Q is for Quizzes, Quiet Time, Quickie

Okay, I’ll admit I’m really stretching it with this one but come on, Q? As in Jigsaw puzzles, quizzes can be something that you do together. Our newspaper has some fun ones on the comic pages and my husband loves to test my knowledge on different things. Mostly he likes to try to stump me with the literary themed ones since I read a lot. I don’t watch much television but I think that even watching shows like Jeopardy together could count as a quiz date.

And then there is the quiet time where you are just in the same room relaxing together. Maybe you share a dog. Sometimes I work on my card making or organize my supplies in the living room just so I can spend some time with him. It works for us.

And then there are the “quickies.” No pictures and not much detail but I think most everyone who has kids and a busy life knows what a “quickie” is. There were many times when the kids were little or when my husband had weird working hours like the graveyard shift from 11 PM to 7 AM or even the swing shift from 3 PM to 11 PM when a quickie was all we could manage. You do what you can, right?

Hope that wasn’t TMI for you. Thank goodness I still have some fun letters left!

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P is for Picnic, Paint Night, Pool

Picnics can be lots of fun, either with a bunch of friends at the beach or a more romantic setting like the picnic we had on the ledge of the Grand Canyon when we took the helicopter ride. They had a cute basket filled with sandwiches and champagne. I really am so glad we went on that adventure.

How about a paint night? This is us painting the walls of my studio. I love that color but there is so much stuff in there now you can hardly see it! There is also a new painting experience in our town called Pinot’s Palette where you can go and have a glass or two of beer or wine and paint a picture. It looks like fun but I don’t know what I’d do with them when they are done. I mean, yes, we could hang one but do we really need two of the same picture? Maybe we could give one as a Christmas gift? And then how do we choose which one to keep? Would we fight over whose is “better?”

Finally there is pool time. I searched high and low for a picture of the hubby that I know I have somewhere but couldn’t find it so you just get me.

There is the other kind of pool too, the one with the balls and pool cue but I don’t have any pictures of those either. Told you I was winging it! 10 letters left and some of them are pretty tricky. Whatever will I do with Q and X? Guess you just have to keep checking!

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O is for Outdoors, Opera, Operations

In case you are just joining, my theme this year for the A to Z is all about date ideas. Since my husband and I have been married for almost 38 years, we have been on a few dates and I am a firm believer that you need to continue dating even after marriage, maybe ESPECIALLY after marriage. I’m wandering through the alphabet sharing some of our past dates and getting ideas for new ones.

Being in the outdoors is a good way to connect with a date. One of our first dates included this stop by the side of the road. My hubby was into photography at the time and asked me to let him take some pictures of me. This is what happened.

Yes, at the time I was a smoker. Benson and Hedges Menthol Lights, long. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that version of me. I had hair but no boobs. Those didn’t come until after I had kids. Still, it was a fun time. I loved that suede jacket too. With my curly hair some said I looked a little like Barbra Streisand. Ahhh the memories of youth.

Concerts and musicals are okay but opera is really not my thing even though it might be a good date idea for someone else. We did go to a Grand Ole Opry performance that was quite fun. Oddly enough, we were there for the birthday of his ex-wife! Even though they weren’t together anymore she remained in the circle of friends for a while.

And last but not least for the letter “O” is operations. When you have a spouse with issues, sometimes being with him in the hospital is as close to a date as you get. I can tell you I have spent at least one anniversary and one birthday sitting by his bedside.

When you say your wedding vows they usually include for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. I can tell you we’ve gone through all of those things in the last 37 years!

Okay, we are into the third week of the A to Z. Still with me?

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N is for Netflix, National Park, Nightclub

Watching Netflix could definitely be a date. It’s the movies, right? We have watched a lot of good ones, including some that are older that we either didn’t see when they were in the theaters or saw so long ago that we forgot them (which happens when you get of a certain age). Occasionally we will binge watch a TV series. I would suggest, however, that if you do decide to binge watch a series, you should keep your eye on the Netflix guide that tells you when the series is going to be taken off. We learned that the hard way when we started to watch a show called Person of Interest. We were on the last season, almost to the last episode and they took the show off! Do you know how frustrating that is? I just may have to buy the DVDs so we can see the ending.

Going to a nightclub is a different experience than the theater or a concert. It makes me think of the old “speakeasy” although alcohol is certainly not illegal. In fact a lot of clubs have a drink minimum. Some nightclubs have dancing, although if you remember my hubby doesn’t dance much so the ones we’ve seen have been of the comedy variety. Rosanne Barr (before her most recent inappropriate behavior) and Ben Bailey from the Cash Cab were pretty good.

Visiting a national park could be another fun date. We have nine of them in California, more than any other state. I don’t have pictures of our own experiences there, yet. I recently found out that my hubby has never been to Yosemite and I haven’t been since I was a young girl so I think that goes on the list of places we need to go. It is about a 3 hour drive so probably would be more than a day trip but we could manage, probably NOT before the letter “Y” though, just in case you were wondering.

