Dec 16, 2008

The Dog Saga Continues

Well last week I finally got a hold of Animal Control, calling to follow up on the dog bite report I filed at the Emergency Room and to try and get the dog owners' contact info so I can alert them to the fact that they need to pay for the repairs on my ring. Low and behold, the ER never sent the report in - even though they are required by law. At this point the quarantine period for the dog would have been over, but animal control did send an officer out there to get a report started and verify the animal was still alive - it was. I also tried to get the ER to send in the original report - after talking to what seemed like 20 people in 5 minutes and being passed back and forth between medical records and the ER, I finally lashed out and got someone in medical records to look into it. Of course, nothing came of it.

We also couldn't get the contact info right away. The officer was supposed to alert them to the damages and ask if he could give the contact info to us or give our contact info to them. I have a message left for the officer today in hopes we can finally close that loop and start working with the dog owners on getting my ring fixed.

On top of all this, the jeweler misplaced my order and only started work on my rings last Tuesday when I called to follow up! That was two and a half weeks after the incident and when I left my ring with them. I just want my rings back and be done with this!

How are your holidays going?

Love always,
Sarah

Nov 25, 2008

Of Dog Bites, Emergency Rooms and Jewelers

What a weekend we had. And it was supposed to be somewhat low-key. Saturday I had my friend Kim’s baby shower and Sunday I planned to clean the house, as I have been lazy since the surprise party. Then I remembered I had a hair appointment Saturday morning in Chico. Lynde headed up to Chico with me Friday night because Matt, Cameron and our friend Nick were taking over Lynde’s living room to set up central command for a full night of LOTRO (Lord of The Rings Online computer game).

Saturday morning I got up early for my hair appointment. I’m blonde again and so much happier to be back to normal. Then Lynde and I packed up the pasta salad my mom was so kind enough to make for the shower and we headed to Kim’s. We were about a ½ hour early when we turned onto Kim’s street.

Suddenly, Lynde yells for me to stop and can’t get out of the car fast enough. That’s when I see an older lady trying to keep a medium-sized black dog from attacking her little Boston Terrier who is tied up to her garage. She was not getting any where when Lynde intervened and Lynde called for me. Before I could think about what I was doing I was helping Lynde try to break up a full on dog mauling and now a small poodle had joined the fight. Next thing I know I see the black dog with its mouth around the poodle’s neck. I was not thinking and acting purely on adrenaline when I reached right in and tried to free the poodle from the teeth of the black dog. Whatever I did helped the poodle break free and run under a car. The black dog couldn’t get under the car but was trying, so Lynde started to kick it to get its focus off the little dogs. It was like it didn’t know humans were there at all. This worked and the dog ran off, right as its owner drove up. Lynde yelled at the lady until she got her dog securely in her car.

That’s when we noticed my left hand was pretty scratched up and bloody. I was also missing a nail – and I had just got my nails done Friday morning! The owner of the attacking dog assured me it had all its shots. The Boston Terrier had 2 pretty big bloody gashes on its body and we would learn after the shower that the poodle had a big gash on its back as well, but that both were expected to live, though they would be in the hospital for a night or two depending on if the wounds needed draining or not. Turns out the black dog just moved from the country where it was allowed plenty of space and killed rodents for fun. We all agree it probably thought the little dogs were rodents. It also turned out the attack dog lives next door to Kim and Pat and always gets out of the backyard.

We did make it to Kim’s shower. There I cleaned my wounds and took some Tylenol. There weren’t any deep wounds, just superficial scratches. I think Lynde and I were mainly just shaken up from the event. We soon calmed down and had a great time at the shower. From there we headed home instead of going shopping as we had planned. Cameron wanted to take me to the Urgent care that night but after talking with my dad, decided Sunday morning would be ok.

So Sunday we got up and headed to the ER, where they said I’d live and that I didn’t even need antibiotics. I filled out the required dog bite report, so I’m sure the attack dog is in quarantine for a few weeks and hopefully making the owners rethink how they take care of the dog in terms of securing it in their backyard. But Sunday is also when Cameron thought to look at my rings. From just what we could see without a jeweler’s tools, there was a deep scratch in the platinum of my engagement band and the setting looked dented near one of the emeralds. Cameron couldn’t confirm but he though one of the emeralds was cracked as well. Sunday evening Chico was holding its annual Christmas Preview in downtown so we headed up north in hopes the jeweler would be open for the event.

They were. Turns out one emerald does need to be replaced and they needed to examine the other more closely to decide if a scratch on it could be smoothed off or if it was too deep and needed to be replaced as well. They didn’t initially see anything on my wedding band but wanted to keep it for closer observation during normal working hours. We’ll know the full extent of damage in a week or so. I’m bummed because I won’t be able to show my family my wedding band now when we head to Minnesota on Thursday for Thanksgiving and my grandma’s 90th birthday bash. I guess they’ll have to wait until our next visit.

I sure hope I don’t see anything like I did Saturday ever again.

Love Always,
Sarah

Nov 11, 2008

He’s Done!

Its official, Cameron has completed his Master’s, earning an A in his last class and finishing with a GPA of 3.6! It was official at about 8:30 PM last Monday. I had told Cameron to let me know when he was 50% complete with his final paper that night so I could go out and get a bottle of champagne to celebrate. At 7:30 he was 50% done – just an hour later he was finished – the champagne wasn’t even cool yet. The last week has been a little odd, with both of us waiting for him to go up to his office after dinner to work on school work. We still haven’t remembered exactly what we used to do in the evenings before Grad School – roaming malls rings a bell, except we don’t have a mall to roam in Elk Grove. It’s supposed to be built in 2010.

Cameron is cooking more often again. Thursday night he made yummy Turkey melts. Friday we went to Matt & Lynde’s where Cameron made a delicious pork loin marinated in Italian Dressing, along with Red Garlic mashed potatoes, and lemon butter and almond green beans.

Saturday was when the fun started. Matt, Lynde and I have been planning a surprise graduation party for Cameron since he started his last class. Saturday Cameron headed out to hang out with Matt while Lynde and I ran around getting everything ready for the party. I had ordered a cake from cakes by Nancy who did our wedding cakes, which my parents were kind enought to pick up on their way down for the party. We also had some delicious tri-tip supplied and cooked by our Friends Greg & Mackenzie. Of course, my husband is too smart for his own good and figured out weeks ago that something was up, but he was still very happy we planned a celebration and was very touched by all the friends and family that came for the celebration.

Other than that, life has been pretty laid back, minus a little re-arranging. We finally got rid of the spare bed so I now have my craft room! And it is now my office too. After some thought, measurements, graph paper scaled-down cut outs and many arrangements on graph paper, I figured out how to arrange the room so I would be able to have my work desk and a table for crafting in the room while still having space on the floor for spreading out or blowing up an air-mattress for guests. It’s a little cramped, but it’s all mine too!

Well, it will be Friday. We have a guest right now. While my parents vacation in Tucson this week, Cameron and I are looking after their cat, Mocha. Because she is not used to being around other animals and used to having her own space, we figured my craft room would be a good place to give her a place of her own. To her displeasure, Jake has decided he needs to be near me when I am working and has taken over Mocha’s bed today. Therefore, she’s spent some time in the closet, being a scaredy cat. Before Jake came in she was happily purring on my lap.



We are now looking forward to Turkey Day. We'll be flying to Minnesota the day of Thanksgiving and eating Turkey with the extended family on Black Friday. That Saturday is my grandma's 90th Birthday bash. I can hardly wait!
Love Always,
Sarah

Nov 3, 2008

A Rainy Weekend Day


Saturday, November1 brought rain. Lots of it. In just one day the amount of rain that fell was twice the monthly average for November. And I soaked it all in – well, not the actual rain, but the excuse to stay in my PJs, do absolutely nothing but sleep in late and sit by a warm fire watching TV. Jake decided to join me for both activities. Cameron on the other hand, got up at 3:30 AM to go hunting. He was home by 1 PM, taking a little nap before starting the last of his Master’s Papers. Right now he is half way done with it and I am tempted to go get a bottle of champagne to celebrate the second he hits the send button on it. Before this weekend he had enough points in the class to get a B+ without completing the final paper. Of course, he would never not do it. Yeah! The end is here…almost.



Now, what was life like before Cameron started his masters?....

I'm sure we'll have fun remembering and inventing new things to do.

Love Always,
Sarah

Oct 31, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Last night we carved our pumpkins that will decorate our doorstep tonight for the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Not sure how busy it will be, so during a trip to Target last night, we picked up another bag of candy. It doesn’t help Cameron and I have been snacking on the candy I bought last weekend. Our main purpose for going to Target was to pick up a copy of Nightmare Before Christmas. Disney recently re-released it with new DVD bonus features especially for the Halloween holiday. To our dismay, Target didn’t have it. After a stop at Circuit City, we headed to Wal-Mart in hopes of finding it. Matt & Lynde were coming over for dinner and pumpkin carving. Neither of them has seen the movie and I thought it would set the mood for pumpkin carving. Luckily, Wal-Mart did have the movie. These errands began just as it was starting to rain. We didn’t take an umbrella with us but so far it hadn’t come down too hard, even with the lightning and thunder. This was not the case when we exited Wal-Mart – it was pouring and we got wet! Oh well, it’s still not very cold so it was kinda fun.



Settled in back at home waiting for Matt & Lynde’s arrival is when things got scary. Our living room can be overlooked from the upstairs hall. Both Jake and Kelsey enjoy sitting up on the ledge and Jake actually likes walking along the ledge. We’ve always feared one day that Kelsey would go to jump up onto the ledge and with her growing mass of a belly would end up falling over the edge down to the living room. Well, it wasn’t Kelsey. I was downstairs watching a recorded episode of Lipstick Jungle when I hear cat claws up on the railing above. Not a second later do I see Jake out of the corner of my eyes flying through the air falling toward me. He landed perfectly between the couch and the coffee table, just barely hitting my leg. Luckily cats land on two feet. I of course let out a nice little scream of surprise and then shed a few tears of relief once I saw Jake was ok. He didn’t seem phased by the whole fall and ate up the attention Cameron and I poured on him to make sure he was ok.



This is what Jake was aiming to Jump on


And This is how far he fell

Things calmed down, and soon Matt & Lynde arrived. After dinner it was pumpkin carving time. Here are some photos from last night and our lighted pumpkins. Matt & Lynde are coming back over tonight to help hand out candy and are loaning us their pumpkins for our doorstep since there neighborhood is still very much in development phase and probably won’t have many trick-or-treaters at all.


Lynde egging Jake on to put his head in her pumpkin.


Jake, the ever curious kitty, almost did put his head in that pumpkin


But mainly he just wanted to eat the slimy guts. We had to keep the guts bowl away from him.


Matt looking up from etching in the outline of his pumpkin


Cameron rubbed flour into the etching of my pumpkin so I could see it – we always tag team to carve one pumpkin.


Cameron & I selected a Wolf Howling at the Moon design as an ode to Melody



Lynde’s Pumpkin


Matt’s Pumpkin


Happy Halloween!

Love Always,
Sarah

Oct 30, 2008

To catch you up on what we’ve been up to…Part 2

I did it! I finally completed one of the projects I started before we got engaged and I became engulfed in Wedding to-dos! Friday night I completed Cameron’s Fraternity quilt! It now sits on the back of his office chair and keeps him warm in the mornings. It’s not professional or perfect to any degree, but I’m quite pleased with it and Cameron seems to be as well.



Friday night I also managed to get the downstairs portion of our house clean. And this was all before Lynde came over to hang out and after a full days work.

