Saturday, April 28, 2018

hi Bloggeremail

Carina Vasquez

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Soccer Tears of Joy

 Julia has this ability to dig deep, like really deep. I would like to think she gets it from me. When she is pushed against a wall and she knows in her mind that what she is fighting for is good and right she will dig so deep into her heart and bring out this fight and spirit to push on. I have seen it before but maybe not so clear as I did this past weekend.

Her soccer team played in a sectional tournament this weekend sweeping all 5 games and claiming the championship title. I was not expecting what I saw. In fact I am ashamed that I didn’t have more faith in my little girl. I truly didn’t see the win in her and a few of her teammates. But when the time came she did it and she proved to me that the power of friendship and camaraderie can propel her to great heights. She showed me that winning for others can feel so much better than just winning for yourself.
Julia faced the fear of being pummeled to the ground by an opponent who would have made a grown man run and hide. She was up against someone who was more experienced and outweighed her by 50lbs of muscle and Julia used everything she had, her courage, her long legs, her might, her force to try and move what seemed to be an immovable mountain. I would be lying to say that I did not fear that Julia would get seriously inured if she was to be fallen on by this opponent. My bitty girl just needed a few breaks to make a difference and she got them. She kept her head cool long enough to see the opportunities and when they presented themselves she took advantage of them. She also took that predicted hit from the mountain that would eventually fall and when she collapsed to the ground I held my breath until she got back up. She took a hard hit and my baby still got up. I couldn’t believe it. What was driving this girl?

She ignored the sometimes frantic screams from her coach and all those on the sideline and she just focused. She knew what she had to do. In the past at times she would allow the external forces to get to her and literally crumble into an emotional mess but not this time. This weekend was different. She had teammates falling all around her injured, emotionally and physically but she kept moving and didn’t stop. At the end of the weekend while at home cuddled in bed I asked her what the best part of winning was and she said without hesitation “I can still hangout and play with me friends, and that makes me happy”. It wasn’t the CHAMPIONSHIP medal or the knowledge that her team was doing something that this area soccer group hasn’t done in 10 years. No, what mattered to her was that this adventure with her friends was not ending. With each goal, each push, each kick and head bump they were winning more time to be together. More time to giggle and paint nail’s and make fun of coaches and tease each other. More time to make headbands for each other and find the best snack bar food to eat. More time to hang out and gossip and share and support each other. Oh and a bit more time to kick this ball around a field and score goals and high five each other.

I am so fortunate to be Julia’s mom and I thank god for allowing me to be her mother and raise her. It is an honor that he allows me to care for his child and to let me be a part of his plan for her in this life.

The next part of this story will take place in a few weeks in Palm Springs and I will not make the same mistake I did this weekend. Julia taught me this weekend that she is more than capable of making the unbelievable totally believable. She taught me that the power of friendship can give her the ability to move mountains.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

birds forever

Starbucks.. you make my heart sing and my wallet 4 dollars lighter. So I have taken a breather from blogging in order to create more time to blog. Makes no sense and thats ok. I am ready to start this crazyness again. I missed my little home away from home. birds forever.. and ever...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2011

Cats, Jellyfish, sharks and something.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The knee story

Wed Sept 28th. Knee surgery #3. Allograft. Cadaver bone and cartilage replacement. Details upcoming but pictures speak a thousand words. Pain level once femoral block wore off was 9. Right now femoral drip and percocet has me at pain level 5.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Playing with actions

So Im trying to get my learn on.

Looks like I need it sized a bit bigger.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Squarefoot gardening

Squarefoot gardening by cv715
Squarefoot gardening, a photo by cv715 on Flickr.

Still testing out flickr aps.

Blog goes hamburger

Hmmm finally after 6mths I can post my iphone images to the blog. We are in trouble now.

Hamburger courtesy of Hamburger Habit

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To knee or not to knee...

