Friday, July 3, 2009

Our Poem

Yesterday we wandered Pike Place Market and got a poem written for us. Here it is:
Just in
An embrace of
Serenity, under a sun
Noble dreams
and promises, you
Cherish life's most precious gift, in the
Horizon of a
Reveling cuddle by the
Inner peace of great affection,
Serving one another for
The existential purpose of an
Inviting good
Near a rainfall of stars
As our children grow in the garden of faith.

I will add a picture of our poet since he didn't sign the poem. Hope you like it and now we are off to cruising and no Internet access. Take care!!

The poet

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Portland Trip Update

So we have been in Oregon three days and already gone into Portland two times (we did drive through part of Portland on the way in so I guess we have been to Portland everyday... sorta anyway). We have been to Powell's World of Books (could live there), Portland Art Museum, the Waterfront, The Saturday Market, Rock Bottom Brewery (good Belgium but only seasonal), Pizza Schmizza (the best pizza ever), and Washington Park. It has been so much fun and people are so nice. Plus they always answer your questions without you needing to ask (the sort of listen in to your conversations so be careful, though the advice and info is cool). The Max is great too!

There are tons of pictures and stories to come but I just wanted to try my new mobile blogger and give you a little teaser while I am away. More soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vacay anybody?

So as I promised I am here again to tell you a little bit about our upcoming trip. I also promised to show you my hair but I am not happy with the color (all my fault) so you will just have to wait until our vacay pics.

So J and I decided to go visit my brother and sister-in-law in Oregon. We can't wait to see Portland as well as other parts of the state. We are even going to try out for the 150 year anniversary contest in Oregon (we need to do 5 different things listed on their site in at least two of the regions of Oregon). I think we should have no trouble with this but we will see. Also we will be spending time with some of J's friends so he is thrilled.

Then we get to see Seattle for a few days (I have always loved the city since I saw the movie Sleepless in Seattle). Then we take a cruise to Alaska!!! How cool is that? I almost moved there once and now I finally get to see it.

After that we don't know but maybe the Oregon coast or the California Redwoods. Either way there will be lots to report when I get back. I promise to try and blog while I am gone but I can't promise to actually blog... who knows about the Internet and computer access. So stay tuned and have a great rest of the month and Fourth of July!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jason's new.....

Hair! OK so it is the same old hair but a new look for it. We decided before we went on our big vacation (more on this later) that we should get our hair trimmed... well trimmed came out a little differently for both of us (I will show you mine tomorrow).

OK so above is the old Jason... from about a week ago when we BBQed together for the first time on our tiny (but efficient) BBQ. And below is the new Jason. No it is not a great picture but it shows the hair. I think it looks great... except I don't always recognise him. I freaked out waking up to him since I didn't recognise the hair... oops!

So I will show you mine tomorrow and tell you all about our up coming trip... which means I will be gone and this blog will be on hiatus for about a month. I promise to come back with lots of cool pictures and tales so stick around. More tomorrow! What do you think of hubby's new hair?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Our Lake Tahoe Trip

So we just got back from our trip (OK a couple of days ago but still). We had a blast, everything except for the horrible beds... way too soft for us... was wonderful. I got two huge blisters on the first day and suffered the rest of the time (serves me right). But we did and saw a good deal. We won about $15 and only gambled $10 (so we came out ahead).

Above is the view from our room (part of it). I was really surprised that we got a partial lake view for our price. Mont Bleu was actually pretty nice and quiet... however, there was no one there. The clubs all seemed closed and the buffet wasn't open either. I am sure once season really starts in a week or so it will improve.

We also traveled to see Emerald Bay but did not hike down to it (the road was under construction and we didn't want to get trapped and have to circle the lake). Jason even found an interesting plant to investigate. We would have hiked more (like to the waterfall across 89 from the bay) but my blisters were killers and we didn't want to make them worse.

We also tried to eat at some interesting restaurants. We tried the Forest Buffet (at the top of Harrahs) which has an amazing view and not too bad of a price, and Fire + Ice, which is more of a sports bar but does have nice beer on tap and the Mongolian BBQ is fun (but very expensive). We also ate at my favorite breakfast place, Heidi's. This is us... the only picture we have of both of us from the trip. I guess we will have to try harder next time.

Now we need to prepare for our next adventure... the Pacific Northwest: Portland, Seattle, Canada, and Alaska (last two by cruise) and maybe even the California Redwoods. Any ideas for what we need to see?

