Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Heading to Philly

Well, really West Chester, PA. It is gonna be cold. Brrrrrr!
I had a nice day with the girls yesterday. We had lunch (fresh pasta, pesto, salad and wine and yummy pie, which Alicia made). We watched SATC movie. Love that movie! And knitted a bit. I finished my first preemie hat and it is so tiny! It was a nice day.
Then yesterday evening I packed for our trip today. We are heading to Philly for our nephew James' birthday. He will be 9 on Jan. 1.
Should be a good visit with the niece and nephews and really cold. :)
Not sure how often I will be updating. So just in case, Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The past few days

have been low-key and a little lazy.
Christmas morning was easy going. About 11:30 we headed to Dad and Hilda's. A little after 2 we left their place and headed to a church in North Beach where we served (with many other volunteers) dinner to those who needed it or were lonely or for whatever reason they came that day for a warm place to eat. I was a busser and server. I ended up chatting with the couple a couple of times. They were so interesting and highly intelligent. After talking to them I have started looking at things a little differently. I am a person who believes we need to help others. If you have the ability--whether time and/or money it is your duty as a human being to do so. I feel that way about people who need a little extra help. But something interesting the couple pointed out was they don't get as much help as immigrants who come over to this country--whether legally or illegally. I am for immigrant rights. I don't think people who cross a desert should be punished or people who come over here on a boat should be sent back, I think they should be helped. But we have to remember to help the people who are already here, too. Those are my 2 cents on that subject.
The rest of our Christmas evening was lazy, watching a marathon called Dogtown and also watching Finding Nemo. Mine! Mine! Mine!
Friday I decided to be lazy and not go to the gym. I did get some stuff done around the house. Started James' birthday present--hat. Jim and Jennifer came over a little after 4 and we headed to Art's Crab Shak for dinner. Had a great crab feast. Then we had a drink at McNally's and then back to our place to hang out.
Saturday I did go to spin; abs/core; and body conditioning. I hit Michaels afterward for those after Christmas sales. Not much to pick from--but that's OK. We don't have much room. After Michaels hit the pet store for some litter. The 50-pound bag ripped and spilled into the trunk and parking lot. What fun! The rest of Saturday was lazy with movie watching and knitting.
Today I ran a few errands this morning. Some more movie watching, a little house cleaning (Sue and Alicia are coming over tomorrow for lunch and knitting) and I started making my first preemie hat for the Oakland Children's Hospital.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours
we wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

~Ann, Curt & Joey

Top pic is Curt and me at Onyx's Winter Party. Bottom pic is Joey and me in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.

Today was the first day in at least two weeks that I got to sleep in. Feels good. I actually woke up about 7 but was able to go back to sleep for an hour and a half or so. It feels earlier because it is cloudy, rainy and windy outside.
We are going to have a lazy morning with coffee and tamales. Then we will go to Dad and Hilda's this afternoon for a Mexican feast. The four of us are volunteering at a church later today helping serve Christmas dinner to others.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

I had to work today. But only about 5 hours. I was planning on leaving about noon. It ended up being closer to 1 p.m. I hit the gym before coming home.
Once home a quick shower. Then Curt and I had our feast. We planned to have the second annual crab dinner celebration. But Market Hall was out of crabs when Curt got there. We had issues last year, too.
But we had plenty of food: shrimp, potatoes, rolls and green beans. We had our feast and then opened gifts. We were a lot lighter on presents this year. With our families we either didn't do gifts or we did charity presents instead--which I really like.
I got some good loot: some books, yarn, a mini stair stepper that I can use while watching TV and burn many more calories than knitting, etc.
I made many Christmas gifts. Here are a few that I made:

Top pic is Baby Dashiell showing off his blankie, which his Aunt Ann made. Middle pic is Lexi and Coop sporting their new beanies Ann made for them. The white stripes glow in the dark. Bottom pic is Curt opening the hunter's orange beanie I secretly made for him.

