Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eight-ball zucchini

My co-worker, Wendy, has been weaving stories of mystery and intrigue about zucchinis that grow into softball sized globes. Sensing that we weren't believing her, she brought some of us in our own "eight-ball zucchini" from her garden.
It's the craziest thing I've ever seen - round zucchini! What will they think of next?? Now to search the internets for a delicious stuffed zucchini recipe.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Banjos and booze

We waited for the hottest weekend so far this year to retreat into the woods for a little weekend getaway. This weekend Chester was hosting 'A few brews and a banjo' as a fundraiser for their school music program and with tickets being sold at the door for only $20 it seemed like a perfect excuse to go. To top it off, my co-worker Curtis has a second house in Chester which he was kind enough to let us use for the weekend. We left Saturday morning, arriving early enough to have a couple of hours to relax and have lunch before the festival started.

Admiring the top shelf collection of booze in Curtis' pantry. Once a bartender, always a bartender.
Relaxing and reading magazines in the backyard by the in-ground fire pit.

The event was scheduled from 2-6 pm at the Chester Park downtown, so around 1:30 we headed over to ensure a parking spot and seating in the shade. We found perfect spots under a tree that backed up to the river.
For our entrance fee we got the cutest little 4 oz cups with a banjo sprouting flowers on it and the name of the event. I know, it's hard to see.
They had a local Chico bluegrass group, Mossy Creek, play for about the first hour.

video

Although there were only about 7-8 tents up for beer tasting, each booth had anywhere from 3-5 beer selections to choose from. And not all samples under one tent were from the same brewery. It looked like some breweries sent some samples to pour, but didn't actually send any staff. So there'd be one worker pouring multiple brands.
This was such a better experience than the Chico brewfest because it was so much more low-key. Chris got 15+ samples, there was a good tri-tip lunch being served and we really enjoyed the music.

Back at the house, the sun and booze took it's toll on the old man and he was quickly out like a light.
I woke him up though after a half an hour so that we could go on a walk around the block. I figured he'd back asleep in no time, but we both ended up staying awake until after midnight because a) the house was too warm, and b) the bed was horribly uncomfortable. But I'm not going to complain too much since it was free.

After breakfast, coffee and some sheet washing, we were back on the road home just in time for 100 degree plus temperatures today in Chico. So far we're at 95 degrees, but the days not over yet!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fruit-tastic

Today, while I was at Trader's, I picked up one of their basil plants to plant at home. It smells so ridiculously good and for only $2.99 I think it was quite the deal.
It's huge! I've got it hanging out in the front courtyard with the lemon, orange and mandarin trees. Hopefully they'll all get along. While out there I checked the other trees and the lemon and mandarin have got babies started.
The mandarin tree is so scrawny I really didn't expect to see any fruit on it this year. I figured it still needed a couple of years to grow up and be fruitful.

I didn't do any scrapbooking during the week, but I did finish one last page last weekend that I didn't post yet.
Who doesn't have a scrapbook page about vasectomies in their album? No crafting this weekend though, we're heading to Chester for the 'few brews and a banjo' festival in the park. My co-worker owns a vacation house there he's letting us use for the weekend so we'll leave tomorrow morning and come home Sunday. We'll see how this compares to the brewfest in Chico.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chico, represent!

Shhhh!!! Keep it down, we're trying to watch a movie!
Yesterday we went and saw "Get Him to the Greek" at the theater. Apparently we were the only ones with that idea. While it was funny and entertaining, my favorite part by far was watching the main character's dad drink a bottled Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The bottle was constantly in the shot so there was no mistaking what it was. Yeah Chico, represent!! I wonder if the movie studio had to run it by Sierra Nevada first, or if they can use whatever they want and maybe the brewery doesn't even know. It makes me feel practically famous.

I spent the rest of the afternoon crafting and finished up my Easter layout.
I like orange and teal together. I need to work that color combo into my wardrobe. I picked up more photos yesterday at Wal-Hell so I can crank some more pages out if I feel so inclined today. Or I can continue to sit on my butt, drink coffee and read the Sunday ads. So many choices...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Moving day

After spending about an hour last night searching my craft room for my little hand-held sewing machine (an old $5 bunko prize) I finally found it and finished up my latest scrapbook page about the 'rents moving back to Orygun.
That was my last printed photo so I sent a big order over to Wally world this morning to pick up after we get out of the movies. We've got a 12:00 pm date for Get Him to the Greek. And since it's the first showing of the day, ticket prices are only $5. What a deal!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gifts from up north

Before Jessica left to go back home earlier in the week, she gifted me with a new printer courtesy of my brother-in-law, Rick. It's a big black beast that prints up to 13"x19". He remembered that I was looking for a printer to use for 12x12 digital scrapbooking pages and was thoughtful enough to send it my way.
This is so much better than the stinky dried fish Chris brought back for me from Macau! The best part was that the printer came with Photoshop Elements 6 so that I now have a photo editing program to do digital layouts in. Can't wait to try it! Until then, I'm still using paper and glue which helped put together this little layout about a concert at Arco with a Christian band called Mercy Me.

Today is a sad day because it's my next to last Friday off from work. Starting July 1st our reduced hours are being reinstated and I will have to start working Fridays again. It's not just me that's bummed, it's everybody at work who's sad to see our 3-day weekends end. All of us agreed that we'd rather take the reduced pay (36 hrs instead of 40) then have to work Fridays, but unfortunately my work is not willing to accept that financial concession from the labor unions this coming fiscal year. Instead, they're only willing to accept the workers back to full time but paying more for health insurance (a 75/25% split) and paying our employee portion of our retirement (7% of our salary). It ends up being the same take home pay as just working 36 hours. That's what sucks. Who wants to work four more hours for the same pay at working 36 hours? So, before losing the ability to, I went out to Orland and brought Chris lunch today. I stopped at In and Out and got us some burgers and fries to share. That should tide him over until dinner tonight which I've had cooking since 9:00 am this morning. It's an easy favorite of ours; cheap beef ribs from CholoMaxx covered in a bottle of bbq sauce and cooked in the crockpot on low for 8-9 hours. We used the rest of the bbq sauce we got from Jessica at Christmas from Washington.
I just checked on them and the meat is falling off the bones it's so tender. Served with some baked beans and corn on the cob, it makes a great meal.

Monday, June 14, 2010

More graduation magic

Here's some more photos from this weekend's festivities:

video

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Anna" graduates

Chris, Jessica and I are down in Van Nuys/LA this weekend for Wilson's graduation from UCLA. We arrived yesterday afternoon right around 3:00 pm and spent some time stretching our legs and unpacking before meeting Wilson for dinner after she was done with her main college graduation (this morning was the departmental graduation). Wilson, with her friend Jeraldy, came to the hotel and took us to a late night dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Chi's after our initial attempt at sushi was abandoned due to long waits and empty bellies.
After a few hours of sleep we were up again early for a 6:00 am breakfast in order to make an 8:00 am graduation. Since we forgot to get our graduation tickets from Wilson the night before we had to do some last minute scavenger hunting this morning for the tickets she left at will-call for us at her work. Luckily Drake Stadium was a big venue and there was still plenty of great seating once we were able to make it back from our little ticket detour.
Even though Wilson was very close to the beginning of the processional, the way they were dismissing rows to go up and receive their diplomas made her the next to last row. Oye!
Even though Wilson gave them a name card they still mispronounced her name as "Anna". Brilliant! After graduation we gathered on the field for some family photos.
Wilson even did a little tribute for Little Man on her cap who died 9 years ago today, but would have been so proud of his "big butt" Wilson. 

After graduation Wilson took us on a quick tour of the campus trying to avoid the dozen or so other graduations going on at the same time. 
Lastly we went out to lunch with Wilson at a Koren BBQ place of her choosing. That's when we gave her her graduation gift of the cruise for her and Raquel for a week to the Mexican Riviera. She was appropriately excited. It was Jessica's first time at Korean BBQ (grill insert in the middle of the table to cook the plate of raw meat they give you) and I think she liked it. 
Chris was a sad panda though when there was a lag in the meat delivery. 
Look at that pouty lip! Once we were done with lunch we released Wilson to go have a good time with her friends while we raced back to the hotel so that we could promptly sleep off the 12 pounds of meat we'd just eaten. We met up with Jessica at 6:00 pm for a dinner date downstairs at the hotel restaurant where we just got some salads and calamari to share. After breakfast in the morning we'll be packing it up and heading back home. More photos (and video) to post when I get home.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What the duck?

Me and my bunko prize from last night.
Don't be jealous. I'm not.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Small but mighty

While I was at Kohl's the other day I picked up a new candle that was on sale. It's a fabulous scent called 'sandcastles'. I bought a couple of votives and a car freshener.
Just one little candle made the whole house smell delightful.

While out helping Chris service the HVAC earlier today, I stopped and checked on our veggie garden. The tomatoes (Momma Mia) and squash are off to a good start.
Looking back at my blogs from last summer it seems like the garden is off to a slower start this year than last, but hopefully that means they won't fizzle out and die as fast as last time.

We spent a little time at Barnes & Noble this afternoon, after which we ran next door to CholoMaxx where I found the new, super elusive pretzel M&Ms. They sponsor one of the NASCAR drivers that Chris likes, that's how I knew about them, but haven't had any luck finding them in the individual bags. We ate them all on our drive home. Chomp, chomp, chomp.
See, I cut one in half so you could see its meaty pretzel goodness. Now go get some!

Random activities

Sunday is our last minute catch up day for anything we needed/wanted to get done before the work week starts back up. Today that included clearing out the spare bedroom from the wreckage left behind after Chris remodeled his bathroom.
At this rate we might actually have somewhere to put Jessica when she shows up later in the week. Not only was there inside work to be done, but the yard was in desperate need of a mow and weeding.
After watching Chris do all this hard work I needed to cool myself down with a refreshing blended drink of ice cream and Irish cream.
Very tasty. Now I have the energy to go watch him service the HVAC system after it started making a 'clunk, clunk' sound this afternoon. Never a good sign. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bottoms up!

Today was the brewfest out at the Elk's lodge that we bought tickets for two longs months ago. Learning from last year, we decided to go over late, about an hour after it started so that we could avoid the long line to get in and the drama-rific college kid stories that go along with it. Here's what we learned about going late: a) you miss out on all the event pamphlets so you have no idea which breweries are there or where they're located, and b) people have already made a serious dent in all the food booths. Since I don't drink beer I was just there for a couple of ciders and some munchies.
I stuck with soda this year while Chris enjoyed 18 different varieties of brew.
Not so many pirate hookers this year, but I was almost attacked by a renegade Frisbee. Some drunken retards were tossing it back and forth in the empty field behind us and when the guy closest to us missed the catch it flew across our table scattering our complementary basket of pretzels to the four winds. We've decided to take a break from the brewfest in the future. Next year we're going to try the League of Women Voters' wine/beer tasting that happens in April over at California Park Pavilion. It's cheaper and has less annoying participants. Hopefully.

When we got home I finished up a scrapbook page I'd started last night. It's about when Wilson came and visited for a weekend back in March. I completely scrap-lifted the layout from a gal who's blog I follow, but that's why it looks so good!
Awww.....aren't we cute?? Next up is my Mercy Me concert I went to with Kari at Arco. But first I've got to find steal a layout for it!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Listen up

This week Chris and I are taking part of the Arbitron radio ratings survey. We both have a radio journal that we have to log all the stations, and times, we listen to. And for our hard work and effort, we each got two crisp dollar bills with our journals!
It started yesterday and goes through next Wednesday. Then we seal the journals and drop them in the mail. We're only one and a half days into it and I'm already behind. Oye! This is going to be a long week!

The other night I had a hankering to go to Target for some Brita water filters that were on sale and while there found a frequently advertised exercise fad and had to have it.
Yes, we bought the shake weight. And let me tell you what - it's kicks your butt. It says you only have to do 6 minutes a day, but if I actually did 6 minutes my arms would fall off and spontaneously burst into flames. After about a minute I'm on the floor crying. But the tears means it's working, right? Seriously, you feel it. I did it arms raised, behind my head and after about 30 seconds I was done and it was still sore the next day when I tried it again. And I used to do weights, before my surgery, but haven't done anything in the last 6 months because I can't stretch that much on the machines at the gym. But I'm still surprised that this little plastic demon is wiping the floor with me. We'll see how long it takes before both arms end up in slings!