My Many Musings

Having an online home for sharing thoughts, stories, and ideas makes me happy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My bags are packed, part 2

I did it! I managed to get all of my clothes for our weekend trip into one mid-size duffel bag! What will I do with my purchases from the Mall of America, though??? I hope the stores will ship things back home...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tea Time

Tea houses are so much fun! I'm not a particularly "girlie girl," but I do enjoy a full afternoon tea with friends. There's something so intimate and special about being in a setting with delicate china and beautiful table linens. I love it!

Today I had afternoon tea with one of my dear friends. She had never been to a tea house before. It was lovely being there with her as she was experiencing a full tea for the first time. After we ordered our pots of tea, we were invited to look around at the displays in order to select the perfect teacup and saucer for each of us. It's nice to have an interactive feature to a dining experience. :o) The server also invited us to borrow one of the many hats, shawls, or beads from the bureaus and hatstands in the back of the room. While we opted to go hatless, we were charmed by a blonde preschooler who helped her mother and grandmother select the perfect accessories for their tea.

We chatted about our family and other news while we enjoyed the most amazing scones I've had this side of the Atlantic. Topped with Devonshire cream, these were easily the highlight of the tea. We nibbled on some delicious finger sandwiches and a small salad that were refreshing on this rather stifling day. The desserts were well worth the wait - lemon bars, trifle, & chocolate-dipped strawberries. Spectacular!

The menu was wonderful, the conversation sincere, and the setting idyllic. It was a wonderful afternoon. And I didn't even think about that packing I'm supposed to be doing...

Monday, June 26, 2006

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...almost...

We're leaving on Thursday for a long weekend in Minnesota. Because this is a sports-related trip, we are carting large bags of equipment that no security screener will want to smell, let alone touch, even with rubber gloves. Hockey equipment is bulky and stinky, a deadly combination when traveling. I'm pondering my wardrobe needs and have posed a challenge for myself: Can I, the most prolific overpacker in the history of travelers, fit everything I need in a duffel bag that is slightly larger than a backpack? Tune in tomorrow for more on "Luggage-gate."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Current read


I confess...I am a reality show junkie. I don't watch every reality show on TV, but I do have some favorites: Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother (some seasons), Hell's Kitchen, Blow Out, Project Runway, Top Chef, Take Home Chef, House Hunters, and the new one called Treasure Hunters. When I read a review of this book in a magazine recently, I knew I had to put this on my summer reading list; Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst.

The premise: Several teams of two people are competing in a race/treasure hunt around the world similar to Amazing Race with elements of Survivor and Treasure Hunters thrown in. The teams each have a pre-existing relationship similar to AR, such as mother/daughter, friends, and married couple. As the competition intensifies, so do the latent and surface issues between the pairs.

Carolyn Parkhurst has chosen to tell the story from the pov of each of the contestants, moving the story along by alternating narrators for each chapter. This works well in conveying the true feelings of each of the characters toward their partners, the game, and their lives in general. Abby's vulnerability and Cassie's teenage "whatever" are two of the more powerful voices in the story so far (I've read about 25% of the book as of this writing.).

It's funny, poignant, and an easy summer read.

And now, back to my book.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Farmer's Market

Another Saturday morning, another farmer's market...

Actually, I don't get to the farmer's market as often as I would like. The closest one to me is held every Saturday morning, a time during which I'm often cleaning my house or at a game with my family. When I do get to go, I LOVE just meandering past the stalls, browsing the sellers' goods and enjoying the conversations between shoppers and sellers. Taking in the intoxicating scent at the lavender stall is a highlight every time.

