Gifts for the Boys

I asked Isaac and Ari what they wanted for Hanukah.  I got a list from both.  When I was at their home with Julie and Carrie, we decided to go in together.  We sat on the internet, with the boys present, and went over the selections.  We planned on buying each more than one item on their list.  And, so, the purchases were made, the boys knowing what they were getting.  Then Ari spoke his usual line, “That is enough.”

Once again, conscious of how much we spend.


I have had many dogs in my life, thus I know the experience of aging and death. It is always awful. Today it is Gracie, one of my grandkittens. She and her brother Mango have been with Julie for years. Gracie was a finicky eater, and Julie patiently did whatever was needed on a given day to please her. Gracie would lay flat on her back to have her tummy rubbed and she was always rearranging things on the dresser or kitchen table. She also helped Julie do work on her computer. Needless to say, I could go on.
A devastating loss.


The idea of going on a vacation with my whole family has been on my mind for a while.  I have expressed this and cited the possibility of going to Russian River, one of their favorite getaways.  This week I was with them and I was handed a manila folder and told there was something to hang on my refrigerator.  It was a picture of a home in Russian River and the message that we will be going for my birthday.

Yep, I cried.

Temperature change?

It is December.  I have felt colder this winter.  I have the heat on in the house.  I am conscious of wanting my clients to be comfortable.  I started keeping it after clients left for the day.  I started keeping it on during the evening and then during the night, at a lower temperature.  Am I getting older?  I can accept that, but I don’t want to pay a fortune to stay warm.  Clients and friends started to complain about how cold it is outside.  I heard others talk about how they are running their heat more.

I liberated myself from the age concern.

Be Prepared

Thanksgiving is at my home.  I plan ahead.  OK, further ahead than many people do.  I accept that and have no plan to change.  Some items I can not buy ahead, but I have it written down when I will get them.  I went to get my haircut the other day and walked by the supermarket.  It occurred to me that the only buy ahead item I had not gotten were oranges. Perhaps I will buy them next week when I go shopping.

Nope. I have them now.


Every five weeks I get my hair cut.  I am unable to schedule appointments.  I see my hairdresser often at the gym and find out what day he will be working.  I knew he was going away.  I walked into the salon, knowing he was gone, and had another person do my hair.  Five weeks passed. I did not see him at the gym.  When I went to get a haircut, he was not in.  I was disappointed in my haircut this time.  He was still not at the gym.  I went in yesterday to discover he has been back from his vacation for weeks and I have just missed him.  He has not been at the gym because it is too cold in the morning.

Another California wimp.

Season Change

I know the season is changing in Alameda.  The leaves on most trees are turning yellow and beginning to thin.  Some trees are now a bit orange and red.  The temperature hasn’t dropped much, but it is cooler outside.  The sun does not feel as warm.  Many are still wearing shorts and t-shirts.  I am wearing sweaters and boots.

Yep, it’s California.


Went to visit my friend in Florida.  Stayed at her beautiful condo where her brother is currently living with her.  There were no movies to see.  We spent a total of 90 minutes shopping in three days and bought nothing.  We sat at the pool a bit.  We went out to eat.  We watched television.  We talked.

A contrast to life at home.  Relax for a solid week.

Deja Vu

Erik is going to visit Julie.  Many years ago Julie drove with Erik from Michigan to California when he was moving.  I wondered which mountain range one of them would toss the other one off of on their journey.  Today, they are going on a hike together.  If history repeats itself, I have no concern.

I treasure the relationship they have, flavored with lots of humor.

Taking a Risk

When having guests for breakfast or brunch, I will sometimes make French toast.  I have a recipe that has become a family favorite.  Recently, I decided to try making it before the guests arrived rather than cooking after they got to my house.  I prepared the French toast, bacon, and sausage, about 30 minutes before they arrived.  I put the food in a warm oven.  It turned out perfectly as if I had just prepared it.

It feels good to try something new and have it work.