Friday, October 26, 2012

My Badge of Courage....

Today, the 40th anniversary of the day my Badge of Courage was bestowed on me.

I wear my badge proudly. It is who I am. It has defined me. Mine came way to early in my life...

My dear sweet Mother left this world as we know it on this day at 9:16 in the evening in 1972. So long ago and yet that moment reality changed for me feels like only yesterday.

I believe the pain is just so overwhelming no matter how old you are when your Mother leaves the physical earth, I can't imagine ever going through it again.  For a child ~ well,  pick a memory in your life when you were a child and from that day forward remove all the memories that include your Mom.  Hard to imagine isn't it! For me too, 40 yrs later and I still can't believe it! 
With all I have learned I ask this of you should you ever find yourself in the position of comforting a child whose Mother has left the physical earth:

Don't tell them God needs her in Heaven right now... Doesn't God know they need her
Don't tell them it will hurt less with time.... It doesn't ever stop hurting, they will just 
learn to live with the pain.
Don't avoid talking about Their Mom.... When people stop talking about her, she stops being real and important.
Don't say negative things about their Mom.  Just don't!, share happy stories.
Don't feel like you have to say anything. You don't!
Don't worry if they talk about their Mom in the present tense.  They are not in denial, she's still very much a part of their life and in their heart, don't take that away!
Don't tell them to be strong.  They are children.... parents are suppose to be the strong ones in a child's life, we are not puppies, we don't get weened in 8 weeks. (It usually takes a good 18+yrs.)  Just be there to be strong for them.... let them cry and scream and fall apart.
... Know your hugs and not your words will get them through.  Hug the child who will never again feel their Mother's arms around them, the child who will never again feel her hugs and kisses.

I am somewhat of an expert on this topic. Having spent 40 years researching it.

 I Love My Mom and am grateful for everything she gave me.  I owe her my life ~ my Mom, who in her too short life, taught me that it is all about the relationships we have with the people in our lives that make it all worth it.

My dear friends and family, this week I have been sad, melancholy, tearful and it's alright. I need this time to be alright the rest of the time. I do love my life. Everything I have and everything I am started with the love and values and family that was given to me by my parents. I have a great incredible Husband and family. I can't imagine a different life....

Let me be sad today,  for it's this sadness and hurt that I feel that reminds me what incredible loving parents I have.  If I never knew their love, I would never miss it.  It's that my friends that comforts me.  To feel the pain in the end, you have to feel the love in the middle! 

.... and in the words of my brother, Andrew when all else fails,  "go hug the dog".  So it's time for me to go hug my Sadie Girl!  

Love, hugs and kisses to you all!   It's good to be back to the blogging!

                                                       Janet & Rosalie

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kim, Johnny & Colt's Engagement Session (and Chachi too!)

Yesterday Kristen and I had the pleasure of spending some time with Kim, Johnny and their pups on the pretext of taking engagement photos.  It was a perfect example of how important and fun engagement sessions can be.

They are getting married this June and the Wedding is going to be on their property.  They decided that they wanted to do their engagement session there as well.  Oh, so many pretty and interesting spots for photos on their property! 

On so many levels, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven (at least in my mind).  They had some old vehicles that we were able to use.  Their beautiful pups came out to spend some time posing for us and Kim and Johnny are so much fun...and we were graced with some words of wisdom from Johnny. 

When we arrived they shared with us that they were very nervous about this session.  After we got going, they decided it was really not that bad and kind of fun in fact!

Kim & Johnny, I think it was the two of you who made it fun!  At the end of the day, we left familiar with the location, met the pups, and were able to put the Bride and Groom at ease with being in front of the camera.

Without more chatter, here are some of the beautiful shots of the day....

I love that Colt & Chachi are looking towards the camera!

Johnny's words of wisdom, if you're going to walk on rocks or wood piles, when you take a step onto it, "commit!"  "Commit!" great words of wisdom from a Groom!
Thanks Johnny for your insight! 

So pretty!

      What a great location, I have always wanted an old truck for a photo.  I think I've
       even told Kristen if I can find one cheap to buy, I may!  I love old rusty trucks
       in photos.

                                       ... And now, Colt's portfolio!

