Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tennis Tuesday - US open begins without RF

The day after my BFF left, the US Open 2016 began in Flushing Meadows, NY.  It's hard to believe that Roger Federer is not participating.  Then on the women's side, Maria Sharapova is also not playing.  Even a lot of the players are saying that it's not the same without RF.
Of course there are still other favorites like RAFA, Novak, Ferrer, and more.  With almost 10 hours of recorded coverage, I can be really picky on which match I watch. This year I decided that instead of me getting annoyed watching the ones that I dislike, I am boycotting their match and skip it all together.  It's the only way to enjoy watching tennis.  Like the other night after Rafa's match, he tried to hit the ball towards the roof.  He was all smiles and gave a great interview.  After winning his match on the third round, he gave another amazing interview on the booth with the ESPN team.  He is such a nice man, very professional, humble, funny and respectful.  I don't understand why these two women that I dislike cannot learn from him.  Anyway,  I have one more week of exciting tennis and I will definitely cheer for my favorite players who do not have the attitude, excuses and very bad sportsmanship.  I am sure you all know who I am talking about.  By the way, to make it worst ESPN added in their team this guy who is the coach of the one player that I dislike, which means every time he speaks he is talking about her.  There are so many other X tennis pro that can take his place, why him.  BTW did you know that Rafa Nada now has a museum in his hometown Mallorca, Spain?  He also has a tennis academy. Maybe someday I can get a chance to tour both.

 Image result for rafael nadal museum

Image result for rafael nadal museum

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summary Sunday - A week is not enough

A week went by so fast, that's what Percy and Sarah said.  I totally agreed with them.  They arrived on a Monday and left on a Sunday.  The schedule that I planned for them was followed except for a couple of changes.  We began their visit with a game of pool between Percy and I since Jeff was working from home and Sarah needed a nap.  Aside from jet lag, time zones and coming back from a 6 month backpacking adventure, she deserved that nap. In the evening after dinner, we took them to Santana Row for a leisurely walk and window shopping as well as a quick stop for special coffee.  Here's is how the rest of their trip schedule.
  • Tuesday - day trip to Pacific Grove, Monterey and Carmel.
  • Wednesday - Shopping at the outlet mall in Gilroy and search of the KT muscle tape.
  • Thursday - Clay shooting in the morning, continued shopping in the afternoon and free concert at the San Jose Muni golf course.
  • Friday - Relaxing day at home, catching up on stories, finally found 3 more KT.
  • Saturday - Arts and Wine Festival in Palo Alto during the afternoon and dinner with friends in Sunnyvale while listening to live music.
  • Sunday- It was time to head back to Toronto.

Lunch at a slider bar in Palo Alto wearing our free sunglasses from Capital One.
These are the most expensive backyard decor, the one beside Percy was priced at $35,000.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Favorite Friday - My favorite son

Today my son would have been celebrating his 35th birthday.  It is very hard not to wonder and think of the WHAT IF's.  Since he is not here to celebrate today and I believe technically you stop counting after he died, I am at a lost on what to post.  Can I still do the what if's?  Should I just stop and not remember him today?  Is there a better way to celebrate this day?  Can a mother ever accept why her son was taken too soon?  So let me try to just write what comes to my mind at this moment.
  • Would he be married by now and would she be really good to him?
  • Would he have any children, one or two? If I recall it right, he was good with kids.
  • Would he have purchased the latest Iphone7, have an Apple Watch 2, and a matching iPad?
  • Would he have switched to a new car?  Maybe Mitsubishi Lancer or maybe a Sporty car?
  • Would he have given up his vinyl store and return to working for an investment firm?
  • Would he have joined the rest of the POKE MON family? 
  • Would he have stayed in the Ontario area or maybe moved to another province?
  • Would he have gone on fun vacations with his buddies from Oakville?
If any of his best friends are reading this post, I am sure they can add more of these type of questions.  The sad part now is that we will never know the answer.  Does it hurt more not knowing or does it make me feel better just to be able to write what goes through my mind every year on Gino's birthday.   For the first time I was not able to write a poem because I was too busy entertaining our guests.  I feel bad but I know my son would understand because he was a great son who is respectful, thoughtful, fun, dependable, soft hearted, loving, polite, and many more. Happy Birthday Gino wherever you are.  We remember you and you'll always be my favorite son.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Synchronize Saturday - Everyone is a winner!

