Lake Casitas

Lake Casitas
Ah the good life

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Best & Worst

Best:  Our trip is coming up. So excited. Going to try and go camping while it is still nice and cool, our favorite thing. :)  I love this time of year...I love the cold. Now we've had a little rain and it always leaves everything so clean and fresh. We will be painting soon the rest of our handmade dishes. I will definitely post pics. So excited to have our very own unique handmade set of plates. Getting to confront a selfish person in the parking lot about their inconsiderate parking.  I just don't get some people and it felt good to stand up and say something. Noelle and I have started playing pool again and are having great fun doing so. :) We are planning a trip to Tombstone. A little ghost hunting adventure with some good friends. That will be a lot of fun. I think 2013 is going to be a great year. 

Worst:  Have to do taxes soon. Not that much fun, but it will be nice once it's done. 

Funniest:  Taking a bite of my Quesadilla and the oil from the cheese squirting all over my freshly washed shirt. wasn't really very funny then...but it's sort of funny now. 

What I learned:  That car insurance companies use your credit report along with your driving history, age, marital status,and location in determining your rate.  I feel this is utter bullshit. Whether or not you pay your bills in a timely manner has nothing to do with how you drive..your driving record should be the biggest consideration when determining rates. Just another scam getting pulled on Americans. I  also learned that 47 states allow potential employers to do credit checks in deciding which prospective new employees to hire.  Now.. if you are applying to be handling someone's finances that seems reasonable to me, but I don't think a credit check should be included to get a job serving coffee at the local diner. There are a handful of states that dictate how credit reports can be used in the hiring process..California is one of those states. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Best and Worst

Best:  The wonderful breakfast my wife cooked me today... Bacon, eggs, and the best potatoes ever.  The photo is of her plate but mine looked the same minus the sausage. 

Had a lazy day yesterday full of lots of my favorite ghosty stories and we ate our favorite pasta for dinner. Yummm. So good. 

We tried something new for the new year... Buffalo meat, and we love it.  So much healthier for you and what we are buying is organic. With all the crap being put into our food supply you can't be too careful these days.  So yay a change for the better in the new year.  Noelle brought me this very lovely and very foofy fun scarf. So sweet of her and I love it. So (ME)

I now have three quarters of the poetry for my next book of poetry. Getting closer. We have a couple of trips coming up that will give me lots of material for my writing I am sure.  I got a new computer for Christmas, so happy about that. We are going to be painting again soon (new plates) to add to our collection that Noelle is making for us.  I will post pics when we do.  Mostly I am just grateful.. grateful for all the gifts in my life. So happy. 

Worst:  Some Jerry Springer family shit! I guess there's some in every family.... that's all I'm saying about that. Taking down all the pretty decorations we put up this year. I haven't had to do that in a while and we still aren't done. lol. 

Funniest:  Our cats standing up on their hind legs like Meercats and growling like the dog when there was some sort of disturbance outside. I did not know they could make those sounds. LOL

What I learned:  That standing water in a cat bowl will accumulate salmonella so they not only need to be refilled but sanitized regularly.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Best & Worst

Best:  Thanksgiving was low key and fabulous. I have never believed in obligatory gatherings... life is too short to spend time with people who don't make you happy.  I am grateful that I get to spend time with quality people that I love. Pure awesomeness.  Today has been about love and laughter and I couldn't be more grateful for the gifts in my life. 

Worst: My doterra oil order was only half correct. So I will have to now contact the company come Monday cause they don't work weekends and probably won't be there tomorrow. But hey...if that's the worst I count myself pretty lucky and grateful. :)

Funniest:  Saying best and worst at dinner tonight and everyone giving me such a hard time about how long I take. LOL Also Noelle scaring the crap out of me when I was getting into the shower.  Had to be there for that one I guess.

What I learned: That there is a Japanese sexual fetish that involves women having sex with Octopus! wow. Who knew?  We saw this on an episode of CSI and I, of course, had to look it up. Wow!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Harvest Potpourri Oranges

 I believe I learned to do this in grade school...'s something that has become a tradition for me during this time of the year.  You can make these for any holiday but if you start making them in October they will cover all of the holidays, so that is what I do now.  I give them to friends and neighbors in celebration of kindness.  Citrus oils are happy oils and who couldn't use a smile any time of the year?   I have decided to share my process here so you can share smiles all year long too.

Firstly, things you will need.

