Friday, December 30, 2005


I have been migrating my old computer information to my new one that I got for Christmas. I thought I would get everything, including all the files on my desktop. I still may, I have not had enough patience to deal with it for a lengthy time today.

I started using the firewire and hand picking applications that I wanted to transfer. After about fifteen of those, I found Migration. Click here and transfer all your info. Cool. Now, what do I do with the other stuff I transferred, did Migration know that I had already done it or not? I have opened each icon and checked in applications to see if it was there, then dragged the icons to the trash. I have not emptied the trash though. Too soon for that.

I transferred AOL and it seemed fine and working. Next time I logged in, I had to set up AOL again. Which of course means that I lost all my saved mail! I suppose that is not such a big deal since in got a new hard drive in the old computer this past summer and I lost it all then as well. Nothing like a good cleaning for the beginning of a brand new year eh?

I will figure it out. I am feeling better, but not very energetic today. Tomorrow, I, am taking down all the decorations and putting the house back in order. I say "I" but I really mean the girls and I are doing it tomorrow.

We are expecting some real rain tomorrow, so it will be a good day to clean up the inside of the house. Then all the boxes can go back into the storage unit and I can begin on the garage which has been terribly neglected since the last time it was cleaned. It depresses me to walk thru it, so it needs to be taken care of. No reason to wait til Spring.

I have made no New Year's resolutions and I plan to stick to that. I hate breaking them, therefore, I don't make them.

It is supposed to rain on Monday as well and that means rain on the Rose Parade for the first time in fifty years. It has only rained a handful of times on Rose Parade day in a hundred years. I say, rain rain rain! People see how beautiful and clear Pasadena is and they want to move here and many do. Much better to see some hard rain and realize that California is not the perfect weather capitol of America. It is to some. I love the rain. It clears the air and makes everything so clear. David had only lived in Santa Monica for six months and one day he was at the grocery store and noticed there were mountains! That is true California weather, at least in the summer!

Happy New Year to you all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Flu

This is not a poem.
This is simply how I feel.
My head aches.
It is difficult to hold up, even though it feels full of cotton.
I hurt all over. Even my eyes hurt.
I think I have the flu.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

I Wish YOU

Zbjernak (he's in my links) did a great post and played Santa. He sent me a helicopter that I am looking forward to seeing in the morning. He gave out lots of gifts and I liked his idea so much, I borrowed it from him. Although, I will not be giving out material things, I thought I would tell you all what I wish for you. If I omitted your name, it is unintentional, a lot of my links are on my computer and the display screen is not working....So, I am using my links off my blog and I know so many of you are not there. It only holds so many...I am putting names in bold, but not the links to your addresses. I already did this post today and lost it. And it is Christmas Eve! My kids have already opened one present each. Now, they wait for the stuffing of the stocking and then coming upstairs at the crack of dawn, probably earlier, to see what else they got! I love it! We used to wake my parents at 3am, until we got older, then my father woke us!!!

Heidi I wish you a year of less anxiety and less stress. Less worrying and more carefree days ahead. I also wish that our friendship is life long!

Cindy I wish you and Anthony a many more years of laughter, if that's possible. I wish you all the Michael Stanley concerts you can see. Plus, I treasure our friendship!

Bonn I wish you a wonderful new year in your new home with your family and your new addition! You and I nicknamed each other early on in our blog friendship and you are soooo witty and fun.

Jaded I wish you much happiness with your darling family and lots of fun with your new oven. Sans gas leaks! I have not heard much from you lately, I know you have been crazy busy, but I do love the friendship I think we established this past year. I hope Jadette has a wonderful Christmas morning!

Lighty I wish you a new home of your own where you can put out your own welcome mat and have some time to yourself. I have enjoyed you so much!

Annie and Jan I wish you both lots of time together and a much less stressful New Year. Annie, you post with your heart and Jan, you post occasionally, but with great heart! I appreciate both of you!

Sarah I wish you a lifetime of anxiety free days and lots of snuggle time with Jenn. You know that I adore you, even though I could easliy be your mother!!!

Anne I wish you to have your cozy shack stay cozy and a trip to Huahine in the near future! My six degrees of separation friend. This has been one of a kind with you.

Deb I wish you lots of cherished memories from your holidays with your family and friends. Selfishly, I wish you to continue to supply us with your important posts! It has been my pleasure to get to know you, a little tiny bit! LOL

Hollie I wish you and Hunter continued wonderful adventures, wild rides and lots of scrapbooking fun! Pong, you have rocked from the moment I met you!

Karen I wish you a virus free future and lots of time with your man and time to get your patio finished! You are so wonderful Karen, where are you????

Zbjernak I wish you a year of healthy, safe, adventures and lots of traveling! And I hope you continue to take your beautiful photos! You have become one comical friend that I just adore!

EngLee I wish you and your girlfriend a wonderful future! I have been away for a while but you know I care!

Dianna I wish you an easier time taking care of your kids and family. I wish you good health and less worrying as well. You work sooo hard! You amaze me with your stories and your life Dianna.

Carie I wish you a fab New Year with your off the chart smart daughter and lots of compassion from your family. I wish you to know that I am always here with an ear for you too.

LisaI wish a wonderful job for you this year that doesn't disappoint you. You deserve better. You have not posted in a long time. I wish you happy holidays!

Jackie I wish you a wonderful time with your beautiful kids and hope you take the time to enjoy this time, although often times hard. They just grow up soooo fast. You have such a wonderful heart!

Jan I wish you and Bob lots and lots of time together and that things just keep getting better and better! Your mind is on Bob and good for you!! LOL

Connie and Rob I wish you both a happy and healthy new year with lots of fun photos to keep us amused on your blog! Is there really a Rob? Just kidding!

Cracker I wish you and L'Ailee a wonderful New Year. I love reading your posts. You are a very intelligent woman with a lot of funny posts that I just love! Health, happiness and a happy New Year. You just plain rock girl!

SassyFemme I wish you and Fran to have a wonderful, exciting, adventurous New Year. I hope that your trip was great too. I hope to get to know you both better in the New Year.

Renee I wish you the most wonderful time with your little darlings and that you have a perfect New Year. Merry Christmas to you. You are the reason I try not to cuss in my posts! LOL

Blogzie I wish you lots of love, chaos and dinner in the New Year! And I promise not to be too intimadated to comment on your blog!!!!

Babs I wish you a terrific New Year with lots of funny posts to us! You were a bit late to get on the blog band wagon, but it has been so fun getting to know you through the buddy site!!!

Lois Lane I wish you much happiness and lots of sass in your posts. I, for some reason, just recently commented on your blog. Even though I saw your name everywhere for a year or so. My loss! You have it going on! You are funny, intelligent and have so many comments! I hope that you will keep up your very own brand of humor.

Alan I wish you much success with your New Year's resolutions. I am not a fan of New Year's resolutions, but if anybody can keep them, I believe it will be you! You have been a great new blog friend!

Okay, if I have forgotten anybody, I am sorry, This took longer than I thought. I went to other blogs to get names!
I have to be mommy now. I love all of you and wish you the best.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanakuuah to you all!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Off to Another Party

I mentioned tonight's event was an open house and Katharine looked at me funny. I told her it is still a party. I should be in the car on the way there now, but the traffic will be horrendous and I just had a look at Katharine's feet and sent her to the shower. She has been cleaning her room. We have wood floors and they do get very dusty. Especially when you cannot find them.

Anyhow, I have a couple of minutes of relaxation. We are going to cuzbro Ron's and cuzsis Pam's house. They live in Whittier which is about fifty miles from us. In LA county. My friend just dropped a gift off to me and asked if we were spending the night. I said, "No, it's only fifty miles." She raised her eyebrows...

Just to clarify, cuzbro is a name Ronnie made up for himself because we are as close as siblings, yet, we are just cousins. And Pam is his wife, yet like my only sister, except for my two sister's in law. Don't want anybody thinking we are from some back wood place where he is my brother and my cousin! I don't even want to think about how that could happen. We had double sets of cousins who married cousins in our family. Completely sends me to la la land when my older aunts try to explain it.....

Last night we went to my brother Clark's house. He is four years older than I am and just about to hit the century mark on the 13th. We have not seen them in so long that I still had their presents from last year. I actually took them in the box I was going to mail them in and never got to. We had such a blast. We did fondue. Kelly, my sister in law for twenty some odd years, had two fondue pots on the table with canola oil in them and sterno under them. We had chicken, filet, salmon and veggies to cook one piece at a time. It was a blast and we got a chance to have long chats and lots of laughs.

So, tonight we get to see why Ronnie and Pam won most innovative in their neighborhood for their Christmas decorations. I asked what they did and they told me I would have to see it. As if I wouldn't come to their annual party! Oh and they made tamales for us to take home too....YUMMY

We had a lot of scary fog last night. It was so hard to see while driving, but I only had to go about fifteen miles to my brother's house last night. On the way home, coming up the hill, it was slippery, as if we were driving on ice. I did a little sliding and got control and slowed down. I was not speeding either. It was just oily from the lack of rain for so long. It was quite wet. At the top of the hill, coming in our direction, was a Hummer sliding out of control. The driver got control and pulled off to the side. We proceeded up the hill about 20 mph. Tonight, there is no fog at all. In fact it is quite balmy out. Tomorrow it will be about eighty! UGH. I do appreciate the offers of sending snow my way though. Thanks!

Off topic of really no topic, I was wondering today if I am dyslexic. I read a phone number and put it in and get the wrong house. With the help of caller number review I can see that I mixed the numbers. Now, if I were a bad math student, way back when, I would have had a reason to be bad. I do hate math. However, I am really good with numbers, so it is strange. It could be a need for stronger glasses too. I am sick of wearing glasses to read anything these days. I am about to get a chain and let them hang on my neck. I am constantly saying, "Let me get my glasses." I know, it happens, deal with it. I am...

Okay, we are about to leave, so I will close now. Everybody have a grand Christmas Eve and first night of Hanukkah tomorrow...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Is This Rude To You?

The other day I needed to get a box of buttercream milk chocolate candy from See's. My neighbor's annual gift from us. She loves this stuff and can use the calories.

I had driven past See's twice and thought I needed to hit that store when it first opened to get in or find a place to park! Tuesday, the girls and I got there a little after 10:00 am. They didn't have the buttercreams already packaged, which meant we had to order them from the case. We got there behind three women.

The first woman ordered a couple of two pound boxes and she selected every single candy to go in them. She then decides that she needs another box for the day after Christmas and may as well get them at that time as well. Now there are eight people behind her. She picks each candy for another two pound box. Then she decides to get four separate pieces. The woman in line in front of us, walks out. The other woman, being helped by another woman in a white with black trimmed See's uniform, was not quite as bad. She ordered a two pound box and picked out each piece too. When the saleslady weighed the box, it was about two and a half pounds. She asked the saleslady to remove some, which of course, the woman chose herself. Then she was over by less than a buck over what two pounds cost, and she said, "Oh, that is fine." Saleslady asked her, do you want this wrapped?" Of course she did. This whole process took about a half hour between the two women and there were a dozen people behind us! Finally, it was our turn. I asked for a pound of buttercreams and was asked if I wanted it wrapped. I told the saleslady, "Just toss the paper in the bag please, and I will wrap it myself." I didn't have to hear it, but I knew that those in line behind me were applauding me! LOL

I think next year I will revert to ordering a box online. It came very fast last year!

