Sunday, January 11, 2015

Avoiding Ground Hog's Day

Do you ever feel like this:  doing the same thing over and over again every day?

When my alarm goes off in the morning, all I can think about is, didn't I just do this exact same thing yesterday? I'll get up, maybe go to the gym, commute to the office, work, commute home, make dinner, clean the kitchen, watch a little TV and then get up the next day and do it all over again.

Don't get me wrong, I love routine. When I'm off my routine things just don't feel right. But sometimes I think I need to shake my routine up just a little bit. That's one thing I'm going to work on this year. I don't want that dreaded thought in my head that I'm just getting out of bed to repeat the same day I had yesterday.

Instead, I will great the new day for what it is. A brand new day. It's not yesterday and maybe today I can change things up a little bit. Maybe I try something different at the gym, maybe I listen to a new CD on the commute to work. Perhaps I eat my lunch in the cafeteria dining room instead of at my desk like I do most days.

Maybe when I get home from work I do something fun before I make dinner. We can eat dinner an hour later once in awhile. And when I feel frazzled by too many changes I just go back to my regular routine for awhile.

Instead of going to bed at night thinking, "I have to get up and do it all again tomorrow." I'll be telling myself, "I'm blessed to have tomorrow, to try something new, to make someone smile, to live another day." Each day should be a new day to look forward to, full of possibilities and challenges.

Time to face it head on, one step at a time and sometimes step off the paved path for the one less traveled. Be adventurous and embrace this moment in time.

For in the end I want it to be said of me, "she did not waste a single day by wishing it was a different day."

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

Just wanted to start the year off with a blog post. But I'm not really sure what I want to say. 2014 was a pretty decent year. It wasn't without it's share of issues, but we made it through. We were greatly blessed with the birth of sweet baby Amoura in July. My year was spent doing a lot of traveling. Between work and family visits I wracked up some mileage.

I made multiple trips to Utah to visit with my sisters, and both my children and their families. For work I traveled to Long Beach in August and Washington, DC in October.

Natalie and I had fantastic trip to New York City in August. It was such a great trip. Now when I watch TV or movies, I love to see the sights of NYC and say, "hey, I've been there!" We also were able to spend some time outside the city with my friend Gail and her husband Wayne.

So now this post has turned into a review of 2014. That's quite alright. I have enjoyed taking lots of photos this year and have some posted on my Camera Capture page of this blog.

In 2015 I need to blog more (helps me keep track of the events in my life), I need to do more with my food blog. I love cooking and taking pictures so that's a perfect combination for me.

At work we are  moving into a newly remodeled area of our same building the end of January. We are also getting a new Director. All of that will change up the dynamics of our group. Should be interesting.

I will do more of some things
and less of other things.
Here's the start to the More and Less lists

More - sewing, writing, blogging, photography, time outdoors, exercising, talking on the phone to family members, card sending, listening, Skyping with the grand daughters, relaxing, hula hooping, fabric, knitting, going to movies, trying new recipes, reading, dusting, vacuuming, sleeping, positive thoughts, saving money, downsizing stuff, fruits, vegetables, and more floating. I'm sure there will be more to add to this list.

Less - gossiping, complaining, whining, buying things, wasting food, wasting time, piles of magazines, paper, clutter, dust, weight, procrastinating, negativity. There will definitely be more added to this list also.

I like this idea of a More and Less list. Think about it, what would you put on your lists?

Pictures for the New Year. I love the Christmas holiday, the lights, the feeling, everything about it. On my recent jaunt to Utah I was able to visit Temple Square in Salt Lake City and see the Christmas lights. It was absolutely gorgeous. Here is just a glimpse.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Art Makes Me Happy - NYC

While in NYC we had the opportunity to visit many museums. It does involve a lot of time and a lot of walking. But they do not disappoint.

We started with the Guggenheim. We took the Subway and caught our first glimpse of Central Park. From the web site: "An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum is at once a vital cultural center, an educational institution, and the heart of an international network of museums."

Not to mention the movie scenes that get filmed there, like Mr. Popper's Penguins. Director Mark Waters relates about going to the actual Guggenheim Museum, "We had to kind of shoot everything at night in between the time that the museum would close and reopen in the morning.  We'd have to bring in the entire carnival of people and light the whole place and shoot the sequence. And Angela Lansbury is 85 years old and it's 4:00 in the morning, and she's dancing around with Jim Carrey, getting spun around.  And I'm saying to myself, I can't believe this is real. They actually let us in here to shoot? Are they out of their minds?"

After viewing each floor, getting told not to take photos on the ramp and using the tiny rounded bathroom where you can hit your head on a column while getting up from the toilet, we then went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met.

As like so much of the city there was construction going on so part of the front of the building was blocked.

The Museum mission statement: The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on April 13, 1870, "to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said city a Museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction."

This place was huge. You had to actually use the Museum map to get around in all the various exhibit rooms. It was multiple floors packed with so much to see. It was quite amazing.

Photo taken from the rooftop garden at the Met.
Remember the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, where the painting was stolen from the Met? Well, a set was built to look like the museum.
From Wikipedia: Filming took place throughout New York City, including Central Park. The corporate headquarters of Lucent Technologies stood in for Crown's suite of offices. Due to its being nearly impossible to film interior scenes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the producers' request was "respectfully declined"), the production crew made their own museum on a soundstage. Artisans were hired to create a realistic look to the set. Another scene was filmed in a different city landmark: the main research library of the New York Public Library.
After viewing these two museums we made our way across Central Park to Shake Shack for lunch.