Oranges  (however many you want to make)
paper towels.
a long cylindrical piercing instrument pointy at the end  (hole starter)
Cloves     (best bought in bulk a container,  I recommend Smart and Final if you have one)
mesh net or lace of your choosing
ribbon      (whatever you fancy)

That's pretty much it!  Now you would think that this would be a no brainer, and it kind of is, but there are a few things you should pay attention to if you want your potpourri cloven fruit to last the season.
1- make sure that the oranges you purchase are not over ripe. (over ripe fruit will rot and ruin the fun)
Nobody wants rotten fruit!
2- Look for oranges with a thick skin (a thick cushion between the juice and the outer peel)
If the skin is too thin then the holes will leak too much, again.. rotten moldy fruit, BAD BAD EUWWW! (speaking from experience) 

We just want to achieve the wonderful fragrant mood lifting aroma, and this is how you do it!

 Note: for aesthetic reasons I choose the cloves
with the ball on the end attached. You can use
the ones missing the balls but they do not turn
out as pretty and they hurt more when you are 
pushing them in.  That said probably close to 
1/3 of your container will have missing balls. :(  
So it's up to you .

Get comfy! This is something you can do while you watch TV or listen to music.  It is a little time consuming but well worth the pay off  in the end.  In the photo below you see the hole starter piercing the orange.  It is important to lightly pierce. Do not get too excited and stick it all the way in! You want there to be an opening but not a big hole, that way, when you ease in the clove you will achieve a snug fit, which will keep the hole from leaking too much.

Small piercing ready for the insertion of the clove.
Push the clove in gently to avoid breaking off
the festive ball. 

Everyone likes a snug fit. :)

Getting the cloves in.

The finished orange ready for decoration.

Place cloven fruit in the center of your square cut
mesh or lace.  Square should be a little larger than
an old vinyl record album.

measure that your fruit is in the center by 
matching up the sides as you hold them at 
the top.

Gently gather lace or mesh 
and prepare to tie it up.

Cinch the ribbon in preparation 
for the bow.

Then make your bow and voila!!!!
Harvest Potpourri Orange.
Ready for gifting.

Some other variations. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review of Chris Rene's (I'm Right Here) music cd

I find it interesting that so often on reality singing shows that the winner and sometimes even the runner up end up going nowhere while the ones right below them seem to find their niche and make it.  Such is the case with X Factor alumni Chris Rene.  I have to admit that I actually shed tears at his audition.  His story is very inspirational and he is so positive.  He was brave as he auditioned for the judges a song that he wrote both the lyrics and the music for..(something they caution contestants not to do), and Young Homie was an instant run away hit.  It pretty much went viral.  So I was very excited to learn he was signed by Epic and would be releasing a cd.  Oct 2, 2012 his new cd came out and I pre-ordered it on Amazon.  It came the other day and I am wowed.  Firstly let me say how appropriate the title is.  I read in a couple of articles some other titles that were considered, and I have to give kudos to Chris for making good on his promise to LA Reid to be RIGHT HERE.  His voice is sweet like honey and when he raps you can actually understand him.  His lyrics are heartfelt and honest but real. He is a perfect crossover artist blending pop and rap in a style that is uniquely his and could quite possibly even create a new genre.   I was very moved by his song (Gonna be okay) because it really tells his story, and the story of addiction.  In particular that song addresses why often as youths we want to be high or intoxicated and it's very relatable.  My only disappointment is that there are only 7 tracks...wishing for more. I suspect we will continue to see good things from Chris Rene.  So on the Heart Chart... I'm Right Here gets 5 out of 5 hearts. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Something strange is afoot at the local Chevron

Chevron station at Cochran & Erringer
Simi Valley, Ca.

