Friday, June 1, 2018

What Have They Done?

Blogger made some changes this week.   I didn't dig in enough to understand them because most, I'm sure, don't apply to my needs anyway.   But they used to send comments to Email and now they don't.   So what the heck!   If I want to respond to someone's comments, how does it work?   Anyone???

A few photos from the day trip my sister and I took to Monticello.   It's a beautiful place.

Happy June!   Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Writing Your Chapter

Life is a chapter book and we are now looking ahead to our next chapter, considering how we'd like it to start.   This chapter has been about life changes for both of us, meeting one another and establishing a life based on our values.   This property and our animals have been a priority for us and have brought us a lot of peace and happiness.   But we see this chapter ending as the animals grow older and so do we.   There are things we don't mind doing when we are a little younger, but they become more tedious as our bodies grow older.   The honest truth is, we don't want to take care of 5 acres once we retire.   One acre?   Sure, Erik likes to cut the grass and I'd like to grow more flowers.   But we are not interested in taking the life we have here and transplanting it somewhere new.   

When we were younger, we both had the opportunity to do some traveling.   Not a lot, but enough to know there is a whole world out there to explore.   We are discussing the possibility of spending time in other countries that are much more affordable than ours.   We are also talking about moving to some part of our country that is much less expensive.   Unfortunately most of those places don't have the best weather in summers and winters.   

I recently visited my sister in Virginia.   It's really a lovely state with mountains, woods and lots of green grass.   It's peaceful and clean and offers a nice lifestyle.   I really don't mind a little bit of Winter with moderate snowfall that doesn't stay long on the ground.   The issue for me is that I have asthma.   The Summer humidity is an awful thing to deal with and can cause difficulty with breathing.   I don't relish the idea of spending 3 months indoors, so therein lies the problem.   Do we move there and make a plan to spend a few months away from home?   A travel trailer escape to the mountains somewhere?   Or an inexpensive shack on the coast?   Those are expenses we don't want to carry so aren't really feasible.

We have talked for the past few years about leaving the country, at least for a while, and experiencing another culture.   Many many people have retired to Mexico and other places for a more affordable lifestyle and ease of living.   Certainly they experience some issues that take getting used to.   TV and Internet are not always reliable, electricity can be expensive and/or unreliable, and certain places have noise in the streets that takes getting used to.

Portugal is a place we want to explore as it has also welcomed many expats to its lovely climate and low key lifestyle.   That may be our first destination to explore as we research it fully.   We imagine selling most of our stuff, putting things in storage that we can't part with, packing bags and leaving for a while.   It's a way to reset, downsize, explore more of the world and enjoy something outside of our country.   There is such a strong undercurrent of stress here.   None of us can imagine how things are going to continue to change but for now, it feels disappointing.

Virginia, Portugal, Arizona, Mexico....who knows at this point?   We are doing research to write the chapter.

This photo is a wild daffodil growing in the woods of Virginia.   I had no idea they grew in the wild.   The next photo is a Redbud tree growing in the woods.   I was obsessed with these beautiful trees scattered among the others that hadn't yet leafed out.   

Thanks for stopping by and listening to my thoughts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

List and Location

We are nearly certain we won't retire here.   As much as we have loved living here on the Central Coast, it is just very expensive and not ideal for us financially.   We have lived in California a very long time, more than 60 years for him, nearly 30 years for me.   It's hard to think about life somewhere else, but I think we are almost to the point of acceptance.   

The thing about my personality and considering a move is that I get a bit obsessed over it, even though it's not imminent.   I spend far too much time on the real estate sites.   I look at homes, maps, weather, crime data, anything that makes sense for me to research.   Prescott, Arizona, is still at the top of our list.   It's beautiful, the right size, clean air, reasonable weather, and relatively close to a large city with resources and an airport.   Oh yes, and baseball!   Also, I lived in Arizona for 12 years before I moved to California.   While it's changed a LOT, at least I'm familiar with the state and know a few people who live there.   We are feeling that it makes sense.   We shall see.

Considering selling our house means we also have a list of things that will need to be done.   Again, it's not urgent, but at least we have goals to work toward.   This weekend I gave away our original chicken coop.   I'm going to focus on other items that need to go, working from outdoor stuff to indoor stuff.   I've also cut down a large evergreen shrub, one of a few I'd like to get rid of.   Small steps toward a goal.   Clearing out and cleaning up.   

Onward toward the next chapter, preparing to turn the page.

A bit of good news, Amanda is coming in tomorrow and I will get my hair done.   She cannot talk about what's going on in the investigation, but it will be nice to see her.   

A few more rose photos.   One is of course my lovely Julia Child.   The other is new this year, Violet's Pride.

Have a great day.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Funk and Writing It Down

I've been in a little bit of a funk.   I'm not exactly sure why, but I thought if I just wrote it down I might snap out of it.    You don't have to read it since it's not a happy go lucky post.   I just want to put it here and then let it go.   I think this event may have triggered it.

About two weeks ago, a lady I know went missing from her home east of Paso Robles.   She owns a hair salon and I've been going there for 15 years.   Her daughter has been my stylist the entire time.   I'm not friends with them in that we don't socialize or chat outside of the salon.   But 15 years is a long time.   Amanda now has two young children who spend a lot of time with their grandma.   They live close to one another, as in practically across the road.   Nancy is/was my age, lost her husband 6 years ago to a heart attack, and her younger daughter to Cystic Fibrosis about 10 years ago.   She has a son and daughter and grandchildren. 

So Nancy is just missing and since it's been so long, it's not hopeful.   Discussions on FB all refer to a bloody blanket found on the road a few miles away.   The Sheriffs office immediately asked for information from the public and also requested video from anyone in that area who may have surveillance or game cameras on their property.   Since then, there hasn't been anything announced publicly.