Saturday was a lazy day for us. We slept in some, then Cameron headed to his office for homework and games. I really slacked this year on getting the Halloween decorations out and with Halloween only being a week away at the time, I decided it would just be easier to decorate the house for Fall. To my surprise, we don’t own any fall décor except a small Scarecrow. This would not due, so Saturday I drove around town to some of my favorite stores to see what kind of deals they had on Fall Décor. To my luck, Joann’s was having a huge sale on all Fall and Halloween items to make way for Christmas. I came across some major finds, like these ceramic pumpkins that were 60% off!



I also picked up some real pumpkins for carving as well as for decoration. To my dismay, no one was selling any white pumpkins, which are my favorite. I also learned that my Target does not have a garden center, so while they were selling Pumpkin carving kits, they were not selling pumpkins to use said kits on!

From there, I got into the cooking spirit. I had picked up an acorn squash last time we were up at Vicki’s and was in need of cooking it. I found this recipe for Acorn Squash bisque in Everyday Food, a Martha Stewart publication and decided to try it in hopes I would find a way for Cameron to enjoy the squash (he doesn’t like it baked in the oven with butter and brown sugar). While I really do like the Bisque, Cameron unfortunately does not. He did give it a try. Luckily I made chicken, green beans and sautéed mushrooms for dinner as well, more recipes from the Everyday Food November issue that I had picked up that day.

Sunday was BBQ time so we headed to Pat & Kim’s, even though Cameron organized the whole thing. Our friends Christina & Jeff knew about the BBQ at Pat & Kim’s before Pat & Kim! Then Cameron didn’t spread the word enough, but as our circle of friends goes, word got out. So when Jeremy & Alyssa showed up to Cameron’s surprise, Cameron joked “Who invited people to my BBQ?” It was the joke of the day until Cameron discovered that 3 year olds don’t yet grasp the idea of sarcasm. The boys were glued to the TV, their blackberries and laptops that day for Football so the girls and I decided to do a little shopping to get out a little bit and not fall asleep. We left Kim & Pat’s daughter Kaley to watch over the boys. When she asked where we all went, Cameron made the mistake of telling her we didn’t like her so we left her to go shopping. I can only image how quickly Kaley’s face fell. Cameron had meant to say they liked her better and that was why she didn’t go with us to the store. Cameron made it up to her by leaving the football game and letting Kaley show him some of her toys and Baby Paige’s room. We’re all looking forward to the arrival of Kim & Pat’s second daughter this Christmas!

Oct 27, 2008

To catch you up on what we’ve been up to…Part 1

Two Saturdays ago was our nephew Connor’s 4th Birthday party. He would turn 4 that next Monday. We headed up to Yuba City mid-morning to meet the family at a park for the festivities. The kids got to make paper planes, decorate mini-pumpkins and play on the playground equipment. Connor also got a real scooter so we watched as he learned the different between a real scooter and his previous Playschool scooter. Before we left, I did see Connor use his foot to slow down and stop versus the previous method of just jumping off and watching the scooter continue on its way.

From the party we headed up to Chico, first stopping in to see Grandma Betty. We really hadn’t seen her since the wedding so it was good to stop in and catch up. Sunday, Cameron and his buddy Dave were planning to go hunting, so Saturday night Cameron and I went out to Little Dry Creek to put his and Dave’s names in for a draw for Sunday’s hunting spots. Dave was out at a location in Delavan doing the same. Little Dry Creek turned up to be a bad draw, but luckily they got a good draw out at Delavan. Cameron got up early Sunday to meet up with Dave while I hung out at my parents house by myself – they were kind enough to let us stay at their home while on vacation. In return, we fed their cat, Mocha and tried to give her some attention. She’s not much of a fan of any one giving her attention besides my parents. Cameron and Dave would come back with 2 small ducks.

We headed back up to Chico Tuesday night as Dave and Cameron had another hunting trip scheduled for Wednesday. This time my parents were home, so we were able to get caught up with them that night. It was work as usual for me on Wednesday while Cameron took the day off to hunt. He ended up with two ducks and a goose (I think) while Dave got two ducks, otherwise Dave got 3 ducks and Cameron got a duck and the goose. All in all, a decent haul as the duck and goose breasts are beginning to pile up in the freezer, and the season has barely begun. I can only imagine how much more we will end up once Cameron finished school and has a lot more free time on his hands.

Most week and weekend nights are still spent with Cameron working on homework, but the end is quite near. After tonight, he has only a week and one final paper to go. It’s easy to imagine what our weekend plans for this weekend will be.

I’ll catch you all up on this last weekend tomorrow.

Love Always,
Sarah

Oct 14, 2008

The 70s Are Back

This past Saturday, Cameron, Matt, Lynde and I celebrated the 30th Birthdays of some of our skydiving friends. The theme of the party was the 70s since the 3 birthday kids were born in 1978. Earlier in the week the four of us headed to a shop called PreVues in downtown Sac to find our outfits. Here are some pictures from the party that night. Enjoy!


Cameron and I in What Lynde termed "Authentic 70s" I had to make a few alterations to the dress before the party, as the halter was meant for someone with very large Breasts. Don't you just love Cameron's wig?!



Matt & Lynde in what Lynde termed "Costume 70s". Great wigs too!

Lynde & Myself

Our Friend Ryan had on almost the same jacket as Cameron. He got his from his girlfriend's father! Candy informed me that her mom gave it to her still in the plastic cover.

Love Always,

Sarah

Oct 13, 2008

Changes

Just as the weather is changing, I decided it was time for a change of my own. Cameron recently mentioned that he was curious what I would look like with brown hair. I’ve never been one to be afraid of taking chances with my hair, as I can always change it back or it will grow back, so I agreed that I would give brown a try. I also was tired of how long my hair had grown in anticipation of the wedding, so on a recent weekend I made the trek up to Chico to see Martin and make some changes to my hair. What do you think?

