Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sample Cards

Two of the sample of the cards we will be making down at the AWC.  I'm working with supplies I have on hand so the cards anyone can do at home. I don't have access to my studios anymore, so I'm back down to basic equipment. Really have to think about what I'm doing now since I can't just open a drawer and pull out what I need. We make a total of four card in an hour, which is pretty fast. Class is the second Friday of every month at 1:00.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Birthday Girl turns 2

 It's Annie's birthday today!  She is on her new doggie bed and wearing her birthday crown.Related Posts with Thumbnails 
No big plans today since I have to work and Annie only wants to chase her tennis balls. I do have to say, she already has a date for Christmas eve, Christmas day and New Year's eve. She is very popular!
Annie on her new bed

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blog Moving

I've set up my new blog. It's a private blog (more from the heart postings) so you will have to email me to sign up to view it. I will continue postings on this blog for events and classes but the good stuff will be on my new blog. Hope to see you there!Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, December 12, 2011

Re-Birth Glass Tree

Kitras Art Glass Inc.
Related Posts with ThumbnailsThis was a very thoughtful gift from my good buddy Toni, who flew out to help celebrate my Spiritual Death Wake this past weekend. It's a giant hand blown glass ball called
"re-birth" by Kitras Art Glass.

"Throughout our lives we journey through many different cycles of renewal. Whether it is overcoming a difficult challenge and emerging from it ready to start over or an exciting new beginning that will lead to great happiness.  Just as a tree goes through cycles of death and then rebirth so do we, each time growing stronger. Whether we are standing before a new pathway or reflecting on a journey taken - the themes of Creativity, Passion, Happiness, Freedom, Re-Birth and Giving helps us to move forward and celebrate the many pathways of life."

So thankful there are word people out there who can express what I feel.

Moving Again - New Blog

Spiritual Death Wake Bonfire
I made it through some very difficult times with the help from my good friends, but big girls have to know they can also go it alone. Find out who they are now and not live in the past. I will be switching to a new blog site soon so I can post more personal things to help me go through the challenges I will be tackling in the coming years. 
When I started my blog all those years ago, it was for the general public but my life has changed so much. To help find out who I am after ending a long term marriage is a little more private. I'm still willing to share but only to those who can help encourage, challenge, keep me focused and maybe even inspire other on the their own path.
I will post here when my new blog is ready and if you request it, email the link to you.  You will have to subscribe to my new blog (sign in) so I know who is visiting.
Had a great time at my Spiritual Death Wake Weekend at the beach. Made some very tough decisions and plans for my future. It was also fun to talk about our silly dreams and hopes between the tears and sadness.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crafty Friends

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI may not be able to do as much crafting as I have in the past but I still have some pretty talented crafty friends. Marcia B made this cute little Santa box.  Love all the little details that gives it a personality.
It's been another whirlwind morning with tons of things on my ever growing to do list. My spiritual mentor told me keeping busy helps keep the negative thoughts from creeping in.  I still will have to deal with them, but I can make the choice of when I want to do that. Much healthier way to go. Getting ready for my spiritual death wake weekend at the beach is keeping everything in focus. Friends flying in for the weekend, bonfire plans all set, Annie's babysitting arranged and the run to the liquor store done. I'm not a drinker so it was entertaining trying to figure out what to buy at Bev Mo from the list everyone sent in. Have to say, some pretty hot guys shop there and are very helpful if you have no idea what to buy.  You can tell from the picture below my drink of choice requires no ID. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Staff Pot Luck

Related Posts with ThumbnailsGood eats at any pot luck at work. Almost everyone knows how to cook and makes the best homemade Japanese dishes.  It was the first time in a long time I made of full plate and ate everything on it!
Just to show you why I'm called the "tall one" at work.  That's me in the back row with the Santa hat on. I'm not kidding when people can't remember my name they say "you know that tall one". I'm only 5'7" and in the Japanese world that super tall.

One big tree for the Yu Ai Kai

 I've done a lot of Christmas tree decorating in my time both for my home and for companies. I really wanted the Yu Ai Kai to have a BIG tree this year. It takes man power and with my loss of muscle mass, I'm not able to handle a tree this big anymore. The massage guys were good enough to help cut one down, get it in the truck and carry it into the building.  That's Glenn in the photo, who is a triathlon kind of guy and even he said it was a good work out going up and down the slopes looking for the right tree. Don't think he broke out into a sweat like everyone else. Nice to have these very fit young guys at the AWC! Now the task of getting it decorated. Too bad all my Christmas ribbon was thrown out during the big move.
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Normal Day?

