Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Shopping

Well, here is the largest expenditure. Havent talked about it much here yet, but as of this coming Friday hubby will be retired and we need another car. Looked at used cars - and the Prius used isn't as much different from the new Prius. And then we saw the ad for the Honda Insight. Not quite the mileage (45 highway compared to 50 for the Prius) but several thousand cheaper. So we went and looked and test drove and bought. And no, I would never have chosen red (yuck!) but it was hubby's choice this time....sure wish I could have talked him into the grey, it was really nice...
Can you guess what this is???? Well, we went to a lot of garage sales today and after batting zero, we finally hit a neighborhood that had some good ones. Bought a book at this place for $0.25 and then I asked what they wanted for this.....I expected them to say $250...


Because it is in relatively good condition - needs 2 new wheels and a strip hammered on...(couldnt get a photo of the rest of the interior cause of how it is sitting in the garage right now)

And some hardware for the handles......it is an icebox.....from early in the 1900's.
Oh yeah - we paid $20!!!!!!!!



And at another place got this mini bundt pan and 2 tongs for $3 and I was proud of myself - I walked away from a basket I wanted!
It is hot.....hot hot hot. And it shouldnt be this hot darn it. So we went and saw 'Surrogates' because it is air conditioned! As much as I do not like sci fi and do not like Bruce Willis, it really wasnt a bad movie at all! Kinda of a combo romance/sci fi/lesson movie all rolled into one.




Friday, September 25, 2009

Retail and Holidays.

I love Christmas. It really is one of my absolute favorite holidays. I would not give it up - I love the feelings - the music - the decos, etc.

And I do - I buy for Christmas all year round.

But please - why do they have to pre-empt all the other Autumn holidays in order to get Christmas items in the store?

Went to Costco a few weeks back. And yeah, they have Christmas decorations out for sale. IN SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is bad enough that Halloween candy is out 2 months before Halloween (talk about fresh candy! Makes you wonder exactly what kind of preservatives candy has in it!).

That kinda stuff makes me feel kinda Bah-Humbug-ish....

So when I saw the following posted on Dr. Grumpy's blog I just had to have it for here....




Sunday, September 20, 2009

Photos from Luke's 1st Birthday Party!

I think he loved his cake...





It is unbelieveable that he will be 7 in November - he is in First Grade - and look - he is losing his first tooth!!!!! Why do the grandkids have to grow up so quickly????



Happy BIrthday Girls and Boy! Abd Happy Anniversary too!





This is what happens when you forget how quicckly squash grows!

September is harvest time in the valley. Look at the pretty fall colors!

This is quite the week - the 'littlest' grand turned one this week - the only granddaughter turned 2 - her mommy turns????? today - and my other daughter and hubby celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary.

It has been so much fun the last couple of weeks - our tomatoes are finally becoming edible - and it is such a great feeling jsut to be able to go into your own yard and pick veggies! Tomatoes and squash this year. Lots of plans for next year - a new and improved garden for then!


Work has been going okay. I am very glad I listened to people and started back just the 8 hours. Especially since I am finding the ankle brace the MD wants me to wear just not doable. He specifically told me to get a lace up one. And I did. And it was fine. Until I went back to work and was on my feet more. It laces up thru metal eyelets - and then has 2 straps that cross over it in a figure 8 - and so some of the eyelets are under the straps. And then putting a tie shoe on top....it has been killing the top of my foot! The other day I even tried 2 pairs of socks under it but that didnt help that area of my foot. So I found a similar type of brace to try - to ties - just the figure out part. It is a liuttl e shorter too which means I can actually wear the shorter socks I prefer. We will see how this is. Got it yesertday and today I am on call (maybe I can make it to Luke's party after all - cross your fingers for me!) so might not get to really try it out until Wednesday.

Had a great "thrift" day yesterday. Bought a beautiful bookcase for $15 to put under our stairs to hold all of hubbby's DVDs. The only thing is - when we got it home, it was too tall! Damn. Guess we should have measured instead of just eyeballing it!

Then there was a freecycle event - a house that was being emptied out - come and take what you want! Talk about visions of my parents house! Got a lighted CHristmas decoration - a frame - a lamp chimney to see if it would fit my lamp (it doesnt) - an old juice decanter (remember the ones with oranges painted all along the bottom?? I am using it to water plants!) - a beat up basket that made a great carry for all this and I am now using it to collect mail for recycling....it was fun!

Then at another garage sale I spent $5 - got a Minnie Mouse Wilton cake pan (I dont think it was ever used), a fantastic denim Williams-Sonoma apron, a copper tea kettle, a piece of milk glass and 5 light cotton baby t-shirts with embroidery (I am going to save these for when Kaia has baby dolls that need cloths).

Went up to the Room With A Past Parking Lot Sale. Hubby 'let' me splurge on a complete old plastic cannister set! And I got a teddy and a cow made from recycled quilts.