My knee. He is a curious little bugger. I am looking ahead to another surgery in hopes of relieving the chronic pain I am in. A little history. I believe my initial cartilage damage was due to over exertion during my younger years. Making some bad choices like “bad karate”. Never the less in Jan of 2005 I went in for arthroscopic surgery were they performed a microfracture surgery to try and repair the damaged cartilage. In microfracture the surgeon uses a small pointed tool called an awl to make very small holes called microfractures (tiny breaks) in the bone near the damaged cartilage. The holes the surgeon makes in your bone release the cells in your bones that build new cartilage. Your body then builds a new type of fake cartilage to replace the damaged cartilage. While in there my Dr. also biopsied chondrocytes cartilage in case I would need a further surgery.

Well the microfracture did not work so it was on to step 2. In Sept of 2005 I went into Surgery and had a Autologus chrondocyte implant. This was a new way to help restore the structural makeup of the articular cartilage My cells had already been growing in a lab so now it was just having them implanted. During this surgery the surgeon implants the newly grown cartilage into the lesion and covers it with a small flap of tissue taken from the shin bone. The cover holds the cells in place while they attach themselves to the surrounding cartilage and begin to heal.

So 6 years later .. epic fail. Third time is a charm. I am onto the next procedure. Osteochondral allograft transplantation. In this procedure, bone and the attached cartilage from an organ donor is transplanted to repair cartilage damage. The osteochondral allograft procedure is mostly used after other surgeries have failed. One of the problems with this kind of procedure is the limited supply of donor tissue. Even though there are technical difficulties with this type of surgery, the success rate is generally high. This procedure usually involves placing rather large pieces of cartilage and bone in the joint. The allograft is usually held in place with metal screws or pins.

Sounds like a good time! So now I wait. I wait for the call that they have found a donor for me. I then have ten days to have my surgery. Just doesn’t seem fair for the donor or for me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Part Deux! New York or Bust!

We woke up on Sunday morning and checked our tickets for the 911 museum showing. Umm the tickets said our tour would begin at 11:00am on SATURDAY! We missed it. I was so bummed. I knew the company did not do exchanges and I was so upset. I decided to go ahead and make a call to the museum and see if by chance they could do anything. I got on the phone with a gentleman who went way out of his way to accommodate us on the 2:00pm tour and we only had to pay a $8 reschedule fee. I was relieved. As I was getting off the phone I asked the person who helped me for his name. He said "Gary Susson" I was shocked that I was speaking to the creator of the museum. The photographer who actually took all the photos and collected all the artifacts and remains that we would be seeing later that day.
 We decided to start our morning off looking for Strawberry Fields in Central Park. We walked and walked and walked some more and finally found it.

We stopped for a bit watching people lay on top of the circle and basically being asses. Then we went across the street to the Dakota where John Lennon was shot. It was pretty interesting to see a place of modern history. It hasn’t changed and I wonder what Oko thinks each time she leaves the hotel, walking through the same arch that her husband was shot in.

 We were tired of walking so we jumped in a cab and went on our way to Wall Street. We walked around a bit and checked out the NY stock exchange building. There was a photo shot of some sort happening so we got to see a real live NY model standing ontop of some historic building. Real NY models look just like real LA models.

We had a pretzel, wasn’t that great actually. I loved the mustard more than the pretzel. We walked towards the twin towers location and stood across from the construction that is being done in the location of where the building fell. At that point we hailed a cab and headed up to the Meat packing district were the 911 museum was located.

We had about a hour to kill so we walked around an Apple store and had lunch at a bar/restaurant named Gaslight. The pasta was so good, a seafood pasta with red sauce. Chad ordered pizza, I thought it was ok but Chad seemed to enjoy it. We both had a bloody mary and it was very different, super thin tasting.. if thin tasted.

