Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mentally prepare your mind

…for a toes picture. This isn’t your, ‘oh look at my cute pedicure and be jealous’ pictures… this is ‘ugh!! look at my crappy “professional” pedicure I paid a lot of money for’ pictures!!

I don’t get it. How hard is a french pedicure…really?
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{what you’re seeing is correct, my toes and feet still swell after almost 2 years since my surgery}

The past 4 pedicures I got were horrible.. and I’m just going to say it.. they were all by white people. I think its safe to say, I will do everything in my power to not see a white manicurist anymore. They just aren’t cutting the mustard.

I even pointed out a mistake to her to fix last night, and she kept asking “where?”, so I got in close, and pointed it out and she said she didn’t see any mistakes.. *_*

It was futile at that point, so I stopped, paid and headed out since I had to rush to my tanning appointment.. yes, I got another spray tan. I’m going to Mexico after all! I can’t be all pasty Casper white! Especially since I don’t plan on baking in the sun.. high skin cancer risk in my family and all.

My tanning lady did a great job. I actually look natural, where all the others would put like the Jamaican tan on me and I’d walk out with an accent. {kidding} but I would be pretty dark.

But yesterday was a crazy day! A crazy day of dumping money. 3 new tires anyone? I wanted to cry. Spending that much money on tires isn’t as fun as say spending it on new clothes, or shoes, or going on a trip! {yes, I realize how superficial that sounds}

Then of course there was my sister. She was in labor! that poor thing. I won’t give too much, since she hasn’t really given me the clear, nor is it my story to tell, but she endured intense labor from 2am until they took her for a c-section at 6pm to deliver her sweet baby. And I have to hand it to my amazing sister for enduring the entire labor with no pain medications. She has now set the bar high for me when my time comes.

Yes, I just admitted that. I’m a competitive person, I’ve learned to accept it.

~so you aren’t left with a toe image in your mind~


Happy 1 day old, my sweet new niece!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Past the expiration date

What’s your limit?

How far would you go past the date? The date of pasta? Almonds? Canned goods? …milk? Would you go 2 years past the almonds expiration date and still use them? 8 months past the canned goods’ date?

10 days past the milk’s expiration?

If I told you I used almond slivers that’s 2 year’s past their expiration date in my steel cut oatmeal every morning would that gross you out? Or that I’ve slowly used walnuts in my freezer for the past…uhh, 5 1/2 years? Or that I’ve drank milk 10 days past its due date?

..maybe I shouldn’t say this one… I’ve accidentally left steak I wanted to thaw on the counter, overnight and discovered it in the morning… and ate it that night. {I did put it in the fridge that morning}

I’ve pushed the envelope a lot with foods. I’ve rinsed off black beans that were getting slimy, when I was really hurting for money and needed every bit of food I had to last. I’ve gotten in the habit of smelling my half and half, my milk, and all my foods once I see they’re past the due date and if they’re fine, I’ll keep using them until a) I’ve used them all up or b) I start smelling a funk. It’s a habit now.

Thank goodness I have a good sense of smell!! Sometimes, I miss the mark and it won’t be until it gets in my mouth, do I realize its bad.

…have I thoroughly grossed you out?

Are you one, regardless of whether its good still, if the date says its time, toss it?

I do draw the line on some things. Old cake.. won’t eat that, and I’d say moldy bread, though I’ve accidentally eaten that.. tastes.awful! So I always carefully inspect each piece before eating it.

Someone tell me I’m not alone on ignoring expiration dates!


Also, my older, little sister is on the brink of springing this baby of hers! 4cm dilated all week long, so if you could pray her “I choose to keep the name a secret from everyone including my one and only sister” baby comes out before Friday, that would be much appreciated… because I’ll finally know her name she’ll finally have her baby girl to hold.

What have you dared to do with foods? Spill the beans. You can confess to me if you’ve eaten something that was questionable. I’ll be your support group.

{{UPDATE!!}} She went into labor this morning!!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Birds of a feather

Say it with me… flock together. very nice!