With only two more days before the closing ceremony of the Olympics, I thought of doing this post to congratulate all the winners and the participants of this year's Olympic.  We have been recording most of what coverage with can get of almost all the sports.  Trying to watch everyone of our recorded events takes a lot of time and therefore we had to pick and choose which one to breeze through and which one to truly enjoy.  The last couple of nights we have been watching the duets and group synchronize swimming.  Although I cannot swim maybe in my next life I could be one those swimmers.  I am so amazed of what they can do under water and how long they stay under with their feet doing all the work above water.  We will most likely catch the finals tonight of this great sports.  Today I just finished watching the women's golf and I so happy for Inbee Park and Lydia Ko as they are my two favorite players.  Of course I was routing for Brooke Henderson of Canada.  One last item to mention, the other sports that I would have done, that is if I was young and athletic is the 4 person rowing.  Jeff just giggles everytime I mention these events because both of them are water sports and as most of you know, I can't swim and I am still petrified with open water swimming.  Not that I will do it.   Team sports is definitely something that requires being in sync and togetherness.  Congratulations to all the participants of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Image result for winners of olympic womens golf

 Image result for winners of olympic womens rowing

  Image result for synchronized swimming

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wondering Wednesday - Friends come and go

How important are friends in your life?  Do you even need them if you have family that surrounds you? Do you replace the ones you lost due to distance or disagreements?  How quickly do you make new ones when you move to a new city, state or province or country?  Do you feel you need to reconnect with childhood friends or college friends?  How many do you need to make your life complete?  You are probably wondering where I am going with this.  Let me start with my next CPBB guest who will be arriving on Monday.  If you have been following my blog, I am sure you have read about my BFF aka Brother from another mother.  In fact I wrote about him on the section on my blog SPOTLIGHT.  This will be a great week for us to reconnect and hear all the stories of his daughter's travel.  Sarah will be joining him for this trip.  On another note, one of my golf buddy will be moving out of the city and will head towards the Delta.  They are also our couple friends who we go out for dinners, vacations, mini weekend getaways and sometimes bowling.  Last week one of our other couple friends are moving out of the country and taking a job in Paris.  They are friends of ours that lives around the block.  We meet them once a month in our neighborhood dinner get together.  They are the couple that we go for dim sum every now and then.  We have exchange dinners and attended each other parties that we have hosted. By the end of October we would have be missing our couple friends but hopefully could keep the friendship intact.  This would mean that I have to replace my 4th player for our weekly golf.  Friends are part of your life and yes they come and go but some you are lucky to have them in your life for a very long time.  It takes two to keep the spark alive.  This is my favorite.

Image result for you will always be my friend because you know too much

Monday, August 15, 2016

Methodically Monday - Mastering the USCIS test

In a few more days I will be attending the interview/test for my US citizenship application.  It's hard to believe that the process seems to be moving along faster than I thought it would be.  Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining since I only submitted it sometime in April.  So now what.  I have been studying the 100 questions and I think I am comfortable with all the correct answer.  According to their website, applicants will be asked 10 out of the 100 and you will have to get 6 correct in order to pass.  But that is not the only test.  Everyone will have to be tested on their reading, writing and speaking ability.  Jeff doesn't think I will have an issue with that.  So here's one question that I have to make sure I get the right answer. Why do you want to become an American citizen? The correct answer is - in order to vote in the federal election.  What if they ask me if there are additional reason why?  I will have to provide something short and true.  For some reason whatever I wrote yesterday did not get saved so I won't even bother to rewrite.  Next week I will update everyone on the result of my interview.  Wish me luck and I truly hope all goes well. If you are into praying,
say one for me
Image result for Canada flag  
Image result for usa flag 


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Scrumptious Sunday - Sweet kinda guy

Anything sweet has to be Jeff's favorite.  I am actually surprised that with all the sweets that he consumes, one would diagnosed him as pre-diabetic.  Sometimes I would check his blood sugar just to compare with mine.  Even after having some sweets, his blood sugar is still lower than mine.  I guess he is just my sweet kinda guy.  Although Jeff does not do a lot of cooking except for grilling and his breakfast, once in a while I can get him to make some sort of dessert.  Let me show you his recent creation.  
Chocolate pudding zucchini pecan cake with chocolate frosting and some sprinkles.
Here are some of the photos of meals I have prepared in the past couple of weeks or maybe more.  Some of these meals I use for when we have our B&B guests.  Jeff and I provides breakfast and dinner for our guests.  Lunch is usually going out since we would be already out and about.

Monte Cristo and caramelized bananas

Fish with pesto and cherry tomatoes, stir fry chinese brocolli and steamed rice.

Grilled ham and cheese, cucumber, buffalo wing sauce and a few tomatoes.

French toast, crispy bacon and plain omelet.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Frozen Friday - What the F?

While Jeff was so busy with the renovations of the master's bathroom, I had to make sure that I was available to help him.  Aside for making sure that he is fed, I only could do small projects that does not require full concentration.  I had some outstanding sewing to do that I wanted to finish.  My problem was that I had been so into the bathroom decoration, my creative mind was running out of ideas.  I started ironing my fabric that I will use for the kitchen towels I was making. There was a few moments I was just staring at the fabric and the towel.  I told Jeff I need to step out for an hour and do some sort of distraction as I believe my creative mind froze.  When I came back, I found a couple of dispenser for the soap and lotion.  The question, how will the guest know which is which.  I checked my box of stickers and found the perfect style and color.  OK, that was easy.  Next project what to do with the candle.  I need some ribbons, buttons, maybe an owl.  You can check out the result.
Now I think I am back.  Remember the fabric and towel, well it only took ten minutes to complete it.  Since Jeff still has not given me a job to do, I continued with my sewing and finished the squares that we use for some type of exercise that my daughter showed up.  It really works but it's too hard when you are starting.  Now that we have a new set, Jeff and I will have to start over again.  Sorry, gotta go. Jeff wants me to paint the baseboards for the bathroom.  
These towels are not for my new bathroom, they are for my friend's kitchen.

It was a surprise when I saw the owl in my buttons box, it is the right color.

My first idea was just to paint it with a letter L and S, but it was an easier fix for now.
Use one square for each foot and place both hands on the floor.  Slide one foot at a time forward. 

Let me know if you are interested in trying these squares for these exercises.  I know there's so much more floor exercise you can do with these.  We never got to it because the only one we do was already tough but it truly works.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Transformation Tuesday - Bathroom renovations

It has been a few years since Jeff has done any projects in the house.  A month ago we decided to renovate both bathrooms.  We went shopping for materials and whatever piece we wanted to replace.  Since we will be having a guest visiting during the fourth week of this month, Jeff started on the guest bathroom.  As most of you know, Jeff is a true handy man and he figured it will take him just a weekend to finish one bathroom.  And he did except for the last minute touch up and I chose to do a little bit of redecorating myself.  So here's the before and after photos.  This past weekend, he started the master's bathroom.  Hopefully by next week, I should be able to show the before and after photos.


After - the basket is from the garage sale at my friend Jean's home.

We replaced all the accessories to match the door knobs of the vanity.

I am still searching for a shower curtain to replace those circle design.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Survival Sunday - B&B (Bed for birds)

