Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday - Just for me

There are days when I feel so happy because I have received some new things or have purchased new items and they are all for me.  This past weekend I wanted to check out Golf Smith because I still have a gift certificate that was given to me by Janis for my birthday.  At first all I wanted was to get a green golf love but they did not have it.  Then I checked out the sale table and sure enough I found a pair of golf shoes that was my size and a great deal.

So cute and so comfy and doesn't even look like a golf shoe.
The next item that I got this past weekend came in the mail.  I have been searching for a new scent for my perfume.  My old one almost gone so when Jeff was going to order something from Amazon, I started shopping and dropping all the items on the WISH LIST.  This particular scent is something that I've tried before because my BFF use to have one just like this.  So this is my new perfume and it's in honor of my BFF Lorna.  Just wait until Darren (Lorna's youngest son) hears about this.  When he was about 7 years old, he would say to me when I use to stay with them in Ottawa, "you smell like my MOM". It's because Lorna and I have the same exact perfume.


Monday, July 29, 2013

MAD Monday - Someone else is using my other email account

It has been a very busy week and weekend and something happened to one of my email account.  Now I cannot seem to log in because it keeps telling me that some else is using my account.  It all started when my MIL ask me if I am doing the diet plan link that I sent her.  That's when I knew something went wrong.  Shortly after, I got a text message from my friend saying that he cannot open a link that I sent, I immediately told him not to open it.  When I got home, I told Jeff and he just deleted something that I sent which I did not.  It was time to find out what was happening with that email account.  Oh bother, I cannot log in as it was asking me for my telephone number and security code, etc.  I tried several times and now it's all screwed up and I cannot get back in.  This is when I made the decision that it was time to cancel that account but I'm not really sure how.  I wish I had printed a list of the important contacts that was still using that email.  Anyway, I hope with the help of Jeff we can figure out how I am able to sign back in, get the information I need and then cancel it once and for all.  If you have had this experience and can provide some helpful hints, please send me a message or a comment.  Yes, I am a little mad but in a way I guess it was a sign to get rid of that account because it was just getting too much junk mail.  BAD email.  I should have listened to some of my family and friends a long time ago. 

WARNING - if you are using that old email account of mine, please do not open anything you receive from me in the last few days because it's not me.  If you are reading this, you know my other email or you can send me a comment and I will provide a new email account.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fruition Friday - Plan, Plant and Permit

When you have been waiting for some of your plants to produce something, it gets very exciting when you actually see the fruits of your labor.  It's not necessarily my labor because it was all Jeff's.  He started to plant different types of vegetables and so far only three plants have been producing.  Last night we checked them again and there it was, three different types of summer squash or zucchini.  I decided to look harder while Jeff was cutting the ones we found and there was another one hiding underneath all the leaves.  I am so proud of our third harvest.
The biggest one in the front was the one hiding under the leaves.
The other great news is about the long awaited permit that Jeff has been waiting from the city.  It has been one year and one month since he started the back yard retaining wall project.  Now he will be able to finish it up and finally get the front and side fence completed.  I believe there might be some other plan/permit he is waiting for but the main thing is that he is able to proceed.  As for other projects, we will have to wait and see how long this will take him before we think of the next project for the winter.  I have some ideas but I probably will have to wait a year before I can present those plan to Jeff.  Just a little hint, it has something to do with tiles, storage and entry way.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tennis Thursday - Bank of the West Open

When a friend ask you to join them to watch tennis because they have VIP tickets, you don't think twice.  You rearrange your schedule and go.  That's what I did yesterday and my friends Mo and Mark took me to Stanford University where the Bank of the West Open Women's tennis is being held this week.  Although we only saw the second round of some of the singles and doubles matches, it was still a great day being outdoors.  Our seats were on the side but mid court and have some roof coverage so we did not experience the hot sun for five hours.  Around noon the Plaza Club (only for VIP ticket holders) opened and they served food and drinks.  It was interesting that you would have to pay for water and soda ($3 each) but you can get wine, champagne and beer for free.  The food had some sort of mediterranean theme.  They had falafel, hummus, pita bread, samosas, spinakopita, dolmades, assorted veggies and dip, and finally a table filled with desserts (squares, cookies, brownies, tarts).  We were able to get in just after it opened so everything was fresh and warm.  They had tables in the shades and with some breezes going back and forth, it was definitely a beautiful day to be outdoors.  We were able to watch at least 4 matches and then it was time to go home.  The traffic was a bit heavy but my friends knew some of the side roads and we were able to avoid the main highway for part of our trip.  I just realized that a month from now, the US Open 2013 begins in Flushing Meadows, NY.  