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI think today was one of the first days in a long time I haven't had to pack, throw out or move something. My life is slowly getting back into a semi normal routine. During the Big Move Out, I was carrying so many keys, I had to have one purse just to hold them all.  Now I'm down to only 6 which makes my purse much lighter.
During those time when things get over whelming, I have to think about all the things I'm thankful for. So here is this week's list.
1) Super great place where I work.
2) Great boss who is supportive and understanding when I'm not on top of  my game.
3) Former neighbors who let me use their super sized truck during the big move. I was finally was able to give their keys back last night.
4) Friends who share not only the joys in my life but help support me through the tough times too.
5) Strangers who's kind hearts help me continue on the path to a more positive light.
6) Strong young guys always willing to do the heavy lifting, run errands and misc. handyman work at a moments notice.
7) My volunteer cookie baker who makes awesome cookies every week.
8) Pants that fit - not as easy as it sounds.
9) Washers and Dryers (yes, I have access to more than one) since I'm not a clothes horse, I have to wash clothes everyday.
10) Cheap airline tickets making my trip to Hawaii possible.
11) Annie who is always happy to see me in the morning when I pick her up. To her foster parents who love her almost as much as I do.
12) For the warm bed I have and the flight of stairs I have climb every night, which is helping my weak leg recover.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tis the Season

How can you not love where you work when people walk in the door with homemade cookies (thank you Emily), bags full of hand knitted baby caps and staff coming by to fix broken sprinklers?
The Wellness Center is jumping with activity.  People chatting in the iPad class, Zumba teacher shouting out directions, knitting teacher calming knitting in the coffee room, the ED working in the Pine room banging out our newsletter and the massage guys off  hiking in the mountains cutting down a HUGE  Christmas tree for the YAK.
Great to be around all this positive energy again!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Tree 2011

Related Posts with ThumbnailsIt's great to finally see all my Christmas ornaments out of the packing boxes. We had our staff and board holiday party last night that included a tree trimming party. My building looks very festive now!
As always the pot luck food was super good. With all the Japanese cooks running around how could it not be?  Had 3 hot King Eggs Rolls for starters and it was a high calorie food fest after that. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Easy and Quick Christmas Gift

Related Posts with ThumbnailsThere hasn't been a whole lot of crafting going on in my world lately but as I unpack all my Christmas ornaments for tonight's tree trimming party, I came across this one done in 2003. It's a great idea for a quick but personal holiday gift.  It does mean that you have to know the person well enough to write some of the highlights for the past year. I had one made for my son and daughter. Seeing it again, it's like reading a mini journal of some of the highlights that happened in his life.  His first big halibut, getting his driver's license and signing up to join the Navy etc... Now I wish I had one made for every year.  The one I had made for my daughter was taken doing a demo. Not sure why someone would want someone else memories but it's gone.
 Anyways, all you need is a glass ball, glass marking pen (any craft store will have it) and some ribbon. Sure is fun doing a quick read on what happened in 2003!

Brown Cows Rock!

My work day starts super early. Usually I have Annie with me so in between throwing the ball for her and getting her breakfast ready I have to allow extra time to get all the other things done before I open my building. Since there is a party at my building today, I didn't bring Annie in, which means I can run around even faster.  There is a small gift exchanged planned for tonight, so I wrapped my present this morning and got these cow scratchers. My mom's lucky charm was brown spotted cows. When I saw these I just had to get them to put on the top of my gift.
What would you do if you won $500.00?
For me that would be my plane ticket to Hawaii and new pants that fit. :)
Brown Spotted Cow Bell I made a long time ago.

More random Christmas

Driving in today to work and thinking about all the things that I have to get done today before the staff and board holiday party I thought of all the random things I'm thankful for. One of the silly thoughts was how thankful I am for my soon to be ex's angry and nastiness toward me. Whenever I feel sad about the end of our relationship or in doubt, I just call him. It doesn't even take a full 30 seconds for him to go postal and for me to remember why we are getting divorced. :)
But on to more positive thoughts.
Love coming into work and seeing all the holiday decorations up and playing holiday music.  
Santa Tree Topper
The Santa tree topper is like the one that was on my family tree when I was growing up. Every year my mom would decide what color light bulb would go behind Santa. One year the bulb got too close and burned a little hole in Santa's face. My mom just called it a liver spot. Not sure what happened to the tree topper (I'm sure it's stored away somewhere) but when I see this one I think of my mom.
Looking forward to making more happy Christmas memories.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For the love of Christmas

