Friday, December 10, 2010

Online Window Shopping

Does anyone else do this? 

I go on a retail website, like LLBean or Old Navy or {insert the name of any popular site here} and click on all their wonderful stuff so it goes into my cart.  I actually take a good amount of time and care making my choices. Mostly things for the kiddos, sometimes items for me. 

My total reaches $150 to $200 but before I check out I purposely exit out of the website.


Because I can't actually AFFORD to spend $150 or $200 on all that wonderful stuff. 

Online window shopping at it's best.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Planning a trip to New York City

Recently a classmate from my high school posted on Facebook that he was in New York.  I've never been to NY so I decided I should make a trip. 

I checked my calendar and February was free. Presidents Day weekend to be exact.

My friend Jennifer lives in Richmond, VA, a mere hop skip and a jump away from NY. She said if she could find a way to pay for it and get her friend Danielle to join her she'd meet me there. I also have two online friends who live in New Jersey.  They said they'd meet me too. 

I decided I should research my destination.  Weather:  Lows in the 20's highs in the 30's. 

I live in N. California. 30's is not at all okay for my body.  I'm going to need to buy a heavy down jacket that reaches my kankels. 

I asked my New Jersey friends where I should stay.  Brooklyn? Manhattan? 
One says "Manhattan to be close to everything, Brooklyn if you are looking for cheaper and want to experience the subway system."  I don't mind using the subway system, but how long am I going to be on that subway? 

Airfare isn't too bad from SFO to JFK. I found a cheap flight thru Virgin Atlantic. 

Where to stay? 

So much to do and plan.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Life is a roller coaster

How is it already December?!  I know I say this every year but seriously, this year has FLOWN by. 

2010 has been better for me than some people. I follow a few bloggers who can't wait until 2010 is over. I know I'm lucky.  I have a job that I LIKE, my kids are happy and healthy.  My husband and I had a fairly good year with minimal major blow ups, my parents are both healthy and my 93 year old (or is it 94?) grandmother is still with us.

In 2008/2009 I was unhappy, my marriage was going down the drain, my older daughter was showing signs of depression and anxiety due to my marriage going down the drain.  I hated my job.  Money was tight. 

I needed a 2010. 

Life is a roller coaster. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Do you smell something?

Today my two daughters and I were in line in the school parking lot waiting for drop off. You know drop off? You must patiently sit until your car is in a certain designated area before your children are allowed to vacate the car. At our school they’ve started fining families $25 per infraction for breaking rules such as speeding over the 5 mi/per hour posted signs, pulling out of parking spaces before the 8am bell (backing out prematurely blocks other cars, which interferes with tardy families like me trying to reach drop off before the bells rings) and kids vacating cars who are not IN the drop off zone (mostly kids who are tardy so their parents tell them to get out and RUN fast).

Our drop off zone has 2 rows. We were in the left row. I prefer the left row because the school is on the left side so my kids don’t have to go around any cars, and they make it past the Not Tardy Line faster. To our right was a father who is family friend. He’s coached my daughters in softball, their entire family has camped with us several times, and we invite each other to holiday parties. We love this family. The wife is a nurse.  He’s a computer engineer who helps our country with espionage. Oh yes he does. He even has to go to Washington DC every 6 months for a lie detector test. At parties his wife tries to get him drunk so he’ll talk about what he’s working on, but he never talks dammit.

He and his wife have two children at this school. Their daughter is in 4th grade with my older daughter, and their son is in his final year at our school in 8th grade. This particular father has a passion for cars. Today he was driving his red convertible corvette.  Normally he drives a lifted jeep or their Denali Yukon when he’s dropping off both kids. His wife drives a convertible BMW. Did I mention he has a car fetish? In the car with him I saw his son. I asked Paula if his daughter was sick yesterday or maybe she didn't feel well since she wasn't with them.  Paula said the daughter had been fine yesterday. 

Paula begins to say how MUCH she loves their house because their house is so big, clean and smells so good. I raise an eyebrow from the front seat. “Our house is big and clean and smells good.” She says, “No, our house smells like garbage”.


My house does not smell like garbage. Yes, we do have a garbage can with a lid in the main part of the kitchen, which sometimes gets stinky, but overall my house does not smell like garbage.

