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.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

It's A Start

The new tree is standing in the corner of the living room with lights and so far nothing else.   I love to  get up in the morning and see those lights.   I think this weekend I will decide how to decorate.   It's a slightly bigger tree than our last and so I may need a few more decorations.   We'll see.

November has been very warm with barely a sprinkle of rain.   We finally had a night that was cold enough to shock the trees into dropping most of their leaves.   But today is forecast to be nearly 90.   I hope the trees don't start to bud, then get shocked again and don't know what to do.   Last year was so delightful with the abundance of rain.   This year, so far, nothing.   I've saved money by not purchasing new boots for the rainy days.   Is that a good thing?   No, I'd rather have the rain and the boots.

We've had some pretty skies with clouds that make for sunrises and sunsets worth watching.

Thanksgiving is upon us.   It will just be the two of us and because someone (not I) has come down with a bad cold, we are not going to do a typical (for us) Thanksgiving dinner.   I'm thinking chicken soup in the Instant Pot with some fresh rolls and of course some pie.    A bigger meal can wait for another day when we can both enjoy it.   

Have a wonderful holiday and as always, I appreciate you stopping by.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

If I'm Being Honest

I don't like to cook.   I get tired of thinking of interesting things, I don't like grocery shopping, and I am alone most nights for meals.   It doesn't make for much inspiration or willingness to put out the effort.   Still, a home cooked meal is nice and I go through periods where I aspire to be better at it.   So I was receptive to a 50% Hello Fresh offer.   Last week I received the first order.

The first meal was chicken with a fig sauce, roasted sweet potato, and a salad.   We liked it!   The second meal was a seasoned skirt steak with roasted potatoes/sweet potato and balsamic brussels sprouts.   Again, we liked it!   The third meal was teriyaki chicken with rice and green beans.   And we liked it!

These aren't difficult meals to make on your own without Hello Fresh.   But they were affordable, just the right portion sizes, and all inclusive.   Well, you have to add your own oil, butter, and those things.   Today we will receive our second package so we'll give it 3 more tries and then decide whether we want anymore deliveries.   You can skip weeks, and can also just cancel at any time.   Easy.   If nothing else, I have some new simple recipes that I can just create on my own without having to make those "What shall I cook?" decisions.

Autumn finally arrived a couple days ago which means soup season, along with cool enough temperatures to turn on the oven.   Rain is coming at the end of this week so I've been in search of some new boots.   I tried on two pairs over the weekend but neither one was exactly right.   I have my ugly muck boots that serve me well outside on the property, but I would like some that keep my feet warm and dry for being out and about.   I don't like wet shoes, wet socks, wet feet.    I shall persevere and find the right pair.

Oh how I wish those wires would just be gone, but what a pretty sky we had last night.   

Thanks for stopping by on this first day of November.   The sun is shining, have a good day.

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 n...