Jamaica Mountains

On Thursday (the 18th) there was a power outtage in the morning. Yves had warned me this might happen and I was familiar with it from hearing about it from my in-laws. It was quite windy with a bit of rain the night before and during the early hours of the morning. Yves knew it went out because he heard the neighbor’s powerful generator come on. I wasn’t bothered by it at all. It was hard to be bothered by it when it was a bright sunny morning. If it would have happened at night, it would have been a bit spooky! Of course, if this happened at home, I’d be pissed! My father in law started the generator (after some initial trouble) and was able to plug the refrigerator in. Rema, their housekeeper, came in early to make us some johnnycakes. YUM! (I might give the recipe a try! They tasted just as good without butter as they did with butter!jamjohnnycakesblog.jpg
Rema’s Johnnycakes!

Gaby eats a sausage!
Sienna’s chatting with Gaby
A tired Gaby with Rema

We decided to head over to the neighbor’s yard because they have a swing and slide set for the girls. Their kids are a bit older but told my mother in law that they were welcome to come over and use the set at anytime. Sienna was quite happy about that!
Trying to coordinate double swinging unsuccessfully!
The 2nd or 3rd rainbow seen so far on the trip!

In the afternoon, we went for another little walk in search of a cow we heard the other day. The walk was not as steep as the first day. It was a nice walk and got to see the sunset. We didn’t find any cows though but did see some roosters.

Yves holding a tired Gaby!

Jamaica, the beach!


Wednesday we went to the beach called Hellshire, a locals beach, no tourists at all and JP met us there. It’s about an hour from Kingston and since it takes almost an hour to get down the mountain, it was about a 2 hour ride to the beach. And since we were only visiting for a week, we only got a chance to go once. It’s a beach the family has been going to for years and they always go to Shorty’s Joint. The beach has a bunch of shacks that people make food in and they have wooden lounges in front. Shorty’s was the one we went to. We had fried fish, festival (a fried dough) and bammy’s. YUM! (Although I got a fish bone stabbed into my gums relatively early, I still enjoyed the fish!)

photo by Shuggy

While waiting for our lunch, my father in law enjoyed some fresh raw oysters. There were various people walking around trying to sell stuff to people. Such as horse rides, fresh lobster (any of the shacks will cook it up for you), fresh oysters and massages (!). The rest of us enjoyed the wonderful, warm, blue water. Sienna loved it and would not stop laughing or smiling. The water was a tad rough but wonderful all the same. Sienna went in quite a few times and I know I probably could have stayed in it all day! Gaby seemed to be enjoying the sand more that day and Sienna was just as content in doing that as well!jamoystersblog.jpgbeachkidsblog.jpgwaterkidsblog.jpgjamyvessiennablog.jpgbeachkids2blog.jpg

On the way back from the beach, we finally enjoyed our first truly Jamaican patty! My mother in law picked us up some from Tastees, as we were told this is the best place. It was quite delicious and the crust was thinner than the ones we are used to at Golden Krust in NY and the meat seemed to be all meat! YUM! I wish I could have one right now! We also got to see a beautiful rainbow going up the mountain. It turned out to be the first in at least 3 more rainbows to be seen on this trip!

Sienna helping her grandpa mix up the salad for dinner.

Jamaica, the first part

We spent a week in Jamaica to visit with Yves’ family. We stayed with his parents up in the mountain. Yves grew up in Jamaica and spent about 2-3 years at the mountain house during his early teen years right before moving to Chicago. Before that they lived at the beach house and I’ve heard about both these places for awhile. It was nice to finally be able to see where he grew up.


My main concern was the flight with Sienna. The flight itself was almost 4 hours and then from the airport to the mountain was almost another 2 hours. Sienna was awesome! We got her her own seat and I’m glad we did. Although she only slept half an hour on the flight, she was relatively well behaved! The only tension was landing because of her ears popping and she wouldn’t drink anything but I kept offering her water. Once we got out of customs after an hour, Yves’ parents and brother were there waiting for us. We felt the heat and humidity right away and of course I got a mosquito bite straight away! I pulled out a dress for Sienna to change into so she didn’t have to suffer too much. We headed over to pick up her cousin Gaby from day care and then spent some time at Carol-Anne’s apartment to break up the traveling. The first time up the mountain was rough for me and my bladder! Yves’ warned me about the roads but I really had no idea! It’s only 10 miles but it’s winding and bumpy so takes about 45 minutes to go up to their house.