If cats have 9 lives, how many lives does birds have?  In the front area of our house also known as the entry way, up above the rafters, small birds have been renting a small area.  A few years ago, Jeff tried to place some rocks, ceramic bunnies, pretend nests, etc.  Unfortunately, these birds seem to really like to build their nests.  Every season, Jeff sees them building it, then the mother bird has her babies, and every morning Jeff hears them crying as the mother looks for their food.  I don't really hear because it's such a high pitch bird sound.  Last Monday on my way out to play golf, I saw something small on the cement.  It looks like it was still moving.  First I thought it was just some feathers.  Well, it was one of the baby birds.  I called Jeff to come out and he picked it up and returned it to its nest.  During the weekend, as I was trying to collect our mail, I saw another baby birds, this time with more feathers.  Again, Jeff picked it up and replace it to its nest.  My SIL said that the mother would not take the baby back because it has some human scent.  A friend of mine confirmed the same.  Jeff decided to take a photo to make sure that there are other baby birds in the nest.  Here's the proof.  By the way, just a couple of days ago when Jeff wanted to take another photo, a bird flew out and landed on the ivy just below the nest.  Not sure if that's the same bird that keeps falling or maybe it's getting kicked out by the mother.  Jeff reassured me that the mother is still around as he hears it feeding the babies.  So they all survived and in the next couple of weeks, they will be all flying out of that nest.  Of course Jeff will clean that are of the rafters until the next renters.  

Friday, August 5, 2016

Faulty Friday - You just have to make fun of it

There's a show in the Bay area where this newscaster videos "People behaving badly".  Most of his videos are about bad drivers.  It is very funny to watch but at the same time if you are out on the road you actually see these examples.  I thought about this for a while and I decided "why not". It all began on Monday on my way home from golf.  While waiting for the green light, by the way I was on the left turn lane but this particular traffic light has not "left turn light".  So there I was waiting and across from me was a while car and I am assuming he was going straight as he did not have his signals on nor if he was turning right, he would have done so already.  We are the only two cars on this particular intersection.  Ooops, there goes the green light, now I am waiting to see what this car would do.  Wow, nothing.  Majority of would say that car had the right of way, right.  Since nothing was moving, I decided to make my left turn.  As soon as I cleared the intersection, that particular car turned right and now it's behind me at a very slow speed. Oh bother.  Now at the next intersection, I just missed the left turn signal which means I have time to watch everyone. One car darted just before the light turn red. Out of no where, a big truck crossed that same intersection, remember the lights have been red for at least five seconds.  Now I really have to pay attention because I am not sure what I am up against.  My left turn lights just turned green and I am hoping that I get home safe.  At the first four way stop sign I encounter, the car on my left who is making a right, didn't even slow down, let alone stop - oh he is making the California stop.  I think this video will cover everything else I have missed.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wholesome Wednesday - Backyard produce

How wonderful and simple life is when you are thinking of what you are having for lunch or dinner and find out, you can just go in your backyard and pick some vegetables. Today's post is all about Jeff's garden and some meals that I have prepared recently.  Not a lot of reading today, instead just enjoying and maybe start getting hungry.
Tear Drop grapes that we bought while my cousin was visiting.

It's like Empanada except I used the Pillsberry Grand Biscuit package.

Pineapple cake, caramalized peaches, old fashioned lemon custard ice cream and whip cream.

This was the third batch of tomatoes within a week that we had to harvest.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Modifiable Monday - One hat - Five designs

There was a particular hat that I have been looking for both in the stores and online.  But after I stop searching for it, then I finally found it.  It's a black hat, very simple but the one I found at Ross had two big gem stones that was ugly.  For the special price, I bought it because I knew I would remove the bling and replace it with something classy.  So I started searching for left over fabrics, buttons, etc.  Last night I finally finished all the attachments
and here's the result.  Just in case you are wondering how each design is attached to the same hat.  After I took the gem stone, I inserted a magnet inside the side of the hat, just behind the spot where you see the left over glue.  Then on each of the clip design I inserted inside one washer that Jeff found in his supplies.  This way I don't waste two good magnets.
Some of the buttons were sewn and the owl was glued to the fabric.  Now I can pick and choose what clip to use for the hat depending on what outfit and activity I am using the hat for.  

This is probably a Saturday one when checking out arts and wine festival.

Most likely wear this at night, I am sure I'll have some night owl fans.

I will probably wear this when I am with my MIL as she loves lady bugs.

I forgot to make one for the San Jose SHARKS.  Maybe in the fall when NHL begins.

You can still see the left over glue from the gem stone that I remove.

Magnet on the left and washer on the right.