Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sick Saturday - Again, that's what I said

Black Friday started my morning not feeling too bouncy.  I did not have the appetite for any breakfast but knew I had to eat.  Jello was my go to when I feel sick.  To make the story short, I have a stomach flu which was confirmed by my doctor.  After submitting to some blood work to rule out more serious issues like gall bladder, appendix or pancreas.  It will take at least 24 to 48 hours to get the bug out.  My diet included liquids, lots and lots so as not to get dehydrated.  He also suggested the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce and toast).  I couldn't even get pass the banana.  After 24 hours I received an email that all the lab results are good.  So now I'm just trying to get my energy back and hope for the best. 

It's interesting that Jeff's scarf makes me feel better.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fearless Friday - BFS

One would have to be fearless to go out and shop during Black Friday.  It was almost frightening to hear the police spokeperson to remind people who will be out today to be careful where they keep their wallet, phone, etc.  They want shoppers to be aware of their surroundings specifically the parking lot.  I would think that this is such a scary day then why would you go.  Unless you like the line up, people getting trampled, pushing and shoving and attacked at the parking lot, then I am guessing this is your kind of shopping.  Jeff said that if he can get a deal through amazon where the shipping is free and you don't even have to leave home, no line up and no traffic, then for him it's the best way to shop.  This year we agreed that we will not go wild about Christmas shopping, instead we will pick out gifts that are truly practical and useful.  Some of the stores even opened shortly after thanksgiving dinner yesterday until very early morning.  I guess I love my sleep and prefer not to get up very early to check out what deals I can get.  Honestly, the truth is we don't really need anything and if we do we can just get it later when it's much more pleasant to shop.  We plan to get some of the gifts between the first week and second week of December.  Check out this photo from last year.  If you are in fact going, please be safe and hopefully it's worth it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving USA

This is my third USA thanksgiving and we are not cooking.  Why? Because Jeff would rather work on the yard than spend the day cooking the turkey and all it's trimmings.  Because for me it seems like so much work for only three people.  Because we did not want my MIL to do all the work either as she has been doing them for a very long time for her family.  That is why this year, Jeff decided to order everything from Boston Market.  The package was for 4 to 6 people and it includes the following:
  • one turkey breast
  • vegetable stuffing
  • dinner role
  • mashed potatoes
  • gravy
  • dessert - we will decide when we pick up the above
  • cranberry/pomegranate sauce not included as I'm the only one who likes it so I made the sauce myself.
It's similar to this photo except we did not get the corn and pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wasteful Wednesday - Just enough

Almost everyone in the USA will be celebrating thanksgiving tomorrow and for some they will just have enough.  Others will have too much and a few might not have any.  This prompted me to post about wasting so much food.  If you ever go to one of those buffet places, you can see how much people waste as you watch them leave food that they couldn't finish because they took too much.  It is also the same for some people who you invite for dinner and they take a lot of food on their first round thinking there won't be any left for them.  Most of these people leave food on their plate.  I think most of us grew up in a home where you were told to only take what you can finish and if there's still food left on the table, you ask permission to have seconds.  Now a days children and adults have a bad habit of not finishing their food on their plate.  I believe they have forgotten that saying about thinking of the less fortunate to does not even have three meals a day but maybe just one.  So tomorrow when you are having your thanksgiving dinner, start with a small portion and if you are still hungry take another small portion.  A lot of restaurants provide such a big portion of their meals that Jeff and I find it best to split a meal.  Unless you are dining at a very fancy place where you get a small portion for a higher price, then people seem to finish everything on their plate.  Well, that's my take on eating, caring, and just simple etiquette.

Small appetizers
Big turkey dinner plate


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Toothless Tuesday - Who gets a crown?

