Monday, June 29, 2015

30 Year High School Reunion

Welcome to Summertime!
Indeed it is hot, hot, hot! We have been in the high 90s and this week we're looking at 100+ temps every day. I know some people are really suffering and not liking it, but I love it! I love to be outside when it's hot and I can be at the river, I love to be outside in the late evening when it is still toasty, but not hot...oh yes, I love this time of the year. Do you? 

This weekend was jam packed! We started the weekend off with Dave's birthday and friends who came into town for dinner. Dave and Mason headed to San Rafael early Saturday morning for a gaming tournament while I stayed home and prepared to go to Vacaville where my 30 year high school reunion was happening. I had no plans to go to the actual reunion but I had the pleasure of spending Saturday evening with eleven year old Victor from Italy. 

My girlfriend from high school is here with her son and he needed a date. We made pizza, played with Legos and all in all had a great night. On Sunday Dave and Mason went to the NASCAR race while Julie hosted a more informal reunion at her house. Dave dropped in on their way home from the race and Mason got to meet Victor and spend some time getting to know him. It was a busy weekend and to say we were all very tired come Sunday night would be a gross understatement. 

Today it's back to the grind of work, work, and work - you know, job, house, school, kids, swimming for Mason and getting ready for several cooking demos for Mason in July. He is cooking in Napa on July 4th and at the State Fair on the 14th and 21st. At our local July 4th Family Fun Festival, Mason will be receiving the Auburn Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award for his work on his school kitchen, Senator McClintock will be presenting the awards, pretty cool, huh?

Having taken a trip down memory lane this last weekend I realized that I'm really pleased with where I am as a woman and my family life. I have an awesome husband and son, great friends and I will never take that for granted. There was someone this weekend who really screwed me years ago and it bothered me to be in the same room with her, really bothered me. It bothered me because I don't want to have to be in the presence of people who do not have personal or professional ethics - as least so far as I know this to be true. Of course, we live our lives in the presence of those people, but for the most part we don't have personal experience with them. I think being able to revisit our high school days can be a really good thing if for nothing else, to be able to recognize that we're doing okay, and in my case, far better than expected. Happy Monday!


Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Happy Monday!

Yesterday was Father's Day and Mason and I did lots of things to make Dave's day special. We let (even encouraged him) to sleep in, set him up with his favorite breakfast of chicken fried steak, country potatoes and biscuits & gravy, in addition to cards and balloons. My favorite part of the day was that he took a nap, he has been working so hard that I know his body and spirit needs the rest. 

We have plans today to venture out for our next installment of Park Pass & a Picnic and Mason is totally excited that Dave is coming along. We realized in post production that the spot Mason and I visited, the Oregon Creek Day Use area was not the spot we were actually looking for, so we plan to revisit that today and see if we can find the granite slab water slides! But the park part of our adventure today is Malakoff Diggins State Park, this state park is preserving the largest hydraulic mining site in CA, this will not only be fun, it will be educational! If you haven't seen our first few videos, I'll post them at the end of this post and you can always go to MasonPartak.com to see them as well. I edited these first few videos, but I think Mason is going to take over with this one, so let's see what he's learned in the technical department.

I'm going to go pack our picnic and we are heading out, one of the things we are learning is that it is better to get an early start, not only to beat any crowds, but we give ourselves a cushion just in case we come across some gem we didn't expect - more time to explore! Have a great Monday and take time to be kind, smile, say a pleasant hello to someone you don't know, or send a text to someone you haven't heard from in some time. Big smiles and lots of love! Kathy
 
Video One - American River Confluence

Video Two - Oregon Creek Day Use Area

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summertime Plans

Happy Monday Friends!

