T-2 And Sill Counting; Pre-Packing Day!

There was an incident at the airport when a large collection of suitcases fell over in the luggage area. Experts suspect it was pile it error.

Today we pre-packed and label everything so that the professional packers can come in and package things for the move.  We asked for three people to pack as I do have a lot of “stuff”.  Fortunately last year, after losing my wife, I went through every closet and gave away boxes and boxes of items to the Salvation Army so it is not too bad.

We used today to organize my clothes.  The Los Alamitos closet has almost sixty-linear feet of rack in the master bedroom closet.  We have the same number in Orange but across three bedrooms.  It’s OK because for the most part I can store the suits, tuxedos, and winter-wear in a remote closet as it is not needed every day.

We work together very well and have fun doing it!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

T-3 And Counting

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place…like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place because you’ll never be this way ever again.”

Mary is off to work, and I am off to the Casa Valencia to do some work before I head to Los Alamitos to begin “tagging.”  No, I do NOT have spray paint, but I have labels of various colors that I shall place on the furniture and other objects so the packers/movers will know where to put stuff.

Thursday, the move is happening!

It is a little hard to believe it is happening, but it is for the best and will kick-start the rest of my life on this planet.  That is a good thing! I now appreciate what my Mom and dad went through when they moved from Comey Avenue to Wade Street after twenty-eight years!

Mary went to work, and I went to Casa Valencia and worked on the security cameras and other goodies until about noon, at which time I headed to Los Alamitos.  I began the tagging process going by Staples and getting pads of different colored papers.

Mary brought lunch at about 1:00 PM, and we had a glass of vino before going through the kitchen.  We will a trash can full of throw-away items and another large box of Salvation Army goodies.

At 4:00 PM, I jumped in the shower, and we headed to the Himalayan Grill for dinner and dancing. I ordered chicken vindaloo spicy!  I love it when it is served hot on the iron skillet!

My dinner was enough to do everybody in as I take spice level 10!

The band looked pretty good this evening, and there were ten of them!

The band was great tonight!

The light flashed, “ALL DANCE,” so we did!

We danced and danced!

We decided to take Precious home and not stop by the Los Alamitos house; why take two cars when one will do?

Posted in Working Around House | Leave a comment

T-4 And Counting

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Today we began apart with Mary going to retirement get together with two long-time friends and me heading to the new house.  I shall call the new home Casa Valencia. This morning’s mission was to connect up the electronics.  I brought in the security cameras and the Alexa’s and sprinkled them liberally throughout the house.

Long time friends!

I had the big Alexa playing 1950’s music, and I was beboppo=ing around the place when I heard voices, no, not in my head.  Seconds later, Mary and he friends burst upon the scene, and I was pleasantly surprised.  We showed them around the new place and had a good visit.

We thought for sure we had stopped the rain since we covered the cabinets, but alas, at noon, the rains came, and the tarps worked well.

Frustration set in when I attempted to put in the new thermostat at Casa Valencia.  The WiFi-enabled Honeywell required five wires, and the current thermostat had only four, so tomorrow, I will be off to home depot to get six feet of five conductor wire.  I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at YouTube on how to wire the thermostat and got a step-by-step tutorial, the Internet is great.

Now that I understand, it goes in tomorrow morning!

We worked around the place for another hour before going to Mary’s to clean up and go to a birthday party in Banning for Annie’s 95th!   Since I was driving the van, we took the “hot rod,” which I am starting to drive Precious without fear!

The party was great, the eight of us had a fun time, and Annie was doing quite well…the Bell of the Ball!  Mary gets her plants as Annie likes them.  Today’s plant was a Dracaena trifasciata, a flowering plant species in the family Asparagaceae, native to tropical West Africa from Nigeria east to the Congo. It is most commonly known as the snake plant, Saint George’s sword, mother-in-law’s tongue, and viper’s bowstring hemp, among other names.

