Sunday, January 30, 2011

Safe'n Sound

My brother, Mike, was nice enough to drive up to SFO with me to pick up Ted. He had been on a two week consulting trip to Greece. I'm glad that he's here instead of so far away!!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

These look like two different batches of cupcakes, actually they are the same. The photo taken with the flash makes the cupcakes look red. The one with no flash looks much darker. They are in the freezer now and will be enjoyed at MY birthday dinner this weekend. I'm studying different frostings to top them with. Am making a second batch of coconut cupcakes later in the week.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Birthday Celebration

For Robin's Birthday my father treated us to a delicious Vietnamese dinner in downtown Palo Alto. It was the best food I've had in the last 20 years.... really. Ted and I are going there next week for lunch!!

Just like KVR

Omelette courtesy of my father. He was replicating breakfast at KVR, whetting his appetite for what's to come in March. (Bear Claw came from the bakery - La Boulanger in Menlo Park)

Friday, January 28, 2011


My father found some old photos.... Lucky this is in black & white... my very stylish glasses were BRIGHT red!!

Winter Garden

In the forground is a wavy bunch of lettuce seedlings. Sprouted on their own. Made it very easy for me to transplant them to the bed beyond.
Bluebery plants in big pots were moved from the side yard to this much sunnier spot. Hopefully they will like it... if not they move somewhere else. In the forground is a pea patch, (which are about 3/4" high) beyond that transplanted lettuce plants. (and NO SNOW) To the right of peas are beets, just tiny red threads at the moment. Working in the yard is another pleasure, courtesy of a warmer climate.

One of the two rhubarb plants that is returning from last spring, freshly fertilized and cultivated, fencing to keep dog out.

When is a rock not a rock?

answer: when it's a bulb

Painting rocks is not as easy as you might think. I keep trying new methods, but am drifting towards mountain landscapes. My class is great!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Borrowed Cable

Yeah! My father let me borrow his camera cable. Now I can resume posting photos. Watch out... you may be bombarded.


My cousin is a world renown authority on rhododendrons and came to the Bay Area to speak at two local garden clubs. We went to the evening talk and were very impressed & entertained. My dad and I drove her to the SJ Airport yesterday. Her visit was short, but we all had a good time.

Walk with Kathy & Bingo

PLEASE click on the above two photos to enlarge them. Incredible.

Kathy cooking Pancakes

My cousin, Kathy, is learning to cook pancakes from a master chef. She did very well !!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Misc. Updates

Finally, my Oriental Brush Painting Class begins tomorrow. I've been waiting patiently. Should be fun. I must admit, swimming in an outdoor pool in the dead of winter with sun on my back is very appealing..... Sure beats the indoor pool in RI. This evening I went with 6 other ward members to a local soup kitchen and served dinner to 65 homeless folks. Everyone should take advantage of such opportunities... makes you realize how very fortunate we all are. Ted has been in Greece for 5 days, teaching. Will stay till the end of the month.

I Passed

Today, after studying some 8th grade math, I went to PA School District to take the Basic Skills Test that I was told I had to take to sub as an "instructional assistant." A man in an inner office hear me telling the secretary why I was there and he came out to talk. To make a long story short... I did not have to take the Basic Skills Test since I had taken the Praxis Test in 1994 and a test to teach middle school in Georgia earlier. YEAH... finally something in this convoluted application process made sense. "Can I sub now?" I asked. "No, not just yet. We're still waiting for your name check with the FBI." "How long does that take?" I asked. "anywhere from a few days to a few weeks." I am not discouraged with any of it now, as I finally see a glimmer of light in the distance. This was definitly the easiest test I've ever passed!!

92nd Birthday Celebration

Yesterday I picked up Ted's Mom and went to a small park in downtown PA to celebrate her 92nd. birthday. Although I grew up in PA I had never gone to this particular park. Except for a horrible parallel parking job we had a great time, enjoying our goodies from Trader Joes and watching all the activity. I had made a quiche, but also picked up a ready made salad and some frozen treats called apple blossoms. They taste like mini apple pies in puff pastry. Teddie introduced them to us and they are WONDERFUL. The sun was blazing. In fact it was too hot for us in the sun, so we moved to a shaded area to eat. In one corner of the park there were 10 toddlers climbing and sliding down a five foot wide concrete slide. Grandma B thought it was a skateboard ramp, but since it ended in a sand pit we knew it was a slide. Mothers and nannies stood nearby. To our left college students were throwing frisbees. About 30 feet away some maintenance men were getting ready to trim a tree. Lots of ativity. Grandma seemed to enjoy it all. I was impressed with the fenced community garden plots which surrounded the area where we sat. It was a great little park. I'm not able to post any photos yet as I forgot my cable. Will try to get a new one.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More Hoops to Jump Thru or NOT

Ted and I decided to become subs in the system we grew up in. It was easy for him, as he had earned a California LIFE credential 40 years ago. (I don't think such an animal is even given today.) My situation is different. Things were moving in the right direction unitl yesterday when the two of us drove to San Jose to "register" my RI credential with the county. I thought we would walk in, hand them the paperwork, and depart. No such luck. First I was told I needed my original diploma from UC, not a copy. (My original is at home, safe in RI) Second, I was told that I needed to have my fingerprints done for the FBI, even though I had gone thru the process on Dec. 21. Turns out that the State needs revenue, so that will be $71.00, please. To top it off, the Praxis tests that I studied so hard for in the mid 90's (and passed) were not accepted in California.... so in order to complete this bureaucratic mess I have to take CBEST, a test just for California. After all that rigamorol I decided to sub as an assistant, only. Much less paperwork for that. When I returned to the local school district offices to see if that would work out the woman said, yes.... but she continued, "You'll have to repeat the fingerprinting because you failed the first one!!!" Of course, I thought.... I had a serious hand injury... At 2:45 Ted and I traveled to the Stanford Sub Station to go thru the fingerprinting process again. The technician told me I would fail again, but after two tries they put your NAME thru the FBI computers instead of your prints. I was totally exhausted by the time this day ended and somewhat disheartened. The ironic thing is the PA School District is in need of subs for art, the subject I enjoy the most.