So eons ago, I went with my friend 1 1/2 hours out into the sticks to photograph birds. Because, why not!? And by eons ago, I mean 4 weeks ago. Crazy how time is zooming by..March what?

She bought my old camera from me that day and we had to go play, so we hopped in her truck and made our way to the Wetland Preserve where the Cranes migrate this time of year. And not just a couple cranes, but thousands upon thousands every single night. The noise they make is something else. The little town is called Pixley and they actually have a crane on their sign. Whenever I was driving to L.A, I always would see the sign and wonder what it was all about and now I can say I know.

And lucky you, so can you now!
After we parked we had to walk a good mile to the lookout, and we waited…and waited. Apparently the cranes only begin to fly over us and into the wetlands at a precise moment as the sun sets, and sure enough, at the most random hour {to me} they began to fly over.

Ever seen the movie Birds? I was living in it for an hour. It was eerie and freaky and gave me the slight urge to break out into a run back to the truck.
Where they all flew into at the end of the night.
It was cold, the mosquitos formed a permanent residence directly above my head, and I was kicking myself for not bringing my zoom lens, but the birds didn’t poo on us once, and that made up for everything else.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Raindrops on roses

Hello there. <—said like Julie Andrews. The song popped into my head as I waited for Windows Live Writer to load (best blogging program eveeeeer!) so it had to be incorporated into the post, though it has no relevance whatsoever.

My weekend was a mix of so many things. I almost got into a very bad car accident… and it would have been my fault.. never something you want to be your fault. Pulling out in front of car I didn’t see coming, while putting on my sunglasses (which kept me from looking left since I thought I was clear) left them blaring their horn at me and my heart beating a mile a minute.

I heard that horn repeated in my head for the next 30 minutes, it shook me that bad. I’m so thankful I escaped the wreck, and thankful that even though they were screaming at me, that they were paying attention when I wasn’t.

After, I raced to the clothing store to return a torn sweater, but forgot the receipt. urgh! Then raced to a day spa to have me some stuff done.


IF you get waxed, which do you prefer? Hard wax? Or soft wax w/strips?

I’m a hard wax girl. It works best on me, more gentle too. I called to make the appointment and I asked the girl 5 times if the esthetician used hard wax. First she said no, then changed it to yes every time. I stressed I didn’t want to come up there (35 minutes away) if she used strips. The girl assured me, she used hard wax. OK.

I walked into the room and the first thing I asked was if she used hard wax. Nope! I wasn’t happy, and the esthetician got to hear it. Long story short, she claimed she was very good at what she did, so I let her do her way. It was fine, but once was enough.

After her, I went to another girl to get my eyelashes tinted. First time ever getting it done and the only reason I did it was because going to Mexico next week, I don’t want to bother with mascara if I’ll be in the water and this would take care of it. Well, it stung..not just a baby sting, but full on, what the heck is happening, sting.. for 10 minutes straight. Apparently this isn’t normal (as my esthetician SIL told me) nor is it normal to have so much smudging below my eyes.

Goth Emily, anyone?
em107The girl did a sloppy job. Once I got home, I cleaned it all up and they look fine now…but once is enough. Then! I mentioned I need a hair stylist and she referred me to their one and only stylist in the salon. I talked to her and I’ve never had a more awkward conversation where the person didn’t listen to a word I said. I said no red or golden, she said red and golden. I said I want color that’s a rich chocolate and she said she’ll color it in the middle of red and golden.. and this went on for over 5 minutes. All I saw was oil and water.

My weekend had several good points too, lest you think I’m griping about it all. A lot revolves around breakfast food. I’ve been eating a lot of breakfast foods. Exploding omelet with way too many ingredients, is the way to go.
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I also have to give a big huge thank you to Angie {and her husband} Phil for helping me with my first Vimeo upload. They held my hand, walking me through how to compress it and upload it to Vimeo, Thursday night. For pretty much 4 hours they helped me by answering all my questions, looking up tutorials, getting out their PC (since they’re Mac peeps) and being more than patient as I got it all worked out. They’re the sweetest ever.

