Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Check out Go Fit Girl! ...

for a guest post by Jen Cieslak.
If anyone else is interested in writing a guest post for Go Fit Girl! just let me know. It can be anything about health, fitness, dieting, eating, etc.
You can e-mail me your ideas to
Go Fit Girl! is a blog about exercise, diet, weight loss and general fitness advice by average women, for average women.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Forever 34

So just a month ago I was in St. Augustine visiting Kate, Jason and Dash.
And I am finally posting pics and writing a post about it. Yes, I have been slacking.
I am a very dedicated friend: My flight was at 6:45 in the a.m. (I woke up at 4 a.m.) Then I had a four-hour layover in Houston. I arrived in Jacksonville about 7 p.m.
Kate picked me up at the airport. We had dinner and yummy wine at a place called The Tasting Room. We had all kinds of tapas and man, everything was good.
I took a peek at the boy when we got home. So sweet!
The next morning a little hanging out, feeding time, nap time and then our venture to the beach. We were actually able to drive onto the beach. Very cool. Kate was very organized with her supplies, including her awesome umbrella, which wouldn't stay up because of the dang wind. Then we set up Dash's little tent. He seemed to like it and the breeze until the sand got in his eyes. Then he just wasn't happy. So while Kate tried to calm him I threw everything back into the car.
We drove home and the little guy finally calmed down and went for a nap. Mama and Papa had stuff to do so I got to babysit.
The key to get Dash to sleep a little longer is you put his binky back in his mouth and pull up his blankie. But I think he just really wanted to hang out with Aunt Ann.
If he was crying I would go in to check on him and the second he saw me he would be all smiles and sometimes even giggling. Too cute.
So eventually I took him out and set him in his cool little chair. (A few pics of him in his chair in the below link.)
I was trying to teach him to gimme five. He found that rather hilarious.
Some time after Mom and Dad came home we decided to head out to dinner. We went to a place called the Conch House (I think that was the name). We sat outside. It was so nice. I tried fried alligator and it was so good!
After dinner the boys dropped Kate and me off in the shopping area in their hood. We walked around, listened to some music, looked at local art, went to a cool bookstore. Oh, and I almost forgot, we went to the pirate store--which was pretty fun and cool.
Sunday the four of us strolled into the restaurant/shopping area for brunch. Yum! After good eats the boys headed home and Kate and I did more shopping. She took me to a great consignment shop. I found some great stuff and only bought things for 5 or 10 bucks!
Before heading home we hit the Fountain of Youth. A little cheesy, but hey, you gotta do it, right? I had a drink from the Fountain of Youth--so I will forever be 34.
Sunday evening we just relaxed and hung out.
Monday we lounged in the morning and made sure to get some pics of Dash and Aunt Ann. Before heading to the airport we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and doughnuts! I love, love, love Dunkin Donuts' old-fashioned cake doughnut. I never remember if it is a cake doughnut or an old-fashioned. Whatever, I love it. (I checked the Dunkin' Donuts Web site and there isn't one within a 50-mile range of where I work/live. The last time I was at Dunkin' Donuts was when we were in Connecticut for Kate and Jason's wedding. HA!)
I had a great visit. I am so happy for Kate and Jason. Dash is adorable and such a good baby. Now I gotta figure out how to get back out there and visit him.
Sorry it took me forever to write about it. Hopefully I didn't forget anything.
See my trip photos here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rockin' shower for Baby O

So Erica's mom hosted her baby shower yesterday. I, of course, couldn't attend. But I was there in spirit. And this woulda been a sweet baby shower to attend. No stupid games and there were mimosas!
Two of my favorite gifts for Baby O were his potato bib, which I designed online. Oh, and that bib is organic, too. Woo-woo! And the little knit cap I made him. I also sent a baby Wildcat onesie, like the one I gave Dash, and a Curious George CD (my regular gift for babies to be) and a Babies R Us gift card. I am wondering what Jen gave as a gift. What did you give Jen? The Johnny Cash onesie?

