Posts Tagged ‘green’

A rainy day in paradise.

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Sayulita, Mexico is a quiet little fishing village/surf town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It’s about a 40 minute drive north of the touristy hubbub of Puerto Vallarta, and seemingly a perfect place to start our first attempt at living a more expat kinda lifestyle. Devon and I arrived here 5 days ago, and so far its been everything that I’ve hoped for. It’s off season here, so maybe only a third of the local businesses are open, but I am truly a happy chica with at least 3 fish taco stands to choose from for dining options. That was one of the major things I was looking forward to out of this adventure. Fish tacos, surfing on the regular, bangin’ margaritas, writing more, swimming as much as humanly possible, improving my Español, earning some more freckles on my pasty white skin (cuz you know mamacita is physically incapable of taking a tan).

So, I’ve been doing pretty well with my goals. With the exception of yesterday. I kinda earned myself a bit of heatstroke/exhaustion yesterday with an overzealous hike on the beach in the 90 degree sun with no water. Also, heat exhaustion = not fun = totally terrifying! Hydration is key, yo. So after spending most of the afternoon in bed with lots of ice water and Mexican real life crime documentaries on the tele, I woke up this morning raring to go. And then the sky opened up and it has been a torrential downpour ever since.  Of course. But really, sitting on an open air covered patio, with temperature in the high 70s, watching and listening to the rain, hearing los gallos down the block, and smelling the sweet ocean air, life doesn’t suck.

The past few months have been kinda crazy; stressful and emotionally difficult for me, and it’s nice to be able to hit reset and start recharging in such a peaceful, quiet place.

New Adventures: 8 of 30 – Take part in a beach bonfire.

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

This adventure is what happened immediately following adventure #7. Basically Juice & I had been surfing on the Cape, it had gotten dark, we went on basically a fruitless (ha!) search for local organic food, and then hung out on the beach near a place that played the worst reggae music ever while we pondered our next steps. I wanted a bonfire, and we needed to figure out where we were going to camp for the night. We could camp on an ocean beach, but we’d probably be woken up super early by tons of people & the sun rising directly into our faces. Or we could find a beach on a pond that Juice had a vague recollection of… Somewhere off the beaten path, not on maps, super small, pretty secluded where the trees would surround us and let us sleep in past 5am. He called it the “secret spot”. Immediately, that piqued my interest, and we head in that direction. Keep in mind that its about 1am, totally dark. I’m sleep deprived. Juice doesn’t remember exactly where we’re going or how to get there, and the roads are all screwed up and covered with debris after a storm that had passed through recently.  Luckily, we needed some firewood, so as we drove through these dark unlit side roads, we were able to stop & scavenge enough firewood to make a good size (and free!) bonfire.

We keep turning onto smaller and smaller roads. And then we get to what seems like a dead end, but it’s not, it just turns into an unmarked & unpaved road. Driving down a super narrow dirt road through the woods in the middle of the night sounds kinda scary, but oh ! it gets even better. We then come to fallen trees in the road?/path that we had to get out of the car to move….in the dark…… And a few terrifyingly steep and washed out embankments that I had to drive down, with faith that Juice knew where we were going & hoped that I had cell phone service in case I needed to call AAA to tow us out if I got stuck. But damn, you gotta love Audi’s and their all-wheel drive! Eventually Juice said that we were there & we unloaded the wood & some blankets. And alcohol. Because I certainly needed it after that terrifying drive of doom, and also, you can’t have an authentic beach bonfire without open containers of alcohol.

It was a new moon, so there was nothing lighting our way other than thousands of stars, and a tiny flashlight on my key ring.  The beach was only about 20×20 feet, and there was a still silence. We were the only signs of any light or noise, so it felt like we needed to respect that serenity, talking in whispers & shutting off the car’s lights. Juice built an awesome bonfire (with my super helpful and totally appreciated guidance of course!) and we set up our respective blankets on both sides of the fire. That way, we both got a front row seat & we could also poke at the fire & bask in its warmth.

We stayed up for a few hours, talking, listening, feeding the fire. Talking about all of those wonderfully random things that only start to come up in conversation when its super late, you’re half asleep and in a chilled and relaxed state. And then the birds started getting noisy, and the sky started turning that light grey/purpleish color that it turns, right before the sun rises. That was our cue for bedtime. Right before I feel asleep, Juice said something like “Just wait till you wake up; the beauty of this place will blow you mind.”

