I hate to brag about myself and toot my own horn, but here I go... Apparently my shopping skills know no boundaries! Even language barriers can't keep me down!
I have been telling everyone that I wanted to go to town one day and try to find this one little store that I fell in love with last year. They have "mexican" type things like you would expect, but also some really upscale stuff. I've long since stopped with the t-shirt type of purchases on vacation and often like to buy things for my house and also usually a Christmas ornament for my kitchen tree (which has ornaments from my travels on it). Last year I purchased these gorgeous footed ice tea goblets. This was the only store that had any like them in all of P.V.
The store had many different types of glasses that matched the ones I bought, but they were kind of expensive, so I only purchased the one set. I had said that I wanted to go back and get more, but everyone has been telling me, "you'll never find that store" or "they'll never have those glasses again". Well in my head, I had worked that up into a challenge. This morning I was ready to tackle that challenge. I took me less than 5 minutes to find it!
They didn't have as many as last year because they said things have been so slow with the Swine that they haven't placed new orders. I got a set of wine glasses this year (yes I know I don't drink wine, but won't they make pretty table setting!). I also got them about $40 cheaper than I was willing to pay! Luckily the sales lady has been taking English lessons since last year, so I was able to get some additional information about them. They are made in Guadalajara special for this one store.
This store also has these beautiful oil paintings of saints. They are very expensive. Small ones start at $150 and go up. I told them maybe next year!
I also wondered through the markets some and then had lunch at my favorite downtown place... Daiquiri Dicks. It was very yummy and I brought home leftovers for a snack.
My mom was so worried about me going into town alone, but as you can see, I've made it back in one piece (though the hotel doesn't know this because my taxi just busted through the gates right behind another one and I didn't get to "check back in").
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I hate to brag about myself and toot my own horn, but here I go... Apparently my shopping skills know no boundaries! Even language barriers can't keep me down!
That's the update from Kara at 12:23 PM
Friday, May 29, 2009
Okay, so people are still a little Swine Flu crazy around here as you might have gathered from my report about them taking my temperature before allowing me to enter the country. I swear I have never been so nervous to have my temp taken before!
All around the hotel I have noticed they have these very nice looking "soap" dispensers sitting around. On them they say "hands sanitizer". Last night as I waited for the hostess to seat me for dinner, I thought, "why not" and took a big squirt. As I started rubbing it into my hands, it immediately hit me, "this is not your average American hand sanitizer". It felt like you were rubbing liquid soft soap all over your hands. I kept telling myself it would get better, so I kept rubbing and rubbing. No luck. Once you finally rubbed it all in, your hands felt super sticky. I may end up with Swine, but that is the last of the Mexican Sanitizer I use!
On another note, I am thus far enjoying traveling alone with one exception.... the comments. Everyone has to comment on my aloneness. It is really getting annoying. I'm getting "why?". That one is easy, last minute trip and I didn't know anyone who could or would come with me. "Why are your not married?" That is another popular one with a more and a more difficult one to answer. I swear the next person that asks, I may conjure up a lie and tell them this was my honeymoon, but my fiance died (ran off, i dumped him, and a multitude of other excuses could be inserted here). Maybe they will stop asking!!!!
Funnily, I tried to blog earlier today, but got on a computer with a mexican keyboard instead of an american one and I couldn't find the @ key, so I couldn't log onto blogger! I have had a very enjoyable day doing nothing but laying on the beach, being served drinks and guacamole while reading an ENITRE novel. According to my e-mails, my poor business partner has been having a horrible day, so I feel bad. (a little bad) (not so bad, i wish i was there and not here!)
That's the update from Kara at 4:20 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Hola! Okay, I'm seriously about to run out of spanish words I know... Gracias for reading! There! I'm done. That's all I know!
Well I have arrived safely at the resort in Puerto Vallarta. I lucked out on the plane and was able to get my entire row to myself. Upon arrival, they took our temperatures. Making sure we don't have the swine. Last year the immigration room had masses of people and it took over an hour to process through. This year, it took 30 seconds.
The taxi driver took me on the scenic route through town and I guess he thought I looked hip and happening because he showed me where all the "very good discotecas" (sp?) are located. I didn't have the heart to tell him that my late nights here at the hotel would be consumed with watching the Bridget Jones, Gilmore Girls and Jane Austen DVDs I brought with me!
Upon arrival here at the hotel, I tried to talk myself into an upgrade. I did, but it would have been on the 4th floor. I opted for my regular room on the 8th floor.
I won't be able to post photos, but I will try to blog regularly from paradise.
Off to unpack!
P.S. I cannot get the spellcheck to work, so you all will come to find what a horrible speller I am. Another funny, a lot of the blogger information is in spanish! If only I had learned some in all my semesters of it!
That's the update from Kara at 5:51 PM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I've been working real hard to get everything done. I finished my first summer syllabus last night and e-mailed it to my department chair (it's not due until the June 4th, so be real impressed that I didn't wait on that!). I just finished mowing and have been working on all the other details.
This is where you should be really impressed... First of all, have you ever seen a suitcase this cute before? I got it for Christmas and LOVE it! I was able to get all my clothes and other toiletries, etc. in it! I am such an overpacker that I hope I won't be missing anything, but I really tried to restrain myself to get it all into one bag!
That's the update from Kara at 6:34 PM
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Usually I refrain from talking politics on my blog...don't figure most of my readers care what my politics are, plus I usually teach about it 5 days a week, so why talk shop on my blog. But bare with me here. A couple of things have happened today, and I want to talk about them. Seeing as I'm between semesters, you're my sounding board!
A little background on me for those of you that don't know...
I was a lifelong republican, you know President of College Republicans and the whole deal, until November when I voted Democratic. Now I say that I was a lifelong republican, but am truly more liberal that most people you will run across, especially on social causes. In my defense, it is hard to practice the kind of law I practice on a daily basis and not feel yourself becoming more and more liberal on a daily basis. If you knew all my thoughts about issues, you'd probably think I'm a liberal nut who belongs in California.
Now to the issues of the day:
(1) Judge Sotomayor, Nominees for U.S. Supreme Court: The possibility of Supreme Court nominees was a big selling point for me to vote for Obama in November. I could not stand the thought of another Republican nominee on the USSC. I haven't had a chance to fully research Judge Sotomayor, but I was just watching Larry King Live and saw Rush Limbaugh stroking out over her nomination. I took that as a very good sign! I'm overjoyed that another woman has been nominated (and hopefully confirmed) to the USSC. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was in "W" when he put Justice Alito in Justice O'Connor's hallowed seat. We needed another woman!
(2) California Supreme Court Ruling on Proposition 8: As you probably know the Supreme Court of CA upheld Proposition 8 and also upheld the validity of the 18,000 same sex marriages that were already entered into.
I'm not going to get into this other than saying that I think it is a shame, but understanding how the law works, I'm not sure what else the court could do. To detour a little, I also think it is a shame that when you read the "Bill of Rights" in the Texas Constitution which grants rights to individuals and makes sure that our rights cannot be abridged by the government, that there now sticks out like a sore thumb, a ban on gay marriage (ie: taking away rights).
But as I said, I don't bring this up to get into the issue, REALLY. I bring this up because some churchy-i hate gays-idiotic man was on Larry King Live and said that it is important for us not to have the option of same sex marriage because then people would ask little girls "do you want to marry a man or a woman". Stick with me here... He went on to say that women basically aren't smart enough to know if they want to be with a man or a woman. I believe that the words he used was that women's sexuality was "fluid". HUGH? He said that "women just want to be loved" and if given the choice they would, and I'm paraphrasing here, be confused.
Hello???? What century are we living in here? Are women still suppose to sit and look pretty, not talk about politics of the day, and try real hard not to get a case of the vapors? I don't know about you, but I was pretty sure my whole life that I wanted to date guys and that wasn't just because I didn't have the state sanctioned option to marry a woman. What an idiot that guy was!