Wish I coulda been there Mama Erica.
For those of you who don't know Papa Casey ... Casey is a riot and Irish and he has a saying about potatoes. So I took a photo of potatoes at the grocery store on my phone and uploaded and created the above bib.

Another low-key weekend. But I did get a lot done. I have been working on a knitting project, which is coming along nicely. Also, my big home project is our home office. I have been organizing, filing, shredding, throwing out stuff, etc.
And tomorrow starts another workweek ...

Friday, April 24, 2009


Today the Volvo hit 19,999 miles. On the way to the gym it should hit 20,000 since it has less than a mile to go before it hits the big 20K.
We have had this car for almost four years and it is barely hitting 20K. And we only have one car. Shows how little we drive, huh?
Our lease is up in June and we are going to start test driving next month. We want something sorta but not really SUVish/crossover. And something with AWD for times in Tahoe and stuff like that.
Right now we are thinking: Toyota RAV4; Subaru Outback or Forester; or Nissan Murano.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Doing my part to honor Earth Day

I will only drink soda, wine and beer today to preserve water. HA!
Today I washed my face with cold water. I didn't wait for the water to heat up. Usually I do--because ice cold water on the face first thing in the morning really sucks. But it has been warm lately so the water was manageable.
We recently had our toilet fixed so it is no longer running unnecessarily. So I think we are doing a better job of saving water. I don't run the water while taking my medicine in the morning. A while back I bought Dixie cups. It would be even less wasteful if I used a cup I can rewash--but c'mon!
Our landlord recently had something planted in the front and asked for me to set the sprinklers. So I set it to water three times a week and at night. She was having it run in the morning--which was bad for two reasons, it evaporates quicker during the day and it woke me up way too early in the morning when it would turn on.
One of my (many) work pet peeves is that each kitchen has garbage and recycling ... People are so lazy and just don't care that they throw trash in the most obvious blue recycle bin and throw stuff that should be recycled in the trash. Irritates me to no end!
Curt and I have recycled for years. Even when we lived in a townhome community in Mesa that didn't offer recycling. We bought our own bins, filled them up and drove them to a recycling center to drop our stuff off. In Berkeley you had to separate everything out, which was a pain (had to do that in Oregon, too). But in Oakland we just dump it all in one giant honker bin. It's great.

Today is also Admin Day. So make sure you thank and appreciate your admins today.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A lady who lunches

The Bay Area has been in a "heat wave." High 80s and even in the 90s the past few days. 
I wanted to eat lunch outside yesterday. So Sue, Alonzo and I walked to Togo's and had sandwiches and salad while enjoying the beautiful weather.
Today Melissa, Koy and I headed to a restaurant called Sea Breeze (we had to drive). I had heard great things about this place but had never eaten there. I splurged and had a cheeseburger. And it was good. We got to sit outside and soak up the sun and relax a little.
Apparently tomorrow we will be back in the 60s and the rain will return. Forecast for Saturday and Sunday is 60 and rainy. Boooo!
The past few days I have been able to wear clothes I normally don't get to display. So that has been nice. But good thing I didn't put the long sleeves and pants away.
The thing that makes me laugh is that people have been complaining that it is too hot! They are nuts! Anything below 70 and I am cold. So I am loving this "hot" weather.
(***Update on the weather*** Just checked the iPhone and it has changed its forecast. Tomorrow a high of 79. This weekend appears sunny and in the mid- to high 60s. Schweet!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nice, warm, sunny weekend

Friday night after work I treated myself to a mani/pedi. I used to go for one about every 3-4 weeks. I have cut that back to about every other month. In between I give myself a home mani/pedi--not quite as good, but the price is right.
After that I met Curt and two friends at The Trappist. I didn't have a beer. I just hung out and chatted.
After that Curt and I decided to stop at Sushiya for dinner. We hadn't been there in some time. Delicious as always.

Saturday I hit the gym for my regular 2-hour workout, groceries and domestic chores around the house. (Also, working on a knitting project--more than half way done.)
I have had a hell of a time keeping the grout in our tub clean. So I decided to try baking soda paste (just add water) and vinegar and water in a spray bottle. I still needed a little elbow grease. But it worked really well. I bought a tile grout brush (which looks something like this) and used that. The grout is old and some of it looks gross no matter how hard I scrub. And if I scrub too hard the grout falls out.

