Long Weekend

Yesterday Viv and I went to the LA Arboretum.  We only went through the Australian and African sections because it was darn hot.  We got a late start because we all went to breakfast first and by the time we got there it was nearing noon and that is a great time to be wrapping up there.

We went back home and Lori was still working away.  We didn’t want to break her progress so we headed to the Cerritos mall to walk around….it did help that it was air-conditioned and the house is not.


This morning we were up at 3:30 and left the house before 4:00 to drive to the airport.  I was back home about 5:45 and then went back to sleep for a few hours.

Sunday has been a low-key, grocery shopping, school prepping, dinner grilling kind of day.  I did get to talk to Katherine on the phone for over an hour and catch up on everything from hot flashes, sore joints and lack of sleep, laughing at oneself is truly a gift.

Tomorrow the day is still up in the air.  The choices being work in the yard/house and prep for classes this week.  Or drive up to the Mesa to sand and prep for painting.  Guess we will decide tomorrow.


Vivian flew in on Wednesday afternoon.  I worked half a day and then drove to the Ontario airport to pick her up.  The Ontario airport is an airport that is about 45 minutes from the house if there is zero traffic.  Um, there is never zero traffic.  Her flight was due in at 3:00 so I left work about noon, and then left home at 1:30 to give myself enough time.

By the time we got home from Ontario it was well into dinner time.  Lori was at school so Viv and I had dinner and went grocery shopping.  Then Thursday we went to the beach and tooled around but I’m not a very good tour guide here yet.  Today Lori didn’t have class so she played tour guide.  We all went out to breakfast, then to the Aquarium and then we all ended up in a movie and then out to dinner.

I’m not sure whats on tap yet for tomorrow and Viv’s flight out is at 6:00am on Sunday so we will be leaving the house about 4:00a.m.

photo(333)  photo(334)

Rabbit Hole

There is so much, so so much in the news.  ISIS, Fuerguson, Ebola, Earthquakes, Robin Williams.  So very much to discuss or blog about that I haven’t, can’t.  My emotions are high and my ability to articulate myself about the world issues turns into a rabbit hole and throwing my arms in the air and makes me wonder, is this how the apathy starts?   By having so much to get enraged and fight for or against that shutting down to some of it because it is overwhelming turns into shutting down to more of it until you not only stopped watching the news ages ago because of the sensationalism you now also start to avoid reading it.  The further behind I get in the events the easier it is to ignore them altogether.

The world probably isn’t any crazier than usual it just feels like it.  The woman who was arrested, in Florida I think, for letting her ten year old go to the park by himself.  The park which is only a few blocks from his house and probably closer than his walk to school.  She was arrested for child endangerment.  I just have to say my mother would have been arrested every day of our childhoods if that was the case.  You can’t tell me there are more pedophiles now than when I was a kid.  They are probably more well-known now with all the media coverage.   I’m not even sure I can articulate my feelings about this without going off on a rant, because seriously the neighborhood park.

I think every other parent in my current neighborhood would be arrested if this were Florida.  Because the kids scoot by on bikes and skateboards and clearly without any supervision at all, all ages, all hours of the day.

Della and I used to walk to both Broadway park and the school playground (which was actually further) when we were kids….all. of. the. time.   Of course there was Heidi Peterson who went missing and never found and we had just been playing with her earlier in the month.  Of course there was the guy jacking off in the shrubbery on the school grounds watching all the kids playing.   I am sure that the shocked faces of me and a bunch of others that day probably gave him a thrill.
These were the days that the street lights coming on where the signal to climb out of the tree or leave our hide and go seek game and head home.  If we weren’t there soon enough the “Whistle” came that could stop a four-square game mid bounce.

The Robin Williams rabbit hole is even bigger.  Huge.  There was a time I was right there, nothing else mattered but turning off the track in my head.  Brian helped, moving in, staying with me, keeping a watch.  Trudging through my childhood demons from the aforementioned pedophile who was not at the park by the way but in my own family.  And the movie Dead Poets Society……time after time I went to that movie.  Yes there was a suicide in that movie, but it was the Carpe Diem message that I was grasping.  Holding onto, re-programming my brain to seize the day and live each and every one of them.  After a week full of “O Captain My Captain” tweets and every other news article be of Robin and all I can think is Carpe Diem why, why couldn’t you Carpe Diem!! (Perhaps thats what you think you did)

Not the SOP

This last weekend we took a break from what has been the standard operating procedure since April. We had a dinner invitation form friends as we missed the annual luau a few weekends ago. As it seems after 36 years together and the laws finally changing the luau included they getting married.

Well when the “make-up” invite came for dinner Lori must have seen the look of desperation on my face to do something social and accepted. We were going to make an entire day of it and spend the day in Laguna going to the art and sawdust festival (which is a craft and art festival). Lori was up at 4am to get at least four more hours of prep in for class before we left for the day.

We walked around the festivals before heading to our friends for dinner. We sat and visited and watched a slide show of the luau/wedding and enjoyed the day. Sunday Lori continued to prep for school that started today and I headed up to the house to spackle. There actually was only a couple hours of work and that included helping Doug load his truck with the rest of the carpet and baseboards to take it to the dump for us.

On my way home I stopped and bought brick pavers to fill in the easement project we started on a whim last week because the neighbor had hired someone who was taking out their grass with a bobcat and Lori took the opportunity to hire them to remove the grass. She said I had a “look” when I saw them over there…..hmmmmph, I don’t know about that; I did say “now that’s the way to do it” because this was the last bit of digging we needed to do and we were sick of it.  Well Technically we started this over Memorial day weekend.

Needless to say they took out the top layer of grass and dirt but didn’t go deep enough for what we needed to lay bricks. I also was not getting any response from the craigslist free bricks I had emailed about. Once the grass was gone I brought home a bin of gravel and we shoveled that in and last night once it was cooler and Lori was all prepped for class and packed up for today we laid the pavers in. I will bring home more gravel today or tomorrow and finish up this project.



The prepping for painting and flooring takes so much time and energy.  I’m sure it’s not as much work as the actual painting but the prepping for it takes quite a while and although satisfying not nearly as much as once we get paint on walls.

Last week we removed most of the carpet and when Lori had to be back up during the week to meet a plumber she got the carpet and pad out of the last room.

Speaking of plumber, he checked everything, re-strapped down the hot water heater and said he would come back and install new toilets after we lay the flooring down.  We also had an electrician out who re-wired a bad switch and fixed the breaker so now the whole house has power.  There was one section that had been out for months.

This weekend we took all of the baseboards out, well 98% of them.  The one behind the refrigerator and the washing machine are still there.  We will take those out when we remove the flooring.  We also removed all of the curtain hardware, we didn’t patch the holes from it yet but we did get it all out of the house.

Lori scrubbed walls, starting at the front door and working all the way around the living room, down the hall, around the bedrooms and bathrooms and back down the hall to the laundry room.  She did think she was quite clever when she told me there was molding in the closet and then hid in there waiting to scare me.  I came down the hall with beverages instead of the hammer and chisel I had been carrying around all day.

I went into the laundry room looking for her, calling for her and then back out and down the hall.  It’s a pretty big house and I thought maybe she was outside.  But she couldn’t stop the laughter any more.  She was hiding in the closet waiting to scare me but I foiled it by not going in for the moulding but instead bringing her water.

That did not stop her from laughing about the “possible trickery”  in fact reading this tomorrow on her phone I’m sure she will be laughing.

We are plugging through the prep work and making progress, it is slow but we will soon be doing the repairing and painting.


photo(329) photo(330)





Demo Days

Lori has friends that live in Huntington beach.  Daniel has spent nearly a year working 100 miles away from home.  He leaves Monday morning and has been living in a shared living situation during the week and returning on Friday to his wife and two small girls.  All of this to say that there are not a lot of jobs out there for an archeologist, so one has to go where the jobs are.  Out desert house is only twenty miles from his work and when the living situation he had went south, they asked if he could stay up there while he still worked on the reservation.

The timing was pretty awesome.  After last weeks yard sale we have had way too much attention at the house.  People driving by, pulling in wanting to “unload” the rest of our items.  Lori took fifty boxes to the Salvation Army, Women’s Center and Library this week.  There is still a little to get rid of but people keep coming by and asking.

We went up this weekend to start on removing the carpet and getting the house ready for Daniel to stay in during the week, our low-end security plan.  We took the dining room set to the Salvation Army and Doug our hero of a neighbor took two loads of stuff to the dump.

We started on Saturday by removing the remaining bed from the bedroom and pulling out all of the carpet, pad and tack board from the bedroom.  We then cleaned the room and vacuumed the bed and got it back together.  We cleaned the adjacent bathroom and then pulled all the carpet in the next bedroom and all the way down the hall.

Since we still had a new shower head to install and so much more we wanted to do we went back up on today (Sunday).  We left the house before 6:00 a.m. and stopped at home depot on our way.  We were back to tearing out carpet just after 8:00 in the morning.

We had a goal to get out of there by 3:00 so we could get home and have a few hours before the weekend ended.  Lori finished up the bathroom and I started cutting up the carpet in the living room.  We rolled and tied it, rolled and tied the carpet pad and stacked it all outside.  I worked on pulling staples from the padding while Lori tore out all of the tack board.

We “fixed” up the place as much as possible with our little bits of furniture we had left.  A sleeping space, a sitting space and a dining space.  Not too shabby and certainly not extravegant.

The day flew we did leave just after 3:00 but I watched the clock for the last 90 minutes trying to will it to slow down.  This part is so much more in our wheel house.

photo(326) photo(328)

We have one room of carpet left.  Next up an electrician because half the house is without power and a plumber just to check a few things.  There is some damage to the floor when we pulled up the carpet.  It looks pretty old and could be from the laundry room or perhaps the bar sink but before we start painting and putting in flooring we want to address anything that could possible have some demolition involved.

I am excited for next weekend, besides the fact that this work is fun we have an air conditioner there and I didn’t even realize how hot it was until we went to leave…..and got home of course and started up all the fans cause daaaamn.

Non-Sale day

So Sunday we were up early again and back at the house before 8:00 am.  Not soon after we started to gather our thoughts for the day we had the first car waiting outside.  I went out to tell them we were not selling and it turns out they bought a rotisserie the day before and wanted to look for the handles that went with it.

So as they are looking around the table and shed of kitchen stuff another women walked in.  I told her we were not selling today and she mentioned the “yard sale” sign on the corner.  So as I walked down to remove two missed signs she started looking around.  The next three people who came up I told sorry we are not selling, just packaging up the rest for donation.

It was hard to get started packing with the woman going through stuff and making a pile so I drove around looking for boxes.  I could not find any and by the time I got back she had been there about an hour and was negotiating prices with Lori.  Sixty more dollars in sales and she was gone.

The neighbors helped to hang a tarp in front of the tables to block the view from the street.  I moved the yarn out to near the gate for the people who were coming to pick it up.  Then Doug took the $60 Lori had made that morning and drove to Home Depot and bought a couple of packs of boxes.

The two people came for the yarn and brought their small children and although everything was next to the street they wondered around and started going through things anyway.  I had to take a drill away from the diaper clad toddler and Lori had to get ice for the other boy who ran right into a table with his head.

More people showed up and I kept telling them no and trying to pack around the ones who were still looking through stuff.  I was feeling so very bitchy.  I should have just invited them in because they came in any way and I at least would have felt like I had some sort of control.

The froot loop of a woman who bought a refrigerator showed up and finished paying for it.  She brought her sister and they wanted to look around.  I told her no and that I would help her load the fridge…..except she had a small car and would have to come back later in the afternoon for the fridge.  They just wanted to shop, I told her nope and they left.  I think she had told her sister about the sale from the day before.

We went to lunch about 2:00 and still had so very much to box up.  I was hot and sweaty so very cranky.  While at lunch Lori got a phone call from a very convincing young man who couldn’t come to the yard sale the day before and wanted to meet us to go through the stuff.  She said no he gave her another line, she said no, he then told her his friend called from the sale Saturday and told him there was so much stuff and so many people it was impossible to see it all, again no that she was tapped out, again the sales pitch, and then she said give us a half an hour to get back.

I was back to packing up the rest of the craft shed and in walks a couple, I told them so sorry we are not selling anything today.   It seems they have a business nearby and had their own yard sale the day before and heard about our sale.  The young man (who was on his way) had told them he was coming by and that we weren’t really selling but I guess they have some yard sale rivalry going on so they showed up first to try to beat him to the punch.

Lori was polite and talking to them while they looked around.  I was bitchy and passive aggressive packing things as they set them back down right next to them.  When I realized I was the only one who was trying to stick to the decision we had made the previous day and I was so tired of being the bad guy and sending everyone away so instead I joked with the young man that he was lucky he had called Lori as I was the bad guy sending everyone away and then helped him find things and I sold him all the rest of the costume jewelery and then help him load up his truck.

We got rid of more of the stuff and Lori made a few hundred more bucks.  In between all of that, the four of us, Deb and Doug the neighbors along with Lori and I boxed up cases and cases of stuff to donate.  We have a couple piles of stuff for the dump.  We have a bags and bags of linens for the women’s shelter and maybe thirty cases of stuff packed for Goodwill.

By the time we were done and leaving there we had outworked the previous day by 5 hours.  Because there were crazy amounts of rain up in the mountains and the roads were crazy it took an extra hour to get home.  We then stopped for dinner as neither of us were in the mood to cook.

We still have work to do, packing and donating but soon the fun part starts.  The painting and flooring and repair work, the stuff we like to do even thought it is still two hours each way.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers