Monday, March 28, 2016

Memories Monday - Losing a loved one

From our family to yours, we send our sincerest sympathy and condolences.  It takes time to heal and grieve so be gentle with yourself.  I know, I have been there.  Our caring thoughts are with you during this time of sorrow.  For my sister in law and for my BFF's mother.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Well-done Wednesday - It's so YUMMY!

This past weekend we were invited for dinner at our friends J&G.  We have not seen her for a while as she was busy with her daughter, her grandson and in addition she was decorating.  Since she was making dinner I offered to bring the dessert.  At first I wanted to try this new recipe I found.  It's called Tiramisu Crepe Cake and then I remembered that she and her husband are not fond of crepe nor Tiramisu.  It didn't take me along time to figure out what my alternative was since I know some of her favorite dessert.  Instead I chose to make the Pineapple upside down cake which turned out great.  During our visit we talked about our plans for vacations, etc.  She asked me if I would be around in May because she would like to order the Coconut Pecan Pie for her birthday.  That is her number one favorite so of course I said yes.  Maybe this weekend since it's Easter I will try to make the Tiramisu Crepe Cake for Jeff because Tiramisu is one of his favorites.  Of course he loves chocolate chip cookies, brownies, donuts, cakes, well, basically anything sweet.  Does that make him a really sweet guy? 

Coconut Pecan Pie
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I plan to make a smaller cake with only 20 crepes which be half the height of this cake.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Textile Tuesday - Used tennis balls

It was a rainy day yesterday so I stayed home and continued my sewing projects. I completed the rest of the Binki clips as well as a couple of reversible aprons that was an order from Jane.  After all of these were done, I sat for a few minutes and wondered what I should do next since it was still mid afternoon.  Then I realized I need to look for a small box for a package I needed to ship.  While in the garage I noticed the big basket of used tennis balls that we have collected since I moved here which was five years ago.  So there's a lot.  At one time I was going to donate it to the school around the corner so they can use it for their kids program, but I completely forgot about it.  I asked Jeff if he has any idea on what we can do with them.  He said "google it".  So I did and immediately I got excited.  I saw a photo and I knew I could do it without having a pattern, etc.  As of today I have completed two and I will give the first one I made to my friend Debbie so she can test it on her three doggies.  If it passes, then I will get busy and make as many as I can using all the tennis balls we have.  What is great about it is that I can use all the left over textile from all the different projects I have made.  They will definitely be so colorful the dogs would love to play with it.  Wait a minute, I need to name it.  In honor of my SIL's dog, I will name this the Tango Toy.

Tango Toy

Binki aka pacifier holder

Reversible apron

The other side of the above apron.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Matching Monday - Finding the right match

Last year I decided to sign up on a volunteer site which sends me some openings for organizations that are looking for volunteer.  So far I have found one that was very interesting and although it was only a one day event, they advised me that it is a continuing program and most likely do another in the spring.  Yesterday I received a new notice of at least five different organizations that have some openings for volunteers.  There was one particular one that caught my attention as it involves sewing some items and the duration is only a couple of weeks.  They will supply the material and the item that volunteers will sew will be sent to some girls in Cameroon.  It is a great feeling when you have a few hours to donate and share your knowledge and experience.  Although I have my ongoing volunteer work twice a week, I know that I can still find some time for a great cause.  Keeping busy is a must when you are retired.  It doesn't matter if you are involved in a special hobby, or a sports that you love or maybe even working part-time.  When you are busy, your mind is constantly working and at the same time your body benefits from it as well.  Finding the right match for yourself is a perfect way to volunteer so you will enjoy whatever it might be.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sewing Saturday- I truly enjoy being creative

After receiving a text message from my brother from another mother, aka PJD, it was time to get busy with baby girl items because his daughter gave birth to a baby girl.  So now he has three grandchildren.  A couple of days ago I went to the fabric store to get some baby girl stuff.  I wasn't sure what I was going to make but I know I need some pinks and light colored fabric.  Since my sewing table was already out with all sorts of fabrics and notions, it did not take a long time to get busy.  It feels really good when I am creative and the products that gets completed in a span of one day.  Here's what I have done so far.  There's also an order for two aprons from the owner of the cafe where I volunteer.  She was given an apron that I made about two years ago as a thank you gift.  I recently saw her wearing it and the fabric is all faded from washing but the apron is still intact.

