Skateboarding at the Olympics!

life

So I did a little research on my skateboard trucks. There was the name Chris Joslin on them. Well, I had to find out what kind of dude this guy was. Afterall, his name is on my board.

I found out Chris Joslin lives in SoCal. Hey, so do I! He is of course a skateboarder. Hey, so am I! He is a really good skateboarder as a matter of fact. I watched some videos of him. So good in fact that he has brands like Independent putting his name on their trucks. Oh, and he is due to be in the Olympics as well. Skateboarding in the Olympics! Well…the Olympics that were supposed to happen until the CoronaVirus hit and put a hold on things. I wonder…since the Olympics will be postponed…would there be enough time for me to train? I can, after all, skate my driveway and street. Ok, my kick turns could use a little work but hey… Just kidding. I can not do any tricks. But since becoming a skate Betty, watching the videos of Chris Joslin makes me appreciate what talent and skill skateboarding takes. I am glad skateboarding finally made it to the Olympics. I will tune in to cheer on Team USA when the time comes.

I also saw in the recent National Geographic Magazine an article about skateboarding. Very interesting. More girls are getting into skateboarding these days. I guess I am on trend. Well, these kids make skateboarding look so easy, but believe me, it takes a lot of practice, skill, drive, and most likely bandages to get good enough to make it to the Olympics. After getting my board, I know it is not as easy as it looks. Sometimes the easiest way to appreciate something is to try it for yourself.

As always, Happy Skating!

Adding a Smile to My Day

life

My husband recently requested that the family clean out the garage. The kids, now out of school, still had a lot of items they had outgrown or had not used in years. How many beach balls do we really need?

So last weekend I got the kids together and we went through the stash. I am happy to say that we did a great job in clearing out the space. The kids wanted to donate the items that were still worthy of being used. Ok. I’m on board. Bag it up and we will donate it.

One item I thought the little neighbor girl might like. A hopper ball. The air-filled ball with a handle that is sat and bounced on. She happily took it. I was glad to see it have a good home. My son LOVED it and hopefully she will too.

The other big item that I thought hard to just bag up and donate was a baseball pitching rebounder net. The frame is quite large so it would be hard to haul around. Today, I decided to put it out in front with a ‘free’ sign on it. Maybe someone would take it. I proceeded to work out back pulling weeds. Then I saw two teenage boys go by. I heard voices and knew that they were out front contemplating the net. A bit later, I looked up and saw the boys heading back the way they came. This time, they were carrying the net. Horray! I was happy, they were happy, all is well.

I went on with my day, went in to clean up, and much later looked out the window at the front porch. What’s this? Spelled out on the porch in bark from our yard was “Thanks” with a piece of fruit for an added touch. I knew right away that it must have been the boys who took the net. It brought a smile to my face and happiness to my day. They found a way to say thanks and I thought it was sweet, something I was not expecting at all. It goes to show that a little kindness goes a long way.

I am Now a Three Song Gal

life

It has been a while since my last ukulele post. Yes, I’m still strumming. I am starting to understand the music a bit better. (Thanks Honey!) I think reading the music is actually my biggest hurdle. Since my first post, I have started playing with tabs. This does make things a bit easier in some ways. It helps if I know the tune of the song before playing, so I know if I am holding notes long enough. I am now playing more than two songs pretty well. I guess I will now consider myself a three song gal. I can play America the Beautiful the best. I am quite proud of this one actually. As they say, “Practice makes perfect”. My latest addition to my repertoire is Ah! Vous dirai-je, maman. I am also learning some others, including Aloha Oe, but I can not play them well enough to count them in my repertoire. So, for now I am a three song gal. I guess I better keep practicing! As always Happy Strumming!

What! I Missed Another Reason to Celebrate!

Cooking, life

What have I been doing? I totally missed the one year anniversary (June 7th) of my blog, Another Day With Julie! My followers know that I love to celebrate my milestones. Celebrating those milestones usually involves a yummy cake. Well, belated or not, let the celebration begin!

We have zucchini in the garden. Maybe too much zucchini in the garden. So this cake will not only help me celebrate, it will help me use up some of that zucchini as well, because I hate to waste food.

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt, and applesauce with a spoon.

Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix.

