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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March Meandering - 2018 - Blogging from A to Z Challenge - Reflection posts 2016 and 2017

We are about to embark on the A to Z Challenge for 2018 and I thought I'd take a minute to share the Reflection posts from the two prior years I have participated.  Each year music was the basic theme.

In 2016 I wrote about something to do with music for every letter of the alphabet.   Some of the topics were a little off the beaten track such as Funiculi Funicula for F and Xylorimba for X. 

This was for the letter "C" - Cowboy Jack

I was able to finish the whole challenge on time and I am pretty proud of my first abecedarium.

In 2017 I wanted to incorporate my love of scrapbooking with my love of music and so I went through the alphabet showcasing the concert album I am making of all the bands we have seen.  I did take the liberty of using some song names to cover the letters rather than the names of the bands.

This was from my letter A for Adele

I overestimated my abilities for this challenge and could not finish on time, although I did eventually do all the letters and they are linked in that recap post.

Next Monday, the 19th of March, is the big Theme Reveal for this year's challenge.  There are already over 300 participants signed up and there will probably be many more.  You can find out all the info and sign up to participate here.

It is a really fun challenge and I have learned so many things and made so many new blogging friends through my participation.  I highly recommend it and even if you don't want to blog, there are many interesting themes out there to explore.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March Meandering - 2018 - Reno Fun

We've gone to Reno about once a year for the last few years starting when our daughter, Amanda, worked for the El Dorado.  Because we go that often the clubs send us packages that usually include one or two nights complimentary stay at either Silver Legacy, El Dorado or Circus Circus.  We've never stayed at Circus Circus but we enjoy the El Dorado or the Silver Legacy.  Last year we were really lucky because we were able to combine two offers and stay two free nights at El Dorado and two at Silver Legacy, one under Bill's name and one under mine.  Since then the casinos have merged and now they only send us the offers in my name.  May is our typical month to go because it is our  wedding anniversary and that is our treat to ourselves but this year our youngest is graduating from college in May so we decided to take advantage of the offer and celebrate my birthday.  I made reservations at the Silver Legacy and mentioned the fact that we were going for my birthday - when we told them it was our 25th anniversary a few years ago they sent up some champagne and chocolate covered strawberries so I felt it couldn't hurt to let them know it was another special occasion, right?

Since our old standby, Lou La Bonte's closed we've had to find a new halfway stopping point, especially now that the hubby's back is achey if he sits for too long.  Dine and Dash Cafe suits the bill.  It is a little more than halfway but that just means that we are closer to our destination.

Another reason we usually go in May is the weather.  I was crossing my fingers that we would have enough snow to be pretty but not so much that we'd need chains or not be able to get through the mountains at all.  We did hit about a 10 mile stretch of actual snowfall as we were going over Donner Summit but for the most part it was just a pretty blanket of snow.

I mentioned again as we were checking in that we were there to celebrate my birthday and they congratulated me but we didn't get any champagne or strawberries delivered to our room.  Our room number was the same as the year I graduated high school so it was easy to remember.  

We went by to see if the Believe sign was still there and it was, along with a new statue of some whales.

It was cool the way the sun came through the stained glass making up this Space Whale sculpture. 

We had a great time even though we didn't win any money.  The Silver Legacy has a traveling entertainer named Doc Cheatham who wanders the walkways answering questions and directing you to where you want to go.  He also does card tricks and we watched several amazing ones.  After running into him four or five times over the course of our stay, we actually introduced ourselves and he was very gracious, telling us his history with the Silver Legacy (he's been there since it opened) and answering Bill's questions about how some of the tricks are done.  If you get a chance to go to the Legacy, make sure you check him out and tell him Bill and Janet said hello!

When it was time to check out, I went to the desk to settle the bill.  Even though the rooms are comped, usually there is the hotel tax and gaming fees that need to be paid.  I can use any points we've accumulated with our gambling to pay for that but this time they told us we had no bill at all!  Guess that was my birthday present from them.  That is actually much nicer than champagne and strawberries! 

