A very good day

IMG_2171Did I mention this birthday present from Katherine?  When she was in town we went for a walk and I was going to buy a season parking pass and instead she bought it for my birthday.  Then best part of having the season parking pass is its more likely that we will go there.

Which brings me to this morning.  We were going to go to the gym as we were both needing some exercise but instead we went to El Dorado nature park and took the two-mile loop.  It was pretty early in the day so it wasn’t too crowded.  Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Tri Colored Heron along with lots of ducks were there for our walk.  We also saw squirrels, turtles and a rabbit.

A day of grocery shopping and errands then grading papers (not me) and grilling veggies and salmon rounded out the day.  It was a very good day.

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A good day was needed!  Yesterday we working on outlets and light switches all day. We got the circuit in the kitchen fixed and the refrigerator is back on again.  We also finished all the outlets in all three bedrooms.  We had a snafu at the very end and the power in the hall and one shared wall between the bedrooms was out.  We know it is one set of switches that is for the lights, fan and a plug.  But we just couldn’t get it and may need a different type of switch.  As we worked we would finish a set or a room and turn the power back on and check every plug and switch.  Se we are sure were things broke down and will start there again next week.  It was a fulfilling and satisfying and then completely frustrating day!

Cheeseless Lent

I am not Catholic, however this year I am observing lent.  To the confusion of many I am sure, the question did come up several times over the weekend.

The idea to abstain from something that would constitute a self-denial for 45 days.  The first thing that came to mind was meat but didn’t actually seem all that difficult for me.  So I am also abstaining from cheese.  This is more difficult.  I am only nine days into the 45.

Part of the reason for me doing this was to work other proteins into my diet.  Beans, eggs, nuts and fish are all easy and part of my usual routine.  However I don’t think I realized how much cheese is the “go to” protein.  This week I’ve taken a hard-boiled egg in my lunch everyday.

Cheese sits in the fridge and when I got home and was making beans and rice for dinner, cheese sure sounded good.  But I am determined to not have meat or cheese until Easter.

How does this constitute a blog, well it doesn’t, I was just sitting here trying to think about something to blog and all I could think was I wanted some cheeeeese.

Seven Women, One Restroom

I turned Fifty last friday.  I took the day off of work and had friends and family come into town to visit.  I got cards and phone calls and presents and texts all wishing me a happy birthday.  So far I’m loving 50!

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The weekend was a whirlwind of activity that when documented doesn’t seem like we did all that much.  Based on the exhaustion level however a good time was had.

We started Friday, driving to LAX and picking up Jody and Paola.  We drove them to Hermosa beach, it is both close by and fabulous.  After getting tea and coffee and visiting for a bit we left them there to wander for a couple of hours.

We drove back to LAX and picked up Della, Amber and Taylor and then went back to Hermosa and we all met up for a birthday lunch, Taylor turning 26 and me 50.   

We had rented a van that carried all seven of us around and we had guided tour of the area and down to San Pedro from Lori.  Drinks and laughs in San Pedro before hauling everyone to the house.   Lots of photos were being taken and posted to respective Facebook accounts but I seem to have very few photos from the entire weekend.

We had a few technical difficulties with the old style air mattresses that we borrowed from a friend.  I did get one of them blown up by using the camping pump and my truck lighter.  The Aero bed we had also blew up and others just shared the couch. 

For being 740 square feet, we were all quite cozy but everyone fit.  I don’t know of anyone needing the bathroom while someone else was in it.  I know I didn’t have to wait ever and managed to shower every morning.

Saturday I made a light breakfast for everyone and then we headed up to Calimesa.  Toured the house and then lunch in Banning at Crazy C0yote Taco.  We also spent some time at the Outlet Mall where we met up with Emily and Vicki.   We then hit the bowling alley in Riverside and were going to line up to bowl but we had a few hours before the next set.  We actually ended up just having bears playing pool and visiting.  It was a fun time but the joke when we headed back was it was only 9pm.  Granted we had a 90 minute drive home and heck I am 50 now!!

Sunday once we were up and showered in shifts and visited for a while we headed to Dales Diner for breakfast and then took Jody and Paola to the Ferry and they headed off to Catalina for a couple of days.

The rest of us went shopping.  Browsing really, not a lot of shopping happened.  We were looking at furniture and getting ideas for the Calimesa house.  Amber and Taylor will be moving into it in May.  The debate over moving furniture down vs. the value vs. the cost of new was the topic of the day.

Dinner and then home, exhausted again.  Only five for that night to find a sleeping surface.  Monday morning came fast and off we drove Della, Amber and Taylor back to LAX.  Tonight we pick up Jody and Paola from ferry and will probably have dinner and take them back to LAX tomorrow morning.

Company Expected!

We have a bunch of company coming this weekend and we are in full prep mode.  It seems the city is as well with road closings, detours and lots of media…oh wait, that’s for the Oscars this weekend.

We have borrowed a couple more air mattresses.  These we can use in our little house if/when we spend the night there and haul up to Calimesa for the nights if/when we stay there.  The benefit of staying in Calimesa when there are seven of us besides much more space would be multiple bathrooms and showers available.  The benefit of being at our little house with one bathroom is the proximity to the beach,  museums, arboretum and plenty things to doalso the existence of cable and internet.

Not to say there isn’t plenty to do up in Calimesa, it is a stones throw from palm springs and a casino and Joshua Tree.  I’m just not as familiar with those things.

We bought some pillows to finish up the outdoor oasis.  Lori worked on the back yard for the last two days, finishing up the weeding, cleaning out my ridiculously overgrown vegetable garden and putting up the hammock.  It makes the little house have a lot more room for hanging out in with company.

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Humming birds, butterflies and …..tarantula?

Three day weekends are the way to go.  I am actually pretty sure I typed that exact thing the last time I had a three-day weekend.  We had a lovely “us” day on Saturday.  Running errands, going to the farmers market, valentines dinner at an uber fancy restaurant.

Then a day up at the Calimesa house working on the house and today to work in our yard.  I got an early start in the front yard.  Trying to get a good part of the weeds pulled before the full on sun was on me.  I had been out there about an hour when I saw this guy…..

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I just told Katherine last week that the spiders in Washington don’t really bother me.  I know what they are, there are only a few that are dangerous but the ones here freak me out.  This looked like a baby tarantula.  It had fuzzy legs and back, white spots on the back, green iridescent eyes (which when doing research later I found out that was “mouth parts” – did not make me feel any better) and about the size of a fifty cent piece.

I kept my eye on it,  when I went in for water I grabbed my phone and got the picture.  As soon as Lori was home from Tai Chi I made her come look to see if it was a baby tarantula.

The garden was lovely, there were hummingbirds buzzing around and since the verbena is in full bloom, there was at one point 12 butterflies in the yard.  It was all lovely, except for this guy just over my shoulder….I kept checking on it and was fine when I could see it.  We headed to Home Depot for a few things and then when we were back and I started weeding again, it was gone.

With a little internet searching tonight, we are pretty sure it is a Mexican Jumping Spider.  It immobilizes its prey with venom, it is also still somewhere in my yard and I don’t know where.  And to think it was just the black and brown widows I thought I had to watch out for.

No “Rest” Day here

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We drove up to Calimesa today with big plans.  We have five sink faucets and three sets of shower hardware to replace.  There was also the six ceiling fans we thought about tackling and lots of plugs and switches to replace.

We started by putting in 14 new floor vents, we are two short and will need to order two more.  They looked great with the new floors and go so well with the rest of our hardware.

We briefly thought about doing the faucets, turned off the water to the kitchen, opened up the packaging, read the instructions.  Needed putty and some bravery before starting those so we settled on the switches and plugs.

That may sound like an easy task, but we worked for hours and got about thirty replaced.  We started in the living room, dining room and kitchen.  Next time we will tackle the bedrooms and bathrooms.

We were running out of light, I went out and turned the breaker back on and we didn’t have any power to a couple of the plugs in the kitchen or the refrigerator.  We hadn’t even gotten to the refrigerator plug so it has to be the plug on the same wall that is not working and so there is not a complete circuit.  The other option might be a bad breaker.

We changed out the new plug in the kitchen with another new one by cell phone flashlights.  We thought maybe the new plug was bad but this one didn’t work either.  That’s what has me leaning toward a breaker.

Luckily there is nothing perishable in that fridge and we have another in the utility room.

There is always more to do.

Lucky Girl

IMG_2126Flowers, cards, music and a lovely dinner at Park Ave.  Valentines “day” started a few days ago with the first of several cards and a cd of love songs.  The next day I received beautiful flowers at work and tonight we went to a lovely, fancy dinner.

Yes, in case you were wondering, I am spoiled.

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