Add chocolate chips and zucchini. Mix.

Pour the batter into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick comes out somewhat clean.

Can serve with powdered sugar sifted over top.

I like this cake served a little warm. Look closely at the photo. See the melted chocolate chips, still shiny and gooey? Yum! My husband said it reminded him of a chocolate lava cake.

*Recipe adapted from http://www.balticmaid.com/2011/08/healthy-zucchini-brownies

Thanks to all my followers and viewers on Another Day With Julie! Without my readers, there may still be a blog, but what fun would that be. As always, Happy Baking, Happy Celebrating!

At Home Haircuts

life

I have been giving at home haircuts for YEARS. It started way back when I was a teenager in high school. I would watch the hair dresser cut my hair and copy it when I needed a trim. I had a short, layered hair style back then, so a lot of cutting was involved. My brother even let me cut his hair and yes, give him an at home perm.

Fast forward many years later and I am still cutting hair. This is mainly due to the fact that whenever I go to the hair salon I always like the way I looked before I went in better than when I come out. Also, the prices are pretty expensive, especially if I just need a little trim off the ends and my bangs. Honestly, I can do that at home.

So, while in quarantine, I am not stressing about my hair or my family’s hair. I have also been cutting my children’s hair for years. The only person in our household that was going to the barber was my husband. He would never let me cut his hair, until quarantine that is. I was so extremely happy when he asked me to cut his hair and even happier when he asked for the second and third time. I do enjoy cutting hair!

Some tips from me…WARNING….I am not trained in any way to cut hair…just a personal hobby…so anything I have written may work for me and my family but do not come crying to me if your hair winds up looking wonky. We have all given and received a bad hairdo from time to time. It will grow back. Hats are also a wonderful option. But really, what a better time could there be to try this. If quarantining properly, hardly anyone will see the outcome anyway.

A couple of very important things to remember when trying to cut hair on your own… First of all DO NOT cut hair with regular scissors, school scissors, pinking shears, sewing scissors, embroidery scissors, garden scissors, nail scissors, etc… Do not use any ‘bonus’ scissors that may be included with cheap clipper sets. They are not quality scissors. When cutting hair (if wanting to look good) a good quality pair of hair shears is required. Think beauty supply store. It will be well worth the investment.

There are some very good videos on you-tube on how to cut hair. I recommend watching a few to get the idea before diving in on your significant other’s hair. There are also books on home haircutting that may be worth a read. I DO NOT recommend trying to cut bangs if there were not bangs to begin with unless some research is done first. Too many bangs are not a good thing. The hair needs to be sectioned properly before cutting. Short bangs are not a good thing. When I cut my bangs, I cut them wet but I allow for shrinkage. When hair drys, it is a bit shorter. I pull my bangs straight up pulling them between my index finger and my middle finger and cut straight across. This does not give a straight cut. When hair is let down, it will be slightly longer on the ends. This is because the head is curved. Think rainbow but not so dramatic as that. If cut straight across the eyebrows, temples would be showing a bit too much. My husband cuts the ends of my hair. It is difficult to cut the length of one’s own hair. Not saying it can not be done, but not an easy task.

I cut the boys hair dry. I use a clipper with comb attachment to cut the hair around the sides and back of head. I take the comb attachment off and finish the neckline and sideburns with the clippers minus the attachment. I cut around the ears with scissors and I finish the top of the head and bangs area with scissors, blending into the sides. I do this by layering the hairs by taking hair between my index and middle finger and pulling straight up for the top of the head and then straight out for the side and the part between the top and side at an angle. Before using the clippers (each time) apply a drop or two of lubricating oil (meant for use with clippers) on the blade. This is important in maintaing the quality of the clippers.

Curls, waves, cowlicks can all be a bit challenging. I find it easier to cut long hair wet, especially if there is any wave to it at all. Having said that, waves do shrink-up hair when dry so be careful not to overdue the cutting or the hair will be much shorter than desired. Sometimes a few extra cuts are needed to get a cowlick or curl to behave. For me it is just a learned process.

With Covid-19 still hanging on, I am glad that I am not afraid to tackle my family’s hair needs. I have asked for a barber pole and chair that lifts and spins but have been denied. I little dream of mine. Oh well…maybe some day… Happy Styling!

I Have Earned My Wheels

life

As I mentioned in my earlier post ‘Learning to Skateboard at My Age? Why Not!’, I have taken-up skateboarding. It has become an almost nightly thing with me now. My husband was sweet enough to gift me my own board. I no longer have to borrow my son’s board. I have my own wheels.

The skateboard was not bought as a complete, but in pieces that we chose and then assembled. I not only got a lesson in how to ride, but how to put together a skateboard as well. Needed are a deck, grip tape, trucks, risers, wheels, bearings, and screws. Oh, and two handy guys that know how to put this all together. Of course, one can just get it assembled at the skate shop. But then the guys do not get to have any fun.

I really like my new board. It is a super smooth ride. Thanks guys!

My board. Sweet!
My adorable bear cut-out grip tape! This grip tape comes in goofy or regular. I’m a goofy.

Have a Safe 4th of July

life

My family will be staying in for the 4th. Most likely celebrating with an outdoor dinner of grilled food and a few extras. Usually deviled eggs are a 4th of July must have for me. I am hoping to get my son into the kitchen to help me make dessert. Perhaps we will also get out the horseshoes, croquet, swingball, frisbee, or other such outdoor games.

I am looking forward to my neighbor’s huge flag they put out only for special occassions such as the 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc… It makes it that much more special since they do not display it daily. It makes me happy to see it when I open the curtains for the day and see the huge flag draped over their balcony.

Wishing everyone a SAFE and Happy 4th of July!

Learning to Skateboard at My Age? Why Not!

life

I read recently where the Queen of England is in her 90’s and still rides horses. Well that is impressive! As I quarantined in my yard, I watched a young man ride by on a skateboard with a straw brimmed lifeguard hat on. He looked relaxed and like he was having a good time. Something in me said, “You should give this a try!”

I should give a little background on my skateboarding history. I tried to skateboard once when I was a kid. I stepped onto my cousin’s skateboard and fell smack on my behind onto the cement garage floor. I never tried skateboarding again or wanted to until the other day when the guy in the lifeguard hat made it look so enjoyable. Being in quarantine also seems the perfect time to try something new.

I knew exactly who to go to for my first lesson. Believe me, I was not going to try this on my own! My son got his first skateboard at four years old. He is very patient and was more than happy to take on the task of teaching his mom how to skateboard.

I showed up at my first lesson wearing my Vans skate shoes and skate helmet instead of a lifeguard hat, eager to learn. We started off by discussing the parts of the board and what foot I naturally prefer for the board. I said my right foot. Apparently, that is called ‘goofy’ in skateboarding lingo. So I am a goofy skateboarder, which makes perfect sense to me. I am not naturally good at balance, so instead of falling on my behind again, I chose to support myself by holding onto my son’s shoulder. That worked and made me more confident.

By the third lesson, I was feeling better about things and just needed to hold my son’s hand. The next lesson came and I just needed him to spot me in case I fell backwards. Now, I am proud to say, I can skate on my own! I am working on my turns by leaning with my feet and my kick turns as well.

As with anything, to get better, practice is the key. I have been getting out there a little every day. Skateboarding really is a lot of work and uses a lot of muscles so I’m taking it slow, a little each day. I do not have the desire to jump, flip, or do anything crazy. I just find it fun to ride and work on my turns. My goal is to take the board to the boardwalk by the beach some day in the future when quarantines are a thing of the past.

I still have a lot to learn, however, I have improved so much in the short amount of time I have been taking my lessons. I am glad I decided to try something new even though it was a bit scary at first. I am thankful for such a good teacher as well. Happy Skateboarding!

Friday Was Not JUST Another Day With Julie

gardening, life

If anyone noticed, Another Day With Julie did not post on Friday. Why? Well, Friday was not just another day with Julie. But regardless, it was quite a day!

I was having quite a lovely morning. Went outside to tackle some weeds. I was almost finished and decided to spray a few weeds with vinegar out back, near the garden shed. That’s when I saw something move to my left, right by the shed. A long, slithery, striped green and yellow thing. EEK!!!! I ran shrieking into the garage, shut the door and entered the house, never looking back. I do NOT like snakes (or mice for that matter)!

picture of a Santa Cruz Gartersnake, credit Dawn Ellner, Flickr
photo from: greennature.com/california-snakes Of course I didn’t stay and take a picture!