So I go to get gas the other day, and I am always paying cash these days because I had my debit card stolen earlier this year.  My tank is empty but I don't have enough to fill it just now (big surprise with the price of gas) and I give the attendant $26.00 this should give me roughly half a tank.  I go back to my car and commence to pump the gas...and it stops approx. 25 cents before my total.  I push the button to talk to the attendant because I know my tank was only about half full and there was no reason for the pump to stop 25cents before my total.  Not only that but this is the second time this has happened to me, so now I am angry.  The attendant is unsympathetic and says come get your change. Now I am really angry.. so I go in and I ask her what is wrong? This is the second time this has happened to me at this station and she says rather rudely.. I don't know we just had the pumps checked I can give you your change!  I say I don't want my change..I wanted that 25cents to go in my tank and there no reason it should not have! Can I talk to a manager? She says no one is there, and I uttered some cuss words because I don't like her attitude and she basically tells me to go fuck myself.  Anyway,  I go on my way to meet my wife and a friend for lunch.  I relay to her what happened and she said the same thing happened to her the other day when she tried to get gas there.  I said I think something is definitely fishy.  So I devised myself a plan and put it into action a couple days later.  I decided I would go to the other Chevron station in Simi Valley, and see if the same thing happened?  and guess what I put in $30.00 cash and the pump stopped right at $30.00 dollars.  this has been my experience every time I pay cash until recently at this one gas station.  So I went inside and inquired if the station was independently owned or was company owned? The girls inside told me that their station and the other one that I went to were company owned.  I told them what happened at the other station and they told me there is a manager that manages both stations that I could talk to but that she wasn't there that day.  I inquired about how the cash procedure works. They said you give us the money, we punch in the amount and then you pump the gas and it should stop at that amount.  So I said what if I gave you $30.00 but you punched in say $29.75. They said it would stop at $29.75 and you would have to come back in to get your change.  and I said and if I didn't come back in to get my guys would get to keep it? They said yes...and I said...I think perhaps the cashiers at the other station are trying to make some extra money or there is something wrong with the pumps.  They gave me the website and I went to it and emailed Chevron and told them of the problem.  I have not heard back.  I also called our local newspaper and queried if they might do an investigation and an article.  They said they might.  I haven't heard back from them either.  You might say it's only a few cents...why bother (that's what they're counting on), and indeed I think many will not bother and will just go about their merry way, but if the cashiers are doing this deliberately it amounts to theft and they should be fired.  The paper suggested I send some friends to get gas there and see if happens to them as well and then let them know.  I am considering doing just that.  I would love it if this did get an article in the paper because I think far too many shenanigans are going on these days and we really have to pay attention that we don't get ripped off!  Of course if the article happens or Chevron contacts me..I will update this post. Update: I have received no word either from the company or the newspaper, but the issue has been silently addressed and resolved. Imagine that! LOL

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Best & Worst

Best:  My daughter Amanda is coming tomorrow and we get to meet her boyfriend Jack.  WoooHooo I haven't seen her since last year and it was brief cause she is such a busy girl.  Today September 1, 2012 marks the last car payment for us. Yippppeeee Pegasus is officially PAID OFF!!!!  (Doing happy dance)  Joyce and I decided not to go to the doterra convention. Whew! what a relief.  We will save so much money even though we will have lost some.  Noelle and I and Joyce are very excited about the upcoming ghost tours we will be attending in Ventura. Maybe we will catch some EVP's and more orbs in our photos. If we do.. I will be sure to post them. 

Worst:  I had to uninstall my blurb book making software due to the newest updated version causing my computer to crash. Sighs... now I don't have access to update or change any of the books that I have done, but I cannot get another computer just yet.. so I have to do what I have to do. I absolutely cannot download any version of adobe for reading pdf's, Vista hates Adobe, and until I can get a new computer and operating system I will just have to deal.  #%^^%#@$%%#@# I fell the other day on my front porch no less and twisted my ankle bad. I screamed and cried like a little girl...sighs... at least it is healing quickly, I was afraid, but even though the bruise goes all the way around it is light. The swelling is annoying but it is slowly abating. Note to soy sauce while trying to get rid of swelling. UGH!  

Funniest:  Looking around to see if any of the neighbors saw me fall on the front porch. sighs...

What I learned: How to make a word a link in my articles. WoooooooooHooooooooooo Thank you Jennifer Sharp. You Rock!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Shady as Fuck.. buyer beware when using Best Buys reward zone certificates...

