Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Little Christmas

I found a song with lyrics I could relate to this Christmas, then discovered that the song was changed because it was too depressing and that's why I didn't remember the lyrics. Go figure. The original anyway:

It was a rough year, and a seemingly impossible to survive holiday, but it was still Christmas and I'm still so grateful for all the good I have in my life.

Next year all our troubles will be out of sight?

Monday, December 19, 2011


catch us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Mid December and I just now get around to posting about Thanksgiving?  

I've lost my umph as it was SO long ago, so just a few pictures and a quick summary:

Table, should have used a brighter table cloth, there's always next year!

Dinner, which I now realize you can't even see in the photo...

Bread Pudding


Butternut Squash Soup
Homemade Wheat Bread
Gavin's family stuffing ( a meal in itself, really)
Sauteed Baby Carrots
Cheryl's Green Bean Casserole
Deviled Eggs by my mom
Fresh Turkey from El Toro Meats
Mom's Apple Cider
Bread Pudding with Canadian Maple Syrup Glaze

Everything came out great and it was a nice day at home cooking with my husband and enjoying my family.  The never frozen turkey turned out fantastic.  I'd certainly recommend it over a frozen turkey any day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer

This week I finished this months book for book club.

To be honest, I'm tempted not to write a review at all under the advice of my mother that if I can't say something nice...

But in the spirit of honesty and this being my blog, I couldn't stand the book.  This really isn't a surprise, it's essentially a chick flick in book form.  I have the same problem with it that I have with chick flicks: Archetype characters, predictable plot, every thing is always perfect in the end and wrapped up with a bow.  I hate not finishing books, but after a particularly annoying scene involving a group of chemical engineers (who, apparently, are all socially retarded men who only cut loose in random hotels with women in their pajamas singing karaoke) I seriously considered ending it right there.

On the plus side, it did greatly increase my opinion of my own writing, which I hate to admit, is much more like Ms. Strohmeyer's than the literary geniuses I'd prefer to emulate.    

I can see why people would enjoy the book: a tale of friends sipping martinis and surviving hard times only to come upon greener pastures and find that friendship prevails after all.  It's just not meeting me where I am, I guess.  I already know I'm in a bit of a dark phase, maybe I'll read it again someday and love it.

I'll close my review with a quote directly from the book:

"It was the kind of crazy circumstances [found] only in books.  And not very good books, at that."  :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update 6: Stoppage

The Referee has called a stoppage and scored this fight No Contest.

That's right, I'm done. It's not a win, it's not a loss, it's certainly not a TKO.

Things are just hectic right now and I'm not going to maintain my current rate.  Don't worry, expect a rematch next November!

The plot is frustratingly midstream, so I won't bother boring you with the story, I will; however, tell you the title and synoposis I posted at the start of November:

The Tracks

Frank took another long drag from his cigarette and glanced down at the train console for the 4th time in the last hour.  This isn’t how he’d thought it would be.  The empty landscape roared by, as it had continuously since he’d left the metropolis of Southern California, interrupted only briefly by an aged Joshua tree or lone crossing.  He glanced at the picture of the beautiful young woman pasted on his board and then at the barely healing slash on his left forearm.  “No”, Frank thought, “This isn’t how I thought it’d be at all”.  With less than 300 of 3200 miles completed, he wondered, what the hell had he gotten himself into.

I have a photo as well, maybe I'll post that someday soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update 5: Uh oh!

So since my last update, I've had some... issues.  Amazingly, SkyRim hasn't been the problem (or much of the problem).

So, the summary is I'm behind.  But it's not terrible.  As of the writing of this blog, my graph is a bit ugly

I'm not giving up and I have set aside some time to get caught up.  Of course with holidays quickly approaching, that may just be a dream, we'll see.

I've labeled this failures, but only because this update is a failure.  I could still pull through!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WeddingPlanning: A Seating Chart

Two of our friends are currently planning their wedding and I couldn't be happier for them.  Recently, the topic of wedding seating charts came up.

I am not a wedding planner, but I did have a neat wedding planner binder:  [therefore I'm an expert, right?]

I think seating charts are often a debated concept in wedding planning.  I can see the idea behind both wanting one and wanting to avoid one.  It's easy to see why you wouldn't want a seating chart: you don't have to worry about hurt feelings about where anyone is sitting, you don't have to figure out if Aunt Jude will get along with your college roommate or if Bill is going to make anti-religious jokes to your conservative religious grandparents.  Plus, I understand the concerns that they seem overly controlling, etc.

I started off in camp 'free for all!' seating.  Logistics made that impossible.  If you are going to free seat, you need extra seats (you are going to end up with tables that are less than fulling utilized and people trying to shuffle around to make room for larger parties).  We didn't have extra seats.

After the idea that we had to do it sunk it, I began to realize it really should be the responsibility of the hostess to make an event as easy for the guests as possible.   Without a seating chart, instead of you working out the details of who sits where with whom in the comfort of your living room weeks on advance, your guests scramble around trying to accomplish the same thing.  I think the control freak aspect is the same as with all wedding things.  Recognize the day of the wedding things aren't going to go exactly as you planned.  You will have unexpected guests, you will have people rearranging themselves, but for me, a plan was still the best way to go.

So we were doing a seating chart.

Supplies:  Post it notes and paper plates.

Any project that involves lots of post-its in lots of colors is a project I can at least appreciate. Hence, seating chart time was not nearly so bad as anticipated.

Gavin had the great idea of using post its for each party and paper plates for the tables.  We had three groups, each with a different color, which is essentially how our guest list was divided when we made it.

  • His family
  • My family
  • Friends

Everybody got stuck to the wall.  Each table was numbered and the people got stuck to the plate we wanted them at.  The advantage to the plates and post its is that is was easy to move people around, but everything stayed in place while we were working.

Overall, our first draft seating chart only took about an hour and half a bottle of pinot noir, including writing all the names and table numbers. Not too shabby.

Then when it came to name our tables (each table was named after a Disney couple) we got to decide who got to Mike and Sally and who got to be Lady and the Tramp.  I admit, it was my own way of resolving some wedding angst. :)  Speaking of tables, these were ours:

This was set on the guest card table and each table had a matching picture (just in case some guests weren't up to date on their Disney duos!)

In the end, I was happy with our process and our result

Of course it helped to have a super helpful staff.  I don't know of any seating issues, but I'm sure they would have resolved them before I could have ever found out about them.  I did hear a child shatter a champagne glass against the side of a table, and Disney had it whisked away before I could even figure out which direction it came from!  So another thank you to the fantastic staff at Disney for making me at least believe that my Seating Chart was magical. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update 4: Just shy of half

So I've located that lull that prevents people from finishing novels.  The last few days, writing even 1500 words a day has been dragging a dead mammoth across a rapidly hardening tar pit in the pouring rain.  As you can see, my creativity isn't the problem.  For encouragement, I graphed my progress (NaNoWriMo.org has a progress graph too, but I like mine better.)

So, word-wise, I'm actually keeping up. (Ironically, the last few days I've stayed away from hyphenating any words because it only counts as one word... yep, it's been that bad!)

Plot-wise, things are getting a little hairy.  I'm far enough in that I feel like things should be starting to come together a bit more and they aren't.  Part of me isn't really worried about that, I was much more worried about finishing too early and having nothing left to write, but part of me recognizes that sometimes what I write is utter crap that I'd cut in a heart beat during a final edit.  I have to remind myself that this is an exercise, I'm learning.  Kind of like those first zillion pots I made in ceramics.  So I'm pushing on.

I actually read one of the email encouragements NaNoWriMo sent me and it happened to be about exactly this problem.  Apparently I'm not alone.  They suggested sending your characters to the circus.  I had to laugh, I sent one of mine on a random blind date (she got stood up.)

I'm half way done and I'm feeling about how I felt on mile 13 of the Avon walk, namely "I'm never going to make it to wellness camp!!"  Still, one word in front of the other, I trudge along.

I also have a major distraction that arrived in my hands 1:00 am Friday morning:

So while I had great visions of getting ahead so I'd be set for Thanksgiving, I think it's going to be more like "Okay, I wrote my 1667 words, can I go fight dragons now??"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What's for dinner? Raw Fish!

Yep, I finally I did it.  I finally worked up the nerve to prepare uncooked fish in my kitchen!  We don't do cooked fish because I don't eat cooked fish, so it's actually my first time using our 'fish' cutting board as well! (Okay, Okay, I've used it before when the others were dirty.)

Edamame Ahi Towers

There's a place we eat near our house that has an ahi nacho dish that's usually delicious and sometimes atrocious.  I decided to steal some elements from their dish and combine in with some of my own.  The hardest part was finding a meat market with sashimi grade fish.  I eventually found one, and the fish was fine, but I probably need to find a different place for next time.

