Five Words

So, recently I asked my blogging friend Mary for 5 Words to help inspire me to write an entry. She'd gotten some of her own from a fellow blogger, and I thought it was a great idea. Now that I have them, however, I find myself lacking other words to go with the five she gave me. This should be a piece of cake since they are relatively easy words. I mean, she gives me tomato, and lo and behold, here I am blogging about our massive tomato plant and all the delicious fruit bursting forth from it.

She also gave me family, has always been a very important part of my life, and has been particularly foremost in my mind the past couple of weeks. First off, about a week ago I recieved a letter in the mail from my father's brother informing me of an upcoming family get-together for my Aunt Alice's 95th birthday (which was actually in January, but they're just throwing the party now, probably because the weather's better in South Dakota now than it was in January). I used to hear from her at least once a year - usually at Christmas - but hadn't for a couple years. I knew she'd had a couple strokes and was living in a home, and I figured she was just too incapacitated to write, or had passed away. I honestly don't expect this side of my family to inform me of such things, so I was surprised to get this letter. And very happy to learn my favourite Aunt is still alive and well!

Next, last Friday would have been my daddy's 74th birthday, which is really hard for me to imagine since he died when he was 45 (technically 46, but we don't really count those last couple of weeks between his birthday and his death-day since he was heavily medicated and really out of it). I find it hard to imagine him as an old man! I also find myself still missing him a great deal even after all this time.

Finally, this past Sunday was my grandmother's 94th birthday. (Yes, you are reading that right: my father's eldest sister IS older than my mother's mother! She's older than my mother's father, too, who is still 93.) To celebrate, mom and I bought Subway sandwiches, a pasta salad, watermelon and angelfood cake with whipped topping, and had a nice quiet lunch up my grandparent's house. Later I stepped outside to see how their tomato plants were doing:


They're doing great, btw. They have three ginormous plants all of which are loaded with tomatoes! Soon my grandparents will have more tomatoes than they know what to do with!

Another word Mary gave me was fantasy, which is the genre of novel I prefer. In fact, I've been reading a lot of really good fantasy novels lately: 

  1. Darkangel  by Meredeth Ann Pierce

  2. The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint

  3. Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin

  4. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

  5. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Mary also gave me the word ocean, possibly knowing how very much I love the ocean, how I could stare for hours (and have, actually) at the waves coming in and going out, how I enjoy getting my feet wet despite how cold the water is, and how I love to photograph it:


The last word Mary gave me was composition, which I thought would be difficult to incorporate into this post, but actually I’ve managed to compose a pretty good entry. Ha! j/k.  Anyway, the kind of composition I normally do is in my photography. My mom says I have a gift when it comes to taking  pictures. I guess I do … but, sometimes I just get a lucky shot …


… other times I agonize over the arrangement and spend several minutes rearranging stuff and several shots from different angles to get it just right.


Whichever it is, I’m usually quite pleased with the final result. And, I'm actually quite pleased with the end result of this entry, too. It may not be as creative as a stort story or a poem, but at least it's more interesting than a meme or quiz!

Thanks for the five words, Mary! See you in Wisconsin in October???


Happy Mother's Day!!

Well, I tried to make a pretty Mother's Day card for my grandma, but it really didn't turn out too well:


For one thing, the picture of the rose itself (one of our Midas Touch blossoms) would be too difficult for someone with poor vision to see, and for another, I printed it incorrectly on the tabbed photo paper and you can clearly see the perforated line up the left hand side. *sigh* I have ended up using an old handstamped Mother's Day card that I think my grandmother will enjoy more:


We're planning a picnik-style midday meal up at my grandparents house, but they've got some kid working on the top of their pergola, so I'm not sure that will be too good. (Why he didn't work yesterday and get it done so we could have brunch outside I'll never know.) Maybe I'll just go get them and bring them down here. *sigh* Why is this so dang difficult??

Quick Lunchtime Update

So the release party for Brisingr never happened, but we didn't realize that until 10:50 Friday evening when they announced over the loudspeaker that Barnes and Nobel was closing. Before then Miss K., Miss S. and I were sitting in the cafe drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes, eating Pumpkin cheese cake and sharing all the gossip. It was really fun! Still, if we'd known they weren't going to sell Brisingr at midnight, we would've spent more time browsing for books before they closed. As it was Miss S. found the 10th anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, so she and Miss K. bought that; I found what looks to be a good book called Graceling by a new author Kristin Cashore.  I'm nearly finished with Eragon, and have Eldest waiting for me at the library, so it will be a while before I get to Graceling, but I decided to buy it anyway, because, dang it! I wanted to buy a book!!!.

