Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jet Lag?

I have traveled across the US, to Europe, heck, even Africa and up until yesterday I have yet to suffer from jet lag. Sure, I've been tired from my trips before, but nothing like what I have suffered from since returning from visiting my mom in Hawaii.

My flight out of Kona was at 9:30 Sunday evening, yes the red eye, and I arrived in LA at 4:45 am. I returned home about 6:00 am, dutifully unpacked my bags, worked out, and then got my clothes sorted to start the laundry all by 7:30 am. And that was the end of me. About 7:30 I crawled into my wonderful, comfy bed "just for a little while" and woke up at 9:30 am.
I called my friend who was watching my dog while I was away and said I'd be there in a little while to pick up Koho. I went back to sleep and woke up about noon. Often I sat up in bed and told myself it was time to get up and then I'd fall back to sleep. About 2:30 I finally pried myself out of bed, put on sweats and went to get Koho. On my way home I remembered I had laundry to do. So when I got home, I went back upstairs to get the laundry, but found myself back in bed. I think I woke up again about 9:00 PM to let the dog out and went back to sleep. Still forgetting about the laundry.
Even after all the sleeping I did yesterday, I still slept soundly and didn't wake until about 9:00 am. Again, let the dog outside, came back up to bed, checked my email, and fell back to sleep. Finally, about noon I dragged myself out of bed to do the laundry and work out. However, I forgot all about the laundry again and just worked out.
After deciding I had a couple of errands I needed to run I took a shower and then sat on the couch for about an hour trying to get up the energy to go outside. I had three places to go, all three in the same side of town, but instead of going in that direction, I went the other way - the whole time trying to remember where I was going?!?!?!?!
I ended my errands with a trip to the grocery store and I got out of there without incident. As I drove into the garage and saw the washer and dryer I remembered that I needed to do my laundry. So I went upstairs to get the laundry and got side tracked on the computer when I realized that the groceries were still in the car. Ugh!
After the groceries I went outside three times to get the mail and take the garbage cans out and two of those times I forgot why I went outside. Seriously.
It's so weird. This flight was only about 4 1/2 hours and it's only a 2 hour time difference right now. I keep thinking that it's because I'm 35 and not a spring chicken any longer, but I'm hoping it was just because of the red eye!
It's about 10:00 PM, a day later, and I finally feel back to normal. Oh, and I just finished the laundry.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Panda Sneeze

Someone showed this to me Christmas day and it is just too cute not to share. Make sure your sound is on (and my blog music is off) and watch mom's reaction. It is just great! Enjoy!

Meeting the Artist

This past week my mom and I visited the Wyland art gallery in downtown Kona for an artist event. Wyland is a marine life artist who is most known for his 100 "Whaling Walls" all over the world. I have seen his work a lot as it is quite prominent in Southern California and Hawaii. On Sunday, Wyland was at his gallery in Kona and I got to meet him.
After some champagne and hors d'oeuvres he painted a picture in front of everyone. It was amazing! His work is not really my style as far as it doesn't go with the decor in my home (plus it's super expensive), but his work is truly beautiful and to watch him paint was so cool. First he sketched out the honu (sea turtle).

Here is a closeup of the sketch.

After letting the paint dry a bit (and signing books and prints), he went back in and added the color and detail to the honu.

Then he signed his name to the painting.

Here is the finished product. The honus are my favorite part of Hawaii so to watch him paint one right in front of me was quite a sight. I also must add that he was very friendly and seemed to enjoy his audience (I'd be a nervous wreck). It was a fun night! Oh, and in case anyone was interested, the painting was put up for sale for $15,000. Yikes!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mele Kalikimaka!

Merry Christmas From Hawaii!
Taken on Alii Drive, Kona, Hawaii - December 21, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Quiz...Just What I Wanted!

This post was copied from Happy Wife and it's a Christmas quiz. I love quizzes, so here we go.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like wrapping paper and a real pretty bow. If I have time, I make it fancy. When I don't have time, a bag is real easy.

2. Real tree or artificial? Awwww, this answer has always, up until last year, been real. I grew up with real trees. Real trees, real tress, real trees! After a couple of years having to bring home my own real tree, put up my own real tree, keep my own real tree alive, and cleaning up after my own real tree, I now have a fake tree. It sure is easy; Not a good smelling, but easy.

3. When do you put up your tree? When I put one up it's usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take it down? By December 26, I am so sick of all the stuff, it comes down on the 26. One time I even took it down and put everything away on Christmas night.

5. Do you like eggnog? No

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I'm the only child so I got a lot of good gifts. It's hard to say which was the most favorite, but I loved my Big Wheel, my blue ten speed bike, the doll house my dad built, and my first stereo (with record player).

7. Worst Christmas gift ever received? There's been a lot crap, but it's the thought that counts, right?

8. Hardest person to buy for? I have a hard time with most of the adults I buy for. I find as adults, we don't casually comment, "Oh I wish someone would buy me a _____." That makes it difficult to buy gifts.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Because of #8, I have resorted to gift cards for most of my main gifts. I know they are not super personal, but I know I like to receive them. They are much easier.

10. Do you have a nativity scene? I grew up with one, that I played with every year. I do not have one now.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? I make AND mail my Christmas cards.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? "Charlie Brown Christmas" and "A Christmas Story".

13. When do you start Christmas shopping? I'm on the earlier side, Thanksgiving weekend.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Hanukkah brisket - when I lived back East I often spent Hanukkah with some friends of mine. Their aunt made the most delicious brisket. When I moved back to CA I brought the recipe with me and told my dad he had to try it. We now have it every year for Christmas too.

16. Lights on the tree? The new fake tree has the lights build right in.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Good King Wenceslas and another song that I can't figure out the name of it for the life of me.

18. Travel or stay home? This year I'm traveling, but I'd prefer to stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes - "You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet, and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you recalllllllll, the most fa-mous reindeer of ALLLLL? Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer"

20. Angel or star? Star

21. Open presents Christmas morning or eve? In my family, the kids always got to open one present (parent's choice) on Christmas Eve. The rest on Christmas morning, after letting my parents sleep until at least 7:00.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? My parents bought me an ornament every year. After I started riding horses when I was about 6, my ornaments were always rocking horses. I have all those ornaments now. I have a mishmash of themes, but mostly rocking horses. Someday I will a do a tree of just rocking horses. Wouldn't that be pretty?

23. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Inconsiderate people, but that's annoying any time of year.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? Since becoming independently wealthy is probably not something I will get this year, I would say change. My job, my state, my country, my world is in bad shape right now. I'd like things to get better sooner than later.

Now it's your turn!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Random Thoughts

  • It's officiail...I'M SIIICCCKKKK!!!! (said in a whiny, stuffy-nose voice) Friday night after work and some last minute Christmas errands, I arrived home tired after a long, slow week. As the night went on, my throat got a little scratchy, but "No," I thought, I'm probably just tired, so I did some things around the house and went to bed at a reasonable time. Yesterday morning, I got up a bit stuffy, a bit achy, and still with a scratchy throat. I went grocery shopping and picked up some Airborne. That's the stuff that is supposed to stop a cold, but it's also the stuff that looks like throw-up in a glass, blech!! I don't think it works though...I took some NyQuil (my savior) last night and woke up this morning with a full blown head cold. I hate being sick.
  • There are two movies coming out in the next couple of weeks that I am looking forward to seeing. I leave for my mom's this weekend and I'm hoping I can pass the time there by going to the show. Some buttery popcorn might help too. The movies are "Frost/Nixon" and "Nothing Like the Holidays" (with Grace from Will and Grace). My mom wants to see "Marley and Me". I'm not sure if I want to or not...I hear it's a cute story, but the dog dies at the end and for someone who owns an aging pet, that's the last thing I want to see.
  • Am I the only one in the world who can't stand Jim Carrey? I'm sorry, let me clarify, I don't know Jim Carrey, so it's not him the person I can't stand (although maybe I wouldn't like him either), but rather the characters he portrays in the movies. I know his movies are not written for girls, but the movies and the characters he plays just annoy the heck out of me. I am in bed, feeling sorry for my sick self, and watching the chick flick "Someone Like You" with Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman (my new celebrity crush). The preview for "Yes Man" has played about 10 times and the movie following "Someone..." is "Liar, Liar". Ugh! I hate those movies - my opinion, not trying to offend anyone who is JC fan.
  • Did you hear? George Bush had shoes thrown at him in Iraq. Apparently, the throwing of one's shoe in Iraqi culture is a sign of contempt and this guy threw two. I'm surprised the man hasn't had a whole shoe store thrown at him.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Open a Book

