and then ....What do i see when i look at this?? What do you see when you look at this?? Well you just ponder it over the weekend...give me your ideas and i'll post a progress picture Monday or Tuesday OK?  Ah... the suspense...LOL! Hugs! deb

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cha - ching.......!

Recycling in California has been an adventure to say the least!  They accept so much more than they did in my little West Texas Town and ..AND they pick it up from my doorstep AND i don't have to separate it!!! Woohoo! All pluses in my book! I don't have to have a container for this and a container for that! Nope . Just throw it all together and set it out with the trash on Thursday morning. 

There are a few things we decided personally to separate because we can get moo-la $$$ for it.  One is aluminum cans.......listen to this.... $1.75 a pound!! Now thats incredible. We've watched the aluminum can trade limp along in Texas....lucky to hit 50 cents a pound for quite a while now...years....people no longer ride up and down the shoulder of the highway in four wheeler s looking for cans etc...just not profitable....

And Two plastic drinking bottles........not as profitable as the cans but still not bad.......so about once a month we take what we've collected to the recycling center and collect our winnings and this month it bought us breakfast at Denny's! Just a little over $20 . About $15 in cans and $6 in bottles. Cha - ching! 

All this is so great because i would recycle this stuff anyway.  To know i add so much less to the landfill just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. :)  I hope you'll take the time to look into it in your area.....you'd be surprised what they accept.  Really very little needs to go to the dump and if you have a compost pile (which i do not do) even less need go.......Will you save the earth single handedly??.......heh..probably not...wish it was that easy but at least you may feel like your doing SOMETHING.....

Art coming soon.....just waiting for the recipients to receive their MailArt!!!Hugs! deb

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Double Take..........

.............or around here it would be a Triple Take........I LOVE these black wooden cats i bought off Ebay several years ago.........in the old house they graced the tops of the window frames but here it just didn't seem to fit.....the cats too country and the house too modern.....infact they may not even fit on the stairs here but i like them there.........they're fun.......especially when you do own an actual black cat....I've seen hubby do a double take a few times walking by the stairs thinking one of them was actually Jinx. Whether it actually fits the house or not sometimes................that doesn't matter.......somtimes it just fits ME.
I've painted another postcard........I'll show you next time.........did you notice the one in the header?? Well i'll show you how i did the backside (writing a note and address and stuff). To be honest i have to admit its happened AGAIN..........I haven't posted much because I stumbled across a trilogy book series in an old second hand bookstore in Sacramento and i have had my nose in the books ever since. 'The Crystal Cave', 'The Hollow Hills', ' The Last Enchantment'...........They were written in the 70's by Mary Stewart.  It is about Merlin and King Arthur and the story is narrated by Merlin......it really is fascinating and since it does not quite follow the expected tale of King Arthur it has kept me at the edge of my seat because i never know what twist or turn it will take.....If that kind of thing intrigues you at all i highly recommend it.........Movies of late have included on video.........MIB 3........it was okay........it definitely has lost alot of its original punch.........I enjoyed the ending alot........it was handled really well........definitely good for a rental.......Skyfall........I personally loved this movie but hubby was rather ho hum about it........not sure why......i think hubby did not like them showing Bond as a drunk and druggy.........and normally i would agree with him........for some reason it seem to fit in the movie for me and really it was just a little blip in the movie.......the movie showed some of Bonds roots......where he came from........the ending really caught me by surprise (hubby said he knew it was coming....MEN) I won't tell you what it is incase your a Bond fan i don't want to ruin it.......definitely a must see in my book. Holding my breath waiting for The Hobbit..... i sure wish they would have made the Hobbit movies before Lord of the Ring movies.....i hate it when they mess up the order of things....kind of like the Star Wars movies.....uuughh...See you soon..........Promise! Hugs! deb

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I can breathe again.........

.......................Thanksgiving brought with it sniffles and sneezes and i'am just now coming back to the land of the living........i can finally breathe again..........As others were tackling the turkey i grabbed a box of tissues and my cup of coffee and did something i never make time for but i love to do.....I love puzzles but i have it in my head that they are a colossal waste of time...surely i could think of something better to do with my time and i usually do but Thanksgiving morning was a quiet one........everything was under control and i thought this was the only thing i had the energy to do..........I secretly hoped others would join in and my hubby did for a while but mostly i entertained myself...............
i fondly remember my mother in law always put a puzzle out on a card table during family get together and it seemed everyone children and adults alike took turns throughout the day sitting down and putting a few pieces together.......sometimes the puzzle got finished and sometimes it didnt'..........didn't really matter.........it was the idea of doing something together..........this is a lovely puzzle of four different birds by Charles Wysocki , 300 pieces............anyone up for a puzzle swap??? I'll send you this one and you send me one.........300 - 500 pieces only please. lol  the thousand piece puzzles just seem more like work than fun....lol...  Just email me if your interested nuleaf at comcast dot net.........

I've been poking my head in the craft room lately..........tentative baby steps......feeling my way......not sure what i want to start with......i have so much to choose from ........its hard to know what i want to bury myself off in first.........You'll notice the header changed.....i finished the postcard i started at the apartment...........good to have that done.......it was alot of fun playing with the paint.......figuring out how to get it to do what i wanted it to do........Four days of rain expected here........good excuse to hunker down and get something started...........Stay warm! Hugs! deb

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Its Beginning to Feel.........

..................a little more like home everyday........all my little bits and baubles are finding their new homes..... sculptures are by Haydn Larson. I tried to attach a link here to his website ...hope it works.
Fell in love with his work when i found it in a little shop just outside San Antonio, TX. Each one  has a little cup in the bottom to put something....as you can see in one i put crystals and in the other a bird nest and bird....i was very happy with the look in my old home but now i'm thinking maybe moss and a small candle in each one...............??


The upstairs has blinds at the window but we still have sheets at the windows downstairs....my cuckoo clock that made the trip many many moons ago from Germany to Texas and now California has lost its cuckoo.......well the little birdie is there but he's not talking....hope i can help him find his voice again one day........  :)


The little shelving unit is new...found it in Hobby Lobby....I've always wanted something like this and now i have room to put one...but i have nothing to put on it....lol....I'm thinking maybe a plant or two...this place needs some greenery......those copper plates are from when we went skiing in the Alps while stationed in Germany.  After Desert Shield and Desert Storm the army gave us a three day family vacation there for free!  


Just bought these lamps at Kirklands the same weekend we went to Apple Hill.........My hubby heaved an audible sigh of relief that i finally found something i liked. Poor guy i dragged him all over everywhere looking for just the right lamps......lol..........endtable is new too but i sure don't like how it looks in this photo(that yellow tint is just not there in person)... its a mixture of slate and wood...coffee table the same...I tried to get a good picture of the living room but the camera just wasn't having it....I'll try again.......

New dining room table.....bar height........gets its inaugural Thanksgiving on Thursday.......tried to beg off Thanksgiving this year but when family says.........'I'll bring the turkey!'...what do you do?? lol........and in all honesty it forced me to push a little harder to get things hung up......clean a little more...and even though i'm tired, as i went room to room dusting and scrubbing and vacuuming  i feel more acquainted with my new home .......

I finished a piece of MailArt........a post card........I'm dying to show you but i'll let it get to its recipient first.....The craft room believe it or not is all squared away.....hubby just has to install the ceiling fan.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hugs! deb

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Apple Hill.........


All work and no play.........well you know the saying......even though we are trying hard to pull the house together sometimes you just need to get away..........and a weekend romp to Apple Hill was just the ticket...I almost didn't post the above picture because it wasn't 'perfect'.......but the more i looked at it the more i liked it.......little tents with homemade wares interspersed among the trees......sun filtering thru.......cold in the shade...the sun gloriously warm on your back when you stepped into it.........if the top of that picnic table looks white to you?.....it had a coat of ice on it!

Apple Hill is just what it sounds like........apple orchards........apple picking...apple cider.....apple this and apple that........lots of arts and crafts thrown in.......and not just one orchard but several orchards 'up on the hill' take part........you could go orchard hopping......everyone trying to offer something different...some had hayrides......a fudgebarn........yum.......

