Saturday, December 08, 2007

Coming Home Soon

At last, I make time for a post. It's been so long and by george I couldn't wait any longer. I'm in Fort Myers, land of my brother and family, helping my stepmother get situated into an assisted living facility. It's true what they say about the 36-hour day of the caregiver. Yikes! I arrived 11/19 and have literally worked every day since stepping onto Ft. Myers soil. This girl is tiiiiiiiired. I am flying back on the 12th - and that lovely Wednesday can't come too soon.
But with every experience comes a lesson. This one? The cautionary tale of Use it or Lose it. When my dad passed away 3+ years ago, my stepmother got in bed and stayed there. Not a good plan. James and I are taking a harder look at that YMCA membership. I've toured so many nursing homes in these past weeks. It's enough to scare you running for the next Pilates class. Of course, Florida is one fried food restaurant after another. The closest I can get to anything healthy here is a chain restaurant called First Watch and the ONE health food store, Ada's -- my resource for Aloe Life papaya orange aloe juice! We joke that the Cracker Barrel serves orange made with real butter! But, my family is here, and that makes it special.
There will be updates and pictures when I return! I've captured some of the Florida sites that you only see on My Name is Earl! Bye for now!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kittens Galore: Lucy, Willie, and Kate?

If this isn't proof that you never know what a Sunday might hold, then I don't know what is. This Sunday brought 3 new kittens!!! (with THREE exclamation points to indicate excitement, or a wee bit of hysteria?) Here's what happened: James and I are driving up Grape St. en route to breakfast, when he says, "I just saw a tiny Siamese kitten run up the sidewalk!" Before I know it the Jetta is pulled over, illegally of course, and James is out of the car in pursuit of a furry face. This might have been a good place to stop, but time kind of sped up here. You'll see. Next, I'm at the convenient store buying a can of food. We figure out that the storm drain comes up on the other side of the street and walk over to investigate. Up pops Mr. Meezer. And, oh, look, he's not alone!
He has two friends with him: a tuxedo and a tabby. So, home we go to build our makeshift trap--a laundry basket and a canvas (for painting), and what else but duct tape. As we went through the motions, I babbled on about how we can domesticate them, then find them homes. And that is still pretty much the plan. But, this little domestication process is not for the faint of heart! Anyway, long story short, we caught Lucy (the tuxedo) first, after a few attempts. Then I went back on Tuesday with my friend Sherri and got the other two! Sherri was truly the good luck charm. She also took some adorable pictures of them in their terrible home environment: in the storm drain, next to the train tracks among dirty clothes, broken glass, and other really gross things. We're calling the Siamese, Willie, the tabby, Kate, and the tuxedo, Lucy.

The beginning reads like the typical feral cat story in terms of location and situation, but the good news is that these littles ones have been saved and are doing very well now! They each have a warm place to sleep (a bunny hutch and two dog crates--one from Goodwill and the other from Tonya via our good friend Steve) with clean bedding that is changed almost daily - or whenever they tip over their water! Each has food, water, and a litter box (which they use! Amen!)

Tonight I sautee'd a chicken breast in butter to dole out and in the process just about lost a finger. The tabby was gobbling it up so fast! I am also giving them homeopathic anti-anxiety drops in their water. And I burn lavender essential oil in the garage to up the calm factor. We take it one day at a time, and are hopeful that it will all work out as planned. They were also just given their first toys and they play with them!!! It's very cute.

Meanwhile, their uncle up in heaven, Oreo, is looking down to make sure the shenanigans don't get too over the top (with his big Maine Coon paw ready to keep them in line!). Thanks in advance dear boy for any assistance you can send our way. We have a feeling you're watching all this and helping us along and in return we send more and more love back to you.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Ringing in Fall with a Party

Back on the 20th of October, hubby James and I had a really nice Fall party. Oh, and from here on, husby will be referred to as James, not J. He thinks the anonymity factor of blogging is odd. I can take a hint.