Do you have a crown?  Not the one you were on your head like a tiara, the crown that your dentist makes for you when your tooth cannot be filled anymore.  During my last dentist appointment, I was told that two of my teeth needs to get replaced with a crown.  Because of insurance, I could only get one done this year and the next one will have to be schedule in the new year.  My dentist is the same one as Jeff's dentist.  Although I've only been with him for the last three years, it feels like I've known him longer and he feels the same way.  Prior to my moving here, Jeff and our dentist shares a lot of stories during his visits.  Most of the conversation they have are very high tech.  He is very smart, creative and up to date with the technology world.  Anyway, I got my temporary crown last week and this past weekend I felt a small piece sticking from my tooth.  Apparently it's just a little filling that was added but that the temp crown is still in tact.  I have been very careful with my chewing and avoiding crunchy and sticky type of food.  Unfortunately due to the thanksgiving holiday, I will have to wait another couple of weeks before I get the permanent one.  The benefit of this is for the next two weeks I am eating less because I am chewing my food very carefully and taking my time.  In addition to that, I am selecting softer foods that are easier to chew. After all, I feel special because I will get a crown, not for my head, but for my tooth.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mindless Monday - Fence Painting

It has been almost a couple of weeks since I had the flu and this past weekend was the first weekend that I felt good, good enough to help Jeff with the outdoor chores.  Saturday was sunny and the temperature was perfect to do some painting.  After doing a couple of errands, I suggested to Jeff that we can tackle the fence painting.  He was a bit concerned as he did not want to tire me out and get sick again.  Between the two of us, I knew that it will take only a few hours to complete before it starts to get dark.  He got everything ready and I became his assistant aka detailer aka finisher.  The roller brush was his tool and I had a thick four inch brush.  I change into my painter outfit (old jogging pants, old shirt, flip flop).  After three hours we were impressed how much we have accomplished.  Here's where I show you the result.  For those of you who have been to our home, you will recall that we did not have some of the things in the photo.  These were some of the improvements that Jeff had done that the city took a year to give him a permit. The next project will be painting of the whole outside of the house.  Then removing more ivy and adding a variety of plants around the front yard.  Each and every weekend, this will be our plans which means no holidays until next year.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Surprise Sunday - A new painting

Who does not love a surprise? Everyone loves a surprise, right.  It could be anything, any day and anywhere.  Surprise just makes you day.  It made mine this past weekend.  I came home from my errand and there was a package in our front door.  Normally Jeff is the only one who gets packages but they are not surprises.  I checked the sender and found out it was from my daughter.  What could be inside?  It's a big package but very light.  I really had no idea.  In the front of the package was an envelope (open this first).  So I did and started reading.  It was very emotional for me and got me teary eyed.  Now I would like to share with you what she sent. 

My daughter's first piece from her painting class.  Sunset at changing of the leaves.
She took a painting class by herself.  She has never done any type of art since her high school days.  I am so touched that she thought of me for her first piece.  She knows I really miss the changing of the leaves in Ontario.  This will remind me of her, our life together and that each sunset brings another day to look forward too.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stinky Saturday - Not shopping there again

The last time we got our groceries we decided to go to SAFEWAY because that's where my MIL likes to get her groceries.  Normally, I would just take her there but since we needed some items, we decided to do a bit of shopping as well.  I found that their prices were a bit higher but some items if on sale was pretty good.  Since it was Friday afternoon and usually we have fish for dinner, I picked up a couple of package of red snapper.  At the time I was buying it, I didn't really try to smell it like I normally do.  One of the reason is that I was still congested and sense of smell was a bit off.  When we got home that's when I realize that something was fishy.  I decided to cook it outdoors.  There was a bit of fish smell but I though cooking fish does have a different scent.  Once we sat for dinner, I took a bite out of one end of the fish and it seemed ok.  Then I cut one of the bigger piece and there was an overpowering odor that really took over my nose.  I am not even sure if that's a good description.  After cutting each and every piece, that particular smell was all over.  I told Jeff not to eat it.  Finally after trying very hard to recall what that smell was in order to describe it to Jeff, it smelled like ammonia.  I knew that I had smelled that scent but couldn't place it.  Then I remember when I use to color my hair and during the mixing and processing, that was the odor that I recalled.  Now I don't want to shop there anymore because of that.  I know that it's too drastic measure, but shopping at Lucky's or Nob Hill seems to be more safe and even the smaller local store called Lunardi's is a better choice. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall Friday - It's still fall, right

