Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Thoughts

In Pacific Grove, the side streets are lined with old houses that have been turned into charming cafes, or little boutiques filled with treasures that are made from local artists and can not be found anywhere else. The houses have been painted with contrasting colors you would never imagine putting together here in the valley. This is one of the reasons why I love Pacific Grove. The steps are also lined with colorful blooming pots and window boxes that are always filled with happy flowers and cascading plump sweet alyssum. With all of the color that your eyes see, it just makes you want to re paint your house and plant flowers in everything and everywhere!

At work, our milk man is 66; I have never seen anyone with such a positive attitude. He always leaves me with a question to ask myself. This morning he said, "Well Angela, Peter Pan told Wendy she had to think of a happy thought in order to fly. What is your happy thought?" He always makes me ponder the question he has left me with (I am a deep thinker); happy thoughts lift you up opposed to thoughts that drag you down. Life is what you make it.

I hope today and always that you are flying with your happy thoughts and letting go of the ones that drag you down.

Fly ~ Fly High


Monday, April 20, 2009

Some Randomness

When we got back from our little get away in Pacific Grove, I helped my husband Charlie with unloading the rocks for the wall that corners behind where the wood stove sits. He is almost finished and it looks fantastic! It really gives our family room a warm rustic feel. As I was unloading the rocks, I couldn't help but think, 'I don't know how my husband does this without any help on a daily basis.' I thought it again while I re stacked the rocks we didn't use. Whew ~ it was hard work! That man amazes me!

Diandra and I spent some time together getting a pedicure last week. I have never done my nails this dark of a color, but I really like it! I had Diandra take a picture of my feet while this lovely lady Jennifer was painting my toe nails. This was my second professional pedicure in all of my forty four years of life and my daughter Diandra giggled, as she watched me try to get into the chair and not know what to do or how to do it. Did you know the chairs all swivel to the side so that you can get into them easier? Oh my goodness... I crack myself up! Do you have those I Love Lucy moments?

The ladies from work and I got together for coffee on Friday night. It was really nice. We sat outside and watched the sun go down, as we shared what each of us did with our week. One of our girls in food service got a new job. We were really happy for her and also sad she was leaving us. My friend and I talked over the weekend and she had shared with me with all the sea of emotions she has about leaving. I can understand how she is feeling; you get very attached with the children and watching them grow up, not to mention getting close to people you work with. She will be going to work for
Creative Alternatives Services, which has several homes through out the county for children in special need. My friend, as a child also lived in foster care. I know that God will use her in so many ways with the children and people that she will be working with. I have seen with my own two eyes while working with her for years, how children gravitate towards her. Cindy is always loving, caring, and encourages any one she talks with and I am very proud to call her my friend. This is really a good ~ good ~ good thing!

It has been hard trying to get back into the groove of not being on vacation anymore. I had to run some errands after I got off from work yesterday and decided to lay down when I finally got home. When I woke up and looked at the clock, I couldn't believe that I had slept for two hours!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Inside of the Bed and Breakfast

In the garden outside of the Bed and Breakfast

Charlie and I had four glorious days away from home, in a charming little Bed and Breakfast nestled in Pacific Grove. It was just what the Doctor had ordered! We got some real R&R not only for both of our bodies, but as well as our mind and soul. This was such a treat for us, only because when we do get away, we almost always take our trailer; which consists of a lot of preparation. In staying at a B&B, you get spoiled with breakfast being made for you and your choice of "hot tea or wine and cheese" (I use the quotations around these two, because you could have made a dinner out of the delightful spread of h'ordeuvres our host Diane would lay out) in the afternoon. It was beautiful and made you feel absolutely pampered!

We found ourselves outside a lot enjoying the garden and have started rethinking the way we have our own yard. Charlie and I would like to incorporate the gardens little nooks of tranquil and peaceful surroundings where one can meditate and enjoy the nature of being outdoors. We already have some designs on how we want to do that and I am really excited about them!

I believe almost half of the valley were vacationing in the Monterey County! In talking with the guest that also stayed at the B&B we learned that they lived only thirty minutes (give or take a few) from where we live. In addition, Charlie and I went to a Restaurant called the Fish House (which I highly recommend), and found out if you don't have reservations, there is a long wait. In waiting, everyone started talking with one another and again I found out, a couple lived where I grew up. We immediately felt that we knew each other somehow because we both thought from the start, we looked very familiar to one another. I love how this happens, although it does boggle the mind in how small the world really is after all.

*Click on photo to enlarge ~ I couldn't choose in what photo's to upload, so I am cheating and put them into two different colleges.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My First Cake!

I came across this picture in my mom's photo album of me and my bunny cake. I thought that it would be a fun little memory maker for those of you that have grand-children, little one's of your own still at home or of someone special that you like to spend time with.

I believe this was my very first cake that I made all by myself. I recall my mom finding little projects that we could do while we were on vacation in the Spring, Winter, and Summer breaks from school. Give us kids two days and we were already screaming how bored we were and there was nothing to do! She learned real quick to keep us semi-busy before we drove her crazy.

