Monday, December 30, 2013

Mischievous Monday - When she sees a fruit tree

We lived for a long time up North and there are really no fruit trees around. My sister has this strong longing to pick fruits from trees. So everywhere she goes and she sees trees with lots of fruits, she has this strong urge to try and pick them to the point of telling us, can she steal them. She sees fruit trees here everywhere and she is salivating about picking the fruits. One day, we went to my mother-in-law's house and she had to check the orange tree. She had to pick one event though it is not ready to eat. We went to our neighbour's house and she asked if she can pick mandarin oranges. She does not do it only here in California but everywhere she travels. She had done this in the UK and Dominican Republic as well. Two nights ago, we were invited to Jeff's friends house for dinner and they have a lot of fruit trees. So with flashlight, we had to go pick up grapefruits, lemons and apples. As I always tell Jeff that it does not take much to make me happy....I guess it runs in the family!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Soulful Sunday - Summer horns

My sister and I have been going around looking for all kinds of stuff she needs to get while she is here. One of them is a CD by Dave Koz. She is only getting this for just one song, So very hard to go by Tower of Power. On this particular CD, it is sung by Michael MacDonald. After getting out of the store, we had to play it and it is on repeat and ever since then, this is the only music we listen to on my car. We also bought Michael MacDonald's Motown CD and Ambrosia. And then she had an Aaha moment....she said if we have a second chance at coming back after we had passed on, she said she wanted to be a saxophone player who can sing well. This is from someone who is musically handicapped. I just about peed my pants from laughing. While I was trying to back in into a parking stall, she started to sing and scream like Michael MacDonald and I thought that I had hit a car. So these are my soulful moments with my sister.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wishing Wednesday - Merry Christmas

Yeah, Santa came to the house even thought our fireplace has been blocked by our electric fire place heater and the fact that the fireplace flue was closed.  Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.  So what did you get from Santa?  Here's what I received from Jeff, my sister, my MIL and cousins.  I guess I've been naughty because I did not get any gift from Santa.

There were a couple of items I did not get a chance to include in the above photo.  I also received a Shark hoodie, a special bamboo fruit bowl and a cutting board for my sewing projects.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Treat Tuesday - Cooking and Baking

The best part of my sister's visit is that she loves to cook and bake.  We get spoiled with whatever entree (filipino specially) I haven't eaten for a while and she will get it cooked.  I can keep going on but I think it's best to just share the photos of all the yummy foods she's made so far.  Although I did not get a chance to take photos of the other meals, I could just mention that she is currently cooking chicken and pork adobo, pancit, kare-kare.  Last night she made tinola.  On Christmas day she will be in charge of our Turkey dinner and the trimmings.  I hope to remember to take more photos.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sister Saturday - Guest blogger

I guess I am the guest blogger. I arrived in San Jose on Friday at about 10:00am and two hours later I had started shopping. We are also on the hunt for my favorite fruit cherimoya. Unfortunately, after about 6 or maybe 7 grocery stores, we still have not found it.

My sister volunteered me to cook for their friends and so on Sunday, we were busy cooking. Today, we are hosting our cousins for Christmas Eve dinner. This year for Christmas, it is my turn to do the turkey and all the trimmings. In between we go out and do more shopping. I believe the serious shopping will be after Christmas.

Now, about the weather. I thought I will be in sunny California, but last Friday night I thought I was somewhere up near Yellowknife. We attended my sister's volunteer Christmas party at one of the golf courses here. As we were coming out of the building, it was freezing and I was shivering inside my sister's car. I feel like I experience the 4 season in one day. Early morning it feels like spring, by midday it is summer and later in the afternoon it is fall, then at evening time it is winter.

We are on our way out to meet Jeff's cousin for breakfast and then after that....who knows, if I get lucky it will be more shopping.

To all of my sister's friends and readers, I wish all of your a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Thanks for stopping by.

I bought this for my sister to test her plant caring skills to see if it will survive past Christmas day.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Four Friday - Four more sleeps

It's like being a kid, counting sleeps before Christmas.  Yes, I still get exciting about opening gifts and sometimes checking out what's in the stocking.  Not sure if Jeff will be in the mood to do something.  I remember my first Christmas in this house, he filled up my stockings and it was so much fun to check what's inside on Christmas morning.  There are so many different traditions for opening gifts, what to eat, etc.  When we were little, our parents would take us to our grandparents home on Christmas eve.  We will have a light snack around six and then have a nice dinner around 1130 pm.  At midnight as we all know, Santa arrives.  Before you can get a gift from Santa, the child or we have to do some sort of a talent act (singing, dancing, playing an instrument or even reciting a poem).  The biggest problem is my sister because she would never do any of this to the point that she doesn't not care about getting a gift.  To this date my sister does not like being put on a show or any performance.  This year I guess they had a little party just before she left for holidays. One of her coworker mention that they would have to do something before they got their gift.  She was very nervous but stuck to her guns and was prepared not to get the Christmas envelope.  Anyway by the time it was her turn, the boss decided that was enough.  I am guessing there was not to many talented performers.  Do you have any traditions during the holidays? Do you remember some from when you were kids?  My BFF from Canada sent this photo that I wanted to share which was taken this weekend.  Sorry for the delay of this post.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Truthful Thursday - Tis the season for reconnecting

For the past ten years I have chosen to send my annual Christmas newsletter instead of cards.  This was a perfect way to tell all my friends and family what has happened in my/our life for the whole year.  Everyone who receives it tells me how they truly enjoy reading it and of course some keep it for a month so they can read it again after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  It is a great way to reconnect with everyone and they feel that they have not missed anything.  Just in case you are reading this post today and did not received this year's issue, please send me an email.  I know that I have completed my list but sometimes there is one or two that would have been missed.  Either it's a change of email address or just some virus that prevents them from receiving something with an attachment.  Whether it's a card, a letter, an email or even a text, this is the time for reconnecting and celebrating the holidays.  On another note, this is also the time for the ugly sweater contest.  This year I was task to help a colleague make her sweater.  Although she did not win it this year, it was so much fun making it.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wild Wednesday - Are they wild or what?

What do you consider wild?  I'm not talking about being wild but more like wild items.  Like the golf outfits from John Daly Loudmouth collections.  Those are wild.  Have you seen some really wild golf tees?  Anyway today is all about stuff that I have seen that I think are wild.  The idea came when I was golfing on Sunday and saw the two some in front of our group who was wearing some wild Christmas golf attire.

Golf hat with hair

Ishikawa golf club cover
Some of my golf buddies from Canada would love to have these


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Timely Tuesday - 49ers or Chrismas?

Last night I had to change my nail polish because as soon as I see a chip on any of the nails, I have to repair it or start from scratch.  Since I don't have to make an appointment because it happens that I do the nail art myself, I can afford to do it anytime or any day.  After doing the dishes, it was a perfect time to change nail polish as my nails have been soaking while I do our dishes.  Since it is only nine days before Christmas I thought I should do something festive.  So I picked the colors red and gold.  When I showed Jeff the finished product, he says - are you cheering for the 49ers this weekend?


Monday, December 16, 2013

Miserable Monday - That's how I would feel

Now that I have lived here in Sunny San Jose for the last three and a half years, I feel really awful when I hear how bad the weather in western and eastern Canada.  I would check with my daughter and some of my friends almost every week.  Last weekend my daughter sent me a photo of the non stop snowy weather they were getting.  I feel very lucky to have retired in this part of California and I thank Jeff for that.  For all the years that I have lived in northern Canada and parts of Eastern Canada, all those long winter months, I now can say that I've served my time and I've been paroled.  I don't want to rub it in but we also get some cold days but no snow.  There was a day a couple of weeks ago when it was warmer in Toronto than here.  But even with the cold spells every now and then, we are still able to play Tennis (played last Saturday) and I am still golfing with the girls twice a week.  I know that I would feel miserable at times during all those winter months.  Honestly, I know how you guys feel about winter and I wish you could all move to California or somewhere warmer.  Please try to keep warm and don't forget your mitts, toque and scarf.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Soulful Sunday - Favorite Christmas Songs

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love send to me - ten drummers drumming or if you like the one done by the Mackenzie Brothers - there was no day 10, it skips from day 8 to day 12.  This is not one of my favorite songs.  Anyway, eh, my top ten songs for the holidays are:
  1. Have yourself a merry little Christmas - Little Big Town
  2. Give love on Christmas day - Jackson 5
  3. Merry Christmas darling - Carpenters
  4. I'll be home for Christmas - Rascal Flatts
  5. The Christmas Song - Michael Buble
  6. It's Christmas Time - Train
  7. White Christmas - Martina McBride
  8. Let it Snow - Boyz to men
  9. Merry Christmas Baby - CeLo Green/Rod Stewart
  10. All I want for Christmas is you - Mariah Carey
Do you have a favorite Christmas Song?  Do you have one that makes you homesick? Do you have one that makes you cry?  I don't mind listening to one song per day but not for the whole day or even when I am driving, I listen to a station that plays a song every now and then.  Are you ready for Christmas? Are all the shopping done?  Are all the gifts wrap?  Is there anyone out there that hates Christmas? 

Only ten more sleeps before I get open my Christmas gifts.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fragrant Friday - My favorites then and now

Jeff always says that you can find almost anything on Amazon or any online shopping.  Just a couple of days ago I was searching for a special perfume my favorite sister wants but couldn't find it in Canada.  So I did my search and found it for a great price. While I was doing some online search or screen shopping (I don't know what it's called because it's not window shopping), I stumble upon a perfume that I use to love many many years ago.  You probably have not heard of it and that is what I love about them.  The scent is very different because it's not common and not everyone is smelling like you.  Now I would like to share with you some of my favorites then and now.
Product Details
Tamango - my favorite many years ago and now I am going back and buying it.
Product Details
OH Lola - my new favorite and I bought the purse size roll on.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tempting Thursday - Sweets & Treats

