Tag Archives: Vacaville

Let there be light

Saying good-bye to the dark
In Kansas and California, my hubby has hung blackout curtains in our bedroom to help me adjust to my vampire schedule. In addition to cocktails and wine, these curtains blocked out the sun and helped me fall asleep.

I like to think of it as tricking my body into thinking night has fallen.

Today, Mark started taking the black sheets down and allowing the light back into our bedroom. In this video, he explains how I was cured of my vampy condition.

Yah! Mark doesn’t need to hide all the garlic anymore.

Moving right along

Six years ago – when President Bush faced off against his Democratic challenger John Kerry – I faxed my Los Angeles County ballot from London. From cafes off Oxford Circus to our flat under the Old Burlington Arms, my fiancee telecommuted to Berkeley as I worked on my residency at Reuters.

Punting off the River Cam

Five years ago – my hubby and I loaded up our Toyota Corollas (Yes – the folks at Midas call us the Corolla couple) with everything we needed to move to Kansas and I started my career in broadcast news.

This Friday, I say good-bye to TV news in Sacramento and step into the world of hyperlocal journalism with AOL’s Patch.com.
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Wow. Packed and ready for my Russian adventure. Looks like I’ll have some sidekicks tagging along.

Sometimes, my bears place nicely together. In fact, they’re one heck of a team when they decide to help each other.

Bears Conspiracy

Pop Quiz: What’s different in these two pictures?



Less than two weeks to go before I’m flying to St. Petersburg. I still have a ton of editing and writing to finish. I also have to work on new subjects for new lectures.

I’m sure I will be working on these presentations on the plane. In the meantime, I’m trying to get a better idea of what to expect in St. Petersburg.

Some travel prep notes:

  • Travel Document Systems e-mailed my Russian Visa. Woot! It was an adventure trying to apply for a visa at the Russian Consulate in San Francisco. I’ll blog more about it – soon.
  • Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

  • I bought a new battery for my MacBook at the Apple Store in San Francisco
  • Preparing for my #kvprussia trip. Just need to figure out whi... on Twitpic

  • I borrowed some international converter plugs from Suzanne. I guess I’ll see which one works in St. Petersburg.
  • I’m learning some Russian phrases thanks to the one-minute lesson podcasts by Radio Lingua.
  • My bedtime reading is the Lonely Planet Guide to St. Petersburg.

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Stalking chicks and teeing off in Cow Town

Move over Ultimate Frisbee.

Frisbee Golf
Last month, Scott and Catalina introduced us to Frisbee Golf. We played part of a round at Lagoon Valley in Vacaville.

It’s a relaxing, challenging game of skill and chance. Mother Nature was another player on the green by blowing strong wind gusts into the mix.

Like the game of golf, players attempt to fling their frisbees into a caged “hole”. In addition to trying gain enough air and distance on my disc fling, I’m also trying to aim the disc at the hole standing about 350-400 yards away.

Frisbee Golf Hole
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Surf and Turf

We spent a wet Easter Sunday in San Francisco with our friends. Because of my spiffy work schedule, my hubby suggested driving down to LA and spending the holiday weekend with family. But I didn’t like the idea of driving back home after Mass.

So, it was a pleasure to eat good food and chill with Susan and Tom. Over the last two years, we put a lot of miles on Mark’s Corolla, crossing the Carquinez and Bay Bridges. I think it’s totally worth the mileage to spend time with people I consider I close enough to be family.

This is the third year that we’ve done something special for Easter Sunday in SF, growing into a lovely tradition.

Easter Dinner at the Waterbar
We followed Susan’s suggestion of Easter dinner at the Waterbar on the Embarcadero. The stormy weather offered a romantic backdrop to our classy feast of seafood, wine and other gourmet treats.

Steak on the grill
Before the weather turned stormy, we marked the end of Lent with steaks on the grill. When I smelled the savory, rich aroma of meat sizzling over hot flames, I nearly melted.
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Sans Meat

As a woman of leisure, I spent a lot of time challenging myself in the kitchen.

Bacon and Cheddar Puffs

I enjoyed cooking dinner and catching up with my hubby over a hot meal. I got over my hesitation/fear over baking and produced some tasty cheddar gougeres. I bonded with my hubby over rolling pizza dough and cutting up pasta noodles. On dry days, we fired up the grill for fresh fish and sausages. All the culinary activity, from chopping vegetables to studying recipes, helped me cope with being out of work.
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Just Kidding

I got tapped to work an early morning shift on April Fool’s Day. So, I didn’t have the energy to pull off a decent prank.

This year, I kept it simple.

Dreamy Puppy

Before bedtime, I burrowed under the covers and called for my Daisy. I made sure I didn’t have any limbs or toes sticking out under the blankets.

“Where’s Mommy?!?! Mommy disappeared!”

The dog kept sniffing until she burrowed under the covers next to me.

When she pushed her muzzle into my face, I said: “April Fools!”

New Roots

Last weekend, I played in the dirt with my hubby.
I ripped out weeds and dead stems left behind from our first garden in Cow Town. Next, we added new soil and mapped out spots for our new plants.

Adding New Dirt
Before dawn, I spent a few hours researching what plants work for our garden space. Last year, the potato plants played Prima Donnas. Basically, the potato vines took over most of the space. I suspect that’s what killed off the chives and green bean plants. Another rock star in my garden: Roma Grape Tomatoes. I remember picking some for my parents. As I showed off our backyard, we sampled the fresh vegetable off the vine.

For this year, I wanted more structure for our garden instead of using a strategy of “Anything Goes.” I wanted to give plants a fighting chance.

Here’s what we planted for 2010:
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And that was a challenge for my Daisy. She knows sitting is her way of saying so many things.

“Yes.” “Please.” “More kibble.” “More wine.” “Throw my Toy.”

It took her three tries to squat into a sitting position and it looked uncomfortable. Daisy still had enough vim to chase squirrels and ghosts in the backyard. But she also had trouble jumping on to the couch (she loves doing that) and she took more naps.

Time to take her to the vet.

Daisy’s doctor took some X-rays and showed us why she would never be serious contender for “Best-in-Show.” The black-and-white images shows one leg bone is shorter than the other. We finally have proof that she runs with a permanent limp. I suppose she would fit in with any hip hop/rap video with her gimpy stride. Just call her a playa. She’ll answer if you call for her in a high-pitched voice.

So – we think she may have strained something when it came to chasing critters on the trail. Daisy’s doctor gave us some herbal pills for her leg/bum pain. He also said she needed a break from running and walking. She hated it when I left her behind for my walk/run along Alamo Creek, but she needed the rest.

Toad Hollow

After the pills, Daisy’s jumping back on the couch and bed with no problems. She’s also sitting again.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to take her on a walk to celebrate the weekend of Spring.