It’s been a busy summer!
In April and May, John and I vacationed in Europe for a few weeks. We traipsed all over Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. We had a grand time and I am still basking in the memories.
As soon as we got back it was time for my birthday and Mother’s Day festivities. Turning 59 was a delight surrounded by my husband and kids.
June started out with John’s birthday celebration, and rolled right into one busy weekend after another.
We rode up the coast to San Simeon and looked for Moonstones, hiked a few local trails and went to the beach a lot.
A trip up to San Francisco was necessary for John’s work and we even got to see his brother on his birthday. That was fun.
By the end of the month we were still in birthday mode with my granddaughter’s and son’s back to back birthdays I think I had my share of cake that month.
July started off with a bang, and not the fireworks kind. We helped my oldest son pack up his belongings and move up to Oregon. We got to stay on the Rogue River and enjoy the views and quiet time, between unpacking and setting up.
It was a fun trip, but we had to rush back to help out another son. So I ended up heading North again soon after. I spent a week away from home seeing my girlfriend, and helping my son settle into his new home.
I drove home through thick smoke with half of Oregon and California on fire, getting back home just in time to have our granddaughters for 10 days of fun.
Last weekend we spent a little time reconnecting with a bike trip up to Avila Beach. We had a great time on that big beamer and hiking around Pirates Cove.
So this weekend… it’s time to just be lazy before summer is gone.
I hope you take time to enjoy these last lazy days of summer.
My final trip to Florida to visit my son and his wife Amber was August of 2011. I picked that time to go for two reasons: One to help them move to Mississippi but more importantly, to meet my first grandchild.
In May of 2010 my son graduated from the Naval Academy and married his high school sweetheart the very next day. Then they started their lives together as a military family. By August of that year I was back to help them move to Florida, where my son would begin training as a pilot. Continue reading
Relationships can become a little too much “business” at times. You know what I mean? We end up discussing our schedules, bills and finance, and ‘hey did you pay the renewal for the tags on the bike?’.
And before long it starts to feel a bit more like a business partnership than an intimate relationship.
I’ve even forgot to actually look at John. Not only what he’s wearing but actually look him in the eye. He’s just sort of an extension of life.
I don’t mean that in the way that may sound. Continue reading
After I got back home from Pensacola I decided to get back on Match.com. Things were going good for me, and I wanted to find someone to play tennis with, ride bikes or go on hikes.
I dated a few guys here and there and even made a friend for life with one guy.
But for the most part, I went on a lot of disappointing “meet and greets”.
Today’s “Let’s do this together video” features My John, because it just so happens to be the 7th anniversary of the day we met. We were both on Match.com years ago, and John saw my profile and sent me a message.
He has a way with words, and his profile was very well written, so I decided to meet him for coffee. That, and his photos were pretty handsome too. Continue reading
Why is it that no matter how much stuff we have, it’s still too much? And how come moving is so stressful, even when it’s a move in the right direction?
Yesterday we spent the day packing up a trailer full of my son’s belongings so he could move to a different state. It was stressful.
Ed and his moving truck – 1920’s
Today, we are hitting the road to drive the truck and trailer to his new home. Continue reading
Learning how to push-off…
Our little cottage in Napa was so nice, nestled on a hill, covered in trees. But because of its location, I had terrible cell service at home. So during that summer when I was dealing with Judd’s bizarre behavior, I’d take my phone and go for walks.
I would call my best friend and talk things over with her and find support and encouragement from her. And then I’d just walk for miles and miles, thinking.
I’ve always loved to hike and there have been many times in my life that walking was the only thing that kept me going. This was one of those times. My youngest son was training for a marathon and encouraged me to try running.
I laughed and said I never saw myself as a runner.
Do I dare jinx it and say things are going well?
Finding my rhythm in life and work has helped me put all of the pieces together.
It took me a long time to find a diet that I felt good on. I’m thankful my daughter in law suggested the AIP diet, which lead me to discover a dairy intolerance.
And I’ve created a good balance between work and exercise and play, which has helped tremendously.
Last week I pulled another piece of the puzzle together and made sure to create a beautiful physical space to work in and relax and rejuvenate my soul.
Finding my rhythm
After almost a year of writing this blog, I finally found a rhythm that is working for me. I used to try to write, edit, find photos, and post all in the same day. The pressure would get to me, and I’d feel like I had to hurry to get a post in.
Well, that wasn’t very smart!
Things are going pretty good…there, I said it. And, yeah, it won’t stay this way, because it never does. But that’s okay. I’ll go with the flow and enjoy the ride just the same.
Thanks for your support and doing this with me!
Our first winter and spring in Napa was so good.
We rode bikes and played tennis every chance we could. The construction on the house I was managing was coming along nicely, and everything was running smoothly. I was happy and content.
Bella went everywhere with me…and her favorite thing to do: bike rides
In October we helped my oldest son move to Santa Barbara, and while there, we camped at Carpinteria State Beach. The campground is right on the beach and we were both in heaven. Continue reading
The day after our wedding, we packed up the car and drove south to wine country.
