Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fingers Crossed

So tonight is the big night. What- you say, Halloween isn't until Friday night?

No, tonight is the night that we go to our liquor board hearing. Hopefully this time around we will get our license to open the wine shop (that we've been working on for about 2 years now, geez!)

We've been quite confident that this will happen so we've been working on getting the space ready. Hopefully we'll open by the first week in December.

A couple of shots of the store in progress.

It's huge, it's gorgeous and way cool. We chose the colors of bright avocadoish green, deep, deep plum brown and a brighter orangish yellow for the architectural elements in the base. Hence the colors in the logo above.

If this doesn't work I guess we'll just have to turn it into a super trendy clothing boutique. No size 0's will be carried however. That size just pisses me off!

Monday, October 27, 2008


The theme was red- so I pulled out all the stops.

This table design was one that I did as part of a recent fundraiser. I took the "Red" theme literally. Well, with a splash of silver.

Red lamps

Red cloths
Red roses

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

OH- NO WONDER.......

Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of my 20th birthday and you know what I found out?

It was Simon Cowell's as well- same Date and age.
I'm not quite sure how I feel about that but....I think that may explain allot regarding my behavior these days.

Thank you all for your warm wishes and emails. You have no idea how much I appreciate it all. You're the best.

BTW- my son has moved to Costa Rica. You can follow his adventures here

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rentals and Swappings

As some of you may know I am fortunate enough to have a second home in Costa Rica. Up to this point we have pretty much kept it for ourselves. Now, though, my husband would like to see it rented out so that it could help pay the expenses of the property.
For his birthday present he asked that I spend some time (and money) listing the house on various web-sites. The first site I chose was Vacations Rentals By Owner. We had read good reviews of other people's experience in getting rentals so I thought I would try it.

To see the VRBO listing click here

The second site I chose was HomeExchange.com. This site lists homes which people are willing to swap to stay in your home. For example, I have a place in Costa Rica and I want to visit Mexico. I can go on the site, look up homes in Mexico and offer an exchange to that property's home owner.

To see the Homeexchange listing click here
Within 48 hours of listng our home we were offered 12 exchanges and 2 rental opportunities. Unbelievable results.

We had a request from 2 people in Australia (my husband's dream destination), 2 in Napa Valley, 1 in Brittany, France, several in Quebec, Canada, A few locations in the US (including Lake Tahoe, Tucson and upstate NY)and my personal favorite- Mexico.

You would think I would be rather pleased with the results. Actually I am...
HOWEVER, the day after I listed these and the day after I had spent over 400.00 to sign up for these sites, we got a call from a real estate agent in Costa Rica who said that they found someone who would like to rent our house for a year. A FULL YEAR!
What kind of timing is that? Couldn't he have called the day BEFORE I spent this money? I suppose I could try to put some of these interested parties off until 2010.
Oh, and if anyone would like to swap or rent let me know. Plan ahead for 2010 though.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am watching you,
Sunflower child,
darting from friend
to acquaintance, uncertain,
searching for the goblet
from which you can drink
and be satisfied....

wanting to taste the wine which will
leave you feeling accepted,
safe… needing a person
who will speak your
love language…

I am watching you,
you who do not know that
your personality can
stop wars and your smile
can mend a thousand bridges

…that the love language you
speak can transcend race and

It is easy to take up place
in the hearts of men, a place
they would be honoured to
give…. it is easy to love you
Sunflower Child

Pablo Loves Life

Sunflowers and Black-Eyed Susans brought to you courtesy of "Gewels's Garden"

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Costa Rican Horse Parade

To my utter joy we stumbled upon the Horse Parade in Liberia, Costa Rica. At least 500 horses (and riders) were in attendance. What was even better, though, were the number of Andalusians. These horses give me goosebumps.
They ranged in color from the purest white (albino, I'm assuming) to gray (most common color) to black.
I must admit the white ones took my breath away.

The riders were quite varied as well. From the old, grizzled cowboys to young cocky beer-drinking twenty-somethings to women in traditional Costa Rican dress.
I just wonder how the clean-up was done. After all this parade wound down the center of city streets.

This one almost looks like a carousel horse.
An Albino Andalusian? Or, maybe not because of the dark eyes. I don't know.

I would LOVE one of these horses. Of course, when I showed a photo of one of these to my friend,Travis, he said that no-one should ever have a pet prettier than they are. I guess I'll have to risk it.

Friday, August 01, 2008


When painters leave this world, we grieve
For the hand that will work no more,
But who can say that they rest alway
On that still celestial shore?

No! No! they choose from the rainbow hues,
And winging from Paradise,
They come to paint, now bold now faint,
The tones of our sunset skies.