I also wanted to post some more pics of ornaments:

1. Ornament from London, where we saw the crowned jewels.
2. Ornament I made with kid pics of Curt and me. My mom gave me a locket right before I got married (the locket my dad gave my mom the night before they married) with a pic of me and a pic of Curt in it. There were many extra pics of Curt and me. So I made this ornament. I think all of our family members also got an ornament just like the one you see above.
3. An ornament from my mom: St. Ana. It is beautiful. This saint is a saint for many things. But the one I find truly interesting is she is the saint of childless couples. I prefer the term childfree by choice.
4. Another ornament I made. Curt's hometown paper used to print something called Dusting Off the Old Ones. They print all the kids' letters to Santa. I wish I would have written down the date. But 25 years ago (which had to be really at least 30 years ago today) this letter was written to Santa and printed in the Albany Ledger:

Dear Santa,

How are you feeling? And a few more things: have you shaved? how is Dasher, Comet and Cupid? I have one brother, Craig. -- Curt Poff

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Sorry no updates lately. Work has been so busy. I have worked late every night except last Friday--because I said I was leaving on time for my yoga class! But I worked 3 1/2 hours Sunday.
Last weekend was fairly relaxing. On Saturday morning in my body conditioning class I tweaked a back muscle. So the rest of Saturday I was like an old lady taking Aleve and using my heating pad. Mostly just knitting and vegging.
Sunday morning I did grocery shopping; took Joey to the vet for a mani and also weighed him, he has lost a little weight, which is great; then off to work. The whole time I was at work no one else was there. It was great. I got so much done and coulda kept working. But I cut myself off at 3 1/2 hours.
Monday and tonight worked late. Tomorrow I work--but not too late. The boss has given us the go ahead to leave at noon. I am not going to get everything done by the end of the year like I planned--but it will be close. One project ended up being much bigger than I first realized--so I will work on that at the beginning of the new year. But I feel good getting a lot of stuff taken care of by the end of the year. I also did a little housekeeping today and tossed a bunch of stuff I no longer needed. Love that!
I wanted to feature a few more of our cool ornaments from our tree. Enjoy!

1. A sled Curt's mom, Marilyn, painted for Christmas one year--I believe 1979. (She made ornaments for her boys every year. A few years ago we acquired most of the ornaments. I just love them. The sled is one of my favorites.)
2. A maple leaf we got while on our honeymoon in Victoria, BC.
3. Hoops & Yoyo laptop. You push the keyboard and it lights up and H&Y talk.
4. Disco ball purchased while on our honeymoon. Also 2 cats, one says Curt and one says Ann. Curt got this for me for our first Christmas in Arizona. (So the first tree we had together.)
5. Marilyn painted Curt and me this ornament the year we got married--2003. The ornament has our colors from the wedding--burgundy and cream.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Absolutely crazy morning

More like crazy week. This week has been so busy. And I still have so much to do at work before the end of the year--and last day for Onyx is Dec. 24.
This morning was so crazy. I felt like a nutjob running around like a madwoman. But Legal had a welcome lunch for our new paralegal and it seems better now.
Many celebrations lately. Yesterday at work we had a Lunch & Learn with HR. Then Kris Kringle gift exchange at 2 p.m., which was a lot of fun. (I was in charge of Kris Kringle this year.) And then at 3:30 we had a champagne celebration for something else. I mean, we are all over the place with this partying.
Then today we had our welcome lunch for Melissa. It was a nice lunch. Our server asked us if we laughed that much at work. I liked that comment. It means we are a good group and have fun together--I think that is so important when you spend so many hours of your day together. Melissa is a great fit for our department. As is Koy, who is temping for us.
Now I am trying to get a few things done before I leave work no later than 5:10 to make my yoga class. I haven't left before 6 p.m. all week.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Double Brrr

It was like 33 degrees this morning.
Then in my yoga class it was 51 freakin' degrees. I walked into class cold! I kept my Uggs on initially--but you can't really do yoga in Uggs and I didn't have any socks on. So eventually I cowboyed up and took the Uggs off. By the end of class my feet were like ice.
By the time class ended it was a balmy 53 in the room. We tried to turn on the heat. But we just think maybe us being in there brought the temp up the whole two degrees.

And a quick shout out to my Mom. Happy Birthday Mama!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


It has been cold here. OK, I realize not as cold as some places. But I am an Arizona girl and I live in Northern California. It just doesn't get THAT cold here. The high today was only in the low to mid-40s.
I haven't shared pics of our Christmas tree. Here are a few.

