Monday, February 28, 2011

Maybe Monday - Meaningful Meals

Before I forget, 8 years ago today was the date that Jeff and I first met at the Fish Market Restaurant in Santa Clara, California.  I remember having oysters for appetizers and strawberries dipped in chocolate for dessert.

Every Sunday, my mother-in-law comes to our home for dinner and we sometimes play some games or just catch up on stories or watch a show or movie on TV.  But this past weekend we changed it to Saturday evening because Marilen (Alysia's cousin) was having dinner with us.
Marilen had a chance to play a little bit with Gamble and she introduced a new game to him.  I am sure Gamble will be asking us to play that game when he comes back for his sleep over in two weeks.  After dinner, we introduced the Banana Scrabble to Marilen and we played it for a while.  We had some coffee and dessert (Dream Bars) and Jeff started making up some words and we all followed him and this was the result.
The next dinner would be with a friend of mine from Chicago.  He is going to be receiving an award here in the Silicon Valley for his great work in the technological world.  The last time I saw him was in 2005. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Soulful Sunday - Sweet Grandson

When a little boy says "I love you, Ola" or "Ola makes the best breakfast" it just makes all your worries or issues go away.  This was the weekend that we have Gamble sleepover.  He stays with us on Friday night and goes home after lunch or dinner on Saturday.  He got so excited when he saw a new toy that was just sitting on the bookcase.  It was Alysia's belated Christmas gift. He asked me who bought it for him and I told him it was given to him by the same person who gave the other CARS toy the last time.  So he said "Oh Alysia".  He played with this toy the whole evening and then he wanted to play with his LEGO CARS and asked Jeff to build it with him. After Jeff finished, he gets closer to Jeff and says "I love you Grandpa".  When he got bored with it, he wanted to play with the Angry Bird on my phone.  I let him play with it for a bit with a promise that he would go and take a shower after.  Sometimes we have to do a lot of convincing but when he found out the new bath mat, he stayed in the shower, played and got very clean.  When it was close to bed time,  we let him play with Angry Birds one more time and had to problem going to bed.  In the morning, he woke up and wanted breakfast.  Jeff made his favorite dollar pancakes while I cooked him bacon, turkey sausage and ham.  That's when he said, Grandpa makes the best pancake.  We did a lot yesterday from getting groceries, laundry, setting the table, playing hide the pink pig or brown bear (new game invented by Alysia's cousin who was visiting us.  He did not really want to go home and wanted to stay one more night.  I took his picture while we were out for lunch. 
Serious Look       Fake Smile        Charmer

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Successful Saturday - Meeting adjourned

The meeting was last night in Mississauga, Ontario at one of my girlfriends home.  It was about discussing the final details of the upcoming trip to Arizona.  It's a 7 day holiday with the girls and we will be golfing 4 out of the 7 days.  We will be staying in a condo with a pool and tennis courts. There are 4 different golf course we will be playing .  I have checked all four and these are amazing and difficult golf courses.  Since I was the only one that was out of area, I had to dial in when it was time for the meeting.  They had written an agenda and it was very interesting because I can hear everyone talking and can even identify all of their voices.  Each one had a responsibility and I have volunteered to bring in the snacks.  I plan to bring some of my mother-in-law's chocolate chip cookies, Chinese chews square and snicker doodle cookie.  As for me,  I will be making two types of squares/bars - my famous six layer bar and dream  bars.  We talk about the meeting place upon arrival, the vehicle of choice for the car rental, cooking, bar tending, etc.  It was so much fun and I felt like I was there with them.  There are only 42 more sleeps before this great holiday. Here's the view of one of the golf course we will be playing.

For now I have to start golfing more when the weather is nice because I need them more than my girlfriends.  They are all great golfers so I have a lot of catching up.   The good part is that they are still having their winters in Canada, therefore they can't golf until I see all of them in April.  Honestly, I don't think even if I golf every day of every week, I still won't be able to beat any of them because I need some lessons, a trainer and a really nice set of clubs.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fav Friday - Favorite Things

A little boring for today's blog, but I did not want to miss a day without posting something.  It's all about some of my favorites.  At first I thought of just listing the names but I thought it would be tantalizingly delicious if I add some photos of my favorite fruits.

Lanzones, Dragon Fruit, Sugar Apple, Chinese Pear, Sour Sop, Lychees
Maybe it's not that boring, right.  So what about my favorite vegetables?  Is your favorite vegetable on my list?

Fennel, Red Pepper, Fiddleheads, Daikon Radish, Snowpea Leaves, Eggplant
 Are you starting to get hungry?  How about some cheese and crackers?  A little afternoon snack with a glass of wine.
Provolone, Brie, Camembert, Jalapeno Havarti, Fontina, Mini Babybel 
Almost forgot to show the crackers that would go with these mouth watering cheese.