When I am at the deli at the grocery store, I don't order a ton of items when there are people waiting. I think it is just rude. I go shopping and come back when it has cleared out. Many people are ordering a sandwich for lunch or one or two items, like I did. But to continue to hand pick each piece and ignore the line behind me, would make me feel bad.

In other news, we are in for another 80 degree Christmas this year. I know those of you who are freezing may think we are lucky. But, it feels more like Christmas when it is cooler out. Zoe asked if we could get a log for Christmas and Katharine pointed out that it will be 80! I told her we have a log and we can put it on if they get up early enough!

Also, we are having the biggest surf we have had in years. A swell all the way from Hawaii!

Surf's up

I cannot believe that Christmas will be here in three days. This year has gone by so fast!

Happy Holidays to you all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I've Been Watching Movies...

And some have been good and some have not. I have been taking advantage of HBO and Showtime, etc., since so many things are reruns right now. Last night I saw Bad Santa. It was made in 2003 and I have wanted to see it since then. Just never did. Billy Bob Thorton cracks me up! I laughed my head off watching this flick. Not for kids. Wacko Cohen brothers movie, but I thought it was funny, as I do most of their films. I do have a warped sense of humor. Not for those who cannot handle the "f" word!

I watched Cold Mountain. I thought it was a good movie. It was very long and sad, but good. Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweiger (sp) were very good. And that Jude Law dude...I have seen him in a couple of things, but this movie he stood out in. These are only my opinions.

We watched Mr and Mrs Smith. What a dog of a movie. Dumb and dumber. Silly and just bad! Brad and Angelina were the stars and the movie reminded me of a bad version of Spy Kids. Need I say more? Save your money, rent it if you must, but don't buy this one!

I loved Aviator with Leo DiCaprio. Well done and just a really good movie. The life of Howard Hughes. Lots of actors got work on this flick. I love movies that depict the thirties and forties. The sets were awesome and the acting was very good. I think DiCaprio was very believable as Howard Hughes. I would recommend this one.

I absolutely loved Spanglish. I have to say, that surprised me. Adam Sandler is not one of my favorite actors. However, in this movie, he was very good as a Chef who had a thing for the nanny, played by Paz Vega. Beautiful woman. Tea Leoni was good too. Man, can she do yoga. She is one strong lady. I would recommend this flick.

Anchorman, silly but fun. Will Ferrell, again, not one of my favorites. However, he was funny in this movie. I think the makers of this movie new it was silly and played into that. I have to admit, I fell asleep at the end and have not wanted to go back and watch it....I suppose I would not recommend this one. Although, Katharine loved it.

And I finally saw Sideways. I have wanted to see that movie since it came out. I have a friend who hated it and the arguing that went on. I loved seeing and hearing about California's wine country. The characters were in a real life town of Solvang, which we love. Over the hill from Solvang is where Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch is. We have stayed at a place called Alisal Ranch, a working ranch, with everything in the world to do as well. David and I fished on the beautiful lake the first time he took me there. I love to fish. The next time we went, Zoe and I fished by ourselves (David and Katharine went on a trail ride) and there was not one other person on or around the lake. We were out in a little boat watching the cattle come down to drink from the lake. It was spectacular.

I think one of the reasons I liked this movie was that I know the area where it was filmed. Right down to the restaurant where many scenes were shot. But, I enjoyed seeing Thomas Haden Church. I loved him in the TV series Wings set in Nantucket. He was good in this movie. I especially loved seeing Sandra Oh. I just love her. She was in Arliss and was his assistant, she was hilarious. She was in Under the Tuscan Sun, which I really enjoyed too. Sandra Oh now plays an intern on Grey's Anatomy, which is one of my favorite TV shows again this year. Virginia Madsen was really natural in her role. She is a beauty and had to do some mighty fine acting to be with the guy her character was interested in. His name is Paul Giamatti. I have seen him in other movies, thou what they were, escapes me right now. His character was depressed and not very likeable at all. Just imagining Virginia Madsen being with Antonio Sabato Jr in real life and then with this guy...Well, she did a fine acting job, is all I can say. I would recommend this movie.

I think that is about it. I think I may have seen a couple others, but nothing that stands out for me to write about. It has been fun to catch up on movies that have been out for a while. I am waiting for Million Dollar Baby to come. I think it will be this weekend on STARZ.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Yesterday, I was making a turkey sandwich and as I was spreading mayo, I had a flashback to making sandwiches when I was a kid. Using Miracle Whip. We never used real mayonnaise. It got me thinking about all the ways cooking and eating have changed since then. The way I learned to cook and had to unlearn when I grew up.

I was eighteen when I first tried broccoli and artichokes. I loved each. I suppose broccoli was within our means, but artichokes were foreign to my folks. They probably didn't have a clue how to eat them, so they never served them. I think my favorite vegetable is broccoli. Not covered in butter either, just steamed and yummy. I enjoy artichokes too. My kids like them too. Well, I am not certain about Zoe these days, but Katharine still likes them. And asparagus, I never had that until I was about eighteen and moved out either. I do enjoy steamed asparagus.