Anyway, I meant to post something right after the shindig, but got busy and didn't. In preparation, we worked like dogs all week to get everything just right. I joked that James was gong to re-paint the house or something in one day. He worked like a maniac.
This picture was taken right after the goodies were set up, and before guests arrived. Mom-in-law Mary provided the centerpiece complete with the cutest black cats and pumpkins and wheat stalks in a green-leaf-laden vase. I saw it at her house the day before and said, "how cute is this?? This would sure look nice for the party!" And she packed it up and sent it over. How sweet was that?

I love the candlesticks, they're old and a tad tarnished, kind of Gothic looking. We actually catered some of the food: walnut and blue cheese stuffed mushrooms, a veggie basket, and a tray of petit fours which I forgot to photograph, darn it! They were so pretty. There were tiny fruit tarts, chocolate mousse cups, tiny ├ęclairs (to die for) and profiteroles. I also baked little cupcakes and picked up a selection of cheeses from our local cheese shop called Venissimo. The best part of the party? I was prepared. I started early enough which eliminated that made dash to the shower and stress-induced panic that can send you reeling when you want everything just so and you waited until the last minute to get going! Now that we've cut our teeth so to speak, we're ready to do it again! I'm looking forward to having a Christmas party. Hopefully Tallulah's Mom and Dad will be able to make it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Celebrating a Birthday

This weekend was all about my birthday. J's parents had a lovely brunch party for me on Sunday, complete with a scrumptious cake from the French Gourmet. It had a layer of chocolate mousse and pears, and a layer of super moist vanilla cake. Yum! And Friday night J. took me to a great restaurant called Thee Bungalow, in Ocean Beach. It was divine. Excellent food, service, atmosphere, and of course wonderful company.

I have to say, when birthdays get this high on the chart, they don't quite hold that same feeling as the earlier, more significant, ones. But as they say: consider the alternative! Every phase of life has its advantages and we must find our silver lining!

The last two pictures are more snaps from the corners of J's parents' home. A collection of real and ceramic pumpkins, and an arrangement of candles on a tanzu chest. So many beautiful things, all arranged to perfection. My mother-in-law is an artist . . . and an inspiration. When I get home I start moving things around, to make our house look more like her house!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tortoise Evacuation Center

As everyone has probably seen on the news, San Diego is burning. It's been a horrific few days as homes and lands burn, and the press reports new mandatory evacuations along with news that some can go back home, assuming it is there. You can feel the sadness in the smoky air, and everything is covered in ash.

On a lighter note, my in-laws have some friends who had to evacuate staying with them - Jack and Judy. And . . . they brought their turtles. The turtles, who have yet to be named, are two 98-year-old males. Jack and Judy inherited them from their parents, and they will have to be willed to their children because they live to be around 200! They are land turtles, Gopherus agassizii to be precise, and they are enjoying their backyard retreat while the fires near their home are being contained and the air quality improves. As I was snapping pictures (no pun intended), Rumer, the curious terrier, was getting in sufficient sniffs and kept jumping in and out of their little pen as we all yelled in unison, "Rumer! Get out of there!" Also, following are some pictures of my mother-in-law's beautiful backyard.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Octoberfest in Big Bear

So, last weekend, we made the trek to Big Bear to J's parents' cabin. The four of us also went to the Octoberfest - this year was the 15th Annual celebration. It was a fun time: lots of beer and German food and a band, Bergermeister, who also played Freebird and Sweet Home Alabama, of course. Can't you see the lighters held high now? The foliage was fiery red and gold and the air was super crisp and cool. It wasn't cold, but just right. J's Mom and I wandered through some antique stores on Saturday and I picked up a dark green Bauer planter pot. That was fun. I also got a pine scented candle called Northwoods. J and I took a hike through the woods on Friday right after we arrived with Saylor, our lab, and Rumer, his parents' Lakeland Terrier. The first picture is J setting out on the trail with dogs in tow. And here are some other visuals:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Healthy Lunch Spot: Roots in O.B.

I was in Ocean Beach last weekend, and happened upon a very cool, healthy spot to eat. It's called Roots and their tagline is kind food for kind folks. Nice. I had a veggie burrito - very tasty. I'm going to have to head over there again, if only to try their Spiced Apple Horchata. Perfect fall weather for that! How good does that sound? It's all vegetarian, but the ingredients and presentation are fantastic. Yum! Next time I go I'll take a picture and update this post.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bears Galore!

