Jam Out with Ya Clam Out!

Well, summer has officially arrived and it started with Hangout Fest 2013 last weekend!  We land-locked ourselves for four days and four nights while our neighborhood filled up with at least 35,000 people!  For those of you who do not know, we have a house two blocks away from Hangout.  We invited Mary’s cousin, Rebecca, to come down for the weekend to help out and to enjoy the festivities.  Prior to all of the madness, Krystian was able to take Rebecca on a scenic flight of Pleasure Island.  It was very cool being able to see preparations for the festival happening from up above!

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Rebecca enjoying her scenic flight over Pleasure Island.

Although we (Krystian & Mary) did not attend the festival, we were able to listen to the music we wanted to hear from our balconies while grilling burgers!  Some of the bands we listened to are The Shins, Tom Petty & the Heart-breakers, BassNectar, Trey Anastasio, The Roots, Galactic, Imagine Dragons, Passion Pit, Stevie Wonder, and more!  We spent most of our time during the festival parking cars in our front yard.  Needless to say, it was a great success and we met many interesting people from all over!

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Mary and Rebecca parking cars.

As mentioned earlier, we were land-locked for four days so we planned our meals accordingly.  One of our meals was so delicious and so easy that we thought we would share it!

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Greek Lamb & Feta Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo

Greek Lamb & Feta Tacos w/ Fresh Pico de Gallo

  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 small yellow onion minced
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • Black pepper

Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat.  Add minced onion.  Sautée unitl they begin to turn golden.  Add minced garlic.  Sautée until garlic begins to brown.  Add ground lamb and rosemary, mixing in the onion and garlic.  Add black pepper to your liking (we love black pepper, so we are not shy about it).  Cook the lamb until it begins to brown over medium heat, just as you would ground beef.

Fresh Pico de Gallo

  • 2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. fresh lime juice

Dice and combine in a dish the tomatoes, bell-pepper, jalapenos, and onion.  Add the cilantro, salt, and lime juice.  Stir well (we put ours in a dish with a lid and toss it like a salad).  Refrigerate.  Pico is better the longer it marinates in the lime juice.

Now all you need are taco shells and feta cheese and you will have yourself Greek Lamb & Feta Tacos!!

*This recipe makes about 6 large tacos

And remember folks, Jam Out with Ya Clam Out!!

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Funky sign for a funky summer!

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It’s a bird! No… it’s a plane! No, it’s Krystian!!!

As if our lives aren’t adventurous enough, did we mention that Krystian is a student pilot??  Well, he is and we have been wanting to post about the completion of his first solo flight!

Since Krystian is on his way to super pilot stardom, he is going to take over the blog for a few minutes.

Hello all!  Had I known that it was possible to become a super pilot without having to join the military then my student loans could possibly be significantly less than they are now!

I have had a fascination with flying ever since I had my first close encounter with an airliner jet at the age of 5.  Flying was never feasible in my head until I “re-met” my good friend Russell (from Little Rock, AR).  While working together, we would talk about airplanes and Russell would share stories of him and his grandfather building an airplane that Russell later learned to fly.

At any rate, roughly a little over a year and a half ago I took my very first flight lesson and it was everything I thought it would be and then some.  Progress has been slow initially but knowledge and passion never digressed.  Now, we are on a fast track to get ourselves in the air and Mary has been an amazing cheer leader and documentary maker (photos and videos are courtesy of my beautiful wife to be).  I started out flying a Cessna 152 and occasionally the 172 and went through 5 instructors before landing on the current super instructor, Nick.  While I was passionate about flying, I was not excited about my instructors.  Then, after not having flown for a little while, I went in for a lesson hoping to land an awesome instructor that was passionate about what he did.  Being the firm believer in the law of attraction that I am, it was not too surprising when I see Nick and I knew that he was going to be the CFI to license me and get me on my way to becoming a super pilot.

