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Friday, September 30, 2016

Friendly Friday - Oh deer

When I am at the golf course, I usually don't take my phone out to check messages until after I am done.  But sometimes there are some interesting object around the course that you have not choice but to take a photo.  During our weekly golf around the 17th tee box, a very special deer was sitting in the shade very comfortable and relaxed.  That's when I decided to take my phone out and take a photo.  The subject or object was very cooperative and was not concerned about the closeness of humans.  I am talking about the deer around the course.  We see them a lot sometimes as many as 8 usually comprised of a couple of buck, mama deer and a few little ones.  I love the ones with the spots who are still learning how to jump.  They look so graceful and every playful.  Anyway, here's some photos to share.

One of my buddies tried to give her a pear to snack on.


Shortly after I took this one, a couple of big bucks was coming to check if everything was ok.

Oh these are the wild turkeys - are they trying to hide from the Canadian Thanksgiving.
 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tricky Tuesday - Cucumber surpise

Who doesn't want a surprise.  I don't think I know anyone who don't like surprises.  Ooops
yes I do know.  My husband does not like surprises.  But actually I am not talking about that kind of surprise.  As you know summer is over and technically Fall has arrived.  The garden in our backyard is showing some of the signs.  Like the yellow squash plant leaves have been turning brown and the squash is not growing any bigger.  Most of the tomatoes have been harvested but I was surprise to see several cucumbers popping up.  At first I thought there were no other ones since we have harvested the last one.  So yesterday, I decided to go out and check out how the rest of the plants are doing.  Wait a minute, what are those green things, they look like cucumbers.  Yes and there were at least six more under their leaves.
Of course, I call Jeff and get all excited to see if he can find as many as what I have seen. You can do it also because I took some photos to share.




 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sanitary Sunday - Completed and Delivered

After a couple of weeks of sewing a few hours a day, I finally completed more of those washable sanitary pads.  Today they are having an open house/fund raising event/awareness which unfortunately I cannot attend due to previous commitment. This time I have only completed a little over 40 pads because I ran out of fabrics and other supplies.  Since it was not just myself that is sewing pads, we were only required what we can complete.  Yesterday I met the wonderful lady from Cameroon.  She was truly appreciative of all the work we have done.  After our introduction, the coordinator approach me about another project which I am very interested in helping.  This time we will be making simple backpack and I can't wait to get my designs started.  She told me that there was no requirement for a specific fabric, etc.  Whatever we can contribute would be better than nothing which is what the have at the moment.  These are the photos of the pads as well as what I plan to start creating with regards to the backpack.  It is very rewarding to know that what I have created is helping the women from poorer country.


Extra inserts for the case below.


Image result for simple backpack pattern
Something similar to this size and pattern.  I will be using some of my scrap fabrics.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Frustrating Friday - First it was UPS now FEDEX


And I thought they were the better shipping company, actually now I consider them the worst because they were secretive about the extra Clearance Service fees they charge on top of the shipping cost.  It was very stressful dealing with them because the 800 line will just keep passing you to different departments and not get anything resolved.  The local store where I went to ship three different packages (two for my daughter and one to my friend) did have additional charges as high as $35.00 and one is $6.17 which pays the Fedex Broker to do whatever he did.  After making several phone calls and going to the store, I decided to just complete the forms the I found online to dispute the charges due to their error.  On the commercial invoice I declared $25 and the employee changed it to $99 as they cover as much as that for insurance purposes.  What they don't realize is that now I have to pay the fees based on that total value of the package.  Here's the how they calculate the fees.

Duty Value Range            Fee Charged
$0-$20$0
$20.01-$40$7.00
$40.01-$60$15.45
$60.01-$100.00$19.30
$100.01-$150.00$25.50

So here's how they calculate the $35.51 charge.  As you can see because Fedex declared $99
the fee is$25.50 then they added the Ontario PST which is $13.17 and additional service fee of $2.53  According to the Canada Customs website, there is no duty of personal gift that is less than $60 Canadian funds.  

My question is, how comes UPS does not charge all of the cost I mentioned above.  The good old Unites States Postal Service maybe a little higher cost of mailing to Canada but they do not have any hidden fees, broker fees and no stinking Ancialliary Service Fees.

The trick that I got suck into is that I had to opened a Fedex Account and provide my credit card in order to use the Fedex ground services.  Now they are just having a hey day charging my card with all of these fees that I get after my package has been delivered.  I was not advise about this prior to me using their services other wise I would have not done all the above and just continued using USPS or even UPS even after I trash them when they lost one of my package.  

I HATE FEDEX  and to all my readers and followers, before you use their services, please make sure you have asked all the questions and keep all your receipts and any other documents just in case they send you all sorts of invoice after the fact. I HATE FEDEX.

