You Never Know… 

Time to make a change. With my parent’s death I pondered how this will affect me. Thinking I have less on my mind I found that I have been trying to find a way to simplify. One idea I had was to finally make my house exactly how I want it and remodel my house of 31 years. The other idea was moving.  Back and forth we went.  So in June I started to investigate. Live through a remodel or move.

The Internet makes looking easier. I looked out of town, and out of state, or stay in the area. I drove out to see a 55+ Del Web community, but it didn’t feel right for us. Looked at nearby community of Gold River, a group of villages with varying HOAs. A possibility, but not quite.  Then on June 4th we looked at a couple of open houses. Walked into a house that felt right, and we made an offer. Back and forth, and on Tuesday July 11th we signed the papers. Recorded on July 12th, and we have a new house. The actual move won’t happen until the first week in October. Since this actually was a fast decision I now have time to get my house ready for sale. Of course, this also means looking at all the stuff accumulated over the years of raising two kids, grandkids and job paperwork.

Should be celebrating, but instead I have been spending time at Kaiser Hospital in Roseville. You  never know. My 15 year old granddaughter had emergency surgery for appendicitis on July 11th. Turn out it was much more serious, and her appendix burst. Pulls through surgery only to be back in the hospital two weeks later because of an abscess from the surgery.  The day before school started in early August, the drainage tube was removed. Alyssa did not have much of a summer vacation.

Sacramento weather has been particularly hot. No days under 90 degrees. I spent August preparing to sell my house. Decluttering, packing, organizing. I learned that I am an organized person who saves everything. I have files filled with receipts going way back. If I stop to look at them it can be amusing. Seeing the cost of things, how long some appliances last, the number of times I fixed the same item.

I had a storage box of memories. I kept my kids artwork from first scribble. I dated these pictures and wrote what it was about. First teddy bear, first shoes, every Mother’s Day card, every story and homework project saved. This made for a fun trip down memory lane. I then got two bags and passed this along to my children. They probably recycled all of it.

I also found a box of correspondence I saved since moving to California in 1978. This must have been the last time I purged my stuff.  Long 6 page letters from busy mothers with young children. With the coming of cell phones and reduced costs the letters stopped. We now catch up a couple of times a year, or follow each other on Facebook.  This blog serves as my journal, and my need to record my thoughts. Somethings don’t change. Are you a saver or do you quickly discard?

Delayed posting this blog because I wanted to add some photos that I had on my iPhone 5s. That proved problematic.  Photos were too pixilated.  I guess I should figure this out before I plan to use iPhone photos here. So I will end now sans photos.

Rain Leads to Post Processing Photos

When the weather turns soggy I make soup. Get my pot of Butternut Squash with Apple Soup going, and add a grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwich for the perfect dinner. Finish it up with a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven. I didn’t actually bake from scratch this time. My granddaughter’s fundraiser was frozen Famous Amos cookies that I have in the freezer for just such times. Perfect.

My laundry is in the garage. Not fun to do when the weather is too hot or too cold. Task done. House cleaned enough not to be embarrassed by unexpected company.

Now I can sit down and review my photographs. My new laptop is slowly becoming fully functional. Lightroom and Photoshop CC installed easy enough. Added Topaz filters, Nik software, and Photomatrix Pro 4. Today I installed my calibration software, Spyder Pro 4.

Have not figured out how to work in Lightroom on one computer, export the catalog and then import the catalog on the other computer. For the second night I was not successful. I will look at another tutorial. Must be missing something.

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to using Lightroom CC. When I first started using LR, I thought of it as an organizing tool. This fit in with my library experience and my system works for me. Keyboarding, rating my photos and creating Smart Collections lead to an easy system to organize my library.  LR developed into a powerful editing program. Today I learned how to use Masking when working with LR Detail tab. This helps to select the area to be sharpened. I also learned how to use some of the key strokes to make the editing process faster.

While visiting Port Costa, Ca. last week this friendly, beautiful Maine Coon cat followed me around. I used some of the techniques to improve this  photo.

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Looking for a friend (or a free meal) in Port Costa

The rain has past, and the next two days will be busy. Shopped for my Dad, and will visit parents tomorrow after a visit to my doctor. (Just a tune-up) LOL.

 

Baby Countdown – Final Week

By next week I will be welcoming my fifth grandchild into the world. Because gestational diabetes bumps up this pregnancy to high risk, baby Lucas and mom Rachel are carefully monitored. Lucas has until November 23rd to make his appearance naturally.

