what better way to start the weekend than with some random slobbery smiles?!
There are days that, as they are happening, you think to yourself, this one is good. This is the kind of day that will forever be imprinted on the memory banks as a Good Day. This is one of those days.
I fretted over this vacation for some unknown reason. I made the planning so much harder than it had to be. Leading up to the trip I allowed stress to overwhelm me and I just felt like surrendering. So many things were wreaking havoc on my mind and my emotions and I really was ready to just hide in bed at home while hubby went off for a solo vacation. It is so very easy for me to allow myself to be held hostage by my sneaky little brain. However, for my brain, Costa Rica acts as an anesthetic of sorts. It is why I love the country. It has given me some of my most favorite days.
This day was one of them.
We had planned a day with our guide Wilson, who drove us from the airport the day before. There was a question of whether his friend, and nature guide, Geovani would be with him. As it turned out, he was going to spend the day with us. And what a day it was.
We perplexed our new friends in the beginning. They kept throwing out options of things to do for the day. Zip lining? No. Hot springs? No. Welllllllll…..what do you want to do? We want you to show us your country. We want to see snakes. And bugs. And ummmm, if you could please find me a sloth, I will love you forever. And then Wilson and Geovani showed us the greatness that is their country. There are so. many. things. I want to write about this day. But I am afraid I would bore you. I am afraid you would stop reading because there would just be so. very. much. Just know that I adore this day. It goes down as One of Those Days.
One thing that we desperately wanted to see was a red-eyed tree frog. You will see these beautiful frogs adorn many advertisements for the country, however they are actually fairly uncommon and difficult to find. Unless you have Geovani by your side ;)
There are times as a photographer where you capture an image. And then quietly do summersaults in your head. And maybe say with a little attitude, yeah. I took that. This is one of those images. I could have thrown my camera away after capturing this*. This. This was the shot I came to this country for. Wash my hands and call it a day.
*Thankfully, I did not throw my camera away. phew! Because I had another summersault moment later in the day :)
and the eggs…
and what about THIS moment???????????
Ummmmm. Yeah. That happened.
Remember “if you find me a sloth I will love you forever“? How about if you find me a sloth on the side of the highway going a gazillion miles an hour and it is so close I can touch it I will totally marry you? And then you find me a baby only minutes down the road? You’re a dreamboat.
Wanna know what baby sloth fur looks like? It looks like this…
It is a sad day that I have no photos of me getting these photos. Because I was sort of impressed that I have more physical prowess than I thought. There is a very delicate balancing act occurring here, on barbed wire, while precariously wrapping my arm around a tree branch and crossing my fingers that it will hold me as I lean back to get these shots. I might have been bleeding just a little bit after this little photo shoot…but so totally worth it!
This pretty sums up what my face looked like as I climbed back into the van…
I could have gone home right at that moment and been so insanely happy. But the day must go on! And it did. And continued in greatness, both big and small. My mind was blown by just how much we saw, and how much we experienced, in such a short period of time. I can say that I did not want the day to end, and as we hugged the guys goodbye, I truly felt like I was saying goodbye to friends.
Forever and a day ago (or maybe it was about 6 months ago) I went on vacation. And I didn’t tell you about it! WHAT?! I hinted. I posted a couple pictures. And then I got in a fight with my blog. We stopped talking for awhile after we called each other some unfortunate names. But then my brain started wandering back to those lovely vacation days, and I thought it was quite rude of me to not share those lovely memories here. *ok. can we just be honest? I really want to go back on vacation, so this allows me to re-live these wonderful memories. There. I said it.
For some reason, this vacation induced So. Much. Stress. beforehand. Our last trip was planned incredibly last minute. As in, tickets were bought before I even received my renewed passport. We had little time to plan, which in normal circumstances really should cause my OCD to break out in hives. But no. And then this trip? With plenty of time to plan? I wanted to throw up at times. I stomped my feet a lot. The packing?! Only I can make vacation planning so very….grrrrrrr.
