Friday, September 30, 2011

Friendly Friday - Another Canadian Invasion

Roses from my MIL
Today we welcome our Canadian friends G&B from Mississauga, Ontario.  They will be with us for the weekend and then proceed to Monterey and Carmel.  We hope that they well their stay at our Cranberry Portage B&B. 

For dinner, I will be preparing an all Mexican dinner.  We will have some tamales, mango salsa, spicy black beans, carne asada tacos, tequila lime sauce, mexican rice, and for dessert - it will be a surprise.  For drinks we will have either mojito or margarita.

I will be busy today so I am keeping this post short and sweet.  Have a great weekend and enjoy the last day of September.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Truthful Thursday - Too Tired Today

Why you might ask?  First of all it's very late but technically here in San Jose it is still Thursday.  Why am I tired?  Here's why.
  • Got up at 630 am to get ready as I had to carpool with Jeff.
  • Played tennis for two hours from 830 to 1030
  • Golf from 1200 to 1345 and again from 1400 to 1545
  • Shopped at Ross for 30 minutes - bought a candle, a marinating sauce and 3 outdoor mats for our front and back door
  • After picking up Jeff at work, we stop to get groceries at Lucky's
  • While Jeff washed both cars, I put away groceries, swifter the floors and then mop with the special wood floor cleaner
  • Stripped the bed sheets, washed them and place it back for our arriving guests.
I know I will have a good sleep tonight and will be ready for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wisdom Wednesday - Favorite Quotes

Another boring post, right?  If you have nothing else to read today, then you are probably checking out my blog to see if I posted something interesting.  Hopefully you might find some useful or it might just make you smile.
  • Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart. 
  • All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
  • I've always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific. 
  • Love means not ever having to say you're sorry.
  • A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.
  • Either you run the day, or the day runs you.
  • Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
  • Happiness is not something you postpone for the future, it is something you design for the present.
  • No one is exempt from grief.
  • Letting go doesn't mean giving up, it means moving on.
At the end of the day, do you spend a few moments to reflect on your day?  Do you feel that time is really going by faster and you want to slow it down.  Can you relate to any of these quotes?  A few years ago I came up with my own circle of relationship.
  • Look
  • Like
  • Lust
  • Love
  • Lost
  • Leave
  • Lament
  • Linger
  • Learn
  • Live

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Timely Tuesday - Trips around the world

    During the weekend, we did some cleaning and organizing our extra room which is also called "Jeff's Office".  While filing some of my papers, I found my book where I recorded all the different countries that I have been.  Since I did not have anything interesting to post today, I thought you might find it interesting.  I am listing it alphabetically as it is easier for me to copy it from my list.
    • Austria
    • Barbados
    • Belgium
    • China
    • Costa Rica
    • Croatia
    • Cuba
    • Dominican Republic
    • Dubai
    • El Salvador
    • England
    • Estonia
    • Ethiopia
    • France
    • Georgia
    • Germany
    • Ghana
    • Greece
    • Grenada
    • Guatemala
    • Guyana
    • Haiti
    • Honduras
    • Hongkong
    • Hungary
    • Italy
    • Ivory Coast
    • Jamaica
    • Japan
    • Lebanon
    • Mexico
    • Netherlands
    • Nicaragua
    • Nigeria
    • Oman
    • Panama
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • St. Lucia
    • St. Vincent
    • Scotland
    • Sri Lanka
    • Switzerland
    • Trinidad
    • Turkey
    • Ukraine
    • USA
    • Venezuela
    • Vietnam
    If I counted it right, there is a total of 51 countries.  I am very fortunate to have been in these countries and hopefully I will be able to see more now that I am retired.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Maybe Monday - More sewing

    Little girls dress, shoe bags and tote bags - these are my recent projects and I will be making more as they are going to be great give away for my CPBB.  Here's some samples.
    It's lined but I forgot to include some pockets inside, maybe next one.
    Little girls sundress - not sure what size as this is just a practice one.
    You probably thought this was a drawstring bag, actually it's another sundress for a little girl.
    There are more left over fabrics that I found so I will be making more shoe bags.  Here's a couple of them.

