Friday, November 13, 2009

"A" is for Alameda

In June, I had the great fortune of taking two friends and heading for the Alameda Flea Market.
Let me just say, I Love, Love Alameda!!!

As an avid collector of everything vintage, this is the place to go. A dream come true. The pot of gold. The find of finds. The place you can go to find all of those delicious do-dads that bless homes in the pages of magazines like Country Home and Country Living.

Did I mention that I love Alameda?!

We took our Expedition. Stayed in Walnut Creek. Went to the movies and caught a cute chick flick. Ate at a wonderful Italian restaurant where we all ordered something different and shared everything (it was sinful). Turned in around 10:30pm and woke at 4:30 the next morning so that we could be "early birds" on Sunday morning.

Now the reason I mention we took our Expedition is that there were three of us. Three of us who all love similar things. Three of us on a mission. Three of us armed with a little money to have a lot of fun with. Three of us whose "finds" would have to be stuffed into that Expedition!

We shopped, scoured, haggled, searched, snatched and grabbed. One of us got a "Home Depot" style cart to hold all of their booty. One of us bought a very cute vintage shopping cart in which to carry all of her goods.
Its wheels squeaked and rattled over the uneven pavement row after row. And as she passed, some people would comment about the terrible noise coming from that cute little vintage cart. Some people were actually down right rude and made snide comments about the cute little cart that squeaked even louder as it begin to fill with lots of other vintage treasures. (Ok, it was me...I bought the cart. One thing I can say about its noisiness is that it helped the other two girls keep track of me!)

By 3:30, my cart along with my friends' pallet-style cart and every arm available were full. All three of us had "large" objects set aside for us at booths located in various places.

I brought my car to the loading area and parked. We unloaded the carts and picked up our purchases at the other spots and stacked them up next to the Expedition. Then, we cracked up...Would we have enough space? It would seem we had not thought of space when we were on our spree? Hmm...

We attracted the attention of others loading their U-haul trailers and moving vans. People were walking by saying what great items we had. Some even wanted to purchase some of our items. (No Way!!!). Most seemed to be placing bets on whether or not we could actually get all of this JUNK (oops), good stuff, into this vehicle.

Well, we shocked and amazed those betting against us. We were women on a mission. Everything had a spot. Miraculously, all of our vintage goodness fit. Mind you there was absolutely no inch of that vehicle not occupied by something and I, being the driver was the only person whose lap wasn't holding at least two bags!

The car looked something like the one the Beverly Hillbillies came to town in! The picture at the beginning of the post is a little peak of my purchases.

Mom and Dad are coming in March and we are going to Alameda...Ooooh, I can hardly wait. :)

"When is the next conference?"

This was what Frank asked as he opened the curtains of the 1000+ square foot suite we stayed in at Olympic Valley in beautiful Lake Tahoe.

The hospital sent me to an Infection Control/Engineering conference here and encouraged me to take my family. I can't tell you how glad I was that they were able go. For one, I would have felt terribly guilty if I were the only one able to enjoy the breath-taking views from a such an AMAZING room.(Brag, brag) But also because we had such a great time!

On the way, we were able to visit the Train Museum in Old Town Sac. Franky has wanted to take Red there since he was around three months old!!! They were in heaven...

The training itself lasted three days (the hospital let us stay four). While I was in class, the boys hung out pool side, explored the golf course, Olympic Valley's Village and watched TV on one of the two HUGE flat screen TVs. (I'm sorry I'm bragging, again...)

When I finished for the day we would walk around, eat yummy food, drive around Lake Tahoe, take pictures like tourists and call to brag (hee, hee) to any one who would listen, about how beautiful it was!

On the way home we got to stop in Auburn, which was where I spent most of my summer's with my great aunt. It is a wonderful little mining town, rich in history and cute as can be. We met up with some family and had a wonderful visit and breakfast, then got to look around at some fun antique shops in Old Town.

What a awesome trip. Definitely a place we want to visit again!

Let's Play Ball

With Spring of 2009, came T-ball. Red's first go at organized (ha ha) "team" sports. Honestly, I don't think there is anything more entertaining than 40 four and five year olds with mitts, cleats, saggy uniforms and an abundance of energy vs. two or three grown ups (usually men) bringing them together in an effort to play something resembling a baseball game!!!

For those of you who haven't experienced this before, it looks something like this: Four kids are in the outfield. One is sitting in the grass looking at bugs crawling around, one is picking her nose, one is doing some version of the "pee-pee" dance, the fourth is waving at his family who is doing the wave in the stands.

The short stop is looking at the clouds. The kid on third is showing the kids from the other team how he can jump on one foot, the one on second is standing on the base trying to push the other teams' runner out of her way and yelling "He won't get off!!!".

The kid on first is the coaches' Son and actually knows what to do and is being watched by recruiters from the Dodger's farm team. The batter from the other team nearly takes out our coach when she swings at the ball before it is placed on the "T".

And Red? Well, he's all over the field, chasing the ball where ever it goes, tackling his team mates and who ever else who may have reached said ball before him...I think maybe he got confused as to which "organized" team sport he was playing! Let's just say he LOVED it.

The season lasted about two months. We usually had two games a week. Red had a blast and I laughed so hard, I now have six-pack abs! Can't wait until next season.

We're back...

Really, we've been here the whole time...just haven't been bloggin'. To be honest, I've missed it. I miss reflecting on our day to day life, our adventures, Red (and how incredibly fast he is growing into such an awesome little man). So many things to look back on...
Life has been good. There has been a lot of change this year. Some already written about, but so much more that I want to share. Moments that I want to remember...
Time has passed so quickly, I want to document these experiences so that they are more than just a memory inside my head.
I think I wrote this very words in a post before. One which I had taken a break from writing and was playing "catch up" just like today. And as I sit here on the couch, four (yes, four) dogs surrounding me, the music from the blog drifting out the speakers of my pickle-green laptop, diet Pepsi by my side, Red sound asleep under his fuzzy red blanket, my best friend (and soul mate) making noise upstairs, I look back to the very beginning and am reminded why I created this Blog in the first place.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wonderful Whirlwind

Such is our life at this very moment. An absolutely wonderful whirlwind of activity. I continue to work full time at a job I am absolutely loving. In the beginning of March, the hospital sent me to a conference in Houston where I learned lots and met some very neat people. Red turned 5. We took a trip to Disneyland to celebrate. We had a blast there with Lyssa and her friend Jax . Red joined little league and now eats, sleeps and breathes t-ball. He has one practice and at least two games per week. (I have pain in my ribs that won't go away from laughing at our little player and the rest of his team! I recommend t-ball therapy to anyone who is feeling blue...It is hilarious and guaranteed to lift your spirits.) Our weekends have been filled with birthday parties (three in one day...), laundry, playing in the yard, cleaning house, playing with the dogs, catching up on some ZZZ's, visiting with friends, riding our bikes and about a billion other things we manage to fit in! I wouldn't have it any other way. I love this whirlwind I'm in...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What a beautiful day...

Light pink blooms on young almond trees, green-green grass, a beautiful blue sky, fluffy white clouds, perfect lighting, a camera (with remote), a tripod, two very handsome boys, lots of smiles and one very giddy Mommy...I had been driving past this spot for two weeks on the way to work, thinking each day what a beautiful spot it was and how perfect it would be as a picture place. So, last weekend we got dressed, loaded up in the car and off we went.

We (I) had such a blast. The boys were a little grumpy at first but after seeing how the pictures were looking, they really got into it. These are a few of my favorite pictures from that day.

I can't believe how grown up Red looks. I know he's growing. I see it in his "high water" pants. I hear it in his conversation. I feel it when I try to pick him up and hold him like I did not so long ago. But it is when I see him in a picture that I realize just how much. Life is sweet.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Say "hello" to his little friend...

Red was squealing with delight when he found this little guy beneath the street light in front of our house. From his dirty little hands to the water filled gutter, hopping down the street trying to escape only to be captured again, this little friend is probably very happy to be in the comfort of our very weedy flower bed where he can eat bugs and hide from that wild Redheaded kid.

Such a funny sight to see. Such a wonderful memory. Such an amazing boy.

Somewhere between...

Chasing Red around, spending time with Franky, doing laundry, cleaning up my clutter, going to the feed store for a automatic waterer for the dogs, spending 45 minutes holding bunnies at said feed store, spending 15 minutes convincing myself we DID NOT need a bunny, checking out the swap meet, eating yummy little tacos, eating a yummy churro, visiting with friends, taking a long hot bath, taking a long drink of NyQuil, eating breakfast with Red, playing Wii, watching Reese chase Red, going to get a flat tire fixed, picking up a few groceries, making grilled cheese for lunch, taking Red to Burger King to exhaust some energy and watching a little TV, I forgot to post about my new job!!!

As I said, I absolutely LOVE it. It is so different from my last job. Everyday is different but has many of the same components. I'm working Monday through Friday. In my role there is a lot of teaching, interaction with staff from every department, referrals, surveillance, organizing, lab interpretation, data collection and compilation. The list goes on!

The people are terrific. Very friendly. I feel like I've been there for years already! :)

Red goes to a daycare in town so he and I have 30 minutes in the morning and in the evening to chat. He LOVES the person who is watching him. He looks forward to going everyday.

Everything has been so seamless and easy in this transition. I really think I'm in the place I need to be and that feels GREAT!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I got a new job...

and I totally LOVE it!!! I am the new Infection Control/ Employee Health Nurse for Delano Regional Medical Center. I promise to write about it this weekend. It is keeping me quite busy during the week! Can't wait to tell you all about it. : )

*Lyssa-Lou, I'm going to call you this weekend and we can figure out a plan for you to come visit! Hope all is well with school and your new job. :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Red's totally loving...

...these playful days. He is eating them up! Each day a new adventure. "What are we doing today, Mama?" Lately it has been lots of fun with friends. All of which happen to have little girls. Red doesn't mind a bit. In fact, he LOVES it! I do too.

When Red plays with girls, he is a little more balanced. He's a little more careful. A little more considerate. More willing to share. More willing to go second. And the more he plays with these little chick-a-dees, the better it's getting.

Of course he still LOVES to show off in front of them. He's like a preening rooster at times. But with the girls it works. They just sit back and watch. Not interested in competing as another boy would be. Actually, they seem very impressed with his antics. We may be in trouble if this pattern continues through the teenage years... :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An American Tradition

Hey football fans!!! We're just hanging out watching the game. Red has picked the "yellow and black" team. I'm rooting for the Cardinals. We have a nice rivalry going here. We're the loudest fans on our block!

Looking forward to all the great commercials. Red is excited about the sneak peeky of the 3-D Monster Vs. Alien movie. (Reese is too.)

Have a fun day. We sure are! :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Oh, how I love the feel of soil in my hands. I haven't always. When I was young and we had moved from the city to the country, we (my brother, Mom, Dad and I) spent an hour each evening doing yard work around the three acres we lived on. I don't remember feeling the same sense of joy that I felt today perking up my front porch with a little promise of Spring.

I do remember (with fondness) working in our vegetable garden. I LOVED that. We planted one every spring. Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa all determined to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Summer squash, zucchini, okra, tomatoes, sometimes cantaloupe or watermelon all planted in neat rows.

I loved to watch as they dug out the channels for the water to run through and irrigate the plants. It got even better when the hose was turned on and the water made its way through the maze of little seedlings. I always made it a point each evening to follow Grandpa when he would water. I think he liked watching it move around the plants as much as I did.

It seemed that in no time, we were picking loads of vegetables. We made sure to give some to anyone who stopped by. And each night we would sit at the table and delight in our home grown goodness. What wonderful memories... all brought about by today's trip to Lowe's!

Red was very vocal about which plants we chose for the porch project. I had picked up a few herbs to put in with the flowers we had chosen. He loved to smell each one and would describe their fragrance in great detail after each sniff. His favorite was the lemon thyme. He also selected a pot of mini daffodils saying they would look "so beautiful" with the other plants we had picked. He was right. :)

When we got home, he helped me plant. While I was finishing up, he rode his scooter and played in the yard. He was excited when he found this little wasp nest in our neighbor's driveway. I love these (when they are empty of course). I had to grab my camera and snap a picture of our sweet boy bearing this gift he was so proud of.
Another day. Just enjoying the simple pleasures life brings...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Little Pink

Today Red and I got to spend the afternoon with a double dose of pink sweetness. We met MamaChanga and her two Gorgeouses for lunch, a little play and some fun photos.

Red was in heaven, he had two little cuties to show off for. They watched his every move and giggled as he spilled his silliness.Red delighted in the fact that he had their undivided attention. They looked like a gaggle of geese walking around our quaint little lunch spot.

