Monday, July 22, 2013


It's Tuesday again - Check out all the family photos and memories hosted by Jenn!

 Let's do the time warp back to the Summer of '91.  My brother Steve brought his boat to Tahoe that summer.  The kids got lot's of beach time and we adults enjoyed our time together, especially after the kids went to bed!!  That summer we saw the most magnificent fireworks show on the 4th at Donner Lake.

This is Maggie, Zac and their cousin Patrick all safety suited up and ready for fun on he lake.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I haven't written about our rides lately - nothing new going on.  I am certainly getting stronger and faster and our distances have been getting longer.  For the past couple of rides we have gone to Livermore and had breakfast, meandered around a bit and headed home before the heat hits.

Today we were riding around some new streets and stopped in at a thrift shop.  I was happy to find a round
globe sort of thing that I can mosaic - not too big or  heavy for the saddlebag trip home. In the back of the shop I spied a big box full of Beanie Babies.  In the mid 90's they were all the rage.  People bought them and stored them, tags on as "Collectors Items."  Things got really crazy when new ones were released or others were retired.  People paid a lot of money to complete their collections.

I bought one for Ally for her 4th or 5th birthday - it was  Ally Alligator - they all had names and little stories.  She loved that thing.  People were amazed that I would let her play with it and "gasp" take off the tag!  I didn't buy into the whole collectible, worth-a fortune thing but I'm sure some poor soul was holding onto them all this time and finally gave up and shipped them down to the thrift shop where they lie dusty and ignored in the back.

I still have a whole set of nautical themed plates my MIL left to me - she was sure they would be valuable - the whole "Franklin Mint" thing.  They are in our storage and maybe someday I will donate them and hope they find a home.  I always think about the stuff I donate and where it ends up and if it gives someone the pleasure I felt today when I found that little globe and started making plans to transform it. I hope the Beanie Babies find a happy home and the kids like them as much as ally liked her alligator.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Time Warp Tuesday again - this is a chance to share family photos and tell our stories.  Hosted by Jenn, check out the other participants!

My theme this summer is SUMMER -  this is a photo taken in 1989 at the beach.  Could be any number of beaches around CA as Tom was an avid windsurfer back then and we were at a beach many weekends during the warm weather.  This looks like the beach in Alameda - it also looks like there wasn't much wind!

Maggie and Zac were 2 1/2 that summer - they loved the beach and taking rides on the windsurf board.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


1.)  I have been on my new job for about 2.5 months now.  Still love it. But I am being challenged by my
attempts to get my health care coverage.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I am starting to think Kaiser has a scheme in place to rid themselves of customers of a certain age. I keep hearing of people in their 60's who have had Kaiser coverage for years suddenly having their coverage dropped.  Since late April I have requested repeatedly (twice on the phone, twice via e-mail, once via letter) for the COBRA coverage paperwork and never never gotten it.  When I realized I was up to the last day before the deadline when they didn't have to cover me, I took time off work, went into the local office and sat there until they took my form, FAXed it and got the confirmation back.

I am assured we are covered, but I have not yet gotten a written confirmation - or the massive bill which I am required to pay immediately for coverage from April through August.

2.)  I am so disheartened by all the political news and the horrible way that the current administration seems to be handling things that I am already starting to think about the next election.  I hope Hillary runs.  She has more gumption, for lack of a better word, and more experience than our current President.

That was always my concern about Mr. Obama.  Not enough experience and political capital to push around,  and it shows.  He is backing down, backing off and ruining the chances for the one big thing he managed to get done - the health care initiatives -  to be successful.  What a waste.

The biggest problem is that the Republican party has dug in and nothing is going to get done until we rid ourselves of those self involved little tyrants.  We need our legislators to put the real needs of the country first, ahead of party antics.  What we are seeing in Washington, Texas and Ohio just make me ill.  They do not represent the needs, the desires or the will of the people they are supposed to represent and we all need to work hard to rid ourselves of those people.  They do not represent us, they make us look bad, they weaken us and are taking us to places we will spend generations trying to dig out from.

3.)  We have 2 cars which are over 17 years old.  While Tom swears he will keep his truck forever, his sedan is on it's last legs and we are discussing what kind of vehicle to replace it with - maybe late this year.  Part of me wants to go for a Volt or other electric vehicle, but I have had a large - mid sized SUV or station wagon for 25 years now and am worried about driving a little car.  Has anyone made this kind of move?  How is it working out?

