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...