After lunch we met up with our 911 tour and were escorted in a very small room. I was surprised at how small the space was and sort of felt like we had been duped a bit. I was so wrong. We were given a set of headphones and a small audio device. As we walked around the room we were able to hear details and information on the artifacts and pictures in the museum. It was very moving. It felt like you really got a chance to see what it was like down at Ground Zero. Some amazing things do come in small packages. Gary Susson was the only photographer allowed at ground zero during the recovery process. He was able to collect items like shoes, pieces of window, steel and desk objects. It was a very moving display.
I have a few photos of the displays to share with you. Gary was able to collect the Calendar that was found in a subway control room. Left is his display: Right is the original location

Switched this time: Clock found in a breakroom I believe.

After we left the museum we stopped in at an Alexander McQueen store. I was not going to be able to get to the Museum to see his showing so this was as close as I could get. Lets just say the doorman was in the restroom because if he had been at the front he would not have let us in. The dresses were amazing with equally amazing price tags. I took a few pictures before I got my hand slapped for being a tourist.


We left the store and grabbed a taxi to go back to the hotel. We prepared for our last night eat fest. We started off with a walk to the Hala Hala cart and enjoyed a split of chicken and lamb over rice. Amazing!!! We stopped on a park bench and ate outside of Rockefeller Center were we would be going up to the Top of the Rock. Oh the food was good. Soooo good. We finished up going Hasselhoff all over the bench and took our trip to the top of the rock. Good times! It’s like a million stories high. Talk about a view. Chad saw the Statue of Liberty and all of the main big buildings. We stayed there for a bit and then decided to start our hunt for cupcakes.

On the hunt for cupcakes we headed back towards Time Square and found my cupcake store. We bought a 6 pack to go. Then we stopped off at the Stage deli and had a pastrami sandwich. It was pretty good. The heat tasted so fresh and it wasn’t greasy or oily. I guess I am so use to the Hat pastrami heart attack. I had been searching for Oyster Rockefeller the whole trip only to find out that they are served most famously in New Orleans, duh!!! We did see an Oyster Bar however and they had a version of Rockefeller so we stopped in and sat at the bar. One of the greatest experiences in New York. This place specialized in raw oyster with different varieties. I went for it. The hostess/bartender/server was hooking me up with different types of oysters and drinks and sauces. I was in heaven. We stumbled out of the Oyster bar so full and very satisfied and into a Pub. Had a drink and decided we needed to head home. 5:00am was going to come soon.

(Pictures eventually)

On our way back to the hotel we stopped in at a Bakery and picked up some cheesecake and canolis. Once we got back to the hotel and after Chad did some iron board vaulting we had a dessert feast and promptly passed out in our mess. Well almost in our mess.

The rest of the story is we went home the next morning.
So to wrap up. My last trip back in 2002 was sad and melancholy. 9/11 was still very fresh for a lot of people. I was toured around with a New York native and it seemed I got a different view of life in New York. This time I felt like visiting was so light and fun. Good weather, good people and good food. I also think having Chad as a traveling companion didn’t hurt. So all my pre-planning ended up working out and we have the memories to prove it. Thank you New York for giving us some great memories. We love you!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feels like Home.

 I am in love with my garden. Like in love. I care for it like a new baby. I feel pain for the plants that don’t make it. I feel joy for the ones that did. I literally run out to the garden to see if any new friends have arrived on the already heavy stems of my pepper trees. The spinach is just exploding and reminds me of clouds. I find so much peace in my garden. Just tending to it for 10mins calms and relaxes me. I really want gardening to provide a substantial amount of food for our family. I want to be able to go out my front door and provide a meal for my family. I wear a new nail polish color, “Garden Dirt” and since I garden in flip flops which eventually get left in one of the beds, I tend to have dirt feet. It reminds me of being a little girl. I am happiest in a summer dress with no shoes, dirty nails, big floppy hat and kneeling in my garden.  It feels like home for me, it feels like comfort.

Why sideways pictures?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer 2011

Summer 2011

H m
£6.99 -

Chelsea Crew green heels
$66 -

Eugenia Kim fedora hat
$50 -

Pour Little Owl Pitcher
$14 -

New York or bust!