My daughter and her husband recently came back for NYC.  Yesterday she sent me some photos that I can share.  I have to admit that the changing of the leaves in Ontario, Canada are much prettier than these.  There's a section of highway 401 going east mid point between Toronto and Ottawa that is spectacular.  Another one that I cannot miss each year is to check the Forks of the Credit which is about half an hour drive from where I lived.  Not to forget the big park in Gatineau, Quebec.  One of Jeff's visit was around September and I was able to show him the real changing of the leaves.  Although they have some leaves changing in California, it can never match the ones in Eastern, Ontario.  It has been raining in the bay area for two days so I've started sewing again.  This time I am trying to complete the order for my MIL for her sets of lady bug placemats.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thinset Thursday - Laticrete 254

I know, I know.  You are reading the title and you are probably wondering what in the world am I drinking.  Is that a prescribed drug?  A new face cream?  This is a new task that Jeff said I could do when I am bored.  When do I really get bored, I ask?  Anyway,  the Laticrete 254 thinset is a type of glue or paste or mortar that is specially used for applying tile on tile.  Unless you are in the flooring business or like my friend Lynn who likes shopping at Home Depot, Lowes or Rona, then you probably have not heard of this.  I need to find a local store in the San Jose area that sells this so we can check it first and then buy if it actually works.  I've started my search and although available online, Jeff needs to see it first.  This is why I started my search of different local stores and started calling to see if they actually carry this item in their store.  Honestly I enjoy doing it for Jeff because I like to help him out with all the different projects he has in our home.  Unfortunately I cannot help him with the manual labor because it requires strength, bending, kneeling, etc.  One time he was searching for a cement block 16 x 16 and could not find them at HD, Lowes and OSH.  It took me a couple of phone calls and found a store locally.  There was another time he needed something and I helped him and found whatever item he was looking for.  Well, I need to start my telephone calls so I can surprise him tonight when he gets home.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wilted Wednesday - Jeff's winter produce

One sweet strawberry, two limes, and a bunch of different fresh lettuce.  Those are the latest produce that I have picked from our backyard.  Jeff started some winter plants (fruit and vegetables) a couple of months ago.  It's really nice to have something to harvest even if it's only once a week.  Last nice for dinner we tried for the first time the different kinds of leaf lettuce.  The big difference eating freshly pick lettuce from the yard than the store bought.  I took more photos to share and I can't hardly wait for the next sweet strawberry.  As for our broccoli, I think I will have to wait for another month or two before it's ready.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tunes Tuesday - Songs that reminds me of

This past weekend I decided to listen to the 70's and 80's music through the TV because it does not have any commercial.  I kinda miss listening to the radio through the internet but like some of our toys, it has not been working lately, therefore I had to resort to using the music channel on Comcast.  While doing some house chores or sewing, the songs keeps me upbeat special the sounds during those years.  I find it interesting that certain songs reminds me of a particular person.  Do you have only one particular song for one a particular person?  Does it bring back memories of where, when and what you were doing?  Here's some of those songs and the person that I think of.
  • Come on Eileen - my daughter
  • Speed of sound - my son
  • I don't wanna miss a thing - my husband
  • Biggest part of me - my sister
  • Baby come back - my son in law
  • Where do we go - my friend Percy
  • Return of the Mack - my friend Lorna
  • Livin' on a prayer - my friend Gina 
  • Blinded by the light - my friend Brock
  • Paradise by the dashboard light- my friend Rose
  • Cold as ice- my friend Russ
  • Goodbye stranger - my friend Katrina
So the next time you hear a song, think of that person, reconnect and reminisce.  Music is life.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Miniature Monday - My leftover treats

