Thursday, August 28, 2008


Morning Routine - Chuck gets up at the butt crack of dawn, feeds the dogs and I wake up a little later (girl needs her beauty sleep :D). I get ready to go to work but before I head out the door - I give the pups a delicious treat and head out to work.

Today wasn't so simple - as I was giving them their snack, when we heard a gigantic crash. Ripi and I jumped (we get startled easily). You'll never guess what created this racket.......The FLY TRAP fell. The lid stayed anchored to the zip tie but container came crashing down. Luckily (still not sure if it was a good thing) the concoction was still white, it only had a couple of dead flies and NO MAGGOTS. Thankfully, it landed upright - there was only minor spillage.

Our curious dogs were the first to investigate, I even saw a little tongue testing the findings. I obviously screamed and Trini backed away! I ran inside got a zip lock bag, emptied the liquid into that, picked up the container, and washed down the patio in 5 minutes.

I had no time to think just react. It's no way to start the morning - that's for sure ;D

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Funny Recap of Olympics

Here are the top nine comments made by NBC sports commentators so far during the Summer Olympics that they would like to take back:

1. Weightlifting commentator: 'This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning during her warm up and it was amazing.'

2. Dressage commentator: 'This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother.'

3. Paul Hamm, Gymnast: 'I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.'

4. Boxing Analyst: 'Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious.'

5. Softball announcer: 'If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again.'

6. Basketball analyst: 'He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn't like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces.'

7. At the rowing medal ceremony: 'Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the cox of the British crew.'

8. Soccer commentator: 'Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field.'

9. Tennis commentator: 'One of the reasons Andy is playing so well is that, before the final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them... Oh my God, what have I just said?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Check it out:

Father of 8 is trying to drop 80 lbs to be a organ donor for his daughter - who needs a kidney transplant.

Check out his blog - he's shooting for 50 lbs by 90 days.


I've been reading: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver.
I feel empowered by her story - the family lived in Arizona and decided to move back to a farming community in Virginia to live off the land.

"This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew ... and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air."

It has honestly opened my eyes. I'm realizing that it's critical for me to continue to maintain and live off of an organic garden. Interesting fact -- seeds that have been genetically modified (GM) are still labeled "organic". There are GM seeds that have this "terminator gene" that causes a crop to commit genetic suicide after one generation, so farmers can't save seeds and they would have to repurchase from the company. "Garden seed inventories show that while about 5,000 non-hybrid vegetable varieties were available from catalogs in 1981, the number in 1998 was down to 600." -- I'm certain that in no time, we'll be eating out of 10 food categories. Scares me, America has weight issues (yours truly included) it's a wonder we're not worse off, considering most of what we eat has been genetically altered or "enhanced". Not to mention it's so BORING! I don't know about you all - I need variety!

You all know I love to eat and cook. Now that I have a thriving garden - I can't explain how fresh, flavorful, and aromatic veggies are too me. I've found a new appreciation. I have decided to revamp and expand my garden. I've talked to Carlos and I've gotten his blessing to convert more of our valuable real estate into garden! I know my dogs won't LOVE the idea of fencing up another part of the yard, but I'm excited at the prospect of planting new veggies - beets, carrots, potatoes, butternut squash, more herbs!

I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fly Trap HELL

This past weekend, we had some friends over for a small BBQ. Inevitably, we had to dump the FLY TRAP, the smell was strong and it wasn't pleasant to look at. Remember, it's reuseable and it said you didn't have to "rinse" after use.

I'll just talk about my experience - I do have pictures but it's not for everyone :S

First of all, we couldn't find the proper container to dump the stuff. The water was pitch black - very ripe (I might add) and we wanted to get a container with a lid that we could secure and dump. I thought Chuck was teed up to handle the operation but instead he took a "managerial" role. He was content directing me as I put on the latex gloves.....I climbed on my ladder, got a strong whiff, and I knew we were ill prepared and in TROUBLE!

I managed to cut the zip tie that was holding the fly trap in place, got it down and realized --some flies were still ALIVE. The Fly Trap was buzzing with excitement. There were even a couple of flies just hanging out, feasting on dead ones. DID I MENTION THE STENCH? I'm so glad we don't have smell-a-vision, you all would have hurled! It was bad. I finally composed myself and got off the ladder. I quickly opened the fly trap for a quick dump and I see MAGGOTS!

No one told me about MAGGOTS, it was so nasty. As I poured out the lethal concoction, some flies that were alive flew out (aren't flies weak, thought roaches were the hearty ones?, don't they live forever?). I quickly dump - Chuck is busy taking pictures and telling me how smelly it is -- great support system! Luckily, we hadn't had breakfast so there was nothing in our stomachs to puke. It was on HOT MESS. I ended up rinsing the container, MAGGOTS sure like to stay put. I finally close the replacement container and dump it in the trash. I instantly wash my hands and take a shower. I'm so disguised by the whole ordeal.

Call us crazy, I did buy replacement powder. But I plan on emptying sooner than later (my sensible side still say it's cheaper than the disposable kind). I did get a disposable one too - hoping fly season is over soon!

Still on my mind......

Old topic that I haven't had a chance to blog about:
Was in Palm Springs a couple of weeks ago. I saw "twins". Two guys, about 60 something, both balding with shaved heads, both in workout clothes (sleeveless shirts and shorts). Almost identical physical build and matching, newly inked black tribal tattoo on their left bicep.

1. I always thought it was crucial to be your own person. As a kid, my mom would dress my sister and me in the same outfit - the novelty wore off. Why do that as you age?
2. I love the gays - I'm the biggest fan but why be so matchy, matchy? It wasn't cute.
3. Elderly getting tattooed, don't get me started. I just don't see the point. Don't think I'm ultra conservative, I'm NOT. Figure the skin is saggy, will it every really look "good".

