Monday, January 31, 2011

Maybe Monday - McDonald Meal

Most of you know that I do my volunteer on Mondays.  As volunteer we get to have lunch for free but you don't have a choice of meal.  Whatever is on the menu that day will be my lunch.  So today, is McDonald's day.  This is the first time for a long that I will be having a big Mac. Oops, I forgot, there was an option, Fish Fillet Sandwich.  I don't really know which is worst of the two.  Actually, I was surprised that they would serve fast food since all other days the meals were catered.  Somehow I know that this won't be one of those exciting day at the senior centre.

If you were to go and eat fast food meals, do you have any favorite or you don't go at all.  There are some fast food places here that we don't have in Canada.  Here are some of the places to go and what people all rave about.

IN and OUT burger - Double Double with fries (freshly cut potatoes cooked with 100% vegetable oil).  Double double sounds like ordering at Tim Horton's coffee.

Carl's Jr. - Low Carb Burger -hamburger meat wrapped in lettuce with tomato, pickle, onion, ketchup, mustard and mayo.  A total of 9 grams of carbs.

Jack in the Box - Breakfast pita with scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, cheese. Yummy

Mountain Mike Pizza - Pike's Peak - our favorite, all meat with beef, pepperoni, sausage, ham, salami and linguica.  Tuesday is their special buy a large Pizza get the second for 50% off.

Two Guys from Italy - there are so many great dishes on the menu so you can check it out yourself.

Una Mas -Taco Al Pastor, with grilled pork with pineapple, salsa in two soft taco. They have a unique drink called Horchata - not sure what it's made but it's different.

El Pollo Loco - Chicken Tostada Bowl which is a great big taco shell bowl with chicken, rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, onion, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, and different types of sauces from mild to extreme hot.

Maybe some of you are staring to get hungry for lunch or dinner.  But if you ever get to visit us, then you will already know what you would like to try.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Silly Sunday - Sleepover

It was a silly sleepover because Jeff's Grandson wanted to visit and stay with us because he has not seen us for a very long time.  We picked him up a little after 5 pm and he was very excited to see us.  He was sharing a lot of stories on the drive back to Jeff's house.  As we parked the card in front of the house, he said " I remember your house, I haven't been here for a very long time".  It has been at least two weeks since we last saw him.  Anyway, we immediately played with the Thomas the Train that he brought with him, while I prepare our dinner.  He loves chicken and it so happen we have chicken shaped liked dinosaur.  We sat for dinner and he ate the dinosaur and some corn.  During dinner, I called my daughter as she likes talking to Gamble. They talked for a while but I can see him not looking very comfortable.  I guess he was not overly hungry but he actually said that his tummy was aching.  But when he remembered about playing with Angry Birds, he got all excited and asked if we can play the game.  He sat beside me as we played on my phone Angry Birds, Ninja Kaka and Bubble Blast - on this particular game, he was able to pass two levels that I have been trying to pass for a long time and he did it in a matter of few minutes.  Now it was time for his shower, change to PJ's and read a couple of books that I just bought for him.  At some point after reading, he wanted to go home because he has a tummy ache . He then said "I miss my Daddy and I love him so much".  I was able to do a lot of distraction technique and also told him that I will try to make his tummy feel better.  We had a little snack (popcorn) while watching Tom and Jerry cartoons and while writing this blog, I turned to my side and the little boy is fast asleep.  Whew, I really thought we would have to drive him back to his Mommy's house because he did not want to sleep over.  I still remember how kids are when they are not feeling good, they want to be with their mommy.  It's kinda funny because we just got his parents to agree that we would like him to sleepover every other week, starting from Friday around 5 pm to Saturday afternoon.  He has been sleeping over and this is the first time he wanted to go home and not sleepover.  Most of the time he sleepover, he would cry when it was time to go back to his parents because he was having such a good time with Grampa (Jeff) and Ola (me).

Gamble wearing his Sponge Bob PJ's

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Surprise Saturday - Total Recall

Everyone loves a surprise of any kind and it usually is a happy feeling. I guess it's not a surprise if it's a sad thing - it will be a shock.  Trying to remember all the surprises in my life may be a little tough but there are certain ones that are still so clear in my mind.  I might even take you back as far as my childhood.  When I celebrated my 7th birthday,  I remember my surprise gift from my parents. My mom use to sew our dresses so she made a yellow dress with a square neckline, sleeveless and some pleats on the skirt. The nice surprise is that my Dad had fabric painted different colored tulips on the dress. I remember wearing it to church first and then to school. 

