Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Birthdays, The Crooked Tree Gallery, New INK! (and, is that a Vagina?)

About ten years ago, [Edit - now that I think about that more, I think it was more like 12 or 13 years ago] shortly after we'd moved to Orlando, I got a tattoo on my arm sporting mine and my ex-husband's names. Seemed like a fitting idea at the time. I think that I got it on my birthday weekend back then. It seems so long ago now.

I got a cover up tattoo for it on my birthday week this year while I was visiting home in Indiana. It wasn't until I was in the chair having it done that I realized it was also the week of the one year anniversary of the finalization of our divorce. I didn't plan any of that, but after I realized it, it also seemed very fitting that I was getting it covered up in Indiana where it had all began.

A good friend of mine had gotten work done at The Crooked Tree Gallery. I like going to a tattoo artist that has done work on someone that I know personally, so that is why I decided to go there while I was in Evansville. A married couple, Samantha and Jarred Scott recently opened this shop, and I highly recommend this place if you are looking to get some work done in Evansville, Indiana.

I did not have a specific tattoo that I wanted to get over the original tattoo. I just knew that I wanted pretty, colorful flowers, and that I wanted a sunflower in it. I set up my appointment a few weeks before my trip. I called them and they had me send them a message via their facebook page with my information including a picture of my original tattoo and a few examples of different concepts that I liked for the cover up. Samantha was the one that my friend had went to, so I set my appointment with her.

Below is my original tattoo that I had done at a place on Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. I don't think it is there any longer, I think it's now a restaurant. It was not the greatest of work, by any means. I did love it, at one point in my life, none the less. But, over the years it had faded and become distorted and it was hard to even read my name on it. Over this last almost two years, I'd grown very tired of people asking what it said. I was very glad to finally be able to have it covered.

I had sent Samantha three examples of different concepts that I liked. Once I was there, after evaluating the original tattoo in person, while looking at the three different examples that I had sent, she drew my new tattoo on my arm, free-hand, and she incorporated everything that I liked about all 3 of them.

I loved it. And I loved it even sooo much more after it was filled in and complete.

Here is one I took myself one morning a couple of days later after it had healed up a bit..

One of my sisters went with me when I went to get it done. [It was her first 'tattoo experience,' ever. And I'm so glad that her first experience was at the Crooked Tree Gallery!] Samantha and Jarred are both great. And, like I said, I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to get any work done. Their personalities and the overall experience, cleanliness and atmosphere of their shop is a big THUMBS UP!

While I had been sitting in the chair after she'd been filling in the color on my new tattoo for quite some time, I finally asked Sam, "Is that a VAGINA?" I was referring to a framed picture that was hanging on the wall in front of me. (It was a simple outlined sketch.) She confirmed, Yes, yes that is a vagina, and went on to tell of a story of some friends of hers that had visited the Museum of Sex in New York. In the gift shop, there was a coloring book of nothing but vaginas. And for whatever reason, they thought it fitting to get one for her. She'd decided to frame one of the pages and hang it up on the wall. [A great conversational piece, I must say!] My sister then said she had also been looking at it, wondering if that's what it was, but that it reminded her of when she was in the girl scouts. [Que uproarious laughter from Misty.] (It looked like two caves, and a person peeking out of the cave, or something to that affect, which is what reminded her of girl scouts... the "CAVE" part, not the vagina part.) The conversation was very funny. (I'm not going to link the Museum of Sex, but if you are so intrigued, I'm sure you know how to use Google.)

Needless to say, the vagina conversation made the man that was getting some tat work done by Jarred nearby rear his head up to see what the heck all this talk about vaginas was all about.

Check them out!

The Crooked Tree Gallery Facebook Page

The Crooked Tree Gallery Official Website

If I ever want to get some more work done, I will make sure to plan it during a trip back to Evansville!

Fried Chicken Livers, a "REAL" Stromboli, and a SKI Margarita? Yes, please.

I had such a good trip home to Indiana a couple of weeks ago. My youngest son, Chance, and I had went for a visit back in September last year over labor day weekend for just a few days. It was a nice trip also, but it was very short, so I didn't get to spend a lot of time with my family. But, Chance got to visit with his Dad and that side of the family for a few days, and I did get to see my family, so it was still all good.

