Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve

I have the day off today and am literally just loafing around, I slept until 10:30 (delicious). I figure I mind as well enjoy it before the New Year starts and I promised myself I would not be so lazy in the new year. We will see what happens.

The weekend was pretty nice. Saturday we went and ran errands, went to the mall to get a belt for Tim and we also got our annual photo booth photos taken - so fun! Then we went to Target (I had to return something) and we went to Costco. For Christmas, my parents gave us a gift card for Costco and we purchased a Sirius satellite radio with it. When we got home we made some coffee and ate the cinnabon's we got at the mall, as I read the instructions for wiring the antenna to the radio in my car. It sounded more complicated that it really was.

Sunday, Tim went with me to the monthly membership meeting at the Maltese American Social Club. It was his first time there and the meeting was hilarious (as always). It was the current President's last meeting so he had to give his speech about his accomplishments, etc. We also had to vote on some new positions. The President has been a member of the club since 1947, which I think is incredible. He has basically done everything there and it was his time to retire. When the meeting was over we came home and wired the new radio into the car. I had to run some wires beneath the dash board which was actually kind of fun because it was a challenge. I only had time to run the antenna before Tim had to leave for a tennis match. When he got home, I finished in the dark of the driveway and activated the radio. Since that was done we decided we had to go for a drive to check it out. We went out for dinner and had a fun time playing with the radio. I think it will make my commute a little better, did you know there is 4 NPR stations on there? I don't have a long distance commute, just a lot of traffic and it seems to be getting worse over the years - that is what makes it long. So now, while I sit in traffic, I can be listening to a Grateful Dead concert on the Dead 24/7 channel or I can listen to a great interview on NPR talk. The options are endless. I love it and haven't really even explored all of the channels. There is even a Martha Stewart channel!

Anyway, I have to run out for a walk to the drug store soon - I need some black nylon stockings. Tim and I are going to the New Years Eve Dinner Dance at the Maltese Club tonight. We have never gone out on New Years Eve, all the years we have been together, this is the first time we have gone anywhere. It should be fun! I will report back tomorrow if I have the energy to blog.

Happy New Year! Be safe tonight whatever you do!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Highs and Lows of 2007

Well, I actually had to look back at my past posts and my journal to compile this list. This past year was a blur, I tell you. With so much focus on the adoption, I forgot about some other things that I did this year.
  • Took Ballet 101 Class at San Francisco Ballet and got an in depth and behind the scenes look at the ballet.
  • Recovered myself from identity theft - pain in the ass, but I recovered everything, so I count it as a high.

  • My brother came to visit in February and in July!

  • My sister came to visit in April (with my Mom) and in August!

  • Finished ALL adoption paperwork (home study visits as well)

  • Angela had baby Frankie!

  • Katie (cousin of Tim) had baby Reece!

  • Got a new fridge (after three weeks without one)

  • Reorganized my craft space


  • Missed the Yoga Journal Conference due to illness
  • Had to cancel India trip last minute because someone stole my identity (didn't get as far as they could have, but it was bad enough, believe me).

  • Got serious Spring/Travel Fever and still have not gotten over it

  • Sneezed my back out of whack on my 33rd Birthday

  • Apache, need I say more? (see Sept. 5 post for more info.)
Well, not as good of year as I was hoping for, but I think 2008 is going to be a goodie!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Almost 2008

I have been thinking a lot about the end of the year, reflecting on 2007 and thinking of resolutions for 2008. Seems like when I wrapped up 2006 last year, I had a lot of things accomplished and I don't have too much this year. Maybe when my list is done I will feel better about the year. So far my biggest accomplishment was finishing the adoption paperwork process. We will see if I come up with more.
To be continued...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back to the Grind

Hey folks, hope you all had a nice Christmas.
I slept through midnight mass, I couldn't rally to get out the door, Tim went without me though. I also decided when I went to bed that I would sleep through Christmas since it was just Tim and I this year and we didn't really have anything special planned PLUS I have been sad, depressed, homesick, etc. I only made it until about 11:30 AM though. I woke up and the top half of the Christmas tree had burned out or the fuse blew, if that was any indication of the day ahead, I wanted to go back to bed. So I slept for another half hour or so and then Tim woke me up and told me Santa left something for me under the tree. He brought me the companion book to the TV Show "No Reservations" (Anthony Bordain), which I love. I was completely surprised because he remembered that I mentioned wanting it one day when we were at the store. I also felt bad, because we had decided not to buy each other stuff for Christmas since money is way too tight right now. It was very sweet though and made the day a little bit better. The rest of day we just hung out at home, I tinkered around with my sewing machine and made a big pot of spaghetti. We watched "Home Alone" in the evening and then went to bed. Back to work today as if it were not even Christmas, kind of sad. Next year should be better (I hope).

