September Smiles – 365 Pictures

I am managing to keep up with my 365 pictures.  Here are a few since I last wrote about them:

Last night we had a thunderstorm complete with lightning.  According to the National Weather Service report from this morning, 1,200 cloud-to-ground strikes and 5,800 in-cloud strikes hit the Bay Area.  It was raining and yet the temperatures were in the high 70’s.  I was outside trying to capture it but the best I could do was this:

This was so close that I just about dropped the camera.  The thunder clapped immediately after and the ground shook so hard that car alarms started going off.  It was amazing.  
Our little kitty sometimes comes into the craft room with me and crawls up on a pile of boxes in our closet.  Doesn’t look too comfortable to me but I guess she is okay with it. 

Caught the full moon.

This happened in April when I googled Rod Stewart and found my blog post about him close to the top of the list.  This time it was my Nickelback post making it to number 3, right under their official page and their twitter page.  According to my daughter, this happens because Google knows it is me googling and it thinks that I want to see my own posts but that if someone else googles it, mine won’t be there necessarily.  I prefer to think I am getting to be well known 🙂

I finished another project for my Etsy site.  This one is a Christmas House with a mini-album hidden inside.

I found the house at the St. Vincent de Paul second hand store during one of my trips to look for interesting items.  It was an ugly beige color so I painted it white and added some decorations.  The mini-album is made out of paper bags and has pockets and places for pictures and notes.  I’ll be listing it soon on the Etsy site.  I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.  Wish I had take a picture of the house before I “restored” it.   
And best news today, I found out I got the job at Michaels!  I go on Sunday for orientation and to sign the official paperwork.  A new adventure begins! How about you?  Any thunder and lightning storms your way?  What do you think of the Christmas house?  See the full moon?  Love to hear about it. 

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September Smiles – Silent Skies

I am using September Smiles as the title for my blog this month but everyone knows there are times when sadness creeps in.

I’ve mentioned before how close we live to the airport.  Our youngest daughter’s first word was “jet” because we heard them all the time.  Even the double paned windows don’t keep out all the sound.

I’ve shared how we can watch the planes do their coming and going dance, wondering how they manage to keep from crashing into each other.

One day the planes were flying through our backyard about a minute apart for over an hour.  Not quite sure what the reason was for that but it definitely got my attention.  

Sometimes we see the news copters and we can usually tell when the President is coming to visit because there is an increase in military copters.   
I don’t have a picture but we can sometimes catch the Blue Angels when they are making their preparations for Fleet Week.  

As you can see, the air traffic is hot and heavy around here on most days; however, there were a few days when the skies were silent.  For two days after the 911 hijackings there were no planes anywhere.  Our house seemed extremely quiet.  Traveling the freeway to work was eerie because there were no planes landing or taking off.  It was kind of scary.

Even after the planes started flying again, I still had a tiny bit of apprehension.  Would San Francisco be next?  Obviously, my 911 experience does not compare to those who were there or who lost someone close to them, but I don’t think there is a place or a person in America who wasn’t affected in some way.  We remember.  

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September Smiles – 2017 – Daughtry and Nickelback

Shoreline Amphitheater was our venue for this concert as well.  We were going with some friends or I might have suggested we just spend the night down here.  Actually it only takes about a half an hour to drive it so it’s not bad at all. 

The weather was still hot.  I look like a lobster.

I was looking forward to Daughtry.  We had seen him once before a long time ago as an opening act for Bon Jovi.  

 Another very energetic performer, moving all over the stage so it was hard to get good pictures.

During the break we caught the moon with a slight cloud cover.  Not cloudy enough to cool the temperatures.

I had been listening to Nickelback CDs that my husband had and there were quite a few songs that I liked.  The tour was called “Feed The Machine” since that is the name of their most recent CD and they did do some songs from that but also ones from their older albums.  They had a great stage presentation and the opening was spectacular with a huge machine looking base for the drummer.

They also made good use of the big screen behind them so it was much easier to get some great pictures.  

They even had Daughtry come back out and sing a song with them.  
And one of the band members had family there so they got to go up and sing “Rockstar” with the group:
It is easy for me to remember the songs when they put the lyrics on the screen:

They had a spotlight on Chad Kroeger and this was reflected on the tent roof.
Big finale with Burn It To the Ground, lots of steam shots from the drum base and fire on the big screen.  

If I had one thing to complain about it was that Chad has a foul mouth.  I saw several children in the crowd and his use of the “F-word” was not necessary.  I’m not exactly a prude and he does sing some songs with questionable lyrics (“You look better with something in your mouth”) so I knew going in that it wasn’t exactly a GP band but I don’t think that profanity is appropriate in a place where there are young ones.  On the other hand, what are the parents doing allowing the kids to listen to that stuff?  Sticky situation. 
On the way out I saw this and realized that I never usually take the sign all lit up.  Usually I get it on the way in when it is still light outside.  
We have one more concert this year, Scorpions, next month.  Thanks to the A to Z I have gotten a lot of my shows scrapbooked but I am nowhere near caught up so a break in the action might do me some good.  I’m still debating if I want to use that as my theme for next year or go for something new.  For now, here is Burn It To the Ground from Nickelback:

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September Smiles – 2017 – Jason Bonham, Cheap Trick And FOREIGNER

We have 3 concerts left for the year (unless something spectacular comes up).  The first was Jason Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Experience, Cheap Trick and Foreigner at Shoreline in Mountain View on September 2.  As mentioned in my last post, we are having a HEAT wave here and the temperatures were up over 100 degrees, even at 6 PM when we pulled into the parking lot of the amphitheater.  The temperature was not the only thing that was going to make this night different for us (me).  

After being successful in sneaking in some alcohol at the Mountain Winery and AT&T at a couple of shows earlier this year, I got bold and decided to try it at Shoreline.  No such luck.  My “hidden” compartment wasn’t so hidden and I got caught.  Oh well, one wine cooler confiscated.  I was only slightly embarrassed.

We took our picture standing in the shade of the bar…

and then got a bonus picture in front of the stage.  

It was not quite so hot when we were in our seats and as the sun set behind us it was bearable.  Fortunately we were sitting under the canopy so we were never in the direct sunlight.  While we were waiting for the bands to start, we were surprised by a high school classmate of mine that was sitting in the row behind us, a few seats away.  In all the concerts we go to, rarely do we see people we know.  
First up was Jason Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Experience.  Jason is the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham.  I didn’t realize that I actually like Led Zeppelin until I recognized most of the songs.  (How do you not know if you like Led Zeppelin?)  Now I’m taking my husband’s CDs and downloading them.  Here are a few pictures from the JBLZE:
Jason Bonham

Next up was Cheap Trick.  We’ve seen them before several years ago and were not impressed then.  They were better tonight.

Robin Zander

Rick Nielsen

In between bands I went to use the restroom.  I had brought a deodorant stick with me to refresh, after all it was HOT!  Unfortunately, I dropped the top and it rolled under the door to the stall next door 😦  I had to wait until that person was done and fortunately I was able to get it.  That could have been a mess in my purse!  On the way back I took this picture of the tents that cover the venue.  I didn’t realize until I was looking at it today, on the wall are pictures of other acts who have appeared there and the one on the right is Steely Dan.  Sadly, Walter Becker passed away September 3.  Kind of eerie.  

This is one of the projections on the ceiling.  So perfect for me to use in my concert scrapbooking.

By far the best of the night for me was Foreigner.  I am in love with this band and have written about some of our experiences, including the time I came in close contact with Kelly Hanson last year.  If Steve Perry returned to Journey, perhaps there would be a contest but failing that, Foreigner is my band.  The energy they put into the concert was amazing.  Mick Jones was even with them this time.  He has been ill and the last 3 times we’ve seen them, he wasn’t there.  This is their 40th Anniversary tour so we are lucky that he was able to make it.  
From our seats we could see through the slit in the curtain.

Mick Jones
Mick Jones and Bruce Watson

Kelly Hanson

Kelly heading into the crowd as he does
Jeff Pilson and Thom Gimbel


Lemme Hear Ya
The opening drum beat started for “Juke Box Hero” and a huge spotlight appeared in the back of the crowd.  All of a sudden the words…”Standing in the rain…” and the shadow appeared.

It was the first time I had seen them do anything like this.  It was terrific.  I’m so glad my husband was able to take these pictures because all I could see was the bright light.

The guys really seemed like they were having fun.  

I had another up close and personal, this time with Bruce Watson.  He came walking up the aisle near where I was standing so I just went over to him and put my hand out to shake his hand.  He shook mine and I said, “Thank You.”  Later, I read an article about him from January of 2015 when he first started playing with Foreigner because Mick Jones was ill.  He seems like a really nice guy, very fan friendly.  This was right before I shook his hand.  I had the camera so my husband couldn’t take a picture. 
After the concert there was the moon, almost full. 
Next comes Nickelback and Daughtry.  Are you ready?

