It's that time of year again. The end of one year and time to make resolutions for the new year. 

I don't know about you, but I tend to get get carried away with these resolutions.  Some are the same (lose weight, start a work out regime) and some are not. A lot of mine are based in creative ventures...writing, scrapbooking, journaling...

Resolutions for me mean a fresh new start to the year.  A clean slate to make improvements, changes and be more organized and productive.  (Well, those are the kinds of things my list is comprised of). 

Then I start asking myself, Have I made too many resolutions? Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Will I keep them? seriously. Does it matter? 

I have to be honest.  There have been years I have failed miserably with keeping any of my resolutions.  There have been years that I have only made a few thinking that will help me stay focused on the ones I've made. 

This year I feel very optimistic and energized by my resolutions. I have made a lot of them this year...resolutions from health, diet and fitness challenges to carving out time for some new projects and following through on the projects I have already jumped into.  

No matter whether I keep one or all of them, I believe that the routine of making resolutions is a good one.  I like having goals and I love the beginning of a new year!

Do you make resolutions?  Do you keep them? 



We had a wonderfully blessed Christmas.  We missed spending Christmas with our (daughter, Ashley) and (son, Taylor) who both live out of state--Utah and Virginia, but I did get to talk to Ashley and granddaughter, Grace on the phone and Skype on my laptop with Taylor in the afternoon. So good to see him!

We were able to spend time with the rest of our six kiddos, and our "adopted" daughter, Olivia.  My good friend, Linda and her other half, Graeme spent the afternoon and evening with us--so much fun and laughter!  We had such a nice day with everyone! Memories to lock away in my heart. 
I have much to be thankful for.  And I am!!

Last week, Heather and Cameron shared that their baby is a boy--we are thrilled that they are adding a second grandson for us to love and spoil in May!!  AND...on Christmas Day we learned that Ashley and Kent are expecting a girl, so we are getting our second granddaughter in April.  We are so excited!!

We hosted our Italian themed Christmas Eve dinner and evening and enjoyed our time with family.  We ate, laughed and celebrated the birth of Jesus together.  After dinner,  we had fun playing the "steal a gift" game with the gifts we brought to exchange.  

Today, we both had the day off from work and played catch-up here at home and did our laundry.  Back to normal.  We took in a movie this afternoon and heated up leftovers for dinner.  It's nice to be back on our schedule. 

I was reading the most recent post of another blogger I follow and her post reminded me of something so cute that Grace said to me while she was here.

We were sitting at the table and she looked up at me and said, "Memaw, call me Angel".  At first, I didn't get it.  But then I remembered that when she calls me to get my attention, I will answer, "Yes, Angel?"  or "Yes, Lovie"  

She told her mama, "I Memaw's angel"    She was definitely stuck on that while she was here.  If we called her a "silly billy", which is her own little thing she says, she would shake her head and say, "No, I not...I an angel.  I Memaw's angel." 
Ha Ha! Too darn cute is what she is!!

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and felt the love of Jesus, God's gift to the world!



This week has been filled with many Christmas celebrations for us. 

Sunday night, Bruce and I went to see the Parade of Lights on the San Diego Bay.  The best part was that we saw it from the Hornblower Adventurer.  Our evening cruise included a delicious buffett dinner.  My favorite part was the spinach salad with honey mustard dressing and a vegetable dish made with summer squash, zuchinni, green beans and almonds. 

We sipped our cups of steaming hot coffee from the top deck of the ship and took in all the lights of the parade boats and the city.

Wednesday night we attended my office Christmas dinner party.  We went to Busalacchi's a Modo Mio located in downtown San Diego.  I ordered the butternut squash ravioli with cream sauce and hazelnuts.  It was so yummy. Hmmm...I sense a squash theme in my meals...haha!

I had the day off today so I got some things done around the house.  Played with some table decorations for our Christmas Eve dinner, took Kona to the vet to be groomed--she also got weighed and has lost 18 pounds--we have been working on it since she blew out both of her knees last year and her Vet told us losing some weight would help her recovery and general health.  I am pleased that her weight was down.  Her nails got trimmed (very much needed) and she is a happy camper.

I got my nails done (also much needed) this afternoon, too. I have two more gifts to wrap.

Tomorrow, I will complete my table centerpiece planning and pull it all together for dinner.  I have a feeling that it's going to be a very busy day!



Our Christmas tree is up, decorated and our house smells like Christmas.  We've shopped til we dropped (mostly online) but we still have our wrapping to do. 

Yesterday was cookie baking day with some girlfriends and last night we went to my parent's house for family candy making with my dad and brothers. We made close to 150 chocolate covered cherry candies! 

It was a fun filled day, but I was exhausted after a full day and evening of measuring, mixing, stirring, rolling and dipping--and my tootsies hurt from standing on them all day. We left my parent's house at 10:30 p.m. and did not get to bed until after midnight.  Needless to say I slept in this morning.

I am looking forward to more fun Christmas activities on our calendar this week!  Tomorrow, I'll post some photos from my camera. I need to upload them to my computer...and about a hundred other things before then...haha! 

Hope you are having a blessed (and not too busy) Christmas season!



Our house was a disaster. It was cluttered from our busy month. It had not been cleaned in a month. It was not pretty. It was driving me nuts.

