Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, one of The Boys friends came over for a dry run at Happy Hour Play Dates. His mom and I talked about restarting those, as well as other things on the plate for the school year. MDH had a soccer game, which turned into 2 games that night, so it was fairly quite around here, The Boys getting caught up on TV they missed over the week.
Saturday, I spent the morning doing laundry, and the neighbor kid came over to play. I made all three lunch, and while they were eating, one of his sisters came over to get him for breakfast. He was worried that he would get in trouble for eating at my house, and not going home for breakfast, so I sent him home with his corn dog and juice bag. I'm guessing he might indeed have gotten in trouble, because we didn't see him the rest of the weekend. The Youngest's first soccer game was in the afternoon, and it was 101 out from about 11 to about 6, so we went through alot of water, and sat in the scorching heat. The Oldest whined about being hot. I think we'll be bringing the easy up from now on.
Sunday was a bit cooler, but without any guarantee of such, I went out early to pick apples before they all go to rot. I'm borrowing a peeler/corer from a friend and going to freeze them for later use, as the dehydrator never did fall out of the sky (ha!) There are about 70 pounds of apples to peel, core and freeze, and one of the teachers at school recommended that I mix with sugar, cinamon, nutmeg and flour, and freeze in a ziploc, in a pie pan. That way I can just whip one out of the freezer, unzip it still frozen, dump it into a pan, and cook. I think that is a brilliant idea! Another friend asked me to save some for cooking class, no problem on that! Sunday evening was so cold, I almost turned on the heater!
This morning, I told MDH about my plan to make frozen pie filling disks, and he remarked that was great because I've only NEVER actually made a pie in the 18 years we have been married. Completely true. But I think with the up front work done, and only having to drop the disk into a crust, I might actually bake several pies this year. So there! Now, to find a low cal recipe for Apple Pie - anyone have a good one?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I live in a city with MANY strip malls - the bane of individualism. However, we do have our share of incongruity, where you have to wonder what the landlord was thinking when he assigned the spaces.
To the left, a gym, to the right a liquor store - 2 doors more to the right is a donut shop...Same strip mall - Beauty College on the right, Paint store on the left - really one in the same, no?On the left an earthquake preparedness shop, on the right a ceramic painting place - and I KNOW they don't use any of that Quake Putty there...Golf ball in an abandoned lot - not anywhere close to a golf course.Beautiful tree shot from same abandoned lot, at the back of a parking lot where likely no one will enjoy it.And the next few are all in the parking lot of my grocery store, and every time I see this it makes me wonder. From the far left, McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Papa John's Pizza, and in the middle of this strip mall - MediFast (a weight loss place).From the left, starting with MediFast, Subway Sandwich Shop, and Taco Bell. Seriously, 5 places in a row, only 12 parking spaces right in front, and they put MediFast in the middle?This is the other end of that same paring lot with Back Forty Texas BBQ and Papa Murphy's Take-n-Bake Pizza. Well I was also planning on going for the restaurants next to veterinarians, but I know another Shooter hit that a few weeks back with Outdoor Food theme. I hope you all enjoy the weekend!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, The Youngest FINALLY pulled that loose tooth that had actually died and turned grey 3 weeks prior. I promised him a toy if he pulled it himself, and so Friday afternoon I made a deal with The Boys. Try on their sneakers to see if they still fit from the Spring. If not, go get new sneakers for school. I have to say that they spend the summer barefoot or in Crocs, neither of which is allowed at school, and so they haven't worn actual shoes since June when school let out for summer. After the shoe store, we stopped by Big Lots with nothing found for either cheap shorts, or toys, so it was off to Target. The Boys ended up each with a cheap toy and were pretty happy with their selections for the rest of the weekend. For dinner, I made Meat Loaf and Mashed Potatoes, despite it being 95 degrees, and My Dear Husband (formerly The Dude) ate for lunches the remainder of the weekend. MDH, worked Friday night, Saturday Morning, and most of Sunday on a couple of contracting jobs.
Saturday I had The Boys try on some of their clothes and coats to see if I was going to need additional clothing this fall, and I'm happy to say that most everything still fits from last year, with the notable exception of The Youngest's coat. We have the next size up, so that really wasn't an issue. I also managed to finish all of the laundry in the morning! The afternoon and evening were spent at my family reunion. The pot luck yielded at least 5 fruit salads, a terrifically yummy rice and pasta salad, an heirloom tomato salad, and MANY desserts, of which The Boys were particularly fond. There is a traditional White Elephant gift exchange, which netted a shelf unit now sitting on The Oldest's bed, and Hot Wheels for The Youngest. I was able to sit and visit with many of my relatives whom I do not see very often, which was nice. MDH and I were supposed to go to a 40th Birthday Party that night, but I was wiped out from the reunion, and freezing cold to boot, and he spent the day studying and didn't feel like going out. So I pulled on sweats, and we ordered pizza. It was a nice night at home.
