Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Third Day:

Today it was shopping day. First went to Best Buy to check out their combination appliances sale (refrigerator, range/stove, dishwasher, and over the range microwave). The price was good, but we didn't buy. Not yet. Then we went to check stuff at Home Depot in El Cerrito. As we were driving out of the lot, I noticed the guy who crossed the street looked like someone I knew. Then a few yards away I told my husband to pull over because I think I knew the guy. So I stuck my head out the window and yelled his name. It was Clay. My former co-worker, the one who trained me. We chitchatted a bit, exchanged pleasantries, and then it was time to move on. We went to Emeryville to check out the appliance store, but the store was closed on Mondays. So from there we took a different road towards the freeway. But before we could reach the freeway entrance (actually we didn't find the freeway entrance) we spotted a store/warehouse called Granite Expo. We stopped and managed to buy two granite top vanity for two bathrooms. And the granite top for ur island, including the cabinet for the island.

Then we stopped at Home Depot on the way back and picked up some more items. We did a little more painting.

Fourth Day:

Hubs went to pick up the bigger vanity and also to visit the appliances store that was closed yesterday. I on the other hand went to Home Depot to pick up another gallon of the paint that we were using for the bedrooms. Mother and I just arrived at the house when Brother 2 and SIL 2 came to help paint. SIL was bringing a huge picnic basket complete with lunch of Pinakbet, rice, and snails. Yummy. I didn't eat, but brother and SIL and mom did. I just finished my skillet brunch and was still very full. After lunch, Brother 4 and SIL 4 stopped by for a short visit.

Hubs arrived with some help. So today we did the following:
* paint bedrooms and hallway
*sand cabinets
*remove carpets downstairs

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Second Day:

Second day of "renovation" and also of the scorching heat. I was wiped out last night, mostly due to the heat. Woke up feeling blah. I reckoned it was over 80 degrees when I woke up. Hubs went to church by himself and I stayed home. I did laundry, watched Confederation Cup with hubs. Took mom to run her errands. Then it was time to hie off to Home Depot to get the materials for our flooring project. So we got:

*30 boxes of laminate flooring
*12 cases of ceramic tiles
*and everything that needed to lay the floor and the tiles.

It was late when we got out of Home Depot. Brother's pick up was filled with our merchandise. It was unloading I hated to do, but I had to help hubs unload everything.

Nothing done today, just shopping. After the heat yesterday it was best we didn't work today. Heat continues tomorrow according to the weatherman, but hopefully it would stay in the 80s.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


First Day:

It is the first day of vacation, sort of. I requested for a week-long vacation next week so we could do some work on the house. I am counting the weekends as part of my vacation, er work week. I thought I would do a record of what's been done so far.

A few nights ago after work we have completed painting the living room (early morning sun). It only needs a few touch ups. It looked nice in daylight.

Today, we had to help with church's yard sale. The sale was held in the church's parking lot. We signed up for the 10-2 shift where we would pack up the unsold items to be hauled to Thrift Town and/or Salvation Army.

It was a hot day today. The temps reached in the 90s. Really hot and dry. And I was under the burning sun packing up stuff in the box where other church members haul it in their pick-ups to bring to said used item store/s.

We got back from church about 3:30, way off schedule. But we managed to do the following work at home:

*paint the hallway wall (crisp autumn)
*paint the kitchen walls (cant remember our color scheme)
*paint the family room walls (two colors)
*dust the bedroom walls for painting (I didn't realized that we didn't buy the paint for the bedroom yet)

Tomorrow is another day. Right now, I am dead tired. After we left the house, we stopped by La Morena for some Mexican/El Salvadoran food. Mother has some burito while hubs and I had the plato or dinner plate of Milanese. I thought I'd put my feet up after showering (hubs is showering right now), because my entire body is aching. Thankfully, my ankle did not ache like it did a few nights ago when we were painting the living room. But it still looked a little swollen. I may have to see a doctor after all. Not too much pain but there is discomfort and pain when I bend it.

Let me play some online games to relax. The temps at 10:24 pm right now is still registering at 81 (outdoors) and 86 indoors. Tomorrow will be more of the same.

Friday, June 26, 2009


For the first time since I hurt my ankle (6/14/09) I have climbed the stairs without favoring the ankle and without pain. Yay!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I heard a good advice today that's worth repeating so I'm blogging about it.

My co-worker just had a baby nearly two weeks ago. She brought her baby for show and tell at work today. This is her second. She had her first early, in her late teens or early tweenties. This second one comes in her mid thirties, so the first-born is already grown.