I spent all day Saturday organizing, putting things away and cleaning. Dusting, wiping down, scrubbing, mopping, vaccuming, minor repairs...and I even cleaned our oven. Now we have a clean and organized house once again! 

By the end of the day I was very tired but it felt so good to see all I had accomplished and to enjoy our clean house. 
Yesterday, Bruce worked hard on the outside.  He mowed the lawns, edged and cleaned up the front and back yards and hung up our outside lights.  Our house looks so beautiful all lit up in Christmas colors.

Now, I am ready to get our Christmas tree and begin decorating the inside of our house. Let the Christmas-ing begin!



I'm tired.  I'm busy.  I'm happy.

By the time our plane landed back in San Diego on the 21st, my brain was already firing up with my to-do list for our Thanksgiving camping trip.

We dumped our suitcase on the bedroom floor and began packing up for our desert camping trip. Tuesday, Ashley and I grocery shopped and the guys picked up the motorhome, which would be our home away from home for 4 days.

Here "she" is

We packed tons of bedding, coolers, food, drinks, clothes, and glo sticks and after a breakfast of donuts, we headed out for our trip early Tuesday morning. We were a caravan of 4 rigs and after meeting at the Alpine viewpoint, we drove down to the desert, making a pit stop in El Centro for gas and a bite to eat.  We got to camp by 1 pm and began setting up for our stay.

Our campsite

Ashley and Aaron


My baby brother, David and Denise

The newlyweds, Heather and Cameron

The girls

My momma and me

Meghann and Bryant (her pup)

A group shot of part of our group

And another with more

 Cameron and Heather outside of their tent

My brother, Brooks and his dog, Raja

                            Sunrise (thank you for this beautiful shot, Heather!)

We had an awesome time together, feasting on turkey and all the trimmings, taking walks to search for unusual rocks, playing a game of tailgate toss, Catchphrase and Mafia at night around the campfire.

My vacation is over and I am back to work for the last three days of November before I jump into December and the Christmas season.  I love Christmas and the joy and fun in decorating, giving and celebrating Jesus' birthday!



We are heading to Vegas.  I have a short work week, but my workload is not lessened, so I am desperately trying to meet my deadlines before we leave. 

I haven't been able to blog lately because I've been busy coordinating our departure to-do's with our kids' arrival at our house and dog/cat sitting lists, getting the guest room ready and simultaneously working on camping prep for Thanksgiving (more to come on that later).

I didn't plan it this way.  Really.

When the trip to Vegas came up (many moons ago) and I jumped on the chance to get out of town for a few days, there was nothing else on our calendar for November.  Absolutely nuttin.

In the meantime, our calendar exploded with a bunch of fun events (wedding, youngest son home on leave, Thanksgiving camping trip).  All in the same month.  Even overlapping in some instances.

At first I was overwhelmed.  Then I just jumped in and made a bunch of lists and put everything on my calendars.  I have three.  One at home, one at work and one on my phone.  Best to be prepared, right? That helped calm me down and helped me be productive instead of frozen in panic.  So far, it's working.

Anyway, I will be off the grid, so to speak, for several days while we live it up in Vegas.  You can find me at a nickel slot machine or playing Keno.  That's how I roll.



Sunday began with cold rain showers which continued through the day, but by the time Cameron and Heather's sunset wedding began, the rain had stopped and the sun pushed through the clouds to paint the sky in luscious shades of orange and pink that matched the wedding flowers.

I have photos on my camera that I still need to upload, but I thought I would post these in the meantime.

Cameron and Heather--Mr & Mrs!

Cameron and Ben (best friends)
The ceremony

Grace and Aaron

Gracie (flower girl)

Aaron and Auntie Meghann

Heather and Cameron with their wedding cake

Wedding ceremony sunset. 
It was a perfect day.



The photos have been downloaded from our camera to our computer and now onto my blog.  Thanks to my hubby. 

Here are some photos of the Rehearsal Dinner we hosted at a local restaurant called Stir Fresh Mongolian Grill.

Our room after we decorated the tables

The Bridal Party table

Bruce and me

Let the party begin!

Meghann, Aaron and Ashley

Cameron, Heather, Meghann, Ashley and Taylor

Ben, Kerry and Dina

The dinner was so much fun with lots of good food and company!



I'm here!

I've been planning the rehearsal dinner for our son's wedding this weekend.  The invitations were mailed and I am up to my neck in crafty tabletop decorating ideas.  Thank goodness for Pinterest.

Last weekend I kept busy with all of the fun events planned--Heather's bridal shower, appointments at the nail salon for beautiful toes and fingers, and finally a bachelorette dinner party with lots of fun and beautiful ladies! 

This week has flown with all of the to-do's we've been working on and crossing off of our list. Tonight I will be making some no-sew table runners for the rehearsal dinner.  Easy peasy. 

I still have to work on the rest of the decorating details, but I think it's coming together pretty well.  I'll post photos next week.

I may not have time to post again until after the wedding...see ya then!



We are busy with pre-wedding and wedding day celebrations. 

I have mailed off our Rehearsal dinner invitations and I am looking forward to Heather's bridal shower this weekend. It will be a day of fun celebrating. 

