Tuesday, September 15


We are decorating. I think this is the last item on the wish list, but it’s a big one. Window treatments.

We have been auditioning fabrics and I think we are getting close. I kind of like this for the living area but JJ thinks it’s too gray. It is that.IMG_2413

But at night, with the lights on, it doesn’t look as dark—it has a really pretty silvery sheen.

It’s still a contender; I like it a lot, but I’m afraid I’ll get “sheened out” really quick.

It has a companion fabric that is even “sheenier,” and we both like it for the bathroom.

Yes I know, not much color, but I like it and I live here. (JJ likes it too.) It picks up the colors of the fixtures, mirror frames, and the floor. Tres elegante.

I chose this tiger print for the powder room. Fun.IMG_2419

Which will be known as the “Africa Room.” (Sorry about the blur.)

I now have a project: To make an Africa-inspired quilt (but not an elephant, at least not a gray one anyway) for the wall on the left.

In other news, it is raining!! We got a good soaking, which we so desperately need.

The plants are happy, happy. My car got a bath,too. IMG_2411

Saturday, September 12

Small Worlds

My friend Linda, who I play golf with, told me that about the time she moved here from Pittsburgh her mother went into a nursing facility. Linda had siblings still in PA, so they went ahead with their decades-long plan to move to California when CB retired.

I asked her if she felt guilt about that. She said no, not at all. She said she talks to her mom every week and her world is shrinking. I asked what she meant by that and she said her mother doesn’t think much beyond the four walls she lives in these days, and it doesn’t make a lot of difference [to her] if I’m across the country or across the street.

I pondered that for a long time. Actually I thought it pretty profound. When we’re little tykes our world ends at the front door, and then it expands when we go to school and make friends, and then after school we take on the world. As we get on in years (if we’re lucky) our boundaries shrink again.

Anyway, I thought it interesting, and there was a segue there, but I’ve forgotten what it was. Here’s a couple photos from my “little world” this week.

Some monsoon-stuff blew over from the east. These clouds spell one thing: Humidity. It was really hot this week. It’s usually either all-blue or all gray around here.IMG_2406

A bunch of us bailed out after nine holes Wednesday. It was 99 degrees and 70% humidity out there. Not fun at all—and potentially dangerous. If I was playing brilliantly I might have considered it, but my game is less than stellar lately (understatement).

I was sitting in the AC reading my book for book club next week—we are reading Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons—when I heard what sounded like the house falling apart. I opened the shades and a big storm had blown in, obliterating everything. The flags we had put out for Labor Day were blowing down the street. The big trash barrels lay on their sides, their contents heading west. It was lucky I was home to close the umbrellas or they would have flown to who knows where.


This poor young tree would have snapped off if it weren’t for the posts holding it up.


Well, I guess that’s it for my little world. All is well in Smallville.

Saturday, September 5

Saturday on the Rancho

Not a whole lot going on, but we are “getting around” to making some improvements to our nest. Actually, the truth is our budget has gotten caught up. I saw this piece in a catalog and it caught my eye. The catalog had been sitting on my desk for a couple of months and I finally was able to order it. I love it and it is perfect for the space.


Originally I was going to make a quilt for over the fireplace but I struggled with the thought that it would fight with the other art pieces in the room. I just love this!

Here’s another look at the lamps we got for over the island.

We had a heck of a time finding something we liked that didn’t cost a fortune because everything we like *does* cost a fortune. I guess we have expensive tastes. These looked better online than they do in person—they aren’t my favorite but they get the job done.

We went out for Indian food for our anniversary, which was a month ago but we were serious about our diets at the time. We haven’t been so serious lately because we didn’t lose much weight being serious (we lost some), and Thursday was the day. We both love Indian, actually we like pretty much any ethnic cuisine.

I had to have the Naan. I’m sure you understand.

And I needed the onion bhajis. I really did. Need.download

I only had a 3” square of the naan and two bhaji, but I knew there’d be hell to pay (gluten), and I was right. It has taken two days (so far) to get it out of my system. Even with ibuprofen my hip joints hurt real bad and I needed to use nose spray so I could breathe through my nose. Was it worth it? I said yes at the time, but the next day not so much.

I never know where gluten is going to get me. Could be my lungs, my brain, or my joints. It’s always a surprise.

Aren’t you impressed that I can turn a story about delicious Indian food into a tirade against wheat?

Here’s what Dr. David Perlmutter says about gluten in his book, Grain Brain.

It helps to understand that food sensitivities in general are usually a response from the immune system. When the body reacts negatively to food, it attempts to control the damage by sending out inflammatory messenger molecules to label the food particles as enemies, in a bid to wipe out the enemies.


When antibodies of the immune system come into contact with a protein or antigen, the inflammatory cascade is provoked, releasing a whole host of damaging chemicals known as cytokines.

Cytokines are highly antagonistic to the brain, damaging tissue and leaving the brain vulnerable to dysfunction and disease—especially if the assault continues. Cytokines are pivotal players in neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

[Can you say chronic migraines? I used to have them 2-3 times a month. I have had ONE in 18 months since I quit eating gluten.]

The problem with gluten is far more serious than anyone ever imagined and gluten sensitivity is far more prevalent than we realize—99% of people whose immune systems react negatively to gluten don’t even know it.

JUST EAT REAL FOOD! And bread is not real food. It is processed food.

Thursday, September 3

Meandering into September

Have you noticed the sun moving south and the days getting shorter? I have. Fall is definitely in the air…or at least it’s around the corner. September-October can bring some of the hottest days in So Cal, but I’m hoping maybe because it has been a cool summer it will be a crisp Autumn. But cool is relative; I have come from the desert, remember.

I have solved 90% of my computer problems. The only thing I could not accomplish is getting my router/extender to work because the WiFi name is different since we moved and the passkey won’t work with it. I only want the router because the signal is low in the studio where I prefer to be. It’s far away from the WiFi portal, which resides in the wall in our closet on the other side of the house. But it’s a tiny inconvenience, and I can get another one if I can’t manage without it.

But—here’s the thing—in a last-ditch effort to find the passkey I plugged in the dead laptop and…it fired up! I even said to myself aloud, “This is ridiculous. It won’t work.” But it came alive like nothing was wrong. So I grabbed some CDROM disks and copied my photos and documents/data to disk. But the passkey was the same as the one I was trying (I had written it down), so no help there. And then it died again. Can you believe it? I still can’t. I got it all!!!

So, what else is new. We had our second block party Sunday and it was a blast—even better than the first one in June. The weather cooled down just in time and we were dancing in the streets as the beautiful full moon rose over the hills. We love living here—everyone does—and everyone is so nice and, well we just love ‘em all.

JJ is really getting into bridge. He plays twice a week at the bridge center in Dana Point, and is going to play in the Orange County Regional tournament next week. He’s got pals he talks about conventions with, I just love to see it. We were so isolated in the desert…and also the central coast, where we lived in a golf-centric community and JJ doesn’t play golf.

But I do, and I love my golf club. It’s a great group of folks, men and women, who play at about the same level (more or less) as me, and it’s for fun. It’s not serious like club golf, where it’s competitive and rules are strict and the women are bitches. Who needs that! And the courses we play are wonderful.

Let’s see how the new laptop does pictures. Not too good, but I think it’s operator error, I don’t have auto focus on this lens…it’s the one I broke.

We finally changed out the lights over the island. We looked and looked, and what we ended up doing is buying dimmable fluorescents (those screw-y looking ones), which I don’t think existed 18 months ago for this kind of fixture, and we only changed out the glass globes instead of re-building the whole fixture and hiring an electrician to do it. We saved hundreds…which ended up going to replace the computer, but still a good thing.

This afternoon we are having a decorator come to help us with valances. I can’t wait to see what fabrics she brings.