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wanting Wednesday - Scrapbooking

This week while having lunch with my friend Jean, we started talking about scrapbooking.  We found out that both of us have been contemplating on starting this hobby but did not want to get too hooked on it.  We also found out that we have the supplies and the photos but have no experience making one not even researching on line for some DIY.  She showed me her album, papers and the photos she needed to make a scrapbook.  When I got home I had asked Jeff to find my box with my supplies and the box with the photo collection.  I opened the box and I found two album still wrapped in plastic as well as the papers and a bunch of scissors.  In a separate box, I found some corner cutters, stamps, ink, some glitters and a bottle of craft bond (all purpose glue.  While I have all of those supplies, I know my friend Jean has the paper trimmer and a can of photo glue.  Now I know that we are ready for our first scrapbooking get together.  Both Jean and I are getting excited and can't wait for next week.  Here's what we need for the basic scrapbooking made simple.
  • Scrapbook album and sheet protectors
  • Decorative scissors (my MIL gave me some from her collections)
  • Paper trimmer
  • Adhesive aka glue or craft bond
  • Decorative paper
  • Variety of colored pens
  • Peel off letters 
  • Stickers
  • Embellishments
  • Punches (my MIL gave me some from her collections)
The first site I checked on Pinterest was
I love all the ideas she shared on her site.  Maybe once I have completed one album, I can share the photos on my blog.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tenacious Tuesday - Can you remember?

It is such a good feeling when someone ask you if you remember them.  Your mind starts working very hard to remember where and when and of course their name.  The most embarrasing part is that they all remembered my name with in seconds while I struggle to figure out who they are.  The difficulty of this process is that I have not seen most of them for over 45 or 50 years.  One particular person remembered me so quickly and we went to school from Kindergarten to Grade 4.  What is funny is his first comment "when we were little you were so pretty and very light colored".  You are probably wondering if I attended a reunion or something similar.  Actually last weekend I attended a funeral viewing for a family friend.  They were our next door neighbor in the small town where we lived in the Philippines.  The second eldest son passed away and my good friend Lito (aka the Ambassador) contacted me and we all decided to attend.  What I did not realized is the number of family and friends of the family that I actually knew or should I say knew me.  Some of them were easy to recognized because of how each one has aged gracefully and you can still see that feature that you remember as a kid.  Others I recognize from the way the wear their hair or clothes or their height.  Although it was a sad part of their lives - losing their brother, cousin and friend - it was definitely a perfect time to reconnect with everyone.  There were family and friends from different parts of the USA (Arizona, New Jersey, New York and more) including other cities in California.  I had to find a photo that I could share with you.

If you are wondering where I am, on the second row from left to right, I am the 6th girl.  The two boys that I met last weekend were Ricky Alcantara (front row,left to right, 2nd boy) and Hector Lavarias (front row, right to left, 4th boy).  The boy directly infront of me is Victor Tolosa, he is one of the brother of the deceased.  Unfortunately he could not make the trip as he is back home in the Philippines.  While looking at this photograph, I remembered that our teacher Mrs. Perez is the aunt of Lori, she actually got a ride from us to the Funeral Home.  It is such a small world.  I was trying to look at this photo and was trying to recall all the names but I am afraid I can only remember 25% of their names.  As you can see from the date of the photo - this was taken 54 years ago.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Fortunate Friday - Real life friends

There was an article from a magazine that caught my eye while I was getting my hair done at the salon.  I read parts of it and realize that it's not my kind of friends and actually felt very fortunate that I have real life friends.

In these day and age of social medial, etc. one might have thousands of friends in Facebook and million followers on Twitter, but at the end of the day, can you really call them your "FRIENDS".  Are you able to reach out and they will be there for you when you need them?  Times have really changed when it comes to meeting new people and people becoming your friends.  I still believe in old school way of finding new friends and of course keeping actual real life friends.

Unfortunately one of our childhood friends passed away last Friday.  Although he is a few years older than me, we have known their family for a long time since we were neighbors.  One of our friends who become the contact for everyone in the California area seems to know everyone's whereabouts and seems to be the GO to person.  Sometimes when he calls me I'm a little hesitant to answer because it might be another sad news.  But then there are times when it's a good news, maybe someone from our groups is visiting the area and it will be a last minute get together for dinner or lunch.  Even if we have not seen each other for many years, it doesn't seem that we have been out of touch for a long time.  I guess that's what being friends are about.  Real life FRIENDS, right.

