Monday, March 19, 2012

End of Winter: Brrrrrrrr!

This past winter has been unseasonably warm - not just here in southern California, but all across the country. Over the weekend, there was a news story about the warm temperatures in Washington, D.C. - people were sitting at outdoor cafes having lunch ... in shorts and T-shirts! I think that's absolutely unheard of for mid-March in that area!

Tomorrow marks the first day of spring - already! As if to remind us that it really IS still winter, Mother Nature brought in a good, cold winter storm this past weekend. Brrrrrr! The last three days have run the gamut: very cold temperatures; drizzle; heavy, pelting rain; pea-sized hail; and SNOW. The foothills were so clouded over that we had no idea it was snowing up there ... until yesterday morning when the clouds cleared out a bit and - lo and behold! - there was a beautiful dusting of white powder all along the foothills. It was down so low that we could have driven up to it in just a matter of minutes. Gorgeous!

So much for in like a lion, out like a lamb!

Looking forward - and wishing you and yours - a wonderful spring.

Here We Go Again

Dad hasn't been feeling well the past couple of weeks. When I talk to him in the morning on the way to work, he thinks he might feel a bit better than the day before; by noon, he's doing okay, but not great; by evening, he just doesn't feel well at all. We've been encouraging him to get in to the doctor, but he believes that the next day, he'll feel better.

Well, he hasn't.

Early Saturday morning, he called to say that he thought he should go to the emergency room because he just wasn't breathing well. I told him I'd pick him up, but he felt (and rightfully so)that he'd receive more immediate attention if he arrived by ambulance. I told him I'd meet him there.

Poor dad. As we sat in the ER and waited for all of tests to come back, his anxiety kept building by the moment. We both knew that he would end up being admitted, and were just waiting for the final word. And then, there it was: he was being admitted for pneumonia in both lungs and a urinary tract infection. Oh boy, here we go again.

If I may ask, please keep dad in your prayers. He's sad and depressed, misses mom more than any of us know, and now he's not well on top of all of that. We love you dad, and are all praying for a speedy recovery. We want you to come home soon! ...and WELL!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Coming Out of the Dark

In preparation for our big move, we're painting some of the rooms at mom & dad's house - the biggest room being the den.

The den is an add-on that mom and dad had built in the early to mid-70's. It's a nice, big room, but it hasn't been updated since it was first added on, and was definitely in need of a makeover. The room has wood paneled walls and brown wood blinds on the windows, which make for a 'woodsy' feeling, but definitely make the room fairly dark.

After much discussion, we've decided to paint over the wood paneling and spray the blinds white to update and liven up this wonderful space. It's a huge job which required a great deal of prep - time which none of us really had - so we hired a painter and his crew to prep and paint both the walls and the blinds. And we are SO glad we did! It's a HUGE job, but they worked really, really hard and had the whole thing finished in just TWO DAYS! Amazing. While we're not finished with this room by any means - we still have furniture to change out and things to hang on the wall, here's a quick peak at the difference between the (old) dark, and the (new) light. These photos were taken before the finish coat was added and before the blinds were hung, but still ... you can easily see what a difference it makes!!

Den Before:
Den After:
Pretty incredible transformation, right? I can hardly wait to see what it's going to look like when we have everything put together.

Things are coming along, but it's quite a long process. We have all of the wallpaper off the walls in the master bedroom, and the wall repairs done. Now it's just a matter of washing the walls down, taping the woodwork off and then actually painting the walls. We'll be finishing that up soon - which will only leave us two more rooms to do: the dining room and the mancave. Kevin and I both have spring break coming up, so hopefully, we'll be close to finished with all of the painting by the end of April. I think that's a fairly realistic goal. After that, it will just be a matter of packing up and purging cupboards and drawers from both houses, and getting rid of some furniture.

Bottom line: by summer we'll be all moved in. Let the pool party begin!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Tres bon!

In October, I bought a Groupon for a crepe restaurant in Old Town. None of us had ever heard of it before, but it was a pretty good deal: 4 glasses of wine and two appetizers - a $78.00 value for just $30.00. Who could resist? Not me, so I bought one!

With everything going on in our lives, we just hadn't had a chance to set a date. We kept thinking we'd get around to it eventually, but time has passed so quickly we just never got around to it. Until yesterday.

We talked with Bev and Ken on Saturday and set a time to meet at the restaurant yesterday around 6:00. We were surprised to find a darling little European-esque cafe just off the beaten path down a short alley. A couple of tables outside, a couple of tables and a bar inside, and that was about it. It had a certain charm, though, and Edith Piaf singing softly in the background - and really - who could ask for anything more than that?

Being Sunday, there weren't throngs of customers, but with just one waitress working, there was quite a wait. It took over half an hour just to get two glasses of wine. I will say that the wine was excellent, as were the appetizers, dinner and dessert. We left full of good food and good conversation which made for a very satisfying evening for all.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend Creme de la Crepe; just make sure you have plenty of time on your hands when you go!

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Cow Says: Moo, and the Pig Says: Oink, and the Rooster Says...

More syrup, please!

In January, we were trying to decide what to have to celebrate an office mate's birthday. Jeff suggested a waffle bar, which I sort of poo-poo'd a bit. Why? I don't know really, I guess I thought it sounded like a lot of work (Huh - not nearly as much work as the Grilled Cheese Festival. Hellooooo - what was I thinking?). But have it we did ... and it was a huge hit! One of the things that made it the most fun was the waffle maker itself. Jeff brought in his waffle maker which makes, you guessed it, barn yard animals! There's a cow, a pig, a rooster and a barn. They're a hoot! ... and when the waffles are ready, that's exactly what it does - hoot.

We had so much fun the first time around, that yesterday before we left work, I suggested having 'Barn Yard Waffle Day, the Sequel'. We kind of planned it at the last minute, so with the exception of Jeff, Linda and myself, the waffle bar came as a pleasant surprise to everyone in the office.

Once again, it was a huge hit! I have to admit, though, that I felt a bit guilty. Every time someone walked in, they all sniffed deeply and replied, "Mmmmmm - waffles!" They smelled so good everyone was salivating. Next time maybe we'll make enough for the whole staff.

Oh Lordy - what have we started?