A bridal shower brunch, getting our nails done and a fun Bachelorette dinner party afterwards!

I have some more shopping to do in the next week, but things are coming together. 

I am having a great week so far and I am so excited for Heather and Cameron's Wedding Day. 



We've had a super busy day today.  All day.  And I loved every minute of it.

We began our morning with some errand running for our Thanksgiving camping trip.  We got a heavy duty camping grill, two chairs for Grace & Aaron, some glo-sticks, and a tailgate toss game to play in the desert.  We finished up with a visit to the restaurant and an errand for the rehearsal dinner we'll be hosting.

We stopped for some dinner at California Pizza Kitchen before heading back home.  My Asparagus Spinach Parmesan Spaghettini was so delicious and I savored my glass of chilled Riesling.  It was a nice break in our go-go-go schedule.

Tonight, Bruce designed and worked hard to perfect the custom Rehearsal Dinner invitations.  After trial and error and success, they are ready to assemble and mail out. 

I have some ideas for decorating the tables and am going to get busy with that. 

It feels good to close my day with so much accomplishment and organization.

G'night all.



I lasted a week off of Facebook. It was a good week--after the 24 hours of withdrawal, it was good. 

But for various reasons, I decided there were more benefits than drawbacks(keeping up with my kiddos and family who live out of town, for one) for me to have a Facebook account so, I made some changes to my account that made it work for me.

I am still off of Twitter and Google +, which still made sense and keeps my social networking time to a minimum.

Can I share one more confession? 

Let me start from the beginning.

I had a Pinterest invite sitting in my email inbox.  It's been there quite awhile and yesterday while I was purging my old emails, organizing the ones I needed to save, and emptying my spam and trash folders....I registered an account with Pinterest.

Oh, my...need I say more?  Do you have Pinterest?  If you don't...let me just warn you...danger, will robinson.  You may need to take provisions with you when you login. It's a wonderland of coolness and easy to get lost in the maze of boards overflowing with a lot of good stuff.

You've been warned.

I perused the site last night and pinned some things on my board and I already have a ton of craft ideas buzzing in my head.  Back in the day, when my kids were small (and you'd think I would have less time) I had a lot of craft projects going all the time. 

The difference is technology.  Less technology=more crafts.

I promise to share what I find and make with y'all. 



I busted out.  Escaped the crazy chains of social networking.

Yeah, me, the social networking advocate. 

I recently realized there can be too much of a good thing.  I was over-connected and that was negatively adding to my already full and often stressful days.  I felt like I was suffocating from information overload. 


I deleted my Facebook account.
I deleted my Google + account that I opened thinking it would replace FB. 
I deleted my Twitter account. 

But, before you wonder if I have unplugged everything and am going to go live in a cave somewhere, I assure you I am still connected.  I have a smartphone and I still have my email accounts and my Blog (this one--that seems to be neglected lately)

I've just taken a step back -- to breathe and live a little more, with less technology.

I think I'm going to like it. 



It's safe to say that the Fall of 2011 is going to be a busy season full of blessings and happiness for us.

First, we're going to Utah to visit our grand-babies (and daughter and son-in-law, of course) and celebrate Aaron's 1st birthday! We're taking a long weekend and I can't wait to get there! We've not seen them since May.  Too long.

Then, after we return, our son, T is taking two weeks leave and will be home at the end of the month! 


  Our son, Cameron is getting married!

We are so happy! Cameron and Heather have been together for several years now and we love that she will be our daughter--we already consider her a part of our family and are so thrilled they are tying the knot!


Sea World happiness!

San Diego Zoo with Grace

The couple all dressed up for a friend's wedding.  Aren't they a gorgeous couple?  I can't wait for their wedding!


We'll be pretty busy but I'll do my best to pop in and keep y'all updated. 



I'm back. 

The desert was heavenly.  It was hot and it felt good.  The pool felt even better.  And having no where to go and nothing to do for all day Saturday was the best!  We took advantage of our down time and soaked up every lazy minute of it. 

We had a few comical moments over the weekend, too. One of them had to do with our room.  Upon check-in, they told us that our room had just had the carpet shampooed but we were assured it would be dry.

And it was dry, but the room stunk to high heaven.  Seriously.

I don't know what bio-hazardous event occurred in that room, but we were all about to vomit.  I could not even pinpoint the smell but it was gag inducing.  I held my nose and called the front desk.  All I had to say is how bad the room smelled and we were given a new room number and room keys were delivered in seriously, less than 2 minutes.

I was afraid to ask what had happened in that room. I don't want to know.  Maybe it's best we not know.

We were able to laugh about after we were settled into our fresh smelling, clean, and BONUS-- closer to the pool, room.  Much better. 

But now I am back to reality.  I have to admit that this week back at work has not been all that crazy.  And that is good, too.  Sometimes when I come back from a break, it can be worse than when I left.  Thankfully, not this time.

My fall calendar has begun to fill up quickly.  With 'crazy good' things.  I have been trying to make sure that I have everything written down on all of my calendars but I still feel a teensy bit overwhelmed--but in a good way.

I have some errand running to do on Saturday and I need to make some time for brainstorming for my next article, which is due next week. 

But hey, at least it's the weekend! 



