Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Annual Tea

Our church's annual Christmas tea is coming up in a couple of weeks. Last year I had taken my inspiration from a spread in a magazine and it turned out pretty nice, I think (see the post here).


This year I don't have any tangible inspiration just an idea in my head. I'm thinking teas around the world with a sort of vintage travel motif. So I've started gathering items to decorate the table with but I feel like I'm missing something.


So far, I have this little globe...



It's going to sit on top of three cigar boxes that I'm going to paint to look like vintage suitcases. That will be the centerpiece with a wreath around them with misc travel ornaments we've collected over the years.

We've bought tea from a bunch of different countries (ie rooibos from South Africa, green tea from China, Spiced Chai from India, etc) and the placemats will be flags that correspond to each country.

And that's all I got. I feel like we need something else, maybe a travel themed table cloth and/ or napkins, I dunno. If anybody has any suggestions please let me know.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our Dining Room

Last Tuesday marked a year since we've been in our house. During that year our dining room has had many roles...sewing room, storage room, buffet room...but it was never really a dining room until now. I was lucky enough to grab a really great table off free cycle that sits about 8 comfortably and I scour the thrift shops on a regular basis for dining chairs (wicker back preferably) and do a bunch of bargain shopping for the table accessories. So far here's what we have...


I put up the two pics because only one has the chair in it. I know there are people out there that think it's crazy to paint over perfectly good wood but I can't help myself, I love white furniture so I pretty much paint everything white. So the white chair at the end of the table was unpainted when I bought it (and it's partner) at Goodwill, but like I said, I can't help myself.



At the moment this is what is at each place setting. Our cat hasn't learned that the table is off limits yet so there's no table cloth (much too tempting!) and no plates or any type of breakables. Just these place mats and napkins.

I found this candle holder at a local thrift shop and loved it instantly. Mostly because if you look at it closely you can see that it is handmade. Unfortunately, the weld joints don't really show up in my photos, but take my word for it, they're there.

Finally I put this up...

Remember from my last post? This is what that turned into.

So, now, we have a proper dining room...Yay!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I survived!

So I survived the chaos that is the Harvest Festival at my church. We had somewhere near 3000 people attend. It seems more like 10,000 when all you do is hand out candy for 2 1/2 hours. It was a lot of fun tho. This year Halloween just kind of snuck up on me so the decorations for the car were, let's just say minimal. Here's my sister and the car...




I must say that this year's costume was more easily recognized than the last one...

I was dressed as Peach from Finding Nemo. Most people thought I was Patrick from Sponge Bob, at least he's also a starfish, but one guy thought I was a tongue...makes me wonder about the things floating around in that guy's head!

Anywho, the M&M's went over well and we had a lot of fun.

***


To remind myself that this is indeed fall (even tho it feels like summer) I'm working on a few projects for the house. Just some small decorations to put up here and there. See if you can guess what this one is...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

OOOOhhhh 2 posts in 1 day!

Ok, so I missed Blogtoberfest this year cuz of my dumb butt computer and I really almost kinda felt like I shouldn't participate in any of the give aways since I wasn't doing any of the rest of it. But then I came to my senses!! So, my first give away that I entered was over at Kimono Reincarnate. Here's the goods she'll be sending the lucky winner (namely me)...

And she has a BUNCH of ways to get multiple entries so go, go now! Don't dilly dally cuz the give away ends on November 1!

I love this time of year!

This is one of my most favorite times of the year. Here in SoCal we get the Santa Ana winds whipping around scattering the fall leaves (and yes, we do actually have leaves that turn color and fall - you just have to go to the right neighborhoods) and there's a certain smell in the air. I've been told it's called "fresh air" since the winds blow all the smog away but I choose to call it "Autumn". And then there's the gear up to all the coming holidays. Halloween is a good kick off to it all. Dressing up, giving out candy, getting candy - I love it!


This year we - my sister, my dog, my car and I - are going to be M&M's. I guess that needs some explanation, right? Every year (except for last year when we were moving) my sister and I participate in the Halloween festivities at our church (we call it Harvest, not Halloween) where they have a section called "Trunk or Treat" most people (you know, the cool people) dress up and decorate their cars and there's a contest for best decorations. We all line up around the church parking lot, trunk sides in, and we all hand out candy from our trunks, or in my case hatch back. Despite the fact that I've never won the decorating contest I feel my car has been the best each year - they just don't appreciate my perspective, yeah that's it. I've shown this before but here's the car from two years ago when we all dressed up as different Disney sea creatures...

The car was Monstro from Pinocchio.

So that's happening this Saturday and I haven't even started on our costumes yet. I'm making my sister's, mine and the car's. The dog's is a sweater I bought at M&M world in Times Square so I don't have to worry about him.