I love having a tree. I wish we had them up all year long. Though I guess they wouldn't be as magical. Yes, we get a live tree. I grew up with a live tree and I love the smell and the way a live tree looks. Some cool ornaments highlighted here (we have so many). The middle pic has Sputnik, which is more than 50 years old, made by my dad; Speedy with his chiminea; Guinness beer; Canadian bear mountie; Tabasco. And the bottom pic is an ornament I got Curt last year, which I was so excited about. You push the button and it plays the SportsCenter theme music.

Also, I found out today that The Christmas Shoes, starring Rob Lowe, is on YouTube in 10 parts. This so cracks me up.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
and Part 10

So you can watch any parts you want. Hee!!! And eat some cheese while you do. Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Merry Cheesemas 2008

Curt and I had a fun-filled party weekend.
Onyx's holiday party, excuse me Winter Party, was Friday night at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco. Gorgeous hotel. The venue was beautiful, the food was delicious and the DJ played great music (except for the songs I didn't seem to know but everyone else did--made me feel old). I danced so much my butt and legs hurt the next day.
I took just a few pics, which I will post ... some day.
The photographer was cool. You got your pic right away--until their printer broke down. So I got the pic of Curt and me right away. The ones I took with others I will have to wait for.
After the party was over Curt and I along with some co-workers and their spouses went to the hotel bar and had a drink and hung out. It was a lot of fun.
We stayed that night at the hotel. Beautiful hotel rooms.

Saturday was Monica's cocktail party. She had yummy munchies and everyone brought cocktails. We brought sparkling wine. Had some fun conversations and a good time.

Yesterday Curt and I hosted Cheesemas 2008. Phil and Lisa and Curt and I started this tradition three years ago. We had others over and ate lots of cheese and watched cheesy holiday movies, which were Creature Comforts, The Christmas Shoes and, its sequel, A Christmas Blessing. Both starring Rob Lowe. We had a great group of people over who provided catty and awesome commentary to the movies. Eventually I was in a cheese coma. Hopefully all that dancing I did Friday night allowed me to over induldge in the cheese like I did.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Foot fetish

So yesterday after work I had a mani/pedi to get ready for Onyx's Winter Party--we are being very PC. Anyway, afterward I did some shopping. I went to Old Navy and was walking around in my flip flops. A guy walked by and told me he liked my toes. I said thanks. He said, let me see the color and looked again and then walked away. About 30 seconds later an Old Navy associate came up and asked me if that guy was talking to me about my feet. I told her yes. Then another associate comes up and wants to know exactly what he said. Apparently he is some weirdo who has some sort of foot fetish and likes to look at and comments on womens' toes. They apologized profusley and said if he was still in the store they would kick him out. It didn't bother me. It wouldn't be the first time someone commented on my toes.

Tonight is the Winter Party at the Intercontinental Hotel in the city. The hotel is beautiful. Curt just left work and should be here shortly.
I have my face on and hair all pretty. I really just need to get dressed. But I have a little time ... so I think I am going to get a little knitting in.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm still around

I haven't blogged in the past few days because ...
I was at a training seminar all day Tuesday. I was learning about drafting contracts, along with my friend and co-worker Amy. It was really informative and I learned a lot. The teacher was really good, taught well and was funny. Gotta have that when you are discussing legalese.
Yesterday at work I was crazy busy and exhausted along with a headache most of the day. But despite all that yesterday was like Christmas Day in the Legal department. Our new paralegal, Melissa, started. We are so HAPPY to have her here!!!!
We also picked Kris Kringle names, which I am in charge of. I picked someone I really like. Gotta hit Michaels for some yarn (to make her a scarf) and some other fun goodies.

Monday, December 08, 2008

How low can some people get?

Apparently pretty low.
Some jerks broke into a Woman's RV and stole things she had collected and had made for the troops. The also tore up the thank-you notes people had written to the soliders. Now the stealing was bad enough. But the fact that they also tore up the notes is pretty cold.
Read story here.

Steve Madden, I want my money back

So on a recent trip to Tootsies I bought some Steve Madden tights. Big mistake. I went to yoga this morning and got dressed at the gym. By the time I got to work one side already had a run in it. About an hour later the second side has a run. Seriously, Target tights all the way. I knew better, but wasn't sure when I would be at Target again.

Good weekend

I started off my weekend on Friday evening with a wonderful yoga class. When I got home Curt and I decided to head out for sushi dinner. And we didn't go to our regular place--different sushi restaurant, one we can walk to and is pretty good.
Saturday gym in the morning, spin; abs/core; body conditioning. Then after I came home Curt and I headed out to get our Christmas tree.
The tree is all pretty and decorated. I promise to take a pic soon.
Sunday back to the gym, just on the elliptical. Then I had a facial at the day spa. Microdermabrasion facial. It was interesting. The only part that really sucked was when they remove your blackheads. Everything is all nice and wonderful and then this bright light turns on and someone is scrapping something and pressing on your nose really hard. (I think it is this.) Man, it hurts something fierce. But afterward your nose is all nice and pretty.
Curt's buddy Ryan just moved to town and doesn't have his car yet. So those two went to lunch and then Target. I stayed home and watched Lifetime and worked on holiday cards.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Getting back on track

Most of my readers know that I lost 30+ pounds in 2006/07. I have kept the weight off for more than a year.
Recently my eating habits haven't been so great. I am a few pounds over my goal weight. And I have decided to do something about it. I want to lose 5 pounds. So I am back on plan as of yesterday. I haven't tracked my food in more than a year. So it is taking some getting used to. And I have to say just writing out my food really makes me think about what I am putting in my mouth.
I recently have started having a cup of hot cider at night. Last night I had a cup of tea instead. It is the little things that make a difference.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Congrats to Kate, Jason and Dashiell!!!

Dashiell Boston Christley was born today. He was a few days late, but yea!!!! he is finally here.
He was born at 8:31 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4. No weight or length just yet.
Kate went through 12 hours of labor to deliver Dashiell who was delivered via a water-birth, sans drugs. (Let me just say Kate is a trooper and NUTS!)
I am so happy for Kate, Jason and Dashiell. I LOVE the name.
Here is a pic of the new little guy:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I feel very fortunate and a little guilty

For those of you not associated with "the business" (aka newspapers) Gannett (the company I worked for for seven years) had some major layoffs. People found out last night at The Republic. I think other Gannett papers were informing at the same time.
I have many dear friends who are still working in newspapers.
I feel so lucky to work for a company that is actually hiring people like crazy. Just yesterday we received our holiday gift. I was happy to receive an iHome alarm clock as my gift. But I also felt guilty that many of my friends were anxiously waiting to find out if they still had a job.
And I am sad to report that many people I admired and worked with have lost their jobs. And talk about harsh, right before the holidays.
And for those who still have jobs, it is going to be so much more difficult to do the job with a smaller team.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Weaving in

So I am now finished knitting all nine Christmas gifts. And now to the part I really dislike: weaving in the ends and sewing on my tags. That is the plan for this coming weekend. Though one item I need to get crackin' on since it has to go all the way to Germany in time for Christmas.
I also need to weave in the ends of my three scarves going off to charity. I bought stickers to make some homemade cards to attach to the scarves along with the Target gift cards and the Starbucks gift cards.

Monday, December 01, 2008


When my alarm went off at 6:15 this morning I so wanted to go back to bed. (I was also having a dream that Kate was in labor. But that isn't the case, the last time I checked her Facebook status anyway.) But I got up and got ready for yoga. I get to the gym and class was canceled! Argh! I didn't have the right supplies to do elliptical and then shower. So I just changed and came to work early.

Our weekend was nice and relaxing.
On Friday I did go to Michaels (which wasn't crazy when I was there) and then the gym for a workout. Once I got home I was very tired and napped throughout the day.
Saturday I went to my spin class, then abs/core and body conditioning. Came home, showered, and headed off for my haircut. I also ran a few errands in the neighborhood. Went to Tootsies and spent my birthday gift certificates there on some shoes!
Sunday I went on a charity walk with Mia and Lexi and Cooper. Todd and their friend Marcello ran the 10K. Mia, the kids and I walked the 5K. It was a lot of fun and for a great cause--Toys for Tots.
I got home from the walk about 10:45 and at about 11:15 zonked out on the couch. I took about a 2-hour nap.
I did get our outdoor Christmas lights up over the weekend, wrapped most Christmas presents, finished knitting 2 more gifts, just one to go.
We are planning on getting our tree Sunday. When we decorate the tree I will put up the rest of our decorations.

Here is my little Christmas tree at work. Along with stockings hung for all the Legal people, including our new paralegal, who will start next week.