Showing posts with label Oma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oma. Show all posts

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Family Camping - Lake Hemet

Family Camping - Lake HemetLake Hemet, one of the most popular vacation spots in Southern California for waterpark play, camping, fishing, RVing, festivals and weddings.

Photos from our weekend:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ryan Blaney Wins the Hisense 4K TV 300

Ryan Blaney Wins the #Hisense 4K TV 300

NASCAR Race Mom Celebrates In Victory Lane


Ryan Blaney Wins the Hisense 4K TV 300 #nascar #Hisense4kTV300

After a couple of weeks off, the Xfinity series took the track for the Hisense 4K TV 300 (#Hisense4kTV300) today. The teams only had two practice sessions on May 25th and qualified at 10:00 a.m. today. Justin Allgaier captured pole, while our guy, Denny Hamlin in his #20 Hisense Toyota would take the green flag from eighth. Denny delivered a fifth place finish.

Thanks to my hosts, Hisence, NASCAR Race Mom had unlimited access to this two hundred lap race. Unfortunately, NRM is too tired to properly blog this event tonight (more to come later).  Therefore, the Instagram posts below will summarize the day for now.

A post shared by Missy Smith (@zwriter1) on

A post shared by Missy Smith (@zwriter1) on

A post shared by Missy Smith (@zwriter1) on

A post shared by Missy Smith (@zwriter1) on

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  3. Will Your Favorite #NASCAR Driver be Part of the 2017 Chase?
  4. Its a Wrap on the 23rd Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America #KPCharityRide
  5. The Big Meet & Greet With Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Fun Grandson Day

Fun Grandson Day A nutritious breakfast at Home Sweet Home - then a quick trip to Opa and Oma Rufi's Home and then Ice Cream at Cold Stone!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Reef's Paw Patrol Birthday Party

Reef's Paw Patrol Birthday Party
Reef Indy has been looking forward to his birthday party for weeks.  He picked out the 'Paw Patrol' theme.  He also went with mom to pick out his cake.  It was a  perfect California Saturday; just right for the Jumpy Water Slide.  Reef had a wonderful time with friends and family. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Family Sunday

It is not often that Oma and Opa get to enjoy the entire family together.  We cherish our family time greatly.  This Sunday was very special.  We started our time together with breakfast at out family favorite, Home Sweet Home. They were so nice to fix up a special table for us to spread out in.

Auntie gets to feed Coast Oak.

Not sure what Reef Indy was explaining,
but Dad and Uncle Mo are very interested. 

Then after relaxing together at the homestead, we all drove south to downtown San Diego to meet Grandma and Grandpa at the Tilted Kilt for lunch.

We loved the food and drink at the Tilted Kilt.
Our waitress was super nice and efficient also.

Smile Auntie Sitara and Uncle Moses

Then we were off to the ball game at Petco Park. The Padres and Dodgers remain tied in the 17th inning after over 5 hours of playing. Unfortunately, the Dodgers then broke away with a four run inning and the Padres did not answer back with any runs. What a fun and interesting game.

Beautiful Petco Park - Downtown San Diego, California.

Reefie has his glove ready to catch that foul ball.

Home-plate umpire, David Rackley finally gets up after
being struck in the groin by a foul ball in the fifth inning!

Opa grabbing some time with Coast.

Sitara and Moses enjoying the action;
Not quite sure what Grandpa is doing.

Reef listens intently as Grandma explains the game of Baseball

The adults received a Reusable Padre Shirt Bag,
but more importantly, the kids got a plastic bat and ball

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It Never Gets Old
Sunday Breakfast With the Family

A photo posted by @zwriter1 on

A photo posted by @zwriter1 on

A photo posted by @zwriter1 on

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oma and Opa’s Venetian
Las Vegas Adventure

Last month, Opa and Oma were lucky enough to attend a business “meeting” in Las Vegas! We were excited to learn that our group would be staying at the prestigious Venetian Hotel.

Oma and Opa’s View from their Venetian Las Vegas Suite.
Oma and Opa’s View from their Venetian Las Vegas Suite.