Before: Blonde and long

After: Brown and short


Cameron and everyone else that has seen it, likes it a lot. Initially, I was in shock and did notice how blue my eyes looked. But as time has gone by and even as the color has lightened up, I’ve decided Brown is not for me. I was so worried Cameron would not like it I never stopped to think if I would like it, and it turns out I don’t. I’m just not feeling the brunette in me – it makes me feel old and I’m not ready to be as old as it makes me feel. So I will be returning to blonde the next time I see Martin – which isn’t until Thanksgiving.

Love always,

Sarah

Oct 10, 2008

Go Sharks!


Hockey season is officially underway! Last night the Sharks won their season opener against their rival, the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. A great start for new head coach, Todd McLellan, who comes off of a Stanley Cup win last year as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. You can see a difference with the Sharks already - they're definitely more aggressive.

Cameron and I were lucky enough to catch parts of the game last night. Unfortunately, we missed Cheechoo's two goals in the second period due to our DVR schedule.

We became Sharks fans while we lived in Fremont. When Cameron was at Synnex, he was lucky enough to win tickets every so often, and we would get to watch the games from the rafters in one of the private suites. After Cameron left Synnex, we didn't go much until playoffs last year. Our friend Pat was fortunate to win tickets through his work and was kind enough to take us to two amazing playoff games. Being able to go to the games on a whim will be one reason we will miss the Bay Area - we'll have to adjust watching games on TV, but it's just not the same as seeing it all live. Guess we'll have to plan to go to a few games over the season on weekends.
Go Sharks!


Love Always,

Sarah


Oct 7, 2008

Giant Pumpkins

This weekend did not go as I had planned, but in a very good way. Originally, I was supposed to clean the house. Lately I’ve either been too tired or too busy to maintain its cleanliness that things have been slipping.

But Friday I read about the Elk Grove Harvest Festival and it’s Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off in the SacBee. This piqued my interest and so I thought it would be fun to check it out Saturday morning before going home and dealing with the house. Saturday morning I talked to Cameron about it. We then called Matt & Lynde to see if they wanted to go as well. They were on board, although Lynde had to go to work first. So Matt, Cameron and I headed to Elk Grove Park and wandered around, taking in the weigh-off while waiting for Lynde. I created a slide show of the pics I took. You should see them to the left. Here's the winning pumpkin and it's weight.


We learened that the Giant Pumpkin seeds can cost anywhere from $350 to $1000 each and while we thought there would be tons of them in each pumpkin, there usually are only about 15-20 seeds. There is definitely some money to be made if you master the art of growing giant pumpkins, especially if you have the largest one year. All these Giant Pumpkins were set to be carved and floated along the park river the next day for the Giant Pumpkin Regatta. I would have loved to see this, but I was just too tired after the Saturday we had.

After the festival we were all hungry so we decided to have lunch at the Elk Grove Brewery. We had some delicious chili-cheese-garlic fries, huge beer-battered onion rings and sandwiches or burgers as well as sampled the Diamondback Wheat beer. Everything was great and we will definitely be going back – though not too often as it wasn’t the healthiest meal we’ve had lately.

Before we knew it, it was 4:30 and we were tired. Plain and simple, Cameron and I headed home and crashed. After our long catnap, Cameron did some schoolwork before we headed to Matt & Lynde’s for movie night. We watched I AM LEGEND and Alien Versus Predator 2. We didn’t get home until late and yet Cameron still came home and did more homework.

As for me, no housework got done on Sunday either. Cameron, as usual, was locked up in his office working on schoolwork, minus the door knob. He plans to take the door knob from the spare room and put it on his office door since we do need a way to protect Spaz from the cats at night. So far, all is ok, as the cats are spending the nights curled up on our bed with us rather than wandering the house getting into mischief. Jake is aware that he can simply push the door open, but he only does it when Cameron is in there and he wants attention.

Love Always,
Sarah

Oct 2, 2008

Cheap Door knob!

Yesterday I went up to talk to Cameron in his office several times. Each time, I found it harder and harder to turn the knob and enter the room, to the point where I almost slammed by body into the door on accident when the door didn’t open as expected. After Cameron jokingly asked if I was having issues, he admitted the door knob has been sticking.

Now I often say to people when they call and ask what we are up to that Cameron is locked up in his office working or doing homework. This has been ever more the truth since he started his last class. Last night, after getting home from watching Iron Man at Matt & Lynde’s, Cameron went back into the office to do some more homework, while I settled into bed and watched some TV. It was getting late and figuring Cameron had more homework than he had anticipated, I turned the TV and lights off, rolled over and was just about to close my eyes to drift off to dreamland when I heard Cameron call for me. I replied and he asked me to come look at something in the office. This is what I saw as I turned the corner to get there:


The door knob finally gave out completely! Luckily Cameron had a screw driver in the office so he was able to get the knob part off, but he was having issues seeing and figuring out the latch hardware. Once I turned the hall light on for him, he was able to see better and was out in no time. I have to admit I laughed until I cried I found the situation so hilarious. Cameron not so much and I know he’s going to kill me for posting this story on here, but it was just too funny not to share – it wasn’t anything he did, it was just a cheap door knob and he got himself out – I wouldn’t have been able to do that by myself and I probably wouldn’t have had a screwdriver around to get me as far as he did before calling for help.

Love you sweetie!

As for the movie Iron Man, I wasn’t impressed. One, it was a little too much like Transformers at the end, and I think Transformers was a much better movie. Two, I knew who the villain was within the opening sequences so nothing surprised me.

Love always,
Sarah

Sep 24, 2008

Are you registered to vote yet?

Yesterday’s Challenge on the 100 Days to Christmas Blog encourages you to get registered to Vote if you aren’t already. There are only 6 weeks to go until Election Day (which is also Cameron’s first day after completing his masters) and time to get registered is running out.

This has definitely been on our to-do list since we moved. We actually were on our way to the Post Office Monday when we realized the Post Office closes at 5 PM – it was 5:15. Luckily, Cameron picked up the Voter Registration cards this morning while out running errands. I filled out mine the second he returned home and had him drop it in the mail on his way out to have lunch with the boys. If you aren’t registered to vote yet, please get on it – this is an important election no matter what party you affiliate yourself with and voting is the only way to get your voice heard.