Sunday Curt and I walked to Longs (this amazing drug store, which is almost like Target) to get more stuff for the garden.
We planted yellow onions and broccoli in the garden plot (both seeds) and two more roma tomato plants.
In pots we planted some daisies, catnip seeds, zinnia seeds and Hungarian peppers. In the front of our house we planted Bay Area wildflowers.
I know the catnip will grow crazy. I planted some in a pot when I lived in Oregon and it went nuts. We'll see about the other stuff.
Oh, our radishes are already sprouting.
I have a major house project going on to ... our home office is a pit. I haven't done a very good job lately of filing our bills, important papers, etc. I am finding old credit card receipts from 2005. Yes, I have a ton of shredding to do. I have gone through almost every box and drawer. Still have a few more to go. Then I can start filing appropriately and shredding. I have so much shredding to do I will likely burn mine out and have to buy a new one.
Then I gotta tackle that closet. Ugh! Our spare room/office is a dumping ground. Luckily we haven't had any guests lately or that would be embarrassing.

OK, I think you have enough fill of my weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Review: Bumble & Bumble Hair Powder

I recently bought Bumble and Bumble's Brown Hair Powder.
I have to say this stuff works pretty well. Though it is kinda spendy.
It is great to use when you don't wash your hair every day. It dulls the shine.
It is a liquid you spray onto your hair--kinda like hairspray--and let dry--doesn't take long, and then you brush.
I would say the only negative, besides the price, is that you get little drops of brown (or whatever color you buy) on your arms, ears, face, bathroom sink.
I guess I must perfect the spray.
I tried it this morning for the first time going out in public. I think it did a good job to cover the hair that is slightly greasy looking.
I even went to the gym on my lunch break and I was a little worried that the brown would go dripping down my face. It didn't. I just made sure to dab around my hairline.
I hear you can use baby powder. I think the smell would drive me nuts and I think I would look like George Washington.
Anyone else use similar products or have other ideas?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy birthday Joey!

Today is my furbaby's 15th birthday! Can you believe it??? I can't.
I worked at Petsmart in college. People used to find animals and bring them. We would tell people that unfortunately we couldn't take them and they would have to take the animals to a shelter.
But one day two men found a litter of kittens in a Dumpster. They brought them in. And the employees took the baby kitties.
Joey was the only gray one in the bunch. He was so tiny and fuzzy.
That was the very beginning of June 1994. I took Joey to the vet and the vet said he was about six weeks old. So today, April 15, is Joey's birthday.
FYI: 15 in cat years is 76 in human years.

Can you believe someone threw away this precious baby? What in the H were they thinking? I know the pics are a little dark. They were taken this morning with my iPhone. Top pic is Joey on his kitty perch, which he just loves. Buttom pic is Joey with one of this birthday presents: new cardboard catnip scratching post. (He will get his other presents tonight.)
Curt said Joey was breaking in his birthday present when he left for work this morning. But not until he scooted the scratching post under an end table (where it is usually placed), because he didn't know what to do with it out in the open. HA!

Monday, April 13, 2009

More ...

I forgot to mention that we also planted squash, radishes and carrots in our lovely garden yesterday. I was admiring our garden this morning before I left for yoga (and then work).

Also I wanted to mention that Joey's blog and Go Fit Girl! have been updated lately and regularly, so if you have time, please check them out.

... Sore fingertips

I have been slacking in the guitar practicing lately. I practiced last night for about 45 minutes. I practiced my four measures of Smoke on the Water--I am getting better and faster. I practiced my A and E chords. They still sound like crap because I am not holding down the strings hard enough. And I feel like I am cutting my fingers! But as my calluses develop that will get easier and sound better. I also worked on some finger picking. I liked that best. I did pretty well with that.

Anyway, have a good week!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Garden Day!

