May You Smile – 2022

Typically it takes a few days to get back to the blog habit after the A to Z is over. I have to catch up with all the other projects I have that I let slide during the month. I REALLY have to prepare better next year because I end up missing the opportunity to make Mother’s Day things to sell in the Etsy shop. This year I only had time to make some cards and a couple of the exploding boxes.

I also had to get ready for another pop-up craft show which happened on May 7. For that I made some more birthday cards as well as some other all occasion cards.

It was so windy! I couldn’t display all the cards the way I usually do because they would blow all over so I had to keep them in boxes. I didn’t make a lot of money but managed to at least make the $25 it cost for the table space and tenting plus a little more. As always though I learn things with each show and this time I got to use my new banner!

And last but not least, I have been seeing some really gorgeous skies lately. The top three pictures are all from my front porch, all on the same night in the space of about half an hour. At first was the yellow burst, then came the orange glow and finally the gray almost storm clouds. It was amazing. The last two are from the next night at my son’s softball game. I just marvel at the way God plays with his crayons and paints, don’t you?

And now it’s time to start work on Father’s Day things. I have a couple of boxes and some cards in the works and they’ll be in the shop soon. What have you been up to?

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A to Z Reflection – 2022

Usually I have this reflection post all ready to go and all the links done by the time April is over. Not so much this year. I really am grateful that the reason I’m a little behind schedule is because I have had a lot of transcription work. Since that’s what pays the bills, it gets priority!

If you are just visiting for the first time, my theme this year was the A to Z of Dating. I have been married for almost 38 years (May 20th) and I know it is important to keep the fun in our relationship even with having kids, a house, working, etc. I thought it might be fun to relive some of our dates and look for some new ones. Here is what I came up with:

A is for Aquarium, Arcade, Amusement Park

B is for Bowling, Baseball, Beach

C is for Concerts, Costumes, Cards

D is for Dinner, Drive-In, Dancing

E is for Explore, Errands, Exercise

F is for Fireworks, Festival, Fishing

G is for Golf, Gambling, Geocaching

H is for Helicopter, Hiking, Horse Races

I is for Ice Cream, Ice Skating, Indoor Rock Climbing

J is for Jazz, Jigsaw Puzzle, Jet Ski

K is for Kite Flying, Kayaking, Karaoke

L is for Lake, Lunch, Light Show

M is for Musical, Museum, Mini-golf

N is for Netflix, National Park, Nightclub

O is for Outdoors, Opera, Operation

P is for Picnic, Paint Night, Pool

Q is for Quizzes, Quiet Time, Quickie

R is for Road Trip, Rollerskating, Roof Top

S is for Scavenger Hunt, Sunset, Sports Bar

T is for Trivia Games, Tandem Bike, Train Trip

U is for Underwater, Unplugged, Unplanned

V is for Video Games, Volleyball, Vista Point

W is for Winery, Weekend Getaway, Whale Watching

X is for X-rated, XO, X-box

Y is for Yard Sale, Yoga, YouTube

Z is for Zoo, Zipline and ZZZ

I want thank our hosts for the terrific job they did as usual. Arlee Bird, our founding father, John Holton, J Lenni Dorner and the rest of the gang, I salute you. Anjela Curtis came up with our new graphics after the sad passing of Jeremy Hawkins.

I am sorry to say that I wasn’t able to visit as many new folks as I would have liked. It seems to be a theme with others this year too. I know I only had a few new visitors to my site as well. I am truly grateful for all the comments I did get and I am going to do my best to get around to seeing what I missed in the weeks to come. I hope that folks found some new or remembered some old dating ideas. I know I had a great time looking through our old photos to get examples and I’ve made my own list of things I want to do and places I want to go.

Okay, that’s a wrap for the A to Z for this year. I wear my winners badge with pride.

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Z is for Zoo, Zipline, ZZZ

We haven’t been to the zoo in a long time and when we did it was with the kids but you know there’s no reason why a trip to the zoo couldn’t be a date, right? Our zoo is right near the beach so a perfectly planned day could include walking around the zoo and then having a picnic at the beach to watch the sunset!