Monday, June 8, 2009

We're going to lake Tahoe and we're gonna get mar-air-aired....

OK not really since we are already married but I did want to get married there... actually I wanted to elope but that didn't happen, and I am happen it didn't. So J has never been to Lake Tahoe (I used to go at least every other summer) and we found amazing prices at one of the casinos at South Lake (my favorite part of the lake). It really is an unbelievable deal and to top it off J is preparing a list and check sheet for packing and traveling... I usually do that but now I can just relax and enjoy the trip because someone else is being the planning guru!!!! I love J!!!

This is our first real trip (though we did go to Maine and to visit MIL when we lived on the East Coast but nothing huge). This is also the first trip since we got married, no honeymoon only a wedding night stay over, so this is like our mini-moon. Actually, this and Oregon will constitute our first family trip as a family... no the cat is not coming.

I hope the weather is nice enough to be outside. I will post pics and tell you all about it when we get back... and maybe I will even start my third and final blog... my book blog.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Tube Sock Hair Curler Fail... sort of

Summer brings out the side of me that wants desperately to look pretty and feminine. I know this usually happens to most people in Spring but coming from a place where Spring and Winter are much the same it is the Summer heat that changes my mood. So I have begun working out (more about that another time) but I have also been reading lots of articles on how to take care of yourself and look better. Something I am always trying to better is my difficult hair. It is naturally blonde (formal English feminine) so it has been darkening ever since I hit adulthood (college) and I hate the color it is becoming but I don't want to dye it the rest of my life (more on that later too). It is also incredibly full (lots of hairs) but very thin and delicate hairs (fine) which means I have a ton of it but I can't do anything with it without a warehouse of styling products (which I hate) so I usually just give up. Below you can see what I usually look like... except it is almost in a pony tail or bun now-a-days since I have given up. But not pretty huh?
So, again I was reading articles and I came across one in Health Magazine (I think this month but don't quote me). Anyway, it had lots of advice on how to care for hair and one of the recommendations was to curl it wet while you sleep... but not with foam curlers... with tube socks!! So I dug into our sock drawer and I only had one pair of tube socks left from my college days (when I wore them to games all the time... really school spirited... don't mock me, not everyone can dress as the school mascot).
Well I put one sock on each side of my head and tied it up. Did I mention I have a ton of hair? Well I might have had too much for only two measly socks. I added texture gel hoping it would help. J did make fun of me because I was a very convincing Princess Leia.
Don't make fun of the pictures... this is me pre-make-up and I know it is not pretty... see the face... not pretty and I know it ;). Anyway it was incredibly comfortable... something foam curlers are not. However, my hair did not dry completely over night so I had to help it along with a little cold air blow dry. Which dried it but I don't think it helped it. Darn humidity... don't they know CA is not supposed to be humid?
So I took it out and well... it was wavy but also a tangled mess! So yes it has texture but there was nothing I could do with it. I ran out of the door a little late to meet J for lunch and yes it looked OK but by the time I got to lunch it was just a hot mess. I should have combed it out first... which will be fun to remedy tonight, not. So I will try this again but maybe I need a few more tube socks... like at least one more pair.
So what have we learned? Use more than one pair of tube socks, comb out your hair first and let it dry a little bit, and... my hair is destined to be a hot mess.... poor hair. It needs a trim and at least a wash out color. I will try again after I cut and color it and maybe it will work better. Try it out and let me know if anyone else has better results!
Off to try and fix this.... this rat's nest I call hair.. ::sigh::
Happy Hair Days... please!

Bathing The Cat

So I decided to start with some humor to kick off my return to blogging. I have two funny (at least to me) posts to share with you and I will start with my favorite one. A couple months back we discovered our beloved cat was covered in fleas. As she is a living thing and does not deserve to be infested with fleas we decided to take action: we bathed her.
As you can see she did not take it in stride but she also didn't fight. Just lots of mewing... I think she knows by now that the two of us will win and she will only have to endure it for longer if she fights. However....

When J tried to reconcile with her she was having none of it. She just stalked off and pretended not to know him. She is flea free but I don't think she has forgiven us yet. Oh well, her mewing as she was bathed will keep me in stitches for a while.
Tomorrow I will share something of my own hair fail. Oh, and maybe even a little post about my birthday! The festival of me is not over yet but it has been going strong and I do have some great pictures and stories to share.
More later....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

So far behind.... but not dead!