Now, captain Nick has me flying a Piper Warrior 151 and the experience is amazing.  I performed my first solo recently on April 29, 2013.  The way Nick presented the solo to me will stick with me forever.

Piper Warrior 8410C

Taxiing out for my first solo flight/take off.  Piper Warrior 8410C at KJKA, Gulf Shores, AL.

Taxiing out for my first solo flight/take off. Piper Warrior 8410C at KJKA, Gulf Shores, AL.

So the lesson on the day of the solo was pretty routine, touch and go’s on runway 09.  I was off work and anticipated flying for awhile that day.  After the 7th touch and go, as we were on downwind for runway 09, Nick kindly requests me to make a full stop landing vs. the touch and go I was planning, I was almost a bit perturbed, but I trust him.  Nick also said that he would inform me as to why we are doing a full stop when we get on the ground.  After turning base and final, while on short final (about 100 feet or so off the ground) Nick tells me that I am going to perform my first solo and that is why he needs me to do a full stop.  Talk about a little pressure during a landing.

For those that are unfamiliar with a solo, this is the first time that a student pilot flies with no one else in the airplane with them.  Soo…this was the first time that I flew by myself.  I was required to perform 3 take offs and 3 full stop landings and control the radios with only yours truly in the cockpit!  While it was a bit unnerving not having a safety nest in the cockpit (my CFI), it was a turning point and a confidence builder in my budding super pilot career.

Stepping out of the cockpit after my first solo flight!

Stepping out of the cockpit after my first solo flight!

My super pilot/instructor and friend, Nick H.

My super pilot/instructor and friend, Nick H.

After all the hard work I look forward to the “pilot’s life” that Mary and I are trying to accomplish.  We look forward to and enjoy every flight.  When all is said and done with flight school, we look forward to sharing flight with our family and close friends.  And the fact the I get to flight train over the beach here in Pleasure Island, Alabama, is just icing on the cake.

Downwind runway 27 of the ICW/Canal, Gulf Shores, AL.

Downwind runway 27 of the ICW/Canal, Gulf Shores, AL.

Scenic Flight over the beach in Gulf Shores, AL before maneuver training over the bay.

e Scenic Flight over the beach in Gulf Shores, AL before maneuver training over the bay.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my flying.  I/we look forward to sharing our flight experiences with you all as we are very passionate about our new upcoming flying ventures…stay tuned to “Fly the Krystian Skies!” with us.

Nerd Event 2013 (Repti-Con) Navarre, Florida

Now that you (our audience) know how much we like critters you can imagine how excited we were about attending a nearby reptile expo.  This is Mary’s first one to attend while I have been to numerous expos.  While this was not the most impressive expo I have attended, it was a good ice breaker for Mary’s first of many experiences and we came out of it with a couple of new additions.

For those who have never been to a reptile expo it can be describes as a bunch of critter nerds and enthusiasts (consumers) getting together at a giant pet shop (reptile expo) and buying new pets and sharing stories with the vendors (breeders) & fellow nerds.  Breeders from all over the nation get together and sell everything from spiders and centipedes to alligators and turtles.  Whether you go to an expo to buy a new pet or not, these events are great for families and children as they double up as an exotic zoo.  These events are good exposure for kids and people with fears of these animals because you can get up close and interactive with them and you have an expert who will be glad to talk to you or your kids about their passion.

That being said, Mary and I met a breeder named Dan.  Dan sold us our news pet(s).  We originally bought a juvenile female albino corn snake from Dan for Mary.  This was the snake the stood out to Mary, thus, it became her first snake.

Mary's first snake purchase!

Mary’s first snake purchase!

Now it was my turn to pick out a snake – “Oh the pressure!!”.  The snakes I had my eyes on were out of the price range of what I’m willing to spend.  So after walking around “my pick” several times we finally went to Dan and asked him if he by any chance he had a woma python…at his house he did!!  His price was reasonable, just one catch…we have to wait until after the show and follow Repti-Dan to his house.  This was exciting because now Mary was able to see what a breed facility looks like, and what a breed room!!  The animals were healthy and seemingly content, the breed room was clean and smelled like a well kept reptile house at a zoo, and Dan was entertaining and passionate about his hobby.  There, we got our first woma!

