BACKGROUND

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tooth Time, Kid Time, Party Time!

It's been awhile since I posted. Life has been crazy the past few months and I am desperately trying to find my footing. I have had so much to do and it's just been a whirlwind of daily activity around here. I am looking for a job, but I am also trying to complete all of those little life tasks that get shoved to the back burner.

One of those back burner tasks became a front burner one this month. I went to the dentist for the first time in 9 years. Now, before anyone gets on my case, understand that I brush and floss on a regular basis AND that I did not have dental insurance for quite awhile. The dentist told me that given the amount of time I'd been absent from the dentist's office, things weren't too bad. I had five cavities and was in need of a crown on a tooth I had broken sometime ago. Unfortunately, that tooth will eventually need to be extracted, my sinus cavity moved up, and a bone graft done to make way for an implant. However, that is not something that I need to do right now so the dentist will crown it to give me a few more years without that kind of major dental work. I go back on Dec. 27th to have the crown placed on the tooth.

Other than that, the Christmas thing is in full swing. I do not do a lot of gift buying in general because I cannot afford it, but I buy some gifts so I've been checking those off the list. I've also been running errands and purchasing a few needed items for myself. Every day, I think of something else I need to add to the list of things to get so I've been at the store quite often in the past couple of weeks, but I pretty much have what I need now.

The downside to doing all those running around is not getting to see the people you love as much as you want to. So, to remedy that situation, I made a date last Friday to hang with a dear friend and her two kiddos, who I love more than life itself. They have me wrapped around their little fingers and they know it! They are well-behaved most of the time (way better than any other child I've seen) and they are just too sweet and cute for words. So happy to be able to spend time with them and their awesome mom!

This week, I have a company Christmas party to attend. I was invited to the annual Christmas party of the company that I do tech writing for. I haven't worked with them since May, although it's possible I will do more work for them in the coming year (we will see what they need), so I thought it was very nice of them to invite me to the Christmas party. I do contract work for them and have since 2008. I love this company and the people who work there, they are all people I would choose to have as friends and co-workers if I could.

Hope your holidays are shaping up to be wonderful and fun!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Doing Business

So Christmas, Hanukkah, and other gift-giving occasions will soon be upon us! Therefore, it is time for me to pimp out a couple of my friends who own businesses and make awesome stuff that would be perfect for gifts!

Bunnyfeet Boutique: Shoes, cloth diapers, diaper covers, and more! Check it out here: http://www.bunnyfeetboutique.com/store/


Mermaid Bliss by Atlantis: Organic salt and sugar scrubs with wonderful scents! 
Basic Salt or Sugar Scrubs
8oz. = $10.00
16oz. = $20.00

Bath Salts
8oz. = $10.00
16oz. = $20.00

Sugar Scrubs made with Coconut Oil:
8 oz. = $15.00
16 oz. = $25.00

Holiday scents are Sugar Plum and Apple Cinnamon. There are a variety of scents available and Atlantis can make whatever scent you want!

CONTACT FOR INFORMATION AND TO ORDER: atlantiscoral@yahoo.com


Friday, November 11, 2011

Post-Vacation Blues

Feeling a bit of the post-vacation blues. I miss the calm pace and worry-free environment of Cozumel. This last trip marked my sixth time there and I never get tired of it. It's such a beautiful place and I always have fun there. I am already looking forward to our next trip.

In the meantime, I am catching up on life at home. I have some bills to pay and some errands to run. I did a good portion of those today so tomorrow I will just be getting a hair cut and doing some laundry. Pretty basic stuff. I did put our underwater disposable camera into development today and we should have it back by Wednesday. Can't wait to see those pictures. 

The most difficult task ahead of me right now is the job hunt. I continue to search for work in my new profession as a therapist. It's not easy, but I know that God has something out there just for me. I only need to keep looking and keep praying about it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cozumel - Day 6: Last Day in Paradise

Today was our last day in Cozumel. We made it a relatively easy one. We got up and had breakfast, sat at the table and enjoyed the scenery for awhile, and then went back to our rooms for a short nap before heading out.


Our first stop was the cruise ship terminal where several shops are located. We did a little window shopping mostly, but did not buy anything. Everything there is priced double, and sometimes triple, what it is in the downtown shopping area. The shopkeepers at the terminal assume everyone just got off the boat (in more ways than one), but since we've been here several times, we are pretty savvy about the best places to purchase souvenirs and such.