What began as a bear hoard for my mother-in-law's collection has slowly transformed into a bit of a bear grab for moi. I went to a garage sale last Saturday at the home of an elderly woman who had passed away - her grandchildren had her collections all lined up for sale. It was sad to think that they didn't "get" what she was after with her collections, but I'm happy to think I took a few of the items to a place where they will be appreciated - my house. Most of the other shoppers were as enthralled as I was with her 1940s and 1950s ceramic items. There were lots of other things too - tons of fun stuff. So, here we have them. Bears, bears, and more bears.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


"The doors we open and close each day
decide the lives we live."

— Flora Whittemore
I saw this quote on the Real Simple site - a friend sent me the link. How true. We have choices every day don't we? What occupies our time? Who will we see or talk to? Will we begin a long-considered new practice? Take that walk? Send a heartfelt note or gift to a friend? So many choices, but that is what life is about. I like to make as many of my choices in the direction of doing good things, of strengthening friendships and family. That doesn't always happen, but it's something I strive for. What we choose truly determines who we are.

Monday, September 24, 2007

T is for . . .

Time with the potted plants is always a good thing. We just painted this fence (it was the last remaining remnant of the dark barn red which was the old house color). The board that held my potted herbs was down., but it's back up and so are the plants. I spent some time this weekend getting them tuned up. I planted some catnip seeds in the catnip pot. We'll see if they come up. That's some of the best therapy around for me: digging in dirt. I do love the earth!

Monday, September 17, 2007

S is for . . .

Why Saylor, of course. Need I say more? Check out these adorable pics. It is also important to note that she is:
  • Eater of all things Edible. We joke that the only thing off the menu are metal shards. But afterall, she is a Labrador.
  • Liker of all things Lazy.
  • Lover of the Good Sleep (which is on our bed!)
  • Fan of Saturdays (which are Dogs Go To the Beach Day!)
  • Leading lady of the Itchy Scratchy Show!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

R is for . . .

Riding my new bike. I just got one and have ridden it every day so far, except for today. Okay, that makes twice. Ha! Good story on how I got it: Saw a friend of mine on her new bike (by Giant), thought it might be a good form of exercise up from my "none" amount, found the one I wanted on the Giant site, decided to check Craigslist to see if there might be one cheaper here in the neighborhood, and found the same bike about 10 minutes away in new condition for $115 less. This really cute couple was selling it. They had moved up to road bikes, so the comfy cruiser bike wasn't their thing anymore. Score! I really like it. Something about getting a bike just fills a person with glee.

Q is for . . .

Quite the assortment of ribbon and paper. When we were in San Francisco we spent a good amount of time at FLAX art supply store. They had a ridiculous assortment of ribbon and paper. The paper room was full to the ceiling with all sorts of handmade papers, very organized on tables, many from Japan. Some were sewn on, others were stamped, some crimped. If you could imagine it, it was likely there. And the ribbon racks were nothing to scoff at either. These four measly shots are nothing compared to what was in the store.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Clover and Saylor

Went to this local floral wholesale place today with my buddy/neighbor Steve - he lives two doors down. He was buying a carload (literally) of flowers for a decade party he is throwing with some friends. The party is for four people turning 40, 50, 60 and 80! We are invited and will be going tomorrow night. As we hunted for the roses and other flowers for the arrangements, I spotted a bunch of Clover and Steve added them in with his! How sweet was that?

The next picture is of Saylor girl lounging on the couch with her new Shabby Chic toy from Target. We're calling it "Dolly" and asking her things like: where's dolly? And, why are you biting on dolly? It's very cute, as you can see.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

P is for ...

Poof! She's gone, or so it seems. No, just up to my eyeballs in work. (But had to procrastinate just a tad to check into the blogosphere, which I miss.) I will finish this alphabet exercise come hell or high water, regardless of days in the month. And for your viewing pleasure, this little old lady holding a mushroom. Be back as soon as possible! I wonder if she is going to make a quiche? Hm?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

O is for . . .