Anywho, I really do love this time of year. There's nothing like it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Disconnected

I really hate not having a reliable computer and an even worse internet connection! Since about June or so my time on the internet has been sparse, very sparse. It's one of those situations that is dependent on $$$, of which I have none! This whole "economic downturn" business is really starting to get on my nerves!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Any suggestions?


After writing each post I usually click "view blog" and read my post in the form other people would. Just to see if the formatting is good or if there are any typos or weirdness of any sort. So after my last post I did this and realized how much of a downer my blog has become lately. My last three posts are so depressing!!!

So, to lighten things up I'm asking for suggestions. "On what?", you're asking your screen. On practical jokes. I love pulling practical jokes - nothing destructive or mean - and I love it when they get pulled on me - again nothing destructive or mean.

Let me give you two examples...

1) Once, with the help of one of the girls in our office, after everybody had gone home, we went and turned everything upside down in a co-worker's cubicle. And I mean everything (except his desk cuz it was bolted). All his pictures (most of them of himself), his computer, monitor, printer, his chair...everything. When he came in the next day he was none too happy but everybody else got a kick out of it.

2) You know those co-workers that love having little tchochkies all over their desks? We have one who likes little figurines. She has a Snoopy, a couple of M&M guys, etc. So I stole her McDonald's Hamburgler for a week and photoshopped him into pictures of things like St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, the Eifel tower and a bunch of other places...sorta how in Amelie she sends her dad's lawn gnome out to fabulous destinations...then returned him none the worse for wear. To this day my co-worker doesn't know I'm the one who did it.

Well, it's been a while since I've pulled any kind of prank and I'm really hankering to do one so if anybody has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Again, nothing destructive or mean, just funny. I'm not afraid of spending extra time or effort to pull off a good prank...the best ones sometimes require that.

Sadness

I found out yesterday that one of my friends lost her husband yesterday. I'm so stunned and sad. She and I went to school together and I met Brian briefly before going off to college then we lost touch with each other. Now, 18 years later we had all reconnected via facebook and were just settling into knowing each other again. I don't know exactly how he passed but it always seems more tragic when someone dies at such a young age (he was only a couple years older than me). It's like they haven't really had a chance to live a complete life yet.
There's also their two small kids who now no longer have their father with them. My heart is just aching for them and for my friend who lost the love of her life.
It's such an unfortunate reminder to make the most of the time you spend with your loved ones. Tell them you love them as often as possible!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fire season is upon us



This morning when I got into my car to go to work there was a layer of ash blanketing my car. Fire season has started early this year thanks to a very very dry winter/spring. Normally, around October we start seeing the firebugs going crazy, lighting fires everywhere. This year we got a two month head start. My prayers go out to the people whose homes have burned and those whose homes are in danger.



Photo credits:
1 - 4 Anthony Citrano
5 NASA
6 M&C Website

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Traumatic Experience

I've been on a bit of a blog break lately mostly because I just haven't had the energy or whatever it is to do any posts since I've been given my new job duties. It pretty much drains me and all I have in me at the end of the day is to take a nap and veg in front of the TV. However, I am finally getting used to it and getting in the swing of things.


During my short blog sabbatical there was an incident involving my little dog and a big nasty Doberman. We had been taking the dogs semi-regularly to the dog park and despite the fact that the little dog is anti-social and the bigger dog is a big chicken they both get so excited when they know we are going to the park. So one bright Saturday morning we went to breakfast at Molly's Super in Upland where not only do they allow dogs on their patio, they cater to them with a for-dogs-only menu and a little play area. At the next table was a couple who own Skipper - the only dog our Tramp has ever played with at the dog park. We got to talking and the told us they were going to the Upland dog park just for a change of scenery. Sounded good so we decided to join them.

We get there and there's a teeny tiny little space for small/shy dogs and a HUGE area for the bigger/ more social dogs. Never having had a problem with entering the "big dog" area at our normal park and seeing that there were a bunch of little dogs roaming that area I ignored my initial thought to go to the small dog area first.

Normally, Jasper stands his ground when any dog, big or small, comes sniffing around but something spooked him and he took off running not 30 seconds after we entered the park. Maybe it was the unfamiliar surroundings or maybe it was the unfamiliar dogs, I don't know. Whatever it was it sent him into a panic and he ended up getting rolled by a couple of big dogs. This would have been fine, he would have been traumatized for a few minutes but he would have shaken it off.

The trouble came in the form of Foxy, a HUGE Doberman Pinscher who picked Jasper up and shook him like he was a little squeaky toy. She tried to go for a second round with him but didn't get a chance as my sister and I and a bunch of other owners were all over her at that point. Unfortunately, none of the other owners was Foxy's owner. She chose to sit back and watch the whole episode from a distance. Then not only did she brush it off as if this was just the normal Saturday morning hi jinx at the dog park she went back to her group of friends loudly proclaiming that things like this wouldn't happen if the small dog (my small dog) had been in the small dog area where he belonged.

And as true as that statement is I'm still irked 3 weeks later that she didn't have the decency to apologize for what happened or to ask if Jasper was ok. We left the park as soon as I saw blood and rushed him to the vet who, thankfully, told me nothing major was punctured and no bones were broken but he needed to have surgery for the one puncture wound that he did have. So that Saturday was spent first at our normal vet then at the emergency pet clinic after our vet closed so he could be under observation while waking up from the anesthetic. Here's what he looked like when we brought him home that night...







Needless to say, I was a total basket case the whole day but he came through like a champ and now, three weeks later is completely back to normal...no more cone, no more stitches He's not even jumping every time he sees Tramp (who is black like Foxy) out of the corner of his eye. He does need a trip to the groomer cuz his haircut keeps bringing looks from people like "You crazy lady, why would you cut your dogs fur like that?!"

I haven't taken any pictures of him since that one so let me leave you with this one, a much happier pic of my Bubby...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Landscaping

Over the weekend my sister, a friend and I got down to business and laid sod in our front yard and the little patch of land between the sidewalk and the curb. It was HOT and I really hate sweating but overall it was fun and educational. I learned a whole lot more than I ever wanted to know about manure! Here's a few shots of the yard before we got started...







This is how it has looked for the last few weeks. Just dirt and a butt load of leaves that we had to rake (I use the word we loosely cuz our friend that was helping us, Ruth, did most of the raking).


This after Ruth raked and after we manured the lawn and tilled it.

Our first couple rows.

Ruth cutting the curve.



The section out by the street with our little crepe myrtle tree.

The other side of the lawn.

Here, in the front section we are planting native plants and grasses. Since we are in the middle of a drought we thought it wise to plant things that take minimal amounts of water. We also have some rubber mulch to lay in that section. Rubber mulch is a wonderful invention! It's made from recycled tires and since it is rubber you only need to mulch once instead of every year. Plus it won't get moldy or hold in any bacteria which is a blessing for dog owners!

A couple of the plants we're planting. That's about it for the front, at least for now.
In case you were wondering, in the back of the house, my tomatoes are really starting to make me happy!


The one on the bottom is my original tomato plant. It's just now starting to ripen...I can taste the salsa already! The one on top I got from someone on Freecycle. The tomatoes are teeny tiny. I think they're grape tomatoes or something like that. They're smaller than cherry tomatoes. These are all being given away as they ripen because they're not exactly salsa material and neither my sister nor I actually eat tomatoes in any other way other than salsa or pasta sauce.

So, my foray into the world of gardening isn't going as bad as I thought it would even though our grass is already struggling to stay green. All thanks to the help of good friends and one very green thumbed mother.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scrapbooking

A week ago Saturday (that's how behind I am on my posts) I attended a 12 hour marathon scrap booking event. A friend of ours is a consultant for Creative Memories and she and another gal hosted this shindig at the Azusa Library. It was a fun day filled with chatter and laughter and lots and lots of romantic comedies - there was a movie theme with red carpet and "paparazzi".


It's amazing how little you can get done in 12 hours! I didn't even do a page an hour - I think this is due to the fact that scrap booking is not my first craft of choice. I have this annoying need for symmetry that does not lend itself to successful scrapping. Therefore, I work very hard to arrange things asymmetrical enough to look like I'm not OCD but also in such a way that doesn't have me tearing it apart to rearrange it. That's what takes me so long, I think.

Anyhoo, enough about my neuroses. Here are the seven pages I actually did get done...



The top three are from a visit to New York a couple of years (yes years) ago. We went to Tarrytown where author Washington Irving lived, wrote and is buried. It was very cool, if you're into his work, we went to the Old Dutch Church and the Cemetery there that was his inspiration for the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. We also went to his cottage where they give tours. If you're a history and/or literature buff I recommend it. The bottom four are from my book about, well, me. It's not nearly as narcissistic as it sounds. It's mostly filled with pictures of family and friends, only a very few of me. :) And that's all I got done...in 12 hours! Having movies on in the background really does not help my productivity since I'm addicted to the darn things. It was all about the Chick Flicks...Mamma Mia, Legally Blond, 13 Going on 30, Grease, 27 Dresses, I think that's it. Fun!
Here are some shots of some of the ladies that were there...

All in all, it was a fun, productive day in an air conditioned room away from the summer heat.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm already feeling it!

I think I just did something I might regret later...I deleted my Google Reader. I immediately got a cold sweat and wanted it back as soon as I hit delete! Is there some sort of 12 step program for people like me?

I became so dependent on my reader that I stopped going to the individual blogs themselves consequently not leaving very many comments at all. And aren't the comments a huge part of why we blog? And aren't my lovely comments another huge part some of you continue to blog? :) Ok, maybe not but I figure this is why I'm feeling a little less "connected" than I used to. So, NO MORE READER! Now if I can just bring myself to delete that other thing that takes up all my time and keeps me from visiting other people's blogs...my facebook account!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Restaurant review - Tamarind

My sister and I were searching for someplace to eat tonight and came across this place at the Chino Spectrum...

As the sign says, it's Pakistani and Indian Cuisine, which I am a HUGE fan of.  So, I pull into the parking lot, practically on two tires that's how hungry and excited I was.  And I gotta tell you, it's unfortunate that this little gem is where it is.  It's a bit hidden at the far end of the shopping center between a vitamin shop and a sushi place so it didn't get much traffic when we were there.  In fact, we were the only ones there during our whole meal.

The interior is trendy and comfortable...

And the food....YUM!!!  We shared the Tandoori combo platter, samosas and garlic naan.  With the samosas (which were the only disappointing part of the meal because they were so small) our server brought two sauces.  One was a little bit sweet while the other was not, it was spicy and good enough to drink from the little tiny bowl it was served in.  (Rest assured I did not do this even though I thought about it more than once)  Here's a pic of it after I, uh, I mean we finished with it...


Sorry for all the blurry pics - it's the only kind my little phone knows how to take.  Anyway, I loved this stuff (I have no idea what it's called) so much that I asked our server if it was possible to buy a pint of it to take home.  She was so sweet - she gave us a bunch to take with us without charging us.  

So, if you're ever in the vicinity of the Chino Spectrum you have to go to Tamarind!  Also, if you're lucky enough to be there when the owner is there, well, let's just he's easy on the eyes!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ireland here I come!

In dealing with bills, bill collectors and an ever-shrinking paycheck due to our sucky economy, I decided I want to join a commune. Or maybe start one, I'm not sure yet. So, like always, I start the necessary research and let me tell you, there are some really freaky people out there. But then I came upon The Village. It's a planned eco-village...in Ireland! I think I could handle that. Here's a list of some of their features...

A thriving community closely integrated with the town of Cloughjordan
130 low energy homes
A solar- and wood- powered community heating system
Pedestrian pathways lined with fruit and nut trees, and a streamside walkway
An enterprise centre and broadband
50 acres of land for allotments, farming and woodland
A centre of education for sustainable living
A hostel for visitors
A nearby train station and local car-sharing scheme

Considering that one of the bills I'm having trouble with is my car payment, that last feature sounds like it's right up my alley.

Anywho, here are some pics from their photo gallery...


The land - who wouldn't want to live here?!


Local pub - very important to know the where abouts of the local establishments!



Store who's name I can not read nor pronounce - anybody want to teach me Gaelic?


Fairymount Farm - I'm thinking this is the acreage they have set aside for members to plant and tend. Doesn't really matter, it's called Fairymount for crying out loud! I'm buying my plane ticket today!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Where did the sun go?

We have been having the strangest weather here! We normally have our daily dose of June Gloom that burns off around noon or late morning then it's bright and sunny and HOT. So far this month there's been 1, one, uno, un, ein, ichi day of sun. That was yesterday and it wasn't hot it was, well, balmy. A bit warm with a breeze, the perfect temperature for me (probably around 75 degrees). But today it's back to this...


GLOOOOOOMY!!

Yoohoo, Sun, where did you go?!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Just an update on the gardening venture...
My Oregano, which I started from seed, is actually starting to show itself

My cilantro, after the initial plant being picked over, started to grow this weirdness. The lower leaves are the normal cilantro type leaves but this stuff on top is just strange.


Mmmmmm...chives! Flourishing - yay!


And rosemary is doing quite well, I think some Gouda and Garlic stuffed rosemary chicken is in order!



My tomato plants (I now have 2) are also doing quite well. Unfortunately I have no current pics but the first plant is about chest height now with lots of flower, just no actual tomatoes yet. My pepper plants are getting taller but are also getting eaten by little buggies. I've been using this spray from Scott's EcoSense line that is called "Insecticidal Soap". It's slowing the bugs down but not actually keeping them away. I'm gonna have to figure something else out for that.
If anybody has any suggestions on how to get rid of the little pests in nontoxic way leave a comment please.