How many left over Halloween candies do you have?  This year we had double the number of kids that stopped by the house.  If you recall my blog about organizing my treats in three different categories, then you can remember some of my favorites.  I decided to take photo just in case you missed that post.  We have a small basket that Jeff keeps in his office.  Sometimes he takes a handful and places them in his pocket.  Sometimes we have one or two for our evening snack.  I know I shouldn't be eating a lot of these treats because of the sugar content.  But as you can  see, these are miniature candies and they are in fact very small.  I figured since I have been sick for almost ten days with whatever flu I got, I did not think twice to have one or two of these treats when I was feeling bad and did not have an appetite.

From the top, Milk Duds, Take 5, Oh Henry, Almond Joy, KitKat, Twix, Heath Bar, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Snickers, Hershey and last but not least Hubba Bubba.  I know that some of these are not available in Canada but at the same time, there are some candy bars they have which we cannot find here in the USA.  What is your favorite candy bar?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

SIL Sunday - Happy Birthday Mike

My one and only son in law who by the way is also my favorite is celebrating his birthday today.  Mike if you are reading this post, today is all about you.  Of course it should be all about you when it's your birthday as it only comes once a year.  Whatever you are doing for your birthday, I hope that you will enjoy each and every moment and don't forget to capture it so you will have something to remember it by.  Here's my top ten reason why he is my favorite SIL. 
  • Patient
  • Caring
  • Thoughtful
  • Artistic
  • Animated
  • Funny
  • Musical
  • Respectful
  • Understanding
  • Kind
Happy birthday to you and may you have an awesome time where ever you will be on your birthday and may all your birthday wishes come true.  



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sewing Saturday - For my BFF's grandchild

Time sure flies by when you are busy but really slow when you are sick.  I did not realize that I miscalculated the timing for sewing the project for my BFF's first grandchild.  I was asking him a few days ago when the baby was due, and his reply was any day now.  He was so nice to tell me not to worry about it and just get better first.  I have been checking on fabrics for a couple of months but have not decided what to pick.  Now I needed to get them and start my project.  This time I might even ask Jeff to help me make one of the blankets.  If you have seen some of the baby shower set that I have done, you know that there's a lot of pieces and it does take time.  My problem is that I'm still not 100% clear of my flu therefore at times have very little energy.  I started a couple of days ago and it has taken me all that time to finish it up.  Now I'm sharing you what I've accomplished and I am hoping the new parents will enjoy using them for their newborn.  Welcome Emilia Rose! Congratulations Percy - you are now officially a GRANDPA.

Travel diaper and wipes holder

The complete set

Reversible washable bibs

Very fluffy big blanket from birth to age 3,4 or 5

Burp pads for the new parents
Reversible baby blanket

Friday, November 15, 2013

Foodie Friday - The Grand Cafe

It's a little late but I still want to share the great meals that we had at this restaurant located in the theater district, downtown San Francisco.  You may remember that a week ago I had the opportunity to go check out that area with my two cousins.  That was actually the first time in that part of the Bay area since my move three years ago.  We did not have a reservation but was able to get in within 15 minutes.  The host escorted us to our table which is more like a booth.  The rest of the experience was good and if you are ever downtown SFO, you have to stop by and have a light lunch.  Now check out the meals that we tried.

Ham and cheese on french bread with greens

Kale Salad - not my lunch.

Kale soup - not mine either

Steamed muscles with bread

Seafood salad

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tasty Thursday - What makes me feel better

There are so many good things to eat everyday but when you are sick with whatever, then even the most expensive fruit or steak or lobster just doesn't cut it.  Yesterday Jeff ask me to come out to the back yard and check out one of his plants.  A few months ago he planted some upside down strawberry.  Remember this photo?

