Sunday, September 22

Coming Out of the Closet

So to speak. I have been harboring a little secret.

One of the things we have been doing whilst in Carlsbad is house hunting. We have moved so many times in the past ten years I hesitate to admit we are going to do it again, but now I’m coming clean.

Because we found a house. More on that later.

One of the reasons we started this boondoggle in the first place was because, where we live, we are isolated. We have always lived in neighborhoods with neighbors—people. So it never occurred to us that our street in beautiful, gate-guarded PGA West would be >90% second homes. We’re all alone out there. Our next door neighbor only comes out two weeks a year at Christmas. Two weeks! Can you imagine? The guy on our other side, he comes more often, maybe four weekends a year. There was a fun couple across the street, but they moved to Long Beach. There’s nobody to play with.

We could join the club to widen our social experience, but it costs  $130,000 to join (yes, you read that right) and the monthly dues are $1,300. That is just way ridiculous and Jim doesn’t golf. It’s a golf community, after all.

So, when a new 55+ active retirement community started up nearby, we got involved. And then I said, as long as we’re going to move, I want to improve the climate factor as well (it was summer at the time). We love our house and our beautiful desert—nine months of the year. The summers kill us. There’s nobody around in the summer—and I mean nobody.

So, while we have been camped out in the little box at the beach because it’s so bloody hot at home, we have looked at a whole bunch of real estate. I bet you had no idea how rare single story houses are in Southern California. I didn’t, and I’m from here.



It’s real nice, brand new, and, at 2,300 square feet, it’s a whole lot smaller than our current home. Guess what—no guest room!

Now the trick is to get it. You don’t just buy a new house—not today. Times have changed. You have to get on a list (60 people in front of us) and when the lot is released you have to get there quickly and give them $25,000 (nonrefundable), and THEN you can buy it when it’s built. Which means our stars have to align perfectly. These have sold FAST! We should have come a month ago when it first opened.


I think you can click this photo to biggen it. It’s got very little yard, which is a plus for us. And a view of the rolling hills beyond. What we like is it’s in a community for seniors. With social clubs and a clubhouse (with all the amenities you’d expect) that is included in the fees. Cross your fingers for us!

We went to Los Angeles over the weekend to Jim’s 53rd high school reunion. Why 53? Because everybody turned 70 this year. And they all have a real good time, so they have a lot of reunions. They have a very tight-knit class—it’s really amazing. Every one is very nice and friendly. Hanging out with some of the best buds of your life? Priceless.


Tuesday, September 10

Eucalyptus Trees


Ah, the stately Eucalyptus. So grand, so majestic. So TALL!

Have you ever seen them up close? They twist counterclockwise as they grow. Up on the central coast, they imported them from Australia in the 1800s to be used as railroad ties. They are fast growing, but the wood twists and splits and is unsuitable for building. You can’t hammer a nail into it, either.

The bark has so much character.The tree molts its bark every few years as it gets bigger, just like a snake sheds its skin.

This one (below) is in the process of growing out of its old skin.


Wednesday, September 4


We really like it here. Well not HERE in this little 700 square foot apartment below the busy-busy single guy upstairs and next to the laundry room and trash bins and eighty yards from the train tracks, but we love the community. We can walk to restaurants, shops, the beach, and the best mani-pedi $30 can buy.

I’ve been playing some golf. Getting the rusty golf joints working again—I love it so much. This is #8 (I think) at The Crossings in Carlsbad. You have to lay up and hit over the water to the green beyond. Cheryl and I both went into the water—I mean our balls did, not us. You could make that shot a million times if the water wasn’t there, but water messes with your head. 


The Crossings is the craziest course—they carved this golf course across steep canyons, up hill and down. It cost $76 million and took ten years to build. Very, very challenging. Who needs that.


Encinitas Ranch (below) on the other hand, is friendly and forgiving. Ocean views and gentle breezes. It has some elevation changes and a few challenging holes, but I liked it a lot and if I lived here it would be my home course.


Darling Daughter Michelle and GD Savannah drove down from San Clemente and we went to San Diego to watch the Padres get an ass-whupping by the San Francisco Giants. It would have been better if we won, but going to the ballpark is just plain FUN.


It’s hard to keep a five year-old occupied during a game. The camera came in handy for a while.


But then the guy selling cotton candy came by and mommy said no.