That's the update from Kara at 8:45 PM
I woke up super early this morning so that I was ready when I called the vet at 7:30. I'm like 2 minutes away and I wanted to be ready to come in if he said "come on in", but of course he didn't. He (the vet actually was answering the phone at 7:30 this morning) said he would work us in at 2:00.
Here is a photo of Lola's paw (keep in mind it looks about 100% better than it did yesterday... you know it always works that way when you finally are going to the doctor):
Such a sweetie until two lab mixes come in and she bales off the bench and into full on attack mode. Then the lab mixes come at us in attack mode and Lola wasn't backing down. Luckily there was a lot of bark and a little scrapping, but no bite! I think I suffered the worst wounds (scratches). Then we promptly got kicked out of the waiting room and into one of the exam rooms since we were now trouble-makers.
Lola in exile...
The vet took a culture of her paw and because of all the licking, she has bacteria in it. She is now on a round of antibiotics and prescription strength antihistamines. She may have to go to the topical steroid spray, but will have to be certain not to ingest any of it (via licking) and I don't want to start this before I leave for my trip. No offense to the grandparents who will be keeping Lola, but I don't trust anyone with that project. The consequences are too dire (shutting down her pancreas). To be fair, I also figure nobody probably wants to take that project on either!
That's the update from Kara at 3:02 PM
Monday, May 25, 2009
Lola and I headed to Nocona this weekend to keep Milly. Mom and Dad went to Bandera and left Milly at home. Milly was an odd little thing this weekend. She would have NOTHING to do with Lola or me. I'm not sure if she decided she didn't like us or if she was very upset about being left at home when Mom and Dad left in the Rock Star Tour Bus. Either way, this is basically what Milly did all weekend:She stayed outside, or else she came in and kept to herself in the laundry room. Though she appeared to be mad at me, she was always willing to put her feelings aside and jump into bed with me at night. Lack of playtime with her friend, caused Lola to spend the weekend like this:
That's the update from Kara at 5:04 PM
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The carpet cleaning occurred yesterday. I managed to sweet talk the carpet cleaning guy into doing a room for free. Then I received an e-mail about them voiding my credit card purchase. It's unclear, but they either voided $50 of the purchase or they voided all but $50 of the purchase. Of course, I'm hoping for the latter, but either way, I'm pretty excited about the sweet deal. I'll just have to wait to see my credit card statement when it comes in next month. I used a company called Zerorez (heated water no chemicals, except on the puppy pee spots), and I think they did a pretty good job.
The couch was delivered this morning. One of the throw pillows had a flaw in the fabric and I had to go back to the store and exchange it out for a display pillow, but other than that, I think it looks great.
Have a look... It's longer than my old couch, which is great because I can lay completely out and there is still room for Lola at the end!
Here's a look at the living room with the new couch and chair:
Since the couch is a different size, I had to move the coffee table. The table is crazy heavy and has left indentions in the carpet. I've heard that if you put ice in the craters, they will help raise the carpet. So I'm trying it out...
That's the update from Kara at 4:30 PM
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Kara : Come on Lola, you're fresh from a wash and fluff at the groomer. Look at the camera and smile!
Lola: Nope, not going to do it. I want you to take a serious photo of me contemplating life.
Kara: Lola Marie! Just look at the camera and give me one little smile so I have a cute photo to post on my blog!
Lola: Oh, okay!
That's the update from Kara at 8:56 PM
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
What does it look like when you move almost everything from your living room into your dining room? This....
This is the mess that is my life right now. I had to move everything from my living room except for the couch and chair into my dining room in preparation for the carpet cleaners tomorrow. They will be here in morning, so I needed to get everything ready for them tonight. I still have to vacuum and stuff.
I have booked Lola a wash and fluff appointment at the Spa tomorrow (really just the groomer, but doesn't saying spa make me seem like a better puppy mom?). She doesn't really need it but I figured that I needed to get her out of the way for tomorrow morning. I thought about the puppy day camp, but since the vet commented that she doesn't really like other dogs, I figured the groomer was probably the better option.