The plant exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide using the crassulacean acid metabolism process, which allows them to withstand drought. The microscopic pores on the plant’s leaves called the stomata and used to exchange gases, are only opened at night to prevent water from escaping via evaporation in the hot sun. The NASA Clean Air Study found D. trifasciata can filter indoor air, removing 4 of the 5 main toxins involved in the effects of sick building syndrome.

Annie gets a Dracaena trifasciata (Snake Plan)t from Mary; the plant is known to clean the air.

Mary and Jonh have been friends for 50 years, and he is a great guy who assisted us in making a home buying decision early.

Mary and John (Annie’s son)

Virgil is a young 93 making Annie a Cougar!  Not really, just funny.  They are a cute couple.

Virgil and Annie

Taken about 1920, Annie was cute then!

Annie with her parents about 90+ years ago!

We departed the party around 8:00 PM and headed home to Mary’s, where we crashed.  This week will be a big one for me, and I am pulling up steaks and leaving my home of 35 years.  By the end of the week, I will be totally gone from home and turn back the keys.

Posted in Food and Wine, Friends, Working Around House | Leave a comment

Off And Runnning!

We are busier than squirrels in a nut factory.

Up and hitting the road at 60 miles per hour.  We thought we would stop at the coffee house, but alas, the line was a mile long, so we headed to Old Ranch and had breakfast.  Then to the Los Alamitos house, where I collected most of the security cameras and other electronics.

The movers will be there Wednesday morning and begin packing everything!  It’s happening.  It’s hard to do after being there for almost half my life, but it is the right thing to do, and I am sure Sue would be happy for us.

I am hiring the pros!

I wanted my Honeywell thermostat so I will be able to adjust/control the HVAC system from anywhere in the world!

The WiFi Honeywell comes with me to the new house!

We headed back to Orange, where we put a large tarp over the wooden cabinets we had to move to the driveway so the floor could be done.  We got a 20×30 tarp, and it was huge.  With the slight breeze, it was a challenge to get it over everything.

Precious is anxious to see her new garage!

From the new house, we went to Mary’s to clean up and go dancing.  We went to PF Changs for dinner and sat at the bar until a booth opened up. We talked for an hour and enjoyed our meals.

Donna and Bob are special people, and we enjoy their company.

We enjoy each other’s company!

At the end of dinner, we all took our doggy-bags home and headed around the corner to the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, where we tripped the light fantastic for three hours.

We had plenty remaining, so this might be dinner tomorrow!

Why do I get all the luck???

At 9:15 PM, we headed home before Precious got her paint wet by the expected rain. By the time we got home, we were done!  We flew by our new home, and everything was OK.  By tomorrow, I will be able to see everything with the ten security cameras I will have online.

“Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.”

Posted in Dancing, Food and Wine, Friends, Working Around House | Leave a comment

I Hurry Up And Waits!

All things come to him who waits – provided he knows what he is waiting for.

Mary is off to work, and I am in the new place, awaiting the arrival of the garage floor folks. They arrived right on time as I was moving the trash cans to the street. Neat, the trash days are the same so I do not have to relearn that piece of the move!

I thought about doing all the work around the house myself; then I remembered how I felt when I got up this morning!

The Epoxy1day guys arrived right on time and got to work. Thye ground up the floor, making it porous, and mentioned that the floor was in excellent condition, the best they had seen in a long time!

They ground the cement to make it quite porous so the epoxy coatings would grab onto the surface.

The first coat was a sealer and a bonding agent.  The second coat was a “glue,” and then they tossed their chips down.

Tossing the chips onto the wet and very sticky second coat was the best part of the process.  The young men thought it was New Year’s Eve all over again!

Tossing the epoxy chips!

After it has set for a while to vacuum up any loose chips and it was ready for the final epoxy clear resin coat. The final steps went well, and the floor looks fantastic.

They did say use a blower to clean things up, and the epoxy doesn’t like water a  lot.  I plan to drywall the remaining non-drywalled areas and minimized the typical garage clutter.  I will attempt to put my shop in the garage and move the typical garage clutter to a Tuff-Shed in the more than ample back yard!

The guys (Joe and Zack)  and I will remove the old garage lights and wire the garage, and then I am going to call these same guys to drywall the garage. We will put in BRIGHT, bright LEDs.  It’s going to be a fashion shop when I am done, suitable for “Better Homes and Gardens.”

Mary had a great idea (duh, what would you expect).  Instead of having Zack come over after work and miss time with his family, we are going to have him schedule the work through his company that was a) he gets paid, b) he works during the day and gets home on time, c) he is NOT away from the varmints, and d) his company makes money! Yes, I am going to keep Mary around!

The floor looks great!

Meanwhile, Scout, The Wonder Dog, and I frolicked in the yard with me watering some brown spots and Scout keeping various spots in the grass warm.  He loves his new yard and prances around the place like he owns it; well, I guess he does.

Scouts favorite game, “Dead Dog.”

The yard looks pretty good.  I attempted to love the trash can labeled “green waste,” It took all the strength I had!  The wet grass was amazing.  I plan to bring over one or more composters to take advantage of the large yard.

The new grass gets its first haircut.

Sydney ca,e over and a few minutes later Mary arrived.   When Mary arrived, I asked her, “Want to hear a joke about paper? Never mind, it’s tearable.”

Sydney went over the offers, and I believe the Good Lord is shining down on us.  We got a fantastic offer on the Santa Monica house, enough money to pay back the loan I took plus a bunch so we can do things in the Orange house – plus, we got a rental property that is “new” in Silver Lake, which brings in the same amount I was getting from the Santa Monica house! Wow!

Silver Lake is an Eastside neighborhood that fully embraces the hipster lifestyle. Funky blocks with street art are lined with artisanal coffee shops, vegan cafes, and creative Asian eateries, as well as indie music venues, trendy bars, and boutiques. The area also includes fine examples of modernist architecture and a namesake reservoir ringed by a popular walking trail with a dog park and a grassy meadow.

In summary, I sold a sixty-year-old house, got a bag of money plus another rental property bringing in the same amount of money, AND we did not have to throw out our excellent tenants. Plus, the escrow will close rapidly, and the timing is perfect.

The only good luck many great men ever had was being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck.

Sydney headed home before sunset, and Mary and I went to Rockwell’s and bought dinner for three; yes, we went to Jan’s to celebrate.  I told Sydney, “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.”

We got home about 10:30 PM. My eyes did not open until 7:00 AM the next day; I was too pooped to pop!

I must find this song and play it…. it may be my new theme song!

Posted in Friends, Working Around House | Leave a comment

The Good Guys Finally Are Winning

“Show me a gracious loser, and I’ll show you a failure.”

Mary had to work this afternoon, and I headed to the new house to meet with Spectrum, two plumbers, the gardener, make calls to the epoxy guys and coordinate with Joe and Zack.

The Spectrum guys dug up the yard but did a good job of repairing the damage.  They arrived right in time and began a three hours adventure.

Find anything, guys?

They had to core underneath the sidewalk, and they had a neat, handy dandy machine with a right angle handle on it, and it just drove right through the sidewalk in two places and made a clean hole to pull the cable through.

My new yard! Easy when you have the right tools!

Fun in the afternoon!  We had a friend of Mary’s come by to visit. He is a plumber operating in the local area, so he will replace my water heater with a tankless system and add a recirculating hot water system to have instant hot water in the kitchen.

The Old Guys Rule!

While all of this was going on, I was trying to disassemble the huge cabinets in the garage because they have to be in the driveway tomorrow morning when the epoxy people show up.

Mary is quite bright as she observed the cabinets should come apart, something I never noticed. I thought we would have to move the cabinets as one big cabinet.

