Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday was a rest day ( for some!)

Dad was tired from all the running around that we have being doing since he arrived so I promised him a relaxing day on Tuesday. 

The morning started off with me waking up really early and coming out to the living room and working on sorting out the photos I took so far and putting them on a flash drive for Dad to take home. I also sent a bunch of them to Costco.com to printout so he can have some to show everyone. It was 8am and the snoring was still coming from both bedrooms so I continued to work on my computer and watched the morning news. 
Eventually both of my men got up and we had breakfast, Dad did poached eggs and toast all around. 

Just after breakfast Curt, our landlord, called to say he was on his way over too look at some plumbing issues we have been experiencing for a few days. Larry dealt with Curt  and the loo, I started on the too many loads of laundry that needed to be done.  

For a while I also entertained Jacob, Curt's 4 year old little boy. He had fun playing with one of my Winnie-the-Pooh's who makes noise when it nose and tummy is pressed. He had even more fun playing with Larry's  Dancing Santa Clause Homer. Brian, Aoife and Aislinn called on Skype and Jacob and the girls had a little conversation from across the world.  Once Curt left, Grandad and Leona spent some more time chatting with the O'F gang. 

After lunch for some reason Larry and Len both decided it was time to take a nap. I was left stuck with the laundry and also did a whole bunch of bill paying and sorting out of paperwork that I was ignoring for a long time. Dad eventually got up and dressed and we decided to go take a walk on Steven Creek Trail. Here are some photos I took of Dad on the trail:

After our 40 minute walk we made a stop to the Sunnyvale Toyota to check out the color of the Prius. The decision is now down to between the green and the grey and I need to shop around for a good price for both the Prius and the trade in for my Equinox.  We also drove down Castro Street so Dad could get to see downtown Mountain View. 

Dinner tonight was left overs from yesterdays lunch and we watch the movie Blades of Glory afterwards. Fun silly movie to watch if you have nothing else worthwhile to do!  It is now after midnight and both my men are sleep and I should get off my computer and join the snoring competition. 

What an amazing artist I have for a Mum!

When Dad arrived hidden in his suitcase was a Gwen original. I own a number of them but this was the first one that successfully made it way across the big ocean! 

When we were children, Mum always told us, look out when you all grow up I will become an artist. I remember smiling and thinking "On, ya sure, I never even see her doodle little drawings. Could she really paint?" Boy, did she prove me wrong. When I saw her first painting I was totally amazed and have been continually astonished as she finished each one. 

For a number of birthday and occasion over the last few years, Mum would ask me what I would like and I ask her "What painting have you completed or are you working on now? That is what I want"  

For a pre-wedding gift I commissioned a painting of Gold Gate Bridge for Larry. All of these painting are all hanging on walls in Lynwood ( my childhood home) so I am really excited to eventually have one to hang on my living room here in Mountain View. 

Here is the painting that arrived:

In an earlier post I talked about our holidays spent in Sandycove outside of Skibereen, West Cork and the painting above is of the village of Castletownsend. We would walk the 3-4 miles from Sandycove to Casteltownsend as this is were the nearest shop was to buy sweets and ice cream with the hopes that Dad would arrive over later to drive us home in the car.  We also maybe luck that one of Richard's neighbor's would drive by and pick us up. 

 I have so many fond memories of time spent in Castletownsend as a child, as a teenager taking Lady our dog to the vet when she was ill to New years eve celebrations at Annie's Bar during my college years. 

Sandycove is where I can go to get my soul refreshed, maybe  I need a visit to Ned's cottage to go walk across the cliffs,  breath in the wonderful fresh air and have a big bowl of Seafood Chowder at Annie's after a walk along the windy roads to Castletownsend. 

I can now sit on my couch and look at this wonderful painting and dream of the times I have had in Casteltownsend and plan the next visit there. 

I always knew I had an amazing Mum but every time I see one of her paintings I am astonished at the wonderful gift that she had hidden inside for many years and I am so glad she is sharing that God giving gift with the world now. Love you Mum!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Lunch with Tamara and Frank

The morning was spent all action packed  to get ready for lunch for Frank and Tamara. Larry did the grocery store run to Whole foods and Costco as Dad and I started to tidy up.  As I was not feeling very well, the intension was for me to sit on the couch under my duvet and hand out the orders but of course I couldn't do that I couldn't just lie there and do nothing! 

The following photos are two of my favorite:

Dad picking thyme and Larry peeling the potatoes for the stuffing. 

The menu was as follows
 -  appetizers:
  • Brie cheese
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Italian Toast
- Entree 
  • Spinach and Pear Salad with my Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  • Pork Tenderloin with potato and whole wheat bread stuffing
  • Soycutash veggie mix
 - Dessert ( Thanks to Frank and Tamara) 
  • Dutch apple pie
  • Angle food cake with mixed berries
  • Cool whip and ice cream
Overall a very yummy and fun lunch. Here are some photos I took:

Once the guests left, Dad and I went on a shopping spree to Talbot's. Mom had picked out what she wanted on Talbots.com and we had a coupon for 30% off to be used from Nov 26th. We got some of the items she wanted but also some surprises, there are a number of red boxes all wrapped up with cute bows for under the Christmas tree. I hope we got the right sizes and what you will like Mum! 

The greatest moment of all was arriving home and Larry had ran the dishwasher once, filled it up again  and tidied up the kitchen from our lunch - gosh it has only taken a year but the training is working!! :-)  Thanks hon, I really appreciated it.

