Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Slice of Life in Louisiana

I'm home for the week. I got here last Saturday at 10:15 am, after leaving home at 4:00 am-ish. I enjoy getting up early and driving; it's quiet, and there's not much traffic. The sunrise is amazing!! And so is the lightning.

I was born and raised in the Texas hill country and am definitely a Texas girl. I've lived in New Mexico and Kansas, but Texas is definitely home, unless I'm with my parents in Louisiana, then that's home.

What makes my parent's house in Louisiana "home"?

*The marble board made by a a great great great on the table ready for a game between me and Mom

*The many plants (and they're ALIVE!!)

*Mom and Dad

*Going to the gun range with Dad

*Sleeping in

*A calm and relaxed, stress-free feeling

*Cooking, sewing, shopping with Mom. This visit we finished my son's quilt by tufting it.

*My fur sister, Callie
*ALL THE BOOKS (this shows not even a quarter of the books at home)

This morning we will be doing some cleaning and organizing at my brother's house. He works offshore and isn't home too much, so his house kinda shows it. 

A few more days to enjoy the calm and quiet before heading home to get ready for school.


Reluctant Writer

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Slice of Life: "Just Another Manic Monday" ...... quote The Bangles.

My son's car has THREE recalls on it! A window master something, an airbag, and then something else (must not be life-threatening, or I'm sure I'd remember. Monday was THE day I was getting my wedding ring back after taking it in to be resized. After many years, I had decided it was time to do it, so I could wear it, again! Up to this point, I'd been wearing random rings on my ring finger, but was ready to take the plunge. I was expecting it to cost HUNDREDS to resize it, but a half size and $65 later, it would be on my hand!! 

I woke up Monday, called the Toyota dealership, and they could fit me in at 7:30; it was 7:10. "We'll be there!"  Then we'd go to my son's dentist appointment, then go pick up my ring! 

We opened the garage door, and.......NOTHING! IT WOULDN'T OPEN! My son's car is in the garage. We tried in vain to get it open. Even trying to do it manually wouldn't get it open! I called Toyota, let them know the car was stuck in the garage, and I'd call back if we  got it out.  M and I went to breakfast, instead. I mean.... we were up and dressed, so why not? 

Then we went to the grocery store where M looked at me wide-eyed and said, "You've got THE BREAD. THE BREAD FOR GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES." My reply: "Yes, I do. Go get cheese. Whatever kind you want." He perused the sliced cheese and came back with.......colby jack. We got back home, tried the garage, again and still nothing.  I made M his grilled cheese (doctored up cream cheese and sliced cheese. It really is quite wonderful. Got the idea from a little restaurant in Kansas), then....

I called Sears, and they'll be out today to the tune of $300.....

The dentist appointment? One small cavity and a permanent retainer wire broken in two places. $225-275 to replace the retainer. Do I go further out (about a 30-45 minute drive to the orthodontist he hasn't seen in over to save $50?) Or stay here in town and pay $50 for convenience? Since it won't happen until September when we're all back at school, I'm leaning toward convenience....

Oh, my ring? Yeah.....Didn't get that yesterday. Probably won't today. Maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll go through school stuff I brought home and Netflix binge "Stranger Things".


Reluctant Writer

Sunday, July 17, 2016

San Francisco - First Impressions

When my son was little, he would say "tunnelk" instead of "tunnel", so OF COURSE, I had to get a picture!! This was just outside of SF, I think. So far, so good! 

I couldn't even believe how crowded it was! How can people live like this?! Give me my space, please!!

Thought this was cool! My husband and son couldn't see the car that this is, at first!

Well, I'd never seen one, so YEAH, I had to take a picture! Now, remember we were caravanning? I had Alice, my GPS on my phone going (we were last in the line), my father-in-law had his at the front, and aunt and uncle were in the middle. Every street we needed to turn on was blocked, and we couldn't figure out why! We kept getting redirected. Soon, we figured it out.

These were some of the interesting outfits at the Pride Parade. Yep! That's why we kept getting re-routed. At one point, we had to stop (the traffic was RIDICULOUS) and the girl in the car next to us got out of her car and proceeded to have a conversation with her friend on the sidewalk. This irritated my FIL. Aunt was pretty excited, because further along on our way to the hotel, when we were stopped on post-parade traffic, she was given BEADS!! She didn't even have to show anything!