We made it up the mountain! In front of the main house.
Going to the cottage where we’ll be living and sleeping.

Night view from the main house

Tuesday we stayed up in the mountain and roamed around the area. It’s cool up there at night and in the morning. We took a walk/hike in the morning to see the coffee plants and the mountain and wonderful views. It was also CA’s birthday so her and JP came up later for cake and dinner.
Watching the Muppets DVD in the morning
These benches are made of concrete!
Going for a tractor ride with Daddy and Grandpa!
Coffee picked and ready to be sent to the factory!
Gaby and Sienna help Grandma decorate the tree!

The next post will be about our trip to the beach at Hellshire! Yves also has a flickr set that he’s updating faster than I am posting! Check it out here!

Merry Merry Christmas!

I promise a post soon about our wonderful trip to Jamaica! I thought instead of getting too far behind, I would post about Christmas and hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

We made out pretty good since we really didn’t want to spend too much on gifts because of our trip. I really lucked out as Yves bought me a new ipod! 120 gb! What a surprise too! I also got some afghan hooks to try tunisian crochet, a zakka sewing book, ‘tell me what to say‘ parenting book and a case for my new ipod! I got Yves one of those furry bomber hats and a pair of Keen shoes (which were a bit too small but since I got it from zappos.com, they were open today and able to exchange them- I LOVE zappos.com and wish all online stores were as good as them!) Sienna made out pretty well with a farm set, baking set, guitar, toy camera and Auntie Joy stopped by later and gave her a Little People’s camping set. She played with it all! My parents had also bought her a table and chair set and some cute clothes. Yves family gave us a nice assortment of stuff that we carried home in our bags. I got pretty earrings and an earring and necklace set, Yves got a book and a t-shirt and Sienna got a pretty gold bracelet, some books and a puzzle board and we are all sharing the Jamaican rubber bracelets and keychain and screwdriver set with JP’s radio station logos on them, a bossa n’ Bob Marley covers CD an Jamaica cap! I hope I didn’t forget anything! I made a bacon, egg and cheese frittata and turkey sausage for breakfast and my parents came over for lunch. They cooked broccoli, baby bok choy and spinach and we ordered Hong Kong style steak and Honey Walnut Shrimp from the chinese restaurant. All quite good! We were able to connect with the family in Jamaica and got to watch them open the presents we got for them. Almost as good as being there!

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Good-bye cold weather!!


Tomorrow we are flying down to Jamaica for a week! woohoo!! While I am NOT looking forward to the 4 hour flight with Sienna, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that all will run smoothly. I posted this picture of noodle soup because the day I got this was dreary, rainy and a little cold! This shot is from last Thursday and I took Joy out for her birthday. We went to try this hand pulled noodle soup place on 60th off of 8th Avenue in Sunset Park (I’m way too lazy to look up the name right now.) It’s a little hole in the wall and the guy hand pulls the noodles right there for your soup. The noodles were delicious!! The meat wasn’t the greatest, a bit tough. So, not being truly satisfied, we headed over to our favorite bahn mi place and tried something different for both of us, the meatball sandwich. It was good. Not as good as the chicken one I get but still tasty. Me and Joy split the sandwich so didn’t make a total glutton out of ourselves !


See ya in a week!



Yves got himself an early Christmas present! It’s replacing his G4 tower so it’s a long overdue upgrade. It’s pretty cool!


It’s Here! It’s Here!