But the best thing was the thrift shop across the street. They have great stuff there. I was disappointed because they had no yarn - and I can usually get some great yarn there - and the book selection wasnt good - but I got 2 lightweight ankle length skirts, and a denim shirt/jacket for $7!!!! In fact, I am wearing one of the skirts right now - supposed to be in the high 90's today!
And what is with this weather? We are looking at the next several days supposedly over 100 degrees. That is sooooo wrong! After this past week of perfect weather - nights in the 50's and days in the 80s!!! Had the most awesome thunder and lightening storm last week - those are so rare were we live - and if we get them they are usually a disappointment. But this one was definitely not disappointing! SInce I got to drive to work thru it, I really got to enjoy it!
Took the dog for a bath and shots yesterday. Oh no - we dont need the cost saving package cause he is current on his rabies! Come home and cannot find the documentation that I jsut know I have to prove that! So looks like I will be taking him next week for his rabies....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Long Catch-Up Posting

Wow - this might be a long one....gonna catch up with the Labor Day Weekend fun!

Sat we must have gone to/by at least 7 garage sales. Mostly junk or way over priced. Ended up with one purchase - $2 for a small bag of yarn. Then that afternoon we went to babysit our oldest daughter's 3 boys - ages 6, 4, and 1. We had a blast! Of course, tiring them out, also tired us out! But it was fun....and the best time when we got them ALL to sleep! LOL. Actually the best time was watching them stuff themselves at dinner!

Sunday was the first day of the Harvest Wine Festival. We have gone every year since we moved here - so we started going to it in 1990. Have seen it grow as the number of wineries here have grown - have also seen the cost go up. In the beginning it was nothing to be able to get to all the wineries - but over the years we have learned to pick the ones we really want to go to because we just cant make it to all 40+ in two days. How do we chose? Oh, a combination of their wines and their personalities!

This year the venue has changed. About 1/2 of them will be all in one spot at Robertson Park. And since Sunday is the busiest day we decide NOT to go there on Sunday. The furthermost away spots have 3 or 4 wineries to visit - this time only 1 of them is participating on their own site. But we still go because they have this awesome champagne (excuse me France, sparkling wine) that they sell in splits. I like to keep those in the fridge cause they are such a nice size. So we usually end up stocking up. Went all the way out there to find out "they" had decided not to bottle up for this weekend - the person selling to us was very irritated about this! They had 1 split left so we grabbed it. But she wasn't happy - something to do with a wedding coming up and she didn't know when they planned to bottle for that either! - and I am sure she knows that the splits are good sellers. Anyway - they have really nice wines out there....http://www.chouinard.com/

We went to make 6 or 7 wineries. The day was lovely - not too hot at all. And that evening was our anniversary dinner - and we always go to the same restaurant....http://www.wentevineyards.com/restaurant/. We love the food there and the service and it is close to home (especially if we enjoy their wine too much!). Again, things have changed over the years here - their large menu is down to a small one - and they apparently no longer grow many of their own veggies and herbs (their heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad used to be a killer) and I haven't seen their awesome garlic mashed potatoes on the menu in a long time. The other thing that saddens me is that apparently they no longer produce their own sparkling wine in their limestone caves - but I had a glass of an awesome Spanish champagne!
We shared a plate of olive - and hubby had a Caesar salad which was more than enough for both of us! Then we both had the filet mignon - wow, was it good. The only thing I don't like about fancy restaurants is their decorative idea of serving food on top of each other - I like my meat NEXT to my potatoes - not on top of it....we shared a bottle of wine...and then we split the dessert which was to DIE FOR!! A nectarine/berry upside down cake! I love the service - people always around if you need something but not hovering and trying to escort you out the door within minutes of setting down.

My two complaints about this restaurant - one is several years ago - we decided to have lunch there to celebrate my 50th birthday. We have never gone back there for lunch. The service was SOOOOOO BAD that we did not even stay for dessert - and what is a birthday lunch without dessert??!!! And the food wasn't even that good. My other complaint is dress code - they don't enforce it really and that is such a turn off. I guess they want customer's - but c'mon, this is not a place to come to dinner in raggedy jeans and flip flops (males) or raggedy shorts and flip flops (males again)!!!!!!!!

Monday we started off the day investigating some sales on recliners. Hubby's is just about done for. So we went to LaZ Boy. Spent quite some time in there too cause they have so many to try out and chose. Did we come home with one???? Nope. Guess we haven't been furniture shopping in quite some time. We were very surprised at how expensive the delivery charge is (considering we live about 5 miles from there) AND the fact that if you don't want delivery - you want to pick it up yourself - there is still a charge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And if you buy more than one item, altho the cost goes down, there is still a delivery charge on each item!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So then we went to the wine tasting venue at the Park (www.LVwine.org). Now, we read you can't take food and drinks in - and one winery told us you couldn't even buy wine there and open it (which of course you can do at the wineries). So we decided we would go and grab some lunch there while we were tasting. Thank goodness it was not as hot as in most years - they had 3 tents set up with tables an chairs and even tho we got there only an hour after it started - I think the people got there immediately at opening and planned to sit in those chairs all day. I never did see anyone leave!

