Friday, January 29, 2010

The Pillow

The other evening in the early hours of the morning, I awoke with a post's idea swirling in my head.
I wasn't sure what to call it...I toyed with "The love affair"...nah, too presumptuous and leading..."The night time comfort"...also along the lines of the last one...
SO I just decided to call it, "The Pillow"

There are many items in our world that are non human, non animal, but still seem to have "properties" about them. For instance, we all get "mad" at the scale, "love" our latest scented perfumes or creams...and so on...well the post that came to me the other night was something similar...
The Pillow

There has always been a sort of "love affair" with our pillows. We "miss" them when we are away from home, some "hit" them when they are frustrated or mad, we curl them around us to feel "secure", they almost have a personality! There are the newest ones that my husband and I bought from a gadget store in the US for Christmas. It was a love/hate relationship for me really...I "loved" the way it made my body feel higher on the bed and not so squished into the mattress. I "hated" the way I woke up I had a headache and upper spine ache every morning.
My husband "enjoys" his new pillow, and therefore, mine will now be sent along to the new house for him to use when we are there. I can not give my body the unsquished pleasure to the detriment of a headache every day. It was a hard pillow, over supportive, too stiff...

So, the night I thought of this post was when I had switched back to my "old" pillow...the one that I bury my face into and have pillow surrounding me....the one that I can squish around from side to side, but still get a little support. I "love" the mold-a-bility of my pillow, the way it conforms to my head and body. I "miss" my pillow more when I am away than I do my bed...
therefore, I felt like giving tribute, (and find something to write about besides my camera), to the Pillow. A love affair formed over much trial and error, ever changing with time and always plays a supportive role in my moods and feelings when I start a new day :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Camera update

Well, the decision has not been made yet, but it seems like many people enjoy their Canon.
I am going to try them, see which one feels better in my hands and choose from there.
I hear that Canon is more for a beginner....
Nikon is harder to use...
ah, the discussions are endless.

So, what seems on paper to me is that, depending on the model, they are basically the same bodies with the same gadgets, controls...tweaked a little this way for one, a little that way for the other.

So, when I get a chance to try them out in a store I will decide which one I like, or which one feels, best. Then comes the task of convincing my husband of letting me get another new camera device. Remember last summer? Well, I got a video recorder with an underwater housing that cost more than the camera! But I got some great footage from our trip to Fernando de Noronha with that...I will post that soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

It all begins anew...

It is good to start again. It helps renew my spirit and energy, and brings freshness to my days.
The kids start back to school today after their Brasilian summer holiday.
The school here tries to combine the summer of Brasil, which is the US winter, and the US summer, which is the Brasilian winter.
So the kids get about 5-6 weeks off for each.
Today they start back and I start my routines again. This will be a special few months for me, seeing as we will most likely be leaving Brasil this year after school is out in June.
We still do not know where our next assignment is. That is frustrating because I am ready to get going on so much that needs to be done beforehand. That can be another post for another day!

Here is another occurrence that begins anew every year here...though it seems a little early!

The Bloco...
These are the street parties that occur before and during Carnaval. These are the parties that are more typical to US Mardi Gras. They are parties organized by groups which pay for a big music band, usually on a truck, and then a huge crowd of people that seem to be bop along behind, in front, on the sides and everywhere in between with it. The crown seemed to vibrate like a cell phone on a table as they moved down the street.
The music is loud...
how to describe the word loud? I am on the 12th floor, in front of a roaring ocean, with my balcony doors (albeit glass doors) shut tight, air conditioning on and it still sounds like a Rolling Stones rock concert in my living room :)
They set up Port o johns right on the street...and this year they had signs on the trees that said:
"Peepee here? no, that's not right ya?!" I thought they would have stayed up longer so I didn't get a picture, but they were funny!
The local government does clean up very quickly after all the mess that follows these parties.

It wouldn't be January/February here without these...
I am not sure I will miss it, but I will miss the vibrancy and carefree attitude of the whole city.
Sometimes it is annoying, and you wish that they would care more about certain aspects of their lives, but they are a carefree people. It can come off as vain and selfish, but you just make the best of it, and try to enjoy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Camera help

To all my fellow bloggers....
(especially those that specialize in photos)

Give me your feedback on a Digital SLR, specifically whether you prefer Canon or Nikon.

