Thursday, October 24, 2019

Featured on Art Group.......Again!

Do you remember in September I posted that I had been featured on an art group? In case you don't remember, you can see that post by clicking HERE

Well lo and behold...I was featured again!



I'm so thrilled about it!

Never, ever in my life was I ever really interested in Art. All I ever wanted to do was be a writer and write "stuff". I loved my English and Journalism classes. 

But you know what they say; it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. I'm not saying I'm old...just older!

I'm loving this Art Journey I'm on!

I'm loving this Facebook group that I'm in, Nina Ribena's Art Journal Prompts and more. I'm loving that other people are loving my art as well.

Nina gives us a weekly prompt. This week she wanted us to get involved in doing at least one piece of art for Inktober.  

Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day for an entire month. We decided to do just one ink drawing for the month of October.

To make it more interesting, Nina published this YouTube video using a special pen known as the ELEGANT WRITER PEN BY SPEEDBALL. 



The cool thing about the Elegant Writer is that when you draw with it it's just black ink...the magic comes when you activate the ink with water.

I think Nina did a much better job with the water than I did because I was not able to get the beautiful pinks that she got, but I had fun make it regardless. Here's the piece I submitted, done on watercolor paper.


See, more just different shades of green. I may give the Elegant Writer another try to see if I can coax pinks out of the ink this time.

But the group liked it enough that it was the featured art piece for this week! I think that's a pretty cool honor for someone that could never even draw a straight line!







Friday, September 27, 2019

Memory of Going to Work with my Dad and Penny Candy

I just saw a post on Facebook that reminded me of my dad, here's the post...

When I was little we lived on the outskirts of a teeny-tiny little town by the name of Harquhala, Arizona. My dad worked as a ranch foreman for a company there and sometimes he would take me to work with him.

My dad in his Romaine lettuce fields
I loved going to work with my dad! Just being with him and having him give me little jobs to do made me feel so grown up and loved. 

One of the best things I liked is that all his workers knew me and every time they saw me they would give me money. Not a lot of money, a nickel here, a dime there, maybe a quarter once in a while...but by the end of the day I felt like Rockefeller (I'm sure at that time I didn't even know who that was).

Sometimes in a day I would have a whole dollar or more in change. My dad would take me to the only store in this little town. It was probably called Harquahala Market, I don't really remember. What I do remember is that they had penny candy at that time. PENNY CANDY! Rows and rows of penny candy and with a dollar in change I could get 100 pieces of candy! 100 PIECES!

I was in hog heaven! I would fill up a little brown paper bag with all the goodies. It was a great time and a great memory of a day spent with my dad. I sure miss him!

Love you dad!



Thursday, September 19, 2019

Why I'm Washing my Tassels in the Ladies Room


My mom…ya gotta love her!

See, I have this blouse that has these two string ties on the front with little string tassels attached. Something very similar to this blouse.



So last week I wore the blouse to work with some black slacks and somehow, I ended up with one of the tassels in my coffee! I pulled it out right away and blotted it with a paper towel until it was almost dry, but all day long I had the scent of coffee literally right under my nose. By the end of the day I was sick of the scent of coffee!

So, I put the blouse in my hamper and my mom will grab the stuff in my hamper when she does her own laundry so that she doesn’t waste water and detergent and because she’s a good mom and doesn’t want me to have to bother doing my own laundry. It’s a win-win for me and for the environment! 

She takes great care with my clothes and she didn’t want the tassels to get all messed up so before placing them in the washer, she put both tassels into a small plastic sandwich bag and tied it up firmly with rubber bands.

A few days ago, I noticed the blouse was back in my closet and I saw the plastic sandwich bag on it, but didn’t give it another thought because weird things like that just happen in my house and it didn’t seem unusual. 

This morning I decided to wear the blouse, took off the plastic bag and instantly smelled the coffee smell and realized that the tassels had not been washed. I decided to go ahead and wear it cause I’m lazy and did not want to change. But all morning, along with the coffee, I’ve been smelling mildew and now I realize that a bit of water did get into the sandwich bag. Not enough to wash the tassels but enough to mildew them.