So in the last couple (yes couple... I suck) DH and I have been through a bit. We found out it is pretty likely we will not be working in our old district next year, DH finished his credential, we both got serious about working out, I have been reading like a fiend, we saw a movie DH liked (that is few and far between), and I got a year older. I have some great book reviews to share with you and lots of info about what is going on in our world. I can't fit it all in here but I promise to add something tomorrow. As for now at least you know I am alive and still thinking about the blog. Ok, off to stretch and shower... I am trying something new tonight, I am going to roll my hair around tube socks to try and curl it as it dries. We will see if it works.

Thanks for not giving up on me! TTYS!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sheep in Benicia?

Jason being a sweet heart, decided to take me to dinner tonight (we have massive coupons for Chevy's) and as we walked out to the car I looked at our lovely green hill and saw these little buggers... sheep and goats!!! Benicia is nothing if not agricultural so it came as a huge surprise to us. It turns out that they are cutting back the grass to keep it at handle-able levels (fire safety) and they are a very eco-friendly (and cheap) way of doing it. Not to mention sheep and goats are both easy to transport and cut grass the shortest of all domesticated grazers. They still have a lot of hill to go so I guess we will have some furry neighbors for at least the next few days. I wonder if I can get some of the wool to make into yarn? Do you think anyone would notice? ;)

Monday, March 9, 2009

So we were pink slipped....

So today we got some bad news today, bad news we knew was coming. Friday is the day everyone has to receive their pink slips by in order to be let know they may not have a job next year. Jason was let know today that this week he will receive his. We are really frustrated about this since it has nothing to do with his teaching ability and everything to do with the state and federal budgets. Yes I do have some choice words for the yahoos who decide how money is spent but I will spare you. At least we still have my subbing, which is happening in fits and spurts but still happening. Let's just hope Jason can get the job at dream school for next year... he totally deserves it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Life Update 3/3/09

So again I have fallen off the wagon with posting. Well I promise to post once day on my crafting blog so I should be on here more often. I have been busy though. My dad had some heart problems, which weren't fun but Kaiser fixed him right up so he is fine now. Jason has had a hectic time at work, mostly because his co-teacher has never actually materialized. But even with all of this life has been getting a little easier and happier in the Moratuk household.

I am subbing much more often (still not enough but better). I have found I really miss the classroom. It is nice only having to be in one classroom for the day without any planning or grading but I miss having the kids be my own, not just for the day! Hopefully, next year I will be able to teach in my own classroom again. I am applying to every district I can reasonably get to each morning but no bites yet. I probably have to wait until they know their budgets better. Well a girl can hope, can't she?

As for Jason he is taking his last class before he gets his clear credential. He is also taking to his dream district about a job for next year so we are keeping our fingers crossed. As for this year he is doing the best he can with what he has. He was supposed to have a co-teacher, which never actually happened, and his kids just don't seem to want to learn, which really hurts him. But he is doing relatively well with it. At least spring break is about a month away and we don't have plans yet.

In other news, we are still in love with our apartment, but Jason is itching to buy a home. Maybe if I get a full-time job next year we will be able to. However, Jason needs a new car and to emphasis it even more his car was recently broken into and his stereo stolen. I guess it is time to look into one. We are still discussing what would be right for us and maybe mine will be mostly paid off by the time we actually have to buy the new one.

Jason is still making his way through his video games. We had a huge high streak in the fall but now we are on a low. Most of the games aren't worth playing but we look forward to many hours on the new Resident Evil, but probably on the Wii not XBOX. He is also looking forward to Watchmen which comes out on Friday. We can't wait to see it!! I hope it is at least good, if not close to the novel. We are both on a reading lull right now. Neither of us can find books we really want to read and I can't even make it through Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets and can't seem to start Twilight. However, my new book club book looks promising, In the Woods.

I have also been very active in both my online community (someone finally got me to rejoin Facebook... so bad!!) and I am also on Ravelry (also bad!!) and more crafting boards than I care to list. This month is also NaNoEdMo, where I should try to finish and edit my novel from November and some inspiration to do that would be great too. Also I need to finish going through the wedding photos. I just can't seem to get into it anymore... I just have too many of them. I have been busy with my crafting, especially crochet. In fact, I am now testing patterns and enjoying it. Maybe I will be able to do it for profit one day. If nothing else I am getting a ton of free patterns. But you can read all about my crafting exploits on my crafting blog (Found Objects).

