Friday, July 30, 2010

Pickin' Peaches with Dad

Last Saturday 7/24 we drove up to my dad's house to celebrate his birthday with him and Shelly. It wasn't actually his birthday yet, but close enough. I fell asleep for most of the way up, leaving Todd to drive. I usually stay awake during these trips because we always have really good conversations in the car, but I was a pooped puppy for some reason.

We got to dad's house right before lunch. Dad got to open his gifts from us. I got him two books. He's the cerebral type and enjoys intellectual stimulation. I usually give him books, or else clothes or shoes. Mainly b/c he has no fashion sense. The two books I got him this time are "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely, and "Nudge" by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. Todd (also a cerebral type) had these on his book list and suggested my dad would like them. I read the first couple of chapters of "Predictably Irrational" and loved it. So I will take a turn reading the book. Wait... is that considered indian-giving? hmm...

We took dad out to lunch at his favorite Japanese sushi buffet.

I was really excited to try the stir-fried crab.

Lunch was delicious, although I don't think I ever feel like I get a good deal at buffets. I just can't eat enough at one sitting to make it worthwhile.

The highlight of the day is picking the white peaches off dad's peach tree in the back yard. The peaches are a couple of weeks late this summer due to our unusually cool weather. We got baskets and went out to pick some sweet white peaches.

We had to be careful because there were bees! Tons of honeybees.

My dad grew up a farmer, so he loves to brag about his fruit trees in his Los Angeles suburbs home. Besides the peaches, he also has a guava tree.

We had a simple dinner of dumplings and veggies, and headed back out on the road for home.  It was a nice visit to celebrate dad's birthday.  :)
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No Shark Sightings

Most of you know by now that Todd is training for an Olympic distance triathlon in September. He's been training for a while, doing 2 swims, 2 bikes, and 1-2 runs per week, plus weights and stretching. He's in very good shape and I'm amazed at his progress!

On Friday night, Todd embarked on a new journey as he went to the open water swim at La Jolla Cove with the San Diego Tri Club. I drove to his work to meet up with him, then we drove down to La Jolla together. I planned to run/walk a little bit while he swam. My right leg is injured at the moment, so I have not been running my long runs. Just short jogs here and there, mixed in with rowing, walking, and fitness DVDs.

We got to La Jolla Cove and saw many tri club members putting on or taking off wetsuits. You go out into the water in groups, so there was a constant wave of groups of people going in and out of the water.

The grassy area atop the Cove was busy with swimmers getting ready.

Todd getting his wetsuit on.

You may wonder, "Hey, it's summer, why is everyone wearing wetsuits?"
The water temperature in the ocean here doesn't get above 70 degrees, at the highest. Right now the water's still in the 60's.

Wetsuit on and ready to go!

I took a peek at the other swimmers waiting to get into the water.

When I looked back, Todd's group was ready to go.

Todd checking out the water.

Todd getting closer to starting his first open water ocean swim.

Just as he got to the bottom of the stairs and I was taking a photo, I heard a voice say, "Taking photos again?" I looked and it was Anthony, one of the coaches from West Coast Road Runners. He's doing an Ironman triathlon in Arizona in November!

As I was chatting with Anthony, Todd got into the water.

And started swimming.

After Todd started swimming, I took off for my run. Along the way, I saw some beautiful sights.

We're so blessed to live in such a beautiful and temperate place! After about 40 minutes, I made it back to the Cove and saw that Todd was finished and already changed back into his clothes. He was discouraged because he didn't swim very long or very far. He couldn't get used to the salty water and the waves made him slightly dizzy. I had talked to Anthony earlier and he said the first few times swimming out in open ocean water is not easy and you have to keep practicing and get used to it. I told Todd that and to chin up because he will get better with more practice. He can swim 2400 yards in the pool for an hour, but the ocean is a totally different game.

After we left the Cove, we went to one of our favorite places for dinner, which we hadn't been in a long time. BURGER LOUNGE!

We shared a salad

and a burger

and some french fries.

It was a good Friday evening. Todd got to experience his first open water swim, without any shark sightings. :)
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Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm The Oasis

Last Sunday 7/18 Todd went on a 30 mile bike ride. It was his normal route with the San Diego Cycling Meetup group. I had a general idea of where they start and their route, but not any details. Todd mixed his electrolyte water the night before and put the bottles in the fridge so they're cold. Sunday's forecast was for a hot day.

He left for the bike ride and I was on the computer. About 40 minutes later I went to the fridge to get some breakfast and saw that he had left both water bottles in the fridge! I dropped my toast back onto my plate, quickly got dressed, and got on the internet to research. I found the meetup group's site, studied their route, and calculated where Todd would be (based on his pace) by the time I could drive to him to give him some water. Then I grabbed the water bottles and went.