That's the update from Kara at 5:08 PM
Monday, May 18, 2009
Maybe it's time to check into the nuthouse or maybe I just really felt the need for some serious stress relief, but either way, spontaneity is oozing from me this evening!
What did I do that was so spontaneous? How about booking myself a trip to Puerto Vallarta FOR NEXT WEEK! Is that spontaneous enough for ya?
I'm just going by myself and plan to chillax on the beach with my ipod, books, and drinks that Jorge (or insert other Hispanic name here) the cabana boy brings me!
I really think this is exactly what I need to decompress from a busy few months and help me gear up for the coming months!
I'm so excited that I'm not sure I will be able to sleep for the next week. Hopefully, I'm so excited that I won't be able to eat...after all, that isn't much planning to squeeze yourself into a swimsuit!
That's the update from Kara at 6:42 PM
I am trying to sell my Couch, Chair and Ottoman. I would really like to sell it soon because my new couch is being delivered on Thursday.
If you know anyone who needs it, please contact me. I'm not above offering bribes and will include a finders fee gift if you help me sell it!
Right now, I'm hoping to sell the set together, but if time progresses and it doesn't sell, I might be willing to break it up.
That's the update from Kara at 4:11 PM
Sunday, May 17, 2009
So my busy Sunday continued as I mentioned that it would in my earlier post. As the title eludes to, I went from Mecca to Mexican!
First, about Mecca. I had to make a brief stop at Mecca (Northpark Centre) today while down in Dallas. I needed to exchange some make-up and get a birthday gift for Mito at Teavana. So I first made a stop at the holiest of shrines at Mecca (Neiman's Make-up counter), and then quickly ran my other errands there.
After an oh too short trip to Mecca, I headed out to Party City for balloons. Then it was off to Matt's Rancho Martinez for Mito's Surprise 40th Birthday party. As soon as I made my way down to Lakewood Village, I discovered something was off. They had some sort of neighborhood festival going on and you couldn't park anywhere near Matt's. I called Lisa to warn her about the street closings and then headed out for my long trek carrying balloons no less.
Mito's best friend, Jeff arrived early and helped me rearrange the room right quick (you know I would have to change something!). While we waited on the other guests to arrive, Jeff and I got to talking and guess where he was a couple of weeks ago. Puerto Vallarta...at the exact same resort I went to last year and am longing to go to again! You know this didn't help my itch to go to PV soon!
Then Lisa and Mito arrived, and Mito seemed to be actually surprised (it was questionable whether he saw the invitation when they came to my house a couple of weeks ago to let Lola out to pee while I was in Ft. Worth and he started nosing around in my stuff).
Mito opening gifts (this gift bag was really funny, it said "40, the ultimate F word")
Happy B-day Mito!
That's the update from Kara at 10:12 PM
It's been a busy Sunday and it's only 2:20!
Mom called this morning and said that she and Dad wanted to bring me the hand-me-down chair today. They got here about 12:30 and we unloaded the chair and had a quick Burger and Onion Rings at Scotty P's. Mom also brought the completed sewing project that I've had my grandmother working on. Here are the pics:
What are they? Purse bags. What? Purse bags...bags to store my purses in so they don't get dusty when they are not in use. You can think I'm nuts right about here because my grandmother and my Dad do when they asked about these, but they make me happy!
See how they look in my closet:
So it has been a very eventful Sunday and I haven't even gotten to the part of the day that I thought was going to be busy! I'm going to head down to Dallas here in a little bit and will, of course, blog all about that later.
That's the update from Kara at 2:23 PM
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Yep, Lola and I both have an itch! First about Lola's...
Poor Lola didn't draw the "good health" card when she was born (good thing she got lots of cute handed out to her though). She has terrible allergies. In the past, she has been treated by taking steroids orally and also through a steroid spray. The allergies manifest themselves by causing her paws to itch. Since her pancreas took a nosedive back in December, she isn't allowed steroids in ANY form.
