Saturday, June 30, 2007

All Hail the Almighty iPhone!

I saw one tonight and now I want one really bad. That thing is totally amazing and I can't even imagine the technology that went into it. I just know it's totally bad ass and I have to have one. I hope the cell phone gods will be kind and bestow one on me someday.

Here is a totally hilarious comic strip Player Vs Player that Russell and I enjoy. The link I provided will take you to a side splitting comic strip about the iPhone. Keep hitting the "next" button until you go several pages to read the whole thing. It spans several days worth of comics all the way to Fri June 29th, but it's all the same sketch up to that point. Thomas you in particular will get a kick out of it. Enjoy folks!

It's Not Exactly What I Want

I've been playing around with templates and trying to give my blog a better look. I am not happy with it yet but for now it will have to do. My html is little to be desired, so it will take some time to muttle through and get things just right. I hope the title is at least readable now for those who said it wasn't showing up right.

Hope everyone's weekend is tolerable. I know some of us are in the trenches working hard...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Best Guacamole Ever!

My friend Jen made this yesterday while she was at my house and I must say it was the best damn guacamole I think I've ever eaten. Jen is an amazing cook and it's always so much fun when she comes over and we cook together or create some artwork.

I also ate this toasted marshmallow dipped in chocolate sauce. Nummy!

Almost Finished

Artwork almost done, just need to get another bottle of mod podge and fill in the cracks and do touch up. I can't wait to hang this up over the garden tub in my bathroom. It will look great in there.

This piece represents my love of nature and makes me think of my grandfather who was like a dad to me. I took some glass pieces from the stained glass studio he owned when he was alive and incorporated it into the scene as a reminder to myself that life is an adventure.

What you see in the picture is the moon in white, the sun in yellow, the water in blue, and the sky in purple...I chose a purple sky to represent twilight which is one of my favorite times while outdoors away from it all.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Design Evolving...Photos Will be Posted Later

My design has changed quite a bit since I last photographed it. I keep finding things to tweak and perfect. I think the end result will be quite beautiful and I can't wait to finish it. It's taking much longer than expected however. I've been working on it since 1:30 this afternoon while Ben and his friends have been playing.

Jen finished both of her designs which turned out will be posted as soon as I can find the time. I am going to keep this piece, but plan on doing others and even do some commission work. If you like what you see, and want to purchase a piece of art for yourself, or if there is some item you would like to see altered, contact me.

Six Hours of Artistic Frenzy...phase one

One of my best friends Jen came over yesterday and she said she wanted to do an art project, so we decided on mosaics. We spent six hours total from about 9:30pm until almost 4am working on our masterpieces. I took a lot of photographs of the process. We still have at least two hours worth of work left to glue and grout our pieces...if we decide to grout. We might try something a little different.

Jen nor I had ever done mosaics before, so we just started thinking about all the different mediums and materials we would need. It was easy to figure out! We made a trip to Lowes and bought some stuff to work with, plus I already had many of the materials we would need lying around the house...including my kitchen cabinet doors. We used those for our frames! I love altering every day objects and the cabinet doors worked perfectly for this. I already have a plan for the cabinets so no worries that I used the doors.

During the course of the evening we drank two bottles of wine and listened to a ton of great music, which was very helpful in keeping the creative process going. By the time we were done in the wee hours of the morning, my back was a wreck and I couldn't wait to fall into my bed. I still had a HUGE mess to clean up! I wanted more than anything to be able to just leave it all but Ben wakes up so freaking early there was no way I was going to take the chance of him getting into any of it. Darn I didn't get a good picture of the mess...I was too tired to think about it.

Jen Sprays protective coat of clear acrylic on the tiles we painted earlier. This is in my garage...we had to open the doors pretty quickly...the fumes were awful!

Oranges and Reds...Jen is already thinking she'll use much of this color.

Tiles drying awaiting to be smashed to smitherenes

In the meantime, painting the frames seemed logical before we did any tile smashing.

Tile smashing tools

Tile in's not going to be whole long!

The first cut! Jen is so nervous it's going to be a disaster. We've never cut tile before

Close up of second cut.

Jen is relieved as heck because I found safety goggles and the tile cut so easy.

She's into it now...excited our project is moving along without issues.

Cutting up tiles that I've smashed in the towel. We made a great team, but we always do on our art projects!

Think we'll have enough tile pieces?

Close up of broken tiles...and yes I did actually cut some too...about five pieces! Jen gave me shit about that lol.

Jen is proud of her masterful sorting job.

Vino! Makes it all so much more fun. This was the first bottle...

Thinking of a design...what do I want? What colors shall I use?

Still thinking about it and playing around with pieces and color...thinking cool colors are what I'm primarily in the mood for.

It's getting there...decided that a splash of yellow woule be perfect.

Jen's first design almost complete.

Her second design in progress...She loves the primary colors.

Our designs complete! We just need to perfect them, glue them down, touch them up, and fill in the cracks. We decided pouring mod podge in the cracks is our best bet. We think grout will be too abrasive and cause our paint to come off the tiles. Normally people do mosaics with already permanently colored glass...but we cheated a little. I'll post more pics after taking them today. She is heading back over here so we can finish up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Should I use this in my thumbnail or blog title? *

My friend Jen took the photo. Not many people can photograph me well because I'm really not photogenic...but she did a decent job.

Today's Pictures

My gardening activities have been slowed down by all the rain, but I have managed to get some done. Eggplants and tomatoes are planted now and my beans are doing well. What fast growers beans are! I hope all the rain isn't going to be too much for my veggie plants. The beans seem to love it, but the eggplant and tomato plants are getting a little yellow. I think they are probably water logged. It's a good thing I garden in raised beds. At least that way they aren't totally drowning right now. Tomatoes and eggplants like water, but they don't like their feet to be too wet for long periods.

If they keep yellowing after the soil dries out for a few days, I'll probably have to do some soil tests to be sure the ph balance and minerals are correct. I may do it anyway though, just to see if anything is lacking. When you grow your own veggies, you want them to have the most nutrient packed soil possible to grow in. Plants ward off disease better when they are super fed and healthy, plus the nutrients in the veggies will be better quality if your soil is great.

No artificial fertilizers will ever come near my garden, so I accomplish soil health by using plenty of home made compost and fish tank water. I also use bat guano on rare occasion in the compost to get it super charged which makes the microbes that break down the matter happy. When the microbes are happy, they are plentiful and plants benefit greatly because the microbes play a key role in bringing nutrients to the plants.

Americas soils are depleted and worn out from all the commercial growing and use of artificial fertilizers and the food in our big grocery store chains are not as nutritious as we'd like them to be. I think it is important for people to buy produce locally from reputable growers who are small and can grow food organically...but that can get expensive. That's one of the reasons I like to grow my own veggies. I can have organic and not have to pay organic prices. I can't wait for fresh green beans and tomatoes!

A male and female Cardinal defend their territory.

That heaping pile used to be in my garden plot! It's going to the compost area soon.

Bean plants are pretty

Two Avocado Trees growing from the compost bin. I need to find out if they will grow well here in Austin. It would totally rock to have my own Avocados growing!

Storm damage or Ben damage? Hmmmm....those blue scissors on the ground look awfully suspicious.

Healthy tomato and avocado plants growing up through the compost bin

Yellowing leaves. I'm fairly sure this is water damage...

Monday, June 25, 2007

For you Mom's out there...and for You Childless People Out there that Think us Moms are one Dimensional

Mother Segregation

Trina says it better than I ever could...and she raises some interesting questions.

I LOVE this vid! I WANT MY MONEY!!!!

This is so hilarious! It has the brilliant Will Ferrel in it and a very cute but quite bossy little tot! Enjoy. :)

Operation Rescue the RES!

My ex husband has a goat farm and on the goat farm is a stock tank and in the stock tank...according to the girls...are a bunch of pesky turtles that their dad is killing left and right. I don't know why he has to kill all the turtles, but the girls have rescued two baby Red Eared Sliders. I have one currently, and the other is in a holding pattern until I see my oldest child again.