I got to the intersection where I thought I beat him to, and parked in the shopping center parking lot. I waited at the intersection for about 10 minutes and lo and behold, I saw a guy fitting Todd's description turning left onto my road. There he was! I waved and waved and he stopped. He was so surprised to see me, but knew immediately why I was there. He had a water bottle he found in his car with him, but he was still very glad to get the bottle of refrigerated electrolyte water. I did my good deed of the day and went back home. For Todd's account of the story, see his blog here. He didn't tell me he had blogged about it, until I saw it in my Google Reader, LOL.

You know, Todd joked that I'm his oasis, but it's a symbol of what we try to be to each other in our marriage. Life is hard enough "out there". We try to be supportive and encouraging of each other so that we know our home is always a safe and loving place for each other. I find it very easy to do this for Todd, because he makes it easy for me.

So after he got home from the bike ride, he took a shower and we went to eat some dim sum. We had a $25 off $35 gift certificate that we purchased a few months ago, so we finally got to use it. I hadn't had dim sum in a LONG time so I was very excited. Todd doesn't like dim sum as much because there's too many shrimpy things.

Our big spread:

Lots of radish cake, dumplings, sesame balls... all yummy!

A fish dish, some veggies, and more shrimp dumplings.

A shrimp and crab fritter. This was my favorite, it was so delicious!

Beef stuffed noodle, red vinegar, and BBQ pork buns.

Todd enjoying the non-shrimp food.

After lunch we stopped by Ranch 99 Market for some Asian supplies. Todd was super-excited to discover that his favorite red bean cakes were being made. They have a very limited schedule and most times when we go they're not making them. These are like Chinese ebelskivers.

Armed with these and an iced boba milk tea, we went home. Oh and lots of leftovers for dinner, LOL. :)
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fab Forty Forever

So apparently when you turn 40, you get to celebrate it all year long with the women that you went to high school with, who also turn 40 in the same year.

On Tuesday I took a day off of work and joined Sally and Stacy for a girls spa day. It was another celebration of "Fab Forty". Stacy said the rule is you get to celebrate your birthday the whole year when it's a "decade birthday". No arguments from me and Sally!

The girls arrived at my house around 8:30am to pick me up. We stopped for Sally and Stacy to get some breakfast at Panera, then we headed north on the I-15 to Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa in Corona. (Seriously not to be confused with Glen Eden Sun Club, which is a nudist camp nearby!)

I thought going on a Tuesday would make it less crowded, but it was still slightly crowded. We got in line to pay and get into the facilities. When you pay at the entrance, you can set up a tab with them for the day, so that any drinks or spa treatments, or lunch, can be charged to your tab. I did that. Then we headed to the lockers to change. The lockers was actually a huge complex with a lounge, lockers, changing area, bathrooms, showers, and a Roman bath. I changed and went to stake out some lounge chairs while Sally and Stacy went to take showers. (They had hiked in the morning before coming to my house.)

I found some lounge chairs by a far pool. Pretty soon all the lounge chairs were taken up. I waited a long time and didn't see Sally and Stacy. So I left the towels on the chairs and went around the complex looking for them. Didn't see them, so I went back to the chairs and waited. By now I'm totally sweating and hot from the heat of the sun. I think in total it took us an hour to find each other again, but finally I saw Sally and Stacy coming towards my area. They said they found some lounge chairs in another part of the complex that was in more shade, so off we went over there.

Glen Ivy had lots of different pools to experience. There was a lap pool, a hot springs mineral area (smelled like sulfur), an epsom salt pool, and various other pools. All the pools were different temperatures, so you can migrate from a hot jacuzzi type of pool to the cooler pool next door. It was fun.

Before we knew it, it was lunch time and we were hungry! Glen Ivy had an on-site restaurant called Cafe Sole. It's cafeteria style and you get into different lines depending on what you want to eat. There was a salad line, a sandwich line, and hot foods line. Stacy and I got salads while Sally got pho noodle soup. I had a smoked salmon salad and it was really good!

After lunch we went in some more pools. Then some space finally freed up in the mineral bath and we dunked ourselves in there. Very soothing! Then we lounged around and read our books. Sally took a nap. At around 4:30 we woke her up and we went to Club Mud, the area where you can put red clay exfoliating mud on yourself and go into a sauna-like area to get the mud baked dry on you. That was really fun and we took some photos, but I've been told that I'm not allowed to show any bathing suit photos of anyone on the blog, so no pictures here, ha ha!

We cleaned ourselves up from the mud, then headed back to the lockers to shower and change back to our street clothes. It was a fabulously relaxing day with just the girls. On the way out, we asked someone to take a photo of all three of us.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

New Templates

I finally put two new sets of templates into my stores!  It has been a while since I've put new things into my store, mainly because I've been busy (and enjoying myself) away from my computer.  I still love to scrap though, when I do get the chance to do it.

