GOOOOOODBYE Austin, I Hardly Knew Ya!

Dear Austin, Texas USA:
I have heard lovely things about you. Your music scene sounds very fun and funky. I appreciate that in a music scene. I also understand you have good food. Things like burgers smothered in queso. I like queso very much. When you say "burger smothered in cheese", it sounds unhealhty. But adding that Spanish semantic twist was a good idea. Do people eat more cheese in Texas, because it is called queso? I bet they do. Not only do you have good cheese marketing, all of the people I have known who have Austin ties are very down to earth and fun. And let's not forget style. Those ladies have figured out how to do the whole, "Who me??? Oh, i just threw these skinny jeans and sparkely (but not TOO sparekly) top on and happen to look like a sex kitten" look down pat!

Cheese and sex kittens aside, I am afraid when I visit tomorrow, I will have to keep my distance. I can't get too close. I cannnot become attached to you. You see, if I fall in love with you, I will surely be disappointed.

Becuase with clowdy, rainy skies and a humidity level of 94%, it is guarenteed that after this weekend, herb and I will NEVER live in Austin.

With the Anticipation of Unrequited Love,
Cara Harjes

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I am Really Excited About This!

Herb finally decided to give this a shot!




A few highlights from our trip . . .

* the last taco stand on the strip of restaurants on the ferry dock. we sat with the owner and his friend while we waited for our boat to arrive. the owner was right when he said he was about to serve me "the best margarita" i would have while in mexico.
* the twighlight ferry boat ride AWAY from the lights and noise of cancun . . . the warm, humid air felt so good on my skin after our long long long cold cold cold ridiculous winter!
* as we rounded a corner, we heard the shouting and laughing of hundreds of children. herb thought i was about to navigate us away from the noise and he near-panickly declared, "We have to go see what that noise is!!!!" As we crested the hill, we saw what appeared to be half of the community out cheering on the middle-school girls basketball team.
* Nightly sunset cocktails on the third story rooftop patio.
* Walking through the neighborhood where we stayed and people watching. With the tourists being mostly contained to two thouroughfares, we really enjoyed tooling around the community.
*Watching the way other cultures do such a neat job of letting family, work, and play all sort of bleed together . . . life is life. None of this compartmentalizing stuff.
* The color of the water - unbelievable! i have never seen anything like it before!
* Making an unexpected connection with another guest at the hotel we stayed at.
* Taking pictures of the early morning fishermen cleaning their catches - one of the men moved the mouth of his fish, making it "sing" to me.
* Riding bikes with herb down the coast; stopping for a fun photo shoot on a hidden strip of beach that was covered in conch shells and then drinks at a peaceful hotel with an amazing oceanside swing bar.
* Being the only non-locals at an ocean-side restaurant.
* Took a $5 cab ride to the end of the island where we snorkeled and rested in a secluded park strewn with hammocks and little niches to sit. It was so quiet we could hear a half-dozen different kinds of birds.
* The guests in our hotel got along so well that one guest initiated a dinner party on friday night. Everyone work together to make the party happen.
* Amazing mexican breakfasts every morning made by jose.
* Waking up in time to watch the sunrise from the rooftop; then taking an early morning walk with my camera down the coast.
* Buying a coconut from a man with a machette.
* Great talks with herbie.

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I still can't figure out the best way to post these big scrapbook pages that don't fit in our scanner.
I have been taping them to the back of the office door, lighting them just so, and then taking a photo.
Seems tedious.
But laying them on a desk or counter and hovering above with the camera is not really doing it for me either.
Still exploring that one.

i love presents - giving and receiving . . .
but the catch with me is that you can't just go to the store and buy me a bottle of perfume.
oh no.
i like presents that are meaningful, creative, and thoughtful.
these kinds of presents are sort of lost on herb.
he appreciates the sentiment.
thinks they're sweet.
says "thank you".
but really, for herb, cards and little handmade gifts don't communicate the massive love they are intented to communicate.
now, folding all of the laundry and cleaning off the counters . . .
that sends my man through the roof.
but a handmade gift . . . ehh.

however, he told me that the little book i made him while we were dating is something he looks at again and again.
so, i thought i would try my hand at making him one each year . . .
here is the little book i gave herb for our anniversary in november.

And . . .
A little peak at what i am working on now . . .
My sweet friend stacy asked me to make a collage for her son's room that could also work in other rooms of her home, later.
Right now, I have two putty colored canvases and i am cutting circles.
We'll see.

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. . . And the Winners Are . . .

In these little bags, you will each find a pretty little pair of bobbles for your ears! ENJOY!

Sarah, if you could email me with your address, I will pop these in the mail to you! cara@herbandcara.com

Also, I simply must share this guy with you:

I passed by the larger (and much pricier) version of this little guy several times before breaking down and deciding i would be sad if i left the island without him! And though my view of him has changed just a little bit since herb called him Elvis and our innkeeper called him Richard Nixon, i still love him!

And in case you need proof that we were actually on this glorious vacation, here are a few pics of herb and i from the trip . . . (were you begining to think that i just downloaded a bunch of pics off of google images?)