I called the guys, namely Zachary and Joseph, to join me to help roll these suckers out onto the driveway overnight. They plan to come by around 4:30 PM, and Dr. Mary will go by the El Pollo Loco food emporium and bring a family-style feast for us to go down on.  I hope she remembers to bring a beer or two.

On the move.

The Spectrum install guy left about 3:00 PM, and we now have Internet again… I can finally check my mail, and Alexa is back online, so we have music in the house! I have nine Alexa devices at the old place, which I hope to bring over tomorrow!

A neighbor stopped in whose name is Jeff. It was an amazing visit we have a lot in common: he is also an engineer, his wife passed one month ahead of Sue, he was a ham radio operator, he has had heart bypass surgery, he loves his woodworking shop, etc.  Mary and I were invited to a wine tasting event at his place Saturday, but we had to decline due to our commitment to dancing.

A beautiful way to spend the day listening to the kids and the birds and watching the pool!


By the time 3:30 PM rolls around, I was getting tired, so scout, the wonder dog, and I sit out by the pool and listen to the kids in the playground. Scout likes to walk the periphery of the property thinking he’s keeping the elephants away and, based upon the fact there are no elephants, he must be doing a great job.

When the “boys” got here, they went right to work!  OMG, they made it look so easy I was ashamed of myself.

The guy size of the job and stated, “no problem, papa.”

I was going to try to help, but once the old man gets down, and takes a crane to get me back in the vertical position.  I was very proud of my son and my grandson; they work together very well… It reminded me of the way I used to work with Zack’s daddy, Mitch.

Once I get down, it takes two of them to get me back up.

Having the right tools is also a plus. Between Joe Zack and myself, we probably have every tool known to man, and if we don’t have it, one of us will get it.

Do we look alike or what? Which one is which? Hint Papa is the handsome one!

Once we got the cabinets on, fasten from the wall, and on fashion from each other, it wasn’t too bad to wield them out on the dollies. I asked Joe if I could use his dolly, and he said no. In fact, he said, “nobody gets to play with my dolly.”  Mary took the pictures, and she was listening to the banter back-and-forth, and I couldn’t help but see her giggle several times.

Zack and Joe lifted those cabinets like they weighed 5 pounds… I was going to try it, but I needed a block and tackle.

Next time I have a picture with these guys, I’m gonna wear my high heels; I had a presence of mind enough to get up on my tippy toes, so I didn’t look like a shrimp compared to them.

The question before the house is, which one is Larry, which one is Moe, and which one is Curly Joe?

Please meet my heroes Zack on the left, Joe in the center, and me on the end (I’m standing on my tippy toes so I can be as tall as Joe; otherwise, he’s a couple of inches taller than your man)

I met two other neighbors who all very friendly; we feel welcome to the hood.

Joe came over to Mary’s for a quick visit, and so he could visualize what we are talking about.  It was dark went Joe returned home, and I was again too pooped to pop, so I took a shower and crashed.

Posted in Family, Food and Wine, Working Around House | Leave a comment

The Battle Begins!

Feeling lost? Take a dream and convert it into small goals, then start taking steps to hit those goals. – Dave Ramsey

Off to the new house as Spectrum is supposed to be there at 8:00 AM.  Well, they arrived at 8:30 and spent almost two hours deciding that the cable conduit went to Never Never Land.

Poof, another day of delay, but they will return tomorrow with the supervisor and some coring equipment.  They will go under the sidewalk, under the driveway, and down the side of the house.  The bright side of this mess is I get all new cable and interconnections, yeah!

Mary came over about 9:00 AM as she had her Zoom meeting at 7:00 AM.  Scout, The Wonder Dog, joined us, and we patrolled the perimeter of the backyard.  Scout was winded after two laps.  The yard is huge.

The locksmith popped by, and we rekeyed everything, so all is well.  On our way to my dentist, we stopped at Rockwell’s for lunch and then to Home Depot, where we got decorative keys made for Robin, Domi, Lew, and others in our lives.  We also got a lockbox so the gardener and pool folks could open the box and get the key to the locks, a pool safety requirement.

