Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas + a Tiny Peek at Our New Place

Merry Christmas!  This is the first time we've ever decorated our house for Christmas.  Sam's mom sent us ornaments that Sam's received every year since he was a baby, and it was cool to see him remember them and be excited.  I don't think of him as the type to get terribly excited about things like Christmas, but, well, he was terribly excited.

So were the kitties.  As soon as we set up the Chirstmas tree, they assumed positions beneath it, which is precisely where kitties belong.  When I was a wee lass, we had a kitty named Smokey who was always beneath the tree at Chirstmas time, swatting at bird ornaments.  (If you look closely in the top picture, you can see little Sprout to the right of Meatsock under the tree.)

And here she is up close. 

And the tree in its glory.
And my favorite ornament.

Sam's mother also sent us a gorgeous nativity that Sam's great grandmother made.  It's so beautiful, so so beautiful, and big, so we couldn't find a surface that would fit it all together.  We settled on a tiered approach.  Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and animals; shephards and sheep; wise men and camels. 
A close up of the Holy Family.  (Although, I just realized that animal should be paying attention, maybe.  Oh well.  Maybe he was overcome by emotion?)

More pictures of  the house to come soon ...  Hope you have the merriest Christmas.  Hope it's as lovely as you dream.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mexico 4: Because Now It's Cold Out

this is honestly my idea of a vacation: you go to a beach. you sit on the beach.  you read a book.  that's it.  that's all i need. 

in mexico, in addition to that, we had the perks of comfortable chairs and sun umbrellas and people bringing us fresh limondas and "coca lights."  we had big plans to go parasailing this day, but once we realized we'd have to actually stand up, we opted to stay put and read some more.

                                                 [cool. dude.]
after awhile we ordered lunch: tiritas, followed by garlic shrimp, fresh guacamole, fresh salsa, beans, cheese, lots and lots of lime wedges, and more limonda. 

                  [i'm not generally a sunglass wearer, but i think these ones are okay.  are they okay?]
[there's no one i'd rather read books with on the beach. or anywhere for that matter.]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mexico 3: Sam Gets a Sailfish


Before we left for Mexico, we watched a few of those Planet Earth movies, and happened to see one that had a shot of hundreds of sailfish swimming through the water like kites.  Oh, they were pretty.  So although we were looking forward to fishing, we were reluctant to find one of those guys on the other end of the line.  I needn't have worried.  I didn't fish a bit, since about a half hour after I got on the boat I threw up my breakfast over the side, and pretty much stayed horizontal with my eyes closed for the rest of the day.  Seasickness was not a good time for me.  But I did manage to get some pictures, and Sam did catch a sailfish.  It was enormous (you'll see), so I think by the time he got him in the boat, after several near-escapes, Sam didn't care about the scene where they all looked like kites.  At least not when it came to this guy.  Kite, shmite.

                          [view from the boat.  it was right around here that i tossed my cookies, so to speak.  but hey, so pretty, no?]

                                                          [sam's dad preps his fishing pole.]

                                                 [sam reels in the beast.]

                                                          [fernando the fisherman tends to the beast. oh, he was a pretty purple.  the fish, not the fisherman.]

                                     [fernando the fisherman ponders whether there's any more fish to be had.  sam's dad got a black tuna, which had the most beautiful silver pattern.  we took that one to a dock and a beachside restaurant brought it ashore and turned it into tiritas (which is like ceviche in the sense that it's raw) and everyone but me (it wasn't a good time for me to eat raw fish) feasted.  by all acounts it was a good fish.]

                                                     [sam stands triumphantly with his catch.]

                                                         [sam inspects his catch.]

                                         [the purple fin of the sailfish.  and this is the toned down version.  when he first came out of the water, he looked bejeweled. sam ate fillets of this guy for several days, but most of it we had fernando distribute to people who could use the food.  i think he fed a lot of people, which is a good thing.  there were plenty who seemed to need it.]

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mexico 2: Dolphin Swim

[they jump. we grin.]

When we landed in Mexico, a woman on the plane told us about swimming with dolphins and I was instantly obsessed.  Granted, it also made me think of this New Yorker cartoon, wherein two dolphins are swimming around and one says to the other, "If I could do only one thing before I died, it would be to swim with a middle-aged couple from Connecticut."   I find that endlessly amusing, and thus felt a little silly about wanting to have a swim, but, seriously, look at them.  And look at those enormous smiles on our faces.  We'll be the couple from New England any day if we get to hang out with these guys.

[we pet a dolphin belly.  i think this one's name was habana, since she was cuban. (they spelled it with a b, yes.]