Even though we were both cool to go on a helicopter ride, I think a zipline adventure would be like the jetski trip to Catalina Island, out of the question. My hubby has done skydiving once but that was before he hurt his back and I’m not sure I’d like to take the chance on having a misadventure so high in the air. If you are interested though, this looks like a really cool place to go and it is near the Sonoma wine country so you could fortify yourself with some wine before you tried the zipline experience.

And finally, there is just plane old catching some ZZZZs. Nothing like a good cuddle in a nice cozy bed or wherever and just taking a nap. After this A to Z, I’m all for that!

So, what do you think? Does this old married lady still have some good ideas for dating or what? Did you like them? Going to try any new ones? Remind you of your dating days? I am so grateful to everyone who stopped by to say hello. I am really going to make an effort to get to some new folks starting next week when things settle down around here. Have a great rest of your weekend. I’m off to a wedding. Which is actually a date that I didn’t mention in the Ws!

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Y is for Yard Sale, Yoga, YouTube

While I have to be careful with the hubby if we are driving around and he sees a sign saying Yard Sale, we have done rather well the few times we have participated in our city’s Clean Sweep huge yard sale that they hold in the park. I don’t think they did it the last couple of years but this was from the most recent one we participated in. Hubby was selling his tools and I had tons of clothes and other household stuff that I wasn’t using so we packed it up and spent the day in the park. Well, I should say I spent the day in the park. Tools, which was what Bill had to sell, seemed to go much quicker than my things so he was done in a few hours!

I typically schedule a PARCA or Salvation Army pickup for the next day and anything that didn’t sell gets donated. I figure that if I’m ready to sell it, I don’t need it and why try to fit it back in the house?

Yoga may seem like it belongs with exercise but I consider it more of a meditation kind of thing and I have seen where couples do yoga moves together to strengthen their relationship. Here are some if you’re interested.

And finally there is YouTube. Hubby is always looking up various musical groups and when he finds something that particularly intrigues him he’ll come and share it with me. Or, it may be an old song from our past and we’ll watch it together. In addition to music though, he’s learned to find how-to’s to fix things around the house and that is very helpful.

Okay, I may get my Z post up later today as we have to head out early tomorrow morning for the wedding we are going to. It is a 3-1/2 hour drive so we’re leaving kind of early. I think I’d rather post it today than wait until Sunday. That way I can relax and enjoy the weekend.

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X is for X-rated, X-O, X-Box

So X-Box is a gaming system that came out in 2001 and you might say that was covered in the post about Video games but this is my blog and I’m using it here too. When hubby and I were in our first apartment together in 1982 we spent many an hour playing Burger Time on what was one of the first systems called Intellivision. While it didn’t happen often, occasionally I even beat him. I wish I had seen this video back then, I really could have used the pointers!

X-O could stand for the game tic-tac-toe, which would be fun to play sometimes but also can get rather boring. X-O is also often used at the end of a letter to stand for hugs and kisses. I have had a few notes from my hubby over the years and these are some of them. While they don’t include the X-O, I definitely feel the love.

I know that by this time you are waiting for X-Rated dating ideas. Since my blog is basically PG there are no pictures of that, I’ll let you use your imagination.

Okay. Y and Z left. Thank goodness.

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W is for Winery, Weekend Getaway, Whale Watching

Well, this was another one that was pretty easy to fill, thank goodness. I had to use going to a winery as an idea since we go to the Mountain Winery so often. I haven’t counted but I know we’ve been to at least 40 or 50 shows there over the years. When they started the Loyalty program where you get first access to tickets the next season by attending 4 shows a year, we’ve done that. Gotta love first access. That’s how we can get the up close and personal seats, which sometimes leads to interactions with the band! That is me with Josh Steely of Daughtry. Bill has had a fist bump with Neil Giraldo and we all remember when Kelly Hansen of Foreigner climbed over the seats right next to me!