I'm going to release both turtles into the wild soon back where they belong. I can't imagine killing a bunch of animals like that. Is there some reason why this man can't simply re-locate the turtles? Is there a good reason for killing them that I'm not aware of?

Just look at how cute this little guy is!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Everyone's Blog Titles are so Clever

Mine is so boring. Ginny's blog...heh what the hell kinda boring crap is that? I need a new blog title people! What should I call this strange little journal of mine...any ideas?

8 Things About Me...cuz I've Been Tagged!

Atheist in a Minivan tagged me...

1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before
we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about
4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about
their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you
need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
Don't forget
to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your

Easy enough...except being the rebel that I am, I'm breaking the rules and only tagging a couple of without further ado...

1) My maiden name is Mackay but it's pronounced "Macky". I was called "Wacky Mackay" all through my middle school and high school days. Did I deserve the nick name? Probably.

2) I always fight for the underdog in most situations probably because I so often felt like the underdog myself and could fully empathize with people who were always being picked on.

3) I'm one of the most stubborn people I know which has often served me well, but has caused me grief too.

4) I have two half sisters, a half brother, and a younger full sister. I rarely get to see my siblings...we all live too far from each other.

5) When I was in my 20's I wanted to be a Forest Ranger and dreamed of working in Montana. I was hopeful that I'd land a position where I could ride horseback for days on end out in the wilderness doing my forest ranger thing...what ever the heck that was.

6) I want to use my zeal for the outdoors in an educational capacity and hope to some day be teaching conservation to younger folks and doing my part to bring environmental awareness to the front of people's minds everywhere.

7) When I was about 6 or 7, a lion chased me down and had my whole head in her mouth before her owners pulled her off of me. She was only playing or I wouldn't be writing this right now.

8) Punk rock used to make my head I can't seem to get enough of it.

Ok, here's who I'm tagging:

My sister Lynn

My friend Trina

While I'm Still Thinking....

About some stuff to write about me, here is a photo. I found the camera and then took Caitlin out to a campsite where she is meeting up with friends for some outdoor fun. On our way there we saw this deer on the side of the road. It was quite tame and let me get close for the shot...

I've Been Blog Tagged...

The problem is that I don't know 8 bloggers to tag and I'm not a fan of chain mail type stuff anyway. I do want to participate though because PZ Myers himself tagged my friend PMomma and he's like famous! Ugh, but what to write about...and who to tag...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

No Adventure This Weekend

Everyone went their separate ways this weekend, but I stayed home for a change. I wanted to camp but ended up working the garden instead. I spent all day out there today and am satisfied with my progress. I found a giant healthy tomato plant today growing wild along side my house. It has blooms. I am curious if it will set fruit that I'll eventually be able to harvest. It's growing out of the compost pile and probably has all the nutrients it needs, but light may become an issue. It made it this far. We'll see how it goes...

I wish I could take some pictures, but my camera seems to be missing in action at the moment.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Caitlin Update

How is it that my 14 year old can get pneumonia and feel fine? It's amazing to me how resilient she is. She is coughing about as much as I am, which is only a few times in the whole day now, and she says she feels great. I think she had maybe one day of not feeling so great and that was the first day. I'm so glad she didn't suffer from the stuff the way I did.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Garden Taking Shape Again



It still has such a long way to go. I need to till up the soil to loosen the final roots of grass that established, and to add in compost and additional soil. The pathways need a make over, but I'm not sure yet what kind I want. I've thought of crushed tumbled glass of different colors. That would be striking. The Green Arbor is coming out eventually and I'll put a nicer one in it's place and plant Morning Glories all over it.

The dead Willow tree in the back ground is something I'm not sure what to do with yet. I could have it removed, but I'm thinking of shaping it myself and turning it into some sort of sculpture. I'll cut away most of the branches, but then I think I might carve the rest into a large gnarled looking tree gnome and hang very pagan looking things around it. What do ya'll think?

The Photographs are Coming

I haven't posted any photos in a while, but I did manage to take some yesterday while out in the garden. I'll spend a little time today loading them up for you guys so check back later...

