Got Gas?

Gas stations.

Add this to the ever growing list of things that I've always taken for granted.  Not even taken for granted really - just never thought about.  I've always lived someplace where there is a gas station literally on every corner.  Getting gas is something you do "on the way" to wherever it is you may be going.

Here however, I live about 10 miles away from the nearest full service gas station.*  The next closest one is about another 10 miles from that one.  Most people, including us, don't make it to the actual gas station all that often because the majority of people's driving is local in and around town errands and business.  So, we keep our cars chugging along thanks to a few locals who set up their own gas vending locals.

Meet my "local" gas station.

It's not fair to even call this a gas station, because it's an old wooden shed, filled with gallons and gallons of gasoline in someone's yard.

You pull up, honk and someone from a nearby house comes out, retrieves the requested number of gallons ($6/gallon) from the shed, and dispenses.  And that's how it works.  

By the way, the spray painting on the shed reads "We don't lend gallons, we sell them".  I think that's a good policy for a gas vendor.  Don't you?

*A lil' side note about "full service" stations, they are a bit nostalgic in that there are pump attendants who pump the gas and clean your windows.  They'd probably check your oil too if you asked.


The Dog Lady

So, a little something about me (if you don't know this already) is that I am craaaaazy about dogs.  Seriously, you know those weird "cat ladies" - I could all too easily become the canine equivalent....almost.  I love 'em, love 'em, love 'em!!

My nickname among some has become "The Dog Lady" and perhaps with good reason.  I have so many dog "friends".  Some are homeless, some have owners, some are now mine!  Neighborhood dogs come by to visit me and sit on the porch with me while I drink my morning coffee.

Not only do I love dogs, THEY LOVE ME TOO!!  Dogs follow me, find me, sniiiiiifffff me out!! Lost dogs seem to show up in my presence, as if they've heard through some grapevine that I am the Doggie Messiah -- a savior for the weary and hungry.  They show up at my door.  They find their way to my shop.  Recently, one even turned up INSIDE my house!  Stories to be told.

So, my husband and I have 5 dogs.  Yup.  You read it right, 5, f-i-v-e.  Well, 4 and 1/4 if you want to be fair (4 big dogs and one that's a 1/4 of their size).  Having this many dogs on the beach in the country is a completely different experience than having that many pets in a city.  The dogs have space, the beach, freedom and lots of time with their human counterparts.

When my husband and I met, he had 2 dogs:

Onyx -- a bundle of love and tail wagging.  If I was able to rename her, her name would be "Pig Pen" after the Charlie Brown character.  She's a Black Lab and absolutely cannot stay clean for a second.   She's constantly dusty and dirty and always has some sort of gnats, flies or mosquitos caravanning behind her.  In her defense, what she lacks in cleanliness, she makes up for in unconditional love and faithfulness.  Age 10 and counting!!

Merlin, the big, the brave and the bad.  Can jump and almost do a full 180.  Loves to swim and play fetch in the ocean waves.  A sucker for any kind of petting, but a fighter.  You know those signs people put on their gates that say "Perro Bravo" or "Guard Dog" - those signs were made for him.  A mix of Lab, Dalmation and who knows what else.  Aged 5 +/-

To those two, I added my one dog, Johnny (aka the worlds bestest dog ever), who passed away two years later in December 2009.    After Johnny died, together we adopted....

Maya, the delicate, timid little princess (but growing braver every day!).   A lover of chasing the ball and sitting on the porch watching the world go by.  A 12 lb. little mixture of Mini Pincher, Wiener dog and for sure some kind of Jack Russell.  Approximately 2 years old.
Then a few months later....

Carmen, my first accidentally adopted dog.  I first met her in the summer of 2008 and thought she was a street dog.  She did have an owner though and about a year after I met her, they gave her away to another family about 15 miles away.  She was gone a few months, then ran away from them and showed up at my door.  The prior owner could not figure out how she had found her way back to town.  I'd say she chose me.  A gorgeous mix of  Ridgeback, Pitbull and who knows what else.  Approximately 3 years old.

And finally, my last dog.  (Really!  I don't want any more!)

Lola, my second accidentally adopted street dog.  The most beautiful dog ever.  A complete street mixture of a little of this and a little of that dog (locally called "saguate").  These street dogs are incredibly smart and resilient.  This lil' girl showed up about 1/2 a day from starving to death.  We tried and tried to find her a home, but it just didn't happen.  She ended up staying and a few months later was run over by an SUV.  She walked away without so much as a scar.  She's like Wonder Dog.  Approximately 1 1/2 years old.

 These are the dogs I call "mine", however I have tons of pooches in my life.  I have a whole other life that goes on between me and these dogs and me and the outside world.

Stay tuned.

Marshmallow People

I went to a small place in town known for strong, creative cocktails, a mini putting ground and playing chess.  I wanted to try what was rumored to be a super tasty fresh raspberry mojito.  So, after a long ((strettcchh)) day, we headed over there.  Yum.  

Upon arrival, the hubby was immediately sucked into a chess game and clearly was not going to be my source of stimulating conversation over cocktails.  I noticed a little boy sitting in a bar stool across the way animatedly chatting with himself.  He was busy constructing something, and being an arts-n-crafts kinda' gal, I went over to investigate.

The bar in front of him was strewn with tidbits of cut up straw, tape, ripped napkin and large, pastel colored marshmallows.  In his hand was a marshmallow stick man in a napkin skirt and straw legs and arms.  When I asked if I could make one, he quickly introduced me to the materials I'd be needing to construct my own marshmallow stick figure.  I decided his marshmallow man seemed lonely and needed a lovely marshmallow girlfriend to share lives pleasures.  Pink marshmallow in hand, I started to build.  

After it was all finished and we discussed a bit what might be missing - we decided that they both needed to look happier, and created a sliver smile for each using small tidbits of straw.

His marshmallow man must have been pleased with my marshmallow lady because his smile was bigger than hers.

He played with the marshmallow couple for a few moments, the lady fluttering in ballerina moves, singing the songs of angels.

Everything was going well until the marshmallow man's eyes started falling off and at that point the little boy decided that it was time to eat him.  Oh well.  

I was done with my drink, which, by the way was soooooooo tasty.   Such the gentleman was this little boy that he asked the bartender to please pass him the bottle of rum so he could fill up my glass and I wouldn't need to leave soon that way.  ;)