Another co-worker who has baby fever (wouldn't let the baby off her arms) gave this great advice to co-worker #1's first born. She said:

"Your momma is not done being a mother (gesturing to the baby in her hands). Do not make her a grandmother yet."

I thought that was pretty cool of her to remind the teenager that.

That's all. The end.

Monday, June 15, 2009


So, the camping trip was over. Finally, I have one less thing to stress about. Seriously, the camping trip was stressing me. As I have written earlier, I was worried about not knowing enough people to enjoy the trip and the fact that showering was not an option.

This was how the trip went. My brother thankfully and unexpectedly loaned us voluntarily (yah!) his pick up truck to haul all the stuff for a two-night camping trip. We met the people at hubs work. His former boss was outside seeing people off and he said hi to me. I was kinda expecting him to be a part of this trip. I guess the organizers, my husband was one of two, didn't want any from the management socializing with them.

It was around 4 pm when everyone who was going arrived at the meeting spot. We left immediately. But it was a Friday and this is the Bay Area where traffic can be a real headache. We hit every imaginable traffic we can find. We got so busy chatting that we missed our Vacaville exit to Hwy 505 en route to Interstate 5. We were already in Sacramento, after getting terribly delayed by traffic in the Davis-Sac area, when we realized our mistake. That made us extremely late that people kept calling where we were. Anyway, it was nearing 9 pm when we finally arrived at Gilman Road which is the entry to the campground. And the surprise is a bear sighting, hah! A baby bear was crossing the road as we took the curvy Gilman Road.

It was already dark and pitching a tent in pitch black was a real challenge especially for newbies like me and our next tent neighbors, even though my husband showed me how to put up the tent in the garage a few days before the trip. The lantern was insufficient, but we managed to put up both tents before the sky opened up. Yes, it rained. It poured like I've never seen nor experienced in five, heck even ten, years. Luckily, my husband has called for someone to put in the charcoal and make it ready for when he arrived. We cooked burgers and hotdogs in the rain, ate them standing in the rain and actually did not mind getting wet.

After dinner, there really was nothing to do. The rain was not letting up, it was actually getting stronger as the night gets late. It was time to hit the sack, for sure. But there was something wrong with DD's tent. Water was coming in. I was just glad our tent was holding up to the downpour. Husband was called to fix the leak and he did as much as he could. I stayed inside the tent and peeled off my clothes. I didn't realized how soaked they were. I was afraid I would catch a cold because I was soaking wet, I did in the past. But not this time. Not yet at least.

The guys and a few gals didn't let a heavy downpour put a damper on their camping spirit and plans, especially when N arrived at midnight. I did however managed to strong arm husband to change his drenched clothing for dry ones before heading out of the tent again, despite the fact that these would soon be as wet as the ones he just discarded because the sound of falling rain in my tent is not going any faint but stronger every time.

I was going in and out of sleep all night. I heard loud music, there was some hip hop playing. DD heard reggae. I must have dozed off when that song came. Then I heard N yell my name. Then he said call your husband. It was 4 am. They were drinking all night, and N and some guys are going down to the lake (Lake Shasta) to fish. 4 am!!!! And apparently my dear spouse had more than he could handle in the liquor department. He stumbled onto our tent. He was too drunk to unzip the tent, so I did. He puked the minute he got into the tent. He had the sense to do it outside our tent, thankfully. When he got in I asked, "You had enough?". I must have uttered it loudly as DD and Dada teased us about it at breakfast the next day.

I didn't notice that hubs was hung over at breakfast. He did his chores, i.e. cooking, with his usual cheerful demeanor. But when the breakfast table was cleared and the trash was taken out, he showed he was in no condition to do anything. He didn't have breakfast at all. I've never had a hang over before. I never drank more than one beer before the trip, so this hang over thing is as foreign to me as PMS is to him.

People started to make plans for the day. Most of them decided to drive to visit the sight, The Shasta Caverns, which is the closest. We were asked if we wanted to go. Husband declined and I was asked by DD since hubs needed to sleep the hangover off. I decided to stay in the campground. Half of the people stayed behind. They went down to the lake to fish, swim, or just enjoy the water. I stayed behind and took photos. And enjoyed the quietness of nature. I found a fallen log, most likely from the looks it was a pine tree, sat on it and closed my eyes. The weather was perfect. With my eyes closed I could hear the birds singing, the crows were doing a flyover above me. They were too close I could hear the flapping sound of their wings. There were four or five of them. Must be some courting going on. I don't know. The sun was barely hitting me, there was a soft breeze. I could hear the whirring of motor boats, kids yelling and laughing, people chatting and then more quiet. It was glorious.

