Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Well, it's that time - to reflect on the old and welcome the new. And I am hoping for a quiet new year. No medical explorations at all (2008: breast biopsy; 2009: broken ankle). No major changes in family life. I would just like a copacetic year!

Time to get back to the gym, and work on healthier living. But that is not a New Year's Resolution - that is a monthly or weekly goal!

I think my main resolutions for 2010 are the same as always:

1. Enjoy my family
2. Enjoy life
and for this year:
3. Not only to be more thankful but to express my thankfulness more often.

My biggest resolution came not at New Years, but at my 50th birthday. And I occassionally have to be reminded about it. and that resolution was to not prevent myself from enjoying something just because I THINK I wouldnt like it. Have to try something before I say 'oh no, I wouldnt like that' - that is how I went on the Tower Of Terror. Once. But I did go on it!

I will be erasing the knitting counter on my blog and ready to start a new one. Altho I will not have the same amount of time to do as much in - I hope!

Middle daughter and family made it down today. They are going to some show in SF tonight and spending the night there. The kids are staying with his sister. Tomorrow they will be here and will open presents. And playing with their cousins!

Son is back East - attending his first New Year's Eve in Times Square! That is something I wish I had done when I was younger - don't think I could/would do that now becuase of the crowds!
And another reason to visit NYC is crossed off my list - the Tavern on the Green is closing today. Always wanted to see that place, oh well... He also was in Philadelphia and made us all jealous when he sent us photo of the cheesesteak he was enjoying!

I am wishing everyone who reads this - my family - my friends - heck, the whole world: health, safety, prosperity for 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Isnt this an awesome back pack? Know whats in it? My camera! Hubby was very very glacd to buy it for me this Christmas after my little episode in May!
Just read them...




This is the nurse I always wanted to be! I have not been a nurse long enough to actually have one of those awesome capes - if anyone ever finds one, let me know! Apparently my mom had one but it was stolen along with her nursing school pin and cap....anyway, I have always wanted to be this gorgeous nurse - but with the job at General Hospital! You know, where you stand at the nurses station (which does not have one lick of work on it!) and all you do is smile pretty and hand out mail to the docs.....still havent found that job...

The next generation learning how to make cioppino. Guess hubby's dad learned from his father in law - now hubby does it - no way son will ever do it - so it will just skip to grandson!

Fruits of summer time labor.....caps for Christmas! (Yes, we did have to buy them kazoo's....am sure daughter has already hid them!)
I knew he would wear the crazy hat.....he is a hat boy...the crazier the better....and it reminded me of one his mother made him wear as a baby!
Last but not least, our little elf in his cap...
Son gave me this beautiful antique ivory pin and earring set....Japanese....need to do some research on them - but they are beautiful!

Yes we have to give joke gifts. Saw the pet snuggli and got it for granddog - he is always cold. So then of course we had to get his 'dad' a matching snuggli!!!!









Monday, December 21, 2009

December 2009

Must be some way to rotate this - but I cant figure it out. Doesnt really matter cause it is blurry anyway.
The Santa on the very left - and the one in the middle on the right side of the clock - were made (she was big into ceremics) by my mom. The card on top of the clock was made by my son - he was shocked when he saw it tonight - probably done when he was in about 2d grade.

My hubby's "Kingdom". He plays with the setting every year. This is the latest. This is Dept 56 North Pole collection....saw lots of new ones today but he says he doesnt have room for them...


Lost hubby's great-aunt's Italian - whoops, Sicilian - cookie recipe. So looked and looked on line. Found a recipe that sounded similar so tried it. They are almost, not quite, the same. These are the sesame seed ones.

In the front are the very good tasting, but funny looking, Triple Ginger Cookies. Got the recipe from a book I read, I think it was called The Christmas Cookie Exchange Club. Anyway, very easy recipe, very tasty, but I am not very good at making perfect rolls.....The ones in the back are the chocolate form of the Italian cookies. Hubby made those. They are huge! Should be about 1/2 the size they are - right now they look like something I dont want to post here - but the word he used started with a 't' and ended with a 'd'.

Here are a bunch of them frosted and sprinkled. I like the middle ones. They are filled with candied fruit - heavy on the cherries because that is what I like and I was the one who made them! At the end are the fig cookies - called cuccidati (I know I didnt spell that right) that I adore! Our friend Marilyn makes the best ever ones, but I am learning. At least this year, I got the dough part thinner!



Came home from a few errands - had left the dog inside because of the weather - and guess we forgot to put this away. This was the traditional stocking stuffer for son.....what we didnt know at this time, was either before (as appetizer) or after (as dessert) dog also ate traditional stocking stuffer for daughter - a package of 4 or 5 mini-boxes of chocolate covered cherries. So far, all our dogs have eaten chocolate and have never gotten sick....This happened yesterday and he still knows he is in trouble (maybe cause I wouldnt let him on the bed last night??) cause he didnt even beg to lick the leftover ice cream from our dessert tonight....
Ok, so you arent supposed to take any photos INSIDE the Walt Disney Family Museum. I bent the rules. I was inside, but taking photos of the GG Bridge outside! Awesome view! If only those light posts, and cars, werent in the way! Definitely have to go back to the Presidio on a nicer day for some more photo ops!!!!!!


Two doofuses after stuffing themselves at dinner at The Carnelian Room. No drool this time - but what is up with these wacko looks he gives the camera! And boy, sure wish I could figure out how to take our photo without my double/triple chins showing up!

Pretty tree at the Carnelian Room!

These were in an (empty) private dining room at TCR. Dont know if they were getting ready for a party, or they had the party, but these were very pretty.
Almost ready for Christmas. Some last minute shopping for hubby (very hard to get away from a retired man!!!) and some wrapping for him. Have to wrap the stocking stuffers for daughter & family, but they wont be here until New Years Day so there is no rush there. Waiting for son's present to come (supposed to come on the 23rd!!) and then that will be the last wrapping for him - other daughter and her family, the wrapping is all done. Just have to get things under the tree so that we can clean off the dining room table! I think it is still there under all the wrapping paper, tape, pens, etc!











I never did get any photos of the snow all around us - mainly cause I worked those days.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tradition

Many years ago - cant remember quite when - hubby and I started going into The City (AKA San Francisco) at Christmas time to do shopping, looking, and just getting away. Started out as just a long day. And then it became a night - and then a weekend. We finally convinced some old friends to join us, which they did for a couple of years.

Now with hubby retired, we dont have to do it on the weekend, which not only makes it easier for me, but also less expensive for us.

So we went this week. Now, we have experienced all sorts of weather - from unseasonably warm, to heavy, torrential rains. This time it was the cold that we experienced!

One of the places we visited this year was the big Goodwill store on Mission....have been wanting to go there for some time. Ended up with some 100% wool yarn - a Christmas candy plate - 2 small Christmas loaf pans - and.....hold on there....the best of all.....a Longaberger bread basket for $0.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yup, a bread basket that I needed - and a Longaberger one for NINETY-NINE CENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course there was other shopping involved and got some good Christmas shopping done. Met up with friends for lunch.

That night we had reservations at the Carnelian Room (www.carnelianroom.com). A restuarant that has been in business for 40 years....we have eaten there several times over the years, the first time for our 2d anniversary I believe. Fancy (and usually good) food but killer views! So we went there for a goodbye dinner since they are closing at the end of the year. Enjoyed a bottle of Australian wine - a Caesar's salad made the corect way (at tableside) and steak. Too full for dessert ...

More shopping the next day. And some very good wine at DiMaggio's as well as a very very filling early dinner at Volare's with excellant cannoli for dessert. Then on to the Curran Theater to see "39 Steps" - happy birthday honey! This was hubby's birthday present (his birthday is the 14th). And it was hysterical! It is a spoof on Hitchcock - done by a cast of 4!!!!!!

Couldnt get a cab afterwards - so I was impressed - we walked back to our room (at www.whiteswanninnsf.com) which wasnt all that far - just 3 - 4 blocks UPHILL in heels! But we (I!!!) made it......

The next morning was hubby's other birthday present - The Walt Disney Family Museum (www.disney.go.com/disneyatoz/familymuseum/index.html) at the Presideo. What a beautiful place that is! And the museum was great - from birth to death of Walt. Of course, it is the family's view of the man....but still. We were there for hours - at one point, about 2/3s of the way done, we sat down for a minute and realized we had been there 2.5 hours and it hadnt felt like that at all!!!

After that went to the Wharf and had our calamari cocktail - then Ghirardelli banana split! Thank goodness we had a healthy breakfast that AM at the B&B.....

Did a bunch of errands today. Then this evening we found out the sad news that daughter and her family won't be able to make it for Christmas due to work. BUT they will be down the week after so that is okay. I think hubby and I both understand how work interferes with holidays becuase of our jobs. And this will be their first time to have Christmas in their own house, with their kids - and I think that will be kind of fun for them too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Work Party - and complaints!

Saturday night was our work Christmas Party. Now I agreed to change my schedule before I knew the dates of the party - but other people decided they did not need to work this other weekend - so I partly felt screwed. But it has worked out wonderfully so that we can make our yearly SF trip during the week when things will be calmer - wetter, but calmer.

The venue for the party FINALLY changed - www.casarealevents.com - and so there were HUNDREDS of people there! I am sure everyone was surprised at how quickly the tickets sold out. A new venue and better yet, 5 minutes from the house! So it was okay that I had to work the next day (even tho the people that did not go to the party were the ones who asked for call and LOA's!!!!!)

Cold cold cold night. And the place is huge with tall tall ceilings. So it didnt warm up inside until most of the people were there. I think we were there at least 1/2 hour before I even took off my wrap. When we went to buy drink tickets we were told there were bars inside and outside - I muct have looked horrified or something because they quickly answered that there were heaters outside! So initially we all gathered in a large hall and they passed around goodies to nibble on - mainly fishy stuff...

I dont know if this event center had never handled such a large crowd before or what. But not only did the food stink, but service was soooooooo poor. We walked in to large tables of 12 and I dont know how many there were - we were smack dab in the center at #25. All the tables were set with shrimp cocktail - obviously frozen shrimp with a mere smear of bland cocktail sauce. After about 1/2 hour - 45 minutes those were partially cleared away. The serve took the glass that held the shrimp - when they served the salads you were left holding the plate the cocktail had been on until they finished serving the salads and came back to take the plates - and even so they forgot to serve one of the people at the table! The salads were nice. And then after another 45 minutes or so, came the entrees. Watery mashed potatoes, with 6 brussel sprouts on top of the potatoes (as a definite non brussel sprout lover, this was definitely a no no!), the meat sauce was on the plate on the opposite side from the meat - and partially on top of the mash potatoes....the tiny tiny thigh/drumstick of the chicken plate was very good. The steak was raw. I like my steak rare - well medium rare. This was seared on the outside and raw on the inside. Several people complained and they took the steaks back to cook a little more....instead they brought them another entire plate with....you guessed it!....another piece of raw steak!!! As long as it took to serve this meal, there should have been time to cook the steak! I didnt have lunch that day in anticipation of this meal, so I did gag it down (literally, the last piece, I almost had to spit out).

There were 2 bottles of wine on the table for 12 people, with notes telling how to purchase more wine. The chardonney was ok - altho that day when we went to a few wineries on their Holiday Trails (www.lvwine.org/event/68/1259989200_126007) I tasted much better wine. We did empty that bottle but the cab was not finished.

Eventually the dessert came out - a very decent sized hunk of turtle cheesecake - since Tom doesnt like cheesecake and I dont like chocolate, I of course, ate the caramel topped part of the cheesecake for both of us! By the time I finished it was 10 PM and it was time to head home since I had to get up early SUnday for work! Oh, keep in mind that the hours for the party were from 6 P - 11:30 P and I just mentioned that by the time we finished dessert it was 10 P.......very slow service. I know there were a lot of people to serve, but still....

I am so mad at hubby - I would have loved to have a nice photo of us but look at his face - coupled with the line of "drool" coming out of his mouth!

Isnt this a cool library Christmas tree? I found it on another website and wanted to share it....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Ok - what do you see here? I was commenting to hubby on the size of this tree root (and the kind of damage it could potentially do) when he spotted this "person or skeleton" next to it. Veddy interestink...
We were not the only ones enjoying this most beautiful day....these surfers were catching some pretty good rides...

I think even the otter was having a great time in the sun....and his gull friend was waiting to share a meal?

I conned hubby into this phot jaunt by telling him we should go for a walk. He said it was little more than a stroll but I was having a great time with my camera and my camera was paying me back with some really great photos. And I was happy to be out walking in 'naure' without my ankle causing me any problems!

Just another gorgeous day in Monterey...

Guess this should have been at the top to be kind of a 'title photo' huh???

So our Thanksgiving dinner was actually on Sunday when I was off work, as was this guy's mom. We didnt serve ham at the dinner - we just had the ham with the dinner!

This is the little hamlet who was doing his usual meal time stare down with MeMaw...

And here is the little guy who decided he couldnt eat dinner becuase his tummy hurt and he needed to go and lie down in the living room. Uh huh. He is the sneaky little con man...







Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Black Friday to all you crazy people out there! (And you know who you are)

Isnt that a gorgeous wedding cake???? That is from the wedding we went to last Sunday.
I cannot make a pie crust for the life of me - thank goodness for Pillsbury! And I cant make the edges pretty at all either. But I can make the filling from scratch - and then it turns out this pretty and smells even better. It is all I can do to keep hubby's hands off of this until Sunday!

The first friday in more than 2/3 of my marriage that hubby did not have to work....so I didnt work today either and we celebrated! How? By going shopping!
NO....not at any of those shops that encourage the craziness. Went to the Harvest Festival - saw lots of beautiful things - got a few Christmas presents - and forgot to go back and get a couple (darn it all).
And then we went to the grocery store to finish our shopping for Thanksgiving dinner Sunday. Dropped off books at the library and a package at the P.O.
Came home and listened to the rain - sitting in front of our warm pellet stove (something we are definitely thankful for plus the fact it is NOT a No Burn day) and am drinking a lovely glass of wine...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!



I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends - those close and those far. And to thank everyone for being there as friends through the good and the bad ... thank you to those who put their lives on the line for us everyday, both here on US soil and on foreign soil.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving week!


"Borrowed" these from a friend's email....loved them!
Went to a beautiful wedding last night. Beautiful venue. It was late afternoon and to be at this venue as day segued into evening and night - it was lovely. http://www.palmeventcenter.com/
Anyway, it was a second wedding for the nicest person I have ever been honored to know. She always has a smile for everyone - no matter how bad the day - and never says anything bad about anyone. When I started working at the hospital I work at - she and I were on nights together. And then we went to days together - I think I followed her. She has 2 beautiful sons - had a beautiful house that she managed to live thru renovations of while she worked nights and the construction people worked days - and then she was divorced. And no matter what she would say about the circumstances - and it was hard to start over again - she was still smiling and nice....
Then about 2 years ago she met her husband to be. And this nice and smiling person - well, how can you go from that to even more so? But she did. And so I hope this mean that she will have the happiness she deserves!
The wedding was classy - not snobby or prestigious - but classy and relaxed and fun. I think that is what is nice about 2d weddings! And it was fun to see work colleagues all dressed up and having fun!
AND - I wore heels for the first time in 6 months! No - not the sexy ones I wish I could have bought - just plain ole pumps with thick heels - but they were heels. But today I am feeling it - not pain exactly, but tiredness.
Spent yesterday AM cleaning out the freezer. Hubby broke off a bunch of the ice that always forms on the top shelf. But you know - it keeps on freezing well no matter what. And we bought this the summer before oldest daughter was born - and she will be 34 come December! (At least if I have jinxed myself, freezers are the least expensive appliance to replace....as long as we discover the issue before all the yummy food hubby has stocked up thaws out!)
And we are sitting around waiting for the repairman to come and see why the dishwasher is not emptying. The dishwasher we got in February. What is it about Thanksgiving??? Hopefully this is minor and can be fixed today. Our largest fiasco at Thanksgiving time is when we had the pipe burst under the house.....or when we were renovating the kitchen....at least then we had appliances, just board covered counter tops!
Our big turkey day will be next Sunday - I work Wed and Thursday - and my daughter works too. Hubby and son will have an un-traditional meal on Thursday. I keep forgetting I do not need to buy all the fixings yet and I start to panic when I think I dont have the things ready yet! LOL.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Depressing


Hopped on BART today and went to SF to run some errands - mainly to find some shoes for a wedding this weekend and our work Christmas Party in early December.
These really are the type of shoe I love - sexy and beautiful -I use to be a huge shoe freak but kinda outgrew it. But I still love beautiful ones even tho I usually go for comfort first.



But remember what happened to me in late May? You know, the broken left ankle and becoming a couch potato for allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll of summer. And hearing that 100% healing properly will not really be completed for a whole year.
I tried on shoes. I drooled over sexy dressy sandals that I knew would be ankle turners....I tried on and lusted after these really cute purple (eggplant purple) ankle boots with heels.
And in every thing I tried on, I had discomfort even when my foot/ankle didnt turn. They turned in most of them. I came home with none. I came home very depressed. Shoot, I almost started bawling right there in DSW. Told hubby that I guess I might as well go out and just buy some black sneakers to wear.......
Dropped some money at Williams-Sonoma; and found that the knives hubby loves have a sale going on so will probably have to sneak there alone sometime. Got some nifty tea at the tea shop. Restrained myself at Borders because I still have several gift cards for Barnes and Nobles!
And of course we had Blondie's for lunch....
Macy's has their windows papered over as they are getting them ready for Christmas. And the old City of Paris store does not have their huge beautiful tree up. They were just putting up the Union Square tree. So nice to see places that have not rushed into Christmas already!!!!!!!!!
And the day was BEE-YOU-TI-FUL! Sunny and cool and not crowded!


Friday, November 13, 2009

I've missed so much!




This handsome guy turned SEVEN on Wednesday and I did not even post a Happy BIrthday here! I feel badly about that.
This is grandson (grandchild) #1. It has been a wonderfully short 7 years since he was born - I still remember going over to his house a few days after he and his mama went home. His papa fixed spaghetti for his mama and daddy while we got to hold him!


And of course, that also means I did not post a thank you for all the men and women in the Armed Forces because his birthday and Veteran's Day are one and the same. But I thank each and every one of you each and every day. May you all stay safe.

It has been very busy at work. Lots of babies being born - and lots getting admitted into the NICU. I guess it is a blessing that we stay busy as that means job security. Especially since the rest of the hospital is pretty slow. Which means they are cracking down on the budget and over time and all. Of course, it is pretty coincidental that all this happens around the time we are supposed to find out how much of a COLA we are to recieve...

I am also blessed. I have a wonderful husband who spoils me rotten. Especially now that he is retired and has more time to do so! He made the best baked snapper fillets this week - with a lovely sauce of garlic, artichoke hearts, green pepper and I dont know what all. But it was the best I ever had. And tonight I just finished eating the galumpki's he made this week - while he is eating a stuffed bell pepper! And our freezer is full of home made soup and home made spaghetti sauce!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I FINALLY found what I have been looking for!

I discovered our last trip to Hawaii, that I really need some kind of shirt to wear when we go snorkeling in Hawaii. Have been half heartedly searching and today I finally found it! Great site for adults and kids - shirts and hats! Check out www.uvskins.com and see what I mean!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Odds and Ends

1. Today is such a lovely day - what makes California special - 80 degrees and it is November - clear and sunny...

2. Do we REALLY need Daylight Savings time anymore? Especially in the medical field it is more of a pain than a plus. You lose an hour of pay at one end of the spectrum.....and work an extra hour at the other end. And there are times that one extra hour is really a killer...Also, how do you chart? When it looks like you ignored your patient for an hour....or how do you give a scheduled dose of medication when the time changes????

3. Spent a lot of money to pit myself thru extra stress. Weeks ago I (and a bunch of other people at my work) took a 4 hour test for specialty certifications. I planned to study all those months I was off work....of course I didnt...but still spent a lot of time studying. Went into the test - and all the questions on the first page - I didnt know a single answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So waitedx 4+ weeks, knowing I had jsut wasted the money - and in the mail comes the information that I passed! UNfreakingbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does it result in a raise? No. Just some personal satisfaction especially since most of the stuff on the test is Level III nursery stuff (which we are not). Wanted to show you the RNC pin I am thinking or ordering - but couldnt find a picture online.

4. Went to the Mall today. Which I never enjoy doing. But needed to go there to look for something for hubby. And I found another reason NOT to go.....I swear every store area we passed was blasting perfume out....different perfume every few stores. Thank goodness I had already taken some allergy med otherwise I truly would have been suffering.

5. Had a very stressful morning at work yesterday. 24- 2/7 baby delivered. The baby did remarkedly well and it all went pretty smoothly. Luckily we had just enough notice to get everybody we needed there, and discuss the plan of care. But what ethical/moral issues brought up by a baby born that early.

6. Finally went to The Cheesecake Factory today for lunch, and I am miserable. All from eating too much - and I brought 1/2 of it home! Very good (very over priced). This was with a gift certificate my students had given to me... thank you!

7. Apparently the Phillies really dont want to win the World Series this year.

8. And how does the Eagles win a game by such a spread Sunday - yet lose to one of the worst teams out there - the Raiders??????

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just a couple of photos



Dont you just love baby hands and feet? Altho at over a year old, I guess he no longer is the baby...altho he is the youngest grandchild!
Our little Polish Girl - or Apple Annie?


I wanted to try the wet water....
I hope this cough eventually goes away...and that I get my energy back. As hubby keeps saying about his cold "So THIS is retirement??????"



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Disneyland - Thursday

Tuckered out from Trick or Treating - our little Yoda and Obi Wan gave up.....


Disney does such a great job on decorations!


We took the kids to the Trick or Treat Party in California Adventure. Thank goodness we chose Thursday night to do it - could not believe the crowds there on Friday (as we observed from the other side!!). This was great fun for the little kids - trick or treat stands giving out candy - music, dancing, charachters, some rides....


And Kaia had the high point of her week when our little Snow White got to meet THE Snow White! She stood there and talked and talked - and was so thrilled she almost forgot to stay around to pose for photos!

I know I am prejudiced, but she had the cutest Snow White costume we saw all night!

Could not get our little Yoda to pose - he would keep running off. So here are the rest of them, all dressed up and ready to go!