I’m counting down the days to Mexico! 5 more days!!! Woot!

Happy Monday, my fellow friends!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Lava adventure–video style!

There’s so much I want to remember about my trip to Hilo and the boat ride. If anyone is ever in Hilo and the lava is flowing into the ocean (like it was and still is right now), you must must must do your boat tour with Lava Ocean Adventures. They’re the only boat tour that gets that close to the lava. Its touted as extremely dangerous and if you happen to search them on yelp or trip advisor, you’ll read several people calling it too dangerous and anyone going on it idiots.

Well, I’d like to think of myself as a non idiot, so take their reviews (the ones who have never been on the boat) with a big fat grain of salt. Because really, what do they know??

The company is legit. They’re fantastic and incredibly skilled with handling the boat.

After awhile, it was time to head back to the dock, so the captain (who is also the owner), began leading us back. Only this time he said he’d be getting us there a lot faster than us coming, and he floored it.

…do you ‘floor it’ in boats? Full throttle? Either way, we were booking it and taking the waves hard!

Before we even left the park, he told us we would get wet. And even though I brought my waterproof jacket and a ziploc for my camera gear, I honestly thought it was be a drizzle, a sprinkle, a little mist or spray.

I wasn’t prepared for the full onslaught of water hitting my face on the way back.

Initially I had my camera out ready to get our trip back, but before I knew it, I was doing everything in my power, with one hand, to protect it at all costs from the water coming into the boat and all over me. My other hand had a white knuckle grip on the seat in front of me just so I wouldn’t fly out of my own seat with every wave we took. We slammed down hard every couple seconds with water pouring into our faces.

He warned us all that the bumpiest seats of the whole boat were in the front. You can guess which seats we had… Row 2.. in the front. It was as if someone splashed a full pitcher of water in my face every 60 seconds for 30 minutes straight, that’s how wet I was getting.

off topic my mascara didn’t budge, smudge or streak the entire time! a winner in my book.I managed to shove my camera and lens under my jacket to protect it, and after having my bag get soaked, finally gave it to G-man to stick under his rain poncho.

The waves were huge, but nothing compared to one moment. I don’t know what I was doing or where I was looking but I heard a man make an odd noise to my right and my head jerked forward and I must have gasped or said something because that caused G-man to whip his head forward and we stared with morbid fascination at a 25 foot wave directly in front of us.

The whole boat gasped as the captain laid off the throttle to keep us from getting slammed by this massive wave that appeared out of nowhere. He got us over the top of the wave and then… we came down and BAM! we slam the hardest of all the slams, back onto the water. Every one of us grunts and groans at the force of the impact but instantly scream, cheer, clap and laugh as we continue to blaze ahead.

It’s a moment that I know happened, but almost can’t fully recall because it seemed so surreal. On the way back to our hotel, as G-man and I were recounting everything, I even mentioned how I almost can’t remember how it all took place, and he agreed that its almost a little hazy for him to recall, too. I blame it on PTSD.. kidding, but we both know it happened, it was incredible..and certainly terrifying all at the same time.

Now, here’s the video I created from the whole experience. Before you watch it, let me preface some things
1. It’s the first time I’ve ever shot video
2. It’s the first video I’ve ever shot on a very very rocky boat in rough waters
3. I might zoom in a little too much from time to time while on a very very rocky boat in rough waters
4. It’s the first time I’ve ever put together a bunch of videos, blended them and put it to music, plus uploading to vimeo
5. Creating this took me several if you have unhappy things to say about it..don’t say them, mmkay?

Lava flowing into the ocean from Emily Grapes on Vimeo.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! Hopefully you enjoy the video as much as I do!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lava! Lava! Lava!

Sunday, at the crack of… dawn {was nowhere in sight!}, G-man and I made our 45 minute drive to a park on the water’s edge that would take us on an amazing adventure.