I had so much fun taking pictures of them. It was pure bliss to have a little pink in the pictures. These girls are the epitome of all things girlie. But I have to mention, they keep right up with Red. I LOVE that! I have to tell you, being around them makes me want somethin' pink around my house! :)

These pictures are among my favorite. I love the shot of the girls holding the flowers with their sweet little fingers. They loved picking them and putting them into a nearby fountain.
They would place them in the water, watch them float, put their hands in the water and splash around a little. The three of them attracted a lot of attention. How often do you see such beautiful children?! (It's my blog, I'm allowed to be biased!)

What a perfect day...

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Playroom

I have finally finished working on my scrap booking room. It is absolutely wonderful! Now I actually have three separate work spaces. One (my fabulous apothecary cabinet given to me by my parents for just this purpose) I will stand at to put my projects together. The second is our desk that (for the first time) will be a place where we can use the lap top, write out bills, work on homework (Red starts Kindergarten this year) and enjoy our view of the neighborhood. The third spot is the white cabinet that holds our desk top. It was normally a "catch-all" for junk mail, bills, Red's preschool work, old magazines and lotsa dust bunnies!

To some, this space may still look a little cluttered. But to me it is PERFECT. I am surrounded by many things I love. Paper, material, rubber stamps, buttons (both old and new), ribbon, adorable little millinery supplies, pictures, my Grandmother's old sewing machine, vintage cameras, books and the list goes on...

I don't think I'll ever leave this room. :)

My most favorite "new" object in my playroom is this old printer's drawer. It is the perfect stamp holder. I got the idea from one of the scrapping pros. It was originally intended for something much different. I love the peely old green paint and the wonderfully rusted hardware. I look at it and can imagine a bustling print shop. I imagine all of the hands that have touched the handle, pulling out the drawer to find just the right stamp...Ooooh, I LOVE that!

I feel so very inspired to create something fun...But then I look at the rest of the house.

I take one last look at my beautiful space and smile. Now to tackle another room. Can I make another space look equally inspiring? Hmmm. We'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


has a little competition in the form of an adorable little redhead with gorgeous blue eyes, angel kissed cheeks and nose, a dimple chin and a smile that is sure to melt your heart. Just take a look at these pictures and I'm sure you'll agree!

I'm working on a little Valentine's Day project and can't wait to use some of the pictures I took of this guy! I will post pictures when I finish...hopefully before the actual day has passed. :)

I have also been doing some reorganizing/redecorating. I will post pictures of my progress when I get a little closer to being done! I'm excited about the work I've done in my scrap book room. It has been a major under taking. At various stages, it has looked like a major tornado had blown through.

Red (and our three furry kids) seemed to want to be right in the middle of it all. I had to laugh, I asked Alex why he wanted to be in there. He says, "Because it's your room and I like the colors in here." I reply, "But it's REALLY messy right now." He says, "Yeah, but it's really beautiful Mama." How cute. That gave me the motivation to keep working on it!

Now that I am near completion, I have a very large bin of scrap booking goodness that I am giving to another scrapper (my cousin, Lori). I had planned to send the care package in the mail but now I think I may have to rent a U-haul and deliver it personally!

Anyway, I am really enjoying my time off. I love spending the extra time with Red. He loves it too. On the days I have things to do in my search for a new job, I take him to preschool. (He prefers to stay at home.)

One of the days I had decided to have him go, we arrived at the school to learn that it was closed. Martin Luther King's Day. ( I guess when you don't work, you become unaware of things like holidays!!!) I told Red, "Well, I guess you DO get to stay home with me today. It's Martin Luther Kings Day." He says,"Oh, Mom! That is MY favorite day!" I cracked up!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So here I am...

The New Year has been an interesting one. On December 30,2008, we received an email at work saying that the county would be laying off 300 employees due to budget issues in the coming year. Everyone was shocked and disheartened by this announcement.

Unfortunately, I was one of those employees. You see, I worked as an "extra help" employee.I chose this due to the fact that Franky is out of town a lot and I could arrange my work schedule around our family's needs. The bad part, when there is a lay-off, the extra help employees are the first to go.

So, here I am. I feel lost. I told Franky it is sad that so much of who you are is defined by what you do in your work. I loved my job and what I was able to do for families in the position I held. It was a very rewarding 6 years. I am hopeful that I will find something I enjoy as much.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy some extra time with Red, clean and reorganize the house and who knows what else.

There is a reason for everything and I'm looking forward to what God has planned for me.

How Time Flys

The rest of December was pretty much a blurr. There was Grandma Mary's Annual Ice Cream Social at Rosemary's. Yum Yum. What a great Christmas gift.