    I hope to do more this week and then sewing will be off for a week as we will be having our visitors from Canada and I don't like to have all my sewing stuff around the living and dining room.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Soulful Sunday - My Top Ten Songs for this year

    After reading my daughter's blog about end of summer, it made me think of songs that are going to make me remember this year.  It does not feel like end of summer here in San Jose as last week they had some of the hottest days.  But after checking out the weather, it seems like we will have the cooler weather coming, I guess this means Autumn is on it's way.  By the way, yesterday it was my first time to help out with yard work - first time since my move.  It was hard work specially since the sun was out and it was pretty hot.  And then a thought came to my mind.  It could be worst - I could be shovelling snow in the freezing weather.  So I continued raking leaves and trimming some of the ivy.  Now that I have covered all the seasons, it brings me back to songs.
    1. Need you now - Lady Antebellum
    2. Hey, Soul Sister - Train
    3. Forget you - Ce Lo Green
    4. California Girls - Katy Perry
    5. Breakeven (falling to pieces) - The Script
    6. Just the way you are - Bruno Mars
    7. Where are you now - Justin Bieber
    8. Perfect - Pink
    9. Dynamite - Taio Cruz 
    10. Only Girl (in the world) - Rihanna 
    Does any of the above songs included in your playlist?  It took me a while to find some of the title and artists because I knew some of the lyrics but didn't even know the correct title or sometimes the artist.  Now it's stored in my memory just in case I have to play Name That Tune.  

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Simply Saturday - Sweep, Shine, and Sort

    Just a week left before our next Canadian couple arrives to our CPBB.  This means I have to do my housekeeping chores and do some meal planning.  They will be with us for a couple of nights and it will be great if I can play a round of golf with them.

    This weekend Jeff and I will be doing some cleaning, car washing, paper filing, re arranging the living room, lawn mowing, maybe some baking and what ever else needs to get done. It is really not the best way I would like to spend the weekend, but if I want to play tennis and golf next week then I need to get my chores done.

    In between all of those chores, I have to spend a bit of time catching up with watching Golf.  I have recorded two days of Solheim Cup.  It's great seeing all these women play so well, I wish I could really learn just from watching their swing, their putts and of course their chipping skills.     

    While we are on the topic of watching TV, last week was the first week of all the shows that we follow.  Jeff is really good at recording them so we can watch them in half the time and breeze through commercials.  Here's my top 10 list for this season.
    • The Big Bang Theory
    • Grey's Anatomy
    • Modern Family
    • Parenthood
    • Harry's Law
    • Hawaii Five O
    • The X Factor-new
    • 2 Broke Girls-new
    • Pan Am-new
    • Whitney-new
    What's in your list?  I remember my daughter checking my list last year and we only have one show that's the same.  I think it was Grey's.  There are other shows that Jeff likes that I am not that keen on watching because it's scary or weird. (Fringe, Ridiculousness,Tosh.O).

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Fluffy Friday - what constitutes Fluffy?

    FLUFFY - being light and soft or airy.  Let see how many things I can name that is FLUFFY.
    • clouds
    • cotton balls
    • stuffed animals
    • feather pillows
    • duvet 
    • fleece pajamas
    • very thick towels
    • whipped cream
    • souffle
    • egg whites beaten to max
    • cotton candy
    • BOO - the famous dog 
    The fluffiest of all fluffies is the Unicorn that Agnes wanted at the Fair.


