Thursday, October 01, 2015

Friday Video

Haven't posted a song lately so here goes...Friday video now on Thursday!




She has a famous father who was on SNL and Deuce Bigelow...I'm going to have to listen to some of her other music now.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Howling at the Moon

The last supermoon of 2015 and it wasn't at some horrible late night time. It was a tad inconvenient since I was eating dinner and roasting another tri-tip for later this week. I admit I was too ambitious in my timing but oh well. Hector told me he could see the moon really well at the park about 2 blocks away so I shut the oven off and had the kids carry my tripod to the park. This was around 7pm.

It took a little bit for my eyes to adjust and actually see the moon which was eclipsed and very difficult to see with some the hazy clouds. We walked around some more and found a decent spot to set up.

The kids were helpful in setting up the tripod and using their phones to light up my camera to adjust settings.

I had to tweak my pictures in LR3 and crop but you can see the red color and eclipse although it's grainy.

Lunar Eclipse


Red Lunar Eclipse

Later that night around 11:30pm  I went back outside to look at the moon and it was perfectly visible from our driveway so I brought the tripod back out for the supermoon shot.



Super Moon


Monday, September 21, 2015

Wanna Play?



This is pretty cool. It would have to be in Edmonton because LA wouldn't know what to do.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sludge

It's Monday and another blog post. Our weather is a tad bit cooler so that's a relief. The kids will have their first full week of school so hopefully it will be smooth transitions.

I won tickets to the Depeche Mode convention for Sunday night. Hector agreed to go with me and arranged his Monday schedule to the late shift so we could have a fun time. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. 

We think a 1:30am Mexican food run was the culprit to triggering the sludge in his gallbadder duct set off stomach pain at 9am Sunday morning. By noon, he couldn't take it anymore and we set off to the ER thinking he would most likely need surgery since these type of incidents have happened twice before in the last 2 months. I drove to his work since he knows/trusts the doctors there.

Poor guy couldn't get comfortable at all since 9am and after some Toradol. Of course, it took a while to drive to the hospital with a traffic accident jamming up the freeway. Then the ER was full of people to add more time. I think we waited about 2 hours before he was taken inside. Bloodwork,  some pain meds and 2 more hours later the pain lessened a little and he was sent home. 

So we got home around 6:30pm and we were both exhausted by that point. Hector is taking today off to rest and take it easy.

So no more greasy food for now although H has been really good since April and lost 50 pounds. Funny how the body works...

I did get lots of knitting done on my Be Simple scarf/shawlette. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Major Announcement!!!

I almost forgot to tell the internet universe that we finally got a bed!!! You might not find that remotely interesting or major but we haven't had a bed since February so that's 6 months.

I can recap the story quickly. We had our old bed for 18 years so it was time anyway. I got a series of bites along my sides and at first I thought they were flea bites. Then H said they're bed bugs. So I just freak and throw out our bed. It had to go. We treated the house and no more bites.

I get a fabulous decision to redo our room since there is no bed in there (air mattress is easy to move). As in myself... yeah that went well. I  did my best to try to scrape and paint but I had a girls trip to Vegas planned then following week, we were off  to Japan plus taking care of my mom. Put that room on hold. Come back and well, life just goes on....

We finally finished our room this summer and then procrastinated on a bed. Finally made the decision in August and we now have a Sleep Number bed. And its a Cal King too which is still weird to me. So that's the short convoluted story to our new bed. It's very nice! :)


Here is our new bed. Upgraded to a Cal King w/ Sleep Number. I love it.



Wednesday, September 09, 2015

It's September already?

One of my dedicated readers keeps mentioning that I haven't blogged in a long time. Okay honey, I get it! 

After some health scares with my mom and just overall stress in dealing with that and life in general, the summer is finishing up and we're getting ready for school. 

Our oldest son, T has turned 16 years old. A milestone for many of us because we all wanted to get that drivers license. Well, those days are long gone with the restrictions on teen drivers under 18 which is good in many ways. We attended a meeting to inform parents and future drivers of the laws and restrictions in place. With a new semester beginning, T will postpone drivers ed etc to concentrate on his 2 honors classes and an extra class at SCROC. I have to start getting organized for college visits/apps too so I will be adding more stress into our lives. ;)

Today is my mom's birthday ! So thankful for her never ending love and support.


But T has really matured a lot personally over the summer and we are extremely proud. Both kids have stepped up a lot this summer and we will have a nice little break coming up to celebrate that. My mom has her birthday the day after T's so we're always busy celebrating our 2 September birthdays.

Lots of stuff to catch on, as usual so I'll start with the easiest since I still need to upload photos from a recent getaway. 


