Monday, July 22, 2013

Camping Trip Reporting, etc.

The Sunday before yesterday, we set out to our camping trip. The 9:30 am meeting time wasn't met, as expected, but the delay was minimal. By 9:45 am we were leaving the cool breezes of the East Bay area towards the Sierra Nevada, in central part of California.

The drive was long. We gassed up at Costco in Richmond and that was the only time we gassed up again that day. We were driving a Prius so we had no worries on our part. I was worried about the other car, because it's a smaller version of an SUV.

Five hours later we were pulling up into our secluded cabin. The exhuastion from the long drive and the worries I had that we might have been lost despite following the direction carefully and aided by GPS dissipated the moment I stepped inside the cabin.

Felt like going home again. Six years ago I was here with family camping for two days. I loved it then, that's why we came back this time. I wished I came more often, but the long drive was a deterrent.

Our only goal was to relax, enjoy nature, especially the river. Just like the first time, we were the only people for miles, although we have seen the park ranger drive through and a truckful of hunters in their camo gear.

The river was a big hit with our friends and their two kids who are below 12 years old. The kids love water and they both are swimmers. The couple were impressed by the beauty of the surroundings, mountain on one side of the river, clear calm river full of boulders and the serenity and privacy of the beach.

For two days we lazed about the river, taking in the warm air, the cool water, the hot sand. We ventured for a mid-day hike/walk one day walking alongside the river. We collected recyclables (beer bottles, soda cans) and piled them up near the road for the park ranger to collect them. Some campers just don't care. They keep trashing, a pity.

At nite we played board and card games. We sipped champagne, chugged beer, cooked meat over the fire, roasted marshmallows and almost had diabetic coma from the smores.

On our last day we drove out to Kings Canyon/Sequioa National Park to see the giant trees. Made a lot of stop, took pictures with the trees, ogled the largest tree - General Sherman and enjoyed our last day with nature.

On the drive out of the park, our friends who were tailing us saw a bear cross the street. Apparently, the bear just let us pass before he crossed the street. How fun for the kids.

Long drive home again. Back in time for late dinner at 10 PM. Then work the next day.

ETC........

Grudgingly agreed to check out neighboring town's street festival yesterday. Was in no mood for this sort of thing. I was really lazy yesterday, but because of the marriage contract I signed years ago, I was legally bound to accompany the hubby to run errands. Wasn't too bad. I even liked the places we went - Fry's Electronics and the grocery store. In fact, he saw a smart phone that was within our price range and has all the "bells and whistles" of the other smart phones that cost over 4 times the price we paid (it was on SALE). So I was happy. That was why I relented to go to the street fair.

As with any street fair there was music, lots of food, and many items for sale. I lingered in the jewelry tent where my quest for an every day ring (read: fashion) continues. I tried every design, every stone, every type they have. Not one called out to me. My hubs found something so he has a souvenir.

There was a tent/stall that advertises coffee. We stopped there. We love coffee. WE got samples, they were good. The lady said it's direct sell coffee, just like Avon or May Kay. If I'm interested she'll be able to hook me up. I got her contact number. She gave me a packet of coffee to go. On the way back home I read the packet's ingredients. Not one of them is coffee or cacao. I will not contact her.

There were quite a few giveaways from here so I left very happy. My husband was gloating on the way home. He said the reason he always seem to drag me around is that I never want to go anywhere. Furthermore, he said if left alone, I'd choose to hang with my cats instead of going out to be with people. Boy, he knows me really well.

MORE ETC.....

I'm prepping for another trip. This time for about 2 weeks. I'm going to the beach. To beachcomb. Maybe have time to visit Mayan ruin.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lately

Lately, my emotional and mental "muscles" have been getting a lot of work out. I don't like it. I mean, I've tried to live simply, want few things, and completely remove "hate" from my vocabulary. But when I say, I "hate" this dish, that doesn't count, because I really don't "hate" it, I simply don't like it as much.

Why do these muscles get a work out you ask?

Well it came about because of social interaction, what else could be the cause, right? Sometimes you expect too much of people and you know they won't follow through. Other times you don't expect anything at all and the action from the other person is still the same.

What I'm getting at is I can only control what my reactions, my emotions, my side of the fence.

I can't tell you why I got a rise from this past incident. I expected the action from the other person, but the reaction on my part is more than I expected, or thought was capable of voicing out to my husband.

I was totally pissed off. I got mad.

I don't like getting pissed off. I hate getting mad.

I've tried to weed out negativity in my life. Those lingering negatives that sometime just can't be weeded out, I try to limit my exposure to it/them to a minimum.

Moving forward, I don't know how I'd react. My husband is not one to quibble about my improprieties. If I'm getting out of line, being a jerk or a douche bag, he'd be the first to call me out. This time, he didn't peep when I started ranting. And boy did I rant. (Haven't done it in a while so I was out of practice too.)

Could it be that I wasn't out of line at all?

I just don't think I'd be able to summon another Oscar-worthy performance of nonchalance when I come face to face with negativity. Time, that's what I need. Time to forget that I'm pissed. Time to forget what a selfish jerk some people are. Time to fully understand what's growing in the other side of the fence. Time to convince myself that this negativity is a challenge the world throws at me to rock my boat once in a while.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

I cannot wait for the weekend to come. The reason? I'm going camping, er cabining with friends. It's camping but we're going to be staying in a cabin. I've been to this cabin before with family several years ago. We had a blast, especially moi. I enjoyed its remote location, it's quiet surroundings, the fantastic river across the street with large boulders/river rocks where one can sit for hours while dangling feet in cold rushing river water. It's a perfect site for get-away. Get-away it is, 4 hours drive from home.

