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Sunday, September 24, 2017

September Smiles - Boulder Creek Golf

For the last 21 years, every September we've been making a pilgrimage to the Boulder Creek Golf and Country Club for a golf tournament that my husband and his best friend started.

In 1985 we had been married for about a year and I found an advertisement in the AAA magazine about a three day, two night stay on a golf course in Boulder Creek, California.  I knew my husband liked to golf and while I didn't, I did love to spend some time reading and relaxing so I booked a mini-vacation for us.  It was a wonderful trip, but then the kids started coming so we didn't get a chance to go back.

Here we are on that first vacation.  Wish I still looked that young and thin!

Fast forward 10 years and we went back down to celebrate the birthday of our friend, Tony.  My mom watched our two kids so we could get away.  

It was just the four of us but we had such a good time we decided right then to book another trip for the following year.  I was seven months pregnant with our third child in 1996 but we went down anyway and the guys thought that it might be fun to start a little golf tournament.

In 1997 the first Gentleman's Invitational began.  There were five golfers and four of the wives came.  We brought our baby, Rachel, and she was so good.  

The age of computers had not fully taken over yet so the official scoring was done on a placemat in the restaurant.  My husband won that first year.

Since that time we have added some players and lost a few for one reason or another.  A couple of years my husband was not able to play because of his back issues but we usually went down anyway, just to enjoy the relaxing time with our friends.  How proud we were when our son took golf in high school and then began to come down and join the tournament as well.  We have had as many as 18 golfers!  Most of the wives come too and we have several traditions that we have formed over this time.  

First, I try to take a picture of all the golfers at the start of each tournament:

Most times I ride in the cart with my husband for at least the front nine holes.  I take as many pictures of the golfers as I can without getting in their way.

The first night we are there some of us go to a restaurant we love called Scopazzi's.  They are very accommodating for our last minute reservations and the food is delicious.  If you are ever down that way I highly recommend them. 

The next night we all get together for a pot luck.  Everyone brings an appetizer to share and we rotate hosting duties.  Some of us get 2 or 3 bedroom villas and it makes it easy to accommodate everyone.  Golf issues are discussed by the men but most of the time it is just catching up with each other to see what has been going on since the last September.

The final round of golf takes place on Friday morning and then we gather in the club house for the awards presentation and I take a picture of the winners.  Before everyone runs off until next year, I ask one of the staff to take a picture of our whole group together.   

One year, as I was putting the album together, I realized that a stranger had come and photobombed our group picture!  We must look like a fun bunch to be with.

In the middle picture, the guy on the end with the plus fours and tam o' shanter hat is not with our group!
Since it is a vacation for me, I also take pictures of the different villas we stay in and the beautiful scenery.  Most of the villas are very well kept, although we have had one or two over the years that needed some upkeep.  When we find a good one, we try to get it again the next year.

You can see the first two of the Boulder Chronicles on the table in the top picture.  

So far I have filled three scrapbooks and started a fourth!

Tony is the "Commissioner" of the tournament and he writes a recap of the scoring and highlights each year.  I add that to the end of the layout for that year and my books have become a definite source of reference for the happenings over the years.  Someone always asks, "When did we first start coming down here?" or "Remember that time when..."

This is a layout of the villas.

I really look forward to our September reunion and this year was no exception.  During the morning while the guys are golfing I sometimes bring my scrapbooking supplies and work on the albums.  This year I brought down a stack of magazines and went through them, pulling out the things I want to keep.  I went through 11 magazines and read through a book I had on blogging tips.  

How about you?  Golf in any tournaments?  Have a "September family" that you see yearly?  Love to hear about it!  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

September Smiles - Creative Live

I had some time yesterday since I had no transcription work and I took a free online class from Creative Live:

This class started at 9 AM and went until about 6 PM and then it started all over and would continue until 9 AM today, Saturday.

It was so interesting and very informative about how to use YouTube as marketing to grow your business.  The instructor gave very good demonstrations of how to make good videos and then how to edit them and upload them to YouTube.  She gave tips on how to optimize for search engines and how to monetize your YouTube channel and where to find your analytics and what they mean.

This is the fourth or fifth free course I have taken.  I took one on using Instagram for marketing, one on optimizing my Etsy site and a couple of how-to's with paper crafting.  The courses can be purchased so that you can view them again as many times as you want and if you buy them, they come with handouts to go along with the course.  I have purchased 3 classes that were on sale for $30 or less.

They have classes on all kinds of different subjects:  photo and video, craft and maker, money and life, art and design, music and audio.  Ever want to learn how to make flower arrangements or take great night photography shots?  Want to be a wedding photographer or learn how to mix music, do some writing and publish an E-book?  It's all there.  There is even one on learning how to use Snapchat and how to build a joyful life!  Those are useful things to know.

  Check Out CreativeLive's Free On-Air Classes

I am an affiliate, so if you click and/or take a class, I will get a small compensation, but it doesn't change the price for you and really, how can you beat free?  If you do take a class I'd love to hear about your experience.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September Smiles - 365 Pictures

I am managing to keep up with my 365 pictures.  Here are a few since I last wrote about them:

Last night we had a thunderstorm complete with lightning.  According to the National Weather Service report from this morning, 1,200 cloud-to-ground strikes and 5,800 in-cloud strikes hit the Bay Area.  It was raining and yet the temperatures were in the high 70's.  I was outside trying to capture it but the best I could do was this:

This was so close that I just about dropped the camera.  The thunder clapped immediately after and the ground shook so hard that car alarms started going off.  It was amazing.  

Our little kitty sometimes comes into the craft room with me and crawls up on a pile of boxes in our closet.  Doesn't look too comfortable to me but I guess she is okay with it. 

Caught the full moon.

This happened in April when I googled Rod Stewart and found my blog post about him close to the top of the list.  This time it was my Nickelback post making it to number 3, right under their official page and their twitter page.  According to my daughter, this happens because Google knows it is me googling and it thinks that I want to see my own posts but that if someone else googles it, mine won't be there necessarily.  I prefer to think I am getting to be well known :)

I finished another project for my Etsy site.  This one is a Christmas House with a mini-album hidden inside.

I found the house at the St. Vincent de Paul second hand store during one of my trips to look for interesting items.  It was an ugly beige color so I painted it white and added some decorations.  The mini-album is made out of paper bags and has pockets and places for pictures and notes.  I'll be listing it soon on the Etsy site.  I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.  Wish I had take a picture of the house before I "restored" it.   

And best news today, I found out I got the job at Michaels!  I go on Sunday for orientation and to sign the official paperwork.  A new adventure begins! How about you?  Any thunder and lightning storms your way?  What do you think of the Christmas house?  See the full moon?  Love to hear about it. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

September Smiles - Silent Skies

I am using September Smiles as the title for my blog this month but everyone knows there are times when sadness creeps in.

I've mentioned before how close we live to the airport.  Our youngest daughter's first word was "jet" because we heard them all the time.  Even the double paned windows don't keep out all the sound.

I've shared how we can watch the planes do their coming and going dance, wondering how they manage to keep from crashing into each other.

One day the planes were flying through our backyard about a minute apart for over an hour.  Not quite sure what the reason was for that but it definitely got my attention.  

Sometimes we see the news copters and we can usually tell when the President is coming to visit because there is an increase in military copters.   

I don't have a picture but we can sometimes catch the Blue Angels when they are making their preparations for Fleet Week.  

As you can see, the air traffic is hot and heavy around here on most days; however, there were a few days when the skies were silent.  For two days after the 911 hijackings there were no planes anywhere.  Our house seemed extremely quiet.  Traveling the freeway to work was eerie because there were no planes landing or taking off.  It was kind of scary.

Even after the planes started flying again, I still had a tiny bit of apprehension.  Would San Francisco be next?  Obviously, my 911 experience does not compare to those who were there or who lost someone close to them, but I don't think there is a place or a person in America who wasn't affected in some way.  We remember.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September Smiles - 2017 - Daughtry and Nickelback

Shoreline Amphitheater was our venue for this concert as well.  We were going with some friends or I might have suggested we just spend the night down here.  Actually it only takes about a half an hour to drive it so it's not bad at all. 

The weather was still hot.  I look like a lobster.

I was looking forward to Daughtry.  We had seen him once before a long time ago as an opening act for Bon Jovi.  

 Another very energetic performer, moving all over the stage so it was hard to get good pictures.

During the break we caught the moon with a slight cloud cover.  Not cloudy enough to cool the temperatures.

I had been listening to Nickelback CDs that my husband had and there were quite a few songs that I liked.  The tour was called "Feed The Machine" since that is the name of their most recent CD and they did do some songs from that but also ones from their older albums.  They had a great stage presentation and the opening was spectacular with a huge machine looking base for the drummer.

They also made good use of the big screen behind them so it was much easier to get some great pictures.  

They even had Daughtry come back out and sing a song with them.  

And one of the band members had family there so they got to go up and sing "Rockstar" with the group:

It is easy for me to remember the songs when they put the lyrics on the screen:

They had a spotlight on Chad Kroeger and this was reflected on the tent roof.

Big finale with Burn It To the Ground, lots of steam shots from the drum base and fire on the big screen.  

If I had one thing to complain about it was that Chad has a foul mouth.  I saw several children in the crowd and his use of the "F-word" was not necessary.  I'm not exactly a prude and he does sing some songs with questionable lyrics ("You look better with something in your mouth") so I knew going in that it wasn't exactly a GP band but I don't think that profanity is appropriate in a place where there are young ones.  On the other hand, what are the parents doing allowing the kids to listen to that stuff?  Sticky situation. 

On the way out I saw this and realized that I never usually take the sign all lit up.  Usually I get it on the way in when it is still light outside.  

We have one more concert this year, Scorpions, next month.  Thanks to the A to Z I have gotten a lot of my shows scrapbooked but I am nowhere near caught up so a break in the action might do me some good.  I'm still debating if I want to use that as my theme for next year or go for something new.  For now, here is Burn It To the Ground from Nickelback: