Saturday, April 23, 2016

Purple


When I heard the news I was shocked.

Sure, I'd heard the reports that he was sick, cancelled some shows, and an airline he was on was forced to stop for a medical emergency.

But I also heard he was fine.  Threw an impromptu party at his "compound" and expressed that fans were not to believe the rumors and to save their prayers.

When I heard the news on Thursday, it took a bit for me to wrap my head around the fact Prince was dead.

Maybe you were a fan, maybe not, perhaps you didn't care either way, but you have to admit he was an amazing artist.  He could play around 27 different instruments, wrote his first song at the age of 7 and never stopped.  He wrote music for all types of artists: Kenny Rogers, Sinead O'Connor, the Bangles, Madonna, Cindi Lauper, and Stevie Nicks, just to name a few. Wrote songs for himself, performed like it was nobody's business and fought the music industry for artist rights.  He helped those in need and helped others achieve their dreams. Just listen to some of the stories out there.  He didn't get in trouble and wanted to be himself.  He had his own color.  Purple.

He was interesting, flamboyant and broke the music "rules."

When I was a child, I was intrigued by him and his fashion, his dance and his sound.  And I'll admit, it was probably a good thing I didn't understand what all of his lyrics meant!

This morning, I was compelled to visit Paisley Park. The flowers, balloons, artwork, and notes being left at his home, his studio, his compound are a beautiful tribute to this man.

With roads being closed, I had to take a walking trail to get there.  The trail was lined with luminaries.  As I got to the side of his property, the purple balloons and flowers on the fence began.  When I turned the corner to the front of the property, I was struck by the smell.  The scent of flowers permeated the air.  An amazing smell.  It was early, so the amount of people there was less.  I was able to walk up and down the fence line and look at and read some of the beautiful tributes to Prince. Besides the smell and the beautiful sight of remembrance, I was in awe at how quiet and peaceful it felt standing on that grassy area, on the corner of a highway,  with all of the news camera and reporters and the fans/mourners.  Prince was a proponent of peace and love and believe me when I say it was in the air.




The world has lost a music genius.  Whether you liked him or not, his music influenced the musicians of today and there will never be anyone quite like him.  RIP Prince.


Thanks for your music, your influence and the memories!


Monday, March 14, 2016

O Christmas Tree...O Christmas Tree....

I just realized that I wrote this way back in December, but never published it!  Oops!  
Well here you go... here is the Christmas tree story of 2015.

Yesterday I told you the story of the year our fully decorated Christmas tree fell over.  Today I have another story to tell, this was the year the tree HAD to GO.

I'm going to rewind a little, to December 2014.  For years we had purchased our Christmas trees through a local seller.  Unfortunately this gentleman's property was seized via eminent domain.  Basically the government forced the owners to move off of their property (they were paid) so a new freeway could be paved in its spot.  Since they were gone, we were left looking for a place to purchase our perfect Christmas tree.

I recalled a friend of mine raving about her Christmas trees throughout the years.  She would tell me how good they smelt, how full and pretty they were, how they lasted from Thanksgiving until well after Christmas had passed.  Where did she buy these wonderful trees?  Costco.

Of course!  Costco has everything!  So, in December of 2014, we purchased our first tree from Costco.  She was right, the tree was pretty, tall and full.  It had a great pine scent that permeated the living room and its branches stayed soft and flexible through the new year until alas, we took it down.

(Action and Smiley decorating the Christmas Tree in Dec. 2014)

So this year, we decided to go to Costco again to find our perfect Christmas tree.
Hubby had time over his lunch to help us find and load up the tree.  We climbed into the car (2 of them actually ~ needed room for the tree, you know!)  We purchased our tree inside the store, then drove around back to pick it out.  They had just received a new shipment of trees.  They were all bound up in netting so we chose mainly by height and whether or not it looked straight.

The tree was loaded up and we headed for home.  When we got home, hubby cut a few inches off of the base of the trunk, put it in the tree stand, brought it into the house, gave it some water and cut off the netting.  We made sure it was straight and he went back to work and I began decorating in a different area of the house.

About 30 minutes later, my son yelled,  "Mom!  A worm just fell out of the tree!"

And that it did.  I worm about 2 inches long and the width of a piece of spaghetti was squirming around on my hardwood floor.  I swiped it up and went back to decorating, only to be interrupted with another shout out about another bug.

I started by picking up one slug....and then another would fall.....soon I would see another wriggling on my floor.....5...10....

My hubby and I took the tree outside.  Gave it a good shaking and brought it back in.

11.....12....13....

NO WAY this tree was staying in my house!

We took it outside not quite knowing what to do with it.