The City That Never Sleeps

There is only one city I can think of where I can be in the M&M store at 11:30 p.m. and the store clerks are monitoring the number of people going up the escalator to the 2nd floor. It was that crowded. That would be New York City (maybe Vegas too).

On August 6th, my daughter Natalie and I flew to Newark, New Jersey. From there we spent three nights in midtown Manhattan and two nights at my friend's home in Middletown, New York.

For this post I'm going to keep it simple with some helpful tips and facts about the trip.

When: August 6 - August 11th. The weather was perfect that week. We were lucky.

How: Flew Alaska Airlines nonstop from Seattle to Newark, New Jersey. We used my companion fare. It's a good perk of having an Alaska Airlines credit card. From Newark we had a prearranged shuttle bus that took us into Manhattan from the airport. I would highly recommend it. There are other airports but we picked this one for convenience.

Hotel: Club Quarters Midtown Manhattan. We found the hotel through Alaska Airlines webpage. I believe it goes through Orbitz. It was a great location. We were literally on the back side of Radio City Music Hall. No matter where we went it was easy to find out hotel coming back.

Discount Tickets: New York Pass. We bought a 3 day pass online in advance, and discounted. And we had the booklet mailed to us. Great maps, great way to organize what you want to do.

Transportation: 1) my two feet - wear socks and good walking shoes, by day 2 I had blisters; 2) Subway - buy a metro card from the machine; 3) taxi - convenient; 4) train - Grand Central Station to go out of the city; 5) New York Water Taxi - very fun and discounted in New York Pass; 6) bus - we didn't do this option but it looks like a good idea around town. A coworker told me today that when he goes there they do they Subway for north and south and the bus for east and west travel. You can also rent bicycles, (maybe in Central Park but I would not ride them around the city). And there are Pedi cabs but they look to be quite expensive.

I observed a pecking order in traffic. Starting with who has the most power to the least power on the streets. This is my observation: tour bus, city bus, emergency vehicles, town cars, taxi's, personal vehicles, Pedi cabs, bicycles, and pedestrians.

Broadway: We bought our discounted tickets (courtesy of New York Pass) from the box office on Thursday for the Saturday matinee. We wanted a particular show. Otherwise (and next time I go) you can go to Times Square in the morning and get half price, same day tickets for many shows. The people sitting next to us on the 6th row had bought their tickets that morning. We saw a show called Once. It was very good, a really fun time.

Times Square

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Twas the Night Before NYC

Yes, that's right. Tomorrow I'm on an airplane to fly to New York City. It will be my first visit to the Big Apple. I'm going with my daughter. What an adventure we have planned. This is something we've talked about doing for about 3 years and now it's here.

We'll be posting photos on Instagram and I'll share a lot when we get back. We have our days packed with fun sight seeing, museum visits and lots of pizza, I mean lots of good food.

I'm in the middle of a two week vacation. I've been home for the first part of it playing tourist here in Seattle with my daughter and her husband.

Since Thursday we have toured the Theo Chocolate Factory, ate burgers at the famous Red Mill Burger joint, explored the Seattle Underground and the CenturyLink Stadium. We also did a whale watching cruise in the San Juans and visited the Seattle Aquarium.

Now we're heading to the East Coast. This is my magical birthday year, the year I turn 57 which matches the year I was born, 1957. This only happens once in a lifetime. This vacation is part of my magical birthday year.

I also get to take my daughter to visit my best friend Gail who I've known since we were in third grade.

Off we go.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014

I must say a few things have happened in the last two months. The end of June was our annual family vacation to the cabin. Even though neither of my children attended this year I was able to enjoy a lot of family. We had a really fun week. And before heading to the cabin I was able to see more family at Sue's house.

It's quite the road trip for Wally and I. The first day we go 500 miles to Boise and spend the night. The next day is about 350 miles. We then stay six nights and repeat the process on the way home. It's a good thing I enjoy driving.

This year the weather was great. It wasn't quite as hot as it normally is when we are driving through Idaho.

A couple of weeks after returning home from the cabin I was able to fly to Utah to meet my newest little grand daughter, Amoura Emilene. It was so wonderful to spend time in my son's home with his sweet little family. She was born on July 6th.

July and August will continue to be very busy months. Summer is going by so quickly but I'm loving it all.

The Gaytan's

2014 Cabin Crew

Avea, Amoura, Grandma Trudy and Annelise (3 of my 4 grand daughters)

Three generations. Daddy Wayne, baby Amoura and grandma Trudy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

On a Roll

I purchased a sweet little Nikon film camera from a Facebook friend in Ohio. It belonged to her husband who hadn't used it in years. She was cleaning and helped him get rid of it. I'm so hoping he was in on it. She included a flash attachment which I've never used before. I shot a roll of film the last few days and had it put on a CD. Yes, you can still buy film. This camera was one of the first plastic bodies Nikon made so it's really light weight. I do have some manual reading to do to fully understand how to use it. Here are a few of my first photos. Most shot on automatic, a couple on manual.

My attempt at something.