One of the most important for me about friendship is "being there for each other during the happy times and saddest times of our lives".  


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Truthful Thursday - I miss my daughter

Lately I have been checking flights to Toronto because I am missing my daughter.  Although she visited me last year twice (April and August), it seems like this year she might not be able to take the time off to visit due to work schedule.  Since I have recently renewed my passport, I have been contemplating on making the trip.  The one true benefit of being retired is that technically I could go anytime but I still need to inform my volunteer work as a courtesy.  My friends will be happy if I tell them that I am visiting but honestly I think my daughter will be happiest of all.  Being this far away is not as bad because we can text, call and even Skype but it's not the same as being in the same city and country.  For those of you who are in the same position as me, I am sure you understand what I mean specially when you don't have a big family.  Maybe by the end of today, I can make a decision or as Nike's logo says - JUST DO IT!
It would be fun to hang out with my daughter and do silly things like this photo.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wedge Wednesday - Espadrilles for summer

When I opened my flip board last weekend, I noticed some really neat sandals/wedges aka Espadrilles.  I meant to send the article to my daughter but I forgot and now I will have to just share what I've seen lately at some of my favorite stores.  Do you have a favorite wedge sandals or do you call them espadrilles?  I found these online but I need to try them out so I might check it out at Macy's.  Sometimes even if it's high as long as my arch fits and the rest are comfy, then it might not be so bad.  This way it will give me some height.  Do you like any of these sandals for this summer?

Adrienne Vittadini Shoes, Vee Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandals
Lauren by Ralph Lauren Shoes, Charla Espadrilles
Calvin Klein Woman's Shoes, Daina Platform Wedge Sandals
BEARPAW Shoes, Dahlia Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandals

Monday, July 15, 2013

Magnificent Monday - Finally, something to hold on to

It has been over a year and a half ago since Jeff remove the hand rail from our stairs and replaced it with a wall with shelves on the other side.  Remember this photo?

This is the original look of our stairs.
This is the rough stage before the shelves and displays.
The new look from our living room side.
Since this was built, there was no hand rail on our stairs for a almost a year and a half.  Jeff had to order the special wood that would match the wood on the stairs  and the wooden part of this shelf.  For the past three weekends Jeff has been working on the hand rail from scratch.  He did all the measuring, shaping, routing, sanding, lacquering, and final installation.  And here's our new hand rail. 

Isn't this magnificent?
For those of you who have visited our home, you will remember this area.  It's funny how it took a very long time for Jeff to replace the hand rail but as you can see it's all worth it.  In fact he only worked on this on weekends.  I am indeed a very lucky person to have a truly great handy man around the home.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Simply Saturday - Simple Friends

Next month will be the beginning of my fourth year here in sunny San Jose.  It does not seem that long ago when I moved in with Jeff permanently.  But I guess time sure flies by when you are having fun.  Lately we have been meeting new people from our neighborhood and even in the tennis courts.  Although I have made new friends from my volunteer work, I am always open to meeting new people who might eventually become part of my circle of friends.  I know that my BFF's and other friends in Canada will not forget me but realistically they are far away and people have to move on.  So after being here for three years, I would like to introduce some of my new friends and how we met.
  • Jean - she's married to Gil who works with Jeff.  We've traveled with them to Vegas, sailed with them on the Oasis of the Sea, toured Maui, and we've done weekend trips around northern California.  They are definitely our couple friends.  Jean and I have the same one bad habit.  We both love the slots.
  • Nikki - she's my youngest girlfriend who I met at the tennis court around September of 2010.  It's one of those things where you just clicked.  Lately we been meeting for breakfast once a week due to her very busy schedule both at work and at home.  We've talk about maybe going to Vegas for a girl's getaway.
  •  Janis - she's my golf girl friend.  I met her at the golf course where we both volunteer. She's a Marshall and I am a starter but we work on different days.  Again, it's one of those clicking connection.  We encourage each other during golf and we seem to play better golf together. We're thinking of doing a golf vacation.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Friday - My new favorite things

