November Saturday

This morning I went to acupuncture. It was a really great session. The needles don’t hurt at all, and she places them in strategic points to help move energy through my body. She’ll sometimes add some massage work for my head, neck, and shoulders, using aromatherapy and essential oils. She puts a covering over my eyes. Then she leaves for what seems like a long time. It’s great to lie there and just relax. I think I fall asleep sometimes. When she comes back in, she removes the pins and then do other things. Today, she did some heat energy work and some work with tuning forks, then she rubbed my legs and feet. It’s just awesome. And I smell really good afterward.

From there, I got some lunch from Rubio’s and went home to change. Then I drove up to Poway to hear my friend, Cathryn, play some songs at the library up there. It’s rare for me to leave my house on the weekend, but after the events of yesterday, i needed some healing through music. She has a song called “Good to be Alive” that I’ve always loved. She played it first, and I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two. After the show and hugging on her and her band, who are also my friends, Matt & Marcia, I headed home by way of the grocery store where I picked up some essentials and something for dinner.

I got home, and I watched “Parenthood” episodes and played on my phone, then I made dinner, and just had a nice relaxing evening. I’m certain there were other things I could have done, I won’t say “should,” but I did what I felt like doing and gave myself a break from my usual guilt.

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the Shawnee saga is over

I’m happy to say that the saga with our previous house is finally over. We heard from the landlord late on Wednesday by email. He included a spreadsheet that listed all of the damage costs and the amount we would get back. It wasn’t as much as I’d hoped. Han was good with it. We talked about possibly pushing back on a few items he’d listed. Our tenant advocate also had some suggestions, but in the end, we decided to take the money and run, so to speak, and just be done. Who knows what kind of can of worms we might have opened with him by pushing back a little? I think this way is probably best. I’m not the litigious sort. If he had missed the deadline or said we weren’t getting anything back, I might have had a different attitude. We received the check on Friday so now we’ll consider that chapter officially over. Yay!

Yesterday was a day of errands and chores. Goodwill, bank, acupuncture. Came home and had lunch with Han. Then, I cleaned the house. We had someone come twice a month at our last place, but right now, it’s not in our budget, so I tackled it. Both bathrooms, sweeping, swiffering (both dry and wet). Man, our living room area was filthy! I even cleaned under the burners on the stove! All the while I had the first season of Gilmore Girls going on the Apple TV (fun!). I also did laundry, broke down a ton of cardboard, and unpacked the last couple boxes. They had been put into a closet, and I hadn’t realized it. They were photo albums and scrapbooks.

After all that, I let myself have a night out and went to see Han play at Java Joe’s. He opened for our friends, Frank and Cindy, aka Dead Rock West. It was a great show. It was also good to see some old friends there.

Today, I’m officially getting into Spain mode. I’m going to shop for some stuff (clothes, shoes), check out Mom’s itinerary, check out the places we’re staying, get my documents in order, etc. I also have to do some grocery shopping (not Spain related).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

San Diego Adventure Day #5 – Old Mission Dam

Hello from the ether ~ I am either all or nothing round here, eh?

My adventure day actually took place on Friday. It’s been overcast the last week or so. My mom had picked two adventures out of the glass jar, one for May and one for June since I won’t see her or Dad until after the June adventure day. I decided to do the 2nd adventure she pulled for May because of the weather. And it was the Old Mission Dam.

I left around 10:30 and drove out to Mission Trails Regional Park, another place I didn’t even know existed. It’s so amazing! Lots of trails through Mission Valley and beyond. Very cool. I parked and started walking toward the dam. It started to rain a bit but not much so I trudged on.

The dam a historial landmark, and it’s right at the start of the trail. It was so beautiful. Read here for some history. Here are some pics.

Old MIssion Dam      Old MIssion Dam    Old MIssion Dam

You can walk right up on it, these stones that were placed there over 200 years ago. It boggles my mind! From there, I went hiking. Thankfully I had brought water. It was glorious to be out in nature, and it was so interesting to be so close to civilization yet feel so far away. That’s my kind of hiking. Here’s another pic:

MTRP hike

I was able to hike up to an overlook of the dam. Really cool:

Overlook of Old Mission Dam    Overlook of Old MIssion Dam

Finally, here are a couple more scenic pics:

clouds    MTRP hike

I was out there for a couple hours. Good news, I got all my active minutes and over 8,000 steps that day!