In other news, my uncle from New York is visiting this week, and we had a mini-family reunion yesterday at my grandparent's house with my local aunt and uncle and their son and his girlfriend. We had a casual lunch of sandwiches, chips and dip, veggies and dessert. It was fun to just hang out and talk and watch football and enjoy each other's company, but exhausting, too.

There's more, but frankly I'm too tired to write much more. I still have to get through the next four hours of work, an hour at the gym with my trainer and try to watch Heroes  and ... oh, who am I kidding? I'll tape Heroes and just go to bed! I just hope I don't collapse into a snoring heap before then!

Weekend Update

So, you might've noticed I picked up a copy of Breaking Dawn Friday night, or rather, Saturday morning. Miss K. and I went to California Pizza Kitchen after work for some dinner and drinks, and were met by her friend L. I made a complete pig out of myself and not only shared an appetizer with K., but had The Works pizza, a Spa Martini and two glasses of Chardonnay.




After dinner the three of us headed to Barnes and Nobel to await the release of Breaking Dawn. We settled at a table in the Cafe, grabbed some books and magazines and hung out. Eventually Miss S. joined us as well as a gentleman from work who brought his daughter and her friend to the event. It was exciting and fun, and I was surprised I managed to actually stay awake for the whole thing! I did have one of the specialty drinks the Cafe was having as part of the Breaking Dawn festivities (the Jacob's Hairy Eyeball, in case you're interested), but I really thought I would need more caffeine to get to midnight. I must admit I was pretty good, and only bought one other book besides Breaking Dawn - Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies - despite having three others I was thinking of getting. One of them -The Eyes of a King by Catherine Banner - Miss K. said she had and would loan me, the second one - Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr - I'm going to get from the library, and the third one (the title of which I can't recall right now, but it was about a garden that had special properties and the women who tended it had a special relationship with it, or something like that ... anyway), I decided to just wait on that one and see if I can get it from the library or a used book store instead.

Around 11:30 p.m. everyone in the book store lined up to await the release of the book. To keep everyone entertained, one of the employees read the last chapter from Eclipse which would've been really cool, except everyone started talking so we couldn't hear it. I suppose that's a good thing, though, since neither Miss K. or Miss S. have even finished the second book let alone the throed!

Finally, one minute after midnight, it was time! The line moved quickly and everyone was very well behaved, so all three of us had our book by ten past twelve! We took some pictures of ourselves with the book (don't look at me funny, a lot of people were doing that!!), and decided to call it a night. Miss K. went back to hunt for her friend after saying goodbye to us, and Miss S. and I hit the road and I was back home in bed reading the first chapter by about 1:30 a.m.!

I didn't expect to be up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 8 a.m., but I was. After breakfast, Mom and I decided to go shopping at the Target center in Paso (which, in retrospect was as bad idea, but we thought it was only going to be in the 90s, not hit a high of 105!), and we picked up a fireproof safe and a new air filter for our furnace/AC, and a new water meter for my grandmother. We looked for a hand-crank emergency radio, too, but didn't see one we liked, and decided we really should do more research before be buy one. Oh, and I got some new workout clothes. Not terribly exciting stuff, I know, but it was just nice to get out of the house and do something fun, even though it was hot enough to melt flesh!

We had lunch at the new Chili's where I had a couple Patron margaritas and the chicken tacos:



It was really delicious! We'd never been to a Chili's before, so it was a nice treat! We wandered through Michael's, OSH, and Famous Footwear while I sobered up enough to drive, then we stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home to pick up some ice cream and frozen stuff for dinners this week, and went straight home before the ice cream became a milk shake!

Last night had Trader Joe's basil and chicken sausages, four cheese risotto and some frozen asparagus, and watched the Doctor Who finale, which was AWESOME!!! However, somehow we missed the very last two minutes or so of the show. It wasn't too bad; after all we saw how everything with the Davros and the Daleks was resolved and really just missed the parting shot on Bad Wolf Bay. We can live with that!