I’m off to the ladies’ room to wash my tassels in the bathroom sink…. I never thought I would be saying those words at this point in my life! 

Ya gotta love my mom!



Friday, September 13, 2019

Featured on Art Group!

You guys remember when I started on my Art Journey? It was May of 2016, so it's been more than three years now and I've been pretty consistent in doing art of some type.

Am I getting any better? Well, there's some improvement, especially in my drawing skills. I'll have to share some more artwork in the future.

For now I just want to document an honor that I've been give in one of the art groups I'm in. The Art group is called Nina Ribena's Art Journal Prompts and More. Each Sunday we are given an art prompt and then we can run with it. One person's art is chosen to be displayed on the groups masthead. This week it was mine, here it is. I was thrilled when I saw mine was chosen as there are such fabulous artists in this group!



This Sunday the prompt was to Reuse/Recycle/Repurpose. We had to use just scraps and bits of paper and stuff we already had. I have an art journal that I made using a cereal box and scraps of paper, I'll have to post about that later.

So I did this two page spread using acrylic paint for the background, then scraps of a pink paper I had used on a different project to cut out flowers. The leaves are made using what we call "painty paper" a very technical terms which means we just use left over paint and put it on random papers which we keep to use later, nothing goes to waste! I did some doodling on the flowers and leaves and then used a lettering method called "wavy letters" for the quote.




So just wanted to share this little gem so I have it somewhere forever. Maybe this weekend I can find time to photograph the scraps journal, it's so stinking cute! Thanks for reading!







Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Still Healing...when will it be over...part two

To catch up and read part one click HERE.

Ok, so now I'm in a sound-proof room with Dr. S and Steve the Enforcer! I lay down on the table; why do they call it a table when you only lay or sit on it? Like the operating table, they perform surgery on it, yet they don't call it the operating bed or platform...it's a table!

Anyway, I'm on the table and Dr S takes my left arm and looks soulfully into my eyes as he says, "I'm going to just pull and bend the wrist down ok? It's going to hurt for just a few seconds and then I'm going to hold it in place while Steve applies the new cast. You ready?" Am I ready? Am I ready? NO! Of course I'm not ready! I was never ready for this whole fiasco! But as I said before in my last post, I'm a realist and the reality is that it was something that had to be done!

I remember when I was giving birth to my daughter and during the labor pains I suddenly just started to get out of bed and told my husband, "I can't do this, I don't want to do this, I'm done and I'm going home!" It didn't work then and it wasn't going to work this time either so I just laid back and said "I'm ready!"

I really wasn't ready, oh hell I wasn't ready! When I fell it all happened so quickly that I didn't feel the immediate break, but I felt this one and it hurt like nothing I'd ever imagined. He pulled and bent and I saw stars and it seemed to take forever but I didn't want to scream or cry. At the last minute before he told Steve to go ahead  and prep the cast, I did let out a groan and I tried to raise my head, Steve of course held me down and told me to just hang on a second and he would help me up. Both of them helped me into a sitting position, with Dr. S holding my wrist in place the whole time.

Steve turned around to start preparing the cast and Dr. S said "You did great! I've had grown men cry and try to hit me when I do this and you did so great!" I'm sure it was the delirium of my pained mind but I said, "Yeah, I'm a soldier. My dad always said that I have bigger balls than both my brothers and they were Marines!" He and Steve just busted up laughing and Steve put on the new cast. The first layer was so warm and soothing to my poor brokenness and really helped. 

The new cast was less bulky than the first one but it was still just a temporary cast. Dr. S told me to take my time, sit and catch my breath but I just wanted to go home! So he gave me some instructions and told me my prescription would be ready at the pharmacy down the hall and he walked me out. 

I picked up my meds and got in my car and I gotta admit, I was feeling pretty proud of myself for being so brave. Sad that when you're an adult you don't even get a sticker or lollipop when you are brave at the doctor, but then again I did get some pretty good meds.