I won’t even try to tell the tale of my arguments with a traffic cop at the airport. Or my attempting, yelling really, to just pay the airport guy for my oversized luggage already. I have never had someone NOT want to take my money! Our start to this trip was not a pretty one. And then there was the little stop at customs upon our arrival. Trying to explain our luggage situation. I am pretty sure if it wasn’t for the man carrying our luggage for us, we would have been short some items. A $20 bill can get you far in a developing country ;)
Really, the only luggage I truly care about on these trips is what is on my back every day…the cameras.
Well. that and my motion-sickness medicine :) For a girl that gets carsick *very* easily, these are a must on these trips!
One of our biggest concerns while planning this trip was nailing down transportation from the airport to our lodge. After not much luck, we discovered our friend’s coworker’s cousin just so happened to have a tour company. I love Costa Rica! Someone always knows someone who can help you! So we contacted Wilson, and made a new friend. He picked us up at the airport. Happily brought us on some quick errands we needed to do before hitting the road. And made the looooong drive much better by being in his company. He brought us to a local soda for lunch and it was delicious, and we made some furry friends while there as well. He took us on some detours and made the drive fun, instead of a tedious drive from point a to point b.
While we were eating lunch Wilson had the owner make us these plantains…these were the most delicious plantains I have ever tasted! Best I could decipher, they are simply boiled. That seems too easy for the amazing flavor. If anyone knows the secret to these plantains, I will be your new best friend!!!
We finally arrived at our lodge, Arenal Lodge, and made tentative plans to meet up with Wilson, and possibly his friend, the following day, depending on the weather. The weather was cooperative for us, and our first full day in Costa Rica was more than I ever could have asked for…
Just for a taste of the greatness…this was the view from my bed. I mean!
My most recent quilt finish has found it’s way to it’s new home, so I can now officially share it! And share how once again, sending one of my quilts off has been slightly vomit inducing.
I am slightly obsessed with this backing fabric, and I insist that you get yourself thoroughly obsessed with it as well. I mean, look at it! Woodland animals? GOLD TREES? I fell over when it arrived. And then I thought about vomiting. I’ll tell you why.
This quilt was a bit of an oops! baby. Totally unplanned, but incredibly loved just the same. Just like me! :)
All of the fabric was actually cut to go into a different quilt, but after a slight temper tantrum ensued with a bit of foot stomping and naughty words, I had to admit to myself that it just did not work for the quilt I had in mind. So all those lovely triangles sat in a sad and lonely pile. And then I had a day off. And I pulled them out and started putting them together with the few solid pieces I had leftover from the original quilt. And I quickly started discovering this was how this quilt was always supposed to be.
As I was assembling this quilt, a thought was slowly forming in my mind. I tried dismissing it, as it seemed sort of crazy. But I just couldn’t quite shake it. And then, one day while I was working on it, hubby asked me what my plans for the quilt were. And I voiced my crazy idea.
“Wellllllll, this is going to sound crazy, but there is this girl on facebook. I’ve never actually met her. I think this quilt is supposed to be hers.”
This was met with a slightly blank stare from hubby. So I plugged on, hoping I could make sense.
“I find her incredibly inspiring. She makes me think, and is brave and bold and helps so many people and “fights the good fight” and she has suffered loss and then was met with a great joy and she just helped this family that really needed help and I saw on Pinterest that she liked this line of nursery stuff that was made with this exact fabric line and what are the chances of that?! and I just for some reason really think that she should have this quilt.”
I looked at hubby, unsure. I mean, who gives a quilt to someone they’ve never even met? What if she didn’t even like it?!
“I think that’s a great idea.” He said. Done. This quilt would go to someone I had never met, but who truly inspires me on a regular basis. And so I carried on with finishing it up, trying to decide how to get this quilt to her. And then I posted a picture of it on facebook, sharing it’s near completion. And the first comment came from it’s unsuspecting new owner, asking if I ever sell my quilts. And that is when I knew for sure, she had to have this quilt.
