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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,