The weather held up for us again.  We did get some rain but not until we were closer to home.  

All in all it was a very nice way to celebrate my birthday.   Oh yeah, I did get myself a birthday present too:

Just a little sparkly.  That's what we've been up to the last few days.  How about you?  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

March Meandering - 2018 - International Women's Day

March 8 is International Women's Day.  While I am grateful to the more famous women pioneers for paving the way, I have to give a shout to some women closer to home:

My grandmother, Bertha.  She spoke little English when she married my grandfather and yet she raised five children and cooked for all the workers at the old Geneva and Sunnydale Nursery.  She stayed with us for a number of years while I was growing up and I remember her doing the washing, ironing and cleaning the kitchen.  She lived until her late 90's and I never heard her complain of being tired. 
My mom's twin sister, Antoinette (Auntie Annie to me).

Even though they used to have to dress alike, almost until the day my mom married, Annie showed me that you can still be an individual.  She had a very different lifestyle than my mom!

Annie and my mom
Auntie Annie

Most of all my mom, who taught me everything about being a good wife and mother.  How to be a lady with grace and style and yet have fun and sing and laugh with your friends.

She showed me that 90 years old is not too old to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time.

My sisters:

Judy, JoAnne, mom, me, Jaye

JoAnne was the oldest.  She was 12 years older than I.  She taught me that it was okay to have a career and have a family.  She raised two boys and took care of my brother-in-law who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  I never heard her say anything about feeling sorry for herself or complain about missing out on things.  Sadly, we lost her before she was 60.  Way too soon.  

Judy was my confidant.  There are 10 years between us.  She helped me through my rough teen years and listened to my woes about not having a boyfriend, blah, blah, blah.

Jaye is 5 years younger than I and while I wouldn't have thought it, she actually is teaching me that it is never too old to make a new life story.

And of course there are my girls, women themselves now, who teach me something new all the time about navigating through the changing world in which we live.



I am so blessed to have all of these wonderful women in my life!  Who are you celebrating this International Women's Day? 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

March Meandering - 2018 - Stamp and Scrapbook Expo

Yesterday I had such fun with my niece, Donna, that I forgot to take pictures!!! We went to the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo in Pleasanton and spent a wonderful day going up and down the aisles looking for bargains and taking a class.  I was meaning to take pictures all along the way but I was too busy shopping and talking.

The weather held up and we did not get rained on while we were standing in line waiting for the show to open.  There were representatives from the different vendors handing out fliers and telling us about their "early bird specials."  So many to choose from it is almost overwhelming. 

We went first to a company (Photoplay) that was offering 4 paper packs for $20 and with that you got a free stamp set.  I could have picked up 8 packs but decided to just stick to 4 for now since we had the whole rest of the expo to see. 

Our class was earlier than we usually take them so we only had about 45 minutes until it was time to go to the other building.  The class was sponsored by Pinecone Press, a company we had taken several classes from in the past.  This is what our project is this time:

It is a cute mini-album that looks like a picnic basket.  We got it started and I am really liking the way it turned out so far.  I'll be working on it to get it finished and up for sale on the Etsy site.

When the class was over we had some lunch and then went back to shopping.  We listened carefully for the special prizes they were giving out and tried to find the numbers on the floor to stand on.  Sadly, our name was not called and we were not winners of the Golden Ticket prizes either.  I guess you can't win every time.

I did get some more supplies for cards and mini-albums:

I was most excited to get a new collection from Graphic 45 called "Little Women!"

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet but I just had to have them!

It seemed that there were fewer vendors there than in years past but there were still lots of things to see.  I think the best part of all was just being able to spend some time with my niece and catch up on family stuff.  One other benefit is that I can claim these things on my taxes as business supplies and education expenses.  Keep your eyes open for new things coming to my shop!

