About Me

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I was motivated to start a blog by reading all the wonderful talented individual's who have blogs out there. So, I want to make this blog about everyone who reads it. My family and God always comes first in my life. I want to share my experiences and in turn, hope to get feedback and ideas from you. I love unique things, I adore anything that sparkles (not over the top though) I love decorating, cooking, gardening, photography and shopping. My number one passion is photography! To me it becomes more than a picture, it can become a piece of art, or a beautiful memory. Decorating, though I am not a professional, and don't claim to be, has been a part of my life since I was very young, and just love searching and shopping for new ideas and incorporate the old, such as Mid-Century Modern and Hollywood Regency with contemporary. Living close to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, and being of Hispanic heritage, I love cooking Mexican food, and love to share my authentic recipes. Though I live in Florida, my heart is in the desert southwest, and hope that my family and I will return there very soon…keep your fingers crossed that my prayers are answered SOON!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Preparing for Spring/Summer...too soon?







Yes, it’s still January, but I am so anxious to get my spring planting started, that I began buying some new palm trees, flowers, tropical plants and of course herbs. Also, one must remember, I live in Florida and we have had such a mild winter, I doubt we will have a freeze this late into the winter, but we never know, so I am not planting the palms quite yet, but the others I am in the new pots, and keeping all close to the Lanai, so if our weather takes a drastic change, I can bring them in and not worry about frost.

The two new palms are bottle palms, and when the new fronds come out they have a beautiful red color to them, and the base looks like a coconut, very tropical are about 5’ tall. I seem to have an obsession with palm trees since I was a very young girl, seems like I always have room for just one (or two) more. The pots I buy at HomeGoods of course, my addiction! They have such a large variety of shapes, colors, styles, etc. and here in Florida our local HomeGood’s is stocked well, but come another month or two, they are limited on what they have, so it’s important to get them now – that’s what I tell my husband anyway. The one in the middle that is a turquoise color actually has a silver shimmer to it…and the one to the left of it is a jade/blue green, the sunlight into my camera was too bright to show the actual colors. But, I’m ready to start planting!!! I have a large pot that has my herbs in it (which I think I have pictures of in an early post), the only thing that made it from the summer was the mint (great for those summer Mojitos), so I purchased, Greek oregano, cilantro, variegated basil, and chocolate mint, going back this evening for some others that I use on a regular basis. They always look so pretty in the pots, the variety of colors, fragrances and like the Greek oregano how it cascades down the pot. In another pot, though it’s just a large terra cotta pot with a ledge around it, I have planted all my chilies…and they have been producing for about three years now, even during these winter months, I always have fresh chilies. Nothing nicer than when you’re cooking to go out in your backyard and get fresh herbs or chilies, which I use a lot of in my cooking. I’ve included a picture of a pair herb scissors that I purchased from Crate and Barrel, that I wasn’t so sure about at first, thought why not just continue to dice them with a knife, but after using it for the first time, it works so wonderfully, and I don’t know what I would do without it now. It doesn’t bruise the herbs, and they look prettier. I know several people who have them as well and love them.

We still have so much yard work to get done, since I haven’t spent too much time back there in the last couple of months…but as I was working back there yesterday – while my husband was on the golf-course (thought I would throw that in there), I discovered over by my Haas avocado tree, which is in one of my side-yards, I had planted a top to a fresh pineapple we had in late summer in a large pot, I was shocked to see how big it was…and I have to admit, I didn’t water it, the last several months, but with the small amount of rain and lots of warm weather and sunshine this winter, it grew, and I’m so excited about it. Time to get some more fresh pineapples and start more…they are so pretty in lighter tropical colored pots, the deep green of the plant contrasts well with the tropical colors. So, I guess you can tell, I am looking forward to spring and summer but getting ready just a “little” early.