This month literally flew right by. May seems to always kick my butt. Literally so much to do so little time. This month ended with a very important test for Chad (which he passed) and a trip to New York.
My last visit to New York was months after 9/11. The place was so different this time. It felt more alive and bright. Like the cloud of despair and sadness had been lifted. Chad had left the Sunday prior to my leaving on Wednesday. I caught a red-eye at 10:30pm from LAX and the turbulence was crazy bad. My hopes of sleeping through the flight were demolished. I finally got to JFK at 7:00am and was picked up by the Shuttle for a 2 hour trip to the hotel. I hate shuttles. I like the price of Shuttles but I hate riding in them. Once I got to the business hotel that Chad was at I rushed downstairs to find some food. I was starving. I wound up at Utopia a small restaurant for breakfast. I had the salmon and onion omelet and it was very good. I must have looked like the walking dead because each person I spoke too asked if I was ok. After my meal I stopped into a deli to grab some water and headed back to my room for a nap. I finally woke back up at around 1:00pm and decided to go ahead and research some Tattoo places for my possible inking. I found one that was about a 11 min Subway ride away so off I was. I purchased a $10 metro card and got on at 72nd street and took it downtown to Red Rocket Tattoo. After making a reservation for a Sat night tat and then walking around in that area and picking up some much needed face powder I got back on the subway and went uptown to Colombia University were Chad was taking his test. I love the Subway. This was my only time riding it and I wish we would have used it more often for Transportation. Something about the speed and the different people you see makes you feel like your on an adventure.

Columbia campus is wonderfully green. I knew I had a few hours to kill so I found a Japanese restaurant to sit at and enjoyed a glass of plum wine and very salty edamame while I waited. I also put on band aids because the blisters that were developing were making it impossible to walk. After about a hour of sidewalk banter with crazees I walked to the building that Chad was taking his test in. I waited by the entrance and after 30mins I saw him walking out. The news was not good. Apparently Chad felt that he had blown the test. Let's fast forward to the dinner that night at Le Monde when he finds out he passed. After the test there was a wine reception where everyone was discussing how badly they failed. We then joined the class for dinner were more discussion were had about how horrible the test was. Later that night for those that stayed till the end of dinner scores were given out. Dryden and Chad had passed. What a relief. For celebration Chad wanted a cigar bar. So we found the Carnegie club after a quick change at the Hotel.

What a great cigar bar and the drinks were so good that the rest of the evening gets a bit fuzzy. We did go to the Plaza and shut down The Rose Club. We had one more drink there and by the time we got home at about 3:00am... well lets just say we celebrated the passing of their test in New York style.

Friday morning included sleeping in for me and packing to move to the Parker Meridian hotel. I had all the bags ready to go and waited in Dryden's room for the boys to come back from their last day of classes. Around 3:00pm we headed to the next hotel, Le Parker Meridian. After Chad gashed his head on luggage and we made a cluster of the hotel lobby we finally got to our amazing room. Perfect view of Central Park. We left quickly to go find a replacement purse for my completely trashed one and then returned in time to get ready for our night out. Dinner at the Harvard Club with Dryden and his niece and then Spiderman. Dinner was very nice, not the best meal in NYC but I blame that on my bad ordering. I strayed a bit far from what I typically order. No drinks to speak of here other than a great cup of coffee at the end which ended up hurting my tummy later that night.

After dinner at the Harvard Club we walked to Spiderman and made it just in time. It was an amazing show. Not the typical Broadway show, a stunt show mixed with crazy good music and so much action. You can tell it was still in preview because there were a few hiccups but overall most things went well. The stunt work was just amazing. I had to hold my breath a few times during the aerial work. I am excited to to get the soundtrack when it comes out. After the show we walked around Time Square for a bit and took some shots by the ticker. Dryden was an amazing host and knew so much about NYC. Dryden wanted to treat us to a drink at the Peninsula rooftop bar. Salon De Ning is located on the 23rd floor of the Peninsula Hotel. Very trendy and crowded. I ordered a Cucumber Martini and was floored at the $23 price tag. Chad had a Makers Mark. Lets just say they pour them deep at this place. There was an aged women DJing outside and I couldn't help but laugh at her lack of skills. This was the type of "to be seen at " bar that New York is well know for. We had a Raspberry Mousse for dessert that was to die for. Amazing!! The view was wonderful and the weather was perfect. It was the perfect way to end the evening.It was about 1:00am so we cabbed it home and fell right to sleep.