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Last Call!

I have two beautiful pair of earrings from Mexico to give away!
SO, if you have not already, throw your name in the hat (ie: comment box)
and i will draw them tomorrow morning!



Color and Texture and Light - OH MY!

I had so much fun playing with our camera on our trip. I am such a hands on learner . . . so getting up early and going out at sunset was the perfect way to start playing around with sunlight and color. Loved it!

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Well, Hi There!

after a fantastic and breathtaking four days,
we are back to colorful, sunny colorado!
we got home around noon today . . .
we are unpacked
laundry is started
pictures are on the computer (most of them)
and souveniers for the two (out of four!?!?! come on people, free stuff! i would have expected more takers than that!)
winners for the name drawing are neatly piled on the kitchen counter.

we are off to church . . . it is our night to greet, so we can't be late!
more tomorrow!

we had a delightful time enjoying nature and being together . . .
what have you been doing to enjoy the simple things lately?

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On Our Way

The flight is at 11:40am.
The plan is to leave at 9am.
Guess who was ready at 8am with bags packed and a "can do!" attitude?!?!?!

Tell you what, if you leave a comment while I am gone with your name and your fave vacation that you've been on, I will draw two names when i get home and send out a little souvenir from mexi-co-oh-my-goodness-we-are-going-to-have-so-much-fun!

(BTW- my post about the weather not being perfect a few few days ago was totally cheeky . . . not at all actually complaing. oh no, this girl is quite grateful for all of the little treats and luxuries I have been given!)

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My Man Has Two Male Crushes . . . (it's okay, i knew about them when we got married)

As we were singing the silly POP! theme song from Music & Lyrics tonight, herb stopped to let me know,
"While george clooney is the guy i aspire to be but will never be, i feel like hugh grant is more like the everyday guy - someone i am like. you know, in greek mythology, they have the god's that were god's . . . like zeus. then they had the god's that were once humans. they just had a little more attainablity. it's kinda like that."
(PS- that hugh pic is a still shot from Love Acutally . . . not a paparazi pic from the time he was arrested for paying a woman for sex.)

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It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . .

Things that make me happier than Day Light Savings Time:
1. Jesus loves me
2. Herb loves me
3. um, yeah, that's about it.

What about you?
What just THRILLS YOU???

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It Won't Be Perfect . . .

But I am still getting just a little bit excited .

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Next Stop . . .

Austin TX!
Well, technically, it is not the next stop.
I am jumping ahead.
But I am getting excited.
We are going to a wedding in Jonestown, TX at the end of the month . . . about 40 minutes outsite of Austin.
Our sweet friend Amy is getting married to a man named Cole. Amy is a friend I used to work for and she is just going to make an amazing wife and friend for this Cole fellow . . . whoever he may be. (We're still checking into you, Cole so don't get too comfortable with us yet.)

Since the wedding is not until Satruday night and our flight home is not until Sunday night, we are staying in the heart of the funky south austin district so that culture is at our finger tips during the days.
Apparently Austin is known for art, music, and food.
Plus a general feeling of funk.
You know, the important stuff!
Plus, the Colorado River runs through this part of Austin (like, blocks from our hotel) before dumping into the gulf.
I think river life is fun (i am the daughter of a man who has owned barges most of my life . . . we grew up close to the missouri river bottoms . . . so close that you could see the flood waters from our neighborhood back in '92.

ANYWAY, if you have ever been to Austin let us know your suggestions for burgers, blues, and whatever else we need to know about for a fabulous Austin-licous (but not austin-tatious . . . that is not our style) time.

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It Is Flyin'

Well, it is not actually flying until Monday.
Around 4pm to be specific.
But it is out of my house.
Safe and sound at the Pak & Mail down the street.
And as much as I love the idea of being an artist
and as much as i am pleased with the outcome of this piece
and as excited as i am to see what this "art thing" will end up doing in my world . . .
I can not tell you how glad I was to say good-bye
And the funny thing was I actually had to fake a sad goodbye.
Apparently mr. pak & ship is also an artist or at least an appreciater of art.
Because he kept making comments like, "I bet it is hard to let it go."


but not so hard that I don't LOVE the sight of my office without it.
i love the sight of the two long skinny canvases that have been waiting for my undivided attention
so i can start working on my next piece for my friend stacy.

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When Herb and I started dating, one of our jokes was that we couldn't wait to get married, move to the suburbs, and buy a mini-van for me to drive. In this tongue-in-cheek, "no way in the world will this ever be our reality", fantasy, I would be a scrapbooker with a bad haircut.

Well, something odd happened along the way. I actually became curious about scrapbooking. It began our first Christmas when I was buying stocking stuffers for herb. I found a small, sophisticated black scrapbook in the dollar section. I bought it. I didn't have time to do anything with it before Christmas. But for Valentine's day, I used it to tell our love story. I used some pictures, but mostly my handwriting, doodeling, and passages from my old journals. I love love loved making it and it is the one handmade gift I have made him that he goes back to over and over again.