Our vegetables consisted of corn and green beans primarily. Carrots and potatoes. Potatoes cooked every way imaginable, but the best were fried, with onions in bacon grease. We saved bacon grease in a shortening can in the fridge. The mere thought of that now, makes me ill. We used shortening to cook, instead of oil. Maybe it was cheaper? I honestly don't know why we did that. We had one other vegetable to this day, is my favorite, but since I only like it fried, it only gets made once or twice a year. Okra. Okra with cornmeal and fried up crunchy. Delicious. Since it is so bad cooked that way, I am happy I love broccoli.

We used to cook bacon and eggs and cook the eggs right in the bacon grease. Sends shivers down my spine.....Thankfully Pam was invented and non stick pans! I think those two things were very important in helping people eat differently. Of course, If your family was not from Okalahoma or Iowa, maybe you would have eaten differently anyhow! Lox and bagels comes to mind... We had fish, but trust me, it was fried!

We used to have an occasional salad. Always with tomatoes and cucumber. I still love those two ingredients thrown into most salads even today. We only used thousand island salad dressing though. I like thousand island, but not on salads these days. Only for french fries! LOL I Love El Torito's Cilantro dressing and some others as well. I see a difference by introducing vegetables to my kids at an early age. Zoe is not fond of vegetables, but Katharine is and loves salads too. Zoe is better with fruit, like strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, bananas, pears and watermelon. Which is great.

When I was little, we ate a lot of bologna. My mother made this bologna spread that was made with Miracle Whip and relish, I think. She would put the grinder on the edge of the kitchen counter and grind the bologna up and make her concoctive. I loved that stuff.

I also loved Brunsweiger (sp), I would take it to school and get teased by the other kids that said I was eating dog food! Of course I stopped taking it for a while. I have it once a year or so now, out of nostalgia!

I think the last time I had Miracle Whip was about six years ago, when my mother was dying. My brother came over to be with me at her apartment. He brought ham sandwiches with Miracle Whip. I told him the sandwich tasted different and I couldn't figure out why. He told me it was MW and I laughed, because he still uses it! Same way he laughs at me for breaking up crackers into my chili!

Okay, back to the last post when I mentioned HTML. The girls gave me a paper with instructions to do it. So, I promised I would try it and here goes....bold should be here. This should be italic. This should be underlined Okay, it is not that hard! The font and color still elude me.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I got all excited because I saw all the characters on the top of the page on AOL for posting. I clicked bold and my post disappeared. POOF. Crap. Of course it doesn't work, I have a MAC!!! Or, I am just not understanding how to use the different fonts and colors. It says error, so I am pretty sure it is not me. I normally use Safari, cuz, well, AOL truly does suck. I should give it up, but it was my first! I should know by now that it will be very slow in the evening because everybody is on at the same time. And half the time I cannot get on websites, so I use Safari. It is almost like having dial up again!

I suppose I am too lazy to use the HTML to make the font bold, italic, or even to change the color on my posts. But, I am not very HTML savvy either. That is why they always look the same. The words may be different unless I am on one of my current rants, but the font, size and color is ALWAYS the same. See, I would have put always in italic. Not caps...I know if I click the italic letter at the top of this composition, I will lose the whole thing! I have learned to copy and send most posts to myself before I publish too. Not an AOL problem there, well, I suppose it could be, but sometimes posts go poof and I hate to redo the post. Especially if they are funny and I forget what I had typed or if I am no longer as witty as I was when I originally composed the post, before it went poof. Cuz, you know when your post goes poof, you are not really in a good or even funny mood any longer. Poof equals mood modifier. And not in a good way...

So, the title, Finally, see I cannot even underline the title. Finally, is in reference to shopping being done and vacation is one day away for the girls. Not too much scheduled for next week. Only night time stuff and those are parties and Christmas caroling, which is fun! Tonight, Zoe is singing in her Christmas concert at the high school. Oops, did I say Christmas concert? Oh noooooo. I suppose it really is a Holiday concert cuz they are singing many different songs. I am looking forward to hearing the chorus tonight though. Zoe loves to sing. And I love (would be in bold if I could do it) seeing her happy. She is happiest when she is singing.

Only a couple of gifts left to wrap. Christmas cards were mailed out a couple of weeks ago. Last year, I mailed them in time for New Year's Day, which of course is a holiday! Yes, they were really tardy. Last night I realized the stockings were not up. I can't believe I forgot them, nor that the girls didn't remind me! We will find them with other decorations I am sure. Up in the rafters or in the storage unit. I am not putting up any more decorations though, only the stockings.

Did you know that the Rose Parade is on Monday Jan 2nd this year? How weird is that? My friend who grew up in Pasadena said that they NEVER (should be bold) have the Rose Parade on a Sunday! I have lived here my whole life and I didn't know that. I guess my mind has been on other things. My friend said, "Monday should be a holiday too, because the Rose Parade is on that day and we ALWAYS (bold) watch it together with hot cocoa." Therefore, I am pretty sure her daughter will be getting an extra day off for the break. I mentioned recording it and watching it that night, but that would not be the same.

We had an earthquake yesterday. Until late last night, I thought Charlie/Steve and I were the only ones who knew about it. I turned on the news and nothing. I looked online and nothing again. I picked up Zoe from school and asked her and she said she didn't feel it either. An earthquake, under only our house, and it shook like crazy. Okay, there must be some explanation, the neighbors house went boom??? Nope, I looked. And before you think me evil, I would not have wanted him to go boom, just away.

Katharine who had been at the movies came home about nine last night and I mentioned wanting to see the news. She said, "Oh, did you hear the big boom and feel the earthquake today?" I said, "Finally, somebody else felt it." She said most of the school did and some thought it was a sonic boom. Still, nothing in the papers or TV about it. We have Camp Pendleton blowing things up all the time, but this was different, it felt like an earthquake...Maybe some day I will know what it was.

