Saturday, December 31, 2011

Final 2011 Victories

1. Fruits of my labor began sprouting-ziva paperwhites.

2. Built up my tolerance of other species.

3. FINALLY got around to organizing and decorating the office.
In process of moving everything out to prep for paint.

More put together, but not the final vision.

3a. Earthquake-strapped the bookcase to the wall.

4. Started new nail trends in the painting process, "the spackle".

5. Fixed the doorbell so that it's no longer on the same frequency as the next door neighbor's.

6. Hung rain gutters and down spouts.

Goodbye 2011, hello 2012. First anticipated victory will be staying up until midnight.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


A week of fun, frivolity, family, friends, and food (and sometimes lack thereof the latter.)

Employee of the month here, who braved Costco.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Wednesday.

Business cat.

First real sewing project! Potholders for Leah!

Christmas Eve duets.

Really? It's own section?

Christmas morning breakfast.

350 miles shared with wonderful family.

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Winner, winner, Catchphrase clincher!!!

Shout out to Amie who always has her camera and tripod at the ready!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The most interesting cat in the world

He's the one controlling the laser pointer while the other cats run trying to catch it.

Monday, December 5, 2011


My usual mix of vinegar and baking soda is not working.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Good Things

It was a weekend full of good things:
1. Boot camp to get this booty into better shape.
2. Celebratory dinner with Kerri and Rob to celebrate her new PhD status.
3. Sewing with mom.
4. Lunch with the in-laws.
5. Afternoon naps.
6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on the tele.
7. The Amazing Race, although my favorites Tommy and Andy were eliminated. They had an amazing run though.
8. Meeting babies, specifically Miles Sandfer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The circle of life can be cruel.

A friend from work lost her baby this week. She was three months old, diagnosed with congenital heart defects while pregnant. I had never been to a baby's funeral before today and I hope I never have to again. Though her parents were in pain, she looked peaceful, like she could be sleeping. Ready to be picked up and loved. To have life taken so soon is unfair.

It is bittersweet. As Courtney left her family, Miles came to Virginia and Shawn on Wednesday night. I know they will make awesome parents.

I struggle to comfort the grieving while congratulating the joyful and making sense of how the cards fall.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Thanksgiving started early for us with a brunch on the Calabrese side at my grandparents' assisted living home on Sunday, November 20. I think we may have been one of the largest families there-all 19 of us--one grandma, four kids and 5 spouses, six cousins, and a senior center entertainer in Pilgrim gear. My brain was focused on my omelet so there is no picture sadly.

For the long weekend, Scott and I traveled to Blythe for a Haselton Thanksgiving with his dad's side of the family. His aunt and uncle very kindly hosted us and other members of the family for a few days while still managing to do a sit down dinner for 21. I'm guessing they are enjoying the peace now!

Bonfires and babies

The trip was very fun to see family and finally become acquainted with my second amendment rights.

Scott and Tim, Robert pulling the pigeons.

Audra had way better form.

And for my dad who will appreciate it-the first shot, atrocious form, nerves, and all:

The Haselton women did exceptionally-shooting pigeons, bottles, cardboard left and right. I shot one pigeon and felt good about finally getting comfortable with such a powerful weapon. Holding a shotgun certainly brings out one's inner badass.

We capped off the weekend with a wine and game night with Scott's coworkers and a Sunday night turkey roll. All in all a great Thanksgiving.

Big thanks to the Maltby's who hosted the holiday-we had a great time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Moose Lodge

Tuesday night Scott and I ventured to the Anaheim Moose Lodge with our friends Virginia and Shawn, where Gigi's dad is a Moose.

Cheap drinks, great company, and good times had by all. I even stayed out until 11 on a work night.

Posted via my iPhone. Not sure why the photos are ginormous.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The day I learned to sew.

It's been a long, sweaty, frustrating road. Two dropout classes, several YouTube attempts, and many tutorial reads later, we have this:

Three words: mother knows best.

