Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Missing the start of the impeachment hearings

I'm not a bit sorry we will be on the road as the public impeachment hearings start and then busy for the next 5 days! Short written summaries of the actual factual content and skipping over the histrionics will work fine for me.

We are heading out 2 hours from now with dog happily ensconced in her crate in the back seat as she would much rather be included in the trip vs staying home with her lovely, kind sitter lol. She does like her dog "cousin" a lot but otherwise seems not that happy being there so it is hard to understand. Once again - if only she would learn to talk!

We are going primarily for our granddaughter's 3rd birthday party but also son and Hubby are going to a Cal-USC game as Hubby's birthday present. Before the weekend the two of them have 2 days of home improvement projects while I have asked for my own project list so I have something to do.

Off to finish packing.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

First week of November

The weeks do keep moving by and need some recognition so you get to share my week.

CLEANING UP - During our high winds the pine trees seem to mostly shed onto the limited areas that we are responsible for - our little patio, sidewalk and driveway. All gone now except for the pine cones that I brought in for some seasonal decoration.

BATH REMODEL - Our newly remodeled guest bathroom is almost back in operation after a thorough cleaning. We ordered a custom shower door and scheduled installation later in the month. pan.

SOCIAL LIFE - My schedule was rearranged so I could go to my club board meeting, book club and craft group.  Out to lunch with friends after the first meeting.

GUEST ROOM UPGRADES -  I found end tables, table lamps and a down comforter online. Perhaps I will also look for some rugs by the sides of the bed.

BERKELEY AGAIN -  We head to Berkeley next week for our granddaughter's 3rd birthday, our son taking Hubby to a Cal vs USC football game for Hubby's birthday, and the two of them working on home improvements for a couple of days. Our other son and DIL will come up for the weekend too.

SHOPPING OUR GARAGE - We had reluctantly accepted a hand me down like new Emeril air fryer from Hubby's aunt and then stuck it in the garage. Our toaster stopped working and so we pulled it out and our going to try it as a toaster!

SICK POOCH RECOVERS - Poor dog had another random day of being sick, but bounced around the next morning and ate eagerly.  She is on antibiotics for now and had a negative parasite test result. If only she could talk and describe how she feels before throwing up on the carpet repeatedly LOL.

FICTION FROM REAL LIFE - I have so enjoyed the Amy Stewart mysteries featuring the real life Kopp sisters including Constance Kopp who was an under sheriff and lady detective in New Jersey in the early 1900s. She was widely covered in the newspapers at the time. I'm going back and reading the ones I missed. Check out Amy Stewart's website for more info on the history back story. She also has written a series of books about the natural world that look interesting.

REMEMBER THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT - Only one more state needs to pass it for it to finally become ratified and it looks like Virginia just might do it this coming year! I think once the new state congress is seated we should all write their Speaker of the House and encourage getting it done! I'd love to see women's rights finally become law during my lifetime.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Living with wildfire risk

We have been talking about how to address my fear of wildfires - basically a fear of not being able to get away from them in time. It is interesting that once I had my earthquake survival kit packed and water, etc. stocked up at home I really don't worry about earthquakes. They just happen and then it is over and you have to deal with the consequences.

A wildfire though is in a definable place with the winds either sending it towards you or not. Roads can only take so many cars at once as people evacuate.

So how often do you pack up and leave when not at immediate risk? I wanted to leave when the Easy fire (Reagan Library adjacent) started even though it was a ways away. The risk was that options for driving away would be limited if 2 freeways were closed instead of just the one that was closed immediately. The winds were blowing our way.

We came home after one night and then that very same evening the Maria fire started even closer to us but the winds were not likely to send it our way. Hubby suggested I pack for evacuation before going to bed and have my cell phone near me to get any evacuation alert so that is what  I did.

I'm learning to understand wind patterns. I need to learn more routes the leave in addition to major ones. We are considering whether or not for the car to be gone all day when one of us is at home. I need to figure out how to have our and the dog's meds packed and ready to go while rotating them so they are current. The dog needs food too and we need a change of clothes at least.  That goes beyond earthquake preparedness because usually you don't have to leave in the earthquake scenario.

I found this great Wildfire And Emergency Go Kit article and will be working on getting everything together for it as well as making it supplement out earthquake supplies with are basically food and water.

So that is the plan. Any additional ideas?

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October is history

This month both crawled and zipped by quickly depending upon the day!

It crawled when I was the one to stay home with the dog while the bathroom remodeling folks worked away. However it is done now except for ordering and installing a custom shower door as it is a non-standard size. Then the contractor will come back and install grab bars as we want them. We are in the process of doing a final cleaning, reinstalling towel bars and installing a new light. It came out nice and is a huge improvement over the 1980s version that was there.

The month zipped by when cat sitting, reading, going to lunch or coffee with friends old and new, going out with our son and DIL and then heading back over to their house to spend the night when the winds were so terrible here last night and I would have stayed awake worrying about fires.