My computer is in the shop. I will hear tomorrow what is wrong with it. Hopefully, it is just the back light on the screen. We shall see, and then I can get it fixed and have it back, finally.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Increase in Sales Tax for LB

A whopping 24% of voters turned out to vote on an increased sales tax for the next six years here in town. It passed with 55% of the vote. 15% of voters were absentee. Still only about 5000 voters voted overall. Enough to make it official.

The increased sales tax will begin July 1st and will put us on the map as having the highest sales tax in OC. Same as LA county. 8.25 %.

The monies raised by the increase are supposed to be used to help pay for the rebuilding of the hill that fell down during the summer. Bluebird Canyon, where I believe eleven homeowners lost everything. The hill is going to be rebuilt, like another part of it was back in the late seventies. Which is still standing.

It was my opinion that this was a bad precedent. The city didn't pay for a home that came tumbling down a couple of years ago. The family heard noise and got out just in time. The city cleaned up the mess and sent the family a bill for $75,000. I believe the family and the city made a deal in the end, where the city did help pay those fees. Of course, it was kept quiet because they didn't want to set a bad precedent. Along comes the city to shore up the hill and I was told by a contractor who was working on the street, on another project, that the work they were doing would not be enough for the road not to erode any more. In fact he was told by the workers that they knew it was not good enough to shore up the road. But, that is what they were told to do.

I don't have much confidence in many aspects of our local government. Especially the building department and certainly not the design review board. It all depends on who you know to get work permits in town. I am waiting to see if the loser neighbor Scrooge gets the "powerful person" he knows from the city to help him take out historical trees, without permits or contacting the neighbors up here.

Anyhow, I will be interested in seeing how well the hill gets reconstructed. I hope the work is good and that those who lost homes will somehow be able to afford to rebuild their homes, once they have a hill again. I was not wishing that this tax did not pass out of ill feelings toward any of those poor people. I was just wondering what would happen if another hill falls down. Will it come out of the monies left over from the current project? Will there be leftover money? Will the city have to pay to clean it up? Will we raise taxes again? Will this six year sales tax go away in six years? So many questions that I have, with very few answers. I just hope no more houses or hills come down ever again.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Scrooge Is Our Neighbor!

Our new loser neighbor is Scrooge! I actually thought Scrooge was gone, I was wrong. Here is the story. There has been an old man at the end of the street down below for years who caused all sorts of problems for the neighbors. He called the police on kids in the street with skateboards or if their ball went into his yard and they retrieved it. He let the air out of the neighbor's tires. He finally set up a video camera to prove that the kids were crossing a line by going into his driveway. Well, the good news is that his wife had his ass hauled off with a court order. Then she put copies of a restraining order in all the mailboxes. In case he was seen around her house, call the police. Finally, the kids can play in the street without the mean old man getting in their faces.

Along comes our very own loser neighbor. You have heard me complain about all his remoldeling without permits. Jackhammering concrete for weeks on end. Tearing out walls, cabinets, floors, and all the landscape and concrete in and around the house, putting in new, and replacing basically everything in the itty bitty house. I am not complaining because he did all that. That is fine. He could have waited til 8am or even told us that we would not be able to talk on the phone that day because of the noise. And he could have gotten a fricken permit for all the work he did. Now he asked the lower neighbor to take out some of his trees. And to top and thin out others. The neighbor said he would do it and along comes loser neighbor, who from now on will be referred to as Scrooge. Scrooge went over there with a guy from the city. Powerful guy he told the neighbor. He could get rid of the historical trees, while others in town cannot. I heard the "powerful" guy ask, "Are there any neighbors that may give us problems?" I believe that would be the neighbor on the other side of him and yours truly. We live in an historical Eucalyptus grove and we like it that way. He comes in and notices last weekend he can see the ocean...Wow, take out the century plus trees so Scrooge can see the ocean! He is the most narcissistic person I have met in a very long time.

It appears his mother is staying with him. I could be wrong, she could be his older, much older wife. We have tried to get Charlie/Steve to not bark at Scrooge, but how can we blame him for barking at such a miserable man? I have one of those cans of air for electronics. I spray it or reach for it and Charlie/Steve cries, but does not bark. I have been doing this for a couple of weeks, every time I hear his door open or his chain leash approaching. Charlie/Steve can be in a dead sleep in the sun on the deck or on the couch in the house and he hears Scrooge's dog's leash. He comes hauling ass out to bark at Scrooge's dog. People walk by all day and Charlie/Steve sometimes barks, but usually when there is a dog attached to a person. He stops once they pass our house. I have the mismatched beach towels up so we cannot see Scrooge and he cannot see us. But, I cannot stop my dog from barking at Scrooge. I assume when I am not here he barks to his heart's delight! Who could blame him, he is a DOG!

Right now, I am shaking. I am so fried I cannot even express how angry and upset my stomach is. We have been putting up the rest of the decorations and the ornaments on the tree and I came out here to untangle something with my glasses. I heard Scrooge and the old lady and I got the can of air. Charlie/Steve barked first. I squeeze the trigger on the air and he stopped. Then I hear the old lady say, "Shut up, you bad dog!" I had steam coming out of my ears! I told the old lady, that I could not see behind and down from my mismatched beach towels, that he is not a bad dog. They both got into it with me. Grandma said, "He is too a bad dog." Then I told her that he was protecting his territory. Scrooge, hiding behind grandma's skirt tails says, "He is too bad, he makes too much noise." I told him, "Why don't you just move out?" "You are the one making all the noise with your jackhammers, saws and all your other unpermited construction!" I told them it was nice up here til he moved in. I cannot remember much else, my heart was pounding in my ears. Katharine came out, David at the kitchen table looked shocked. I asked him if he heard what they said. He said, "No." But, he told me that Katharine was surprised to see me lose my temper this way....I told her what happened and she said, "He is a dog!" Out of the mouths of babes.