Thank you Kim and Johnny for being so much fun ~ and for letting me spend some time with Colt! 

This promises to be one fun wedding!

Well ~ as we are entering our busy season and I have lots on my mind these days, so check back soon.   More posts to come.

For now, my Sadie girl is waiting to go for a little walk! 


Monday, March 19, 2012

My Memoir in Six Words....

Loved intensely.
Lived Passionately.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

There is always one last story...

Today we got chased down by angel fish.  It was the suckling angel fish that terrified Tracy and bit Kosti's same nipple twice. Now we know what it feels like to be a haddock.    This is as dictated by Kosti, Jay and Cori after the latest formula for the greatest Rum Drink ever created. the  "Karibbbean Kosti".  Don't ask what's in it.... it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that and of course Rum....   You'll just have to stop by Cruz' Tiki Bar this summer to taste it!

Last year it was the roosters.  This year its the angel fish.  Today we went to Secret Beach.  Opps, guess the secret is out....It's an out of the way beautiful crescent of a beach, a cove that not to many people go to. For our last day we wanted  the warm sunshine and water of the Caribbean.  Unfortunately for Cori, we found a spot near a few bees nests.  Didn't bother the rest of us, but Cori has a crazy reaction to bees.  She had to either sit near or stay in the water.   It sucks doesn't it?   While Jay and I were in the water we noticed two angel fish swimming around us.   They were so close, you just wanted to pet them.  One kept nibbling at my bathing suit.  I thought it was the blue of it.  Until Tracy joined us in the water and they went straight to him and began nibbling at him.  He explained to us that while they may look harmless they are actually predators as they were attracted to the flapping on the water, caused by Tracy as he tried to scare them away.  Cori's theory is they are piranha angel fish.  The fun of the day, which is hard to convey here, was Tracy's girlish reaction to the predator piranha angel fish coming  up to nibble on his belly. We have not laughed that hard in a long time.  It was such a crazy site!  Close your eyes, envision Tracy in the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea flapping his arms and screaming like crazy for these little 4 inch angel looking fish to get away from him!  Such a sight!  One I will never forget.

 You know we are relaxed  and carefree when.... the cat we have adopted, or actually that has adopted us gets the can of shrimp from our refrigerator, and it seems the right thing to do.    All Cori's doing!   Yesterday she had crab and earlier in the week she had tuna.  This poor cat is going to be lost when we leave.

We have an early day tomorrow and  sadly for a brief time, we are all going our separate ways.  It will begin predawn.  Stories to remember.  Kosti and Tracy have a 2 pm flight out of San Juan to head home.  Jay and I will be heading to Mom and Dad's in Arecibo.  (off the grid in Arecibo... so no more posts until the weekend when Jay and I return to Rochester).  Cori has a flight out of Vieques at 9:50am.  This means, the boys and I will catch the 6am ferry and Cori will get a ride to the airport from Gary our landlord.    They tried to return the rental car today, the company won't take the car today, said it has to be returned tomorrow as scheduled.  Tracy told them we were leaving at 6am.  Okay,  Island time, they said just leave it at the ferry dock and they'll pick it up.  Hmmmmm.  Really?  Never know what they will come up with....
We have called our driver Jamie and he will be waiting for us at the ferry dock in Farhardo.  How cool, "our Driver!"

Sorry no pictures today.  We are so winding down, no time for photo's of the day.  We're all in relaxed, chillin mode and there is no ambition to do anything.  When I get home, I do feel the need to tell you more about our beautiful Island of Vieques.  Although we have a new retirement plan and next year we're thinking of going closer to home to look at options.  Closer is all relative, like The Florida Keys.   Hey that sounds like a commercial!

Well until we're back in Rochester,  be safe!

  With Love, Laughter and some great memories..... can't wait to smooch my Sadie Girl this weekend!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Winding down....

Our "summer Vieques vacation' is winding down. We have  two more days left here on Vieques and lots to do!  Wednesday~ Tracy, Kosti and Cori head home and Jay and I head to Mom and Dad's in Arecibo.
We have some other stories that are just to.... well just too ..... so you'll have to ask about the stuff tooo too   to put in print.  Interesting though!