During my teen years I met a drummer of a band named DEMZ.  There was a concert sponsored by our high school and I was one of the Go Go dancer.  Actually the other girls were fighting for the front spot and I really did not care so I got the left rear of the stage.  It so happen that the drummer was in that area.  The surprise was that I never thought I would see him again until one weekend I was staying with my aunt.  He called to say he would like to take me out on a date.  I still remember what he was wearing - purple suede bell bottom pants and printed paisley long sleeve shirt.  It was a very exciting time for me, I was only 16.

While living in Ottawa, Ontario on a one year assignment, I celebrated my 40th birthday.  It was not a surprise party but I was definitely surprised by a couple of my girlfriends gift. They hired a male stripper to come to the party.  It was a little embarrassing as some of the guests were my friends from the church choir.  The funny thing is that I didn't even enjoy his show.

No one has ever given me a birthday gift that was so well thought of and involved a lot of paying attention.  It has been only 3 months since I started my long distance relationship with Jeff.  Since he was unable to attend my 50th birthday party, he sent his gift via Purolator.  I picked it up on the day of my biggest party ever.  When I opened the box there was a total of 50 items that he bought.  There was a bottle of red wine called Crocodile Rock - my party was being held at bar named Crocodile Rock.  A lot of little items that meant something to me, like little chinese take out box from Lucky's,  a mini basketball use as a stress ball, a winnie the pooh book, a shot glass, a paper placemats with the chinese zodiac, watch, bracelet, and some candies. 

There are many many other surprises in my life as simply as a phone call from a long lost friend, a surprise visit, a package delivered, a bouquet of flowers, a free hotel in Vegas for 2 nights, an unexpected letter or card in the mail, and the list goes on.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fulfilled Friday - What a life!

Some of you might have asked me at one time or another the question - Are you bored yet?
My answer has been the same - NO. Let me give you an example of how my day goes.  I will pick yesterday, Thursday.  I got up at 645 am, had breakfast with Jeff at home, drove to work with him, we use the carpool lane and I take the car to play tennis with the senior guys. I get to the tennis court and one of the player is already there. We warm up for about 15 minutes and the other two player arrives.  They warm up a bit and we start our games. My first partner is Brian and we won the first set. My second partner is Bill and we won the second set.  My last partner is Tony and we won the third set.  I think you are getting the picture.  It does not matter who I am partnered with,  my team wins.  I have to admit that I have been practicing with Jeff the past weekend and therefore my game had improved.  It felt good after two and a half hours of playing because I was making winning shots and I was going for every shot.  The guys complimented my backhand shots and other shots that they thought I would not get, but returned a winning shot. So it was an enjoyable morning even though there was no reward.  The big prize was that I did a fun exercise for 2.5 hrs.  
So what happened after a work out - I get hungry.  But first I need to change outfit so I can go for lunch.  I decided to use the TARGET restroom to change and freshen up.  I was thinking of going for Sushi and since I was alone, I went to the one where they have Sushi in a boat and it goes around the sushi bar. 

After lunch, I decided to join my golf buddies to at Sunken Garden for a 9 hole practice golf.  One of my tennis partner who also golfs, ask me to join them, so I did.  Our tee time was at 130 pm.  The weather was warm, sunny, very little breeze - it was a perfect day for golf.  Two men and two ladies was our foursome.  At the end of 9 hole, we all sat at their outdoor patio and had a drink, while sharing stories.  They invited me again to golf next week and I will be clearing my schedule so I could join them.  

I checked my watch and it was now time to return to pick up Jeff.  While waiting in the parking lot, his co-worker noticed I was sitting the car and came over to chat.  He was very jealous of the fact that I have had a full fun day and wished he was retired like me.  I mentioned to him sometimes I feel guilty about enjoying these fun activities.  He told me that I should not feel guilty because I deserve it and I did the right thing - retire early. 

So you see, I had a very fulfilling day and I can't help it, this is a great life, right?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Truthful Thursday - TO BE or NOT TO BE (a couch potato)

Not that I watch TV all the time, but I wanted to do a post for today and my mind went blank. What can I write that won't be too sad or too serious or to boring.  Well, I know that everyone watches TV at different levels and for different reasons.  I am still contemplating on what format should I be using that will be interesting for you who took the time to read my blog. REASONS for watching TV:
  • while relaxing or unwinding after a hard days work
  • not having a hobby or interest or nothing to do
  • a form of cheap entertainment
  • husband or wife is away for the evening = bored 
  • expand your knowledge and broaden your horizon 
Some people have it all nailed down.  Every night of the week is some show they are following.  Some have it all recorded by weeks and breezes through commercials.  Others even have some sort of pool on who will be the only Survivor.  And then there are some who are so glued to their show, you cannot talk to them, they don't take phone calls, or do not go out the night that they have their favorite show.
The truth for me about being a couch potato or not.  I would like to think that I am not.  There's not that many shows that I follow but Jeff records some for me and the rest are his favorites.  Of course, when there is a tennis majors (Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open) event, which is usually a two week process, I used to watch it live and would stay up late at night or try to wake up in the wee hours of the morning (time difference) to watch the matches. But lucky me, now Jeff records them all and I would watch it in half that time due to the skip button to advance and miss the commercials.