And the next morning I awoke to this serene setting.

We spent the morning swimming in the lake and catching frogs.

And then we packed up our gear & then headed out to try for another surf session. Trying to leave the “secret spot” as pristine as we had found it.

For a bonfire experience, I had expected something much closer to a beach bonfire scene from a 60′s beach party/surfplotation movie like Gidget or Beach Party. But this was really awesome in a relaxing and chilled out sort of way. I got to experience the bonfire & appreciate the setting (even if I couldn’t really see it until the next morning), instead of having to concentrate on navigating social scenes. Good times, good times. I can’t wait to do it again.

New Adventures: 2 of 30 – Tattoo Fixage

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

When I was really young and crazy at the tender age of 20 or so, I got a medium sized tattoo of vines & roses. I didn’t research it at all. Just walked into the tattoo parlor, with visions of roses in my head and picked some flash off the wall and pointed to my back. I think the piece was originally drawn for an arm band or something, who knows… The artist at the time didn’t necessarily do a bad job, but he also didn’t do an awesome job. Also, I was kinda an idiot about tattoo aftercare. I remember smearing on some neosporin on my back, not bothering to cover it & going to bed, only to wake up with an greasy/inky tattoo transfer on my bedsheets. Gross & horrifying, I know.

It has about 9 years, and the tattoo is pretty faded & you could see some problem areas. Uneven lines, uneven shading, uneven placement, etc.. I needed to fix that shit. I knew that I needed to fix that shit about 5 years ago, but just put it off. Not exactly sure what I wanted. If i just wanted it touched up, added to, covered up, or whatever. I finally decided to bite the bullet. I still love the roses & the idea of vibrant colors & it’s a pretty design, so I decided that I wanted it added to and redesigned a bit. Rose is my middle name, so I really wanted them to be a focus. A botanical/overgrown jungley feel, that looked less like something you could pick off the wall at a tattoo shop.

After some online research, I found Precision Body Arts in Nashua, NH. They had good reviews, a good website and I thought that all of their tattoo artists had pretty impressive portfolios. I went in & ended up talking with Nick Kelley. I showed him what I had & what I wanted done to it. He is a man of few words, and I get really overly verbose when I’m nervous, so I probably came off as a crackhead & threw out a bunch of lame-ass buzz words. Lord knows how, but he ended up figuring out what I wanted and drew a great sketch that was basically the look that I was going for & then he made a few minor changes to make stuff more girly & swirly. It was kinda crazy on point how he totally got what I wanted  & the style blended perfectly with what I already had. It’s hard to tell where the old one ends and the new one begins. Nick did a really fucking amazing job, period.

Here’s the original design before:
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And the magic that Nick Kelly made happen:
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Such a crazy awesome transformation. I’m super happy with how it turned out. Many thanks to Nick, and also to my tattoo buddy Brendan, who brought me crosswords to occupy my mind because I’ve apparently become a bit more of a wuss in my advanced years… Whatever. At least I take pain stoically and silently, unlike this random crazy chick.

2 of 30 completed.

New adventures: 1 of 30 – Hammock procurement.

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Hammock with Fifi and me.

Originally uploaded by emmasart

#1 on my list of 30 New Adventures Before Turning 30 was “Purchase & use a hammock in my yard.”. I decided to make good on that a few weeks back.

I’ve always loved hammocks. Laying in them. Reading & writing while blowing back and forth in a wonderfully cocoon-like net. They are totally blissful and relaxing. I came across one at Lowe’s for about 60 bux, and decided to take the plunge.

We hung it in our back yard, between 2 trees, and cleared out the poison ivy underbrush directly underneath it. It’s delightfully stealth green, meaning that you can’t see the hammock unless you’re kinda hunting for it. The sun peaks through the forest canopy sometimes, but you’re generally reclining in a fair bit of shade with a nice steady breeze that comes down the hill through the woods behind our house. It’s pretty fricking awesome.

I’ve been spending a boatload of time in it, as has Devon, as has FIfi. She loves it & its crazy to see her climb around in it. She totally goes all psycho arboreal lizard in it, climbing the ropes like jungle vines. It’s quite a sight to behold.

All in all, this is a great adventure. And I can’t believe that it took this long for me to finally get a hold of one of these things. They rock. Though the one downside is that it’s quite easy to lose track of time relaxing in a hammock.

1 of 30 completed.