In addition to the great music though, the scenery around the venue is spectacular. On a clear night you can see so far and once the sun goes down and the lights go on, there is definitely magic. The trees around the concert bowl have lights that make them look like they are on fire. The season starts soon and we already have our four shows scheduled. In fact, we have five as our daughter and I are going to see the Abba tribute band. We will also see a Queen tribute, The Temptations and Four Tops, Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield with Men At Work.

Weekend Getaway is something that we are able to do now a little more than we could when the kids were little. And, in our case weekend doesn’t even really need to be a Saturday/Sunday type thing. Since hubby is retired and I work from home, any day can be a weekend. This makes it easier for us to take advantage of lower prices that you can sometimes get during the week. I talked about our trip to Las Vegas and the times we’ve gone to Reno. We also took a quick trip to Oregon to see Bill’s mom. For the first time we got to go into the United Club! That was a fun experience. Of course you don’t have to fly places to get away. Our trips to Boulder Creek for the golf tournament every September was a nice getaway too.

And finally there is whale watching. Living as close to the ocean as we do, there are a few times that whales have been near enough for us to see if we went to look. We didn’t so I have no pictures.

X, Y and Z are all that remain. We are going to a wedding on Saturday so I may or may not get the last one up before we go. If not, it will be there on Sunday. I’ve come this far, I have to finish!

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V is for Video Games, Volleyball, Vista Point

Video games are not something that we do often but we have been seen playing video poker while sitting at a bar in Reno. We also have played some games on our phones, mostly word games to keep our minds fresh like Word Splash. I guess those count as video games. We like to see who gets farther, although he is way ahead of me since I’m still working and he’s retired.

Volleyball is probably out of the question for us now, although a nice volleyball game on the sand at the beach would be fun.

Lastly is Vista Point. There are many spots on the highways where you can take an unplanned excursion to see the sights from a Vista Point. The one that will always mean the most to me is Logan Shoals Vista Point in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. That is where we had our very small wedding and it was just a wonderful setting. We stopped back by there on our 25th anniversary. It had changed a little from what I remembered but it was still a beautiful spot.

I think it’s time for another visit there, don’t you?

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U is for Underwater, Unplugged, Unplanned

Okay, I really may be stretching it with the letter “U” but what the heck. I have no pictures so it’s going to be a short one too.

Underwater activities like snorkeling or scuba diving might be a fun date. We’ve never done them but anything with water always grabs my attention. I know there are some beautiful things you can see underwater.

Unplugged is something that works in these technological times. We always have our phone at the ready even if it is just to look up something that we’re talking about. In the olden days, there was no such thing so putting the phones away and just communicating is a good idea once in a while. Especially now that the kids are grown and we don’t need to be so available to them. We went to a restaurant for dinner the other night and as I looked around almost everyone was on their phones. I’m sure you’ve seen that too. Of course in our case, if we don’t look up what we were talking about, we won’t remember when we get home so having a paper and pen with us might be helpful – LOL.

Finally, unplanned. Sometimes you can have the most fun when you are just spontaneous and take a detour on a different road or just head out with no real destination in mind. Spontaneity can be exciting.

I’m calling that done. We’re on our last week with some of the hardest (for me) letters. Have a great Monday!

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T is for Trivia Games, Tandem Bikes, Train Trip

You may think that trivia games are like the Quizzes I mentioned for “Q” but I think they are different. (or maybe I just couldn’t think of three “T’ activities so I’m using it – LOL). Trivial Pursuit was a game that we played sometimes back in the day. I think we may even still have a box in the closet but we haven’t played in a long time.

Tandem bikes sounds like a fun thing to do too. Last year during the A to Z when I was in Union Square I saw a bike rental place and they have tandem bikes for rent. I think that hubby and I could manage something like that, not too much strain on either of us. However, we’d have to make sure we were going on a flat path which is hard in San Francisco!