Curt and I planted our third garden, but our second annual Easter garden today.
Curt was in charge of digging up the soil and I was in charge of hoeing. I have to say I did pretty well. Usually I wimp out. Must be all those body conditioning classes. Especially now that I have advanced to 8 lb. dumb bells. Woot-woot!
We planted tomatoes, lots of peppers, leeks, chives, basil, rosemary and our fun planting--a cantaloupe. We don't have any expectations out of the cantaloupe. We didn't have any expectations out of our broccoli last year and it did great! We couldn't find any broccoli at Home Depot today, but we did leave a spot in our garden bed for when we do find some.
Oh, we also planted one of our pineapples. We put that in a pot--in case it does well we can take it with us whenever we move.

Last night we went to Phil and Lisa's for Game Night with Wii. Apparently we were trying out to be part of their Game Night group. And we passed. We all played bowling. There were eight of us total. So the first four of us played. And then the second four. The top two of the two groups went on to the finals. I was in the finals. I finished second in the first round and fourth in the second. Oh well.
After that a little Mario Kart and then Rock Band, which had me cracking up and which I also refused to play. :) I just observed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Goodbye Uncle Gil

***Updated with link to Uncle Gil's obituary.***
On Wednesday my mom's uncle passed away.
Uncle Gil aka Uncle Givvy (I have no idea if that is how you spell it) was a kind and generous man.
His nickname for me was Annie Roonie. And as a kid I hated it. Now it makes me smile.
Uncle Gil is my grandma's brother. And he was the second brother my grandma has lost. Uncle Tony died when I was in high school.
(Side story: Uncle Tony had three sons and named his three sons after his three brothers. So talk about confusing, right?)
Gil was married to Mercedes and they have three kids: Elizabeth, Joe and Alex (who are all around my age).
An obituary is not posted yet. I will link to it when it is. Click here for the obituary.
My thoughts are with my family at this sad time.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Another day in the city

Went to a Giants game last night.
My walk from BART to meet Curt and my dad I swear someone stuck a doobie in my purse. I actually turned around a couple of times to see if someone was following me and smoking a joint.
Anyway, had fun at the game. Got to see the Big Unit pitch his first official game as a Giant. Also, got to see Tim Lincecum receive his Cy Young award. Also got to see Randy give up a homerun to the Brewers' pitcher.
Back to my busy work day.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Yeeeaah to Vermont

Vermont Legalizes Gay Marriages ...
Little tidbit from the article: Bills to allow same-sex marriage are currently before lawmakers in New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey. The three other states that currently allow same-sex marriage — Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa — each moved to do so through the courts, not legislatures.
This is rather slow moving in my opinion. But regardless, it is happening and it is about time. Equal rights for everyone!

Building those calluses

Had guitar class again tonight. The class was only half full. I guess people are on Spring Break? We played a little Smoke on the Water together, learned how to tune our guitars (though the teacher suggested we not start tuning yet), learned E and A chords and learned finger picking.
My left-hand fingers are sore.
I got lots of practicing to do. No class next week since the teacher will be on vacation. So I have two weeks to master all this stuff.
Oh, and apparently there are at least 100 different kinds of guitar picks. That's nuts. Aww yea, I just found Girls Rock guitar picks. Schweet!

Monday, April 06, 2009

I am obsessed with Edward

I started reading the Twilight series at the end of December last year.
Mia lent me Twilight and it sat on my bookshelf forever. I just am not into vampires. She assured me it was not a typical vampire book. She was right.
Once I started reading I couldn't stop. The intensity of Edward's character just draws you in. I wanted to read it but then didn't want the book to end.
I wanted to read the whole series (four books) before I saw the movie.
I watched the movie over the weekend, which was OK.
But the kid they picked for Edward. Dang! I had seen pics of him and thought, ehhh. But there is something about him in the movie that just drew me in, just like the books.
I just looked him up on IMDb and he was born in 1986!!!!!
I have to say I was impressed with the mixture of people in the movie. When reading the book I just assumed Forks was pretty "White." But the casting was done well with a melting pot.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Another dose of Dash

Because I am lazy and haven't uploaded my pics from last weekend I will give you a peek at another pic of the sweet little one. If you are on Facebook you have already seen this, but, man, isn't he cute, again? :)

Dash, of course, was super cute during my whole visit. But I think my favorite, besides when I was teaching him to high five and he giggled every time, was when he and Mama were cuddling on the bed one morning. I came into the room and Kate put him on his tummy so he could show off rolling over for me. Well, the bed is kinda squishy, not great for newbie roller overers. But that little guy tried. He was working it. Eventually he got tuckered out and lied flat on the bed out of breath. It was so cute and hilarious. He gave it a couple of tries before declaring defeat.

