Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Count Our Blessings

To you and your family...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Birthday...And It's Not Mine

Today is my sister Lynn's birthday. I will be a gracious sibling and not reveal her age but I will admit that she is my baby sister. So on this very special occasion, let me wish her a very "Happy Birthday" with many more to come!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blood and Fog

This has been a very long day. It started very early this morning...yes, 5:00AM is definitely early...when Rick and I got up to get ready to play golf. Let me tell you, there's nothing that wakes up a brain more than to see a splotch of blood on your pillow.

At first I thought it might be a bloody nose (I can't even remember the last time I had one of those) since the humidity has been almost non-existent in our neck of the woods. Wrong! I stared in the mirror to see a streak of blood starting from a little red speck below my eye and across my cheek. I've had this little red dot for months and months and I meant to ask the doctor about it when I had my physical early this summer but we got so caught up in my high blood pressure readings that I totally forgot. Now this red dot has suddenly decided to bleed and I know that's never a good thing.

After washing my face and getting ready, off we drove to the beach for our round of golf. The sun was shining and the temperature was mild as we teed off on hole #1. Somewhere on our way to hole #2, the fog rolled in, the sun disappeared and the temperatures dropped at least 15 degrees. Yep...definitely my kind of weather but definitely not Rick's. Not being able to see the group ahead of us or the flag on the green certainly made for some adventurous golf. I loved it...Rick whined. The sun finally made a return engagement around hole #14 and then it got warm...Rick loved it, I whined. We're not exactly the most compatible couple when it comes to weather.

Anyway, we stopped for lunch after golf and then we came home, unloaded the car and relaxed. You'll be happy to know that I actually called our HMO and made an appointment with my doctor to have her look at that little red dot on my cheek. With the Thanksgiving holiday next week and my suddenly busy schedule, I don't get to see her for 2 weeks but the dot has been with me for months and months and I'm thinking, at this point, what's another few weeks?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Update

With a bad case of cabin fever, I decided to venture out today to do a little shopping. To avoid the really awful air quality, I headed west over the hills to a brighter and less affected community. On my way back I could see the smoke from the northern fire which is now approximately 40% contained. I took out my camera phone (yes, I know I shouldn't be shooting photos while driving) and took these photos to demonstrate the current state of things.

The weather forecast indicates an end to the "red flag" warnings sometime tonight or tomorrow and that will hopefully make fighting the various SoCal fires easier for the firefighters. Here's hoping...

Southern California Danger Time

I hate this time of the year here in Southern California. Our weather just screams "fire season"...high winds and temperatures accompanied by low humidity. Here it is mid-November and the trees are moving sideways and the temperatures are into the 90's.

First it was the devastating fire Thursday night in Montecito with the loss of 100+ homes. Then Friday evening, I opened the bedroom window as we were getting ready for bed and had to close it a few minutes later due to the smell of smoke. Oh, oh...we knew something wasn't right but everything seemed OK when I stepped outside so to bed we went. Then, sometime in the middle of the night, my computer battery backup alarm kept going off in the den. Finally at 4:30AM, I got up, went into the den and turned on the TV. Sure enough, there were scenes of a terrible fire in the hills north of us and in the area near where last month's fire burned.

Thankfully we live in the "flatlands" so our home was never in danger. Still the smoke was nasty and we tried to stay in the house with the windows shut all day long. The TV was on and we were greeted later in the day with images from another fire which began in an adjacent county to the southwest and which has now spread to a second county to the south.

Hundreds of mobile homes and houses have been destroyed and my heart goes out to the families who will come back to their neighborhoods to see the utter devastation. In one mobile home park alone, more than 500 homes were destroyed and many of the residents are senior citizens who will have to face the loss of their prized possessions, the daunting task of dealing with insurance companies and the difficult decision of what to do next...move or rebuild. All the victims and the heroic firefighters who are putting their lives on the line continue in our thoughts and prayers during this horrendous battle.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Roll of the Dice

Yeah...I'm a winner! Last night my friend Sherry and I went over to Judy's home for a fun-filled evening of bunco. Judy has belonged to her monthly bunco group for many years and each member chooses a month to play host. This year, a few members were unable to attend so Sherry and I filled in as substitutes.

If you've never played bunco, it's basically a dice-rolling game requiring absolutely no skill which probably explains why I had so many buncos (you have to read the rules to understand what that all means.) Claudia and I had a roll-off of the dice to determine which one of us would win one of the prizes since we both had the most buncos. And even though Claudia almost always goes home a winner, this time I actually came out ahead! Thanks Judy for a great evening.

Sadly, I came home last night to find out a devastating fire was raging in the town of Montecito...a beautiful area of expensive homes just south of Santa Barbara. We are having terrible winds at the moment and this wind-driven fire has burned 100 homes and 5400 acres so far. The winds have died down this morning and hopefully that will give the firefighters a chance to get a handle on the flames and embers before the winds pick up again later today. The victims and firefighters are in my prayers as they deal with the devastation and continuing threat.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just Catching Up

Here it is nearly a week after the election and I'm just now getting back to blogging. I watched the news today as our current President and First Lady graciously welcomed our President-Elect and the future First Lady to the White House. I can only imagine what emotions must have gone through the future President's mind as he entered the Oval Office for the very first time. Soon he will be spending a great deal of time sitting in that grand room making decisions that will hopefully pull our country out of this current quagmire. Will it happen overnight? Not a chance. But I'm hoping we can all find a way to join together to make it happen as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile Rick and I are doing our best to help stimulate the economy. Our friends, while on a Panama Canal cruise in late October, booked us on a 14-day Baltic cruise. Right now there are 5 of us scheduled to sail next June and I am already counting the days, hours, minutes, seconds. Can't you tell? Just look at the new countdown clock on my sidebar and you can count right along with me.

I went to my HMO ophthamologist last month and was still ambivalent about having cataract surgery on my right eye. Then I went to our optometrist's office last week and had a chat with him about the surgery. He was very encouraging about having the surgery and now I'm thinking it would be really nice to have good vision while on our cruise. With the holidays coming up, I think I will wait to make the final decision until after the first of the year.

Not much else is happening. Lynn and I are still dealing with Mom's blood pressure issues and I will be taking her to two doctor appointments scheduled for later this month plus a panel of labs which need to be done.

I'm sure there's more to report but I just can't think of things right now. I know I've been tagged with an award/meme by blogging friend Patti and I promise to get to it soon. Until then...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Starting the Week

Tsk, tsk...I've been a bad girl. This morning I received an email from my HMO doctor reminding me that I am a month overdue for my 14 hour fasting cholesterol blood test. Oops.

I'm ready for tomorrow though. I've finally completed filling out my sample ballot so I know which dots to blacken when I get into the polling booth in the morning. Anticipating long lines, Rick and I are taking water bottles, some reading material and we're even putting two portable 3-legged sports chairs in the trunk of our car just in case the wait turns out to be hours.

I hope everyone who is eligible to vote tomorrow has already or will cast their ballot for their chosen candidate. I don't care which candidate or side of a ballot issue you are on. Each and every eligible American citizen should is your right; it is your responsibility.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Plural Puzzle Poetry

I hope everyone is enjoying this last weekend before Election Day. I don't know about you but Tuesday can't come soon enough for me. My brain seems to have finally reached maximum overload with all the last minute campaigning and associated materials being sent our way and I just can't seem to think of anything interesting or creative to say so I thought I'd share this little poem a friend sent me the other day. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with politics but it did make me smile and, these days, I think a little humor is what we really need. Here goes...


We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!