I think.

Now she has me wondering. Have I just gotten used to the smell? You know how if you are around something long enough you become immune to it? I’m going to have to buy a crap load of Plug-In Air Fresheners. I have some candles too I’ll light. I do not want to be THAT family. You know the family I’m talking about. The ones you hate to visit because the house smells like garbage.

Damn her and her nose.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Prison Pen Pal

Awhile back I talked about my cousin Tommy who lives in prison.  You can find the posts  here and here if you want to read them.  If you don't want to read them, in summary, when I was a teen my cousin Tommy was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for murder. He is now living in his 3rd prison.  He was kicked out of his previous prisons for various reasons. First time for having sex with the dental assistant (frowned on apparently  ha ha), and next because of a tool he'd owned and used for years, but for some reason he doesn't know, the guards were searching for it, but during the search for this said tool some cell phones were found in other inmates cells.  Cell phones are abundant in prisons but not allowed.  They're snuck in by the guards. 

After the cell phones were confiscated the inmates who had them were apparently angry at Tommy, but Tommy denies this fact.  He says he gets along with all the races.  Tommy was put in solitary confinement as punishment for having the tool, then aapparently the guards worried about his welfare so they moved him.  He describes his new prison view like living on the moon. No view at all.  That would be the desert. 

A few months ago I sent Tommy my first letter. I was nervous to write him.  We weren't close growing up.  I remembered him from family functions but he being a boy and me a girl and our age differences meant we had almost nothing in common.  But, I'd wanted to write him for awhile so I did.

To my relief, he was thrilled to hear from me and we continue to correspond back and forth.  Each of us write/receive a letter a month. 

He's got a great attitude considering where he is and where he'll stay most likely for the duration of his life.  He is bitter that he has a life sentence, but others who have committed worse crimes received lesser sentences.  He's very philosophical and a very good writer. He's been told by me and others to write down his story in essays to be published. He avoids doing so because he doesn't want to relive the nightmare. He denies he's guilty. 

He claims to be busy and loses track of time.  He gets to watch TV and reads books. He says it's not unheard of for guys in prison to read 1000+ pages a day.  He says he doesn't read that much. I sent him a few paperbacks he requested. He's only allowed to receive paperbacks and they must be mailed directly from the book seller.  Meaning I can't mail them.  A company/distributor has to send them.  He gets to spend time in the "yard" where he hangs out with his friends.

He knew some guys at his current prison since they'd been together before at a different prison.  He says unfortunately at this prison, when your a Lifer you don't get the good jobs.  He enjoys working and was saddened to learn this fact.

In the latest letter certain races were banned from using the common yard due to fighting going on among them. Mostly the blacks and Hispanics.  Tommy is American Indian. He's actually American Indian (deceased father), Italian and Irish (mother - my aunt), but he decided in prison to use his American Indian looks to his benefit.  It's all about Race in prison.

I think in the future I'll write down some quotes from him.  I don't have any of his letters with me right now or I'd give you a few lines. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Former Envy

When I was 6 years old, entering 1st grade, I excitedly stood out in front of my new classroom.  I was going to have Miss. Gomes for 1st grade.  I had previously attended kindergarten at this same school the year prior and lived down the street so this school and I were well acquainted. 

Standing near the door of the classroom was another 6 year old girl who was crying. I asked her what was wrong.  She said she was new to the school, had just moved here from Michigan and she was scared.
I quickly tried to make her feel better.  By the time we entered the classroom she was no longer crying. 

We became best friends that day.  Her name was Nik.  She lived with her mother and father.  Her mother had been married previously so Nik had 2 half siblings who lived with their father back in Michigan.  She was her father's only child so he doted and spoiled her. 

The first several years they lived in a townhouse complex we called "Regency".  Her complex included a pool and a hot tub.  I was so jealous.  I didn't live in Regency. I lived in a modest 1700 sq ft house down the street from Regency and we did not have a pool or a hot tub.  We only had 1 car too, which was an old Buick that overheated.  Nik's parents both worked and had two cars. Her mother drove a Ford Mustang and her father had a Cadillac.  Later her mom purchased white Stingray Corvette similar to this one.  When we went places Nik and I would take turns laying in the back section.  This was at a time long before seat belts were mandated.

