April 2014 Flowers in the House

There are plenty of blog hops out there-but may the Universe help me if I join any of them that tout,
"Let me show you do this stupid crafty thing in eighty-eight steps that looks EXACTLY like a Pottery Barn/Quality Handmade/Priceless antique, and then we'll call it ART!"

What I want to say to those bloggers-Um, No. It won't/doesn't/can't. Stop. Just stop.

Jane's FITH, however, is like joining the cool kid's table in the HS lunchroom. Thanks, J!

Since moving to Shangri-La ( aka San Diego), with flowers outside almost always in bloom, I don't have inside flowers in the same quantity as I did when I lived in a northern climate. I do have a little bunch in the bathroom on the sink vanity all the time, and I have a place on the kitchen table for some palm fronds and an additional stalk of something-or-other when the mood strikes.

I got some hot colored sunflowers at the farmer's market last Friday and put them in my big aqua-blue vase. The bright oranges/reds wake up our little eating area with all its blue and green.

Eucalyptus, sunflowers, palm fronds


Blues and greens


Pixilated photo-great for a quilt/paint study


Don't judge those books...

Last week I went into Hillcrest-a very cool, laid back fun part of San Diego-to shop at a few thrift places.  I am on the hunt for vintage lamps and blue/white china pots.


I've never bought pillows from a thrift before because they usually don't have what I am looking for, correct-era wise.

Then I saw these indigo-blue and white ones. They had no price tags, so I took them to the owner/person behind the register. 

She told me they went with the couch they were sitting on-I said no way, the couch was so brown 1970s and these pillows were younger than that. 

She then says, "Oh OK, how about ten dollars each?  (They are down filled BTW.) Sold!

I took out my card to pay. She told me they only take cash, so I started to rifle through my wallet...and I absentmindedly said, "Let me take out my bus fare first..."  

She then asked me how much I had-and when I told her 12 dollars after bus fare, she said, 
" That's enough." 
"Yeah. Sure. Enjoy them..."

An aside: We are trying to stay a one car family here. I take the bus/tram/trolley when  I can or we both do when parking will be crazy. I can walk to a lot of places, so that's great. The bus will take cash, so it's easier to keep $2.50 in my wallet and then I can top off the Compass pass when I am at a station. 

 I left thinking I had scored, then it dawned on me-she adjusted her price because she felt badly for me having to take the bus! I swear I had on makeup and shoes and looked presentable, lol. 

It's a weird hierarchy here-having a car is the top tier; the Trolley/Tram is a cool second; bikes are fine for racing fanatics and students; the bus is for everyone else-it is definitely the ugly stepsister of mass transport. So weird, because in NYC and Portland and Melbourne the subway/train/bus are what everyone uses interchangeably. No stigma, no worries-it's simply smart to use them! Weird.

I took my prizes home , gave them the vinegar rinse routine, and let them air dry in the sun for a day. 
I put them on the couch and three seconds later a very naughty dog decided to test snuggle them.

He has his own very plump and pretty dog bed not two feet away from the couch...go figure.


This is one street over from us-it's a "flip this house" flip from the TV show. I'll be touring this weekend...it's close to HALF A MILLION DOLLARS asking price! I won't be making an offer.
I am just nosy curious to see it inside. The outside is hideous, IMHO, with that deck/porch mash up going on .

But-maybe it's great inside!  I need to remember the story of the shopkeeper giving a big discount to the girl who rode the bus...


My Mom would have been 85 today. Everyone who knew her still misses her.
Love you, Ma. I promise I am not mixing the dark socks with the light ones in the wash :)

I think this is in Central Park; it's around 1948 or 1949. ( People-write on the back of your photos!)
Vogue and then some, eh? 


Minimal Flowers in the House ala San Diego

There are so many things in bloom outside right now in San Diego ( aka paradise)
 that  FITH  feels decadent -but that's fine by me. 

No matter the weather outside, we all need flowers in the house, don't we? 

 I've got white stargazers that have been performing for two weeks now!
 Their spicy scent and their color against the "Shitake Mushroom" wallcolor-just perfect.

Kid pix and white stargazers

Isn't their scent awesome?

Another bloom is ready to go after this one

Cherry blossoms are already popping here in SoCal!



We've moved from a 1600 square foot place-with a full daylight basement, so it doubled our space to 3000-into 1015 square feet. I feel like Goldilocks-our bed is too big, the water heater is too small, but overall, this place is just right. Especially the weather! 70s and sunshine?
Yes, thanks.

The view down our street

I'll be unpacking and whatnot until February, I'm sure. At least that's my target date to sort, purge, and find a home for all I hold dear. The rest is outta here! There's a great homeless program here that will be happy to take our excess. My husband will need some pushing coaxing  encouragement to let some of his older tools and whatnot go, but I'll help-mostly while he's at work.

What is this? I think it's a type of Iris...I have a CA book, just need to crack it open and look it up LOL

This is our interim home, until we purchase one in a year or so, so we aren't doing anything except decorating. The backyard is so blah, however, that the landlord said we can plant/do what we like back there. I'm trolling Craigslist to get what we can free/cheap and my challenge will be to make it fabulous-we do have a concrete patio and a few good trees to start with, so this will be fun.
Sunset from our backyard

Considering how isolated we were in OR, I am over the moon to have neighbors! One came by on Christmas with homemade cookies and home brewed beer. Boomer and I met Darla and her mom at the dog park one day-seems they live on our street, too.
The 1954 California Cutie ( its beige, not pink, really)

 Along with the purging of "stuff" we've dumped cable for Hulu and Netflix, replaced all the lighting with LED bulbs ( hint-don't buy soft white-it's code for "sickly, sallowish yellow;" get the daylight or blue spectrum bulbs if you don't want you/your house/guests to look ill ) and are really trying to stay a one car family. The trolley is a few blocks away, while the main drag is a few blocks south-a nice short walk to groceries/eateries/etc.

Pomegranates ( in JANUARY!) at the local charter school 

Sunset with crescent moon

I still feel like we're on vacation, 
and we'll have to pack soon to return to the much too long winter in OR. 
What a happy feeling to know that I am WRONG!



Happy New Year 2014 from paradise-aka San Diego !

It's an early night for us; the moving truck just left today and we are unpacking as we speak.

We used NY time to celebrate at 9PM :)

Loving our new place and all that goes with SoCal- ESPECIALLY the weather!

Our 1954 rental

Boomer at his new fave place-the dog beach at Ocean Beach

Lake Murray, our three mile bike/jog path

Millefiore dessert at Buona Forchetta
May fortune be thine in 2014!


A ChristmaHanuKwanzaakah Miracle

We went to closing today.
On our house in OR.
The one we keep selling over and over ( four times to be exact).

Today, though, we FINALLY made it through a closing!
We signed our little hearts out, and the house is no longer ours.

The new people are like us-adult kids, gardeners, DIYers, work here in town ( hospital nurses)...
I think the house picked a great couple to pick up where we left off.

We leave for SoCal two weeks from Friday...woohoo!
LOTS to do now, and happy to be doing it.

This needs to be on someone's tree this year! LOL

The other cool thing about today was something my tenant (down in my old place in TX) said.

She told me that she has begun painting again ( her little boy had a childhood cancer that is now in remission; when he was sick she couldn't paint).
She said she has really felt an "artistic sense of spirit" that is uplifting and happy when she is in the house...wow.

While my late hubby was a banker by day, his first love was art, and he was doing a lot of webdesign in 2007. Art simply made his soul happy. It was nice to think that his happiness still lingers after all these years, and that his influence can still be felt.

Weird, but hey. It works for me.

While we won't be able to decorate this year, it doesn't matter-for Mark and I,
ChristmaHanuKwanzaakah just came early :)




 Let's all be better than "good people," especially this time of year.
I've got a plan of action, but it doesn't count if I write it all out here.
Just remember to do something good for someone else this season, ok?

Good People

"From the kindness of my parents   
I suppose it was that I held   
that belief about suffering   

imagining that if only   
it could come to the attention   
of any person with normal   
feelings certainly anyone   
literate who might have gone   

to college they would comprehend   
pain when it went on before them   
and would do something about it   
whenever they saw it happen   
in the time of pain the present   
they would try to stop the bleeding   
for example with their own hands   

but it escapes their attention   
or there may be reasons for it   
the victims under the blankets   
the meat counters the maimed children   
the animals the animals   
staring from the end of the world"

Although, after seeing the Black Friday melees on the news, 
I've been doing the doggie-head-tilt "HUH????" re: Team Homo Sapiens. 

Great Caesar's Ghost, people! Really. Really? Really!