balcony scenes

My apologies on such sporatic posts on this weeks Mediterranean's theme. We've been having many technological difficulties, as well as, a crazy kid week over here. We're still dreaming of Europe, however, no word on our orders. But until those come we will always have these...

a beautiful by product of mediterranean living...not all balconies are created equal.

roman planter
rome, italy

florence, italy
florence, italy

barcelona, spain 
nice, france
nice, france

Barcelona, Spain
Guadi's home

Palermo, Italy

Palermo, Italy

Nice, France


Villefranche, France
My favorite of the series. This one really tells a story. You can only imagine what the girls on the top balcony are saying, what the man on the steps is thinking, what the lady in the cafe is ordering and everyone loves line dried bed sheets... priceless.


happy anniversary

lizabee & co. turns 1 today. 
i'm so proud...YeA, me for keeping up with it and if you know me, personally, you know that i get bored easily. somehow my interests have been kept.
perhaps, it's all those who have commented, visited and inspired me along the way. Over 5000 hits....Thank you!
we took this picture on the med cruise while celebrating our 10th anniversary. isn't he dreamy
if you're wondering where we kept the kiddos, they're with grandma, except the baby. She's still in the oven. 


postcards from abroad

day two of mediterranean week, 
the blue series

blue postcards
calanques de cassis, france
taken on a boat tour that ships out of villefranche.

blue postcards
wonder girl, age2, outside seaside shops in porto rotondo, italy.

as the wife of a submariner, you get a lot of correspondence and phone calls from the mediterranean. my favorite phone call home was during military man's first med run. we were living in virginia, beach at the time. it was late in the evening, sometime in the spring, i think (it's been over ten years since the first one) and it was a hard day at work for me and a typical slushy april. i was teaching high school spanish at the time. so, i get a ring from my prince charming...

after, the initial i miss you's and i love you's, the conversation went something like this...

mm: "cookie, i miss you...i wish you were here."
me:  " aw, me, too. how are you guys? are you all right? where are you guys, now."
mm:  "we're in the most AWESOME place. it's called st. tropez. have you ever heard of it?"
me:  [jaw to the floor] "what do you think, i was born under a rock or something!....*&%$!!!!"

yes, one mustn't feel, too, sorry for the boys in blue under the sea. when they come up for air they occasionally have the privilege of visiting places like this. 

blue postcards
porto rotondo & porto cerbo, respectively.

blue postcards
la madalena

blue postcards

nice, france

fast forward 14 years later....military man wanted our family med cruise to include some of the places he visited while in the tube. he kept telling me he wanted to take me to the places he sailed through before and, to say "i am glad we made it," would fall short for how i feel about the whole experience. it was absolutely breathtaking. most of the time i was speechless. i was surrounding by so much beauty and understand why so many come back. still, can't feel too sorry for him, except for the sleeping arrangements and the time away from the family...six months is a long time.


a teaching moment

remember, when i was on a photo enlargement rampage. well...if you're wondering how the images grew here are the steps.  first, i upload my pictures to flickr. i have become a flickr fanatic. love the stuff! it provides me to a direct link to my pictures. many photo sites do just find the one that's right for you.   now, instead of uploading my pictures through blogger, i simply choose a different size from my flickr photostream and change the width to "400" and height to "600" for pictures in a portrait layout or "450" width and "325" height for landscape mode.  to find the different sizes on flickr, you have to click on your picture and on the top of it you will see a tab called "all sizes." click on that.  this will give you many options  and the appropriate direct link or html code. just pick one and plug in the numbers that i gave you earlier.  lastly, i copy and paste the direct link to my new post.  it's just that easy...really. hope this was clear. let me know if you need more help.  good luck! post script: Since the inception of new blogger, I no longer go through this process.

mediterranean doors

I promised another theme week and this one is all my own. since, erin over at house on hill road finished yellow week and has moved on to her sewing projects. as lovely as they are, and i do sew, i will not be previewing my lovely notions or textile projects. oh, no, no, no...instead, i will be giving you mediterranean week.

a move in the beehive is pending and our detailer is still working on military man's orders. from what we've been told the world is at our disposal but not our current duty station and we are having mediterranean dreams. our last real vacation was on a med cruise and would love to be back on a full-time basis, who wouldn't? i would love to see more pictures of europe so that we can dream together and give us some more options when our detailer asks us where we would like to go. please join in on my flickr group, stationed abroad, and once you join in, drop me comment so that i can add your link.

so, here goes...my french door series.
what's behind french door #1...

villefranche, france

this one is timeless, n'est pas?

door #2
my absolute favorite of this series. this door is iconic europe...aged and with character.

villefranche, france

door #3
a french door taken quickly on a trolley tour through nice.

french door

door #4
also taken on the same trolley tour through nice. the graffiti on this door gives this an urban chic laissez-faire feel. so, french.