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September Smiles – 2017

September is here and with it some extraordinary heat!  San Francisco broke it’s all time heat record of 103 degrees (from June of 2000) with a high of 106 (on September 1); however, we are not to be fooled into thinking that this is any type of global warming.  They have, however, issued an excessive heat warning that goes until Monday.  
Before the day got too hot, I was on my way to the job interview at Michaels.  I haven’t been on an interview in 23 years, but I think it went okay.  The first question the assistant manager asked me was, “Why do you want to work at Michaels?”  I told her that I owned my own business doing medical transcription but the increase in technology and retirement of some clients is taking my work away and I wasn’t ready to retire yet.  I told her I had never worked in retail but I don’t want to work in a medical office.  After 30 years I’m ready for something new.  I told her I do a lot of crafting so Michaels seemed the perfect fit.  
Then she asked what I would bring to the “team.”  I told her that I would bring enthusiasm because I would be doing something new.  I told her I would bring wisdom because I am old.  She laughed.  She told me about the hours and I said that I wasn’t going to give up my business but that I could work afternoons and evenings.  One of the “perks” of the job is a 30% discount at the store!  All in all I think it went well.  They are doing a background check on me at the moment and then we’ll go on to the next step.  Pretty sure there is nothing in my background too shady for Michaels.  She told me the dress code was casual – jeans, any kind of shirt and they give me a vest or I could buy a Michaels employee T-shirt.  She said she tells people that she is an assistant manager and wears jeans and a t-shirt to work.  I told her I had been working my dream job for the past 17 years and maybe Michaels could be dream job #2.  We’ll see.   
Me, squinting in the sun in front of Michaels.  

After I left the interview I went for a walk by the bay.  I felt very light and in great spirits.  I think the interview went well because I had been feeling no particular pressure.  It wasn’t live or die if I don’t get the job.  I have reached the age where I could collect social security if I wanted to but the longer I delay, the more money I’ll get.  Three or four years working at Michaels could definitely help that.

And then I went home and checked on my typing work, which fortunately there was some of but which won’t be due until Tuesday because of the holiday.  I went into the craft room and made two cards for a double birthday we were invited to and tried to keep the house as cool as possible.  Toward evening my husband called me into the living room and said, “Look at this!”
The sun setting behind the house across the street made it look like it was on fire.  I love that Bill calls me when he finds something interesting for me to see.  He gets that I love to take my pictures.  
Tonight we have Foreigner, Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.  It is going to be a warm evening but I’m sure we’ll manage.  How about you?  Having a heat wave?

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August Adventures – I made it

August definitely was a month of adventures!  We saw two concerts (Fab Four and Pat Benatar and Toto), took a trip down memory lane at the Summer of Love exhibit and I successfully completed all the August Break picture prompts.
In addition to all that, I managed to be pretty busy in my craft room too and made these goodies to put up for sale on my Etsy shop:
Cake shaped gift card holders

Ice cream cone shaped gift card holders
Mug shaped gift card holders

Wedding card

Thinking of you


Masculine birthday

Christmas two sided gift card holder



Male birthday or anniversary ticket/gift card holder


Purse shaped birthday/Just Because tag/gift card holder
September promises to start out with a bang as well.  Tomorrow I have a JOB INTERVIEW!  I have been working for myself from home for the last 17 years but the majority of my medical transcription has dwindled and if I want to continue going to my concerts, I need to find a way to supplement the income.  The interview is at Michael’s Crafts so I am thinking it will be a good fit.  Still, not only have I worked for myself for so long, even when I was out in the job force I have never worked in retail.  I’m going to think positively.
Over the weekend we have concerts:  Foreigner, Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham on Saturday and Nickelback and Daughtry on Sunday.  Then things settle down somewhat until the end of the month when we go to Boulder Creek for the annual golf tournament my husband golfs in.  We’ve been doing that for over 20 years!  I’m glad we have some time because I just realized that I need to get the pictures from last year put together for the scrapbook!  
How about you?  Manage to come through August okay?  Big plans for September?  Love to hear about it.

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August Adventures – 365 Pictures update

We have 5 days left in August!  This year is going by rather quickly.  Here are a few more of the 365 pictures I’ve been taking:

This is the “official” picture I’m using for the 365 book but I did take a few other shots of the eclipse we had on the 21st.  Where we are in California it was only a 75% coverage but I was able to get some pretty good shots, I think.  I used both the paper protective glasses and my husband has some welding glasses which we doubled.  

This is through the protective glasses.

This is when there was enough cloud cover to take a regular shot.

This is through the welding glasses.  
#235 – A sign.  I wrote earlier about the biggest “sign” for me so far this year, when I found the word Believe on our walk in Reno.  This is the sign we see before every concert at the Mountain Winery.  Sometimes we can get a good picture, if there are not too many cars coming in behind us.  I don’t like to hold up the line.

#236 – Silver – This is one of my favorite silver rings.  It came with a bag of marbles that can be interchanged depending on my mood or to match what I am wearing.  I love the fact that I could just go into a toy store and get another bag of marbles and have more rings!    

#234 – Sour.  The kids used to love these things but just looking at the packaging makes my mouth pucker.

#237 – Pretty Weeds.  This tiny flower is growing in our front yard.

#239 – Stone.  I have this collection of stones and I am not really sure what kind they are.  I know the striped one is Tiger’s Eye but the other ones I need help with.  Anybody?

#238 – Window.  Sometimes the airplanes fly so close over our house that I could almost see in the windows.  Obviously this is blown up a bit but it was a real plane that flew over!

Okay, that brings us up to date on the pictures.  I am going to look for some prompts now so I have clues for next month.   Did you see the eclipse?  Get pictures?  Know what kind of stones I have?  Please share!

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