Wheat Thins, Whole Grain Crackers, Triscuit, Multigrain Plus
Now I am thirsty and I need something to drink.  Something cool, colorful and thirst quenching.
Lychee Martini, Blue Lagoon, Hurricane, Spicy Caesar, Mango Mojito, Pomangranate Cocktail
So that's all for today. TGIF! ! ! Unfortunately we won't be going out tonight to have one of the above beverages because Gamble is with us for a sleepover.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Truthful Thursday - Tired, Exhausted and Punctured

The different levels of having no energy.  First you are just a little tired.  Second, you are a bit exhausted.  Third, you now feel punctured.  Actually,  I don't think I feel any of these levels.  I guess it's a feeling when you're company have left and now you are back to regular routine.  It was a very busy couple of days. Two day of driving and shopping was a bit tiring but it was worth it.  It was so great to see my friend and his family.  It's hard to believe that his daughter who I met when she was only a few days old.  She is now in her second year at Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.  It was her first time in San Jose and I hope she enjoyed her visit even though we did not get to any of the historical sights, park or beach.  Their stay was really very short but I guess it's better than nothing at all.  She was able to shop at her favorite stores.  Last night after we had gone to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, we thought we would stop one more time at a store to check out the candies/chocolates that we have in the USA.  She found some snacks (Quaker Oats Chewy Bar - chocolate mint and cookie dough) and some candies (M&M coconut and Heath bar) .  The interesting part was when she asked me where the bakery aisle was.  Jeff and her bought a variety cake snacks since they were 10 for $10.00
These snacks will be a nice treat when she returns to her apartment which she shares with five other girls.  I hope she hides these snacks because I am sure if her roommate finds out she has these YUMMIES, it will be gone in seconds.  Anyway, this morning they left to return to Canada and I really hope they had enjoyed their stay at the Cranberry Portage B&B.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordy Wednesday - Banana Scrabble

While helping my mother-in-law with some of the organizing at her home, she asked me if I wanted to play this new game she played with her niece.  She liked it so much she bought it.  The game is called Banana Scrabble.  Has anyone played it yet?  It's easy and it's fun even if there's only two players.  You start with 21 tiles (letters) and you form words with all of the 21 tiles, whoever finishes first - they say SPLIT, and everyone has to take a tile.  This goes on and on until no tile is left.  The first one to uses all the tiles is the WINNER.  The game comes in a yellow bag shaped like a BANANA.  So when you are one of those that likes board games and likes words - this is one game you should get.  

The only big problem with this game is that if you are not good at spelling because I think you get penalize for misspelled words.  But then again,  when you are playing with family members, we try to help each other finish using their letters.  So the word of the day: BIFURCATE.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Timely Tuesday - Toronto Visitors

A very late night for us but it was an exciting evening because my best friend aka Brother and his family arrived and will be staying with us.  They are from Toronto or I should really say Mississauga.  If you are not from that area then it is easier to say Toronto, more popular and easier to pronounce.  Although the visit is kinda short, it's just great to see him again.  If you remember my blog of Feb 8, he was in photo with me.  Where am I going to take them?  I think the girls would probably just want to go shopping while my Brother and I will just hang out or CHILL as he would say.  In the evening,  we have decided to make dinner - Mexican night.  I went to my favorite Mexican market to get some Carne Asada which Jeff will be cooking on the BBQ.  Yesterday, I made some mango salsa to go along with the BBQ meat and of course some corn tortilla, black beans and tamales (bought from the market as they make this fresh every day).  As for drinks, Jeff is planning to make MOJITO's.  It should be a nice evening so we can sit by the fire pit and have our drinks.  
Tamales, Mango Salsa, Corn Tortilla
While driving to the Mexican Market, I saw this really pretty trees called Cherry Blossom.  Since it is still February which is the Valentine's month, it would be timely to share something pink.  It's not the best shot but I think you will still like seeing flowers in February.

Cherry Blossom Trees 

I will be busy entertaining my Canadian visitors, but I will try my best to still have my daily blog and hoping it will be a little more interesting each day this week. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Maybe Monday - My Days Off

It is amazing how I still look forward to a day off when actually every day is a day off for me.  When it's a declared holiday, the senior centre that I volunteer once a week is closed which means I get a day off.  It still comes as a surprise to me because I am not familiar with some of the American holidays.  I thought that we have a lot of statutory holidays in Canada, but now I realize the US has as many if not more public holidays.  Just in case too are not familiar, these are now the holidays I will observe as great sale days:  
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - President's Day
  • March 31 - Cesar Chavez Day 
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • July 4 - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • November 11 - Veteran's Day
  • Fourth Thursday in November - Thanksgiving Day
  • Fourth Friday in November - Black Friday
For my Canadian friends who are planning to visit, you might want to remember this dates when booking your flights.  On another note, yesterday after doing some of the chores,  I decided to take out my 12 string guitar, tune it, then play some tunes.  Whhaaatt? you can play.  Well, I have not played for a while so my fingers were a little sore after a few songs.  But it was great to remember certain chords and try out some newer songs.  So here's my playlist: 
  • Soul Sister by Train
  • Save me San Francisco by Train
  • Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
  • Viva La Vida by Coldplay
  • Don't Know Why by Nora Jones
I am still a little rusty and my left fingers starts cramping after a couple of songs.  The good part is that I still remember how to play certain chords.  The bad part is that I have to practice above songs and memorize the chords, lyrics and be able to play without the sheet.  What I am surprised is that I can still play some old songs from the 60' and 70's without the sheet. 
12 String Ibanez Guitar