I love summertime but it's a challenge between work, keeping Mason busy and out of trouble and making memories as a family. Dave's summer is a little less complicated as his work is constant and his fun is mapped out and planned in (gaming tournaments, NASCAR, and his trip to the east coast for a game convention). I put Mason through what we called "Video Editing Production" summer camp in which I gave him the same hand outs I was given in my college classes and hoped to teach him what I know. Well, he learned it alright! He produced his first video in minutes. The other thing we decided to do was to take more advantage of our CA State Parks pass, we are going to try to visit some of the state parks within 50 miles of where we live and Mason will v-log about it (v-log is a video log, or a blog that utilizes video vs all text). The idea is called "Park Pass & a Picnic" and he and I will both review the parks with visit and also share what we packed for our picnic. It's a creative way to spend some time together and also use video skills, camera skills, build memories and get to know more about all the state parks in CA have to offer. The park pass is only $125 and it's good for the full year. My thoughts also include the idea that with a park pass and some creativity using what you already have in your fridge/pantry, you can have a day out with your kids for a relatively low cost. Sure, as we head out a bit further and reach that 50 mile one way trip, fuel will factor in to the bottom line, but more than the cost, I'm looking at the value of the summer memories Mason and I are making. Today we are off to Oregon Creek in Nevada County, Mason found this one while searching for swimming holes. It is marketed as a park that has beautiful granite slabs and natural rock water slides...we shall see and we'll be posting our video reviews this week. 

Dave is at annual training for the Guard and I think this is his hardest two weeks out of the year. He works 7 days a week from sun up to well past sun down. It sucks, there just isn't any other way to say it! He will hopefully be home late Friday and with Mason swimming on Saturday, he will have the house to himself to relax - I hope! There is the possibility he will have to go into the office on Saturday, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, it doesn't happen that way, but who knows with the military. Speaking of Mason swimming, Saturday was his first swim meet, it was the time trials in which all the kids needed to swim each of the events to set their times. Mason has never done the butterfly stroke but he watched the other kids and got in the pool when it was his turn and did it. I was so proud of him! He did two laps and he didn't quit. The other boys were nearly finished when he was just starting back on his second lap but he didn't quit, he didn't resort to an easier, more familiar stroke, he swam the butterfly stroke all the way to the end. I don't know if I would have stayed with it, but I'm really proud of him that he did. Have a great week and always know, you are stronger than you think you are, try to eek out just one or two more of whatever it is you think you can't do. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Time for a Change

It's Monday again! After my rant last week, I got lots of support from so many of you and can I just tell you how much I appreciate all of you? Really! Some days it's harder than others to let the crap roll off my back, and from so many of your replies, it's clear you totally understand. 

I've made some changes with my work situation and I'm excited. I'm moving back to the office in Folsom where I worked when I did loans. It will be good on a number of accounts, we will be able to do loans in house, I will be able to work loan processing to make a little extra cash, and I will be earning more on my real estate transactions as well. As far as my clients are concerned, nothing will change, I'll still be me doing the best job I can do for you! 

Here is something fun I'm working on, one of my fellow film making students loved my idea about a project for and about women, getting real and finding the humor in being wives, mothers, and women in general, "What Your Momma Never Said Out Loud" is shaping up to be a hilarious web series on You Tube. Be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our You Tube channel, here is our promo video and we will be shooting our first few webisodes this week. Stay tuned, this is going to be fun! Promo Video


I am excited about this  but I am also well aware that Rebecca and I are putting ourselves out there and we expect the hate mail to come. Heck, I get private messages regarding the way I am raising Mason and what I should and should not share about him/me/us on Facebook. Whatever! Bring it on, those who know me know I love my life (most of the time!), you all know that I feel incredibly blessed to be happily married and I have the opportunity to raise and be Mason's mom. Social media has become a platform to share and focus on the positive, I'm good with that but only when it's balanced some real life, nobody is happy all of the time - not even me! It's time to laugh, to look at the lighter side of real life...so here we go!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Life's Not Fair!

It's been quite a week...I'm not sure where to start or what to say about it. It's been as if the moon and stars are not talking so everything is all out of whack. Yes, things are not in alignment right now.

All of you know that I usually see my life as darn near idyllic, but the last month that has not been the case. There have been unusual revelations, confessions of "imperfections" and questions by those of us reaching mid-life and questioning what the hell is going on?! Right? Many of you are right there with us, you are caring for young kids while having to deal with aging parents, work, school, and real life in general - it aint easy! When those stressors pile on, we tend to let go and release where we feel safest, at home. I want to ask why we do this, but that would be redundant, because I know why, but I don't like it. On the flip side, there is something to knowing that we all have a safe place to let go and vent, a place where we can say what we really feel and mean. The danger comes when we reach a boiling point and explode! We say things we don't mean or at least say what we might partially mean in not so nice ways. It's communication that is just not conducive to understanding. We've all been there and hopefully, we've all found our way to the other, kinder and more loving side of life. 