What about all the other sports? Yes, I watch a lot of them and I wish that Jeff's TV has the picture on picture.  Which sports, you would ask.   Golf, Hockey, Tennis, Basketball,  Football (still in the learning process) and Baseball.

Now for my favorite shows in no particular order.  Most of these shows we watch after recording which means, I still go out for dinner or drinks or movies or anything because of the wonderful technology called DVR.   
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Minute to Win it
  • Ellen Degeneres Show
  • S#*! My Dad Says
  • Harry's Law
  • Brothers and Sisters
  • Better with you
Let us not forget that I am still a kid at heart and watch children shows.  Of course this is when Jeff puts his foot down.  This does not get recorded.  But some of this shows really makes me happy and my mind relaxes for a short time - NO BRAINER time. 
  • Curious George
  • Backyardigans
  • Penguins of Madagascar
The final dilemma. Since our 46" Samsung HD/DLP started to lose the HDMI signals, we are contemplating on what will be our next TV.  Would it be a 60" Samsung 3D HD LED LCD or 50" LG HD Plasma or any other brand somewhere in between.  Any suggestion that would look great hanging over the fireplace?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wholehearted Wednesday - The BOYZ

WHOLEHEARTED - with unconditional and enthusiastic devotion, generous, sincere,marked by complete earnest commitment, free from all hesitation.

So how many mothers can actually say that they are allowed to hang out with her son's friends.  I am one of the lucky ones.  Today I would like to share the story about the BOYZ.  It all started when they were very young.  They have been friends since and now as young adults continue to be great friends.  Getting together for coffee, drinks, food, house parties, concerts, sports, helping each other with whatever their friends need.  They have attended several of my big parties and I seem to recall giving a lap dance to one of them (embarrassing moment for my son).  After my son moved in with me, he would sometimes ask me if I wanted to go with him to a bar on Tuesday night to play Name that Tune, it was a fun night to be with his friends and I felt very proud because I was the MOM hanging out with my son and he was not embarrassed by my presence.  There was a time when I went out with my girlfriend from Ottawa and we ended up in the same bar as my son and his friends. That is when the RULE was established.  I am not allowed to go to certain bars that they hang out, which was a fair request.

After my son's death, I was not really sure how each one of them were dealing with this loss.  Sometimes I would get a call from one of them to get together and sometimes I would be the one calling them to get together because I was missing my son so much.  They have heard me cry on the phone, they have seen me cry when we talk.  I think each of them helped me so much in their own way through my grieving process and I can never thank them enough.  I know what's it's like to lose a friend but not a young friend, so I was always wondering how they were coping.  At first I thought that I should be there for them but in reality they were there for me.  We would get together for dinner or drinks at a bar where they use to hang out where their friend is the bartender.  Sometimes we would talk just about anything and everything except about their friend, my son.  Other times they would share some happy stories that they thought I would like to hear.

I am one of the lucky mothers who did not have to worry about who my son's friends are, who he was hanging out with and who does he talk to when he can't to talk to me.  Although my son did not have a brother, he has the BOYZ who are like his own brother.  Now that I live away from them, I still think of them, wondering how they are doing and hoping that one day we will get a chance to share stories and find out how they are all doing.  I am looking forward to maybe seeing them at the end of June.  To the BOYZ, thank you for being you, thank you for your care and support during our loss and most of all, thank you for making Gino's time on earth very special.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tennis Tuesday - Idiosyncracies

For those of you tennis fans, I am sure you have been watching great tennis matches the past week and upcoming week.  Idiosyncrasies - big word and good spelling practice.  I will now try to recall all the players different before and after habits.  You are probably wondering why I am covering this topic today?  It is timely Tuesday and it's the Australian Open 2011.  I would love to hear your comment or any of the other players habit or a particular move that makes them special and remembered by their fans.  Maybe the next time you get a chance to watch the next major - French Open - you will try to look for it or maybe find something new.

YOUZHNY - when I first saw him won one of his matches, he would twirl his racquet first and then he would place his racquet on his head with his left hand and salute with his right hand. His racquet replaces a hat.  He would do this salute to all sides of the tennis courts.

NADAL - the number ONE tennis player.  Since I have been watching tennis for a really long time, it has only been lately where I really pay attention to all the little pre game habits, in between serves, and acknowledgement of the results of the match. For RAFA, it's his before serve habits, it's a little weird but it's the same every time. First he pulls with his right hand his shorts (unkink the wedgie), then he sweeps his hair behind his right ear, then left ear and last but not least, touches his nose.  He use to fix his socks by pulling it up and then shushing it down - I haven't seen this lately.