So we checked out some of the wine and decided to find the 'food court'. Yeah. All, 7? tents!!!!! I think it was 7 ... 6 - 8 at least. Let's see - two of them were serving sausages....2 of them fried veggies. COME ON people - you are encouraging people to drink wine? And you have very little food to eat????? Most wineries had one food vendor at each site - you had 20 wineries out there and 7 food vendors???? And not allowed to bring in your own food??????????????????

Hardly any arts & crafts vendors either - wonder how much they charge the vendors for this event??? Cause overall there were much less than in previous years.

Anyway. we stayed just over an hour there and went home. I DO NOT think we got our monies worth this year - and it was pricey - $50/ticket for 2 days and that was the advance ticket sale price. I do not think either of us enjoyed $50 worth of tasting. It was quite disappointing...

Now - after the disappointment of the garage sales on Saturday, on Tuesday went to ONE thrift shop and spent $4 - a spring form pan, a 2 cup measuring cup, a Christmas tiny single bread pan, a Christmas votive, and a skein of yarn. Pretty good!

Hubby was released back to work on Wednesday. And on Wednesday he informed his boss he was retiring - last day will be October 2. I asked how he felt about it - and he said all he felt was relief. Now yesterday was meeting days (he missed Tuesday and Wednesdays) where he goes around to the different district meetings.....and so he informed people there and he said it was harder than he expected especially with the people he had worked with for so long. I think bittersweet is the best term.

Yesterday was my first day back to work. I did not sleep well at all Wed night - was up 3 times that night. DO you think I was a bit worried??? Well, my ankle held up very well but I was exhausted! MY co-workers were very patient with me and took good care of me - and it sounds like things really got crazy after I left (am only starting out with 8 hour days). But I got home and had to lay down for 15 minutes before I went to the Farmer's Market and then laid down for a bit after I got back!!!!!!!! Went to bed about 9 PM and read for awhile and boy did I sleep good last night! I work again tomorrow so hopefully I sleep good again tonight!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Great Scandinavian saying

I found this saying in the What On Earth Catalog and I jsut love it!

If you want to get it for yourself, you can find it here: http://www.whatonearthcatalog.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?randomizer=611756672&action=detail&item=CC8552

"May the light always find you on a dreary day.
When you need to be home, may you find the way.
May you always have courage to take a chance.
And never find frogs in your underpants."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nevada Barr

I have read most of her books thus far. I enjoy 'visting' parks that I have never seen, and might never see. Just finished reading her latest - Borderline - which is set in Texas. If you read it, the last paragraph on page 113 pretty much sums up how much of my feelings have grown over the years.

One of the people in her book talks about immigrants....and the fact that every American wasan immigrant...possibly including "Native Americans" as it is thought that they walked across from Russia or wherever....

Anyway, it goes on to have this character state that what he doesnt like are the the immigrants who want to be Americans to get all the goodies as they can....and yet still want to be recognized as whatever they were before - Iranian, French, Mexican, African, etc. And how they want the borders to be opened so that others from their country can come to the US to get all the goodies too....the last sentences sum it all up for me, and I quote:

"...they didn't want to be Americans. They wanted to use Americans."

And that is how I feel about so many of the immigrants these days - and yes, I am generalizing because there are ALWAYS excecptions to everything. In the past, the immigrants embraced becoming American, sometimes to the point of trying to erase their culture - which I do not agree with. Now - they appear to only want to become American to take advantage of all that they can and yet not have to really BECOME American...

shoot, you dont even have to read or write English to get a driver's license - even tho the signs are in English! And all the companies are bowing to this - with all their postings in Spanish as well as English. Do the non-Spanish speaking/reading immigrants resent the fact that retail only seems to value English and Spanish speaking consumers???? I often wonder about that...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Anniversary!


Well, it is hubby's and my wedding anniversary. At 1 PM _____ years ago, we were to be married. Unfortunately, his mother functioned by her own clock (which oldest DD has inherited to a degree, and son has inherited to the utmost) so, as my military father paced and fumed, we awaited her arrival. Not sure exactly when the ceremony started but I know it was closer to 1:30 PM than 1:00 PM!
It's done! We are married! And no one thought it would last more than a few years....

Look at the scenic shoots. We have even better ones of the whole wedding party but I dont want to post their photos without their approval. Anyway, we got married at Ft. Ord California in the beautiful wedding chapel there. These photos were taken at the reception at the Officer's Club. Hubby has always loved oak trees - and I have always hated them. So there we are posing in the midst of dried grass (September, remember?) and oak leaves and all - and I am dressed all in white with white heels!!! Whose idea was this anyway???? Oh yeah, the photographer!






Ok, I left the year blank up there to give everyone a chance to guess how long we have been married - what year we were married in. And to make it fair I posted our after the reception photo to make it easier for you!
We;ve had our bad times and we've had our hard times - but I sure wish we could spend another _______ years together!!!!!!!!!!