Just a lovely atmosphere..........and oh i must have needed it......i think i could hear my soul singing...... I LOVE crisp fall air......to be bundled up and warm but walking around in the cold.....one word...fleece....i good fleece jacket is a gold mine in the cold......i have a red fleece jacket by The Gap given to me several years ago and there 'ain't nuthin' gettin' thru that sucker'......( I have a vision of me looking like a ripe red tomato walking around in it but thats the negative voices in my head i try not to listen to...and i know get off my ass and lose the weight and the voices will go away..)

Lots of the trees had moss growing on them . I got the feeling that, that orchard had been there for quite a while....

One of the best things about apples?........they  turn into this!!! Hubby and i shared a bowl of homemade caramel over an apple........yum........


These guys took my breath away......I cannot begin to describe to you how big they were! They came up to my waist. Irish Wolfhounds!  So friendly and loved all the attention they were getting.....



Last but not least i got hubby to pull over at a tree farm...........our companions did not 'get' it.......why do you want to walk around a tree farm , we're not getting a tree(so they sat in the truck)..........to be out there...surrounded by all the pines........the smell........ahhh....how do you describe it......i don't even think my hubby 'gets' it but he wants me to be happy so he walked with me holding my hand.......I know what my soul craves......what my soul needs.........the quiet.....the stillness......the trees......there was no hiking going on , on this trip but that didn't mean i couldn't walk among the trees.........

We are expecting a rainy three day weekend here..........hope you are warm and toasty where you are.....Hugs! deb

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DareDevil Cat..............



Aaaawww..... look a cute picture of Jinx sitting in a window of his new
home...............cute...innocent....so totally not like the trouble maker we know he is ...right??
Well .......let me show you where he really is......
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
!!!!!!!!!!........that is at least a 15-20ft drop........there are a million windows in this house and he picks THAT one!  And i saw him get over there......he had a hard time getting his balance on that slippery railing and with my heart in my throat i watched him leap over to that window with a sill barely large enough to accommodate him........i was afraid if i yelled at him to stop him it would throw him off balance mid-leap (he is not the most graceful of cats)..........well we are going to have to put something up there to deter him.....i refuse to come home to a 'splat' kitty when i open the front door.........I'm thinking the blinds will do the trick when we get them up there.......Never a dull moment around here when you have a Jinx! Hugs! deb

Friday, November 9, 2012

Just a Quickie!

Still crazier than crazy around here as the picture above can attest to...... On the bright side.......EVERYTHING is out of boxes ...on the not so bright spot......not everything has found a home.....sigh........time.....i know give it time.......The picture above is my craft room ...once i dig it out...Lord i have so much 'crap'!  I have gone from calling it 'stuff' to now it is 'crap'.......projects that are years old and instead of moving with a clean slate.......i decided to bring it all with me........So completing old projects will be the first order of business! You will see everything from mosaic tile to making sunflower pens to painting a box to hold my colored pencils......painting wisdom sticks....and rainsticks.........and that is just scratching the surface.....thats not even drawing  or MailArt...or touching my ceramics.......ceramic? you say.........Ha! I'll show you a picture of them next time.....Okay i said this was a quickie......too much to DO!  But i did want to leave you with this.........

I don't like to advertise.......i don't like it when i go to other blogs and over half their blog is just trying to sell you their stuff......classes and DVD's .......Etsy....Zazzle......etc.......So i'm guessing maybe you don't like that either but today is one of the few exceptions i will make.....You all know from my side panel that i sell some of my drawings on Zazzle and you know that i think Zazzle is incredibly expensive so when i found out they were having a Veterans Day Sale I just had to let you know.....just incase...you know...you've been eyeballing anything but didn't purchase because of the price......From what i can tell your looking at 50% off cards and 30% off mugs and 15% off all other products.....Now thats more like it!
create & buy custom products at Zazzle

I tried to put a link in this post but if it doesn't work you always use the link on my sidebar! The code is 50VETDAYSALE. Okay back to unpacking ...and digging out my craftroom so the crafting can commence!! Hugs! deb

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Can i Come Back.............

.............if i promise to show pictures???  I MISS you guys!  I've been fumbling around with blogger and i THINK i have it figured out.........at least my blog looks the same now with all my pictures and links intact..........I know, i know i said i wouldn't but never say never.....things are slowing down around here now and i got to poking around the blog i never got around to deleting and **POOF** i hit a key and THERE was my blog , looking like it always has.......then i clicked off it.......and thought about it some more......clicked back on and got to looking at my blogroll.........and you know what?? I've really missed everyone.......and i've missed sharing ....well sharing my life with you...such as it is......