Template Set #13:  Round N Round  (LGD | LDD)
Round N Round contains two 12x12 .PSD layout templates in a fun circular and retro style.  Add your own photos, papers, and embellishments to customize your pages!

Here are a couple of layouts I did using Template Set #13:  Round N Round.

Credits: This Boy Papers, Elements, and Alphas by Designs by Lili @ The Lilypad.

Credits: yet to be released by Dysfunctional Design (Ami Collofello)

Template Set #14:  Dare To Compare (LGDLDD)

Dare To Compare contains two 12x12 .PSD layout templates.  You can use this set of templates for "Then and Now", "This Vs That", or just to compare two different things or time periods.

My layout using a template in this set.

Credits: the incredible new collaboration between One Little Bird (Peppermint) and Paislee Press (Liz Tamanaha) called Storyteller. I love this kit to pieces! You can get it here!

You can pick up both of these templates for 20% off on Tuesday 7/20 at both my Listgirl Designs and Little Dreamer Designs stores.  If you are a Listgirl Designs newsletter subscriber, you should have received a newsletter with a 10% off coupon code too, good for Tuesday.  :)
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Airy Crocheted Sweater - Done

This weekend I finished up my airy crocheted sweater. It was supposed to be a shrug, but turned out a lot bigger, so I'm just calling it a sweater now, LOL. I used a different yarn than the pattern called for, so I think that had something to do with it. If I ever make this one again, I will need to use smaller hooks or different yarn. I did a gauge swatch at the beginning and it seemed like the sizing was right on, so I'm not sure what went wrong. At least I can still wear it. It makes for a nice cover-up over a summer dress or a tank top.

Here it is.

Here is more detail on the ruffles in the front.

And here's the close-up on the end of the sleeve.

Overall this airy sweater took me about 9 days working on it on two weekends and an hour or two a night? It didn't take me long at all to crochet the main parts actually. It was the sewing it together with yarn, crocheting the front ruffles and bottom, and weaving in the yarn ends that took so long.

My next project will be a skirt. Or maybe a felted bag. Not sure which yet. :)
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lara's Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, my friend Lara's husband Rupert sent us a message on Facebook. He was planning a surprise 40th birthday party for Lara and wanted to give us details. What a sweet thing to do! We put the date on our calendars and kept our mouths shut, although it was hard not to say, "See you Saturday!" last week. :p

Finally the party was yesterday at 11:00AM. San Diego has FINALLY gotten warm this past week. Warm enough that we got up early at 6:20AM yesterday to go run at the coast. I ran 5.5 miles in an hour and felt pretty good, considering the heat. I sweated a lot, but was not dying. I stopped bringing my camera on my Saturday runs. Now that we're not running with a running club, I feel it's more important to bring my cell phone with me. My running waist pouch only fits either a camera or a cell phone, but not both. After the run, we went home to shower. Then we immediately left to go pick up Todd' car from the car repair shop. As you know, Todd's car had been in the car shop for 2.5 weeks, getting a transmission rebuild. There were snafus with the wrong transmission being delivered and such. We finally got to pick it up yesterday. Todd feels at home again! Funny how much your activities and identity is associated with your car.

After picking up Mystery Machine (yes, that's our green Explorer's name), we drove down to Mission Bay to Lara's party. It was a GORGEOUS day in San Diego. Some parts of the city was very warm, to be sure. But there were big breezes at Mission Bay and it was only around 80, so it was perfect!

Rupert had several tents set up for the party.

It was a Star Wars themed party! Lara told me that it's like the party she wanted when she was 7 years old, ha ha!  Here's one of the pinatas that was filled with candy.

Coolest cake ever!

Lara's badge said "Birthday Jedi Knight".

Our very own taco stand!  (Photo pilfered from Lara's Facebook.)

Guess who ran 8 miles and was hungry and first in line???

Sally was 2nd and I was 3rd in line. To defend myself, I got a plate of food for the birthday girl too, who was too modest to cut in line!

Nom nom, lots of good Mexican condiments!

We brought some chairs and lounged under the tents while chatting and eating. There were cool breezes blowing our way. It was really perfect!

We gathered around Lara to sing happy birthday! The cake was not only cool, but delicious as well, with whipped cream frosting and peaches inside!

Me, Lara, and Sally - friends since 7th grade.

We loved being there to celebrate with Lara. Whenever I get together with these two, I feel super-duper blessed with their friendship. It's amazing to me that we met when we were 12 years old, in a different city, and we're still friends at 40 years old, all living here in San Diego. I kind of think it's a miracle and feel so blessed by our long-standing friendship.

So, to celebrate that, a blast from the past!

Lara, me, and Sally in 1997, when I visited San Diego from Ohio.

Check out my "wall of bangs"! ha ha

Sally, me, and Lara at Sally's house, Christmas 1988. Wow, seriously, we were 18!
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