After the hike, I decided to take in a movie. I chose to see Pitch Perfect 2. I thought it was fine. Some nice surprises, David Cross hosting the ‘riff-off’ and the prominent scene featuring “We Belong,” written by a couple LA songwriters I know. May the royalties be grand! There was a theater employee who was kind of a dick, but I did my best to not let him ruin my afternoon.

After the movie, I went home. Han had already left for a gig. I decided to check on something at work that other people needed to do (scheduling the social posts for the long weekend). They hadn’t done it. The next half hour was spent trying to track down people who had left early for the holiday weekend to do their jobs. It was really annoying, and it put me in a bad mood the rest of the evening. 😦  I ended up going to bed around 9:30 pm.

Speaking of going to bed…I got a new sleep machine! And it is awesome. I got a new mask that just goes up my nostrils. Sounds weird, but it’s way better! There’s also a humidifier in the machine so my allergies are a lot better too. Love it!

On Saturday, I didn’t do much of anything. I had acupuncture which was awesome. Han had clients over. I think I made meatballs for dinner in a yummy/odd sauce of ketchup, honey, soy sauce, and garlic. Han went out to watch some friends play. I went to bed before he got home.

On Sunday, I went back out to Mission Trails Regional Park – a different area than before and hiked. There was a big hill that had me sucking wind, but I did it. Not as many steps, but the active minutes got checked off. The rest of the day, I just hung out. Han had to go listening. He brought back some Mexican food and we watched The West Wing.

Today, I’ve been working, catching up from being out on Friday. Some friends were over to work on a project this morning. Now Han is out at another friends’ place. I cooked up some pasta with turkey to take for lunches this week, and I cut up a yummy ripe cantaloupe. I have a plan for dinner, but I have to say I’m not feeling quite up to it anymore. I’ll wait to hear from Han.

Here’s to more active minutes!

a full day

Before I tell you about yesterday’s SD adventure, I’ll tell you about today. I did a lot!

It started with volunteering at the San Diego Food Bank. At work, we have volunteer days for the whole company. We have them twice a year. This first one of the year was the food bank. I spent a good hour and a half bagging up tangerines. I met some nice people, and it was a great way to start the day.

After that, I went home and took a quick shower and was off to acupuncture. So heavenly. And it was awesome to tell her that I actually feel really good! All was well. Then it was time for a quick sandwich and then I headed down to Normal Heights to take in some of the Adams Avenue Unplugged Festival. I saw a bunch of my friends, The Lovebirds, Flan, Dead Rock West, then Han played a solo set. It was all good. The weather was chilly and it rained a little, but let’s be serious, I was wearing my Birkenstocks and just a jacket. It was cold for here, but nothing outrageous. In fact, it was awesome that it was so cloudy and moody all day. After Han’s set, I stopped at the grocery store and came home. I made a quick potsticker ‘salad.’ Han went to yet another gig. He’s been playing all day and will do so again tomorrow. It’s been a good day.

So yesterday. I left the house around 11 am, after cleaning up the kitchen and taking care of some other chores. My first stop was Postal Connections. I needed to get some ink refilled, have a passport picture taken, and get some stamps. I love that place! Then a quick roll through Starbucks for a little breakfast and a water and I was on my way.

The weather was like today, overcast, rainy and moody. It was great. The drive out to Julian takes a little over an hour. But it actually took longer because it was SO FOGGY! The roads are windy enough, but when you can’t see more than 10 feet in any direction, things become a little slower. And it was so disorienting because I had no idea where I was half the time. Highlights included seeing two deer right by the road. I’m lucky they didn’t run out in front of me. Once I got into town, I wasn’t sure what to do. I’d brought appropriate clothes but it really wasn’t hiking weather much less walking around weather. I decided I was hungry. It was 1 pm. I drove to a place I’d seen online, Jeremy’s On the Hill. Super good. I had a cup of lobster bisque and the fish and chips. Very tasty. After lunch, I figured I’d walk around a little. I went into a bookstore and looked around a little. Then I went across the street to the Julian Pie Company and got a slice of Dutch apple with cinnamon ice cream and a hot chocolate. Yes, my no sweets streak came to another end. But man, it was good. I took a call from my dad who, unfortunately, was at the ER. He’s okay, but I needed to pass a message to my mom from him because he couldn’t reach her. I texted her but didn’t hear back. I finished my pie quickly, bought a whole pie to take home, took it to the car and headed to the cemetery. On the way, I called my mom and gave her the message. Then, with hot chocolate in hand, scarf on my head, I climbed up to the Pioneer Cemetery, one thing I had never done but always wanted to do in Julian. It was cold. Foggy and rainy. As I went up the stairs that were really just railroad ties, I saw what I think was a wild turkey walking through. I just looked up images of a wild turkey, and this thing didn’t look like that but I have no idea what other kind of bird it could be. Anyway, I walked around for a while, checking out the old headstones. I find cemeteries to be rather comforting for some reason. I never want to be buried, I want to be cremated, but I do like seeing the headstones. Makes me think about the people they were and their stories. After a while, I made my way back to the car and headed down the mountain. I guess by then it was about 3:30 pm. On the way back, I made a turn and took the Sunrise Highway up to Mt. Laguna, somewhere I’d never been. Of course, again, with the fog, it still feels like I haven’t been there because I couldn’t see any of it! And after I’d gotten to the summit and passed the visitor’s center, I was slipping into a bit of a food coma. I had to pull over. I pulled over into a closed lodge/saloon, the Blue Jay Lodge. I don’t know why it was closed. It kind of freaked me out more than the cemetery! Anyway, I pulled into the turnout in front of the lodge, and the next thing I knew I was waking up suddenly! I hadn’t been asleep long, but I was startled a bit. I decided to get out and walk around a bit. I just went up to the lodge and looked in the windows of the restaurant. Then I changed my socks to dry ones and took off my jacket and got ready to get back on the road. The rest of the drive was smooth sailing. It stayed foggy pretty much until I got back to the freeway. I was cruising the 8 west by 5 pm. From there, I stopped at the grocery store and went home. Han was already gone for his gig. I made that kale, sausage, white bean soup and then I watched some TV. I went to bed around 10 pm.

It was a good day, but I think I’d like a do-over of this adventure when the weather’s better.

today’s draft

Shroud

it is fitting that fog covered everything
I was hoping for a breakthrough
but like my memory
the scene was obscured

it doesn’t feel like coincidence
that I ended up here now
I was expecting to confront ghosts
but all I got was a cemetery in the mist

San Diego Adventure Day #3

After a very long 4-day work week, I took Friday off for my monthly San Diego Adventure Day. This time, the choice (again random – drawn out of a cup with all my choices) was Mt. Helix. I had heard about it for a while, but had never found my way there. That’s exactly what this is all about!

Mt. Helix is in between La Mesa and El Cajon. I made my way out there around noon. It was a beautiful day, warm. There was some construction on the road that I thought would deter me, but there was a detour through a part of the neighborhood. The homes on the way up were stunning. Finally, I ascended and went around a curve and there was a small parking lot, and I was there! In this age of development and progress, it was awesome to see this area, safe under a trust that it won’t be developed. The main part of Mt. Helix is the amphitheater that was constructed in 1925.

But before I looked at that much, I walked up a paved road to the top of the mountain. Around the perimeter of the mountain are views of San Diego that are truly spectacular. At the very top is a cross, dedicated to the memory of Mary Carpenter Yawkey:

Mary Carpenter Yawkey memorial
Mary Carpenter Yawkey memorial

This seems like the right time to mention that there were also a ton of butterflies everywhere. I thought if I held my hand out, one would land on me. At the top by the cross, you’re also at the top of the amphitheater:

Mt. Helix nature theatre
Mt. Helix nature theatre

There were a few other people up there. One woman walking her dog. A young lady on her lunch break. A couple on a romantic date. A couple guys hanging out at one of the picnic tables. Still, it was pretty quiet, and I was able to be by myself for the most part. I made my way down the steps of the theater. The park has hosted an Easter sunrise service there every year since 1925. It’s also available for weddings and private groups. I think they have done concerts, but not very frequently (though it would be amazing). Here’s a view from the stage:

view from the stage
view from the stage
another view from the bottom
another view from the bottom

Around the right side was the Yawkey Trail. It was not long or very difficult, but there were signs that showed landmarks in the distance (mountain peaks, towns) so you could figure out where you were. It was awesome. Here are some more pics:

looking west
looking west
looking southeast
looking southeast
looking south
looking south

That was pretty much it. There’s just the theater and the trail, and of course the views. I spent some time just sitting and looking, enjoying the sunshine. This last photo is right at the edge of the parking lot:

marker
marker

I’m so glad I went up there. It’s truly stunning.

