Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Out of office memo

We're leaving early tomorrow morning to go to Lake Mojave. I'll be back Sunday evening.

I'm going to;

Ride in the new, big boat
Get really hot
Drink Margaritas and Bloody Marys
Watch Gracie take all the big rocks out of the lake
Watch Lindsay and Paige learn to water ski
Sit by the fire at night
Try not to get into a fight with Dad
Maybe watch a thunderstorm in the distance
Maybe get caught in a thunderstorm and hope we don't get struck by lightning.

That oughta do it.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bring him a woman

This morning I took Dad to the VA for a hearing test. His geriatric doc ordered it just so we could rule it out. Well, his hearing is near perfect. Can't blame any of his problems on that.

On the way home he said he talked to another cold call realtor, a woman. He said he likes the women more than any of the men we've met with. Uh-huh. He just likes having his ego stroked. So, now I'm thinking we should have the CB guys here again and tell them to bring a woman for Dad. I'm serious. She can walk the property with him and listen to his stories and compliment him on his land and his beautiful family and he'll think she's the best thing in the world. I really think that's what would do the trick.

Scotty and I felt good about the CB guys and I think Drew did too. They're the big commercial realty in this area and they really seem to know their stuff. They've got years of experience and expertise and they'll market the land to all the big developers. Dad wants to hang a sign on the fence and see what he gets. He's been shopping around for books on how to sell your land yourself. The biggest deal of his life and he wants to mess around with a how-to book. It's maddening.

So, I have this visual image of the realtors showing up here with Hedy Lamarr in a sarong. She takes Dad by the arm and they stroll off to look at the view from the top of the hill while the rest of us work out the deal. Then he comes back and happily signs the papers.

Too bad she's dead.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Curtain Fabric Experiments

This is the first experiment with the fabric paints.

The lighter areas are where the glue is. The orange color is really copper metallic paint.

The second experiment.

Getting the hang of it here. Again, the lighter areas show the reaction of the wet paint when the glue is applied. It's kind of like a resist in reverse. I like the interesting bleeding effect.

These haven't been heat set yet. I'm going to heat set them and then wash them. It'll be interesting to see how much color comes out with the glue. These aren't the colors I'll be using. I'm going for a warmer palette.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Dan gone.

It was a lovely visit. He arrived a little late on Friday because he missed his exit and ended up in Rubidoux. Once he got here we settled into a very goofy, giggly conversation. It felt good to laugh like that.

Saturday we went to Ken's to put in an appearance at the Amy (yuck) party and to grab equipment. Then we went to lunch at BJ's. After that we came home and played music. Actually they messed around trying to get the technology up and running (typical) and THEN we played music. It's funny, it happens every time. They'll dink around for hours trying to get some computer program to work before the actual playing can begin. There's a whole lot of cussing and trying different things and wait, oh no, oh crap. I think it's actually kind of fun to watch them go through their process.

We came up with some crazy stuff. Just about every instrument we have in this room got yanked down off the self and played. It was a real nice way to spend an evening. It's a special treat having Dan here.

Today they messed around with the I-sight camera. Nothing fabulous was produced but they had fun messing with it. Dan and Jim worked on fixing Ken's guitar and Paige's electric scooter. There was a mix up with Dan's flight which was annoying but good because we got to spend a few extra hours with him.

This afternoon I started experimenting with the fabric paints. I have some big, heavy muslin dropcloths that I want to use to make curtains for the living room. I want to see if it will work to paint them. So far my experiments look pretty good but I'm not sure if this will work on a large scale. If I use regular fabric paints from Michael's it will be too expensive. Those little containers don't go very far. There's a fabric medium that can be added to regular acrylic paints. I'll look for some of that.

Jim says I have to go take the trash down to the street. How's that shin splint doing, dear?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dan's coming!

Our good friend Dan is coming to visit tomorrow. He's down on a business trip and he's going to take an extra couple days to come see us. So, that means today we're cleaning. Serious cleaning, like ceiling fans and baseboards. I hosed down the back porch. I'm sitting here right now because I needed a break.

