Thursday, June 22, 2017

Off to see the Grand-baby; Oh and her parents too

We are heading out in a bit to drive to Berkeley to spend a long weekend with our younger son, DIL and that precious 7 mo old granddaughter! This will be an adventure and first, we hope, of many such trips.

First of all, we are taking our dog. She has met their dog but not their cat and never been to their home. Her "just get over it" immersion therapy continues!

We are babysitting the night we arrive. They scored tickets to see Hamilton in San Francisco and we offered to make the logistics easier. Hope she goes to sleep easily.

Their dog is scheduled for surgery on Friday to have a tumor removed. If the vet has to show up for jury duty it will be postponed a week and we will all take the grand-baby swimming instead.

Monday we reverse the drive.

Can't wait to get the weekend started.

BTW, right now we are being referred to as Pooh-bah and Nana! Hubby when asked joked and said he wanted to be called The Grand Poobah and that has stuck. My DIL is Grandma as she has an older grandson so we are trying Nana for me. We'll see what the little one decides to call us when she can talk.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Summer Bucket List

I'm joining in with the summer bucket list challenge! Please share your summer plans - I love getting ideas from others.

Family & Friends
1. See and play with my baby granddaughter for the weekend at least twice - once at her house in Berkeley and once at our house.

2. See my local son, DIL & FIL at least 3 times each plus make the aunt, uncle, cousin rounds

3. Plan and hold a "next generation cousins" get together for my sons' generation of family.

4. Invite new neighbors/acquaintances out or over.

5. Use the pool in my community each week! Swim, do water aerobics or just float around.

6. Go to the community based yoga class at twice a week when I am in town.

7. Take the dog for a long walk each day to help her relax in her new surroundings. Her constant vigilance is not a good state for her or us.

8. Take a hike on a trail nearby.

9. Try three new to us restaurants in our new hometown.

10. Try 3 recipes in my new cookbook, "America's Test Kitchen: The Best Mexican Recipes".

11. Eat at the beach!

12. Go to the local Farmer's Market each Saturday we are in town.

13. Test and decide on 3 large group dishes/menus for future entertaining.

Fun & Exploration
14. Celebrate my 68th birthday! Been a few trips around the sun since this one.
15. Go to the nearest art museum and one or more galleries. 

16. Go to a local event, fun store or attraction each month.

Settling In
17. Volunteer for a role in at least one group. I'm considering Emergency Coordinator for my street.

18. Regularly attend one social and/or service group.

19. Finish furnishing and decorating our new home. We need den furniture and shelves for displaying decorative items and/or photos.

20. Finish repairs on home inspection punch list.

21. Finish creating earthquake/emergency supply stockpile. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

More progress - the large pictures have been hung in the new house

We love art and have quite a few pieces including ones done by family. Slowly they are getting hung. Lots of smaller ones left to hang though.

The living room before and after. The painting over the couch was done by my MIL. 

Similarly the dining room before and after.

Our bedroom was pretty empty before. Now we have a real bed, storage bench and one picture. Progress.

The hallway got the framed original ballot from the 1994 South Africa election.

The air bed in the guest room has been replaced with a real bed and a poodle making new friends with our DIL and her dog. The last boxes to unpack are still in there though LOL.

The den is still pretty empty except for the TV cabinet that we purchased, a random table and lamp and more art waiting for homes. This empty space actually was very handy yesterday as we set up a folding table and seated 6 as part of Father's Day dinner for 12.

Two months in and it is feeling like home. The house is proving to be very comfortable and easy to live in which is a relief. Now to buy den furniture but first we are off to Berkeley for a long weekend with our younger son, DIL and grandbaby! Just the kind of family time this past weekend and coming weekend that we were hoping for when we decided to move back to California.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Remembering my Dad

Happy Father's & Uncle's, Grandpa's and just plain Great Guys Day! So many men add so much positive meaning to our children's lives.

I am thinking about my own Dad today as well as my Hubby, father or my younger son and great stepfather to my older one. And of course my younger son who is having his first Father's Day. That is him about 30 years ago in the picture of me with my Dad and Mom on Dad's 70th birthday.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Why internet shopping is so great & so frustrating

Since we moved I have been shopping a lot more than usual. New furnishings for the house and clothing for me almost all done by internet except for the saga of the 5 tries it took to find the right down comforter and buying our new beds. Sheets and blankets were a combo of in person and internet shopping. We are supremely happy with our new beds, sheets, comforter and bed skirt. I like my new pillow and we are still working on blankets.

Oh, and there was the evening run to replace the French press that broke so we could have coffee the next morning. Essential.

I really want to talk about what I learned in the last month about shopping via the internet and hear from you about your experiences. It is so easy - its all available for a price without leaving your home. Once you start browsing, algorithms suggest additional items to look at and consider buying. If your local store doesn't have it then you can probably order it online.

Sometimes that worked out this past month.

We bought 2 pieces of furniture via the internet. A storage bench for our bedroom and a TV stand/cabinet. Neither one is high quality but we weren't looking for items to last a lifetime but rather to fit specific needs in this specific house for the time we live here.

The gray storage bench is working out well and once it finishes out gassing chemical smells I'll like it even more. It is a place to sit and put on shoes comfortably and will store out of season bedding. It fits well in the space. The price was right with the discount coupon that was part of our address change package. It arrived with no damage.

The TV stand is a bit weird, but the space we have available made it hard to find one to fit. What is weird is that the shelves inside the glass front cabinet are a different color than the rest of the unit. Again, it arrived with no damage. We are going to keep it as it was the only one I found that fit our needs.

And sometimes it just cost me money for shipping and return fees.

Clothing shopping has had a worse success rate as you would expect. I am pretty much through ordering clothing online even though I despise going shopping in person for clothing.

I will continue to buy online things I have successfully worn before and favorite brand shoes as long as they are shipped and can be returned for free. In May I got online 2 pairs of jeans and 2 bras that were the same/similar to ones I had and that was great. I will also continue to buy accessories, vintage or new, via Etsy as that has worked well.

What didn't work out in May was a too small maxi dress and ditto for a sheath dress; a too large chino skirt: and not as shown in the picture capris and a top. As a result, I've taken several stores off of my online shopping list and simply will not buy from them any more.

Do you like shopping online and how do you make it work for you?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Settling In: 6 weeks since our move

We are starting to feel a bit settled and really, really looking forward to the delivery of our new beds tomorrow! 
Trying to get out and explore what is available for entertainment and activities in addition to finding out where all the stores we need are located. 
The dog is doing great and had her first doggie spa day with the groomer I selected. It was a success and I too would like a blueberry facial, shampoo, body massage, pedicure and haircut all in one place LOL.

Hubby is often playing 9 holes of golf after dinner and we are both walking more. Except for the first weekend we were here, we have spent time with family each weekend and that was the whole purpose of moving.
I'm debating what to get involved in. The pet club for sure (don't you love that there is one?). Perhaps the Leisure Village theater group that produces one act plays or the Camarillo volunteer run theater that we are going to check out with a Sunday performance. I am also contemplating volunteering to be the emergency coordinator for my "Village" because there isn't one and I think it is very important.

I am attending activities here such as the Women's Club monthly meetings and the performance (music, movies, live theater) that sound interesting. I still need to try out the pool and go to yoga class again/regularly. Still need to get to the Farmer's Market too.  I also found out that there is an art museum nearby and it has a book club - definitely on my list to try out.

We continue to work away at our "punch list" mostly arising from the pre-purchase home inspection and working on a bit of painting and decorating by hanging pictures, etc. We have ordered two pieces of furniture: a TV stand/cabinet and a storage bench for the master bedroom. Once they are in place we will buy den furniture and be pretty much done.

I am feeling like this has been a good move and will work for us for the next few years - then who knows.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

May in a sentence a day - the bloom where you are planted month

I'm joining in with My Retirement Project , Andrea's Wellness Notes , Once Upon a Time  and Natalie's Blog for a “sentence a day” month in review.

My May 2017 -

1 - We now officially have California car insurance and I learned where the closest post office is located.
2- Those HOA fees are worth it in terms of prompt service as we now have new drip irrigation hoses and a new bush to fill a bare spot once it grows a bit!
3 - I joined the Village Arts group and think there will be some nice friendships created here as well as possibly getting me back into colored pencil drawing such as this one I did a few years ago.
4 - We went to the paint store for a color consultation but are still having trouble picking a color that goes with everything and pleases us.
5 - It took two tries but we found an ATM near our house that takes our credit union cards and doesn't charge so we are in the money again.
6 - Big decision is love the paint color that is already on the walls!
7 - My baby with his baby in Santa Barbara for brunch - happy day!
8 - We are officially CA drivers again and they even found the record of my license from 20 years ago so I only had to take the shorter renewal test but Hubby wasn't so lucky.
9 - What did we do before the internet?
10 - Poor doggie stepped on a bee and got stung, then threw up & messed on the carpet, went to the vet & got lots of medications, but hopefully better now.
11 - Attended a very interesting talk about a dam failure in the late 1920's that flooded this area.
12 - Hubby is out of town, pup is still under the weather a bit and it is too darn quiet in the house.
13 - Went to the HOA Spring Cleaning sale and bought myself a fun bracelet for $5 and supported the golf club at the same time.
14 - Mother's Day at my son and DIL's with the my pooch & their pooch was so great.
15 - I think I have found a kind, caring dog groomer that has scheduled us to come visit to get acquainted.
16 - Whew, first hairdresser I tried in my new location did a great job!
17 - Hubby finally back from first of 5 trips to Atlanta before he retires.
18 - Met the new dog groomer and she is a sweetheart.
19 - We passed the air duct leakage test requirement and now have to schedule the city inspection of our new HVAC installation to finish that project.
20 - Visiting one mattress store, lunch with FIL and great aunt, and towel shopping at Kohl's is about all we can handle today.
21 - Visited another mattress store and then went back to first one and decided on less expensive option.
22 - Sat at the car dealer service department for only 1 1/2 hours to get a recalled air bag replaced, bought new kitchen towels, went to the library and got a fun Mother's Day gift and lovely card in today's mail.
23 - Twelve hours without power, but at least it was in the daytime and they were able to fix the problem and it meant we got to try a new to us restaurant for dinner.
24 - Bad moods abound.
25 - Ordered 2 mattress sets and frames so in about a week we should be sleeping more comfortably.
26 - An overcast, cool day spent on errands and laundry.
27 - A non-memorable but pleasant day that included a long after dinner walk.
28 - A lovely lunch with online friends including one from Australia!
29 - My older son stopped by to visit which made me very happy to have moved close so this could happen.
30 - More progress on settling into our new home with the carpet and upholstery cleaning completed!
31 - We have reached the 6 week mark for having arrived at our new home and the end of "May Gray" with "June Gloom" next up. 
The May Gray viewed from the walk in front of our house!