After the window shopping, we got a cab and headed to Chankanaab Park. We walked around looking at Mayan statues and then saw the seal show. That was a lot of fun. The seals are so cute!

We then relaxed in front of the beach for awhile before taking a cab to Palmeras for our last supper. I had a huge rib eye steak and Dad had the chicken. Both excellent meals! We did a little shopping and then headed back to the hotel where we napped again (love vacation naps!) before heading to the hotel restaurant for some dessert. We hung out there for awhile enjoying the scenery and chatting. Now we're back in our rooms getting things packed up in preparation for leaving tomorrow. We're already planning our next diving trip to Mexico to help with the post-vacation depression.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cozumel - Day 5: An Absolute Wreck

Dad and I were up early this morning so we could get a good breakfast in before we headed out to dive this afternoon. After breakfast, we came back to our rooms. I took a nap and then got ready to go under the sea!

We headed out on the boat to the first dive site, which was a ship wreck at about 70 feet down. I have a very hard time with equalization and it is extraordinarily painful for me during the initial descent so I went slow this time and just kept telling myself that it would stop hurting. And it did. 

In order to help me in my descent, the dive master had me grab on to a rope that was tied to the ship so I could inch my way down while still equalizing my ears. I got to where I wanted to be and let go of the rope, at the same time feeling a stinging sensation in my left hand. Something had caused an allergic reaction on my hand and a couple of welts appeared almost immediately. It was no problem though, I continued on with the dive and now, several hours later, the welts have disappeared.

The ship was very interesting! Dad and I explored the outside and then headed inside to see the different compartments. It was really fascinating. We saw a couple of huge crabs on this dive as well as some eels and other general sea life. 

After that dive, we headed back to the boat and to the dock at our hotel where we took a 15-minute break. We then headed out to the second dive site, which was just a short ride from our hotel dock. This was amazing because it was full of colorful sea sponges and fish. I really enjoyed it after once again going through the tremendous pain of equalization.

We finished up the dive and headed back to our hotel where we showered and changed clothes then grabbed some dinner at the hotel restaurant and just relaxed. I had filet mignon, which they served to me without cooking it in the middle so I had to send it back. That was OK though because once it was properly cooked, it was delicious! It was the largest filet mignon I have ever seen so I got a good meal. Plus, I had a banana split for dinner. This was a rather decadent food evening for me.

Dad and I will head out tomorrow to Chankanaab Park, where we will relax and explore the park, take some pictures, and do some shopping. It's our last day on the island so we are making it an easy one.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cozumel - Day 4: Being Tested

Dad and I slept in a bit this morning and then headed to breakfast. We were both feeling a little nervous since we had to take the respective exams for our Scuba Diving certification. Mine was for certification in general, Dad's was more advanced. He was taking a Nitrox course. We studied a little bit at the table and then headed over to take the tests. We both passed! I am officially certified as a scuba diver now!!

After the test, we hung out in our rooms for a bit and then headed over to swim with the dolphins! I had done it twice before, but Dad had never done it. We were the only two people signed up for that time slot so we got a lot of attention from the dolphin crew. So much fun! We got a DVD and some pictures of our swim. The photo to the right is Dad with one of the dolphins.

By the time we were done swimming with the dolphins, we were hungry so we walked to Palmeras, one of our favorite restaurants. We both had BBQ chicken and it was delicious! I splurged and had a brownie with ice cream and whipped cream on top. SO GOOD! We decided to take a cab back to the hotel because I still had my wet swimsuit on and I wasn't wearing shoes that were conducive to the long walk back. 

Tomorrow, we will sleep late and then have a leisurely breakfast before heading out on two dives. We will be seeing a reef and an airplane wreck site. I am so excited as these will be my first outings as a certified scuba diver. I've been on dives before as part of my training, but now I don't have to worry about the training, I can just enjoy it. Can't wait!

This time with my father in Cozumel has been wonderful. I cannot express how blessed I feel to have a father who parents me when I need it, but is always my friend too. Love my Dad!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cozumel - Day 3: Scuba Girl

Sunday
Today, Dad and I rose bright and early to have breakfast at 7 a.m. After breakfast, we headed upstairs to suit up for the morning of diving we had planned. Wet suits and gear ready, we headed downstairs to the dive shop where we waited for the dive master and boat crew to arrive. I laid in the hammock on the beach for a few minutes, which was very relaxing.