Actually my mom is not that way, but a few hours with her were far superior to the previous classes I've attempted. There is something to be said for one-to-one teaching for sure.

Now I have a pink and plaid Hawaiian print Christmas stocking as my first real project. My curves need a little work, but overall, not too shabby. I may seek a shadow box to display at home or pass it down as a future heirloom. We shall see.

Thanks to my mom for the great lesson. Did you just hear that sound? It was the sound of my fabric glue soaring into the trashcan.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saluting the Vets

I originally posted this in 2009, but I think it's just as relevant today. Thank you veterans for what you do for our country.


Today, and everyday, I salute the men and women around the world fighting for safety, freedom, democracy, and a job I could never do.

Personally, I'd like to thank the men in my life who have devoted time to the armed services. (I am just sorry that I don't have pictures of them all in uniform.)

My dad, who served in the United States Army.

My paternal grandfather, a soldier in the United States Navy, and a part of Pearl Harbor.

My maternal grandfather, also a soldier in the Navy and also a part of Pearl Harbor.

Longtime friend Harrison, US Marine, who most recently served in Iraq.

Thank you for all you do, have done, and will continue doing for this country.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A woman about So Cal

Saturday was a big day. I drove to Temecula to see Ashley and little Luca for the second time since his birth in late August. She might have been the cutest little mama around pushing a very hip stroller and looking adorable.

We are both lovers of wine and cheese and so she has raved about the Temecula Valley Cheese Company and thus treated me to a lovely afternoon of artisan brie, parmesan, gruyere, and fontina. And of course, vino.

Delightful friend, company, and time together. I so wish we lived closer.

After a dinner foul in the kitchen that caused me to lose a spoon and my Pyrex measuring cup, Scott and I headed south again to The Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa for my sister's boyfriend's band, Main Street Lights. And they went on after 10:30. I felt like I shed a little of my grandma exterior that night.

The band was great, the people watching as amazing as it gets at a dive bar. And I enjoyed two glasses of Chardonnay and watching the lobsters before the band.

Three cheers for Saturday nights with friends, family (in spirit since the sister is not yet 21), and extra hours.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blogging on the go

This is what being a part of the iPhone club feels like!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's the most wonderful day of the year

Happy Halloween!!! The night I live for, the night of holiday without gifts, no pretenses, and tons of dressing up.
Ruffle socks with peep toe wedding shoes do nothing for my calves.

Dorothy and the Wicked Witch get along very well in this family!

Surprise! The Cowardly Lion showed up!

I told Scott I couldn't wait until we had a kid I could dress up. As if that wasn't already not in our immediate future, it's now in our super not immediate future. Whatevs, I have Oliver acting as my Toto today.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Burn Victim

Well that might be a bit over dramatic.

However my kitchen safety does need some improvement.

Two years ago I burned myself on the oven in our apartment and earned myself a "10" from the upper grid irons on my elbow. Since then there have been a dozen other incidents involving the oven, stove, bbq-you name it.

The worst by far was a few weeks ago when I took a shortcut (first no-no) in making bacon in the microwave. (Sidenote-I really hate the grease from making it on the stove and didn't feel like turning on the oven. Plus I hate the smell of a home post-bacon. Strange, I know.) As I took the bacon out of the microwave, my force was that of superhuman strength and the grease from the plate splashed onto my bosom. It took every ounce of energy in me not to throw the plate across the room (fearing the mess I'd have to clean up later-I already had the grease spill on and around me contained).

That bacon grease went through my shirt AND my bra to emblazon the very delicate skin with a scarlet splotch. This was one bad burn. I tended it as best I could and a few days in finally called the hospital nurse's line to confirm it sounded like it was actually healing and not staying forever. Thankfully about 12 days later it's healed and only a slight scar on my body that is full of them.

Because of this experience I figured it was high time to buy a First Aid kit. I'm slightly embarassed that we didn't have it before and might just start giving it as a wedding gift now. Good thing I did because last night I gave myself another oven burn tattoo. I realize I also need to buy elbow length oven mitts since that along with my hands seem to be the most common victim.