I drove myself home to begin the next step in the healing process!

~~~More to come, stay tuned

Friday, June 7, 2019

Still Healing...when will it be over!

So I mentioned in my previous post that I had broken my wrist on a recent trip to Arizona. Well it's now been over a month and it's still broken and I have to admit, I'm sick of it!

So we got back on April 15th and the 16th I returned to work. I know you may think that was crazy, but I figured I could sit broken at home, way too close to the refrigerator or I could sit broken at work and at least be productive!

I was able to get in to see an orthopedist on April 19th, 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Above written 5/22 19~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, so I wrote the above a few weeks ago. Took me forever just to type that little bit, so I ran out of time and energy and quit. 

So to continue... on April 19th I finally got to see the man that became my orthopedist Dr. S. X-rays were taken and he agreed that it was indeed broken. He gave me 3 options:

1. Do nothing, let it heal on it's own and I would probably never again have full usage of the wrist/arm/hand ever.

2. I could have surgery where they would put in a plate and screws. I would have to take time off of work and face a longer recovery time.

3. Let him reset it that day in the office, apply a new temporary cast and send me home with some pretty good pain killers. I would still be able to return to work. He said this would be the best option for me.

Great choices right? Of course I opted for #3. 

He did explained to me that resetting my arm meant manipulating the wrist into the position that it is supposed to be in and that it would be very painful for a few seconds but that it would be the best option.

He said that there was an injection he could give me to ease the pain, but that the injection would be just as painful and probably would only ease the pain of manipulating the wrist slightly.

Even now thinking about it I feel sorry for the poor me of April 19th! But I'm a realist and I wanted this fixed as soon as possible with the least drama possible, So I said, "Handsome Dr. S, let's do this!" (He is a cutie!)

He took me into another room and brought in an ortho tech named Steve. Steve's job was two-fold, to apply the temporary cast after Dr. S set the wrist and to hold me down to prevent me from hitting Dr. S with my good arm or kicking him with my legs. Dr. S said this had happened to him before. 

He also told me that the room  was sound proof so that I could curse, or yell or cry as loudly as I wanted to and it would not upset other patients!!!

~~~Stay tuned for the next post

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A Broken Wing


With a broken wing

She carries her dreams
Man you oughta see her fly


Recognize the lyrics from this Martina McBride song? The song itself is about abusive relationships...my post is not about that but just an opening to talk about my broken wing.

Huh? What? "Where is she going with this?", you may be asking yourself. Well, they say a picture speaks a thousand words so take a gander at this photo!



That's me with a broken wing, no make-up, no lipstick! The reason I look so miserable is that I was in considerable pain and had just broken my wing the day before...so let me backtrack on how I got to this point.

Our family roots are in Arizona, and every once in a while Arizona beckons to us, the allure of the desert and the majestic Saguaro, the breathtaking sunsets...and we have to answer the call. 

So on April 11th, we made a trip to Arizona, my mom, myself and my sister-in-law Connie. The plan was for Connie and I to head back on Monday, April 15th and mom would stay there for a couple of weeks or whenever she felt like coming back home and then we would go and pick her up. (The trip itself is 9 hours, 600 miles!)

But you know the saying, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry"...boy did they.

The second day we were there my cousin Tino took us to his home to pick up a sombrero that he was giving to Connie for some home decor. We went into his home and I turned left into his living room, not realizing it was a sunken living room with two steps leading down.

I caught myself on the first step, and as I turned around to warn Connie I hit the second step and my left ankle twisted and down I went! I remember the whole thing in slow motion and even now I can recall the sound of the back of my head hitting the tile floor, bouncing up and coming back down for another smack!

And that was the end of the fun for me, at 6pm it all ended and they had to take me to the ER. My ankle was swelling but the worst part is that I knew I had broken my left wrist! Oh...and you know how people will say if you can move your fingers it's not broken? LIES!!! It can still be broken!