The elements I chose for my tower were edamame, guacamole, salmon, chives.  I made the sauce out of wasabi, wasabi mayonnaise, dijon mustard, line juice, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, sweet onion, fresh basil, salt and pepper.   

I started with a layer of mashed avocado.  I don't know if that's standard, but the engineer in my couldn't build my tower on the non-cohesive foundation of edamame beans!

I was pretty impressed with the results.  I surprised Gavin with a tranquil date night mood dinner in the middle of the week (although this has kinda been my thing lately, so not sure it's actually a surprise anymore!)  

Monday, November 7, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update 3: 25 percent!

12570 / 50000 words. 25% done!

Day 7, 25 percent complete and still right on schedule!  Some observations from the writer's seat:

1.  I envy sci-fi/fantasy writers.  Not that their writing isn't without challenge, but the random fact finding is time consuming and I'm not doing nearly the leg work I would need to prior to actually publishing a book.  For example, do you know how much a freight train engine weighs off the top of your head?

2.  I don't envy sci-fi/fantasy writers.  As complicated as fact checking seems like it can be, consistency checks are even tougher!  Did I already determine what color Cameron's hair is?  How old is Sandra?  Wait, how can she be that old if she graduated in this year?  What year is this book even set in??  At least fact finding facts stay the same and are sometimes relatively easy to Google.  Trying to remember what I typed only a few days ago is beating me up including using ctrl-f.  How did writers do it on type writers without search features??

3.  Summary of the two preceding, MAN it must be tough to be a good editor!  

It's fun because sometimes it feels like my character are taking on a life of their own.  I type something out then immediately think, "She'd never say that like that!"  Again, good luck with that editors!

Last update from my buddies, they were all lagging behind a little bit.  But it's early!  You can do it!  In other exciting news, Gavin has decided to do some writing this month as well!  My tip tappity must be inspiring!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

15 Minute Project while you (Alyssa) wait!

I've been intending to make a frame style jewelry holder for quite a while now but have been unsuccessful finding a suitable frame.  Today I was on a mission, but still couldn't find a frame.  I did find a cute box at Michael's on clearance and I figured I had nothing to loose.

Not bad for a 15 minute project!

It is hanging inside my project and only houses earrings.

I apologize for the camera phone quality photos.  If you are considering asking what I am going to do with stud style earrings, I haven o answer for you.  Hence the boxes at the bottom.

So that's what I did with 1/4 of the time I gained from time change.  Still sorting out what to do with the other 45 minutes....

Friday, November 4, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update 2

It's only day 4, so it seems a little early for an update, but it's my novel I'll do what I want!

6974 / 50000 words. 14% done!

For the numerically interested after today we will be 13% done with the month.  Also, if all goes as planned tonight, I should be up to at least 7500.

In other words, I've kept up so far, which I recognize isn't a significant achievement, since again, it's only 4 days in.  But in the spirit of being me, I did recent do a completion schedule complete with days that I thought no work would get done (holidays, days I have other stuff going on etc) and balanced out the remainder of the days.  Maybe when I'm done I'll post it to see how I did.

So far, I'm really enjoying writing.  1600 words isn't nearly as daunting as it seemed when I first sat down to think about it and so far.  I've never tried to write a novel before, but I think understand why NaNoWriMo works for so many people.

I've never tried writing anything like this before.  Last book I wrote was in 7th grade.  Last creative writing I did, outside of this blog, was probably in high school for AP English.  But every time I sit down to start writing, I worry.  I don't really know the story I'm writing.  I don't know what is going to happen next, really.  I don't know if I have enough characters, or if I'm going to fast, or to slow.  I worry so much while I get to the computer, open the file.  But then, I just start writing.  I don't know if my story makes sense.  I don't know if it's good, but when I'm writing, I just write.  I'm sure that if and when I finish this project/book/story and go back and read it I'll be frustrated with the inconsistencies, annoyed with the time line mistakes bothered by the typos and repeated words.  But so far, most of the time, when I write, I just write.  Given, it's day 4.  Day 24, maybe it's a different story. But for now, I'm enjoying the process of just writing and I'm shocked when sometimes I read what I've written and actually see a story coming together.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

That was Halloween, That was Halloween.

My favorite holiday has come and gone.

As per the theme of this year, had big plans, but they didn't work out as I'd hoped.  Still, despite the attack of the giant cilantro,AND attack of the giant panic about hosting my first neighborhood get together, it was still a great Halloween.