I wish Carol and the boys were coming, too. We always enjoy being with the Powers'.

Lindsay and Paige have made up so things are mostly back to normal. Jim's still limping around. I hope he's better for Dan's visit.

Hmm, what should I serve for dinner tomorrow night?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

House of Disharmony

That's what we gots here today. And Dad is nowhere to be seen. This is all ours.

The girls are upset with each other over Lindsay's boyfriend. Paige doesn't like him and she took it upon herself to talk to Lindsay's best friend about it. Hilarity ensued.

We've been hashing it out. It's not easy, lots of dead silence between comments. Lindsay's pretty hurt. I think it will all be ok in the end but there's some shit to go through first. Jon's here now.

Jim's been limping around with a shin splint for the last few days. Being in constant pain can get a person down. He's out right now buying electronics for the uke case.

I'm trying to keep things on an even keel. I had my own emotional upheaval a few weeks ago so I don't want to get dragged down with this one. The situation doesn't need any added pressure.

Jim just got home. He's going to take Paige out for driving practice. I'm sure they'll have their own talk about all this. Sheesh.

Calgon, take me away.

Let's see, we've got realtors coming this afternoon. Maybe after that we'll go to Ken's and go awimming. It's been pretty hot the last couple days so the pool should be warmer. Swimming would be good for my back and Jim's leg.

Ugh! I haven't done ANYTHING today and that bothers me.

Ok, let it go.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day

It's been a weird one.

The Smith boys and wives and kids drove out to Palm Desert today to visit Kenny and take him to lunch. Bernie was recovering from some kind of diabetic attack (we couldn't have cared less) so she stayed home. We were able to enjoy a nice lunch with Pop.

When we first got there we sat for the required chitchat before lunch. Bernie asked Paige if she dyed her hair. There was a little confusion about the question since Paige's hair has been the same color for a long time and Bernie only saw her a couple months ago. I said that yes, she did dye it but it's been a while. Bernie turned to me and basically, in so many words, told me to shut up. She was having her own conversation with Paige and didn't need my help. We were all a little stunned. I did the thing where you flip someone off by using your middle finger to scratch your forehead. I think Kenny saw me do it. I'm pretty sure he was ok with it. He knows how we feel about her.

After lunch we went back to the condo for more of that delicious chitchat. After listing for another excruciating hour we managed to say goodbye and get the hell out. It was hot and I was thirsty so I suggested we go to a drive through and get some drinks. We went to a Carl's Jr. The stupid girl at the window tried to give Jim the drinks in a torn cardboard drink holder. The drinks all fell out and one of them spilled all over Jim's seat and the floor. Instead of dealing with it, the retard just moved away from the window laughing. We pulled over so we could get the mess cleaned up. Sherri and I went back into the restaurant to get more drinks and a towel. Sherri chewed out the manager. She's awesome.

While we were doing that Jim was trying to clean up the mess. Some people pulled up and parked right next to him even though he asked him to park in the next space over so he could have some room. There was some minor bitching that took place between Jim and those people just as Sherri and I came out. It was one of those things where you have a stupid little disaster happen and all you wanted to do was something simple like get a few drinks. We left there one drink short! We did get a note from the manager promising to pay to have the car cleaned.

It was just one of those irritating days that you just have to get through.

The gig last night was much more fun. The party was at this house with a tiny back yard. It was a retirement party and there were about 50 people there. It had a 50s theme and some people actually dressed up for it. We started playing at 7 but people didn't start dancing until about 9:30. We were supposed to quit at 10! They were having a lot of fun so we played until about 10:30. We all had a good time. The food was reeeally good.

So, this was another weekend of overindulgence. Tomorrow, back to it! Mt. Rubidoux tomorrow night. Cut back the calories. Ooh! Jim and I could really feel a difference in how much energy we had last night. All that exercise is really paying off.