I poured myself a scotch to calm myself down. I am still pissed, with a knot in my stomach. If Scrooge was the kind of person, who would listen, I would talk to him like a normal human and tell him we are trying to get Charlie/Steve not to bark at him and maybe he could get a quieter leash! But, that will never happen. The war has begun, unfortunately. Not talking was okay with me, but I am not sure I will be able to hold my tongue now! That train has left the station.

Honestly, as I am typing this, I hear dogs barking all over the place. Charlie/Steve is not barking right now. He is playing with his toy, quietly in the house. How the hell am I supposed to keep my dog quiet when he has a deck to protect and run the length of while doing so. I will not put up screens to block him from looking out. And, I have truly been working on keeping him from barking at Scrooge and his dog in earnest. He can hear me tell Charlie/Steve not to bark, to sit, stay and good boy. Scrooge can hear all these commands. Does he appreciate it? No, he doesn't realize that keeping a dog quiet is no small feat. Unless, one has a dog like his that seldom barks, but barks at me plenty when I am out here at midnight. Charlie/Steve can care less at that point. Scrooge's dog barks when Scrooge is not home. His dog was barking when he and the old lady went into the house tonight, not mine. Mine only barks when he hears somebody coming near our property. It is not big, trust me. Once past our house, he goes about finding something else to do.

I am so angry right now. I am angry that when Scrooge told David that we should have our dog trainer call him, a couple of weeks ago, I didn't speak up and tell him to shut up and deal with it! We have such a great neighborhood, well we did til the twenty something narcissistic Scrooge moved in!!!! Scrooge needs to live in an association with CC&R's. Not up here in hippieville. We don't act like the stuck up stickybeaks in other areas. Most of the people up here are new families, with dogs, or the older people who have lived here for thirty years. We have had a great ride for eight years here. It is sad to think it is coming to an end because of Scrooge.

I am sorry this is happening. I wish he would sell his place now that he has fixed it up. He took one of the smallest, and the cheapest houses in Laguna Beach and made it it nice. I don't think he would be able to recoup what he put into it, because it it is so tiny. Unfortunately, he seems to like it here and he works from home! This truly sucks. We live so close to one another that we can hear everything each other says. I am not being nosy when I hear conversations. In fact, I usually turn up the radio, not to hear the conversations. But, the fact is, we know each other's business. Fact of life when you live viturally on top of one another.

So, I am asking for advice here. Should I be doing something differently? I am trying to keep an animal from barking due to one lousy complaining neighbor. We have had Charlie/Steve for a year this month and never has anybody complained before Scrooge moved in. How do you make a dog not bark? Is is possible to make a rat/fox terrier not bark at passing dogs? Or will he just protect his territory? Because at this point, I really don't want to hamper him barking at Scrooge anymore. I just want to let him bark til Scrooge has passed our house and let it go...But, to keep the peace, I will continue to try and keep him quiet. Is this dog abuse???

Saturday, December 10, 2005


The other night my neighbor and I were going to put up the Christmas lights and she knocked over a glass of water, with a ladder and it got into my screen. It is dark, but the computer still works. I am going to back it up and take it to Apple. But, in the mean time, I am borrowing one of the other three in the house. Not mine though and don't have my bookmarks and there are times when all four of us are on them at the same time.

I have all my Christmas information on my computer and of course more valuable stuff that I need! I lost over 2000 songs when my hard drive was replaced. I backed up everything but my music, because I didn't know I was getting a new hard drive when it went to the "shop." I was trying to upgrade to the latest o/s and it wouldn't work. The techies couldn't do it either. That made me feel pretty good, and as I have said before, the warranty had two days to go. So, I don't want to lose my computer. I just want a new screen, but I also want everything backed up before it goes in!

We did get the lights up and got quite hammered. We do this once a year and it was fun too. We actually had to hit Target the next morning to get a couple more boxes of lights. I wanted to make it nice and colorful for the new loser neighbor. We put up multi-colored icicle lights and blue all along the fence. We did blue on the deck where my "office" is as well, but we lacked a couple of boxes. I thought it would look kinda white trashy looking, which was why it was for the loser neighbor, but they came out really pretty. I doubt he will put anything up on his house, since he is scrooge!

David and Katharine went to her manager's Christmas party last night. A two hour drive on a Friday night. They didn't know anybody, the did some visiting, ate and only stayed for an hour or so and then came home. Katharine looked so cute in a long brown velvet and lace skirt and a new cream colored sweater and boots. Unfortunately, it was a party for adults more than children, so she didn't have a good time. Oh well. She got some nice compliments and at least made an appearance.

Zoe and I stayed in and had a Mexican meal that I prepared. We then proceeded to watch a couple of tivo'd episodes of House. Love that show! I have five more to watch still! Good because this time of year everything goes to reruns. And then there is the dreaded "best of 2005" shows that will be endless! UGH

Anyhow, the hub is home with yummy tamales from the farmer's market. I am going to have dinner. I may not be around as much as I can only remember some of the blogs that I visit, without my bookmarks. I do have several links on my site though and will be able to visit you all.