Do you remember the song from the Sound of Music, my favorite things?  I am sure most of you know it and may even know all the words.  Today I am doing some of my favorite things that makes me happy.  Jeff always says, it does not take much to make me happy.  
  • My favorite daughter - Leesh - each and every time we reconnect by phone, I hear her voice and she sounds happy - then I know she's OK and that makes me happy.
  • My favorite MIL - Annette - when I tell her that I will be picking her up to take her where ever she needs to go, then she get's excited and that also makes me happy.
  • My favorite sport - Golf - it's interesting that when I join with good golfers, my game seems to be better and I am so so happy.
  • My favorite fruit - Plum - specially the one from Jean and Gil's tree.  When I helped Gil pick the plums last Thursday, they were the sweetest and crispiest plums ever.
  • My favorite movie - Despicable Me 2 - It was so funny I could see it again or maybe get a copy of the DVD so I watch it over and over again.  
  • My favorite song - CRUISE by Florida Georgia Line featuring NELLY - when I saw them perform at the CMT, I was very happy to see Nelly perform again.  As I am now considered in my golden years, I am truly enjoying country music.
  • My favorite flip flop - Silver - while in Maui, Jeff and I stopped by a K-mart store because we were looking for the Aloe after sun lotion.  Not only did we find it but I also found the most comfortable silver flip flip ever.  It was only $ 5.43

Thursday, July 11, 2013

TL Thursday - Happy Birthday

Most of you will probably wonder what TL stands for.  Today one of my BFF is celebrating her birthday and her name is TL aka Terri-Lynn.  We met at work and somehow she decided to try a new position which took her away from our office.  Even with working in different offices we manage to keep in touch.  Our dates would involve movie, lunch or dinner or sometimes just hanging out in her local pub.  We gone on a few mini girly vacations and any other activities that we could have fun.  She's always been a truly great friend and we always have stories to share.  Last May she was able to stay with us for week and it was a lot of fun even if we are just doing things at home.  We still exchange emails and every now and again we would do a telephone date where we would talk for hours about our lives.  I remember the time Jeff and I went on a tour of the Grand Canyon after our wedding, TL was with us and she took my place when it was time to do the walk around the area because I was afraid of heights.  She's always there for me when I needed a friend.  So today I am wishing her all the happiness and all the love for her birthday.  

This was taken during TL's visit and we took her to Monterey.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Writing Wednesday - My collection

Do you collect something when you travel?  Do you buy a post card and keep it for yourself as a souvenir of the places you visited?  Do you take lots of photo but it ends in a big file in your computer?  Do you make one of those special books to organize the hundreds of photos taken during your trip?  If you recall from one of my post, I have seen many countries as part of my work.  During those trips, I didn't really want to collect anything that would just end up as clutter or something that will be too hard to part with.  The easiest item for me was to collect pens from the hotel that I stayed.  Most of them has the name of the city and country.  I actually don't use these pens as they are just my collection.
My pen holder is full but it's just right because I have stopped collecting.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Three Tuesday - ETC.

Today is one of those days where I cannot just feature a single story or photo.  It will be just a mix up of left overs from the week before that I just need to share.  The photo will explain itself which I feel like cheating because I am not doing any write ups.  But I hope you can understand.
1. July 4th Nail Art

2. Second zucchini harvest
3. Just a little something to cool us during the hot summer nights

Monday, July 8, 2013

Maybe Monday - A special Tree

After moving to sunny San Jose I have been contemplating on doing something for my son who passed away five years ago.  One of my new friends from my volunteer suggested that I plant a tree on the anniversary date of his death.  This is the year that I picked to plant that tree.  It took us a few days going from one nursery to another to figure out what tree I would pick.  Jeff reads all the instructions and I just go around looking for some sort of sign.  On June 29th was our last day to check out Almaden Nursery.  We went around a couple of times and there it was, the Dwarf Alberta Spruce.  That evening, Jeff went to the backyard and he planted the tree while I watch.  Something is still missing so next month I am going to make a stepping stone that I will design and include some special art and last minute details.  This marker will be placed in front of the tree on my son's birth date.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sweet Sunday - Plum Picking

What does it take to make me go up a ladder?  The experience of picking very sweet plums.  On July 4th we were at our friends home for BBQ and movie.  Just before dinner Gil asked me if I wanted to helped him picked some plums.  I thought I was only going to have to stay on the ground and pick it up from there.  As soon as we got out to their backyard, I realized that the plums were above my height.  I was very excited about all the plums I could pick and the fact that Jeff was going to catch me if I fall (at least that's what he told me).  It was truly a great experience as I keep going higher on the ladder to reach for those sweet and plump plums.  All of a sudden while I was up there, a little breeze made the leaves move and I got a little scared which at that point I decided to get down and let Gil do the rest of the picking.  Check this out, for some of you who knows about my fear of height, you will be happy to know that I go up there and I survived.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sympathy Saturday - Running out of cards

A few days I had to get to a store to buy another sympathy card.  Only a couple of weeks ago, I bought a couple of sympathy cards to send to dear friends.  A couple of months ago I had a few cards but I ended up using them as well to send to friends from Jeff's workplace.  It seems to come in three as the saying goes but lately it seems like every other week I get the sad news of a family member or a very good friend passing away.  Honestly I don't feel right buying extra cards just in case I need them but at the same time, when I get the news, I prefer to send a card as soon as possible in the hopes that it comforts them and or their family.  Today I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to our friends and their family for their recent loss.  The following words are from one of the cards that I recently sent.