DJOKOVIC - currently ranked number 3.  If you have been watching tennis, you will remember this player. He bounces the ball before serving at least 10 to 20 times or maybe more.  I remember one time counting up to 27.  He has since lessen the bounce to about 8 to 15.  He is very good at imitating other players habits, specially Maria Sharapova.

BAGHDATIS -the player with a pony tail and a great smile. The first time I saw him bounce the ball in between in legs prior to serving.  He does this at least a couple of times.  An then this week, I was watching ISHNER, remember the player who broke the record for playing the marathon for at least 3 days. He won against Masud where he took the game 70 to 68 on the fifth set.  Well, he also bounce the ball twice between his legs on the first serve and once on the second serve.

PETKOVIC -a german player with a very bubbly personality.  After winning a match, she does a little dance called "Petko dance".  She is different but funny and full of life with lots of sparks.

SHARAPOVA - great tennis player with very classy tennis outfits.  Prior to her serve, she sweeps her hair behind her right and left ear.  Then she bounce the ball twice but very precise.  After each point, she would walk away from the base line, face the wall, it's like clearing her mind for the next point.  She has this little tiny skip in her walk when she would return to the base line coming from the net. 

Do you have a favorite tennis player who has one of this special habit or process?  Do you have one of your own when you play any type of sports?  Maybe one day I will create my own.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Maybe Monday - Memorable Music

A song is played on the radio while you are driving to work, another song being played at a mall speaker while you are shopping, while dinning or having a drink at a restaurant or a bar- a song from the past is being played and it takes you back to memory lane.  All  of these moments will sometimes brings so much happiness or sadness or just a smile.  I am sure all of you have certain songs that you will know exactly where you were, who you were with and how it affected you then and how it affects you now.  So I will now share some songs, who it reminds me of and what it feels like now when I hear it anytime or anywhere. 

Among my souvenirs - my father's favorite song, he use to sing this to my mother - good memories.

Love hurts, Inagadadavida - my childhood friend and my next door neighbor in my hometown - it's kinda funny -there's more to this but cannot share.

Leaving on a jet plane - my first boyfriend (i think)- his name was Jett - I was only 15 - a little sad because he later died in a tragic accident.

Caribbean Queen - I danced with my friend who I worked for in the mid 80's. - great party

Biggest Part of me (Ambrosia) & So very hard to go (Tower of Power)  - my sister and I loved both this songs. I am very lucky to have watch both these groups performed live. Feel good songs.

Baby Come Back, Come on Eileen - my daughter loved the first song when she was little and as an adult for the second song.  Always puts a smile on my face.

Chasing Cars, Speed of Sound, Viva La Vida - my son, the first two songs makes me cry and the last song is my daughter's happy song and I copied it to be my happy song too.

Don't stop believin' and Open Arms - my friend Gina (the bad one).  We would sing this at work and it gets a little crazy.  I miss those silly things we did at work.

Where do you go (No Mercy) - my friend who I call brother - when we use to go to clubs, we would all get up and dance.  It has been a really long time since he and his harem went out.

Don't wanna miss a thing - my hubby, when we first met I knew he was a bit rock and roll and I am a bit country.  This was our song that was played when we got married. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sharing Sunday - still satisfied with toys

Today will be all about sharing all my not so new and new toys.  One of them has not even arrived but will be delivered tomorrow. I am so excited because I know that cooking & baking will never be the same. Each of these items have a story and I wish to share them with you.  There is no order with regards to the best or my #1 favorite, as they have different use and provides different level of satisfaction. 
KEYBOARD - Yamaha Claviers Portatone Keyboard, a 2007 Christmas gift from Gino. I believe I have mentioned this in my other blog. I never opened the box until before Christmas this year.  I felt very guilty because this was a gift that I told Gino to return because it was expensive because at that time he was not working.  I still have not forgiven my self for hurting his feelings after I said some words.  I did not get a chance to say I'm sorry.  So now I am learning to play this keyboard and am trying different songs and I know he is probably looking over saying something like - "see, I knew you would like it". It gives me joy but also sadness because he cannot hear me play "Lean on Me" or "As tears go by".
12 STRING GUITAR - Ibanez acoustic - again a weird story for my 2009 Christmas Gift from Jeff. The first one he got was a also a 12 string Epiphone but made by Gibson. I used it once and then stored it in the case and the next time I took it out of the case, the neck had a big crack and the strings all lose. So we took it back and since it was still under warranty, they were willing to replace it because they new that some Gibson guitar are very fragile. Make the long story short, I now have the Ibanez 12 string and sounds great. Every time I trim my finger nails short, I would take out this guitar and play some old song. Lots of reminiscing.
SEWING MACHINE - Brother Project Runway Limited Edition - 2010 Christmas gift from Jeff. I bought my first sewing machine the year my daughter was born. I kept it all those year until last year when I move to SJC.  Jeff suggested that I just leave it with someone who would make use of it as it is too heavy to ship.  I left it with my friend and co-worker who was very interested in doing some tailoring. I hope he is enjoying it. This new machine is very quiet with a lot of bells and whistle. I haven't even read the manuals but have used it for a couple of projects. Here's the sample which were my Christmas gift to Jeff's sister in law and a cousin.
8 placemats, 2 hot plate holder, 2 hand towel.    Set of bath and hand towels (2)

LUCKY POTS & PANS - the name of the grocery store that we go to is named LUCKY. I guess you know why I am shopping there. A couple of months ago they started the promotion of collecting Lucky sticker for every $10 you spend and in return you can exchange it for really nice pots and pans. Since I did not have a wok, that was the first item I got.  Then I was able to save more and got a small and a large frying pan. The promotion will be ending next month and I will have to decide my 4th piece to get.  My choice will be the small pot with cover and will need only 16 more stickers to get this last piece. I love using them when I cook because they are non-stick, regulates the heat, goes in the oven and every easy to clean.
KEURIG- the individual coffee maker with a wide variety of flavors. This is actually Jeff's toy. He received this as a Christmas gift from his mother. We have been using it since boxing day and we really really enjoy our coffee. Sometimes we get really creative by adding stuff and spiking it up. These are some of our favorite flavors: French Vanilla, Butter Toffee, Donut Shop, Gingerbread, Holiday Blend, Golden French Toast. 
These are what we would like to try next: Cinnamon Pastry, Raspberry Chocolate Truffle, Mocha Nut Fudge, Rain Forrest Nut, Creme Brulee, Mudslide, Jamaica Me Crazy, and Pomegranate Berry Fusion Tea.
Jeff's milk chocolate hot coco with whipped creme and chocolate sugar
DOUBLE OVEN & MICROWAVE - made by General Electric - Profile Series.  Jeff did all the searching and reading a bunch of reviews before making the decision to purchase these 2 items on line. There is smooth surface with 5 burner with one being the warmer. The oven has a small one and a big one both have windows. The current stove we have has no window and you can just imagine that if you were baking something and you are not allowed to open the door and take a peek. The microwave as you can see will be just directly above it and it will also comes with a built in hood. Installation will be easy for the oven but the microwave will have to be built it to the existing cabinets. As Jeff is a very good with his tools, he will be doing this himself on the weekend and you will see the end result on this blog. At this time, I can only show you a photo and would not be able to give a review because this item won't be delivered until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Satisfied Saturday - My Fascinate

Never thought that I would be saying this but I love my new cell phone.  When I left Canada, I gave my cell phone (got it for free using Fido $$) to a very good friend. Since Jeff got the new DroidX, I inherited his old Nokia phone as the long distance plan was excellent.  A couple of months later and after a lot of convincing, I bought a Samsung Fascinate and we switched to a family plan.  The guy who sold me the phone explained the great features of the phone, did a quick training and set up, then he said just play with it as it's really easy.  There are so many APPS or should I say doodad or thing.  So what is so great about this phone, well without being too technical or gheeky, I will list the 26 things that I love about it.  Why 26?? it's a good number. 
  1. the shape is very girly - slim and curvy corners
  2. the colors are amazing - the graphics - Fantastic
  3. the ring tones are soulful and exciting
  4. the reception are very clear specially long distance calls
  5. i can get my email messages 
  6. a bunch of fun free games - my favorite - Angry Birds
  7. free caddy - for my golf game
  8. the camera takes awesome photos - i don't even know half the settings
  9. i can dictate anything using the microphone
  10. my wall paper is live
  11. calorie counter helps my carb counting program
  12. my converter - always know how our Loonie and Toonie are doing
  13. the dictionary - everyday a new big word for me
  14. memo - my shopping list
  15. Shazam - it's too bad you can't use this on Name that Tune
  16. i have yet to try using KINDLE
  17. eventually I will learn to watch a movie - on long trips
  18. will never get lost - Maps/Latitude are free
  19. Contacts will have to be entered - all those friends telephone numbers & email
  20. Messaging - little green square with a smiley face
  21. Music player - have to add my favorite tunes
  22. Daily briefing - latest news, weather, etc. not into it but it's there
  23. BING - my search engine
  24. Market  - where i find new games and apps for free
  25. really cool gel skins and covers (see below) - currently using a green gel skin
  26. the best part is when it notifies me of an incoming message (email or text) - the little tiny voice says " there's a tiny text message, a very tiny one, please read it.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fat Burning Friday - Exercise & Pyramid