Sometimes there are little surprises at the farmer's market. On this trip, several of the sellers had, gasp, moved from their usual spaces. This change of layout prompted me to take an extra lap around the stalls to make sure that I hadn't missed anything. Being a creature of habit, little things like this sometimes throw me, but I managed to locate nearly everything I was looking for, and even a few impulse buys. ;o)

Samples are everywhere at the farmer's market. "Would you like a peach slice? Only $1 per pound for these juice beauties!" "Come on over for a blueberry sample!" "Delicious cheeses ready for tasting right here!" "Wouldn't you love a muffin sample to go along with your morning coffee?" It's a virtual buffet that improves upon the Costco version because everything is so fresh and ready to eat. Yum!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sizzling Sacramento Summers



Sacramento is a great place to live from October through May. June through September, however, is an endurance test for those of us brave enough to live here. Having met my Sacramento-native husband while in college in Davis, we were destined (doomed?) to set up house in this area. The intense heat does not sit well with me, so I spend most of my summer days in the shade or in the air conditioning for my survival.

My husband and son would slightly disagree with me. They love the hot, sunny days by the pool. Two rivers and a lake are only minutes away, those being the driving force behind the purchase of a new runabout boat last week. What better way for them to enjoy the summer heat than on one of the many waterways sprinkled throughout the city? (photo courtesy of County of Sacramento)

Supersport, my 15 year old son, is currently doing three sports: football every afternoon, baseball 3-4 evenings per week, and ice hockey on the weekends. He loves all three, and the two outdoor sports don't even bother him in the summer. In fact, I think he loved playing his baseball game in yesterday's 104 degree heat. (For the record, my current favorite of his three sports is ice hockey because it comes with MAJOR air conditioning...I even have to wear a jacket inside!) Is it any wonder that his favorite beverage is Gatorade Frost?

As for me, I will plan my day around the heat: Costco run before noon, continued indoor chores throughout the afternoon, dipping my toes in the pool after the sun goes down at 8:30, reading in my climate-controlled living room through the evening. Mantra of the day: hydrate!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A new day

Yesterday I had one of those days where things didn't go according to plan. I had every intention of continuing with my organization and cleaning project, a major undertaking saved for the summer months. Little things cropped up in the morning that kept me from getting back into my project. That was okay, though, because I knew the afternoon would be quieter. Alas, the dishwasher decided to stop working properly, which presented a new set of problems that needed my immediate attention. I was frustrated, grumpy, and really annoyed at the unwanted interruption. The day ended on a sour note, with a broken dishwasher and discontent over what could have been, had there been time to accomplish some things.

This morning I walked into the kitchen and was immediately reminded of yesterday's frustrations. A day later, however, things don't seem nearly as bleak as they did in the heat of the moment. I see the day ahead of me and it looks like a good one. The dishwasher isn't working. No big deal. The sun is shining. Our dogs are happily loping around the backyard. My teenager is sleeping peacefully. My husband is on an office visit and will return later with the needed part for the dishwasher. The US vs. Ghana soccer game is on in the background (and the US just scored a goal!!!). It feels like a good day already, and I haven't even had a cuppa.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stuff, Stuff, and More Stuff

After a week of trying to organize just one of the bedrooms in our home, I have come to the realization that we have too much stuff. Every drawer and closet that I open reveals more stuff! In between rummaging through the stuff, I take breaks to chauffer my son to his activities. Sometimes while I am out, I stop at the grocery store or a discount store to buy stuff that, at that moment, seems necessary to purchase. Then I take the new stuff home and try to make it coexist with the previously acquired stuff.

Will this cycle ever end? Will I ever reach the point where I have rid my house of the non-essential stuff? Will I learn to manage and properly organize the stuff that I need to keep?

I think I'll go to the gym and look at their stuff for awhile...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Beginnings

In the beginning, there was a blank page, a keyboard, a diet soda, and a dream...

I found my way here by way of a great web site, http://www.girlswriteout.blogspot.com. Kristen Billerbeck, a witty Chick Lit author and fellow Californian, is one of the contributors to Girls Write Out. I was inspired to finally create my own blog after visiting Kristen's website (http://www.kristinbillerbeck.com/index.htm) and then following the link to Girls Write Out. Many thanks to both sites and all four authors for enticing me to take this step into the world of blogging.