door #5
this is last door taken from the same "nice" tour. i was, obviously, on a door kick.


door #6
this petite shop out of villefranche, a quaint little seaside town in france, was closed when we returned from our boat tour. we took a relaxing tour from this ville that took our breath away. there will be more posts of this town later this week; it was our favorite place on the french mediterranean....extremely laid back and low-key.

french door

au revoir, mes amis!


i interrupt the yellow week with a Giveaway

i've been a busy blogger and net surfer the last few days. guess, i'm just missing the mr., see you home soon, mi amor.

i stumbled upon a sweet site powered by susie, a girl who happens to be from a small town near and dear to me in south florida...jupiter to be exact. i lived in juno (yes, it is a town), graduated from the neighboring high school. even though, i lived there only two years of my life with dad, i can't get it out of my heart. it has such a low-key atmosphere that has gotten under my skin. me and the mister talk about moving back there someday, we'll see. we just love it and the family would be very close.

well, back to the giveaway...this great girl is giving away these cute little signs with a verse of your choice. if you're a little bit preppy or know someone who would love these, check her work out. it's rather darling.


yellow #5

good morning...how about some milk with that cereal?
these are two cereals that as a kid i never ate. my kids love them. in fact, the only cereal that i had as a kid was frosted flakes or cocoa crispies. it must be a cultural thing. i almost felt sorry for my non-cuban friends when i heard what they ate for breakfast. not many moms would give their children a small shot of espresso in their milk right before school. i will confess that i have been serving cafe con leche more regularly for boy wonder, lately. i can't help it, it feels like home to me. 

a typical breakfast consisted of cafe con leche with buttered toast or cuban bread. my grandmother would also make this fabulous version of french toast with stale cuban bread that was to die for. i'll have to come up with that recipe again. she never wrote anything down, in fact, i was never officially taught how to measure out the ingredients for our traditional cuban meals. everything was done to taste and a simple cupping of the hand or a certain wave of the wrist would ensure the perfect taste every time. 

oooooh, i can taste my grandmother's cafe con leche and abuelo's fresh bread from the bakery. i still haven't been able to replicate the exact taste, but, i have come very close to it. abuelo worked in several bakeries when he migrated from cuba but my favorite was tulipan bakery. he would always bring fresh bread and pastries home for us. ay, i'm hungry, now and with the closest cuban bakery about twenty miles from home. 

i'm off shopping for bread. have a fine day!


yellow #4

whenever i volunteer in wonder boy's class, i get jealouse when i see the smart boards on the walls. oh, would i have loved to have a smart board when i taught high school, however, looking back it was special to go to the teacher's board and be allowed to write on them.

yellow #4

Who remembers banging the erasers? It was fun banging on a friends head as a practical joke, or seeing the dust settle, or even throw them at each other. I even had a teacher throw them at a student to get his attention. Then there was cleaning duty at the end of each week. i can close my eyes and see a classmate with a bucket and sponge in hand making straight vertical lines from left to right until the board was squeaky clean. a clean slate...ready for a new weeks worth of exercises and sentences.

honestly, this things were messy, but the child in me always loved to be at the blackboard.

yellow week, day three

aloha everyone.


i just couldn't resist the cheerful hello from this bright little sun. i'm really loving shooting on a mission. maybe i should do this for a living. military man would love that! now, i'm looking forward for the other colors of the rainbow. if erin doesn't continue with the rest of the colors, i think i will. stay tuned for next week's mission. 

have a fine day.


Yellow week -- day one & two

i've been a fan of house on hill road for some time and loved the fact that she challenged her readers to a photo safaris. this week was to find all things yellow. these were taken recently at the state fair.

look closely at the top. wonder girl is in an adorable pink dress waiting her turn to ride the huge slide with her daddy. she had the happiest grin all the way down.

state fair

i just love how her silhouette shows through in the bubble of the second slide.

state fair
hope this brought some sunshine to your day.