It's hard to believe but there's at least two strawberries on this hanging plant.  Even if it's only one ready to pick, it was such a perfect one.  Jeff thought that it will make me feel good once I taste the product of his gardening talent.  I remembered to take a photo before I consumed the one strawberry.  Jeff had a bite and he let me eat the rest.  It was the sweetest strawberry that I have ever tasted.  It had the right texture and just enough juice.

Perfect shape with no bumps or dents.  I almost did not want to eat it but I did not want it wasted.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wishful Wednesday - One week ago

Just in case you have been checking my blog daily and got disappointed when you did because there was no new post for almost a week, it's because I have been sick with whatever flu I got.  I have been staying home and have not seen any other person except Jeff.  I've received some invite to get together for lunch, coffee, walk, golf and even shopping but unfortunately I couldn't go.  Even today when I feel a little bit better, I'm embarrassed when I cough and I don't want anyone to get what I've experienced.  Not really sure when I'm contagious or when is a good time to be with others.  I would like to make sure that I am healthy before I go out and see my friends.  I'm sure some type of flu is not hanging around this long, lucky me, it seems like this one does not want to go away.  Since I cannot just take any type of over the counter pills, syrup or whatever they sell now a days - I had to resort to old fashion cure - lots of liquids and lots of rests.  Trust me, I did all that and I am still not feeling my bounce back.  I'm so afraid to start doing things just in case it is still in my system and definitely do not want a relapse - is there such a thing?  Honestly I just want to get back to normal because I am getting really tired of being sick and tired.  On a happier note,  Jeff surprised me with a new helper for our home. It's a Robomop and her nickname - Lucille Ball.  As you know our Consuelo (Neeto) has been on leave for quite a while.  We are not sure when she will be back so I ask Jeff if we can get a replacement.  Although not as smart as Consuelo, it will have to do for now specially when I am unable to do this chore.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Truthful Thursday - just my opinions

Today I'm staying at home because I HAVE THE FLU.  Every year a get the flu shot and a week or so later I get some sort of flu.  Yesterday I woke up with a very sore throat and very achy muscles. I am now wondering if it is even worth getting the shot.  If I will get the flu anyway, why bother.  I will really have to think about it for next year.  So even with my feeling sick, I had a commitment with my two cousins.  We had tickets to the show at the Curran Theatre downtown SFO.  The show "Peter and the star catcher".  I did not see any review and did not really care.  Although we had a nice lunch at the Grand Cafe - a restaurant within a block from the theatre, I cannot say anything good about the show.  Maybe I'm really not into that type of entertainment - not this particular one.  I've seen some really great shows in the past like Miss Saigon, The Lion King, Mama Mia, Jersey Boys (in Vegas and in Toronto).  The theater was old and the stage was small.  It felt like I was watching a high school play.  I am not sure if it's because I was not feeling good or it was sort of boring that I realized I feel asleep a couple of times.  After the intermission, there was a group of young teenagers who sat behind us.  There was a time that they were really laughing so hard but I really did not understand why because whatever was happening in the stage was that funny.  One of the character was just saying Oh my GOD, hundreds of time, in different tones and different speed.  After the third OMG, it was just annoying to me.  I guess it was just me not feeling good. Most of their lines that people think was funny, I really didn't find funny but actually it was for the lack of a better word CORNY.  That's all for today.  I really need to rest and fight this flu with lots of liquids, lots of nap, and NO drugs.

Maybe this was a little funny.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Timely Tuesday - Checking for sales

Thinking of gifts for Christmas for people you love can be a little stressful.  But if you have a great family that are truly understanding, then it can be just one easy holiday shopping.  Take for example Jeff.  We have decided last year the we will just pick one gift that we really love to have.  This makes it easy for us and nothing is returned or wasted.  While searching for some porch lights at a couple of stores, we found something that he would like to have.  I offered to buy it as his Christmas gift.  The week later I was checking some of the flyers that came through the mail.  Lucky for me that I check because that item Jeff wanted is now on sale.  When Jeff came home I asked him if he wanted to pick up that item just in case they sell out.  You probably would not guess what I got him.  Here's some hint.  It has a nice shape, it's pretty hot and it'll keep you warm.  

