Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Christmas Table Setting Project

This was a centerpiece at a wedding we went to recently (OK, it was Russ's wedding) and I thought it was a very cool idea.  I told Dave that I would really like to have a candle-holder like this up at the lake and he was delighted because, it seems, it's pretty easy to make.  Get a log, drill a hole and insert a candle.  Of course, it has to have holly or poinsettias to compliment it but that part I can do.  We have a couple of trees he would like to trim so that works out well but I think he could make it work with some wood that we used to buy at the grocery store for our (old) wood-burning fireplace.  I got this idea from Russ and Kelly's Ranch Wedding that we went to recently. It was a keeper idea. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Much To Be Thankful For

Our little purdue pumpkin
Lauren just arrived back at school...we miss her already.  She left behind this little memento - she and Dave couldn't miss out on carving a pumpkin this year so they carved a Thanksgiving Pumpkin (doesn't everyone have one of those?).  Our neighbors are putting up their Christmas tree already and so far there are 2 houses on our court with the lights up but WE have a THANKSGIVING PUMPKIN! 
Lauren is hiding her eyes because weird things were going on with my camera and her eyes were coming out weird in every photo...so...problem solved - just cover 'em up. We used to carve our pumpkins with a bowl of Halloween candy nearby - now we do it with a bottle of Wente Riva Ranch.  Hmmmm.

And, joining us for a wonderful couple of days were Kevin and Lauren and we spent Thanksgiving night in a marathon Rummicub competition.  Just one more game????
Wow.  We look really serious, don't we?
 We were sad this year that Drew wasn't with us for Thanksgiving  for the first time ever.  I would have been really upset except that he had dinner with Giovanna and his housemates and it actually sounded like they had a lot of fun - everyone pitched in to make dinner and it was reportedly quite a feast!  Our best news though, was that he would be home for Christmas!  Lucky for us, it falls on a weekend, otherwise, he might have been stuck in L.A.

Yes, we have much to be thankful for. 

Now I have to share a Thanksgiving poem that my cousin, Jane, sent me and Lauren and I thought it was hilarious!  Thank you Jane!

TWAS THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING,
BUT I JUST COULDN'T SLEEP.
I TRIED COUNTING BACKWARDS,
I TRIED COUNTING SHEEP.

THE LEFTOVERS BECKONED -
THE DARK MEAT AND WHITE,
BUT I FOUGHT THE TEMPTATION
WITH ALL OF MY MIGHT.

TOSSING AND TURNING WITH ANTICIPATION,
THE THOUGHT OF A SNACK BECAME INFATUATION.
SO, I RACED TO THE KITCHEN, FLUNG OPEN THE DOOR,
AND GAZED AT THE FRIDGE, FULL OF GOODIES GALORE.
GOBBLED UP TURKEY AND BUTTERED POTATOES,
PICKLES AND CARROTS, BEANS AND TOMATOES.

I FELT MYSELF SWELLING SO PLUMP AND SO ROUND,
'TIL ALL OF A SUDDEN, I ROSE OFF THE GROUND.
I CRASHED THROUGH THE CEILING, FLOATING INTO THE SKY,
WITH A MOUTHFUL OF PUDDING AND A HANDFUL OF PIE.
BUT, I MANAGED TO YELL AS I SOARED PAST THE TREES....
HAPPY EATING TO ALL - PASS THE CRANBERRIES, PLEASE.




MAY YOUR STUFFING BE TASTY,
MAY YOUR TURKEY BE PLUMP.
MAY YOUR POTATOES 'N GRAVY HAVE NARY A LUMP.
MAY YOUR YAMS BE DELICIOUS.
MAY YOUR PIES TAKE THE PRIZE,
MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING DINNER STAY OFF OF YOUR THIGHS!!

HAPPY   THANKSGIVING   TO  ALL
 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Color

The Fall colors have been gorgeous all week so I took out my camera today - probably not the best day because it was overcast but still beautiful.  For all you East-coasters who don't think we have seasons out here, here are a few:

Those were my neighbor's trees but I get to enjoy them too :)


2nd Street in downtown Pleasanton:
The vineyards along....Vineyard Avenue:


Lauren comes home tonight...Yea!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting Ready For Thanksgiving...

 I've been a bit AWOL from the blog for a couple of days....cleaning. Ugh.

So this is going to sound boring but I have to say something about my litttle carpet cleaner:

I really like this little thing and it has come in handy and saved me soooo much on carpet cleaners.  A couple of years ago, our "visiting dog", Ruby, came for a visit and since she's getting on in years, she couldn't contain herself one day and I ended up with quite a mess in the living room.  My neighbor, Anna (who owns a completely incontinent dog), came to my rescue and brought over her little carpet cleaner.  I looooved it.  I bought one of my own and I use it all the time.  Even up at the lake, it took out stains from the carpet that we thought were permanent.  Dave and I actually had new carpet on our to-do list but after I used this little thing, we're sticking with the original carpet.  The only downside is that it takes a little bit of "muscle" if you're going to use it on a large area.  I just use it on spots, the stairs and smaller traffic areas. But then... that's all I really need.  I saw it today in Target for $89. 
(I think I paid $99. over a year ago)


Ta Da!  
All Done!