I'm winding down another busy week at work (trying to keep from pulling my hair out) and looking forward to my girls' weekend away, this weekend.  It cannot come soon enough. 

One final weekend of summer (even though I know that it will actually be Fall, the weather in the desert is still VERY summer like right now) to relax and bask in the dry heat of Palm Springs.  I really need a full weekend to be completely nonproductive.  Laying by the pool with an occasional dip to cool off, sipping ice cold drinks, reading magazines...and return refreshed and relaxed.

Coming up right around the corner is our October trip to visit our daughter, son-in-law and grand-babies.  Aaron will be celebrating his first birthday and we can't wait to get some Memaw and Pepaw time with Grace and Aaron.

We received this cute family photo from them in the mail on Monday.(you have to read the text beside the photo):

Did you figure it out?

Yes!!  We are going to be blessed with one more sweet grand-baby to love and spoil!  Happy, happy, happy! 

I won't be blogging again before we escape to the desert.  Tonight, I will be busy packing for the weekend, shopping for last minute items and crossing things off my list, so I will blog again after I get back.

If I come back.  (Just kidding)

I know, I know....keep my day job.

Over and out....



Last night, we closed the Summer season with friends at Coronado beach for a summer bonfire cookout. 

We snacked, sipped, chatted and took photos (with our phones and cameras) before the bonfire was lit and we began cooking hot links, sausages and hot dogs over the fire.  

Finally it was time for dessert:  s'mores and banana boats and some awesome Brazilian chocolate that Patrick brought back from Brazil (of course...haha).

With the warm sand between my toes, I watch the sun set into the ocean and in my mind, I could hear the melody of a Beach Boys song playing softly.

Adios, Summer...



Where have I been?  I've been well; just busy and not in a very bloggy mood either. You know how that is.  Right?

So now that I have come out of my hiatus I'll attempt to fill y'all in on my goings-on for the past two weeks.


Our Labor Day weekend was relaxed and it ended with rain. 

Saturday was warm and sunny and filled with errands and a family birthday barbeque for my momma at my brother's house. Good food and good company...oh, and exceptionally good cake!

Sunday was also warm and sunny and we went to the La Jolla Open Aire Market and did some shopping and then we made our first visit to Mt. Soledad.  It was a beautiful day and the views from Mt. Soledad are amazing!  The tributes to our Veterans were both sobering and inspiring.  There are so many stories brought together in one place. Here are some pics I took with my phone (neither one of us thought to bring either one of our cameras!  duh!)

The beautiful cross 

A slice of the view to the ocean from the Monument

One last photo of the cross and the Flag

Sunday evening, we made homemade ravioli for dinner.  Bruce made the dough and cheese filling and we worked as a team to pull the dough through the pasta roller and create the individual raviolis.  It was comical at times, and it turned out delicious!  Well worth the work and comic relief.  We opened a bottle of Petite Syrah and heated the small loaf of fresh sourdough bread we bought at the Open Aire Market that morning.

Monday dawned with clouds and rain.  Then thunder and more rain.  And more rain.  The sun broke through a few times, but the rain prevailed throughout the day and evening. Seriously, it was so un-California like weather for September. Our plants loved it and I was pleased we were relieved from our watering chore, so it was a win-win.


Last week at work was so bad...well, it's better to leave that subject alone, lest I get so stressed out again that I need a vacation locked in a padded room!  LOL!  Let's just say I'm happy to have survived it and this week is so much better. 

Last weekend, I made two more recipes of jalapeno jelly.  One of the batches included a seeded habenero chile and it is HOT.  I had originally intended to make the second batch with two seeded habenero chiles, but after tasting a bit of the first, I decided that there probably weren't that many people out there that wanted their jelly any hotter, so I made another batch of my original recipe. 


September 11 was a day of reflection.

I woke up earlier than I usually do on the weekend. The house was quiet. I started the coffee and turned the television on. Most of the stations were covering the 9-11 memorial in New York. Remembering the lives lost that day in New York, Arlington and Pennsylvania.

I somberly listened as the names were called and my heart ached hearing the emotional tributes given in honor of the loved ones lost that day. I felt sadness, anger and hope at the same time. I so clearly relived how I felt that day.

As I watched the rest of the memorial, I cried for the children that never knew their fathers. I was also very proud of our country's heroes who stepped into danger; some were heroes in the commission of their jobs and others were ordinary people stepping up to do something brave and good.  All of them were extraordinary.

For everyone we lost that day and for all Americans, our lives forever changed, I will never forget.


As I previously mentioned, I am having a good work week, which is awesome and rare, so I am enjoying the respite in what is usually "stress on steroids" for me at work. 

This weekend, we are meeting a group of friends at the beach in Coronado for our 'end of the summer beach bonfire dinner'.  The guys will build a tower of wood and light it and we will cook hotdogs over the fire, savor lots of good food on paper plates, dig our toes into the sand and watch the sunset over the ocean,  and close the evening with messy, gooey and oh, so delicious s'mores. Note to self: Bring your camera.

So, now you are caught up with me.  That's a wrap, folks.  'Til next time!



September is here.

This weekend is a long weekend.  An extra day at home.  An extra day to relax, to float in the pool, to find a spot on our newly discovered "private" beach and listen to the surf crash against the sand sweet music in our ears and feel the sun on our skin.