I found my knitting mojo...finished some projects that were sitting around. Of course that means, I started twice as many to be extra ambitious.

Little bear hat. ๐Ÿ‘ถ

Latest pair of #monstersocks #blenders #knit


Another WIP finished. Ready for cooler weather. Mismatched #knit legwarmers.

I did some nail art again after letting my nails rest for a couple of weeks.
So hot/muggy today. Decided to play with striping tape. Fun, need to practice & better eyes to peel the tiny tape.

2nd adventure with striping tape.  In Wanna Dance? and Can't Check This! Success!! #chromegirl #NHLcolors #nailart
I did some baking for H's work. 


Mango Lemon Thumbprint cookies.


Lots of leftover curd so I made mini tarts with Pillsbury sugar cookie dough.


I'm brainstorming some ideas for future projects. I don't want to say too much yet but I'm excited about it. Speaking of crafty things, I knit lots of items, big and small that I send to H's work for sale. I don't know if anyone is interested again but please let me know then I can set that up. 

Okay, that will do it for now. I need to get our groceries and some clothes/shoes for the kids.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nail Art Roundup

I gave my nails a break after my nails were stained by some green polish. They were also too long and splitting so a week of rest and freshly trimmed have helped tremendously.


I'm waiting forever at the bank so I'll show you my #nailart #Missjenfabulous

It was this design that the green polish did a number on my nails. I'm still not the greatest at nail art but I have noticed a big improvement from when I first started so that's fine with me. There are so many videos on Youtube of easy nail art for beginners and it can snowball quickly. I have more fun trying and sometimes it's a total disaster. I just remove it and do something else.

My left hand usually has the better nail art because I'm right handed. Practice is key. Lately, I'll do a completely different design on my right hand just to practice and see how it looks. Even if my right hand looks a tad wonky, people still tend to give compliments because they can't see the details where I messed up and usually a distance like 2-3 feet. 

So if you're interested, there are videos and tutorials on using household items as nail tools so it doesn't have to be expensive and wasteful.Have fun with it.


Opal-ish nails using these 4 colors/gold glitter. Reminds of granite too. ๐Ÿ˜Inspired by @naiqnaiq

These nails were supposed to look like opals. I didn't have all the right colors so mine came out more like granite which I still love. 


Springtime flowers. ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒบ #nailart #cutepolish


TGIF #nailart #cutepolish #flowers


Feeling better today. Pink base, glitter then matte top coat. #nailart

I noticed that simple designs suit my nail better since I have short nails but that shouldn't limit you.


Today's nails. Coral base, silver crackle, top coat then navy shattered. Sort of liking it.

Here is my right hand for a change. Crackle or Shatter nail polish goes on like regular polish then as it dries, it cracks showing the base color. Like I said before, it looks messy up close but I got lots of compliments on this one too.

That's it for now. Nail art is something that I can do for fun and let's me carve out some personal time for myself. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

June Favorites

July is already flying by and I've been meaning to post a blog of June faves so let's get going!

1) My lovely ocean sunset painting...

My new acquisition and birthday present! kathyjohnsonstudio.com

My friend is an artist and I've started my own personal collection. This is the 2nd piece I've acquired from Kathy Johnson Studio. She is down in the San Diego area and I'm in love with all her pieces. So the most difficult part is deciding but the art usually speaks to me so I have to hurry and get it. :)

Moody Sunset hangs in my kitchen so I get to see it often....


2) Nail art.

I still enjoy doing my nails although I need some serious cuticle moisturizer. This is my favorite nail art pattern. It's simple and I got a ton of compliments.

Flower Power nails. #Missjenfabulous #nailart

3) Dancing with Hector.

He keeps my spirits up and I have a keeper in that he loves to dance. He would convince me to go even if I didn't feel like dancing and has no problem dancing by himself. I've heard from several women that sounded envious that my hubby loves to shake his groove thang and I know that it isn't the most common trait but it's one of my ALL- TIME favorite things. It helps that he has rhythm and moves too.


Hector dancing makes me extremely happy/giggly. #dancestohisownbeat


upload

Thanks honey!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cat Cafe

More Kyoto fun! After our adventure at the shrine we wandered back down the street filling up with street food along the way and found a cat cafe. We've heard of them but this was our first time to actually see one. Hector opted out so the kids and I went up to the 2nd floor where we paid 500 yen/20 minutes of cat time. I think they had 8 cats inside, all rescued and it was very clean.

A couple of people were there just sitting with their beverages looking out onto the street and the cats had lots of treehouses, beds and toys to use. The kids enjoyed spotting all the cats and looking thru their individual cat books.

