Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas ends

Well the year is just about over.

We spent our Christmas with Scott's family. He got legos & chocodials. I also got legos and a blue tooth headset. We added to our movie collection with Wall-E & Bender's Big Game. We added to our kitchen collection with the George Forman G-5 (plus extra egg plates). All among other things as well of course.

Yesteray, I finished my first toe up socks - yay, i'm happy they're done and they feel really good.
Pattern from Knit Picks - their two at a time/toe up sock/magic loop - Learned a new technique and have plenty of warmth for my feet.

Today my brother came over with his family. Once they finished their tour, the kids went straight for the play table. Maybe no kids for us, but we have toys too (our toys of course).
Lucas to the Legos that Scott was playing with just a few minutes before their arrival - Ciara to Playdough left over from Halloween Trick-or-treating. They stopped long enough to open presents then it was right back to the toys at aunt Chris's house. There was a short transition for Ciara over to MoonSand but they had plenty of entertainment for a couple of hours (think Scott had some fun playing too.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas 2008

I put up the Christmas tree early in December - strung it with lights and was excited to have a big enough place in which we could have a tree.

Last night we went shopping for a few ornaments, because that is one thing we did not have.

Once finished the tree looked a bit sad to have nothing atop it. Normally the tradition is a star or an angel - but what about a god?

If your curious about my FSM you can find more about him at these places.
The official website of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
My crafting of his likeness



Originally uploaded by ssplam
So as I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post - I went to visit my Great Aunt Shirley. (The connection - Dad's, mom's, brother's, wife). We chated for a couple of hours, I had the opportunity to show her photos she wouldn't have seen, new family members she hasn't met and get caught up on all my little second cousins from her family that are all grown up now. The youngest - Melanie - she's a sophomore in highschool - I remember when she was a baby and the last time I saw her she was maybe 12? I've promised myself to try to visit them all more often, Turlock is less than 2 hours away.

So now for the buttons. When I was very small - we would visit often. My great grandmother lived there and I remember her house best from the visits, though even then not so well. What I remember most about grandma's Kirk's house was 2 things. The movie Charlotte's web - it was always what she put on the tv when we were there... and buttons. She had these 2 jars (that I remember as being much larger) full of buttons, different colors and textures. These became my "Inheritance". Nothing really was written down when grandma Kirk, but she knew I loved to play with them, and they were destined to be mine - whenever everything worked out. Many visits to Turlock have brought me home sans buttons - but this time - cousin Janice got warning I was coming (she lives in gma Kirk's house), was able to remember where she'd seen them last and have them ready for me at aunt Shriley's when I came to visit. I was probably a bit more excited than I should have been but none the less I'm happy to have them.

It is two very old jars of many different kinds of buttons, all of them old, some of them broken. cloth, plastic, cellulouse, crochet, huge & gaudy, cute & teeny. Some of them might find there way into projects, but really there just my memories that make them special.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I know I know, I am so very behind on my updating here

Originally uploaded by ssplam
Thanksgiving 2008 was wonderful. We started off in Livermore with Scott's extended family for a nice visit, and a delicious meal.

Marina State Dunes
From there we started our actual Vacation. We were staying in a little town called Marina at a resort on the Marina Sand Dunes.
This first picture here is the path leading down to the dunes just after first light. I wish I could have taken some more photos later in the day but this is about the most light I saw while actually in Marina.

Our first morning there, we saw about a dozen surfers, some small surfing waves and I even saw a few dolphins cresting just a little bit further out than the surfers. Such a beautiful place, I could have spent my whole weekend right there on the beach.

@Marina State Dunes Drop Box
Monterey - Friday, November 28th
After our first morning visit to the beach we were headed off to be tourists. It's Friday after Thanksgiving - Monterey here we come.

Spent the whole day in Monterey. After parking the very first stop is the fudge shop attached to the Parking Garage - I believe it was the Candy Baron. I bought a little square of Sweet Potato Fudge - oh really good. We asked a little about the recipe for sake of Scott's mom (food allergies) and she told us it's really their basic Vanilla fudge recipe with canned yam's later. So safe for mom which is great and I have a new idea for my holiday baking and sweets making (more on that later)

So - Monterey. If you've never been there before there are two major "touristy" sections. Cannery Row (where the Aquarium is) and Fishermans Wharf. Lots and lots of shops to sell you souveniers and a lot of walking. There is a nice little bike trail that connects the too You can walk this trail as well - probably about 20 minutes across the trail on foot, maybe a bit longer.

Ray's are my favorite thing in the ocean - their large and so graceful. Graceful is something that I absolutely am not. This one is in the big tank at the Aquarium and if there wasn't so much more to do - I would have sat and watched it soar for hours.
Ray - Monterey Drop Box
Then there are the jellies. They have quite a few at the aquarium. Didn't have my ideal camera, but I got a few pretty decent photos - like this one here.

Nettle - Monterey Bay Aquarium Drop Box
I didn't take too many photos in Monterey outside of the aquarium. There was a really intersting water fountain on the walk between the two piers though. It's an iron casting - but if you look closely, you can see they were molded to look like kelp wrapped up into a globe. Really pretty.

Kelp Fountain - Monterey Drop Box

Santa Cruz - Saturday - November 29th
When our long day of walking ended it was back to Marina. The next morning (Saturday) was to be Santa Cruz. The surf on the dunes Saturday wasn't as nice as Friday - at least not so nice for surfing but we made the walk every day, just because we could. Also, for some reason we were getting better wi-fi signal on the beach then in our hotel room. Great place to sit and check emails or whatever we needed to look up for our activities during the next day. - Oh how I love my I-Phone.

I had never been to Santa Cruz before - so this was a first for me. the Boardwalk was open but not so much of the rides. From my point of view, the boardwalk was mostly arcade and food, not so many shops really. We played video games for a couple of hours, then headed out to their Fisherman's wharf. Before we headed over, Rusty (Scott's brother) did take this nice little photo for us.

My honey & I - Santa Cruz Drop Box

Here's a shot of the boardwalk from the wharf. Not a lot of things to show you at the wharf either. This is more of a true Fisherman's wharf, with places you can buy fresh caught fish and also places to eat. We had a late lunch/early dinner on the wharf before wandering back to the car to finish off this day.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Drop Box
Here's a view off the edge of Santa Cruz Fishermans Wharf - with Rusty taking his own photos. There was really quite a lovely view here too. The weather was quite nice as well, not too hot, but just warm enough. Warm enough even for people to be on the beach in their bathing suits.

Santa Cruz:Fisherman's Wharf Drop Box
Moss Landing (Saturday Continued)
We had made plans to make a stop for Rusty on the way back to Marina - town called Moss Landing. There's an Army Surplus & Paintball supply shop there. After we'd done that, Scott's mom spied an old ship out on the water that she wanted to try to see. We did manage to find it. When we did there appeared to be 2 of them - reproductions of old Spanish vessels. They were loaded with people in regular clothes, and a few docents with period dress. My guess is they were a touristy thing for Thanksgiving?

Moss Landing - Spanish reproductions Drop Box
Managed to get one more shot in Moss Landing before it was too dark. This one is just at the end of a little beach looking out over the bay. Such a beautiful Sunset to take with me for the end of a lovely day and our last day on the coast

Moss Landing - Sunset Drop Box

Turlock - Hilmar Cheese Factory - Sunday, November 30th
On Sunday morning we were out of their early - too early to say "bright". Still dark even. We walked down to the beach still. Didn't go as far down as before because it was too dark to see. But from the top of the hill we could just see the white of the surf as it crashed down onto the beach. Got out of Marina around 5:30 am and started out toward Turlock. There was a swapmeet for the family to attend, and a great aunt for me to visit who I'd not seen in quite a while. Got to spend about 2 hours with her and upon leaving she found my buttons (more on that later too).

One last stop before coming home for an end to our vacation - the Hilmar Cheese Factory. They have a nice little lunch counter (really good cheesy potato chowder) - lots of cheese and other goodies to buy (including Orange or Cranberry Curd. Or how about Apricot/Bell Pepper Jelly - these 3 things came home with us).

for my photo op...These cute little cow tiles were in the bathroom.

Hilmar Cheese Factory Drop Box
Outside the factory there is a pretty little pond with a waterfall you can walk behind. Isn't it nice? The last bit of touristing I did for my Thanksgiving weekend.

Hilmar Cheese Factory Drop Box

Thanks to Scott's family for letting me tag along. I had such a great time.

If you'd like to see more photos of any of these places - you can view my Flickr set: Thanksgiving 2008