Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

It's that half-chinese kid! Michael is on his way here. We'll pick him up around 1:30 p.m. today at SFO. Whooohoooo!

The last couple weeks have been VERY busy with:

and lots more ings.

Hope to post more often in June!

Friday, May 15, 2009

One Wild and Precious Life

Just read this in the {we are} Storytellers newsletter (sign up for it here):

Mary Oliver, an American poet, once said, ""Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Wow! ". . . one wild and precious life." Yeah, that's all we get! Make the most of it is the message.

The same newsletter mentioned a mother of several children who, with summer coming upon them, sat with the kids and made up a list of "100 Things To Do This Summer." Included were things like a cupcake picnic, jump in rain puddles, and have a campout in the backyard. With a list like that the summer had no chance of just slipping away without numerous adventures, and it could all but do away with the "there's nothing to do...." whine Moms are so familiar with.

We all need lists like that. I do have one of those "100 Things to do in My Life" lists, but this "summer" list is more immediate and has simpler things on it, things that any one of which could be done on the spur of the moment on any given summer day.

Ever had plans cancelled at the last minute and suddenly found yourself with a free day? Were you able to take advantage of it and head off on a spur-of-the-moment adventure? Or did you do what I've often done . . . wander around the house, wondering what to do with the day?

What a waste of a day. Perhaps a seasonal list would work best. Four lists: winter, spring, summer, and fall, of course, with the understanding that anything on any of the four lists is allowed. A picnic in the winter would just be a different kind of a picnic (on the family room floor, perhaps?) but just as fun of an adventure as the more usual kind.

Don't forget to take photos, write in your journal, or keep a memento of every adventure.

We can't control the length of our lives, but we can control the width and the depth.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Madsen Cycles - Win One!

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes
Check out this cool bike!! Big cargo area in the back. Too cool. I'd love to ride one of these to a Farmer's Market and cart home my produce the eco-friendly way.

Click on the image to see how you can WIN ONE in July.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

8 Things About Me

My friend, and fellow digi-scrapper, Tracy, of Latte Dah Designs, tagged me for this meme. I often don't do the memes I get tagged with, depends on how busy I am, and whether or not the meme appeals to me. . . I decided to do this one; it's short, fun, and I could finish it quickly, and maybe it provides some info about me that will interest, horrify, or amuse you, LOL!

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you'd like to do this, please feel free, and make sure to let me know where you post your answers (or send them to me in an email). I save these for my family and close friends 'cuz someday I'm going to compile them all in a book and torture you with them, ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

I think memes also let you take a quick, close, peek at yourself and your life as it currently is, like a snapshot, in a way, and someday, we're going to really enjoy looking back on the answers. So here are my answers:

(written on Thursday, May 7, 2009)

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Michael returning home from China.
2. Rodrigo & Dianna moving north and closer to me.
3. Emma’s bat mitzvah on May 30.
4. Kristen’s wedding in Hawaii-July 2009.
5. New paint on our house trim.
6. A newly cleaned and organized craft/guest room.
7. Seeing “Wicked” in San Francisco for my birthday.
8. Vegetables from our garden.

8 Things I did Yesterday:

1. Picked organic strawberries.
2. Bought tons of produce at Pedrick’s.
3. Read books, blogs, and email.
4. Watered the garden.
5. Took Jack (the cat) out in the backyard on collar & leash.
6. Put steel-cut oats in the crock-pot to cook overnight (yummy).
7. Pushed myself hard in Jazzercise class.
8. Went to the Friends of the Library Member’s-Only booksale.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. Go back to China at least once more.
2. Double the hours in the day.
3. Travel more.
4. Be more organized.
5. Sing.
6. Play the piano better.
7. Totally ignore politics.
8. Speak a foreign language.

8 Shows I have Watched:

1. Dog the Bounty Hunter
2. 30-Minute Meals
3. American Idol
4. The Apprentice
5. Jon & Kate + 8
6. Little People, Big World
7. To Catch a Predator
8. America’s Most Wanted

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Weekend before last my friend, Linda, and I drove from northern California to Simi Valley, in southern California. Among other things I was scheduled to give a digital scrapbooking demonstration in Rancho Palos Verdes, another hour or so away, so I figured it was a good time to combine that activity with a visit home.

My parents live in Simi Valley and my dad is a docent at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library so while we were there we got a private tour. Above is the four of us just before entering Air Force One, which is also at the library now - yes, the REAL Air Force One 747 airplane, which looks just as it did when Reagan used it (as did several presidents before him, but he was the last to use it so I guess that's why he got to put it in HIS library). It's one of my favorite parts of the library.
The library is situated on top of a small mountain in Simi Valley, with great views of the valley below.

This life-sized painting of Pres. Reagan is on the wall at the end of a long hallway. As you walk down the hallway it looks as though he's walking toward you and will put out his hand at any second to shake yours. Awesome!

Reagan loved the outdoors, horses, and his Santa Barbara, California ranch. I think this sepia-toned oil painting really shows his true, and more personal, self.

The Oval Office, exactly as it looked during Reagan's presidency. My dad told us that this is the actual Oval Office, and that the one that is now in the White House is only a replica. Ha ha ha!!!

A specially-minted gold coin with Ronald and Nancy's profiles.

Flags of the world.

One of Nancy's famous and fancy tea sets for teas on the White House lawn.

Reagan's presidential limousine sporting his movie-inspired nickname.

Air Force One!!
It's huge so it's housed in an equally huge hangar-type building.

Air Force One's view out the two-story tall windows.

This pub was in Ireland. Reagan is of Irish descent and much admired in Ireland so when this pub was closed the entire building and most of its contents were disassembled, packed up, shipped to California, and reassembled. Only the name was changed. True story!

Reagan was instrumental in bringing down the Berlin Wall so an actual piece of it is here.

Reagan's memorial. I took this photo in August 2004, two months after he Reagan died, but the headstone had not yet been put in place.

This photo is from this last visit, the headstone is now in place. Nancy will be buried here as well when the time comes.

Right now the MAGNA CARTA is at the library and can be viewed but NOT photographed. It was interesting to see this famous and precious document in a dimly-lit room and with its own personal guard. It is the document upon which our Constitution is based.

I've been to the Ronald Reagan Library several times now and each time it is a little different, and there is something new to see. Some exhibits, like a display of Nancy's clothing, or the Christmas trees, are rotated in and out. There are a number of films, too, that you can watch that really give you the feel of that time in history, including one about the day Reagan was shot, and the strike of the air traffic controllers.

I came away from this last visit thinking I'd write a postcard to Mr. Obama with just one sentence written on it: "Please study Ronald Reagan."

Monday, May 4, 2009

California Poppy

Just wanted to get a new picture up for my blog header. My favorite flower, California Poppy. This one's growing in my garden.

Watch for a new post soon, with photos from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library!