For days leading up to Sunday, I was nervous. Nervous because I’ve gotten rather wimpy with any kind of motion. The moment my flight was booked the Tuesday before leaving, I made my way to the drug store and loaded up on Dramamine. I wasn’t going to take any chances. Especially when G-man emphatically said it would be a very bumpy ride.

That morning was no exception. In fact it was magnified by 15 with the storm that was hovering that only made the seas that much worse. On our way there, I chewed on the nasty chalky tablets, munched on an oat bar and chugged the water, in hopes it would all ease my stomach.

However, nervous stomach took over and all I’ll say is I’m thankful they had a really nice facility at the park. As time slowly ticked by in complete darkness, a truck pulling the boat that we would be boarding, came into the parking lot. After 30 more minutes, a briefing and a waiver sign, we filed toward the boat.

And then it started to sprinkle, that quickly turned into a downpour. G-man and I were in the front of the line so we quickly climbed the ladder and took our seats undercover, where the poor couple in the back had to stand in the pouring rain the entire time. I felt slightly bad as I sat temporarily dry in my seat.

I say slightly only because I would be joining them in the drenched department soon enough.

We were put into the ocean and made our rocky and very slow descent to where the lava was flowing. Over an hour of rocking back and forth, up and down over the waves as we slowly crept through the darkness had me humming. Humming was a small way I could distract myself from the long ride. We could see a glow in the far off distance and were getting excited, but all I could do to keep myself well was stare at the black sky ahead. If I looked at the water to the left or the horizon in front, I would start to feel off.

Finally! we were there. The captain kept us far away. He shut off the engine and we sat..and sat some more. I didn’t say anything to G-man but I was very disappointed that this was as close we were going to get. For as much as we paid, and as big of a hype as I’ve heard and read, it wasn’t worth it. 20 minutes later he started the engine again and I thought I heard him say we were done and to be glad he didn’t cancel our trip. I was even more disappointed.

Until, he steered us straight for the lava.

Something on the boat stopped working on our way to the lava and he parked us so far away to see if it could be fixed. Thankfully it could, and he didn’t have to ‘cancel our trip’. I became very excited. Any thought of seasickness was gone as I prepped my camera for the next hour of constant shooting.

I’m not even going to begin to apologize for the amount of photos I’m about to share. I’ve ‘narrowed’ it down to these from far more.

Do you have a favorite?There’s so many I love. I admit, I’ve stared at these for the past 2 days, I love them all. I’m also working on a video compilation of all the videos I took, and since its my first one, its taking me a long time to get it all put together just right but I hope tomorrow it’ll be ready. If anyone has any vimeo tips on how to upload to their site, please email me. : )

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hi Hawaii, it’s me again!

I went to the Big Island over the weekend. That’s right! A very quick 3 day weekend trip to Hawaii. How can a girl say no when its offered to her!? She can’t! That’s all there is to it, she just can’t.

It was one of the most amazing trips of. my. life!

I was up at 3am to make my 5am flight. The 5am face I mentioned? ..make that 4:45, when I took it.

I open mouthed slept on the plane for the first hour. I’m sure it was pretty. Followed by watching Pitch Perfect on my iPad and I have to say, if you haven’t seen that, you must see it now. Absolute hilarious movie.. minus the “snow angel” but downright hilarious.

I arrived in Kona with my escort (aka G-man) ready with the rental car to pick me up so we could drive the 2 1/2 hours to the other side of the island, Hilo. Kona was the only place where a rental car was available, and it was through a hotel that we later found out had over booked by at least 100 cars, thanks to corporate not closing the website down.

Thankfully G-man flew in 3 hours before me to get the rental car, which is when the worker informed him he was lucky he came so early in the morning to be able to get a car. I shudder at the thought of that poor guy’s afternoon explaining to many many tourists they didn’t have a rental.

A huge rain storm had swept in the night before and had gale force winds and heavy heavy rain the entire windy drive to the Hilo side. It had every intention of planting it’s big fatty storm self over our side of the island the entire 3 day weekend. Seeing the rough seas during landing and knowing it was staying, had me a little nervous for the next day.. {more on that later}

The drive was beautiful. Waterfalls were everywhere, everything was so lush and green. We decided to stop at Akaka Falls and were so glad we did. It was breathtakingly beautiful as we took the scenic walk around to the falls seeing streams and bamboo trees along the way.
And then we came upon the falls gushing!
He’s learning my camera. Even though I’m not in focus, I love his shot of the waterfalls.