Tonight we're not sure if we're going to head to Chez Shack for ribs and dancing or go fishing with Dindin and have a cookout on the beach with what is caught.  I'm voting for the Beach Cook out! I have treasures and my new Coach purse to package up and send back home.  Of course I have to spend some more time with the Paso Finos and who knows what else.   Wow, this time went fast.  While I love it, I always love spending time with Mom & Dad and then getting home.  I love my home and my people and my Pupper!

This trip is always a marking of time for me.  I look at what has happened in our lives and the world since our last trip here and anticipate what the future year will bring.  I love going home mid March  as it's closer to summer and then there is the opening of Chase's Farm Market (my favorite day of the year!) and that means summer is right around the corner.   

The last 12 months have been good!  Our family are all healthy and happy,  We had the addition of our Little Max Man!  We have renewed an old dear friendship with Jesse and his family, work has been great for me and the Wedding business is looking up.    Here's hoping the next are just as good.  I love the anticipation of what the future holds.  I know that Mark & Marci will move into their new home, Michael will graduate and I'm going to visit my Uncles and their families in May....who knows what else will happen.... I love the thought of the possibilities!

I can't do a blog entry without a photo from here, so I leave you with our rules....

We tried to live by these rules....
We did add a rule after this picture was taken, thanks to Maurya... it is
...and   sometimes we do shots! 

So my friends, the entries will slow down until we get home.  At Mom and Dad's there is sometimes cell service, and no internet connections!  Arecibo is kind of off the grid.  When we get home next week, I will bring you all up to speed.  Until then,  love you all!  See you soon.....

                                                   We'll be sure to bring warmth and sunshine home!!!!!!!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

All the fun continues!!!!!!!

Well, there is a lot going on here.  Before Cori arrived, Kosti and I had an excellent shopping day.  I think we hit every shop that sold a piece of jewelry on the Island.  We certainly bought enough to last until the next trip! I have added nicely to our collection.  While Kosti and I had a fun time, we did not realize the the 5 hours we were gone were frustrating Jay and Tracy.(who knew we'd be gone so long)  Kosti found his favorite shop and jeweler and the things Kosti offered to do for him, oh my!   Aside from jewelry, we also stopped to get mani ~pedis!  It was kind of fun.  We went into the a beauty product store in Isabella and noticed they did  manicures and pedicures, which of course we decided we wanted!  The owner was eating at the time, and she didn't miss a beat.  We asked if we could get a manicure and pedicure.  She said yes and went right on eating.  I asked if we should come back when she finished, she said yes and kept right on eating.  We left to return after some additional shopping.  I think as soon as she finished eating she prepared the water for our manicures and pedicures.   Since we were shopping, we did not come right back.  When we did arrive and put our hands and feet into the waiting waters, it was kind of surprising, as it was not warm!  We didn't know what to think.  Not to worry, let me tell you ~ it was the best pedicure I have ever, I mean ever had!  My feet left feeling like little Max's behind!!! Oh so soft!!!!!!!!  It was great!

Going back to my snorkeling dilemma.  We ended up going out with our friend, a local fisherman, Dindin yesterday.   Great great great choice!  Everything we wanted!!!!

 Yes folks, that is his boat!  Hey, he's a local fisherman!  So we went out on his fishing boat.   Dindin is a lot of fun. He is born and raised on Vieques.  He lived through the Navy days here and had some interesting stories to share.  He has only left the Island once to go to the mainland.  Puerto Rico that is, not the continental United States.  He speaks little English, so most of the day was spent with Jay interpreting.  He, Dindin is trying to improve his English, so he liked practicing with us.  The other interesting thing about this photo is the other boats in the picture belong to other members of his family.
Dindin driving the boat!  The whole time we were out, Dindin kept applying a high SPF suntan lotion and encouraging us to do the same.  That speaks volumes for how powerful the sun is here!
The boat ride was quite the trip.  On our way out we were going into the wind.  Everything and everybody got drenched.  I had had the bright idea of sitting upfront.  Could not see a thing!  I had to keep my eyes closed.  It was very fun though.  He took us out to a reef just past  Ensenada Honda  to snorkel.  It was incredible!   Way out on the east end of the island where you can only get to by boat!   Exactly what we wanted.  We love Dindin, so much so, we are thinking of another adventure with him.  A fishing trip!  Here are some photos of the trip.  Since I didn't bring a waterproof camera the photos are compliments of Kosti!

