Tuesday, October 29, 2013


We've been so busy the last two weeks, I can't catch my breath.  After the dragon boat races I turned right around and flew up north to visit my sister and the kids.  

My dad and I left on Thursday night.  I  could get used to a four day work week!

Grace's school was having their annual harvest festival so most of our time was spent there.  It was fun 
participating in Halloween activities with the kids.  I haven't done that since they were little.  

Look how big Grace is.  Isn't she beautiful?  She can stop growing up now!

I love my sister's dogs.  Joe swears whenever I go visit lisa I'm just as excited about seeing her dogs as I am her and the kids.  He might have a point.  Lol. 

I was trying to take a selfie with Sawyer in the picture.  I didn't really succeed.  

Lisa's dogs have it rough.  Finn found a comfy place to take a nap.  

My sister's cat only likes to drink out of the bathtub. Silly kitty. 

Oh yeah, I cut my hair.  Actually my wonderful boss cut my hair.  She used to be a hair dresser. Can you see why?  What a fabulous job she did!  I absolutely love it.  

We did end up going to the arboretum last Sunday after the dragon boat races but it was hot and I wasn't feeling that well so we didn't stay long.  I hate that my body sometimes doesn't work like it should, especially when it's hot out.  I would love to go back when it's cooler and explore a little more.  
It is a beautiful place.  

They used to film Fantasy Island here. (De Plane De plane!)

Katy Perry filmed her latest video for "Roar" in front of the waterfall

The greenhouses were my favorite

  The roaming peacocks were pretty cool too.  They were totally tame.  

I didn't realize they stayed in family units.  Here is the momma peacock with her two babies and dad was always close by.   

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind.  I'm looking forward to a mellow weekend coming up with not much planned.   I am tired.  

I can't believe Thanksgiving is in one month! And then Christmas soon to follow!

I'm so excited about Christmas this year.  It's been a long time since I was this excited about Christmas. It took all of me not to purchase Christmas ornaments at Michael's last weekend.  
I'll probably wait until after Thanksgiving to do that. 

Maybe.    ;)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fantastic weekend

This weekend has been fantastic so far. 

We started the weekend a little early, with a birthday celebration for Joe on Thursday night.  Nothing huge.  Just dinner out, which we never get to do, at El Torito with a free birthday meal coupon.  
The restaurant was very pretty inside.  

Birthday boy

He is now officially totally old.  Do NOT bring up the fact that I am only two years behind him.    Lalalalala.....I can't hear you!    :)

Food was great and we had a lovely time.  Picked up a small birthday cake at the store and called it a night.  

Friday night we packed up the car and headed into Los Angeles for the weekend to attend the L.A. Dragon boat races.  We left at seven so as to miss the traffic.  It took us a little over an hour to get there.  

So glad we decided to stay in a hotel.  I found a really cheap room on booking.com.  I wasn't expecting much for the price but it was very nice!  It was a Hampton Inn.  The rooms were so nice and their free breakfast was the bomb!  We will definitely stay at one of these again.  

It was so nice to get up at a decent time and only have to drive fifteen minutes to our destination.  The free breakfast didn't suck either.    

I love our dragon boat team.  We always have the best time.  Even just sitting around in chairs at the edge of a lake waiting for a race to begin is fun with this group of people.   

The L.A. Dragon boat races are much smaller than those held in Long Beach.  This is only the second year they have even had them.  There were to be  more paddlers there that would be considered our "peers".  Other community teams of people who participated in the sport for the pure fun of it and only practice a few months a year, like us. 

We really didn't know what to expect. The races are held at Legg Lake, which is in South El Monte. 

Now I don't know a lot about El Monte but I wasn't expecting there to be a lake there, or for it to be pretty.  But it is.  It's nestled in the base of a valley with beautiful mountains in the background.  

Really very pretty.  It was such a beautiful day too. It got almost to 90 degrees but there was a nice breeze off the lake and sitting in the shade it was nice.   

We competed in three races, with Joe and I racing in two each.  It was a much smaller group for these races(only about fifteen of us total) and the boats were smaller ten man boats, instead of the twenty man boats they use at the Long Beach races.  

Joe was up first in a mixed team race.   They came in second, but only out of three boats. Like I said, much smaller festival.  Then I raced in a women's race and we also placed second, out of four.  

So far two second places.  Meh.  It's the times that count though, not where you placed so we hadn't given up hope yet.  

The last race was another mixed race and Joe and I got to race together.  In fact, we were bench mates.  They put us in the middle of the boat(they load the boat according to weight).  The middle of the boat is called the engine.  

So Joe and I were the engine in this race.  

There were four boats racing here.  

True to fashion, we rocked out our last race. We were neck and neck with one other boat(we left the other two boats in the dust).  We were so close that it was unclear which team came in first and which came in second but the other team was celebrating all the way to the finish line so we assumed we were second.  

You should never assume things.   

You should also not celebrate a win until the times are posted. ;)

Sure enough, when the times were posted we beat the other team by...

Wait for it....

LESS than a second.   That's how close it was.  Such a great race!!

And we won.  

When they averaged all of our scores for the day we beat everyone else.  

First.   Place.  

If you thought I was excited about winning third place in Long Beach, you can imagine how excited I was about placing first!

Pretty excited.  

Of course we waited around for the medal ceremony for this one. 

First place medal.   Oh yeah.  

Winning team, minus six or so members that had to get home before the medal ceremony.  

There are days when I wonder why we had to go through the agony of this failed adoption.  Why we had to endure all of the heartache and sadness and pain.  

And then I look at these photos and I realize it's THIS.   Without the failed adoption we wouldn't have this. 

And the friends and support we have gained through this blog.   We wouldn't have any of those without the failed adoption.   

In a very small way I am thankful we had to go through that, because in the end it led us to this.    

Now let's all link arms and sing Kumbaya.     :)

Tomorrow we are going to the Arboretum and The Huntington Library and gardens so I fully expect the awesomeness to continue.  More pictures later!

Saturday, October 05, 2013


I think about going private on this blog. I've been getting a lot of hits lately( I have no idea why), and there are some people who read that I wish didn't.  But then I realize it doesn't matter. There will always be people who won't agree with you. People who will judge you.  People who want nothing more than to see you fail.  Who cares about those people?  I write this blog for me, and nobody else.  Those people can take a flying leap off a tall building.  I'm not letting other people's views stop me from writing what I want, being who I am, overthinking about what I share here.  I'm pretty much an open book. What you see is what you get.

Don't like it?

There is an X in the upper right hand corner of your browser.  Click on it.  Good riddance.

I'm too old to still be worrying about what other people think of me.

Now that I got that off my chest, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

In two weeks we have another dragon boat race.  I'm excited and nervous.  It's a race I've never been to before and I'm not sure what to expect.

I decided to get a hotel room so we don't have to get up at five a.m. on race day.  It's Joe's birthday a couple of days before so on Sunday we are planning on going to the Los Angeles Arboretum and also the Huntington Library.  I wish I could figure out how to put links into this blogging app.  You'll just have to google. They are both beautiful places and I've never been to either.

Gardens at the Huntington

We have been trying to go apple picking for three weeks now but every weekend it's so darn hot that I change my mind and we don't end up going. I'm ready for some cooler fall days.  We're supposed to get some later this week but with my luck it will be hot again by the weekend. The season for apples is almost over and I'm sure the apple trees are pretty much picked over by now.   If we don't make it this year it's not the end of the world I suppose.  There's always next year.

I wish we had more fall colors.  It's one of the reasons I wanted to go apple picking. The trees have color on them where we usually go.  Maybe we'll go just to see that. 


I'm going to visit my sees-ter in a few weeks and I'm beyond excited about it.  I'm looking forward to some crisp fall days, which I know may not happen because September and October are like the summer months for San Fransisco.  I'm still bringing some sweaters and my boots.  A girl can hope, right?

The holidays are upon us.  Halloween, thanksgiving, Christmas.  I love them all.  

I've made a sizable dent in my Christmas shopping. Only a few more Items to purchase.   I still need to get started on my handmade gifts though.  I should start on those soon. 

Hard to believe the summer is over and Fall is in full swing.  

It went by so fast!