September brings warm weather for us.  While the rest of the country has their summer weather in June, July and August, we have a delayed summer season.  July, August and September. 

I love September.  By September, the "Zonies" have vacated our beaches and returned to Arizona, throngs of tourists have gone back home and our beach town becomes our own again. 

School is back in session.  College campuses are brimming with students.  The days are still warm and sunny, but our nights are hinting at the nip of fall.

It is a month for winding down, for a girls' lazy weekend to Palm Springs, for anticipating Autumn -- Apple Days in Julian, chilly nights and warm blankets to snuggle under.

I love September and the promise of the season that follows.



We are winding down from a fabulous weekend with our good friends, Tom and Heidi, who live in Seattle. They arrived Thursday night and we met for drinks and appetizers after we got off work. I woke up with a migraine headache Friday morning and muddled through the day with head pain and nausea for nearly 24 hours.  I felt much better by Saturday afternoon and full speed ahead for the rest of our weekend together.

We finally had a hot summer weather weekend here so we indulged in a lot of summer activities:  plenty of pool float time with refreshing homemade Mojitos, dinner on the patio, breakfast at the beach, Margaritas and dinner at Old Town Mexican Cafe (a must do if you come to San Diego--they are famous for their homemade tortillas), and finished our weekend with a relaxing afternoon at Gator Beach and an early dinner and live music at McP's

I have had a long relaxing break from work (including today) and feel rested and refreshed.  Today is a catch up day before I go back to work.  I have loads of laundry going and I am making a list for the grocery.

The following is a Public Service Announcement (for anyone that has ever dealt with a wet cell phone):

My cell phone took an accidental spill into the pool on Friday.  Uh oh.  But, after thoroughly drying it off and immersing it first into a bag of rice and the next day into a bag of silica gel beads to dry out (undisturbed for 48 hours), my phone is working just fine. Yeah!  Note to self: If you have to have your phone by the pool, seal it in a ziploc bag first.  Happy ending and lesson learned. 

So, if any of you have a similar experience with your phone (into the toilet, sink, pool),turn the phone off, take out the battery and memory card if you have one, and dry it well and then bury it in a container of silica gel beads (you can get them at any craft store--they are used for drying flowers) and don't mess with it for 48 hours.  It works! The hardest part is leaving it alone for the full 48 hours. 

Time to go change the laundry out....



After coming off of a very full weekend which included prepping, setting up and hosting our summer party on Saturday, clean up and putting everything away and some much needed float time in the pool on Sunday, it was time to go back to work.

All day there was that nagging voice in my head was saying there were a lot of jalapenos ready to be picked and I really needed to make jalapeno jelly.  today.

So Monday night, after work, I ignored the urge to tell the nagging voice to go away and changed clothes, poured a glass of wine and set up everything in the kitchen for making jelly. 

After eating some dinner, I dug into my project and began pureeing the jalapenos and peppers and cooked, stirred, added ingredients and cooked some more, while the jars and lids simmered in boiling water.

By the time I had poured the jelly into the jars, washed all the dishes and wiped everything down, I was so dang tired and ready to just put my feet up and do nothing until bedtime.  So that's what I did.

I am certain after this weekend of relaxing, laughing and visiting with our good friends, I should be fully energized and ready to make more jelly next weekend. 

We have some habeneros coming on....can you say spicy?



I feel like I am playing catch up this week.  I finally got my nails done last night, but I still have to paint them with a color.  I just have clear polish on now but they are shorter again, which makes it easier at work on the computer.

I didn't get any jalapeno jelly made last weekend either.  The weekend just flew and was full with other commitments. 

It feels like I am running on empty right now.   My sleep patterns have been sporadic and I've been dealing with headaches a lot this week.  I am sure the headaches are from the stress from my work schedule and it doesn't look like that is going to change anytime soon.  Yay, for Excedrin!

I am looking forward to the two days off I am taking next weekend.  My best friend and her hubby, who live in Washington are coming down to spend a long weekend with us and I am so excited to see them and hang out. 

Until then, I'll just keep trucking along...



I have just survived another mostly crazy week at work.  it was a week full of missed or shortened lunch hours and deadlines that felt like gigantic boulders rolling toward me--threatening to take me out.

But somehow, I made it to Friday in one piece--frazzled, stressed out, and exhausted--but also so glad to have the weekend here. Sometimes I feel too old for this rat race. Not that I am old. I am just tired of the same routine of every Monday returning to the proverbial hamster wheel and running in circles until Friday.  Blah.  Okay, I am done complaining. 

Last night, after work, we did some shopping for our annual summer party next weekend.  Smart and Final is a dangerous place for us, but we restrained ourselves and stuck to our list. We still have to go to Costco, which is another dangerous place for us.  I should clarify...not dangerous for US.  It's dangerous for our wallet. 

This morning, we headed out for a bite of breakfast and one of the places we like to eat breakfast was closed.  We went with plan B and then got our day going with errands and grocery shopping.  Once we got home I began cleaning house and organizing while Bruce cleaned the grill and worked in the backyard. 

The to-do list from last week is being completed today. Tomorrow will be laundry day.  And I have to do my nails sometime this weekend. 