Once the crew arrived, things kicked into high gear and we got on the boat along with 9 other people who were also diving. We rode in the boat out to the dive site. The ride took a long time and I closed my eyes, feeling the breeze, and enjoying the moment. Finally, we were at the dive site. I am completing my scuba diving certification so the dive master gave me instructions for the two tests I would need to do in the water and then it was time to go under the waves! 

We began descending. This is not my favorite part of the dive because it is incredibly painful for me. My ears have a hard time with the pressure and the pain is incredible. It literally makes me want to cry. That lasts for about a minute or so and then my ears equalize and I am OK. I got through the pain and completed my two training exercises. Then, it was time to just enjoy the dive. Dad and I took some pictures with a disposable underwater camera. I will get those developed when I return to Houston. We are hoping they come out well because we took some fun shots. We were about 60 feet down. It is so neat to be under the water, looking at the fish, seeing the coral and the life within the ocean. We saw a turtle floating and it was an amazing site!

After that dive, we headed back to the boat. I rubbed my eye to get the water out of my face and my contact lens popped out of my eye. I put it back in right there in the water. It's a talent, what can I say? LOL! I got on the boat and we collected the other divers and then headed to our second dive sight. I spent a good portion of that ride talking to a woman from Yakima, Washington. Since I am originally from Oregon, I always like to chat with the Pacific Northwesterners. There was also a guy on the boat who was from Eugene, Oregon, home to University of Oregon, my alma mater. You just never know who you're going to meet in foreign countries!

At the second dive site, I put on my BCD and it kept inflating and deflating on its own. Very mysterious. It was squeezing the life out of me on the boat. Once I was in the water, it was no problem. Not sure what was going on there as that should not happen. Anyway, the second dive was all about enjoying the scenery because I was done with my training tasks. It was a fun dive with more interesting ocean life to view.

The second dive was the last one of the day. Dad and I were dropped off at our hotel dock and we rinsed our equipment then headed to our rooms for much needed showers and a small nap. We then headed out to Casa Denis, where the best fajitas in the world are served! Dinner was excellent. We walked around the town square, did a little shopping, and then headed to a wonderful little ice cream shop. We went back to the square from there and enjoyed the Sunday night festival the town holds. Some nice music was playing and a gentle breeze was blowing. The perfect ending to a perfect day! Now back at the hotel and getting ready for tomorrow, which will include the scuba diving test I have to take and swimming with the dolphins! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cozumel - Day 1/2: Arrival

Hello from Cozumel, Mexico! Dad and I arrived here on Friday morning. We settled in our rooms and then headed to the dive shop (Babieca Dive Center) at the El Cid, where we always stay. We got my scuba diving certification class scheduled and Dad's Nitrox class scheduled and then we headed to the hotel restaurant for a leisurely lunch. We spent the rest of the day/evening at the hotel just hanging out and reading our manuals for our classes.

SATURDAY
We started the day early with breakfast at 7 a.m. We hung around and chatted until 8:30 or so and then I got ready for my first scuba diving class at 9. I was the only student in the class and I learned about the equipment and how to make sure it's put together and in working order. Then, we moved to the swimming pool to practice some of the things I needed to know. I had a hard time clearing my mask and took in a lot of chlorine as well as did a lot of coughing. But, the instructor was patient and I finally got the hang of it. 

We then moved to the ocean. Cozumel water is so incredibly beautiful, it's a blue color that I cannot do justice to with words. I practiced some of the things I had learned in the pool and swam around looking at stuff. It was interesting and fun! Dad showed up and we sat with the instructor on the beach and learned to use the dive tables. Then Dad did a shore dive while I snorkeled.

After that, we took a walk into town and had Subway sandwiches. We walked back to our hotel from town. The walk to/from town took about 35-40 minutes each way. It was a nice walk with a cool breeze blowing. Dad and I chatted about this and that. Upon our return to the hotel, we had a fruit plate for dessert in the hotel restaurant. The fruit plates are AMAZING! They have all kinds of different fruit - banana, watermelon, mango, plums and they come with a scoop of lime sherbet ice cream. A perfect after dinner treat. 

We headed up to our rooms and Dad hung out with me for awhile looking at different things on the computer. Then the chocolate lady showed up. This woman works for the hotel and delivers chocolate around 7 p.m. every night. Yesterday, it was Hershey's Almond Kisses. Tonight it was not chocolate, but rather peanut butter circles. They were good, but when you're expecting chocolate, it's a disappointment not to get it. SO...we headed to the hotel shop and bought some chocolate. There's just no substitute people!

