Monday, November 24, 2014

11.24: Map My Walk

Last month when we were Southern California, I went on a walk with my BFF. She used an app on her phone that tracked how many miles we walked and how fast we went. It's different from a pedometer because it only tracks your 'workout' steps. Whereas a pedometer will also calculate the steps you take from the couch to the kitchen, too. Which maybe sort of count, but not really.

I started using it about 5 weeks ago and I've walked almost 65 miles. Which for me is a lot. Because it doesn't include my regular walking around the house steps or walking to and from the car or around Trader Joes. I joked with Danielle that I used to walk maybe 12 miles a month. Maybe it was more, but nothing close to 65 miles. It also keeps track of your route, which I love. I have an attraction to maps. Is that weird? I donno, seems normal to me. But I like studying maps, north south east west. One way streets, how long it will take to walk or drive 3 miles. Raise your hand if you remember the old Thomas Guides from the days of yore.

Anyhoo, this was my walk today. It was a gorgeous sunny day for a walk. The air was crisp, maybe 63 degrees but sunny so it felt warm while walking.
For some reason, it lost connection at the red dot. I could probably add an additional .6 mile to that.

Here are a few snapshots I took along the way.
The tree at Pier 39.

101 California.

Really big ornaments at 101 California.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

11.23 Deck The Falls

The deck at our hideaway has been a year and a half project...but it has been worth the wait. It's still in progress, as you'll see if you choose to follow along...

You may recall that demolition of the old deck started July 2013...


By December it looked like this...


Then in January...
The new holes for the piers had been dug and were ready for the cement to be poured in.

Sometime in Feburary...
The contractor had built a temporary tarp over the structure so he could work through the weather.

In March...
The concrete had been poured and the new piers were in place.

So by April...
the floor structure was in.

We told our contractor that we needed some useable deck by July when we had our annual Camp Retz...
Hurray!!! Yes, we did have a useable deck just in time for the crew to enjoy smores after a long day at the lake.

The railings still weren't up, but the contractor put up temporary fencing to make sure no one fell off.

But finally in September...
The railings were up! OMG, we were so excited. It was everything we had dreamed of and worth the wait.

Then in October...
The lights on the posts had been installed.

But they hadn't been turned on to the electrical yet. But man, were they pretty!

"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille".

This weekend though...
Lights. Camera. Action!

They sparkle.

It's better than we imagined.

But that's not it!
We plan on doing a wrap around deck.

Looking back again to my post in July 2013...
See that small back deck near the garage? The deck will extend back to there, next to the chimney. That small deck goes into the kitchen. We'll have to reconfigure the steps up to the kitchen, but that's already been discussed with the contractor on how it'll work out.

Work on that started in September...
Holes have been cut out of the asphault so the concrete piers could be poured.

That kitchen door is our main entryway. No one really uses the 'front door', so it's been odd having to use it, but we're getting used to it. :)

Our contractor already built a temporary tarp over this part so he'll be able to work through much of the winter. Hopefully this side will be done by the end of spring or early summer.

In March of 2013, I listed the Phases of our remodel...here's how it stands now...

Phase 1: new chimney. finished 2008.
Phase 2: remodel front bedroom. remove closet. finished 2009.
Phase 3: add crawlspace entrance in front bedroom where closet used to be. put in tankless water heaters. finished 2009-2010.
Phase 4: add a new bathroom. finished 2010.
Phase 5: extend back bedroom. new drywall in hallway. finished summer 2012.
Phase 6: finish mudroom - now smaller since back bedroom extended into that space. Create storage closet. put in new ceiling lights. finished summer 2012.
Phase 7: move stairs to the 2nd floor from the mudroom to main part of the house. finished fall 2012.
Currently on:
Phase 8: new deck. starting summer 2013. Hopefully finished by summer 2015.
Phase 9: remodel old bathroom. start date hopefully end of summer/fall 2015.
Phase 10: paint. re-carpet. after old bathroom is remodeled.
Phase 11: remodel kitchen. At the very least, remove the wood paneling. Then slowly start changing the cabinets. Low priority though. It's not a pretty kitchen, but it's a very useable and workable space.


Friday, November 21, 2014

11.21 Lucky Ladybug


This lucky little ladybug
Has landed here to stay
To make my garden pretty
And keep the weeds away.

-author unknown

Thursday, November 20, 2014

11.20 Sneaky Friends

Monica sent me a surprise package today...
Last week we were chatting about these beautiful scarves. We talk constantly about coveting miscellaneous odds and ends so I never in a million years expected a package from her. I literally cried when I opened the box and saw 2 gorgeous scarves from her. Super generous and thoughtful! She picked great colors didn't she?? Even though I totally look awful. I was just so excited when I got them that I had to do a fast no-makeup selfie to send to her.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them but you know they are there.

In October, I tagged along with Jimmy on one of his work trips. This time we just went to S. California. We drove down but Jimmy needed the car, so I was stuck at the hotel for 3 days. But I really wasn't stuck. Because I got to see my 2 besties and their families, plus another friend and her son who I've known since elementary school, and of course the 3 nephews and their parents.

BFFs for 32 years. One of my most special moments of my life was being with her when her daughter was born.

I remember playing jacks and hopscotch in elementary school with Loretta. I hadn't seen her in 4 years, but we keep in touch via Facebook and Instagram. I knew that we'd be within a few miles of her, so I hoped she'd be free for a quick lunch or coffee. Our quick lunch ended up being a 2+ hour gab fest.

I spent several hours with my bestie Monica and her son. We talk every single day. She's the easiest person to talk to. How we can manage to talk about who know what for what can add up to an hour or more of conversation amazes me. We went to college together not far from where I was staying. One of our senior year projects was to analyze the real estate marketability of a retail shopping center, just 5 miles from my hotel. It was barren land back then, but development was happening quickly. It currently looks like this:
Neither one of us became real estate tycoons.

Jimmy's brother is a college football coach in San Bernardino and we managed to get there before half-time and watch his team win!