When I see them there I can almost swear
That grey is from Whistler's brain!
That crimson flush was Turner's brush!
And the gold is Claude Lorraine.

William Percy French

Tuesday, July 15, 2008





enough money within her control to move out

and rent a place of her own,

even if she never wants to or needs to...


something perfect to wear if the employer,

or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...


a youth she's content to leave behind....


a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to

retelling it in her old age....


a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...


one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...


a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...


eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,

and a recipe for a meal,

that will make her guests feel honored...


a feeling of control over her destiny...


how to fall in love without losing herself..


how to quit a job,

break up with a lover,

and confront a friend without

ruining the friendship...


when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...


that she can't change the length of her calves,

the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..


that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...


what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...


how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...


whom she can trust,

whom she can't,

and why she shouldn't take it personally...


where to go...

be it to her best friend's kitchen table...

or a charming inn in the woods ...

when her soul needs soothing...


what she can and can't accomplish in a day...

a month...and a year...

Dedicated to all you powerful, rockin' chicks out there.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy 4th!!!!


from my house to yours

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.Bill Clinton

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.Erma Bombeck

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Lake of the Dismal Swamp

"They made her a grave too cold and damp
For a soul so warm and true;
And she's gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp,
Where all night long, by a firefly lamp,
She paddles her white canoe.

And her firefly lamp I soon shall see,
And her paddle I soon shall hear;
Long and moving our life shall be
And I'll hide the maid in a cypress tree,
When the footstep of death is near."

Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds,
His path was rugged and sore,
Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds,
Through many a fen where the serpent feeds,
And man never trod before.

And when on the earth he sank to sleep,
If slumber his eyelids knew,
He lay where the deadly vine doth weep
Its venemous tear, and nightly steep
The flesh with blistering dew!

And near him the she-wolf stirr'd the brake,
And the copper-snake breathed in his ear,
Till he starting cried, from his dream awake,
"Oh when shall I see the dusky Lake,
And the white canoe of my dear?"

He saw the Lake, and a meteor bright
Quick over its surface play'd,
"Welcome," he said, "my dear one's light!"
And the dim shore echo'd for many a night
The name of the death-cold maid.

Till he hollow'd a boat of the birchen bark,
Which carried him off from the shore;
Far, far he follow'd the meteor spark,
The wind was high and the clouds were dark,
And the boat return'd no more.

But oft, from the Indian hunter's camp,
This lover and maid so true
Are seen at the hour of midnight damp
To cross the Lake by a firefly lamp,
And paddle their white canoe!

Thomas Moore

All of these photos were taken this past winter in Charleston, SC by yours truly.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Herb Garden Update

And she forgot the stars, the moon, the sun,
And she forgot the blue above the trees,
And she forgot the dells,where waters run,
And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze;
She had no knowledge when day was done,
And the new morn she saw not: but in peace
Hung over her sweet Basil evermore .....
'For cruel 'tis,' said she,
'To steal my Basil-pot away from me.'
- John Keats

I plant rosemary all over the garden, so pleasant is it to
know that at every few steps one may draw the kindly
branchlets through one's hand, and have the enjoyment of
their incomparable incense; and I grow it against walls, so
that the sun may draw out its inexhaustible sweetness
to greet me as I pass ....
- Gertrude Jekyll

Monday, June 16, 2008


Funny World

He told me about Jesus & Arizona & the best way to make beer & I said you're a funny kind of preacher & he said it's a funny kind of world & I still remember his eyes clear as a desert morning.

for daily stories go to STORYPEOPLE

Monday, June 09, 2008


Well I finally went back to riding.

Thursday night was my first class since May 1st. Why? You ask.
Well, because on May 1st was the day that my horse, Comet, decided to buck me off.

It was almost a relief actually. Ever since I began riding ( one year ago) I would wonder at the start of every lesson if it will be the day that I fall off. And, up until May 1st it never was.

I must make it clear, however, that I did not simply "fall off" the horse. That would imply that I was an incompetent, unbalanced or unskilled rider. I am actually all of those things but they are not the reason that this unfortunate incident had occurred.

I must start by saying that is was very clear, from the moment that I walked into Comet's stall, that she did not want to play that day. I had never ridden her before and was not familiar with her rude behavior. She immediately came at me with her lips curled back and her teeth bared, pushing her face into mine. This, I thought, was going to be the day that I had my cheek bitten off by a horse.
As it turned out she was not in the biting mood, she was just trying to intimidate me into not tacking her. Well, it worked.
She ended up getting her bridle on by an 8 year old (little brat), who had no problem with her behavior. Oh to be 8 years old again- sigh.

