Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Wow! 59.....I never ever envisioned myself reaching this age....I can still remember feeling that 31 was ancient! But oh boy, am I glad I have! For all the not good things, and all the sad things, I am very thankful for the blessed life I have.
This was from a birthday swap I did. A lovely young lady from the east coast who just graduated from college. Look what is in the upper left corner - a ROAMING GNOME! Isnt that fun?????!!!!
A dear friend from work gave me this. She always finds wonderful gifts - she made sure she gave me this before she went on vacation because she didnt want a repeat of another time when she left a gift for me on my front porch (a really wonderful sounding tote bag!) that was stolen before I even knew she left it there....
Hubby has evolved into a very good gift hunter! He knows that when it comes to jewlery - I like two types - the real deal - or interesting. And he has found a lovely shop in Pleasanton where he always find the latter. These are from and the back story is "Our hand pressed glass intaglios are made in a small Bavarian village, using original steel molds and techniques unchanged from the 1800s." He siad he had a hard time deciding on what color - and as soon as he said the other color was blue I told him he made a great choice!
 Great adage - eat dessert first! Had our calamari cocktail down at Fisherman's Wharf....and then headed to Ghirardelli. Thought it would be crowded but it wasnt - so we split a banana split. Way back in the dark ages, when we were first married, we would save up our coins to buy one of these to split.....back then it was just a few dollars - and they put more nuts on it then and at least 3 cherries! But they are still tasty!
 You know, we were so excited to grab a bus before rush hour - plus several of the restaurants we wanted to eat at were not open yet - we just ended up getting on BART (again - before rush hour!) and headed home. So my birthday dinner was at Amici's in Dublin (I really miss the Union Street one!!!) for antipasta salad, a New York pizza, and for me a glass of Wente's Rivas Ranch wine while hubby had a Corona (or two).
This is some Art Deco detail from a building across from Ghirardelli. As much fun as everything you see at street level (the man begging with the sign that said : I am getting a divorce and need money for a hit man; and the man whose sign said: Give me money and I wont vote for Obama....needless to say, I did not give him money!) in SF you must always remember to look up also!
Remember this? This was part of my present from my son - it covered Mother's Day as well as my Birthday - well worth it!

RIP Dear Friend

This is what happens when you drop your Kindle face down on the floor....all because it is not in a case because the case was too heavy to carry in your purse the day before.....lesson learned, the hard way.

So now to decide which Kindle to replace it with. I had always thought my next Kindle would be the Fire, but the more I look into it, I dont think so. It is too heavy - and so many of the apps I dont need because they are on my phone.

At this point it is between the basic Kindle and the Kindle touch. Do I really need 3G?? I had it in the above featured Kindle...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wonderful Swaps

A couple of years ago I found this fun crafting site It is enabling and addicting. Lots of patterns and lots of groups to join. Some of the fun groups are swap groups. They can be anything from a one time birthday swap - to a Christmas swap - to an envelope swap - to a year round swap.

This year, amongst others, I am doing a year round swap. My partner Jennifer is from NY and she has sent me some most wonderful things. Here is what is in my Summer Swap box - with a little extra for my birthday!

 Kinda bad angle - but that is a Balleek vase that she found for me at an Estate Sale! And those little wooden buttons? They say 'Handmade by Danielle' on them - arent they awesome! With that body wash and cream, I can almost pretend that this is a Hawaii year!
Altho all the presents are wonderful - here are the awesome ones! Handmade slippers! They fit perfectly and are so comfortable I never want to take them off! (Sorry about the angle, no they are not two different sizes!)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mini Vacations

It is really hard to plan for all the trips you want to do at my job. That is because the ~~~ SCHEDULING COMMITTEE~~~ has decided you have to ask for time off a year in advance. Who knows, except for big trips, what they are doing a year in advance?

So I took the 2 weeks off already and we managed to figure out something to do over those days. And I have the week off in September that we are all going to Walt Disney World.

But I did not take any time off during the summer. But I do have some 3 day off stretches!

So we booked one to go to hubby can ride a steam train. We were thinking of staying at our new favorite place in Sutter Creek but decided we did not want to drive that found a B&B in Jamestown to try.

Then we decided that this was the year that we were FINALLY going to go do the Elkhorne Slough tour at Moss Landing - and so we would stay at a (the only) B&B there. This trip would be mid week in August. But nooooo.....during the summer they only accept FOUR DAY reservations! Really??? In the middle of a week???? Most places have a weekend minimum stay...oh well, guess that gets bumped till fall or spring...

So now we are trying to get a reservation at the place we stay at in Fish Camp when we usually go for Memorial Day weekend (didnt this year cause we knew we would be tired of driving - glad we didnt, cause it was really rainy). We'll see....submitted a 'reservation request' today. We'll see. Summer they get a lot of European tourists so they may not have availability....we have some other ideas if that doesnt pan out.