So that settled that. This quilt was hers. As I started finishing it, I suddenly became paralyzed with fear. I still had to choose backing fabric, and binding fabric, and what if she didn’t like any of it???? OH THE PRESSURE!!! And then I found the perfect fabric. It made me giddy the moment I saw it. This quilt was made for this backing. And it wasn’t released yet. Wouldn’t be for awhile. *sigh* I signed up to be emailed as soon as the fabric line was released, and then sat around, biting my nails. And realized I couldn’t sit around waiting for this fabric. It was going to be almost two months! I needed to finish her. So I started looking more. And I found this backing. And fell. in. love. Gold trees? SOLD. Then I found the perfect binding, with a hint of gold as well, perfectly tying everything in.
And then, once again. I panicked. Gold? GOLD? What if she hates gold? Is it too much? Will this quilt be hidden in a closet? But it was too late. I was staring at yardage of gold goodness, and I needed to trust myself. I finished the quilt. I fell in love with the quilt. I sent the quilt off. And I patiently waited. And she loved it. And her baby crib? It’s gold people. Her baby’s crib is freaking GOLD. Yup. She was supposed to have this quilt.
name: desert dreams
size: 46 x 59
creation: Jan. 2015- Feb. 2015
fabric: April Rhodes “Arizona” and some Kona solids
backing: Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft, “Timber Valley”
binding: Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft, “Trading Post”
I’m popping in to make excuses for myself. I have all sorts of photos to post, and I know all of you out there are simply beside yourselves, waiting for me to post said photos. But I haven’t posted any. Anything at all. I know, I know. You are exhausted from all the lost sleep, wondering when in the world I was next going to post.
Excuses. I’ve gone to the dogs! Really, I just work an awful lot, and if I’m not working, my body is probably recovering from all that working an awful lot. But you know what I sometimes do when I am busy working an awful lot? I sneak my camera into the playgroups, and steal images of my slobbery friends. And then poof! I have photos to share.
For our last trip to Costa Rica I decided to replace our dying point and shoot. It was a bit of a difficult pill to swallow, and I wondered how much I would really use a p&s when I have my trusty dslr. But I bought the Canon G1X and I have to say I am in loooove and do not regret the decision one little bit. I actually think the “real” camera is starting to get a touch jealous. I love this thing for making images of my work pups, without then having to go home and do dreaded editing. I love it for snapping pics of our everyday life, but still getting something better than just plain old snapshots. I just love it. And so. I haven’t posted a whole lot. But I have a whole lot to post. Until then…pups!
I got up off my lazy butt and dust-busted the heck out of my computer and said “YES. Today is the day. Today is the day that I will blog. And start storytelling about my last lovely vacation. YES.”
And then I went to upload some pics from Day 1. And well. They weren’t there. And well. Now I can’t breathe. Now I need to put my safari hat on and go on a manhunt and hope that I simply edited a verrrrrrry small number of pics, and the rest are just waiting in Lightroom, concerned that I may have forgotten about them.
SO. I tried to blog today. Really, I did. It’s the thought that counts though. Right?
I have a confession. I have a woobie. You know, that little security blanket that you must have in order to sleep. It’s a little bedraggled. Probably doesn’t get washed enough. It’s wrinkled and worn and absolutely a necessity for a good night’s sleep. Yup, I’m thirty-cough ahem- some odd- ahem- cough years old and I have a woobie.
I would like to introduce you to “The Original”…
This beautiful quilt was made by my grandmother when I was a baby. It is thirty-cough ahem- some odd- ahem- cough years old. Years ago, my mom came across it and sent it my way. I was delighted and instantly snatched it up as if I was suddenly 5 years old again. With absolutely no concept of wear and tear on old (who are you calling old?!) fabric, I threw the thing onto my bed, and it was my new best friend. I loved staring at the stitches, seeing the imperfections, knowing that my Bucki made each one of those stitches with her own hands, with me on her mind. Every night I balled it up and tucked it under my arm and slept soundly.
And then it starting falling apart. And I started learning to sew. And I had a brilliant idea. I would make myself a new woobie, so I could preserve what was left of The Original.
This is only the third quilt I have made and it still stands as one of my all time favorites. I actually want to re-create it as a large bed-sized quilt, but I absolutely cannot find that low-volume print anywhere and cannot remember for the life of me where I found it (it is very hard to see, but it has very pale blue birds on it….if anyone knows who makes it, I’ll be your new best friend!!!)