When you get to my age, losing weight is such a difficult process. The biggest problem for me is that I only like to do a workout/exercise that is fun. Like playing tennis and squash or maybe dancing.  A girlfriend from work even gave me a workout plan that is easy to follow and still I've only done it less than 10 times. Lately Jeff and I tried walking after dinner. We did it for a week and then we are back to normal evening routine, watching TV.  During the weekend we were able to play tennis twice - an hour each time. It was a great workout but we can only do it on weekends because by the time Jeff gets home, it's too late to play as the sun had already set.  During the week I might get a chance to play with the senior men and it's usually a two hour game. It still a workout but not as much as playing singles with Jeff.  Now I am checking out the exercise on Demand. So far I have tried the Billy Banks Jr. Cardioke - a 25 minute workout where you get to sing while doing the exercise.  The other one is the Crunch-latin dance which is a 20 minute workout using different latin dance moves.  This one is a little tiring for your legs but gets your heart rate going.  Another girlfriend gave me some pilates/yoga DVD, I think I've tried it once and actually fell asleep as the music and the tone of voice of the instructor was so soothing and calming.  I know that probably walking is the best way as it does not cost anything and you can do it anytime and anywhere. So why can't I get motivated? After last night's Diabetes Class, I will have to do it because it's what I need to get back on track on everything in my lifestyle. The instructor specified 30 minutes per day is not a lot, but it means a lot when dealing with Diabetes and all the other health issues that accompanies it.  I have one more class to go next week and then they recommend to take two more other classes - Heart Smart and Cholesterol & Lifestyle.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Truthful Thursday - Forgive and forget

FORGIVE-to excuse for a fault or an offence; to begin letting go of anger, hurt or resentment.
FORGET-to banish from one's thoughts; to cease remembering.
Which of these two can you easily do?  Which is harder to do? Do they go hand in hand? Why am I going here, you might ask.  Well, it is fitting with my theme on Thursday, being truthful.  An incident happened a few years ago when I was so upset, angry and hurt and I said these exact words: if she thinks I will forgive and forget, she is very wrong because I will take this to my grave. Wow, now that I am writing this, that is so strong and so definite.  For those of you who are my friends, you know that I am not a mean person.  A few months later, something else in life happened, then you wonder maybe because you said those words, now I am being punished. So we are back to the famous quote: LIFE IS TOO SHORT.  I guess since this is the year of the bunny, who is the kindest animal in the zodiac, it's the year for me to forgive and forget. A year to be kind, to forgive the people who hurt me really bad, to forget those incidents, and start really enjoying life without those grudges, anger and resentment.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday - Where to go next

April seems so far away so I might have to persuade Jeff to go on a short trip somewhere. But where? I have been checking out some of the travel deals. At first we thought of Hawaii, then maybe New Mexico or maybe just spend the weekend in L.A. with our friends that we met on our first cruise.  The last mini vacation we took was last August.  We met my close friends in Vegas for 4 days and we had fun and a nice visit.  My next trip won't be until  April to meet 6 of my girlfriends in Arizona for a golfing week. It's at least 72 more sleep and that is why I say it seems far away.  Before I retired, Jeff and I use to travel at least every 3 or 4 months.  I would either travel to SJC or he would travel to YYZ or sometimes we would meet at our destination if it was one of those cruise or all inclusive or depending on our choice destination.  When I was working, part of the job involved some travelling. The scheduled was a little out of control sometimes because you would be travelling once a month or three times a month or nothing for 3 months. But the great part is that I was able to see at least 50 countries before I retire.  Now I know why I am getting antsy to travel somewhere and it's funny because I don't live in a freezing city like before.  The weather in San Jose is sunny, warm and no snow.  Actually I should feel like I am on holidays everyday. So why I am still thinking of going somewhere. What I should be looking forward to are my family and friends back in Canada who will be coming for a visit something this year.  Here are some of the places I have seen in my travels.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Timely Tuesday - Favorite Things