Today makes 2 months since my dear sweet Oreo left his earthly cat life. And what a 2 months it has been. Still hard to fathom he's not returning, and I still make daily additions to the river of tears I have cried. Strange things do it. Shopping near the supplement aisle still draws me in with that feeling of hope that I would find a cure, an elixir that might save him. The baby food aisle is another one. Those meals were all he could/would eat towards the end. Anything black and white - it can be a car, someone's jacket, a painting - I see it and his presence comes shining out of it. Songs. We had a special one toward the end that I would play (by the Be Good Tanya's) - called the Littlest Birds. Here you can hear it and see the video. If you scroll down on this page and click The Littlest Birds, that's the song. I can't quite hear it yet. I used to sing it to him and it made him do 'happy tail.' Another song is the music on the iPhone commerical which they play constantly every night on TV!! It's by Orba Squara and it's called Perfect Timing. It just brings back a flood of memories and feelings.

But, as others who have lost beloved pets, we move on. Alicia at Posey Gets Cozy who just lost her dear black and white dog Audrey says, "one foot in front of the other." She has a wonderful way of expressing her loss and it has helped me. We have to make diligent efforts to get on with life. My heart says crawl in bed and sleep, but my mind knows that won't help matters. I do still think I'll see my Oreo again one day if there's something after this. I hope there is. This letter O is so special and close to my heart.

N is for . . .

Saying NO. Sometimes to make life simpler, you just have to say no. Often times in my line of work as a marketing consultant (mostly writer) (and I know this is true for my friend at Foziewisp) there are clients who take full advantage of the fact that you will go the extra mile. Only that mile turns into a trek across the Sahara desert. ..and back. And then often there is no thanks at the end of the trek. These are good clients to fire. So, what do we say the next time they call? Um. NO!

I feel compelled to add a note that these clients are none of my wonderful ones whom I also consider friends. These are the altogether different ones in the small, short-lived, pesky category.

Image from: Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection

M is for . . .

Here she is in all her leggy glory. My Mom was born in Cologne, Germany in 1926. My grandmother named her Liselotte, which she quickly changed to Joanne when she was 17. She was a hat model for a bit and as you can see here the girl could strike a pose. My granny's name was Wilhelmine Hubertina Slavic. Quite the trio of names if I may say so.

M is also for marks woman. Me, here, with my little .22 complete with scope for good target practice. We are/were a family of guns. Not me, but my Dad had a collection and my brother does still. I'm pretty much anti-gun/anti-hunting, but here I am: little girl with gun!

This picture is of My brother. Good excuse to use the "M" for that. What a sweet face. And dig that groovy cardigan.

And how about mini-skirt? Don't you just love this little get-up? White knee socks and all! I wonder if this was something I picked out. I don't remember. But I do remember rockin' the knee socks at any opportunity. This blog has clearly taken a turn. It is now the Pictures of Robin as a kid Blog.

L is for . . .

Labrador Retriever. Ours, Saylor, is such a great dog. She is now totally on the mend after her bouts with tumors. We are very hopeful she is 100% again and going to live a nice long life. No more animal tragedies please. This old heart may just stop ticking.

Another pair of adorable labs, Butters and Bebe (of Southpark fame) belong to my work colleague and friend, Dirk, and his wife Ashley. How cute are they? That's Bebe on the right all puppy-like and snorgled in next to Butter's who probably wasn't positive, at first, why they needed another one!

L is also for . . . lymph nodes. I was all in a tizzy yesterday after discovering what I thought were swollen lymph nodes above my collar bones. Wrong. Here's the punch line. The doctor said it's subcutaneous fat. Neck fat was never so welcomed. I had a new lease on life upon leaving the doctor's office.

And, L is for . . . letter writing. Almost a lost art, but such a wonderful thing. I try to send hand-written notes and cards when I can. I don't write nearly enough of them I know, but it's something to put on that goal sheet when all the other stuff on that sheet is done. Through the years my Dad, Mom, and Grandmother wrote me tons of letters. I saved them all. Addition to goal sheet: organize and place all letters in nice box.