Thursday, June 30, 2011

I am not Counting the Days

I am not counting the days until classes end, nope not me!  

Just because I know there are 29 days until classes end, does NOT mean I am counting the days.  

Nope not me!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Storms

Tis the season for pop-up summer storms in the south.  We had a doozie the other day.  We watched the clouds and storm roll in before the rain started. 
Once the rain finished, the skies cleared and we enjoyed a nice sunset.
We also had a visitor hiding from the storm on the porch.  Dobson Fly - female according to the internet and apparently they are not afraid of using those pinchers.  We just left it where it landed and once the storm passed, it departed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Project 2011 Update

Doodle has removed the old deck and already has one hole dug for the new post.  We were going to support the new deck with three posts to allow plenty of room for the fireplace; but, decided to err on the side of caution, and have gone back to four posts.  I have a feeling that he will have the new posts in by the end of this week and we will be well on our way to a new deck!

Can You See What is Wrong with This Picture?

Can you see what is wrong in this picture?

Perhaps a different angle will be helpful

Even closer...

Do you see it now?  Teeth are not meant to stick out sideways from said dogs mouth! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

List Day #14

I hate to say it but I had totally forgotten that I started the list challenge.  In an effort to complete the challenge by the end of the year, I will endeavor to answer one question a week.  Now to just remember to do this!

14. The high points for your autobiography

This is a difficult topic for me.  In my opinion, my life is average, I work, I go to school, I am married.  I have never done anything life changing.  However, I do realize how lucky I am.  I have a home, a wonderful husband, a job, etc.  I believe if more people stopped trying to compare themselves to the the "Jones'" and focused on the good that is happening to them,  then this would be a happier world.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Day Late

I really thought today was Wednesday and had a picture all set to share... so share I will, one day late. I wanted something colorful and cheery.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Thought I would try something new and found these great questions.

1. Summer's here-whoohoo! What's your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?
Sight- Lighting Bugs
Sound- Summer rain storm
Smell- Grilling and fires

2. Fireflies or lightning bugs...what are they called in your neck of the woods?
I call them both, they are my favorite part of summer.  But you do know, they are not bugs!

3. What is something in the past week that reminded you of your childhood?
It was my grandma's birthday this past Sunday.  She would have been 102 but she passed away a few years ago.  I miss her everyday!
4. Define 'the good life'.
Happiness, being with the one you love

5. Tell us what we'd see if you took a snapshot of your desk/workspace.
Study kitty, school books, papers, pens... 

6. Peaches or watermelon? Yes, you have to choose.
Do I have to choose?  Really neither, I will eat both but they are not my favorites.

7. Ever been skinny dippin'? Is that too much for the Wednesday Hodgepodge?
Yes and that is all I am saying, besides it was cold!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I have no random thoughts any longer.  My brain is overloaded with school and I am really trying hard not to count the days until I am finished with classes.  Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Summer

Photo Courtesy
Summer has officially arrived, yes the date on the calendar indicates it is summer but what really determines summer for me are the fireflies or lighting bugs!  Once these small creatures arrive, I know summer with all the heat and humidity has officially begun.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Project 2011

Before I left for Rio, we had a company come out and give us an estimate on adding onto our deck and doing some landscaping in the backyard.  

The estimate was $100k!  

DB and I nearly crapped when he presented the estimate.  Now, do not misunderstand, we did want a parking pad added for the truck, walkway to the backyard, patio under the deck, extension to the deck, and water feature... 

BUT come on $100k... 


SO, we looked at the plans that the company was nice enough to draw up for us (by the way, our neighbors mailbox is really on our property!) and decided, we could certainly complete the deck renovation ourselves.  Ourselves at this point in time really means Doodle. 

Doodle has been hard at work taking the deck apart. These were taken Saturday morning, by the end of today, everything is down and DB has been laying out where the new deck will be.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brazil - Christo Redentor

As promised, I am wrapping up the Brasil posts.  Rio was filled with site visits and lectures for school but we did spend a morning at Christo Redentor.  This is the famous Christ the Redeemer that overlooks the city of Rio.  You can take a tram almost to the top or walk the entire way... we opted for the tram.   When you reach the top, you can see for miles, if the weather and smog holds.  On our visit, the smog was actually not too bad... I would hate to see it on a bad day.
The statue is huge!  When you are in the city, you do not realize how large it is.  It is amazing to see close up.  The gentleman working at the base gives you an idea of scale.

On the last night, I walked to the end of Impanena beach to a large rock and finally took in a  sunset at the beach.  I believe watching the sunset was one of my most memorable times in Rio, the only thing that would have made it more perfect was having Doodle with me. 

Sun setting behind the mountains, Impanena Beach 

Goodbye, Rio!

Summer School

Wow, classes have consumed my life.  I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water right.  I do have to admit, they are flying by, I cannot believe we are finishing the third week of school.  If I can just hold on, August 1st will be here before I can bat an eye and that is officially the end of classes! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finally Raining

We are getting rain right now, this is the first rain we have had in at least three weeks and with temperatures in the 90's everything was desperate for a drink.  I am go happy to see the rain, that I have done nothing but stare out the window, book forgotten.  While I do not expect it to rain for long, at least the plants will get a drink. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Brazil Part 6

I will try to wrap these posts up in the next couple of days.  Not that there is anything exciting happening in my world... just reading, writing and test taking.  

One of the scheduled class outings was a Samba show, I was actually looking forward to this; however, what we attended was actually billed at the "the most famous folklore show in Rio" which = a way to take money from tourists.  Yes, they had dancing, yes, they had costumes, yes, they demonstrated Capoeira but overall I was unimpressed.  Much of the dancing seemed to be the women shaking their asses.  The show chronicled the history of Brazil, including huge African influence.  The pictures are not the best, but we were sitting toward the back of the room.  