I was scheduled for a hair appointment yesterday which I was certain was not going to happen.   I called the salon and left a message as I just didn't know what else to do.   It's unsettling and I feel awful for the family.   What do you say to young children who are used to have their grandma in their lives all the time?   

I don't know.   It's just very sad and I hope they get some answers.   This used to feel like a small rural area.   With the wineries and the focus on tourism, the feeling has changed.   I'm not so sure I like it anymore, at least not as I did five years ago.   There is more gang activity in our towns, there is an increased problem with drug activity.   Paso Robles, Atascadero and Templeton are not big cities.   But we're halfway between LA and San Francisco, we're about 100 miles west of the awful Central Valley, and ultimately bad stuff finds its way.

It's just been weighing on me a little.   

If you made it through this post, here are some pretty roses as a reward.   This was really just for me, needing to write things out and see if it eases my funk.   

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Apples and Oranges

A few months ago I found a good deal on Amazon for a Vitamix.   I really really like it and have used it quite a bit.   I've done a lot of carrots, as well as apples and oranges.   Last week I found nice fresh strawberries and added those along with some banana.   I have used some Greek yogurt but as I try to limit dairy, that isn't an every day ingredient for me.   Organic blueberries were good but I think I would need to use them a little more sparingly as they overwhelm everything else.   I've tried adding spinach and it was okay.   I'm not totally sold on green smoothies but I do try to incorporate it from time to time.

The next thing I am going to try is pesto.   The biggest issue for me with pesto is that it's not easy to find large bundles of basil.   I think I will have to plant some so it doesn't become an issue that is keeping me from making pesto.   By the way, I'm not a big fan of most pesto in restaurants.   There are many variations on the theme so I hope to find one I like.   Having fresh basil in a planter outside my door would help me with the trials I think I would need.   

Do you have a Vitamix or some similar blender?   I'm always looking for ideas besides those I see online.   

Speaking of orange....and yes, I was, in a way.   Our long awaited Winter rains are here, although not as big as we need.   Along with the rains come beautiful clouds and sunrises/sunsets.   And the color orange.   I forgot to mention it yesterday although it makes me happy to have some in my surroundings.   

It looks to be a nice day here and I cross my fingers that the wind won't kick up.   I'm going to ride Beau and run a couple errands for dog food and people food.   As always, thanks for stopping by!

I had to go back and edit this post because writing early in the morning, I mentioned oregano in pesto which of course was wrong, as kindly pointed out by Hilary :-)   

Monday, March 5, 2018

All Things Blue

I have always loved the color blue.   When we were kids, my sister and I often received the same gifts in different colors.   She would often get the pink and I would get the blue.   We received mohair sweaters one year for Christmas in those colors.   Wow, did we love those mohair sweaters.   Did you have one?

I went through a time when I had tons of red items in my life.   A red chair, red boots, red shoes, red dresses, a red blanket, a red purse, and so on.   I still love red and pink and soft yellow and some greens and certain purples.   But always blue.   My first car, a Chevy Vega, was blue.   I had a house in Arizona for which I chose a blue carpet   It may not sound pretty, but it was a very lovely shade of blue in a brand new house and I liked it.   A few months ago I bought new eyeglasses and chose blue frames for both the regular glasses and my sunglasses.   I also purchased a new pair of blue shoes over the weekend.   I think blue is coming back around this season and I'm jumping on board.   

As always, there are blue skies and blue water.   

It's a Spring like day here with blue skies and the ever present wind.   I hope Winter has ended for those of you in cold climates, and that you have a very nice day.   Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January Purge

I think it happens every Winter, the need to purge stuff.   It seems we spend years collecting stuff, holding on to stuff, only to find later that we don't want it around.   Jackets, sweatshirts, shoes, appliances, miscellaneous kitchen items, jeans that may or may not fit, t-shirts that have seen much better days, something purchased but never really liked or used.   Our generation has been one of consumer-ism, no question about it.   Make money, spend it, buy things, get more things, collect things.   Seemed important at the time, but not anymore.   I want things that I need, things that I will definitely use.   I think more about what I'm buying, not just spending money because maybe I'm bored or for some other silly reason.

So anyway....I cleaned out closets and drawers and boxes and totes and took a bunch of stuff to the donation site.   Yesterday was cold and post-rain, so it was perfect to sort through papers that seem to have no place to go.   Piles of old papers.   Something I needed to keep but then didn't need it anymore.   It all feels good.   

Then there's the garage.   Somehow old tools keep showing up, long since placed on a shelf and stayed there for lack of use.   I sold old chainsaws and I'm working on a few more items.   Hey, even if someone wants to pay me $10, it's better than nothing, right?   And I like the idea that others can use items that would otherwise end up in the landfill.   There's more, but progress is ongoing.  

My brain also gets cluttered and there are times I need to clear it out.   Usually riding my horse helps a ton, but we actually had some rain this week (yay!) and riding was out.   A trip to the coast?   Yes!

In my opinion, Winter is the best time for photographs at the coast.   I would like to go back today but I have a hair appointment and probably won't make it.   I hear the surf is high, also fun to shoot.   

I hope everyone is the path of the polar express is doing okay and starting to warm up.   Our neighbors down in Santa Barbara County got through the largest wildfire in California history, only to be dealt a monster rainstorm that is causing mudslides.   Floods, fires, mudslides, freezing cold temperatures.   Stay safe, friends.   And thanks for stopping by.

What Have They Done?

Blogger made some changes this week.   I didn't dig in enough to understand them because most, I'm sure, don't apply to my needs...