Friday, March 31, 2006

What a great week!

And a wonderful visit with Dean. I drove her to the airport last night. That left me in a bit of a weird emotional state. The week went by too fast. (Heh, heh! I just found a sunflower seed shell on the desk. Yes, Dean was here!)

Monday we had a goof off day. We searched the barnyard and came up with some items to mosaic. Dean wanted to learn how to do it. We always seem to find an art project to work on when we're together and this time it was mosaic. Dean did a galvanized bucket and I covered a cement cone. She used tiles and broken dishes, I used mirror pieces and flat marbles. Using broken mirror pieces is a little scary. It was the shiny cement cone of DEATH.

On Tuesday we rode the Metrolink to L.A. That was pretty cool. Not the most scenic ride but it's better than driving and parking. We went to Olvera St. and had breakfast. We had a good time but it would have been much better if it hadn't been raining. That put a damper on things. (Sorry) But we still had a good time. We shopped along Olvera St. and I bought some trinkets for the girls.

Wednesday Dean and I walked up Mt. Rubidoux. The view was beautiful but the mountains were obscured by clouds. Dean never got a good view of the mountains the whole time she was here. Danged weather.

Yesterday she finished her mosaic. Turned out pretty well for a first piece. She left it here for me. I just grouted my mirror thing a little while ago. It's taking a long time to set up. The air is a bit damp today.

Last night we had band practice. Dean always enjoys that. She even sang a song with the band. She also did some filming with her new camera. That camera got a workout this week.

It was a good visit. Too short, tho.

I wonder if that grout has set up yet?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Open mike

This Sunday is open mike at the folk music center. We're doing a Kyle song. I think it's a good way to get the live TV's Kyle show going. So far we've got Kyle, Jim, Lindsay and me. Haven't heard back from John yet. Ken might be joining us. That tiny stage is gonna be full!

I'm practicing ukulele like mad. Trying to get the mush out of my fingers. There's a chord change that's kinda hard. I probably won't have it down by Sunday but I'm going to keep practicing and get it right for future shows. It's only one chord that's a problem and it goes by so fast I can skip it.

Dean's coming in tomorrow morning. Saturday we're going to Paige's drum line show in Valencia. We'll be back by early evening and Kyle will be here so we can practice. I'm really looking forward to it. Every time I hear these songs I can imagine what they'll sound like live. It's exciting!

Ok, back to house cleaning....

Monday, March 20, 2006

Lunch with Rhoda

Rhoda Fickle sent Dad a card asking him to meet her for lunch. Today I drove him to Tustin and the three of us had lunch at Mimi's. Rhoda looks just great! She seems very much the same as she was when I was a kid. So funny and full of energy. After lunch we drove over to her old house. This is where we used to go every July 4th when I was growing up. I loved it. The house was beautiful and Larry and Rhoda were great hosts.

We'd always start the day by meeting at Irvine Park for a picnic breakfast. We'd spend a few hours there (Irvine Park is gorgeous) and then head over to the Fickle's. They had a great swimming pool, a garden and horses we could ride. The food was always really good. After dinner we'd go out the front yard for fireworks. Every family would buy a big box of them so we always had loads of pretty explosives. Their house was up on a hill above Anaheim so we could also see the fireworks shows from Disneyland and Anaheim Stadium. We always looked forward to 4th of July at the Fickle's.

Now the neighborhood is unrecognizable. Many of the old houses have been torn down and replaced with huge mansionoids. But the Fickle's house is still there. It was a big house to begin with (Larry and Rhoda built it) so there's not much reason to tear it down. There's a guest house where the garden used to be and a new addition is being built at one end. But it's the same house. I'm glad I got to see it again.

I'm also glad I got to spend some time with Rhoda. The last time I saw her was at our wedding. Larry was still alive then although at the time he wasn't doing too well. He was a sweet man.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Blogs are useful

Last night I read over my earliest entries, especially the ones after Dad was diagnosed with AD. Hoo-wee, we've been through a lot! And we're not even into the nitty gritty of Alzheimer's yet. These days Dad is actually doing better than he was a year ago. Medication, I guess. Still, there's nothing that can give me that sinking feeling in my chest like a hard day with Dad.

We're kind of in limbo here. We don't know for sure how long we'll be here on the farm. We don't have any idea at all where we'll live after we leave here. We'll stay in Riverside until after Paige graduates but if the land sale is complete before then we'll need to find a house to rent where we can have our 3 cats and 2 dogs. And then what? Where will we go?

This is the thing that makes me feel like I'm staring into a deep, black hole. Eventually we'll get it figured out and I doubt we'll end up pushing a cart, but for now it pretty much sucks to try to plan for the future.

But I do have some things to look forward to. It's looking pretty good for the band. I'm optimistic about our new drummer. It will be fun to start getting some gigs around town.

I'm really looking forward to getting into some real work on the Live TV's Kyle Show. Jim's been working on transcribing some songs and I've been studying the vocals. I'm going to try adding in some ukulele on some songs. The guys in the band are enthusiastic about the show. Lindsay says Kyle is excited about it. I'm glad because at first I felt like I was railroading him into it.