Our first woma!

Our first woma!

Our first woma!

Our first woma!

Now, you may ask yourself “why did they type ‘pet(s)’ the way they did at the beggining?”, and here is why.  As we mentioned earlier, we had bought the albino corn snake as Mary’s first snake.  When we got to Dan’s repti-wonderland, the first snake we got to hold was a 6 foot carpet python that we named Garfield, for the time being, because he was so cool and calm.  Mary immediately became infatuated with Garfield and before even discussing it, we were already making plans in our heads to sell the corn snake and put those resources into a Jaguar cross Carpet python from Dan!

This is a Jaguar cross Carpet Python, male - 6ft.  Mary wants one after meeting this one.

This is a Jaguar cross Carpet Python, male – 6ft. Mary wants one after meeting this one.

So we sold the albino corn snake to a friend of ours and passed on the savings we got from Dan, and now we are awaiting Mary’s new first snake.  You see, Dan had some week-old carpet python babies.  Dan has good breeder and business ethics, and in the reptile world that means that you don’t sell animals that are not established eaters and health.  Good man!

Some of the other critter we saw…

6 inches and still growing!

6 inches and still growing!

Albino Pac Man Frog

Moon Crabs

A tub full!

A tub full!

We have 2 snakes for now and we are sticking to the Aussie theme for now with our 2, soon 3 pythons.  We will update you all on this subject when we get “Muncher”, our carpet python.  Until then, we want to also mention that we have a Green Tree Python; the carpet python will be our third Aussie Python.

Overall, Repti-Con 2013 in Navarre, FL was a great experience and the beaches there are a great site.  We missed the going to the famous butterfly house as they were closed by the time we were able to make it there.  The drive was scenic and as always, we thrift where we can….but that’s a another post.  ;-]

 

 

Baking chicken in a cast-iron skillet is highly suggested

These past few days have been nice.  We both have had time to spend with each other doing things that we love.  From cooking to shopping for our Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/sameKVintage) to snake hunting and nature exploring, our time has been spent freely doing what it is that we enjoy.

Snake hunting… snake hunting… we keep mentioning snake hunting!  Well, Krystian is going to take the controls and describe our recent snake hunting experiences!

Hello bloggers and fellow snake enthusiasts, I am Krystian and I have been told by experts that I am an expert in the field of herpetology.  Short relevant background:  BA Psychology, Asso Biology – emphasis in animal behavior.  I have been observing & interacting with snakes for 25 years now and  have handled and kept in captivity everything from garter snakes to spitting cobras.  Field work (snake hunting, herping, etc…) is something I highly enjoy and try to do with regularity.  Plus side, Mary is passionately apprenticing under me, she’s really into it!

So I caught a Fence Lizard, also referred to as a Fence Swift, as our first reptile in the adventure.

Fence Lizard/Swift  Baldwin County, AL Male

Fence Lizard/Swift
Baldwin County, AL
Male

Mary is apprenticing and so far, concerning wild specimens, Mary is starting with handling lizards that I catch.  It won’t be long until Mary is finding her own snakes and bringing them to me.

Fence Lizard/Swift Baldwin County, AL Male

Fence Lizard/Swift
Baldwin County, AL
Male

It was not very long until I found a juvenile Southern Black Racer.

Juvenile Southern Black Racer Baldwin County, AL

Juvenile Southern Black Racer
Baldwin County, AL

He was pretty calm for a snake that is known to be a little spastic.  Like I told Mary when she was petting it, “It’s all in the capture; keep it calm.”.

Southern Black Racer Baldwin County, AL

Southern Black Racer
Baldwin County, AL

Southern Black Racer Baldwin County, AL

Southern Black Racer
Baldwin County, AL

We do not always catch reptiles.  They are surprisingly hard to find in their own habitat so it really bothers me when people see and kill snakes in their yards or in the roads.  As Mary is learning, we have about a 10% success rate when it comes to finding snakes on days we decide to snake hunt.  Whether we find them or not, I love that fact that I have a beautiful woman that enjoys my random hobby with me, and nature’s beauty is always a plus!

Wildflowers that we have not bothered to identify yet.

Wildflowers that seem to be a relative to the lilac species.

 

Wildflowers I picked for Mary on a back road whilst snake-hunting.  It had a minty smell to it.  We have not identified it yet.

Wildflowers picked on a back road whilst snake-hunting. It had a minty smell. We have not attempted to identify it yet.

 

Wild-berries in the brush.

Wild-berries in the brush.

Remember to appreciate Mother Nature!!

 

 

Flea-Across-Florida Spring 2013

We were faced with a difficult decision Friday night.  Yard-saling around town or fleaing-across-Florida on Saturday?  We chose to Flea-Across-Florida. “Flea-Across-Florida?” you may be asking yourself?  Flea-Across-Florida is what is suppose to be Florida’s 3rd Annual longest flea market/yard sale extending 270 miles from Live Oak up to Pensacola along US Highway 90 (April 12-14).

We left Pleasure Island fairly early in the morning heading towards Hwy 90.  We stopped at a few thrift shops and snake hunted along the way.  We were on Hwy 90 East for 25 miles East of Pensacola (Milton) before we ran across anything that appeared to be a part of Flea-Across-Florida.

First vendor we came upon while participating in Flea-Across-Florida 2013

First vendor we came upon while participating in Flea-Across-Florida 2013

Needless to say, we were not very lucky with finds at this tent.  From there on out, it was not a continuous flea-market at all.  We would drive 5-15 miles between a vendor or small group of vendors participating in Flea-Across-Florida, and it mainly consisted of yard sale JUNK.   We drove for 75 miles of the event (this is not including the 32 miles just to get to the start of the Flea-Across-Florida).  Within that 75 miles, we did not experience anymore activity than your typical local area Saturday morning yard-sale.  By no means are we being negative on the subject (we definitely are excited about what few new items we got for the store http://www.etsy.com/shop/samekvintage).  We were unable to find any reviews, therefore we felt compelled to provide you with one (that we know of).

On the flip-side, we thoroughly enjoyed the scenic ride, the free petting zoo, and each others company.

En route to Milton from Pensacola

En route to Milton from Pensacola

 

The kids loved him!!

The kids loved him!!

And the blogging begins!

Well, we have been talking about it and now we are finally doing something about it!  We are officially blogging!!  This is not too different from LiveJournal…right?

Anyway, formal introductions:  Hello world!  We are Krystian and Mary and we. are. awesome.  On top of being awesome, we are soul-mates who are artsy, gluten-free, go-green, dog-lovers (Macho – the Pitbull & Kalypso – the Spanador)… among many other things!  We also are the owners of our new online Etsy shop, sameKVintage. 

After having met each other last summer (after knowing each other for almost two years – another story for another day), we both knew it was meant to be and our love for each other has been growing stronger ever since.  We cannot imagine spending our lives with any one else but each other and because of that, WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!! 

Big introduction, huh? 

We are getting married this Fall (2013).  We have not officially picked a date or a setting but it is happening and for those of you who follow, you will be kept updated!  We are having a 1920’s style wedding with lace and lots of handmade goodness all around! 

As mentioned above, we own a vintage shop together (www.etsy.com/shop/samekvintage).  Well, the whole purpose for this shop (besides it being tons of fun) is to help pay for our vintage wedding!  So, please feel free to browse around and contribute to the cause… only if you want!

Among our vintage adventures, you will get to first-hand experience snake-hunting, craft projects, gardening tips, gluten-free recipes, our pets, and general tips on being awesome!

We look forward to what’s to come!Image