The rest of the day was pretty lazy. I think I worked just a little bit. Han went out, and I went to bed. On Saturday, I went to acupuncture, and it was a miracle. Boy, I really like it. After that, I met my friend, Lindsay, at a cafe to do some writing. I ended up working for a couple hours. Then I went home and went with Han to the hospital to visit his cousin. I wasn’t able to go in the room, but his cousin isn’t doing very well. He has nearly killed himself from drinking. He has cirrhosis and is in need of a liver transplant. He’s probably in his early 30s. However, he has to be in rehab for 6 months before he can be put on the transplant list, and even then, it’s a long list. It’s terribly sad. He needs to get well enough to even get to rehab and it’s really a day by day thing. After Han saw him, we chatted for a bit with his aunt and one of his other cousins who lives in Chico. It was good to see her and her mom. It was draining for Han, as you can imagine. We came home, and I made dinner. It was good: mini cheesy meat loaves, mashed potatoes, and carrots & brown beech mushrooms with sage. Super good.

Today, I went grocery shopping, did some laundry (having a working dryer can not be underestimated!), watched TV, and I cooked a couple things that we can have around for lunches for the week: a mac & cheese w/ beef, zucchini, red bell pepper and green onions, and a garlic chicken rice thing. Han has been working all day. I thought I would work today, but every fiber of my body resisted it. I really need to get better at balancing. I’m officially out of my bracket at work with Gonzaga’s loss today; I had them winning it all. And how about Michigan State? Wow! They took out Louisville which was another of my picks. Oh well, still fun to watch!

Have a fun week!

catching up – a top 10 list

Sorry for the time away. So much has happened, and my time has seemed so limited. Here are the top 10 highlights in no particular order.

1. San Diego Adventure Day #2
On February 27, I went to the San Diego Botanic Garden. I had been there once before, but it was for a show and I didn’t get to explore. It was completely wonderful. I haven’t uploaded my photos from my phone yet, but the garden is divided by areas of the world and within each area is planted native plants from that area. It’s hard for me to tell trees and flowers apart, but it was cool to see everything labeled and smell the earth. Plus there were sculptures dotted throughout the gardens. I’d come upon them suddenly. Here are some:

flamenco dancer
flamenco dancer
flamenco dancer #2
flamenco dancer #2

Some were super cool and others not so much. My favorite parts were the succulents:

succulents
succulents

the herbs, the Mexico area:

Mexican themed topiary
Mexican themed topiary

photo 4 (4) photo 1 (8) photo 2 (8)

the bamboo forest:

bamboo forest
bamboo forest

and the native plants trail:

Native dwelling
Native dwelling

photo 1 (9)

There was one particularly heavenly scent in the subtropical fruit garden. If I remember correctly, it was a honey mandarin tree. Out of this world. It was a really lovely day. The weather was perfect, it wasn’t crowded, and it was one of those days where things worked out. For instance, when I researched the Garden, I saw that there was a discount available from Macy’s. Well, I happened to have a gift card from Macy’s that I’d gotten when I turned 40 (three years ago!). I am not a Macy’s shopper, but I figured, what better time to go since I’ll pick up the discount for my adventure day! When I got there that morning, it was quickly apparent why I’m not a Macy’s shopper. Who the heck pays $200 for a bag? I was astounded. My gift card was for $40. I made my way to housewares where I bought a lovely kitchen rug, a kitchen sponge holder, and a berry colander. When I got to the counter there were some discounts that I wasn’t aware of so it came to some amount less than $40. I was bummed because I didn’t want to have to come back. Then the cashier said, “Would you like the balance in cash?” “Yes,” I said happily! Most stores don’t do that anymore, they just leave the money on the card. So when I got to the Garden, with my discount in hand, the total to enter and park was the exact amount I’d gotten back from my purchase! Yep, it was one of those days.

2. Han’s surprise 45th birthday show
Somehow I managed to plan, organize, and pull off a surprise show for Han at Java Joe’s where a bunch of his friends each played one of his songs in such an order as to tell an abridged annotated story of his life. Gosh, it was awesome. And he was surprised, and very moved. I cried, and I think he did, too. There were folks I wish could have been there, but those who were were beyond wonderful, doing justice to his songs and in for good time all the way. Go here for photos of the evening. A few days later, Han, D & I went out for a nice dinner at Juniper & Ivy. The food, atmosphere, and company were incredible. And yes, I had the yodel again.

3. Mom & Dad’s 50th anniversary
My sister flew in and I drove up to spend a lovely long weekend with the original family. I got a magnificent cake from Extraordinary Desserts. We ate at Black Angus, El Cholo, and had a great barbecue at the house complete with garlic aioli and steaks (we joked that we had steak & beer every day). It sure was a nice time. I love them.

4. New employee!
I finally hired someone who started on March 16. So far it’s going well, and I look forward to a time when he is fully in the groove. I am still working a lot with really no end in sight. We are working on some big stuff.