When something happens in my life i still think.....oh! i have to take a picture for the blog! ...and then i remember.....no blog.......someone left me a comment saying they had been looking forward to seeing what i would create in my new craft room......and i realized i want to show you what i create.......so........maybe i just needed a hiatus........i see other blogs go on 'bloggy breaks'......maybe thats what i needed......so stay tuned! Hopefully my first post here uploads just fine........hugs! deb

PS.....Is anyone still checking back here??.......hello......  :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Well blogger finally did it...........they  forced me to the upgrade.  This is not something i care to tackle.
My love affair with blogging has been waning and this might just be a good reason to let it go. I could sit down and figure out the upgrade but i choose not to.  Blogging since 2008 i think...its time to move on.
Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement in my artistic endeavors. I want to leave you
with a little bit of news that i was saving for the coming weeks......we are in the final stages of buying a house!!!  A brand spanking new one.........i will have my own craft room for the first time ever!!! Exciting things happening! Anyone wanting to still stay in touch you can reach me at my email.....nuleaf@comcast.net .  Time to turn the page to the next chapter...........Hugs! deb

Monday, September 17, 2012

Infusion of Art..........

...........after so much traveling what this blog needs is an infusion (transfusion) of Art! I have to say i've been in a little bit of an artistic 'funk' lately and this Work In Progress (WIP) has been in 'progress' for a little while..........but see i have some news.....i mean NEWS waiting on the horizon that i want to share but i'm holding my breath ...which is hard to do on a 'Just Breathe...' blog and i don't want to 'jinx' it if that is even possible.........well anyway its just put me in a funk of sorts......But everything is coming to a head and good news or bad news i will share it when it happens...........Now......art....... I love this piece for a couple of different reasons.......one...its recycled chipboard from a FiddleFaddle box......I coated it with ModgePodge and let it dry and the acrylic paint is going over it beautifully..................... .........and two....I watered down the acrylic and went across the top edge of each layer and then had a fabulous time blowing the paint........what i see..........what i want you to see are waves and thats the foam on top blowing over the crested wave.......do you see it??? i hope so......and what could that scaley thing be lurking in the layers???? Well this is going to be a postcard......an over sized postcard...I've already mailed one of these thru the mail so i know it will go......official postcard size is 4x6 inches but thats way too small to have any fun with lol! And...............I won a GiveAway over at Jean Zoss's bluebird blog . What an amazing box of goodies this was! She also stuck some of her artwork in there and papers....what fun! These magazines are way more abstract than i am but they teach me to loosen up a little and i find ways to add different techniques into my more structured art......This really was a box full of JOY! Thank you so much Jean! Well stay turned i've got some book and movie reviews coming and we went to the Harvest Festival this past weekend...no cameras aloud but i'm dying to show you what i bought! Hugs! deb
PS. I disabled the Word Verification again.......i KNOW how annoying it is.....lets give it a try...if it shows back up you know it didn't work out......sigh.......

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Expectations...........