Sunday MDH was out of the house early to work and I needed a quiet day at home. I made zucchini bread with the help of The Boys, altering a recipe I found to make it only 1 weight watchers point per slice! In the afternoon The Boys played with each other and the neighbors, which kept them busy while I FINALLY finished the Wedding Album I'd been meaning to complete. It took most of the day because I went through it with a fine toothed comb for any errors, reviewed all of the e-mails we exchanged and ended up having to add a number of pages to make it look just right. Want to see it?
Go Here. For the Parent Album (in progress) Go Here.
In the Evening MDH had a soccer game and a couple of friends stopped by to visit which was a nice break from staring at my computer.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I was originally take a pass this week, as I feel like my town doesn't have particularly amusing signs. Then I visited Gordon and was inspired! All of the signs this week are in and around my home.
This sign is on the wall next to my bed and usually the first thing I see in the morning. A good reminder to start the day:
Of course, this is the "Rest of the Picture":This hangs above the door to The Boys' room, and it is too true!These are on the wall in the office/play room. Bonus if you can name the town that these are from, and have been to all of these places (It isn't difficult as one of them actually has the name of the town on it):This is an antique I found a while ago and now in my backyard, as are the others in this group:Do you know what this means?I think this needs little explanation:I live too far away from the beach, but a girl can dream!Helpful sign for when CA drops into the sea!This is on the wall in my bedroom, behind the door, and often the last thing I see when I go to sleep: I hope you all have a great weekend!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Today I will be telling you of a very dark time in my life. I was in college. I had gone to school, and my then boyfriend followed me. I tried to dissuade that by being a complete bitch the summer before getting to school. I cannot tell you HOW I came to this conclusion, but I was convinced that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this guy, but didn't want him to hamper my sowing of wild oats at school. And so I went to college, seemingly unencumbered by a high school boyfriend. I saw other people, and eventually so did he, we also occasionally saw each other. Also, we had lots of mutual friends. We were all geeks into Anime, D&D, UNIX BBs, and other generally really geeky things. We had found our niche in college, away from the muscle headed geek beaters of HS, so were were pretty happy. Oh, and I'd dated J for about a year at the point when we arrived at college. At the time of this event, he had just started a new relationship and I was unhappily not seeing anyone. We were at a party at the house occupied by many of our friends. When J arrived with his new girlfriend, I started drinking. I drank a 750ml bottle of 151, chased by a can of Coca Cola. After about half of the bottle, I blacked out. I woke up on my bed, face down, trash can below my face. When I pieced it all together, it appears I did drink all of the rum and coke. I also played chase with some friends around the house, culminating in my jumping out of the kitchen window, taking the screen with me. I jumped up and danced some more. My night ended when they found me in the middle of the street screaming at the top of my lungs, some slurred version of "Blister In The Sun". Two of the people there drove me home, and dumped me into my bed. The hangover was bad, my mood was bad, and I actually considered taking my own life. Until a little voice inside told me that I was being a stupid teenager, and that I was going to let someone else's behavior dictate my life? Oh, PLEASE! I was (and am) stronger than that, much stronger. I cried for days, but I got over it. I moved on, and so did J. I've actually only told one other person this story, and that is my husband. It has caused him to hate J with a white hot passion, and threaten him (although J lives across the country, and likely has NO clue that any of this occurred). I hold no hatred toward anyone (really), and I hope he is happy, much like I hope all of you are happy and healthy.
And for this Wednesday, now that it is running through my head:
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday I took the day off and The Dude, The Boys and I went to Great America. We got there when the park opened, and left for home 9 hours later! Got The Oldest to ride a real coaster, watched The Boys enjoy the kiddie rides, got drenched on a water ride, and spent some time at the wave pool. It was a fun and tiring day spent as a family!
Saturday, the four of us drove a couple of hours to visit some friends in the afternoon. We swam, had BBQ, The Boys played PS2, XBox, and pinball, and the adults stayed up way too late laughing, talking and playing hearts.