 My husband, not the snorkeler or swimmer choose to stay on the boat with Dindin.  Here he is with his spf 50 long sleeve shirt, life vest and well lotiond up head.  Only thing, he forgot lotion on his legs and he ended up with one very burnt knee.   I felt bad that he was on the boat while we were all out snorkeling and seeing amazing things.  I felt bad that is, until I looked over at them and noticed they were having a good time chatting, smoking and drinking beer.  I think they enjoyed themselves.

Here's Cori on the way out to our adventure and ladies and gentleman,   here I am snorkeling away! Wow, is all I can say.  What I saw makes me want to paint.
There were so many beautiful fish,  all sizes and beautiful bright colors.  I felt like I was swimming in a saltwater aquarium.

We saw lots of beautiful beautiful live coral, I saw a eel.
We saw Rays.  The colors down there are just incredible!  Unbelievable!!!!!!

These yellow guys were my favorites.  It was a huge school of all sizes.  I followed them around for a while.  Great fun!

 A conch shell grave yard.  There have all been fished.  The conch harvested and shells thrown back in the ocean.

That's me out there.  This was a fishing boat we were on.  No fancy ladders, or ways to get in or out of the boat.  I had a hard time jumping in and out.  They had to turn the boat around and find a shallower area for me to be able to get back in the boat.  Let me tell you, kind of a weird feeling being out there in the ocean and having the boat pull away.

Well as I wind down this post, it wouldn't be right to not include some Paso Finos, roosters, palms trees or beaches.  Here is a minute or so old baby Paso Fino.  No she is not owned, or inside a ranch, just the opposite,  She and her Moma are at the beach where there is a large herd of free roaming Pasos!

Had to include this white rooster on the beach.   Rarely do we see white and on the beach yet!  Well Vieques has as many roosters and Paso Finos.  We often see them on the beach and hear them through the night!

 This is Sun Bay. (  Beautiful public beach!  Look how crowded..... It's winter.....

I hear there has been a rash of break ins in Rush this week.  Glad we have a Pitbull in the house to protect it!
I love my Sadie Girl, and miss her much!

                        Well unfortunately, our days are winding down.... check back though.... I am sure the adventures will continue.  Oh,  just so you know, if you're single and traveling with us, and bring someone home for some nookie nookie.... the boys will request to hold their keys, wallet and ID while they are in our house.  Just saying, not that it happened last night here... just saying.....

                                                  Much love and sunshine!!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Odds & Ends... Here & There....

Wow, still so much to blog about, but so little time.  Yesterday we moved upstairs in Vivo Grande, Tracy, Jay & I serenaded Kosti, & Cori joined us (not in that order)  Kosti didn't know what to make of Jay Tracy and I singing to him,  Jay and I cleaned and moved while Tracy and Kosti went to get Cori and Cori made it here safe and sound from California!  Vivo Grande is wonderful, but when you only have the downstairs and not the upstairs apartment, you kind of feel out of it.  To get to the roof, we had to walk by the front windows of the house and more times than not, the people staying there were sitting in the kitchen or living room, kinda awkward.  Also you don't have any view of the streets from downstairs and there is little natural daylight.  So now we have the light!  The move was crazy though, but worth it.  The only downside is the router is in the downstairs apartment, the house is all concrete and the wireless only works in Jay & my bathroom and the back porch.  I love blogging, but I'm not going to blog from the bathroom!  I put my foot down there!!!  Sitting here on the back porch, I feel away from all the action, cause now everyone is either on the roof or on the front porch... So folks blogging may slow down, or be real brief.  Oh, Beach Doggies is open today, so I am going to have to make this short to get there when they open.  It's one of my favorite shops on the Island and on Fridays they sell freshly made delicious breads.

Big news!  Cori joined us yesterday from the west coast!  Yay!!! Finally a female girl around.....  Don't get me wrong, I love having my girl Kosti around... but it's nice to have a girl girl here!   We surprised her with a birthday party when she arrived!   Hmmmmm, imagine that, she didn't even realize it was her Birthday!