5. Day trip to Phoenix
For work. We left at 6:30 am and twelve hours later I was back in San Diego. It was a good productive meeting, but I hope not to repeat it. One good thing was lunch at a place called Brio.

6. T’s 17th
My nephew turned 17 this month. He’s become a wonderful young man: smart, loving, respectful. I want nothing but the best for him.

7. Han’s travels
In the course of a week, Han traveled to Phoenix and then to Redding CA each for one gig. That’s a lot of miles! But he said they were both awesome shows (with Flan). Their schedule is pretty full for the rest of the year with festivals and other cool shows. Go got ’em!

8. New dryer
Han & I bought a new dryer because the one that the landlord had in here was kaput. We went ahead and purchased it ourselves. When it comes time to move, we’ll figure out what to tell him. We figured it was a no-win whether we told him or not. But yay for clothes drying with only one round of the dryer! It seriously took about 7 times to dry a small load of towels over the weekend.

9. 20/20
After 14 years, I figured it was time to see an eye doctor again. Not because I’m having any problems, but I just figured, it’s been 14 years, I should probably have them checked! I have 20/20 vision at normal distance. A slight prescription would enhance both near and far distance, but nothing too dramatic. He said I could probably go another two years without having to worry about reading glasses. Thank you, Lasik (and Mom for paying for it!)

10. More doctors
In the next month, I’ll get a mammogram, do the other required lady parts visit, go to the dentist, attend therapy, get acupuncture, and visit the sleep clinic to make sure my machine is calibrated correctly. I’ve never had it checked. It hasn’t been 14 years, but it’s been maybe 10?

That’s a pretty good list, right? I think that’s all for now. I have my next SD Adventure Day this Friday, and I wanted to write before that. Hope you and yours are well.

calling on my word

What have I been doing the past week? In a word: work. Han left for a mini-tour in NoCal with Flan on Wednesday night. On Tuesday night, we were going to have stuffed pork chops. I took the chops out of the freezer on Monday evening and put them in the fridge. On Tuesday night, even in the fridge they were still frozen. 😦 We brought something in and just hung out.

But then on Wednesday night? After he left? I worked. ‘Til midnight or so. And Thursday night? I also worked ’til about 12:30am. How could there possibly be that much stuff to do? It’s amazing when there’s no one to give it to how much you realize there is to do. Plus, I’m pretty anal when it comes to details so I’m checking and responding on every little thing.

Friday night, I fell asleep on the couch around 9 pm (shocking). So I puttered my way to bed. I fell asleep and then? 2 am – wide awake. ‘Til about 5:30 am. I watched a couple shows, looked at Facebook. Gah.

The thing though, all these nights, I’ve been kept company by the Australian Open. That’s right, tennis is back! It’s been so exciting! I’m especially happy that Venus is through to the quarters. Such an inspiration! Plus, Federer is out, and tonight Nadal got knocked out, too. Crazy!

Saturday morning I had acupuncture, which is truly a miracle. After that, I went to my favorite taco shop, El Zarape, for a shrimp burrito. I brought it home and ate. I watched several movies from various points in their stories. When one finished, I found another one that was in progress and watched it until the end, etc. And I worked. I’d take little breaks here and there, but mostly, I was working.

On Sunday, I never got out of my pajamas. And I worked, and pretty much repeated what I’d done on Saturday. While it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t the most sublime either. Plus my sleeping issues continue.

Today, I physically went to work (not in my pajamas :). Things are really picking up. I do my first interview tomorrow to fill the position on my team. We have an onboarding meeting with a new vendor. Oh yeah, plus all the stuff to do.

I made a point to not bring my laptop home tonight though I could have. I wanted an evening to just sit or whatever. I did have some time with the kitties. Only 2 today. A returning kitty who is kind of a shit and a new guy who was the sweetest thing. I swear, I think about stopping my volunteering up there because it doesn’t really seem like I help them that much, but then today, I was petting that sweet cat and everything else just melted away for a few moments. It’s worth it, even if it is just for that 15 minutes of meltiness.

Han’s tour ended last night, but he took this day to drive down the coast and just have a day to himself. I’m glad he did. He texted me to say he’d hung out in Big Sur, walking, playing guitar, and writing, and he was going to stay tonight in San Luis Obisop. Good for him.

After the kitties, I came home and watched some tennis. I went grocery shopping and had dinner. As I’ve moved through my evening, my word kept echoing in my head: ease. I must keep this word with me. I have to let it work its magic. I have to believe in it. To keep me centered, focused, and grounded.