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Best of 2007

Yellow Flower, originally uploaded by LapisBlue.

A collection of what are (in my humble opinion) forty of the best photographs I took in 2007. Enjoy!

New Year's Resolutions

Oh, dear Lord, here we go again! It's the end of another year, and I need to make resolutions for the coming year. Upon review, I actually did pretty well with 2007's resolutions, managing to accomplish two-and-a-half of them (the "half" being the weight loss one, in that I've lost about 12 or 13 pounds, but it's not as much as I had hoped)! If I make 2008's resolutions easy enough, I might be able to manage them as well.

  1. Be a Size 12 by December 1, 2008  It's a little different than saying "lose weight", but basically that's what it's all about. I have chosen to adopt the Clean Eating lifestyle (which is basically just eating lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains, and avoiding junk food, fast food and anything processed or preserved) and plan to improve my physical fitness by taking my exercising more seriously.
  2. Complete NaNoWriMo  I didn't get to even begin to participate this past November due to illness, but hopefully next year I'll get it done! I have the story idea in my head and I'm ready to go!
  3. Go to England  A few months ago, my friend DeeDee invited me to go to London with her this coming spring (family wedding or something), but since I've been so sick, I'm pretty much broke and won't be able to go with her. Still, I want to go! At Thanksgiving, my uncle mentioned he will be teaching across the pond in the summer (the past few summers he's been teaching in Prague), so if I play my cards right and save up some serious cash, I might just make it over there by July or August! My uncle said I could sleep on the floor of his apartment, which I would be more than happy to do. I would love to have the chance to see David Tennant (from Doctor Who) play Hamlet at Stratford-upon-Avon! That would be awesome!
  4. Finish Selling Stuff on eBay  I haven't gotten any selling done the past couple of months, and I really need to get back into it. I was doing really well at getting rid of my old crap, er, I mean, all my wonderful things, an I'd love to finish it up.
  5. Explore the Central Coast  There's a lot of really wonderful and interesting sights right in my own backyard. I've lived on the Central Coast of California for twelve years and haven't seen even a quarter of what this naturally beautiful area has to offer. There's tons to see and do around here: lighthouses, gardens, museums, butterfly groves, islands, elfin forests, lakes, and of course miles and miles of gorgeous beaches!
  6. Travel Out of Town  And, I don't just mean the now-annual trips to Green Bay, WI and Ohio. I'm talking about a day trip to Santa Barbara (haven't been there in a long time!), and weekends in Santa Cruz (maybe to race?), Monterey and/or San Fransisco.
  7. Read the Bible  Yeah, I've tried this one before (and failed), but I'm going to dust off that One Year Bible I bought a few years ago, and actually read the dang thing this time!
  8. Fix up the Back Garden I have no idea exactly what I want to do with the back garden except that I would like a pergola over the little concrete slab patio, and maybe take out some old overgrown plants and get some new drought-resistant plants.
  9. Fix up the Inside of the House  Mom and I have for some time planned to redo the kitchen floor, refinish the kitchen cabinets, replace the mini blinds in the living room with new faux wood blinds and buy new window treatments for the den and my bedroom. Will 2008 be the year we get all this stuff done? Stay tuned!!
  10. Watch Less Television  Well, I'll have to watch less TV if I'm going to accomplish all these things in just one year!

A Full Serving of Vegetables


Apparentlly it was Food Day at work - in the morning we had the pupusas, and in the afternoon Amber shared her yummy veggies with us. She found these new steams-in-the-microwave veggie trays that come with different flavoured packets: stir fry, cheese and lemon dill, which is what we had today. I thought it were really good, and although there was a bit more fat than I like, these would be really good for weekend dinners! I can't remember what the brand name is, but I plan of looking for them the next time I'm at the grocery store.



Today we had pupusas at work; Hector, our Court's Managment Analyst, brought them in. According to Hector:

Pupusas are El Salvador’s national dish. Pupusas are a thick, hand-made corn tortilla that  is stuffed with one or more of the following: cheese (queso) (usually a soft Salvadoran cheese called Quesillo), fried pork rind (chicharrón), chicken (pollo), refried beans (frijoles refritos), or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America ). There is also the pupusa revuelta with mixed ingredients, such as queso (cheese), chicharrón or bacon, and frijoles (beans).  Pupusas are traditionally served with curtido (a pickled cabbage relish) and mild tomato sauce.  The curtido and tomato sauce are not hot.