The holidays seems to bring out all the goodies that are so tempting to buy.  There's the box chocolates, the gift baskets, the special cookies in a tin can, the variety of nuts in a special bottle, the imported cheese and crackers and many more assorted baskets.  Oh I just remembered the Panettone bread which seems to only come out during Christmas.  The good part of all of these is that I can look at them, check them out and wonder how good it might be and then be able to walk away and not buy any.  Temptation versus self control.  I can say that being a Diabetic helps a lot during the holidays.  I know what to avoid and what might be acceptable if I just try a small piece.  It's all about portion and the amount of carbs.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Well-made Wednesday - no more sewing

No more sewing means just until the end of this month and then I can start new projects in the beginning of the year.  I decided to make a few more potato bags just in case I need a gift for friends, etc.  This year we made a couple of blankets for Jeff's grandkids to keep them warm during the cold nights.  I also made some more items for my MIL and wrap them for Christmas.  Yesterday I had to shorten a yoga pants that I got from Costco.  Just in case you are wondering I don't do yoga, I just love these pants from Costco because of the fit and the material.  It's great for just casual wear at home or going out shopping or even during those cold afternoon at the golf course. I was going to share some photos of my sewn items but I jst remember my MIL reads my blog.  Instead I found this Christmas photo that I wanted to share again. 

My Dad and Gino (3 yrs old) - Christmas of 1984 in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tone Tuesday - The Sing Off

They are back and they are more talented, lots of different sounds and even more dancing.  It's called the SING OFF.  The only acapella singing contest that involves real singing without instruments and great harmony.  Jewel has been added to the seat as one of the judges which makes the panel a much better picture.  One of the best treat of this show is that everyone has it's own talent on producing some of the variety of sounds of a particular instrument.  This year's group is a mixed of the young and the old, all girl or all boy band style, and the bigger groups from some of the best colleges/university.  We try to record this season because some of the episode is worth replaying the next day.  After the first show, I have picked my favorites already.  Here they are:
  • Home Free - five male country group
  • Filharmonic - six boy band style Filipino group
  • Acoustikats - twelve college guys from Kentucky

I cant' hardly wait to watch the next episode and listen to their singing talent.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Me Monday - The Real Housewives of South San Jose

Who are the Real housewives of South San Jose?  It was a joke.  Last Thursday, my friend Jean treated me to a day at Santana Row.  She booked a pedicure for two at two in the afternoon.  We started our day with my new talent - styling her hair.  Once it was all nice, curly and pretty, we headed to Santana Row.  It's a really nice high end shopping place in Santa Clara which to me it's still San Jose.  From the street it did not look busy at all but we could not find any parking.  We pass by a Valet parking only, so we decided to stop going around in circle and just use it.  It was a very cold morning which was a perfect day to use Valet that was very close to the places we had to go.  Our first stop, lunch at Pasta Pomodoro.  We chose to do an early lunch to beat the rush but actually there was no rush.  It seems like most people stayed in their offices or at home because of the cold weather.  The sky was blue and the was warm but everyone is all bundled up.  We were going for pedicure which is why I'm the only person who is wearing sandals.  After lunch we did some Christmas shopping and found some stores that had some very unique items.  One was a stationary store, a clothing store and a kitchen store.  Although the items were a little expensive for my budget, the things Jean and I bought were very special and fits perfectly to the person we bought it for.  Before our pedicure, we stopped by Starbucks to get some holiday coffee specials.  The spa place is called Lavande in Santana Row.  We both had regular pedicure and I chose not to have nail art design because I knew that I would do a better job.  The person who was doing my toes was so impressed with my nail art on my nails.  It was a very nice, clean and professional spa.  If you are ever visiting our area, you should check it out.  After our day at Santana Row, I told Jean that we could be the Real Housewives of South San Jose because of our day of pampering and living the life of retired wives.  We thought about it later and decided we are not really the type and that we only did one day of ME.  It was a real treat because it's the first week that I feel better and that my bounce is back.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Truthful Thursday - Christmas Shopping

We did it. One night for three hours, three stores with no line ups nor crowds.  It was a cold evening last night and maybe that's why people are not out,  Maybe they are all shopped out from black Friday.  We only had the names of people we are buying for.  No ideas nor wish list so we just winged.  Sometimes Jeff and I had to split sections of the store and meet in the middle to dump the items we got.  There was not a lot of indecisiveness, it was a straightforward yes or no.  Jeff gave me a perfect 10 for finding the right sizes and of course the best deals. We got home early enough to do my nails so I can post it today.

Just in time for Holiday season.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Writing Wednesday - I'm late

It's that time of the year to write my annual Christmas letter and I'm late.  Jeff reminded me and I just realized that it's the first week of December.  Since I started some sort of tradition, I have to continue.  I can't even remember how long ago I started doing this instead of sending cards.  My apologies to my reader that I have to keep this short because I have to use all my free time writing and designing the three page newsletter.  But I found some photos that you might be interested.

Doesn't this look yummy?
Available only in Canada, eh?  I sent my sister to look for them this morning and she found them.