Saturday, January 28, 2012


Everyone needs a little help from time to time!!! Though I have not been on my Blog Site for quite sometime, I just wanted to take a few moments and thank all of you so much for all your prayers and kind words through what has been one of the roughest times I have ever experienced. Just to fill you in on a little bit of what has been going on. The Grand Jury met on my brother's case a week ago last Thursday, though they decided whether or not to indict the person who murdered my baby brother, we will not know that decision for possibly another 2 weeks, though we are hoping it will be sooner. And, though the Grand Jury is over, I am still not permitted to speak of it, but according to my sister-in-law, all evidence she and I discovered, and the investigators, it was NOT self-defense as we knew it was not. My brother just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Just an innocient man on his way home. My heart is still broken, and I miss him more and more each day...we pray justice will be served. All the prayers that we have been receiving from family, friend, and perfect strangers has totally given us the strength to continue each day to fight for this justice.

I received a new position, one that I love and and surrounded by wonderful people. It has helped me so much with the healing process, along with my grief counselor. My wonderful husband and precious daughter have been my rock, their support has been unwaivering. We've tried to stay extremely busy, working on our home, continuing our date nights, and enjoying each and every day God has blessed us with. It just feels so good to get back to the things I really loved, and this Blog is one of them.

Again, thank you all for your prayers, I have really missed reading all your wondering and inspiring Blogs...though I only have a few followers, those that are, you mean so much to me, as I though we have never met, your words of good wishes, prayers and just being who you are, make me feel as though I know each of you.

I have a lot of catching up to do with reading all your past posts...better get busy...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Loss of my Baby Brother....

http://youtu.be/MCVvSArfVw0

Three weeks ago on Saturday, my handsome, sweet, loving, Christian, brother and his wife had their second baby, another precious little girl, Kara, she was a big baby around 8 pds 10 oz.  She began losing weight, so had to go back into the hospital, only being home for less then two weeks.  My brother worked 60 hours a week, and was so exhausted from work, being at the hospital and he was back in school for his Masters.  One week ago, last Thursday, he got into an argument with my Mother, for whom he did everything in the world for.  Well, she lived up in this southern state where he did, and one day back in June decided to not tell him, and move back here to Florida for my nephew to take care of her.  She was here not even a month, fell, and was placed into a nursing home.  She continued to call my brother that she wanted to come back up there....she didn't even know they were having another baby.  My little brother, only 42,  was so devastated by what she did, he just never told her.  He was so emotional and he didn't even tell his wife the things my mother said to him, but he was beyond hurt.  She told him to go home...he did, she called me and told me that she was so afraid he would wrap his car around a pole because he was so hurt and exhausted.

Not even ten minutes later, I see her number come across my phone, I froze, so afraid to answer it, but I did and she "yelled, Joni...David has been shot.  I went down, I thought it can't be bad, they only live in a town of about 2000-3000 people, I thought maybe it was just an accident.  His wife was screaming in my ear, that they air lifted him and he was alive...she gave me the local police department's number, they would not confirm anything other than there was a shooting and they would call me back.  Never heard back, I called them, and told me to call the hospital, that he had been taken there...I thought, oh thank you, God, he is alive.  I talked to the ER doctor, not thinking, why was he on the phone.  I asked him how my brother was and he said "NOT GOOD".  I yelled, please save my brother, he is strong, he just had a baby, please do everything you can to save him, please.  He said "you don't understand, your brother passed away".  I totally lost it, I've never screamed, cried and lost it like that, ever!!!  I yelled at him, "NO, TRY AGAIN"...he said the paramedics tried at the scene and he and his staff worked on him for 20 minutes at the hospital, they couldn't save my little brother.

Now...all the calls started coming in, from the police, his wife, you name it.  It was not real, I didn't and still cannot accept it.  The next day, I had to call the police chief, to find out details, then the coroner...never will repeat what he told me...totally horrifying.  My little brother was an organ donor, and two people did receive his cornea's but his major organs could not be donated because it was a crime and they had to make sure the gun to his heart is what killed him. 

