Monday, March 31, 2014

Good Things Are Happening

Happy Monday Friends! This weekend started out like any other, Dave and Mason were off to a game convention while I looked forward to the house all to myself. I spent some of my day working with a friend on some school work and while we were writing I got a phone call that may be the beginning of summer work for Mason. Yes, one of our local grocery stores is interested in having him do tasting and demonstrations in the produce dept. of their stores. The idea is to have a kid cook encourage other kids to try and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. It's basically a live cooking demo but with more one on one interaction with the people shopping in the stores. In addition to this, we got another call regarding an audition for another kids cooking show. As if this weren't all enough on the kid cook front, I got another e-mail letting us know that Mason's story and his award winning beef mandarin slider recipe is being included in a book titled FutureChefs which is due out in October of this year. The book is available for presale on and I can't wait to see how it turned out. The e-mail said that his recipe with test-cooked and professionally rewritten, I'm interested to see what "professionally" rewritten looks like, I mean, isn't a recipe a recipe? Heck, the recipe we submitted is the one Mason made and won the contest with. Heck, it's all an educational journey, for all of us.

I spent the day Saturday in Napa with my friend Jenn, she had some wine club orders to pick up so we packed a picnic, tasted some wine and did lots of laughing. It was misty and lightly raining and I can't think of a time I thought Napa was prettier. I made it home early enough to make some dinner and snuggle up with Spencer and watch a movie. Sunday was more run of the mill in that Dave and Mason made it home early to do their laundry and homework and I had grocery shopping and errands to run. After the work for the day was done, we all watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - research for Mason and his upcoming role of Agustus Gloop. While we were watching the movie, I got the phone call that I won an iPad Air in a fund raising raffle! Whoo-Hoo! It's been quite a weekend to be sure. I don't know what will come of all these opportunities that seem to be presenting themselves, but I see that there is progress. I sometimes get frustrated that I seem to be planting seeds and doing the work to tend to my garden but nothing seems to grow. It's things like what happened this weekend that remind me to keep doing the work - now I just need to get a call or e-mail that I got the listing or my buyers are ready to buy! Happy Monday, keep doing the work, good things will come, they will.

Monday, March 24, 2014

10+ Years Supporting Our Troops!

Happy Monday!

We are enjoying lovely springtime weather but we have good news, rain is on the way! We are not recovering from this drought anytime soon, but as they say, “every little drop helps.”  Today we had an interesting conversation on Facebook and I want to share it with you. Our dear friend Hotty Roddy has just deployed to Afghanistan and I asked him for his address so I could share it with my friends who may want to write or send a goodie box and this is what popped up in the thread, "Rod, I put this yellow bracelet on when Dave deployed back in 2003 at Kathy's request. When it was new, the inscription read "Til they all come home." Thankfully, Dave returned safe, and I decided to continue wearing it til all our soldiers are home. It hasn't been off my wrist since, and over the years, it's worn smooth so you can not read the legend anymore, but it remains close to my heart, as you and all the other men and women that are standing in harm's way will also be close to my heart until you all return. It's probably half the thickness now as it was when it was new; I hope to God I can cut it off before it falls off. Be safe my friend, and thank you. Cat, I'll be holding you in my thoughts as well.” Al Wright. While Dave was deployed in 2003/04, we sold these bracelets to raise money to send DVDs to Iraq as part of Operation New Release. Al has worn this bracelet for more than 10 years in support of our troops, I think that deserves an acknowledgement. Pretty cool! If you want to write to Rod, here is his address: 
Rod Scott 
335th SC (T)(P)
APO AE 09366

In other news, Mason is getting requests to cook at the fairs he cooked at last year including the Marin-Sonoma Fair in Petaluma and the State Fair. He will also be at the Auburn Spring Home Show in May. Mason is also doing theatre, he has been cast as Agustus Gloop in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This seems like a natural move for Mason but who knows, he wants to do everything! Dave is working his way through a college class that he is not loving as much as his last two classes and I am working to build my real estate business. If I could make one thing happen right now, it would be to never hear someone say, “I didn’t know you sold real estate.” UGH!! Yes, I sell real estate! I sell real estate! Laughing! I know you are all over the state and country, but if you know someone who could use my services, please refer them to me. 

So now we are off to a busy week, I hope you are well and would love to hear from you. With love! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kiss Me, I'm Irish!