It was easy and fun! We decorated the bunny with frosting, coconut, candied gum drops and licorice. Although, you can use what ever candy you chose. There is no right or wrong way in making this cute bunny.

How to cut the ears and bow tie are below:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Spring Hat

I got a telephone call from my sweet niece Alexis the other day to let me know about the new project her class was doing. She was so excited about it and talking so fast that I could barely understand her at first. Giggling, I had to tell her to slow down and start again. As she slowly started again, I could understand why she was so excited. Alexis loves to do crafts! The class project was creating their own spring hat by adding whatever they wanted to them. Alexis was laughing and telling me about Jimmy (a boy in her class), and what he already put on his hat; grass and a toy bunny with eggs on it. I asked her if she had any plans on how she was going to design her hat? Did she have plans! I gave her a Michael's Craft Gift card so that she could pick out what she wanted for her birthday that she recently had and she was excited about being able to use that for her hat. She went on to tell me that they (my baby sister Kiersten and Alexis) were going to have a "Mommy and Daughter day." I might want to add how special this is right now, only because my sister just had her fourth baby. They truly needed a day like this and I believe this day will be tucked away in both of their hearts to recall on as a sweet memory.

My sister Kiersten sent me a picture of the finished project.

Isn't it beautiful?!

This brought back memories of when I did this when I was her age. I have to tell you. . . I had forgotten about it until my niece Alexis shared her class project with me.

Did you make a spring hat when you were little?

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Sometimes my husband will get an idea in his head and doesn't know how to let go of it. He has become obsessed with the housing market and all of the foreclosures. I find myself cringing and a feeling of dread coming over me when I see him on the computer. I immediately think to myself, 'Here it comes.' Charlie will have a page of listed houses that have been foreclosed on the market and want me to go with him to look at them. I have no interest in moving and do not want to see these homes. With what we have just been through and are still going through, I have to wonder if all the chemo he has had, didn't affect his brain (I am just being honest here). With that being said, we will start to have a serious discussion about this and me not having a more open mind about it. I have tried not to be closed minded about it and "look" at these houses, but find that I am just pacifying him and it really leads him to think that I am somewhat interested. In addition, it just makes him more eager to look for the next one, not to mention it totally wastes my time. . . and his. grrr.

When he has some time off between jobs, he likes to pass the time looking online for these listed foreclosures. Last week the tub didn't come in for the job he is on presently and he let me know he would have a week or so off. I had no reaction and just looked at him with glazed over eyes. Right away he asked me what I was thinking? I thought to myself, 'Tread lightly Angela...' I finally answered him in a monotone voice, "This is going to be a "hell week" isn't it?" He narrowed his eyebrows not understanding me and said, "What?" I said, "This means that you are going to be on the computer looking at foreclosures." He started to laugh but didn't say anything. The next morning as I was leaving for work, I kissed him goodbye, and told him he was grounded from the computer.

The last house we looked at was on an acre. I hated everything about it. I tried my hardest to have an "open mind." As I was looking at the back yard, I found myself thinking things like, 'I could see a vegetable garden in that corner of the yard' or 'We would definitely have to do this or that with this house,' and then I felt like my mind was closing every door and window. I had enough. I told Charlie that I was getting cold and going to sit in the truck. As I was walked towards the gate going to the front yard, I noticed that there was a side gate going to the next door neighbors back yard. I thought to myself that the previous owners of this house must have been very close to the neighbors to add a gate there. I got in the truck and just looked at the house and right away noticed three pretty glazed pots with dead flowers still in them and wondered why they didn't take the pots. I also noticed the pretty tree in the middle of the yard with Christmas lights wrapped around the trunk going into the branches. I found myself thinking more about the people that had owned this house more than the house itself. These are hard times and I thought about how sad the people must have been to have to move out of their home. I started putting myself in their shoes and how I might have felt. I just wanted to get back to my home. Something just doesn't feel right to me about making a gain on someone else's misfortune.

In this next paragraph (Rereading before I pushed the "PUBLISH POST"), you are going to see how my mind goes back and forth. giggle

My husband looks at it in a professional way like playing the game of Monopoly and I tend to look at it more in a sentimental point of view. Charlie grew up moving around a lot and has a tendency to "nest"; he is always adding a piece of straw or strand of thread here or there making the nest stronger. I look around our home and see him everywhere in the things that he has done to improve it. I find comfort in this. I know Charlie would/could make any house feel like our home with the talent and special touch that he has. I think sometimes that if the right house came along, I would just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the right time (everything in the universe would have to line up ~ giggle). . . then I would move. I then think, 'We raised our kids here and have memories galore.' I could tell you a thousand reasons why I don't want to move and I probably am holding us back from moving forward (as Charlie likes to tell me). Right now, I just think that it isn't the right time to be making a move like this with everything that we have been through in the last year, not to mention... I am tired and I don't want to start over. I want to enjoy life right now.

BIG sigh ~ I hate when we play tug of war in the way of not seeing eye to eye.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Journey

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

I got some good news this past weekend that concerned me...
I am still in shock and trying to absorb it all.

It has been a journey. Although, I can finally hear a new voice that I am slowly recognizing as my own.