Emerging after a long frost.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011


IMG_1144

Originally uploaded by emmasart

The snow has melted, the earth has thawed and seedlings have started poking up all over. I’m finally able to start up my daily walks through the forest again. Today I went sans iPod and was kind of amazed by the peace & calm that came over me.

Just nature and myself. The sound of my breathing, the crunch of my feet on last year’s fallen leaves. Birds of all colors and sorts calling and singing. The rustle of brush that comes from chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits rooting around. The sound of a brook skipping over rocks as it empties into the pond. It smells intensely like spring.

I come to my favorite perch in the forest. An ancient fallen tree that rests half in the water, but that is still large enough to bear my weight when I walk out on it. I surprise about five turtles, who have been sunning themselves on the branches and they immediately hurl themselves into the safety of the pond. I sit down, straddling the horizontal tree. My feet floppily hang downwards, but are a bit short of touching the water. Staring out at the pond, the trees, the water lillies, absorbing the moment.

Grounding myself.

Via Flickr:
Wandering through the town forest.

Vegetable Garden – 2010 – Planning Phase

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Thanks Lilley1 from Flickr!

Spring is quickly approaching, and I finally got around to ordering seeds for my garden this year. I’ve decided to go through Johnny’S Selected Seeds, which is a local employee owned company that has pretty reasonable prices. In addition, I used their seeds last year & stuff turned out pretty well, so why not be a repeat customer? :)

This year I’m going with Red Grape Tomatoes, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Zucchini, Collard Greens and Scallions, along with some various herbs, and maybe I’ll pick up some Pepper or Broccoli plants later in the summer. The tomatoes should be interesting, as I’ve never grown those from seed before. Last year I just gaffed some plants from my mom, so hopefully I can figure it out on my own. Also, I’ve never tried scallions before, but how hard can they be? :)

Now all I need to do it get my gardening staff (aka Devon) started on building the 2nd raised bed so I can increase our harvest by double this year!

New addition in the garden.

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

My sugar snap peas are nearing the end of their growing season and most of the pea plants are dying. We’ve really enjoyed eating them, but since there is no new growth, I decided to rip most of those out and to plant something else that I could harvest by fall. I decided to pick up a few little plants at the local Whole Foods, but was somewhat disappointed by the plant varieties available. Basically I had a choice between various herbs, hot peppers or some Veronica… Luckily I have had Veronica before at a friends house and D & I really enjoyed it. It’s a type of cauliflower that is green and spikey (see above picture)… But it’s much more mild and doesn’t taste like cauliflower… hence Devon actually tolerating it… You can cook it like broccoli or cauliflower or you can eat it raw… Basically,  you can do a TON with it.

So, I bought 2 2×2 trays and planted them where the snap peas were and the Veronica should be ready to harvest in about a month and a half or so… My cherry tomatoes ripening and should be about ready in a couple of weeks, along with my collard greens. The yellow summer squash still has a ways to go, along with my carrots, I think. Herbs are chugging along, but after a serious mishap with one of my container gardens, I’m basically starting over from scratch with my cilantro and nasturtiums.

I’m really excited to have found another vegetable that Devon is excited about again! Go Veronica!

Naughty Fifi!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Fifi likes to climb onto my veggie garden bed and eat my pea plants! Bad lizard!

Thanks for the photo Devon!

Lots of various pictures from May and June 2009

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

So I just emptied out the old pictures in my camera, and BOY! Do I have a bunch of various photos in there.  We built our master bedroom closet, I looked GOOD, I investigated wild orchids in MA, we went to Brian & Jen’s wedding in New Orleans, I turned 27, I gardened, my iguana looked super cute, and I explored Russell’s Mill Pond and the Chelmsford town forest on my bike…

Pouty face!
Apparently MA has about 10 or so wild varieties of orchids.
Devon very happy to have a plateful of beignets.
My Mardi Gras mask.
Russell's mill pond.

Check out all the pictures here.

A wonderful day in the yard.

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Today I finished filling my raised garden bed. The snap peas, carrots, spotted mint and some cilantro are in the ground. I have other stuff to plant, but it’s too early to plant them.

Fifi also had a lovely day in the garden. She got out and romped around, eating as much clover as she possibly could. She even made a friend who had similar interests….

Fifi made a bunny buddy... Click on picture for larger view.

Fifi made a bunny buddy... Click on picture for larger view.

:) Cute no?