Thus, always remember safety first, kids (and almost 30-year-old adults).

Monday, October 24, 2011

A First Time for Everything: Acupuncture

The couple that experiences Eastern medicine together, stays together.

Saturday morning Scott and I went in for our first accupuncture appointment together...or so we thought. It actually turned out to be a 1.5 hour consultation complete with a dianostic analysis of our respective bodies. Turns out I am close to obese. Now while I know I can stand to lose a few pounds, I didn't think it was as serious as being close to obesity. It put a damper on my Saturday and of course made me consider eating spinach and carrot sticks morning, noon, and night. Scott on the other hand is a perfect specimen and if anything underweight, which is not surprising to anyone.

After we determined this was indeed a self-esteem ruining meeting, we made appointments for the real deal, and today I went.

I wish I could have taken photos but, I was covered in 22 needles and I didn't need the world to see my lumpy-nearly-obese-self anyways.

The experience began with 15 minutes with my "pain therapist." I think this might be a term that is lost in translation as it really felt like a deep tissue massage without the ambiance of a regular massage. Lots of kneading, reminders of tightness, relax, relax, knead more. Lights switched on. (If I do a Yelp review, I will suggest a dimmer.)

Following my mini massage with the pain therapist, we began the acupuncture. Dr. Kim put 22 needles on me while I laid on my back: one in between my eyebrows, five on my head like a stegosaurus, one behind and on each ear, one on the fleshy part of each hand, four on my abs, two above each knee, two on top of each foot below the toes, and one I cannot recall.

None of the pricking was painful except for the feet. She pulled in a heat lamp to radiate on my abs for the obesity and I was told to relax and encouraged to sleep for the next 30 minutes. I was not uncomfortable but as my legs were propped up on a triangular pillow, I had some discomfort in my ankles, and when you are fixated on a problem you can't do anything about, sleep doesn't really happen. I did sit up to at least have a visual of the experience and when I raised my arms it felt a little weird, as well as my legs from (the fat) moving around the needle.

Following my 30 minute warm up, the needles were removed and we went into the doctor's office for more "therapy." Dr. Kim speaks very good English, however I have a difficult time understanding accents, so I'm fairly sure the four Chinese seeds she pushed into my left ear and covered with a bandage are for combating headaches, tension, and my appetite. She then pricked my ear for reasons I do not know.

My homework is to push the Chinese seeds into my ear five times a day for the next three days. Some of them are pretty painful and feel like I've got a new piercing.

If Scott and I keep up the recommended plan it's going to cost us about $1200. This may be my only acupuncture experience and thus I will continue down the slippery slope of obesity and join the local Weight Watchers.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Progress Report-Part II

The bathroom is about 80% done. And my visits to the gym to shower are looking to be a thing of the past. All that is left on the to-do list is ripping up the awful linoleum and putting in a pedestal sink. The public lavatory model kills me.

The wallpaper tearing down process:

A previous owner actually used hot glue to seal the top and bottom of the wallpaper likely when it started to curl from moisture in the bathroom. I'd like to have a few words with the other person who slopped paint on the kitchen cabinetry, but that must wait for another day.

I hated those stupid moonbeams.

I am actually thankful in terms of wallpaper removal for this home-this was it, a border. Granted it had hot glue that had to be scraped off, but at least it wasn't rooms and rooms of it.

When my parents remodeled their house a few years ago, I earned my wings scraping wall paper down from every nook and cranny it seemed. Layers on layers of wallpaper. I shudder at the memory.

Finally gone.

First off-the grout lines in the tile are wider than we would like. However, being our first time dealing with tile (though we didn't lay it) we went with a recommendation. It's grown on me with the darker paint and accents as well.

The paint choice leans more towards the feminine side, but I'm trying to balance it with the black and gray accents. Scott is manly enough to handle it though.

The two white spots in the above picture are waiting for a new set of hooks to go up.

I have to say I love it more than the hippie version that preceded it. And it's another lesson in the dramatic difference paint makes.