The custom carved stamp that I ordered from Autumn Whispers arrived on Monday! I love it! I know I originally sent her the image from here but it had to be re-worked for sizing and then I decided to delete a line. AW worked extensively with me on this plus we had image viewing problems! The size of it was a lot bigger than I first anticipated but it just came out so cool and I love the organic feel of carved stamps and she did such a wonderful job, how can I not love it? It’s about the size of a trading card or rather ATC:Artist Trading Card (saying trading cards reminds me of my job at Mada Design– not that I didn’t enjoy my time there but I worked with trading cards so much I was dreaming about them.) So perhaps I will be making trading cards again! 😉

While working on this with me, we were convoing back and forth on Etsy. I’ve done some eraser carving in the past but never could do such a clean job as ones I’ve seen. I told her she has inspired me to give it another try and to use the special materials I bought. I usually do my carvings on the Staedler erasers because they were cheap and I didn’t care if I messed it up. The special material is a large, pink Speedball lino block. She gave me some advice and asked me to keep her updated on my finished product. I thought I would first show her the skill level she is dealing with! LOL! Here are the last 2 carvings I’ve done:

In case you can’t read it “A mix by luluvision@earthlink.net” to be used on my mix CDs. Very sloppy as you can see. I changed my e-mail and made another stamp on the other side of the eraser (because I’m all about recycling!):

Instead of mix, I just did “made by” so I could also use it on other things. See how my carving is just so uneven? It’s a bit better than the other side. Here is a side by side comparison to her stamp!


I think the most important trait you need in doing this is PATIENCE. Autumn Whispers, can you teach me patience? 🙂

An Awesome Person!


I came across this blog on the swap-bot forums while looking for ways to promote my Mix CD Release Project (more on that in a minute). This thoughtful and creative person will be giving away gifts for 29 days! Go check it out!

Art by Chrysti 29 Days of Giveaways!

My Mix CD Release Project is sorta on the same lines as the 29 days of giveaways but not as nice and I’m doing it to get rid of stuff without throwing it away. If you don’t know, I started organizing a montly gathering to exchange CD mixes originally started via snail mail by Josh Benton after he had a reunion in NYC during the summer of 2004. I was tipsy on alcohol when I announced how much fun it was to do it in person and we should do it on a monthly basis! It was really going strong the first few years with always at least 10 people showing up monthly. That means you were getting at least 10 different mixes a month! The excitement of the group has waned within the last year and while we still get together, it’s not about the mixes anymore but the friendships that developed. Now there might be an occasional physical mix exchanged but more likely mixes uploaded online. And we would be lucky that 10 people can make it! Anyway, I don’t mean to digress. You can imagine how many mixes I have in my binder as I keep every one of them after listening to them. If I like the mix, I put it on my Ipod but I don’t access the actual CD anymore and it’s just collecting dust on my shelf. I thought it would be fun to give them new light again. So, my Mix CD Release Project is about people sending me a stamped, self-addressed bubble wrap envelope and I will fill it with as many CDs as the postage allows and you get back some surprise mixes! It sounds like a good idea to me but I don’t know if people will be willing to go through the effort. What do you think?

Bah Humbug?

Yves says that of all the years we’ve been together, I might have helped decorate the tree once. It’s true that I get lazy in decorating for the holidays so I can’t really dispute that but I don’t believe it was only once! Maybe twice! In any case, I did not help this time. Yves and Sienna decorated the tree on Sunday, a perfect rainy day activity!


Sienna was actually helping by handing Yves the ornaments from the box!


Here is a picture of the tree lit


treedecorate5blog.jpgYou can see it better in this photo. Don’t they look damn cute?

Winter Headband

Yves gets on my case for not wearing a hat during winter. I only wear one when it’s really, really, really cold out since a hat flattens my hair. I saw this headband in the recent Crochet Today magazine and thought it would be a good solution. (Yes, I look like a dork!)


I realized I wanted to take a photo in front of the tree but my big head is blocking it so here is another one!


And here is the underside of it where I whip stitched some fleece (leftover from Sienna’s shopping cart cover I made) onto it. Midway through I had to undo it because it became uneven.


I’m not sure how warm it will really keep me but my ears will be covered! And I’m not sure how often I would really wear it since it’s kinda a pain to tie it onto my head. HA. After Yves saw these pictures, I was informed that I was wearing it too low on my head. I suppose I did! HA!

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