I wanted to take a minute and tell Cindy happy birthday tomorrow! Happy Birthday Cindy! I hope it is a fun day and that you enjoy it!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I just heard a story about phishing on NPR. They said that phishing is getting better and fooling more people than ever. Please don't ever click a link on an email that says where they are from, even if you do business with them. Instead, go to their web address by typing in their address. Check your account. If things are okay, you will know that you were being phished. You may want to contact said company and let them know you were being phished. Chances are they have had several complaints before yours.

One example they gave was fake emails. People click on the link, enter their username and password and the page flickers and they now have your information, by the time you figure out, this is not really

I have posted about this topic before. For novices and even others, this is very dangerous. As our world becomes more internet dependent, more trolls come out of the woodwork and try to steal our identities or at the very least our stored credit card information. NEVER let a site store your credit card information. ALWAYS enter credit card info each time you purchase from a site. Change your password from time to time. Immediately, if you were just phished!

Another way to make sure a site is real, especially if new or unknown is to go to Put in the item you are looking for and it will tell you all the places selling that item and for how much. It will also give you their rating. Ratings based on customer reviews, re: quality, customer service, selection, cost, shipping, price and overall satisfaction with the site. I would be leery of using a company that had only an handful of reviews. It could be a real company, new to Bizrate or it could be somebody who is trying to get a piece of all the money that is spent this time of year!

Phishing is not limited to the internet. It has long been learned that we do not give out financial information to people who solicit us via telephone. Be aware for instance, if they want your social security number or your mother's maiden name. If this happens on the phone then hang up and if you have caller ID, report the number immediately to If you are not signed up for this website, you should be. It makes calling you for solicitation purposes, illegal. They are fined or jailed depending on the number of complaints. But, they are also not going to call you again, which is great.

Phishing, or mail fraud, seems much more prevalent these days. Mail fraud is a federal offense. Things that look real are fake. Look for bad grammar, or anything that tells you this may be a scam. If you call the number on the mailing and they ask for personal information, don't give it to them. Generally, you will find that the automation system is nonexistent and a real person will ask you for your financial information. A real company will already have this info and will not ask you for it! EVER.

There are so many ways to protect yourself from identity theft. Use them, be aware, be vigilant.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Tis the season for the fruitcake. I used to wonder, as I am sure you did as well, if there was one fruitcake. One fruitcake that got passed around year after year. Seriously, since nobody really eats these things, who would know if you regifted it?

This fruitcake never got eaten, nor unwrapped. It was used as door stops, paperweights or on display for the cute little tin it came in.

Yet, year after year, these fruitcakes make the rounds. They are everywhere and they are not cheap either. I wonder if that is because they have gotten more costly to make or they sell less, so they mark up the price. Who in their right mind would go into business making the butt of all jokes, fruitcakes?

The only person I know who eats fruitcake is my hubby. I laughed when I first found this out. And he has a favorite. I had forgotten about fruitcakes all together until the other day at the store. For the size of a pack of Hostess donuts, you can pay upwards of six bucks for a fruitcake. Of course the fruitcake weighs a lot more than a pack of donuts.

Yesterday, I got an email from the famous Collin Street Bakery, to remind me to order my fruitcake now, so I will receive it in time for Christmas. Already they are starting the last minute emails. It is the sixth of December. Nineteen days til Christmas. That used to be all the time most people had before sales began. Now, right after Halloween.

But, I don't think I will be getting hub a fruitcake this year. Even the small one, is not cheap and once opened, they truly do not last forever!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Yes, I did go shopping at a mall today.

I know, I cannot believe it myself! David, Zoe and I hit the grocery store about 8:30. Katharine got up about the time we arrived home to help put away the bags of groceries. We started talking about what she is going to wear to her manager's party this Friday night. Well, almost manager, probably this week. I had to get her a work permit. She has a doctor appointment on Tuesday.

I thought it was early enough to go to the mall and get a sweater that she could wear with a couple of her really cute skirts. Believe me, this kid is a slave to fashion and it's hard to imagine that she needs anything! Especially so close to Christmas. So, I thought a good compromise would be for her to get a sweater instead of a whole outfit. Because I am the mommy and I say so. Zoe reminds me of this often! It's pretty funny. She will say, "You know, you are the mommy and you can say no!" She is a different breed of fourteen year old in my eyes! Such a great girl.

We went to the first store that was open, JC Penney. I cannot remember the last time I went there. I don't do malls much. I am an creature of online shopping. We found a black lacy, velvet, longish skirt for Zoe, who has a concert with her chorus this week and asked if she could get a skirt. From the kid is exclusive to shorts, OH YEAH, she could have a skirt! First one was the right size and on sale. Good thing too, cuz there were no others. We were second in line and an older woman was behind the counter. Ignored us. Took a couple of phone calls. Then wondered out loud about where the woman was who left a stack of things on the counter and where she would put them. Then she moves the stack and then asks what she should do with all the circulars and not to anybody in particular. Then she asks somebody hanging clothes if she is going to work a cash register. Then she gets on the phone and loudly tells the person that she is very busy with a long line and asks the person to call back. We hear her say, "Oh, you want me to call you back?" Under my breath, I said, "like that is ever going to happen!" Then not under my breath, I said, "Now I remember why I hate shopping here!" Both of the girls told me shush! Finally after about eight minutes, the older woman was ready for us. Do I want to open an account? Seriously!!!!

We went to a couple of different stores and it is so freaking hard to find a decent cute sweater for a twelve year old. Not too young and certainly not sexy! We found two at Jones NY and they were on sale too. A nice cream color to go with her brown skirt and boots. And a red one that is so seasonal and cute with jeans. Both needed camis underneath because they were a bit too low cut. Katharine asked if she needed a cami and I said, "Absolutely." The cami's were on sale too.