“The Venetian sets the standard for luxury in Las Vegas throughout this legendary all-suite Las Vegas resort, with careful attention paid to every detail of our lavish suites. With suites up to 1500 square feet, featuring a sunken living room, marble bathroom, two LCD flat-screen TVs, and so much more. Experience the comforts of this elegant home away from home and you may never want to leave your room; though, there’s plenty at our award-winning Las Vegas resort to entice you out to shop, dine, and play.” From the Venetian website

While the hotel lived up to its claim – their room was very luxurious – we did encounter negative issues during our stay.

1 – When Oma and Opa arrived at the Venetian, we informed the valet that we were going to put our bags in our room and then immediately leave to pick up our son (Uncle Moses) from the airport. We asked them not to park the car. However, when we return our car was gone and we had to wait for them to retrieve it. Oma was disappointed that such a simple request had been acknowledged yet ignored.

2 – At check-in, Oma and Opa presented a credit card for incidentals. We were asked if we wanted the credit line to stay open so that we could charge purchases to our room. We did so and there were no issues during the first day. However, during our second day, my husband attempted to pay for a bag of M&Ms. We were told that our credit was not allowed. I mentioned that we were able to charge entire meals to the room just the day before; the cart attendant responded, “well your credit is not good today.” It was very embarrassing.

Oma telephoned the front desk. First they tried to convince Oma that we did not give them a credit card at check-in. When I informed them that not only did I do so, I had been charging meals and such for over 24 hours; they changed their theme. Subsequently they claimed that my credit card company had denied my credit. That was also not correct. Bottom line is that I had to return to the lobby, stand in a huge check-in line again, and re-present my credit card. Guess what – the credit card when through no problem – it would have been edifying if they would just have let me know why they need me to redo the credit card.

3 – On the second day, Oma and Opa left the room to have breakfast around 8:00 am. We spoke to the housekeeping supervisor, who was checking on rooms in the hallway. We asked that the room be serviced ASAP. She agreed to the request.

Unfortunately, when Oma and Opa returned to the room at 2:00 pm; the room was as we left it. Oma telephoned the front desk. The front desk lady said she was sorry but I should have spoken to them not housekeeping. The front desk lady stated that she would send a housekeeping supervisor to the room to speak with us. We received a telephone call from housekeeping. I asked the caller if she was a supervisor and she responded in the negative. I explained our issue. The lady said that she was sorry but that I need to call the front desk!

This runaround was definitely unsatisfactory. I expected much more from a “high dollar” hotel such as the Venetian.

4 – Oma needed to print out some show tickets; so I found the fact that we had a printer in the room very convenient. However, when the printer was turned on the “out of ink” warning illuminated. Oma telephoned the front desk again. After a half an hour a technician arrived. He looked at the printer and agreed that it was out of ink. Unfortunately, they no longer stocked that type of ink. They would have to install an entire new printer. The nice man did so – however, it would have been much less hassle if I had just run to the business center and printed the tickets there.

5 – Oma would have loved a way to make hot water in the room. A cup of tea before showering in the morning is highly desirable. Since there was not one in the room, Oma requested a coffee maker, but was told the Venetian did not have any.

6 - Also it was very irritating to have a refrigerator in the room but not the ability to use it. It was stocked with food and drink items that were placed on a pressure pad. If you pick the items up and/or move them; you are charged for the product. However the most exasperating nuisance was the tray of snacks placed in front of the flat screen TV. It obscured part of the screen. I telephoned the front desk and ask that they remove the food and beverages in the room since we would not be purchasing any. They informed me that it would cost $50 to do so! Sorry but that is ridiculous!

The Venetian Casino was tight with skimpy “Jackpots.”
The Venetian Casino was tight.
Oma found the slot games in the Venetian were very tight. Not very many "jackpots or bonuses." when we did get a "bonus" it paid very little. One "bonus" paid me .56 on a .90 bet - not much of a bonus. It was really difficult for Oma to get a drink while gambling. Interestingly, I received great beverage service when the casino was packed - not so good service when the casino was quiet.

If anyone from the Venetian is reading this, “Please ask your attendants not to clean slot games that people are playing. As a person allergic to dust - this makes me take my money and run!”