Love Always,
Sarah

Sep 23, 2008

A Christmas Blog

Okay, so I know any one reading this must be rolling their eyes at the site of the word Christmas, but any one who knows me knows Christmas is my favorite Holiday, much to the chagrin of Cameron. I’m one of those people who buys their Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and has the house in full decoration within the week after Turkey Day.

Over the last few years, Christmas has also meant craft overload for me – My mom and I purposely set out to develop one Christmas gift idea that most of our family and friends will enjoy and try to incorporate as many homemade gifts as possible.

The reason for even bringing up the word Christmas and my post today is to share with you all a blog I have recently been turned on to – 100 Days to Christmas Blog. I don’t remember how I found it, but so far I love it. It sets out to provide you with a daily dose of inspiration and motivation to help you get ahead, then relax through the busy holiday season. Don’t we all look back on the holiday season and wish we had been more organized and relaxed?

The first few blog entries get you started on planning – who you’re going to but gifts for, budgets for gifts, decorations, entertaining. But some of the more recent posts have also focused on the changing of the season. Sunday’s post instructed you to get out your Fall Décor – not your Halloween décor quite yet, just the fall décor. I did this by fishing out my Pumpkin spiced candles and burning them to fill the house with yummy smells. Digging in my candle box, I also found my miniature wine glass candle. I burned it ages ago and had then used it as a Tea light holder. Well I cleaned it out and it is now Jake’s special little wine glass – now maybe he won’t attack mine or my mom’s when she’s visiting!


Yesterday’s post challenged readers to make a Fall memory – jump in a pile of leaves, go for a stroll, make a winter fave food. I took the task to heart, and after a quick call to my mom for the recipe (mine is some where in the garage I think) I set out to make Easy Chili. I had to go to the grocery store for a few of the ingredients and while there I picked up some Fall colored flowers and created this little arrangement.


Cameron and I both ate way too much of the Chili, but loved it and he also liked the flower arrangement. For any one looking for a little Christmas encouragement and daily inspiration, I highly suggest checking out this blog. I also recommend starting at Day 1. Each day’s challenge is pretty short so you could be caught up by this weekend. And I’ll keep this blog updated on my favorite challenges.


Love Always,
Sarah

Sep 22, 2008

A Lazy Weekend in Tahoe

As mentioned before, Cameron and I headed up to Tahoe this last weekend for a visit with his grandparents. The reason for visiting so soon after our last visit was because his Granddad recently fell off the roof onto his deck while building a cover for part of the deck. He suffered what we thought was only 1 broken rib but after being in pain all week, Cameron’s Aunt Cindy insisted he go back in. Either the pain meds weren’t strong enough or there was something more to his injuries. Turns out he suffered 7 broken ribs. After learning this new information, I’d say he’s doing pretty well for the pain I can only imagine he is feeling.

Cameron’s grandmother doesn’t drive any longer so the family has been rotating visits to help out with minor things like grocery shopping. Aunt Cindy had been up in Tahoe since Wednesday so she headed home Saturday morning. It was nice to see her for a little bit and catch up, as we didn’t get to spend too much time with her at the wedding.

Vicki and Joe came up Friday night as well. We all spent the weekend relaxing together for the most part, with a trip to the grocery store included. We brought Melody along, so it was somewhat entertaining to see her react to Cameron’s grandmother’s little dog Jeb. He was a bit too high energy for our Mel, but she did alert us all when a neighbor's Black Lab wandered into the yard.

We headed home mid-day Sunday so Cameron could get some homework done. He finishes work on his current class tonight and starts his final class Tuesday! I can’t believe he’s almost done!

Love Always,
Sarah

Sep 18, 2008

Good-Bye Lazy Days of Summer – Hello Lazy Days of Fall

While Labor Day may have signaled the end of summer, the lazy days we sometimes associate with summer, have not left our house. Below are pictures I’ve taken over the summer. They reflect everyday life in our house. Wish I could lounge around all day snoozing away.

The animals seem to be enjoying the new house and the new schedules pretty well. While the fence in the backyard has been fixed, Melody still gets to be indoors most days and can be found next to Cameron’s chair when he’s in the office or next to my chair while I work and Cameron’s not home. She’s never far from one of us. Unfortunately, the second I try to take a picture of our lazy dog, she gets up.

Mornings Kelsey sleeps on her director’s chair, then works her way down to the floor and eventually into the cat toy basket.



Jake starts his days off on one of the wicker chairs to the small glass table in the kitchen area and works his way to the floor, often sunning himself when all the rest of us seek refuge in cooler rooms in the house. I’ll be making some curtains for that glass window soon.



Love Always,
Sarah

Sep 15, 2008

Roofing and Crafting

This past weekend started early Saturday morning. I don’t even remember hearing the alarm going off – just Cameron nudging me and asking me if I was going to get up. While I didn’t want to, we had promised to head up to Biggs so Cameron could help Joe re-roof the shed on the property.

Since we are still experiencing the heat of summer (although, it has cooled down a little) this project needed to be addressed in the morning hours.

After arriving in Biggs and saying hello, I drove up to Chico. My mom had informed me that some more wedding presents had arrived earlier that week and Cameron and I were out of our Popcorn special ingredient, Nutritional Yeast, so I needed to make a trip up to Chico any way. I figured it would be good to go while Cameron was busy with the roofing project, and since my dad is in New Orleans, I could keep my mom company for a little while. After arriving at my parents’ house, and talking with my mom for a little while I made my way back to bed for a little nap – it hadn’t helped we stayed up late Friday night. I did some picture scanning after I got up before my mom and I headed into town for lunch and the yeast. We had a lovely lunch at Tres Hombres, minus the fact that the waitress forgot to bring us our drinks after taking our order.

During lunch, Cameron called to say they were done for the day, so after getting the yeast, I dropped my mom off and headed back to Biggs. We headed home shortly after that and spent the rest of the day watching USC trample Ohio State in football. It wasn’t until about 10 PM that we realized we hadn’t had dinner and were hungry. The problem was we hadn’t been to the grocery store in ages and had eaten everything in our house. So we buckled down and went to Safeway Saturday night to load up on groceries. It was actually quite nice going at this time. Hardly any one was there so getting around the store with a loaded, heavy cart was a breeze. Of course, we were then too tired and hungry to go home and cook so we made a stop at Jack in The Box on the way home. A for effort right? And we now have a house full of food.

Sunday found us lounging around. Cameron made a delicious slow-cooker roast for dinner that filled our house with yummy flavors all afternoon. While Cameron worked on homework, I worked more on his quilt and caught up on Days of Our Lives recordings. I think I had about 15 episodes to watch and now have about 6 before getting caught up. We watched a couple of movies when Cameron took breaks from homework. We first watch 3:10 to Yuma. We liked it but didn’t love it – some of it needs to be sent to MythBusters to bust all the special effects and the ending had us scratching our heads some. We also watched Any Given Sunday, since I had never seen it. Cameron said its not all that far fetched from NFL reality – I wouldn’t pay someone to be part of that world if that’s the case. But I did like the movie.

Next weekend we’re headed up to Tahoe to visit Cameron’s grandparents.

Love always,
Sarah

Sep 12, 2008

Earplugs Please

Last weekend Cameron and I checked Melody into the PetsHotel and headed up to Reno. Cabela’s was holding the Waterfowl Classic which included the Western Region Duck and Goose calling something or other contest. Basically, people could enter, attempt their best goose and duck calls and try to get to the next round. When we got in on Friday night our friends Jason and Dave were no where to be found. Since we couldn’t reach them by phone, we had dinner at Boomtown before continuing on our way to Incline Village to Cameron’s grandparents house where we would spend the night.

We got in a little late for his grandparents so we all caught up over breakfast the next morning before Cameron and I headed back to Reno. Jason and Dave were manning the High Desert Waterfowl raffle table, which was so wonderfully located next to the calling contest tent. The calling didn’t bother me too much that day – it was tolerable and the cute black lab puppies being carried around were a great distraction for me. I did all I could to not pet the puppies or I might have bought one myself, they were so cute.

We walked around Cabela’s or hung out at the booth most of the day. Cameron also entered the raffle and bought a new hunting rifle - he’s wanted a new one for a couple of years now. Dave and Jason had plans that evening with the High Desert club so Cameron and I headed into Reno for the night. We had plans to play some Roulette after dinner, but we only ended up trying our luck at Keno. We did overindulge ourselves at the El Dorado buffet – which explains why we were too tired to make it to the Roulette tables or slot machines. Cameron also had some school work to complete, which also required us to turn in early.

Sunday morning we headed back to Cabela’s. Cameron wanted to be present to win during the raffle drawings. The guys decided I was the best person to conduct the actual drawings. I first picked out 27 tickets for the on-hand, present to win raffle prizes. Cameron got lucky there – he won a camping starter kit and a new rifle bag, perfect for the new rifle. Then I drew the 5 grand prize winners from a different barrel that had slips of paper filled out by the entrants. I promise, I had my head turned opposite the barrel when I drew Cameron as the Grand grand prize winner – and the fourth! There were 6 grand prizes which consisted of 5 hunting trip packages and a camo rifle. Being the first to be drawn for these prizes, Cameron gets to chose one from all of these prizes and then gets to chose from what’s left after the second and third grand prize winners make their choices. I believe his first choice was a hunting trip for two in Canada. From what the guys think will be left at the end, Cameron will likely select a Nevada Swan hunt for his second selection.

I had had it after only 10 minutes into the Goose calling contests on Sunday. Jason had Dave purchase a jar of ear plugs pretty soon after the calls started, and while those did help, I don’t think I’ll want to go to another contest any time real soon! Cameron has been kind enough to not practice on the free call he received over the weekend, so far. We made it back home late Sunday afternoon. Cameron had more homework to complete so I busied myself with my craft projects after picking Melody up from the hotel.

Love Always,
Sarah

Sep 11, 2008

My Wonderful World of Crafts Returns!

As I predicted, my house was in livable condition as was our guest room by Labor Day weekend. I had spent the evenings of the Thursday and Friday before that weekend organizing my craft room. After my parents visit, I happily chose a project that had been shelved around Christmas, and started on it again.

The craft I chose was Cameron’s Fraternity Shirt quilt. Last Christmas I had made 3 similar quilts for some of our friends, and had intended to make Cameron’s right after Christmas. His proposing and our setting a date sidelined that thought, and the move added to its delay. I am happy to say I am back on track and estimate I’ll be done with this project well before Christmas this year, even Thanksgiving – I’m aiming for before Halloween.

I also started the process of organizing the wedding photos. Between the photos from the photographer, photos friends and relatives have shared with us and the table camera pictures, we have a lot to chose from to go into picture frames around the house and an eventual wedding album. Thing is, I am having a ton of fun doing such, as I do love organizing.

I figure this is as much as I should take on for now. Once the dumpster comes and the bed is gone from my craft room, I may take more on, but I don’t want to clutter my clean house with all my projects right after getting it in order. A room to spread out in will be great.

Here’s a picture of most of the pieces that will go into Cameron’s quilt. Watch for more posts as I make progress to a completed project.


Love Always,
Sarah

Sep 10, 2008

Labor Day Weekend – No Labor Necessary


Saturday of Labor Day weekend was my mom’s birthday. Since she wasn’t able to attend the spa day the day before the wedding, I invited her and my dad down for the day and evening so that I could treat her to a manicure and pedicure, and we could all go out to dinner to celebrate.

We had a lovely time sipping mimosas, being pampered and gossiping with Stacie, my nail tech. Cameron and my dad stayed at home during the spa visit and enjoyed the first day of college football. Summer must be over if Football season is officially back!

My parents’ visit couldn’t have been timed more perfectly, either. On Thursday I had called to see if our wedding picture proofs were ready. They were! My mom was kind enough to pick them up on Friday and brought them with her Saturday, along with the last of our wedding gifts and my dried bouquet. This is my favorite picture!


(Photo Courtesy A. Stanwood Photography)

After an afternoon of pampering, all four of us piled into the car to go down to Old Town Sac. Gold Rush Days were taking place, so we were curious to see what exactly this entailed and what 200 tons of dirt looked like on the streets. It was pretty cool. There were volunteers dressed in period costumes and they had demonstrations and reenactments staged throughout the streets. I could have done with a little less of the gun shots during the Jesse James reenactment, but I guess that was how it was back in the day.



The old stage coach from Wells Fargo was pretty cool to see, and must be of some value as it was guarded closely at all times.


We also saw people in period costumes playing period instruments and music. Not bad, either.


There were all kinds of different carts/wagons placed along the roads as well. Horse-drawn carriages were available for rides around Old Town, which is actually a daily occurrence, but on this day, I definitely wanted to pass. With the dirt and the wind that had picked up that day, it was dusty! I don’t think I would have enjoyed living during this time period, especially when the wind storms came through. Can you imagine March and October back then?


Since it was close to dinner, we wandered Old Sac for what looked like a good restaurant. We finally settled on the Rio City Café, which was nice, except for the party boat that was blaring music prior to its departure. A couple was getting married on the Delta King Riverboat, so we got to see the flowers arrive for their reception and the Bride and Groom take some pictures before joining the reception. Watching the bride having to pick up her dress to walk made me even happier I chose a short dress for our wedding. Too much work!

My parents left early Sunday and we spent the day being lazy, which was wonderful! We met Matt & Lynde for dinner at the Bamboo Inn. Over dinner we got on the subject of Disney movies, followed by the movie Aladdin. It sounded so good, that Lynde and I drove home to put the leftovers in the fridge while the boys picked up some beverages. Then we all watch Aladdin over Champagne (Lynde and Myself) and mixed drinks (Matt & Cameron). Matt and Lynde crashed at our place for the night but left early after one of our neighbors was kind enough to start their Labor Day construction project at 8 AM! We spent the day being lazy again, though Cameron did work hard on school work throughout it, and met back up with Matt & Lynde at their house for a BBQ chicken dinner. Looking back, we’re all shocked no one had a Labor Day BBQ party this year. Oh well, maybe next year.

Love Always,
Sarah

Aug 28, 2008

Genius!

I love my husband! He recently came up with an idea that mainly benefits me. Ok, so he doesn’t have to deal with me spreading all my craft supplies and projects around the house once the plan goes into action or dealing with me stressing about cleaning the house as much as I used to when company is expected, but still, I believe he had my best interests at heart when he thought of this.

See, since we moved, and really before we moved, Cameron owned the Office room. In Fremont, I had a desk in the office and piles of stuff on it, but my computer had been ransacked for its keyboard and unplugged from the internet to accommodate his personal laptop for school, his desktop for gaming and his work laptop. Plus, I felt I couldn’t go in there and do anything when he was working on school work at night or over weekends that we were actually home. Once we moved, my desk was moved downstairs to the kitchen area. Where we should have a dining table, I have a small space for my work office, but obviously, this isn’t a place to set up shop for my crafts. Plus, we still have bags upon bags of wedding gift packaging to rid ourselves of, as you can see.


My desk and the bags of trash that have piled up even more!


I think Jake will miss his new Fort when we do get rid of the bags.

Back in Fremont, after Cameron took over the office, I moved most of my craft supplies into the spare room, but with the bed as big as it is and the room as small as it was, there just wasn’t room to spread out, so I shuttled what I did and didn’t need from the spare room to the living room. This definitely added to the mess I would inevitably be cleaning over the weekend or when guests were expected. The situation was turning out to be the same here, but our living room is not nearly as big so my spreading out causes some obstacle courses and I have gone around saying “ow” a few too many times from tripping over stuff when such courses exist.


Melody likes to sleep where we would prefer to walk.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I’ve started the task at hand of organizing and cleaning the spare room. The other night, as I was cleaning, Cameron came in. We’ve been in discussions of getting a small dumpster to help rid us of stuff that is no longer usable and not in donateable condition. This discussion was affirmed once we talked to our landlord who agreed the refrigerator she supplied us is not in good shape (we either get frozen lettuce or warm sodas) and it would be ok to toss it in the dumpster since we have our fridge from Fremont to replace it with. The last tenants begged her to let them leave the fridge, but she would prefer to not be responsible for maintaining a fridge any way, so all sides are pleased.

Here was Cameron’s thought process that night – the bed in the spare room is bulky and takes up space to supply our guests, that stay infrequently and for short periods of times, a place to sleep. The box spring of the bed has been a victim of kitty scratching to the point where our cats can now walk into the box spring on one end and exit at the other. Plus, it makes too great of a hiding place for them when they are in trouble or need to go to the vet. You can imagine the struggles we have when they plop down right in the middle and out of arm’s reach. One corner of the mattress is also a victim of cat scratching and is losing stuffing. We have managed to keep them from scratching our bed using a spray called Feliway. The cats can’t stand the smell of it when it is sprayed (neither can I so if you want to use it spray when you don’t need to be in the room for a while) and it usually takes 6 months after a good spray to have one of them even attempt to scratch the sprayed piece of furniture. We’ve only used it once on the leather couch and never once had a cat try to scratch that.


Any way, back to Cameron’s big idea. Since we were going to be getting the dumpster, why didn’t we just say goodbye to the bed? My parents had gotten a great Queen-sized air mattress to set up in my mom’s craft room for out-of-town wedding guests, which worked great. The mattress sits up about 2 feet, almost higher than the current bed does now. We could invest in one of these air mattresses for our guests to replace the bulky bed and only blow it up when guests are in town. This way I would have all that space plus the few paths around the bed to lay out what ever project or projects I want to work on and only clean up after myself when guests were coming to town to stay – otherwise I can just close the door, and then I would truly have my craft room.

How could I not agree to such a perfect and thoughtful plan? I will finally have a room for myself like Cameron does with his office. Now he just needs to get that dumpster ordered! And I’ll be at Bed Bath & Beyond getting the air mattress as soon as we need it.

Love Always,
Sarah

Aug 27, 2008

A Huge Load Off

Cameron and I spent another weekend at home – hurray! The weekend started a little early – Friday afternoon. Cameron went golfing with Matt, while I finished my work up for the week from the great comfort of our bed. I had been in Sunnyvale the day before for a meeting that ran from 10:30 AM straight through to 4:30 PM. That, combined with the visit to the vet Friday morning, left me wiped and since we have wireless throughout the house, I was able to work just as I would have downstairs at my desk, but from bed. I returned to my desk, business as usual, Monday.

After golf, Matt and Lynde came over. We all walked the 1 ½ blocks to the Old Spaghetti Factory for a nice dinner and then Lynde and I had our champagne Friday watching What Not to Wear on TLC, while the boys messed around on the computer and watched Lord of the Rings on the other TV.

We slept in as late as we could Saturday, but by 10 AM, Cameron was at the computer doing school work and I was cleaning the house and packing up more donateable goods in anticipation of Vicki and Joe coming down to take a load of donations away from us for a yard sale. By that evening, I was exhausted and had only managed to get to the top of the stairs in my cleaning adventures. I do have to say, it’s been a joy vacuuming since we got the Dyson from my aunt and cousins as a wedding gift – it definitely picks up everything the other didn’t. I kept having to empty it every few minutes, it’s so powerful..

Sunday, Cameron got up and went skydiving for the day, while I continued to clean. I didn’t get too far, just our bedroom and the hallway, but I did get a lot more items packed up for donations. We now have an actual hallway, not a second storage room, yea!

Vicki, Joe, Carrie and Connor all came down around dinner time, which was shortly after Cameron came home from skydiving. We headed over to the Macaroni Grill for a nice dinner before loading up Vicki & Joe’s truck sky high. We got all the donation boxes and half the furniture in! Sadly, the difference from before and after this load is not as much as we had hoped. Now we can walk on either side of the Camaro to get around in the garage, where as before, we only had a small path on one side. Still, we have a lot of crap and a lot more to get rid off.

My next cleaning project is the spare bedroom/my craft room, which is already underway. Once that room is done, and it cools down some, we’ll focus on the garage more. I’m finally feeling close to being settled here, which means I’m closer to focusing on all the craft projects I’ve been meaning to work on, but had delayed in preparation for the move and wedding. I expect to have the spare room pulled together by this weekend, so I may be crafting as early as Sunday or Monday – and Monday is a holiday!

Love Always,
Sarah

Aug 22, 2008

A Trip To The Vet

Today, all 3 kids had appointments with the vet and I was on my own on taking them. Cameron had a previously schedule client meeting - lucky duck! Jake and Kelsey were scheduled for normal check-ups and one vaccine. Mel, on the other hand, had her check-up in July since she had a little cut we wanted to checked out at that time, so this trip was for a sore that had developed on her chin in the last week. All the vet techs thought I was brave for bringing all 3 in at one time, but for me it just makes sense - better to go in all at once than one at a time. The cats make it easy since they prefer being in the same crate for travels. And this way they see they all have to go through it, and that they are not being singled out all the time. Not that they probably remember one trip to the next.

Melody's Progress Report

Melody was nervous the second we walked through the door and was ready to leave at that moment, too. The last visit didn't go so well for her and she had snapped and growled at the vet. We had a different vet this time so I quickly informed her she would want to put a muzzle on Mel before getting acquainted. We muzzled her and Mel did ok. She still preferred to look at the door but she never growled and she even walked near the vet after she was all done. Mel's sore is healing nicely. The vet thought it might have been a bug bite or irritation from a new plant. If it comes back we're to take her back in for a biopsy.

Jake's Progress Report

Jake was my trouble maker today - and he's usually the docile one. He was hissing and growling the second he came out of the crate. He was so bad that the vet wasn't able to check his teeth to see how they were doing. I had to scruff him so she could administer the vaccine. He has been upset with me ever since we got home. I'm sure he'll warm up to me the next time I pour myself a glass of wine - likely later tonight.

Kelsey's Progress Report

Kelsey was the surprise of the day. While she hissed at me when I put her in the crate to leave for the vet, and she didn't want to come out when we did get to the vet, she was mostly well behaved for her check up - she's drawn blood in past visits and she's usually the one to hiss, growl. Kelsey is a little overweight, but she's been this weight for a year so she's not gaining more and more, so she does not need to go on a diet. She's just a little plump and as long as she doesn't gain any more, she can stay that way. Kelsey also had a spot on her chin I was concerned about. It loooked like a scab or flea eggs and just wouldn't go away. I kept telling myself that it shouldn't be fleas, since all the kids get flea medicine once a month religiously. Turns out Kelsey has kitty acne, just like the pimples we get, it just looks yucky. Some can get larger and ooze puss. Sound familiar? Turns out I can easily clean it up with Hydogen Peroxide. I'll try that later, when Kelsey is a little more happy with me. She's been ok with me since the trip back home this morning, but she's still a little suspecting of me.
Kelsey did a-ok with the check up and vaccine. She does have the beginnings of dental disease, so we'll have to schedule her for a cleaning in the next 6-12 months. Mel needs a cleaning too, so we'll schedule them together. We're in debate on whether we have Jake taken care of at that time, too, since the vet couldn't check his teeth and a cleaning would be a good idea in case. It will be a expense so we're going to wait until February when the vet has a special on the cleaning and we may wait to have Jake's done next August when the next special will take place. Yea - more trips to the vet! Can you sense my sarcasm? Ahh the joys of motherhood.


Love always,

Sarah