I had originally planned on making a batch of jalapeno jelly this weekend and I can still do that tomorrow morning.  It's just not going to happen today.

I am in relaxing mode now.

Over and out. 



After the week I had, I decided that today needed to be a lazy day for me.  I did not want to follow a schedule or mark things off of a to-do list.  I just wanted to have a low key day.

And it was.  

I slept in until 7:30 and enjoyed two leisurely hours of sipping coffee and reading the newspaper.

I did get the overgrown plants trimmed back around the pool before jumping in the water and spending the afternoon floating around lazily.  It was so relaxing.  

The water temperature was 88 and I think the afternoon temperature at our house was about 80.  The sky was bright blue and not a cloud in sight.   

A perfect day



I'm trying not to focus on how hard this work week has been for me. 

Actually, I am trying to forget it.  But I can't.  It's still too vivid and real.

I was literally ready to scream at the top of my lungs out of sheer frustration.  I think I did scream a few times.  At least in my head.

Monday was a bad day.  Tuesday and Wednesday were worse.  I dreaded Thursday, but thankfully, it was better than Monday. 

Today is Friday.  Ahhhh.  Finally.

The bright side of this: I'm grateful that I have a job. I'm grateful that I work with a really good friend who now knows what I have been venting about forever (sorry, Linda, but I did warn you...).  I'm grateful that my husband is understanding and will patiently listen to my angry work-related rants and I'm grateful that I have the entire weekend to forget this week.

I'm starting to imagine that in a few years I will be "that crazy lady".  You know, the one that talks to herself.

Wait.  I already talk to myself.

It's too late. 

Here's to a good weekend and fully restored sanity!  Is that asking too much?



Has a week really already come and gone? 

I haven't been in a blogging mood this week.  Work stress pretty much mentally wore me out, but weekend down time revived me.  It was just what I needed:
  • relaxing together on the patio in the afternoon sunshine
  • grillin' out dinner (teryaki chicken, grilled fresh pineapple and jasmine rice)
  • watched 'Life As We Know It' on DVD
  • nibbled dark chocolate with almonds
  • shopped on Saturday
  • got the Jeep washed and ran our errands
  • Bruce made his homemade spaghetti sauce in the crockpot (warm sourdough bread and red wine)
  • watched the new episode of 'The Closer' that we recorded

We stayed up too late last night...

Waking up was hard to do.  I can't emphasize that enough. 



Today was an exhausting day. 

I got out of bed at 5:15, jumped on the treadmill and completed my 30 minute work out and got ready for my day.  I sipped on iced coffee while I put on my make-up and I finished early enough that I was able to paint my nails before I left the house for my orthodontist appointment. 

Had to stop at the gas station to fill up the Jeep...it was only $3.65 a gallon today. A few weeks ago it was $4.08.  How much is it in your neighborhood?

So, here is my Invisalign update.  My orthodontist said my teeth are tracking very well and she gave me 4 more sets of trays, which means I don't have to go back again for 8 weeks.  I was really pleased with the good news reflecting that I've been wearing my trays as many hours as I am supposed to and my teeth are cooperating.

Traffic was bogged down on my route from my orthodontist's office to my office.  I thought maybe there was an accident, since it  was bumper to bumper and at a crawl.  It is usually an easy drive at that time of the morning.  Nope, no accident.  Just slow.

When I got to work, things were already off to a rough start at the office with our network server down and it just got crazier as the day wore on.  The phones were ringing off the hook and whatever could go wrong, did.  I was never so glad to see 4:00 so I could go home. 

Home from work and we were off to Costco.  Dinner consisting of a Costco dog and a soda.  Then we went inside to complete our shopping off of our list and a few impulsive purchases.

Home from Costco and unloading the Jeep. 

Watching the Home Run Derby.  Blogging.  Taking deep breaths and recovering from a Monday. 

It's good to be back home.



We enjoyed another lazy morning at home sipping coffee.  But, this morning I got into gear a bit earlier.  I headed out to do our weekly food shopping and stopped to pick up some dog treats for Kona.

Got some more things done at home and started our laundry.  I toasted an energy bar that I picked up at the grocery and ate that for breakfast/lunch, although I wouldn't call it brunch.

When Bruce got home from checking in with the guys at the tournament (he is still taking it easy with his bum knee), we got in the pool and floated the afternoon away.

We're almost ready to put some dinner on the grill and settle in for the night.  We're probably going to watch some more of Season 6 of 'The Closer' and make an early night of it. 

I am going to get on the treadmill tomorrow morning as soon as I get up. As I was reminded by a personal trainer I follow on Facebook, it is time to awaken the 'sleeping lion' and begin to work out hard again.  I'm ready.  I'll have some extra time in the morning to work out and get ready for work because I have an orthodontist appointment tomorrow morning and I am going to use that time to my advantage with a workout. 

I am 6 weeks into my Invisalign treatment and I'll write a post with an update after my appointment tomorrow. I am anxious to see what my orthodontist has to say.  I can see a lot of movement on the upper teeth, and some movement on my lower teeth--it's just not as noticeable to me.  I still have 26 weeks of treatment left to go.  I am 1/3 of the way along. 

