Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
I went to class that night, turned in my paper, gave my presentation and felt relieved it was over. And then my relief turned into a slight fever and a sore throat. Which turned in to being sick the rest of the week and not getting out of bed until Saturday. No fun. Especially because Markus was gone most of this time and I was home alone. I did however catch up on my sleep and all the programs recorded in my DVR. I have watched enough tv to last me until Christmas.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
See below for Grandmamma Chenault's applic pie recipe:
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I can't tell if Charlie is scared of the toys or not. Either way, it kept him entertained through dinner!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It started a few weeks ago in class. We had a 10 minute break. I used 3 minutes of that break to use the bathroom and text Markus. The rest of the time I spent online looking at what I always look at when I'm bored, design blogs. I went to DS* and stumbled across this post and the gray/cream combination in this picture really caught my attention.
So the next day I tell Markus "I think we should paint the dining room gray, add some molding, and install a new light fixture". And he asks if this is because of the orange rug. No, this is because I'm neurotic, and on a break in class I found a picture. Duh!
We arrived in Monterey on Saturday and headed straight to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I recommend going on a non-weekend day. It was CROWDED with lots and lots of strollers. But so worth the admission price. I took a ton of pictures . Under the sea creature are amazing and so colorful.
Big Sur is very rustic. A great place to go camping and get in touch with nature. There are several parks in the area. We chose Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for hiking. They have redwoods and I hugged one. Does that make me a tree hugger? The hike up was a little tricky but the view from the top was worth it. So was the waterfall we passed.
We also went to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park because I had read the views are amazing. They are. Most of the park is closed due to the 2008 wildfires but a small trial that leads to the waters edge is still open. You walk through this:
And on the other side is this:
There are signs posted everywhere warning not to go down to the beach. Many people have attempted and have needed rescuing. Probably worth it once you get down there. The land was once private property and the owners left it to California and requested the house be torn down and named after a local resident, JPB. Can you imagine LIVING on land that looks like this?
On the way back to Monterey we drove 17-mile drive and got a glimpse at the Pebble Beach golf club. We also got to see the Lone Cyprus Tree. Pretty cool looking.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Jess is a mom who started a blog when she gave birth to chronicle her growing family and keep loved ones in the loop. Just like many of us. Except Jess's baby was diagnosed with cancer at 11 months old and died just 17 days later. And now Jess shares with all of her followers her pain and sorrow of losing a child, and how her and her husband are trying to pick up the pieces and be a normal family again.
A lot of the time Jess, understandably, wonders why this happened to her sweet Cora and questions God's purpose for taking their daughter away from them at such a young age. I can't imagine the grief that they have felt the last seven months and the void they will feel for the rest of their lives. But I am very thankful that Jess has shared her story with her readers. It is a reminder to everyone out there that life is short and precious and should not be taken for granted for one second.
Whenever I am having a rough day I think about Jess and all that she has overcome, and will overcome in her life, and I'm reminded that life is a gift. Her and her husband have a strong bond and an even stronger faith that is helping them through this.
On a happier note, Jess and Joel are expecting again! Baby Mac is due in December and I can't wait to follow their journey with this new bundle of joy. And I am so happy that Jess gets to go back to what God intended her to be, A stay-at-home-mom.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Soooo...I left my heart in San Francisco and we headed north to wine country. We stayed in Sonoma at a really cute hotel that was walking distance from the city square. The hotel felt like a private residence with cottages tucked away behind gardens. Our room wasn't quite ready for us when we arrived but no worries! Their was a winery we walked to that had tastings. We each had a glass of white wine and then headed to the pool at our hotel to cool us off from the 90! degree heat (which is what we left back in Richmond).
That night we went to The Carneros Inn in Napa for dinner at Farm (pictured below). This place was amazing and if we could have swung the $800+ rooms per night, we would have stayed. But I was happy with drinks in the open air lounge and dinner under the stars. Dinner was our wedding gift from Chris and Alexa. Thanks guys, it was phenomenal! And, we liked this place so much that we stopped for donuts at the Boon Fly Cafe on our way out of town. And, I liked the donuts so much that I ate half a dozen in one sitting!
The next day we had a driver pick us up and we headed an hour north to the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. A friend of ours in the restaurant business had arranged a private tour at one of her vendors wineries, Ridge. It was really cool to see how and where they make the wines as well as get a history of the vineyard. However, they poured us more than the normal tasting so when we left 1 1/2 hours later I was pretty tipsy!
Several people had suggested picking up lunch at the Dry Creek General Store so we headed there next. It looks like your average country store until you walk in and are met by gourmet cheeses, sandwiches, and products. They even have live bait and tackle, if you are so inclined! I was more interested in the grub.
Our driver knew of a winery close by that had great grounds for a picnic so we took our food to go and headed to Lambert Bridge Winery. Which as the names suggest, is located over a one lane bridge. Think Bridges of Madison County. As soon as we crossed the bridge we felt like we had gone back in time. Here is the building where they do the tastings, complete with it's own sleeping Saint Bernard (unfortunately not pictured).
I took these pictures at what we dubbed the Mafia Vineyard, because our driver told us they owned casinos in Las Vegas and had ties to the mafia. The wine wasn't that great but the views were spectacular.
Up next, we head down the coast and visit Monterrey and Big Sur. Some of the prettiest views I have ever seen.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Riding the cable car in San Francisco with Dad. Circa 1982
I also don't have any memories of my parents together and have seen very few family photos of us as a threesome. I love this photo. My mom as a young mother and my dad is so handsome.
My Step mom remembers this photo being taken, she says I was leaning in to tell Grandmama Chenault a secret. I was probably four or five.
And this last one is a classic Sarah picture. I was visiting the same aunt who lived in San Francisco at her home in Asheville, NC. I'm wearing her clothes and jewelry (the glasses were unfortunately mine) and probably bossing her around to do something for me. That is her dog, Calliope in the background. I remember this trip vividly. I was plotting the entire visit on how I could stay longer. Auntie Viv's house was so much fun to visit.
It angers me that nowhere in the article do they cite FAA regulations for pilots and duty times. Markus can work 16 hour days with only 8 hours off in between flying. And, he can do it up to 6 days in a row. Think about how you would feel at your desk job working from 6 a.m until 10 p.m., and then having to be back at work at 6 a.m. And, they are sleeping in a hotel and eating airport food with no time to exercise and barely enough time to get 6 hours sleep. Then multiple that by 6 days. Would you want that person flying your plane? I wouldn't want them driving a vehicle on the road, much less flying a plane carrying 50+ passengers 3,000 miles above the earth.
Why doesn't our government do something about this? Media outlets focus on ticket prices and delays going up but hardly ever do you hear about the pilots and how they are working around the clock and putting lives at risk. And, it's even worse for the flight attendants. Their main purpose on being on a flight is to provide assistance to passengers in case of an emergency, not to provide peanuts and drinks.
Bottom line: time is money. The FAA has these rules on the books and until the American public demands better or more lives are lost, it will stay this way. I don't want to lose my husband because he was too tired to do his job. I don't need studies to tell me that 16 hour days are too long to work when you are FLYING A PLANE. So why does the FAA?
Monday, October 5, 2009