Oh I almost forgot, when Jeff was expecting a package that was being sent by FedEx, according to their tracking system, it showed that an attempt to deliver the package on a special date and time was unsuccessful.  Jeff was working home all day and can see from the window if there was someone coming to the door.  Then when Jeff called them, they lied about it also.  Since they don't deliver on weekends, Jeff had to wait for a few more days. Apparently, Jeff never liked FedEx either, but since he has no choice when he is ordering items on line, some companies use Fedex and each time they are involve something goes wrong.  I HATE FEDEX.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Threading Thursday - The lost art of hand embroidery

Do you have anything at home, in your kitchen or bathroom or bedroom that has some type of hand embroidery?  Do you know how to do this lost art?  Do you know someone that still does this type of stitching?  Today, I would like to feature my MIL who has been doing this art of many many years.  In fact she still has embroidery threads that were passed on to her by her mother.  These threads are made from France and I am not sure if you can still buy them here in the USA.  You might find this a bit odd, but Jeff at the age of 10 was helping his mom to do some sort of embroidery.  Lately I have been asking my MIL to help out with some of my kitchen towel projects that I am using as gifts to friends.  She has done some embroidery on pillow case, handkerchief but lately more on kitchen towels.  I usually do the design, drawing it on the fabric using black pen but sometimes my MIL uses the iron-on type.

The towel is made of 100% cotton and the size is great for the kitchen.

These are just some samples of her threads but she a cabinet with many colors.

My MIL uses special needles, hoops and very sharp scissors.

 
This is the latest towel that she has finished.


 
Last step is to pick a fabric that goes as the border for the bottom of the towel.


 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Maybe Monday - Golf Fix Lesson

Do you remember the expression "you can't teach old dogs new tricks"?  Well, I guess in golf you can.  After three years of my last golf lesson, I decided to take another one just to see if something can be tweaked to improve my game just a tad.  It took a bit of contemplating on whether to take in the golf course where we play or find some other instructor at another site.  Since we have been playing our weekly golf at the one close by my house, I decided to inquire.  Finally a couple of weeks ago, I met with Kevin.  Just in case you are wondering how I picked him as the instructor.  Remember my favorite minion, his name is Kevin.  My hairstylist is named Kevin.  So why not pick one with the same name.  OK maybe some people would pick according to their experience, etc.  I did my research and with some recommendations, Kevin was the man.  We have met twice and the result is amazing.  I know I need to practice what he has done not only on the course but on the range.  What was great about Kevin is that he did not give me TMI.  He also did not change a lot of my habits, etc.  What he did was to keep it simple and only a few things to remember.  His technique of teaching was very easy to understand.  At times he would compare some process to my baking. Very interesting but I get it.  Now all I have to do is practice what I have learned.  So maybe you can still teach old dogs (me) a few tricks.  Hopefully someday I'll get to do this.

 Image result for ladies golf swing sequence

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sumptous Saturday - Treats for a friend

About a month ago I started teaching my new friend Pam to shoot pool.  Can you believe that I am showing her how to be better at pool/billards.  So far we have met for about an hour, once a week and I know that she is getting better with some of the shots.  Last week she mentioned she was having a party for her son and his girlfriend.  It was going to be a proposal party.  She would have some of the food catered as she does not have time to prepare.  I had offered her that I will make her some treats for this very romantic party for her son.  She requested a couple of items that she has tasted before when I brought her small pieces of the treats I make.  Of course I took photos so I can share them with you.  I know they are all yummy because Jeff is my tester for anything sweet.  Hey, wait a minute, this could be Jeff's job when he retires - DT - dessert tester.  He loves sweets and now I can understand why he is such a sweet guy.  When he helps with my baking, I made sure he gets to try the end pieces or the imperfect ones. Hopefully Pam will have enough for her 40 guests.

Six Layer Bar

Mini pecan pie

Mini Apple crumble walnut pie

Coconut macaroons



 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Truthful Thursday - of becoming a US citizen

Six years ago I left Canada and moved in with my hubby Jeff to live in San Jose and retire.  I had moved to different country, different city, different province or territories but this one is definitely the hardest.  In 1974 I left the Philippines to emigrate to Canada because we want to be with our parents and start our adult life.  The was a move that was a necessity and a very positive and an upgrade on living.  The other types of moves were all about financial, losing a job, finding a job and relocating your whole family.  When it involves children it was difficult as well because you were taking them away from your relatives, their friends, school and the adjustment is much more harder on them.  This last move was definitely the hardest because I was leaving my daughter, my only family.  It was emotionally draining because through her teen years, I have left her while going through my divorce.  Although she is married to a loving and caring man, who is my favorite SIL, her immediate family is me, her father and my son (who passed away).  The two of them are very close and it would have been easier to leave if my son was around because I know he would always be there for his sister.  There are also so many friends that I have made through my 34 years in Canada and I have to say that most of them still continue to stay in touch and reconnect.  Anyway, I am officially an American citizen.  Do I feel any different? It's too early to tell.  Today was a major event in my life and it will take some adjustment.  

The dozen white roses are from my coworkers at the SJPD

After the ceremony, we had lunch at Rock Bottom Bar & Grill.