I guess it's all personal taste - just had to share :D

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Check out my my zucchinis, they're looking mighty green and shiny.
Plan on cooking them tomorrow :D

But I'm realizing that I have A LOT of them dying on me - they don't develop, all they do is get yellow, brown, then shrivel up. After some internet searching I realize that there the "male" plants aren't getting pollinated from the "female" plants - or vice versa. It's all very new to me, check out:

Worm Team Update
The "worm tea" is working, check out the caterpillar below. It's all shriveled and dead! Thankfully my veggies and herbs are SAFE again!

I've been avoiding the fly trap, it's inevitable, I can't ignore it any longer. The fly trap is FULL. The water has turned a nice BLACK and we're in dire need of replacing it. Wish us luck.

Hanging out with the Bostonians!

Our good friends (Chris, Carmen, and Ricardito) joined us at a day at the lake. Carmen is a Californian that's been transplanted in Boston. They were out here visiting with family and friends on their annual summer trip.

I've known Carmen since freshman year in HS and she was my college roommate our first year. It was nice spending time with them and showing them the lake - they were very impressed and it was an awesome day.

Carlos at the wheel with Ricardito.

Carmen & I.

Chris & Ricardito getting ready for a nap!

Carlos trying to take a snooze! Of course we had to represent - check out our mexican blanket.


My two brothers Ricardo & Jose just celebrated their b-days. They were born 364 days apart, so for 1 day (August 8th) they are both the same age. Ricardo loved it (as a kid) because he enjoyed rubbing it in. Jose on the other hand, didn't like it so much. We couldn't celebrate with them this past weekend but we definitely will!

Instead we were out in Cathedral City to celebrate Sammy's 21st birthday. I met Sammy when he was 9 years old - how time flies! We had a nice BBQ for him on Saturday and headed to the Agua Caliente Casino on Sunday - for one of their buffets. Not too shabby, it was my first time there, but ultimately I prefer to be outside (away from the stale air) even if it is 110 degrees :D


*not too sure why Sammy was holding the knife that way :D

Friday, August 8, 2008


Our friend Todd works in the entertainment industry. He's been a stand-in for various shows (House) and he's worked on some movie sets (GI Joe). The other day he got a call to be an extra for THE OFFICE. They provided him with some details and told him to show up. Unfortunately, he's signed a confidentiality agreement but he mentioned that it was the BEST show to work for. Everyone (the behind the scenes people to the actors) had such a relaxed vibe.

All I can assume is that it was GOOD. He got to see Pam and had "lunch" with Jim (well he sat right by him - that counts). Stay tuned for the season premiere which airs on Thursday September 25th!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fender Bender :S

I'm so careful driving my big truck, especially during rush hour traffic. It takes a lot for it to come to a complete stop and I always leave enough room in front of me :D This morning however, the person behind me wasn't paying attention. I was rear-ended. No worries, nothing major (I hope!) - just the hassle of having to get it fixed :S

At least I have all my limbs and can live to write about it :D

If you build it, they will come!

I was in the garden this morning, cutting some basil for my co-worker. As I closed the gate, something caught my eye. A small green twig (so I thought)! But this was no ordinary twig, it was moving, after closer inspection I realized --- it was a BABY PRAYING MANTIS! All the contemplating and wishing about getting one and here it was in my very own garden.
*no that's not my hand, I couldn't bring myself to touch it. But I'm naming her Mimi - the praying mantis!

Info. on mantises - notable for their hunting abilities. They are exclusively predatory, and their diet usually consists of living insects, including flies and aphids. Many gardeners consider mantises to be desirable insects, as they prey upon many harmful insect species. Organic gardeners who avoid pesticides may encourage mantises as a form of biological pest control. However, mantises prey on neutral and beneficial insects (doesn't matter my ladybugs flew away) as well, basically eating anything they can successfully capture and devour. Although their diet primarily consists of small invertebrates, large mantises have been observed eating small vertebrates such as lizards, mice, snakes, and small birds such as hummingbirds. (I only feel bad for the small birds and hummingbirds - but I don't have flowering plants and it's so small now, that I don't think it will cause too much damage.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fruits of my labor!

For the last two days, we've feasted on some caprese salad (basil, olive oil, salt/pepper, fresh mozzarella) and delicious pasta. I'm super excited to have so much fresh basil growing. I can't seem to get enough. Today, I decided to try something - I gave tofu another chance. (You all know I love COSTCO, they typically sell a 3 pack of tofu, 4 pieces in a pack for $3 - how could you NOT buy it? The regular store and even Trader Joe's sells 1 packet for $2 - and I'm a sucker for a bargain!) When I've cooked tofu in the past, it typically becomes one big mush and it's not very flavorful.

While cruising the web, I came across this informative video:

I used his technique to drain the tofu and it actually worked. I was so pumped. I cubed the tofu and sauteed it in olive oil with some italian seasoning, mushrooms, red onions, and parmesan cheese! YUM, even Carlos enjoyed it. He claims to like everything I cook but sometimes I can tell he isn't feeling my new creations :D

Garden update: I've picked more tomatoes, chiles, and basil. My squash is looking nicely. The ladybugs I introduced into the garden, all flew away ($4.99 down the drain) and I'm not in the market to buy a praying mantis. I was left with one option: worm castings (aka worm poop). It's organic without a doubt :D It kind of looks like fertilizer or you can opt for WORM TEA. They seep some poop in water and drain it. ( It's suppose to be a good fertilizer and keep pests away. Whenever you spray an insecticide (organic or not) it's recommended that you do it after sun down so that it don't damage the leaves.

Hard at work, with my headlamp and my croc's spraying worm tea!

The miracle potion - 100% organic. Hoping it works!