    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Truthful Thursday - Feeling great

    Don't you feel great if you have accomplished a lot during the weekend.  Well, I do because usually I don't get a lot done when Gamble is sleeping over.  Here's more of my projects completed. 
    Men's senior bib - reversible - this is for my supervisor Susan's father.
    A new white decorative pillow for our bed.
    Kitchen towels to be used as gifts for my CPBB guests.
    Jeff's new tennis pouch - this will hold his phone, keys, etc. or whatever is in his pocket that he wants to empty.
    Of course the weekend is not complete without baking - Banana Nut Kahlua Muffins.
    What about you?  What did you accomplished this weekend?  Did you just watch Football or Golf or the Emmy's?  By the way, I watch all of those.  The SF49ers versus Dallas Cowboys, it was a great game, Congratulations to Marz for her winning team.  I also watch the youngest (only 16 yrs. old) golfer Lexie Thomson winning the Navistar LPGA Classic and Justin Rose win the BMW golf championship.  Last but not least, I am so happy to see Jim Parsons of TBBT win another Emmy.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Weekend Wednesday - Belated weekend report

    As you noticed, I missed my Saturday and Sunday post, so although a little late I still would like to share what we did on the weekend.  If you remember from previous post, my step grandson Gamble stays with us from Friday night to Saturday night. On Friday night, we raced his new remote control trucks, played Wii and he gave me lots of kisses prior to going to bed. We took him to the Santa Clara Arts and Wine Festival and he had a great time.  The funny part of this past weekend, he was suppose to stay with us for two nights but on Saturday night after his shower he wanted to go home to his Mommy's house.  We called his parents and he asked if he could come home.  He said he was missing his mom and dad.  This is what he did after breakfast on Saturday.
    Remember this Mr. Napkin Head from the movie The Holiday - Judd Law as a dad.
    Gamble with his new remote control trucks.
    Before taking him back to his parents home, I told him that I am a little sad because he was going back one night earlier and I thought he was excited about staying with us longer.  His reply was "Maybe next time, I will stay longer.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Toonie Tuesday - Two pairs is better

    After going to the Santa Clara Arts and Wine Festival last Saturday, I saw the Golf Smith store on Stevens Creek Blvd.  It's been a while since I have been at this store and I really wanted to check out if they have any sale on golf shoes.  It must have been my lucky day because instead of just getting one pair, I ended up with two pairs.
    My summer one, very comfy, airy, spikeless and only $14.97
    My special one for tournaments and expensive golf course - as you can see it is made my Nike.
    Since my old pair is starting to squeak every time it gets wet, I thought it was time to change golf shoes.  I know that I will use it a lot because I can golf even during our winter months as long as it does not rain.

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Maybe Monday - Trying my new hair extention

    Missing two posts for the weekend and now I feel like I have disappointed my followers.  That is the problem with missing my daily post.  You miss one, then you miss two and pretty soon, you miss the whole week.  Anyway, I would you like to take a poll about my new hair addition to my wig collection - really I only have two. 

    My friend Katrina and I were out shopping on Friday when I stumble on this very inexpensive pony tail addition.  It was only $5.99 and I found one that is a perfect match for my current hair color.  It nice to be able to have different hair style specially when you don't have the time to blow dry and flat iron your hair.  Well, what do you think?  Do you like it?

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Flower Friday - Nail Art

    The last nail art I did last Sunday only lasted 4 days.  I was not very happy with the design that I did for both my toes and fingers.  Last night I decided to change it so it will be nice for the weekend.  The color choice is orange, black and white.  I was thinking of my niece who is very much a Giants (SF) fan.  So I hope that she likes it when she checks out my blog today.
    Flower design only on ring finger
    SF Giants colors
    Have a great weekend to all.  We will be spending most of our weekend with Gamble.  We will try to keep him for a two night sleepover.  Although we know it will be very tiring for us, I know that he would love to stay an extra night as he has been asking about it for a really long time. 

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Truthful Thursday - Lost my bounce

    How did I lose it?  I am not sure.  It all started last Saturday.  We were on our way to my MIL's house to do some finishing work at her shed.  All of a sudden I started not feeling good, like a ton of bricks hit me.  At first I thought I was just nauseated because I was reading a message from my phone.  Maybe I should chew a gum and I did and the nausea sort of went away.  Jeff had to stop at Home Depot to get some materials that he needed.  I sat in the car and waited to see if it would go away.  It didn't.  We continued our journey and we arrived at my MIL's home, without hesitation I went straight to her sofa in the living room and laid down.  Not really sure how long it took but eventually I fell asleep and when I woke up, believe it or not, I was fine and ready to work.  My MIL and I painted the whole outside of the shed.  