Now, feeling quite safe, I went about my business inside. I decided a bit later to watch an episode of This is Us that I had missed when it aired earlier. So, I sat down to watch it and then after a bit got thirsty and went to get an iced coffee. When I came back into the room, I saw something looking at me in front of the sliding glass door. Oh great! There is a lizard in my house!

This is not good. Living in Southern California, we are used to lizards. However, I do not like them in my house. We have had them in the house before and they are VERY hard to get out. They are tricky little guys. They are fast and not only can they run, they can climb. So if you corner them, they will just climb up the wall. They can also get injured pretty easily if one tries to place a container over them.

Since we are all home due to the Covid-19 restrictions, I have helpers. And I need help. This is not a one person job by any means. However, two of my potential helpers are in phone/internet meetings. Luckily, my son (while doing homework) was available.

I backed slowly out of the room so as not to scare the lizard. If it got away, who knows if we would ever find it. I then ran into the kitchen and got an empty yogurt container. Luckily, I had just washed one out, saving it for some practical use. This was it. Then I ran to my son’s room and gathered him. He was none too excited but was my hero and came to help.

The plan was to chase the lizard out the sliding door. First however, the door had to be opened without freaking out the lizard. Then it would have to be chased out the door. Easy enough or so one would think.

My son was armed with the yogurt container in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. My job was to go outside and move the screen door out of the way and then when given the signal open the sliding door and close it after my son chased the lizard out. One may think I had the easy job. Ok. Remember the snake? He was still out there somewhere now wasn’t he?

So, I make my way cautiously to the sliding door which is not so far from the garden shed. I open the doors and all is going to plan. My son chases the lizard. I start to shut the door. The lizard gets spooked and back in he goes. So, I too head back into the house through the other entrance and help the troops fight the battle from inside.

The sliding door is open. When I was outside I saw a lizard crawling on the side of the house. I am praying he doesn’t decide to come in as well. But back to the lizard on hand. My son and I talk strategy. I grab a large drawing board and position it so the lizard can’t get through my side or into a pile of boxes in front of the door. My son tries to get the lizard to go out. It is now in the corner. One turn and it could be free but it starts to climb the wall. My son stops him and we start making noise. Doesn’t work. The lizard is playing dead. Finally he moves ever so slightly. My son is able to scoop him up into the yogurt container and the lizard, container and all are tossed out the door. The door is slamed shut and locked. We have won the battle!

Lizard on side of house. Not the guy who got inside.

The whole episode took an extremely long time. I was exhausted. Apparently, we were a bit loud in our capture. Both husband and daughter heard our ruckus and wondered what on earth we had been up to.

After all that, I finally did get to finish my show. However, I just couldn’t be in that room anymore. So, I moved the laptop to the living room and watched from there. I have returned to the room now and as I am writing this, I am wondering if the lizard might have followed me inside when I ran in from the snake. Hmmmm…..

Exercising When One Can Not Get Out

life

My family will surely make fun of me for writing this post. Oh well…here it goes… I am a BIG fan of the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds videos. Needless to see the rest of my household is not on board. Oh I’ve tried to get them to join me over the years. The kids have tried. However, no one seems to like my videos as much as I do.

I must say, there are advantages to using exercise tapes.

  1. If it rains one does not get wet.
  2. If it is dark outside, no worries, there are lights on inside.
  3. One doesn’t get lonely, as there are a group of walkers to join.
  4. It is a program that get’s the heart rate going.
  5. Most importantly, it is FUN!

So, if feeling a bit isolated, not getting the proper exercise, can’t get out because it’s been raining, don’t like walking by yourself, do not despair! Try one of Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds videos and keep in shape. Might I recommend my favorite… Walk Away the Pounds Walk and Sculpt. It contains the 1 mile, 2 mile, and 3 mile walks. A group of walkers join Leslie to walk in place together to music. It is easy and they make the walking time fly by. These can be bought as DVD’s or you-tube has some videos. There are even some sights that carry Sansone’s walks on apps.

No more excuses! Get fit and Happy Walking!