Weekend was a quiet and fairly lazy one.
Yesterday I hit the gym, then came home to do some domestic duties: laundry, scrubbing a toilet, washing dishes, etc. A little after 1:30 Joey and I headed to the vet for a check-up. How come my co-pay is only 15 bucks and his is a whole hell of a lot more?
After the vet back to domestic goddess duties.
This morning our Realtor, Eric, picked us up and we looked at a bunch of houses. We saw all kinds: ones that are super cute and ready to move in, all updated and ones that are much bigger but outdated--you can still move in, you just have an older outdated house, one that had a pink bathroom, pink toilet included.
We just started looking and getting ideas of what is out there. Eric is not pushy at all and is encouraging us to look at a lot of houses before making any sort of decisions.
Before blogging I did some more practicing on the guitar. I have all four measures down of Smoke on the Water. So I am getting there. I should be practicing every day--but that hasn't happened. I must practice again tomorrow night since I have class Tuesday night.

Friday, April 03, 2009

YEA!!!! For Iowa!!!

Iowa High Court Legalizes Gay Marriage ... as it should be.
My friend Gail, who is from Iowa, told me she found this post on " 'I just got off the phone with several supporters of a ban on gay marriage, inviting them to support a ban on divorce in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ, and oddly, one of them being divorced and close to being remarried, they said they wouldn't because that would infringe on peoples rights.' "
"Again, a typical conservative response. 'Restrictions for thee, freedom for me.' "

Just a reminder, heteros are doing a pretty good job of screwing up the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is sacred, I do believe that. I believe two people who love each other and want to share a partnership should have every right to.
What I want to know is why is it OK for two heteros who have known each other for two hours have more rights to marry than a gay couple who has been together for many years and are partners? Hmmmmm?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

What a (bleep)!!!!

So lately about, mmmm, three to four times a week I get a call on my cell phone with a recording that the warranty on my car is about to expire.
The number is different every single time. Usually I just hang up. Today I listened to the whole thing so that I could talk to someone about getting off the list.
I hit 1 to talk to someone. They answer the phone asking if I want to renew my warranty. I nicely say, no, I want you guys to stop calling me. I hear a rustling noise and then a click!
(I just called the last number back to see what would happen. I got a busy signal.)
I have no idea who the company is to complain about them.

How often do you shampoo?

Most of my life I have washed my hair just about every day. If I skipped a day my head would get super dry and itchy and my hair would be super greasy.
I have known that that just isn't good for your hair and scalp.
At the end of December last year I started washing my hair every other day. It was tough at first. But it was over winter break and I wasn't at work so whatever.
Now I am down to about three times a week. I think my hair looks pretty OK. My hair and scalp have gotten used to it.
The whole greasy issue can be bunked by this: Experts say as someone washes less, their sebaceous glands began producing less sebum oil.
Two to three times a week is recommended. And think about it, if you wash less then you also blow dry less, straighten less, etc. Much less damage to your hair.
For the article go here.
Listen on this subject on NPR.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I'm a Rock Star, I Got My Rock Moves ...

Last night was my first beginner guitar class. Luckily I wasn't the biggest goober in the class.
String? Fret? Finger? That is what I am remembering as I learn to play Smoke on the Water. I sound just like the YouTube video, too. :)
I gotta practice when I get home tonight. I am close to mastering the first measure, then I can move on to the second.

After class I met Curt, David and Catherine for drinks, dinner and trivia at Ben 'n' Nick's. It was a good time even if we didn't do so hot. And my contributions were pretty lame. Especially when I couldn't freakin' remember what town the Twilight series took place in. I was ablank. Yes, it is Forks.