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunny Sunday - Summer Dress

Thinking of summer makes me feel nice and warm.  Two weeks ago when we were having really warm weather, for me it feels like summer.  Let me remind you that I use to live in a city that has real winter with snow, sleet and ice.  After a week of rain, today the sun finally came out and it's warm and comfy weather again.  That is why I am thinking of summer already.  I found a dress that I thought would look nice on me.  I didn't try it at the store because I was lazy.  The price was right and if it does not fit nor look good on me, then I can always give it away as a gift.  The other dress is from last year's collection but I love wearing them because it does not wrinkle and it is also a great dress for travel.  I guess since the new one is not sleeveless, I cannot call it a summer dress. but  because the fabric is very thin, soft and light, it definitely is a summer dress.
Last year's summer dress

Future Spring Dress
Last night, I finally tried this newly acquired dress and I am keeping it because like the last year's dress, it is light, soft and does not wrinkle, therefore great for travel.  Now I can add this dress to the things to take in April for Arizona. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Simply Saturday - Reminisce on rainy days

Rain, showers, raindrops, all means wet and not a nice day at all.  We have been getting a lot of water from the sky but then again, I guess it's good for the grass, flowers, farm, etc.  This weekend will be spent indoors to catch up on other chores and for Jeff  to do some fixing and repairs.  While I will contemplate sewing, ironing and writing some letters.  I shouldn't really be complaining about rainy days because it's definitely easier to handle than freezing weather with snow and black ice.  The good news is that the forecast on Sunday is sunny and for the next 3 days it will be partly cloudy and partly sunny.  I am really hoping for a really nice warm sunny days for my friends visiting next Monday.  It's a long weekend for us here in the USA - it's President's day on Monday.  For sure there will be a lot of sales because it seems that they have great sales every holiday they celebrate.  Speaking of celebrate, I was reorganizing the photos on file when I saw this photo taken on my 50th birthday party.  This is what rainy days does to me, I reminisce and think of the great times of my life and this is one of them.  I miss all my friends on this photo and specially the ones who are not with us anymore.

It is truly amazing how time flies.  This photo was taken almost 8 years ago and it's a great feeling to know that all of them are still my friends.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flowery Friday - Dishes

The new mission of mine is to find the replacement for our dishes.  Our current set is starting to get all chipped.  Jeff's had it for at least 4 years and although we still love using it, most of the pieces have a little chip or a tiny crack.  We have been doing our search for a while but really have not found something that we really and truly love.  The design is very important as well as the color has to really matched the theme of the kitchen.  One criteria that I would really prefer is the shape - I love the square place settings.  But yesterday, while shopping at KOHL's, I saw this place setting that is so springy, so happy, and just lovely.  Of course I knew that Jeff would not like it because it's a little GIRLY.  You can check it out and tell me what you think.  

Since we are not in a rush to get new dishes, I can still continue to keep searching until we find the right one.  Although I was thinking that if I really want to get them replaced, I could on a daily or weekly basis, accidentally break one or two pieces.  But I think eventually Jeff will start to wonder where are the missing pieces.  Maybe that won't be such a good idea.  Actually Jeff would probably not think that I was purposely breaking them due to my record when it comes to breaking dishes.  Sometime I go while putting away drinking glasses, the shelf dropped down and all of 9 glasses shattered in pieces, surprisingly I was not hurt.  On other times, while doing dishes it would slip and clipped the edge of the granite counter, and break.  Lesson learned on this - be very careful and not rush when doing dishes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Truthful Thursday - Tiresome Grey stuff