I wanted to post this picture as a follow up to an earlier post about the development here.  This is a photo of glass beach.  When we first started coming here ~   years ago, this beach had nothing where these houses are now.  They're pretty, but still..... glass beach ~ soon it will be all water front properties, oh no!

A few nights ago, Jay and I went out to take night photos.  We had lots of fun with that.  Here a few of my favorites... I have a hard time editing on this little machine, so more will follow when I get home!   Hope you like these....

Okay, so I am obsessed with the Paso Finos.  Who wouldn't be?  Particularly when you walk our of a bar at night and there are a few of them on the patch of grass across the street.  This little guy was here with his mom.

                             Maz Azul.  One of our local spots.  That's Dan at the front door.

Below are a few of my favorite night shots around town.

Palm Trees, of course!!!!

                                ...and to end our night...  a Paso Fino on the Malacon.....

                    Well, Cori and I are on our way to Beach Doggies for some shopping.

                                                  Thanks for reading!  Love you all so so much!!!!!!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pitbulls, Paso Finos & the good life....

Warning!  This is going to be a very photo heavy post!   There is just so much I want to post and so little time to do so.  We're soooo sooo busy here.  Right now one day is just blending into the next.  Seems all we do is relax, wander, explore, read, sleep, eat, drink, swim.... Night has blended into day and everything seems like we just did it.  We've done a lot and I can't remember if it was yesterday or two days ago.

One day the boys and I went for a walk around our neighborhood.  It was a beautiful day. Oh yeah,  they're all beautiful days.   This is a very pit bull friendly island.  We saw a bunch on our walk, all very much living up to the pit bull reputation!  Lickers and lovers!  Here are a few we met during our walk.  Have no fear, they look tough.. they are indeed very pitbully and love people!  We were able to pet and play with them all!

We really like this guy.  He lives a few doors down.  He looks like a dalmatian pit bull!

I love the carefree, no stress life down here.  The other day they were black topping some roads.  We wondered what happen if cars weren't moved.  Not to worry...

We ended up visiting a hotel/restaurant we ate, swam and drank at one year.  It has new owners, who rushed right over when they noticed we were just hanging around.   Anyway, I took this picture for Keith.  Notice the concrete counter top.  Here Jay and Tracy are admiring it!   

We eventually made our way to the Pescadaria where the boys bought some lobsters for dinner.  They totaled 7 pounds.  They cooked them that night and I got steak.  I was expecting steak.... turned out to be skirt steak.  Oh well, steak is steak, right?  (no)

Kosti  had the need to name his lobster, Chip and Dale....

Along our walk, Kosti, the crazy one here, had the need to climb a palm tree to get a coconut.  Didn't work, but he tried!

Vieques is a beautiful, relaxing laid back Island.  There are no traffic lights, but there is "traffic" when the ferry comes in.   It's all relative, right?  This is the worst of the traffic here.  We've learned to stay away when it comes it.  Who would want to be caught up in this?

This is the worst of it!   Lasts maybe a whole 3 minutes.  It's all relative!

A few days ago, Popi (Jay) took me out to take photos of the Paso Finos.  I am just mesmerized by them.  They are all over.  Beautiful animals.  They all run free.  Some belong to people, some don't.  That morning we went out to a few different locations.  At first I just approached them and more times then not, they ran off.  Then I realized, (after Popi suggested it) to approach cautiously and kind of sneak up on them.  I did.  I realized that if  I got low to the ground, they were alright with me.  They are not large horses, but they are beautiful and graceful. I shot 600+ pictures that morning.  Here are a few of my favorites.  I just fell in love with them animals!!!!

Here I scared them off....

At the Ceiba Tree.

Details, I'm trying to get details.  Check out those eyelashes.! 

Well, the boys are awake.  Kosti wants to go shopping, so I'm going to end now.  I have not had my pitbull or Paso fill yet, so I'm off to pet a few Pitties, and gaze at a few Pasos.  I do miss my Sadie Girl...

                                                                Check back soon. More pictures to follow.
                                                                                            With warm regards,
                                                                                                    Janet & The Boys!