How do you pick your favorite perfume? Do you read the poll on a magazine on what's the latest scent? Would you spend some time at the perfume section of a store and sniff some or all until you find the best one?  As for me, I use to sniff the little sampler on a page of a magazine and if I actually like it, I will wait until they have some sort of bonus for the particular line of perfume, then buy it. As I get older, I would just pick a new scent every now and then but only get the smallest size. But a couple of years ago, my girlfriend from Ottawa was visiting and as soon as I hugged her, I got just a tiny hint of her perfume and I immediately ask her what she had on. At first I thought that what's nice on her skin might not be the same for me. That's what I have read regarding different reaction of scent on every one's skin. Since I didn't really have anymore favorites at the time, I thought that if I see it and can afford it, that I will buy it.  So far I have bought the perfume a couple of times and then I couldn't find it anywhere.  Until last week, I was out shopping with Jeff's mom and there it was inside the display cabinet at Ross Dress for Less.  Only one left, I thought it must be my lucky day and it was meant for me. Of course I bought it.
Timing is very important when it comes to getting a good deal on something that you would like to have but do not want to pay an arm and a leg for it.  Sometimes you might have to wait for a few days because you know that the will be having a sale.  But what if you were window shopping and you found something you like but someone already has it in their hand. Do you wait just in case that shopper changes their mind and put it back in the rack?  Do you just re check the rack just in case you miss it the first time?  Do you just forget about it and leave?
Well, I guess it was another lucky day for me last Thursday because I found this Purple purse that I kinda like but it must be meant for me because it was on sale this time. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Maybe Monday - Flower Arrangements

When someone ask me what I will be doing when I retire, I use to say that I would like to work at flower shop and help with flower arrangements.  But when I actually retired, I thought I would just volunteer with Jeff’s mom at the Senior Center.  Lately I have been doing some flower arranging just for the house every time someone brings me flowers when they come for dinner. Jeff suggested that maybe I should just drop by one of the shop in the area and ask if they would need a volunteer to help out during their busy times. Of course, I would offer to receive some sort of training and eventually come in for a few hours when called upon. I thought that I would take some sort of survey to see what my family and friends would recommend.  Here’s a couple of recent arrangements.
Maybe I just like the idea but maybe it is a lot of hard work and trying to remember all the names of each and every flower in the shop.  Has anyone work as a florist or help out at a flower shop? Do you feel happy when you get flowers for any occasion?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Soulful Sunday - Soulful Son

Sunday has been a very difficult day for me for the past two and a half years as this was the day my son died. A few days ago, my daughter found a photo of a Fisher Price record player and she sent it to me. The memories of my son as little boy came so clear to me and that is why today is going to be all about my Gino. I found his baby book and I turned to the page where he was around 2 years old.  So I read about how he loves listening to music and usually the top 40’s. My sister was his babysitter and she introduced Gino to some of the music of 1980’s.  Here are some of his favorite songs and although he won’t admit this to his friends that he knew or even like these songs, I know he did and his aunt would remember all of these moments very well.
Two less lonely people in the world,  Even the nights are better, by AIR SUPPLY (I believe Gino’s dad still has this album.  At the age of 2 and later, he would hold this album while his aunt would play the record over and over for him)
If you leave me now, Saturday in the Park, by CHICAGO
Africa and Rosanna, by TOTO
Sunglasses at Night and Never Surrender by COREY HART (check out his photo the first time he had his Corey Hart hairstyle).
More than a feeling by BOSTON (it was funny when the SING STAR came out for PS2 game, he would sing this and it would remind me of his childhood).

When it comes to Gino’s favorite toys, there are two toys that are so clear in my memory and they are GI Joe and Masters of the Universe.  He would save the money that he would get for doing a chore and would buy one or two of these toys for his collections. He took care of them and organized them in their own carrying case.  When he is playing with He-man characters, the words “by the power of Grey skull  would be echoing from his room.
One other toy that he loved was given by his grandfather (see photo below).  My father was overjoyed when Gino was born and I am very happy that he was able to enjoy Gino’s childhood.  I remember my Dad’s prayer – “please do not take me away until I have the chance to see my grandchildren”.  His prayer was answered because he was around to watch his grandchildren grow up. Gino passed away on my Dad’s birthday. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Simply Saturday - Poker/Pool Night

Poker night with the boys are usually Friday with Jeff’s co worker and one of his friends holds one every now and again and it’s usually Saturday.  My first experience playing with the boys was when Jeff hosted it. I made some manly appetizers such as Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings, Loaded potato skins, crusty bread with hot chicken ala king. The boys were very pleased with the food as compared to the last time Jeff hosted it because they had pizza and KFC. I lost money since I was too excited and very aggressive player. The next Poker night was hosted by another guy sometime in August.  I was not comfortable staying home alone so I ask if I can join the boys.  Since they were short one player, I was allowed to play instead of staying home.  At the end of the evening, I was the big winner.  Now I know I won’t be allowed to play with them. 

So the next poker night will be hosted by a long time friend. We have not decided if we will be going but apparently I am allowed to play with the boys. I don’t know any of the players except Jeff’s friend.  Not sure how much are at stake but I will have to play conservatively if I want to stay in the game until the end.  The nice part about his friend’s place is that he has a very nice pool table in his living room. A bonus for me , because if I get kicked out early in the evening, I can just practice shooting pool.   

