Saturday, June 27


And the livin’ is easy. I LOVE my outdoor room, I sit here every afternoon when I read. A gentle breeze comes up from the coast and it’s.…sublime.

I am very happy with the shades of coffee and cream here, and that is pretty much the palette inside the house as well. We have some furniture that we can’t replace just yet, i.e. the red sectional sofa, so I am making covers for the accent pillows, just to lighten things up and cool it down until then.
I love that ginkgo leaf fabric, I could easily reupholster the whole sofa in that…

I decided to retitle my blog. The title Rian’s Pages came from a group-thing I did ten-plus years ago with a bunch of artists where we worked through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, a book designed to help you unleash your creativity by doing a daily exercise called “Morning Pages.” I’m not sure how well it worked, my creativity comes and goes. Recently I was talking to an old friend about the 50s TV show Adventures in Paradise and it sounded apropos.

JJ and I are dieting again, we want to whittle off another ten pounds, or whatever we can manage to lose, in the next month. We have pretty much cleared our calendar of social events that involve drinking and eating, and we have stocked up on Pellegrino. Keeping busy and active is key. And being vigilant and diligent, so diet is a major focus right now.

We eat fresh and organic anyway, we rarely eat processed food beyond maybe marinara sauce or mayonnaise, but we drink a fair amount of wine, which spikes your blood sugar and gets stored as energy (fat). Probably not a bad idea to give the ol’ liver a rest as well.

Time to go hike up the hill.

Monday, June 22

This ‘n That

Ever see one of these?
It is a Jerusalem Cricket. You don’t see them often thank goodness, because they can strike fear in the hearts of grown men. But they are harmless. This guy is about the size of a man’s thumb, he was curious about me and came out to have a look, but when I returned with a coin to show scale, he had lost interest. The first time we saw one (much larger) we screamed and ran, and tried to kill it of course. But now we just send them over the fence.

Besides, this guy will eat it for breakfast.
This is a sparrow hawk, and he or she circles the sky in front of our house all day, every day, squawking its hawk screech. I thought it was pretty cool for a while but now it has gotten annoying.

We have a lot of wildlife around here. Case in point—the margarita queue:

We had our first annual Del Webb block party Saturday. It was a huge hit and a lot of fun.1-IMG_2319
We geezers still like to party.

I took flourless chocolate brownies (decadent and gluten free). Good thing I brought them, because apparently I am the only geezer around here who can’t eat wheat.1-IMG_2301

The next day was Father’s Day—we had the “kids” over and took granddaughter Savannah for a swim. It was a beautiful day. We can go over to the family pool but they can’t come to our side. No kids allowed on our side. 1-IMG_2333

For dinner I made BBQ ribs, broccoli salad, and sweet potato fries. Deelicious! And leftover chocolate cupcakes for dessert. This was our first meal outside on our patio and the weather was absolutely perfect.1-IMG_2337

Today (Monday) I played golf.

Friday, June 19

June Gloom

Not talking about a state of mind, but a weather phenomenon. It occurs every year and lasts about a month. I don’t really understand the science behind it.1-IMG_2290

The coastal clouds roll in every night and last until the sun gets high enough to burn them off, and a beautiful day ensues. In fact, they are starting to burn off already.

Looks like another perfect southern California day ahead.

We got a new floor. Here’s the story. Right after they installed the wood floor, some idiot rolled a cast iron bathtub in and left a long, meandering track in the wood. They tried only replacing the affected boards—unsuccessfully. They were uneven and…well, just awful. Even the guys who didn’t want to do this job again agreed it was pretty terrible.

This time, which is the fourth time, they demolished a huge section of the floor. Dust was everywhere. What a mess. IMG_2286

It took all day. But tomorrow Adam will lay down the new boards. If this doesn’t work, they may have to take up the entire floor.IMG_2287

It’s looking good so far. I think we may have a winner. IMG_2291

Yup, very nicely done. You’d never know they’d been here. IMG_2292

And just in time for our one-year anniversary of owning this new house. Can you believe it has been a year already? We love it here. LOVE! It’s currently 115 degrees in the desert, by the way. I am so glad I’m here and not there.

There is so much fun to be had here. Yesterday J went to BBQ class. They brought in a chef who taught some secrets of grilling, while I cleaned up the dust and put my hutch back together. It needed a good cleaning anyway.

I am in heaven with my new car. It had a rattle in it, which disturbed me (greatly) because it’s a used car so it’s not like I can take it to the dealer.
(Picture stolen from the internet. Not my car.)
I climbed in the back and Jim drove over some bumps, and I was able to zero in on the exact place where the squeak was. I
t was just a lever in the wrong position. The levers lock the cover closed, but I don’t use the cover, in fact I took it out. A flick of the lever and wa-LA, no more squeak! Now I’m REALLY happy. She may be ten years old, but she’s a real sweetie and such a pleasure to drive compared to my big monster.

Sunday, June 7

My New Car

I have had new car fever for a couple years at least.

My ten-year-old Toyota Sequoia was fine but it was getting to be too big, too much to handle driving on the congested streets and parking lots here in the “city.”

I didn’t set out to buy a car yesterday, but we pulled into the Acura dealer to have a look around. This pre-owned Lexus was sitting there, and it caught my eye. It too is ten years old. But it’s the perfect vehicle for me.

I had only one criterion really, and that was that my golf clubs would fit in it.1-IMG_2282
They do! (We measured.)

I would have loved to have driven off with a brand-spanking new one, but it just didn’t make sense to spend $47,000 for a car that I only drive to the golf course or the store. It should serve me well for several years and we’ll take it from there.

So I traded in my ten year old huge workhorse SUV with 25,000 miles on it for a ten year old small luxury SUV with 35,000 miles on it, and it cost $8,000 to do it. Is there anything wrong with this picture? Maybe. But this was the car I had originally wanted all along but we needed Big Bud to pull a trailer…which we ended up not getting after all because we bought a motorhome instead, but that’s another story.

It was kind of bittersweet to see Bud go, but it was time. Age (mine) was a factor in my decision to downsize, and that was a bit of a reality check. But we won’t go there…

* * *

In other news, we continue to be very busy having fun with our active social life here in geezer town, playing bridge a couple times a week, plus the events at the club, and golf. J signed up to take BBQ grilling lessons (don’t you just love it?) and we went to a seminar on how to understand and program our complicated irrigation system.

We had Savannah for a couple of Sundays, she’s seven (already!) and very precocious.