Tomorrow, Dad and I will continue with our classes in the morning and will go out on two deeper dives. We will likely be diving about 60 feet. My ears really, really dislike the water pressure. It's extraordinarily painful, but I keep working at equalizing and of course, that helps.

More reports from the vacation front tomorrow. Have a great night everyone!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cold, Cozumel, Clear Water

I have a cold. I hate having a cold. I can handle natural disasters  and death. I am good in a crisis. I come through for anyone, anytime no matter what is going on. But if I have a cold or the flu, I shut down. I whine, I complain, I moan. I hate the way it just completely stops my life because I can't breathe and I feel so exhausted. 

The upside to it all is that I got the cold now, which means that in a few days I will be feeling much better. This is a good thing because in a few days, I will be in Cozumel, Mexico once again!! I am SO excited! My Dad and I are heading south once more for a few days of rest and relaxation in one of our favorite travel destinations. This is the third time we've been this year (previously went in May and August) and this will be my sixth time there total. I went once in 2004 when I stayed for 7 days, twice on cruises in 2008 when I was there for just one day, and then the previous two times this year when I stayed for several days. I love Cozumel! I don't know what it is about that place, but it's one of my very favorite cities. It's so laid back and relaxing. The water is an unbelievable color, so blue and refreshing. 

I will be getting certified as a scuba diver. My father was certified earlier this year and will take some advanced courses while we're there. We're also going to go horseback riding and swim with the dolphins. We're both really looking forward to diving together and having fun. I love my Dad and I am so blessed that in my adulthood, we are not only father/daughter, but also friends. We love hanging out together. The same is true for my mother and me. I am grateful for that.

I'll be sending regular blog reports from Cozumel just like I did last time so for all those who want to know the goings-on down south, you can read all about it here!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Random Continuation

Continuing with the random thoughts because I am just feeling random these days:

I sometimes wonder how porn stars answer the question "What do you do?" I think the most succinct answer there would be "Everyone."

I've recently come across a couple of products that I think are awesome so I am going to share these finds with all of you:


1. Degree Deodorant Motion Sense. My gym was giving out free travel-sized samples of this. I took one home and tried it. Wow, this stuff really works. I took it with me to Cozumel and it kept working even after I walked miles in the humidity and general heat. 


2. Skintimate Shaving Gel Signature Scents. This stuff is great because I never cut myself when I use it and it smells terrific.


I recently found a great documentary site. I love documentaries and I am always thrilled when I can watch them for free online. The site is Documentary Storm. I am currently watching a documentary about Body Dysmorphia - Voluntary Amputation. It's about people who are perfectly healthy, but believe their leg(s) do not belong on their body and they want to have them amputated. Interesting stuff particularly for me as a psychology nut...so to speak. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Complete and Total Randomness

So the purging/donating has continued and I have made some great progress at shedding a whole lot of stuff that does not fit my life in more ways than one. Score one for me!

Amanda Knox was released from prison this week. I think that was the right decision. I find it sad that she will never again be able to enjoy Olive Garden without suffering from PTSD. I don't get why people called her "Foxy Knoxy." She's not ugly, but I'm not seeing the "foxy" thing either. She seems like a regular girl to me in terms of looks. Not ugly, not foxy. Just normal.

This evening, I was lying in bed getting ready for a short nap and it hit me just how hard it is when you really miss someone, but can't see them for awhile. I hate that feeling.

I always think it's really weird on TV shows and such when women whose husbands are cheating on them confront the mistress and/or kill the other woman (see Murder, She Wrote; several episodes of Snapped, etc.). Really? The other woman is not your problem ladies, your problem is the cheating husband. If you're going to kill someone, kill him. LOL!

I don't understand people on Facebook who have to turn a joke post into something serious. For example, I once posted something making fun of customers who are dumb and said something like "My friends who work in customer service will appreciate this." And someone came along and posted a huge missive about how customer service people can sometimes suck too, etc. Geeze people, just let the joke be a joke and move on, OK?

On the same note, I don't understand people who must post on Facebook on topics where their opinion is not wanted or necessary. The example here would be someone who is posting a Christian verse and one of their atheist friends comes along and starts to argue the merits of said verse. 

This works in reverse as well. It's not necessary for Christian friends (or insert whatever belief system, opinion, etc. here) to try and convince atheists that they are wrong for their beliefs. The Christian verse and/or atheist discussion does not need to be infiltrated by those who disagree. Let your friends have their belief systems (or non-belief systems) or whatever. It's really OK for someone to think differently than you do and it is really OK not to comment on it. People seem to have this desperate need to defend their beliefs even when it isn't necessary or warranted. Get some self-esteem, be OK with believing in your own stuff and MOVE ON!

That's it for now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ruthless Donating


Lately, I have been on a purge and donate kick. I just cannot stand having so much stuff anymore. It's useless to me if it's sitting in a box buried in a closet or even if it's out in the open, but not being used. Thus, I decided that it was time to be ruthless and begin purging and donating.


I started with clothes. I am not a clothes horse, I never have been. I am a jeans and T-shirt girl. Still, I could not believe all the clothing I owned. It is totally ridiculous for one person to own that many night shirts, T-shirts, belts that I haven't worn in who knows how long, shoes that I will never wear, and so on. I filled a large Rubbermaid bin with clothes as well as a few other miscellaneous items, but mostly clothes. It felt SO good to get rid of the things that I am not ever going to use. 

That was last week. This week, I am working on my books. I am an avid reader and I always have been. I cannot remember a time when I didn't love books and didn't own several shelves full of them. But again, this is an area where it was time to be ruthless. I sorted through the books putting a few in the donation pile and selling some on Amazon.com or half.com. I listed others on paperbackswap.com or bookmooch.com. I've already gotten rid of several books using those sites. 

I still have some books to sort through and that will be a project for the morning. I will also begin sorting through some miscellaneous items I have that are small, but need to be pared down. I am loving the new, free feeling I am getting from all of this purging/donating.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meme - Random

Stolen from Maria who stole it from Jason:

1. Using what's in your fridge right now, what sort of meal would you be able to make for guests who are knocking on your door this very minute?

Probably scrambled eggs with cheese or omelets, although the guests would have to make it themselves since I am not a cook by any stretch of the imagination. Even simple cuisine is beyond my skill level.

2. What is something about yourself that you hope you will change but probably never will?
My inability to have a normal relationship with food. I was never taught the principles of good nutrition when I was a child. My mother has been overweight my entire life and food was always a source of comfort. I am now trying to learn to eat for life sustainability and not pleasure/comfort. Not an easy task.

3. What is something about yourself that you hope will never change?
My love of learning. I am a very curious person and I enjoy reading, watching documentaries, and learning new things about a variety of subjects. I hope that love of knowledge will never change.


4. Do you usually send serious or funny greeting cards. Why?
It depends on the person. I will give funny cards to those who I know could use a laugh and/or have a sense of humor that appreciates such cards. I send serious ones to those who need the comfort or joy that a serious card can bring. It really is very person specific.

5. Bird watching, shell gathering or star gazing--your choice for whiling away the hours.
Shell gathering is something I miss. I used to live a very short walk from the Pacific Ocean and I remember gathering neat looking shells on the shore while listening to the waves.

6. Do you double or triple check things? If so, what?
I will double check to make sure I turned off the dryer before leaving the house. I have a thing about the dryer being on when I am not here (the washer too, actually). I also double check locks occasionally, but not that often.

7. What's your favorite place for people watching?
Airports. People from all over the world going to places all over the world are very interesting to see.

8. Insert your own random thoughts here:
I am grateful to live in a first-world country where medical care and the luxury items of life are readily available anytime. It does not escape me that I am lucky and blessed to
have the life that I have.

Anyone wanna try this one?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pass!

I PASSED THE NATIONAL COUNSELOR EXAMINATION (NCE)! 

The relief is unbelievable. I took the exam this afternoon and I must admit that I was concerned. This exam marks the very last time I will ever take a major licensing/academic test. I spent the last couple of weeks scared to death that I would not pass it. I studied hard in the last week or so and I really felt that I just wasn't going to be able to remember the things I needed to know. There was so much information. I had two classmates/friends who took it in August and they were both very helpful in suggesting study strategies and so on. Still, once you get into the exam room, it's just you and the test.

I did not sleep well last night. I even took a sleeping pill, but it did not help. It made me groggy, but not enough to sleep. The anxiety was overtaking sleep. I got up this morning and did some last minute studying. Then, I bought a Code Red Mountain Dew and began driving to the testing center, which was about 15 miles away. I drink Mountain Dew only once a month and today was the day for it. I arrived at the testing center and had to wait about 30 minutes before I could go in. I did some studying in the car and then, it was time.