Being frugal (read: poor) we decided to camp in Napa Valley before my interview the following day.
As a wine lover, I was elated to see so many familiar names as we drove up Highway 29 towards St. Helena. We drove past Chandon, Cakebread, Turnbull, Beaulieu, Beringer, and so many more. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Continue reading
It was the week after Christmas and we were in Summer Lake Hot Springs spending time there helping out our friend, the owner. He needed to be away from the place for several days, and asked if we would take over for him.
There were four little one-bedroom cabins and a three-bedroom house on the property and he had rented them out for the holidays. Since there would be some turnover, we were to take care of things. Continue reading
Surviving a bankruptcy and losing my homes was not easy.
Even though I knew they were just “things” I was losing, it was still painful. But, I had a distraction through it all, which made it so much easier.
I met Judd in November, just before the holiday season, and he took me to one holiday party after another. He sold advertising for a local publishing company, and his job came with a lot of invitations.
We had a lot of fun, and I felt like Cinderella.
For Christmas he gave me a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that he had specially ordered for me. He said it was a Wonder Woman bracelet, because I reminded him of her.
My Wonder Woman bracelet
Have you noticed she stopped writing her story? I wonder what’s going on. I mean, she was all gung-ho sharing all the details of her life before. Over-sharing might even be a better way to put it.
So what’s going on now?
Honestly, I don’t even know what gives her the right to share this stuff anyway. First of all, who really cares? And secondly, why in the world would she want to put herself out there for the entire world to see?
Kind of silly, if you ask me.
I will never forget the realtor that worked with my banks to ‘short sale’ my homes. She was a bitch.
Yep, I went there.
She treated me with such disrespect and down right contempt. I was already mortified and embarrassed, but this woman was actually enjoying kicking me while I was down.
And speaking of down, have you ever experienced bankruptcy? It is a life altering decision to make in the first place, but oh once the process starts you’re put into the “undesirable” category.
Which is where you will stay for at least 10 years.
Happy Wednesday everyone!
I had a great walk and talk today, chatting with my daughter-in-law, Amber. She lives a few hours away, so we chat on our phones while getting our steps in. We always have great conversations and she is such a wise women.
Do you eat when you are unhappy? Or are you like me and can’t seem to get food past your throat when you’re sad?
These last five years have been good for me. I am happy in my life right now, and it shows on the scale! Maybe I need to put a post-it note on the scale that says HAPPY and not worry about what the number says?
Have you ever cleaned houses for a living? It’s hard work. Really hard. But if you’re good, like I was, it pays pretty decent money. And now.
Only it doesn’t pay enough.
I couldn’t keep my head above water as an independent realtor any longer, so I moved my license from ReMax over to a smaller company that only took a portion of any commission I made.
It was a defeat, but one I had to accept.
2007 was just an all around crappy year for me. Being a realtor who owned two homes during the housing crisis was a double whammy and just about sent me off the deep end.
Not only was I losing my homes, but my income had plummeted. And if you don’t know how it works for a realtor, let me explain.
We pay for everything.
I purchased my dream house in May 2006, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Every thing about this place spoke to my soul. I truly felt as if I was “home” for the first time in a very long time.
The back yard was quiet and beautiful and I spent most of my summer days out in that yard or on the deck. Inside my house was decorated exactly how I wanted it. Everything was perfect.
I love this picture of my boys laughing and joking in my back yard
many days spent on that little deck
Everything was perfect
Except for the two house payments I had.
I had this stone topped antique table that weighed about 300 pounds that I absolutely loved. I bought it sight unseen from an antique dealer in Eastern Oregon. A friend of mine knew I was looking for an island table for my kitchen at my farm, and when she saw it, she called me right away.
The owner of the shop told me it was an old print set table for a local paper, back in the day. There was a twin to the table, but no others like it, and to this day I don’t know why I didn’t buy both of them.
Of course everyone who has helped me move that table from house to house could tell you why. There was a two-inch solid marble stone that slid into the three-sided wooden top.
And it weighed a ton!
Well, not really a ton, but you get my meaning. It took at least two strong men to move just the top of that table, and they were usually cursing me through the entire move.
But that thing had so much character. I thought it was black when I first got it home, but on closer inspection, realized it was just covered in ink. I used oven cleaner to get the stone clean, and started scrubbing the old wood.
Layer after layer of dark sticky ink came off to reveal a lovely dark walnut color. After several layers of ink were wiped away from the top, a beautiful old pitted stone presented itself.
It was a work of art.
2006 was shaping up to be a good year for me. I met “Tom” in May and by the end of that month I had another wonderful surprise.
My real estate business was going strong and I was making great money. Everything but the kitchen and exterior of my ‘70’s house had been remodeled, and I was feeling confident and accomplished.
I was having fun dating Tom and, because of our polar opposite views on religion, we were having wonderful conversations that would go on for hours and hours. It was stimulating and as someone who is a bit of a debater, I loved every minute of it.
Tom was a charming gentleman who loved a good glass of wine and a lively discussion.