Today my love for Christmas was rekindled. In the past I would pack up the whole house so I could put out all my Christmas decorations. Thinking about it now,  it was like having a life size doll house to change over. I know my daughter and son both feel scared by how cluttered the house would look  at Christmas with Santa staring at you from every corner. My ex got more Grinch like every year until he was down right nasty. So for the past few years with everyone yelling at me not to decorate, I stopped. Always made me sad because when you unpack the ornaments or Santa, the memories of when and why you got it come back. During the purge of my house a few months ago, the Christmas boxes got over looked so where not sold off.
With the holidays now here and the staff party is at my building, I finally get to decorate again! It's wonderful to see the smiles on people's faces when they walk in. The best part was, I asked a friend if he would pick up a tree for me since I was running out of time (tree had to be up by Thursday for the tree trimming party) and trust me, this is not a favorite activity for him. It was fun to joke and debate the pros and cons of real and fake trees.  For the first time in many years it was nice to feel the happiness and warmth of being with people who enjoyed the process (maybe not as much as me) of getting ready for the holidays.  Yes, I'm a real tree kind of person and I did learn it's best if only one person goes out and gets the tree. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Is Hawaii in my future?

Related Posts with ThumbnailsIf you follow my blog a while back I posted if I lost all the weight the doctor wanted me to lose, I would go to Hawaii. Well good news is that I've lost all the weight and more (over 50 pounds in two years) The bad news is that I'm also in the process of getting divorce so money is and will be tight. I put the idea of going to Hawaii on the back burner.
Today, someone I didn't know before offered me a week stay in their condo on Maui. I know it's my mom's spirit pushing me to go, but Hawaii is a place for honeymooners, not single people. I went there for my honeymoon over 30 years ago (boy that makes me feel old) and if I was still married, I wouldn't hesitate. The condo lani is right on the water and I will see the whales breaching without even having to get out of bed.  It's not that I won't travel alone, but Hawaii is a couples vacation spot IMO. There are some hiking trails I would like to try but again it's more fun to hike with a buddy.  It's not everyday you get an offer like this. So what should I do? Go on the trip alone or give it up to a charity to auction off?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Driver License

I haven't been around a scale since we put our house on the market a few weeks ago.  To my surprise this morning I lost another 10 pounds. I'm not actively trying to lose weight but with the all the packing and moving boxes everyday and not remembering to eat the pounds are dropping off. Guess having no free time and not being a fast food eater and getting divorced must be the ticket. 
I'm now only 10 pounds away from what's on my driver's license.  I was wondering if anyone else has never changed their weight on their license thinking they would get back to it someday. ;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Knee Squats

Related Posts with ThumbnailsWith all the moving and packing up of the house I haven't had the time to do all the physical therapy on my knee. After the run in with Annie and her friend Tasha my right leg has been very weak after coming out of the leg brace.  I have NO muscle strength anymore and it has caused a lot of problems all the way around. Moving and lifting so many things everyday my back is starting to complain big time.
One of the good things about working at the Wellness Center is all the various treatments available. One of the massage therapist is also a personnel trainer so I asked him for some pointers on what to do. 
Here's George doing a demo for me with the help from Annie. Now there is no way I can get the low yet but my goal is I will some day. I will start out slow and only do 15 squats a day and then add some other strength exercises.
Annie on the other hand is in tip top shape. Getting to playing almost non stop all day, she is one fit puppy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Packing more boxes

Related Posts with ThumbnailsIt's been months now that I've been purging, packing boxes and moving things and there is no end in sight either. I'm just exhausted from having to wake up every morning at 5:00 to pack something up and move it to where ever it needs to go before going to work, only to come home at night to more packing and moving. So wish Annie and I could be moving to our permanent home or at least one we come stay at for while.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chef Alan Wong - The Blue Tomato"

Lisa, Arnold, Robin,Linda, Chef, Sandy

Group photo of us at the Chef Alan Wong book signing.
Guess which one is Chef?
On my serving plate.
Was a super fun event and the food was wonderful! 
Chef Alan's cookbook is very nice too.  I still have to try some of the recipes but I think it would be better if I went to Hawaii instead. :)  Could use some R&R.

Update on the sale of my house

Update on the sale of my house. We had 13 offers, almost all of them over the asking price. As sad as it is to lose my house, I'm thankful for the fast sale. The family moving in have young children so it will be nice to know the house will once again be filled with laughter and the energy only children can bring to a place.
I'm still in search for a place Annie and I can live together, so if you hear of anything let me know. As bad as it is going through a divorce there are some positive things too. So here is my list of positives.
1) No more $$$$ mortgage payments to worry about.
2) I can now fit into a size 4 pair of jeans. I can't sit in them but I can get them on. Last year I was wearing size 14. No, I didn't buy the size 4 jeans, I still like to be able to sit down. :)
3) Annie's foster parents are still wonderful and Annie loves them.
4) Getting a good routine down in the kitchen at work so I can plan out my meals better.
5) At the end of this week, I can start to get rid of all the things kept for staging the house.
6) Thankful for friends who drop off chocolate to help cheer me up.
7) Big thank you to the family buying my house and for the nice clean offer they made.

Cooking Pot Roast is the best

Pot Roast!
My day starts super early, around 5:00 am.  Not that I'm a morning person but my life just turned out that way. Having to make sure Annie gets her workout before she eats sets the schedule. Amazing all the stuff you can get done that early in the morning.
One big advantage I have at work is that I have access to a  commercial kitchen. I can start my dinner in a slower cooker and work while my dinner is cooking. It also makes the building smell super good. I find that is a major stress reducer.
Someone waiting for her friends to show up and play
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Buttons to Billionaires

If you read my blog you know a lot about me. The most important thing is the written word is not one of my strong point but I force myself to keep posting, mistakes and all. You also know I work for the Yu Ai Kai Senior Center and run the Akiyama Wellness Center which is part of the YAK.
As with any non profit group we are always in search of money to help support our core programs and support the staff to keep those programs running. To show the range of people I interact with, two things happened this month. At a recent staff meeting our lunch program coordinator told us that someone paid for the lunch with buttons taped in the lunch money envelop. Our lunch program is free (suggested donation is $2.50) and you only have to fill out a form. It shows us a trend of seniors who are in need who don't want anyone else to know they are in need. Since we can't track this person down, we can not help them and this has us concerned.  Now on the flip side we are a private senior center (meaning we are not part of any city or federal government program) so we must raise all our operating expenses through grants, fundraising and donations from donors. At one of our donor appreciation nights, I met a billionaire.  There are a lot of millionaires around here, but I've never met a billionaire. I had a nice little chat with him and his wife about the programs we run here. At the time, I didn't know they were in the "B" league.  What impressed me most was what a cute couple they were.  Not Hollywood glamour cute but two people who are devoted to each other. Not only are they generous with their support to our agency but they are truly interested in the welfare of others. Nice people all the way around.
I never know if I will have buttons or billionaires walking through my doors and that is what makes this job so interesting.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Related Posts with ThumbnailsI do like sweets but with all that is going on in my life right now I don't really eat a whole lot of anything anymore. One way to lose 50 pounds in a hurry.
Last night was our donor appreciation event at work. One of the donors (thank you boy toy 1) ordered a dozen of each of the "bundtinis" flavors "Nothing Bundt Cakes" carries. It was a bundt cake fest last night. Pumpkin spice is the seasonal cake of the month and is pretty good. I think more sampling is needed to be sure. 
There were a few leftover this morning so I made the sacrifice and ate a few.  Now I'm in a sugar coma and looking for a place to take a nap.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to handle stress - the Buddha's Triangle treatment

Working at the Akiyama Wellness Center is not your typical work place. Today was a "how to reduce my stress" day after my melt down last night. So with apple confit cooking away in the kitchen making the whole building smell of baked cinnamon apples (yes it smelled super good) I asked if acupuncture could help with stress reduction.  Well, did you know there are two types of stress?  Angry stress or depression stress, both are treated differently.  I had to think about it because going through a divorce you bounce back and forth it's a tough call. I went with the depressed stress treatment since I'm sad to be losing my house.  She did what is called "Buddha's Triangle" to help get my good feelings back into my heart.  I also had a few needles put in my forehead to help get a better night's sleep. Now that hurt a little since you can't frown or really move your face muscles while the needles are in.  I have to have all my treatments sitting up at the front desk since I run the building and don't have the time to lay down. Moving is not a good thing when having acupuncture done but I have no choice.  After all that I had a nice steak for lunch which helps with my low level iron issues and some very tasty apple confit.  So we will see how it goes tonight.

Help Beat the Blues

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI always thought I was a stress eater but after losing close to 50 pounds in two years, I've found out I overeat when I'm bored.  With all the stress and work of getting divorced, I've had little time to be bored.  I had a little melt down last night as we get one step closer to selling the house. I'm really sad to lose the house that I love so much. My listing agent is great and as she hugged me during the melt down she said "be strong and stay positive so you can attract more positive energy to you." Kathy is very wise.
Good smells coming from the kitchen always put me in a good mood, even if I'm not hungry. One major advantage I have is that I have a commercial kitchen at work.  So early this morning I fired up the crock pot to make some apple confit - really a fancy name for apple sauce.  Not so much that I plan to eat it but is sure smells good.

To follow the lead of my buddy Toni here are some things I'm thankful for today.

1) Great kitchen to cook in now that I can't at home.
2) Happy puppy at my side waiting patiently for someone to throw her tennis ball.
3) Nice warm bagel being delivered any minute from a good friend.
4) Triple berry scone with my triple chocolate mocha this morning.
5) All my skinny jeans are now too big for me along with the rest of my clothes.
6) To my buddies who know when to call and check in to make sure I'm still moving forward.