Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Giovanna

Yesterday was Giovanna's birthday... and Drew sent me these pictures of their day at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.  It's a museum with beautiful gardens donated by the Getty family ( in Getty Oil...) and the museum actually has Rembrandts among other famous art exhibits.

The gardens are lovely too.  

A lovely place to visit if you're ever in LA.  

Happy Birthday Giovanna!  Happy amazing year ahead!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Some Work and Some Play

Early morning, leaving Pleasanton, and off in the's a man - no, it's a bird - no, it's SNOW  - on the Livermore hills!  
(They look like mountains to us but they're technically the foothills of the Sierras - hence, everything around our hometown is named "Foothill High School , Foothill Blvd., Foothill get the gist...)
Anyway, we almost hated to leave!  But work beckoned at the lake so we kept going.

And here we are doing more...painting. Ugh.  
I tried to cajole Dave into calling "Dennis the Painter" because of the height but he wouldn't have it.  He later admitted it was pretty creepy up there...I painted the lower portions because I DO NOT like heights unless they are soooo high that it really wouldn't matter if I fell because I'd be a goner anyway.  

I was happy with painting the low parts and then I moved on to antiquing a pair of mirrors 
(that I found online really cheap)

And finished a drawing of a gold miner - since we're in 49er gold country - it's the first of four drawings ...although the endeavor is going rather slowly.

After enough work, we went out for a drive and found...more snow in Sonora!  Actually, this is not so unusual since Sonora does get snow every winter and there's good skiing at Dodge Ridge, further up the mountain range.  

At lower elevations, like our place, the cows seem pretty content with the warmer climate.

This is "Table Mountain" (appropriately named) right above Lake Tulloch.

More green hills.  So many people come out to visit us in the summer and all they see are brown hills.  They don't believe us when we say that everything is green from November to April.  Here's proof!

Getting late...time to go home...
What! ...we have to do taxes?  Sheeesh ...Give me the paint brush...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Daddy Daughter Time

I know it may be hard to believe for all of the young people who are having babies now, but..
(and keep this in mind when the baby wakes you up at 2 and 4 a.m.) ... there will come a time when you have to schedule time on your calendar and get on a plane to see your kid!!!

(Hold on to that thought when you're dragging yourself out of bed for the second time in one night, as you are traipsing down the hallway:  Some time in the future you will actually want to get up at 3 a.m. for a 6 a.m. flight for a child you haven't seen in months.)

At any rate, Dave got a good deal on a trip to Chicago that he couldn't pass up and Lauren accommodated his spontaneous plan and they got together for a fun Daddy Daughter bonding.

A weekend in Chicago...

Lake Michigan... Brrrrrrr

Holy Cow!  It's Harry Caray!

Their neat hotel - the Amalfi

City life...even a picket line can be hazardous

Sunset, I guess...I wasn't there...

Looks like old Harry Caray again

Ah, a Purdue basketball game.  This was Dave's favorite thing to do 
(after Shopping on Michigan Avenue, of course)

Go Purdue.  They won  ;-)

Great Weekend

Thank goodness for last minute airline deals !!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Boring but...useful

Maybe theres' hope for your worn out Uggs...

My favorite old pair of suede shoes were on their way out...looking kind of worn and just plain crumby.  But I hated to let them go because they were sooooo darned comfortable.  Lauren is sick of seeing them but I love them (they also jingle when I walk because they have a metal chain on them so she likes them even less because of that but...they are soooo comfortable).  Anyway, I just could not find anything to replace them and I thought maybe I could refurbish them and get some more mileage out of them.  I got out my suede brush and tried to revive them.  It helped but not enough so I went down to the shoe repair place and found suede dye that you just spray on and what'ya know - they look great!  I'm bunion's happy. Ok, I'm sorry I said that.  Anyway, I told Lauren that this spray dye for suede would really be great for sprucing up her old pair (pairs) of Uggs so she wouldn't have to get new ones!

I covered up the patent leather part of the shoes with painter's tape
Here's the spray dye for suede
I worn them today...they looked like new and were very comfy

Friday, February 4, 2011

Arieta 2009 Merlot

There's just a little bit left!  
Dave and I really loved this wine which was a Christmas gift from Giovanna and was made by her father, Gino.  We had most of it one weekend but left a little bit to enjoy again. It is a really, really nice merlot.  
Loved it!

Maybe we should have saved some for Drew and Giovanna...but...nah.   ;) 

Actually, it would have been hard to save some for Drew and Giovanna because they've been working hard and it sounds like they don't have much time off.  Drew rarely gets two consecutive days off so there's no way he could come home and join us at the lake.  Dave and I will probably go to LA for a visit sometime in the next few months.  Soooooo....a while back in the blog, I mentioned that right around the time Drew moved to LA, there was a story involving Renee Zellweger...well, it seems that one day when Drew was in Starbucks, at the sugar and milk counter, Giovanna caught ole' Renee checking him out...behind his back!  (And here I thought he had a handsome face - who knew!) 

Sorry Renee - he's taken ;)   Giovanna did get a chuckle out of it, though.  Me too :)  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Working Weekend... for one of us, anyway

Dave simply cannot sit still for long.  Seriously, it's not possible.  So here his is on another project at the lake.  The list of projects is a mile long to begin with but lo' and behold he found another, more pressing one, to  attend to when we were on our last kayak adventure (a relaxing day, or so we thought) when we viewed the water runoff from the last storm .  It seems there was an enormous pipe, projecting from the hillside, with a gushing torrent of water exploding down the hill whenever we had a downpour, and it was creating a crevice 7 feet deep in the hill.  It was really no big deal except that it was underneath the concrete driveway 
(now enters a chorus of groans:  aaaaghhhhh ).

Certainly, it called for springing into action!  What we needed in the path of this hillside waterfall was to fill in the crevice with plenty of rock to stop the erosion and prevent the driveway from collapsing (sometime in 2020, I believe).  At any rate, there was a job to be done so Dave rounded up Monte, his young accomplice for difficult lake jobs, and Monte's friend, Pug.  (Fortunately for Drew and Kevin, they have full time jobs of their own...and now some incentive to hold on to them...)

I should mention here that Monte and Pug, are 23 and 29, respectively.  Dave's age is a mutliple of roughly 2.3 of their combined ages.  Somehow, he puts in a full day of work with them.  I really admire this...but from afar...because I spend most of my time in the house or on the deck or out for a walk.  I'm the inside girl and Dave is the outside guy. 
They figured they lost about 15% of the rock because it tumbled down the hill.  Monte was the human 
stop-gap, whose job it was to place the rock downhill and try to contain it.

Yikes, it's a long way down!

Now, here's my part:  I went on a peaceful walk...a lot of it was uphill and pretty steep, though, so I'm not a total slug.  The rest of my day was spent cleaning, but more important.....reading my lovely book: Tojours Provence
(the sequel to A year In Provence, which I also loved).  It added at least another year on to my life.  I loved it.