This is Chiminea, a new addition to the deck family. In the background is Firepit and Grill.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Macchiato Monday - My first time

It might be hard to believe that the first time I tried a Macchiato coffee was in Rome, Italy.  I was on a business trip with my buddy Alex.  Since we were only there for two nights, we had to take advantage of doing our own tour of the city.  He has been there before so he knew where to take me.  We checked out the most interesting spot and at some point we had to stop for coffee.  You probably won't believe it but we saw a Dunkin Donut in the middle of the busy section.  There were different variety of coffee flavors and the one that attracted my taste buds was one called Macchiato.  I believe it was just plain or maybe it was a latte or maybe a caramel.  On the day of our departure while waiting for our flight in the business class lounge, I noticed people going up to the bar and ordering some fancy coffee.  That's right some guy was making it fresh and there I was lining up to get the best Macchiato coffee ever.  It's not the same when I make it from our Keurig coffee maker but the Archer Farms Caramel macchiato is not bad.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sweet Sunday - What makes it

Sweet is such a nice word.  When you do something for someone and they say to you "Oh you are so sweet" that makes me feel really appreciated.  When you have a friend, a guy friend that does a lot of little things unexpectedly, you tell him that he is such a sweet guy.  Talking about a sweet guy.  One of my other BFF is celebrating his 49th birthday today.  Mike aka "the lawnmower man" another inside joke.  He lives in Brampton, Ontario and he is one of the boys or one of the guys.  He's been a friend for a very long time.  There was a time when I had to stay away from him for some odd reason but eventually we were back to being the way we were - great friends.  So today I hope that he is having a wonderful day and that someone is being sweet to him. 
This is Mike and my daughter taken at my retirement party.  My daughter thinks of them(Boys) as her uncles.
Since I am not there to bake a cake for him, here's a photo of a cake that I would have given him for this his special day.  Next year is even more special because it's the big 50.  Oh my, now I feel really old because I just realized I'm eleven years older than him.  

A very sweet cake for a real sweet friend.  Happy Birthday Mike W!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sewing Saturday - Belated Post

It's a belated post because I did not get the photo until yesterday.  A week ago today, I got a phone call from my friend Jean asking for some assistance regarding sewing some Halloween costume.  Since I just completed my house chores and Jeff was busy with outdoor work, I decided to help out my friend.  When I got there I found out she needed help making a Tutu, not just one but a couple.  Her daughter and two other friends are dressing up at work for Halloween.  It was actually exciting because I have never made an adult Tutu.  The only experience I have was making a little girl's Tutu and it's the no-sew type.  My daughter and I made it for Belle (her niece).  As this was a much bigger size, I wanted to make sure that we did not make a mistake and that it would actually be enough material to make it all around.  Between Jean sewing other parts of the costume, we were able to complete the task at hand.  I only have one photo to share.  They call themselves "Friends of the Forest".  

The Tutu of the skunk (L) and red fox (middle) are the ones I made.  I think these girls are so cute with their costume.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friendship Friday - Happy Birthday Rose

Another one of my BFF is celebrating her birthday today.  We call her Rose, Rosie, Rosemary, and sometimes Perez ( it's a long story and it's also an inside joke).  She has been my friend for almost 20 years.  We've worked together, played together, cried together but most of the time we laugh together.  She's so much fun to be with and she's a very caring and thoughtful friend.  We have been through thick and thin, joys and sorrows, and she's always there for me. There are so many stories that I can share and some that I can't as it's our secret. Today I just want to wish her the happiest birthday ever and I look forward to her visiting us next year.  Luckily she has decided to retire at a very young age.  I know that she will enjoy the time away from the work that she's had for 30 years.  Congratulations and all the best.
Rose is the blonde girl in Phoenix airport waiting for me.
Nina, Becky and Rose at my retirement party.

Gina, Shari, me, Percy and Rose (taken at work many years ago)