...........are a dangerous thing.........I have always been under the impression that Monterrey Bay Aquarium is the 'Cream of the Crop' when it comes to aquariums......I'm not quite sure what gave me that impression for all these years.....something i read or watched on TV...i don't know...but it was definitely on my Bucket List and i was very excited to go and therefor.... ............very disappointed when it didn't live up to expectations......You wouldn't think so from these excellent photos my Hubby took.......aren't they amazing!? He did such a good job shooting thru the glass......and the curators at the aquarium sure knew how to make those jellies pop with their color choices........My favorite has to be this one above......I think they were called Sea Nettles.........and yes they sting! Those skinny tentacles deliver the sting and the foamy arms bring the food to the mouth...... ............Over the years we have been to smaller but 'better' aquariums..... We both would recommend the Aquarium in Albuquerque's Bio Park over Monterrey....Hard to believe (for me anyway) .....Much more to see there....... Monterrey had one lonely Sea Otter.........a handful of sad looking penguins..........The tanks hardly had any fish in them..........a few dead or dying fish along the ledge of the aquarium.... BUT all the souvenir shops were in full swing and VERY expensive... It was extremely crowded...many of the displays we couldn't even get near unless you wanted to shoulder your way thru.......to be fair..........it was Labor Day Weekend......it is CA so of course its going to be expensive.......The Aquarium seemed very kid oriented so keep that in mind, lots of games to play and play areas......don't get me wrong thats great just not what i was looking for.......Right now they are running a jellyfish program.......as you can tell by the photos.... ........and a seahorse program and to be honest those were the best displays almost the only displays....isn't the seahorse above amazing? He hardly looked real in the tank.....unfortunately most of the seahorse photos hubby took didn't come out........this was the best one.....They had shrimp in a round tank with them and the shrimp would swim round and round the tank.....i don't think i've ever seen a shrimp swim.....lol.....they move their little legs sooo fast! I LOVE this above photo too.......maybe a tad blurry but still awesome......now take my opinion with a grain of salt.......our other traveling companions absolutely LOVED the Aquarium and it met all THEIR expectations.........I went into it expecting to be blown away and it fell short...... expensively short............hubby was able to use his Veteran status to get a discount and another companion was able to use a Military Discount but regular price is $35.........and in no way was it worth that........One last photo below...........I know its blurry , but i had to show you the one display that had me smiling from ear to ear and i think somebody had to tell me to close my mouth..........You walk in this round room and a tank goes all the way around the room and a school of silver anchovies swim around and around you all in the same direction..........it was just amazing.......like you were in the middle of a school...........maybe you had to be there..... i hope you can picture it..... One other sad note about this AMAZING trip to Monterrey/Carmel...........the hotel...........sigh......You know some of it was our fault and some of it was NOT......... It's called "The Wilkies' Clarion Collection.......right off the bat when we pulled up we were like '...oh no...' because all the rooms have outside access only........the pictures on the internet did not lead us to that conclusion .......we prefer an inside access hotel.........I must say the outside of the hotel looked well kept.........beautiful bouganvilla bushes blooming and jasmine....well landscaped...so we were totally unprepared for when we walked in the room.......all of my traveling companions had different opinions of what they expected in a hotel room so this is just my opinion......we paid $270 a night for this room (and yes i cringe at that number) And that was our fault .........we waited until the last minute on Labor Day Weekend to decide to do this and we PAID for it........but what was not our fault was the condition of the room...... Two big patches of sheet rock in the ceiling not even tape and floated or painted........i mean at least 3'x3' patches , no air-condition.......and the ceiling fan was on a one hour timer.........so during the night someone had to get up and click it back on over and over or it was too warm.......the bathroom had mold.......they had more rooms than parking spaces.....had our window open and hubby had to get up at 3am as ask the two gentlemen next door to us if they wouldn't mind being a little more quiet as they were standing outside their hotel door talking and laughing and smoking with the smoke coming right in our window......(I was like honey this is CA you don't confront someone like that at 3am) .....$270 a night........i didn't even pay that much for the swanky hotel in Dallas that we stayed in for the half marathon and they had valet service...lol.........and when we complained they were very rude.......and wouldn't give us the name of the manager........expectations.......their 'killer'..............Hugs! deb

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Carmel and Point Lobos.........