Well, gotta go to the store to get the ingredients I need to make zucchini bread - there was an overgrown one out there - I will be making 5 loaves and I dont have enough eggs, etc. Cant go until the apricot pie is out of the oven (dont tell hubby I didnt have any cinnamon or butter for that! LOL)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This and That

This is one of the reasons I love garage sales. The last one we went to, I found this bookmark from the Iolani Palace in Oahu. Would I have bought it there? Nope, they were too expensive for something I really didnt need. Would I buy it at a garage sale - sure 'nuff! I got 3 different ones (one is a leather one from Italy I will give to my daughter's MIL) and I dont even think they charged me for them!
Worked in my hoarder's room yesterday, on the bookshelf. I should have taken before/after photos of it. It isnt done yet but it got to hot up there to continue - but made a huge progress! And I found this. A partly finished sock - and I really like it! The yarn, the color, the pattern. Too bad I dont know what the pattern is - did I keep the pattern with it? Of course not! Did I keep a note with it of what pattern it was? Of course not!

Listening to the ads that a certain hospital conglomeration is putting out to fight the strikes that the CNA has called/has been calling has made me think. I love how they say if they 'give in' to the wage increase that will make the cost of hospitalization go up. Thinking about it, I agree. But do they mention the greed from every other aspect that impacts hospitalization? No, because they are only targeting those who are asking for iincreases - fairness in advertising? Probably not, but a fine grey line.

I wonder if anyone ever questions what salary increases other professionals give themselves - has anyone compared what a lawyer charges for the same work year to year? And I know that doctors charges go up - whether or not they get recompensed from insurance companies is yet another issue (dont get me started on insurance companies! LOL). One of the major reasons I keep working is because of medical coverage. See, once I retire I get nothing - thats right - NOTHING - N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!! So I have to wair for medicare and then pay for my own medicare addendum.

I know people that have only a HS diploma, and their retirement far surpasses what I will ever get - not only retirement pay, but most importantly, benefits.

Is that right? People who have spent their careers providing health care and then not having any health care coverage once they retire???????

Friday, June 8, 2012

Just Kill Me Now.....

You see all those? I think I should choose one....or maybe have them all.

Hubby has a sinus infection. Started yesterday or the night before. Got into the doctor today. I think this is one weekend I am very very very glad I work...

You know, men and women face different adversities differently. I really lean on his strength in so many ways, but when he is sick....I jsut want to move out.

While we were on vacation I started with what I thought was a horrible toothache the 2d day out. By the 3d day I realized it was sinus issue when I paid attention to where the pain went. This lasted until the 2d day in Las Vegas (the day before we came home) and I dont know what it was all about, but somehow I am attributing it to altitude.

So what did I do? Kept taking my allergy pills - downed tylenol here and there - chewed only on the other side of my mouth - kept air conditioning from blowing on the side of my face.....basically, pulled my big girl panties up and dealt with it.

Why? Well, we were on vacation - what else was I going to do? And I did not want to hear one of two things (or maybe both!) " what do you want to do? Just cancel everything and go home???" and/or "this was YOUR idea of a vacation you know".....

But hubby - no.... he gets cranky and nasty (to me, not to the public) and has to go to the doctor and get all the medications possible (which he may or may not take correctly no matter what - he found the bottle of antibiotics from the dentist in March and it had 2 pills left in it - so he took them as I lectured him YET AGAIN about properly taking medication - and then discovered he had leftovers because he had never paid attention to the directions).

Earlier this week he came up with the idea of going to Monterey for the day. Beautiful day - sounded like a good time. So then it came up that we needed to get a bid to fix the fence on the house down there so that would work out - and we could see some I am excited cause I havent had the scent of the ocean in me for quite awhile - and there are some pretty fun thrift shops down there....

So how did the day turn out? Up even earlier than planned.....drove down in horrendous traffic so it took longer than our donuts....has a few minutes to kill so went to Beverly's and got some yarn for another baby blanket....went back to the house to wait for the contractor.....on to the cemetary to switch out the flowers which we have neglected....and then to our friend's house for lunch, and after a couple hours, a drive home.

There is a rumor, that there is an ocean (well, technically a bay) down there but I did not get to see it/smell it/enjoy it......the next time he suggests going down for the day I think I will tell him to go by himself....

Oh, and was he nasty by the time we got home. And yes today we spent 1.5 hours at the doctor, got 3 prescriptions (and the MD barely remembered to go over the labs with hubby more than - oh they are okay but I would like to see your AC1 improve - never even got to see the numbers on anything else cause now he was feeling rushed) and now that he has taken the first dose of all of them - he feels worse.....

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fun Saturday

It started off nice and early heading to Walnut Creek - supposed to be cooler today but still sunny. Gonna watch Connor and Jack at a swim meet.

Oh the memories - so many years of swim meets - indoors and out. Heat (and humidity) and cold.....chlorine and sunblock....oranges..... More fun when you are not responsible for a swimmer! LOL

 Of course I rushed off without my camera. So only got a couple of photos with my phone - Jack is still doing 25s so was able to get him on the starting block - Connor is doing 50s so my camera jsut couldnt do that one
Luke collected rollie pollies (AKA pill bugs) and played with them along with his friends.

Did some errands ont he way home - grocery store and the nursery. Then decided to take my Christmas present out for her inaugural ride! IT WAS FUN!!!

But it is really windy out today and there was this long section where the wind was hitting us head on - that made riding difficult! And since she is just a Cruiser, the few hills were killers.....but it made up for not getting to the gym today!

We were just wandering around on bike trails - saw some houses and yards I fell in love with - there were times I wasnt even sure where we were! Hubby thinks we did about 5 miles - I know I was sweating when we got home!