On top of a broken wrist I ended up with a sprained left ankle, a mild concussion, a bruised tailbone, and a grand story to tell.

We ended up staying until Monday anyway but the saddest part is that my mom couldn't and wouldn't stay, she was insistent on coming back with me to take care of her baby.

I'm so glad she did because so there were/are so many things I can't do for myself. She helps me to shower and to get dressed, she does my hair, fixes my food, cuts my meat, anything and everything that I need! There's no one like my mother. 

I'll post again later about my progress in healing, but wanted to share the story of my broken wing and as we near Mothers Day this Sunday to brag on having the very best mom in the whole world! Love you mom, thank you for loving me even in moments when I can be truly unlovable (it happens more often than you may think!)

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all the moms out there and to those dads doing double duty!




Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Catching Up Post with Guest Blogger - My Sister!

So I did a post about a week or so ago about catching up with everyone while I was a way for a quick trip with my sister to the beautiful city of Seaside CA.

My sister Lisa was with me and she took some amazing pictures which I wanted to use in a blog post, so I asked her if she would write the blog post and she did.

Without further ado...here's my sister Lisa!

Welcome Lisa! 


I have been invited by my adorably cute sister, Alicia, to write a guest post for her blog. I enjoy reading other people’s blogs but have only been moved to write one blog post a few years ago when my father passed away.  I imagine my blog page has been deactivated since then.

I work for a cemetery as the secretary/bookkeeper. My sister and I have a strong background in the funeral industry. We both worked at a funeral home and now I work for a cemetery. I am fortunate that my place of employment is progressive and believes in continuing education. 

That being said California Association of Public Cemetery Association which my cemetery is a member of,  hosts 2 annual education conferences. The conferences are usually in the“off” seasons, so while the locations are beautiful they are also usually fairly cold. I am able to take a guest so my sister lucks out to be my driver and my guest.  The conference in March was in the picturesque city of Seaside, CA.



I 100% agree with the quote in the image above. While the conferences are quite educational the best part of the trip is the ride to and fro. Sis and I are able to bond, laugh, cry, sing and most of all SHOP!!! 

I am not a shopper in any way shape or form. I generally avoid shopping like it was the plague but I do love to shop on our bi-annual mini-vac. This year I went hog wild and walked out with over $350.00 worth of merchandise; an all time max on spending. I am set with clothing and shoes for 10 years.

I am in classes from 8:00 am to about 3:30 or 4:00. Once I am released from prison, uhm Class, Sis and I usually escape for about an hour on a small drive to see the local sites. 

(all photos taken by Lisa with her iPhone)



Our first trip was a quick trip past Monterrey and Cannery Row to enjoy the view of the ocean and the splashes of the water against the rocks.  




The 2nd day we just rested in our room at the Embassy Suites and pigged out on Chips and Salsa, which we purchased at a small Mexican grocery store. Yummy and very SPICY!



Our final day sis drove me around Seaside and showed me the many sites she uncovered while I was educating my cemetery brain. 



Alas, it was time to head home so we gassed up and Starbucked up and headed home… Oh wait, silly me! I forgot the best part… the “17 Mile Drive” featuring Pebble Beach! 




Not only do you see gorgeous views of the ocean but also Million dollar homes. I checked Zillow.com and on some of these multi-million dollar homes the property taxes alone are $20,000.00 a month. Yes a month not a Year!!!! 



All these photos that I've shared were taken on the 17-Mile drive. If you ever make it up to the Monterrey/Seaside/Carmel area please do take this tour, it's amazing!



Ok, it's me Alicia again, thank you Lisa. I love it! A blog post that I didn't have to write! Thank you sis for taking me along on these adventures, they are the high-point of my year! Love you bunches!


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Catching up Post

Surprise!!! It really is me!

Tomorrow will mark almost three months since my last blog post. So much as happened! Some good, some bad.