We are finally getting a nice warm summer here in San Diego.  Last summer was truly cold.  I know I have complained a lot about it.  But for someone who enjoys the changes of seasons, I love summer weather and everything that goes with it.  

I love summer weekends!  



We slept in late.  Our Saturday started with coffee.  The day began to warm up by the time we were finished and it was time to get going.

After a haircut (for hubby) and we both had showers, we headed up to Temecula to pick up our wine shipment and enjoy a glass of wine on their patio. The sun was out and the day was already heating up by mid morning.

We hadn't eaten any breakfast, so on our way to Temecula, we stopped at Rock 'n' Jenny's for some lunch and chowed down some delicious deli sandwiches.  It was much hotter in Escondido.  It was still a bit muggy, but in some weird way, the heat felt good.

Thankfully, it was a bit cooler in Temecula up at the winery.  Leonesse sits up on a hill looking out into a small valley and there was a constant breeze to keep us cool. A nice pause in our day. 

We were home by mid afternoon. Dinner.  Yard watering.  Started watching Season 6 of 'The Closer'.

Our night is coming to a close. 



It's been a hot day. 

Actually, it's been a hot week.  Hot and humid. All week long.

Today, when I left work at 4 p.m., it was 81 degrees, downtown--somewhere that has cooler temps than where we live and which is cooler than anywhere else in San Diego County.

I came home to a heated house. Ugly hot. 

Time to open windows, open the front door and get this house cooled off.  We changed into shorts, sleeveless shirts, shed our shoes and padded barefoot outside to plant ourselves on the patio in the shade for awhile.  What to do for dinner...leftover Gazpacho?  Nothing sounded good, so tonight Bruce ran back out and picked up some Mexican food from Maritza's (the very best 'fast food' mexican food on the planet).  You have to call ahead or be prepared to wait 15-20 minutes for your food and it is worth every minute.  In the meantime,  I made us two ice cold margaritas.  Neither of us felt like heating up the kitchen, or even grilling anything.

BONUS:  I had some leftover half and half, whipping cream and whole milk, so I whipped up a batch of ice cream in our Cuisinart ice cream maker (ICE-20).  It's the kind that you keep the tub in the freezer and make a simple mix (ours was vanilla) and dump in in the frozen tub that sits on the motor and turn it on for 25-30 minutes.  I put the creamy soft serve mixture into another container and put it in the freezer to harden.

It will be a delicious treat for us later with some leftover chocolate sauce from the other night.  Or maybe some ice cream with our chocolate sauce.  We love chocolate sauce.

The ceiling fans are all on high.  And we have a standing fan going in our room off of the kitchen and the house is cooling off.  The good thing about living by the beach is that by night time it is usually perfect for sleeping.  Granted, we have had a few summer nights that were hard to sleep through, but they are rare.

We're gonna speed up the cooling down part of this scenario for us with a dip in the pool tonight.  We ordered some Papasan Spring Floats that were delivered today.  We didn't expect them until next week, so it was an unexpected surprise to see the box on the front porch this afternoon. 

Best of all tomorrow is Friday....nothing like a Thursday night followed by a Friday, preceded by a Monday holiday.  Right?



The temps climbed today and this afternoon when I got home from work, our house was hot.

I had already planned on making Gazpacho for dinner and it sure hit the spot for us to have on a hot summer night.

Gazpacho is a cold tomato juice based soup that is full of fresh finely chopped vegetables-- 2 whole cucumber, 2 green bell peppers, 1/2 onion, 1 large peeled tomato, 2-3 stalks of celery and avocado (to add on top of each serving).

I'm pretty sure I have written about this soup and posted the recipe, but here is the gist of it in a nutshell because I have tried to find it and am just too dang tired and lazy tonight to look for it again.


Begin with 1/2 cup of olive oil and a 1/4 cup lemon juice whisked together.

Add to that a 64 oz bottle of tomato juice and chopped veggies (see above), 2 teaspoons salt, pepper (I love pepper and use a lot) and some Tabasco sauce (you decide how much depending on whether or not you like heat (spicy) added to your food).  We like heat and add a generous amount, but it does not come out spicy.  Add a few dashes and taste.  Chill for two hours (or less if you are really hungry, like we were tonight).  Serve with tortilla chips.

We enjoyed a delicious and healthy dinner that was quick to throw together and didn't heat up our kitchen!



We'll be celebrating Independence Day tonight at my parent's house.  We're making homemade ice cream and watching fireworks from their deck.  I've cooked two different recipes for ice creams. 

We are making a batch of Burnt Sugar Ice Cream, which (in a nutshell) is made from sugar that has been melted and browned in a skillet and added to your custard base.  It's very, very, very, very good.

I would always look forward to a bowl of Burnt Sugar ice cream when we would stop for the night at my Aunt Grace and Uncle Jimmy's house in El Reno, Oklahoma on our summer cross country trip to Kentucky (and back home).  We went every year to spend most of our summer staying with our grandparents, and spending time with all of our aunts, uncles, cousins.  I have precious memories of my summers spent with family in Kentucky.

We are also making a batch of Moolicious Vanilla Ice Cream, which is chillin' in my fridge. It's ready to pour in the ice cream freezer and freeze.  I cooked up a recipe of rich chocolate sauce to drizzle over the ice cream, too.

