Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

2011 has been a very challenging year for us. I am a big believer that every thing happens for a reason and that God is in control of my life. I don't think I could have made it through this year thinking any other way. The biggest thing we had to face was my hubby being ill. He had a bad case of kidney stones and after having surgery for their removal, he had every complication he could have. Losing your health puts everything in perspective about what's really important. After four months on disability, my husband regained his health and I got some of my sanity back...

In August we lost my dear mother-in-law and we miss her very much. We also were forced to downsize from our house to a one bedroom apartment. The blessing in disguise is that my husband and I really do like each other as well as love each other : ) We look around and we see so many hurting people and we feel blessed to still have each other, a roof over our head and food on our table.

2012 will bring more big changes to us. Hubby will be retiring in March and I will retire in June. We plan to move to Colorado shortly after my retirement to be closer to one of our daughters and two of our grandchildren. It will be a much different place than California but we are ready for and embrace the change.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Last School Year

School started on Thursday, August 18th. This is my last school year as a bus driver. I will be retiring at the end of June. It's kind of bittersweet. I'm really ready to be retired, but I think I will really miss the kids, too. When I retire I will have almost 24 years as a driver and as with any job, it's had it's ups and downs. I like to think I've made a difference in the lives of the kids I've come in contact with. I realize that sometimes I'm the first adult these kids see in the morning and I have the power to make or break their day by my attitude. I want each and every one of them to have a great day at school and I hope I can help them to do that.

This year is different because for the last several years I've been driving a small wheelchair bus with only about 15 students. I will miss all those kids I've been driving but their new driver is also great and I know they are in good hands. I'm driving a 40 foot bus this year with a capacity of 62 students. I actually have about 30 special needs children on this bus. Although our first day of school was hectic, as always, we got the job done and Friday everything started to flow better. I think it's going to be a really good year!
Don't forget to stop for those red lights when you see a school bus on the road. Be safe and care for all the children!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Sewing a Little

I haven't had a very productive summer when it comes to my quilting projects. I've been going though a lot of personal stuff, that I won't bore my readers with, but it's been hard to get motivated to do anything. The other day I walked into my sewing room and looked at my design wall and there was a project hanging on the wall that has been waited to be finished. I sat down and finished it. It just has to be quilted and the binding put on. Hopefully I will do that before I have to go back to work in two weeks. Here's a picture:

The binding will be the same color as the inside border. Now that I'm looking at it I feel really motivated to get it done!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

Yesterday we got up early and drove down to San Francisco for the day. The weather was perfect for our little adventure, cloudy and cool at first, and then the fog burnt off and it warmed up to a perfect temperature of about 75. We started out about 7 am. because we wanted to hit Dynamo Donuts on 24th St. and they open at 9am on Sundays. We got there about 8:30 and we were second in line. By the time the doors opened at 9, they had a line down the street. We wanted to try the maple bacon donuts and we weren't disappointed.

Since there were four of us we ordered two maple bacon donuts, 1 Caramel De Sel, 1 Chocolate Spice, 1 Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate, 1 Vanilla Bean, and a Cherry Cornmeal. These donuts are very expensive because they use the very best of organic ingredients. Truthfully, for us it turned out to be more about the journey than the destination. The donuts were good but not so good that I would get up early and drive an hour and a half to buy them again. But it was fun!

Me and My Shadow 
After we left the donut shop we decided to drive around San Francisco and try to see some of the city we had never seen before. We ended up at the Embarcadero Center near the waterfront and had a great time walking around and taking pictures of interesting buildings and fountains.

I loved this sculpture and this building on the right. The next picture is the floor of the Embarcadero Center. I loved the pattern. If I was good at circles I would love this as a quilt pattern.



This is the Old Federal Reserve Building. It's now called the Bentley Reserve and you can have your events there including weddings.
Clock Tower on the pier, Flower Sculpture and Bay Bridge

Darling hubby and two youngest daughters

In front of the Bentley Reserve

Megs and her daddy
Interesting fountain and sculpture

After we finished at the Embarcadero Center we walked across the street to the ferry building where they have put in all kinds of shops and restaurants. We got salami cones from Bocolone, which is Chris Cositino's shop from Food Network.

Buying Salami
All that salami, so little time!