Just as the sun will see then rise with each and every dawn,
The souls of those who lived life well eternally live on.

Now that the sun has seemed to set on one so very dear, 
Please know a soul who lived so well remains forever near. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Funny Friday - It's sooooooh funny

If you have not seen a movie lately, then you definitely have to go and enjoy the two movies that I have seen recently.  We don't go often but when we do, we ended up watching two days in a row or three within a month.  I am not going to ruin them for you, just take a break from your busy schedule and take a friend, a spouse or children.  It's really worth it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Temperature Thursday - Happy 4th of July

I am very happy to report that it will only be a high of 91 F today on this Happy 4th of July.
As you might have heard, we have been having really hot weather and I am not complaining.  I believe I can take the heat more than I can take those frozen days when I use to live in Canada.  

Let me share a funny story that somehow is appropriate today as America celebrate a very important holiday.  A couple of weekends ago we had the pleasure of babysitting Jeff's grandkids again.  When it was bedtime, Gamble is not a problem, he has his shower, changes to his pajamas, play a little video game and then it's bedtime.  Greenlee on the other hand is a little difficult and I believe it's because she is not in her home and we don't really know her schedule as well as the routine or process.  It was past half nine and we are waiting for some signs. Both Jeff and I are getting tired by this time and would like to go to bed.  I took her to the room where we have her playpen and laid her down.  Of course she did not want to sleep, she screamed and cried.  Gamble being the older brother told me to give her the bottle which I did but she refused.  How can I comfort her?  I started rubbing her back and humming some songs.  At some point I started running out of song and began humming the Star Spangled Banner.  I did not realize Jeff was just outside the door trying hard to stop laughing.
Greenlee finally doze off to sleep and I left the room.  One would think that being a Canadian I would be humming O Canada instead I did the USA National Anthem.  Does this mean I am adjusting living in America?

Happy 4th of July to all my friends, family and blog readers.  Please be safe and stay cool.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wholesome Wednesday - It's real

If you can recall a post I did about my flower box that I thought was pretty good considering I was not a gardener, only to let it just go because the squirrels ate all the flowers.  This year Jeff decided to try to plant some vegetables.  First he started some in little pots and waited till the have a tiny sprouts.  He ended up planting seeds directly because the ones he started did not grow at all.  One day we checked the planter box and there's big leaves but Jeff does not remember what he planted until one day.  Here's what we found.

Our first zucchini which we harvested yesterday.

Our first summer yellow squash.
We are very happy with the resutls and we grilled this yellow squash and had it for dinner on Monday night.  Yesterday we harvested two zucchini and one more yellow squash.  It might be another week or two before we get new ones but it's ok because at least we know the squirrels are not eating them.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tour Tuesday - Wine Country

As promised on my previous blog, here are some of the photos I took at the Korbel Champagne tour.  The tour was free as well as the four sample.  It started with the guide explaining the location and then we were seated in a room to watch a video of how it all started up to the present.  It was perfect way to do a tour inside as it was 113 degrees outside.  After the video we were taken to different rooms of the winery where they have a lot of historical items, photos and memorabilia.  The most important part of the tour was at the end where we get to sample the Korbel Champagne.  It started with their original which was the Natural.  I have to say it's a bit too dry for me.  The last one was their sweet type and for me that was the best.  It was served cold and on a hot day it was perfect.  Jeff had a sip and I drank the rest.  After the tasting we headed to their Deli/Cafe where we were treated to a nice lunch courtesy of our friend's nephew.  The drive home was a little stop and go and it seem to take forever.  I did not want to forget to mention that the drive to the Casino the day before was much more pleasant as we saw a lot of the different wineries that we recognized the name.  We did not stop to do wine tasting but it was just great to see the majority of the big wineries such as:
  • Robert Mondavi
  • Beringer
  • Inglenook
  • Arrowood
  • Clos Du Bois
  • Kendall-Jackson
  • Sutter Home
  • Opus One
  • Domaine Chandon
  • Ravenswood