However, it is like 50 degrees warmer!!!!! Oh boy, I've seen the forecast. It's going to be 3 digit there all weekend long. I've known it to happen, but I'm sure the river water will cool us down. If that doesn't work, the cold beer and river water will do the job perfectly.

In other news, it won't be long before my next plane ride again. I am looking forward to this trip, in more ways than one. I'm not saying anything more until after the trip, but we will be away for roughly 2 weeks.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Say What?

Yesterday, I got asked a crazy question. The question was so silly that I was silent for a moment. The hubs and I were invited to a bbq by a couple we know from church. They live near the water where the houses were going for a million bucks. A few years ago, I would take my mom in this neighborhood for a drive every single week just to see and drool at the beautiful houses. At one point in life, I dreamed of a house here someday, especially when there were plans to develop the waterfront including putting a ferry station here. That would have been wonderful.

Anyway, I'm glad that I have friends who lived in the neighborhood. It gave me a chance to see the interiors of the house. So at the bbq yesterday neighbors were invited. There was only one other couple besides us that did not live in the neighborhood.

One of the neighbors asked me, ARE YOU A FILIPINO FILIPINO OR A FILIPINO CHINESE? What a crazy question right? I've never been asked that before. In fact that's the first time I've heard such distinction. She asked me to distinguish myself what kind of Filipino I am. You see she was born and raised in Indonesia. But she's Chinese in heritage. She's Chinese in everything except where she was born and where her family still lives. I wasn't offended, not one bit. In fact it was a quite humorous. She said I don't look like a Filipino and if I'm a Filipino then there must be something else in my blood.

Well it's not the first time that I've been mistaken for some other nationality. I look at the mirror and all I see is typical Filipino from the dark brown skin to the jet black hair, from the short stature to the slightly wider nose. I don't see how I could be anything else but Filipino.

The thing with Filipino heritage is it's an amalgamation of many races, Malay, Chinese, Spanish, etc. I know my maternal grandparents had Chinese features, from the pale white skin to the very chinky eyes. One of my mom's sisters is so pale and so chinky, you wouldn't peg her to be Filipino.

But not me, nor any of my brothers. We're so deep to the bone Filipino in features, that's why it's quite amusing when people don't find my features to be that of Filipino heritage.

By the way, we have set up a tentative dinner date with her. She promised to take us to an authentic Indonesian restaurant in Berkeley. My hubby the foodie has been dying to taste Indonesian food. It's not very popular here. As a matter of fact, only Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food are widely available. You'd find it hard to locate Indonesian or Singaporean food anywhere. That's why we go to the source. I cannot wait to try real Indonesian food.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Heatwave, bbq, etc.

IMGP1418

Last I was here posting is about a week ago. Here is a list of what's been happening around these parts:

***Had a heatwave that ran for a few days, nearly a week. It was really tough for us and the kitties too. Days like these are not too many where I live, but when they're here it just magnified the fact that the houses built in this neighborhood do not have airconditioning, and we need airconditioning. Yesterday, which the authorities on climate and weather say the hottest was actually the beginning of the cool down where I live. Of course the other areas of the Bay Area are slower in cooling down, at the same time more neighborhoods near the coast and the bay have cooled down earlier than us.

***Last Saturday mom gave me a pass. I was free to do as I please. She did not need my services to drive her to her errands for she already ran them with my brother the day before. And so free on Saturday morning? What to do? The hubby and I decided to go to brunch. We hardly have time to do brunch on the weekends because we're always busy, I'm busy with mom on Sat and it's church and other functions on Sunday. I wanted to go to Royal Cafe for some lipsmacking goodness of their scones and the lemon curd it comes with. However, the hubby did not want to drive that far, which I admit was a big turn off. Then I suggested we go to Suki's so I could have their pulled pork hash, which was really good the both times I had it. He, however, was always curious about Ember's, where the Men's Group of our church dines monthly. I went there a loooong time ago, over 10 years ago once and did not enjoy the experience. The hubster talked me into giving it another try since the last time I ate there was so long ago. They definitely had changed somehow right? So to Ember's we went. The place looked different, more airy and bright. I vaguely remember the old place I went to as very dark and crowded. The food was okay, nothing to get excited about. I had the corned beef hash and even though it's the canned variety, I enjoyed my dish. I was really craving for some hash. Also, I had some hash browns, which I can eat all by itself. The hubby had the Big Deal - an omelette with various meats and veggies and toast. He didn't finish his meal.

***Went to see WHITE HOUSE DOWN to flee the hots in the house. 2.5 hours of airconditioning and a movie sounds really perfect. What's more, the movie was really nice. I enjoyed the story, the acting and the actors. That Channing Tatum is surely a hunk. I'm starting to love him. The actor who played his daughter in the movie is equally a darling. Two thumbs up for White House Down.

***Our plum trees are full of fruits. We have our friends over for dinner and we asked if they could pick fruits for their weekly fruit allowance. I'm glad they did. I already picked two bagfuls of plums for my co-workers and the same for hubby's co-workers and still there's plenty left. The other plum tree is still waiting for its fruits to ripen. So blessed.

***Was supposed to go wine tasting over the weekend but has to postpone that. One of our friends was sick so we will just reschedule this.

***Got an invite to a bbq tomorrow, the 4th of July, over at the same friends who we were supposed to go wine tasting with. He's such a good cook so I cannot wait what he's going to grill. My hubs is bringing turkey kofta or something. We'll see.

Hah! That's all for now. In 2 week's time I have a camping trip with friends near Sequioa NP, so I'm getting really excited.