She had a bad allergy spell in January and licked her paws so much she licked the hide completely off two of the pads on her back paws. It was really bad and a long road to healing because they had to scab up, etc. Now she is in the midst of another allergy attack. She has been licking her front paw non-stop. This drives me nuts, but also I don't want a repeat of January's incident. I called the vet and he said Benadryl was okay. I started dosing her with that, but it didn't have the effect I had hoped for.
Last night, I decided that, darn it, I was going to put a stop to this paw licking!
She chewed holes in the sock to get to her paw!!!
By now, you know I'm just at my whits end! What else can I do...
An oatmeal bath, that's what!
Poor Lo again! She had to stay there for 15 minutes!
Did it work?
Not a chance.
Lo immediately after her removal from the oatmeal bath (licking her paw):
It has very pretty (and expensive looking) pillows.
That's the update from Kara at 3:14 PM
Friday, May 15, 2009
All exams have been graded and all grades have been posted...yeah! Three weeks off until Summer school starts (at least that is if my class makes, if not then I have 8 weeks off until my second summer school class will start).
I'm a little bit bummed because right after Spring semester last year, I spent several days like this:
Oh how I wish I was Mexico bound right now! I hear Puerto Vallarta calling my name, but sadly I'm not able to answer this year. I did consider it, but the reports of violence got the best of me once I read that kidnappers would inject you with acid if your family couldn't make ransom demands. Once Mom and Dad purchased the Rock Star Tour Bus, I figured chances of money left for my ransom were slim to none!
I did recently receive the semi-annual edition of Budge Travel's Girlfriend's Getaway guide in the mail. They published what they call "the bliss list". It says, "Pack your bags and gather your girls...these eight destinations have everything you need to relax, renew and bond all over again!".
The eight places are:
(1) Santorini, Greece
(2) Niagara Falls, N.Y.
(3) Paia, Maui
(4) Tulum, Mexico
(5) Sausalito, California
(6) Savannah, GA
(7) Montego Bay, Jammaica
(8) Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
The exciting news is that I am in the planning stages of a trip to one of these destinations in October! My friend Jenn and I are having a girls getaway. Jenn used to live in Florida (1 mile from beautiful beaches) and visiting her there was enough of a getaway, but last summer she moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Which of the destinations are we headed to? Santorini? Lord knows I wish! Bora-Bora? Not likely. Maui? Would be nice too.
Here are some photos of our destination...
Hey, Yall! We are Savannah bound! I'm planning to fly into North Carolina so I can visit Jenn's peeps and see her new house and then we will drive (4 hours) to Savannah for a few days. I think I'm going to fly back home directly from Savannah. I have selected our hotel and have started selecting restaurants... of course there will be a stop at Paula Deen's Lady and Son's! We aren't certain about the exact dates because we are waiting on Jenn's husband to return from Iraq and get his work schedule in order ('cause you know we are leaving him on kid and puppy duty). I'm very excited though!!!
That's the update from Kara at 2:40 PM
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The postman just rang my doorbell! I'm so excited because it was the "school" bag that I purchased at Canton. I was excited to receive the bag for three reasons. First, I had it monogrammed, so I was excited to see what it looked like. Second, it came in the nick of time, as tonight is my last night of classes for the Spring Semester. Lastly, I was very happy I hadn't been ripped off!
That last one probably needs a little explanation... I made two separate purchases at this one particular booth at Canton. Early on in the day, I purchased a wedding gift that was being personalized on the spot. Later I went back and bought my bag. I didn't think much about paying for the bag and having the lady ship it to me because this is a regular vendor that has been in the same spot for the 4+ years I've been going to Canton. Then when I went back to pick up the personalized wedding present, the Texas Comptroller was busting in on the place. A Texas Comptroller rep was demanding to see the owner. She was told the owner wasn't on site and she demanded someone get the owner on the phone because it seemed the owner never returned calls. I couldn't hear what went on from there, but there were some demands for money, etc. (probably unpaid sales taxes). At this point, I got very nervous that this lady was going to take my money and never send me the bag (and she doesn't take credit card, so I knew disputing the charge wouldn't be an option).
