Saturday, November 30, 2013

Round Robin Challenge: Family

Dylan And Hendrix (Brothers)
November, 2005

"Families are like fudge... mostly sweet with a few nuts!"


RRC: Family

I like this theme very much, and I wanted to capture some new photos that represent "family" but it has been a really hectic time, with the computer crash, and getting ready for Thanksgiving, so here are some long archived photos plus  one brand new never before posted photo. I think the archived ones were posted back far enough that they may be new to some! I promise... ALL BRAND NEW photos for the next RRC! I really do~ :)


A Family Of Zombie Apocalypse Scarecrows...
November 26th, 2013

A Swan Family
Palace Of Fine Arts
San Francisco, Ca

A New Family
Legion Of Honor
San Francisco, Ca

Okay, that's my post! Be sure to go see what the other Round Robin Challenge participants posted! Just click the link at the top of this post to be redirected to the official Round Robin Challenges blog!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

A Look Back At November 2013: Thankfulness

"No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds... November!"

~Thomas Hood

Another beautiful November has come and gone. I loved this past month! I found inspiration everywhere! I feel happy inside, and I have found my inner peace again! November... I love you!

And Now, The November Gallery...

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing, 
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

~Elizabeth Coatsworth 

It was a beautiful month... but I am ready for December! 

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

It's Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

"Shopping Tip: You can get shoes for 85 cents at the bowling alley."


CHARGE IT! LOL. Well, okay, sure, why not? I am kidding... kinda. I did a little shopping last night, after our turkey dinner. It actually felt good to walk off dinner, and get some fresh air, and besides, I recently upgraded my Old Navy credit card, so I had some points to use! And, then, quite by accident mind you, I was approved for a brand, spanking new, MACY*S and Bloomingdales card! How was I approved accidentally? 

Funny story! You see, last year I thought it would be fun to apply for a MACY*S card, after years of not having one. I got rid of most of my department store cards a while back, when I realized I didn't really use them after I got my Visa card. Alan and I make most of our purchases together, so carrying around all those cards just seemed risky. But last year, in a fit of nostalgia, MACY*S was my first credit card, I decided to get one.

Unfortunately... I wasn't good enough for them!

I don't understand why... my credit is perfect. I pay my bills and live within my means, yet somehow, I wasn't their kind of shopper! Maybe that was the problem... I live within my means? Oh, who knows, maybe the stars simply weren't aligned just right. Shrug. But yesterday, while the turkey was cooking, I got a little bored and applied just for the rejection. How come you never get rejected when you want to? LOL. As soon as the website said, Congratulations... you are now a MACY*S cardholder, I looked for the, Hey wait I changed my mind," button but there wasn't one! Imagine that! I only got the Bloomingdales card, to see if the MACY*S card had been a lark! But apparently not, they like me now too... they really like me!

So, later today, after Alan gets off work, we are going to Union Square in San Francisco and watch other people spend money... oh and the ice skaters... oh and the lighting of the Christmas tree... oh and the menorah... Happy 3rd Night of Hanukkah! 

Tis the season!

Black Friday isn't a day anymore, it's a season! So, how about you, it's Black Friday, do you know where your bargains are?

Mood: Silly

Note: The silly girl in the graphic is clip art from a nifty photo editing site called Ribbet. But the bags she is carrying, and the VISA card are courtesy of Alan, he is so good at drawing stuff for me! I love that guy!

~Me :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

"Thankfulness creates gratitude which generates contentment that causes peace."

~Todd Stocker

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays! I love all the cooking and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and in recent years, the football games! The best part is all the fun Alan and I have together! He loves to cook as much as I do, so he usually joins me in the kitchen. He and I always laugh our asses off, either from some memory of Thanksgivings past or from some new incident in the current year! Either way, we have fun together, and we just let the day happen!

He has to work this Thanksgiving, but he will be home by 2:30, and we will spend the rest of the day together! Dinner this year is a bit laid back, due to a stubborn 18lb turkey that refused to thaw in the refrigerator! No problem... we are substituting a perfectly lovely Turkey Roll in it's place! We will simply make the currently frozen bird for either Christmas, or New Year's dinner! It's all good!

"Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else's fairytale."

~Wale Ayeni

After dinner we will be putting the yard inflatables up. We have an 8ft inflatable Santa Claus flying an airplane filled with toys, a very jolly Christmas moose, and the cutest Christmas elephant you have ever seen! LOL. The yard is going to be very pleasant and joyful methinks! I was lucky to have found the inflatables last year, just after Christmas, on Groupon! You could say I am very thankful for Groupon! :)

Mostly, I am just happy, and thankful, that after all these years Alan and I still cuddle at night. We still know how to make lemonade out of the occasional bag of lemons, and we have two cute little fuzzy faces, Dylan and Hendrix, to cuddle with on cold, late autumn nights. I am thankful for the love that fills my little home, and the peace and quiet we have this year. Sometimes, late at night, I can hear Dylan snoring, and that makes me happier than I ever thought I could be!

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."

~Melody Beattie

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mood: Grateful

~Me :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In The Words Of Ernest Hemingway...

"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."

~Ernest Hemingway

 A cat does not hide their feelings! For the most part it is quite wonderful. On the other hand, once in a while they will not hold their feelings back, but they expect you to know, psychically I think, just how deep their feelings go. In an almost childish way of... well, if you don't know... kind of way!

The other night, very late, I got up to check on a noise I heard, and as I walked through the living room, I caught a glimpse of Dylan, sitting on a TV tray, with this look on his face. Now, if you had to guess, what do you think he was trying to communicate to me? Kinda difficult to tell, isn't it?

In The Words Of Paula Poundstone...

"The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an ax-murderer."

And I'll be darned if she isn't right! Especially when it comes to Dylan! Hendrix kind of wears his heart on his sleeve, Dylan expects me to know what he is thinking at all times! This particular look caught me off guard! Now, I know Dylan loves me completely... but... love of owner has never stopped a cat from attempting to smother someone in their sleep! The one thing that all cats communicate well, is that, they don't have to love you! 


Dylan and I stood staring at each other for what felt like 10 minutes, but was more than likely, 20 seconds. I wasn't afraid of my little tiger, or anything, but that look was giving me pause. No pun intended! At the point of 21 seconds of staring, he mewed and motioned to his favorite Zhu Zhu pet, Pinkie, and mewed again!

You see, he was asking me to repair Pinkie for him! Poor Pinkie met with a terrible end, one day last spring, when Dylan decided to give him the WHAT FOR and tossed him across the floor, separating him from his insides. Now Pinkie is but a pink fuzzy shell. He doesn't run, or back-up, roll across the floor, or speak, but Dylan loves him all the same. 

There is no way to explain that Pinkie is dead, and a replacement Pinkie would cost nearly $30.00. 

Besides... it wouldn't be the real Pinkie. 

Life is hard sometimes. But a little bit of love makes all the difference. So, after 20 minutes or so of brushing, and petting and cooing, Dylan seemed to feel better, and I always get so much joy out of spending quiet one on one time with him. He is my kitty, and I am his mama. The 4 of us are a family, and sometimes words aren't necessary. 

Just love.

Mood: Thankful

~Me :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

He Makes Our House A Home

"I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become it's visible soul."

~Jean Cocteau

Oh boy, here we go again! I like to make the bed when I get up in the morning. I like it when everything looks comfortable, and in it's place! I don't always succeed in keeping things perfect, God knows that is true, but I try. My mother-in-law once told me that it is more difficult living in a small place than a big one because a small place is harder to clean! That bit of advice made no sense to me at the time, but I certainly get it now! Alan and I have always lived in relatively small places since we got married. We had a house for a couple years, but that didn't work out. Oddly enough it was in the bigger place we began to drift apart a bit. But after the house we moved into this cottage in the hills, and with the exception of a nasty neighbor or two, things have been lovely.

This cottage is our home. It's where we were when 9/11 happened, and nothing felt better than feeling safe in our home on that awful day! We still have the ethereal musician dropping by with notes on his saxophone drifting along the cool breeze that comes from the bay. We have owned the best cats ever in this place, first Elvis, then our current two children, Hendrix and Dylan. We have made some four legged friends here. Opossums that clean up the back yard when the last of the fruits have fallen in the autumn. Cats that belong to other tenants that drop by to say hello, like any good neighbor would. And sometimes you might even see a tree frog or two hop by. It's nice here. And lately, it's been quite calm as well!

So, when Hendrix climbed under the purple IKEA duvet cover, and snuggled himself in, what could I do? I let me sleep as long as he wanted to. It wasn't that much to ask for! Hendrix never complains... about anything! He takes care of his baby... Dylan. He takes care of us, all of us! He even worries about the little animals that make they're way through the yard sometimes. And look at him! He looks so comfortable, so safe, so content! Oh, who cares if the bed didn't get made today? Right? Hendrix is way more important making the bed! He's my little boy! He tells me he loves me, every single day, with kisses and snuggles, and hugs! I am so lucky! He, and is brother, make this house a home!

I love him so much, and I am so thankful he came to live with us after we lost Elvis!

Mood: Thankful

~Me :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Black Friday Season

"If I had a necklace made out of tiny suns, I'd only wear it at night when you could really see it. Sadly, I don't have a necklace like that. The closest thing I have is a necklace made out of those glow in the dark stars you stick to bedroom ceilings. But I only wear that on special occasions, like bedtime."

~Jarod Kintz, This Is The Best Book I've Ever Written, And It Still Sucks

The time has passes so fast between the end of our vacation, on November 7th and now. So, I guess that pretty much means, I am having more fun now, then I did on vacation, or... no wait... YES... I am having more fun now then I did on vacation! LOL. It's not that every minute of our vacation was lousy, but when you go out for a day and come home to a crappy neighbor, well, it can knock the wind out of one's sails. You know? And now, since Donny and Nina have moved, even the stormy, windy days are amazingly beautiful again! But then again, I always did enjoy a nice, dark, gloomy day, with rain pattering on the roof, and some insistent cuddling by my cats!

Thanksgiving is coming up this week, and Alan is doing a major amount of overtime! That means lots of time to myself, time to do things like cooking, and photography, and looking up juicy dirt on wacky celebrities on the Internet! Oh, and politics... one of my very favorite pursuits! And I will more than likely be doing all those things, plus scoping out the best Black Friday sales, being held on Thanksgiving this year! I don't usually partake of the sales on Black Friday, Alan and I like to go to Union Square, in San Francisco, order something delicious like Hot Chocolate and Cappuccino, and watch other people go crazy spending money! But this year, in that we won't get to have Thanksgiving morning, or Black Friday the way we traditionally do, I think I might join the Black Friday crazies, if the price is right!

A change of pace is a good thing once in a while!

And to make it all a little more special.... rain is predicted for later in the week, just in time for the holiday and the aftermath! I love putting on my Jersey Housewife coat (it's faux leopard don't worry) and my wool mittens, my warmer than warm scarf, and my suede boots and hitting a good sale! Gosh, how I miss my Jersey Housewife coat in the summer. :( But the real joy comes when I finally get home, and the house is quiet, except for the rain outside and the heater warming the house, and the cats chattering to the birds in the tree outside the window. And oh how dark the clouds make the day perfect! Sunshine is so common, the dark is where everything looks new, and different. You can think in the quiet. I love a dark rainy day!

:) Black Friday has become a season all it's own!

See those leaves, they are actually more of a pastel pink, and a subtle mauve. But at night, they transform into the earthy brown color you see. Funny how different things look in the dark.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Talking Turkey, I am No Henry Walden

San Ramon, California
November, 2013

"I still believe in the Holy Trinity, except now it's Target, Trader Joe's and IKEA."

~Jen Lancaster

To "Talk Turkey" means to talk serious about something. It's a straightforward approach to whatever is on one's mind, and is in need of being dealt with. Okay, let's talk turkey about some things. Oh don't worry, it's not the end of the world or anything, in fact, it's merely my opinion, but it's how I really feel, even if I come off a little less serious, and a little bit more... sardonic, or possibly... humorously sarcastic. If you have known me any amount of time, then you know I would much rather take the humor road to make a point, rather than punching someone between the eyes, but I am not above punching (metaphorically) speaking. Or physically if one needs it!