I am wanting a camera that will enable my pictures to go to the next level.

I know this is very broad, but I would love to hear the pros and cons that any of you have found....
or at least what you like about one or the other. If there is another camera out there that I should look into, feel free to let me know!

Thank you in advance!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today's generation

I have read a lot of posts and talked recently with some friends about today's kids and their technology...
there are many different viewpoints on whether or not our kids are too "techie"

I was amazed when I sat down to watch my daughter and son play a Wii Mario game. They first invited me to "watch", and then when the curiosity got the best of me, I asked to try!
Wow, was I lost! They had to tell me how to begin, how to turn upside down, when to swallow a mushroom, how to jump, what to avoid, where to go....
basically, everything!

They both proceeded to tell me how they just "figure it out" once they start. I am not sure how they do that. If I were to sit there and just start running I am not even sure I would know how to jump, avoid, climb, crash, turn over, duck and any other plethora of actions that each of these games require.

I do not think our world today will be any lesser if this is what our children are into today. I loved the Atari and Galaga, Centipede and Donkey Kong...
there were the marvels of cell phones and smaller computers....
now they are even flying remote droids into war zones from stations in the US.

It is what it's their generation. I do not think we should be so harsh on our kids today. I still take mine outside to play. We go to the beach and the pool. They loved playing in the snow.
They read books and make good grades. They play tennis and run around. They are happy kids...
They just love to play their video whatever version it is today.
Somehow I think one of them may write a post, or whatever form of communication their generation has when they hit my age, about their kids and whether they are ok.....
you are following me online from different countries! Why should we criticize them so much!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The day begins!

It may have been Midnight here and we may have stayed up until 2 am...
but for me, superman has returned!
Yes, Jack Bauer has returned for another exhilarating day for my favorite tv show
It was worth how tired I feel today to watch yet another season begin. I know, the critics may claim that he is like superman...gets all things solved, misses bullets, survive chemical warfare, and seems to live through everything
but I really like the show. I have seen every season. We are on Season 8.
Jack was ready to leave to be with his daughter and her family...yep, Jack's a Grandad now, but he inevitably gets pulled into another day with CTU!
I am up for another long night tonight...11pm-1am. This is the 2 day 4 hour season premiere!
It's exciting...
I have always secretly held a crush for Keifer since I saw him act in The Lost Boys! How funny is that?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cleaning up

It seems that I have the time to check and read your blogs, but sometimes I just don't feel like writing!
Anyways, I have been cleaning up around the house recently. It seems that I get into the cleaning up mode when my kids have time off. Now, that may seem contradictory, right? I should be out and enjoying life with my kids, and I do...we go to the beach almost every day, play tennis and hang around. But it seems like the best time, when I have almost no time constrictions to clean up.
I do not mean every day cleaning...with two dogs and a cat, that is a given. I am talking about getting photos into the scrapbooks, putting away unfiled papers that have been sitting there since before Christmas, going through all the magazines and figuring out which ones to keep or pictures to take out of them to file for my flower work.

Speaking of my flower work...I thought it would be fun if we did a little project here on my blog. Though I live in Brasil and will not be able to send them fresh, I thought you could send me a picture of either an arrangement you have seen, or a particular flower, and I could try to make it. that way, I am getting new ideas to try and create and you all will be getting your virtual flowers! Sound like a good idea? Anyone interested?
You can send me the picture of the arrangement or the particular flower that you want me to do to my email. I can try to recreate it and post my photo on my blog, sending it to the person that asked me for it!
Let me know!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Favorite New Gadget

This is it:

The Amazon Kindle!
At first I wasn't sure about not having a "real" book in my hands as I read. Would it feel like I was reading on the computer? Would it bother me to have the same weight for every book? Not to be able to see how many more pages I have, or measure if I was 1/3, 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through by looking at my bookmark?

No way! It has turned out to be the coolest instrument for me since I first thought I didn't want a computer!
(yes, there was a time that I told my husband, "no, what is a dancer going to use a computer for?!"
we laugh about that now!)

The Kindle ables me to receive books, no matter what country I am in, easily. Most of them can be bought and delivered wirelessly, (with a $1.99 fee outside the U.S.). I choose while I am outside the U.S. to download to my computer, then onto the Kindle. It takes a minute more than the amazing minute it takes the other way!