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to all of you!
Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy being with your friends and family.
Getting ready to enjoy some hot coffee here in order to stay up for midnight mass. We are walking to a church that is close by, it should be nice. Just Tim and I this year so we thought we would take advantage of being able to get to mass in the middle of the night. Next year (God willing) we may not be able to do it because we hope Olive will be here.
Sleep tight, I hope Santa leaves you all some nice things under your tree.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Sweets & Treats

I love holiday sweets and treats (maybe even a little too much). I am a sucker for packaging as well. I wish there were more things available throughout the year that came in cute packages like Panettone does at Christmas time. Who can argue a great sweet bread treat that comes in its own carrying case with a ribbon on top in which to carry it by?I also have a soft spot for peppermint. Candy canes, peppermint ice cream, peppermint mocha, peppermint bark, you name it, peppermint can do no wrong this time of year. I think my fondest memory of peppermint is sitting at Church with my Mom on Sunday mornings and she always seemed to have starlight mints in her purse. I got a whiff of them each time my Mom would exhale, they always smelled so good, but I didn't really enjoy the taste as a child. So maybe peppermint is more of an adult thing, I am not sure, but I do love it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Recent Crafts

A couple of weeks ago I made these cute teacup candles. Seems like I have seen them in a couple magazines the past few months (Martha Stewart and Country Living) so I decided I would give it a shot. They were super easy to make, and people seem to like them. It is amazing the amount of teacups that are missing saucers (not to mention cute shapes and patterns) you can get for next to nothing at your local thrift shop or Salvation Army. The hardest part for me was deciding on who would get each teacup! I made twelve of them and have some left for random gifts, etc.
Here are 2 of my favorites...
Another cool thing I just did, well not really a craft, just spray paint. I spray painted this old twine holder I had, it was rusty wrought iron and not very fun, so I gave it a face lift - it looks super cute with my gigantic cone of bakers twine on it, don't you think? The little loop on top used to be a cutter for the string, but it is super old and does not cut anymore but I love it.

The City in Lights

Here are a couple photos I took last night when we went to see "The Wizard of Oz", which was, so incredible! I have never seen it on the big screen PLUS with live orchestra, it was amazing! I highly recommend it. Here are photos of Davies Symphony Hall (where we were) and the War Memorial Opera House (where the Nutcracker is currently being performed). They are right across the street from each other. In the last photo, you can see my blue jeep, great parking spot for the evening huh? I got super lucky with that one!

Christmas at Home

I did a little photo shoot of my tree and thought I would post it. I want to remember next year, what I did this year so I don't repeat. Anyway, here she is surrounded by my collection of bottle brush trees and vintage holiday characters in all her glory.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Follow the Yellow Brick Road...

Tonight Tim and I are going to see "The Wizard of Oz" at Davies Symphony Hall and the symphony is going to play all of the music live! We usually go to the Nutcracker, but this year, we decided to change it up a bit.
I am excited to go to the civic center area tonight. Everything will be lit up and festive and maybe it will start to feel like Christmas to me. I really didn't get into it at all this year. I think part of it is due to the financial exhaustion from the adoption and we are still saving for the last chunk. I tried to plan all of my homemade gifts for the summer time so I would have them done and that didn't happen at all. Oh well! I guess there are going to be years where things like this happen. I should probably start next years stuff now though if I am going to go in the handmade direction. Who knows, I may have a baby by then!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mail from Malta!

I was sort of down in the dumps when I got home from work today, but when Tim handed me the mail and an unusual stamp was peaking out of the usual stack of bills and Christmas cards. I grabbed the corner with the stamp and slowly pulled it out, it was from Malta! It was a very sweet card with a note from my Mom's cousin and her husband and my second cousin (AKA Mary Rose, Frank and Father Ray). I was so excited about it, my eyes teared and I called my Mom to tell her about it and read her the note that was inside. Funny thing is, I have been thinking about them so much and have really been wanting to go to Malta again to visit them. I sent them one of our cards and a letter as well - hopefully it will get there soon.