Our pupusas had the cheese and beans in them, and were delicious!! I particularly liked the pickled cabbage!

Christmas Day With the Family

I had a perfectly lovely Christmas today! Mom and I went up to my grandparents' house where grandma was preparing the feast - turkey, stuffing, jello with fruit, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, and two pies: apple and pumpkin.

Today is also my grandpa's birthday (92; i hope he doesn't mind me sharing!), and my mom and I bought him the DVD of season one of Gunsmoke and a three DVD set of the Gunsmoke TV movies. (he used to be able to watch it on tvland, but our cable company just recently removed tvland as well as soapnet from the extended basic line up, so he couldn't get it anymore.) We watched a couple episodes while we waited for the rest of the family to arrive for dinner.


Once the rest of the family arrived, we sat down to the delicious dinner:


That picture is decieving. It looks like I just took a little bit of stuff and was a good girl, but the fact is, I pigged out, chowing down on tons more turkey, finished off the green beans and ended up having a slice of both pieces of pie as well as some of the sugar free cheesecake my aunt brought down. I'm uncomfortably full and bloated and I'm definitely skipping dinner tonight !

After dinner, we all gathered in the living room to watch the present my cousin Augie brought down: a DVD of the now-infamous game between the USUMB Otters (my cousin's team) and the Fresno Bulldogs (boo! hiss!). The Otters might've won if the Ref had been paying attention and ... well, I don't know anything about basketball (I'm a football and Formula One girl), but there's something about a player going out of bounds, then touching the ball, which is apparently illegal. The Ref missed it (accidently or on purpose? who knows?). Anyway, there was no audio, but it was fun to watch the game. Sometimes my grandparents can get the video and/or audio of the games on the computer, but I usually miss them, so it was a treat for me to watch my cousin play ball!



The ending of this game is available on YouTube, slowed down so you can clearly see the guy step out of bounds and the Ref was right there. The video is appropriatelly titled: CSUMB gets screwed @ Fresno State! Heheh.

The party broke up around 4 p.m., and mom and I headed home to relax and digest our wonderful meal. I took a nap, watched a Christmas episode of Monk which I'd never seen, and here I am now, writing this entry. It kinda sucks that I have to go in to work tomorrow, but I only have three days left before the weekend, so I guess I'll survive.  

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day! Cheers!

Almost Famous

A week or so ago I recieved an email from a lovely woman at Smapp!! travel guide telling me one of my photographs of the Mokuaikaua Church was on the short list to be included in the latest edition of their guide. Today I recieved the email letting me know the photo was actually included! So now when you're looking for churches and temples on the Big Island of Hawaii, you'll see my picture! Squee!

End-of-the-Year Meme

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?  Visited Niagara Falls with my friend Jewel.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? My NYRs from this year are here, and I actually kept some of them because I made it to Hawaii, I've lost some weight (not much, but it's still a loss), and had my gyno exam and mammogram! Not bad! As for next year, yeah, I'll make more resolutions. Not sure what they'll be right now, though.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?  Yes, two coworkers had adorable little baby boys.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thank God!

5. What countries did you visit? Canada (Niagara Falls, as I mentioned earlier).

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? A fabulous new wardrobe that's a size 12 (or lower!).

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 1 - 3 (3tacon), March 6 (Niagara Falls), June 9 - 13 (Hawaii), September 28 - October 1 (Rehab), and October 12 - 14 (Napa Valley).

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I didn't achieve anything of importance this year.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not losing enough weight.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes, I was terribly ill during most of October, November and December with a bacterial infeciton or flu or something horrible which turned into iritis which I'm still recovering from.

11. What was the best thing you bought? The underwater camera case I bought for the Hawaii trip. It allowed me to take some amazing underwater pictures during the snorkeling adventure!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Jennifer Love-Hewett for defending her normal-sized body.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My local cable company Charter for removing both TV Land and Soapnet from their lineup. Grr.

14. Where did most of your money go? Same as last year: plane tickets, hotels and awesome vacations!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Hawaii! I hadn't been there since I was 16, and I was thrilled that my friend DeeDee invited me to go with her! We had a blast!

