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Monday, May 27, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 - First Mountain Winery Concert of the Season - Daughtry

The Mountain Winery in Saratoga is one of our favorite venues to see concerts.  It is very intimate with only about 2500 seats so almost any spot is a good one.  We have been going there since about 2006-ish and lately we have seen at least four shows a year so that we can maintain our "Loyalty Status" which gives us special access to the pre-sales before each season starts.  Pre-sales is key here because that's how I am able to get the up close and personal seats for the shows we want.  Up close and personal leads to all kinds of magic!  You may remember the time I was next to Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen as he strolled through the crowd, or that time my husband got a fist bump from Neil Giraldo.   While it is true that not every show holds those high standards, and sometimes we sit farther back than others, there is always that potential for interaction with the band.   

Our first concert this year was Daughtry, a band we have seen before but one that puts on a very good show.  It turns out it was actually the first show for the Winery this season as well since the group for the night before had to cancel due to one of the band members breaking his arm.  Ouch! 

We were not sure about the weather as some rain was in the forecast but as it got closer to show time, the weather cleared a bit and we actually had a rainbow appear.  Still, it was freezing cold (in the 50's) so we bundled up with hats, coats and blankets.  Our seats were in the fourth row from the stage, almost dead center.  Not too shabby. 

Chris and the boys did not disappoint.  Even though they were cold too and left the stage occasionally to warm their hands or add some layers of clothing, there was no lack of energy. 

Daughtry has a great stage presence and did a lot of interacting with the crowd, even coming down to the edge of the stage and "dancing" or taking selfies with the lucky ladies that were in the front row.

My special moment came after the show was over when Josh Steely stayed behind to hand out some picks and take some selfie's too.  Thanks to my hubby for telling me to hang around.  Josh is very friendly and took that "one last" minute for me. 

Just as he was leaving Bill asked if he had a pick left and he reached into his pocket and pulled out this!  

Cage to Rattle is their latest album and that's the name of the tour.  I got some neat pictures on my camera that I haven't downloaded yet and did get a couple videos too.  This is "Backbone." 

Our next concert is Foreigner in a couple of weeks, also at the Winery.  We are in the second row for that one!  Hopefully the weather will be warmer.  Have you had any up close and personal experiences with celebrities?  Memorable concert moments?  Share!    

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Linda's Stream of Consciousness prompt for today is "Rhymes with Rosey."

Walking our new dog, Benny, is an adventure.  He is a terrier mix but we are not sure of all his ingredients.  I know he is nosey!

I'm not sure what he's looking for but he certainly keeps his nose to the ground for quite a while as we explore the neighborhood.  Now if I could just get him to do his business!     

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 - A to Z Road Trip!

For those of us who like to keep up with the A to Z Challenge after it is over in April, there is the Post A to Z Road Trip.  I know there were many blogs that I would have liked to visit during the A to Z but there is never enough time.  I still have a copy of the sign up list so I am going to use that but let's not forget the Road Trip sign up. 

On the Road Trip you get to pick one of your favorite posts from the challenge.  Maybe it's one that you really liked but didn't feel it got enough notice.  Maybe it is one of your most popular ones.  You get to choose and use it as the landing page on the sign up sheet.  Check the A to Z page because they explain it very well. 

When I just looked now, there were only 26 people who signed up to do the road trip.  That's not very many considering there were over 600 participants in the A to Z.  Sign ups are open until May 27.  Let's go! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 - High School Memories

I'm a day late on these but found them interesting on Barbara, John and Ally's blogs so decided to play along too.

Think about your SENIOR year in high school: 