i {heart} valentines

We just came back from a great and unplanned trip to amelia island. the best trips are the spontaneous ones, as far as i'm concerned. i {heart} valentines Noel was the acting captain on the sub and had to stay local which means that mad mommy packed at the end of the week (friday to be exact) to be able to leave on saturday afternoon. realistically, the packing led into saturday and we left early saturday evening after a day of soccer, ballet and little league baseball opening ceremonies. it was touch and go. i almost didn't make it. however, boy wonder came to the rescue when he dragged one of our stools to the kitchen sink so that he could help me with the dirty dishes. he wanted so badly to see his daddy. needless to say, i pulled it all together and got everything packed and off we went to our favorite place in north florida....amelia island plantation. it was absolutely fabulous. it is more than a resort it is a community. the resort community is spread out over hundreds of acres with a golf course, walk and bike trails, spa, restaurants, shops, and vacation homes & rentals on the beach. if you ever make it to the spa, ask for jordan...she is absolutely the best. my biggest mistake this time around was forgetting to ask for her. someone else did my massage and it was not the same experience...a bit unpleasant. apparently, she was a part-timer and only called when they are over booked. i made sure to let them know i was not satisfied this time around and guess what...they comped the service. "ask and you shall receive," is my new motto. when i walked into the door of our room, i was greeted with this sweet arrangement. the sign i added later. however, the first place i ran to and locked the door was the shower. i let the water soak up a week's worth of exhaustion. once, relaxed and refreshed, i soaked in the beauty of the place. and the kitchen, which, was slightly used because we had a fair share of room service and meals out on the property. As you can see i really loved the place and loved it even more because it was free of clutter, toys and folded laundry on the counters. I'm looking forward to stay in the same room for our next visit. we, also, decided to rent bikes this weekend and trekked for miles. It was exhausting, fun and frustrating all at once. The trails were winding and hilly under these beautiful oak trees. The bike paths lead us through the golf courses, the amelia river and the ocean. once we worked up an appetite, the local deli had a hearty lunch waiting for us, then, we made a tearful goodbye. We hated to leave him, especially, after this great little surprise getaway. This was our first stop on day one of our biking adventure. there were only two days of cycling through the wooded trails, which is good for this inexperienced cycler. He such a gentleman even with walking stick in hand. Noel was having so much fun that he allowed himself a little shadow...i liked the rugged look.

Wonder girl loved her lunch of applesauce, crackers and chocolate ice cream. I think it was the ice cream that made her so happy. I {heart} valentines Lucy...as sassy as ever. I was trying to get boy wonder to smile but got a funny face, instead. he was tired and not looking forward to leave his dad. goodbye amelia island plantation...tomorrow is another day!


in memory of

in memory of

to the families of those who died 
due to complications of Continental Connection Flight 3407.

our thoughts and prayers are with you today. 

As only New Yorkers know, 
if you can get through the twilight,
you'll live through the night.
- Dorothy Parker

I wanted a perfect ending.
Now I've learned, the hard way,
that some poems don't rhyme,
and some stories don't have a clear beginning,
middle and end.
Life is about not knowing, 
having to change,
taking the moment and making the best of it,
without knowing what's going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.
-Gilda Radner


you can fly

there's a great video clip on LeSophie's post that i urge you to watch. thanks S., this continues to be shared.

how many of you show up and your genius is nowhere to be found? or how many times have you found yourself at a crossroad? the first happens to me frequently or it catches me at the most inopportune time without a pen or camera to catch the moment. and this crossroads i'm standing at has a bright blinking yellow light...proceed with caution. it's been blinking for some time now and i have been motionless not quite sure which road to take. but thanks to all that have inspired me and most of all the source from up above,  i have found my genius. 

the question, "what am i going to be when i grow up?" has come up numerous times at an earlier stage of my life. now, that i'm a grown-up the question seems peter panish, juvenile and out of date. for the most part, i have accomplished what i have set out to do and have seized many opportunities, however, now it's a question of "what am i going to do for the rest of my life?"  it's as daunting as the first question uttered in my twenties...utterly, overwhelming. the whole world is at my disposal again, but, (and here's the but) practicality outweighs abandon. one must remember those that rely on us.

so, i encourage you to find your genius and fill your life with purpose as creatively as possible. 


on the radio

one thing i remember of my childhood was cleaning with mom on the weekends. however, it wasn't just any old boring saturday with a dust rag in one hand and a bottle of pledge in the other. it was dusting to disco. 

my mother was a child bride and working single mother, so, disco played in the background while we were doing our chores. our intermission involved learning some disco moves while mom was perfecting her style for that evening's night at the marrakesh, a local hot spot. dusting to disco was fun and made the mundane less painful. 

now, my children probably won't have many memories of cleaning on saturday mornings because i vowed that all cleaning and household duties will be done during the week. however, often, times i wonder...what will they remember?


Frosty Morning

{ 24 } frosty morning
So, i thought the sprinklers were on this morning when i saw the frozen water drops perfectly arched on our screeened lanai. Florida's versions of icicles. This is the typical of the weather here. We'll be warm and frost free for weeks ahead. Thanks goodness and please keep warm.


this is a test post...check back in a little while

{ 15 } concert by the bay

under construction for a little bit. i'm playing with codes, again. now, i'm obsessed with enlarging my photos. i'm almost there!


fourth annual blogger {silent} poetry reading

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay
-Robert Frost

i think of this poem more often, now, that i have children. it used mark each of my milestones. now, it marks each one of my children's milestones. they are turning a darker shade of green with each little triumph and birthday. 


Happy Birthday, Nina

first cake

I love to take close ups of her. She seems to be saying something to me with those eyes. And, who can resist those cheeks...yummy!