Before I vent about the tiresome grey stuff, I would like to share the baked treats that my mother-in-law and I did yesterday.  We started about the same time but in our own kitchen and then we called each other when we were done and we finished almost the same time.  Then I picked her up so we can transport the treats she baked.  When we got to my house we decided that we were going to package the treats and place a tag with the name of the treat.  So these are the finished products.  Mom and I are very proud of what we have accomplished.
Lemon Bar
Dream Bar
Pineapple Filled Bar
Six Layer Bar
Now I can start venting about the tires some grey stuff.  Unless I want to start looking really old, then I guess it should not bother me to have those grey things in my hair.  But I am not really ready to let it go, neither is Jeff.  The funny thing is that my hair grows so fast that the roots shows up very very quickly.  I use to do it myself until one time that I did it,  my hair turned orange.  When I went to work, my supervisor got so stressed with the look, he told me to go home and see my hair stylist to get it fixed.  He was a great supervisor and also a very dear friend.  Anyway, it gets a little expensive but I am not prepared to experience those weird colored hair.  I figured since I am not getting my manicure and pedicure done, I can splurge to get those grey roots covered every 6 weeks.  So there's the truth and nothing but the truth.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Working Wednesday - Bake Sale

Today I am switching from doing my house chores to doing some baking.  My tennis friend asked my help as she is organizing a bake sale for LLS.  I did not even have to think twice because this is like volunteering as well.  I guess she liked all the baked goods that I have shared with her. She said that her kids really liked my home made bread pudding.  There are a few things that I am really comfortable making because they are very easy and at the same time yummy.  Depending on time, I will be making the following treats: 6 layer bars, mini pecan butter tarts, pineapple squares and maybe a lemon poppy seed cake  and a carrot/pineapple cake. My mother-in-law makes really great cupcakes with her special frosting.  She said she doesn't mind doing some baking also for a good cause.  I asked if she doesn't mind making a lemon square.  When my friend picks up her treats, I am sure she will be so happy when she sees how much we have done.  This will be a very rewarding day since we know exactly where the proceeds of the bake sale is going.  Here's a sample of what the treats will look like.
These were the Halloween cupcakes my mother-in-law made.

Mini Pecan Butter Tart
Hopefully I can take some pictures of our baked goods and post it for my Thursday's blog.  Jeff is also hoping that he will get a chance to be the tester for the treats.  His favorite is the cupcake with the special frosting.  He likes sweet stuff and that explains why I am his wife.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Timely Tuesday - Terrific Tunes

A little too late but it's better late than never.  I did not get a chance to watch the Grammy's Live but I reminded Jeff to record it for me so I can watch it on a rainy and gloomy afternoon.  It is amazing to see all the new talents and maybe to most of you they are not new.  I am so happy to watch the group TRAIN get the first award.  As I have mentioned in previous blog, this group is new to me and really like all their songs from the CD Save me San Francisco.  And since this group is form the bay area,  it's appropriate to support the local talents.  I also know that if my son was still with us, he would definitely be impressed that I would listen to this group.  Who else impressed me and was a big surprise was when Usher and Justin Bieber sang together.  Of course, we have to be a fan to a Canuck who comes from small town in Ontario.  What's not to like? He is cute, talented (sings, dance, plays guitar, drums and piano), polite, a great athlete and so many more.  Let's just hope that his ego does not get too big and forgets where he came from.  

There were a lot of great songs and performers and I am so glad I did not miss it.  The one great thing about it is that I was able to breeze through all the commercials.  Oh, not to forget that this is when I try to sort the songs with the singers.  When I was younger, I knew the song title, the artist and year it was released.  But for some reason I seem to have lost the interest of remembering everything.  Now a days, I would know the song but not the artist, or I would know the artist and the song but have no clue when it was released.  This is when it reminds me of my son's love for music.  He knew the song, artist and year it was released, I guess that's kinda like mother like son.   For my son's group at Name that Tune,  I am so glad I was able to be part of your group and hope that you continue your love for music. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

M&M Monday - Happy Valentines

Valentine's Day = chocolate = cakes = birthdays.  Let me first wish all my followers a Happy Valentines Day.  I am a bit tired from yesterday's road trip but I did not want to miss posting because I have been doing good with my everyday blog.  During our first stop at a gas station, I was looking for a snack that was a little different.  And there it was, a new package of M&M and it was called M&M Coconut.  I bought it, shared it and ate the rest - all of 22 pieces.  Yummy.  Have you tasted these other kinds of M&M?  These are my favorites - what's yours?

What if your birthday falls on the same day as Valentines Day?  Would you get two gifts or just one?  Do celebrate your birthday in the morning and valentines in the evening?  Well, I have two very special friends who are both celebrating their birthdays today.  What better way to send my birthday wishes to them through my blog.   Hope they get to read it.

I met Marty sometime in 1985 when we lived in Whitehorse.  We met through our line of work.  We move to different cities but somehow kept in touch.  There were some years that I would meet him for lunch while I was visiting relatives in Edmonton.  The last time I saw him was in Ottawa when my best friend had a going away party for me.  It meant a lot to me that he was able to rearrange his very busy schedule to be there.  Happy birthday Marty and may you have many many more happy years to come.

Her name is Sue and it's also her birthday today.  We met at work in 1988 when I moved to Ontario.  Even with all the movement for work, we still manage to keep in touch.  She was not only a friend at work but also outside of work.  She is caring, thoughtful, friendly, trustworthy and is great fun.  Happy Birthday Sue, may your year be filled with happiness, good health, and memorable moments.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweet Sunday - Pre Valentines Day

As much as I love Valentines Day,  I don't like the part about going out in the evening where everyone is having dinner with their loved ones.  There's always waiting in line, waiting for your food and it's too loud you cannot have a conversation.  So last night we opted to just do a little celebration.  Our dinner was very simple - LOW CARB BURGER aka Bun less Burger.  For those of you who have not tried it, it's really simple.  Start with a lot of lettuce on the bottom, a little mayonnaise, couple of slices of cucumber, grilled lean burger, mustard or ketchup or both, a slice of your favorite cheese, couple slices of tomato then top it with more lettuce.  The trick is not to put it down, just hold it in your hand so it stays together.  So this is what it looks like.
We ate our dinner in our backyard deck around the fire pit.  After dinner we listened to some music and enjoyed the evening.  There was a song that reminded us of Dominican Republic (La Vida Es un Carnaval) so we got up and did a little salsa and continued dancing to the different songs that was being played: Let's stay together,  No woman no cry, and September. You cannot get any more romantic than dancing under the moonlight skies.   

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Simply Saturday - Sponge Bob Squarepants

Such a simple game played over and over brings so much joy to our grandson, Gamble who had a sleepover last night.  The game was called Sponge Bob Squarepants Dominoes.  I am sure you know how to play this game but if you don't know the characters it's a little difficult.  Gamble would ask if I have a Gary which is really a snail - I did not know this.  Then he would ask if I have a Sandy, Squidword, Plankton and Crabs.  The only one I recognize is Sponge Bob and Patrick.  So as you can see, I learned all the characters last night, thanks to Gamble.  He was a good sport because he would be OK when he loses and does not jump up and down when he wins.  The only thing we had to explain to him was the double tile to start the game.  I think I got really lucky because I won a few of the rounds.  Every now and again, he would say, "what OLA wins again?
Sponge Bob, Gary, Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Crab, Plankton, Squidword
We were planning to make a couple of Valentine's card today so Gamble can give it to his parents when he gets home.  Last night before going to bed he was a little scared because he saw the smoke detector.  We are not sure why all of a sudden he was afraid of it.  He had been sleeping in the same room when he stays over but it started the last time he was here.  He said he cannot sleep with the lights off because he still can see the WHITE STUFF.  So I let him lay down in the couch beside me and within a few minutes he was sound asleep. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Finally Friday - a nice surprise

The car I am driving had a recall so I had to bring it to the dealership for the part to be replaced. Instead of waiting for the car to get done, I opted to take a walk to check out some of the stores around the area.  After half a block, there it was a small plaza with a Michael's store.  I new that I could spend a few minutes at that store but before I got there, the third store on my left had the flashing neon lights - EYE BROW THREADINGThere was no decision making here, I opened their door ask if she is free and how much it was.  The answer I got was pretty good so I sat and got it done.  The salon is called IMAGE and the young woman that did it was very polite, friendly and she did a great job.  So after 6 months of searching, now I have a great place to go.

It was getting close to lunch so I checked out a place called DIM SUM KING.  It's a take out place with a small section for seating.  You can order a lot of different variety of dim sum but the good part is you can order one, two or three pieces.  I tried to get a taste of what I like and it was all good.  It was inexpensive, a lot of flavor and very fresh.  The other benefit is you can seat on the outside patio and enjoy your lunch while getting some warmth of the sun.

After spending most of my morning at the car dealership, I figured I need to do something fun.  Well, I am sure by now you know what I would do on a beautiful afternoon.  That's right, I stopped by my favorite fun course.  I met a couple of new seniors and our fourth one is another senior that I met on one of my other visits with Jeff.  I think his name is Shah and he got a HOLE in ONE on the 8th hole.   When we were walking towards the green, he keeps saying that he knew his ball was on the green and may have rolled to the back.  We helped him looked for the ball and couldn't find it.  When I walked to the flag, there it was, Mr. Shah's ball.  That was a nice surprise. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

T Time Thursday - Tea or Tee

Tea for two or Tee time for four.  Same sound, different spelling, different meaning but same satisfaction.  Drinking tea is relaxing after a meal and golfing after a hard days work is also relaxing.  When it is a nice warm day, ice tea cools you.  Being out on a golf course on a warm sunny day is cool when you get a bit of a breeze.  Herbal tea is comforting if you are having an upset stomach.  Hitting golf balls on the driving range eases the anger you might have been bottling inside.  I would like to share some of my favorite type of Tea and some of my favorite golf accessories.
  • Fujian Green Tea
  • Nottingham Green Tea Mango
  • Tazo Organic Chai Tea
  • Celestial Sleepy Time
Come and share a pot of tea, my home is warm and my friendship's free. - Emilie Barnes

The friends you make on the golf course are the friends you make for life. - Jessica Anderson Valentine, Scottish golfer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Washboard Wednesday - Wish List

Today is a bit wishy washy because I was stuck without a topic. Whaaatttt?? I've only been blogging for 1 month and 9 days and already running out of ideas.  Wait, maybe this one is not a bad idea.  It's sort of a take from my daughter's post at the end of January.  No more waiting here's my top favorite washboard list. 
Washboard, 6 pack, great abs, all means the same.  But what is my wish?  It really has nothing to do with the above.  My wish list is not for material things but just little things that makes our life on earth memorable - not a big list, just 9 wishes:
  • a moderate climate for all
  • a healthy aging process
  • a little break for those in need
  • a safe travel for everyone
  • a lot of understanding between friends
  • a simple solution to world problems
  • a bit of happiness for those who are still grieving
  • a cure for deadly incurable disease
  • a universal peace 
When you least expect it,  you might get really inspired by the simple things I want in life.  Before I publish my posts, Jeff usually tell it like it is when he reads the post.  But this time,  it cracked him up and brought tears to his eyes.  I think his idea of simple things is very different from mine. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Timely Tuesday - Happy Birthday PJD

Today is a special day because my very dear friend is celebrating his ?? birthday. At first I thought that I would wait and feature him on my SPOTLIGHT section.  But since today is timely Tuesday, what would be a better day to feature my friend, that's right, today is the day.  Let me take you back one summer day in 1989, my girlfriend Anna took me to have dim sum for lunch at a Chinese restaurant on Burnhamthorpe Road, Mississauga, Ontario.  We were on our way out when we bumped into a couple and Anna introduced me to Percy and Edith. He was a very young man who was working with same department as I am but different location.  I never knew then that this man would become a very special friend who I can honestly say is like my own brother.  In fact on one occasion, one of our close friend mentioned that we could be mistaken as brother and sister. Maybe it was because we were both wearing an all black outfit.  Through the years, I have seen him grow up from that young man to becoming a father, a colleague, an instructor, a supervisor, a partner in crime, but most of all a true best friend.  We have gone through a lot in our own world but somehow supported each other in whatever way we can.  There are so many things that I would share to let you know how special he is but this page is not going to be enough.  Let me just list a few of the things that makes him an amazing friend:
  • we have an arrangement that when it comes to our birthdays, I will be the DD when it's his birthday and he will be my DD when it's my B-day.
  • when it comes to my health issues - he knows exactly what to do and this is great when I use to travel with him and when we go out with friends.
  • anytime I need some assistance when it comes to medical/hospital appointments where I cannot drive myself, he's always there, even if he has to take a time-off
  • if I am having a tough day at work, somehow he knows how to help me get through the day.
  • when I got the tragic news about my son, he was at my house within 12 minutes of my call.  He was there for me, throughout the rest of the process, and continued to offer emotional support when I returned to work.
What is the best way to describe my friend aka BROTHERAttentive, big-hearted, caring, diligent, entertaining, friendly, good, helpful, interesting, jovial, kind, loving, memorable, natural, observant, perceptive, quick, real, sincere, thoughtful, understanding, vigorous, willing, xtra special, young and zealous.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Maybe Monday - Missed step

What happens when you really want to win your tennis match and you go for every shot? I did that on the weekend and while trying to reach a high lob shot from Jeff, I lost my balance backing up, landed on my flat behind at the same time used the left palm of my hand to break the fall.  My head did not touch the pavement because of my pony tail that served as the cushion. As I lay on the ground, Jeff jumps over the net to make sure I was OK.  I was a little dizzy so I sat on the bench and had a sip of my pomegranate ice tea.  Then I needed to lay down for a few minutes.  I did not think I was really messed up, I thought it was more of the shock of the fall. All of a sudden I heard someone asking Jeff if we were done playing.  Do you think I would give up?  Of course not.  I got up and continued playing and actually won the next set 6-0.  After our game, I took time to smell the roses - not just a saying.  I did, because it was such a beautiful day.  It almost felt like spring. I thought that I would share the photos of the flowers that was around the tennis court.  I just hope that my hand and my behind won't be too bruised because I did ice it when we got home.  At my age, I should really take it easy and not get too aggressive and competitive.  It's really all about the workout we get out of the game and it's not the scores.  That's what Jeff keeps telling me.
The Flowers surrounding the tennis court at Miyuki Park

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday - No stinkin' party

Superbowl Sunday - that's right, we are not going to any party, a pub or bar.  We are staying home to watch this big sporting event from our TV.  What do I really know about Superbowl?  It's one Sunday where most Americans and even Canadians will be glued to their TV.  Most bars will have some sort of party with special drinks or special snacks in conjunction with football.  Last year for Superbowl Sunday, we were invited to a very good friends home.  There were a lot of food, drinks and most of our friends were there.  There's a couple of poker tables going, a group just chatting in the kitchen and a football pool you can donate your money and pick a square and write your name.  It's always a good turnout and it's great to see other friends that we don't work with.  For sure this year, the party will be at their place.  I miss all of them. Who are you cheering for Greenbay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers?  Will you be going to a house party or a bar or just staying home like us?  