Capoeira, folklore dancing.  This was really cool. 
I have a video if I can figure out how to load it I will share

Some sort of dancing

more dancing
Representative carnival costumes

Friday, June 10, 2011

Over Friday Follow Me Blog Hop

Enjoy finding some new blogs everyone!

Space Shuttle Atlantis

Photo courtesy of NASA

Can you believe it... Doodle and I got tickets to see the Shuttle Atlantis lift off in July.  This is suppose to be the last space shuttle launch for NASA!  

I am so excited!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brasil Part 5 - Pão de Açúcar

The weekend was ours in Rio, after a quick walk on the boardwalk Saturday morning, we headed out to Sugarloaf Mountain or Pão de Açúcar.   


Sugarloaf was amazing, two tram rides up to the top which sits 1300 miles above the harbor and provides views of the area for miles.  Once at the top, the breeze picked up but you could sit and sip a glass or two of wine and relax.  

While at the top we encountered these adorable Sagui Monkeys, of course we were referring to them as lemurs. 

A visit to Sugarloaf is a must for anyone visiting Rio, it was one of the highlights of the entire trip.  
Tram ride to the top
Christ the Redeemer in the background

    Ipanema and Copacabana Beach, where our hotel was. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Brazil Part 4

Leaving Sao Paulo
Our time in Sao Paulo, quickly came to a close and we jumped on Azure Airlines to fly to Rio de Janeiro.  Flying out of Sao Paulo gave another view how how large the city is, it went on and on and then there was nothingness and then all of a sudden, the outskirts of Rio.   

On the way to Rio, we flew through these puffy white clouds, I so wanted to be able to touch them... 

The plane circled the bay area for some reason, giving all of us a great view.
 First glimpse of Sugarloaf

I thought the sun coming through the clouds was just beautiful over the water and bridge.
You can just see Christ the Redeemer in the background.

Rio is just as large as Sao Paulo but more beautiful.  The city is flanked on one side by mountains and the other by the ocean.  After checking into the hotel, we all walked one block to the beach and stuck our feet in the water.  You can see the favela that has the best view in all of Rio.

I can honestly say, I have never imagined myself sitting on the beach in Rio drinking coconut juice.  Arriving in Rio on Friday night was certainly great for all the young people in the group, they found a nightclub that did not open until midnight... I think they got in that next morning around 6 am.  From what I hear, a good time was had by all!

I had a slight pity party for myself at midnight in Rio the first night... I was getting ready for bed, pulled back the sheets and there was blood stains on the sheets.  AGHAST, I called the front desk in a panic.  Now let me remind you, I do not speak Portuguese and the desk people did not speak English.  After several panicked minutes, they understood sheets and sent someone up with a new set.  I must have made quite an impression because the next day when I asked for the air conditioning to be turned on they automatically said room 507.  More on the air conditioning and our adventures next time.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Brazil Part 3

Not much sightseeing was done in Sao Paulo, but, we did eat excellent pizza one evening.  There is a large Italian population in Brasil and one restaurant was recommended on all the various websites: Braz.  What wonderful pizza it was, we were able to try two different kinds of cheese pizza with no red sauce!  I think it was the best meal in Brasil.  

The other interesting place we ate at in Sao Paulo was called the Black Dog.  It was a local fast food place that specialized in hotdogs.  It was really different, the hot dog was inside this soft bun with mashed potatoes, corn, cheese wiz, and relish.  It was like they took everything left from the night before and put it in the bun.  Weird!

As I was in Brasil for study abroad, we were required to conduct so many hours of social service or learning about options exist in other countries.  The one thing everyone seems to know about Brasil is the large favelas or slums.  A couple of years ago the violence associated with the favelas was making headlines.  Now many of them are pacified and we were able to visit two in Sao Paulo that have community centers sponsored by local hospitals.  These are not the best but it does give you an idea of what we saw.

By the time we had completed our visit, it was well past dinner and getting dark.  This lady was selling corn and from what everyone said, it was wonderful!  

While the favelas were definitely eye opening, I was encouraged by the number of companies and private enterprises that are working toward assisting these people in their rise from poverty.  

I hope that as everyone starts sharing their pictures, I can post some better ones.  I did not want to take pictures without permission but I did want to capture daily life and the sights that we were exposed to.  

I will finish up Sao Paulo tomorrow and then it is on the Rio.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Off and Running

I have been in school exactly four days and took my first quiz.  I truly think the professors are trying to kill us this semester.  I think I did alright but will only know once grades are released.  Back to reading, reading and more reading.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Brasil Part 2 - Street Market

One of the best days in Sao Paulo was the day we stopped at a local street market for lunch. I have no idea what we ate but they were deep fried pockets of goodness.  You could pick what you wanted, chicken, cheese, bananas, etc and the man fried it right in front of you. 

In addition we had fresh sugar cane juice.  The sugar cane goes in, the juice is squeezed out and the husks come out the other side.  He mixed the sugar can juice with fresh pineapple juice and it was a bit of heaven!  Of course no calories!
Sugar cane going into the machine

Sugar Cane Husks after being squeezed

Once we ate, we walked around the market and looked at all the fresh fruit and veggies. 
 Fresh lettuce
Eggplant and peppers
 Look at the size of these avocados

This was my favorite day in Sao Paulo, it was great being out in a place that the locals ate at and enjoying the sites and sounds of the street market.  I honestly could have eaten at a place like this every day of the trip!