And last, but probably best, idea is a train trip. We take the train a lot from our house to the City to see the Giants play and we may start taking it to see concerts at Chase Center. It’s a bit farther to walk but doable. I’m really talking about taking a train trip down the coast of California. They have one called the Starlight that goes down the coast from Seattle to LA. It takes 35 hours but I think it would be neat to see the coast that way. The California Zephyr sounds like fun too, especially since we were married in Zephyr Cove. It goes from San Francisco to Chicago, going through Nebraska and Colorado. Even though they are long trips, being on the train would allow the hubby to stand up and stretch his legs without having to pull over and stop.

Just for fun, here’s what I can see from my front porch.

Unfortunately, although the train station is right across the street from us, we’d have to drive to a more inland station to catch one of the Amtrak trains as the end of the line for this one is San Francisco. Still, it would be worth it I think.

Okay. Tomorrow is a day of rest from my silly posts. I’m going to really do my best to visit some new folks. I’ll be back with the rest of the alphabet next week.

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S is for Scavenger Hunt, Sunset, Sports Bar

We were headed to Reno for a few days because the Silver Legacy had sent us a deal for 2 free nights and so had the El Dorado so we combined them and stayed for 4 days. While we had been to Reno many times before, most of the time we stay in the casinos with an occasional visit to the Reno Aces, the Arizona Diamonback’s AAA baseball club. I knew that we couldn’t gamble all that time so I searched for something else to do and came upon the Scavenger Hunt offered by Let’s Roam. It was the most fun! You start out at a given location and using your cellphone, you are given clues to find objects which will take you to your next destination. The majestic Indian was our first clue. From there we were led to the Wingfield Park Glenn Little Amphitheater. Next was the doors of the church. Toward the end we were led to the World War II monument and our last stop was in front of this bookstore. My husband said he would be quite comfortable sitting on the bench if I wanted to go inside the store but I knew I could get lost in there for hours so I didn’t. If you are really in a competitive mood, you could take the challenge to get through it all in a certain amount of time and while one person uses the app for directions, another one takes pictures and submits them for points. We didn’t do that, preferring to take our time and see all the sights along the way.

One of the places we were led to was the big Believe metal sculpture. I wrote about that before because it was a profoundly moving experience for me. I actually broke down and cried when all the letters came into view.

They have these Scavenger Hunts for cities all around the US, Canada and possibly some other places as well. I was thinking that maybe we should try one in San Francisco, although I kind of did that already with my A to Z last year! I know they have one that centers around Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. Just have to make sure the hubby is in good shape.

When I went to the site to check the link, I see that they now have an indoor virtual version as well. Guess Covid brought up some new ideas for them. I know that there are different themed experiences you can have like a Bachelorette party or even a team building experience for corporations. Also, if you are interested, they are having a sale right now!

Earlier I talked about going to the beach, but seeing the sunset at the beach is something totally different. I love the colors of the sky and hearing the waves. Just magical. You can still watch the sunset even if you are not by the beach of course. We live so close I’m ashamed to say we don’t get there very often.

Sports Bar is my last offering for the letter “S.” Interestingly, this one was actually one of the stops on the Scavenger Hunt in Reno. It was like being back home because San Francisco teams were the focus of the bar. This stop was in the middle of the hunt so it was a nice place to grab some refreshments. I was a bit shocked to know that the bartender had no idea they were part of the scavenger hunt. When we told them about it, they hadn’t heard of it. I would have thought they might get some extra promotion or something from it. Still it was a nice rest stop before we continued on the rest of the journey.

Of course there are sports bars closer to home. One is the American Bull which, fun fact, used to be a regular bar (well, maybe a dive bar truthfully) called Peabody’s that my girlfriends and I used to go to on a Saturday night. It was there that I met my husband’s brother, which led me to meet my hubby. When I go into the American Bull now I can’t help but remember what it used to look like. Ah, memories.

One more letter this week and then a bunch of really tricky ones! Can she make it?

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