The back. There are lots of things I do not enjoy about trying to teach myself a craft on my own, but one of the things I do enjoy is that fact that since I don’t know what I am doing, I just sort of wing it, and usually end up loving the end result. I looooove the back of this quilt so very much.
Interesting Fact: In this post I mentioned that I put a little piece of my baby quilt in each of my quilt sandwiches. This is where this started. When I realized that I never ever should have put my baby quilt to use as an actual quilt, I was devastated to realize that a) I ruined it and b) it now was “useless”. At first I accepted the fact I would just need to fold her up and keep her in the closet if I wanted to preserve what was left of it. And then I thought about how sad that was. My Bucki worked hard on that. For me. The more sewing I do, the more I understand that it is hard work. SO much goes into it, even if many of us do not hand sew anymore, quilting is work. I cannot imagine creating something for someone, only for it to stay in a closet, hidden away. And so with quilt #3, I began a tradition. It was slightly painful when I did it, but I went into the closet, and I tore a small piece of fabric off of my baby quilt. And I placed it inside of the quilt sandwich. I questioned my decision at first. Did I seriously just purposely tear a piece of fabric off of my precious quilt? GAH! But I did. And more than anything, I love knowing that I have found a way of mending our two arts into one. And knowing that I can carry her memory in each of my own creations. I hope in my heart that she would approve, and be proud.
Name: Woobie Pie
Size: 32 x 32
Completed: December 2012
Fabric: Amy Butler Midwest Modern Linen, mystery low-volume blue birds *sigh*, embarrassingly low quality fabric from JoAnns. *averting eye contact*
Quilting: by me
I have been met with surprise each time that I tell someone that we will be going to Costa Rica for a vacation.
“Again?” they will ask.
“But didn’t you just go last year?”
I will always return to Costa Rica. It will always be my go-to vacation. There are so many places on this beautiful planet that I would love to see and explore and experience. But I will always choose to return to Costa Rica. This country has had such a strange hold on me since my first visit. When I first set foot on it’s soil. When I first met the warmth of it’s culture.
On my first visit more than 10 years ago, I was no more than 5 minutes in my friend’s home when the wife of one of his friends grabbed my hand and whisked me away down the city streets, winding through a maze of walkways and neighborhoods until I found myself in her family’s neighborhood, in the home of her mother, surrounded my a mass of women asking me questions in a language I had absolutely no grasp of. I sat in pure terror. And spoke to them in English. And they spoke to me in Spanish. And I swear we managed to have a conversation. We still somehow managed to understand each other.
I am a person that is forever uncomfortable. In her surroundings. In her own skin. I can always feel the edge of my anxiety, threatening to cut. And somehow, in a country that takes me miles and miles outside of my comfort zone, I feel more at home than I feel anywhere else. Costa Rica is good for me. It does something to my mind. It quiets it. It settles it. It reminds me of what is important and where my focus should be.
Costa Rica let’s me know that I am always welcome, and for that I will always return.
Such a simple word (ha ha, I had to, didn’t I?), but not so simple of a task.
I thought on my word for 2015 for quite some time. Usually the word comes to me before the year is even over, but this year I had to dig a bit to find it. And then I found it. And I knew.
I need to simplify. I need to pare down my world. I need to only have people that are really important to me in my world. I need to stop wanting more and more. I need to appreciate the small things. I need to stop being such an over thinker (someone please let my OCD know I need help with this task!). I need to let things go.
I need to just live simply.
I need to just simply live.
Well hi there! The year is coming to an end…so why not officially finish up the 2013 vacation chronicles?!
I don’t even know what day we are on…but it doesn’t matter because we are wrapping up the trip and just like in real life, going through all the pics and seeing the trip coming to an end makes me sad and I’m about to get pouty and foot-stompy and no one really wants to see that, do they? *someone pass me a tissue*
On our last day we were able to squeeze in one last hike in the Braulio Carrillo National Park before heading to the airport the following morning, and realizing that things were coming to an end made me feel slightly greedy with the surroundings, wanting to take in as much as humanly possible.
And THAT, my friends, is the end of the 2013 vacation chronicles!!! Holy shit, we made it! So ummmmm, are you ready for the 2014 trip?! ;)