Today I'm coming to you from the Embassy Suites in the beautiful city of Seaside California. This place is gorgeous and I'm feeling a little guilty that I'm not out there enjoying the sunshine and the smell and sound of the ocean, but I've been here two days already and I have had my share of nature! It doesn't take much, I'm really more of an indoor girl!

I'm here with my sister Lisa, she's got a conference for her job and I get to come along as her plus one. She's working 9 to 5 and I'm just enjoying the sites, shopping, eating and now sitting here in the lobby finally having opportunity to blog for a bit. 

I wish I had a picture to share with you that would portray the beauty of this place, but so far I have only taken one picture from the window of our hotel room. You can see the ocean there on the horizon.


So today is our last full day here and we leave tomorrow. I had planned to take a little road trip and check out some antique shops and thrift stores, but to tell you the truth I am dead tired! Lisa and I are both suffering from allergies and we coughed all night. Right now I have laryngitis and poor Lisa is in the a conference room across from where I am sitting and I keep seeing her coming outside to cough! She is really struggling as her lungs are much weaker than mine. She's been to doctors and they all tell her it just allergies, but that doesn't make the actual symptoms any easier to bear.

So anyway, I'm still so in love with doing art, but as usual I'm a Jack of all Trades, Master of None! I started with sketching and took a class for that, then I got into Acrylic Painting and took a class for that, I still love acrylic painting, but I've gotten away from it for awhile because I am finding it really hard to concentrate with all that is going on in my life.

The new love of my life is Mixed Media art as some of you are aware if you've been reading my blog for the past year. I'm still doing mixed media and I've joined several great Facebook groups, my newest favorite at this time is a Mixed Media artist by the name of Dawn who has a YouTube channel called Let's Make a Mess Today.

My reason for liking Mixed Media is that it is so freeing, you can pretty much do ANYTHING and nothing is wrong. But Dawn is even freer than that. She has this awesome journal she uses called a Fatty Patty in which she saves images, ticket stubs, book marks, magazine photos, bits of fabric, ribbon, buttons, paperclips, anything and everything that she can find. What I like best about her is how as she's creating she's talking as though we are sitting right there with her, which makes for a great crafting buddy because you can turn her off when ever you want and she's always there waiting for you.

I'm really new to her channel, I've got my Fatty Patty journal that I named Pretty Patty after my best friend in high school who passed away several years ago, she was beautiful inside and out and my journal is going to be beautiful inside and out as well!

So far I've only contributed one page to the Facebook Group, it was the dedication page, dedicated to Patty.


I'm pretty sure by now housekeeping has finished our room, so I'm going to cut this short at this time and just let you all know I'm still alive and kicking and I would like to promise that I will blog again soon, but it seems that as I get older, I have less free time and more commitments and when I do find a moment for myself I tend to do Art more than Blog, but don't give up on me, I hope to retire soon and then I will have plenty of time to do both!

Alicia~~

Monday, December 10, 2018

Biscochos Recipe



We have a favorite cookie in our family that we make every year. We've even had a contest to see who makes the best ones. But no one can argue that our beautiful Tia Nico (my mom's sister) was the one that made them the best, she filled them with so much love that she probably didn't even use sugar! (Just kidding, the recipe has plenty of sugar!)

Everyone has been asking me for the recipe, so I thought I would do a post with just the recipe. If any of you make them, leave me a comment on what you thought of them.


Biscochos

INGREDIENTS:
3 Cups Crisco Shortening (Tia Nico used lard, so you can do that)
2 Cups Sugar
3 Eggs
10 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 ½ teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Ground Anise
1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream together shortening and sugar until well blended (use a mixer). Add eggs and continue to blend with mixer.

Sift dry ingredients together. We sift them 3 or 4 times to combine the spices well into the flour.

Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients into the creamed shortening/sugar mixture and knead well. Add milk as needed. Sometimes you may need to use the whole cup.

Roll out the mixture, using about a softball size amount of dough and cut using a pizza cutter or cookie cutter.

Bake at 400 degrees until browned, watch them carefully. Usually 8 to 10 minutes. You can use your broiler setting to brown the tops if you like.