Reversible burpp pads

Kiera's set with Binki holders

More  bibs

Burp pads or Burpees
There's more sewing next week and I'll keep sharing what I have completed and if you know someone who is having a baby and would need some of the above items, you can leave me a comment to place an order.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Teddy bye Thursday - Happy St. Patrick's Day

When I hear the words "Teddy Bye", there's only one person that it reminds me of.  His name is John D. and he is very dear friend who happens to be Irish.  Today I am dedicating this post to all my Irish friends and to the rest of the people of Ireland.  How did I spend my St. Patrick's day, you might ask? Let me give you a clue.  It involves being outdoors with three other buddies and we do a lot of walking.  It was very appropriate in celebration of St. Patrick's day, to be out in the golf course.  The course was in perfect condition due to the recent rain that California is getting.  By the way, my friend John was the one who introduced me to golf.  One regret is that I should have accepted his invitation to see Ireland with him.  Maybe someday Jeff and I could travel to Ireland and Scotland. 

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trophy Tuesday - Dust Collectors

It is amazing what you find when you are looking for something else in and around the house. We decided to check all the areas in our home for this special gift that I bought for my daughter a couple years ago.  I asked Jeff to store it in our secret storage since I won't need it until 2016.  Unfortunately he can't remember where he placed it and hopefully he can remember where it is hiding before the end of the year.  In the meantime, he found an old trophy of his.  Apparently a friend ask him to sub in a bowling tournament which the team ended up winning.  It's funny because we actually go bowling at least once a week with friends.  Between the two of us, there's not a lot of dust collecting items in our home.  But I actually have a couple of trophy that I kept from a long time ago, maybe the 90's.  There was also a golf tournament trophy that I received but it was damaged during my move. As we reminisce on how we got our trophies, we noticed the amount of dust it has collected.  I am sure there's a lot of people who cherish their tropies, maybe even have a display cabinet for them and other items they collect.  Do you have a collection of something or maybe a sports memorabilia? 


Monday, March 14, 2016

Mopped Monday- Where's the shine

Whatever it was that we were using on our hardwood floors are not available anymore or if they are, the definitely changed the solution.  After Jeff installed all the hardwood floors in the house, he started using this item called ZEP that came in a blue container that we bought from Home Depot.  We have been using it for almost three years and then when we ran out, we went back to Home Depot and we could not find the exact same one.  After asking one of the employee, he led us to the same section only to show us the same name but in a different colored container.  So we bought it in a bigger container since we have the spray bottle at home.  It was time to clean our floors so Jeff started in the kitchen/dining are and then the living room.  The next day after the floors were completely dry, he noticed that they were not as shiny as before.  Anyway, after many times cleaning with the same stuff,  Jeff noticed that the solution was just leaving a film on the floor.  We tried other solutions but it left the same film and it looks very dull.  I decided to search for solutions online and we decided to go back to the old school type of cleaning - Water and Vinegar.  Jeff tried it first in his office and the guest room.  The next day I tried it on the main floor area.  It looked even worst so we both repeated the same mopping/cleaning with the water vinegar solution and this time I added a teaspoon of lemon.  The third time Jeff used some old white towels and got on his hands and knees.  We couldn't not believe it the next morning.  It was not dull anymore, it felt really clean but still not as shiny.  We both think that we are on the right track.  Keep using the Water, Vinegar and lemon solution.  Hopefully all that previous stuff that was making the floor looked dull will eventually get cleaned by this solution.  As I write this blog, my feet felt how clean the floors are.  It is truly amazing how simple household items are better than all the stuff they sell.  How do you clean your hardwood floor? Any other secret?

Zep Hardwood Floor Cleaner, 32 Oz.Zep Commercial ZPEZUHLF128 Hardwood and Laminate Cleaner, 1 gal BottlePledge 4-in-1 Wood Floor Cleaner, Citrus - 27 fl oz bottleImage result for market pantry vinegar

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Stringing Saturday - Guitar playing