We walked around a little while and then decided to go to the North Beach area of San Francisco to have lunch at the Stinking Rose.
Neon Ravioli, Gnochetti w/ Asparagus, Foccochi w/ garlic
This Garlic Rose Relish was really good!

Foccaci Rolls, Garlic Rose Relish, and Oil


Lunch was really great and since we all shared we
didn't get stuffed. We had a great time in San Francisco
and I will be sharing more tomorrow.

Bagna Cauda








Friday, July 15, 2011

The Postcrossing Project

About a year ago, I heard about the Postcrossing Project from my darling daughter in Colorado. We were visiting her and I noticed a big map of the world on her wall with pins stuck in it. When I asked her about it, she told me it was a project that she was doing with my grand kids for geography. She home schools and she is always coming up with cool things that will teach the kids something. She had found this web site http://www.postcrossing.com and had decided to join. She thought I would enjoy it.

When you register on the web site, you can send 5 postcards to 5 random addresses that they give you. The cards are sent all over the world. When the person you sent a card to, registers that card on the web site then you go to the top of the list and someone sends you a random card.

I've often thought that we are getting so used to e-mail, texting on our phones, and being on the computer that we are losing our ability to have personal relationships. When I get a card in the mail and I see the other person's actual handwriting it makes me feel good. I've gotten cards from all over now and I will continue to do this for a long time.

The Postcrossing Project just had their 6th anniversary yesterday. I advise anyone that thinks they might like this to check it out.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weight Watchers 5K Challange

Today was the Weight Watchers 5K Challenge. If you walked or ran the 5K, at the completion you got a nifty 5K charm to put on your 10% goal key chain. I wanted that charm. Really, really bad. I got up at 6am and had breakfast and then darling hubby and I were off to the challenge. We had about 50-75 people show up from our meeting and other meetings and we started off promptly at 8am.

I have to say that I didn't do much training for this event and I had some fear that I wouldn't be able to finish it, but it was so much fun. I walked with my friend, Corinne and we had a great time talking while we walked. Darling hubby drove to several points on the walk so he could cheer me on and before I knew it we had done more than half of the walk. Right before we hit half-way, we had a very steep hill to climb. We got through that and started back down. Darling hubby again drove to certain points and cheered us on. I was really surprised at how good I felt at the end. I had some pain but not much and I've been fine tonight. I stretched after the walk and took a warm shower when I got home so hopefully I won't be too sore tomorrow. Here's some pictures:
Pat, me and Corinne

Barbara and Sabrina

Right before we got started.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Welcome to the 21st Century

I have reached a milestone! Several actually...
Last week began the last year of my fifties, I got an Apple IPhone4, and tonight I'm sitting at Panera posting to my blog with one finger on a teeny tiny keyboard that I had to take my glasses off to see! Is this progress? Oh well, it's fun.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yippee! Friday Night Sew-In is here!

I was sewing tonight with virtual friends from Handmade by Heidi. Check out my link to her blog on my blog. I really like this idea because it's helping me get some of those unfinished projects done. Tonight I worked on my Block of the Month for Fairfield's Cornerstone Quilt Shoppe. We are making the Starry Night quilt from Swirly Girl.
First I put my squares together and drew a diagonal line and then I sewed a 1/4 inch on either side of the line.
Then I cut my triangles apart.

Next, I pressed my triangles open and cut off the little dog ears and then laid out my pattern before I began sewing.
Here is the finished block-all ready for tomorrow.

Thanks Heidi. I can't wait for the next Friday Night Sew-In.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Got Lemons-Make Lemonade

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, http://www.howsrobb.blogspot.com, and Lisa was describing how to make lemon marmalade. Yummy. She was talking about the large lemons she was using and it brought our Italian trip to mind. Talk about large lemons-here's a picture:


These are lemons at a fruit stand outside of Pompeii, Italy.
One of these would make a lot of marmalade.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In and other things.

There is another Friday Night Sew-In coming up on April 15th. Stop over at Heidi's blog, http://www.handmadebyheidi.com/blogspot.com to sign up and sew with us.