(Thanks to Jill for allowing me to use this picture of Téa)
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
-Arnold Lobel
The holidays are just around the corner. If you are looking for a good book for a loved one or a book for you to curly up next to the fire and read, let me help.
The Thirteenth Tale was chosen by Jason for our book club about a year ago. At first I was skeptical. I am not a reader of fantasy/weird/unreal type books. In fact, the back of the book mentions ghosts and ghost stories. I complained a little, but started the book - I always start the books for bookclub, even if I don't finish them. However, after about a chapter I was hooked. It is an outstanding book with a lot of twists and turns and the "ghosts" are explained in the end. It is one of the best books I have read. Really!

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree is an oldie but a goodie. In fact, the book I have is from 1963 and done in ink drawing and green washes. It is very cute and the story is a sing-songy rhyme - there's just something fun about stories that rhyme. My mom read this to me when I was little (way after 1963 by the way) and I loved it. I read it to my students last week and they enjoyed it as well, even without the color pictures. All ages will love it!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Last week I made some card packages for my friend Tami. Tami has been a big supporter of my cards for the last couple of years which is great because I love making them. This year she asked if I would make her some different sets so she could give them as gifts for the holidays. I made 78 cards (packaged into 6) over my fall break from school. Each set has 6 cards and they are inside a small folder tied together with ribbon. I think they turned out pretty cute.

Marey over at elementl-p is doing a fundraiser and I just donated 2 card sets to her good cause. Take a look if you are interested in donating an item or donating to win an item.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

This week, Tasty Tuesday may be a day late and a dollar short, but I wanted to share a side dish I made this year for Thanksgiving. I went to my cousin's house for Turkey Day this year (that's a whole other post) and when I asked if I could bring anything I was told that anything was fine, but if I wanted yams to bring them myself since they weren't being made by the cook. I don't particularly like yams or sweet potatoes, but I figured if they were mentioned I might want to bring them. I looked on AllRecipes.com and found several typical yam dishes, but I just don't like them. But I found this recipe that sounded so much better than the typical candied yams business. Disclaimer: If you like candied yams, that's fine, I am not insulting you here, I just don't personally like them. Please don't leave me a comment that I am stereotyping yam eaters, or that I'm not knowledgeable enough about yams to like them. This is just MY opinion. You don't have to agree with it and I don't have to agree with you. This doesn't make me a bad person.

Anyhow, this dish was a hit with the Thanksgiving diners. I changed up the recipe a bit. Below is how I made it, but I have linked the original.

Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered (Note that sweet potatoes and yams are different. Sweet potatoes are actually a white potato.)
2 tblsp melted butter
2 tblsp brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large cooking apples - peeled, cored, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used Granny Smith)
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook 25 minutes, or until tender but firm. Drain, cool and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8x10 inch baking dish.
3. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar (2 tblsp), cinnamon and nutmeg.
4. Layer sweet potatoes, melted butter (2 tblsp), brown sugar mixture and apples in the prepared baking dish.
5. In a medium bowl, mix flour, remaining brown sugar, remaining butter and pecans. Spread over the top of the apples.
6. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Here is the dish, put together at home before being baked.
It's a sweeter dish than I prefer, but it was tasty. The caramelized sauce on top is delicious. A few people didn't know it was sweet potatoes and were surprised when I told them after eating it. My cousin who doesn't usually try the yams/sweet potatoes tried it and liked it as well. Maybe you can try it for your upcoming winter holiday or save it for next year's Turkey Day!