Every waterfall on the Big Island is supplied 100% by rain. Seeing these falls is amazing to contemplate that. Yet the big fatty storm that plopped it’s butt down on us over the weekend, had us understanding how that was possible.

We had {another} 3am wakeup call the next morning, so we jumped back in the car and made our way to the most sketchy hotel we’ve ever stayed in..that just so happened to be the last hotel on that side of the island with available rooms. Where the beds consisted of 2 mattresses stacked on top of each other on the floor with crunchy sheets, dirt caked windows and walls as thin as paper. And the elevator that read floor “12” no matter what floor you were on or going.

It was different for us, but we made sure to only be there to sleep and nothing more. We accomplished that mission.

Tomorrow, (as long as I can narrow down my top 38 photos), I’ll be sharing the most amazing adventure I’ve ever been on, with you!! Where one moment was so surreal, G-man and I talk about it and aren’t even sure it really happened though it very much did!

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Friday, February 15, 2013

A day late..

Happy Valen…oh I missed it?

Well, I hope you had a warm and fuzzy day yesterday filled with whatever gave you the warm fuzzies. Whether it was a bowl of ice cream, chocolates or the mushy love stuff.

I had the chocolates, courtesy of my co worker.
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And before you’re thinking G-man dropped the ball, his gift to me is coming this weekend. So, though I selfishly hoped for the typical flowers or card for today, this weekend really will make up for it 1,000 times over.

The gift starts at 5am Saturday morning and ends Monday at 11pm.. do you see my face for that 5am time?? Someone will have to pour coffee on my eyes. Maybe I’ll take a picture of the 5am face. It won’t be pretty, but I might take one for the team.

In honor of the love weekend, I thought I’d resurrect what I did last year on this very day. We actually celebrated Valentine’s Day a day late..or 2 days late (I don’t remember) all because we thought we’d be cool and celebrate when everyone else was back to their normal lives (and restaurant prices were back to normal). I actually like this idea, and wouldn’t mind continuing it.

One morning I thought it would be fun to make bacon hearts. They of course turned out delicious.
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If you ever make these, I recommend using an older pan where the bacon has the ability to stick to it. This has grooves and was fairly new, so the bacon slid right off when I was draining the grease thus tearing my heart(s) apart. I think this would be so cute to make for anyone who’s getting breakfast in bed, or for a little kid one morning. How fun would that be to see it on your plate!?

I wish you all a wonderful 3 day weekend. God bless our past presidents.

I will have a ridiculous amount of things to tell you once I come back from the weekend, so prepare yourself. I can’t wait to share!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog happy

I’ve been pretty happy these past couple days, and its been kinda fun. I realize Monday’s post wasn’t the most uplifting, but I blame writing it on Sunday as the reason, though Sunday really was a good day too. Ok, I blame my choice of topic. I never said I was the best decision maker…though I feel like I have said that and ultimately feel like I am.

hmmm, conundrum.

My point is I think we should make it a point to blog when we’re happy {duh}, because everyone knows and can read you’re happy which ultimately will make them happy {its scientifically proven}.

Monday, my co worker and I had the case of the giggles. Its rare, not gonna lie, but when we start talking about men incapable of making it into the toilet at work and us having to be the one that see and/or clean it up, it just starts a round of giggling to the point of laughing because we’re laughing and then we can’t breathe and our co workers looking at us like we’re insane as we turn a dark shade of red from lack of air.

It was awesome.

That lasted all day long.

..the laughing..not the cleaning up of ‘bad aim’.

Tuesday, I was on a bit of a high. {not that kind of high} Thinking something wasn’t going to happen, then finding out that morning it was going to happen, and arranging all the arrangements to make it officially happen and darn if it wasn’t cool having it all fall into place!

