June-here, hot and busy

After a call this morning from my niece about her visit this month, I looked at my calendar for June and found several things going on. I better take my vitamins.

First, the 100’s will hit Catalina AZ tomorrow! Damn, I’m not ready but at least they held off until now, so I only have to make it through one month and then monsoon season will show up to help my water bill. I can do that, yep I can. The spa is not heated so I can dunk myself, fully clothed, a couple of times a day to stay cool.

Second, my 88 year old mother will have a diagnostic procedure and followup appointments this month. It is part of a recent discovery made about her medical condition that will need monitoring. Yeah, that’s about all I can say on that one.

Third, my daughter and my grandson will make two trips out to Arizona from California this month. The first time will be mid month to do some logistics setting up the second visit. That one is her permanent move to Arizona for a new job in Phoenix!! Okay color this human ecstatically happy! Charlie will only be two hours from me-his Nannie. Melissa is having some strong emotions about this move since she has been in LA since 1997. She will leave lots of very close friends that make up the village who have been there for her while she fostered and adopted Charlie. They are family. But hopefully not too far away for visits.

Fourth, my great niece Kali will be coming down from Phoenix to stay with us for several days, and we will begin her Tucson indoctrination – haha. Phoenix and Tucson are so very different. Phoenix is the big metropolis with freeways, concrete and asphalt, tall glass towers, and very oppressive heat. As is typical of a city like Phoenix there is a lot of things to do. Tucson is also a big city, but because of a our surrounding mountains ranges our weather is not quite as hot. Don’t get me wrong it is hot here but rarely will Tucson have temps over 115. Phoenix does.

Anyone who visits needs to drive up to Mount Lemmon, and we plan to bring Kali up there for yummy cookies, homemade fudge, and a visit to the Living Rainbow gift shop. Also a ride on the ski lift to the top of the mountain (over 9000′) and a trip to Sabino Canyon to play in the creek and have a picnic. Tucson has avoided expanses of freeways; some of us regret that, others are glad for it. Our mountains may not be Colorado mountains but they get enough snow for skiing in the winter and a right out my front door.

So we plan to introduce Tucson to Kali in all of its laid back coolness.

So this month will be hot and busy. But that is life.

Cheers!

-N

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Spending the day in my woman cave

Got up, grabbed a coffee and my phone. Looked at the news (what is up with Hillary Clinton?), checked emails and blogs I’m following, looked at social media (love twitter), and got a shower, made breakfast of toast and honey, and then escaped to my room.

Here I am.

I’ve got a netflix movie on the TV, did a bunch of filing, paid some bills, pulled out my story notes and as soon as you lovely blog followers are updated I will start on my writing.

We were in California for four days last week so my work was on hold. It was okay though, since we were spending time with our daughter and our soon to be grandson. Hopefully three more months and the adoption will be done.

We had so much fun watching him experience new places and things. He is eighteen months old and is a busy, bruiser of a toddler. He is very cute, very smart, and a charmer. We went to the ocean twice in one day, had a morning adventure at TravelTown at Griffith Park, made my regular stops at Weilers for Eggs Benedict and Cavaretta’s for deli sandwiches and canoli’s, and enjoyed the days in the Valley.

Now it’s time to get back to work. I am bouncing between two stories, two genres-historical and contemporary-trying to find the flow for both of them. I suppose it seems strange to be working on such different genres simultaneously but it seems to keep me fresh.

So I’m handing off this blog to you lovely followers.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

A change is nice

I just got back from four days away from home.  Two of the days were spent driving to the San Fernando Valley to be with my daughter and back home. We had a birthday party to attend and then whatever we wanted to do the rest of the time.

Splendid.

The birthday party was Saturday afternoon,  so morning was breakfast at Weiler’s and the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had. I always have breakfast at least once at Weiler’s when I go to the Valley.

Then the party. It was one of those parties for a one year old but really ends up being a more for the adults. Still very fun and the little guy made a haul.

That night was take out from Stonefire Grill. Yummy food.  Drank a good wine with the food and watched movies.

Sunday was sleep12771726_10208566974638499_4241239779438382470_oing in and then take out from another of my must visit places, Cavarettas Deli. We got super fresh deli sandwiches, pasta salad and cannoli’s that were so good as usual. We ate our lunch and enjoyed the afternoon at Rosenthal Wine Tasting in Malibu.

It’s one of my wine clubs.

After the food and wine we walked across the street to the Pacific Ocean.

Come on I cannot be that close to the ocean and not go get my feet wet. In this case I got wet up to my waist. I found a great rock to sit on just at the surf line so I just sat there and every four or five waves would wash up on me. That was the pic I posted yesterday of me standing fully clothed in the water.

It was heavenly.

We stopped at a pizza place to pick up dinner for friends who just had twin boys a few days before. We got to hold these tiny (5lb) humans. I love newborn baby smell and the person who could come up with a cream that could make your skin that soft would be a cajillionaire.

Since the next day was work/travel day we ate dinner at Marmalade Cafe, another yummy must add to my list and then chilled at Melissa’s place for an early night.

Monday morning I left for Tucson. The drive wasn’t bad even though I was in LA traffic during morning rush and Phoenix traffic during afternoon rush-ok I’m an idiot.

Sirius was playing jazz so I was calm.

Millie was glad to see me and it was nice to sleep in my own bed. My daughter is a very cool person to hang out with and she restores my faith in humans. I missed having Chuck there, but he is slaving in North Dakota. It would be nice to spend more time there with my girl, yet I’m good with my days of a little change of place.

Cheers!

-N

What is it about California?

Ok. I’ve lived in a lot of places and visited even more. I’ve been a long time Arizona resident and other than the center of the universe “Phoenix” most of the state is rather rural in feel. Even Tucson tries to put out a small town vibe, rather unsuccessfully, considering a population of a million people in the greater Tucson area.

It usually takes a couple of days to get the feel for a place. A visit to neighborhood grocery store, home grown eatery or the post office and you will absorb a bit of the local color and style. Find a place with locals, make friends and you will be given the low-down on who they are, what they are about and where they go for fun. I enjoy delving into each place and trying to feel a part of it. It is what I love best about travel.

But California, I don’t quite get it. I have been to southern California often. I have been to San Francisco and through Sacramento as well as the Yosemite area and Lassen Peak region. California is different.

I have been trying to put my finger on the feel I get when I am here and it is elusive.

It feels fast and easy, but intense and relaxed. The people feel friendly but also reserved. Sometimes I can blend in but then I will observe one of those humans who look perfectly put together, beautiful or handsome with a well made face and body. They usually get into a Range Rover, BMW or Mercedes. It is the stereotypical California resident based on TMZ and the Kardashians.

People drive everywhere, and I mean everywhere. The freeways are not for going places fast. Don’t even try it. The freeways are primarily for moving a massive amount of vehicles in one direction toward a destination. No one expects to get anywhere very quickly. Locals use surface streets much more.

I am sometimes blown away at the parking. It literally looks as though someone said “there are no trees here so lets make a parking lot.” Another item that strikes me is the way two or three blocks of homes look straight out of Home and Garden and the next block looks abandoned or has a many years old commercial property with nail salons, liquor stores and a Starbucks.

Maybe it’s being near the beautiful coast or the proximity to the narcissism of Hollywood which plays with the feel of this place. Whatever it is it a tangible thing but not too well defined.

It is welcoming, but laughs at your unsophisticated ignorance.

-N