The test is administered at H&R Block offices. I don't know why, but it is. Anyway, I sat down and began the exam. It is 200 multiple choice questions administered via computer. I did not know the answer definitively to the first several questions and I started to get concerned. Several more questions in and I was sure I was not going to pass. There were a lot of questions on Research and Statistics, which is my worst area so that was not helping. As I continued on in the exam, I realized that I did know the answer definitively to a lot of the questions so I started to have some hope. That hope went up and down as the exam went on. I was exhausted so that did not help matters.


Finally, I finished the questions and began to go back over the ones I had skipped because I was unsure of the answers. Upon the second glance at them, I realized that I was fairly certain of the answers. Even the Research and Statistics questions I had skipped were making sense. It pays to skip what you don't know and return to it later.

I decided to go through all my answers just to double check. About 20 questions in, I was so tired that I realized I wasn't going to make it through all of them so I gave it to God and pressed the button to end the exam. Once you do that, they force you to take a 15-question survey about the exam conditions before they will print your exam results. BASTARDS!! I am certain that qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. The results print out at a printer near the front and only the examinee is allowed to see them. I went up and collected my results. I was scared to death to turn it over to see what it said, but once I did and I saw that beautiful word, PASS, on the top...the relief was unreal!!

I have been in school for a very long time. I have two B.A. degrees, one M.A., and a J.D. (law degree). I relate this not to brag, but so you can understand why this exam was particularly poignant for me. It is the very last time I will ever take a school/licensing exam. That is a strange feeling because, with the exception of only a couple of years here and there, I have been preparing for exams since I was 17 years old. I am 35 now so given the years off from school now and again, that is nearly half my life. I am thrilled, relieved, and excited to truly be done. Since I was 17, I have taken:

1. SAT (college entrance exam)

2. Entrance exam for the professional journalism school at the University of Oregon.

3. LSAT (Law School Admission test)

4. MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam). This is the ethics portion of the bar exam, administered separately from the bar usually in the second year of law school.

5. The Bar Exam. That just speaks for itself.

6. Comprehensive exam for my M.A.

7. NCE (National Counselor Examination).

And folks...WE ARE DONE! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Corner of Blog Awesomeness and Bombdiggity

I want to highlight three of the blogs I follow because they are just so awesome they deserve to have everyone reading them. I follow some great blogs in general, but these three are really great and I think everyone should be reading them. Now, in no particular order, here are blogs you better be reading as soon as you finish this post:

First up, Thank, Q! If you're not reading Thank, Q you are missing out! His posts are thoughtful, funny, interesting, and always thought provoking. Head over and get caught up then thank me and Thank, Q!

Second, AmericanBridget(Jones). I just started reading this blog and it is great! I really enjoy her posts, particularly about the jungle that is the dating world.

Third, Fourth Grade Nothing. This blog is a recap of the author's memories of items and life through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Visiting this blog is like going back in time to the best years of life as a kid.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Desperately seeking...Cozumel?

Lately, I have found it rather interesting how people get to my blog. The terms they use to search that land them here are funny sometimes. I use Feedjit to monitor the traffic to my blog and people from all over the world are stopping by. Here are the most popular blog posts recently and some of the terms used to search that got people here:

1. By far, the most popular blog post is Hola Cozumel. People land on that one most often by searching for Cozumel and Cozumel images.

2. The second most popular blog is Keeping your own counsel or, in plain terms, SHUT UP! This one is most often found by a search for the term "Keep your own counsel."

3. Recently, this post has generated some interest: Clear Lake is a bit muddy. Someone in Missouri found that post by searching for "Clara Harris, Texas Dentist, Lisa, cheating woman."


I find it interesting that people from all over the world are randomly landing on my blog. I have had visitors from Macedonia, Italy, Germany, the UK, the U.S., Greece, Mexico, France, Hungary, India, and various other world locales. Thank you all for visiting my blog and please feel free to comment or come back anytime! I love hearing from people in different parts of the world and of course, from the U.S. too. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Documented!

I love learning new things. I know a little about a lot of eclectic things. One of the ways I learn things is by watching documentaries. I really enjoy documentaries on a variety of subjects. Lately, I've been watching quite a few documentaries on Netflix and I want to share some of the more interesting ones. I am sure I will have more at a later time, but for now here are four that I have recently enjoyed.

UNFORGOTTEN: 25 YEARS AFTER WILLOWBROOK:  An expose of the Willowbrook State School where developmentally delayed children were placed in New York. The school closed, but some of the wounds inflicted there never did. Watch this before Cropsey as Cropsey has a lot of connection with Willowbrook. This can be viewed on Hulu as well as Netflix.

CROPSEY: The story of children who were kidnapped and murdered in Staten Island, New York. A man by the name of Andre Rand was arrested for one of the murders and tried for another. This is a fascinating look at the crimes and the man who was accused of them.

THE VACCINE WAR:  An interesting view on both sides of the vaccine debate in America. People on both sides discuss the issues related to vaccinating children or not doing so and what that means for the families and the public at large.

THE MEDICATED CHILD: Psychiatric drugs are being prescribed to younger and younger children in large numbers. What does this mean for the children, for society, and for the pharmaceutical companies making these drugs?

Both The Vaccine War and The Medicated Child can be viewed on Frontline on PBS.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

7 Days on the Island - Part II

Continuing on with our Adventures in Cozumel:

Thursday - I actually got out of bed before 9 a.m. to have breakfast with Dad in preparation for our afternoon scuba trip. We then returned to our rooms where we both napped until around 11:30 and then I got ready for scuba diving. We headed down to the dock to get on the boat and met the people who would be accompanying us. They all seemed very nice. This was only my second time diving and it was quite an experience.

The dive master was really great and my Dad was on the dive of course so that helped too. We went down about 60 feet and I thought my head was going to explode with the pressure in my ears at some points. OUCH!! But then it equalized and everything was basically OK. Saw some great fish and wildlife in general, really neat stuff. Dad and the rest of the group did a second dive and I just hung around on the boat, reading, relaxing, and watching the water. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon. Dad and I then headed to Casa Denis where we had fajitas. It's our favorite place in Cozumel for fajitas. DELICIOUS!

We returned to the hotel and decided to book our final two excursions. We decided on an ATV ride through the jungle for Friday and parasailing on Saturday. We were both looking forward to these activities.

Friday: Dad and I had breakfast early and he did some paperwork for his advanced diving certification. I took a nap and we headed over to Margaritaville to meet the group doing the ATV rides. We took a taxi to the ATV place where I was introduced to Petra the Python who I put around my neck. She was quite friendly. There were also parrots, an eagle, and a lizard that we met before getting on the ATVs. 

Dad and I shared an ATV. We had decided prior to going that I would drive. Dad was a terrible backseat driver, but we had a lot of fun! The road we traveled down was full of dust, mud, and rocks, but it was quite a ride. We stopped at a cenote, which is a sacred Mayan sinkhole. We also saw some underground caves that the Mayans used when hurricanes would hit the island. It was very interesting.

After the ATV adventure, Dad and I headed into town where we collected two non-alcoholic margaritas at Margaritaville (they were free as part of the ATV tour package), did a little shopping and then went to Palmeras for dinner. I had steak and he had chicken. I love Palmeras and I try to eat there at least once when I am in Cozumel. Dad had never eaten there and he loved it too! We headed back to the hotel where I took a much needed shower and relaxed.

Saturday: We woke up and had an early breakfast and I took a nap before we headed down to the dock to wait for the parasailing crew. We had scheduled for 2 p.m. and by 2:30, we were a little concerned since the tour crews are almost never late. Finally, I went back to the room and called the company. They apologized and said the boat captain was on his way. The boat finally came at 3 p.m. and picked us up. We were with a group of six people. Two of them were a brother/sister duo who had been parasailing before. They went first and unfortunately, both of them got a bit of motion sickness. I felt badly for them because the boat captain would not take them back to their hotel dock. 

Finally, it was my turn to go and I must admit that I was scared. I have a huge fear of heights and I knew that I would be going up at least 100 feet so the prospect was frightening. But, I also think it's good for me to try and overcome my fear of heights so every few years I do something to spit in the face of the fear like parasailing or riding a roller coaster. 

They strapped me into the harness and away I went into the sky. IT WAS AMAZING!! I was not afraid at all, it was just a beautiful time in the sky, looking down at the water, feeling the breeze. My Dad went after I did and he really enjoyed it as well.

After parasailing, we made our way to Palmeras once again where we had a delicious dinner. We did a little shopping after that and then returned to the hotel. 

We leave tomorrow. I have had such an amazing time here in Cozumel as always and I cannot wait to return!