Friday, June 17, 2005


The gold velvet arrived yesterday. It's exactly the right color for this case. Now I just need to get hubby's help with the hinges and get him to wire up the light. Then I can line the case with foam and velvet and cover the outside. That shouldn't take long. It's the kind of thing that I can stay up all night doing.

Tonight is band practice, tomrrow's the gig. We're playing at a house in a neighborhood with small yards and the houses jammed in close together. Oh well, not our problem. If the cops come we'll still get paid.

Tonight we're going to settle on a band name. Really.

The sibs and Dad are at the river this weekend. Dang, we're missing the maiden voyage of the new boat. Oh well. The water is sure to be too cold to swim in. We'll go next time. I'll just enjoy my break. No phone calls from Dad and I can sit on my front porch and enjoy the solitude.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Another one

Man, two earthquakes in one week. I was in an antique store when this one hit. Everything was rattling like crazy. Dishes were falling off shelves. I was looking around trying to decide where I should stand in this store that had shelves full of crap all the way to the ceiling. I jumped under some baskets that were hanging from a rack. I figured I wouldn't get too hurt if I got bonked on the head with a basket. Some tea cups broke but that was about it. The owner of the store ran out the door.

Before I went into the antique store I took a chance and dropped into a salon to get a haircut. It's always iffy to trust yourself to a new stylist without a recommendation but hey, hair grows. A bad haircut isn't forever and I was at the point where I didn't want to wait for an appointment. Cut it off NOW! Fortunately, this girl was really good. This might be the best haircut I've ever had. AND she gave me a head massage.

Time for lunch.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Writing just to be writing.

I won the E-bay auction. I figured I would. The gold velvet will be here soon.

We went to Ooka, that new Japanese restaurant at the Plaza. It's a sushi bar/hibachi style restaurant. Jim likes the hibachi thing so we had that. Our tablemates were kind of rude. They held up the ordering because they were waiting for a friend to show up. Also, there was too much cell phone chatter going on. Jeez, take a break.

We had dental appointments this morning. Now my teeth are a distraction. They feel different and my tongue can't leave them alone. They wanted to do xrays but I'm a pain in the ass gagger. I kept telling them it's better if I put the bitewings in myself but they wouldn't let me try.

When the hygenist called me in she said, "Well, we have Mr. and Mrs. Smith here today. You two are really hot right now." I said, "Oh yeah, we are so like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie." I hadn't thought about it until she said it. Ok, no more joint appointments until that movie goes away.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I want to get a job.

I've been in a funk. I don't like the way my life has been going and I haven't been able to figure out how to fix it. It was a quagmire of stuckness. I figured it out tonight. Getting a job would take care of some of my issues.

1. I've been feeling a little socially deprived. Ok, more than a little. If I had a retail job I would be talking to lots of different people every day. Retail has always been considered to be a crap job but I actually enjoy it.

2. We're running out of money. Nothing serious yet, but it's on the horizon. I'm not likely to get a job that will support us but it will extend the finances and take some of the pressure off.

3. Getting a job would be creatively stimulating. Especially if it were in a craft supply store. There's one in Hardman Center. Nice and close. Anyway, if I can work some place like Busy Bee or Michael's or even Aaron Bros. I'd be right in the middle of it every day. I love helping people figure out they're craft dilemmas. Once I spent half an hour at Michael's helping these three women pick out paper colors to back some posters they had. I gave them a whole freakin' lesson on color. They bought about $60 worth of paper. I enjoy stuff like that. Michael's really should hire me.

4. I feel I have a lot to offer a place like that. I've spent the last 30 years learning many different crafts. I also have a good design sense. I'm good at figuring out how to build things from scratch. I'm also good at teaching others what I know. I'm good with kids. I've done floral work, cake decorating, painting, ceramics, beading, silk painting, graphic design, silk screening, pottery, sculpting, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I've made props for shows. I made a fabulous red hat for a woman in Texas. I've put weddings together. Don't even get me started on Halloween.

5. It would get me off this hill. Dad is doing well right now and he doesn't need me so much. That's not going to last forever. The time is coming where I'll be more tied down. I need to do this now.