    The next time I lost my bounce was after lunch at the Senior Center where I volunteered.  Both days, Monday and Tuesday I felt similar to above but not as bad.  Just no energy.  However, I had to do my part during the clean up.  Both days, when I got home, I had to take a nap.

    Here's my own prognosis of the above symptoms:
    • My blood sugar has been a little elevated and that causes the lack of energy - duh
    • I have not exercise as much as the previous weeks - a little sluggish
    • Maybe my thyroid is low which causes fatigue - first symptom
    • Something is not quite right inside that I don't know about - surprise
    • I have been doing a lot from the previous two weeks - makes sense body is worn
    What do you think?  Should I just see my doctor if I don't get my bounce within a couple of days?  Truthfully, I would like to find a new doctor so maybe this is a good time to change.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Working Wednesday - Another busy day

    Two days of volunteer and I am tired.  What's interesting is that I am so looking forward to my day off, like today.  I know that I cannot just sit and do nothing so here's my plan today.
    • Sew more aprons and shoe bags 
    • Bake Banana muffins
    • Cook Chicken Curry for my friend J and G.
    • Do some of my paper filing
    • Clean our CPBB
    That should do for my day's work.  I might be able to squeeze in a nap in between all of the above.  Yesterday I sewed a different apron for Sylvia.  She is my MIL's friend/next door neighbor for over 45 years.  Her old apron was getting very old and tattered so she gave me some fabric to see if I can sew her a couple of new ones of this particular style.
    Back - this is a slip on type.
    I am so glad I am retired because if I was working, I would not be able to do all of these fun things.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Timely Tuesday - Keurig Cups - Fall collection

    Today while having breakfast, I am trying a new coffee flavor from the fall collection.  It's called Pumpkin Spice.  It has a hint of the spice not so much the pumpkin.  So I don't think this will be added to our daily collection.  The other one I tried last night as part of my night time snack.  It's called Apple Caramel Pie.  My opinion is that it's just OK.  When I can't really smell the flavor while it's brewing, then I know it won't be as good to drink.  A little disappointed with these new purchase.  These are still my favorites and when you come and stay at our CPBB, you can try these flavor and I know you will agree with me.
    • Chocolate Glazed Donut
    • Cinnamon Roll
    • Raspberry Chocolate Truffle
    • Kahlua
    • Mudslide
    • Butter Toffee
    • Cappuccino
    • Chai Latte
    • French Vanilla
    What is your favorite kind of coffee?  Are you addicted to any of the following kind?
    • Starbucks
    • Tim Horton's
    • Peet's Coffee
    • Country Style
    • Seattle's Best
    • Second Cup
    • Other brand we don't know about

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Maybe Monday - Maybe for SW

    I am still doing a happy dance for Miss Stosur for winning the Ladies Singles at the US Open last night.  What a great match and she played very well and I am not feeling sorry for SW.  For those who did not watch the finals yesterday, I am sure you can google it or read about it as SW lost a point because she screamed before Miss Stosur hit her shot.  She was very upset at the Umpire for the call.  Shortly after, she started to argue and when she sat in between set, she still made more comments to the umpire.  At the end of the match, because she lost and due to the prior call made by the Umpire, she did not shake the Umpire's hand.  What a sore loser! ! ! Anyway, I think for the next few weeks before she plays at the next match , she has to do the following:
    • Maybe she should enroll in Sportsmanship 101
    • Maybe she should read the Tennis Rules and Code of Conduct
    • Maybe she should learn to zip it and be a gracious loser
    BTW, I think she just finished her probation from the previous code violation at the US Open.  I guess a sore loser is going to always be a sore loser.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Soulful Sunday - A moment to remember