Then here comes hubby. He found me. I thought he would sleep some more. Of course I was pissed. He was stupid. But he doesn't really drink. The last time he got drunk like this was with these same people some three or four years ago. So, I let him drink with them. But I told him, the rules include I have to do one stupid thing to his one stupid thing. He asked what it was I was considering stupid to do. I said shopping. He always thought that was a useless activity. I agree most days. But when I'm pissed and unreasonable, I could buy that expensive shoes that I wanted that I couldn't bring myself to buy when I have my senses regained.

To pacify me and to make up for his stupidity, he asked if I wanted to drive to the bridge. I said yeah, I've always wanted to see the sights around here. The landscape is really gorgeous. I brought the DSLR for this too.

We were heading out when N saw us and asked where we were going. He said that would be a bad idea after learning where we were going. He said the roads were winding and from the looks of hubs, he'd be puking all the way to the bridge. We dismissed N's concern and drove out. We did stumble upon a park only 5 minutes away and so we stopped. We saw the way down the lake was more manageable. On our campground the path to the lake was truly steep and tricky. Since I didn't have enough traction in my shoes, I always manage to bring the wrong type of shoes wherever I go, this was a good place to take a dip. We brought some change of clothes because we thought a dip would refreshed my hubs and would make him feel better.

But the soil was loose and there were rocks on the way down that I slipped on one and twisted my ankle. It hurt so bad I was wincing. I didn't want to go back because the call of the water was so strong, plus I thought soaking it in water would do the ankle good. The sight was glorious and the water was heavenly. The pain in my ankle did not bother me while I was taking a dip.

We returned in the campground and husband started preparing the ribs. The other group was cooking food already. Soon after that the rest of the people who went to see the caverns have arrived ravenous. We had sandwich fixings and chips and a ton of fruits for that.

The second night was fun. I was the one drinking. The girls were drinking. They brought Heinekin. I had two and didn't get a buzz. Ordinarily I get my buzz at 1/2 a bottle. Then the girls were passing out Hennessy shots around the campfire. One guy gushed it was the biggest Hennessy he has seen and asked if it was from Costco. Chatting over the fire was fun. Some one powered the ipod with car batteries and we had music. Nothing I could recognize, but just noise was good. Hubs didn't touch any alcohol, although I did ask him to sip my beer. He did. And I was limping like crazy and my ankle was hurting so bad. It was swollen.

It was a difficult night for me. I couldn't get enough sleep. I could hear some twig snap and I would think a bear was out there. I would freak at something that was dropping on the tent. I could hear three or four different snoring. I was surprised when I finally got to sleep.

We had breakfasted quite fast and cleaned out the campground and was out of there by 11 am. We decided to meet up with DD at the gurdwara a few minutes from the campground, but we didn't find the place. We later on found that the exit given us was wrong. Since we couldn't find the place we just decided to head home. It was a long, hot drive home. I was tired as was husband, but it was a fun trip overall.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Oh things have been hectic around here. I can't remember the last time I went to bed early. I feel really tired today. Everyday really, but today particularly. And there is no end to this hectic days yet. Despite all my moanings and groanings, I am thankful for all the chaos in my head and life right now. They're the good kind of chaos. :)

Anyway, I have been meaning to write , but I guess my brain is fried from fatigue and lack of sleep. I really can't think straight right now, but I thought I'd write anyway. I'll use my favorite technique in jotting down my thoughts, I'd do the bullet style :)

* Another baby was left inside a car and found dead. This time it's a four-month old baby that was strapped in the father's car's backseat. The car was in the BART parking lot all day. The father took the train to work and forgot to drop off the baby to the sitter. The mother rushed to the parking lot when she found out that the baby did not show up in the sitter. By then, it was 5 pm and the baby was pronounced dead in a hospital ER. This is really a sad news. I feel for the parents. This is the kind of mistake that shatter and turn one's life upside down. It is human nature to point fingers at who was at fault and I'm afraid that the parents will do that to each other and instead of facing this trial together with a united front, they will be divided in their grief. And that's not all, the father could also be charged with negligence. As of the moment, no charge has been issued. I really really felt my heart sank when I heard this on the news.

