Tag Archive for California

Is Your Household Battling this Cold Thingy?

kleenexOk New Year’s fans it’s only the second week of the New Year, and I’m tired of my family being sick.  We all have had a cold and cough for the past week or so, every single one of us.  Sneezing, coughing, kleenex, cough syrup, cough drops, Emergen C.  I did not have a big enough stock pile for all of us to have colds at  the same time.  Yikes!!

Break out the Lysol, Clorox wipes, and hand sanitizer.  This thing has got to go away, enough already.  This is southern California for heaven’s sake.  Land of sunshine, and warm weather.  We should be at the beach or Disneyland, not sitting at home sniffling, and coughing.  This cold has been seriously eating into my New Year’s resolutions to get fit, and healthy.  What’s a girl to do.

What we’ve been doing is watching a ton of movies, and we got hooked on this PBS series called Doc Martin.  My parents recommended it, and we are hooked.   And of course we’ve been drinking lots of water, eating lots and lots of soup (most of it home-made too!), getting plenty of rest, and just taking care of one another.

Travel Man is scheduled out of the country next week, I’m only slightly worried because he got the cold thingy first and is a few days ahead of the rest of us, and finally feeling pretty good.  I know he’ll be fine, he just has to remember to drink lots of water.

Let me know how the cold factor is fairing in your neck of the woods.  Is your family flying through winter unscathed by the cold and flu?  Or is your house a cold battle zone?  I’m off to get some kleenex, the soft variety of course.   Hope you all have a great weekend.

Christmas Eve 2012- The Renee Version


‘Twas the night before Christmas

and all  through our abode

all the creatures were waiting

for the Christmas Day Party to unfold.

The children were cozy

and snug in their rooms,

they’re dreaming of Angels Stadium

and can’t wait until baseball season resumes.

With Travel Man in his pj pants,

and I in my sweats, we’d just settled down

for a good power nap.

(I don’t power nap well,

that’s a travel man thing)

 Up on our roof top

there was such a big clatter,

I was hoping none of the kids

had jumped up there

to see what was the matter.

Away to the patio door

I shuffled barefoot,

opened the blinds,

and squinted my eyes

to take a good look

(I forgot my glasses).

When what to my wondering eyes

should appear,

the dog and the cat

were outside drinking a beer!

What I meant to say was,

I saw Santa’s sleigh sitting

out by our pool

with eight cute little reindeer,

just playing it cool.

There was  little old driver

with a flashy, Hawaiian shirt,

 and I knew in a moment

it was our California Santa,

is he wearing a grass skirt?

Next Santa took roll call

he called them by name,

to be sure none had

jumped in the pool to play a game.

“Where’s Dasher, and Dancer?”.

“Wake up Prancer and Vixen”.

“Finish your ice tea in a hurry”,

he called to Comet, Cupid,

Donder and  Blitzen.

To the top of the patio cover,

to the top of the wall

now dash way,

dash away,

dash away and

please don’t fall.

So up to the top of our roof Santa flew

with the help of his reindeer,

and I’m guessing Rudolph was there too.

And then as I listened

on our rooftop I heard

Santa and the reindeer

stomping  around,

now what could have occurred!!

I walked out in the hallway,

took a peek around the bend,

and there was Santa standing

in the living room,

is this a dream,

will it ever end?

He was dressed in his Hawaiian shirt,

khaki shorts, and black boots.

I’m pretty sure I saw his socks,

they were black too it was a hoot!

A big bag of presents

he had flung on his back.

Surely there was no room

for a new car,  we’d call Mack!

His eyes how they sparkled,

His dimples so happy,

His cheeks looked a little sunburned

His nose was so like a cherry. (sunburned too)

He had a cute face,

and a little beer belly

it shook when he laughed

like a little bowl full of grape jelly.

He was chubby and plump

such a cute little elf,

I laughed when I saw him,

trying to keep it to myself.

He saw me watching him,

out of the corner of his eye

gave me a little wink,

and I thought I might cry.

He didn’t say a thing to me,

just got straight to work,

filling our stockings,

and I thought I saw him smirk.

He placed his finger

on the side of his nose,

gave a little nod and

up the chimney he rose.

He ran to his sleigh

and gave the reindeer a jerk

“Let’s go boys,  we’re busy”,  he said

“We’ve still got lots of work”.

And as Santa was leaving

our California paradise

I heard him yell loudly,

“Man, California is Nice!!”

Merry Christmas Eve to all,

and to all a good night.

** This is my personal adaptation of Clement Clark Moore’s, “Twas the Night Before Christmas poem. Clipart shown here is available from Microsoft Word.

Sometimes It Does Rain in Southern California

Last Thursday we had a rare thunderstorm here in SoCal.  There was a little thunder, a little lightning, and a rainbow.  Evan was with me after school, right in the heart of the thunder-storm.  He doesn’t get to see or feel the rain very often, so he got his “garden” boots on, asked if he could use my new umbrella, and off he went prancing or should I say stomping in the rain.

This umbrella is like a tent.                                      Such a boy!!

This just makes me want to watch “Singing in the Rain”

We have had a hot summer here in SoCal, in fact today it was still almost 100 degrees.  So it’s nice to have an afternoon of rain, a little thunder, and some awesome clouds after the fact.  I’m glad we got to share this with Evan, because he’s a boy, and he loves to get wet and muddy whenever possible.  I have to dig out my “Singing in the Rain” dvd and watch it with Evan.  It’s a good rainy day movie.

What’s your favorite rainy day movie to watch?  Happy Wednesday everyone.