What we found out was, once he left the hospital, he was on his way home, a dog ran out in front of him, he is an animal lover from growing up on the farm...he stopped his vehicle got out, and this is where I need to be vague, because of the ongoing investigation and can't say much.  But there was a 17 year old boy in his truck in the driveway, my brother went up to him and said there is a leash law, what that your dog I almost hit...this boy ran over my brother's leg, tearing off one shoe and sock.  My brother went to the neighbor for helped, they said no, and slammed the door in his face.  The 17 year old got out of his truck and came at my brother, he pushed him, my brother pushed back...the father came out of the house and started in, he went back into the home, came back outside and had the 22 pistol tucked up under his shirt, pulled it out, and shot my brother right in the heart.  HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING!!!  My brother pulled up his shirt, to see where the bullet had hit, and went down, he bled out...the man didn't even try to save him, nor the neighbors. There were at least 6 witnesses and all said my brother did nothing wrong, one young girl is in hiding, because she is afraid this man will come after her.  My sister-in-laws parents, live right behind this house, and her mother heard the gun shot that night.  They can't go into their backyard, because they can see where my brother was murdered.  And when they pass the house of the man who murdered my brother, if he is out, he looks up and waves at them, with a hateful look on his face.   How can anyone be that cruel.  You're probably asking, why is he not in jail...because it's a law in this southern state if you are on someones property, you have the right to shoot and kill them.  Explain that to me!!!  All he did was walk up to see whose dog it was and was murdered!!!! 

I can't explain this pain, it is not a human pain, I've never felt it before.  It is the worse pain you could ever imagine, and to know this killer is walking free while my brother will never come back to us - why?  I know I have to go to grief counseling, but I can't think of that now.  I have to get an attorney in that State, and then we are all going in front of the Grand Jury sometime in January or February...I don't have time for me...I am my brother's voice, I have to do this for him.  Though, I don't know how to survive this, I have to stay strong and healthy to do this for him and his precious family.  I know my brother is in heaven with our Lord, and is at peace, but I am totally selfish, I want him here with us.  I feel like I am getting weaker and crying more each day.  I know God will help me through this, but I just want my brother back.  He was such a wonderful man, an artist, chef, and could he bake and decorate the most beautiful cakes you have ever seen...gorgeous beyond words.  I miss him so much.  I hope this post isn't inappropriate, but I just had to put it into words.  The night before my brother was murdered, I found out my cousin had died...he was older in his early 70's.  Well, I've lost three brothers in five years.  I will never forget them...

Years ago, my little brother was lost...his father walked out on him, and he had to take care of my mother, the song I've attached was one of his favorites sites at the top... we had them play it at his Mass, it reminds me so much of how much he loved God.  Thank you for letting me put my pain into words.  Onto the next step of healing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A little tour of one part of St. Petersburg, FL

Well, I need to start off by saying I had my first job interview in almost 20 years last Thursday!  I think it went very well...BUT, it's a very desired position and though I have the experience, I know there were many who interviewed for it.  Though it's a promotion, that doesn't matter, I just need to get out of my area and start something new and exciting.  I've been doing a lot of praying, and I know that what is meant to happen, will happen by the grace of God, so it's all in his hands.  But, a few prayers from others sure would help!!!  It's been a rough couple of months in my office, but I'm a pretty tough "girl"....


Yesterday was my Saturday date night with my husband.  We didn't want to go out to a sit down dinner, not with this beautiful cool weather that has just come into our area FINALLY...so, we headed off to the Taco Bus in St. Pete and sat outside underneath some table umbrellas....fabulous...what great Mexican food as I've mentioned before.  Then we drove down past Tropicana Field (keep those Ray's in your thoughts as well), and down to the St. Petersburg Pier for a walk along the water and just sitting on some benches taking in the beauty.  The temps were in the low 70's, beautiful sunshine, no humidity and a perfect cool breeze coming in off the water.  My sweet husband said, "it's still early, would you like to go to HomeGoods"...oh please, that's all it took, so off we went to the one in Clearwater.  I was shocked when I walked in...there were Christmas decorations everywhere...now that got me excited.  They of course had many all color coordinated...so much teal this year, oh yeah....loved it, and it's only September cannot wait to see what they put out next month and the month after that...I'm ready!!!

Hope everyone has had a beautiful weekend, and have a blessed Sunday.  And the week ahead is full of great things for you. 





St. Petersburg Pier

Fountain close to the Dali Museum

The new Salvador DalĂ­ museum

St. Petersburg Pier

St. Pete Pier

Park next to the Pier

Helicopter rides...wouldn't have my legs hanging out like that

Beautiful Egrets flying by

Sail boat in just passing the pier

Love the shape of the palms - pier in the background

Unique shaped palms...