Life is not fair, this I know. For all the little-life-lessons I feel like I've learned in 48+ years, I still don't understand so many things. I'm not going to bore you with the long list of shit that perplexes me, but suffice it to say, the list is getting longer. Why do people who lie and cheat make big money? Why is it that the banks/their executives that acted fraudulently during the mortgage crisis were never charged with a crime yet the lunch lady in Colorado is fired for feeding kids who have no money to eat? Why is it that big-box retail "says" they want to support small business but when they have an opportunity to make magic for a mom inventor, they put so many conditions on the deal it ends up costing the mom-inventor more to meet the conditions than she could ever possibly dream to earn? I can go on and on but of course you and I both know that the bottom line is making money, them not us. 

So many people I know are working so damn hard to make ends meet, to provide something a little more than the bare necessities for their families and yet it's still not enough. Moms especially feel like a failure when they don't make it to the end-of-the-school-year picnic and ceremony on time but fail to acknowledge that they got their kids (multiple grades/schools) to school on time, lunches made, picked up from school, to swim/soccer/football/theatre/fill in the blank practice, made time to work out (at 5 AM so as not to interfere with everyone else's schedules), picked up a sandwich for the picnic for her child while she ate plain chicken breast (that part goes with the 5 AM workout - and did I mention, this mom in particular has lost over 70 lbs in the last year? YES!) and work a full day at work...and she felt like a bad mom because she was late to the picnic. It's times like this that I want to cry, too. I want to cry with that mom, and the dad who is working equally hard feeling like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders and really just wants to relax and not have a to-do list that never seems to get shorter. The same dad who stops in at the local pub to have a beer and comes out to find his car has been hit and the jerk did not leave a note. Oh, and our kids, the ones we are working so hard to provide something better for just want more...they can't see how we are sacrificing so many of the things we want to do, and not do so they can have a new experience, go to the picnic, swim on the team, etc, etc, etc...until they see their mom cry, in public, at the picnic, because she was late, she felt like a bad mom. 

Life is not fair, it's not and it makes me mad. Yeah, happy Kathy is not happy right now, she is not seeing the bright side and it's safe to say that her rose colored glasses are broken. For those of you that get a little tired of the "Rah! Rah! Rah!" that is my typical message, relax because today I am with you, life is shit, it's not fair and it sucks...yes, some days, so much of it really sucks! 

If you know someone who could use a kind word, a pat on the back, some appreciation or just an acknowledgement that they are enough, tell them, just tell them.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's the 20th Monday of 2015

Welcome to the 20th Monday of 2015 (yep, I counted)! It's my last week of school and as usual, I'm bummed. I love being able to go to school and this semester has been more fun than most, I got to spend four days a week learning video production and editing. I produced and edited a 10 minute documentary about my journey with Mason and all his cooking antics. I don't expect this project will be anything that the masses would be interested in, but it will be something for Mason as he grows up and has a family of his own - it's really a high tech home movie. I'll post a link to the video next week when school is out and it's completely finished, you just have to remember, it is a student project so be kind!

Mason has 3 weeks of school left so that means I have a few weeks to start packing and get the house decluttered and cleaned. Dave and I have been house shopping and as much as I loathe the idea of moving again, I am excited to be in a place that is ours. For those of you wondering why we are moving again, we were planning to buy again last fall (2 years after the short sale of our previous home), but our landlords asked us to break our lease and move out earlier than scheduled so they could move into the house we were renting. Because we weren't quite to the 2 year mark, we had to sign another 12 month lease. So we moved in June of last year and will be moving during the summer of this year, too. Hopefully, we will be able to stay put until we revisit the plan to move to the east coast when Dave retires from the military in 4-5 years. 

Do you have big plans for summer vacation? Since we are buying a house and moving, we won't be taking much of a family vacation, but with the river just a few miles away, we can slip away to hike, float or swim anytime we need a break. If I haven't mentioned this before, buy a state park pass and you can visit so many cool parks and not have to pay to get it (or park). The California Poppy Pass is good at all state parks and is only $125 for a full calendar year, I say that's the best deal going!