Monday, February 29, 2016

The Culinary Sciences Lab in the News

Happy Leap Year! The faster I go, the behinder I get! While recovering from colds and maladies, continuing to unpack and set up our new happy home, on Friday we attended the official opening of the Alta Vista Culinary Sciences Lab. You all know that Mason spent 18 months raising over $26,000 to improve the kitchen at his (former) elementary school, well it took another 14 months for the school district to get the equipment installed, floors redone, and all the accoutrements purchased and here we are, the kids in grades K-5 are learning to cook. The ribbon cutting luncheon was "A Taste of Asia" and all the kids made the food that was served; crispy fried won tons with a spicy Thai dip, beef skewers, Thai noodle salad, lemon cheesecake for dessert and a Thai iced tea. It was incredible! I have to say, I always knew we would reach our goal, but I didn't realize this project would turn out as special as it is. I was emotional listening to Mason's speech about how happy he is to make a donation to the program from his Chopped Junior winnings and how proud he is that kids are learning to cook. Here is the clip from Fox40 News who did a story on the project on Tuesday.…/23/cooking-local-boy-wins-chopped-junior/ 

Over the weekend Dave and Mason spent the day in the bay area gaming and I made progress on unpacking. Sunday we all went out for target practice with friends on some lovely private property. What a fun day! Shooting different kinds of guns, a fire blazing, snacks and lots of laughs. 

Now it's time to get our butts in gear for another very busy week. Mason has two speeches on Tuesday, one at 7 AM for the Chamber of Commerce and again at noon for one of our bigger Rotary clubs. Then on Thursday Mason is cooking for the annual Celebrity Chef fundraiser. This is cool as two years ago, Mason's kitchen project was the recipient of the grant from the Lions for this event. It's a nice way to give back. I'll share more about these events next week. Happy Monday!

Monday, February 22, 2016

So Much To Share, So Little Gumption To Share It.

It's Monday again (not really, I'm so far behind, it's really Wednesday).  It's been a wild ride, the Partaks have been under the weather to different degrees at different times since a week ago Friday. It started with me on our way to Tahoe feeling not quite like myself. All weekend long I was a bit lethargic, feeling a familiar unwelcome sensation, and losing my voice. I nursed my cold with cough drops and drank lots of cranberry juice, yeah, I added vodka, and on Monday a trip to the urgent care confirmed I had a cold and a urinary tract infection. I made my way through the week and as I was feeling better and sending Dave off to S. CA for work, Mason made a visit to my bedroom at 4 AM crying with ear pain. Since it was Saturday, the only option was the ER and that confirmed a double ear infection. We got the antibiotics going for Mason only for Dave to return home on Sunday having spent 3 nights at an Embassy Suites that had an infestation of bed bugs. Yes, I'm sure that's what it was as his body (armpits to mid-thigh) is covered in bites that look a bit like little sores, and he says they hurt. We made it three for thee to the urgent care/ER for the Partak Team and Dave was diagnosed with a cold and yes, lots of bed bug bites. The good thing about bed bugs, if there is a good thing, is that they don't typically stay with you, they bite you, enjoy the feast and then stay in bed. Of course, any kind of "buggy" thing related to bed makes all those around you suddenly feel itchy and the need to scratch just happens. Thank goodness it was clear to us (Embassy Suites denies that they have an issue) that this is where they were as Dave used his personal vehicle for the trip and only stayed at this one place. We sanitized all of his clothes including his shoes even though it's not likely that he brought them home. Although, they could hang on I guess, how do they get to hotels? Isn't it funny, I'm itching as I write this and I know we don't have them here at home. The power of suggestion is alive and well!

I have so much more to share but I am just not up for the telling of the tales. I will get to writing on my Intentional Winning blog as I set my new years resolution to write 365 posts this year and I am sorely behind. I keep making notes of the things I want to write about, but I underestimated how much time moving would take and how tired and uninspired I would be to write. I will catch up and I will meet my goal. I will. Happy Monday! Okay, it's not really Monday, but in years to come, will anyone know or remember that I back dated this post? I don't think so. ;)

Monday, February 15, 2016

No School This Week?

How can it be that Mason has ANOTHER week off from school? I don't remember having so much time off, but I do recall my mom thinking I did. It seems that there is PLC Monday, which means school gets out an hour early every Monday of the school year, regular holidays like President's day, summer vacation, winter break over Christmas, this week off in February, spring break is coming at the end of March, sheesh! I can't beat it so I might as well make the most of it. We had Mason's birthday at a local mini gold place and there were some issues. They ended up giving me 9 passes for laser tag so I think I'll take Mason and two friends to play this week and maybe Mason and I can go see a movie. I know he needs to get some work done on his science fair project so this week should just fly right by.

In other news, we are getting moved in and slowly, the boxes are going away. Don't get me wrong, there is still LOTS to do but progress is being made. Happy Monday!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chicago Was A Blast!

Mason and I have been in Chicago for the last four days and we've had a ball. I can't share all the details yet but suffice it to say, we have more excitement on the horizon. Mason participated in a cooking competition of sorts and when we weren't working, we got to visit the Shedd Aquarium, did some shopping on Magnificent Mile where Mason purchased some cool gold football cleats, we had two kinds of deep dish pizza, and we visited a ramen restaurant off the beaten path - it was phenomenal! Speaking of the pizza, we all know that Chicago style pizza is heavy on the toppings and deep dish style but what I didn't realize is that the crust is croissant like. It's lighter, flaky and quite buttery. My next question to the locals was, "Do Chicagoans eat cold pizza?" I'm thinking no because it's so thick, it would be like eating cold lasagne, just too much cheese to eat cold. The only thing that could have made the trip better is if Dave could have come with us.

I keep thinking what a gift it is that Mason's culinary talents are taking him on these awesome adventures, and he's only 12 years old! He's been to NYC, CT, IL, and of course many counties in CA. I have no doubt he will see the world because of his ability to cook and entertain.

Now I have to see what I can get unpacked and put away before we take off for Lake Tahoe this Friday. Happy Monday!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Boxes Everywhere!

We. Are. Exhausted. We spent this last week and weekend finishing our move from the rental to the new house. Why is it when you move that the last day it seems like there is more little stuff than what fills the whole house? The last bits of paper, rags, cleaning products, yard tools, and more. More what? I ask because I wonder if I even need this stuff. It doesn't matter, now I need to focus on all the boxes that are surrounding us in the new house and start figuring out what of our old stuff works in the new house.

In addition to unpacking, Mason and I are preparing to leave for Chicago for a cooking competition and then we will return home only to visit Lake Tahoe the next weekend. The question is, will be we able to relax and unwind knowing we have so much to do at home, home sweet home.