Saturday morning we woke up and met Dryden for breakfast in Central Park. It was as if we were exactly were we should be our whole trip. Sitting in Central Park and just watching life move around us was nice. Then we decided to go check out some stores and Dryden wanted to share with us the Plaza Grand Ballroom. Now there are not many times in life when I can go speechless but this was one of them. When we excited the plaza elevator that placed us into the lobby of the Ballroom we were greeted by the most beautiful pieces of floral artwork that I have ever seen in my life. Chad and I literally stood with mouths wide open in awe. I couldn't move or talk. I actually started crying because I had never seen something so beautiful in my life. I decided to not take a picture, one because it just didn't seem right and two, it would have not done the work justice. The Grand Ball room was very nice but having spent my fair share of hours in ballrooms decorating and so forth it didn't really have that much of a wow factor for me. Those flowers however. They will remain in my mind for the rest of my life. A room so full of floral pieces that it literally moved me.

We checked out FAQ Schwatrz were Chad was able to see the Big Piano and walked over to Grand Central station. I wanted to jump on a Subway so bad but Dryden explained that Times Square was only a few short blocks from us. It was time for our amazing tour guide and Chad's boss to leave. With a mighty handshake and warnings of taking cabs he was gone.

After our Saturday tour with Dryden Chad and I walked towards Time Square to pu tickets for the Harry Potter exhibit at the Discovery Museum. We stopped for a break and bloody marys at a small tavern. Happy Sat mid morning prices were refreshing. 2 drinks for less than $20.00. AMAZING! We finished up and literally walked right into Harry P. No line, no issues. The exhibit was very cool. Tons of props, costumes and various movie decor were setup in a walk around style tour. My favorite finds were the wands and how individual each was. I also liked the costumes and seemed to be transfixed by the shoes of each character.

We left the exhibit after more than a hour of wandering and found a BBQ place called Virgils. We had TRAIN WRECK FRIES-fresh cut fries, covered with melted cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, scallions, pickled jalapenos and topped with ranch dressing, BBQ riblets and Biscuits and Gravy. While we were being served a Navy Dr. that had been sitting next to us offered up 2 free Matinee passes to Catch Me if You Can. We were in shock. Another show! We hurried through our meal and ran to the Neil Simon Theatre just in time. The show was great! The typical musical of Broadway, different than Spiderman but a great contrast for Chad to experience.

After the performance we headed home to change before my tat apt. Chad bought a touch of liquid courage for me and a few cigars for himself. While in the shop he saw Rev. Al Sharpton. Hmmm interesting. We decided to cab it to the shop.

I had already picked out the artist had a drawing done and was ready for my 6:00pm apt. When we arrived at Red Rocket Tattoo my artist had called in sick that day. I was heartbroken. We did however have another option and after reviewing Marcus's work I ended up going through with it. 11 years in the making and I finally got my 3 little birds. Amazingly detailed and just so cute, each bird was colored with the corresponding child's birthstone color. Jackson on top with Julia in the middle and James floating by on the bottom. It hurt, the color mostly. The fine line wasn't too horribly painful.

After the tat we walked back to the hotel with a few store stops. We decided to eat at the Hamburger spot located in our hotel. It had rave reviews from yelp. We ordered 2 huge Hamburgers and fries and went upstairs and ate and ate and ate. It was pretty good. That night we fell asleep in a food coma.

Part 2 to follow