30 April, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012 5 year plan, Early Retirement, House Construction, Moving to Ecuador, Renovations 4 comments
As part of the 5 year plan, you may recall me mentioning that we needed to renovate our spare room. When we finished our addition and renovations, the spare room was the last room needing to be finished. Having ran out of steam from the other construction, we simply closed the door to the spare room and walked away…for 7 years and for the past 7 years, it has merely served as a storage room for misfit belongings.
Well, we began to remedy that situation this past weekend and the demolition has been completed. That had needed to be done for a long time and as much as I was dreading it, it feels good to know we are beyond the point of no return.
Obviously, the necessity of getting the house in tip-top selling shape (so we can retire comfortably) has been just the motivation we needed to move things along.
Let’s hope that by the end of May, all of the current mess will be a distant memory and we'll be moving onto the next project. Stay tuned…
27 April, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012 Bracelets, Five Year Plan, Flamingo Tongue, Handmade Jewelry, Necklaces, Philippines 2 comments
Sorry, but things have been too busy with my "back-up" plan to write about anything else, so I'm going to bore you with some of my latest Flamingo Tongue Design creations.
Ripples - Agate Necklace
Sunrise Surprise - Sediment Sea Jasper
Rebecca (this one was made for my niece - to wear with her wedding gown)
And a couple of purchases from the Philippines, which I plan on reselling on my website. Don't worry, I will disclose that they aren't my creations.
Primary Colors - Bracelet
Ahh, Nuts - Bracelet (natural color of the nuts)
Spiral Shell Bracelet
25 April, 2012
19 April, 2012
It’s Thursday and I’m beside myself with excitement. Why? Well, The Boy is finishing up with his last exam for the school year, which means:
The Top 10 Things that excite me about The Boy being done school for the summer…
10. No more early mornings.
9. No more late nights.
8. No more having to hear how “STUPID” his professors are.
7. No more cranky people in my car, except me.
6. No more trash in my car that is not mine.
5. Once again, I’ll be able to listen to whatever music I choose.
4. Once again, I’ll be able to sing off key to said music.
3. No more having to hear his ringtone for text notifications.
2. No more stops alongside the road because The Boy downed a whole bottle of Gatorade and cannot possibly wait until we get home.
And the #1 thing that excites me about The Boy being done school for the summer…
1.My car will no longer smell like “boy” (aka stinky sneakers and stale farts).
PLEASE NOTE: I love him to death, I just need a little time to make my heart grow fonder.
17 April, 2012
First let me say, I do not poke fun at minorities, people with disabilities, those less fortunate, BUT I do have a sense of humor and I found this photo to be extremely chuckle provoking. Hell, I laugh at myself more times than I laugh at others.
The Boy actually sent it to me a few months ago and I completely forgot it was in my e-mail until today, so here it is...
16 April, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012 5 year plan, Early Retirement, Ecuador, Flamingo Tongue, Handmade Jewelry, Moving to Ecuador 4 comments
Life is slowly getting back to normal and my regular sleep habits are returning after this latest adventure. I’m also less grumpy, although my family would likely dispute that statement.
J has started to weed through some of his hundreds of photos – both above and below the water’s surface, so hopefully he’ll have something to share with you in the next week or so. I also hope to share some more of my photos with you. The difference between J’s photos and mine? J’s photos are good, artistic and well-thought out, whereas mine reflect mindless, juvenile enjoyment of the moment at hand. I take photos for the sake of taking photos…no thought, no process and looking back, most of the time I couldn’t tell you what I was trying to capture. My photos are like my life…random.
I do have some news about Flamingo Tongue Designs (aka the backup plan). My sales last week where phenomenal and I received my first wholesale order from a Canadian artist for her gallery/shop. Let’s hope the first wholesale order leads to many more. Now, I have to get back to designing and creating more pieces because right now, my sales are outpacing my creativity.
Speaking of creativity, I bought a bunch of pendants and jewelry pieces while I was in the Philippines. I was able to find some unique pieces, which I hope to turn into my own form of masterpieces. I was also pleasantly surprised to find and collect a bunch of sea glass. Actually, everyone in our group knew I collected glass, so by the end of the week, they were also collecting and depositing glass on the table outside of our room. By the end of the week, collectively, we had beach combed over 4 lbs worth of sea glass. I even managed to collect a bunch of pieces on a couple of our “muck” dives - call me resourceful...