Just Kidding!

Shopping For Thanksgiving Dinner...

First of all, I love shopping for Thanksgiving dinner... LOVE IT! It was such a relief a few years back to finally embrace all things turkey, after a long bout of turkey wiggins, brought on by an encounter with a tainted turkey, prepared by the mother of a guy I had been dating! Ladies... talking turkey ... NEVER accept a dinner invitation to a "Thanksgiving Dinner" in June! Especially if said dinner is being hosted by your boyfriend's mother! It's a trick! She is just trying to see how fast you can forgive mistakes, and how strong your constitution is! Or maybe how well you will hold up under diversity, but one thing is for sure, Thanksgiving in June is just wrong! And so is losing your giblets from both ends for a week! Yep... a week!

Anyway, with all that unpleasantness behind me, no pun intended, I am now over it, and even making my very own roasted turkey dinner on the big holiday, in fact, I can't imagine not doing it now. It's actually a joy! A lot of work, but a joy all the same! My husband Alan enjoys cooking as well, and he is usually right there helping out any way he can. This year he has to work on Thanksgiving, which means a bit more work for me than usual, so Alan even offered to maybe give me a year off, and opt for a nice turkey roll, but I would have none of it, it was a full, bone in, frozen 18 lb. turkey in all it's plucked glory for me! I got mine at Costco.

Done And Done. The line was hideous, and I always seem to get behind someone with 2 items, but either can't find their Costco card, or is writing a check, or for whatever reason has to know every last detail about how long the frozen turkey has been in their store... and if it was in their freezer since Thanksgiving... 2007, because the saw a report on 20/20 about big box stores that store food too long! I could have used a diversion from the entertaining crazy that was happening that day, but like I said... Done And Done.

Murphy's Law And Henry Walden...

Costco was fun, but it wasn't the only store I visited last week. I was getting my shop on at IKEA as well! It seems it has finally become necessary for us to round up all those DVD cases, and get them organized in a cabinet. And Alan and I found the exact one we needed at IKEA, which just happened to be in the range of dimensions and $ we had decided on. Now I ask you, what could go wrong?

Well, as it turns out, with all the items IKEA carries, couches, chairs, tables, end tables, utility carts, flower shaped lamps, sewing machines, stuffed animals, fabric, clocks, wall hooks, entertainment centers, cutting boards, and Swedish Meatballs, what do you think was the one item that had to be specially ordered, and delivered to a warehouse in Hayward, California, for pick-up by me? Yep, the very DVD tower we picked out! So, in 5 to 25 days it will arrive, complete with instructions for assembly. Talking Turkey Mr. Murphy, wherever you are, you are a bit of a creep! And you are NO Henry Walden!


I Am No Henry Walden...

Waiting in line at stores is never a fun activity. Waiting in traffic is never fun. Waiting period is never much fun, but it seems like when doing either at certain stores, like... oh... say... Walmart, IKEA, Bed Bath And Beyond, it's even worse! Especially during the holiday season, when other people, not necessarily me mind you, might be a tad on the grumpy side. But fortunately, this past week I discovered a wonderful tool, right in my phone, which I had not previously thought of as a coping mechanism. My subscription to Netflix Mobile!

So, while those around me were hanging a puss, or yelling at their feral children, or considering setting their own hair on fire and running from the store, I was blissfully enjoying Season 2, Episode 26, of the Dick Van Dyke Show, "I'm No Henry Walden." Talking Turkey, easily one of the very best episodes of the series! But there were so many, who can narrow down a favorite? Although as the season, the holiday season that is, moves along, I expect I will have a lot of time waiting in line at various stores, and therefore more than enough time to decide which episode is my very favorite!

Or maybe I will just spend my time watching Rosemary's Baby!

Who Knows?

Mood: Pretty Darn Happy

~Me :)