Just days after we arrived back home from that trip, I bought a ticket for me to go back in April for the week of my birthday. My Mom who raised me is getting up in years; she turned 88 in January; and I'd resolved to try to go back and visit at least twice a year if I can. And, it was my birthday present to myself. An entire week this time; I flew in on Friday, April 8th and flew back on the following Friday, April 15th. Though it was a full week and I got to spend a lot of time with my family, it still went by very fast (as I assumed that it would.) Even so, it was time well spent and a very enjoyable seven days. I even got to have a nice lunch with my former Mother-in-law and Aunt-in-law. I had missed them greatly, and It was very nice to be able to spend a little time with them.

I met them at the beginning of my visit at place called the Crossed Eyed Cricket in Evansville. I had never been there before, but I liked it so much that I ended up going there two more times after that during the week, with others. When I was there for lunch with them, I got the fried chicken livers. Another day, I met my two sisters for lunch, with my Mom. I, again, had the fried chicken livers. What can I say, I like fried chicken livers. They. were. fantastic. I am a country girl, after all. They had a very wide menu available, however. My one sister had meatloaf, the other had chicken teriyaki. The last day that I was in Indiana, before flying out, my long time friend, Stephanie, and I went there again for breakfast. [No, I didn't get chicken livers for breakfast, but my eggs and hash browns and bacon were delicious.] It happened to be Stephanie's wedding anniversary that day. She remembered while we were eating that she had been there ON her wedding day. Though, after they'd ordered food, her Mother told her they had to leave to get to Stephanie's hair appointment on time, so she didn't even get to eat that day. (I think we made up for that day during our breakfast, we were both stuffed when we left.)

Another family dinner that we had with some other family members was at The Log Inn. Yes, I got fried chicken livers, again. And, again, they were delicious. I also got their fabulous strawberry pie. (And the helpings were so awesome, the next morning, I had fried chicken livers and strawberry pie for breakfast.) You can't order fried chicken livers just anywhere here in Florida, so I was just trying to get my fill while I was at home.

Me, baby Lydia, my cousin Erin (Lydia's Mama) and my Mom, at the Log Inn.

Another place I met family for lunch while I was in town was St. Phillip's Inn. I was a cook at St. Phillip's Inn many years ago. I started working there as a cook right after I went back to work after having my oldest boy in 1993 and worked there for three years until I was four months pregnant with my second boy. In Florida, you just can't get a "real" stromboli. (They also have great fried chicken livers, but not on the lunch menu or else I probably would have gotten them, too!) I ALWAYS have to go to St. Phillip's Inn at least once while I am at home visiting. It never seems to change, and I love that.

Another thing I had while we were at St. Phillip's Inn was a SKI. Unless you are from the southern Indiana/Tri-State area, you have probably never heard of a Ski, but it is a lemon/lime soda that is only distributed in this area. And, like fried chicken livers and strombolis, it is something that I have to have while I am back home, simply because you just can't get it in Florida.

Oh! and the Hacienda on the west side of Evansville has SKI MARGARITA's! We went there to eat one day, too. Good Lord. Yes, Please. My sister and I shared a pitcher. The food was very good, also, of course.

I ate at some other places, too, but these are the places I went to while I was visiting home that stand out in my mind.

Evansville, Indiana...
Good times. Good food. Good drink. Good memories.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Flying thoughts

I briefly popped out my Chromebook towards the end of my flight home yesterday...

I’m having a fabulous flight going back home.

Though the can of Bud Light - a brand that I normally don’t drink - cost me six bucks, it is very complimentary to my very relaxing flight. There's something about slightly filling my dainty little plastic airplane cup; pour a wee pit, sip a wee bit, and so on and so forth, while reading about the mellowness of the true Italian’s spirit in my current reading of “Eat Pray Love.”

I would also like another beer. Even though it is six dollars. And even though it is a Bud Light. But, alas, they only come through one time. Do they allow you to buy more than one alcoholic beverage at a time when they come through? I’ve never tried. When I'm on a plane I never think, “Well, maybe I’ll want a second one... later.”

My ears have begun to pop, so I assume we are beginning our decent.

I had a middle seat on the flight home [to Indiana.] I have a middle seat on my flight home now [to Florida.] On this one, no one came to sit on the other side of me. So, I got to pop over to the window seat. Another attribute to my very fine flight.

My week-long visit to one of my two homes, Indiana, was a very good one. When I refer to Florida, I refer to it as home. But, I also do this with Indiana. I am very lucky in that I have not one, but two places that I can call home. Not everyone has that. It is both a blessing and a curse, however. 

For no matter which “home” you happen to be located at any given time, you are always leaving the other one, and the people there, behind. 

It is an endless cycle of being at one, while missing the other; always.