Sunday we came home from our visit, and went to a Nephew's birthday party at a local pool. More fun in the water and sun, and then dinner and laundry at home. The Boys crashed at 8:30, and I wasn't far behind them at 9:00. If you are wondering why this weekend's post is rather sparse (though the weekend wasn't), The Dude read my blog last week which raised issues as to what he would rather be called, whether it is appropriate for me to share so much on my blog, and has now caused me to filter down what I write about. So, I'm struggling with striking a balance between what I write here, and what I write in my personal journal (which I don't write in all that often).
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I initially was going to post photos of far flung destinations that I think of when I think "relaxation", but then I thought that there are a ton of things you can do to relax right here in and around the Tri-Valley.
Before you start climbing the walls:
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It all started innocently enough. I'd won a Pretty Party at Benefit Cosmetics. Let me start by saying that I NEVER win anything that I actually want or could use. I had entered a raffle for various prizes during AIDS Walk San Francisco, as a star walker (one who raises over $1,000). I have entered this same raffle for 10 years, and have been walking for 20. I should also mention that I do not wear make up, much to my mom's chagrin. This Pretty Party was for 10 people, and while I do not personally wear any makeup, I do have several friends who do, and who also use Benefit's line and LOVE it. A few of my friends decided to stay overnight in the city, and I was invited to stay with a couple of them. Totally cool, and fun! The Benefit employees were super nice, and not what I'd envisioned (think snotty suburban department store cosmetics counter). They waxed, they tweezed, they powdered and painted and made us all feel great! We also had happy hour snacks and wine (whites). Following the party, we walked up the street to dinner, more wine (reds this time), desserts and drinks. Great fun and food and friends! My issues did not occur until much later when my stomach decided a mass evacuation was in order. I honestly tried not to wake my roommates (unsuccessful no doubt), as my entire body rid itself of every morsel of food and drink in any direction available. It was ugly. It was gross, and when it was all over, there was cleanup involved. AND when I finally stumbled back to bed, I was only to awaken later with a killer hang over. I really have no clue what happened the rest of the weekend because it was overshadowed by how I felt. That was the first instance of red wine not agreeing with me, but not the last. It has however colored how I think of red wines.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
You already know what I was like just going into the weekend, a stressed out mess. Add to all of that, it was The Dude's 25th High School Reunion. And it was all weekend long. Friday was meeting people after dinner at a complete dive bar. I was wondering how The Dude would handle it, since he isn't drinking anymore, and he did well, didn't drink, and still had fun! I stayed home with The Boys, and got to bed at a moderately decent hour.
Saturday was breakfast/brunch, or plans of the sort, and meeting up with more people. The Youngest had 9:30 soccer practice in a nearby park, so The Boys and I rode bike/scooters to practice, and The Oldest and I rode during practice all around the neighborhood. When we got home, The Dude went to pick up a huge BBQ for Sunday, and I washed my car, and cleaned the house. I packed up The Boys and drove them to my mother-in-law's where they spent the night. Before I left, The Dude remarked that my clothes didn't look that great (what he said was that we were too big to wear tight fitting clothes). Now mind you, it wasn't a cat woman costume, it was slacks and a shirt. When I returned home, after obsessing over my clothes (which I rarely do), I found the best man from our wedding, and his wife, both of whom I hadn't seen in over 8 years at the house. I knew they were coming (thus the aforementioned cleaning), but I excused myself to change into different slacks and a different shirt. We went to dinner at Red Coats (mentioned in a previous post), which also was where the reunion was taking place. We met up with another couple, and I got along really well with the both. The wife reminds me of a dear friend and was very nice and easy to talk to. That made for a great evening, as the class of '84 wandered about in varying stages of drunkenness, some were kicked out for getting stoned on the back porch (Seriously? We are all in our 40's. If this is something you do, I don't give a rat's ass, but do you HAVE to do it AT the restaurant?) We stayed until they kicked us out, at 1:30 this morning, came home and crashed.
Sunday was pick The Boys up, come home, pack up and go to the Reunion Family Day, where we were able to visit with people and the kids could all play. Played soccer and Basketball with the boys, they played in the water park, and The Dude was a social butterfly. Got to see some of the folks I missed last night, the really drunk people were likely too hung over to attend, and we stayed for 5 and a half hours. Once we came home, The Dude showered and went to yet another event, while The Boys and I decompressed from the weekend, vegged out and watched movies. We stopped at a lemonade stand on the way out of the park, and I was a bit taken aback by the $100 price tag for a 10 ounce cup. Inflation has hit little kids and lemonade I guess!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Then I vent to The Dude, and he just says that I made a poor decision to leave the boys at that house. Well, that was helpful and made me feel Soooooooo much better. Thanks. I suppose HE would have gone over and sat with The Boys and their friend, and the grandma? NOOOOOOooooooo, he was not anywhere near volunteering for that!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
You can find power of the electric kind in my town - sometimes it is flying high above:Sometimes it is in an unassuming building:If you are thinking - holy crap, is that what I think it is?Then the answer is yes. Yes, this is a nuclear reactor, and it is on a back road near my town. I encourage you to read more about it here. The urban legend when I was growing up is that GE kept a herd of cows grazing on site that had been surgically altered to include a metal screw out plug connected to a stomach, so that scientists could remove the contents of the stomach and test it for radioactivity.The next two shots are of the windmills of the Altamont Pass Wind Farm. I shot these while in Livermore (which also houses Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). I would have shot pictures of the lab, but they call the cops on you when you try.