I can eat my breakfast while reading! That may sound trivial, but let me tell you, it's not! I reminisce about the days when I asked myself this all important question:
How can I eat my toast dripping with honey and still read my book without getting it all sticky? How can I hold my toast in one hand while eating scrambled eggs with the fork in the other, AND read my book? Well, we now have the answer my friends!

The Kindle!

You just push a little button to turn the page. I can leave it sitting there while I slop my food, sticky in one hand, forks in the other and still read my book.
It also comes with cool graphics for when it is in sleep mode. They show pictures of famous writers and images like this:

You can buy pretty covers for it, and add lights for night reading. It is not backlit, so you need a light when there is not natural light.

The funny part of this story: both my husband and I bought one.
So, since we knew what we were getting, but I wasn't sure without opening the box whose was whose, here was our Christmas tag:
To: Us
From: Us

Just a little bit of humor ;)
Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Happy New Year 2010!!!

There is so much to catch up on!

The Steelers game was fantastic. The sun was shining bright even though we bundled up like snowmen! The seats we had, thanks to my Honey, were incredible!

We were right behind one of the goal posts, very close to the field. It was an interesting view that I don't normally see...I loved it! My daughter and my Dad went with me, and we all had a blast! My daughter had the best time, waving her Terrible towel and following the screaming fans. The man next to her lifted her up at one point and she just screamed all the harder: DEFENSE!!! It was the sign of a true Steeler fan in the making!

We came back to Brasil on the 30th, the next was a sad day to leave because the snow was coming down hard. It was so beautiful, and our kids wanted to stay and play in it. The flight was delayed because of all the snow, but we had plenty of time for our connection.
The plane was de-iced in red and green de-icer stuff....very Christmas-y!

The weather was hot, humid and rainy when we arrived! So far, there have been some nice and sunny days that we have spent at the beach. There has been some rain, and supposedly more on it's way, but it has been good.

My in-laws came down for their annual visit with us. They arrived on New Year's Eve. My Hubby had to work until 10 that night, but he luckily got home in time to spend the stroke of midnight with me :) I really like spending New Year's together. There is a saying in my family that what you are doing from midnight on the 1st throughout the whole day, you will do throughout the year. So, I like to be spending it with my Hubby and children. It was nice to have Bella and the other animals back too! So, we strolled down to the beach (Bella included!)

in front of our apartment and watched the festivities unfold.

I think I have mentioned the rituals of the Brasilians on New Year's Eve, haven't I? Well, they believe in Yemaja (click on her name for the Wikipedia explanation).
She is the goddess of the sea and protector of children, amongst other "duties".
The people throw flowers and make offerings to her every New Year's Eve, and then celebrate her at midnight and throughout the week following. Here are some pictures of the offerings that we saw on New Year's Eve:

It was a very pretty night, even though it rained earlier in the day. I would like to take this time to say thank you to all of my followers here in my blog. Sometimes I just ramble about my life, and I know that it must seem pretty uninteresting to you, but thanks for coming back for the better posts where I actually (almost) find something fun to say!

I want to say how much I love my husband, my children and my whole entire family. Family is so important to me and I cherish every moment that I get to spend with them.
My husband has to be the most patient, loving, caring, selfless (did I mention patient?) person I know. I am so lucky and happy to be married to him! Tomorrow is our 13th wedding anniversary! It is a joy to be married to the man of my dreams :)
My children are indescribably beautiful, inside and out. They make my days full of laughter, fun and excitement! I treasure the time that I get to help them along in this world.

So here we are, ready for the New Year...and you know what that means right?
2 things...
The Superbowl and 24!
My Steelers won today (barely) and now they have the slimmest chance of getting into the playoffs. Truthfully, I am under no misguiding, we really have almost no chance of getting in. But if we even have a glimmer of hope, then I am here writing about it :) favorite TV show is coming for Season 8. The 2 day, 4-hour season premier starts January 17th. It will not be on here until midnight since we are 3 hours ahead of EST right now...but there isn't anything for me to be up for the next day! (the kids start school on the 25th) Well, Bella will wake me early, but I can just run her outside and come back to go to sleep!
So, I will be trying to stay up!

May you all have a blessed, healthy Happy New Year 2010~