Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sweeping up the Memories

We decided to do a purging of some of the items in the back house. A spring cleaning so to speak that has been going on for almost a year. It's been a process with that large almost unmanageable project, however, we're making progress. It's interesting as we proceed the memories that we have to wade through. First we started with the plethora of couches we had accumulated. Several of these couches were from both of Dena's grandmothers. It's only been recently that she's been able to part with them. We were able to donate several to a group that helps homeless women and the last one was purchased by a grandmother moving out of her daughter's apartment. The couches all seemed to go to good homes and causes and that made parting with them easier.

Recently we've purchased a new diamond cut shredder for the huge stack of boxes full of receipts and old bills, etc that I've collected. They went back all the way through 1985. Yes, I know you only have to keep 3 years. I was paranoid frankly that some group who remain nameless was going to audit me. I'm pretty much over that and over the course of several weekends we've shredded to our hearts content. We've oiled that poor shredder, it's over heated more times than I can count but we've got three 40 gallon trash bags full of shredded stuff. I feel cleansed.

Throughout all this shredding you come upon all the memories from the past 22 years. Dena and I's first major appliance purchase together (from Sears of course), the 3 accidents all in one year to my Black 4Runner. The Visa card theft, the purchase of our home, the refinancing of my condo, 3 times, our first joint checking account, my 6 months of working on my own in 1996 (where I worked like a dog and made a ton of $$ ), and on and on the memories rolled.

We still have a long way to go to turning that guest house into a usable space instead of a storage locker, but we're getting there. Along the way we're reminded of the past with every box top we crack. Some need to be remembered and treasured and some need to be just thrown away.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hanging at the Cemetary

Saturday night found us at another interesting Los Angeles event. All summer long the Hollywood Forever Cemetary in Los Angeles shows film screenings against the crypt wall. You come at around 7:30 pm bring a picnic lunch, a bottle of wine and listen to a DJ spinning tunes. At 9:00 the sun has set and they roll the film. Saturday was The Haunting ( B/W 1963 scary movie). I've got the girls circled up in the pix in blue, with the flix being displayed on the crypt wall in front of them.

Famous people buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery include Johhny Ramone (his headstone is a large bronze statue of himself, playing guitar), Cecil Demille, Fay Wray (original King Kong girl), Mel Blanc (his epitaph says, "That's all folks!", and many, many more.

Information about these events can be found here

The official cemetery site is here

Saturday, June 23, 2007

3 Little Birds getting older.....

There are obviously 3 birds, they are starting to get their feathers in quite a bit, I'm not sure how much longer they will be around. This picture from Friday June 22.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer is Here!!

Well spring has sprung and summer is getting rolling. We have a nest of babies to report, I believe they are a small jay, however, I need to look them up in the bird book. Definitely a jay, but not a blue one. Dena says there are 4 of them, hard to get a picture as the nest is buried deep in the azalea bush. Also, another one of our cacti is blooming. This one has also never bloomed in the 12 years we've been here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Catch at Dodger Stadium

What an exciting day we had Sunday! Marred only by the Dodgers losing and a couple other items...... But it was Father's Day and is tradition at the Chavez Ravine the Dodgers let people out onto the field for a afteroon of catch. I had checked previously with the Dodgers Guest Relations office and they said there was no gender specification. Unfortunately, when we entered the center field gates they were refusing to give us a ball and entrance. I talked my way thru that and got a ball and out we went. We had a blast, I'm not sure who was more excited about being out on the field, Jack or myself. We ran around, rolled on the grass, took pix on the warning track and had to drag the kids off the field. On the way out they were giving away something else but they refused to give it to us because there was no father. Discrimination sucks. What if those were my kids and we were just two moms, no dad? I can assure you I'll be up in the Guest Relations desk our next Dodger game bitching them out since they lied to me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday, the sugarless day from hell

AAARRRGGGHHHH! What a miserable day of pain. No sugar. What a drag. I had a major splitting headache all day today that the chiropractor, 2 alleve and a vicodan (not all at the same time) couldn't touch. It was hard to focus and even laying down didn't really help. I can't wait until Saturday.