Then in the middle of the month Franky attended a class in Illinois. While he was there, Mom, Dad, Alex and I went to the coast. Mom and I got to visit our favorite shops. The Nest and Feathered Nest. We were sad to see that the Susan Branch Store in Arroyo Grande had closed.

Over a couple of days, we went to the movies and saw Bolt, ate fish and chips,visited the Avila Valley Barn and explored SLO. On the way home we made a stop at Good Ol' Burger and delighted in their gigantic burgers and onion rings. We had so much fun.It was so awesome to spend time with my parents there.

Christmas was really nice. We spent time with all of our family. It was wonderful. Santa was very nice to Red. He was pretty overwhelmed with all of the gifts he received.Thanks everyone for spoiling our little redhead!

I was excited that on Christmas my cousin's daughter Alyssa(aka Lyssa-lou)got to spend the night with us. We stayed up late (late for me anyway) and played cards. The day after Christmas, we hit the movies and saw Marley & Me and Bedtime Stories. Both very good movies.:) We were sad when Lyssa had to leave and go back to Long Beach. She definitely needs to come back to visit again.

The rest of December was taken up with relishing the last bit of time with my parents, playing cards, playing with Red and cleaning up Christmas. I'm still finding bits of Christmas in the house!

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas.

Where to begin?

So much time has passed and so many things have happened since I last posted. I guess it would be best to start where I left off. Our trip to San Francisco was AMAZING! It was so awesome to spend time reconnecting and enjoying the beautiful city. We left on a Friday. Red was not even phased by the fact we were leaving. In fact he was pushing us out the door excited to begin his own fun weekend with Papa and Mow!

I enjoyed the ride. Franky and I talked (not just about Red!), we laughed and enjoyed ourselves without a peep from the back seat. That was a little strange for both of us, but really nice. :)

When we got to the hotel we decided on a game plan for our weekend. Then off we went. We started off at a little deli that Franky visits when ever he's working in the Bay. I don't remember the name but will say that they had the BEST tri-tip sandwiches I have EVER had!Because it is mostly a grab and go type place, we had a little picnic in our car. How romantic...

After we finished eating, we headed to Berkley. I love to walk through the shops there. Franky, not so much. He was a great sport though. I found a great scrap booking shop that I would've spent the whole weekend exploring.

We left Berkeley and decided to go to the movies. We saw the Transporter 2. It was ugh... really bad. I guess the first one was better. I never saw it. Don't know if I'd want to! We enjoyed ourselves though. We had a good laugh at some of the bad acting and unrealistic stunts. If any of you have seen it, our favorite bad acting moment was when the red headed girl says (three different times), "Am- I -in -heaven?" We still joke about that phrase...Bad, bad acting.

The next day we took the BART into the city. It's interesting the people you meet. I spent most of the trip talking to a guy who gave me a detailed history of the BART and the politics surrounding the placement of its stations. When he asked where we were from and we told him Porterville, another man joined in our conversation. He was a very handsome man in his 50's. He told us that he currently lives in the Cayman Islands but was born and grew up in Terra Bella. Wow, what a small world. He laughed when I told him I regularly visited Terra Bella with my job and that it probably still looks exactly like it did when he left!

When we got to the city, we went to Golden Gate Park to visit the Conservatory of Flowers. It was so beautiful. We scoped out the Museum of Science and decide it was a place we would need to visit with Red. We visited Fisherman's Wharf then took the trolly to Chinatown. I had never been there before. I felt like I had stepped into another country. The architecture and colors were amazing. I felt so immersed in the Chinese culture as we made our way down the streets and through the shops.

By the time we had left the city, we had taken every form of public transportation available, walked miles, taken lots of fabulous pictures, eaten wonderful food,lost a box of Sees candy (we bought for Mow & Papa), shopped a little, watched the "bush man" scare people at the wharf, bought a souvenir for Red and just enjoyed being together.

On Sunday, we (I) was lucky enough to get to experience the Alameda Flea Market. I could write for days about how wonderful it is but I won't. I'll just say that I LOVE it and can't wait to go back!!!

Red was happy to see us when we got home. He had a blast. My parents said they would happily keep him again for us but the dogs...not so much. I guess Reese and Sophie were revolting because we were gone. They were terrors. Reese even got on the counter and ate two rolls of salami my mom had bought to send my brother. Papa wasn't too happy about that one. :0

Thanks so much Papa & Mow. We had a GREAT time!