Each time I trim my nails very short due to one broken nail or maybe even a couple,  I get a very tiny urge to play my guitar.  Since Jeff bought me a cute tuner and a special place to hang the guitar in the spare bedroom, it is out there so easy to reach.  So there's no reason why I can't try again.  I guess that's not the problem.  The problem is that since I have not played for a long time, my fingers are very sensitive and it does hurt.  I have to get back and try to practice everyday and see if I can get my fingers to actually toughen so they won't hurt.  I have researched on line to see if I can change the string from steel to nylons.  But after reading what's online, it seems the majority of musicians suggests that it's not a good idea.  I am currently using Jeff's guitar which he does not really play but it was a gift from his best friend Carlos.  The other guitar we have is a 12 string which is double the pain when I try it but it's also a gift, from Jeff to me.  The sound is awesome when I have practice enough so I can actually play without the pain.  It's one of those things that you will lose it if you don't use it.  Remember a couple of years ago, I tried taking lessons from one of Jeff's friend who gave Slack key guitar lessons for free.  Well, I still receive the invitation of their classess and every now and again I feel like going again.  The problem is that I don't practice enough to catch up with the classes even with the beginners.  It is a lot different type of playing as the chords are a bit different and it's all about plucking the strings.  But once you get the hang of it, the music it produces sounds great and it will make you think of Hawaii.  Here's one I found on you tube.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Fructose Friday- Always counting

Fructose, glucose, blood sugar and A1C just to name a few.  It's all about sugar in your blood.  Being a diabetic for almost 28 years of my life is not as easy as some people think it is.  Although I have to say that after being on insulin for the last 12 years, I can say that my health is much better and having more energy is something I don't take for granted.  Since diabetes is very much in the family for generations starting with our grandparents, I was prepared to get it in my golden age but not at 35.  It was definitely a life style change but the good news is that it's manageable and controllable.  A lot of control, balance and consistently learning new things and trying them out.  I can still recall that day when I ended on the wrong side of the road and couldn't remember how I got there.  That's when I decided it was time to get all the tests and sure enough, Diabetes is now a part of my life.  Everything I learned in the classes I attended, the many sessions with my dietitian are still in grained in my mind.  Once in a while I have to revert back to measuring everything just to make sure I am not off with my food intake.  Even when getting our groceries, I am always checking the sugar content of each item that I am going to try for the first time.  Counting carbs was a new thing for me since my knowledge of food groups was based on Canada's food table.  It was much easier then but after taking more classes here, using 15g of each of the items on my plate, eventually you just get use to it.  For some who hates needles, I do not wish for them to have diabetes.  Blood sugar testing is mandatory specially being on insulin.  There are some people who have tried to tell me that if I drink certain types of tea or take some sort of vitamins, etc. that my diabetes will go away.  If these were true, then why are they still researching for the cure.  My advice - if it's in the family - get tested during your annual medicals.  Be informed of what's new and what are the signs.  There are so many people who are not diagnosed until later in life or until it's already affected one of their organs.  Just a friendly reminder to take care of your health so you can enjoy your retirement.

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  Image result for diabetes

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Washable Wednesday- A complete set for my new purse

It all started when my daughter was visiting and she wanted to do some sewing.  The first project she tried was doing some fabric wallet for your paper money or maybe valuable coupons.  At that time she made a few for her friends and after she left I started making my own and for some of my friends.  Later on I experimented on other sizes to be used to organize my purse.  Each time I made them I kept on adding and now there's a total of nine pieces for each of my set.  As for my collection, I have a few to match the purse I am using.  So far I have a pink set, purple set, turquoise set, black/red set, and an assorted of colors that are left over fabrics.  This week I decided to make something blue to match my new navy blue back pack purse.  I decided to label each of the items so you can figure out what each of them are used.  Organizing my purse is very important to me as I like to be able to find whatever item I need.  As you can see I don't have a make up case. The reason for this is that every purse have a zippered section inside and I just use that.  I guess when you are my age you don't really need a lot.  My basics are my lip gloss, eye liner, hand lotion, blotting paper, comb, and an elastic for my hair.  What I love about the stuff that I make is that they are all washable and they keep their shape after ironing.  How do you organize your purse?  


Monday, March 7, 2016

Must do Monday - Variety of items

Do you ever have one of those days where you want to change, rearrange, clean up, and replace things around your home?  Well, that is what I have and will be doing when the weather outside is wet and windy.  In the kitchen I have rearranged and cleaned up some of the kitchen drawers.  I just remembered that I also would have to do some baking.  The bananas are getting over ripe and as you can see in the photo below, I have so much lemons that I have to do more baking.  Most likely I will do a lemon bread, lemon muffins and possibly lemon squares.  The only problem about baking all these variety of yummy snacks is that we end up eating them.  Although I do share them with some of my friends and even the guys at the golf shop where I play.  They love the surprise of what treats I bring on a weekly basis.  Since I only have two jars of marmalade left, I could make another batch because I have some more oranges that needs to be used.  

These are my new seasoning jars.  I love it because I can see clearly what's inside and easy access.

The lemons are a bit expensive at the store so when someone offers them,  I say thank you very much.
This was the lemon bread I made and I love the lemon glaze I used as the topping.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sewing Sunday - Back into gear

All it took was my daughter asking me if I still remember how to make little boys bow ties.  It was a while ago when I made a few for her nephew Blake because he loves wearing bow ties.  This time my daughter was asked to make them for one of her nieces 2nd birthday party.  My daughter ask me if I had the time and maybe I can make it.  Of course I have the time, I'm retired.  I figured between my golf and volunteer, there should be a day where I can squeeze in some sewing.  It so happen that Thursday was a rainy day therefore NO golf.  Perfect, I can start making the bow ties in order for me to mail it the next day as the deadline was March 26.  By the way, my daughter also asked if I can make some baby girl stuff as one of her BFF just had a baby.  Last Tuesday I stopped by Hancock Fabrics to check out some fabrics for the bow ties.  The store was closing and everything was on  sale, at least 30 percent of.  I took photos of the pattern for my daughter to choose from and I bought some extra yards that I can use for making potato bags, tote bags and whatever else I wish to make.  I figured I might as well start sewing some items for Christmas gifts or in case we have another neighborhood Christmas bazaar sale.  Here's what I have sewn for the past few days and today I ended up making pillow covers for the new pillows I bought for our guest room.  

For Carla's new born baby girl.

Introducing Pinku
Nemuidesu - japanese for sleepy

Reading glasses case for my sister

New born bib for Kiera's baby who is due anytime.

Jackson's first bow tie.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Frustrating Friday - PBB

PBB stands for people behaving badly.  There's a segment on one of the nightly news where the host features drivers who are doing stupid things on the road.  Of course it's not just about drivers on the road, the show covers a variety of issues but basically it's all about people behaving badly.  Today's post is all about the PBB since my whole week was filled with these type of people.  Let's go back to the beginning of the week.  Monday, I am on way to play golf at one of of the golf course around San Jose.  While I sit and wait to wait for the light to turn green, the car behind me honks.  Ooops, I am sorry, I forgot to tell you that I am sitting at a corner where there's a sign NO RIGHT TURN ON RED.  Of course I don't move because I can see the sign and obviously the driver in the car behind me either can't see or can't read or he is a PBB.  The problem is he has no room to pass by so he had to wait.  Finally the light turns green and just to annoy him, I started really slow and of course he zooms to the left of me and immediately cut me off even though there are no other cars around us.  What is funny is that there are several places that has this big sign NO RIGHT TURN ON RED and it's amazing how many people just breezes through them.  Tuesday, after dropping of Jeff at his workplace, I am waiting at a different NO RIGHT TURN ON RED corner when I heard a honk, a male driver on a white BMW SUV.  I am not going to mention what I think about BMW drivers.  Anyway, obviously he was in a hurry and did not want to wait but he had too as he was behind me.  As the green light comes on, I see a group of pedestrians trying to cross so of course I stop to let them cross (I'm still a Canadian) but got startled when I hear another honk.  Of course I did not move but since he had enough room he passes to find out the pedestrians were in his way so he had to stop.  What is funny, all seven pedestrian slowed down, gave him the look (like mouthing off what the hell) and kept walking across but still staring at him.  The BMW zoomed away only to stop at the red light and I am right beside him.  I tried to see if he would look my way but he was too busy texting.  A PBB? definitely.  Wednesday, was a little different but have seen it so many times I just smile but make sure I can cross safely.  I am talking about the pedestrian crosswalk in front of the San Jose Police Department Building.  One would think that drivers would slow down or maybe pay attention to the sign.  NOT.  My coworker and I were on our way back from lunch and this red SUV just breezes through while we were on the second line of the crosswalk.  There were two cars behind this driver that slowed down and stop while the other two cars coming from a different direction already were stopped.  I wonder what that driver was thinking.  "Oh I can see two cars stopped and there's two people trying to cross, what should I do? ah, who cares, they can wait, there are no yellow lights blinking or a stop sign".  What is weird is that all these people have a California Drivers License.  Do you know how to do a California Stop? 

                                          Image result for no right turn on red     Image result for no right turn on red
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