Off to find a decent pair of shoes for Zoe. She has a couple of pairs of sandals and two pair of tennis shoes. She hasn't even worn the second pair of tennies yet, cuz, the old ones are good. We didn't find any shoes she liked, which was good with the prices in that store. Katharine found a cute pair of sandals. "Can I have these?" she asked. "No way." I tell her. "Why?" she wants to know. "Because they are heels and you are twelve!" And oh yah, I am the mommy! Zoe said she didn't get the problem with her wearing heels. I told he my first pair of heels was in ninth grade and that I wanted her to wait to ruin her feet or break an ankle! Like I did, twice. Funny thing is that when I was a kid, kid's shoes looked like kids shoes. Now days they look like little Ho's shoes. It is difficult to find flat shoes for kids. Luckily, they are in style and I was able to get some for Katharine before school started. I suppose I should stock up in bigger sizes as heels and platforms will surely replace them by Fall! I wanted to find a Payless, but we didn't. I like Payless for kids shoes. Their feet are still growing! I am pretty sure Zoe's are about done now though, at 14 and a size 9...

We ended up having lunch at outside the mall, in the corner of the parking lot and before it got crowded. It was a beautiful day. A bit chilly, but spectacularly clear. We had a funny waiter, which makes things fun too. I told him Katharine drank my ice tea and what was he going to do about it. He told her she was grounded and that he was going to tell the manager on her too.

I made a pot roast for dinner in an oven bag. It came out really good. I had a few bites. David is still at the office. Poor guy had to work on Sunday. He did go by the storage unit and picked up our tree though. I am thinking tomorrow after school we will decorate it and then we can wrap gifts. Hopefully Charlie/Steve will not eat them, nor the ornaments like he did last year. We got him on the 22nd of December last year. He was three months old and an outdoor dog. Things have changed. Since he outgrew his crate, he usually takes a couch to himself. I got him a big bed at Sounds like I am referring to a toddler! LOL... That is his Christmas present and he seems to like it and has yet to eat it! If anybody knows how to keep him from snatching ornaments off the tree or ripping open gifts, please share with me!!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hospitality Night Photos

look at the home above City Hall

People everywhere just hanging out

some of the singers


Hard to get a shot of the tree in the dark!

We had such fun. The light rain held off till the middle of the event, but it did not deter thousands of locals from conversing and shopping downtown. The streets were shut down and they were full of pedestrians. Clad mostly in jackets and scarves, sweaters and rain gear.

David and his community choir did sing. The keyboard was taken in when the rain began to fall. The singers kept on singing though. Many had libations to keep themselves warm and were not worried about the rain after the second set began! They are singing again tonight at the local high school theatre. It should be fun. He is there rehearsing now.

The kids had a great time. Starting at a local church where people were still bringing coats and jackets for the girl scouts to distribute around the area, very soon. Food everywhere. Lots of hot cocoa. Local bands. Marching bands. The lighting of the tree in front of city hall. Santa's arrival on a very old fire truck was exciting to the little ones!

Shopping was fun. Most stores were giving out refreshments and having sales as well. I got a couple of Christmas gifts and a pair of earrings for myself!

Sorry the photos are so dark!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

This is Strange!

How strange is this??? David found a website and signed up Charlie. It is called Piedog. Cuz, he has three colors. He got his certificate in the mail yesterday and his photo is on the website....Seriously, one of the strangest things I have ever seen! LOL


While on the subject of the dog, here is what is going on with the loser neighbor!

I despise the new loser neighbor. We have been working with the dog, Charlie/Steve, to get him not to bark at the dog next door. Can't dislike the dog, even though his owner is an idiot. Charlie/Steve has been doing better as I get him to sit and stay as the loud chain leash with the dog attached go by our house three times a day. I can hear the neighbor come out of his house and then I get Charlie/Steve to sit, before he hears it. If I can. Sometimes he gets there first. He just wants to play and talk to the other dog. Or maybe he wants to bite the loser neighbor in the butt! I have no idea what happens when I am not here. But, I suspect Charlie/Steve likes to bark at him, because he can.

It is very stressful to make sure not to let the dog bark and to constantly be listening to when I need to be on my toes. I heard another neighbor below us tell another neighbor next to him that the new guy has asked him to take out some of his trees! They are blocking his view! He said, he will be trimming his trees and will be doing this once for the guy, cuz he is new. He also asked the neighbor if he could top his trees by ten feet. I heard him say, sure, and I will pay you for it. I asked him six months ago to trim the mass of trees blocking our view of the bay and he told me he was going to do it next year. Maybe I should get the loser neighbor to ask. We all seem to be abiding by his demands these days. I can see what is next too. Our trash cans. He looks up to our driveway and we have the trash cans there blocking his view of us getting in our car. I can just hear him telling the city that we don't have them hidden. Which they should be. But, there is nowhere to put them, other than where they have been for the last thirty years!

Okay, this is too funny. I can hear the deer in his yard right now. HAHAHA. I have photos of the previous neighbor's garden being devoured by the deer. This guy is about to have his yard landscaped after ripping out almost all the gorgeous flowers that the last neighbor put in for the two years he was there. He worked from morning til sunset every weekend. I wish he still lived there! But, the loser neighbor is in for a rude awakening very soon. I am not going to tell him that the deer are going to eat everything he plants. I can't wait til he comes out and sees only stems. I suppose that is mean, but I don't care. This guy is not kind or neighborly in the least! He is Scrooge!