We had a fun time and I tried to get all the cats pictures but some were hiding.



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2 happy kids



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This one reminded us of Phil and he was the most friendly/playful at the time. Later you'll see his messed up tail.


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Don't know how this purebred Persian was a stray but there you go.

They have a nice life here.


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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Fushimi-Inari-Taisha

We are finally to my personal favorite day of our Japan trip! We did not see this on our first trip when the boys were 6 and 3 years old so this was the time to do it!

The guidebook says that one should allow 3-4 hours and silly me, I was thinking it was because of its vast space. Well, I was partially right; it is vast but the guidebook didn't mention that most of the entire thing is up the  mountain! We had been experiencing rainy weather up to this point and we were supposed to get a break from it while still being cool. I told the kids to wear long pants & jacket  which wasn't necessary since it was warmer than I anticipated. But better to be safe than sorry. ;)

Prepare for lots of walking and not just walking, more like hiking on paved steps. The maps are not the clearest although at first glance they appear to be as we found out and somehow got separated from the kids at some point. There was a fork in the road which a sign pointed back down to the entrance that we assumed the kids would go but we were pleasantly surprised to see them near the top (we thought) an hour later of climbing. The paths are winding and seem to go up for a while making us think we are getting close to the top then go back down for another portion. 

What kept me and Hector going was seeing the elderly men and women (65 + years) coming back down. If these people can do this, so can we !?! There are areas that are flat with rest stations that offer souvenirs and food/drink. There are also areas of shrines that are decorated with all sorts of items.

Now on to the shrine...




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This is the area leading to the shrine. Just follow the torii gates both sides of this area is packed with street food vendors. We ate after visiting the shrine so I don't remember if I took pictures but I remember we had karaage (chicken pieces), crab on a stick and a pastry shaped like a fish filled with custard. I really wanted to go back and but we didn't have the time during our trip.


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Now here is one of several posted maps showing the layout and definitely not to scale. At the time, we saw the red dot to indicate you are here and we"ll check where the dot is at another location. It didn't seem to move which really confused us but looking at this, I believe the dot will move up.

To be honest, this map is the most basic of maps and it's very deceiving for us visitors. Maybe distance markers would be more helpful. Lets get walking/climbing.


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But there's so much to see! 

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In the lower areas, the walkways are very crowded as you can see and everyone is trying to take their pictures. Some people are polite trying to give you space while others plow right through...

Big tip: there are plenty of opportunities to take more photos where people are no where to be seen.Be patient and willing to walk much further. This is where the many people either get tired or get slower. 


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I'm not sure what's going on here but I know you can buy these fox faces. They have different faces and I'm not sure if people draw these faces on them or if you can do your own drawing. I don't see any blank ones. No, I see  a couple of blank ones.

I have lots of pics of the torii gates which is what this shrine is all about. 

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This shrine is for business/companies so the writing on the gate shows the sponsor and they're responsible for the maintenance/upkeep of the gate. Later in the photo set, you can see a worker painting one.


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See? No one to be seen in our photo. Seriously, I think we walked 5-7 miles on that day just at the shrine. 

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We did see the occasional couple. Keep hanging in there, we're almost to the summit. Not exactly the top but a big area overlooking the city. Remember I said there are shops, little tea/food areas up here so think about the people that work up here. Do they do rock, paper, scissors to see who works up at the top that day? I have some huge respect for the Japanese people. 

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Off the main path, there are a few areas that have stairs leading to these shrines. Pretty cool.


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That's when we start noticing the feral cats. This is one of many that we saw in Kyoto. Most didn't seem too skittish but we didn't pet them. Another thing is that most of them have had something done to their tails. Either broken or chopped so that part is sad but it looks like someone is feeding them. Stay tuned for a later post of our time in a cat cafe.


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Now a break from shrines and gates...a little lake. If you want to see Hector and I go off the beaten path into the woods on a tiny dirt/mud path around half the lake before we went back to the main path, you can view them on Flickr.


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What? More stairs? 

Here's the rest point I was telling you about...it took us a while to get here, didn't it? Almost as long as it takes for me to do this post.


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Here is my 2nd map photo. Now that I see this again, this map is different from the first one. That's why we were confused to where we were since the red dot moved but still in the middle of the map and that's what I remembered from the previous map.


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I'll end my super long post here. Somewhere in the upper half, we met a woman travelling alone from Mexico so we kept each other company the rest of the journey up. She had been in Japan for 2 weeks and she & Hector chatted a lot.

She took this photo of us and at the top of the shrine/mountain, we ran into our children which was super impressive because it is a super long hike. They took a different path up so that explained why we never ran into them. Family reunited. :)