Pumpkin Town!  I can't wait to watch it grow over the years!  Not a great photo...

Haunted House.  I <3 my house
BIG CANDY!  BIG hit with the kids.

Working on the exterior decorations this year as well

Monster in the Tower


Least happy participant of the year award.

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

It's like I'm in grade school all over again!

I've finished "Half a Life."  The purpose of a book club must be, at least in part, to get you to read books you would never look twice at otherwise.  I also think it's interesting to try to figure out why someone would choose a particular book and I look forward to finding out a little bit more about that when we meet next.  The book was a memoir of a man who hit and killed a classmate at his high school.  It's essentially the story of how he lived with, or through, or around, the event.  Books, and stories, are amazing because quite frequently they meet you where you are, no matter where that is.  I was drawn to his conclusion which, to paraphrase, is things don't go away and you can't escape the past.  And it's not strength that makes you more or less able to cope, it's human nature.  How true that is.  Despite our vastly different stories, I could relate to him.  Books are magic.

And then there's writing!  Yesterday officially started NaNoWriMo!  I (awkwardly) attended a 'write-in' kick off event in Mission Viejo where I successfully completed my first 1600 words!  Go me!  My story seems to be taking on a life of it's own.  I'm functioning under the working title of "The Tracks" and the assumption that it will awful when (if) it's done.  Still I have a goal: 50,000 words this month, a little over 1600 words a day.  One more or less completed novel in November.  Jen is participating as well, although I haven't heard her progress yet.  Mike also committed to some amount of involvement, pending my daily success, while we were in Vancouver although the details of which have yet to be clearly recalled by any of the witnesses.  

I really just threw in Arithmetic because I thought it made the title awesome, but in the way of basic math, I have been testing out Mint.com this month as a financial tracking cloud based software.  It's fine, but to be perfectly honest, I'm way happier with my personally created excel sheets (although import is a bit tedious and they became slightly more complicated each year).  Eventually, I recognize the necessity of a more streamlined process, but for now I'm holding out.  Maybe Mint will grow on me?

I know I'm late with my Halloween post and will do my best to get that posted ASAP.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book club: Third Book

New book club book.  "Half a Life" by Darwin Strauss.  I've only just started it so I have essentially no opinion of it yet.

From what I can gather so far, it's the autobiographical story of a guy who killed a girl when he was 18.

On a book club note, I actually had quite a good time discussing "Swapping Lives".  One of the more interesting aspects of the conversation was to hear how some of the women in the club found it to be very similar to life in Ladera.  I realized that my experience in Ladera is entirely different than theirs.  I like Ladera.  I love the trails for running, I love Taco Mesa, I'm waiting with bated breathe for the opening of Selma's.  I wave at my neighbors when I drive home from work (and huff at their never used street blocking basketball hoops when my inner cranky old lady gets too close to the surface).  I socialize when I'm invited and have the time.  But I am completely oblivious to the social posturing that is apparently rampant.

It was fascinating, although a little scary, to glimpse an entirely different side of my community.  Book club is pretty much exactly what I was looking for: a way to meet and connect with people different than myself.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Magic

A night at home with my sister, husband and some magical pumpkins.  

Something wicked this way comes!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We do Art!

Alyssa is one of the coolest people I know.  How many friends do you have who call you and say "Lets watch one your favorite movie and do crafts!"?  Especially when the movie in question happens to be Hocus Pocus, the 1993 Disney Halloween flick.

She provided the movie, I provided the crafts.  As usually she provided 80 percent of the actual talent, but I'm actually pretty proud of how this guy came out!

We do art!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mushed up Melon Martini

The Stormy Night is one of my favorite Martini.  Until now.

We had some water melon instead of watermelon pucker, so I mushed it up, hence the name.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Themed Dinner

Last week, Gavin and I got a little bit back in the saddle of cooking at home.  I decided to go for themed dinners.  My most successful was certainly our Asian Themed evening.

Hot Tea

Noodles and Spicy Mustard

Asian Themed Bok Choy and Shrimp Soup

Complete with relaxing music, it was truly a wonderful evening.

Another Pup!

But not another Boo.

Boo, rechristened Vincenzo Griffin Newell, lived up to my expectation of a trail of broken hearts in his path.  Primarily mine.  Turns out playing foster momma is not in the cards for me, way too much ouch!  Of course Vinny is a special little guy.  And of course I never once regretted getting him out from under the car and into our office!