..............now you may think I've already been to my favorite part of the trip but ...NOOooooo...you'd be wrong......Before we landed at Point Lobos we stopped in Carmel for lunch and all the shoppers in the bunch (including me) decided Carmel would be worth another trip.........Its a little more laid back than the other shopping places we visited...a little more quiet...shops a little more quaint and not so touristy.... Cannot remember the name of this shop...something to do with a Toad i think........ah....my memory sucks........oh but it was filled with the most delightful things.........then a quick , shared lunch and off we were to Point Lobos..... ...........see i think i was born to hike........my life has not provided the hiking opportunities i wish it had......I would be one of those people that hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.......The Pacific Crest Trail.........life just did not turn out that way.......now i'm getting pretty old to think about tackling such things.........that and the fact i don't have a partner in crime........hubby is ten years older than me and in worse shape than i am if thats possible and he really has no desire to do anything like that...... ..............when i hit the trail.........any trail.......i'am just like a little kid.......i want to run ahead.....i want to stand and look up into the tree tops...........i want to know whats around the next bend....and under no circumstances do i want to turn around and go home........i want to take my shoes off and wade in the cold creek til my toes are numb.......imagine my wonder at all the moss hanging off the trees along the coast..........it was amazing and although we took tons of pictures of it, none of them really hit the spot.........this is probably the best one............. ...........gorgeous views and a little cove that we could walk down to and get our feet wet........some of us got more than our feet wet........See the red on these rocks thats ice plant.......it was everywhere....beautiful.......but its not native ......apparently it came over on ships from Africa and liked it here.......... These two harbor seals were very close to us and totally unconcerned. It was quite funny to watch them haul their substantial selves up on the rocks.......alot of work! Point Lobos was magical.........like Moss Landing i could have stayed there a very long time.....but i must temper my tendency toward craziness when i have companions .....lol.....no one but me would want to spend all day at Point Lobos hiking trail after trail after trail.......pack in a lunch......watch the sunset...........ah now wouldn't that be a good life?...........Had a fabulous time!
****a word of caution and some tips if you are going.............poison oak is everywhere! Keep your arms inside the trail at all times unless you are very carefully picking a ripe blackberry off the bush and popping in your mouth(shhh...)..... Parking lot fills up early! But you can park along the road and walk in paying only a donation.......to drive in and park your car i think was $10. The Rangers were wonderful......patient .... knowledgeable.....at one point on the trail you can give them your car keys and they will let you borrow some binoculars.....the little cove was a great place to get wet....some water shoes and shorts and some dry clothes to change into would have been perfect........wish we had known.....their are some benches on the trail to sit and enjoy the view.......hope that helps anyone heading that way.........Last post will be on Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hotel.........probably the least enjoyable part of the trip............Hugs! deb

Saturday, September 8, 2012

17 Mile Drive..............

.........this lies somewhere between Monterrey and Carmel.........you pay $10 a car and you drive and look at the views and there are places you can pull over and take a peek........wasn't this picture cool? I love the mixture of natural rock and man-made wall......was hoping we could go over there but it was blocked off. ..........the surf was just crazy ......boiling and churning......such a different coastline than i'm used to......some say its because several different currents meet here and others say its because of rocks just below the surface causing waves to break and churn......either way it was a sight to behold............ ..........now thats some golf tee off........can you imagine playing here? I know my hubby would love it but the fees are just way out of our range...but wow what a view!.......back in Livermore there are some golf courses that run thru the vineyards and up into the hills......those run about $150...now maybe that i could see as a Christmas present!.... ..........look at all those sea lions! When first looking at this rock i didn't see much...i knew there were seals over there i could hear them..........then hubby handed me his camera with the spectacular zoom lens on it and .......Wowzerrr!!! I had no idea! ......then i kinda leaned over and asked hubby......'Do you think all that brown stuff on the rock is.....????' and he just kinda nodded and i said 'oh'........and tried not to think about it....... ...........standing there looking at the rock we started to wonder how in the heck did they get up there.......no arms or legs.........i figured at first it must be easier on the back side but then we started watching more closely........see at the bottom of the picture theres one just out of the water and then you can see another one a little higher and so on...they just hop up there out of the water and politely just walk themselves on their flippers and tail right up the rock.......they are very tenacious.......they slide back a little and try again until they make it......lets just not think to hard about what they are sliding in shall we.............. ................signs everywhere telling you not to feed the animals........but from this little guys behavior not many people listen..........he just walked right up to a bunch of people getting off a bus and put on his best little begging act.......the signs explain that he needs to eat his natural food to be healthy.........so i guess that Cheetos is just as bad for him as it is for us....... :) ............these are Brandt's Cormorant...........they were plentiful......I found them interesting because i've been working with turkey feathers on a project and have run into difficulties because their feathers are waterproof and i have to remove the waterproofing before i can do anything with them................. This Cormorants feathers are not waterproof ....which i found odd for a seabird....... so after a dive for fish they have to hold their wings out to dry before the next dive........strange huh??? I have so many pictures.......you have no idea how hard it is to whittle them down to the ones i show you........no professional photographers here.......not even good photographers..........but i hope you enjoy......couple more days of Monterey then its back to some ART!!!...and a movie review....Hugs! deb