We'll be doing our laundry and floating in the pool today.  It is supposed to be a bit cooler today--but still in the mid 80's--so I am gonna be in the water.  

We're throwing some Mahi Mahi on the grill for Naked Fish Tacos for an early dinner on the patio.  Naked Fish Tacos are Fish Tacos without the tortillas. They are just as tasty and filling. 


Grilled Mahi Mahi, marinated however you like and topped with the following:

shredded cabbage (we like to use the angelhair cabbage)
pico de gallo (chopped onions, jalapenos, cilantro, tomatoes and lime juice)
shredded mexican cheese
avocado slices

and Crema drizzled over the top


half sour cream
half mayo
lime juice
Tapatio hot sauce for heat

Mix together to taste.  Make as much or as little as you need.

Muy delicioso!



Yesterday we spent the afternoon in the pool.  We got lots of sun (even a tad too much) and grilled out baby back ribs for dinner. The weather was warm.  It felt like summer and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Today we spent the afternoon  at our neighbor's summer party.  There were a lot of people there and so much good food to eat. Sangria, appetizer platters, dips, chips, crackers, teriaki beef kabobs, cream cheese stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, pork ribs...raspberry brownies....oh my.

Now we're home relaxing with a Netflix movie. A quiet end to another great day.



Sunday morning began with two mugs of hot coffee, lightened with some creamer and sweetened with sugar and enjoying a couple of episodes of my favorite home improvement programs. 

I had a short to-do list (with R&R as part of it and the morning was slipping away), so I dressed and dashed out to do my weekly food shopping, get the dog some more treats and picked up a newly released PlayStation game for hubby (it was a spur of the moment idea to surprise him). 

Last week, we'd purchased 12 six packs of impatiens (6 red and 6 white) to create a mixed color planting for either side of our front porch walk, so after I got home from my grocery shopping and errand running, I began planting.  I got one entire side of the walk planted before taking a break for lunch.  I completed the other side, watered them really well and then I decided it was time to relax.

Our pool temperature was nearly 90 degrees and it was a beautiful, sunny, warm day to float in the pool.  I spent a very relaxing hour and a half in the water, floating and dozing.  I definitely felt relaxed and refreshed after I got out, showered and got back into my clothes.

When Bruce got home from his softball tournament, I made some drinks and we watched some television while he iced his knee.  

Bruce grilled steaks and nuked the russet and sweet potatoes while I sliced up some cucumbers (from our garden) part of an onion and a green bell pepper and put them in a bowl with some cider vinegar, sprinkled some pepper and ice to accompany our dinner. 

I heated a loaf of fresh baked whole grain bread (from Costco) and set out some butter.

Dinner was awesome.  My steak was one of the best I have ever had.  E-ver. Really.  (Or maybe my memory is waning and all of them are that delicious) It was tender, flavorful and cooked perfectly (thank you again baby!) 

Our evening wound down quietly and I have to say it was a perfect end to a really nice weekend.

Saturday rocked too, but that story will have to be saved for another post.



It's been a long and busy (sometimes crazy) week, but Friday is finally here and I thought I would end the week by posting some photos of the sweetest grandbabies ever.  

Aaron is eight months old and loves to stand.  At the rate he is going, he will follow in his mama's footsteps and be walking at 9 months.  I miss this snuggley boy.

Grace is such a good big sister to her little brother.  I love this photo of the two of them.  They are so precious and sweet.  I wish we lived closer to them so I could spoil them more than I do now!  Isn't that what a Memaw is supposed to do?

I am planning on an awesome weekend and I am definitely going to make time for some R&R and sunshine.  

Actually, I have a short list.  Go to our favorite winery with some girlfriends, watch hubby play in his softball tourney, sit in the sun and do some writing (my wheels have been turning) and I'm ready to craft some story ideas.

What's on your list for the weekend? 



Grace and I posed for a photo together when they were all out here for a visit and we went to the zoo.  Grace was just 8 months old.

We posed again when she was out here this year and we went to the zoo again!

I think we should make this a photo tradition each time we visit the zoo! 



We made homemade pizza Saturday night.  It was really good and easy to make.  Wanna know how?  Well, this is how we made ours.

We started with a great whole wheat dough recipe.  I will share my secret to getting our dough to rise.  I heated our oven to 170 for 5 minutes, then turned it off and used the warm oven to raise the dough (both times).

Then we began creating our masterpiece.  I have a wonderful rectangular stone that has been used a bazillion times and is perfect for pizza.

I tranferred the rolled out dough onto the (well oiled) stone and then used a large spoon to spill and paint marinara sauce over the inside of the crust, leaving the edges nekkid. 

Next, I layered on an Italian cheese blend, tossed on a layer of pepperoni, shook on some thinly sliced bell peppers, red onions, added a few more pepperoni, sprinkled on more cheese, topped off with mushrooms and black olives...and topped with more cheese!  Can you really ever have enough cheese?

The great thing about making your own pizza is that you can decorate any old way you want with all of your favorite toppings.  Be creative and have some fun with it. 

I brushed the edge of the crust with some olive oil before popping into the 425 degree oven. 

And 18 minutes later....it was done.


Okay, it's your turn.....Create your own masterpiece pizza !