So when I heard there was another little orphaned dog headed to spend the day with me, I was both happy and terrified.  Apparently I'm my own terrier rescue

Runt dog, as she will be lovingly referred to in this post, was smaller than Vinny and darker.  She was also likely a chihuahua/terrier mix although the chihuahua part was certainly bigger.  She was tiny, less skittish and had quite the attitude throughout the day, growling if she decided anyone had come to close to me or 'our' space.

Runt dog was bathed, taken to the vet, and had a home as fast as Vinny.  Although as soon as she left, everyone collectively agreed she was no Boo.

Vinny, by the way, seems to be doing well.  Happy and spoiled.  :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: Swapping Lives by Jane Green

I mentioned in my last post that I've joined a book club, I also mentioned the book we were reading:

The bad: The writing style drove me a little batty.  For example, the voice constantly changed (we, us, her, I, them).  I recall one line in the book that alluded to an earlier passage in the text "I won't tell if you won't".  It was in a letter one main character writes to another.  The second time, the author suggests that the character won't tell if we (the reader) won't.  It was just distracting to me.  I guess it's the engineer in me.  I want to know my role at the start of the book and I don't want it to change!

I saw a similar lack of continuity about the viewpoint of the story.  For example, we are following Vicky, one of the main characters, when she receives a phone call from a friend. But while she is talking on the phone to the friend, the author describes what the friend is doing, not just what he's saying, to us.  Vicky has no way of knowing what he's doing and we are with Vicky.  Am I just being nit picky?

The good:  It was an interesting story, although not a nail bitter by any stretch.  I didn't find the characters particularly compelling, but maybe that's because I don't relate to either of them.  I'm not a desperate housewife longing to find something more fulfilling than designer clothes.  I'm also not a single women desperately clamoring for a husband.  In fact, I almost never think the grass is greener on the other side.  I believe, most of the time at least, that the grass is greener in front of me.  Therefore, the best and only logical move to make is forward.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Joined a Book Club.

I joined a book club.  I'm nervous but excited.  Last night I attended my first meeting.  I was surprised that not everyone had read the book, but it was a welcoming and interesting group. 

This month, we'll be reading Swapping Lives by Jane Green.  It seems like an intresting story and it is certainly a deviation from my typical reading categories.  I have until May to come up with my recommendation for a book.  I'm hoping to garner some more information on what types of books the group likes to read.  They say they read everything, but I'm not so sure how many of the books I like to read would go over (Atlas Shrugged, Ender's Game, A Briefer History of Time, and 1984 all come to mind).  I'm leaning more towards something lighter and easier.  Possibly (shudder) Malcom Gladwell or maybe Mary Roach.  We'll have to see. 

In the meantime, I was thinking how much I adore reading and have been having a hard time doing it.  It's a factor of both time and having a hard time figuring out what the heck to read and just being borderline.  So, anyone intersted in being book pen pals?  Taking turns picking books to read together?  I have lots of friends who love to read (Jen, Terrence, Alyssa, I'm looking at you!)   Maybe I'll call it re-read.  That will be sure to annoy Gavin. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Foster Puppy.

It's been a kinda exciting week!

This little guy wandered into my life:

Likely abandoned in a nearby parking lot, he was scared, dirty, hungry and covered in motor oil.  I was eventually convinced (coerced?) into taking him home with the agreement that a friend's wife and daughter would come bathe him.

After, what a difference a bath makes!

Gavin and I decided we didn't think he was the right fit for our decidedly... delicate animal family.  So the search for his family began.

Tuesday, I took him to the vet, just to make sure he was at least relatively healthy.  We were already in the process of removing the fleas, but a vet visit is always a good idea for a lost little guy. 

He was scared to death, but stole another medium sized chink of my heart by leaning up against me, sighing and calming down instantly. 

There's not denying the little guy adores me.  He follows me around and comes when I call or say... well, anything.  I called him ghost because he kept disappearing and reappearing, but I've since decided Boo was much cuter. 

I have a friend who INSISTS that everything happens for a reason.  I mostly think that's an idiom for nonreligious people to survive bad situations.  Still, I think this little guy happened to me for a reason.  Something about him and his timing has been good for me this week.  Last Sunday night I woke up and couldn't sleep.  I woke up the dog to sit and cuddle.  Not interested.  I woke up the cat to cuddle.  Nope.  Gavin held me and eventually I feel asleep.  Monday morning I meet this little guy who just needs some love and cuddles and I had plenty for him.  All week he's needed nothing but some attention, some food, some baths and lots of love.