Have I mentioned I have THE MOST AMAZING INLAWS?! We stayed a block away from Fisherman's Wharf. Thank you so much for this awesome vacation!! We unloaded our vehicles and headed out to walk around and explore. IT WAS INCREDIBLE!! The people-watching, the sea lions, the sights, and sounds. I was on overload!

This was at the end of Pier 39, where the newer restaurants and shops were located. We came down here Sunday night. My husband C and his aunt K are admiring the sailboats.
We headed back to the hotel after a couple of hours of exploring and grabbing some dinner.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beaches and Waves: Saturday and Sunday (LOTS of Pictures!)

So many waves on our drive to San Francisco from Monterey! We stopped every chance we could. We had a caravan (my in-laws and an aunt and uncle), which you would think would be difficult, but it was great! We all wanted to see and experience the same things. I'm just going to put my pictures here. If any need an explanation, I'll provide one.

These two (above and below) are at Carmel

On our way to SF, we stopped in Moss Landing and found a fruit stand with a free standing deep fried artichoke person. They made two batches fresh for us, so we had a tailgate picnic of deep-fried artichoke (these were so good!!), strawberries, and cherries. All from California.

I LOVE the waves! I think the picture above is my favorite one that I took. I love how I managed to catch the spray of the water as it hit!!


Reluctant Writer

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Don't laugh, but..." A Slice of Life

These words came out of the mouth of my 18 year old, 6 foot tall son, followed by: "it's kinda nerdy, but we're gonna go walk around and play Pokemon Go!" This is followed by a slight blush and a laugh. I laughed with him, and we talked a little about it. It wasn't long (the next day, to be exact) before I was on the Pokemon Go bandwagon.

Monday morning was busy for us. He had to go up to North Lake to change his schedule,;I had a meeting at 9; he had to be at work at 10.

North Lake by 8, then on the way to Einstein Bagels we grabbed a few Pokemon, then headed to my meeting where we passed a Pokestop. Between the end of my appointment and getting him to work, we drove around for about 30 minutes looking for Pokemon-related things, talking, laughing at each other and other people playing and just spending time together. Please note: I DID NOT PLAY AND DRIVE! I had a willing passenger, or I pulled over.

There's nothing I enjoyed more yesterday than spending time with my son on a common quest for Pokemon and Pokestops. Looking over at him, taking up the entire passenger side: long legs and big smile,  I could still see the silly little boy who played Pokemon on his Gameboy.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Teachers Write: Similes

***WARNING: This isn't perfect. It's learning in progress***

This quick-write was about comparisons, specifically similes.  These are the first two instructions given by Liz Garton Scanlon, the guest author for this quick-write.

"1. Brainstorm a list of emotional or physical states (jealousy, joy, fear, hunger, anger, excitement, worry, confidence, sadness, etc.) Put each word on a little slip of paper and have everyone in the group pick one. (If it’s just you, give yourself a nice choice of words or, better yet, have someone write them for you.)
2. Now, brainstorm a list of both natural and manmade objects (pillow, rock, waterfall, TV, table, blender, forest fire, river, puddle, book, bar of soap, etc.) Put each word on a little slip of paper and have everyone in the group pick one."
Since I had just come back from California, I chose the two things that popped into my head as a read each instruction:
Relaxing and crashing waves
Next, I had to write the simile:                     Relaxation is like a crashing wave.
Here comes the tough part. I have to make this a TRUE statement!!
Relaxing                                    Both                                 Crashing Waves
Quiet usually                                   Different stages                     Loud                                                                     Can be movement                                                                         Always movement 
And there we are. Now, I need to explain it. 
Relaxation is like a crashing wave. They both have different stages.     
And that's all I've got. Everything else only seemed to make sense in my head. "They are peace-inducing." That doesn't even make sense here. But this was my thinking: waves come in seemingly slowly, then grow, and crash into the shore; relaxation begins deliberately. We sit down, then maybe pick up a book or a remote, then, if you're anything like're asleep! Stages....
Reluctant Writer

Thoughts on Writing, reluctantly

I attended two days of #cisdlitcamp at the beginning of the summer, which is how I got started with the blogging. I'm also participating in Teachers Write 2016.