My parents still had the same Buick that overheated.  #carenvy

Since Nik was an only child I spent lots of time with her and her parents.  I'd often go out to dinner with them, which I loved. My parents rarely went out to dinner.  We'd have sleepovers at each others house.  We were tight as thieves for a couple years.

Nik vacationed in Hawaii with her parents. 
My parents took my brother and I to my Grandparents house in Folsom, CA.  #vacationenvy

In 3rd grade I remember a handball game where we got into a verbal disagreement.  Words were spoken and we called each other out to fight.  Literally, "I call you out".  She came to my classroom to pick me up so we could go fight, but she came with another girl.  I was very concerned the other girl was going to help Nik beat me up. Make no mistake, I knew I'd get beat up.  I was very chicken and afraid to fight.  Nik was much tougher than I.  So in the end I got scared and told my teacher. Nik ran home and called my house to apologize. We were friends again.

At age 9 we both started swimming on swim teams.  I wanted to be on the same swim team as Nik, but my parents had joined a swim and raquet club that had a swim team, so I had to be on that team. Nik team was much larger and a more prestigious swim team than mine.  After a year I quit.  She went on to swim in college and the Jr Olympics.  #swimenvy

One day we were sitting in our classroom in 6th grade when the office secretary came on via the intercom system to verify if Nik was in fact in the classroom. "Mr. Anderson, is Nik XXX in class today?".  Yes, he replied. We all looked over at Nik.  10 minutes later the same thing.  "Mr. Anderson, are you sure Nik XXX is in class?" In unison the entire class chanted YES.  We all looked over at Nik again.  Awkward. At the end of that day mom was there to meet us, which was unusual. Nik had after school care over the years but my mom wasn't one of them.  In 6th grade I believe Nik just walked home on her own, but on this day my mom was asked to come get her because apparently, someone called one of her parents that morning saying they had kidnapped Nik. They were able to describe her clothing from that day, and said they wanted a ransom.  Thankfully nothing bad happened and it was totally false.

Soon after the false kidnap incident, Nik's parents bought her a dog for protection.  Not just any dog.  They got her a wolf for protection.  Yes, a wolf, as in wild dog.  Her dog, named Lobo, was a wolf breed with some Shepard in him so he'd be trainable.  The problem with a wolf is they don't bark.  They whine with a sort of crying sound.  They also howl.  The non-barking thing  I  guess was overlooked by her parents, however, when Nik answered her front door with a huge wolf beside her, you know that the person on the other side was intimidated. Lobo stood over 6ft tall on his back feet. He was soo cool. 

 I had a 15 lb cockapoo.  #dogenvy

When Nik was younger her dad promised her a Camero when she turned 16.  I remember him telling her this promise. Her dad stayed true to his promise. Not only did she get a Camero, but he gave her a Camera with T-Tops. 
Do you know what I drove when I was 16?  A 1972 Datsun that belonged to my father.  Remember those cars people? No, well alrightythen.  # carenvy

Her parents divorced around high school.  She said they should have divorced sooner, but they held on for her sake. 

Over the years we lost touch, but thanks to the social networking we all know and love, we reconnected many years ago.  I attended her daughters 1st birthday while she was pregnant with her 2nd.  I got to see her parents again after SO many years. 

Sadly, a few months after the party her dad died suddenly of a heart attack.  She was so close to her father. I mean, really really close.   His loss devastated her. 

Like many of us, her adult life isn't what she'd hoped it would be.  Her marriage is rocky.  They separated, he moved out.  They're working it out and may get back together.  Her father is gone.  Her mother lives with her but not out of choice. 

This person who I envied all through childhood no longer has a life I envy. My life isn't all that great mind you.  On any given day my marriage is rocky too. But the big change from childhood to adulthood is she no longer has something I want.  I love and adore her and certainly wish the best for her. I'm just happy to say I no longer Envy Her. 

I think I turned out okay on my own.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spell Ricochet

I know your all dying to know how I did in the Spelling Bee. All (none) of you. 

Well, I did very well thank you.  I managed to go thru a few rounds with some easy words like
and maybe one more

Then they gave me Ricochet. 

I could not even visualize the word.  I wasn't even sure RIC was right! LOL  I got to RICOshae which I knew was wrong but I had to say something
I was not the first one sent away. In fact, there were 13 contestants (I was 007) and many were disqualified before me. 

So GO ME. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spell WHAT?

My company is having a Spelling Bee to raise money For the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Part of the arrangement is your supposed to donate a certain number of hours of vacation (4-16) to enter the Spelling Bee, which will then be donated to the cause.  Our company goal is $100K. 

My vacation hours are in the negative.  With all our shut down days in 2009 and 2010 as well as vacations in 2010 I can barely keep enough on the books. 

I guess there weren't a lot of participants so my friend running the event asked if I'd participate.  I'm sort of known around here as someone who gets involved. I was willing, but told her of my dilema of no vacation hours.  She offered to donate hours in my name.  Sweet! 

Unfortunately, I'm an okay speller but not great. They are kinda cheating and gave us the looong list of words in advance. On top of the list says "Beginner Words".  Hah!  Beginner words?!  I can read these words easily enough, but spell them?! I'm doomed.

I have one night to study, not that it will help. I'll be nervous in front of everyone and forget everything. 

At least it's for a good cause. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Busy weekend

This past weekend I was SO productive!  I'm very proud of myself.  I'm by nature very lazy.  I have my energetic moments like everyone else, but as a rule I like to relax on weekends. Okay, everyday. 

Saturday I kicked ass on my neglected backyard. The tomato plant was out of control. It's got branches (or are they limbs?) everywhere, taking over my pathway. I trimmed some away, mostly the ones cascading over the lawn which the Rental Dog dog was peeing on. 

I picked up dog doodoo, mowed the lawn, cut away dead rose buds, had spiders land down my shirt.  Oh yes I did.  I pulled out a dead rose bush, and just overall ROCKED.

Sunday I picked apples off our apple tree and made apple crumble with my girls. It was delicious. My neighbor told me my apples are Golden Delicious. I gave her a bag of them which is how she knew.  The tree came with the house and sits on a very HIGH part of our yard on top of our retaining wall. See it below?  You can actually access the apples easier via the sidewalk on the side of our house.

And to top off my fabulous weekend, I rode my bike part way to work today.  Go me!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life is short

Last night and today I went to funeral services for a co-worker.  He was a 35 year old son, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, husband and new father.  I can't go into a lot of details because, well, I don't know many of them to be facts yet.  There is a lot of hush hush around what happened. I'm not so naive that I don't know what silence means when your talking about how someone died, but to know this guy you'd never believe it.  His wife spoke and referred to him many times as "sweet".  He was definitely sweet.  Always cared about others first. I sat in the same cubicle row with him for years. He and his wife adopted a son just 2 days old, who just recently turned 1 year old. 

I'm thinking a lot about mortality. Mine and my children's.  It's not fun. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm sorry....Cleaning my dogs teeth will cost how much?!

Two weeks ago my husband took our dog who is a small 12 lb Lhasa Poo, Rosie, to the vet to have her paw looked at. She'd been messing with her paw for awhile and it needed tending to. They gave her a couple routine shots which were past due, lanced the swollen part on her paw and gave us some antibiotic pills. They looked at her teeth and said she needs a cleaning. Turns out small dogs, even if you brush their teeth, have dental problems.She's 3.5 years old.  We only feed her dry food because I heard wet food causes worse teeth.  There is debate on dry vs. wet by the way.  We feed her good food too.  She eats wheat free, meat is the 1st ingredient, Wellness Brand (or similar brand) dog food. 

I called and made a dental cleaning appointment for today. I take her in.  They ask do you want to add a heart worm test. Sure.  Do you want her bordetella vaccine. Sure. Okay, here is your low estimate.  $850.33!!!!  High Total estimate $981.33!!!! 

Are you serious??  For a dogs teeth?!  Not happening. Honey, I don't even have that much left on my credit card right now after all the dental work I'VE had done lately.  (another post to be written later). 

She apologized and I apologized, then Rosie and I walked out. 

How can it be so much money?  She's a dog!  I have the detailed estimate in front of me.  Let's look shall we? 

Dental Adult Dog Up to 8 years old:
Prep Profile (tests to make sure she's okay to be put under anesthsia).........$81.00
Anesthesia 1st 30 min ............$153.00
Anesthesia Each Add 15 min..........$118.50
Dental Prophy+Fluoride..............$99.25
Extract Tooth Minor...........$33.00
Antiobiotic injection...........$33.50
NSAID w/premed inj............$46.50 (what is this?)
Catheterization IV.................$51.50
Fluids Intravenous.................$17.00
IV Pump...............................$18.50
Oravet Dental Sealant Apply..........$20.25
Oravet Home Care Kit..................$31.31
Dental Vacc #1............................$24.50 ?(????)
Bortadella vaccine.......................$25.50
Heartworm Test..........................$35.02


What sucks is that her breath is bad because she does need her teeth cleaned. How many regular (not rich) families can really afford to pay for their dogs teeth to get cleaned when it costs SO much?   On a regular basis mind you. It's not like she won't need this done again 3 years after she gets them cleaned. 
I feel bad for her.  I feel bad for us.  I want to do the right thing, really I do, but we can't afford it.  I love Rosie to death but she's a dog, not my child.  I'd scrape the money up for my child but sadly, Rosie falls into the Pet category.

Dental cleanings for dogs need to be cheaper.  Whose with me! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Whip it good!

My husband took this great shot of my youngest daughter Shawna in Beaver Creek at Calaveras Big Trees over Labor Day weekend. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Laughing NOW

This morning on the way to school I was telling my daughters a true story that happened when Paula, my oldest now 9 years old, was an infant.  It was mortifying at the time and scary as hell, but thankfully we can laugh about it now.

Paula was 2.5 months old. She didn't crawl or roll over yet. She was a preemie born at 34 weeks so we'd already had our share of surprises and scares up until this point. I really didn't need anymore excitement where she was concerned.  She would show to be behind in most milestones until she hit about 2 years old.  She's very bright and one of the tallest in her class.  You'd never know today she was a preemie. 

But, I did something awful that I'm ashamed and embarrassed about.  Here it is. 

Paula and I were home alone together.  It was time to feed her.  Due to her awful acid reflux (common in preemies) she was on a special formula (Enfamil AR) which was thicker than others so I needed to go make her bottle.  She also took Reglan to speed up her digestive system and Zantax for the reflux.  I laid her on the couch kitty corner, like diagonally. 

I'm in the kitchen mixing her formula and medicine when I hear a THUD.  I paused.  What was that noise?  A couple seconds later I hear her crying.  Was that her hitting the floor?!  I run into the room and yes, my sweet baby girl was lying on the floor. She'd fallen off the couch!!!  What a horrible mother I am!!!  I can't believe I let this happen.  What if she has brain damage!  What if I've ruined our child!  So many things went thru my mind at that moment.  She calmed down eventually. I checked her over. On the outside everything looked fine.  I needed to get her checked out but I didn't want to call the pedi and say I just let my 2 mos old fall off the couch.  I can't be THAT mother. 

She'd apparently wiggled herself to the end of the couch where her lower half became heavier from hanging off the end of the couch making her body fall off. 

Paula had a rash on her face. I decided I'd use that as my excuse to bring her in. Then while she's being looked at I can casually mention the fall incident.  Yeah, cause it's a casual occurrence.  Just shoot me now. 

We get into the doctors office and one of the many pedi's is examining her skin. I really don't want to tell him, but I have to. 
Yeah, so doc, um.....this morning she kind of fell off the couch. 
You know the look he gave me right?  Can I just climb into a hole? 
That must have hurt. How far was the fall?  2 feet?
Yeah, probably.  I'm cringing. 
He checks her body and determines she's fine.  THANK GOD!

I leave hoping I never ever ever get him as her doctor again.  There are 6 doctors. Surely there is a chance I'll never have to see him again. 

I call my husband and tell him what happened.  You what he says?  "I'm glad it was you and not me." 

Monday, August 30, 2010


My oldest, Paula, is very serious and a worries so much about too much. She’s 9 years old now and it’s not getting any better. She doesn’t usually like to try new things. Food included. But, I’m mean and force her a lot.