4.)  Two weeks from now I am going on my first vacation in 6 years!!  Off to Coeur d'alene, Idaho to stay with my sister then to Boise for a family gathering.

What are your vacation plans?

Monday, July 8, 2013


I think I am going to make all my Time Warp Tuesday photos this summer pictures of the kids during summer through the years.  Join all of us playing along with Jenn @ Juggling Life or just stop in to see our family photos.

 I am going to mix up the time frames - so last week was 2000 and this week is 1996.

We were living in Bellevue, WA then and as soon as school was out I tossed the kids in the car and drove for 2 days to get to the sunshine and warmth of California.  Most years to Tahoe where my parents had a vacation home or to Walnut Creek where I grew up and my dear sister Nancy lived.  In the photo here we were at the Oakland Zoo which has always been a favorite outing with the kids.


Sunday, July 7, 2013


I have to admit I have been so excited for this long weekend.  It has been a couple of years or so since I had 4 days in a row off work and I had a very long list of things I wanted to do - it filled a whole page of notepaper.
Love this sculpture of seahorses!

When Tom said we should get away from the 7th straight day of  103+ heat I balked.  I just wanted to be home getting stuff done, but it was so hot and we barely slept on Wednesday night so Thursday morning I went along. 

We packed the bikes up and headed for Monterey Bay.  The first whiff of that cool sea air brightened my mood and energized me.  We had a wonderful ride - dodging the pedestrians, their dogs,  bikes and rollerbladers along the multi-use trail.  We stopped frequently to enjoy the views and take in the day.  We even locked up the bikes and walked along the wharf, stopped in a bar and had margaritas and a spicy ahi tartar. At that point we contemplated breaking into our son's apartment  and making a weekend of it (he was out of town.)  Instead we rode down the beach, found a shady spot and took a nap!

We stopped at a BBQ joint in Gilroy on the way home; no fireworks, but a really nice holiday.  Plus the heat wave broke that night and we got a good night's sleep.

I hit my list pretty hard and am happy to say I did pretty much everything on it. Including getting an eye exam and some much needed prescription sunglasses.  I also cleaned out a couple of  closets and took a carload of donations to the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. 

I even got some time to finish the tile on a mosaic plaque I have been working on and got started on a new pot.  I hope next weekend I get time to grout the two pieces I have done up to that point.  Grouting is the messy part of making mosaics and is something I tend to put off until I have multiple pieces to do at the same time!

I have a new list started and hope it doesn't get as long as the last one...

Monday, July 1, 2013


We are gearing up Time Warp Tuesday again just in time for the summer.  Jenn is hosting - check in to see who is posting family photos and telling the stories behind them.

This is a photo of the kids at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur in 2000.  We stayed in a smoky little cabin and  I tried to teach the kids how to play Bunco which didn't go well.  We brought other games to play because there was no TV where we stayed. The next day we rode horses on the beach


The heat is on where we live.  We are expecting 5 or more days of temps over 100 degrees.  The perfect time to get over to the shore for a bike ride.  We left the house before 8am to beat the heat and the
Shoreline Trail with SFO in the distance.
afternoon winds.

We started in Redwood City and followed the Shoreline Trail for 15 miles.  It was a diverse ride, which makes things interesting.  The tide was super low so we had the tangy scent of the exposed marshes in our noses much of the way.  Coming around the point after we rode under the San Mateo Bridge we came across a huge dog park and hillside with a "boot camp" style class going on.  Those folks were working much harder than we were - running up and down the hill and doing "burpies" in between.  Looked like pure torture to me.

When we got to the Coyote Point area we rode through a eucalyptus grove.  I just love that smell. That portion of the ride was marred by the loud presence of a shooting range, but we were quickly past that area and on to more shoreline with our goal in sight.  The San Francisco airport.  Planes had been looming over us all along, but now were were in sight of the runways and could see the planes dropping down for landings which appear to be right on the water.

Great patio at the Hyatt.
The trail meandered and disappeared as we changed cities but we picked it up again and rode over to the Hyatt which has a lovely patio and a Starbucks in the lobby.  Armed with our cold drinks we settled in to watch the air traffic at SFO and rest or saddle sore behinds.

The ride back was uneventful and, as always, seems quicker until the last few miles when my knees start to wear out and both of us were lifting ourselves up from our bike seats.  (Thirty miles is hard on the sitting area - even padded!)  And it's the farthest I have gone so far.  By the time we were back to our truck it had gotten to be much hotter - I am glad we started off so early.