Friday, September 23, 2011

Area Rugs with a little extra something....SPARKLE





Though we are “almost” completely done re-decorating, remember, I said almost, we all know it never ends…and I am desperately trying to be ahead of the game for the holidays…I’m still always looking for something unique for our home.  As my family is well aware, I love sparkle.  Whether it’s in crystal chandeliers, jewelry, shoes, or mirrored furniture, I am totally obsessed with sparkle.  So, when I came across these area rugs, you could only imagine how excited I was.  Now, I know they are totally out of my price range, won’t even ask the costs, and I also know that my fur-babies would think the Swarovski crystals are some type of toy…but I must admit, they are stunning.  So, I am hoping to find someone locally that can attach some Swarovski Crystals (purchased through Swarovski Elements)   http://www.swarovski-elements.com/   possible in just one are of the rug to give it enough sparkle but won’t be enough that the fur-babies will want to bother with.  Through Swarovski Elements, they do give so many unique ideas, I may even attempt to do this myself, if I feel it would look well put together and not like a craft project.  I want it with simple lines and not too much, so just maybe, I could do it myself…oh well, there is another project on my list; those lists never end, do they?














 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Have been away for awhile, and sure feels good to be back....





To start off, I have some catching up to do with reading all your wonderful posts.  I was not feeling well with some type of horrible late summer flu...everyone I know (well not everyone, but a lot of people), had it, it just lingered on.  I was so run down from it, that I didn't feel like doing anything for almost two weeks.  Then as I began to feel better, the not so smart me, decided to go out all day and work in my backyard.  Cutting the palms fronds, weeding, planting fall flowers, pressure washing the ENTIRE backyard (tile)...and I was feeling so good.  Big mistake, it was just too much...I started not feeling well again.  Went back to my doctor and got my B-12 shot and he told me that this I need rest, I was totally run down.  There is a lot more to this than just the flu...some serious work related stress.  I really don't like to get too personal on here, but this was bad.  About 12 weeks ago, I was physically attacked at work, by a co-worker.  Long story short, she wants my job,  and lost it with just a simple e-mail I sent out, for which is my job.  I'm sure there is an underlying problem with her that would cause anyone to behave such as that in the workplace, but she has done this in another department that she worked in, but  neither her supervisor or mine did anything to protect me.  As she came at me with hands flying and fists in my face, they sat there, two adult men, and did nothing.  I've been with this agency for almost 30 years, and I love it here.  But, I am not a push-over by any means, I guess I try to hard to get along with everyone, try to go out of way to assist where I can, and sometimes that makes you look weak in their eyes, and they feel the strength to attack.  Understand, I work with all men, except 4 woman, and there are a total of 120 employees.  Though she didn't physically hit me...she was within an inch of my face...I had no reaction, I just stared at her, and I didn't back down.  I know, I took the high road, and am glad I did.  As we all know this is called "violence in the workplace", and it is against the law.  To  make matters worse, she made verbal threats.  Now the good part...management has done nothing in the way of discipline.  So, I have had to take it to a legal level through work.  I am a very strong Latina woman, and wasn't going to let this go, it was just wrong.  The next time her anger flairs up, she could physically harm someone and I would feel terrible.  I am so glad that I have a wonderful husband and a very bright daughter, who has been so supportive and has given me the strenght to do what I need to do, and love is the greatest power a family can have.  So, after going to my doctor again last week, and will be getting my B-12 shots every two weeks...I am feeling almost human again.  It is quite amazing how stress can wear one down, I will never allow it to take hold of me again...I do a lot of praying and I know that God is walking with me through this whole process that could take quite some time...but I have faith.  I hope I didn't bore anyone too much, it actaully felt good to put it into words.  The words I tell my husband and daughter is that, I may be quiet and enjoy the beauty in life, and never interfer in others lives,  I am no push over, I will stand up for myself and others, if they are wronged, but not in a violent way, in a peaceful way, with God on my side.  There is too much hate and violence in the world today, we just don't need it in the workplace as well.  I will continue to be me, for I actually like the person I am.  Thank you for listening.