This was one of those things that was exactly as cool and exhilirating as I dreamed it would be. Okay, it was probably cooler. I have to say that at first I was frightened. We weren't in the open ocean, we were in a salt water pool, but I couldn't see all the way down and there were these mysterious creatures swimming around, and I worried that maybe they wouldn't be as nice/smart as we're told they are.  We got paired with this baby dolphin named Gallo (rooster) first, and we loved him, but he was very very interested in a girl baby dolphin on the other side of the tank, so basically he kept ditching us, and when he wasn't with the girl baby dolphin, he was circling us and circling us, so much so that I was getting a bit dizzy.  So we got new dolphins.  And I relaxed and realized they weren't going to eat us.  And then we played.

[I was suprised by how much we actually got to play.  They let us ride across the pool, holding their flippers tight.  I was giggling and giggling.] 
                [Here's Sam's turn.  Was he giggling?  He was doing the Sam-equivalent of the giggling.]
                                          [can you see that look on my face?  that's about as happy as i get.  there's a dolphin pushing each of my feet across the pool.  if i would have kept my legs straighter, i could have been even more out of the water.  dang, that was a cool feeling.]

                              [sam looks like he's surfing.  he is also being pushed by two dolphin noses.]
                                                            [then sam got a kiss.]

                                                [sam calls this one "signing the peace treaty"]
                                                         [here i get a kiss.]

                                                 [and here i give one.]

                                               [and here she gets a fish for the kiss.]

                                 [one last shot of the four of us.  thanks to sam's parents for sponsoring our swim.   we   had ever so much fun.]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mexico 1: Creatures

[the pools and view from the condo.  zihuatenejo, mexico.]
Sam and I went to Zihuatanejo, Mexico for a week at the beginning of October, just after we moved.  We visited his parents, who rented a condo down there for six months, and are generous souls.  They treated us well.  It was a whirlwind of swimming in the pool, reading books in lounge chairs, eating fresh-fresh seafood, fishing, eating more fresh-fresh seafood, swimming with dolphins, drinking limonada, nursing sunburns, practicing my (meager) Spanish skills, and taking very long naps.  Can strenous relaxation even be considered a whirlwind?  Anyway, it was grand.

[i love this one.  gosh it was gorgeous there.]
I'll cover other material in a few more posts (swimming with dolphins!  fishing (and seasickness)! glamorous book reading by the pool and sea!) but I must first tell you about La-La the porcupine, whom we met at a animal rescue type place called El Refugio de Potosi.  We have a niece named Lala (Alana), which is perhaps why I was instantly smitten with this little lady.  And Sam was a sucker for her, too.  The feeling appeared to be mutual when Lala responded to his attention by immediately commencing her climb up into his arms.  He didn't mind. 

                                                                     [they say hello.]
                                                                 [she decides he's her friend.]
                   [they bond. they snuggle. i have to say that when sam talks to animals, even to his cat, my heart melts.  he has a way of giving them absolute credit as intelligent life forms, and carrying on surprisingly sophistocated conversations wtih them.  it's something to behold.]

                                                                   [she kinda liked me, too.]
                               [we did a lot of really cool stuff, but darned if La-La wasn't a clear highlight.]

                                    [a few more pictures from potosi.  here sam's dad converses with a bird.]

                                                      [here the birds converse with each other.]

                     [and here sam walks with his pretty mama into the wilds of mexico.  we left not long after this. turns out the wilds are sticky, very very hot, and full of bugs that were feasting on our legs.]

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Glasses

One morning I went out into the living room and near the table I stood very still and gasped.  There was an enormous bug on the inside bridge of my nose.  I reached up before I could think too hard, plucked it off, and threw it violently to the ground. 

Then I realized it wasn't a bug.  It was the nosepad to my glasses. 

I got down on my hands and knees and searched for it, but it wasn't to be found.

Later, standing in the only eyeglass store that was willing to help me that day, I tried on these glasses.  By the time I realized the techs in back could fix my previous ones, I was already smitten with these.  What could I do?  I was in a swank glasses shop in Cambridge, a man with artfully disheveled hair was telling me how cool they looked, and I was simply putty in his salesman hands.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby Quilt

My friend Em and I made this quilt for a girl at church and her wee babe. 

Please note: Emily did the ENTIRE quilt in LESS time than it took me to make the meager little flowers.  (sigh.)

(It was a strange shower, since she had also received some sort of clothes hamper that looked a lot like a rubbish bin, and every gift she opened went straight into that to keep them all together, I suppose. So our quilt and all the pretty pink outfits? Seemed to go straight in the trash ... Oh well.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tadzio in Reds

I've been playing with my editing software.  I'm certain I'm an amateur, but I'm having a lovely time. 

So is T.  Can't you tell?