Anyway, not to poo poo all of the other Christmas cards we have been getting at all, I love them all, just was surprised to hear from Malta! It made my day!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Ladies of the Maltese Club

I am a little behind on my posts, but last Tuesday was the annual Maltese American Social Club Women's Committee gift exchange.
We had a nice sit down dinner together. My new pals at the club will only speak to me in Maltese, they tell me that is the only way I am going to learn. Tough love I guess.
Anyway, we had a nice dinner, dessert and then the gift exchange.
I gave a painted Italian pasta bowl from Macy's that I will admit, would have loved to have kept for myself. Last year I was number 36 in line to pick my gift from the pile, but this year, I was number 5! No pressure, I was surrounded by lovely wrapped gifts all calling out "pick me, pick me". I went for a mid size box, wrapped in snowy white paper as shiny as ice with the print of holly berries dancing all over it. Atop was a nicely tied simple red ribbon.
I took my gift back to my seat and proceeded to open it. Beneath the paper my gift reveled itself. I got a nice set of glass candle holders with round white candles to go with them. Honestly, they are not my style, but they are nice and I was glad I didn't get the snowman fountain that the lady next to me got.
It wasn't as exciting as last year, when I started the fire (by accident of course) but it was really nice. I love hanging out with the ladies at the club, I wish there were more people there my age, but I guess everyone is too busy to get involved in their culture. The ladies I sat with were telling me what it was like in Malta during WW II and all that they went through as children, it was amazing and sad at the same time. The human spirit is incredible to me. These are some strong women that I completely love and admire. I thank God for leading me on my trip to Malta, finding my family there and also introducing me to these fantastic ladies. I will never know my Grandfather but I would like to think that he would be proud that I am involved with the Maltese Club and I think I see a little of him in the men at the club as well. If they are a tiny glimpse of what he was like, it makes me sad to have never met him.

Monday, December 10, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things....

Hey, if Oprah can have a "favorite things" list in her magazine and a "favorite things" episode on her show, why can't I have one on my blog.
Here goes...these are a few of my favorite things right at this moment.


Falling asleep while watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on my little DVD player next to my bed.

Hammonds Christmas Ribbon and Snowflake Candy

Christmas Get to Know Me

My blog friend Karen Beth turned me on to this and I couldn't wait to fill it out.
Thanks KB, Happy Holidays!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper and real ribbon

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real if I had the space, for now, my little 3' table top has to do the job

3. When do you put up the tree? First weekend in December

4. When do you take the tree down? Weekend after New Years Day

5. Do you like eggnog? SoyNog yes, eggnog I like it but would be a snotty mess if I drank it

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Cassette recorder - it was red and I was in love with recording myself

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, I have three. One was Grandma Nettie's when she was in the Arnold Home, I love it. One of them is tiny and inside a gourd, Wendy gave it to me this year, it is in my office.

8. Hardest person to buy for? This year, everyone, I don't have any money to spend so I don't have to worry about it.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Emily, always.

10. Mail or E-Mail Christmas Cards? Mail, the post people are heroes this time of year

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Lets not go there, everything was given to me with good intentions and love and that is really all the matters.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas in Connecticut

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Didn't shop this year, but did plan on what to make people back in July.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, to the Salvation Army, but not re-gifted - I think that is bad juju

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Any cookie made by my Mom - favorite are her springerle cookies

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? White, clear, anything but colored.

17. Favorite Christmas song? anything off the Johnny Mathis Christmas Album in my parents basement or Barbara Streisand's crazy version of Jingle Bells. To be honest, Christmas music most of the time makes me sad and home sick and I only listen to it when I know I can handle it (on a non emo day).

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home is in Michigan with my family not here in San Francisco - but I have not been there for Christmas since I moved here in 1996. Traveling during the holidays, the mere thought of it will give me a panic attack although I don't know what is worse, crying on Christmas or traveling and waking up in my childhood home on Christmas. Maybe next year, I will go home.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes, because I have 'twas the night before Christmas memorized

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel, but my little tree would fall over with her on top, so I don't have her on there right now.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? If there are presents to open, Christmas morning please.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Commercialism, Greediness and Grinchy people

23. Favorite ornament theme or Color? White lights, with silver ornaments, they reflect the light nicely.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Did you read how long it has been since I have been home for Christmas? I don't remember what my Mom used to cook when I was home. Come to think about it, I have not had a Christmas dinner since I moved out here, that is REALLY sad. We usually have what is in the house, cheese, crackers, soup, frozen meal, etc.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I want to be able to go to Mass on Christmas Eve with my husband and sleep in on Christmas day.


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