Friday, July 31, 2009

Shopping With a Friend

Last night I finally worked out which pair of shoes to wear with the first outfit. After dinner, I sat down at the computer to do some online shopping. My friend MB opened a chat with me on Facebook, and since MB has always had excellent taste in shoes, I enlisted her help. We visited all kinds of websites, and after taking a look at the photo in the previous post, she informed me that I was looking for the wrong color of shoes. She suggested khaki or cinnamon, to go with the skirt. (I have a closetful of black shoes, but have never been into browns.) I was on the verge of ordering a pair of cinnamon sandals, when I remembered an ancient pair of shoes that my Mom had handed me a few years ago. She had found them in my closet when they moved out of the old house, and for some reason she kept them and gave them to me. I stuck them at the back of my shoe shelf, and forgot about them until now. Although they undoubtedly date from my high school years, they are in perfect shape, and just needed a little dusting. I took a photo of them and sent it to MB, and she approved them. So, I have shoes to wear, and I didn't even have to spend any money! Plus I had a great time "shopping" with my friend :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reunion Outfits

High school reunion coming up next week! After much agonizing, here is the almost-final result of three trips to two malls and visits to many web sites:

Outfit #1
This one is for a casual get-together at a tavern (still need some summery sandals). I also plan to iron both the skirt and the top!

Outfit #2
Dinner and dancing at the Moose Lodge

Final tally:

  • 3 dresses purchased

  • 2 dresses returned

  • 1 top purchased

  • 1 skirt purchased

  • 1 pair of shoes yet to be purchased

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Proud Parents

We just received the annual STAR test (California standardized testing) scores for the kids. I can't go around bragging about how well our kids did to the other parents, so I'll inflict my parental pride on y'all instead :-)

Both kids have followed the same pattern: 2nd and 3rd grade were learning years for state testing. B & M did okay on the tests those years, but not as well as we knew they were capable of. In 4th grade, the testing process clicked for both kids, and they started getting scores that seemed appropriate.

Last year M was in 6th grade, and he scored as "advanced" in both language arts and math. He only missed two questions in the math tests, and did quite well in language arts (not his strongest suit, but he's worked hard on it).

B just finished 4th grade. We've always known she was superb at language arts, but she complains that she doesn't like math. I keep telling her she doesn't have to like it, as long as she does well. (DH and I think math will get more interesting as she gets older--memorizing multiplication facts isn't much fun.) Well, she did it--a perfect score in math, and only two questions missed in language arts!

I suppose this means we'll have to take them out for a celebratory dinner at some point :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anniversary Dinner

Nineteen years today--DH and I celebrated with dinner for two at Chez Panisse. Fabulous food, as always!

   Pizzetta with leeks, Lucques olives, and fontina

   Quail with figs, chanterelle mushrooms, & corn
   House-made spaghetti with shrimp, shell beans, and chervil

   Blueberry, peach, and plum cobbler with plum ice cream
   Noyau crème anglaise with Suncrest peaches and blackberries

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In Search of a Dress

Went into SF today with DH & sis. After a nice lunch at the mall (I always have the BBQ short ribs at the Korean BBQ place), we combed the stores looking for something appropriate for the first night of my reunion. DH was amazed at how hard it was to find the right dress. I tried on a bunch, and found one "maybe," but we finally ended up with a nice silk top that's waiting to be paired with a skirt or jeans. I'll take some photos later, after I try it on with what I have at home.

The kids have called home twice this week. They're having a great time in Minnesota: canoeing, water skiing (well, attempting to water ski), tubing, etc. They've been to the Mall of America, where B found the American Girl store and had to do some shopping.

One more week of kid-free living!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quiet Quiet Quiet

The kids left on Monday for a road trip with DH's parents. They are headed to Minnesota to visit relatives.

DH and I are trying to decide what to do with our temporary empty nest. Tonight we went to dinner at O Chamé in Berkeley, since I had a gift certificate (thank you, Voci!). We walked around 4th Street a little, then headed home. We have tickets for the 12:15 am showing of Harry Potter tonight--we haven't stayed up that late for many, many years. I hope we can stay awake!