We’ve been Resting, Recuperating, and Recharging

Last Monday afternoon Travel Man and I were enjoying a glorious day at a local beach here in Southern California.  The temperature at the beach was a balmy 82°, and the water temperature was even better 69°.  Beautiful, picture perfect day.  We took our lunch with us, and had planned to stay until close to dinner time.  However, our day had a different plan for us.

The waves were cresting at about 6-7 feet that day, which is unusual for Corona del Mar.  It’s a beach that’s a little inlet next to the Newport Beach jetty.  I swam a couple of times, and Travel Man brought the boogie board with him so he could “catch some waves”.   Around 3pm Travel Man went out with the boogie board, and was having fun riding the waves.  I was on the beach reading, and could see him bopping around in the water. 

Then about 15 minutes later my Travel Man comes staggering out of the water, and he’s using the boogie board to hold himself up.  I could tell something wasn’t right with him, so I went right down to the shore to see if he was ok.  He definitely was not ok.  He had some blood running down his face, and had a nasty scrape on top of his head, and he was hurting.  I got him back to our chairs in the sand, and was looking at the cut on his head to see how serious it was.   A swimmer who had seen Travel Man stagger out of the water came over to see how he was doing and offered to get the lifeguard for us.

The lifeguard checked him out, and cleaned out the cut on his head.  He was having a tremendous amount of pain in his neck.  The lifeguard told Travel Man he should have his neck and back checked out.  The kind of crash he had taken to the ocean floor is characterized as “going over the falls”.  Meaning he was at the very top of the crest of the wave, and the momentum slammed him to the ocean floor.  The choices for getting medical attention were; call for an ambulance, or go the doctor on our own.  We opted for no ambulance, and got the Injured Man in the car first.  Before this a very kind woman sitting near us came over to see if we needed help  loading up the car.  Of course, being the fathead that I am I said, “No, we’re fine.  I think we can manage.”  Of course I was not fine, I was racked with fear that my husband had seriously injured himself.  In hindsight, I should have insisted that Travel Man be transported by ambulance.  We had no idea how seriously he was injured.

We actually started to drive towards home to go to our family doctor, and Travel Man was in so much pain we opted for the emergency room two miles from the hospital.  Travel Man called my parents, as they had been in the area earlier in the day.  We got checked in to the ER, and I called my brother and asked him to come and sit with me.  And he did.  He was at the hospital within half an hour, and my parents arrived about an hour later.  My family is awesome like that.  If there’s an emergency or you need their help, they are ALWAYS there for you.  I just love my family.

 Travel Man went through some painful moments waiting to be checked out by the doctors; getting a CT scan, and getting an x-ray.  Then he got some pain meds and he was able to relax a little.  Once we got the results that there was nothing fractured, he got released to go home.  This was about 4½ hours after we had initially arrived in the ER. 

And my brother, he stayed with us the whole time,  until we got Travel Man back in the car to go home.  He’s just awesome like that.  We sent my parents home earlier in the evening, as they had a long drive home.  I was ever so thankful for their presence while Tom was getting checked out.  Otherwise my worry gene kicks in, my mind wanders, and I imagine the worst.

Since last Monday, Travel Man has been resting and recuperating.  He’s not too happy about this arrangement, but he knows it is necessary.  And I am happy to report that he is feeling much better.  The abrasion on his scalp has already healed, and his black eye is nearly gone.  He was quite a sight.  We’re both looking forward to our batteries getting recharged from the resting and recuperating, and moving on to the next adventure.  But you all should know, there will be no more boogie boarding in Travel Man’s world. 

One other reminder from this story is that there are kind and warm-hearted people everywhere you go.  The generosity of the people on the beach was amazing.  Travel Man and I always tell each other if we see a chance to be helpful to someone we always  will, because you never know when you might need the next “Pay It Forward”.

The Colors from My Summer Garden

This afternoon I have been working on getting the summer photos organized.  There are just a few that I want to share with all of you from my garden.  Especially since the summer gardening season is winding down for many of us “green thumbs”.

First up – the lovely jalapenos.  Mild and yummy just for me, since I’m a huge “spice weenie”.  I don’t like the heat, just the jalapeno flavor.  I’ve harvested close to 8 dozen of these beauties.  Can’t wait to share my daughter’s roasted salsa recipe with you. 

Next up – the mini pumpkins.  This is a Burpee variety of pumpkin, called Small Sugar.  They can probably be used for pumpkin baking, but for my purposes they will most likely just be decorating the house for fall.

Then there are the sunflowers.  Evan and I had planted the huge, big sunflowers, and right after they bloomed they got attacked by this ugly fungus and I ended up chopping them down.  But they were gorgeous for a little while.

There were also had the small sunflowers, which made a great backdrop in the garden. I had cut some of these and brought them in the house too.  But, they still had so much pollen dropping I only did that once.  They were a little messy, but very sunflower pretty.

Then there was this little sunflower, and I think he was saying, “Do I have to wake up today?”  Kind of funny.

Last flower of the day is the lovely zucchini blossom.  I took a lot of pictures of these blooming, because the flowers are huge.  This is one of my favorites.  I’m still harvesting a few zucchini, and making all kinds of baked goodies from them.

Now I am in the process of planting for a winter crop of cucumbers, sweet corn, spinach and lettuce.  This is the first year I have attempted plantings after the summer harvest.  We are fortunate here in California to have a second growing season, and this  year I will be taking advantage of it.

How did your garden grow this summer?  What is your favorite fruit or veggie from your summer garden?

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