Saturday, April 27, 2013

Motorcycle Safety

All weekend I am taking a motorcycle class so that I can get the Class M endorsement on my driver's license which will allow me to ride any two-wheeled powered vehicle that is more than 50cc. Just in case I get a 150cc Vespa! So far I have learned a lot. I can ride a Suzuki 50cc now. I think it helps that I rode a bike and rode a scooter prior. The skills I learned there with turning is serving me well.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

David Walley's Hot Springs Resort

Near South Lake Tahoe is a resort called David Walley's Hot Springs Resort where John and I went for dinner to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  The restaurant overlooks beautiful meadows and the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains which we enjoyed over a quiet dinner.
Our menu was Prix Fixe and we had a choice of items from the starter, entree and dessert.  John had the traditional french onion soup and I had the spinach salad with strawberries, avocado, goat cheese and toasted almonds with balsamic vinaigrette. Since we don't eat red meat often, we both went for the NY strip steak with garlic mashed potatoes "Dianne" style with demi.  For dessert John ordered the chocolate mousse with dark rum and I opted for the dessert of the day which was chocolate panna cotta (Italian cooked cream with gelatin) with real strawberry compote and whipped cream.
After dinner we went next door to the spa and soaked in one of the many natural hot springs under the clear, cool evening sky.  We had a nice evening.
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Settling In

It has been almost four weeks since we moved to the new house and we are settling in little by little.  From our windows we can see downtown Reno.  The skyline reminds me of Vegas :-) so I like to look out there often.
Havi enjoys running up and down the stairs. She is often seen perching in various places looking down at us.
Elgy is also adjusting. She likes to be wherever we are so she is just happy to tag along.
John had a bike race a weekend or two ago in Chico, CA.  Getting to it was much easier in our new Subaru than the Dodge RAM pickup truck which we traded in.  We still needed a four-wheel drive vehicle but this one sips gas compared to the truck.  That's a big plus with all the driving we do -- especially since it is our only vehicle.
Here is John in 2007 (on the left) when he started to ride bicycles again ... and on the right after the Chico Road Race having fun.  Four miles of the course was on a gravel road so that is why his legs and kit are all dusty, LOL.  I am proud of him and how far he has come. He was overweight and lost a difference of 70 pounds to racing competitively.

Phooey, I can't remember where we were when I took this photo.  Oh yes, Gastro Pub at the mall.  It wouldn't be a post without photos of food, right?
The blinds for the house were installed last Friday.  Throughout downstairs (I will have to post pics soon), we chose honeycomb shades for several reasons. They provide insulation and you can open them from the top down or the bottom up.  This particular shade on the door of our master bedroom which leads out to the patio, the shade is cordless.  I lower the top of the shade so that I can see outside and open the shade from the bottom so that our cats can also see outside, yet there is still privacy in the middle area so no one strolling or jogging by will see me walking around in my birthday suit.
Our home came with stainless steel GE Profile appliances but were tired of the stainless steel look so we purchased the WhirlPool White Ice kitchen appliance set instead.  We plan to either get the cabinets refaced or painted white so our kitchen will be a work in progress.  For now you can follow this link to see the image of what we have in mind.

Since we sold our appliances we were left without a range to cook with or a dishwasher for some time.  The large appliances were installed by the delivery guys but we had to the above-the-range microwave ourselves.  For the most part it was easy ... and then there was cutting a larger hole in the cabinet than was made for the GE appliances and THAT was a nightmare, LOL.
BUT we did it and realized that the older we get, the less we want to do things moving.  We were spoiled when we moved to Reno because my company paid for our expenses (boxes, moving truck, gas, movers, etc.) so all we had to do was pack, drive to our destination and unpack.  Moving ourselves this last time was such a pain, LOL.  It took us five days and left us with very sore I will always remember our adventure.  Next time we are hiring help!