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? Awakening by Switchfoot. That song has been on the top of my playlist for most of the year. Best. Song. Ever!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder?  Currently a bit sadder, but I had no idea why. b) thinner or fatter?  Thinner. Yay! c) richer or poorer? Slightly richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Marathon training, writing, going to the beach, revamping the backyard, cooking.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Eating bad foods.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? As usual: at my grandparent's house with the family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? No.

22. Question deleted because it goes against my beliefs.

23. What was your favorite TV program? I simply adore Chuck! It's the best show of 2007 bar none!I cannot wait for it to return next year.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Hate is such a strong word; I don't really hate anyone. However, the doctor I initially went to for my messed up eye balls is on the top of my shit list for not only ignoring my pleas to see there was something wrong with my eyes that had nothing whatsoever to do with my weight, and for freaking me out by insisting that I was diabetic. (For the record, I'm not. Duh.)

25. What was the best book you read? This is a tough one because I read a LOT of books this past year, but I'm going to go with: The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Mika. I'm sure lots of other people already knew about this guy, but I just discovered his music this year.

27. What did you want and get? Enough time off to have a really fun trip to Hawaii! TWO trips to Green Bay, WI! The Packers in the playoffs!

28. What did you want and not get? Complete resolution of my vision imparement. It'll be another month before my vision returns to normal.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? I didn't go to very many films this year, so I guess I'll have to go with the latest Harry Potter film. I'm sure there were other films out there that I would've liked more than that one, but I don't get out much.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 41, and I don't remember what I did. Probably nothing but just go home, have dinner and go to bed.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Without a doubt losing at least half of the weight I want to would have made this year ten times better. I've lost 12 pounds since I've been ill, so I'm on my way to reaching my goal weight this coming year.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?  I tried to dress up a bit more for work this year, but some aspects of my job really only lend themselves to Gap-style clothes.

33. What kept you sane? Same as last year: music. If I didn't have my iPod playlists to go to when I've had a good day or bad day or just a boring run-of-the-mill day, I've cracked up for sure.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I had a massive girl-crush on Jennifer Love-Hewett this past year, which I really can't explain. I guess I don't really have to, though, do I? 

35. What political issue stirred you the most? None. I'm wasn't really fired up about anything political this year.

36. Who did you miss? No one; I had the opportunity to spend at least a little time with all my favourite people this year.

37. Who was the best new person you met? One of our newest employees at the Superior Court: Miss JJ! She's awesome, and I'm so glad she gets to stay on!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. Learning to live and love like Christ. It's a work in progress, obviously, but I made definite steps towards this lifestyle this year.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I have to chose Working for the Weekend by Loverboy because almost all my trips and vacation were on weekends, and I pretty much just live for the weekend in general!

Everyone's watching, to see what you will do
Everyone's looking at you, oh
Everyone's wondering, will you come out tonight
Everyone's trying to get it right, get it right

Everybody's working for the weekend
Everybody wants a little romance
Everybody's goin' off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance, oh
You want a piece of my heart
You better start from start
You wanna be in the show
Come on baby lets go

Everyone's looking to see if it was you
Everyone wants you to come through
Everyone's hoping it'll all work out
Everyone's waiting they're holding out

Everybody's working for the weekend
Everybody wants a little romance
Everybody's goin' off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance, oh
You want a piece of my heart
You better start from start
You wanna be in the show
Come on baby lets go

(quick break)

You want a piece of my heart
You better start from start
You wanna be in the show
Come on baby lets go

You want a piece of my heart
You better start from start
You wanna be in the show
Come on baby lets go

The Official 2007 Family Christmas Letter

Season's Greetings to all our family and friends!

2007 proved to be another exciting year filled with adventure and fun! I continue to work at the Superior Court in San Luis Obispo as a member of the Civil Support Team, where I'm responsible for file maintenance, document filing and conforming Family Law judgments. Mom continues to enjoy her retirement and spent the past summer growing another beautiful and bountiful garden!


I did quite a bit of travelling again this year with two trips to Green Bay, WI, a visit to Niagara Falls, Canada, a tour of Napa Valley and a quick five days on the Big Island of Hawaii where I did some ocean kayaking and went snorkeling!



I hope this year has been as wonderful for you and your family as it has been for me and mine! Merry Christmas to you, and a very Happy New Year!