Happy Monday and Happy St. Patrick's Day! This is a post about kisses and kissing, well sort of, maybe about the magic of a kiss, or the possibility that a kiss could change the world...I'm smiling, are you?

The weekend was off the hook great. As a family we all went to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman and it was a fun movie. It reminded me of my childhood when we could only watch cartoons on Saturday morning - Mason still can't believe we lived under those conditions. Dave and I had a date night and went out country dancing, it's so fun to remember the things we were doing while we were falling in love. On that same train of thought, there are some really simple things you can do to keep your love alive. Saturday night Dave was waiting out by the car for me and when I came outside ready to go, he was standing by the passenger side door. I asked him if everything was okay and he said, "Yep, just waiting to open your door for you." I smiled and as I moved around to let him open the door, he faced me and just smiled making sure he had my full attention. As I looked back at him, he wrapped his arms around me and gave me an awesome kiss. These are the things that typically fall by the wayside as the years of marriage turn over into the double digits. That single, sweet gesture set the tone for an awesome night out and even rolled over to the next day as I replayed it again and again in my mind. 

On Sunday we all had our own agendas and it was as lovely as the previous day we spent together. Dave watched the Nascar race and did homework, Mason did some drawing and wrote a letter to DreamWorks, and I visited with my friend Jennifer and then spent a glorious 4 hours at the river. To me, the smell of sunscreen is the sweet smell of sunshine. While I was at the river, I penned a rock with the thought that just kept replaying itself in my memory, Kiss Me!

As we head into a new week, think about what little gesture you can do to show the ones you love how much you still love them. Dave's sweet kiss on Saturday night reminded me why he set the bar so high all those years ago while we were still dating other people. I'll save that story for another time, but suffice it to say he made a definite impression on me. Have the best week ever!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wild Success!

Mason hiking at Taylor Creek in Tahoe
The Celebrity Chef Challenge was a wild success on Thursday night. I was worried because we had not done a very good job pre selling tickets, so I wasn't sure what the turnout would be. It turns out I was worried for nothing! Dave, Mason and I made all the decorations for the 68 eight foot tables and between Mason and I, we gathered more than 85 raffle and auction items to raise more money for the school kitchen. I don't have the final numbers, but I can guess that with over 500 people in attendance we not only made the $5000 for the grant, but I'm hopeful we made another $1000+ for our raffle and auction efforts. I'll let you all know next week when I get the real numbers. If my calculations are correct, Mason has raised more than $15,500!

After the event, Dave, Mason and I headed up to Lake Tahoe to spend a few night with the Garcias. It was a nice weekend to relax and visit with friends we don't get to see often enough. Now it's back to normal life - normal life? What exactly is that? I don't know, but I do know I am excited to get busy with real estate and there is still work to do to get the kitchen in at AVCCS. I have an appointment to meet a family who may want to list their house for sale so wish me luck! On another note, Mason has started taking acting classes and he is going to be taking on the role of Agustus Gloop in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It's fun but he's got some catching up to do as the group he joined has been working on this for a month already. He can do it, I have no doubts.

I hope you all have a great week and I want to thank you for all your support of Mason's kitchen project. Though he is only 10 (and it shows sometimes!), he really has worked hard on this project. I hope that once we get this kitchen in the school district will make some positive changes with regard to healthier meals for our kids at lunchtime. With love!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mardi Gras!

Happy Monday! Yes, it’s that time of the week again when we have to get back to the grind, or if you’re like me and working on a big fundraiser coming up on Thursday, then you’ve been working all weekend long. That’s not to say we didn’t have some fun, too though. Dave and I went to a Mardi Gras party on Saturday night and it was off the hook! We got dressed up and the hosts of the party went all out; there was authentic food like gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, muffuletta, and king cake. The bar was fully stocked with Hurricanes and the DJ was playing lots of Bayou tunes. The decorations were amazing, too. “WOW!” was all I could say. It was lots of fun and I can’t wait to go again next year.

Now it’s back to the upcoming Celebrity Chef Challenge - our advance ticket sales are really down so I am hoping that all of the promoting Mason and I have been doing will bring plenty of “at the door” sales. Wish us luck and strong attendance! I’m especially excited as right after the event, we are heading to Lake Tahoe with Greg and Heather and the boys. It will be nice to get away after all this work - I hope I get to go with the news that we made lots of money for Mason’s school kitchen. I’ll keep you posted.

I hope you have a great week, I know I will!