Our evening out with our son and DIL was to attend the closing of a gallery show of a friend of theirs at an artist studio space. It involved some unusual music and drinks on the gallery patio followed by the 4 of going out to dinner and a good visit. I like the funky succulent garden wall on the patio and especially like the patterns made by the wood scraps used to build it.

During our unplanned visit we entertained ourselves by dressing the dog for Halloween! Their dog hated to have clothes put on him but ours is fine with it. She makes a cute Halloween bat with her crazy ear hair due to very dry weather adding to the effect.

We came home to piles of pine needles everywhere and a need for a big grocery shop and a nap after 2 nights of poor sleep. Otherwise all is well. I do have to come to grips with how I am going to deal with my fear of wildfires as this will be an annual concern unless we move into the city environment away from the mountains and hills. Something to think about as I get rather panicked at the thought of being stuck with a fire headed our way.

Plans for November are mostly about family time. Lunch with Hubby's aunt and cousin this Saturday, a visit with another of his aunt's and cousin's in a week or two, a trip to Berkeley for granddaughter's 3rd birthday and a good visit with that son and DIL, and then Thanksgiving by ourselves as everyone local is traveling. I think we will go out for a nice dinner the evening before! That is how we handled holidays alone when we lived in Atlanta and it was perfect.

I was hoping to make it to my club's 4 events in November, but have messed up my calendar for 2 of the meetings by forgetting and scheduling other appointments, we will be in Berkeley the date of the monthly luncheon and program, and I may not be able to attend and help with the post-Thanksgiving fundraiser if other family plans come through. Have made sure to update my calendar for December and January so I will have the times booked to attend!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Wind and Fire - Must be Fall in California

Once again we are turning a wary eye to the paths of wildfires in our area and hoping others aren't affected by them as well. Signs of Fall if you live in California and the warm, fast, gusty winds are swirling. The first day of this year's winds was interesting due to the blow off of last year's fire residue from the hills near us. The air was brown, smelled like ash and it was really gritty. Add in lots of pine needles raining down. No fire for us so far but I've been thinking about potential evacuation routes just in case the closest one expands. Being near the coast does limit our options for leaving quickly along with the hordes of others who would be doing the same.

Also on our minds is the in progress bathroom remodel and whether or not the accent tile we picked will look good. Hubby has been concerned but finally decided it will look good. The good news is there were no surprise problems once the old shower was torn out! And the dog is coping pretty well with being confined to a back room as the workers are in an out the front door. I'm coping less well with having to be home half the time (we are splitting the being here time). 

I went to the farmer's market this morning especially because the hand weavers guild was having a sale and demonstrations. That wasn't a hit for me but there was a new to me vendor at the market selling specialty herb mixes and I got some to try and some to give. Also some luscious looking organic grapes, strawberries and yellow pepper. It really is so easy to go there on Saturday mornings - need to make it a priority.

A friend and I managed to cater the woman's club luncheon this past Thursday despite a distinct lack of enthusiasm of both of our parts. The lead for providing meals quit suddenly so we are all trying out different ways of feeding 30 people. We bought everything LOL.

Not much else going on in my life right now. What is happening in yours?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Ideas for a fun Fall

I'm not calling it a bucket list because my level of commitment to doing most is lower than that implies LOL!

I am committed to heading to Berkeley in mid-November to celebrate a 3rd birthday and get a dose of family time as we all will be there together. I hope to see the local duo long before that.

So some other fun ideas?

- Make a pumpkin dish that isn't bread, muffins or pie
- Go to the Seaside Highland Games in mid-October
- Go on the Ventura Food Tour
- Buy some needed but lovely and fun cooler weather clothes
- Go to a concert, play or art show
- Make plans for a Spring trip to Santa Fe
- Make plans for a whole family trip to the Calaveras County Fair and frog jump contest

That's all my tired today self can come up with right now.

What are you hoping to do this Fall?

Saturday, September 21, 2019

We aren't moving but the 90+ aunts are!

Part of what made us feel good about our decision to stay put for a while was that we could continue to be of some support for Hubby's 92 year old great-aunt and 91 year old aunt who were far from their children. Well, they both have announced they are moving away!

The great-aunt lives in the same assisted living facility that my FIL did and is moving to one near her daughter at the end of this month. That will really help out her daughter and hopefully cheer up the great-aunt who needs to be cheered up LOL.

The aunt is another story. She has tons of friends going back to high school and is still living independently but slowly going blind from macular degeneration. I adore her and hope I can be half as sprightly, connected with others and interested in the present and future as she is. She is moving to Idaho to live in a condo near her son and DIL. She is so good at making friends that I'm sure she will manage such a big change although she isn't looking forward to winters and will have to stop driving.

Hubby has one more 90+ year old aunt but she already lives with her daughter a bit further away than these ones and we only see her once in a while. However, they sold her home of decades and moved into a rental condo less than 2 years ago so again a move.

I think we ask our oldest to be very resilient and would suggest that we all make sure we work on our ability to be resilient and not resist change!