Aside from my citizenship certificate, I receive all of these.
 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Supportive Sunday - Just be respectful

In a few more days, I will be taking my Oath of US Citizenship.  Only after five months from the beginning to the final process, I will be truly part of this country.  I am sure when that time comes, there's going to be so much mixed emotions.  It's hard to explain to someone who has not done any type of this.  Some people take it for granted because of where they come from or where they are currently residing.  But today is not about me, today I chose to honor those who have lost their lives in protecting this country.  To those who are currently serving in all levels of the military.  To those families who have lost their loved one and to those who are missing their husband and wives, sons and daughters, hoping that they will be back soon to be with their family.  Every citizen has their own way of giving support but I believe that being respectful to the flag, the national anthem, and to those who protect and keep you safe is an important duty of every citizen.  

 Image result for september 11 never forget

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friendly Friday - More of childhood memories

A week ago today, I posted about my reconnecting with one of my childhood BFF.  We have been texting, emails and hopefully another chat on the phone this week.  It's amazing that even after 44 years, it just seems like we were really never apart.  When we spoke for at least 45 minutes, there was so much to catch up we only spoke a little on the past.  We shared quick stories but also updated the now life.  I decided to look for one particular photo from that era and for some reason I couldn't find my picture that I cut out.  Maybe I used it one time at work when they were asking for childhood photo of us to be used for a guessing game for some charity event.  Now I am a little upset that I cut it because I can't share it with my BFF.  But this photo that I found would be a great one to recall all our friends in Grade I.
As I remember it correctly we were picked from our class because of our talent in dancing. LOL.  It was part of the commencement exercise when we were in Grade I.  How do I remember this? Because our teacher was Mrs. Perez.  Everyone in our little town knew her because of her strictness and yet we all learned a lot from her.  She was the teacher of my brother, my sister and many others who followed after.  So in the photo below, I am quite surprised that I remember most of them.  The dance we performed was called Itik Itik which was some sort of bird mating dance. It was performed in 1960 at the Itaas Elementary School, Muntinlupa District.

Front Row- Boy, ?, Renato, Nick, Benjamin, Bugoy, Nelson 
                               Back Row - Baby, ?, Catchot, Marissa, Herlie, Celia ? Me

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Washable Wednesday - It's time to donate some free time

Four months ago, I was searching for another quick volunteer project.  If you have been following my blog you would have read about these items that was going to be sent to the girls of Cameroon.  Recently, the lady who is coordinating this project wrote me a very nice reference letter.  I thought I would ask if she needed more and she mentioned that there's a woman visiting from that country and would be here this month.  So I thought it was fitting to make a few more since I already have the fabrics and my MIL has donated her time to cut out all what is required to make more washable sanitary pads.  I started a few days ago but has been distracted or interrupted with other things in my life.  For the next couple of weeks, I will try and complete this project so I can deliver before the visitor leaves to return to Cameroon.  Here's the colors for the second batch.  I might have to buy more fleece since I only have 24 pieces to sew. 

Pad (towel, plastic and knit fabric) on the left for insert and case on the right (fleece)

One completed 23 more to go.
 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Macaroons Monday - Trying for the first time

It's such a great feeling to have done so much by lunch time.  Well, that's what I did yesterday.  Right after breakfast I started making our dinner using my crock pot.  I made pork chili verde except it's not green sauce but red sauce so I think it's called pork chili colorado.  Using the crock pot is such a treat because you don't have to keep an eye on your pot, no boil over and no burnt bottom.  Then I decided to start baking using what I have at hand.  The granny smith apples were ready so I made a mini apple crumble.  Of course when I use the ready made pie crust, there's two in a box and I have to use the other one so I made
mini pecan coconut pie.  It was still mid morning so I knew I had time for at least two more.
The next was the Six Layer Bar which I have not made in a long time.  Checking our pantry I realized I had more coconut as well, so I look for a recipe from the collection of my sister's recipe.  Coconut macaroons - I have not made those since she gave me the book which was many many moons ago.  It was almost one in the afternoon when I completed all the baking.  Ooops, almost forgot.  While I was baking, I had asked Jeff to peel the tiny apples he picked from his tree.  Since he loves apple sauce, I made a small batch for him that turned out really good.  Now let me show you all of these yummy treats I had made.

Coconut Macaroons

Six Layer Bars -still waiting to be cut into squares

Mini apple crumble pie

Mini coconut pecan pie
See how small the apples but a bunch of them equals five jars of apple sauce.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Selective Sunday - Our last harvest

September is here.  The weather is changing.  The leaves are turning.  NFL started their pre season games.  I am sure you know already know where I am going with this.  FALL/Autumn.  Not rushing it, but we just did our last harvest in our backyard.  Actually Jeff want to get the garden ready for the winter crops.  Although there are still some tomatoes, yellow squash that are still trying to grow but not very fast, and maybe some peppers, the end of the summer is only a couple of weeks away.  Yesterday we decided to redecorate our backyard with the new table and chairs that I inherited from my neighbor who is moving.  It's bright and cheerful and it's perfect in our backyard.  

The red cherry tomatoes we great this year.  I was able to make two big batch of red sauce.

Only the tiny apple is from Jeff's tree.  The granny smith is from the neighbor of my friend.

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