We actually rode together rather well. She had a pretty little canter that was quite comfortable for me. I am so used to Valentine's canter- which is very bumpy, and brtutal on my bad back. Comet was like a rocking horse in comparison.

This was the lesson that our instructor decided to have us attempt bareback riding. That, also, actually went very well. We simply walked and then trotted around the ring without our saddle. The reason is to help us learn the feel of the horse and to develop a more balanced seat.

The problem came when we were asked to sit on our horse and then to turn around so that we were facing backwards. The instructor was then going to walk us individually around the ring. As soon as I turned around and got myself settled is when Comet decided that she had had enough and began bucking. With no reins, neck or mane to hang onto I was dumped onto the ground. The fall itself was not that bad. Comet is a shorter horse than Valentine so the fall was not as bad as it may have been had I been riding him.
I did manage to get back up on Comet, still bareback but frontwards this time, and take one more walk around the ring.

I did not realize at the time that I had fractured my elbow. I was in terrible pain and finally went to the emergency room at 7 the next morning. That x-ray showed no break. The only good thing about going to the emergency room was getting the percoset. A week later it was re x-rayed and the break was found.

The worst part was having to go to my son's wedding in Vegas with my arm in a sling.

It's on the mend, although I am still in some pain and in need of a little bit of therapy to get my range of motion back.

I am back in the saddle again and loving it. My first lesson back, after more than a month off, was with Comet- AGAIN! I wavered for a second but I did get back up on that rotten mare. She was so well-behaved this time I almost thought she was a different horse.

I was very nervous going back to class but the more I stayed away the more nervous I became. I know it will happen again- and may be much worse next time. But, as my chiropractor says "if you're going to live life things like this are bound to happen".

Here's to "living life" and taking the risk.

The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

He Ain't No Baby Anymore

May 15 2008 Las Vegas

My baby boy tied the knot.
Hopefully they will live happily ever after. And give me some very cute granbabies to boot.

Aren't they darling?

This last shot is everyone who attended the Vegas nuptials. Small party but tons of fun .

Monday, April 28, 2008


What does one do when their son texts them to say that he will be getting married in Las Vegas on May 15th?

Well, she runs right out and buys two dresses- that's what.

Oh yeah! And begins to plan a big blow-out party in town for all those family and friends not going to Vegas.

Am I nuts, or what?

At least the wedding isn't at the Little White Chapel!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Several weeks ago I entered my first ever in-house horse show. The equestrian center where I take my lessons hosts several of these throughout the year.

I entered 4 divisions and received a second place, third place and two fourth place ribbons. I guess that is not so bad for someone who has only been indulging in this sport for 8 months. And at my age at that!

I rode my beloved Valentine and he and I performed quite well together. Although, he was a bit slow in the obstacle course- which resulted in the 4th place there.
These are 3 of my ribbons gracing my office.

And here is Valentine (on the left) nuzzling Mirage after one of our performances. He, too, must have been so proud.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I felt that I should post some photos of Jake- Barbara and Dave's beloved pet,who is staying with us this week. And, no Barbara, he has not run away. He did get out this morning but came when called. He knows where he's got it good.

This photo shows Jake where he spends the days- at my feet in my office. He has usurped the location from Simone who had this space all to herself prior to Jake's arrival.

And here he is with his beloved kong. Which he spends many hours attempting to bury not only in the yard but in my shoe closet as well. And, when he's not burying it I'm retrieving it from underneath every piece of furniture that he has managed to roll it under. It reminds me of the days I spent retrieving lego pieces for my kids.

He seems happy, he gets attention- much to Kayla and Simone's dismay and he's getting his exercise.

A sweeter dog there cannot be.

By the way- Kayla and Simone refused to have their picture taken with him. I'm sure I'll be punished later!

I guess here would be a good time to post the results of my dog breed quiz. How funny that I'm a lab. I guess I'm a sweet dog too!
What dog breed are you? I'm a Labrador Retriever! Find out at Dogster.com
Labrador Retriever
The Caretaker

Your family is what makes you tick, and you never "flea" from an opportunity to hang out with the whole gang. A family picnic complete with hot dogs, deviled eggs and a refreshing swim in the lake is hard for you to stray from. Your sparky temperament and dogged intelligence mean you are not only a blast to hang out with, but great to work with as well. Your close pals appreciate your patience and forgiveness, knowing you'd rather let sleeping dogs lie than dwell on the mishaps of the past. Your dashing good looks may one day lead to a modelling career, if only you can tame the unfortunate clumsiness that sometimes causes you to go flailing from the catwalk.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


My only plan this Valentine's day is to go to my riding class. Very appropriate seeing as how the horse I ride is named Valentine.

When love is not madness, it is not love.
~Pedro Calderon de la Barca