Sunday update

Sunday morning Dad and I went to OSH to buy some more plants to finish off the work we did  last Tuesday
I left to go to choir practice from 12:30 - 1:30, and the guys stayed home  to watch the Niners game. I got a great surprise when I got home to see that all the plants has been planted and my garden was looking great. 

I did the finishing touches of adding some of my little nick knack around the pots. Here are some photos of how some of the little items I added around the pots:

Imagine my tomato pots are all ready for next year! :-)

Thanks Dad for all your hard work, can you come back every 2-3 weeks to give it a touch up!! I hope when you did the planting that you gave Larry some tips on how to keep the place clean and tidy. :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A great day in The City

The day started out with a two hour visit to the urgent care. So as not to scare my readers with TMI I had a boil a few weeks ago and unfortunately it didn't heal 100% and there is an abscess underneath it now. I also have been having some chest pain that was frightening us all but after an x-ray that gave me the all clear the Dr told me he feels it is pulled muscles from all the coughing from the viral infection I also had a few weeks ago. I think I can officially be called a crock and should be traded in for a newer model!

I left the urgent care with a prescription for antibiotics, instructions to take Aleve twice a day for the pain in my chest and go home drink plenty of fluids, rest and go see my primary care Doctor in a three to four days. Hmmmmmmm did I take the Doctors orders - NO. I had a full day planned in "The City" with Dad, I couldn't let him down. So I got home jumped in the shower and we headed off to San Francisco.

Our first stop was to the Secret Garden Teahouse. I first heard about this wonderful place from my friend and "internet cousin" Alice, I came across her Blog during the summer when she was visiting San Francisco with her wonderful family and one of the first post I read was one about the Secret Garden, I was so excited to read about this place as the Secret Garden was my favorite book as a child, I must have read it twenty times. Larry gave me a copy of it recently so I need to re-read it and reclaim some of my childhood innocence and hope that this book inspires. I used to close my eyes and be Mary working in the garden bring it back to life. In a way Daddy and I worked in my secret garden on Tuesday as it was in great need of some care and we cleared up the dead plants and weeds and planted new plants and gave my garden new life. Thanks Alice for giving me this great tip for a wonderful place to take my Dad during his trip to the Bay area. Here are some pictures to show what a wonderful time we had:

We had to do the pinkie test with the sugar bowl and prongs, who do you think wins?

I think Larry wins for technique but I win for best French polish. I had to use Dad tea cup as I don't take sugar in my tea. Yes, Mom I did drink tea- six cups in all. I discovered I like Earl grey. For those of you who may not know my Dad worked for Lyons Tea in Ireland for 35 years and I put too many boxes of tea on shop shelves as a child and never drank tea, much to the despair of my Dad. He use to tell me pour it out anyhow to give him some business but I used to say "Why would I do that Dad as we get it for free!!". The only reason I would pour out a cup of tea was to dunk my chocolate goldgraine biscuits to make the chocolate all melted to lick it off!!! :-)

Love Dad expression in this one as he looked down at his pot of tea and Lar looking so very serious as he pours his tea for the very first time:

Close up of the food:

A few shots of around the teahouse:

And one of my favorite places in the store was the fairie glen:

All good things must end but not before a final few photo's outside:

The next item on our agenda was a walk in Golden Gate Park towards the Carousel. An action shot of my boys looking at some people playing soccer and baseball:

I had such a great time on the carousel, I closed my eyes and I was five years of age on the merry-go-around in Crosshaven or Ardmore. All three of use went on it the first time, I picked a purple horse and Dad got stuck on the orange chicken next too me!!

I think Daddy is talking to his chicken in this one:

Next time round I went solo and I decided on a black cat with a purple bow:

It felt so great to be a kid again, I must go do this more often. It only cost a buck fifty a turn so I think I can afford to do this a number of times!!

On to stop number three which was to drive down 11th and Anza to see where I used to live for over six and a half years. I got all nostalgic as we turned from Balboa on to 11th and I nearly had tears in my eyes as we drove down to the house where I had my apartment. I was thinking of all the wonderful memories of the Birthday parties, dinners parties, St. Partick's day and Easter Bunch's, Choir Christmas Party, Siebel Layoff party and sometimes just get together for no excuse at all - just to celebrate friendship that I had in that apartment. Of course I had my phone out to take some pictures, may of the houses have been upgrade but the house that I lived in looks as grotty as it did three years ago:

As we were very near Geary, I requested a stop at San Francisco Toyota to test drive my soon to be new car:

We met a very nice gentleman who gave us the tour of the car and Larry drove it to the Presido where I took over in a very open car park. I LOVE it. Larry is not too happy that I want to buy a hybrid but as a Geography major in university I feel I need to do something for the environment. I am also concerned that I put $45 of gas in my Equinox on Wednesday and had to fill it up again last night after 250 miles. I will get 500 miles from the Prius. I love my Equinox also but have researched that I can save myself over $1000 in gas, will get a tax break and will do my little bit for the environment. When Larry wins the Lotto he can buy himself a Hummer but like Arnold maybe he may consider converting it to a hybrid! :-) The only question in my mind now is what color will I get it in!!

We then went down town to look at the lights before heading to Roy's for a wonderful dinner.

As you may remember I took a picture of Larry and Daddy coming out of Cartier on Friday and on Saturday I got a picture of them outside Tiffany's - A girl can only dream, I suppose!