Her first plane ride was at age 5. She was petrified. What will it feel like? What if it’s scary? She was throwing up before we got on the plane. We were the last passengers on purpose. I told first class (as she’s walking and aiming her face in a plastic bag we obtained from a nearby restaurant) it’s okay, she’s not flu ridden, she’s just scared. She got to talk to the pilots before take off. They assured her the ride won’t be too bumpy. Taking a plane is now her FAVORITE THING.

Next, the monorail at Disneyland. Same thing. What will it feel like? Crying, feeling like she’s going to throw up. Now it’s her FAVORITE THING.

Buzz Lightyear Ride: TEARS galore, it’s dark in there, I don’t want to go. It’s scary. FAVORITE THING.

Waterpark slides where you go down in a closed slide vs. open slide. Last year the closed slide was way too scary. This year she was scared but received peer pressure at a birthday party to go down. FAVORITE THING.

Sure, there are times when we don’t force her but I know she’s missing out. Her younger sister is so different. Much more a free spirit. And she’s jealous that Shawna isn’t scared and she is. Paula currently sleeps on our bedroom floor (for over a year now) in a sleeping bag because she’s scared in her room alone. I can’t wait until her room is her FAVORITE THING.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Charlie Chaplin

This is right near where I live
The Tramp

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teacher Gifts

Every year I battle on what Teacher Gifts I should buy this year. For my girls, there are 2 teachers in each grade. Well, one is an assistant but for all practical purposes she's just as important. Well, now that I write that, I have to admit that I have given the larger gift to the "teacher" and smaller gift to the "assistant" so I must not really think they're the same.  Shame on me.

Past gifts: 
Starbucks gift card (so overdone don't you think?)
Jamba Juice gift card
Homemade cards with kids pictures in them. (How quickly do you think they went into the circular file? aka garbage can)

Last year I got them towel cakes.  A gal at work was selling them at a crafts fair.  They were a kitchen or bathroom towel rolled into a cake secured with a ribbon.  It was placed on a mini cake tin. I was impressed. And for $10.00 each I bought 4 of them.  A unique gift and who doesn't need kitchen/bath or even rag towels.

This year at our crafts fair there wasn't anything cutsie for a teacher.  *sigh*

So my search continues. 

What is the perfect teacher gift?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Where have I been?!

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I wrote here. I guess I just haven’t felt in the mood. It’s not for a lack of nothing to write ABOUT. I can’t even explain in a short blog entry how busy my life is these days. I’ll get to that later though.


Last time I wrote (not counting the list of things I’ve done and have left to do) I was excited about a new job opportunity at the same company I’d worked at for 10 years. I really like my new job. It’s much different than what I was doing so I get to learn again. In addition, since I’ve been at this company for 10 years I was awarded an extra week of vacation and mullah to spend on that said vacation. (See below under Vacations for details)


We’re getting a new floor downstairs FINALLY. When we bought our house it came with crappy scraped up wood floors downstairs with two different kinds of carpeting. The shoes and dogs have done a number on both. Todd has ripped up the hardwood and one section of the carpeting. We’re walking on plastic basically. We have a concrete foundation. It’s gonna take a couple months for the entire downstairs to be completed.


Paula loves playing basketball. She will say herself “Mama, I haven’t complained one time about basketball.” Basketball ends this weekend but in fall she’ll start volleyball for the first time. Time will tell if she enjoys that or not. In school she’s going fabulous. Mostly A’s and a few B’s. She’s in 3rd grade and is almost proficient in her multiplication facts. Timed tests are hard for her, but if she has time to think she knows the answer.

Shawna finishes soccer next week. She’s liked it okay but doesn’t love it. Regardless, I signed her up for fall to keep her active. She wants to do cheerleading and if it all works out she can do both. School for Shawna has been hard this year. She’s been tested by a resource teacher at school and most likely has dyslexia. She’s getting extra tutoring at school and we all see an improvement. Tutoring needs to continue over summer as well. She gets tested for dyslexia on Monday. If she has it she gets some benefits like longer testing times and access to recorded books. Her father, uncle & cousins all have dyslexia so….you know - It was bound to happen to one of my kids.