What I would really like to see is probably the half time show especially the Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5.  It was also interesting to hear that there will be no Cheerleaders as these 2 teams don't have any.  Does that make the team less manly or more manly since there are no girls involved in their team?  Good luck to all who are wishing their teams to win this years Superbowl.  I just hope that it will be a real exciting game because there's no other sports show that I can flip channel.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snooping Saturday - Steph's Closet

It was time to change my toe nail polish.  The design that I just removed was the ZEBRA pattern. I showed it to my daughter and she liked it. Yesterday, it was my hobby afternoon.  After doing all my errands, I sat and check out what design I will do next on my toe nails and finger nails.  While checking for designs, I bumped into this blog - Steph's Closet.  There it was a gallery of nail art.  Here's the link:
This will be  one blog that I will check for new ideas for my nails, although I already know a lot of designs without looking at other images.  As far as showing my nail art on my blog, I am not sure I am comfortable showing photos of my toes.  I guess I can share the designs I have done on my finger nails.  
The nail design that I do for my toes are much more detailed than these designs for my fingers.  Maybe someday I can feature all the designs I have done if I can figure out how to take better photos of my toes without feeling a little weird.  With all the latest nail polish colors and the tools that you can get for nail art,  I have not been to a salon to get a pedicure because I love creating new designs on my toes almost every 2 weeks.  This will be too costly if I was getting it done and sometimes they chip easily and I am sure most of you hates it when your polish are chipped or scraped or half peeled.  Doing it by myself gives me that option of changing it as soon as I see an imperfection.  This is one of the benefit of being retired, I really have the time to do my own manicure and pedicure any time.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Frigorific Friday - so over with Freezing weather

February arrives with freezing temperatures for most of the eastern states and of course that includes Canada.  Thirty seven years ago, I arrived in a small city in the Northwest Territories, called YELLOWKNIFE.  It was a frigorific day-38C (-36F).  That was the first time I saw and touch SNOW.  It definitely shock my whole system especially when I left my birth country a couple of days before and it was a scorching + 42C(107F). This part of northern Canada has very long winters (short days) and very short summer with (long days).  Sometimes I still wonder how we survived living there for 10 years but we did.  When it was time to move, we did not choose a warmer city as we ended up in the Yukon Territory and lived in their capital city of WHITEHORSE.  The temperatures were similar but it seems like we get more breaks during the winter months.  It is a very pretty city and I cannot forget the view from my living room window - snow peaked mountains, the northern lights and amazing sunrise/sunset.  Four years was all we got but I think we could have stayed if not for the forced job transfer.  It was really funny because the choice of cities to  transfer to was Winnipeg or Toronto.  We were hoping for Vancouver or maybe even Nevada, but I think that was just my fantasy.  I guess we did not really complain because Ontario has all the four seasons and we saw them all for twenty three years and Ontario became our home (Mississauga and Ottawa).

Today is my 6th month living in the sunny and warm San Jose, California.  I feel very lucky to retire in a city with no harsh winters.  The way I look at it - I served my time living in those cold and chilling cities for 37 years.  A reward is not taken for granted.  Every morning when I look up to the blue sunny skies, there's nothing else to say but THANK YOU. 
Yellowknife - Whitehorse - Mississauga

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Truthful Thursday - Too Tempting

Temptation - the desire to have something or do something that you know you should avoid.
Whenever this act circles in your mind, it always involves a lot of fights between good and bad, right or wrong, and at times even happy and sad.  How do you fight it?  Do you even care? Let me share some of my temptations separated into desire to HAVE's:
  • New set of golf clubs - Lady Fairway 
  • Golf Cart - Bag Boy Automatic Push Cart
  • Nike Women's Metallic Pink Air Summer Lite III
  • Tennis Bag - Head Tour Team Combi
  • Tennis Nike Bandana - Federer style
  • International Traveler 24 in. shiny dot-2 wheel hard side upright luggage
  • Emerald Green Contact Lenses
  • Silver or Gold flip flop that glitters
  • Book a vacation and surprise Jeff (not happening - he does not life surprises)
  • Enrol in a swimming class ( just kidding)
and DO something you know you should avoid:
  • Have a Lychee Martini at a nice bar (too much sugar)
  • Eat a double scoop of Jamoica Almond Fudge from Baskin and Robbins (too much sugar)
  • Have lunch at an All U can eat SUSHI - (too much carbs - rice)
  • Eat a very rich desert after having a nice dinner - (too many carbs)
  • Drive over the speed limit (my friends in Canada would not believe this)
  • Scream at the kid seated behind you (who is constantly kicking your chair) while watching a movie.
  • Brag about the beautiful weather in San Jose, CA to my friends in Canada.
  • Gloat about being retired and not putting up with office politics.
  • Being glued to the TV because of Tennis and Golf and not doing my chores.
  • Watch something scary so that I can't sleep for fear of nightmares.
The truth is, even if I don't get the items on the "desires to have" list, I can honestly say I am still very content with what I have in my life now.  As Jeff always says "it doesn't take much to keep me happy".  Although you feel the need to do certain things, sometimes it's best to just LET IT GO.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Worry Wednesday - Wake up call