Firstly let me say that I have been a huge fan of Best Buy.  I purchase the majority of my blu-ray and electronics from there and I have always had good service.  I am very disappointed though in their new reward zone redemption rules.  It works like accumulate points with your purchases and then they send you redemption coupons.  You print them out and take them to the store with you and they scan it when you check out and it takes whatever your value is off of your bill.    Clearly, they can set this up any way they choose since it is something they are giving you.  Last week I purchased two cellular car phone chargers and two movies.  I handed them my $20.00 coupon and they took that amount off of my total. My bill total was $80.00 and they took off the $20.00 from my coupon.   I left happy.  Well it turns out I didn't need 2 cell car chargers since my old one fit my new phone.  So yesterday I went back receipt in hand to return my $27.00 unopened charger.  This is where the shady as fuck part comes in...  when the cashier began the transaction he did his level best to convince me to shop for something else..I said I didn't want anything else today..I just wanted a refund.  He mumbled on about me not getting the full amount, and I didn't understand. So he went over the receipt with me and showed me that now when you redeem your coupon it takes a portion off of each item instead of off of the total. So for my $27.00 car charger that I paid cash for, I would only receive back $17.00 and the $6.? would go back onto my reward zone, and I would have to drive home print it out and come back and use it in order to get that money! Not only that...but the coupons only print out in $5.00 I could not even get my full amount back until I accrue more purchase points. They owe $6.? and I can only get back $5.00.  As I stated earlier..they can set this up any way that they choose, but they should have informed me at the time of purchase how it works.  I would then have used my coupon only on the movie and purchased the other items separately.  What they are doing is not illegal but it sure is underhanded and shady to say the least. I am sure whoever came up with this idea either got a bonus or a promotion.  It clearly fucks over the consumer and forces you to have to shop to get your money back.  I am so angry...that I am one, blogging about it, and two, going to print out my coupon..return to Best Buy and find something that is truly that amount, and then, guess what...I will start looking for alternatives to purchasing there.  Amazon has good deals on Blu-ray, and there are other places to purchase electronics.  I hope it was worth the dollars they will lose by being shady and taking my money!!!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Best & Worst

Best:  Got to see my friend Caye who I haven't seen in nearly a decade.  She was visiting here from Washington. We were total BFF's when we were young... time and distance changes things but we are still close and it's weird to see our children grown. :)  My new Sexi Sandal Crocs came in the mail yesterday and I love them.. I added the photos of them to my Croc post. :)  My very first article on Expats Post has nearly 1100 pageviews and someone linked to it and quoted me on their blog. wow. so exciting.  Had a very nice dinner out with our friends the Campos last night at Islands..Mockful and Mockfuler (Noelle & Erika) were in rare form as usual.  I have to say that when Erika is laughing so hard that her nose goes into a scrunchy you can't help but laugh with her.  Really...I have to get a pic of that. :)  The Hunger Games movie came out and I got it for free with my Best Buy reward zone points. WooooHooo.  I just realized that my old phone car charger fits my new phone too...yippppeee one less thing to buy. 

Caye and I at Shoreline Village Long Beach, Stefano's Pizza

Worst:  The mayhem I encountered while attempting to pick Caye up to have lunch.  I drove an hour and a half with traffic only to arrive (badly needing to pee) at my friends street that was blocked off with a multitude of police cars because they were in the middle of a chase of a robbery suspect that was hiding in her neighborhood.  So I sat behind a police car, leaving multiple times to pee, and waited 3 and half hours. The first time I left to pee and get gas at the corner gas station, remember I was still holding it from the trip down, I parked at the pump and went inside to pay and when I asked the lady where the restroom was... she said they didn't have one..nearly about to pee myself at this point, I said in horror.."are you kidding me" and she said no, we don't have one! And so I said well then I guess I won't be buying gas here either and I left in search of another bathroom. HOLY CRAP!! this day was not going at all how I had found a bathroom at a supermarket. Took care of that issue and then returned to the police chase and continued to wait..and wait...and wait...and then the search helicopter returned and a whole bunch more police cars came to my friends street, and my friend texted me and said OMG the suspect was hiding in her backyard and the police just tackled him right outside her front door. Whew!!!! Glad she didn't try to come out.  So we managed to leave after that and did have lunch, and then on my way to return her I narrowly avoided a 5 gallon plastic paint bucket in the middle of our lane entering the, that would not have been good for my car.  So I dropped her off and headed home and the traffic was a little bad, and people were misbehavin..but I made it. Yay. Who would have thought? I mean what are the odds? But all is well and I had a few glasses of wine that night to celebrate my safe return home. :)

Funniest:  Noelle's reaction to the Croc blog post, and her reaction to my new Sexi Sandal Crocs. Sometimes you just have to laugh.  Ah well. 

What I learned:  Our C.j. sunshine taught me how to RIP and now I am a RIPPIN fool.  I now have my whole music collection on my computer and I am making some fun ringtones at  Fun Fun Fun. :)