Trees and Flowers in December

We're in San Diego now for almost a full year-happy, happy, happy.
 Last year we had just moved in on December 23rd, so this is our first California Christmas with decorations. We've opted for solid blue lights outside ( which you can see through the window in the tree pix) and white on the tree, with a mash up of all kinds of ornaments.
Tree 2014

Boomer's learning to surf-found the PERFECT ornament to commemorate that!

This "putz house" is more than 60 years old-it was my Ma's

I have a heaps of handmade stuff-two of these are in memory of my Stanley and Anastasia

Trying my hand at a bokeh shot :)

Its been raining in San Diego-YEA! Poor Boomer's over it...no walkies in the rain

Hubby's ancient Christmas Cactus-it's never been happier, LOL

Right after three days of rain

Boomer trying on a gift for his "cousin"
The skating rink on the beach at the Hotel Del in Coronado



I have quite the affinity for Sydney-I honeymooned there with my late husband Daz back in 2002;       I've been there many other times as well-and I just wanted to send some peace and love and all good thoughts to my adopted home, Australia. Love the place, love its people, love the concept of mateship.

The horrendous acts of these past days test the racial boundaries for sure, but the "#illridewithyou" twitter campaign shows that love truly does conquer any and all dark evils. Goodonya Oz. ♥ youguys!



I ♥ San Diego! This is our backyard sunset every night...note the clouds from last week-
This is our weather for the week of 11/2/14....

We had two days of glorious rain last weekend and we would welcome heaps more. 
BUT- those temps above? 
They warm not just my physical presence, but my psyche and soul as well. 
It's a tad above normal for this time of year. That;s OK-I'll deal with it.

Last year at this time we were bemoaning our house sale fall-out fiasco, but by late November we had sold the house ( again!) and finally went to closing in December and set off on our much anticipated move to SoCal.
This year I get to have T-day with both kids and their significant others; we will be taking part in the Father Joe's Villages 5k run/walk  early that morning, and then-football, too much food, and the beach!
We've toyed with purchasing a house but want to wait until I'm back in the teaching work force.
 SoCal is Shagri-La to us, but housing prices are crazy here. Renting is fine for now( even if I do want to rip out the non-functional kitchen, lol)
We've got tickets to Wicked, The Nutcracker, Fleetwood Mac, Dame Edna's preview ( Aussie humor? Yes please!) and with free Tuesdays for residents at our Balboa museums, I get to see Rothko at the Gauguin to Warhol/Modern Art 20th Century showing for nada. Daughter and I will also go to some dance productions that are interesting/local ( not hubby's fave thing). 
And yes, every week, the beach...

I'm pretty comfy with directions now( I live east of San Diego, LOL) and can get around on the bus/tram with the ease of a local born and raised here. 
I'm volunteering with this group:  Just in Time for Foster Youth 
and they are so great-really making a difference in these kids' lives. I hope to help as much as I can.

Hoping your November is fabulous and then some. My biggest first-world issues this week are an older phone that ate tons of  my recent photos (!!!) and sighing over the Republicans election wins.
Oh, and yeah-Boomer was a Shark for Halloween. 
He loves to dress up, and left this on ALL DAY. He's a hoot. 
 Our Spooky Spider house

Waiting for the Boo Parade...

(The rest are houses on our street)




Fall is here according to the calendar-but here in SoCal, it's amazingly summer-like.
I have never been happier to know that the average temp in my region for  "fall" is 80 degrees. 

I'm scouting new rental houses, looking at online Master's Degrees, and enjoying the beach every weekend. All my CA information has been delivered to the state teaching commission, so job wise January should see me going back into the classroom full time. 

I have SO enjoyed my time at home, setting up house in a new state, finding a rhythm to my weekdays that makes both the dog and me happy. He'd live at the lake/beach given his druthers. 

As would I!

We've just had Aussie friends visit, and another friend from our old single/widowed days will be here in a week. We've reserved tickets to Octoberfest ,Wicked, the Nutcracker and more.  We're planning a trip to the redwoods, too. It's so much fun to live in civilization once again.

Without a house to renovate, a once a month blog hello seems best. Ooops-sorry September. 
It's more an online diary for me, and that works right now. 

Fall in San Diego-when the tourists leave, lol

Here's to a fall that makes everyone happy.


Four Years

It's our fourth anniversary! 

In the last four years, I have lived in three states ( TX, OR, CA), become a landlord, left a job I absolutely adored, changed my last name again, refinished an older home, downsized not just my stuff but Mark's as well - all to make a life with a man who brought joy back into my heart.

Wishing everyone on the planet the kind of peace and love we feel today. 

Waimanalo Bay, HI                                     8/21/2010



Bye July, Hello August!

Yes, the dogs days of summer are really here. Happy August!

We are  living in the moment here in SoCal-and loving every minute of it.

Even the Texas temps that we have had this past week are fine by me :)

Hubby has started his new job, I've applied for my CA teaching license, and our Boomer is learning to SURF. There's even a meet-up group for people and their surfing dogs!

Crazy Cali eh?

We've really moved in-CA licenses, car tags, and all that jazz-fini!

Kids are thriving here-Mike's artwork continues to improve ( he's always been my later bloomer) and as he takes class with some really talented teachers he is falling in love with portraiture even more. This is his latest charcoal that he's just begun.

Ashley's had a great dance experience with a group called  wedaretomove 

SD has a Fringe Festival every year( - and it was so much better than I had expected-I guess I'll always have some jaded Noo Yawkeh in me, lol) and that group was chose to participate. 

Ash tried out, made the cut, and became the rehearsal captain-b/c, as the director said, "... she's so organized!"  She is her mother's daughter. :) 

They got some really wonderful reviews (and a paycheck!) and may be performing "Victor Charlie" in LA this fall. Ash Bio

This picture makes my throat catch every time-she moves so much like my late Mom, all grace and long limbs and elegance, even in short socks and a pony tail. 
( The work takes place in the 60/70s of the Vietnam era.)

 We walk around Lake Murray every night after dinner-unless we are off to something downtown like a ballgame or an art installation opening. Some weeks there is just too much to pick from! What a nice change after the culturally desolate badlands of central Oregon.

Palm trees line the streets to the beaches-our fave places. The sunsets are breathtaking. This past week we got to see a few dolphins in the bay-it was awesome! couldn't get to the camera fast enough, though. Next time...

Then there is the fun that is Comic Con...

It was fun just to be downtown while all the weirdness ensued. Great photo ops and amazing food had by all :) But now that I am a "native" I am happy they all went home after a while-it's crowded enough on a regular Saturday night, let alone when you add a few hundred thousand extra super-heroes.

The veggie garden is doing well, and finally! I have moonflowers again :)

Fourth of July was on the water-a boat out on the bay. The Midway is the ship with the lights; they whole holiday was simply, as the Brits say, brilliant.

I am now old enough to know that these are the days to appreciate-the ones that are wrapped around a seemingly dull kind of routine ( work/home/eat/walkthelake/chores then a weekend woohoo!)  but done in a place of out choosing, it's so much more fun.We worked hard to get here. 

Next up is getting more involved in our  community-and getting standup paddle boards, so we can go to the SUP Yoga classes on Mission Bay! Only in California would someone say, 
"Hey-I know-let's do yoga out on the bay on our paddleboards! It'll be totally awesome!" 

And...I agree!

May your August be full of great memories.


Hello June


We've been in San Diego now for six months-and it's awesome. Expensive, but awesome.
Since we are in a rental there's not much house DIY going on-and believe me, I could be ripping out walls and reconfiguring this ridiculous kitchen if I had the budget and the landlord's permission.

Instead, I am purging our stuff with a nod to minimalism and simpler living. 

I've done  Project 333. It's awesome.

I also like the guidelines I found last year on Real Simple
They do a room-by-room synopsis of what you should keep/toss etc. When Mark and I first lived together, we realized had duplicates ( and even triplicates) of many things-and that made me want to toss all most of it. I kept enough to make working in the kitchen easier. 

Another mindset I like is to keep only one of things like lipstick, a nail file, a purse, etc. 
The theory behind this is to find the best thing that works for you, and then stop. 
While I will admit to two purses (one dressy and one crossbody)-and three lipsticks (one red, one pink one natural), I love the premise of one and DONE. 
So easy.  

Sicilian festival

Padres- Retro Jersey Night

We go to the dog beach as often as possible. 
Boomer loves it, and will be starting a doggie surf class this fall.  That should be hysterical.  
Boomer is used to the Highlander-we had a rental this weekend and he jumped right in the trunk when we were packing up to leave. Goober. 
(Mark was going back and forth to OR and CA work-wise at the time)

We have marched against Monsanto, laughed at Book of Mormon, eaten pizza at the Sicilian Festival in Little Italy, hiked and biked all over and can almost recite the entire SDMTS trolley/bus system by heart.  

At a recent art exhibit-Robert Henri - we got to dress up and the docent took our pic.
Proof that Mark kinda likes me? This photo. He is a TOTAl introvert, and I know that really inside, he is screaming, LOL.

View from Cabrillio

Hell NO, GMO!


Gardening here has been fun-everything grows all the time, so you have to be judicious. Water is a more precious commodity in SoCal with the drought  that's been lingering so planting in a raised bed for veggies and containers for flowers just makes sense. I don't want to put in anything I can't take with us either-so our lemon tree is in a huge pot out front. It's so cute! Should get lemons this year, too. We'll be adding avocado, pomegranate, and oranges as well. 


 After the cultural wasteland that was Central Oregon, this place is Shangri-La. 

I have found my people! "Healthcare plan" is my fave :)

In short, we love it here! My kids live in town and we get together when our schedules jive. Blogging is my online diary/scrapbook/etc. I just haven't been keeping it up lately-it's more fun to be out and doing instead of writing , I guess. :)

Hopefully I'll be teaching here next year, and then our home experiment will start-I really want to buy a piece of land and build our own small house ( 1000 square feet) semi-off grid.

Granola, goats and tie-dye, anyone?

Hope you are enjoying June and accepting all her gifts.