    Today we pause for a moment to remember those who gave up their lives to save others
    Today we pray for the children that never had a chance to meet their fathers
    Today we salute all the heroes who were able to come home to their daughters
    Today we give thanks for all the survivors and their sisters and brothers.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Simply Saturday - Semi Finals Saturday - US Open

    Imagine if Jeff did not have a DVR, it will mean that I couldn't leave the house because I will be glued to the TV for 8 hours or less depending on how long the matches take.  Today, both Men's semi-finals will be on CBS and in 3D.  Wow, I will get to put on our 3D glasses to watch both matches.  So who am I cheering for, you might wonder!  

    Nadal VS Murray - definitely Nadal - he has so much charisma and very humble and just a great player who accepts defeat graciously.  A great athlete and an awesome tennis player.
    Federer VS Djokovic - of course Federer - like Nadal he is so professional, recognizes the opponents strength and so politically correct during interviews.  I would vote for him if he was running for President.

    On the women's side,  it really does not matter who wins the finals, as long as it's not SW.  Ooops, I think I already posted that.  I would still watch it while I am sewing - just for company.

    That's all for today because I have a lot of tennis matches to watch.  Good luck to all, except SW.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Free Friday - Shoe bags, etc.

    It's Friday again which means the weekend begins.  Actually for me every day seems like a long weekend because I am retired.  But even though everyday is a Saturday for me, I do look forward to the weekend because I get to spend two days with Jeff doing whatever we feel like doing.  So far no plans this weekend except attending Gamble's 5th birthday party.  Nothing exciting on this post except more of my sewing for the week.
    Another shoe bag for my daughter.
    A patriotic shoe bag with stars and lined with stripes fabric.
    Practice apron for a little girl.
    Reverse side of the above apron.
    While checking for some fabrics in my sewing drawer, I found a bunch of leftover materials.  I guess I will be making some more aprons for little girls, some more shoe bag or lingerie bag and of course the other projects that I have listed a couple of weeks ago.

    Just in case you are craving for something sweet, the other day, I found a box of Sugar Babies (something similar to jelly beans but just caramel). When opened the box the candies were all stuck together.  I thought I would try something to revive them.  I place them all in a small non stick pot and melted it slowly.  Once it was all syrup, I placed a bunch of mixed nuts in my new NON STICK FOIL which I wanted to try out.  So this is the finished project.
    Sugar Babies Nut Brittle aka SBNB

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Truthful Thursaday - Wig, Plates and TV

    Those who don't have to cover their grey roots are very lucky.  Those who still have lots of hair at my age are also very lucky.  Those who have to wear a wig due to cancer are strong and brave and happy to be alive.  Those who wear wig just to have a variety of hairstyle are just cool.  A couple of weekends ago when my niece was visiting, we stopped by a hair store that sells wig.  I tried at least 5 styles and end up buying one that is long with lots of curls at the end.  It was inexpensive and very comfortable to wear.  I wore it last weekend when we went for dinner and it sat in my head for the whole night.  It was not hot nor tight, it felt like my own.  Funny, right.  Anyway, I decided that I will wear it every now and again when I am out and my grey roots have grown out. Here's how it looks by itself.  It might take me a few more weeks to try it out before I get a photo taken with it on my head.

    Let me vent for a few lines regarding our new set of dishes.  Since we bought it, I have chipped a total of 4 plates (2 small and 2 large).  The problem is that we have a granite counter top.  I have been trying to be very cautious when I do dishes, making sure I do an exaggerated motion to miss the counter before putting them in the dishwasher to dry.   But sometimes I just have to think it in my head and soon enough, I hear the clink and oops another chipped plate.   Sometime this week I will have to go back to Walmart and get another set just to make sure I can have the same pattern when I get tired of looking at those chipped plates.  I should buy some Corelle or those unbreakable dishes that you use for your backyard or patio!!  OK so that was a little over a few lines.