The dentist appointment went well. My next date with Annie is on the 26th of May, Mary’s birthday!

While waiting for the dentist, I made arrangements with the movers to come and pack me up one day and move me the next day.  There is no way we can do it ourselves at our age, especially after being in that home for 35 years!  I asked three people and said I would have everything labeled and ready to go (meaning I have to get the electronics moved, but I will get a had from Zack on that be).

A lot of truth to this picture!

Scout asked.”What is a moving day?” We tried to tell him, but alas, something was lost in translation!


We departed the dentist and went to the old house, where I loaded the van with essentials needed to keep me afloat for the next few days.

It was approaching dinner time, so we went to Patty’s Place and shared sliders and a glass of wine, yes, including a chip-shot.  We did not return o the new place but went to Mary’s as I was “too pooped to pop” after all the day’s activities!

Mary said I sat on the couch and fell asleep immediately for over three hours.

Posted in Adventures, Dining Out, Working Around House | Leave a comment

Poof; No Cable TV/Internet

Depend on the rabbit’s foot, if you will, but remember, it didn’t work for the rabbit.

Mary had an appointment with her lawyer, and I had an appointment to load ten boxes of “stuff” and ake to the new house.  I decided to move my cable modem and zot, the Spectrum fellow, and I could not find where it went into the house.  The cable I did find was cut off inside the wall and went no place. What now?

I called Zack, and he was heading home anyway, so he would drop by and see if he can solve the riddle.  If not, Spectrum will have to dig up the front yard and install a conduit from the street to the side of the house.  Welcome to a new home! Zack stayed with us a good hour or so and looked at the house in detail, and we think he approves!

After unloading the boxes, I went to Mary’s, and she just returned from the lawyer with a whole chicken, and I whipped up some sauteed beet greens.

A recipe from an old Chinese lady who said sauté the tops in mayonnaise and soy sauce… delicious!

We headed to the new house, where we made notes of things we have to do and what order.  The first thing is to get some chairs!  We returned to Mary’s, watched some TV, and crashed.  This kind of thing takes a lot out of one emotionally!

Posted in Adventures, Working Around House | Leave a comment

A Big Day In My Life!

So what if I don’t know what “Armageddon” means? It’s not the end of the world.

The day started like typical Mondays, Mary headed for work, and I worked around my house.  As soon as I sit down, the phone started ringing. It was various people tell me about the status of our home.  By noon it looks like the escrow would go through, so I had to panic and make sure I turned on the electric gas water cable.  I did not get off the phone until roughly 4 PM, at which time I got a call from Sydney, our realtor, and she said escrow is closed checking to dinner but let’s meet at the house and exchange keys.

I called Mary, who is just leaving work, and said, let’s meet at your place, and we’ll go together to the new house. When we got there, Sydney was waiting, and we went and looked around, and everything looked beautiful, but now we have six months of work ahead of us to turn it into a home.

Sydney said she would take us out to dinner any place we wanted to go, so we decided Rockwells was just around the corner, and it turned out to be perfect. We had steak, and we killed off a bottle of Cakebread wine; life is good.

We have the keys!

Now it is time to move in with our stuff!

Time to start planning for the swim spa, workshop, and veggie garden!

After dinner, we went to Jan’s house, which is now within walking distance from our new place.  Sydney got to meet Jan, and we had a swell time.

Tomorrow morning, I will go to Lowe’s and get some needed supplies, and then I am going home to load the first of many boxes.

Posted in Adventures, Dining Out, Friends, Working Around House | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day 2021

Life doesn’t come with a manual. It comes with a mother.

We celebrated Mother’s Day with our family at Old Ranch Country Club and it was a grand affaire.

Mary delivers flowers

Robin, Diane, Mary, and Donna

Me and the girls

Mary and grandkids.

Zaitz and Irene

Mary and family.

Zack and Becca

Jan and Mary

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment