Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Mom on a Bike and a Marine

My mom came to visit me on the 18th.

I took her for a bike ride.  I cannot tell you the last time I saw her on a bike.. if ever.  It's safe to say that it has been a very long time.  I took her all over.  We rode with the beach on our left down to the harbor and had lunch at Joe's Crab Shack.

I then led her to downtown Oceanside, where we got some frozen yogurt.  I love this new flavor that they have at the Red Cup.  It is Key Lime Cupcake.  It is a mixture of Lime sorbet and cake batter... it is delicious!

As we were eating our yogurt outside, a young Marine came and sat down... with a book.  It looked like he was studying.  Enter a group of three old men.  One old man decided to yell and cuss profusely at another old man.  The cusser sat down with the Marine.  The other two walked on.  The man that sat down with the Marine told him some story about trying to get the other man on the train, but didn't have enough money to get him there.  He asked the Marine if he had some money.

The Marine walked to his car, got all of the change that he had and gave it to the old man.  The old man left.

Then the Marine got back to studying.

Along comes two older black gentlemen.  One walks on... the other decides to talk to the Marine, and then leaves.

The Marine goes back to studying.

I decided that I would buy him some frozen yogurt, because he was really nice to the old man and didn't have to be.  Also, just to thank him for his service.  If I had been by myself, I probably would not have done it, but there is strength in numbers and having my mom near, helped me.

I got him the keylime cupcake, of course... and added sprinkles.

This is how I approached him.  "Excuse me, I got you some yogurt!  To say thank you and you didn't have to be nice to that old man, but you were.!"  He kind of just stared at me and then said thank you.  I don't know if I was aggressive in my talk, but I sure felt as if I was.  Ha ha.

My mom and I hopped on our bikes and as we rode by I said to the Marine, "Have a good day!".  He said, "You too, thank you!"

I like to think I helped make his day better and that I ended his many study interruptions.  It is all about paying it forward, right?

Well, my mom and I left and rode down along the strand and enjoyed the cool breeze and the summer sun.  Later we walked to the pier for dinner at Ruby's.  It was a good day.

Have you done a random act of kindness lately?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lake Gregory

As a child growing up in the Twin Peaks/ Lake Arrowhead area, I often went to Lake Gregory in Crestline, with my mom and brother.

We always went on the north side of the lake.  I remember my mom bringing snacks and juice squeeze.  I love juice squeeze.  It is a carbonated fruit drink.  I found some at Costco recently.  Anyway, it would always get super hot at the lake and scald my throat as it went down, but it tasted so good... I couldn't help but drink it.

We stopped going after a while, because us kids grew up and my mom no longer had the desire to take us to the lake anymore.  Plus, one time my brother and I were swimming in the lake and we swear that we saw a two headed fish!  Ahh!

I had to break past my fears the weekend of July 17th, because Tamara's sister had a birthday party for her 4 children at the lake... on the north side.  I did not physically get in the lake, but I finally got to ride a water trike and it was glorious... and a lot of work.  Who knew?

The lake and mountain look great. I didn't see any remains of the bark beatle trees.  The lake was looking pretty healthy as well.  The one thing that hasn't changed is the massive amounts of lake weed!  Everywhere!!

I always feel so lucky to have grown up on the mountain... but everytime I visit, I realize that there is no way I could ever live there again.  Perhaps if I ever have my own children, I will rethink this.

Look how much fun we had out on the lake!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Only July 11th, 7/11 gave away free slurpees!  It was awesome.  Who doesn't love a good slurp?

Due to this amazing gift, Tamara and I drove to 4 different 7/11 stores.  One did not participate and this was sad.  Another establishment gave us free chips as well.  Bonus!

We had fun eating our slurpees, can you tell?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Matchbox 20 with Vanessa Carlton

What a show!

I have listened to Matchbox 20 forever.  I have their first album on cassette!

My mom is a huge fan as well and that is why when Pechanga Casino was having them kick off their summer concert series, I got tickets so fast!  The concert was on July 9th.  It was a lovely day for a concert.  Despite our horrible seats, we enjoyed a rocking show.

Vanessa Carlton was very good.  Boy can she play a piano!!  She was very quiet and calm.  I think this was great, because it made Matchbox 20 even better.  Rob Thomas is a great performer and they all work well as a band.

At one point Rob Thomas went to use the stage towel... thinking it would be hand towel size, but it was a full sized towel.  He found this to be very funny and he wrapped it around his waist and pranced around for a while.  Funny to those in attendance only, I am sure.

Any song you have ever heard on the radio... they played!  It was bloody fantastic!!  I knew all but one of them and that always makes for a better concert!

Thanks Matchbox 20 for a rgeat night!

The middle blob is Rob Thomas.  Ha, ha.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homemade Pesto

A week or so ago, my friends Micah and Josiah, and I made homemade pesto... and then we ate it.

It all started with Micah's lovely Basil plant.   Look ar these lucious leaves!  Hand picked by me and Josiah... maybe two by Micah.  Only because he wanted to eat.

This is what it looked like on our pasta.  It was alright is the taste department.  I think we are going to have to make a few tweaks here and there.  Overall, it was a grand first attempt.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Fourth of July edition 2011

The Fourth of July has come and gone.

I found it kind of amazing at how the holiday snuck up on me and then waved goodbye.

Now the month is nearly over!

I didn't think that I was going to be doing anything for the 4th, because my friend Tamara was working.  As it turns out, she got off of work early and we were invited to go out on the Sea Star.  The Sea Star or Ocean Star ... Hmmm.  Either way, it is a boat and it took us out in Oceanside Harbor.  We watched excitedly as Camp Pendleton lit up the sky with an amazing display of fireworks.

It was no Prague, Czech Republic for the New Year, but it was fun and beautiful in its own rite.

Sun setting in the Harbor.

Ahh... an American staple.

Some views from the boat:

Tamara with her future sister-in-law (left) and mother-in-law (right).


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Two Books in Review

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

This photo is from Spectrum Magazine.

I had no idea what this book was about when I bought it a few years ago and I still had no idea when I began to read it a few weeks ago.  I knew that I liked the cover. It was colorful and looked cool.  I was curious that is for sure.  I did not know many people who had read it, or even heard of it for that matter.

So, I dove into the words.  At first I had a hard time transitioning into Kingsolvers way of writing, but once I got over that I zoomed through the book.  It really is well written and tells a great story of a family that goes through some major changes.  That might be an understatement.  There are some things that happen at the end of the book, that I did see coming and definitely some things that I never dreamed of.

Over all, quite a good story and I am glad that I read it.  If my synopsis is a little too vague, I did that on purpose.  I've left this book open to your interpretation.  Read this book for an experience you won't regret.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg

This photo is from

I grew up watching this movie.  It is one of my moms favorite movies, as well as one of mine.  I have always enjoyed this story.  I wanted it to be my first book selection, for my book club, but I went in another direction.  I am so glad that I finally got to read this book.

I only just started it a couple of days ago and I am already finished.  It is such an easy and fun book to read.  Those of you who are familiar with the movie, might find a few things amiss, but most things from the book are the same in the movie.

As you know someone dies in this book and that someone was particularly close to my grandma's age when she passed, recently.  When I got to this part of the book last night, I cried, silently in the bathroom for about 10 to 15 minutes.  I really miss my grandma and all of that emotion hits me randomly.  Why cry in the bathroom??  Well, my friend went to bed early and I didn't want to wake her.

Putting my grandma aside for a moment... it really was a good book.  A fun and light summer read.  Pick it up today.  And if you are lucky, you will get it at a used book store for one dollar, just like I did

Mutant Grapefruit!

Wow!  Look at this giant grapefruit!  It was delicious!

The insides!

Straight from my Gramps' tree.  I picked it mysef.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

An Ocean Swim

Last night I went for a swim in the Ocean.

I got to the beach just as the sun was beginning to set... a little after 7pm. I stayed until the sun was completely down (a little after 8).  I wish so badly I had a water proof camera, because the colors that were being displayed in the sky were out of this world.

The water was warm and calm.  It called to me.  It told me I had to swim in it.  How can you argue with that?

It was exciting to see the pier lite up in the shimmering sea.  It was all quite spectacular!

Tamara and I were in our own little world, but as we swam around, we could see others in their worlds.  There was a family doing a photo shoot, two older gentlemen fishing... where the waves met the sand, surfers trying to catch the perfect wave, and a few stragglers walking about.

All quite wonderful, I must say!

Annual Not Quite the 4th of July Party

For the past four years, I have gone to my friend Stacie's sister's house for a party.  It is the weekend just before the fourth of July.  It is always a bunch of fun.  of course there is a theme and we all must bring delicious treats.

Here's what I enjoy at the party:

1.  Some sort of outfit contest.
2.  Some sort of food contest.
3.  Playing with the wii (although, we didn't do that this year).
4.  Good people.
5.  Good fun.
6.  Good food.

This years theme was Luau and I think we all did very well with our attire.

Stacie and Monica looking Luausome!

Cute straws.  There were islands too.

Stacie's mom made this watermelon into a fun centerpiece... it held chopped fruit!

I made this Coconut cake.  It is from Sweet Gratitude.  It was pretty good.

Friday, July 22, 2011

East Bound on the 76

The other day I was with a friend and we were going east bouind on the 76.  There was a bit of traffic, but we were stuck with the same group of cars during our travels.  At one point I looked over to the car on our right and there was a man in a small silver sports car.  He had to have been around my age or early thirties.  He was probably a Marine.

Anywho...  When I looked over, he was stretching his arm out of his roofless silver sportscar... fanning out his fingers.  Yeah, sure that's normal.  I stretch my arms and hands out every now and again.  There ain't no problem here.

But, what he did next was very odd and made Tamara and I feel weird.

He began tracing the outline of his side mirror with his pointer finger... repeatedly.  It was very odd and I couldn't quite figure out why one would do this.  He did this slowly and with meaning.  I pointed this out to Tamara and she just laughed.  We were so confused.

So, naturally I did this to the side mirror on the passenger side... laughing with Tamara as I did it.  That is when this girl passed... looked at me with a confused look and laughed.

Well... hopefully she will forget what my face looks like.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Damien Rice

I have followed Damien Rice for a while now, but I do not own any of his albums and that is surely sad.  He always comes out with amazing work.  I do not know how old the following song is, but I am glad that I found it.

9 Crimes by Damien Rice

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Which version do you like best?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Running Shoes

Take a look at these bad girls!

This is my third pair of Brooks Adrenaline running shoes in 4 years.  I love them.

That blue color is really a great purple!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The San Diego Padres

On June 26th, I went to a Padres game with my best friend Stacie, her sister, her niece, and her brother-in-law.  I took the Coaster and trolley down to Petco Stadium.  It was a nice ride and a lot of the riders were also heading to the game.  The third game in a series against the Braves.  The Padres at this point had won a game and lost a game.

I am here to tell you that they won this series! The Braves scored the first run of the game in the 8th ending and the Padres cames back with 4 runs... winning the game!  Woo hoo!

It was military appreciation day... they were recognizing the Marines.  They did this cool uniform presentation.  They had current Marines (male and female) in uniforms from WWI though present day.  It was neat to see how the Marine Corps has changed their look over the years.  A Marine band opened the game for us and Drill Sergeants took the field until the players came out.  The Padres were wearing camouflaged jersies.

The Marine Band

Free Batting gloves!

All of us.

We are being happy because the Padres won!

We all had a good time.  It is always nice to go to a game.  You get your required junk food and get to hang out with good friends... and sometimes, you even watch the game!  Ha ha.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Del Mar (San Diego) Fair

The last time I went to the Del Mar Fair, it was actually called the Del Mar Fair... not the San Diego Fair.  I was three or four at the time and all I remember is that my dad took me on a ride that I did not like one bit.  In fact, I cried and he got them to stop the ride, so I could get off.

That was twenty three or twenty four years ago.  Now that I want to go on the rides, I choose not too, because they are a rip off.  The amount of tickets they require turns out to be something ridiculous like 5- 10 per ride and they do not last very long.

But, who goes to the fair for the rides?  I go for the food.  I actually did not eat much food there.  Boo.  I had some tasty chili cheese fries made with criss cut fries.  YUM!  Tamara ate... a... chocolate... covered... corn... dog!!  Ew.

We saw baby llamas, sleeping goats, fluffy bunnies, silly guinea pigs, and goats... lots and lots of goats.

We walked around the exhibit hall and watched others ride the rides and heard a few country singers sing a song or two.  We got to check out the art show too. 

We saw prizes and beautiful and large flowers.

We posed as chocolate covered bananas and how could I forget!...  We saw a cute baby chikadee.

All in all, I'd say we had a lovely time at the fair.