One interesting statistic they quoted at the facility as a rule of thumb is that 10,000 volts = 1cm of air travel.And under the heading of Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, I saw these and couldn't resist!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Given that my last Wicked Wednesday event occurred years after my very first night of drinking that went horribly wrong, one would think that I had learned my lessons by the time I was in my late 30s. Not so. I was going out with my friends J, C, and M. By then I was doing Girls Nights Out (of which some will show up here in Wicked Wednesdays), and really not drinking all that much. I thought I had learned my lesson. Was I wrong! I love red wines, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon are my absolute favorites. I'd already been a vegetarian for a number of years, but reds go well with lots of dishes. On this particular night we were going to dine at Oliveto, and dessert at Bittersweet. I had also invited L, a co-worker who had recently ended a relationship (and upon whom I had a crush). This was lining up to be a horrible ending right from the beginning! Dinner was yummy with pasta and bread (plenty to soak up the alcohol), and in my crushy nervousness, I ended up drinking nearly a bottle of wine by myself. I likely also talked way too loud and laughed way too much. The wine certainly clouded my judgement when we arrived at Bittersweet. A pots de creme, a hot chocolate and a chocolate bar later, and we walked back to BART. I was feeling really good, though my lack of an antacid was starting to be a point of some concern. By the time we boarded the train and were in motion I realized that I was going to be sick, likely all over the train, and near my friends. I was panicky, and upon realizing my panic, my dear friends started looking for items I could vomit into, including emptying my purse, but my stomach was not hearing of it. I ended up keeping it in my mouth until we arrived at the next stop, I got off the train, hurried to the nearest restroom (in an unfamiliar station no less), and exited the restroom victorious. Not a drop on me, the restroom, the train, or my friends, who were all concerned, but duly impressed with my ability to keep something truly disgusting in my mouth without further retching. (Keep your dirty minds to yourselves, thankyouverymuch!) We boarded the next train and headed home without further embarrassment on my part (Thankfully). This event had closely followed yet another red wine incident that I will detail perhaps next week. Since then, I have only had a sip of red wine on rare occasion (maybe twice), and I am sad that I can't really drink wine anymore because I'm not into whites.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday I went into the office because my old work laptop was being picked up. I did get quite a bit done that I thought I wouldn't, but it was nice and quiet. Got the boys to bed early in anticipation for...
Up at 5:00, the boys up at 5:30, in the car and on the road at 6:00, on the way to Swim Championships. The boys had to check in by 6:45, and it's 30 minutes away. It was freezing cold and foggy, so I packed The Dude and my king sized, flannel lined sleeping bag. They came in handy after 6:50 warm ups and The Boys were shivering! The Nephews even spent some time under there warming up. I'm very proud of The Boys, The Nephews, their team, and all of their friends who are on other teams. Everyone was really good sports, there were a number of league records broken, including one by a nephew, and we all had loads of fun. I worked as a timer for the second shift, and had fun with my fellow timers. We had one of the fast lanes that was always busy, so the time went by really quickly. By the time the last race was run, the coaches medley relay was over, we struck and got home, 12 hours had gone by! The Dude went diving, and was asleep when we got there, I ran back out for dinner. We ate, and The Boys and I went to bed!
Was up at 7:30, and tried to just take it easy. The Boys cleaned their room and read. I did laundry and read, and we headed out to Sis' house for pizza and salad before Swim awards night. It was cold tonight too, although I didn't dress for it and was shivering in shorts and a t-shirt. The Youngest received an award for always smiling, which made up for The Oldest having been swimmer of the week last week. One nephew received Most Inspirational, and the other was MVP for their respective age groups. It was a good night, capping off a family summer. The people on the team, their parents and everyone involved did such a great job at making this feel like a big family that I am looking forward to next summer already!