    A new TV and we are still having issues.  Jeff thinks its now the DVR which I have taken at least 3 times at Comcast to get a better one which includes 3D capacity.  Our new TV is great as far as having bigger screen, clearer picture, and all the other bells and whistles.  But even if you have all of those extras, if there's still problems the occurs almost every day, then I guess it's not really great.  I don't understand a lot about the connections, etc.  All I was is to be able to watch without having issues every time I turn it on.  The most annoying part is that the US open is this week and I don't like to miss the important matches which is this weekend. 

    All of the above is considered as a complain, whining or even hissy-fitting.  It really doesn't matter what you call it since today is Truthful Thursday and that's how I feel.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    What Wednesday - Labour day weekend

    A little late with my post about the past weekend but as they say, it's better late than never.  I couldn't think of anything to post for today so bear with me.  OK, maybe I'll just do a list of things I (we) did during our long weekend.
    1. Watch a lot of the US open tennis matches that we have recorded.
    2. Played tennis after Gamble left.  It was a very hot day so we only played for 1.5 hrs.  Jeff won the match.
    3. Went to dinner on Saturday night at Jeff's friends house in Pleasanton, CA.  Had a wonderful visit and sumptuous dinner.  Steve (his long time friend) served smoked tri-tip, mashed potatoes, salad, stirfried veggies (mostly from their garden) and cheese cake for dessert (see photo located on What's cooking).  He has won 3rd, 2nd, and first prize for his version of cheesecake.
    4. Gamble sleepover from Friday night to Saturday around 1100 am.  We played Wii and angry bird. He turned 5 yesterday - Belated Happy birthday Gamble Thomas.
    5. Sunday was just an easy day.  We had a light breakfast at Jack in the Box, travelled to San Mateo to meet the outlaws and friends.  They are in town for some fraternity reunion and we had a chance to meet some of the Brods and they were very hospitable and let us join in the luncheon being served.  The girls managed to do a little shopping at Ross.  It was great to see them again.  My daughter is very lucky to have such wonderful in laws.  I know that they take care of her since I am not in Canada.
    6. I manage to do a bit of sewing and here's what I finished - a shoe bag for my daughter and a case for my Kindle.
    Lined shoe bag for my daughter.
    My new Kindle case
    My mother in law made me a couple of handkerchief similar to the ones she made for my daughter and my niece.

    It was not a tiring long weekend, in fact it was just relaxing even after all of the above and I almost forgot the housekeeping chores I did plus the regular day to day chores.  All in all it was still a very nice long weekend.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Timely Tuesday - Portmeirion Botanic Garden Collections

    While doing some shopping with my MIL, we stop by at Macy's to check if they have the Platinum Keurig Coffee maker. Unfortunately they didn't have it in stock and my MIL ended up buying it at Target for the same price.  When I saw this collection of plates and other pieces from the Portmeirion collections, all I can think of is my sister.  I don't really know how many pieces she has but I know she has a lot.  So I took a couple of photos to send to her and of course she was very excited.  When I talk to her, she said that she will definitely buy a few pieces as a gift to herself for her upcoming birthday.  I don't think I will be buying any of this item for her as they are very expensive.  For those of you who know my shopping style, these prices are way over my head.  Anyway you can check out what I am talking about.  They are very pretty.
    All of these pieces are available at Macy's.
    Teacups set at top and 3 different shaped container for sauces, jewellery or whatever you want to hide.
    Measuring spoon set - $29.99 - on sale.
    Do you have a favorite collections?  Do you have two different sets of dinnerware - day to day and special?  If you have the funds what collection would you like to have at your dinner table?

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Maybe Monday - A new fireplace mantle

    Since the arrival of the new TV, we have decided that we need to re do the fireplace.  The bracket to hang the flat screen TV also arrived but if we hang it now, the fireplace will be exposed and it's ugly.  As Jeff is a great at remodeling, we have been checking out some fireplace mantle.  He would be doing all the work but he would consider some of my input.  These are some of the ones I kinda like.
     Here's another one that we might consider.