Thursday, September 30, 2010

School Buses with Red Flashing Lights

It always amazes me that most of the general population of California does not know what to do when they encounter a school bus stopped on the road with their red lights flashing. STOP for crying out loud and stay stopped until the bus driver turns off the red lights. It would also be nice and courteous if you would let me pull back into traffic.

Most of our newer buses have an eight light system at the top of our bus. That means that we have two amber warning lights and two red warning lights mounted on the front and back of our bus. It also says in 8 inch letters on the back of the bus, STOP WHEN RED LIGHTS ARE FLASHING. With our eight light system we are supposed to activate our amber warning lights 200 feet before our stop and then as soon as we stop, activate our red lights. Some people actually take our amber light system to mean, GO AS FAST AS I CAN AROUND THIS BUS!

This afternoon some people got educated the hard way. I have two stops on a certain road in Vacaville that is very heavily traveled. They are actually about 200 feet apart. When I stop for the first one as soon as I have unloaded that student, I turn off my red lights and pull into traffic and immediately activate my amber light system again. When I get to the second stop I immediately turn on my red lights. This afternoon I did that very thing and as my student was getting off the bus, I glanced in my left mirror just in time to see the second car behind me, plow into the car directly behind me. Thank heavens the person behind me was following the law and had stopped with some distance between us and he didn't hit me. I called in to base to see if I had to stay there and was informed that if I was not hit , I was not involved and  to move on. I gave all the information to the dispatcher so if the Vacaville PD called they would know what happened. I felt so bad for the driver that was hit because they were following the law and didn't do anything wrong.

By the way, when you run my red lights, the first offence is $250.00. If you run my red lights multiple times you could be looking at a $1000.00 fine. So think about it and make the safety of the children I drive your priority. You may save a few minutes by running my red lights or you could get someone killed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who is Visiting My Blog?

I would love to know who is visiting my blog. I put up the Map Loco and I see that someone has visited from Canada and London, Croyden and Loughborough, England. Is that you Ray in Loughborough? If you have visited please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

National Alpaca Farm Day

I had a very interesting day today. Lots of miscommunication, but lots of fun. I started the day by taking lovely daughter #4 to work at 8am and driving to Nugget Market to get some things for my first French Fridays with Dorie recipe. As I started to get out of the car, my cell phone rang. It was lovely daughter #4 asking me to pick her up because she was not supposed to start work until 10 am. I drove back to her work place, picked her up and drove back to Nugget. I quickly finished my shopping and went home to take in the groceries. I was supposed to meet my friend at the quilt store at 10 am but first I had to drop lovely daughter #4 back at her job. I got her there at 9:55 and proceeded to drive to the quilt store when I noticed that I needed gas. (I WONDER WHY!) I stopped for gas and drove to the quilt store. I arrived 20 minutes late and my friend had already made her purchases. I picked up a grab bag of cloth and got in line. While we were there my friend got a phone call and it was her son needing rescue because his truck broke down. She went to help him and I was confused about when we would meet again to go to the Alpaca Farm.

I decided to see if my hairdresser could work me in for a haircut but she wasn't in her shop and I didn't want to wait. I drove to the factory outlets in our town so I could look for a 9 1/2 inch tart pan that I needed. I ended up at Kitchen Collectibles and quickly found just what I wanted. I paid for my purchase and drove back home. I had left my cell phone in the charger and when I picked it up, there was a message from my friend that she was in the neighborhood and did I still want to go to the Alpaca Farm. I called her back and we were soon on the road, along with her little grandson, to visit the Alpacas.

I love this hairstyle!

This is a mother and week old baby.

Pretty week old baby.

I thought this one had a very pretty face.

This one was less than an hour old. It had just started to take some very wobbly steps.

Even though it was a confusing day, it turned out all right and I had a great time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yippee, It's the Weekend!

I'm starting to live for my weekends. It was a long week at work. Friday nights I feel the life seeping back into my body. Tomorrow I'm meeting one of my friends at  "A Quilted Heart" to partake of their annual sidewalk sale. After that bit of delight, we are going to visit a couple of Alpaca Farms for National Alpaca Farm Days.

I'm also going to be on the hunt for a 9 1/2 inch tart pan and a growing list of supplies for my first two French Fridays with Dorie recipes. I've got a few ideas for a special dinner I'm going to cook up for hubby tomorrow night, using my new Paula Deen cast iron, porcelain 7 qt. casserole. It involves chicken, fennel, onion, potatoes, carrots, olive oil, lots of garlic and I think some herbs de provence.

If I get time from all this running around, I might try to start quilting a quilt I put together last year and there is always the book I'm reading by Marlena de Blais, "That Summer in Sicily: A Love Story."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie

Dorie Greenspan has just come out with a new cookbook called, "Around My French Table." Her last cookbook, "Baking From My House to Yours" spawned a cooking group online called, "Tuesdays with Dorie." This wonderful group of people have started a new cooking group called, "French Fridays with Dorie." The premise is that you cook the same recipe as the group every Friday and post your comments and pictures on your blog. I just got my book and I must say that I am very impressed with the recipes and am excited to be a member of the group. I posted a link to French Fridays with Dorie in my blog list so check it out. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cooking, Sewing, Exercise

This past weekend I had an attack of domestic bliss. When I get into one of these moods, I want to cook, bake, sew and clean house. Not necessarily in that order. I got busy on Saturday and made homemade oatmeal bread, pumpkin crunch for dessert and honey ginger chicken. Yesterday I spent with my friend sewing and I finished my new La Borsa Bag.

Front view

Side view

Close-up of my quilting and the button I picked for this project.
The button was made in Spain and I really like the extra flair it provides.

I really had a lot of fun this weekend doing these projects. I also discovered this weekend that it is very important for me to exercise everyday to bring down my stress levels. I know it will help me with my weight loss efforts too, but right now I think it's more important to help me deal with every day stress. I feel energized after I exercise and more at peace.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What can you say about 9/11?

It was a horrible day, a horrible, hateful act. People lost their lives for no reason other than hate. It was also a day of heroes and heroic acts. People coming together to mourn, to pick up the pieces, to go on. May God be with all the friends and families of the people we lost that day. May God be with all of our wonderful men and women in uniform, whether in the military or police and fire departments. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice to keep us safe.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Zumba Part 2

Well, I went to the zumba class tonight and even though I had fun, I was a little disappointed. The name of the class was Zumba Basics. Now with a name like that, wouldn't you think that it was a beginners class and they would be teaching you the steps? Not! The instructor introduced herself, asked if anyone was new ( I was the only one brave enough to admit it) and told me to have fun, march in place if I got lost and remember to get the feet down first and then the arms. What kind of instruction is that! She didn't even have us warm up first. We started right out very fast paced and after 10 minutes I thought this is great, I'm going to have a heart attack on the first lesson. I decided that was enough for the first time and took myself out of there and did 20 minutes on a stationary bike. I'm still proud of myself because I showed up, I tried something new and I'm going to go back. If I only make it 15 minutes the next time so be it!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Zumba - Dance Dance Dance

What have I got myself into??? I'm supposed to take a Zumba class tomorrow night with my youngest daughter. This looks like fun but I'm afraid I'm gonna break something for sure!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Hitting the Gym

I got a call the other day informing me that I had won a 1 month membership to Gold's Gym for myself and my immediate family members. I decided I would give it a try with my husband and youngest daughter. We signed up on Friday and I started on Saturday. First I did thirteen minutes on an elliptical machine that kicked my butt! This machine starts out with a stepping motion and then you get into your stride. It was really hard and I did work up a sweat. After that I did 15 minutes on a stationary bike and then I was just done. I felt proud of myself that I had worked up enough nerve to walk in there on my own and do anything. We didn't go yesterday but this morning we got there about 7:45am because darling hubby had a 1 hour appointment with a trainer. While he worked out, I did the 20 minutes on a stationary bike and another 15 on the treadmill. I tried the elliptical again but gave up after about 2 minutes. I have an appointment tomorrow with a trainer for a 1 hour session. Gulp! I hope that goes okay.

The one good thing about Gold's Gym is that I saw a lot of people my age or older there. Your membership also includes use of the pool, which has free swim as well as water aerobics and other water classes. You also have spin classes, yoga, tai chi, kickboxing and a lot of other classes included in your membership.

Hubby and I have made a commitment to lose 5 lbs during this free month and go to the gym at least 4 days a week. If we keep up that commitment, we will evaluate at the end of the month whether to join or not. Wish us luck.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Wineries and Cemeteries

Last weekend my darling friend, Donna and I decided to take a road trip. We decided to go up to Amador County and their wine country. We had been up there once before, about 4 years ago to attend a Red Hat Queen's luncheon at Villa Toscano Winery. We fell in love with the place because it reminded both of us of Italy. The wine was really good, too. This time we started at Bella Piazza, the sister winery of Villa Toscano. Here's a picture.
Bella Piazza

We tried about 9 of their wines. Just little sips, but on an empty stomach, we found ourselves getting very happy.  After we walked around for a little while we drove down the road to Bray Vineyards. They have a wine called Brazen Hussy Red. It was pretty good. We ended up buying a half case to share of Black Muscat. It was really good. When we went out to the car, Donna unlocked the car and the trunk and we put the wine in the trunk and she closed the trunk. Suddenly she gasped, "I locked the keys in the trunk!" I was laughing so hard that it was about to become a pee in your pants moment. We went over to sit on some chairs so I could pull out my AAA card when she suddenly remembered that she had unlocked the car door first. She ran over to the car and was able to get the door open before the car locked itself back up. She got the keys out of the trunk and was very happy.

We went on to Villa Toscano and ordered a pizza from their cafe and sat on the terrace to eat it. We drank plenty of water with it and sat for about an hour so we would be able to drive. Here's some more pictures.


After we left the wineries behind we visited three different cemeteries. One was in Plymouth, one near Fiddletown and a pioneer cemetery out in the middle of no where.Here's the cemetery near Fiddletown.

We found Fiddletown to be very interesting.

This bench was sitting on...

...the porch of this building. It was their community center.

We had to take a picture of this. Church was held in the saloon and they were having a tea party meeting and potluck that afternoon.

We loved this old barn next to the Cowboy Church.

We really had a good time and we hope to go back soon.