Sunday, 7 February 2016

Cardiff Kook Run 2016

Sunny, in the 70's, big crowd.

Fewer costumes than previous years but still quite amusing to watch along Pacific Coast Highway on SuperBowl morning.

Feel the energy….

(or lack thereof at the end of the route)!

Best Costumer Ever!
A couple running, IN A SOFA…..

….munching on potato chips, before the SuperBowl.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

What a Dump!

After a week and half of phone tag, an 11:15 appointment was secured to dispose of our hazardous waste.

And I will get to that in a minute.

But first this is what our local dump, I mean landfill, looks like (in case you are curious):

They must get so many used toilets that they had to designate a specific bin for TOILETS ONLY.

Everyone was polite and hard-working.

Doesn't that look like a frozen brick of bottles?

Although we chatted it up with several folks doing drop offs (i.e. the couple that said we could share a dumpster, the guy that told us where to find the beautiful Dirt Diva that scooped up compost), we didn't pester this guy as he seemed to have a massive job ahead of him unloading all those beer bottles!

So the process goes like this. 

Grab trash cans on wheels, fill them up, take them to weigh station (below), and they will hand back a slip.

Take slip to the window nearby and they will give you money for things like bottles or paper or copper.

Our purpose, hazardous waste disposal, was a little bit different.

We followed the signs, stopped for check-in (they noted name, asked whether all goods came from our residence, how long had we had the items, etc.) and we gave them our confirmation number and time.

Then we drove around and waited in a short line.

As each car pulled up, workers came out to inspect, ask a few questions, and unload.

We opted to store our items in uncovered boxes so that everything was clearly visible.

The car in front of us was filled with sealed black bags and it slowed down the process a bit.

But not by much and soon we were on our way.

Next time we plan to get instead of give ----- gotta check out what the Dirt Diva is shoveling up.

Sunday, 10 January 2016


Don't you love clever gifts?

The name, the packaging, the idea - so much fun.

For Christmas, we received three bags of SOBERDOUGH, in three delightful flavors.

Easy to make, all you need is a bottle of beer!

Pour bottle into a bowl and add the mix (we tried Rosemary).

Stir until combined.

Put into greased loaf pan and bake.

Slice and serve!

Can't wait to try the other flavors!

Monday, 4 January 2016

San Diego Car Show

What does your car say?

While walking around the convention center on Sunday it seemed that every car was sending a subtle or not so subtle message…

I frequently cruise Rodeo Drive.
My bling comes from Tiffany & Co.

Look out. I own the road and I am cool.
I will never wave, just tip my grill knowingly when I see you.

I am young but not carefree.
I insist on the 10 and 2 position.
I don't believe in taking sharp corners.
I have money. Lots of money.
I am full equipped.
My clothes match my paint job.
Bit of a hippy. Artistic.
My heart sings.

I am quiet. Reserved. Intriguing.
My friends want me to open up.
They often force the issue.

There is no stopping me.
I have a thick skin.
Strong and tough and built to last.
I am not in touch with my feelings, at all.

I am friendly. Have a vintage vibe.
Animals and small children are attracted to me.
I make people smile.

That is how I experienced the San Diego Car Show.

I also took a picture of a clown that took a picture of me (his camera squirted water), asked two guys to pose while buffing out fingerprints on the hood of a MINI Cooper and then sat inside a BMW convertible wearing sunglasses and practicing my "I am Grace Kelly" look.

My husband asked intelligent questions, found out prices, the gas mileage on road vs. highway and the differences in the 2015 vs the 2016 models.

But that is not how I roll...

Friday, 1 January 2016

Welcome 2016!

First day of the new year.

Fresh start.

New page on the calendar.

Yet our house is still full of red and green, droopy poinsettias, wrapping paper and holiday cards…the tree needs to come down, needles must be vacuumed and everything needs to be packed up and stored in the garage.

But not just yet.

We still have to drive up and down Christmas Card Lane while the lights are still up.

Savor the last homemade French Macarons on the kitchen counter...

By Monday, I should be able to write and say and remember that it is officially 2016.

But in the meantime, a few days of transition, filled with new books, some shopping, perhaps a nap, will help ease the passage.

Until Monday….

Monday, 14 December 2015

Holiday Spirit, Competitive Spirit!

For years and years we have been decorating a gingerbread house as part of our Christmas holiday tradition. I can't remember exactly when we started but it definitely goes as far back as when our nephew Zak turned 13 (and he is now in his 30's). After we decorated our masterpiece that year, Zak thought it would be fun if we stood on our balcony and chucked big rocks at it. We thought that was an odd way to celebrate but we placed the house on the grass in the backyard, gathered some rocks and headed upstairs. It made a spectacular crash!

Fast forward to the past few years and we have gotten better with a piping bag and more creative with our building materials. 2011 was the introduction of water elements, see HERE. 

2014 was all about the Grinch (by Andrew and Melissa) and using sugar cones for trees and dancers (our idea):

2015 showcased Hometown USA with a doghouse made of candy bones (made by us) and Aliens and a spaceship that crashed into a house in the desert (by Andrew and Melissa):

Clearly if this was a competition, our house would LOSE each and every year, both on lack of original theme and sketchy technique (although we were quite proud of our river in 2011 and this year's working chimney, made from a marshmallow and torched for heightened realism).

This year's festivities ended with lively banter and considerable trash talk as we felt our dog bone - dog house warranted extra points.

Bottom line, we eventually and grudgingly bowed to the creativity of the Alien house.

And when I say grudgingly, I mean we texted photos to relatives in TWO different states to vote on BEST HOUSE and they both confirmed that we placed 2nd.

Regardless, the four of us have stepped up our game over the past four years that we have frosted together and I don't know if it was the rush of sampling too many gum drops or the bottle of wine with dinner but we think we are ready to enter an actual contest next year.

To that end, we checked out the local gingerbread house contest on display at the LaCosta Resort to see what competition looks like beyond our kitchen table.

 Hmmmm, are we ready for 2016?

You be the judge.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Wednesday Night Tree Shopping

Generally we pick out our tree on the weekend. But we may have stumbled upon a new tradition.

Last night we drove to Evergreen Nursery at 7 pm.

One family was leaving and one couple was wandering the aisles so we had our pick of parking spots.

Yes, it was dark out but the lot was sufficiently lit so you could see if a tree had a big ole bald spot.

Plus we got to chat it up with Mr. Christmas, the only tree bagger/loader attendant on duty.

At least that is what the earnest little kid, who was leaving as we were parking, called out to him, "Thank you Mr. Christmas, thank you." 

Because it was a slow weeknight, I got to have a conversation with Mr.Christmas. He said, "I recognized you guys as soon as the Bronco came around the corner. Your husband always brings his gloves and you never need me to do anything but bag and help toss the tree in the truck." 

Yep, that's us.

But kinda hysterical that he would remember a couple he sees only once a year.

As I went up to the counter to pay, I asked the gal how many trees they sold on Saturday and she said, "Three hundred and eight-two."

I wonder if Mr. Christmas remembered all the folks that bought them.