Caffeine, Sugar and on we go

Cutting out Red Bull from my life seems to be going well, although when I walked by the Red Bull fridge in the grocery store last night it called to me. "Dawn, buy me, try me, taste me", that's what it said, I kid you not. Thursday I also decided to add most sugar to that self-imposed limitation. I think in today's society its extremely difficult to get rid of all sugar (refined) in your diet due to the fact that fructose, cane sugar, refined sugar, etc is basically in everything. However, it certainly is possible to eliminate all sodas and whatever else that makes sense. I also don't want to get into the trap of substituting aspartame or other chemical sweeteners to get that sweet taste. Those chemicals are killing us all slowly I'm sure of it. I also know these sweeteners or at least phenylalanine is just as addictive as caffeine. I was addicted to Diet Coke and that withdrawal was brutal.

So, how's it going? Well day 2 dawned (no pun intended) with a headache like you wouldn't believe. Since I'm off caffeine I cannot blame that so it must be the sugar. I now wonder if it really was sugar I've been addicted to all this time. Time will tell.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Poaching Eggs

Who knew poaching eggs could be so hard. For some reason I'm on this poached egg kick at home. I thought it would be an easy breakfast to poach a couple eggs, put them on a slice of toast, and voila, breakfast. Days later, I still haven't come anywhere near actually having breakfast..... I bought this cute poacher from Sur La Table the other night. What a pain in the ass. It doesn't take XL eggs, those spill over, and it doesn't really poach the yolk very well. Then there was the whole putting the pan inside a saute pan full of water trick without jiggling or spilling the eggs. Too much trouble, I'm returning it today. Then my sister told me that they do it the old fashioned way. You just boil a pot of water on the stove, (a proper egg boil apparently) and then drop your eggs in with a ladle. Well this was an experiment gone awry for sure.
The first egg I just dropped in, unassisted. It went swirling around the pot and took over. I gave up on it immediately as its white was completely out of control. However, it ended up being the most together one. The second I used a small ladle, broke the egg into the ladle, which was of course too small, egg everywhere. ARRRGGGHH So I threw what was in the ladle into the pot and that swirled around. Now for the third egg. I got out the big stew ladle. Broke the egg into that and slowly submerged this ladle into the boiling water. That seemed to work but when I tried to remove the ladle most of the white had stuck to it and I was left with yolk in the pot.
So now I have egg drop soup. A very dirty pot, 2 sticky ladles and one poached egg. Seems it was an unsuccessful venture this morning. Thank goodness the cleaning lady is coming today to clean up this mess I've made.....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Caffeine Crawl

So the last Red Bull consumed was Friday morning. Today, after the Gay Pride parade, I felt sluggish, had a hell of a headache and couldn't get moving. I wasn't too sure whether the headache was from sun or from caffeine withdrawals, so I erred on the side of caution and had a Red Bull. This is completely within my withdrawal schedule, so, I felt justified. I had gone ~ 31 hours without caffeine. I feel strongly that I can make it > 48 hours or more this time. So, from 3:00p Sunday. We'll see.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Caffeine Committment

Well, I've decided to quit caffeine, again. Or rather, let me clarify, the consumption of caffeine (not to mention the sugar that goes with it) thru Red Bulls and other so called energy type drinks.

I started on Wednesday, June 6th. I lasted until about 11am before I had to have my Red Bull. This is about a 5 hour difference, not bad. I find the best way for me to quit is to wean myself off. It provides a little less pain and suffering for those around me and it's a little easier psychology for me as well. Thursday June 7th was an off day, i.e. no Red Bull allowed. That was a hard day. Those sharp piercing headaches will kill you. I only needed 4 advil to get me thru the evening. If I quit cold turkey I'd need a Vicodan every 4 - 6 hours and 5 days off of work..... Today on the other hand is a glorious day. I got a Red Bull this morning as I'm at 48 hours. Woohoo! It tasted sooooo goooooood. yummy. Now, I get one more. Monday morning and that's it. Won't this weekend be fun? Aren't you glad you don't live near me?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Century Plant Flowers

Here are 2 pictures from Today, which Dena has been bugging me to post for days now......As you can see the plant is quite tall, I'd say 12'? I have to tilt the camera and stand back quite aways to get it all in.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Gas goes over $4.00 per gallon

I might want to use that peddle car in front of the sign if gas goes too much higher.....
This was the price of gas in Cambria this weekend. True, they gouge, however, it's not too far from a California wide reality