6. The people I work for might be willing to sell my paper. If it's right, I'll ask them.

Thinking this out greatly improved my mood. Suddenly the world is full of possibilities.

Gotta do some stuff first. We need to pin down when we want to go to Santa Rosa. I need a haircut. Some new clothes couldn't hurt. New shoes, too.

Yes, I'm better now.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Junk art

I mined the junk yard the other day. Brought back some promising pieces. I'm making a big, goofy face out of them. I don't know how to weld so I'm wiring the whole thing together. Should last a few years at least. So far it looks pretty good. Where should I hang it?

It's a little side trip away from the uke case. I couldn't find gold velvet anywhere in town but I found some on E-bay. That auction ends in 3 days. It's more than I need but I can use it to line the case that I'll make for myself later. Jim needs to do the wiring for the light before I can do the lining.

Today we're going to walk around Lake Evans at Fairmount Park. I may try to get in two laps.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Planning commission meeting

A bit of a waste of time, really. They moved us to June 23rd. But it was a still a useful trip because we pcked up an application for resetting the property lines. It's going to be about $4000 and take about 3 months. Not too bad.

Tomorrow we're meeting with Sherri and Bob again, this time with Drew and Scotty there. Scotty's also been in touch with another realty company. This is good. The more we talk to people, the more we learn.

We saw Bill O. at the meeting. That was an odd surprise. The City Council chamber is the last place I'd expect to run into someone I know. We left before they got to his neighborhood issue. I wonder how it went?

Band practice tomorrow. I'll walk to Ken's. It's been a good exercise week.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

T-shirt idea

Does anyone have a photo of the big, metal cowboys they used to have in the play areas at Fairmount Park? I want to use them in a t-shirt design.


Yesterday I went with Dad to his eye appointment. It was scheduled for 3:40 but they called him that morning and told him he could come in earlier. It was just going to be a 20 minute appointment. I grabbed a shower and took care of a few things here and left for the VA at 1:00. Guess what time they took us in? Yep.

Then after we got in there they had to dilate his eyes. More waiting. The whole exam took another hour. They scheduled his next appointment for next month. They're going to test him with lenses to see if glasses will help, which they already know WON'T but that's what they're going to do anyway. It's the VA. Then they'll schedule his surgery.

Dad has been feeling better lately, which is great. But he's also been a little hard to handle. He truly doesn't think he has any kind of a problem. He insisted on driving himself to the appointment without me but I insisted more strongly that I should take him. I need to be there to ask questions and hear what they have to say. Dad would forget everything. It's a good thing I went because his vision was still quite blurry when we left and I KNOW he would have tried to drive himself home.

So, I spent 4 hours at the VA with Dad yesterday. Sitting and waiting for most of it. With Dad. Politely listening to bs. For four hours.

Today Sherri and her boss, Bob, came by to look at the land. Bob told us a few things that Marcelle didn't (wow, big surprise). We'll schedule another meeting so more of us can talk to him. It would be good if we could do it with Dede and David there. After talking to Bob and Sherri today I'm more sure I wouldn't want to go with Marcelle on this. We'll see what the next realtor has to say.

Paige went up Mt. Rubidoux with me this evening. She walked pretty fast. Kicked my butt.

Tomorrow morning Dad has an appointment with the new Blue Cross primary care doc. It's getting harder and harder to explain to him why he should be seeing this person. Somebody else take a turn, ok?

We had another little fight about his diabetes test supplies. Nothing big, but he was pushing. Jim gave him everything so if he loses it all we can say THAT'S why we want to keep it here! He's pushier, a little meaner and more dismissive. I think this land sale has taken some pressure off so he's got more energy and a brighter outlook. Great for him but it also means he's more in denial about the Alzheimer's and he thinks he can be the old Stan and push people around. So far, I've been pretty patient but it gets hard sometimes.

He seems pretty normal most of the time but yesterday he asked me why we haven't seen Mindy's dad lately. How long has he been gone? Five years?