How was your weekend?  Ever been to a Scrapbook Expo?  Tell!

Friday, March 2, 2018

March Meanderings - 2018 - Full Moon Edition

We had the full moon last night and I was only able to get these shots when I was leaving work:

I took them with my iPhone and actually they are pretty cool I think.  But, I sent my husband a message as I always do to let him know that I am on my way home and I asked him to snap a couple of pictures of the moon too because I knew that by the time I got home the clouds may have covered it completely and I might miss my chance.  His response to me was "Way ahead of you my dear.  Gotta live up to my Facebook reputation that you put out there."  He had taken these:

and these:

Isn't he the greatest?  Guess I'll keep him around for another 33 years or so. 

Tomorrow is Scrapbook Expo that I will be going to with my niece, Donna.  We missed the one in Santa Clara last summer so we are so excited to get to this one.  Cross your fingers that we win the Golden Ticket!  Did you see the moon?  Make any wishes to the Universe?  She listens!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Meanderings - 2018 - Reading Challenge Update

Well, February is done and March came in with a bunch of rain on and off for the next few days.  We have a trip to Reno scheduled for next week so I am hoping it calms down just a bit so we can make it through the mountains without difficulty. 

I finished the Sherlock Holmes book, How To Think Like Sherlock and, just as the reviewers noted, it was kind of fluff.  Mostly things like observation, clues for how to remember things and how to make deductions based on evidence.  There were a few quizzes to take and brain twisters, some of which I was able to decipher and some not.  Since I read it right before bed when my mind was not as sharp as it could have been, I'll keep it on the shelf for a while and perhaps give the challenges another try.

For my next book I'm going with Intrusions by Ursula Hegi:

It's the story of a female writer whose life as a wife and mother merge with the characters in the story she is writing.  Even though I am not a "writer" I am certainly familiar with the ways that being a wife and mother can intrude on my work since I work from home in my kitchen :)  I'm using it to fill my "Book about feminism" category on the PopSugar Challenge.  

I wanted to pick an easy looking book since I am about to participate in my blogging friend, James J. Cudney's Agatha Christie Readathon.  You may remember that Jay is the one who wrote such a wonderful review of my Etsy shop and the cards he purchased from me.  During the month of April he is sponsoring an Agatha Christie readathon of four books.  I've never done a readathon but I really love Agatha and think that this would be a fun thing to do.  I am hoping I can keep up since April is also the A to Z Challenge!

March is going to be a month of meandering from place to place in preparation for the April challenges.  Hope you come along and if you'd like to join in on the A to Z or Jay's Agatha Christie readathon, it would be marvelous to have you!  

My hubby and I had to meander the Streets of San Francisco yesterday for an appointment with the Workers' Compensation judge (things are looking good!)  On the way I saw this:

I thought it fit in very nicely with my post from yesterday about painting butterflies on the walls of our house.  I am a big believer in The Butterfly Affect!

And there you have it.  

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fiddlin' February - 2018

Tell It Color has been a lot of fun.  I've learned some things about colors and how they make me feel. 

Today's final prompt is the colors of home.  For the longest time this was the color of home to me:

Of course when we first moved in 21 years ago the paint was a little fresher and there were not as many worn spots.  We always told people to look for the mint chocolate chip colored house when we were describing it.  

Last year we redid the outside and the roof and now it looks like this:

I am happy that we have a new roof and siding but truthfully I'm not a fan of the color, or lack thereof.  

This is what I want:

or this:

I suppose that's going a little too far so maybe I'll just have to get some of these:

to put in pots.  I'll get the ones from Michaels that are not real so I don't have to worry about doing yard work, of which I am not a fan.  Do you think that would work to brighten things up a bit?  

Of course I could paint butterflies all over the house:

but that kind of defeats the purpose of putting up siding that needs no upkeep.  Guess the flowers in pots will have to do.  

What about you?  Love the color of your house?  Could you live across the street from a house painted like that?  Tell me!