So can you blame us for what we did after we installed the microwave?  We headed over to Anchor's Bar & Grill at the Sparks Marina for a stiff drink!!  It was a gorgeous evening and you can see the snow capped mountains surrounding Reno.  Next time we will sit on the patio and enjoy the sun set.
We love where we live and each day when we turn off our street I am in awe of the view.  John drives me to work and he will do so until I can find a safe route on which to ride my scooter or bicycle.
Now that we are all moved in and packing, the biggest task we have the backyard--and it is our biggest backyard yet!  The front of our house is landscaped but the backyard is a big blank canvas of DIRT.
Landscaping or not, it was not going to stop me from laying out and enjoying the warm sun shining over our backyard.  We often let our cats onto the patio from the master bedroom so that they too can enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.  But there are coyotes and hawks that will snatch them so they will not be wandering the backyard ever.
John laid out a moving blanket for me so that I could put down a beach towel, chair, and umbrella and read some books.
Pretty soon we'll get back in the swing of things...and it will be life as usual. :-)
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Reno From a Balcony

I had lunch on the balcony of the building where I work. It is a beautiful day here in Reno. All week actually ... but you never know. :-) There's not much I can do either way except enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Good Morning to you too, Reno

A friend tells me the spring season in Reno is predictable in the sense that we'll have spring-like weather for a week and then winter-like weather for a week. This has been true. I recently asked her if the snow is past us and she expected one more good snowfall before spring is here to stay for good. She was right.

Snow on the upstairs patio.
Driving down the street.

No snow on campus (yet).

Monday, April 01, 2013

Grandma Mouse

My mom's Mom who lives in Laos. Over 86 years old and doing fabulous!


My mom called me again today, to wish me a happy birthday.  Our conversation started like this:

Mom: How old are you now? It's time for you and John to have kids and be fruitful.

Me: How about I donate my eggs and other women can have kids for me?


My Mom: How are your daughters doing?

She was referring to our cats.  Now we can begin to have a real conversation.
I mean, look at these two...bundles of joy. Havi was napping peacefully underneath the blanket I had just pulled out of the dryer and then Elgy, walks on top of Havi not knowing she was sleeping under the pile.  I covered them both with more blankets and they peeked their heads out, like this, for the longest time while took photos (and of course I couldn't help but laugh as well)!!
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Celebrating My Birthday

Our lives have been so busy lately with the home search, John's racing in NorCal, and our trips out of town that we didn't have much time to think about my birthday.  Usually we take some sort of trip to celebrate but this year, I initially didn't feel like celebrating because we had too much going on.

So on my birthday John made me an extra special breakfast sandwich and fresh fruit. Then we started packing up our belongings to move into our new home this weekend. I got some really precious cards in the mail and my sister in Spokane sent me a wine gift basket.  All throughout the day I received messages and phone calls from friends and family who were thinking of me.
By evening John knew I would be ready to go out for some fresh air and food so he took me to the Atlantis Sushi Bar at the Sky Terrace (the restaurant is seated within a sky walk that spans the distance across Virginia Street in Reno).  This is now our new favorite place for sushi because of their excellent service and fish.  Immediately after being seated we were given hot napkins to wipe our hands (you also get hot napkins after dinner) and our drink orders were delivered soon after that. Our empty sushi platters never sat around for very long and we never needed to flag our waiter for anything. The frequency that the staff checked in on us was never too often and they were always a step ahead of our needs--and friendly.  And of course, the sushi was fresh and delicious!!  You see, good casinos spare no expenses on food because they want you to come and eat with the hopes that you'll stay to play.
And play we did!  We pulled some slot machines and when that wasn't working out in our favor, we tried our hands at a Black Jack table.  The dealer was very helpful in explaining the rules since it was my first time playing.  In the end we won enough to cover our food and drinks!!  Then we got a nightcap at the bar and sat on some lounge chairs just doing what we love...talking to each other.  We had a really nice evening and in the end, I had a really nice birthday.
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