This is kind of a weird time right now. Not as bad as it was three weeks ago, but still weird.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


We're doing a mellow show tomorrow. Jim, Ken, John and me. Paul's not available and Amber has to work. I've invited Jeff to come play.

Mellow, mellow, mellow.

Approaching flake-out

It's looking more and more like I'm going to miss tonight's contra dance class. I'm getting into what I'm doing here. Exercise tomorrow, for sure.

I'm making great strides with the uke case. Today Jim and I went to an electronics store to get supplies for installing the light that Jeff requested. Construction of the top and the box is complete. I have to wait until Jim is done wiring up the light. I also need ot find the right fabric for the interior liner. I'm looking for some gold crushed velvet. If I can't get gold I'm thinking of using purple. I'm going to put the hinges on next. It will make working on it unwieldy but I can't think of another way to cover them.

I'm also working on the aquarium diorama. I have the box made. Now I'm working on the volcano. First I cut out the basic shape out of foam core. Then I cut some jaggedy pieces and glued them together to give dimension to the volcano. Then I covered the whole thing in Rigidwrap. It looks pretty good so far. I ran out of Rigidwrap.

Gotta go to Michael's.


I just had the hiccups for, like, half an hour. My stomach hurts.

Right now I'm dealing with the effects of having had too much wine at Band Practice tonight.. This is why 'band practice' was capitalized and there are two periods at the end of the previous sentence. And my stomach hurts. Hiccups, you know.

Right now Paige is on the other computer playing a game with lots of (too many) cutsie sound effects.

Ok, that's it. I can't take any more.


Thursday, June 02, 2005


I'm taking the day off today. No Rubidoux. I walked a lot today anyway. I went to Michael's, Lowe's, the mall, Lowe's again. Tomorrow I'm going to walk to Ken's and Saturday I'm going to the contra dance group. I don't know what I'll do Sunday. Maybe Rubidoux.

Tomorrow we're meeting with the realtor. We've done a little poking around just to educate ourselves and now my suspicions are aroused. I'm going to tell Dad and the sibs that no matter how this meeting turns out, we should tell her that we're not making any decisions until we discuss everything with the family. I'm not comfortable with this.

I got some more stuff for the ukulele case. I needed more foam core and some x-acto blades. I also got hinges. I've been trying to figure out how the lid should latch. There was a cool looking latch at Michael's but it poked out in a couple places and it seemed like a snag hazzard. I got some interesting looking key rings that might be adaptable as a closure. But that wasn't quite right either. Then I hit on the idea of using a black elastic cord and a button. I like the simplicity of it. I'm going to get some black and tan Fimo and make some cool button covers that will match the fabric of the case. That will look way cool. I wish I had thought of it when I was at Michael's. Coulda bought the Fimo.

Daily Show!


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Feeling much better

Ok, I'm glad that episode is over. I'm back to getting daily exercise and I'm doing better with the diet. Today I feel thinner. Last night I didn't eat dinner (had a late lunch). Didn't eat much for dinner tonight. I'm trying to keep the calorie count on the low side.

Had a good walk with Jim and Jeff this evening. Afterward I showed Jeff the fabric for his ukulele case. The three of us stood by our car and brainstormed on additional features for the case. I think the only thing we didn't think of to add to it was a hot tub.

Dad came by this afternoon and sat on the porch with me for a while. It was a pleasant chat.

It looks like there's a pretty good chance that Dad's financial problems will be solved soon. A realtor Scotty talked to might have a buyer for the side field. It was one of those cold calls that we've been telling Dad to steer clear of, but this one could pan out.

Woosh! There's another one. Not to gross out the male readers here but... Lately I've been having little episodes during the day where I feel a little warm. They're not like the dreaded hot flashes I've heard tell of, I will just suddenly feel uncomfortably warm for about 30 seconds. If these are hot flashes (and they probably are) they're tolerable. I hope they don't evolve into the raging infernos I keep hearing about. That would suck.