After talking to my dad, we decided we would try to return the tree to Costco (I've been told they take everything back).

We carried the tree to the driveway, removed the stand and shoved it into the vehicle.  My 11 year old and 7 year old jumped into their seats.  They looked at each other, then down at the tree trunk that had been pushed into the vehicle between them and noticed the 5 slugs stuck to the bottom of the trunk.  They jumped right back out of the car and told hubby and I we were on our own to return this one and find a new tree.
(dark + driving = a blurry picture)

We returned it at Costco ~ the employees were a bit shocked at our story ~ we were given our money back, no questions asked.  They didn't even ask us if we wanted to simply exchange it.  Which was wise, because we wouldn't have.

Then we went across the parking lot and found a nice little tree at Lowes.  It was smaller and a little more expensive, but it was bug FREE!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Tree Stories

Twas a night in December when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The kids were all tucked in their beds warm and tight and hubby and I crawled into bed ready to call it a night.
When all of a sudden we heard a loud crash, not a sound you ignore and hope it will pass.
It was so loud that we sprung out of bed.
We hustled down the stairs where I was filled with dread.
The sight in front of me was a lot to take in.
The ornaments that were once on the tree, had scattered about and I wanted to flee!
The tree had tipped over, the ornaments broken, 
we were both quiet, not many words were spoken.
Hubby and I set to work, we uprighted the tree; the ornaments were sorted into piles of three.
One group was broken.
The other was fine, 
The last group however, required more of my time.
A few days later and a bit of glue, one would never guess what we had been through!


Do tell, have you had a Christmas tree tip over?

Up next.... this years tree story!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Puerto Vallarta ~ Part 3 ~ The Final Chapter

Onto the final chapter.....

Thursday, the girls hung out with another family and did a little shopping while Hubby, 
Action and I went zip-lining.  Action was feeling MUCH better and was excited to have his turn.  

The three of us had a blast ~ it's a bit invigorating to find yourself flying through the trees and over a river on a beautiful, warm, sunshiny day.



Friday ~ kind of a sad day ~ our last full day in Puerto Vallarta.....

Since Hubby, Action and I missed out on walking around and shopping a bit, we decided to to that on Friday morning with the Sassy and Smiley.   It just so happened that Friday wasn't just any Friday, it was Good Friday.  We took a taxi to the Malecon.  The Malecon is basically a boardwalk with lots of little shops and interesting sculptures.  On this particular day, there were also lot sand sculptures.  

This was one of them:

very cool!

There were also stations of the cross set up along the walk as well.  
I was very impressed and know fully that this would offend people in the US and most likely would not be permitted.


We continued walking and enjoying the culture.

Personally, I loved the architechure.

We also were able to visit this beautiful church, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. 
There was a Good Friday service in progress, so we just stood in the back and admired the inside of the church.


Sassy and Smiley had also gone in the day before when they were shopping with friends, and just like then, 
Smiley felt the need to kneel down and pray.


When we were finished, we headed back to the resort to enjoy our last day in the warm sun.....



(lots of handstands were performed in the pool)







Saturday we headed home.  
After a flight cancellation and an unexpected overnight in a hotel in LA, this is how we spent Easter Morning ~ 5:30am at LAX.  It was an adventure to get home, but we eventually made it.


This vacation was a much needed break from the run-around of our everyday lives.  
The hustle and bustle of school, work, sports and daily life.  
We had such a great time and made some awesome memories with each other and with our friends.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Puerto Vallarta ~ Part 2

I will just continue where I left off yesterday......

Wednesday.

Wednesday we had scheduled a dolphin swim experience (through this company, which I would definitely recommend). Two other families in our group were scheduled for the same time.  We all set off to create some lasting memories.  As we waited for our opportunity to interact and swim with the dolphins, the kids were able to hold a monkey (Smiley wasn't so sure about it, so she opted out):



Finally, our wait was over. After some brief instructions as a large group, we were separated by families with our respective dolphin and trainer.  We got in the water with the dolphin  (ours was a male) where we were able to  learn about him, "pet" him, dance with him, get and give a kiss, get him to "sing", do a few tricks (act like a shark, wave, have a water fight, blow bubbles) and ultimately we were given a ride by this amazing creature.  For me, this was a highlight of our trip, something I have always wanted to do that I can now cross off the bucket list.



















After our dolphin experience, we were able to pick and purchase some pictures and a short video of our time with the dolphin.  While we were waiting for those to print, the kids were once again able to hold another animal, this time a parrot.  




We headed back to the resort and the rest of the day was spent relaxing by the pool.



Come back tomorrow for the final chapter......