Well that is most of it. I will relay what I am doing for the Lenten season and about our most recent date nights soon. Oh and I should have book reviews if I ever finish these books. I also have some fast and yummy recipes I just need to write up. So stay tuned!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Aunt Rosemarie

My Great Aunt Rosemarie passed away last month. She was a great woman who had always been there for her family (me being part of it). This picture is the last one I have of her (and one of the last times I saw her). It is from my wedding. My best memories of her were of the summer's I spent with my grandmother. We would go over to visit my AR and UD (Uncle Dave) and swim in their pool after having lunch in their backyard. AR always had treats around and loved talking about everything. She will be greatly missed and because of the loss I have been away from blogger. I guess I just couldn't bring myself to chat about my life when I had just lost someone important to me. It has been about a month now and I am out of mourning (well enough to blog again). I promise to chat more often but we will see how often that is as life is throwing some curve balls at me right now. Thanks for reading, I just thought you should know.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Late Book Reviews...

So I have been reading a lot but have not reviewed books in a while so I thought I would review a few of them for you now. These will be a little shorter than usual but bear with me, I am so far behind. Today you will get to read about Thuderstruck by Eric Larson and Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. Both were book club choices for this month and I enjoyed both. Plus both counted towards my book total for this year. I am currently at 3 books and 10 points (which will increase when I pick a category for Rebecca).

I really enjoyed this book. I am not one to fall into romance novels often but Rebecca is more than just a romance novel (it is actually called romantic suspense). The story was quick and very engrossing. I enjoyed the world DuMaurier creates for Mrs. de Winter and how the love between Mrs. de Winter and Maxim does not just die. I found Mrs. Danvers very unnerving but I now understand the reference and the whole story was fun and suspenseful. However, I did not enjoy the ending. It was to fair to end it that way. I wish to know more but the only way is to read the 'sequel' written at least three decades later by someone else. I hope to watch the Alfred Hitchcock version of the film this weekend with J and see what he thinks of all of it.

Thunderstruck was a slow starting book but one I feel into quickly. I enjoyed the crossing stories, which I know most people don't like, and I loved the science involved. I also really enjoyed the merging of the two stories at the end, with the pursuit of Crippen. I am still amazed how some inventions came about, for example this book chronicles the creation of wireless communication. Marconi was no scientist but his belief that it should work and his constant trial and error worked in his favor. He was like an engineer, who are always dear to my heart since I have so many in the family. The Crippen murder took longer to get going but once it got interesting the Marconi story got long winded, which made it good having the two stories overlap as they did. Overall I really enjoyed this book.

So to sum up I give Rebecca five bookmarks out of five because it is a great read and a classic that has lead both novels and film and Thunderstruck four out of five bookmarks because it did drag at points but is very good for mainstream non-fiction. Pick them up when you get a chance. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

J's Birthday!!

So as you may know J is yet another year older now. He celebrated a couple of weeks ago but I am finally posting about it now. I went with a winter-y theme making a mint green 'Happy Birthday' sign and wrapping his presents in winter-y paper. Oh and did he get a lot of presents, not a ton of expensive things but some nice stuff for his classroom, movies, even a new book. We went out to dinner at Fudrucker's (where I was still able to stay on my diet and J finally got the burger he had been craving) and I baked him a chocolate cake for dessert.

But on top of my efforts, friends and family sent him thoughtful presents as well. Including a Braves Potato Head that J still can't figure out how my mom got into that little box. Yes, I guess she is the wrapping queen this time. Even though he had to work J had a wonderful birthday and we are looking for many more like it. Now if only we could do such a good job with our anniversary next month. Hmm... better get on that.

Oh and Happy Birthday to all of my January peeps out there. I had no idea how many of you there are. So here we go: Happy Birthday day to Megan, Sagan , Jordi, Micheal, Charles, Alberto, Jim, and J! I know I am late for all of you but Happy Birthday anyway! I hope it was great!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some goals for 2009

So last year was great, we moved home and got married but now I have some BIG goals for this year. I know I have said I am going to do this and that but now I want my readers to hold me to this.