J and I are still researching and fine tuning our 5 year plan. We have started to purchase items and get ready for the impending house to-do list and spare room renovations. Hopefully, they will be in full swing by the end of the month. We also have a better idea of how we plan on funding our lifestyle once we arrive (more on that later).
Let me tell you this…it was extremely difficult not to share our 5 year plan with our friends when we were on vacation. More times than once during our two weeks away, the conversation would turn to “wouldn’t it be nice, if you could live the beach lifestyle all of the time” or “If I could move tomorrow, I would.” J and I would simply smile at each other and respond…”Yeah, maybe someday that dream can come true”. Little do they know…
12 April, 2012
I don’t know a better way to explain it, but I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed by life at the moment. Perhaps it’s the fact that reality is setting in again and I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m not actually an international jet-setter, living the high life of luxury in exotic places around the globe.
Since getting back, I’m having a hard time adjusting. My sleep patterns are off, my eating patterns are off, my thought processes are off, work makes me want to jam a fork in my eye on a daily basis. In order to avoid the overwhelming urge of throwing office products, spewing profanities and screaming “you want a piece of me” at my co-workers, I have to sit in my office with the door close and try not to make eye contact when anyone walks by. It’s bad.
I have plenty to be thankful for, but I’m not feeling any love at the moment. Instead I’m feeling bitter and resentful. To what? I have no idea – I just am.
I think I need some time to regroup and get my act together, but that’s not feasible since I just had a vacation. I’m just not myself, nor to my dismay, am I an international jet-setter. So with that said, I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up and deal with it.
Stay tuned (or else)….this too shall pass.
11 April, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 Atlantis Dive Resorts, Philippines, Scuba Diving, Travel Adventure 4 comments
Well, we've been back over a week now and all I can say is that it feels like we were never away. So before I completely forget about the trip, let's get started...
Let’s start by telling you a little bit about where we stayed in the Philippines. Our first stop was the island of Negros, Philippines and on this island, we stayed at a beautiful resort called Atlantis Dive Resort. From the moment we were greeted at the airport by our hosts, we knew we were in for a treat.
Every detail of our stay was beyond our expectations. The resort was clean and comfortable. The staff were over-the-top attentive and they knew our names by the second day. This is not a tiny resort, so memorizing all the guest’s names should be commended. A personalized greeting goes a long way to making you feel welcome and at home.
Gloria - She Was The Best !!!
The food was 5+ star to say the least. It’s a miracle I did not gain any weight while we were here, but I guess having the ability to dive up to 5 times a day helped work off some of the breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. The lack of weight gain is still surprising to me because, we were even provided treats in between dives. Ahhh, life was good.
The diving was good, but in all honesty not the best I’ve experienced. What we experienced was called “muck diving” and the main difference with muck diving is the lack of coral reefs. With muck diving, there’s still a lot of things to look at – just different things that like to camouflage themselves in the muck and coral rubble – mantis shrimp, sand divers, banded sea snakes, ribbon eels, crabs and nudibranchs. It’s not to say that it was bad – just different from other places we have been. We did do a few days of diving, where colorful coral reefs were plentiful, so all was not lost in the muck. Call me silly, but I prefer a sensory overload versus having to hunt for my viewing pleasure. Like I said – overall the diving was not bad, just different and let’s face it – it still beats diving in Canada.
Small Dive Boats
I would certainly recommend Atlantis Dive Resort to anyone that's looking to head to the Philippines - not just divers. It exceeded our expecations and I'm sure it would yours too.
04 April, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 Airplanes, Birthdays, Holidays, jet lag, Travel, Travel Adventure, Vacations 4 comments
People say – “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
I say – “Absence makes you wonder why you didn’t stay away longer.”
Yes, I’m back. It’s good to be home, but it’s not so good to be back at work and back to reality. Reality is overrated. I know, I know...enough of my bemoaning the fact that my vacation is over.
We arrived home late in the evening on my birthday, March 31st. We left the Philippines on my birthday. I had two whole days of birthdays thanks to the International Date Line. It was the longest birthday of my life, but thank goodness, I didn’t age twice. That would NOT have been cool.
This time around, jet lag caught up to me with a vengeance. It’s now Wednesday, April 04, 2012 and I’m just starting to function again. Thank goodness it’s a short work week – Good Friday is a Godsend (pardon that horrible pun).
I hope to finally get some pictures downloaded from my camera tonight and put together some thoughts from our trip, which I hope to share with you soon. I will say this - it wasn’t dull. There was some drama, some adventure, some discovery, some chaos and lots of laughs.