But still.
I bought a magazine.
And a few pretty patterned papers from Target.

And I let it all sit, tucked away for about six months.
Somewhere in there, I saw an article in a magazine by this girl . And i figured that if she could scrapbook, so could I.
Then, I saw this gal's blog and thought . . . "oh, yeah . . . scrapbooking. i have all those pretty papers tucked away. I can do this. If they can do this, I can totally do this."

SO, thanks Elsie and Jody for scrapbooking.

Today, Elsie shared her favorite picture on her blog. And asked "us" to show ours.
Sort of a less dirty version of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

So, here are a few faves from the past couple of years.

I of course love this smoochy italitan honeymoon picture.

And then there are these two which perfectly show off my husband's character . . . hard-working and playful! Plus, who gets the chance to help two old italian fishermen dock their little boat!?!?!?

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Sorry, When I am About to Leave for Mexico, I Apparently Call Herb by Many Different Hispanic Names.

Well, yesterday's post was not actually meant to be a call for affirmation or a roll call of all of my blog readers (though that is not above me!) . . . i was actually going to write the story as a letter to Kelly just to make her laugh. Then I realized that Jennifer watches Grey's Anatomy and would also think it was funny. Then I realized, they might be the only ones left who read.
OKAY! So, now that Kelly and Jennifer DO read this blog, plus the two commentors and my friend Kaye who just emails me when she feels like leaving a comment, we have established that I have five readers!
Notice that Herberto is not on that list.

We are now at the four day mexico countdown. Arnesto has been mocking me for weeks now about my tendency to pack early . . . but i did't start until last night!

This is not the first of countdowns for me. When we were about a month out from our wedding, I made Jose a long paper chain and each day, he took down one link to find a sweet message from me . . . his mexican bride! Then there were the numbers (printed out on my parent's dot matrix printer) that hung in my locker the last 50 or so days of my senior year in high school.

But the truly funniest count down I ever did was in high school. I had a crush on a boy named John Stevens. Little heart breaker. Anyway, John and I were on the swim team together for years. This particular summer, I decided that I loved John. So i would ride my bike (or just walk) around the neighborhood trying to find where he was mowing lawns. Then i would sort of prance by as if i hadn't noticed that he was there. But looking extra sassy, no doubt (me, not him). Can you see how I made it 27 years without a "real boyfriend"???

The real treat was that he mowed our next door neighbor's lawn. I would take note of this and wander out to sit on the hammock in our yard when he was our mowing.

Fancy that.
Here I am. On my hammock.
Which just so happens to be hung across two trees . . .
one on our property and
one on the neighbor's.
Do you have to mow the grass RIGHT where I am lounging?

Huge shock - this didn't actually do much in the way of making John my boyfriend. So when the summer was coming to a hault, I began the "14 Day John Countdown". I cannot tell you a thing about it other than the fact that it was well documented in a properly labled journal. And while I did go on several dates with John, there was only friendship in the cards for us. Oh the entertainment I provided for my parents. Years and years.

I really should send them a bill.

Luckily by the time I met Jorge, I had outgrown the "oblivious hammock lounging" routine. I had graduated to much more mature, stelth-like techniques, like just boldly stopping by his house wearing nothing but running shorts and a sports bra (the kind that covers your tummy . . . come on, what do you take me for?!?!?), "on my way home from the park, because you know i live in the neighborhood now . . . yep. just four short blocks directly southeast of here. riiiiiight over there. would you like me to draw you a map, phillipe? i know how you love maps. i mean, um, well that is what i have heard. i have not set up web cams in your house or anything. i don't know that you sometimes read maps while taking a dump. But if I had set up web cams, that would not be a deal breaker would it? i mean, i know you like tech-y stuff. hey, eyes on me. don't look directly into that corner."


And yet, lookie who is leaving in four days for mexico with their sexy latin (with subtle german undertones) lover?

(*** and this, ladies and gents is why i don't blog more than every 10 days! i just came over here to check my email . . . an hour ago! and here i am, still in my towel, blogging. dangit!)

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Dear Kelly Jackson and Jennifer Coomer,
You may be the only blog readers I have left. And that is okay. If it is only for you that I share this story, it is totally worth it.
The other day i was volunteering at the hospital, when i casually walked by a supply closet. As i approached the closet, a young attractive nurse walked out. She looked a bit disoriented. She walked away. I slowed my pace. Turned around, and expected to see Alex from Grey's Anatomy come out a few moments later. He didn't. Perhaps I watch too much TV?

In other news . . .

. i got a hair cut yesterday. i love phil the haircutter. he cuts hair with love. and he is fabulous. and hip and cool. sometimes he has a mohawk. sometimes it is crazy and curly. but he has a really really dorky laugh which makes him totally approachable. plus he won extra points yesterday as he squated, first behind me and then in front of me, to blow my hair dry. that is commitment to making my look fabulous. plus, he always tells me my hair is gorgeous, helps me put my coat on and walks me to the door. we love phil the haircutter. he is so good to me. and to everyone else. and that is why he has a thriving business.

. okay. that is all for the "in other news" i have time for now.

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