Dean's coming on Friday! Her visit will be theraputic for both of us. It's good for her and I to get a dose of each other at least once a year.

Open mike is next Sunday. Kyle, wanna do a song?

So, even though I have a cloud of uncertainty hanging over me I try to stay positive. Doing fun stuff helps, meditation class helps, exercise helps a LOT. This blog really, really, REALLY helps. Between this and the weight loss blog I get to talk to some wonderful people. Thanks, you guys!

Monday, March 13, 2006

I missed 3 days of exercise.

Feeling blobby. But I went up the Rube today so I'm good.

Had another nice weekend. Kyle was here. We're starting to work on putting together the live TV's Kyle show. Didn't get a whole lot done, just gathering some lyrics. I'm looking forward to really getting to work on some music.

I grilled some steak and chicken on Saturday. It was going to be a nice dinner with Paige and Rory but Jim had to run off and deal with another car crisis. Lindsay clipped a curb and got a flat. The Grand Am has fancy wheels that are a pain to deal with. Jim was gone a long time. And what made it an even bigger bummer was it was sooooo cold outside. So Paige, Rory and I had dinner and a real nice talk.

Kyle pitched Weird Eddie for us. I love watching these pitches. Kyle said he's pitched Weird Eddie eight times and no one was interested. I'm not sure why. i guess the cartoon execs know what they want and Eddie didn't cut it. Had me laughing, tho. Jim was going to video the pitch but he couldn't get the camera to work. He'll have the bugs worked out eventually.

Had a small blow up with Dad this morning. We were talking about Timio leaving and he said he's going to ask Bud Lyon if one of his guys wants to move in out back. When I tried to tell him he shouldn't do that he got nasty real fast. I ended up walking out on him. He can go from zero to abusive in a split second. Gotta talk to the sibs about this one. I don't think it's a good idea to have someone new living here. But hey, whatever.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The vibes

Dan and Carol gave Paige a set of vibes for Christmas. This is one happy girl. For a while we had a set of Ramona's vibes in the studio. They took up a lot of room and since the studio sometimes resembles Grand Central Station she didn't get to practice much. Now she has these vibes in her room. She puts in a lot practice time every day. I'm often amazed at the runs she's able to play, very fast and accurate.

Thanks, you guys. You are too good to us.

Remember them crawdads?

Some photos

Lindsay stuck on a rock.

Lindsay and Kyle on Mt. Rubidoux.

Donita and Kyle on Mt. Rubidoux. Kyle is showing you his apple slice.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Everything is falling apart! The valve on the washing machine is leaking. We have a big puddle on the laundry room floor. The slow drip of the bathroom faucet has turned into a stream. The auction cars' repairs keep mounting. Lindsay's laptop is in the shop. The bed in the studio has collapsed (ahem).

Fixing the bathroom faucet is a problem because you can't turn the valves all the way off. Same problem with the main house valve. There's always water running. We haven't ripped into the washing machine problem yet.

The frame for the studio bed is a cheapo trundle frame. Might have to trash that thing altogether. Ah yes, mattress on the floor. Just like the good ol' days. We'll get that taken care of before Dean comes to visit.

Dean's coming to visit!

That's a motivator. Let's get this crap handled.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I've been told I'm neglecting me bloggy.

So, I'll write about the weekend so far.

Yesterday we cleaned house and shopped and cooked a big dinner. Kyle is here for the weekend and Rory was here for dinner. Them's my boys. We all had a lovely time. Jim and I found a box of videos that included some early footage of the girls. We watched Lindsay's first birthday party, Paige's birth (not the actual birth, just the bits before and the bits after), Lindsay's ballet recital, Paige's first Christmas, Sally's run. I don't think the girls had ever seen these videos. I loved seeing my babies again and I think even the boys got a kick out of them.

We had ribs for dinner. I'm good at ribs. Paige made dessert. This was a dessert that could seriously injure you if you are anywhere near being a diabetic. We're talkin' brownie with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and Dove chocolate sauce. I skipped it.

Kyle brought Spiral. He getting to be a big boy. Gracie just can't leave him alone. She looooves kittens. He's getting used to her now but if he wants to get away from her he has to walk around on the tables and windowsills.

Later today I'm taking Lindsay and Kyle up Mt. Rubidoux. Paige and Jim might come, too. We'll see. We're going to put a little picnic together and have lunch at the top. This won't be an exercise walk. This will be a leisurely stroll.

Dad came home yesterday. Drew took him to a ball game. Right now he's at chruch. I know he'll be wanting to come over and tell us about his trip but I'd rather spend this time visiting with Kyle and hanging out with our little family. So, I'm glad Dad has activities right now.

We've got both of the "new" cars in decent shape. The Taurus still needs some work done on the brakes and shocks and it needs a new windshield. Lindsay has claimed the Grand Am (Jean-Claude Grand Am). She slapped some flower stickers on it. We're talkin' Rickie-tickie Stickies from the sixties. She installed her dashboard critters.

(Wow. I was out here alone. Now everybody is here except Kyle, who is in the shower. I have an abundance of company.)

That's about it for now.