June Gem Stone, Fabulous Flying, Fabulous Grocery Shopping.

The gemstone for the month of June is The Pearl, an organic gem that is formed inside Oysters and muscles.  A shiny and gleaming substance called nacre spreads throughout the shell when a tiny stone or sand gets inside the shell and causes irritation.  The protecting Nacre surrounds the soft internal surface of the Mollusk and the layers of Nacre coating around the irritant, cause a pearl to form.  The light that is reflected through these layers produce an iridescent luster.  This process can take sometimes up to 7 or 8 years.

Pearls can come in many variations of color, white, pink, brown, and even black depending on what type of Mollusk it came from and what water the Mollusk live in.  The most expensive pearls are perfectly symmetrical, large, and have an iridescence called Orient Luster.

Cultured or Freshwater Pearls are known to give power of love, money, protection, and luck. They are also thought to give wisdom through experience, bring good karma secure engagements and love relationships as well keep children safe.  Ancient Legend says that pearls are tears of the Gods and the Greek believed that if a woman wore pearls it would help her have a happy marriage and pearls also prevented a newlywed from crying.

Fabulous flying

These days the airline industry is starting to get a bad reputation from all of the crazy incidences taking place on planes to their extravagant costs for flying and amenities that their customers might request. I recently took a trip back to the Midwest for Graduation/family reunion and I will have to be honest, I had a bit of anxiety going into it. I am not a frequent flyer and in order to get to my home town, I have to fly into Denver or Omaha, rent a car, and drive 4/12 to 5 hours to my hometown however, because my husband’s previous position had him traveling a lot, he earned frequent flyer miles so I was able to fly to Nebraska for $7.50 via Southwest.  I decided to fly out on a Thursday evening flight so that I wouldn’t have to spend my entire day flying then driving the 5 hours on top of it. The flight was supposed to be  straight through flight arriving into Omaha around 11:35pm. My husband took me to a restaurant right outside of the airport to get a quick bite to eat, but as I was eating, he had received a text from Southwest stating the flight had been delayed about an hour.  I started to panic a bit because that meant the flight  wouldn’t get into Omaha until around 1 am and  I wasn’t sure what time Alamo where I rented the car from  closed in Omaha. Would I be able to get to my hotel?  When I got to the Burbank airport, I went up to the desk near the waiting area to see if they could get me in touch w/ Alamo  and there was no hesitation, the flight assistant picked up the phone and started calling around for the number, although the first couple of attempts were wrong numbers I was finally able to get in touch with  Alamo and the nicest lady, Jean Atkins assured me there was no need for concern because she was there until the very last plane landed.  We all got loaded on the plane only to have the guy sitting next to me asked to grab his bag and head to the front.  Apparently  he must have been a standby and when the original customer showed up  Paul was asked to give up his seat. Paul might have left, but was  not forgotten thanks to a few guys who kept toasting to him and even Pilot Kent dedicated the landing in Arizona to Paul.  With a quick stop in Arizona where we had most passengers get off and filled the plane with more passengers, we were on our way to Omaha.  Thanks to flight attendants Jason and Karen, the flight was fun and went very smoothly.  And even with an hour delay, stopping in AZ for a few minutes, pilot Kent got us to Omaha at 11:33pm. Then it was off to Alamo to pick up the car where I got to meet Jean Atkins in person and she hooked me up  by upgrading my original car to a Ford Escape with Sirius Radio.  Coming back  to California I was able to catch an earlier flight and again had a very nice experience so  Thank you   to Southwest, Alamo and all of your wonderful employees for making  my trip back to Nebraska a memorable one and stress free.

Fabulous grocery shopping in the Valley.

I was driving down the road the other day coming back from the gym and noticed that there seems to be a grocery store every corner here in the San Fernando Valley.  Growing up in the Midwest and living in Minneapolis, Ontario Ca, Brea, San Diego, and Carlsbad, there was maybe one or 2 grocery chain stores and a Wal-Mart to buy food in however, in the San Fernando Valley you can choose from: Big Chain Grocery stores like Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, Jon’s and Gelsons, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Fresh and Easy. There are also the bulk stores like Costco, Sam’s, Smart and Final, and Food For Less.  And if that isn’t enough,  There are grocery stores for every different culture, Farmers Markets and even stores like Target, Kmart, and Wal-Mart have started carrying food and let’s not forget the Drug Store chains such as Rite Aid, Sav-On, and CVS that carry some items like beverages, lunch meat, and eggs. With all of these different stores available how do you choose where to shop?  I do a lot of my shopping between Jon’s, Trader Joes, Fresh and Easy, Costco, and CVS. Trader Joes and Fresh and Easy have fresh produce that costs a lot less than you would pay in a big chain store.  In addition, they have individually wrapped meals that work great for single people or a couple.  Trader Joe’s also makes specialty stuff just for their stores, great tasting wines and beer.   There is no membership  card needed in Trader Joes or Fresh and Easy to take advantage of their daily discounts.

Costco on the other hand has a membership card that you pay an annual fee for and offers everything from bulk produce, cleaning supplies and everything needed for your home from mattresses to dishwashers. Costco also has a pharmacy and optical center on site.  You can even get Electronics at a better rate than you can at a Best Buy, Frye’s or other specialty stores. It’s a great store but be prepared to spend some money.  And finally CVS is good for the last minute makeup items, beverages and also has good prices on alcohol.  Grocery shopping in the Valley can be a very creative experience but if you put the time in to do your research, You should be able to narrow your choices down to at least 2.

The Hollywoodland Homeowners Association (HHA) is holding its Annual Art Fair & Flea Market to raise funds to Restore and Maintain Hollywoodland’s Historic-Cultural Monuments and Gina Venturini Designs is going to be a Vendor at the Hollywoodland Flea Market/Art Fair on Sunday, June 6th, 8 am -3pm. 2690 Beachwood Drive across from the Village Coffee shop. There will also be music, homebaked goods, and hot dogs.

References for June Gemstone provided by http://www.bernardine.com/birthstone/pearl.htm

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~ by ginaventurini on May 31, 2010.

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