Then {this is my geeky side} I decided to rent a 24-105L lens for our trip to Mexico so I wouldn’t have to lug around my 5 pounder zoom lens plus my primes and I was able to rent it for 7 extra days FREE!! This had me all sorts of excited. One because this lens (by what I hear) is totally awesome and great for traveling and two because 7 days extra free means I get to play with it at home before giving it back. And it was A-fordable!

Speaking of Mexico, I.cannot.wait! Just a few short weeks away!

I have yet to dive into all my photos from my time with my entire family but here’s an outtake as I was working quickly with 10 kids for an impromptu ‘grandkids’ shot.

I’m sure she’ll love this when she’s older. A total framer, if you ask me.
#11 (staying warm in sister’s belly behind the kids) will be making her debut in the next couple of weeks.

What’s got you happy these days? How often do you blog happy?

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Monday, February 11, 2013

“shoe” me the way

I’m so glad its Monday. You know why? Because a week from today, I’ll be sitting on my couch, well after 8, in my pj’s, under my flannel blanket next to the fireplace still sipping my coffee. 3 day weekend, I eagerly wait for you.

So many things happened over the weekend, I can’t even tell you all.. but I will tell you this. At some point I’ll learn my lesson. I posted a picture on IG over the weekend, looking for (I’ll admit) some sympathy. A woman flat out told me my shoes were ugly and that I should go buy new, more interesting shoes. I was pretty deflated. Me and the others all looked down at my black flats in sadness. One girl said, ‘well they look comfortable.’ but we all know that’s just code for ‘ugly’, so it didn’t really help.
photo 1 (10)
Thing is, they really are comfortable. Not only that, they’re some of the few pairs that I can actually wear. I’ve had 6 surgeries on my feet and I’m incredibly limited in what can go on them. Flats or sandals or even flip flops are very tricky and difficult to find because my feet are hyper sensitive from all the nerve damage.

I have a pair of {once} really nice Italian leather boots. They’re slouchy, flat, and incredibly comfortable. But they’re falling apart. The lining on the inside has torn completely away and I have to grab it, in order for my foot to slip past it. The heels are separating from the back of the shoe and its embarrassing wearing them knowing people can see them falling apart, but I haven’t been able to find another pair of boots that my feet can stand being in for long periods of time, so I continue wearing them.

I still have a lot of issues with my feet. There are times nothing and I mean nothing can touch them. They swell, burn from the inside, ache, throb, and give off some really great sharp pains, and as much as I would love to have more interesting pretty shoes…even heels, I can’t. And I hate it. I don’t feel pretty in flats. I feel like I can’t walk pretty anymore like I used to. I don’t glide, I clod hop now and it makes me cringe seeing my reflection as I’m walking.

I explained to this woman that I’ve had surgeries which keeps me from wearing ‘nicer’ shoes, and she even went so far as to get her cheetah flats 1 whole size too big, for me to wear, but her like many others, don’t quite get it.

Now, in case you noticed, I took the IG picture off because there is a chance she may find me on IG and see all that I said, along with others, and well, I should know better than to talk about others so openly like I did. I know I’m bringing it up here, but its more so to explain where I am with my feet’s recovery and the stuff I have to deal with and accept with my feet. It hurt my feelings and it certainly wasn’t called for, especially in the manner she said it, but I shouldn’t have said what I said on IG.

I joked yesterday that I was going shopping for new shoes, which I did, only I bought sneakers..because you know, I can wear those.. there were so many pair of amazing boots and pumps I wanted to wear. I even tried some on and before I could even stand up from the chair, my foot was in pain. So I gave up and moved onto far better things. Clothes! 2 tops, a sweater and a pair of black pants later, I was set and happy.
photo 2 (6)

Have you had to give something up due to a medical issue?

How did your weekend fair?

I should also say that this s’more brownie bake also helped dull the pain..yum times a thousand! Graham cracker crust, brownie with toasted marshmallows on top. Someone make this for me now!
photo (18)

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