* I have long since stopped hoping for a mail whenever I go and open our mailbox. For years now since the advent of email, only junk mail comes to me. So yesterday when I saw the familiary "airmail" blue and red striped envelope I got excited. It was a personal mail all right (they still exist, yay), but the mail wasn't addressed to me. It was addressed to my niece, or at least I am thinking it is. Why am I blogging about this? It's just a mail you say, but let me tell you some more info. The name is that of my niece, but the spelling of her name is incorrect (it may not be her). The address on the mail is for Fernandez Ave. Then scribbled on the lower left hand corner of the envelope is our Street name, which looks like written there by a USPS employee. My niece stayed on this address a few months some 17 years ago. Since then she has moved three or four times and in different cities. She has never received any mail in this address since I moved here 16 years ago, not a one. So after 17 years, why a letter comes to her here. Why would the mailman put our address and cross out the address that the sender wrote? My guess is that since there are at least four Filipinos working in our town's PO, they thought the last names are similar so they delivered it to our address. Why not just send it back to the sender? I emailed my niece to tell her about her mail :) Anyway, I just got curious who would be sending her a letter, that's all, just my curiosity.

* I am going camping with people I don't know; I know at least three including my husband. With all the craziness around here since June first, going away camping is the last thing I wanted to do. But the trip was scheduled long before all the craziness happened and so we cannot cancel. My worries abound. I am not a sociable person; my husband is Mr. Congeniality. I should be at least gracious, if not friendly to everyone. I don't know friendly. I don't do friendly. At least I think I don't do friendly. And most of all I don't sleep on the ground, on a hard surface unless its a papag. I tried sleeping on the ground before when my bones didn't creak and I could go 0 to 60 from a supine position to a standing position. But my girl scouting days were long gone. I want to go camping, yes, but I don't want to rough it up. I'm too old for this. What's going to be interesting is that one of the three people that I know will have the same attitude as me. However, I do promise to support my husband. He did point out to me that I signed up for this, for better or worse, when I married him. He is an outdoorsman and being cooped up with the routine of 9 to 5 work week and weekends of chores can make him grumpy without the occasional outings like this. Now that I have grumbled about this in writing, I will transform myself to an outdoorswoman and my attitude will do a 180. I'll let you know all about it next time. After all, the scenery I was told was worth all the trouble. Let me bring extra extra batteries then. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I have to focus on writing. On posting here. Unlike my three other blogs, which are mostly photo blogs, I have to sit down and really think what I wanted to share. Weed out what's boring and leave the interesting pieces for publication. Although, I have no target audience and I am writing for myself. For my documentation. For my release. I guess updating is what's next here, as I post about once a week. Let me see what's been going on:

  • We've finally got all documents signed, been sealed, delivered, approved. And the American dream is ours. Now the process of knocking down walls, tearing out the carpet, demolishing some cabinetry and making this our dream home has begun. Therefore, if you want to see me nowadays, I'm gonna be somewhere in Home Depot checking paint samples, feeling carpet fibers, settling on the type and design of tiles, etc. It is a huge process, not to mention the dent it will leave on our finances. Oh my goodness. The things is when our realtor/friend told us that the house was ours, we both did not react like lunatics. We took it nonchalantly. We both smiled and thank God and some time later as I was washing the dishes I mentioned how we didnt jump for joy upon learning the good news. The good news that had eluded us for one year. Yes, we were househunting for a year. We got a lot of stories to tell, but not right now. Right now all my energies are geared towards making sure our budget gets all the things we wanted done. Prioritize what needs to be done asap and fix as the time goes along. A big sigh of relief and a humble thanks to the Lord above for making all this happen.

  • In connection with this purchase, my husband's friends are one by one looking at the house. They want him to buy first and then they would follow, sort of a guide for them to maneuver this tricky real estate market. Everyone is united in saying we did good, despite the age of the house and the cosmetic repairs it obviously needs.
  • To add to this major happening in our life, my husband is keen on getting some R&R in the middle of this renovation by pushing through with the camping trip next weekend. This weekend we will devote to weeding and making the garden, backyard, and frontyard, a bit presentable. I am having second thoughts about the camping.

  • We went cherry picking with pals last weekend. To Brentwood we went where it was the right time to pick the fruits. We first stopped at a roadside orchard and picked cherries (I brought some for coworkers), then drove a bit further inland to another orchard that has different fruits like apricots, peaches, pluots (hybrid of plum and apricot), plums, blackberry (although it's too early for them). We got full! It was a sunny and breezy day, perfect to be outdoors. There were plenty of people in the orchards. In the early days I remember that there were more orchards around. This part of California used to be all agricultural land, with miles and miles of orchards. Then the real estate boom hits and they converted a lot of these lands to housing. But I'm glad that there are still some left for people in the cities to go and enjoy a day of fruit picking.

  • The weather has been cloudy and foggy, some areas had rain, actual rain in June, which is really nice. Not where I live though, although my windshield was damp when I drove out on some days. I could use some more rainy days even if it's summer time and it will pester a lot of people. Hey, we need rain around here. If we don't, more wildfires are expected.

I think that's all I have for now. I will really try to make this a more than a weekly habit.