Saturday, October 25, 2008

Shhhh...don't tell anyone...

I thought I could hold out checking my email while I was on the cruise ship this week, but I just couldn't do it!

We had an amazing day today at Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del San Lucas (not sure if I have that name right). The day was absolutely fantastic! We did an excursion that included everything from a catamaran ride, a glass blowing factory, a cacti 'farm', drinks overlooking the incredible shoreline, lunch at a restaurant called Shooters where we talked to a couple who own a condo there and come for two months a year. The weather was unseasonably warm, but still enjoyable most of the day.

I think I'll turn in early - we were so tired we could hardly eat tonight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've been waiting for this day for about 7 years...

My friends, William and Carole and I finally linked up and I'm going to their ranch tonight for dinner!!!

I first met William and Carole when they walked into the real estate office where I worked looking for a ranch on the Central Coast of California. We looked at ranches for probably two years and I bid them a fond farewell when I left the real estate business to go back to work in the craft industry. We've kept in touch all these years and they finally found their ranch about a year ago.

It's been a long, fun journey, but we haven't kept up with real personal stuff so I'm heading their tonight and I can't wait. When I first got in contact with them a few months ago and said I was moving to the coast they told me they had put the ranch up for sale. Can't wait to hear those details after their long search.

I got my spray on tan this morning so I don't scare the residents of Cabo with my white legs. I've gotten pretty tanned since I spend a lot of time outside, but those legs...

The weather is fantastic today and butterflies are flying outside my window. The weather has been too fantastic for my newly planted ground cover - the hot weather has cooked the poor little things.

My sister-in-law called yesterday and we finally have a place for my brother's surprise 40th birthday party early next month. We're going to meet at the bar on the ship sometime this week and make final plans - he's an airplane buff, so we're thinking lots of little plane gliders on the tables - it'll give the kids (and big kids) something to do.

Time to get copy finished up on a brochure I'm working on. It's extremely fun - my photographer friend is starting a high-end children's portraiture studio with four incredible settings. I never know what I'll be writing about - that's what makes what I do so interesting - it's never boring!

Take care,

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ahhhh, life...

My weekend didn't turn out anything like I'd planned. I was sick in bed for a couple of days and had to cancel getting together with a former co-worker and my gourmet dinner group. But, I knew if I didn't get over whatever I had soon, I'd regret it.

I did have a very nice lunch with another former co-worker and her husband this afternoon. It was an excuse to clean up my house and make some decisions on decor that wasn't quite right - so up and down on the ladder I went. I'm still not 100% satisfied, but I'm feeling better about it. It was like Christmas when I opened up all the boxes from storage and found my treasures that had been stored away for 3-1/2 years. I tried to cram every little trinket somewhere in the house, managing only to make a hodge-podge look.

I dabbled in real estate after the Aleene's bankruptcy and I came to know a couple quite well. They wanted a ranch and I showed them ranches up and down the central coast for quite some time. It was a challenge because they lived 3 months in the States and 3 months in Japan. So, we'd go look at ranches when they were here and the other three months I'd look for them the perfect ranch. Anyway, we spent a lot of time together and they'd always send me their Christmas newsletter - most of the time from very exotic locations. They finally bought a ranch nearby and we've been trying to link up and haven't been able to. I finally talked to the wife tonight and she was excited to hear from me. They were in the middle of a party, so we're catching up tomorrow. I can't wait! They ALWAYS have interesting stories. I don't remember when the last time I saw them was - I know for sure it's been more than 5 years. Time flies...and so must I.

Make it a great week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yard Work, Tarantulas, Beautiful Weather, Family...

What a weekend! My brother and family came Friday night and stayed through Monday night. We got down and dirty in the front yard - moved tons of dirt, built a couple retaining walls and planted plants. In there they went surfing several times and we spent one afternoon with my oldest nephew for his 30th birthday. I am exhausted!!!

My up-the-hill neighbor brought down a tarantula and later in the weekend we were graced with one ourselves! It was a critter weekend - two tarantulas and one giganto potato bug - yucko!!!

It hasn't been a productive week for me, but now it's time to go into warp speed - I got an email from a former co-worker of mine yesterday and he'll be in town for a bachelor party weekend, so we're getting together on Friday - we just might have to sit and have some lemonade on my new patio overlooking Morro Rock and the beach. I just found out today that Saturday night is the newcomers gourmet dinner group get together and then Sunday, a friend is here and we're going to dinner. One thing about paradise, your friends come to visit!!! Love it!


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Voice Over, Sitting Around the Fire, Catching Up with Friends...

I'm finally back home in a bit of a mental fog this afternoon. My couple of days in The Valley were awesome - I love when I can mix work and lots of pleasure.

I got to brother's house late in the evening on Tuesday expecting everyone to be inside watching tv or doing homework. When I pulled up to where my 'home away from home' always is (I have a standing reservation in their trailer when I'm in the area) - but this time, I was greeted with a fire in the fire pit where he and his younger son were sitting. We sat and chatted on a beautifully clear evening and later, Justin, my older nephew, came out and we popped pop corn over the fire. My sister-in-law corralled the boys to take showers and David and I sat and watched for satellites (he'd seen 3 pass over that night) and talked about life. He's turning forty next month and he's been thinking a lot about health, family and the future. Hmmmm...sounds very familiar. The last couple of times I've been in the area, my brother has been sweet enough to make sure an outside light is on on the trailer and my bed is ready to go - he even fixed us all breakfast a couple weeks ago.

I was up early on Wednesday, got lots of liquids to soothe my throat and headed to Fresno to do voice overs for the video scripts I wrote. It was just two of us in a huge studio with sound buffers around me to keep down the echo and a big microphone that I practically had to swallow because I had to be so close - I did voice overs from 9 until after 1! The person recording the voice overs was very meticulous (no complaint here!) but I would never have imagined 5 pages of script to take so many hours. It was hard to make the topic upbeat, but I read the lines over and over and stumbled over some words and read them again and again with different inflections. If he asked me to do it again, I wouldn't hesitate - something else to put on my resume and it was fun. The voice overs went so long I had to cancel lunch plans with a friend which is a bummer, but she's coming over to visit in a couple of weeks, so it wasn't so bad.

Wednesday night, I had dinner with my friend Frances. I had forgotten how much I missed her laugh, her guidance and her friendship!!! After dinner, we just got in the car and drove and drove and ended up in the next town shopping at Wal-Mart. It was late when I drove back to Lemoore across the back country roads and once again, my bro had so nicely left the light on for me.

I saw my mom and dad for a few minutes this morning before heading home. My whole family is heading this way to celebrate my nephew's 30th birthday this weekend and since we got rained out last weekend, David and I are going to work in my front yard - I hope to get it ALL done, he's not quite that optimistic.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Harbor Festival, Thanksgiving Ideas, an Anniversary and Just Plain ol' Life!

Congratulations Frances & Rudy! It's been two years today that my friends Frances and Rudy were married in a very beautiful setting near Kings Canyon National Park. Wonky cakes were the centerpiece on EACH table sitting on cake stands that Rudy altered by adding lights around the plates. I was part of the wedding party dressed in my favorite color - burgundy - the wedding was so filled with romance, beauty, margarita machines, family and friends. So very beautiful and touching! It all started with me saying to Frances one day at work "If not now, when?" I have been saying those very words to myself a lot, what are you waiting for?

Yesterday was the Morro Bay Harbor Festival and it was such a delightful day - my sister and nephew came over and we ate delicious bbq, touched crabs and starfish in a touching tank, talked to people who have been restoring a lighthouse nearby, listened to bands (there were three) and I even danced with a stranger on the sidewalk for a couple of seconds. We went into a restaurant that had been calling to all of us for some time but we just had never gone in. It's called The Fireman's $5 Dinner. Customers were encouraged to decorate pieces of flat, thin styrofoam and stick them on the walls and ceiling - some were elaborately decorated, but most were sayings about firemen with a little bit of policeman humor too.

So, my sister, nephew and I got on the discussion of Thanksgiving. Our holiday festivities get pretty complicated with my sister having sons who live out of the area and my brothers family alternates with my sister-in-laws family. I mentioned that Dad wanted to have Thanksgiving out in the barn (I guess my little Thanksgiving hayride and desserts in the barn last year was a hit with him). Well, that conversation escalated to plans of doing the whole dinner outside at my brother's firepit two doors down from my parents. We even planned the menu, thinking of things that could be cooked easily. I was speculating that with an engineer for a nephew that he'd motorize a spit for the turkey (I think that would be cheating.) Now, the pies are a different story! We haven't figured out that one - my sister suggested an apple cobbler in a Dutch oven. I even mentioned that Dad has told us over the years how he churned butter as a kid. It actually sounds exciting. We even discussed bartering or trading neighbors for the things we need - eggs, milk (she types shaking her head!) We'll see how far this goes. I'll chat with my mom about it when I see her tomorrow.

Meanwhile, it's a day of catching up on video editings for You Tube (I'll let you know when they're posted!), getting ready to head to The Valley to do the video voice overs and see family and friends. I still haven't gotten all my cruise clothes together - I need to do that SOON before the stores are completely out of summer clothes.

Make it a great week!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

My View On This Day
My neighbors always have a special flag flying - one morning I woke up to a smiling lobster!

You can see the stacks of the power plant to the left - that's what we're touring later today and it looks like a fantastic day to be out and about. First, to finish my kitchen curtains and clean before I have company.

Have a bootiful day!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Fall Weekend

My weekend plans totally changed with a wonderful storm that blew in last night. My brother and I cancelled our plans to work in the yard - I'm a little disappointed, because I'd really like to get it done, but I know there's nothing we could do about it. So, it has turned into a lazy day - I didn't sleep all that well last night, I kept waking up and I finally had to get up and take down a wind chime I have outside. It was one of those nights when the brain would not shut down.

My sister called this morning to solidify our plans for tomorrow's power plant tour and we wound up talking for an hour while comparing the storm - she lives 20 minutes away. Her oldest son is celebrating his 30th birthday (how can it be possible?) this week, so we finalized plans for his party next weekend.

I have many projects I'd like to dive into, but the couch keeps calling my name. I did practice my singing this morning - I just might be getting together with a friend to sing a few bars this week so I thought I'd get warmed up. I took to heart the email my friend sent me about singing and how we just need to let it bring happiness to us with no regard as to if it's good or bad.

I had another one of those you never know things happen yesterday - I got a call from the people I was working with on the writing job I just finished up. They asked if I would do the voice over for the project - that means me reading the words I wrote and it being added to video presentations that will be shown to huge corporations to educate them about their products. I accepted (actually I was honored) and will head back to Fresno this week to do that and I've already set up lunch and dinners to catch up with my friends. This is turning out to be the best of all worlds - fabulous weather and opportunities to see my friends and family.

Since my weekend plans went away, I started sorting through some more things and came across a CD with the butterfly pictures on them from four years ago and thought I'd share their beauty.

Relax and enjoy your Saturday,


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Today is the two month anniversary of my BIG move to Morro Bay. Many thoughts came to mind and in thinking back I have accomplished many, many things - most very small but some very BIG.

I joined a newcomers club with off-shoots from the main group depending on your interests. Last week I had the wonderful pleasure of attending my first Gourmet Dinner group. Ten ladies gathered at a home where we enjoyed lovely food and interesting conversation until very late. The ladies are very diverse in education, jobs and families and our topics ranged from the overuse of antibiotics to wine to men. There was NEVER a dull moment. It's fun to be thinking about what I will serve when it's my turn, a theme, a special place - maybe a beach party! All of a sudden Beach Blanket Bingo came to mind - hmmmmm...there might be something to that!

I finished up a very rewarding writing job today. The people I worked with were very appreciative and very professional. This job has been 'hanging over my head' since before I moved and I'm happy to have it off my to do list. There was an added twist to this job - I connected with an elementary school classmate who works there. I was emailing her about our elementary school centennial and she said she'd mailed off a package to a Joan Fee that week - small, small world!

I am very excited about this weekend (mixed with a little dread) that my brother is coming over and we're going to work in my front yard - it's been neglected for years and years and at this point is an eyesore with dirt, weeds and a few of my flowers sprinkled along the outskirts. The people who lived here before drove their truck in the yard so there are ruts and holes. We will be adding soil, putting in a retaining wall and pavers to cover the yard area. It's also Harbor Festival this weekend which means tons of entertainment and we're even going on a tour of the power plant - it's the other thing besides Morro Rock that dominates the skyline.

Last weekend was my elementary school centennial. Our principal and his wife had been at the school for 47 years and she passed away earlier this year so his speech was very emotional. One of the stories he told was how he and his wife moved from Iowa to The Island School District and sat crying at their kitchen table when they first got here because they actually thought they were moving to an island. The Island gets its name because it's a strip of land (pretty big strip) between two rivers. Mrs. Wilson was my seventh grade teacher and both were a great inspiration to me and my family since I was in kindergarten - actually before that because my sister went to school there also (my younger brother graduated from there too, he now works there and his two sons attend school there).

My next door neighbors got into the spirit today - a new Halloween flag was flying by this afternoon with orange lights adorning their patio and I see purple light in their kitchen window. It's fabulous to have neighbors who get in the spirit.

I am so looking forward to Cruisin' to Cabo later this month. It's a five day cruise (plus we're leaving a day early to spend some time in San Diego (one of my favorite cities!) the day before we leave. We're only at Cabo for a day, so we're planning our leisure time on the ship - lots of reading, lots of doing nothing and more doing nothing. The dynamics of 14 people in one group will be interesting and in talking about our day in Cabo, it seems as though we all want to do something different - we'll see how that plays out.

The weather is absolutely fantastic - I have lived in Morro Bay before, but I don't remember it being such a joy during the fall.

The sun has set on another beautiful day and it's time to chill - tomorrow's a big day - I get to order fill dirt, retainer wall bricks and pavers! Yippeee!!! My sister reminded me to take before and after photos.

I will leave you with a quote from a friend - it's about singing, but it can be about anything that brings you happiness be it knitting, crafting - whatever..."Singing is medicine for the soul, good or bad singing will still bring happiness to the singer. "