No tricks here…..all treats


Not my dogs.  The first is my friend Alberts poodles that I used to sit.  The other is our friend Jans dog.


Although this last weekends vacation was mini it took quite a bit of preparation.

We started in July, narrowing down the vacation rental and reserving it for the weekend.  Our friends flew in from Seattle early on Thursday morning.

Wednesday happened to be a late night at work and I got about 4 hours of sleep before needing to be up and packing for the weekend and heading to LAX to pick them up.

I hadn’t packed previously because after putting the desk together on Sunday I spent most of the rest of the week cleaning and dusting the house.  One of those dustings that includes moving nearly every piece of furniture to vacuum under it.  My lingering cough/cold/possibly allergy nonsense was the driving factor in that.

Once I got to the airport after nearly two hour drive for the 22 miles because of the hour I picked them up and out to Palm Springs we headed.

Our first day included yummy lunch at LuLu’s, checking into our beautiful rental and heading out to the Thursday night Village Fest. We stopped for dinner at La Bonitas right there in the heart of the festival and had what would be the beginning of spicy margaritas for the weekend.

Friday morning I got up early and made banana bread, watched and sketched the sunrise, took a quick morning swim and waited for Lori to drive out.  Once the initial visiting was out of the way we headed into downtown for lunch and hanging out.  Tonya and I got pedicures and we met up after and headed back to the house for some afternoon swimming and lounging about.

Saturday was a bit more active.  Tonya, Lori and I all headed out to power yoga in the park before it got to hot.  We then drove up to Joshua Tree and spent a few hours going through and taking pictures.  Briana enjoyed relaxing at the house and reading two books!  That night we were heading out dancing.  We got there too early however and just as people were starting to dance and the place fill up we were headed out.  It had been a super long day.

Sunday my sister and the girls all drove out since its only 30 miles past their house and we all went swimming.  This was the baby’s 2nd time in the pool and she was much more relaxed.  Another Mexican meal that included yet another spicy margarita.

Monday we had to check out and leave our little desert oasis.  Lori left for work about 10:00 once we all got back from breakfast and the rest of us were on the road by 11:00.  We did have all day so we drove to the beach, because is there any better way to end a desert vacation than with a trip to the beach?






Random Blog Pics

Della and I are flying out in the morning to Louisiana for our baby sisters retirement from twenty years in the Air Force and I am hoping for lots of fun blogging opportunities this weekend, I am just photo dumping these here.

Besides the forty or so baby Coral pictures from the last week, my favorite of the week being this one


I have other random pictures from the week that I take thinking maybe I’ll use it in a blog.

Like our several cloudy days in LA this week:


Or a picture of one of my favorite breakfasts (only better with a poached egg):


Or my constant tracking of Hurricane Jose hoping that it doesn’t actually hit the coast (so far it is not):




News and look cute baby

The situation in Texas is horrible.  I can’t imagine being one of the thousands without shelter, without clean water, food, medicine, not knowing where family or pets are, without an income source for now and the foreseeable future.

Now there is another hurricane building in the Atlantic, it is at least a week away from possible landfall and a lot can happen in a week.  My fingers are crossed that it turns and heads back out.

President Trump is making lots of threats.  Besides nuclear warfare with North Korea now the possible elimination of DACA.  I remember when Obama was passing it and lots of So Cal folks were leery of signing up because as soon as they did there would be a record and address and if something exactly like what is being threatened happens they could just be rounded up.

There is so much more, Trans-gender ban, the increasing racist alt right marches,  tax cuts for the wealthiest, pay cuts for current government employees.  So much negative headlines that overshadowing other important things.

I woke up at 3a.m. after 2.5 hours of sleep and could not get back to sleep, thinking about how all the boat rescues reminded me of the movie Dunkirk I saw recently.  I ended up watching “Call the midwife” on my iPad until after 5:00 a.m. because at least those tragedies are fiction.  In hindsight I should have gotten up and done the laundry or one of the many things I wanted to get done today but it was just too darn hot.  It was 109 when I left for work, there was no yard work, errands or laundry done today.

All in all my current situation is pretty low-key.  I have a good paying job, good health, family is doing well for the most part (step sister in Houston did not flood).  This was an expensive month but I at least have a job to pay for it.  Compared to the people and destruction in Houston my “expensive” month is minuscule.

We got a new washer and dryer for the rental house my nieces are in.  After two trips from Sears and two trips from a local plumber all is set up, hauled off and they are up and working, quiet and energy/water efficient.   I asked for photos when it was all set up.  The cute baby is the bonus!



Reporting in

Weekends go so fast!  I am sure I shoehorned three days into the two however.

Saturday we got up late, 9:00 am or so, headed out to run errands and get lunch.  Just as we were getting started my little sister text that she was on her way out to drop off her car rental and had some time to kill.  So things changed up.  After we ate Lori started working and I drove out to LAX to pick up my sister.  She had 4 hours or so to visit before she had to be back at the airport.

We drove back to the house and visited for that time and then I headed back to LAX.  LAX may be the most economical airline to fly into, it is also not that far from our house, 20 miles or so straight down the freeway.  It is however the biggest pain in the ass.

As we drove to the airport about 5:30, the freeway opposite, on the way back was completely stopped.  There were fire trucks and miles of unmoving cars.  I am glad I could see that on the way there and so swung all the way down to another freeway to get home.

Once home it was 7pm Lori and I headed out to the grocery store and completed at least one of the errands we set out to do in the morning.  Then I made dinner and my oh my there the weekend is half over already.

Sunday.  Lori worked in the morning.  We had plans in the afternoon to go to Vicky and Emily’s for dinner and swimming.

While she worked I started on a project that had been on the “to-do” list since we returned home from Europe.

Vicky and Emily gave me extra fabric from a reupholster project to make them a valance and some pillows.  I was able in just a couple hours to get all four done so I could take them with us.  I also threw together some bean and roasted corn enchiladas to add to the dinner menu.

This Soiree was Taylor and Emily’s planning and we all brought our swimming gear where the baby had her first pool experience.  She wasn’t so sure of herself but early exposure is good and we are looking for swim lessons.  We had a blast and a very yummy dinner of chicken tacos and enchiladas.  Not to mention needed time with family.  My brother Dale, my sister Della, my might as well be sister Vicky, my wife Lori and my nieces Emily, Amber, Taylor and of course the center of attention Coral.  It was a pretty near perfect day!  Thank you Emily for putting it all together.



Goings On

I went looking through my photos to see if there was anything blog worthy.  Most are of my great-niece as I still request daily photos of that little peanut.


IMG_2440There were also some pictures of Air Force One that is housed as the Ronald Regan Presidential Museum.  My niece Taylor and I drove up last Saturday to take in the Titanic exhibit that is currently there.  We spent a couple of hours going through it and then rushed through the Presidential part.  I was interested in seeing more but it was crowded and just seemed more like propaganda than a museum.

Besides baby pictures I have food pictures so I guess I have done some cooking.  I made a peach crostata because the peaches were magnificent.  I also have this picture of chicken wings I made on the same day, trying to use up some panko I had opened and also bake in the convection oven and not heat the house too much because it is in the 90’s.  Saturday before Taylor and I drove up to museum I made biscuits for breakfast as well.

It may be Summer but that doesn’t mean that Lori is not crazy busy getting ready for fall classes.  Her office shows her dedication to the upcoming school year.

What we should both be working on is the yard, but I did mention the 90+ degrees and that coupled with hot flashes has meant that we have gotten started a couple of times, but boy oh boy are we behind.  I am sensing a pattern here.  I keep thinking, If I could just caught up then I could maintain it.  However the last time we had help to get caught up then peak happened, or travel, or finals or a myriad of things that got us way behind again on the weeding.  It is on the list for this upcoming weekend.

Memorial Day Nap

Yesterday included a glorious nap on the couch.  From approximately 4:30 to just after 6:00, a nap was a must to make up for little sleep over the weekend.

Thursday night I got off late and didn’t get home until about 1:00 in the morning.  That made Friday morning come super early as there was a lot to get done on Monday.  Shopping, grading and posting final grades, wrapping presents for Corals first birthday party, clean the house for company, pick up my step-sister Kayleen from the airport and entertain.

There was only so much time, so a quick straighten and a vacuum was all the house really got.  Being the end of the school year and Lori taking her own class this semester her office had stacks of books and graded finals and class journals in it.  She was working away and worried about getting her things cleared out of her room for my guest.  Instead I told her Kayleen could just sleep on the couch.

We weren’t really going to be at our place much of the weekend anyway.  We took her to dinner after we picked her up at the airport and visited there for a couple of hours.  Then home and sat talking and catching up for a couple hours and went to bed.

Saturday when we got up and ready to go Kayleen and I left for Calimesa, Lori stayed home to finish up school work.  My sister and nieces had no idea I had brought Kayleen down for the party.  I video’s everyone’s reaction when we got there.  Crying and hand waving along with lots of hugs.  It was a great surprise.

Saturday while everyone got busy visiting and catching up, I baked cupcakes and a baby smash cake for Sunday.  Food had to be picked up, balloons were also due to picked up at 6:00, once we got all the errands done we all went out to The Spaghetti Factory for dinner.  Then when we were back for the night my brother drove out.  We finally headed to bed about 2:30 after more visiting.

Sunday was the actual birthday party.  Sunday was a fun but completely exhausting day.  I got up about 7:30 and started frosting the smash cake.  Lori showed up soon after and everyone else was up and the decorating began.  We put together the tent outside, blew up the pool we were using as the ball pit, put together the big table and hung streamers and balloons and finished setting everything out, everyone showering and ready for the first guest who got there at 12:30.

Then the party, visiting, cake, presents, more visiting and everyone was gone.  We left there late and headed back to LA in three cars.  Dale in his, Lori in hers and Kayleen and I in mine.  But real food was needed so we all stopped and had dinner and then got home around 11 pm.  With only 5 hours of sleep the night before we pretty much went straight to bed.

Monday Kayleen’s flight was at 10:59; so we were up and out of the house by 9:00.  Got her all checked in, grabbed some breakfast and headed to Irvine to help Vicki and Emily put together some new chairs.   By the time we got home we both just wanted to relax and watch TV.  That and the sun shinning in made for the perfect nap atmosphere.

What I know from this weekend is a year goes by crazy fast as Coral is already a year old and I miss naps!  I need more naps like yesterday.