  1. Did you know your current significant other?    Not even close, although we did find out later that he knew some of my classmates.  He's four years older than I am and lived in the next town.    
  2. Make and year of car?     Plymouth Valiant.  I don't remember the year but it was old because it only cost $400.  It was a cool ride with push button gear shift.  I called him Prince.
  3. What kind of job?  I worked at the local library all through high school and into the first year of college.
  4. Where did you live?  Just a few blocks from school but they were LONG blocks, up steep hills which I had to walk in rain, snow, sleet, hail - well maybe not snow in California. 
  5. Were you popular?    Not at all.  At our 40th reunion a few years ago I was surprised that so many of my classmates knew me.  
  6. Were you in choir?   Nope.  
  7. Ever get suspended from school?  Really?  I came from a Catholic grammar school.  
  8. If you could, would you go back?  No, although I do wish I had done some things differently back then.  Maybe I wish I had done some things!
  9. Still talk to the person that you went to prom with?  Didn't go to Senior Ball.  I got my car that weekend so I would have something cool to talk about when everyone else was talking about the Senior Ball.  Junior Prom was a family friend who did me a favor. 
  10. Did you skip school?  See answer 7!  I did do Senior Cut Day but I think they all expected that.
  11. Go to all the football games?  Not a one.  Did go to a basketball game where the teachers were playing against the local radio station though.  Got my picture in the yearbook that way because they happened to take an angle shot that included the benches.  
  12. Favorite subject?  English - just the reading part not the diagramming sentences part - and history.
  13. Do you still have your yearbooks?  Yes, although I didn't get one for my Freshman year.  I never look at them though so are they really that important to me?   
  14. Did you follow the career path you planned?  Pretty much.  I wanted to be a nurse but took the short cut to medical assistant instead. 
  15. Did you have a class ring?  Yes.  Still have it.  It doesn't fit.
  16. Still close with your best friend?  Yes although there were years that we didn't speak as we were busy raising our kids and she lived on the other side of the Bay from us.  
  17. Who was your favorite teacher?  Mr. Christman.  He looked like Steve McQueen so it was easy to pay attention to him.  
  18. What was your style?   I had no style.
  19. Favorite shoes?   Shoes were never my thing either.
  20. Favorite music?  Pop rock.  Whatever was playing on KYA radio.  
  21. High school hair?   Senior year was short with a bit of teasing to give it some height.  
  22. What kind of cologne/perfume?  None.  Still none.
  23. How old when graduated?  18
  24. Did you play a sport?  Hardly unless you call reading a sport.  

Sadly, our high school was shut down about 10 years after I graduated.  They turned parts of it into a continuation school and part of it into a Gymboree type thing.  Now they are talking about selling it so that housing can be developed.  No matter what I'll always be a Crestmoor Falcon!   How about you?  Play along!  It is interesting to read other people's high school experiences. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 - Song Lyric Sunday

Jim gives us the prompt of Dawn/Noon/Dusk/Midnight/Nocturnal/Diurnal for our songs today. 

I think this one by Barbra Streisand is very pretty.  It is from the second album she did with Barry Gibb called Guilty Pleasures. 

Golden Dawn
One golden dawn
One summer night
With nothing left to say
We let the dream begin
It was carried on the wind
And it wandered away
One golden sky
One spark of light
Forever will remain
And the song of the storm
Brought us close, kept us warm
All alone making love
In the rain
Gone is the world outside
Home on the turning tide
True love will find the sun
And know the reason why
You make me hunger for
You whispered, "Mi amor"
Over the ocean's roar
And the night will become
Our golden dawn
Two hearts as one
No tears to cry
With you I have it all
If love can never die
I'm not afraid to fly
But how far must I fall
One silver song
One lullaby
For all the love we make
It's the look in your eyes
It's the moon on the rise
It's the sound of the heart
That you break
Gone is the dark of night
Call on the early glow
Send down the birds of love
That circle us below
And still I will hunger for
You whispering, "Mi amor"
Over the ocean's roar
And your arms reach for me
And the shine on the sea
And the night will become
Our golden dawn
Songwriters: Ashley Gibb / Ashley R. Gibb / Barry Gibb / Barry Alan Gibb / Stephen Gibb / Stephen T.C. Gibb
Golden Dawn lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

Thanks to Jim for continuing this fun hop, started by Helen Vahdati.  Hope she is well. 

Happy Sunday all.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 - Stream of Consciousness Saturday - Let's Roam

Quite unexpectedly the other day I got an email from a representative of "Let's Roam."  I had not heard that name before but the message said that since I had previously requested to be an affiliate, they were offering me the opportunity to join them now.  Upon researching, I found out that "Let's Roam" is the new name for "Big City Hunts." 

Indeed, I had requested to be an affiliate of "Big City Hunts" a couple of years ago after my husband and I had such a good time on the Reno Hunt we accomplished.  I had never heard back from them so I forgot about it.  Apparently, they've been undergoing some changes and now they are "Let's Roam."  Their Mission Statement is to "focus on connection through exploration, creating new ways for people to see the world, create memorable experiences and meet new people.  Our mission is to reimagine the way people explore and connect."  I like that mission!

Of course I said that I would definitely like to participate and I sent the link to the blog post I had written about our Reno experience.  I was excited to get the response back from them stating that I could be an affiliate!

"Let's Roam" is a treasure hunt experience leading you, through an app on your phone, around your chosen city with a series of hints and clues from point to point.  There are trivia questions and you really need to take a look at your surroundings to get the answer which leads you to your next spot.  Picture taking is a part of the fun as well and you earn points for solving the riddles.  You can choose to "role" play by being the "Photographer," "Braniac," or "Explorer" or you can just be tourists as my husband and I did.  There are no tour guides, reservations or time constraints, you can move along at your own pace. 