Here is the long awaited bag:
That's the update from Kara at 2:20 PM
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
That's the update from Kara at 4:06 PM
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
This morning, I asked Jennifer if we needed to go to Goodwill today and buy clothes for her jailbird client that is going to a jury trial tomorrow. She quickly responded, "NO! I called his Mom and left a message for her to bring him clothes." Okey-dokey, I thought to myself.
Of course about 3:30, Jennifer comes in and says, "What's the number for Court 2?" (I'm the keeper of numbers as she knows none of them). I tell her the number and ask why. She responds, "I'm going to call the court coordinator and ask what to do about clothes for my client." To which I say, "Ummm... I'm betting your not going to like the response you get." "Why?" Jennifer says. "Because she is going to tell you to go to Goodwill!" I say.
One phone call later, and sure enough, we're off to the jail to get size requests from jailbird and then on to Goodwill.
Jailbird is a pretty big guy, but he requested a 5XL shirt, size 42 X 36 pants, and size 13 shoes. Anyone know where the Goodwill Big & Tall is located???? Not in McKinney, we apparently only have short fat men, though Lord knows I could have told you that after being tallish & single and living in this town for 8 years!
For the most part, we could only find 42 x 30 pants, but finally we found 34 length. We figured 2 inches too short is better than 6 inches too short! I ran across a nice 3XL shirt and got that... no way was he really a 5XL. I also found a really nice pair of size 13 dress shoes.
It was a pretty successful trip overall, and it was a first for both Jennifer and me, as neither of us had ever been to Goodwill in our lives (except for drop off). I was very impressed with how everything was arranged by color.
When we got back in the car, Jennifer said, "You can never predict where our days are going to take us." So of course I said, "I think I did this morning." She said, "I thought you were kidding!". In the future, I know to preface possible outlandish statements with "I'm not kidding"!
That's the update from Kara at 5:22 PM
Monday, May 11, 2009
Okay, I'm totally cracking up because of this and was able to have my wits about me and my iphone handy to capture a photo...
What's so funny you say? You see, this is where Lola's kennel sits. You don't see it here because last night, my neighbors were outside talking very loudly. Now we don't have huge lots here, so the houses are very close together, but they were talking VERY loudly. No argument, just loud talking. Anyway, Lola kept barking and growling after she went to bed because she could hear them. It was about 10:30 and I was still up reading, so I tried to bring her into my room for a little while, but we could still hear them. About 10:45, I tired of the barking and came up with the solution to move her kennel to the front of the house (on the opposite side from noisy neighbor). That did the trick, but that is where her kennel was until about 5 minutes ago because I haven't had time to move it back to the usual spot.
Normally, when Lola gets really tired, she goes and gets in her kennel herself. Tonight of course, there was no kennel, so she just plopped down there where it is suppose to be. Now how cute is that? Totally a creature of habit!
That's the update from Kara at 10:00 PM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I have taken great advantage of the cooler weather this weekend and tackled every chore that I have been putting off for the last couple of years. It wasn't really what I had planned on doing, but given temps in the 60's and 70's this weekend, I decided this might be the last opportunity to tackle these tasks without the horrible heat. It really has been chores galore around here!
I have been needing to complete a flower bed that I started 2 years ago. Yes, 2 year ago! I had bought a flat of monkey grass to plant and they were still sitting there unplanted. To explain, it got really hot and I lost interest that year, then it got kind of snaky looking and I had no desire to do it last year. The lawn crew kind of cleaned out the worst of it a month or so ago, so I decided to get it done. The poor plants were so root-bound that I had to cut the pots off of them!
Today I decided to continue to tackle the "To Do" list and clean out my horribly messy garage.
It's embarrassing, but here are two before photos (actually they make it look better than it was because I had already removed the trash bins)
That's the update from Kara at 4:31 PM