Oma and Opa used our Grazie card the three days we were there. Unfortunately, when we left, at 8 am - the Grazie desk was closed so we could not redeem any points.

Oma And Opa’s Dining Experiences

Café Presse - Shoppes at The Palazzo

This bistro is open nice and early (6 am); perfect for Oma’s cup of tea (since there is no way to make hot water in the room). They also have awesome Apple Fritters. However, stay away from the smoothies -very yucky.

Oma’s Grand Lux Café Smoked Salmon Platter
Grand Lux Café Smoked Salmon Platter

Grand Lux Café - Venetian Casino Level

This has to be the Venetian’s best keep secret. Wonderful atmosphere; yummy food and great service at a good price. My vegetarian husband had his special order breakfast cooked just as he ordered it. Oma’s “Smoked Salmon Platter With Tomato, Onion, Cream Cheese And A Toasted Bagel” was perfect in both presentation and palate.

Oma and Opa enjoyed Grimaldi's Pizzeria.
Oma and Opa enjoyed Grimaldi's Pizzeria



Grimaldi's Pizzeria serves award-winning, hand-tossed, coal-fired brick oven pizzas, house made salads and desserts. With Frank Sinatra crooning in the background, Grimaldi’s was a nice setting for the company gathering. The food was good - the service fast and friendly.


Noodle Asia

The menu features large portions of noodle dishes, vegetarian specialties, rice and congee dishes and soups. This establishment was the perfect place for our party to eat before going to our show. The food was good and the service passable. Oma’s order did not arrive with the rest of the food. In fact, I had to get up and ask for it.

Opa relaxing in the Venetian Las Vegas Suite.
Opa relaxing in the Venetian Las Vegas Suite.

Reading over my review, a summary emerges that Oma and Opa enjoyed the cuisine at the Venetian Las Vegas, but not much else. That is not the case. The Venetian Hotel does offer nice, clean and comfortable suites. The hotel offered many beautiful shops and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub was the perfect place to relax, renew, and re-energize.  Our view was also very enjoyable.

Oma and Opa had a wonderful Las Vegas adventure with friends, family, and co-workers. However, Oma anticipated a higher quality of customer service and was therefore a tad disappointed in the Venetian. 

If you have stayed at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, please left me a comment to let me know how you liked it!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chasing Fireflies
Yup I Am That Kind Of Oma!

Chasing Fireflies Package Arrives!
Chasing Fireflies Package Arrives!

Oma received her Chasing Fireflies ( order and was thrilled with the wonderful personalize Christmas goodies. Just as promised, the matching personalized P.J.’s and Santa Hats were cute as could be.

What Oma was not expecting, however, was how comfortable the “Personalized Christmas Candy PJ's” were! In fact, Oma is still wearing them while creating this post. 

Merry Christmas 2013 from Reef & Oma (
Merry Christmas 2013 from Reef & Oma

Reef Indy appeared to agree with his Oma in regards to the comfort of his new Christmas PJ’s and a new family tradition was created! The improvised photo shoot produced priceless keepsakes.

Reef Indy Waiting for Santa -
Reef Indy Waiting for Santa
Be sure to check out the Chasing Fireflies Website. Not only is their merchandise high quality; it was also packaged well and arrive in both a timely manner and in perfect condition! Reef and Oma were very happy with their new Personalized Christmas Candy PJ's and Santa Hats. 

Thank You to Chasing Fireflies for these wonderful Christmas outfits
Thank You to Chasing Fireflies for these wonderful Christmas outfits

As a blogger, integrity is one of the most valuable things Oma possesses. Therefore, reviews will contain both positive and negative aspects as is appropriate. To put it in a simpler manner, this review is meant to help my readers (editorial) more than to help a brand (advertising). However, it should be noted that Oma was given free product from Chasing Fireflies to use and review.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Expecting My Chasing Fireflies Order

Chasing Fireflies - 20% Off Site Wide

Just got back from a two-day work trip; when Oma checked her email, she was pretty excited to learn that her Chasing Fireflies order had been shipped! In fact, UPS My Choice boldly announced “Your shipment(s) is scheduled for delivery tomorrow.”