For those of you who are worried about their parents being a hoarder, collector, or living in a place filled with items that are just collecting dust - it might be time to offer some assistance and start cleaning and organizing their home, because you know what is going to happen if you don't.  YOU WILL INHERIT THEM.  It's a scary thought but I am sure some of you have watched those reality shows that features this type of a habit or personality.  It's very sad to say that my sister and I did experience this for the first time when my father passed away and then during my mother's last few years.  We said to ourselves that we will never do this to our children.  Some of you maybe so lucky if your parents are the type that is organized and keep a very clean home without a lot of items that are useless and taking space.  You are probably wondering why I am writing about this - it is a reminder to everyone who reads this blog, it's a wake up call, maybe do your own cleaning in your own place, or at work, or your children's place, or your parents home.  If after reading this, you can actually say that you are not worried because everything is in perfect order, then you can relax, and enjoy your weekend.  Don't wait for spring, summer or maybe next fall.  Winter months is probably the best time to do this because it's too cold to do anything outdoors.  Here's some tips that might be help you get started:
  • Start small, like books, CD's, DVD's, magazines, jewellery, make up,etc
  • Do one room at a time - make sure you are ready to let go
  • Sort for Garage Sale or donations or recycle/garbage
  • If undecided - try to remember when was the last time you used it (this applies to shoes, purse, clothes, kitchen stuff)
  • If you decide to keep things, organize, label and date (it will remind you when the last time you went through these items)
  • Do not ask friends or relatives if they want your stuff - they will end up collecting them, most likely they don't really need them anyway.
While helping my mother in law organize her home, I found a book - BITS & PIECES. This book was published in 1971 and I thought I would share some of the interesting quotes:
  • The most valuable gift you can give another is a good example.
  • Be kind. Remember everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
  • You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
  • The best way to forget your own problem is to help someone solve his.
  • Temper is what gets most of us into trouble.  Pride is what keeps us there.
  • Cooperation is doing with a smile what you have to do anyway.
  • Wouldn't it be nice to be as sure of anything as some people are of everything?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Timely Tuesday - Tangled

This past weekend while our grandson was with us, we decided to take him to a movie.  We check out the schedule and the only two movies for young children are Yogi Bear and Tangled.  Not really sure if he has been to a movie, so we asked him what movie he would like to see.  He was quick to say that he has seen Yogi Bear with Grammie (his mommy's mother).  That's when we knew that he would OK to take him to the theatre.  We said we would go and watch TANGLED.  He asked a few questions about it and agreed that he would like to see it.  Of course once we got to the theatre, you have to have Popcorn and a drink (pop for me and soda for him), actually it was Coke Zero.  He really wanted that other drink which is full of sugar and blue in color.  I think he was disappointed but he is such a great boy that he did not argue, nor throw a tantrum nor cried all the way to the theatre.  He sat quietly eating the popcorn and drank Coke Zero a little sip at a time.  I think the movie was a bit long for him to sit still, but he did.  What was funny was when we drop him off to his mommy's house, he would not remember anything he did with us.  I guess he was just too excited to be back home even though when we were telling him earlier that he would have to go back home after the movie, he made his little sad almost teary eyed look.  We know that he loves to stay at Grampa and Ola's house but I was a bit puzzled that he would not remember anything he did.  I thought most kids would be so excited to tell their parents what they did and how much fun they had at Grampa's.  Oh bother.  Although a bit tiring for old people like us, it sure brings so much joy and happiness when we have him sleepover and hang out with us.

Even though we did not see it in 3D, it was still a good movie for me.  It's not scary and it had a happy ending.  The truth is that I don't remember reading the book Rapunzel as a child.  I don't even remember reading this book to my children.  The floating lantern was amazing.  Her parents unending love without losing faith was incredible - 18 years of devotion .  This is the part that was a bit teary for me, the loss of a child.  At least in this movie the child came back after many years.  As a parent, losing a child is probably the most excruciating pain you will ever experience.  It is also the one incident in your life that one will never forget.  Maybe this is the word that would best describe how I feel about my son's death - TANGLED - defined as mixed up, confused, twisted, and snarled.