Friday, January 30, 2009

Learning how to make a slide show movie

I just figured out how to use the Windows Movie Maker program. Sometimes I take pictures of Shannon while we are on Skype, it's amazing how all that works. A couple of days ago, Shannon was doing the Maori sticking out the tongue thing with Sybilla, then they were both blowing me kisses, and I captured that. Then I added music. The pictures are kind of blurry, that's just the way the webcam is. Enjoy.

I have so many things to do, but just don't feel like doing anything. Carl is fishing!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Project Complete

It's done!

More video.

Hope you liked it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New carpet today - Update #2

New Update at 2:15

Here is the UPDATE! of the carpet installation at 1:15 PM on Tuesday.

The guys are here, taking out the old carpet.

First thing this morning I watched the Presidential Inauguration with Shannon on Skype. I woke her up at 5 am her time, but she was already awake, watching it. It was a very special moment in my book.

Here's the starting video of carpet removal. I'll keep adding until it is complete, but I don't think that I'm allowed upstairs anymore because I keep getting in the way. I wish I could speak Spanish, but those 3 guys are probably glad I can't speak it because I would bug the crap out of them.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Around the House in January

We are finally fixing up the house, after 18 years. Our bedroom has never been painted! The same old carpeting is there. Not anymore.... new paint, new carpet (tomorrow) and I am so excited. Freshly painted white walls. I'll post pictures when the project is completed.

Hey Shannon - this is your bedroom - do you recognize it?

Last weekend, Ryder came to stay 2 nights with me and Carl. All I can say is "good exercise". He loved to chase Lili and to pat her, she tried really hard to avoid him.

He is a good little helper and loves to sweep. Notice the oranges on the tree - they are the best.
He's taking a moment to think about which way to turn and run.
The next day I let him play with the hose because it has a dial and a toggle switch to control the water. He loves to turn buttons and figure out how things work.
It wasn't very warm that day but that didn't seem to bother him, so I gave him a warm bath immediately following his waterplay.

Ryder is a sweet little guy with lots of energy and curiosity.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Paintings

This acrylic painting is of Cromwell, Otego, New Zealand.
Lemons from my tree.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year! Pismo Beach Style...

Carl and I decided to get away for the last couple of days of 2008. We joined up with the Britts who usually sneak away to Pismo Beach during the holidays. Since they planned to spend New Year's Eve there, we had to follow them up the coast so we could celebrate with them like we did a few years back. We arrived on Monday, Dec. 29th. They had already been there a few days. We brought Sean along with us since he had to work up until then.

Our first day there we did the bonfire on the beach. The Pismo Dunes is the only beach in California where you can drive along the sand just like Daytona. People camp there and ride their sand buggies along the dunes.

Here I am with the sun setting on me.

We witnessed a spectacular sunset.

A biplane was giving rides along the surf, during the sunset.

The Britt boys are professional fire ditch diggers and fire starters.

It gets really cold once the sun sets, but luckily our first night on the beach was still and very pleasant, not cold at all.

Snacks, cocktails, a warm fire. What could be better?

Interesting shot - no flash!

The Fire.

The next day, Tuesday, Carl and I decided to do a wine tasting tour of the Edna Valley Wineries. Just over the hill from the beach, about a 10 minute drive, is a beautiful valley with vineyards and beautiful ranch homes. Our first stop, Domaine Alfred Winery and tasting room. Carl bought his first bottle there.

Our second stop, Wolff Vineyards, our favorite tasting room. Carl was the official wine tester, as I don't drink wine because of the sulfites and migraines. I was tasting the crackers and cookies that went along with the wines.

Inside Wolff tasting room. The son of the owner was the server and he was so nice and friendly and knowledgable about the grapes and vintages. I bought a box of wine wafers.

Beautiful countryside.

The Britts golfed on Tuesday and we all met up for dinner at Jocko's early in the evening. Here are Sean, Neil and Rondi - the loving family.

Here are me and Carl, the overfed and overserved.

Neil and Rondi.

Sean and Neil.

Jocko's barbeque. That guy never stopped cooking all night. Those are not roasts on the grill, they're single serving meats. We shared our meat cuts and just got a salad and potato extra.

On Wednesday, New Year's Eve Day, we met up at the Pismo Beach Pier after breakfast. It was a clear and warm (somewhat) day. People were in the water (they must be tourists from Minnesota).

The waves were pretty good, surfers were catching some good rides.

And my friend the Pelican. He was just waiting around for one of the pier fishermen to catch something so he could snatch it from them.

He wasn't afraid of humans at all.

Last day of 2008 family photo.

The loving couple - enjoying the day.

We planned to spend New Year's Eve on the beach, cooking hot dogs in our sand pit bonfire, drinking cocktails, and ringing in the new year with our close friends, and some strangers. It was cooler and windy-er that day. While we unloaded the trucks, Carl climbed to the top of the hill behind us and played "King of the Hill". I zoomed in to get this shot.

You can see his little dot-of-a person in the background on the hill. Neil was pointing to him, while he unloaded the boxes of firewood from the truck.

The sun was setting, the shadows were tall. That's Me!

Here we are cooking our hot dogs. They were so delicious, I ate 3 of them!

Carl won for having the most fun on New Year's Eve. I don't think he remembered much the next day. He was our source of entertainment and we took turns watching that he didn't get lost in the dark.

New Year's Day 2009. We were heading home after lunch. We met Rondi, Neil and Sean at the Avila Beach pier where we had a seafood lunch.

The boys!

Carl and the Pelican.
We took Sean home with us as he had to work the next day. Rondi and Neil stayed on one more day.
What a fun few days. What a beautiful part of California, usually just a gas stop or a blink of an eye as you drive up the 101 north.
Happy New Year everyone. I wish the best for all of you; good health and prosperity.
(PS - When Shannon comes home, we are all going up to Pismo Beach. She hasn't done this with us yet. So hurry home Shannon! I miss you a bunch. Thank you everyone in New Zealand for taking such good care of my little girl. Hello to Mel - how's the baby growing? Hello to Craig, too. Hi Peter and Rebecca, I miss you guys and Sybilla. Hi Garth and Andrea, I hope you're enjoying summer in Wanaka, it must be beautiful there. Anna - what are you up to ??? Grant - take care of my girl.)