#Cisdlitcamp focused on writing and reading. Writing what we wanted to write,as long as we wrote. We reflected; we did book talks; we started a blog. A blog for anything. So far mine has two somewhat random ones, one post for Teachers Write, and then my vacation posts.

Teachers Write seems to be more about writing stories, which is good for me. It makes me think more outside the box and outside my comfort zone. No one can judge my vacation writing (I hope, anyway), but people can think my story ideas are stupid or don't make sense. That's where I feel vulnerable, so, maybe that's where I need to focus. I'm writing the ideas down in my writer's notebook; I'm posting in the comments of the various blogs, maybe a day or two later, but I need to let the ideas simmer.

I realized that maybe this story place is where I'm reluctant, and that's what I'll try to work on. This means that my blog will be a mixture of story, vacation, school, books, and whatever else I put on here. Maybe it's a picture or quote that struck me.

Happy Saturday!! Maybe I'll go back to my comfort zone and put up another California post later!


Reluctant Writer

Friday, July 8, 2016

Heading to Monterey (Thursday and Friday)

So far, this blogging isn't so difficult. Although, to be honest, all I'm doing is talking about my vacation! That's really easy!  I'll get into other things (books, school), later.

Well, today we're heading to Monterey for the family reunion. I was a little sad that we'd be leaving this amazingness:

Woke up to a foggy beach!! I still saw and heard those waves, though. I definitely miss them!!

Once we got the condo cleaned up and got the car packed up, we headed out past the fields surrounded by fog:

and this great house! I think (I HOPE) someone's working on it. It's in the middle of a field of dirt, but can't you see the potential? A low fence to separate the house garden from the fields. Maybe the house is white or cream with dark blue trim? 

I don't know what it is about this house, but I couldn't take my eyes off of it every time we passed by!

We headed to Moss Landing for lunch. Today was my husband's pick. Remember how we each pick a meal? His was seafood. Now, he really enjoys seafood and will try ANYTHING. ANY KIND OF FOOD. I'm not that daring. I don't eat seafood. I don't like the textures. Texture issues, that's me. BUT, I was determined to eat fish at least once. I mean, we were on the coast, so it shouldn't be too horrible. C's choice was Phil's Fish Market.

We decided the fisherman who greeted us looked like my dad.

We ordered and walked through the restaurant and found a seat at the very back and outside. There was a fence that separated the restaurant from the beach. When we got there, it was pretty foggy but cleared up quickly, so we could enjoy the view.  There was a family enjoying the beach, dogs playing frisbee, the horses, and THE WAVES. 

C's food: cioppino. Basically, a bowl full of random seafood. 

Mine: grilled halibut, fries, the huge, yummy salad, cantaloupe and the bread.
It wasn't horrible, but I had to choke down the last few bites. I was determined to eat the WHOLE, DANG PIECE. I succeeded.

And my son's..... a patty melt.... SOOO adventurous!

Our view at lunch. I loved the sound of the waves!

These two pictures are from the restroom at the restaurant! How cool, right?! I don't make it a habit to take restroom pictures...

Monterey: Bougainvillea was EVERYWHERE and full and lush like this one!
All of the following pictures are from Monterey and the 17 Mile Drive. 

More waves crashing against the rocks. Such a relaxing sound.

Yep, more waves!

Well, I really liked the roof. It reminded me of the Weasley's roof. I'm NOT explaining that reference!

This tree is called The Lone Cypress. It's 250 years old, and is used as the logo for Pebble Beach.

Pebble Beach looking over the 18th hole.

Lunch overlooking Monterey Bay

Jellyfish lights in The Fish Hopper

Remember this little guy? It's a BABY SEAGULL!! It looks like a leopard!

C, our son M, and C's dad at Carmel Beach (Carmel-by-the-Sea)

Loved the roof of this house!!

Thanks for visiting today! I'll have more pictures tomorrow. Maybe not as many?


Reluctant Writer