So far in 2010 we have camped a couple times in our travel trailer. Over Presidents Day weekend we were in Santa Cruz at a KOA we enjoy. In April over the kids spring break we at the Santa Cruz KOA for a few days, then headed on towards Pismo. Pismo won. The weather was warm so not only did the kids don swimsuits but so did Todd and I. The beach was spitting distance from our campsite. We were 1 of 400 RV’s in this one RV park but we loved it anyway. And what’s funny is my ex-boyfriend’s 2 kids, who were staying with their grandparents that week, ended up camping right next to us in their grandparents motorhome. What are the chances?

In April I had to go to my family reunion with just Shawna. Paula got the stomach flu the morning we were all supposed to leave. I felt so bad for her since she missed the previous year’s reunion for the same reason. Speaking of illness, Todd has managed to escape the stomach flu this year, but the rest of us…not so much.

We are heading to Oahu and Maui in June for my 10-year vacation. We’ll be spending only 1 full day on Oahu where we’ll tour Pearl Harbor, Dole Plantation and several other hot spots on the island. Then we head to Maui to our timeshare.

Other camping trips planned is the Russian River (not actually located IN Russia as I had to explain to my children) Calaveras Big Trees and Rollins Lake for our annual boating trip with some fun families.


This topic needs its own section because this is huge! I bought myself a hybrid bicycle for Mothers Day. I already owned a mountain bike but it’s not a commuter bike and I wanted to commute to work. My commute is ~14 miles one way. My commute comes with hills, 3 overpasses, inclines, declines and tons of vehicular traffic. In order not to die on my first try, I started mid-way. I drop the girls off at school then drive to my mid-way point and hop on my bike there. In 3 days I’ve put 29.99 miles on my bike. =) That counts a trip into the old town by my house as a test run. Yesterday the Bay Area had its annual Bike to Work Day. I did my part. I’m very proud of myself.


As a parent I’m overwhelmed. I am Box Top Coordinator at our school, Secretary of the School Board for our school and somehow got hornswoggled into being team mom for Paula’s basketball team. On Saturday morning driving to Shawna’s soccer game I was on the verge of tears because I felt like such a failure in all areas of my parental duties. I managed to work thru all that, conquered some to-do list items and feel much now. I’m happy summer is almost here so I’ll have a break from after-school activities and responsibilities.

Foster Dogs:

We foster dogs. I jokingly call them Rental Dogs. Currently we have 2 Chihuahua puppies (age 9 mos) who just got “fixed” on Tuesday. The rescue organization pays for all the medical care and food. They’re cute dogs who should hopefully find a forever home soon.

Okay, I think that sums up the past few months. I’m off to get changed into my bicycle gear for the long trek home.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

99 Things I Ought to Have Done

99 Things I Ought to Have Done


Copy the list, bold the ones you've done (with explanations if needed), share with friends.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii (Maui a few times and Kaui twice)

5. Watched a meteor shower (not a shower but saw a meteor fall thru the atmosphere. Way cool!

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables (Love growing my own veggies)

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (It's called a Mental Health day  :0) )

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb (Gotta luv petting farms)

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (Maui has the BEST of both. Watched the sunrise from their volcano)

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise (Does a bay cruise around the San Fran Bay count?)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Visited where my mom was born)

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing (indoor only)

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (Todd and I met a girl alone in our hotel on Kaui and invited her to a nice dinner. She couldn’t believe it)

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance (not for me, but accompanied my friend while in Cabo last October)

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (snorkeling)

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater (It sucks there aren't many more around)

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen (Served Thanksgiving in college)

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (Doing it right now in fact!)

62. Gone whale watching (Again, Maui)

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (I faint. They don’t want me)

65. Gone sky diving (I went hang gliding)

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (12 years ago)

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper (Charity event for Family Giving Tree)

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House (with my friend Jennifer 12 years ago)

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Does a fish count?)

88. had chickenpox (14 years old. Ugh!)

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury (2001 burglary case)

91. Met someone famous (a few professional athletes)

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby (times 2)

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit (small claims against previous homeowner)

98. Owned a cell phone (hello?!)

99. Been stung by a bee (A few times)

45 completed at the age of 41. I’d have to say that’s not too bad.

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