Okay. Time to take a break and try to visit as many other folks on the list as I can for the rest of today and tomorrow. Have a wonderful Easter if you celebrate. Since the kids are grown it is just another Sunday here.

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M is for Musical, Museum, Mini-Golf

While we go to lots of concerts, I consider shows that we see in a theater musicals. Menopause the Musical was one of my favorites but I went with girlfriends. I suppose you could still call those dates, right? Hubby and I have seen Rain, the Beatles Tribute, Jersey Boys and Rock of Ages. They were fun. Wish I could have taken more pictures but they are not usually allowed and in a theater it’s a lot harder to sneak than in a concert.

We’ve been to a few museums too. When we went to Oregon a couple years ago, in addition to the Lava Butte we saw the High Desert Museum and stopped to check it out. We didn’t go inside but around the entrance were some very interesting sculptures. The Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf is a fun time too. That’s another place we haven’t been to in a long time and they probably have a lot of new figures. The De Young Museum had a Summer of Love exhibit where they were showcasing the San Francisco hippie days. I think my jacket was a perfect one to wear on that day. I fit right in with the times. Definitely have lost a few pounds since then!

No pictures here but miniature golf is another great date idea in my opinion. We’ve gone a few times but since hubby is a “real” golfer, he says that playing mini golf wrecks his game. I’m not sure about that honestly but whatever. Personally, I just think that he doesn’t want to get beat by me. LOL.

One more day this week and then a day of rest. I’ll be visiting as many new folks as I can over the weekend. Appreciate all the visits I’ve had from folks so far. Happy Friday.

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L is for Lake, Lunch, Light Show

I mentioned dinner, but lunch is also a good time for a date. When I was doing research for the A to Z of San Francisco last year, my husband did me the favor of driving to a few of the locations so that I could hop out and take pictures without worrying about trying to find parking. As a reward, I treated him to lunch at a little place he found that makes great burgers, among other things. It is aptly named Bill’s Place and has seen some pretty famous customers through the years. We haven’t been back so I have a feeling a lunch date is in order soon.

There used to be a light show called Laserium at the Morrison Planetarium in San Francisco. Sadly, the show closed in 2000. I may or may not have been under the influence when I saw it in my youth. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon was the show I saw most often. When we saw ELO a couple of years ago, their light show definitely reminded me of the laserium. Here are a couple of quick clips.

Honestly, I’m not sure if there are any light shows in other places but fortunately, since I have a Mac, I can replicate the essence of them with my iTunes (Music) visualizer. I do this often when I am working in the studio.

I have no idea how I missed this Lake when I was wandering through the City last year. Stow Lake is in the middle of Golden Gate Park and it looks like so much fun! When the weather gets warmer we are definitely heading there. I think we could manage the paddle boats. There is even a ghost story surrounding it. How cool is that?

Have you ever been to a laserium show? Seen ELO in concert? Been to a lake with a ghost? Lemme know!

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K is for Kite Flying, Kayaking, Karaoke

I’ve always had a fondness for kite flying. My birthday is in March and every year I’d get a new kite which my dad would help me put together and then when he got home from work we’d go out in front and fly it. It would go very high and sometimes we’d write a note and send it up to the top where the string meets the kite in case the string broke and the kite got away. We hoped that if someone found the kite they’d let us know how far away it got. We never got an answer from anyone but I still have those great memories of times I spent with my dad. I very much think that time spent with your dad, or mom for that matter, on a one-on-one basis is a date. Especially if you have siblings like I did, time alone with a parent is precious. I wish I had asked dad more questions about his own childhood while he was alive. Kites are still a big thing and there is even a Kite Festival you can go to.

Yesterday I suggested jet skiing, today I’ll go for a little less exuberant time on the water with kayaking. Not something that we have done but I know my daughter went with her boyfriend and had a great time. Living practically surrounded by water with the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, there are a few different spots you can rent kayaks from. There is even a Bay Water Trail.

Finally, there is karaoke. This wasn’t a thing when my husband and I were dating years ago but I know the kids have been several times and it is more popular now. There are several around the area. This one in San Francisco called “The Mint,” boasts over 22,000 songs to choose from! I happen to be married to a real romantic and there are times he’ll just come over and sing a few lines from a song to me, like these from Leather and Lace:

You in the moonlight
With your sleepy eyes
Could you ever love a man like me?
And you were right
When I walked into your house
I knew I’d never wanna leave
Sometimes I’m a strong man
Sometimes, cold and scared
And sometimes I cry
But that time I saw you
Knew with you to light my night
Somehow I’d get by.

Not making this up, folks. He really does stuff like that. Maybe that’s one reason why we’ve been together so long. Who needs to spend money in a bar when I’ve got my own singer right here?

No pictures today but I made it through another letter!

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J is for Jazz, Jigsaw Puzzle, Jetski

Just in case you couldn’t tell by now, I’m mostly winging this year’s challenge. Some of my ideas are like yesterday’s, skating on thin ice (think errands too). But if winging it is going to get me through, I’ll take it.