A long time ago I use to go with my girlfriend to a bar/pool hall and play. It was sort of funny because we looked like a pro walking in with our own CUE in a carrying case over our shoulder. I also remember going with my son when he started learning how to play and eventually got better and beat me.  The other funny memory of shooting pool, I was not allowed to play against my son-in-law.  The reason for this was the curse:  if I played against the guys that my daughter was dating, after they lose from playing me, she would end up breaking up with the particular boy.

This is my pool cue that I bought a long time ago. I made a carrying case which has two slots inside for each piece and a little pouch where I keep my chalk and a cue shaper.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fearful Friday - What is wrong with this photo?

Last Monday on my way home from my volunteer, I had to stop by Sears to pick up Jeff’s pocket watch that needed repairs. While I am sitting on this particular corner, there are two left turn lanes and I am on the farthest left and another car is on my right, actually there are more cars behind us who are all turning left. All of a sudden this van comes along and thought he would turn left when he found out he was on the wrong lane and that the left turn arrow is actually red light. There were cars honking but the van just sat there to wait for the lights. He could have just continued straight and turn left at the next light, but NO, he just did not move. That is when I decided to take my phone and take the photo.  Now imagine the left turn lights have turned green but for the other traffic that is coming from my left and right. The van decided to back up because he was going to be hit by the cars making a left and soon after the cars coming from my right trying to cross the intersection without hitting this van.  As soon as our left turn arrow turned green, he now makes his turn so slowly and just stopped after crossing the intersection.  
Don't think the driver was fearful at all, but I was so glad that after all that waiting he was able to make that very unsafe left turn and was not plowed by other cars. For those of you who have not been in San Jose, they have a lot of these signs on their streets. 
This sign is just for U turn so you can go to a tiny strip mall without having to go all the way to the next set of lights and make a U-turn. When I am on the road and making a regular left turn, if there are at least 5 or more cars, most of the time only one is making a left turn, the rest of the cars are making a U-turn. OK, I think I have too much time on my hands, better start some of my 2011 projects.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Truthful Thursday - Disappointment and Delight

Disappointment defined as saddening situation, a letdown. 
A long time ago when I was experiencing a lot of disappointments in life, I learned how not to expect too much and how not to get too excited easily. There was a bit emotional training and eventually I was able to handle disappointments without getting too upset or sad.  It worked for a while until a couple years ago when a saddening situation occurred and I am experiencing some of the same anxiety. Some of these feelings and emotions are still very strong and I have read that they are normal after a loss so I do understand. But lately it’s the silly disappointments that are causing this anxiety to initiate the pain of the loss, that stabbing pain right in your heart, then the sadness begins. I guess that is why I am sharing this thought today.
Delight means happiness.
Although I have an issue to take charge off, this does not mean that I am not experiencing DELIGHT. The happiness in my life surmount the every now and again disappointments. Jeff tells me that “it does not take much to make me happy”. If you remember reading an earlier post about my happy list, they were small and simple.  So here’s more of my happy list: surprise bunny sightings, making a long putt, listening to a favorite song from the past, reminiscing stories with friends, completing a new project.
The photo below has added a bit of happiness every time I come home. Jeff's mom gave me the bunny and I decided to put it in our front door.  
It is amazing how such a small and simple thing can bring so much happiness. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whipped Up Wednesday - Family Dinners

This weekend my niece is visiting from San Francisco and will be joining us for lunch. After she saw the photo of my chicken pot pie, she mentioned that she would love to try them. I think I will make the mini pot pie as it is cute and tiny and individual size. Since we will be experiencing some cool temperatures, I also will be making cream of potato and bacon soup. No ideas for dessert yet but I am sure I will be checking out recipes before Saturday. I love having family members join us for Sunday lunch or dinners.  This is actually all new since I moved in with Jeff. We started having his mom join us every Sunday, unless we are out of town or she has other plans.  Do you have regular family dinners or just on special holidays? Sometimes I don’t make a big production, a simple meal is just as special. We all look forward to getting together and catch up with our stories.

Yesterday, I decided I would plan and organize my week so I won't forget to do certain chores or do some of my hobbies. I guess most of you will have similar schedule during the week as you all work and only have weekends to do some of the things I do during the week. 
Monday - Volunteer day
Tuesday - Mother in law day
Wednesday - Housekeeping Day
Thursday - Hobby Day - this will include Golf, tennis, arts/crafts, shopping
Friday - Free Day
Although I have planned my week as above, I know that they will vary from week to week as there are appointments or other things that are more important to take care off.  Weekends will be spent with Jeff and we won't have a schedule as he is a WINGING IT kinda man. Do you like planning ahead and being organized or do you just go with the flow and wing it?