My goals for 2009 (so far)
1. Get in shape and find a way to stay in shape (I wasn't for my wedding and I have no excuse)
2. Get a job
3. Finish my novel (and maybe look into publishing)
4. Blog at least three times a week (keep me on this please)
5. Start crocheting and crafting for profit (and finish some items early)
6. Read 50 books this year (and get at least 200 points each quarter)
7. Be more thrifty (find ways to save more money so we can really work towards a house)
8. Be better about my health care (I hate going to the dentist and doctor but if I will be TTC one day then I need to be in the best health possible before the baby comes)
and lastly...
9. Get rid of some stuff (I am way too much of a pack rat... things need to go and not be bought again)

Ok so that is what I hope to do... please help me stay on these. Oh and maybe stay in better contact with people... can that be a goal? How do I achieve that? Hmm... that will probably be the hardest for me.

Family Visits

We have been lucky enough to see some of our family that does not live near us over the holidays. It started with my brother and sister-in-law coming down for a whole week around Christmas (it is hard being so far from my sibling again this year). It was so much fun to see them and my 'niece' Bunny. I hope she is out of the ugly puppy stage by my visit up north this summer.

J's dad also flew in for a conference after Christmas and made some time to see our humble abode. I was afraid all of the Christmas would bother him but he seemed to roll with it. J really likes this one-on-one family time the best and I am so happy they got to see each other. Oh and we had dinner at my favorite place, Sahara, which is totally the best restaurant in the world... if you like Moroccan food.

And most recently my aunt came out to see my grandmother and they trudged all the way out to see little ol' me and our place. J had to work but he wouldn't have liked the visit anyway because we had seafood for lunch (his least favorite food, but he likes sushi). We tried out Captain Blyther's which seems to win awards every year as best restaurant in our area. They didn't have want I wanted so I tried something else. It was ok but not the best. Maybe next time I will enjoy it more. However, we did get lots of gifts with the visit. My aunt brought me something new to craft (a lined cookie bag) and some note cards (a hint to write more often?). We also received some more penguins (can you ever have enough), a little ficus, and a first Christmas ornament from my other aunt. We are totally stoked about the ornament since we failed to find one this year (plus it is Lenox so really pretty).

My cousin is coming out later this year as is my uncle and aunt again. Also I think J's mom is coming for Christmas this year (which is making J excited) and we see my brother and sister-in-law for a cruise with my folks this summer. It is great being back and the fact we get to see so much family even after we moved.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cal Academy... can I move in?

When I was a kid I loved the Cal Academy. I loved the stuffed animals (at the time I didn't know they were real... I just thought they were like the Disney ones) and could spend days roaming the halls. Well they closed it on my to remodel... which is cool but I am not as happy with the new one. Ok I still want to move in and live there but still.

The new Rainforest part is amazing and fun to go through. I am glad the folks made us wait in line for it but the only part with stuffed animals anymore is the Africa part and that is tiny. The other exhibits seem lacking to me and the living roof is cool but doesn't have many details of how it works or what is growing there. It just feels big and empty in parts... but I could so fix that if they needed! But I doubt they will ever come to me to fix it.

However, our advice is not to go when school is on break. J and I had no problems but everyone else was in line for days. It just can't handle the number of people who want to use it, which is sad. It is a cool place and I did get a membership so I will be going back but it is smaller and not as cool as I remember it. Oh well.... I guess I will have to get used to it. Still better than almost any other natural history museum I have been too (the one in North Carolina was cool through).

Christmas and the tale of the missing posts

OK so maybe there are no missing posts just silly me being too busy to write them. We have been busy (by me I mean J and I) with so many things it will take a lot of posts to catch up but I will start here. I hope I didn't lose any readers (which I am sure I did but maybe they will come back). Let's start where I left off... Christmas and Christmas decor. I am not going to post as much as I had wanted to about that but I will give you the picks of my trees (more images will be on my craft blog if you are interested). We had two trees this year but I didn't seem to get a good picture of the big one (so it is in two parts with the middle missing but you get the point). The house did smell very Christmas-y with two trees (the small one now lives outside) and I think it made J get even more into the spirit of the holiday.

The little tree was filled with little ornaments and the big one with everything I had collected since my childhood. We only have a few 'us' ornaments but that number went up this year thanks to my Aunt Pattie, who is the single best shopper in the family. Thanks Pattie!

We had a wonderful time over Christmas seeing all of the family and all of the amazing presents. In a later post I will tell you all about our trip to the California Academy of Sciences and Bob's
visit and even Carolyn's trips out. Oh and a book review or two... or three. Sorry I dropped off but I am back now.