Tonight Boo get's to meet his maybe forever mom.  I'm certainly going to miss him.  And it's not just me.  This little show stopper is gonna leave a whole trail of broken hearts in his path!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Writing prompts aka I might be cheating.

I mentioned previously that I signed up for NaNoWriMo.

It starts in November.  For those of you who don't know, it is currently September .

I fully intended to not think about my novel until after the best day of the year (Halloween, obv).  However, I did mention my latest adventure to a few people including my car pool buddy.  Conversation sometimes runs a bit thin when you have a 2 hour drive each way, so my theoretical book came up.

Only we came up with a topic.  Mostly as a joke. But I came home and made a mind map.  And now the idea is kind a rough outline.  And I'm kinda excited about it.  And the character is kinda a person in my mind at the moment.

Did I cheat?  Jen says no.  She's my writer buddy so I'm good.

I don't know if this book idea will stick.  Half of me wants to write it right now while I can see him and sense him. But then... if I don't remember him anymore by November doesn't that mean I should write about what I'm feeling then?

I've never wished it were November before.  Weird. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

What's for dinner? Vagabond Edition

This is a special "what to cook when you have no electricity edition".

Last night, all of San Diego County, as well Southern Orange County (aka here); lost power as a result of what is reported to be a switching error in Arizona that knocked the San Onofre Nuclear plant off line.

Interestingly enough, I didn't even know the power was out.  I was home from work cleaning the bathroom, watching a show on my iPad while my robovac vacuumed away without a concern in the world.  I heard a beeping downstairs and figured it was the fire alarm.  I got a battery and a ladder and climbed up to find out... it wasn't.  After some investigation, I figured out it was my house alarm notifying me that it had 'no ac.'  I guess I'm more girl than engineer after all was "Why the hell does my alarm need air conditioning??"  I figured it out pretty quickly and tested a few light switches.  I went outside to confirm it wasn't just my house that had tripped and quickly figured out it was at least a local outage.

You don't realize how helpless you are without electricity.  And I'm still much less helpless than people were even a few years ago.  I had my cell phone and could still do things like follow SDGE on twitter for the latest news.

Still... a coworker advised me to stay off the roads and my house was pretty devoid of any non frozen food.  In fact, in my refrigerator, I had only the following perishable items: happy cow cheese, 2 chicken sausages, sour cream, an onion and orange juice (does orange juice even count?)  I know you are suppose to leave the fridge closed, but I knew I had essentially nothing in there.

I decided it was enough to work with and created this

Vagabond Delight!

I singed a few arm hairs manually lighting the stove burners, but otherwise my potato/sausage/onion feast was pretty impressive.

After dinner, I light a million candles, grabbed my iHome and curled up to wait out the black out.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sneaking back into life

This year has sucked.  Badly.  I can only hope it's the worst year of my life.  I declared it the worst year on January 8th, that's how bad of a year it is.

As a result, I've spent a good majority of this year escaping into the relative safety of my chosen profession.  Holidays, birthdays, and returning phone calls or emails have fallen by the wayside, along with, for the most part, this blog.  Lack of blogging has primarily been a function of lack of activities that I like to blog about.  If I had a blog about my adventures in Construction, it'd be alive and well, but crafting, cooking, hiking, etc have really been pretty minimal lately.  

But right now, I feel a bit like Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog.  I'm ever so cautiously sneaking back into life, hoping to God nothing scares me back into the ground for another 6 weeks (months, years, decades?) of winter. 

So here's a toast to trying:

Our Purple Themed Drinks: Purple Haze and Story Nights to toast a new try

It's time to rejoin Jen for happy hour.  Plan that recurring game night at our house.  Do crafts.  It's at least time to try...

Monday, September 5, 2011

The OC Fair... Let's eat!

 I'm always excited by the idea of the Fair.  But then I get there.  I remember that it's hot, crowded, greasy and FANTASTIC! 

Deep Fried Kool-Aid.  Gavin couldn't help himself.

And last but not least, introducing my bounty.  On the left is Minion, my new pet goldfish.  He's currently in his third week, vastly outliving all predictions for his lifespan.  On the right is my new minion named Goldfish.  He's my carpool buddy.  Sadly, I don't think he get's my HOV privileges...