Weekend Purge

We had a very very busy weekend.  Very, did I say busy.  Very busy weekend.

Saturday morning we drove down to Irvine to help friends purge the garbage and overgrown plants left behind by the departing (departing…not departed) husband.  He moved in with the new girlfriend after 25 years of marriage, thirty-nine years together.

When he couldn’t fit the rest of his belongings into the apartment they rented after leaving their marriages or the storage unit he rented for his belongings and shopping/hording issue, he said it was now their problem.

Friday before work I made a macaroni salad and grilled chicken legs to take to the work party on Saturday.  There were five other people coming besides us to help.  I made enough food for everyone.

So Saturday we had a 15 foot truck reserved at U-Haul.  Expecting to have it for two days however the dump was not open on Sundays so we managed to get it back before 5pm and only pay for one day.

The “party” started about 9:00 and after we picked up the truck and got there they were well into the clearing out and stacking stage.  A dump stack, at donation stack and keeping stack.  The smallest stack was the keep.  There were tarps on the lawn for giving away and dumping.

With enough hands to sort and load, Lori and I started in the yard.  He had a tropical plant obsession.  Most of these plants were in pots however all of these plants had broken through and were growing in the ground.  One tree had a tap root that was bigger around then my thigh.  It was growing across the path and under the foundation.

Once we dug that one out, it took three of us to get it into the truck.  In fact although we worked in the yard for five straight hours, we barely got one side dug out.  Others were helping to take all the abandoned and broken items from the back yard to the truck and I estimate when we left for the dump, we were only half way done with the small yard.

While Lori and I were at the dump, the others loaded up all the donation stuff and took it to Goodwill.  It took Lori and I an hour to unload the truck.  Not the getting there, waiting in line, getting back.  But the actual dumping took us nearly an hour.  The weight at the end was well over 3,000 pounds.  We dumped 600 pounds shy of TWO-TONS of garbage.

We got back to the house and the group was still working and sweeping things up.  Putting away the keep items and reorganizing the garage.  We took the truck back to be returned and then when we got back it was just our friends, my sister, us and the soon to be EX-husbands mother (who was there the whole weekend and worked her butt off).

We ate the food I brought and then we went through the house.  Lori had instructed her to make a list of all the things they had been waiting for him to fix.  We took pictures and measurements and made a plan for Sunday.

By the time we got home, there was only energy for showers and sleep.  We headed back out on Sunday morning and pulled into their place about 8:30.  Already they were bagging up more garbage and sweeping up.

We took them to Home Depot, having never been it was both a shopping trip for the day’s projects and an initiation into how the hardware store works and how to figure out what to buy.    Once we got back to their place Lori replaced the dryer vent hose.  Taking apart the machine to clear out rat nesting in it along with lint as the old hose wasn’t attached.  We also fixed the house number sign outside and removed the hokey one that had been put up as a temporary fix.  Fixed the chips in the porcelain kitchen sink.  Fixed the shower handle so more then just turning water on and off could be done.  Fixed a light fixture hanging out of the closet ceiling.  Fixed the side gate outside so worked.

There were other projects we didn’t get to.  We have three new blinds to hang, also some bondo and sanding work on a chipped door frame.

Mid-day we headed back outside to pull more plants, busted pots and other “treasures” we found.  Lori, myself and his mother filled two large tarps with green waste up to waist high.  We got home a  little earlier, 7 or so.  Showers and a little television zoning while I crocheted.

Next weekend we will conquer the rest of the yard and probably revisit the dump experience.  We do have a lovely garden palate and easy maintenance, non invasive plan we will also be putting in.  And if you have read this far, wow….here are some pictures.




Blue Cut Fire

I was watching the Blue Cut fire via live stream from ABC 7 today.  Couldn’t stop actually.

The fire is powerful and the helicopter kept going back to parts he had been before so I was watching it progress from my desk.  I watched the fire both obey the retardant line and completely disregard and jump it as well.  I could see firefighters battling around structures and helicopters both picking up water from the lake and dropping it on the fire.

These photos I “took” with my mouse from the ABC7 feed, so they should have photo credit.

This fire is out near the girls.  Not close enough right now to worry, but it is complete decimating the area Lori grew up in and that is sad.

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#BlueCutFire #ABC7 #FireDevistation

Hello Blog

Hello Blog, you are boring and stupid lately.  There are so many photos in my phone for blog ideas and they are all buried in between sweet baby photos.  So to rid myself of them I’m dumping them in here.  Now to create a rambling, disjointed, completely random blog post.

Lori and I found a new theatre.  In fact it has been open for a while, about 4 miles from the house.  It is just we had not made it to a movie yet this year……yep, year.  However we did go and see Florence Foster Jenkins.  Now Meryl Streep was a fabulous as Meryl Streep always is.  She was authentic and played Florence as a brave and generous artist with a love of music.  But I would have to say that Simon Helbergs portrayal of Coseme’ McMoon made me the happiest.  I had to go look up and sure enough he played all the piano himself as that is one of his many skills.  His reactions to Florence were spot on!  Beautiful.

But wait….this blog is about the photos in my phone. So back to this new theatre, it has assigned seats!  Seriously.  So that could be both good and bad right.  You don’t have to be in a rush, however if you don’t like who is around you there isn’t much of an option.  But these are the seats!!!  They were two recliners to a set, large seats, cupholders where there is no question as to whose see it belongs to and the matinee was only $7 each!


There are also a couple of pictures of Cee Cee outside in her Kitty Condo.  These were a few weeks ago when we were getting ready to leave one morning.

You can see Cee Cee in the bottom of the photo and the visitor just kind of blended into the gravel.  It startled me when I was getting dressed, but stayed long enough for me to get the photo before going over the fence.

Speaking of Cee Cee, this is where she insists on sleeping every day. Every Day. Yep, Every Day.

In the Saving the best photo for last category….  My darling friend Katherine took this photo while in Europe this Summer.  Had it printed and framed and shipped it to me.  Surprise.

It is beautiful and we made room for it in the living room.  It was hard to get a photo as it was showing my reflection or weird lighting reflection.  But trust me it is gorgeous.


All ‘my’ babies are having babies

No I didn’t have any actual babies of my own.  But I had nieces, I helped care for a little girl who for a time I really wanted to be her mom, and then there is my Godson.

So today my Godson became a dad, little Boston was born this morning.


So happy and excited for my handsome boy, even though I haven’t seen him in quite a while!

Then today I also found out my little Sara had her third baby, a little girl named McKinley seven weeks ago.


You might know Brennan from my post seven years ago…now he has two little sisters.  When I was emailing her today, she mentioned she still has the blanket I made him.  Good to know they last that long.

I am currently working on one for Boston, a little behind because I didn’t get started until we returned from Italy.  I was finishing up the one for little Coral before I left and so far Taylor has been using it as the back drop for her monthly photos.

Its one thing when the children in your life grow up and you have to start thinking of them as grown ups and not kids.  But somehow they still are kids.  Until they start having their own.  Hooo Boy, I must be getting up there.  Crocheting everyone blankets like the good grandma-aged person I am.

Work Weekend

I am on call this weekend.  I am actually still working.   My client proofs are out and I am waiting on either additional edits or my co-worker to get into the office and take the work for his Monday shift (third shift). 

I am feeling lucky however.  Not that I had eleven hours yesterday or am already at twelve for today but that a different co-worker covered both mornings for me from 7-12.

It gave me both weekend mornings.  We made the best of our time yesterday.  Headed to the beach for breakfast and a walk!

I also was able to clear out a big bag of clothes from my closet and Lori did some housework.  Once my clients started up though my projects home stopped in the middle. 

Sunday wasn’t nearly as productive, probably because I worked until 2:00 am and was tired this morning. 

We did go to breakfast and stopped at world market to pick up new towel hooks for the bathroom. 

Work started coming in the moment I took my turn at noon.  So Lori went and bought paint for the bathroom and other errands all while I worked. 

It’s almost midnight and third shift will be showing up any time.  At this point I’m just rambling to keep myself awake. 

Desk Cholula


The post about hot sauce that has very little to do with hot sauce.

I stopped at Vons yesterday on my way to work.  It is close by and I had a few minutes.  My goal was Cholula.  The bottle I keep in my desk had run out last week.
(New bottle pictured actually lives in the desk)  So that is it about the Cholula.

However Vons is another post.  Or rather grocery stores in general.  I was completely struck by the size, quantity and variety in the store.  I used up every last extra minute searching.  Perhaps if I had come in at the other end of the store it would have only taken me a moment because there it was at the back of that last/first isle.

I shop regularly, weekly for groceries.  Mostly at Trader Joes and Sprouts.  These two stores together serve 95% of my grocery needs.  There are a few things I pick up at Costco, which is why the size of this Vons should not have been so overwhelming.

But it was.  I think because even at Costco, there are actually fewer choices.  There may be olives or hot sauce, but there are not 30 kinds.  Same with Trader Joes or Sprouts.  If you have ever shopped there if you are looking for item _____, you will find it and maaaaybe one other variety but for the most part if you are looking for stone ground mustard, there it is one kind, one size, one choice.  It really does make shopping easier.

It’s not as if I have never shopped at Safeways, or Fred Meyers, or QFCs or any other big chain.  It’s just that is not my “norm” and hasn’t been for quite a while.  In Washington I shopped at Trader Joes and Fred Meyer.  Which I admit is much bigger then Sprouts.

I like my little stores, maybe it s sign of my getting older.  Maybe its just I don’t have that kind of time to spend going up and down the isles, or even just around the perimeter anymore.  And I no longer need thirty mustards, one will do.

Granted this size Cholula will last much longer then the one I can get at Sprouts…..



The weekend is over.  It seemed to take forever to get here do in part to my being on call the weekend before.

But get here it did and I’m sad to say its over and I’m on call again next weekend.  They are usually not so close together but one was a trade for someone taking my June (I can’t do it I’m out of the country) weekend.

There has been so much stress with both sides of our family lately.  Without going into details or names lets just say two marriages of 34 and 39 years fell apart in the same week.  One has a party attempting to kill the other and being put in jail.  One has a party having had what is coming out as a much longer then admitted to affair, moving out destroying so many people and ideals in the path.

My sister was front and center in helping the party who’s life was in peril.  Watching out for her and taking to court to file restraining orders.  This all on top of a very stressful two months of mediation for custody and court and a final ruling in favor of my niece for baby Coral.

All of that background to say its been super stressful so we went to the spa this weekend!  Me, Lori, my sister Della, Lori’s ‘sister’ Vicky and God-daughter.  We had massages, and a lovely lunch and pedicures.  There was some Jacuzzi time by several members of our group.  We all then went to Vicky’s and made dinner, drank wine and trashed talked about her some day ex-husband to be and ogled over the now clean and emptying house.  We then drove my sister home and got back to our place about midnight…..

That drive is another whole story.  We were going to drive out at 7am and pick up Della and bring her to the spa.  Then she would be driving Lori’s truck home for my niece.  We were up at 7:00 a.m. and the truck would not start.  Nope.  It was fine on Thursday when we moved it into the driveway for the street sweeper but nope, it just cranked and wouldn’t turn over.  We are thinking fuel pump but it just goes to show the time to buy a new car was here and maybe this truck is not what my niece should be driving. 

Sunday we had a lot on the list.  We did not get up as early as we planned, so the yard work before it gets hot was immediately removed from the list.  We got up and Lori made us breakfast, we ran a few errands, got groceries and I made us dinner.  Just another “regular” weekend in our crazy life.

Speaking of crazy….this little bug is already two months old.




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