There are currently over 350 different cities in the program over four continents!  There are programs for large groups and corporate events to help with team building and there are also hunts for special occasions like birthdays, bachelor/ette parties and date night!  It is a great way to introduce the kids to new places as well.  In fact, one of the long-term plans of the company is to "launch a non-profit that helps children get out and explore the world."   The tickets are reasonably priced and once you purchase, they are good for two years.  They make great gifts too.

This is one of the spots we were taken to when we went on our scavenger hunt. 

Since "Believe" happened to be my "Word of the Year" it was especially moving for me.  

There were even some things that we found that were not part of the hunt, but we probably wouldn't have noticed them if we hadn't been looking more closely at our surroundings. 


Obviously the fact that I am an affiliate means that I would get some compensation for anyone who books a "Let's Roam" trip using my link but I really believe that the experience will be a great one.  If you decide to go on a Scavenger Hunt, I'd love to hear about it. 

Also, I am developing a mini-album to go along with the hunt that will be available in my Etsy shop.  If you want to have your pictures put in an album to commemorate the experience, I'll be happy to work with you on one.  There may even be a special discount!  Just send me a message with your details.   

Technically this was not a true "Stream of Consciousness Saturday" post because I didn't really just let my mind wander but I did start the post with an adverb, which was the prompt from Linda for today.  Have a terrific Saturday all.   

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 - Mother's Day is over.

Mother's Day is over and if you read my last post you'll know how mine went.  Now to concentrate on Father's Day.  I've added some new things to the Etsy site and thought I'd share here too.

Here's a card for the boxing fan:

 One for the golfer:

 and one for the motorcycle enthusiast:

They all come with matching envelopes of course.

The big one is a Tool Themed Mini-Album. 

Instead of ribbons and bows, this one is held together with rings and little metal embellishments.  

Inside is room for pictures and writing notes. 

There are pockets to stick in a gift card to his favorite hardware store!

Here's the back.  It is sturdy enough to stand on its own on the mantle or desk.  

Similar to the T-shirt one I showed during the A to Z Challenge, U for Unique.

That's what I've been doing when I can tear myself away from the new dog!  How about you?  What have you been up to since the A to Z?   

Monday, May 13, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 - The Mother's Day Adventure

I've said many times that I am not a pet person.  When the kids were little they clamored for a dog.  My standard statement was "When you can care for your inanimate objects (toys, keeping their rooms clean, chores, etc.) then you can get a dog.  Fortunately for me that worked.  Even though my husband had owned animals in the past, he respected my wishes and we never had pets until about 10 years ago when he brought home a stray cat that had befriended him at work.  That was "Whisper" and I tolerated her because she really didn't need much attention.  She mostly ignored me and while I did feed her, I didn't go out of my way much to interact.  She was around for about 5 years or so and then got sick and we had to put her down. 

Not long after came Tiger (although my husband called her "Puppy" because she followed him around like a dog would).  She was also not a lot of trouble because she was an indoor/outdoor cat so we had no litter in the house and she pretty much came in to eat and sleep and then roam outside during the day.  Again, I hardly had much interaction with her except for the times that my husband was away.  Then she would come and sleep on the end of the bed at night.  Last week we had to put her down too after a mysterious illness/injury.  Suddenly she couldn't walk and her tail wasn't moving.  When she started losing control of her bladder there weren't many options. 

I didn't think that it would matter to me and yet I found myself looking for her on our bed or in her favorite spots in the house and I realized that there was something missing.  I also realized that all the objections I had to having a pet were no longer valid since the kids were adults and obviously handling their own lives.  I didn't want another cat though.  I thought that a dog would fit with our lifestyle now and may even help me lose a few pounds if I had to go walk it so for Mother's Day I decided that I wanted the family to go find a dog.  My husband was still a little reserved but told me that if that is what I wanted, go ahead, he'd wait at home.  Our son wanted me to pick a big dog but I knew I couldn't handle a large, slobbery animal and I didn't want a Pitbull or anything like that. 

The people at the Peninsula Humane Society were so very helpful and let us sit with a couple of dogs to see which one would fit our family.  We sat in a room and had the dogs brought to us.  We liked the first one right away but saw both of them just to be sure.  May I present Benedict Hunter Miles (Benedict for Benedict Cumberbatch because I love his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and Hunter for the baseball player Hunter Pence because he is one of our favorite players).

This is a picture my family thought they would NEVER see!

He is a Terrier mix of some sort and is about 3 years old.  He is so friendly and calm (although maybe the fact that he was neutered just 3 days ago makes a difference in that regard).  He came right to us and although the Humane Society had named him Shorty, when we started calling him Benny he reacted right away.  Now he has just about taken over our living room but we are getting used to each other pretty quickly. 

So there you have my Mother's Day Adventure.  Hope you had a great one too!  

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Must Be May - 2019 - Reading Challenge Update

It seems I haven't done a post about the 2019 Reading Challenge since January and I've read quite a few books already, considering I usually only read at night before falling asleep.  Here's what's been accomplished so far:

All of the books listed in that January post have been read.

Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins -  This was an interesting read about Phil Collins.  Of course I knew about him but I didn't realize how much work he actually did.  I also didn't know much about Genesis with Peter Gabriel in the band and reading about it here prompted me to visit YouTube to check it out.  He (Peter) was definitely different!  Having seen Phil Collins last year with his son playing the drums, the title of the book is very appropriate.  He has slowed considerably but he is truly Not Dead Yet.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares -  Cute story.  I have not seen the movie and maybe I will check it out.  I have the sequel on my shelf.

The Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas - I don't know what I was expecting with this but it didn't do much for me really.  I've never seen the ballet performance so maybe that would have helped. 

Make Take Murder by Joanna Campbell Slan - Scrapbooking and murder mystery in one!  Can't go wrong with that formula.  I'll be looking for more of hers to read for sure.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Classic.  I think I need to watch the movie.  I've never seen the whole thing. 

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt - I just finished this one and I don't know why but I thought it had something to do with the Holocaust.  Nothing at all to do with that but still a story of a poor Irish family going through some real hardships.  The way Mr. McCourt told the story though actually made me laugh out loud, which hasn't happened in a long time.

Flower Power Trip: Cozy YA Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 3) by [Cudney, James J.]

I've just started the third book in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, Flower Power Trip by James J. Cudney.  I've read the first two and they were terrific.  I expect this one to be just as good.  You can get it for .99 cents on Kindle from now until May 14th.  You won't be disappointed.

Also read this year so far were:

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Still Alice by Lisa Genova - I saw the movie and the book was just as good.  Scary real.

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir - There were some differences between the book and the movie but I enjoyed it.  I found myself picturing Matt Damon throughout the read.

The Hating Game by Sally  ThorneThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne - My daughter introduced me to this book because I was looking for something to fit the PopSugar category of "a book with a wedding."  Interestingly, this book has a few steamy romantic scenes and as a mom it was a bit weird knowing my daughter read these, even though she is 22 now!

The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene - I re-read this to fill my "book being made into a movie in 2019" but it doesn't really take much for me to read a Nancy Drew story.  She was my first introduction to the mystery story genre and I'll always love her.  I didn't realize until recently that there really is no Carolyn Keene and that there were actually several different people who wrote Nancy Drew Mysteries.

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore 
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore - This was not exactly a "tell-all" in the normal sense of biographical novels.  I was mildly disappointed.

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-SundbergThe Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg - The premise of this sounded really funny - old people who feel that prisoners get treated better in jail than they did in their nursing home so they hatch a plan to get arrested so that they can go to jail.  It wasn't quite as funny as I thought but I could see how someone could take this and make it into a great movie...think Helen Mirren, Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman, etc.

Choked Up by Janey Mack - I didn't really care for this mystery writer's style.  The story was okay but I had trouble reading it.  Can't explain it, just wasn't the greatest.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - This was another one that was hard for me to read.  I think it had to do with the fact that the copy I read was annotated so there were a lot of numbers and symbols next to the words so that you could look up in the back what the references were.  If I did that it would have taken months to read.  I think I got the gist of the story without them.

My daughter and I have been to two of the local library's book sales where you can fill a bag of books for $7.  I've managed to pick up quite a few gems there that are now filling my shelves!  My next project is to go through and list all the books I have to read.  It will make searching for something to fill the categories on the PopSugar Challenge a lot easier.

How about you?  Keeping up with your reading challenges?  Have some ideas for me?  I was a little surprised that I didn't find more books during the A to Z to add to my list but maybe I wasn't reading the right bloggers.  I'll have to go back and check that out on the A to Z Road Trip which starts on May 20th. 

Must Be May - 2019 - Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Linda gives us the prompt of "strain" for this week and I wonder how she knew we were going through a bit of a "strain" in this household?  We had to put our kitty down on Tuesday after an unexplained injury (she's an indoor-outdoor cat) and everyone is missing her presence.  The $500+ vet bill is going to put a "strain" on our finances this month too. 

This is the second time we've had to let go of a cat and it doesn't get any easier.  My husband says no more pets but the kids (adult) are clamoring for a dog.  We'll see.