I got another good night's sleep and am looking forward to spending another day gardening.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ben Wants to Plant Sunflowers

I used to grow a variety of sunflower in my yard called "Mammoth". For several seasons however I've not gardened very seriously...we all know why...

But Ben misses the big flowers and has requested that we plant some more. He took an interest today in pulling weeds with me and wants us to bring the garden back to life. It will take a lot of work to get it back to where it once was, but it's fun work. The food it produces is worth the effort...especially from a nutritional aspect. And of course nothing tastes better than home grown.

The only drawback to gardening more full time, is the inside of the house will suffer a bit. When I spend hours out in the yard I have less time for the chores in the house. It takes hours to get the garden back in shape, and hours to maintain it organically(without man made chemicals). Food production is serious business. I do enjoy all aspects of gardening from planning to harvest.

Sleep Finally Over Takes Me

I slept 13 hours almost completely un-interrupted...the first nine were full deep sleep anyway. I feel like a new person today. I see that it rained and my garden is begging for attention. I can't wait to get outside and pull weeds! I'm also going to finally plant a bunch of Basil for my beautiful Italian friend Azzurra. She'll like that. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Well Crap

Caitlin has been coughing for a couple of days now and I took her to the doctor this morning. Her xrays show pneumonia. Looks like her trip to Colorado is going to have to wait a few weeks now. :(

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Sister's Daughter

My sister is a wonderful photographer and I just adore this picture she took of my niece. I had to share...Sorry it's so small...I couldn't get a bigger one but if you click here you can go see it bigger and see all the other wonderful shots too of the horses and the ranch they live on. Each picture in the gallery is a slide show in itself. This is the ranch they live on. They are so lucky to live in such beautiful country! That shot of the mountains on the main page of the website is the view from the ranch.

My Poor Friend! Her Laptop was Stolen!

Her car was broken into today and her laptop and some important papers were stolen. Insurance won't cover any of it and now she is out a three thousand dollar laptop and in tears. I wish I could help her out. Does anyone have a laptop that isn't in use that they'd be willing to either donate or sell really cheap? She is a teacher and a student and really needs one. Thanks to anyone who has any ideas or suggestions.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What a Kick Ass Day Sunday Was

I felt productive, creative, and generally in a very good mood. I went out in my back yard and picked a huge bouquet of flowers from my garden for my dining room table. Having my own cut flowers is something I was determined to do after I saw a woman on t.v. once a few years back, who had created a great little cottage business selling cut flowers from her yard. It inspired me and I started growing different varieties of flowers for my own cuttings.

I love flower arranging and have been pretty good at it for years. My oldest daughter also has a gift and good eye for arranging flowers and I'm happy to see she enjoys it as much as I do. Anyway, I couldn't resist cutting some of those gorgeous Mexican Sunflowers and let me tell you, some of those blooms were at least four feet above my 5ft, 5 inch frame!

I'm so very tired and wish I were in bed right now. I promised to do some laundry and I got so busy with all kinds of other stuff earlier, I totally forgot and had to get back up and get after it. Oh well, at least I have something to write about and can try to entertain you people. :)

What Could it Be?

I decided to make a present. The most tender love, care, and attention to detail went into it.

Russell Had a Rockin Father's Day

He got to spend a long lazy morning into early afternoon lounging around in bed while I waited on him and kept Ben entertained. I served him up some pretty fantastic java, and gave him rock star treatment all day. I also got him a season of the Quantum Leap series which he has been wanting.

It's Getting Better All the Time...

I felt just about normal today for the most part. Nothing is gonna keep this gal down for very long!
I had some nice friends drop by and I even made a totally bad ass pot of spaghetti and meatballs. Wow it was good to be back in the kitchen putting my culinary talents to good use.

Oh and Robert isn't so bad in the kitchen himself. He brought me a wonderful made from scratch chicken soup that he cooked himself. I think I might have to start calling him the soup Nazi. lol

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Oh Man T, 2am and storms are here...

Hope you don't get rained out tomorrow T. I'm looking forward to your stories and pictures from your trip. It sounds like it's going to be so much fun! I know how you like the high desert. Maybe you'll get treated to some more amazing wildflowers. I'm with you in thought. Tell Matt I said hello! I kinda miss that guy. I hope I am well quickly so I can get back out there with you again. I'm going to be missing it all like crazy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

On the Mend...

So after talking to the specialist today he thinks I'm making great progress! I am out of the woods now, no more talk of hospitalization, and I'm actually starting to feel a lot better. Might be two or three weeks though before I'm fully recovered and able to get back to my passion...back backing. Oh how I'll miss it 'til then.

Now Look at the Mexican Sunflowers!

I love these things...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Still end in sight...

Not much improvement but a little. I see the lung specialist tomorrow since my regular doc has done about all he can. Still avoiding the hospital that's a good thing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Four Hours of Sleep last Night!

That's great progress! I'll keep everyone posted after I talk to the doc today. Thank you so much for all your well wishes folks...I'm a lucky gal to have such caring people in my life. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Well it is Pneumonia Afterall

I got a call from my doctor a couple of hours ago and they said that I do positively have pneumonia. I guess it took them a while to get to my x-rays or something, because I was told yesterday that if my x-rays were clear, I wouldn't hear from them. My doc said they were going to know the results yesterday. Why they didn't call me until today who knows.

In any case, my doctor said as long as I'm not worsening I can stay home. I have a follow up in the am and if I'm markedly improved, they won't put me in the hospital. If I'm not improving, they'll admit me. Now if I could just get some sleep...

I haven't slept but maybe two hours in the past 48. I've gotten so wired and exhausted I can't sleep. If I'm not making much sense, you'll all know why. And I'm not in bed now, because I can't stand lying in bed tossing and turning and trying to sleep when clearly it's not going to happen. I think I have a much better chance at relaxation if I'm not trying so hard. Make sense? To me it does lol. But then again I could just be a rambling sleep deprived crazy person by now for all I know. Thank goodness I have friends keeping an eye on me!

So, looking back at it all now, I'm thinking I started getting the pneumonia when I went to the ER the first time thinking I was having a heart attack. It was just not advanced yet enough to show up on the chest x-ray they did. No wonder those hikes were wearing me out quicker than usual! I wasn't getting enough oxygen....duh.

Just One More Post Tonight...

I got my camera back! Oh happy day...I missed you camera. The Mexican Sunflowers are just now starting to bloom like crazy in my back yard. I'll get a shot of that soon. In the meantime, here is a photo from Thomas's camera that was taken at Inks...Did I mention how gorgeous it was out there?

Devil's Watering Hole Inks Lake. That's me in the water blowing up a raft. Notice the lovely waterfall in the was awesome. I love swimming in places like this! What a treat!
Oh and all this rock you see is the type of terrain that dominates Inks Lake. It's truly a gorgeous place with all the pink granite, giant boulders, rocky outcrops, and quartz lying around everywhere.

Asthma Update

The good news is that I can finally breathe. The bad news is that I can't sleep. I'm so hopped up on steroids and Albuterol(stimulant) sleeping is impossible right now. It's 3am Tuesday morning and sleep will sure be a welcome thing when it finally comes. I've also determined that steroids make me feel basically crappy all over. I don't know what's worse, not being able to breathe, or the side effects of steroids...they both suck.

My doctor came pretty close to admitting me to the hospital, but I begged him to exhaust all in his medical power first to keep me home and he was great about that. He kept me in his office most of the day under observation, but that beats a stay in the hospital any 'ol day in my book. Despite my over all general bad feelings of the Austin health care system, and despite my griping about how much the doctors in this town suck, I have to give Kudos to Dr. Paige for working really hard on my case and letting me go home. I'm now officially going on the record to say that not ALL doctors in Austin suck. Dr. Paige gets a big gold star in my book.

Oh I forgot to mention. I've got this nifty little breathing meter that tells me if I am in a danger zone or not with the asthma and Doc Paige gave me a number to stay above. If I fall under that number I promised I would be a good little patient and immediately go to the ER. So far I've managed to hover just above the danger zone thank goodness. I'm hoping if I can get some sleep I'll see a major improvement sometime today. This is probably the worse asthma attack I've had in years and I'm still not convinced I didn't get into something bad environmentally.

Btw, I don't have pneumonia which is more good news. It turns out that is what Robert most likely had, but the team of doctors working on him are kinda conflicted on the diagnosis. One team of doctors says it's not anything they can identify and because of that, they don't want him out of the hospital until they know for sure what happened to him. The other team of doctors says that he should be released since he is not symptomatic anymore and are not bothered by the fact they couldn't diagnose him with certainty. My vote is that although this is costing Robert a fortune in medical bills, I really want them to find out what is wrong for sure. It bugs me that a person can go to a hospital, have all kinds of tests and teams of doctors, and nothing wrong can be found when clearly something is wrong. But it's good that they did rule out a ton of really bad dangerous stuff.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Up All Night

Had lots of asthma this weekend but last night was the worse. I should have been in the er but since I was there last Sunday I was determined not to go. It royally sucks that my doctor's office doesn't open until 8am and to even speak to a doctor over the phone after hours, they want to charge me 25.00! How ridiculous is that? They used to have nurses that would take your call but now they have the doctors fielding the after hour calls...probably so they can charge the 25.00 and not have to keep a salaried nurse on staff after hours. In any case, I really hate the health care system in pretty much sucks.

So I'm waiting out the clock so I can go stand at the receptionists desk as soon as the family practice clinic is open and get pushy about being seen. They should be able to tell I'm struggling for air and hopefully I'll get a breathing treatment. I get asthma a couple of times a year pretty this isn't new to me.

But the interesting thing is that a friend of mine is in the hospital and has been there for a good week now. I was with him quite a bit last week while he was having all these asthma like symptoms and I kept nagging him to go to the doctor. When he finally went to be seen, they ended up admitting him. I appear to be having the same symptoms despite the doctors saying he doesn't have an infectious disease. I can't help but wonder if they missed something...or perhaps my breathing issues are totally non related and all just a big coincidence.

Well I've managed to kill another hour by writing in my blog and surfing...just one more to go before that doctor's office is open. Hopefully I'll get some relief soon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another Awesome Trip Under the Belt!

Inks Lake delivered. I don't know if I've ever seen such a spectacular display of wild flowers in my life. I saw varieties I've never seen before and asked Thomas to take a picture of a couple of things for me. Hopefully I'll be able to share them soon. There were some very interesting mushroom varieties too. It will be fun to try and identify them. I'm just sick that I didn't have my camera along.

The first day of our trip we went to the Devil's Watering Hole and swam in a nice stream with a very nice waterfall cascading down over giant smooth rock into a natural pool below. Under the water were boulders that were quite large. The place was stunning. That water fall was fantastic to sit in, but it was swift and a couple of times I tumbled off the rock into the pool from the force of the water pushing me over smooth slippery rock. It was big fun and I have a nice bruise to show for it.

After swimming and sunning at that spot for a while, we picked up our stuff and headed over to another part of the lake that was deeper and we swam for about an hour there. It was very refreshing..the water noticeably colder. I loved every second! A couple of times I dove down underneath into dark murk...kinda spooky. Poor Thomas, he lost his sunglasses in the lake. I wanted so bad to dive down and find them for him, but it was hopeless. They're gone for good unless a scuba diver runs across them some day. It would be a good find...those were some very nice and expensive shades. Hmmm...maybe I should send my sister in law out there to get them. She's into scuba diving now. :)

After swimming, we went back to the car and changed clothes in the parking lot and got our packs and hiking shoes on, readying ourselves for the shortish walk to the primitive camp site. Once in camp we didn't waste any time setting up and getting food made. This time we had a southwestern style dish with rice, sun dried tomatoes, hot peppers, all kinds of spices, some black beans, chicken, and some corn, all wrapped up in hot tortillas. It was kind of like a stew though and quite messy because I added too much water. But damn it was delectable. After dinner I had to go wash up in a stream. I was glad it was there! That was a recipe I made up on the fly early Saturday morning so it wasn't kitchen tested first. But we were quite pleased with the results. I think I'm getting the hang of this freezer bag cooking. I need a kitchen scale now to weigh the meals.

Our campsite was such a peaceful and pretty place. We were treated to the sounds of gurgling water from the brook below us only a few feet away. It was campsite number 3. We will return there again some day I'm sure. It's been so good getting out doors and finding the inner peace and connection with nature that I long for.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Want My Camera

Man oh man I'm missing my camera. I thought I'd have it for today and tomorrow at Inks Lake...where we're headed this time for a little camping and hiking adventure. I've been wanting to get out there for a long time and I can't believe I have no camera. Amber is so gonna get her ass kicked when I see her next. ;)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Ballet Slippers

I was over at my friend Jen's last night and she made this awesome cake for another friend's little girl. Jen knows her stuff when it comes to cake making and her creations are often amazing. I have so many awesome talented friends.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Writer's Block

Ugh, I can't think of a thing to write today. I think I'll go clean something...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Silver Lining

I think there might be something to that saying "behind every cloud is a silver lining". An amazing turn of events folks...Caitlin is going to get to work on a beautiful horse ranch in Colorado with her Uncle Tim! He's a horse trainer and a damn fine one at that. He has decided he will take Caitlin under his wing and let her work with him on the ranch he manages. She'll get to do practically everything she would have done with the internship and probably more. For one thing, having Tim as her mentor is invaluable. The man is a true horse whisperer and Caitlin would be learning from the best.

What great news. She is so happy and relieved and I'm very excited for her. The ranch she will be working on is set in beautiful scenic mountains with all kinds of wild life everywhere. Here is their website if anyone cares to take a look around...check out the gallery! There are beautiful photos of the rugged country, wildflowers, and of course some wonderful horse shots as well. The whole website was built by my sister and all the photography is hers as well. The title graphic that shows the white mountains, is the view from the ranch. Gorgeous! Wish I could go too! I'd spend all my time exploring. My sister is one lucky chick to be living in surroundings like that.

Well Fucking Bloody Hell

Minutes after I posted about Caitlin's internship I got news from the ranch owner that the horse training internship has been canceled because she broke her neck. Un-fucking believable! That poor woman. I don't know how she broke her neck...she didn't divulge that information. I'm wondering if it was a horse related injury, although could have been a car accident as well. In any case I have to break the news to will crush her. She was looking forward to this so much.

I'm hopeful that the lady running the program will mend soon and decide to offer the internship again next summer. Now I need to come up with something productive and fun for Caitlin to do this summer. Ideas anyone? Talk about life throwing curve balls...

Caitlin's Internship

My daughter Caitlin caught a lucky break this year and is going to be an intern at a horse training facility for a whole month beginning June 15th. The program is fantastic and she is going to learn many valuable skills. We are so excited...this is an awesome opportunity for a girl who is crazy about anything equine.

Caitlin has talked about being a horse trainer for years now and she is finally getting her chance to see what it's all about. She's a natural around horses and I know she'll excel in any task they throw her way. Hopefully she'll make some great contacts and this will be the launching pad for the career of her dreams.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Trip to the ER

Well I wasn't going to blog this story but since I can't think of a thing to write about and since I'm perfectly ok, I'll go ahead and tell the story. I ended up in the emergency room Sunday night because my friend thought I could be having a heart attack after she heard me complaining of some classic symptoms female heart attack victims experience.

She's an M.D. and we were talking on the phone Sunday evening. I casually mentioned to her during our conversation that I wasn't feeling so well and that my neck, shoulder, arm pit, and arm was throbbing and that I was sick to my stomach and felt a lot of pressure as if I was bloating. We chalked it up to me having a rough hike but I didn't really have that strenuous of a trip this last time other than it was hotter than what we've been used to the past few months.

After we hung up the phone, seconds later it rang. It was my doctor friend. She apparently had a "Duh" moment, and asked me a couple of questions to confirm what had just dawned on her. She thought I could be having a heart attack and told me to go to the ER to get checked out and even suggested I call 911.

When a doctor tells you to get to the emergency room you get to the emergency room. But being my usual stubborn self, I stopped off at taco bell on the way because I was STARVING despite the pain I was having and I knew I'd be in the er for ever. I generally hate fast food, but I needed something...well fast and it was on the way. I later got chided for that stunt.

I arrived at the ER and they immediately did an EKG after listening to all my symptoms. I had experienced shortness of breath a few times after I got home from camping, and had some issues a couple of days before as well. I was also having cold sweats, light headedness, and then all the other stuff I've already described. The EKG was normal though and I had the doctor kind of stumped. He wasn't convinced just yet to let me go and I stayed a while for observation. He told me every symptom I described was text book for a heart attack in females but he didn't think it was my heart because the EKG was normal. They took lab work next and when that came back he was even more convinced it wasn't my heart. He said he was 99% sure. Thank goodness right? So what the heck was going on?

He ordered a bunch of tests...blood work, ultrasound, chest x rays, etc... to rule out other possibilities such as a torn aorta, or esophageal tear, and some other things that had fancy medical names I can't remember. Anyway I got the all clear on all of it. But he still had that 1% of unsureness about my heart nagging him and ordered that I have a stress test the next morning to rule it out completely. He felt I was okay to go home and that I didn't seem to be in any immediate danger. He gave me some muscle relaxers and some pain killers and I was able to get home and catch a few z's before going back to the hospital for my stress test.

So that is how I spent my morning yesterday. I went to the cardiologist and had my stress test...where they hook you up to all kinds of monitors and have you run on a treadmill. I passed it with flying colors. The cardiologist said I was a young vibrant healthy woman and that my heart is perfection and he assured me that I'm physically fit for backpacking. It's still a mystery as to why I appeared to be having a heart attack but at least I know I won't keel over on the trails any time soon. ;)

Today I feel fine. Strange huh?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Pedernales Trip report

I've now been to Pedernales Park twice. The first time was a day hike, and the second time which was this past weekend, was an overnighter in the primitive camping area. I was a little disappointed that there weren't many wildflowers in the area where we were, but we did find a beautiful patch the next day while out boulder hopping. The cool streams of clear water and small water falls more than made up for the lack of flowers.

The walk from our car to the designated camping area was rather short...maybe three miles.
There were plenty of people out and about on the trails but many people stayed to camp. We found a nice spot though and weren't bothered by our neighbors. We sat down and rested under the trees for a bit and started to settle in. It was so good to get into camp.

After resting up and downing some calories we went to a pretty little waterfall and waded a bit. The water fell into a crystal clear shallow pool and there was another area in the stream where water poured out from the ground. It was such a nice spot.

We walked back to camp and Thomas started up the stove so we could cook our freezer bag meals. One dish had chicken, mushrooms, rice, peas, carrots, and peppers. The other meal was a pretty decent version of sesame orange chicken. Both dinners turned out pretty tasty. Those hot freezer bag meals are a genius idea and I've been having fun putting them together.

After our meal we lazed around for a while, read some, and then turned in for the night. The whippoorwills were calling to each other and the katydids sounded off one after the other sometimes seemingly right over my head which was cool. In the distance we could hear the roar of the falls. I had no trouble falling asleep in such peaceful surroundings.

The next day we played on the boulders and took lots of pictures of the falls. The river was rushing swiftly and there were some pretty good rapids in several places. You could feel the power and energy of the water when close to it, which was exciting. I'd love to see what the falls look like under flash flood conditions. There were signs all over the place warning people not to swim, wade, etc...and to be prepared to leave the area quickly. Apparently the flooding is always sudden when it happens and the water rises many feet very quickly in a boiling rage.
So yeah, I'd like to see that...from a distance of course.

It was so good to get back out in nature for a longer stretch. I was able to finally re-connect to the natural world and not worry about anything. I can't wait to get out there and do it again!

Pedernales Photos

A heart!

Buckeye sipping moisture




River rafting anyone?

White water

The falls

Giant walking stick

My hiking partner

My hiking shoes

Truth serum

Trail sesame chicken and chicken with rice and veggies

Nice place to skinny dip