Today has been a lazy, relaxing day. I went up to visit my grandparents, gave my grandmother her new water meter - which she was thrilled to get as she'd misplaced her other one - and checked out my grandfather's brand new computer and 19" flat screen monitor. Wow, it's nice! And so fast! Most importantly, thought, it works, unlike his old one which would shut itself down and announce a "thermal event" or something of that nature. He kept track of how many times he turned it on and it shut down, and the last count was 42 times before it finally turned on and stayed on long enough for my uncle to download all grandpa's stuff to a media card to upload onto his new machine.  It's an eMachine brand, which I'd never heard of before. My aunt really loves hers, though, and grandpa got a good deal on the whole set up (including a new printer which he didn't need, so he gave it to my aunt), so he bought it. I'm very happy for him because he loves his computers! Ever since getting that first Atari back in 1970-something-or-other, he's been hooked! He mostly plays card games and does e-mail and watches my cousin play basketball, but it keeps his brain going, which is so important when you're 92!

Tonight I'm going to try a zucchini recipe I found on The Pioneer Woman Cooks! It looks pretty easy and delicious, and I'll update to let you know how it goes! But, now, it's nap time! Cheers!

Happy Anniversary!!

Today is my grandparent's 70th wedding anniversary. Yes, I said 70!! That's 70 years. Married. To each other. I know. It blows my mind, too.


Mom and I actually celebrated their anniversary with them this past weekend with a picnic lunch of Subway sandwiches, fresh veggies, and a four-bean salad. For dessert we had little angel food cake cups with fresh strawberries and fat free whipped cream. It was a lovely day and so much fun to celebrate such a momentous occasion!

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!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving went fabulously! Mom and I bought the whole dinner from Von's rather than cooking, and not only did it come with tons of food (10-12lb turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie), it was really delicious as well! We just picked up some whipped topping for the pumpkin pie and a veggie tray (so we'd be a little healhty), and grandma made a green bean casserole, because she couldn't stand not cooking anything!

We picked up the food around 10 a.m., and took it up to my grandparent's house where we were having dinner. We just needed to reheat everything, and since we weren't eating until 1 p.m., I was able to relax and watch the Packers win another game, this time on a large flatscreen TV with my grandfather. It was fun to having someone to discuss the game with! My cousins weren't able to make it this year, so it was just me and mom, my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. We missed the kids, but had a nice, relaxed, easygoing Thanksgiving anyway.

All that said, I'm kinda glad it's over, and now I have three more days to relax and continue to heal my better, but still broken eyeballs. I get tired really easily now, and I'm not sure if it's just that the healing is so intense my body just has to sleep a lot, or if the medication I'm taking for my eyes is making my so tired, but it's been frustrating and annoying. I'm used to having at least some energy, and suddenly I have little to none. Grr. But, my eyes are improving and that's the important thing!

And, now to celebrate our successful Thanksgiving dinner and family get-together, my mom and I are each enjoying a nice chilled glass of Viongier from Sterling Vineyards. It's one of my favourite wines from that vineyard, and it's delicious!


Happy Mother's Day!

I stamped a couple Mother's Day cards for my mom and grandmother; nothing special, just a couple simple designs. The one with the bunny is for my grandmother, who has been feeding a wild rabbit that lives in their shrubbery in the back yard for a few years now. He's an odd little beastie - he only eats bird food. My uncle bought a bag of rabbit food, and he wouldn't even touch it! She worries so much about that silly rabbit!  The other one with the coffee cup is for my mom because we're always going out for coffee. I had to take pictures of the cards because I can't hook my scanner up to my new computer, but you can get the idea!



My 2006 Christmas Card

I spent today finishing up my Christmas cards for the year. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be; actually, it was kinda fun!

I've been wanting try stamping on photographs for some time, but never found the perfect stamp/photo combination. Until now. I chose the photo "Sunset Over SLO", which I'd taken out the window of an airplane when I was flying off to my vacation in Ohio last summer, and the stamp "Sand Angel" by Stamp Clinic. It worked so perfectly, it was obviously meant to be!

The other rubber stamps I used were: Small Photo Frame by Stampa Barbara and "Rejoice" by That's All She Stamped on the front of the card, "For unto us is born this day ..." Bible verse by Printworks for the interior greeting, and Small Snowflake by All Night Media, "Happy New Year" by Magenta, and my custom-made "Hand-Stamped by" stamp on the back. The stamp pads I used were Adirondack's Cabin Fever and Espresso, and Archival Ink's Cobalt.

Here's the final product:

This entry can also be seen over in my journal as an entry for Holidailies. Cheers!