Chasing Fireflies “Call-Me-Santa” HatHow exciting. Oma ordered several items to help celebrate Grandson Reef’s First Christmas. Of course, Oma had to get Reef Indy his own personalized “Call-Me-Santa” hat. The fleecy hat is machine washable!

However, Oma is most excited about the matching personalized P.J.’s she ordered. It is fantastic that Chasing Fireflies carries sizes to accommodate the smallest (Reef is just nine weeks old) to a larger adult like Oma!  There were so many to choose from that Oma had a tough time deciding. However, the “Personalized Christmas Candy PJ's” finally won out.

Chasing Fireflies Personalized Christmas Candy PJ's
These sweet PJs feature a top with a candy cane appliqué and your child's name (maximum 10 characters). The pants are covered with candies. The PJs are cotton and machine washable.

You can order the child size here and the matching adult size here.

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day, as Oma awaits the arrival of the UPS Man. If you would like to participate in that delight; now is a great time.

Chasing Fireflies is having their first-ever “Friends & Family event!”  You can save 20% sitewide! Be sure to check out their website at .  Hurry because this offer ends on Monday, November 18, 2013.

Oma is sure that you will find more than one item it would be hard to live without!  

Oma will be posting photos of Reef Indy and our Chasing Fireflies treasures soon.

***As a blogger, honesty is one of the most valuable commodity Oma maintains. Oma Loves U! and it’s author are FTC compliant, believing in transparency, and integrity. Therefore, reviews will contain both positive and negative aspects as is appropriate. To put it in a simpler manner, this review is meant to help my readers (editorial) more than to help a brand (advertising).

However, it should be noted that Oma does accept and keep free products, from companies and organizations, for review and giveaway purposes.

Car Mechanic Invents Potential
Baby Saving Device

Oma finds this amazing.  Having had the honor of watching Reef's birth; Oma can see how this simple device could prove life-saving!  (On the humorous side - how did that baby get dressed inside the womb? No wonder the baby is having trouble being born!)

With Jorge Odón’s device, a plastic bag inflated around a baby’s head
is used to pull it out of the birth canal. (Diego Giudice for The New York Times)

The idea came to Jorge Odón as he slept. Somehow, he said, his unconscious made the leap from a YouTube video he had just seen on extracting a lost cork from a wine bottle to the realization that the same parlor trick could save a baby stuck in the birth canal.

It may seem counterintuitive to put a plastic bag over a baby's head to save its life, but that's exactly what Jorge Odon says his invention will do. The car mechanic from Argentina has created the Odon Device to help pull babies stuck in the birth canal to safety. The attendant using the device would simply slip the plastic bag and sleeve around the soon-to-be-newborn's head, inflate the bag, and pull until the baby pops out. Odon says he came up with the idea while watching a YouTube video about retrieving a cork that had fallen into a wine bottle.

Doctors are hailing the contraption (which will undergo further testing) as a potential lifesaver in poor countries and as a way to reduce c-sections. "This is very exciting," Dr. Mario Merialdi, the World Health Organization's chief coordinator for improving maternal and perinatal health, told the New York Times. "This critical moment of life is one in which there's been very little advancement for years."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Reef Indy's 2-Month Well-Baby Exam - Perfect.

Reef Indy brought his parents (Amanda & Zack) to the pedestrian’s office yesterday. It was time for the two-month well-baby check already.

Mommy's Little Tiger Sports Band-aids after Immunizations.
Mommy's Little Tiger Sports Band-aids after Immunizations.

Well-baby exams are an important way to monitor Baby Reef's growth and development. Regular checkups also provide an opportunity to develop a relationship with your baby's doctor.

The pedestrian will likely recommend the first well-baby exam within three to five days after birth or shortly after you're discharged from the hospital (Check – Done that) — and additional well-baby exams every two to four months for the first year.

Although there were a few tears during shot time, Reef Indy did really well. His pedestrian was also pleased with Reef’s growth progress. He weighs 13 pounds 9 ounces and is 24.25 inches long.

Beware of Christmas "Crammers"

Oma just received a phone call from a gentleman who identified himself as Aaron Lewis. I am not sure if he identified himself as an AT&T Representative. However, he did leave me with the impression that he represented my provider.

Aaron went on to explain that many businesses are cancelling their landlines and relying solely on cellular telephones. Therefore, he wanted to “help” our business by saving us over $18 per month on our plan.

I told him to send me the information via email or regular mail. He stated that he was in a call center and had no access to either.

Oma about 50 years ago trying to convince Sinterklaas that she has been a good girl.
Oma trying to convince Sinterklaas
that she has been a good girl.

Ding Ding Ding – Alarm Bells when off in Oma’s head. . . . .
Did Sinterklass (Santa) bring me Christmas Crammers?

“You do not work for AT&T do you?” Oma queried.

Aaron explained that he did not work for AT&T but could not help us with our account without their knowledge. Aaron works for "Integrated Services, Inc." When you go to their website you can read their description:

ISI is an innovative telecommunications company that consistently delivers the value consumers want and expect. More and more businesses are looking to ISI to provide them with reliable and affordable telecommunications service.

Unfortunately, when you google Integrated Services, Inc., you will discover that they garnished a bunch of complaints about being a scam!

Oma was a victim of a similar scam in the past. The friendly caller tricks you into approving their “plan” and then have AT&T charge you via a “third party” billing for a service you never really use.

“I do not authorized any changes in my plan,” Oma was adamant. However, it is a sure bet that Oma will be watching her AT&T bills for the next several months to make sure that helpful Aaron did not add any “third party” charges to my telephone bill!

While I am not saying that ISI is a scam; it is a shame that there are such unscrupulous companies out there willing to take advantage of un-expecting consumers. I suspect that us Omas and Opas (Grandparents) are especially susceptible to these deceitful operations.

Here is what happened to Oma in 2008: 

Sweepers Beware Phone Bill ‘Cramming’ Spikes Again

This month, I was paying bills and noticed that my phone bill had inched its way up to $155.55 per month. That was ridiculous. It use to be just over $100.00 per month. Therefore, I examined my bill closely. On page 4 of 5, the third party billing started.

Important - If you read:

This portion of your bill is provided as a service to the company identified above. Please review all charges appearing in this section. If you have any questions or concerns, call the telephone number shown above.

You are probably the victim of a scam!

CRAMMING is one byproduct of the deregulation of the telephone industry. To open the system to increased competition, local phone companies have to lease their phone lines to outside firms who want to sell competitive services. It’s perfectly legal for a third-party company to sell a home voice mail service to you, billed through your home phone bill.

But shady telecommunications companies are taking advantage of the fact that local phone companies have no stake in verifying that consumers agreed to pay for such services, so they “cram” charges on phone bills, hoping consumers won’t notice.

I was told that when I visited certain contest sites (they did not know which ones) I unknowingly signed up for these 'services.' I had five different services on my AT&T account from three different billing company. My December 2008 bill was charged $67.79 dollars for these scams!

When it started in July 2008, it was for one charge of $14.95. I am ashamed to report that I did not even notice. However, when my bill almost doubled in five month - I woke up.

One of the offenders on my bill was ILD Teleservices. The Federal Communications Commission said it received 457 cramming complaints against ILD Telecommunications between January and December of last year, including 170 in the last three months of the year. ILD Telecommunications is ILD Teleservices’ parent firm.

Fred Lloyd, vice president of strategic planning and corporate development for ILD, said his company is merely a go-between that arranges billing for third-party companies that want to provide residential or business telecommunications services. ILD helps companies like Liberty Online construct billing arrangements with home phone carries like Quest and Verizon. Lloyd admits there have been complaints from consumers who say they’ve being charged for services they never ordered, but said the blame should fall on the third-party firm, not his company. He added that ILD generates hundreds of thousands of bills each month, and complaints are a tiny fraction of their transactions.

“From time to time, we have some billing questions,” he said. “We always work with (customers) on a case by case basis.” Lloyd said he warns third-party companies when there are numerous complaints, and will cancel their billing services if the complaints don’t stop. He wouldn’t say how many companies have been censured, other than to say “There have been a handful I’ve had to kick off.”

Bottom Line - Sweepers Beware

Consumers are responsible for discovering cramming charges on their own; so that means the only safeguard against unwanted fees is detailed examination of the monthly phone bill. But consumers can decrease their chances of getting crammed by carefully reading sweepstakes entries or other junk mail solicitations before filling them out — often they are ruses that serve as permission to switch telephone providers or add services. It also helps to avoid speaking at
length with telemarketers.

But the single best defense is to call your local phone company and ask it to shut off “third-party billing.” That prevents companies from adding charges onto local phone bills.

Consumers who have been crammed should carefully save all paperwork and immediately call their local phone provider to dispute the charge. Next, call the provider listed on the bill, and don’t back down if the company claims you authorized the charge.

With the help of an extremely pleasant and knowledgeable AT&T supervisor, I was able to secure the promise of a complete refund of $238.85.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gold Takes Silver
In First College Competition

Lily Gold, a VCHS graduate from the class of 2013, recently competed in the Mid-America Open for the Lindenwood University Olympic Weightlifting team. It was her first competition at the college level.

Lily Gold competed in the 58kg class and took second place.

The Lindenwood Lions are coached by Jainping Ma, a former Olympic athlete on the Chinese team in 1988.

Check out this video of Lily's lift: 

Lily Gold will be competing again this weekend at "The Lab Open" in St.Louis with the Lindenwood University team 53kg Division

Oma has had the pleasure of knowing Lily for a while and has always been in awe of her determination.  We look forward to seeing her lift in the Olympics one day!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hewlett-Packard (HP) Non-Support Continues

Read Part One of this Saga by Clicking Here

Bad - HP 3005 PR USB 3.0 Port Replicator
Bad - HP 3005 PR USB 3.0 Port Replicator- Ignominy  
8:00 a.m - Finally found time to call the special number Tina, my HP Help Expert gave me.  I was hoping to get my HP 690650-001 SPS-Assy USB 3.0 Port Replicator up and running quickly.

Oma got to Hugo who told me that I had the wrong department (of course). He does not know why Tina sent me to him.  Oma was on hold for 30 minutes then Hugo transferred me to tech support at 800.334.5144.  Yup that is the same number I started out with.

Shruthi asked me all the same questions regarding the issues I was having.  I have answered these question numerous times with numerous people.  After Shruthi heard my story, she stated she would have to put me on hold so that she could collect information from the senior technician.

I asked to speak to the senior technician personally. Shruthi could not do that however, she was going to put me on hold so that she could get a supervisor. Shruthi promised it would be no longer than a three minute wait.

9:01a.m. placed on hold

9:06 a.m. Shruthi asked me to wait a minute.

9:07 a.m. Mathew came on line.  He is a Supervisor Case Manager.  After hearing the entire story again regarding my HP 690650-001 SPS-Assy USB 3.0 Port Replicator, he placed me on hold so that he could get more information.

When he returned, he stated that the replicator would will not the run the laptop power; the laptop power cord would have to be connected to run the laptop. 

Mathew connected with my laptop to trouble shoot.  

  • 9:27 AM You have granted full permission to Technician. To revoke, click the red X on the toolbar or press Pause/Break on the keyboard. 
  • 9:27 AM Checking configuration... 
  • 9:27 AM Checking configuration... 
  • 9:27 AM Connecting... 
  • 9:27 AM Connected. A support representative will be with you shortly. 
  • 9:27 AM Support session established with Shruti. 
  • 9:27 AM Remote Control started by Shruti. 
  • 9:33 AM Shruti has ended the session. 9:33 AM Remote Control by Shruti stopped.

He worked on the settings for the display but made it worse. Now my second monitor had poor quality of display and did not match what we were doing on the laptop.  Mathew was not sure why it was doing what it was doing and frankly Oma got scared. After all - Mathew had previously informed me that he was a Case Manager and not a computer tech!

After a discussion with Mathew and Opa - Oma decided that the HP 3005 PR USB 3.0 Port Replicator does not work at all!

We are shipping it back today and demanding our money back!  It is a shame that Oma could not be reimbursed for all the time wasted on this fiasco!