Monday, January 2, 2017

End of Year Wrap-up

Lots of activity around here the last couple of months of the year - here's a snapshot:


Everyone in the Hartman household got a little older - I turned 39 and Chris turned 42. And oddly, I can't remember a single thing we did to celebrate either day. I know my coworkers took me out for lunch, but that's about all I remember. 

For the first time in a couple of years, Halloween fell on a workday so all of the ladies showed off their spirited finest! We had Anna (from Frozen), Mary Poppins, Wednesday (Addams Family), Snow White (me), Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Little Red Riding Hood. I will still be finding glitter in my car, from my costume, next Halloween! 


Thanksgiving brought both my sisters home for the holiday. As such, we did a taste test that we could include our young nephews in on too - Oreo-like cookies. 

The winner was Giro, a Mexican cookie. And best of all, we can buy them at the $0.99 store!

Wilson & Houston had Thanksgiving with us while Jessica and her family had Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law's family down the street from my house. 


We put up a themed Christmas tree at work that the Town Manager had won at an auction. The theme was 'raining cats & dogs' and it was decorated with cat and dog toys. We turned it into a fundraising effort for the animal shelter that for whatever donation you wanted to make, you could pick a toy off of the tree. It was a huge hit with the customers. 

I organized our work Christmas party this year and came up with this fun game that everyone enjoyed - guessing each other's baby photos. Over a two week period people submitted their photos so that I could make a collage for our game. It came out really cute! 

Wilson and Houston came back for Christmas and while they were here we did another taste test. This time it was energy drinks. Basically which tasted the least terrible. 

And the winner, if you can even say that, was AMP (by Mountain Dew). The worst was Rock Star. 

We did our Christmas on Christmas Eve morning since Wilson & Houston were going to be leaving at dark o'clock on Christmas morning to head to Houston's family's shindig. Best gift I got? This gem from my sister, Jessica. I'm sure my coworkers will enjoy this as well. 

And finally, since it'd been a year since I had my tattoo eyeliner touched up I got my lash extensions put back on. Oh how I missed them!

Both Chris and I had the last week of the year off during which we went and saw Passengers (Jennifer Lawrence & Chris Pratt) and La La Land (Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling), both of which were really good. 

For New Years I went up to Magalia to hang out with my old college friends. A fun evening of drinks, fondue, and games. Made it home in plenty of time to ring in the new year with my sweetheart! 

And with that, we look forward to another trip around the sun! 

Saturday, September 17, 2016


We've had a lot of turnover at work lately which is sad for a 22 year veteran such as myself; to see some of the old guard retire out or move on. Last Friday was the last day for a gentleman I've worked with for 10 years in the sanitation dept. Since it sounded doubtful that any of his employees were going to do anything special for his last days I put together a care basket for him full of his favorite things - Little Debbie zebra cakes, jalapeno cheddar Cheetos, his favorite office pens and sticky tabs, a zombie apocalypse survival kit (he was always trying to [unsuccessfully] get me to watch The Walking Dead), a road kill cookbook (he literally would collect road kill pelts....I can't talk about it), and a 72 oz soda thermos.

I also ordered a cake for him that said "Oeste" which literally means west in Spanish, but I taught it to him to use it as 'westside', gangsta style, like my mom taught me. Which was completely appropriate for a Mormon elder. ;)

In his absence we've done some reorganization within the office and temporary redistribution of job duties until we get some new people on board. I.e. I'm doing more work for other depts.

Yesterday was an inaugural wine walk event in Ptown in the downtown. For a $20 ticket we got a free wine glass and a map of participating businesses in the downtown that either were serving wine, appetizers, art, or just having special sales. I went with a group of about 10 ladies so I had plenty of rowdy, drunken company!

Not a lot of wine was being poured that I was into, but there was one local late harvest red wine that was reeeeaaalllyyyy good and it's sold at a local grocery store in Ptown so I can grab a bottle during one of my lunch breaks. The event was only 2 hours (5:30-7:30 pm) which we all agreed was too short as we weren't able to get to all the businesses in time.

This morning we woke up "early" and went out to Durham for the annual Rotary car show and pancake breakfast. Too bad it's actually tomorrow. Doh! Now we're just lounging around at home until this evening when we have big plans to go to Barnes & Noble. Non stop action in this house!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Weekend Warrior

Lots of fun activities this weekend - first a wedding for a recently retired co-worker and then a couple's dinner up in Ptown.

Saturday night myself and a dozen of my co-workers met up at Tuscan Ridge Golf Course on Skyway for our recently retired co-worker, Shelley's, wedding. It was an evening wedding, but the weather couldn't have been more perfect (for summertime in Chico) - slightly breezy and overcast. It was a dry wedding, but that didn't stop my friend Dina and I from pre-gaming in the parking lot before going in! Overall it was way more fun than we expected. We had a good table of peeps (we stuck all the stuffy town people at another table) with lots of dancing and laughter.

Sunday night we went up to Ptown for a couple's dinner with two other couples. Dinner and drinks were provided, we just brought an appetizer. Lots of great conversation and enjoyed an evening outside listening to a lone plane checking for fires.

We didn't do a lot of Labor Day, just hung out at home. Though this evening a 300 acre fire broke out between Ptown and Lime Saddle and I've already received a text to be on standby to be called in to the Emergency Operations Center. So I've already got my bag packed and now I'm just waiting for the call. What a terrible way to end the weekend!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Filling In

During the summer, the 2nd service choir takes a break so some of us 1st service praise team singers fill in. Today I paired up with some fellow praise team singers, Karin & Leah (who accompanied on guitar), to do special music for 2nd service. Or, as our Pastor dubbed our trio, Hartman, Martin & Young. 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas party time!

I had the pleasure of three Christmas parties this year, two with friends, one at work. First party was a dinner and ornament exchange at my co-worker Josh's house. We brought mashed potatoes and two ornaments to exchange. I picked the first number for the exchange and managed to find the absolute worst gift of the bunch - a Giants ornament!

Thankfully somebody took that crap off my hands and I ended up with an elf ornament. Chris got a pickle ornament which he thought was perfect because he calls me his 'little pickle'. Probably because I'm sour and prickly.

Second party was my work party that I helped organize. We didn't have one last year and the year before was a disaster because everyone, except maybe 5 people, were told they were on the 'naughty' list by the big boss. This year we hosted an after-hours appetizer and dessert party in our department (development services) that included an ugly sweater contest and yes, another ornament exchange. Much to my surprise almost everyone came and genuinely had a great time and the sweater contest was hilarious. And best of all, I was voted best sweater for the ladies. Though I don't know if I was offended or not that nobody at Starbucks said anything about my sweater. As if I liked it or something?!?

Now it looks like we've been voted official party planners for next year's party too!

Our last party was last weekend at my friend Kari's house. It was a dinner and game party that we brought an amazing peanut butter chocolate cake to and had a blast playing a dice game called "left, right, center".

For each round of the dice game each player starts out with $3 in front of them then roll the 3 dice. Each dice is imprinted with L's, R's, C's, and black dots. If you roll any L's, you give that many $1 bills to your left. Same with the R's, only to your right. Any C's means to put that many $1 bills into the center, or the "pot". If you get a black dot, you get to keep that many of your dollar bills. Eventually only one person is left with $1 and they win the pot which is what happened for Chris on the last round. 24 sweet one dollar bills to fan out.

Now we're on to the ultimate party - Christmas, when Wilson & Houston get here!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fabulous fall

October is my favorite month because of all of the notably awesome events of the month such as both of our birthdays and Halloween. For my birthday my co-workers decorated my desk and took me to the Japanese restaurant down the street for lunch while my bible study gals made me a delicious lemon cake.

In the middle of October, Chris and I went to a Zac Brown Band concert at the Sleep Train Amphitheater with my co-worker Matt and his special lady friend, Nicole. Matt had the brilliant idea for us to wear glow in the dark necklaces so that once the lights went out we'd be able to find our way back to our lawn seats should we wander off for drinks or potty breaks. The concert was good, though it was to promote their new album which we weren't really familiar with.

The same weekend as our concert, Wilson & Houston were staying with us. And as we like to do when they're home, we had another taste testing. This time it was fast food chicken nuggets. The contenders were McDonald's, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Wendy's, KFC, and Carl Jr's.

After much scientific research our results indicated that the overall favorite was....Jack in the Box! And surprisingly, KFC was the least favorite. Personally I thought they tasted too much like real chicken and who wants that?

The following weekend the 'rents and their pup, Chase, came down for a quick visit.

Time was well spent shopping and eating out including a delicious birthday dinner at Sierra Nevada. Chase was so funny, he wouldn't leave the area rug in the living room. Something about the feel/sound of the laminate floors were unnerving to him and couldn't be trusted.

The night before Halloween my co-worker, Dina, had a couples dinner at her house that Chris and I went to. We brought a caprese salad to go with the Italian beef sandwiches that Dina and her husband, Don, provided. One of the couples wore their toga Halloween costumes, much to our amusement.

The weekend before Thanksgiving I spent the weekend out of town with my friend, Face, and her family for an early Thanksgiving celebration.

There was lots of baking, a full Thanksgiving meal, and numerous games of cribbage - the official game of our teenage years. And most importantly I was introduced to a new favorite drink - hot mulled apple cider with caramel vodka. Ahhhhmazing.

Our own Thanksgiving was much more low-key. Due to a last minute snow storm and Chris coming down with a cold, we ended up staying home instead of going up to see the 'rents, but we still managed to find all the fixings for a traditional turkey dinner. Chris even found a perfect little turkey breast (from Jeannie-O) that baked in a bag in about 1 1/2 hours. We don't do Black Friday shopping, but we did go out over the weekend, looking for new walking shoes, and I found this gem of a sweater for our office ugly Christmas sweater party coming up in December.

And the best part is that I found out I have a meeting with Safeway big-wigs the day I'll be rocking this sweater at work! Good thing it's really professional looking. ;)

December is full of Christmas parties for us. We have one next weekend with a co-worker of mine and another one the following weekend with a gal from my bible study. Plus I have my work party that I'm helping organize. Then Wilson & Houston will be back for the last week of the year during which we'll be taste testing egg rolls so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Playing catch up

June, July and August were busy around the Hartman house, but you'd never know it due to my lack of posts. So here's my sad and sorry attempt at playing catch up.

At the end of June we headed north and visited the 'rents for a combination Father's Day/Mum's birthday which involved a short drive over to Ashland for dinner at the new Caldera Brewing restaurant.

Fast forward a month to July where we had two more fun events - another food and beer pairing at Sierra Nevada and a John Mellencamp concert in Sacramento.
I thought this was the best food and beer pairing yet. It was "summer" themed and there were five courses - estate greens (with local cheese), ahi poke with mango pineapple salsa, pork belly in miso broth, lamb pops with estate carrots and potatoes, and dessert trio of beer donuts, cinnamon bread pudding, chocolate pots de creme (ahhhh-mazing!!!). Also, much to my surprise, they served a beer I actually like. Really liked. Barrel-aged lime ale - ale aged in tequila barrels. It really did taste like tequila!
The hostesses sat us at tables so we couldn't control who our table companions were, but we ended up being seated with the most lovely couple, the husband of which was retired from environmental health and knew all about septic systems so he and Chris had all kinds of things to talk about!

The very next day we had an evening concert at the Sacramento community theater to see John Mellencamp. I grew up listening to him so I love his music and immediately bought tickets when the notice popped up in my email. We were literally 4 rows from the back, but thankfully the venue had great stadium seating so we still had a great view. Our favorite part was when we were singing along with Jack & Diane. He made us stop singing because we were doing it wrong. "No, no, it's TWO verses and then the chorus!". Comedy!
Also in July I hosted a purse party at my house and we had a root beer taste testing.
My high school friend, Yvette, works on the side for a company out of Nevada that hand makes purses. There's a dozen or so designs and you pick all the materials out of hundreds of swatches. With all my hostess perks, I ended up with four custom purses for about $100. And yes, that's mine with the skulls....

The last weekend of July, while Wilson was home, we had a root beer taste testing with her and my co-worker, Josh.
It was a blind taste test of 13 different root beers. There was some good ones and then there were some truly terrible ones (I'm looking at you Bundaberg root beer). 1st place went to IBC, followed by A&W, Dang!, and then Sunny Select. Since Josh's wife was out of town and therefore missed it, we have a second round scheduled at their house soon to pit the top 5 against some others that we didn't taste the first time around.

That same weekend Chris and I went to a Indian casino in Lincoln and saw Huey Lewis & the News. Probably one of the best concerts I've ever been to.
Eddie Money opened for Huey Lewis who was, as I suspected, pretty terrible. Though all the drunks around us seemed to like him. While Huey did have a few new songs (boo), most of the show was all the hits we know and love so there was lots of singing and dancing. And it was the harvest moon night so there was this big yellow moon over the stage and it was nice and breezy. Perfect for an outdoor concert.

Moving on to August....the first weekend of August was my 20 yr high school reunion (gasp!).
The top photo is of my friends Maggie (L) and Susan (R) at our 11 yr reunion and then again at the 20 yr family bbq. Some cuties never change! So, Saturday afternoon was the family bbq at the Elk's Lodge followed by the reunion dinner at a local event room.
While I'm glad I went, it wasn't as much fun as our 11 yr. The music was sooo loud we were yelling at each other to be heard. And because we were sitting a dinner tables with seating for 6, you were really only talking to those at your table which for me, were those that I came with. I went to the class of 94's reunion last year with a friend and they did these fun little contests like, 'who traveled the furthest', 'who has the most kids', and 'whose been married the longest' and then there were prizes (I think it was bottles of wine). We didn't do anything. There was an on-going slide show in the corner of the room, but that was about it. Finally, after about two hours, 3 of us decided to bomb out and go to a downtown restaurant for dessert and hard booze. The two things missing from our reunion. Oh well, lessons learned for our 30th, right?!

Finally, just today, I went to a baby shower for my cousin Jayne who's expecting twin boys in 10 weeks.
Back in the day, when I worked weekends for Jayne's parents who owned a catering business, her dad (Boss Bob) would do all the fruit carvings for the buffet displays. Though it's been about 10 years since they've been out of the catering business, Boss Bob was able to dust off his carving utensils to create the cutest little watermelon baby buggies. And since it's for twins, he made two! I love visiting with family and what better occasion?!

Next up in the Hartman adventures, I'm house-sitting next weekend for a co-worker and attending a 2 year old's birthday party. I know, the fun never stops!