I'm on spring break right now as a school bus driver. I have the next two weeks off and hopefully I can find the time to do all the things I love to do. I want to finish a quilt that I have started for one of my darling daughters. I want to go on the Northern California Quilt Rush this week and I want to plant vegetables and cook some great meals. All the things I don't have time to do when I'm working. I don't know how some women do it, but I'm just not Super Woman. Maybe it has to do with getting older. Usually when I get home from work I just want to slip into my pajamas and have a little dinner and go to bed. It might have something to do with the fact that I get up at 4 am every morning on a work day. Even on the weekends I find it hard to sleep past 6 am. When school lets out for the summer break, it takes me a good month to get used to sleeping until 7 or 8 am. I'm really looking forward to retiring next year.
I haven't blogged in so long that I'm just rambling. Bleech!!
I'll try to do better on this blog, too.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday Night Sew-in

Tonight was the Friday night Sew-in sponsored by Handmade by Heidi. I went over to my friend, Donna's house so we could sew together. Tonight we worked on our Starry Night quilt, which is the BOM for Cornerstone Quilt Shop here in Fairfield, Ca. We meet the third Saturday of every month and so being a procrastinator extraordinaire, the timing was right to make the block the night before our meeting. Here's some pictures: Oops, technical difficulties. All the pictures I downloaded are somewhere in cyberspace and my computer erased the images from my camera. I don't know how I did that! I did take another picture of the finished block and so that's all I've got. Here it is:

I made this one last night.
The next block is the first one that I made last month.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Friday Night Sew-in and Giveaway

I'm joining Heidi at http://www.handmadebyheidi.blogspot.com on Friday March 18, 2011 for a virtual sew-in to finish some of my unfinished projects. Head on over to Heidi's blog and check it out and join us. It's going to be fun and I hope productive.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Napa Valley

Last Sunday Mike and I decided to take a little road trip just because. It was a beautiful day and we were having a break in the rain and miserable temperatures, so off we went. Napa is one of our favorite places. We like visiting the wineries there and we always stop at V Sattui Winery because it's beautiful.

V Sattui Winery


This is the Glory Hole at Lake Berryessa. We have been having a mighty drought here (hard to believe with all the rain the last couple of weeks) and when the lake is full, the water is over the top of that cement structure on the left of the picture. It drains down the "Glory Hole" and into Putah Creek behind the dam. As you can see, we need a lot more rain.

While we were in Napa we decided to travel a little farther to just outside of Calistoga. There we were able to go up and see the outside of Castello di Amarosa. It is a castle built in the Italian Tuscan style and it is open for tours and wine tasting. We didn't go in because the cost of the tour was more than we had with us that day but we hope to go back and take a tour.







Mike doesn't usually carry a purse, but he had mine that day. My kids call that purse my Mary Poppins purse because I have everything in it.



He had to point out the gargoyle on the top of the post. It was a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Conservatory of Flowers

Just down the hall from that delicious chocolate shop at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, is their conservatory of flowers. It was so beautiful in there. Just remember these pictures were taken in October, hence the pumpkins.
This picture is not of the conservatory. I meant to put it in yesterday's post. It is the chocolate fountain in the chocolate shop.

Now on to the conservatory.







The flowers were beautiful in the orchid greenhouse. We really enjoyed our time there.
Tomorrow I will cover the new City Center.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Been a While...

since I posted here. Basically, it's been about computer issues. I had downloaded a lot of pictures on my computer and then the computer went haywire. I managed this week to get them off that computer and download them on this one. Yeah me! So I think I will start blogging again with a post about our trip to Las Vegas last October. Yes it's been that long trying to get my pictures back.

Darling hubby and I took our trip to Las Vegas the first week of October, since I had a week off from work. We drove there, like we usually do and stayed in our time share for the week. Las Vegas seems like an odd place to go to relax but that's what we do. We are not big gamblers. If I lose $20.00, that's too much. So we mainly spend our time walking around all the beautiful hotels and casinos and taking lots of pictures, seeing a movie or two, once in a while seeing a show and eating. My kind of vacation!
Anyway, we went to this pastry shop in the Belaggio Casino right around the corner from their beautiful flower Conservatory. Here are the pictures:

Everything in the shop looked incredible.


Hubby and I shared the dark chocolate thing in the middle of this picture. Decadent, sweet and definitely tasted like more!
The most impressive thing in the shop was this:


Front of Lady Chocolate
She is covered with dark, white and milk chocolate.

Back view of Lady Chocolate

Here are some of the cakes they had on display:


This was just one of the hotels we visited. Tomorrow I will have some pictures up of the Conservatory of Flowers.