So I rewarded myself by going out to dinner with the girls.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Weekend of Weddings






















Drew and Giovanna came up from L.A. for a couple of weddings last weekend.  Poor Drew- he's made that awful 6 hour drive about 6 times in the past few weeks. Ugh.  But it was probably worth it this past weekend because the weddings were a lot of fun.  Dave and I went to the first one on Saturday ...Drew's fraternity brother and the co-captain, with Drew, of the lacrosse team at Pacific, came back from the Navy's Nuclear Power School in Connecticut to marry a girl from high school.  It was the Naval Officer and the Cowgirl...really - Kelly grew up on a ranch and her bridesmaids wore cowboy (cowgirl ?) boots! The reception  was held at the family ranch - gorgeous California setting!


So here's the whole fraternity crew!  Russ's salute was pretty crisp - Dave approved....

Dave and I were honored to attend this wedding because Dave and Russ made a strong connection - they knew each other from lacrosse but they "bonded" over  fixing our deck up at the lake house in 110 degree heat for 3 days.  Needless to say, there was a lot of conversation about jobs (or the lack thereof) and Russ took Dave's suggestion that he look into Officer Candidate School in the Navy.  Well...Russ blew us all away by being selected for the Nuclear Power School.  Very impressive.  Russ asked Dave to come to Rhode Island when he graduated from OCS to pin on his shoulder boards but we had a wedding that weekend :(  (lots of weddings lately). He came home one weekend about 6 months ago and had dinner with us at the lake and hinted that Kelly was "the one" so we were not surprised that a wedding followed soon after.  

Good Luck Russ and Kelly.  Ummm....he'll be gone a lot.  Brings back memories...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Chi Omega Dad's Day, Lauren













Wish we were there! 


Only 5 days to go!

Dad is practicing getting out his wallet so he'll be in shape when you come home.  Ha ha

Friday, November 12, 2010

One More Week...

















We're counting down the days until Thanksgiving Break for Lauren to come home.  She's has so many tests lately - it's crazy!  So I think when she gets to our doorstep, she'll just drop.  Although I know she'll revive herself pretty quickly to drag me out for a mani/pedi.


Girl stuff..Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Off To LA...


A new job for Drew and off to Los Angeles.  Dave misses the basketball already and it's only been one day!  Actually, Drew doesn't love LA but Giovanna is living and working there and the job is down there too. He'll be living basically right where he did when he was working and going to school a few years ago. Hopefully, he can find a place in El Segundo - it's a cute, old-style 1920's kind of town.  The job is in Santa Monica which is also really nice but pricey and definitely out of reach for just about...well...almost everybody.  Our "governator" Arnold lives there so that's a clue.  Last week when Drew was waiting for Giovanna to get off from work, he went down to Venice Beach to run and... lo and behold - there was Arnold himself - riding a bike along the beach.  It was really weird when I saw him 4 hours later on TV.  It was Election Day so I guess he was just glad to know he was giving up the job of trying to govern California.

Sometime I'll tell the story about Rene Zellweger...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nooooo....It's NOT Halloween !


I loooove these kids!!  It looks like Halloween, right?  Well, No.  The photo was actually taken about a month ago when Kevin and Drew went to visit Lauren at school.  Some mothers might be skeptical about this sibling reunion but this photo did my heart good.  It reminded me so much of when they were little kids.  And now...they are all grown up.  The boys went to see their sister for a football weekend at Purdue and the local tradition is to go to "Breakfast Club" (costumes required, of course) when all the drinking establishments (ahem...bars)
 open at 6 a.m.  Lauren, naturally, met them after Breakfast Club and gave them directions to the tailgating hill outside of the stadium. Of course, they diligently focused on watching the game and then, I think I heard, they took a nap at some point.  Kevin and Drew rallied for a trip the following day in to Chicago (normally a haunt for Lauren and her Mom) and took in a Cubs game.

Sometimes great memories are made even when you're not there! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's Off To Work We Go...


Wow, Dave!  Don't step back!  There he is paining yet another room.  This time it's the guest bath - it's only half way done so I had to go down to the store and buy some more today to bring to the lake...he's going to groan, I'm sure.  The thing is...I always start out painting by myself but Dave is such a perfectionist that he can't stand to see me doing the cutting in and he has to take over that part of it and then, before I know it, he's doing the whole thing!  

Well, we still have quite a few more rooms to do and winter is our painting time because the weather isn't so great.  By the time we're done, we'll be sick of the colors and will want to change again.  So - every time we do this, I wonder:  how old is too old to do this sort of stuff??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Lauren S. !!!



Happy Birthday Lauren!  Graphic Designer and Wine Label Maker Extraordinaire! 
We wish you the very best with your exciting career and hope you have a wonderful year .
We're looking forward to seeing your parents this weekend.   

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Optimist's Creed

Promise Yourself...

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of troube.

Remembering Rick...a Good Man.