This weekend we have a bunch of things planned. On Saturday morning we are going to a brunch to meet a potential political candidate--we've been assured it's not a fundraiser, although I'm sure our name will end up on lists for the future. Saturday evening we're going to dinner at the home of DH's postdoc, with hot-tubbing to follow. Sunday we're heading in to SF to meet my sister, have lunch, and do some shopping. I have been scouring web sites and stores, trying to find the right outfit for my high school reunion next month. I have a little black dress that will do for the cocktails & dinner night, but the previous night is a get-together at a local bar. I've been looking for something casual but elegant--hard to find! The dresses I've seen are either too dressy (B and I found a lovely one last week, but it's more suited to a garden party than a casual tavern) or too unflattering. Maybe a skirt and nice top would be easier to find?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rice Krispies Treat For One

Rice Krispies treats are one of those things I can't have around the house. If I have a pan of them at home, I'll end up eating just one, then another one, then just one more, and before you know it, half the pan is gone. So, I figured how to make just one serving at a time:


Single-Serving Rice Krispies Treat

1/2 tsp butter
1/3 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup Rice Krispies

Grease spoon and microwave-safe bowl with butter. Leave remaining butter in bowl. Add marshmallows. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir. If still lumpy, microwave additional 15 seconds. Stir in Rice Krispies. When cool enough to handle, mold into desired shape.

Makes two small or one large treat.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Putrescent Egg Solids

Just before we left for San Diego, the lilies I planted in front of the fence started to bloom:

When we got back, I discovered that deer like lilies:

The ones between our parked car and the fence were not touched, but all the others not protected by the car were lopped off.

Yesterday, I finally made it to the nursery, where I picked up some deer spray. First active ingredient is "Putrescent Egg Solids." I'll let you imagine what that stuff smells like! After I sprayed it on the plants, Poppy couldn't stop sniffing and licking my garden gloves, so now I'm wondering if every dog in the neighborhood is suddenly going to take an interest in my flowers.

I'll let you know later this summer if the deer spray works.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth!

This is the first year we've attended the local Fourth of July parade. Cute small-town parade--we had a great time! B was part of the group that opened the parade with the national anthem.

There were Boy Scouts, congressional candidates (we're having a special election here in November), swim clubs, horses, and lots of dogs. The parade ended with the Volunteer Marching Band: anyone who plays an instrument was invited to show up before the parade started. There was even a violinist marching along!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Calvin Ball

I took the kids to buy tennis racquets after dinner, and of course they had to try them out as soon as they got home. B didn't want to walk up to the club with M to see if there was an open court, so they settled for our little backyard. Imagine one child standing on the deck, one in the grass, and two ball-happy dogs trying to retrieve all the flying balls...


Current mental soundtrack: "Star Trek" theme (original) [guess what the kids have been watching online]
The kids started taking tennis classes this week, and they're both having a great time. B signed up because her friend L did, then M thought it sounded interesting, so we signed him up, too. We borrowed a racquet from my sister to try out the classes (no point in buying racquets if the kids ended up hating tennis), but I think we're headed out to buy them their own racquets tonight, since E's racquet is the wrong size for them.

I was a little concerned at first that they would feel too far behind the other kids, since they practice with their own age groups, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. M seems to be doing fine in his group--hitting the ball pretty often, and working on his aim. B isn't hitting as many balls, but two of her best friends are in her group, so she's having a lot of fun. They are having a late lunch right now, but agreed to go outside and practice hitting balls with each other after lunch.

The kids are having a busy summer, but with plenty of time for relaxing each day. Tennis for two weeks. Open fencing twice a week (no classes, just bouting). No ballet, no piano, no homework. We had fun in San Diego, then the kids are leaving on the 13th for Minnesota with DH's parents. About a week after they return, we are taking a road trip to Washington for my high school reunion. Once we get back, it'll only be a couple of weeks before school starts at the end of August.