How about a little Jazz date? While hubby and I are more into rock and roll, we did go to a Jazz concert once. To be honest, I couldn’t tell you who was playing but we look like we’re having fun, don’t we? Yes, even though we live in 49-er territory the Dallas Cowboys are our favorite football team. Hubby’s been a fan for his entire life. I’ve said that baseball is my game but I do like the Cowboy uniforms. Something about that blue star.

Putting together jigsaw puzzles could be another fun date night. You don’t always have to go out to be on a date. They even have them online now so you don’t have to figure out what to do with it when it’s finished!

And then perhaps a date on a jet ski. I found this one that goes from Long Beach to Catalina Island, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Doesn’t it look like fun? Unfortunately we’ll probably have to find another way to get to Catalina because the disclaimer on the jet ski’s about health conditions prohibit my hubby from engaging.

Okay. Made it through J. See you tomorrow!

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

It’s going to be a very short post today as I have lots of work to do and no pictures to share. That’s what happens when I don’t prep for the letters in March like I did when I did my A to Z of San Francisco last year.

Ice skating is one idea for a date. When we were first married my husband joined a Broomball league and I would watch him play. They didn’t wear ice skates but it was at the rink so I’m counting that. And, just to be clear, even though I wasn’t participating in the activity, I still consider it to be a date. I’m really sorry I don’s have pictures of this because it was fun to watch but it was back in the “olden days” when we didn’t have cellphones with cameras, heck we didn’t even have cellphones without cameras, and I didn’t even have a good regular camera then either.

Going for ice cream is something that I DO participate, or at least did before I was watching my carb/sugar intake. We have a couple of places near us. My favorite is mint chocolate chip with hot fudge sauce. Hubby likes vanilla or sometimes chocolate.

And finally I’ll just throw this one out there, indoor rock climbing. We have never done that and honestly I don’t think either one of us would do very well at this stage. There used to be a place about 20 minutes away and the kids went there for birthday parties a couple of times but it has closed.

Okay. Sorry for the lack of details on this one but at least I got something out there. Have a great Monday all.

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H is for Helicopter, Hiking, Horse Races

One of our most exciting dates was the helicopter ride we took from Las Vegas to the edge of the Grand Canyon. It was not very expensive and well worth it. Funnily enough I almost didn’t book it for us because I was quite a bit heavier at the time and on the website it said that everyone had to get on the scale so that they could balance the weight in the helicopter. Of course in my mind I thought that it would be like some game show or boxing match where you step on a scale in front of everyone and they shout out the weight. NOW WEIGHING IN AT 205 POUNDS…JANET MILES.

I tried really hard to lose weight before we left but that was before I started Keto and only managed maybe 5 pounds. Of course it wasn’t anything like a boxing match. As you check in, there is a platform that you stand on and the weight registers on the computer in front of the customer service person. No one else sees the number. From that info they are able to pick the occupants of the helicopter and then you get called into groups.

We had a really nice pilot (he reminded me just a bit of Ben Affleck) and saw spectacular views of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. The Grand Canyon is amazing, and we only saw one part of it! There are a couple of different helicopter companies that make this run and we saw them flying over while we were taking our break. On the way home we stopped to refuel before coming back to Vegas. It was funny to see all the helicopters lined up at the pumps just like at a gas station. Flying back in you get pretty close to the buildings.

And here’s a short video of what we saw as we came back in to Vegas. We were staying at the Excalibur Hotel, the one that looks like a castle…of course! I was glad that I didn’t know about the crash that one of the helicopters had doing this run until after we were home!

If a helicopter ride isn’t your thing how about about a trip to the racetrack? Horse Racing is another exciting outing. We went a couple of times before our local track, Bay Meadows, closed in 2008. The first time we went was for a fundraiser for our kids in high school. We had such a good time that we went back a few more times. It is exciting to watch the horses run, especially if you have a small wager on them (remember I’m fond of gambling?) We were sorry to see it close. Now there is a housing complex on the land. The next closest place to see horse racing is Golden Gate Fields and it is not that far away so maybe we’ll take a trip there.

When I was young, there was a famous racetrack right in my hometown of San Bruno. It was Tanforan Racetrack and while they stopped actual racing when I was 9, I do remember seeing the track. During World War II it was used as an internment camp for Japanese, although they called it an “assembly center.” Some famous horses raced there, including Seabiscuit. When the track closed they turned the area into a shopping mall but that has now been sold and they are going to build a biotech campus and housing. Where am I going to go when Barnes and Noble and Target close?

And one more idea, although with my husband’s heart and back issues we probably won’t do this together anytime soon, is hiking. When I was doing the A to Z of San Francisco last year I did a fair amount of hiking with the trip to Mt. Davidson and all the stairs. I was definitely glad I had lost weight by then because I probably wouldn’t have made it!

Okay, I hope I gave you some good ideas for dating through the letter H. Tomorrow is catch up on other blog day and honestly, the next few letters of the alphabet may have less pictures than these did but we’ll see what we can do.

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