New chapters = New Beginnings

 

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Back in the bay and the countdown has begun to the start of school for the year – everyone is pretty happy to go back! We have only 4 days to go, and for me, it is 3 as I start a new job as a Teacher Assistant on Friday with Orientation – how exciting as I have not worked full time for about 9 years!

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Since coming back I have enjoyed Granita cocktails with lemon verbena from my neighbours garden and watermelon from my CSA box, absolutely incredible. I made cocktails at a friends house the other night for dinner, and we had mixed melon and mint with lemon and Hangar 1 vodka, just the perfect drink for a tasty Indian meal! Oh I have to mention the inspiration for Granita was from Melbourne from an Italian coffee house called Pellegrini’s where every Friday they made fresh gnocchi and served it with watermelon granita, it was such a treat!

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I have loved being back on my bike and getting around the trails I opted for a 7.5-mile ride down the trail early on a Saturday morning and it was just perfect. Smooth riding, flowers in bloom and many bridges to cross.

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I have been really enjoying the colours in nature and coming back after spending a month in a dramatic winter scape it is beautiful to see everything in bloom and so alive!

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Sometimes I feel like this little guy trapped in its razor wire with one step forward and many steps back with the amount of work I have to get through with University and now planning for a full-time job plus volunteering and taking care of the household. One thing at a time from my list and eventually I get through, and there is more work. Still, it will make the time fly by, before I know it plans will be underway for our house in Oz.

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We had an enjoyable hike with our friends from Oakland on Sunday at the halfway meeting point in Pacifica and found this super cool County Park with many eucalyptus trees. There were so many and it was just like being home in Australia. That could be one of the many reasons how I have managed to be here so long, being amongst native trees and enjoying their energy. This tree was just spectacular as it was gigantic, growing like an oak tree with its massive supportive trunk in the centre.

There was so much fog that morning, and it enlivened the trees formations. We walked up and down for around 5 miles, and it was refreshing for all of us with some lovely views along the way. The trees were my favourite as we wandered through the many different landscapes.

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The kids were very excited to have found some sibling lizards on the hike and caught them for a bit of play – you can just see them on Ash’s finger sitting together. The bonus was the cafe at the bottom of the hill from the park was Beach Monkey Organic Cafe had tasty food for all of us including delicious Acai bowls!

Not long to go until life changes gear and I start a new chapter of my life for the next 6 months, it is something to look forward to and a super opportunity to engage in for my education degree.

Spooking about the town

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The inspiration for my Halloween costume came late one evening as I was trying on the costumes in my collection to find nothing that I felt like being or wearing for Halloween. It is nice to have a lot of ideas like a Hawaiian tourist, disco ball, square dancer but I really wanted a dance inspired costume so off to my fabric stash I went.I found this black and white fabric at an estate sale and it was just perfect for a swinging 1960s theme dress. This was a lot of fun to dance in as the primary reason for my costumes are wearing them to my aerobic dance class!

The makeup I worked with on Friday night was for Trunk or Treat with the kids and I used a black eyeliner underneath my lipstick for some Halloween depth. Monday when I went to class it was a lot of fun with a similar hairdo but not as dark on the makeup. Each year we do a group photograph to inspire us for Halloween next year. Our teacher Joan, is Carmen Miranda in the front row.

In amongst all the Halloween activities this weekend we went to the SFMOMA to meet friends from Oakland and check out the new exhibits. It was a beautiful rainy morning so after wandering a couple of galleries we had a break with some Dick Taylor Hot Chocolate crafted in Eureka – it was divine! Oh, and I have an inside hint for coat check – there is one on the 2nd Floor where you get your tickets and that is where you find the red bathroom (see the pic above) – the line is not as long when you want to take off!

For lunch in San Francisco, we went to Lemonade and my vegetarian friend and I enjoyed a yummy artichoke and provolone toasted sandwich and I shared a grasshopper pie (mint with chocolate cookie crumbs) with Mr. Ash for dessert. It is lovely to check out the area of SOMA and Lemonade was the perfect place for a family friendly meal. Everyone was happy and it has a seasonal menu as well – now that is the business.

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Man, look who hijacked my camera when I was not looking – Mack and Ash!

For Halloween day after school, we went to the farm to do the weekly chicken chores as we were in the car a lot and listening to my favorite radio station KDFC – the classical music station of the Bay Area was playing Halloween themed music all day, check out the playlist here. It got us into the mood for a very long evening ahead of us for the start of the week – whew!

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Trick or Treating after the chicken chores we met with Missy’s school friends in the Bubb neighborhood and wandered a street or two there before heading over to see another friend in the Sylvan Park neighborhood and checked out their dragon sculpture – the kids had a super time but after their sugar high were very tired by the time they went to bed.

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When I was shopping in the morning I loved the makeup of one of the Whole Foods employees who I regularly chat with. She is from Mexico and we were talking about Day of the Dead which is on November 1st. I loved her makeup and I was getting some hints on how to achieve this stunning design which took her 3 hours. Halloween and its festivities are one of my favorite times of the year and I will have to start thinking of my costume for next year – maybe a crazy cat lady!