Something new to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Planning for this holiday has gotten complicated over the years.   At the start of my marriage I participated in two dinners. In-laws served dinner early, and a short car ride to my parents and another dinner. Family spread out, and work schedule often would not allow time for travel, and I started to make Thanksgiving at home. Kids grew up, and new issues have left me up in the air about the holiday. The big family dinner around the decorated table never happened.  When my parents lived independently at Eskaton I would have dinner with them. In theory, this sounds nice. Someone to take care of the work, sit sown and have an enjoyable meal. But this was not the case. My Mom did not want to take part, my Dad did not hold up any kind of conversation, and I ended up in a sad place. Then off to my daughter’s house for a second dinner.  With new baby in the mix, plans are again up in the air.

Since my parents have moved to FountainWood, assisted living, they have not visited my home.  Many familiar pieces of furniture are now part of my home, and this may prove problematic.   I’m not sure if my parents would do well with a bit of chaos from kids, pets,  and change in surroundings. Tried to take Mom and Dad out for lunch for my Dad’s birthday, and that didn’t work out at all.

I have to decide. Safe and quiet and guilt ridden. Or chaos and guiltless sadness. This is probably why so many television episodes and movies have comedic twists on this holiday. Check out some funny Thanksgiving disasters as you decide on holiday plans.

I'm watching you.

I’m watching you.

I have mixed reactions to seeing all the family dinners served to us in television commercials. So much food to  prepare for one day, but  I do love leftovers.  I’m glad that there is less “Black Friday” craziness. Some stores remain closed on Thanksgiving.  After all that food is prepared, and all the family comes together it seems a shame to get up and leave for the mall.

But first things first.  Birth of Baby Lucas. Followed by Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas season, Eli’s 4th birthday and New Years to round out the 2015 year.

Baby contractions and calls from Rachel have me up finishing this blog.

One last photograph from my turkey collection.

Turkey Face Off

Turkey Face Off

November 19th would have been my father-in-laws 91st birthday. One of the good guys! RIP Jerry. May be a good day to be born!

Indianapolis Family Reunion (Part 2)

My parents moved to FountainWood Lodge, an assisted living residence and one week later I hopped on a plane to visit my husband’s family now living in Indianapolis. I purchased five tickets a couple of months ago for my husband David,

David's funny expression!

David’s funny expression!

son Joshua,

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Too early. Need coffee!

grandson Lincoln,

Lincoln is ready to board the plane

Lincoln is ready to board the plane

and granddaughter Alyssa.

Alyssa await boarding the plane in Sacramento

Alyssa await boarding the plane in Sacramento

Early flight. First stop Las Vegas

Early flight. First stop Las Vegas

I’m the one taking the photographs.

Our destination

Our destination

My niece Sarah was coming from New York, her brother Gabriel arrived from Boulder, and brother-in-law Joe came from Florida.

Joe and Josh chill

Joe and Josh chill

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Joe with kids Gabriel and Sarah, and the fabulous hamburger

The rest of the family lives in Indianapolis.

Grandpa and Grandson enjoy time together

Grandpa Matthew and Grandson Ari enjoy time together

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Grandma Raena and Eitan together

Nelson stops by

Nelson stops by

Mercedes watches her son Ari

Mercedes watches her son Ari

Alyssa and Gabriella hit it off!

Alyssa and Gabriella hit it off!

Family keeps moving around. Can’t seem to keep track of where everyone lives. Thought Joe was living in Chicago, and it turns out he is in Florida. Our mini reunion in Las Vegas happened 4 years ago. Since then the family has grown by three. There is one more in the oven due in November.

Coming from the California drought, I love how green Indianapolis looks.

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Family together, good food, new introductions, memories, old photos to see again, old photos to see for the first time, and relaxing together. I enjoyed capturing the moments.

Joe prepares his special hamburgers

Joe prepares his special hamburgers

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Plenty of good food!

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More food off the grill

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Alyssa bakes cookies with her Aunt Raena

Alyssa bakes cookies with her Aunt Raena

Setting up for another great meal

Setting up for another great meal

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David relaxing

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Photograph approved by Raena

We visit the  family business, Accurate Manufactured Products Group.

Accurate Manufactured Products Group

Caught my reflection!

Matthew gave us a tour of his factory.

Raw materials used in production

Raw materials used in production

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Factory floor

Factory floor

Tour ended when we saw the custom styled mega RV.

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On Labor Day we visited Zionsville. Town settled in 1852 when the railroad extended this far west. It was named after a pioneer settler, William Zion. Located outside of Indianapolis. The main street now looks and feels like a village style downtown. Boutiques, art galleries, and locally owned restaurants line the brick street to encourage shopping and tourism. On this Labor Day not too much was open. But on Main Street we did enjoy ice cream at The Scoop.

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Zionsville Clock

Zionsville Clock

This historic church is now for sale.

This once historic church is now for sale.

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Couldn't resist those eyes.

Couldn’t resist those eyes. Missed my Libby.

I placed my digital files on my iPad, and sent along the files right away. Everybody connected to their devices.

Matthew watches Lincoln using a computer to visualize music.

Matthew watches
Lincoln using a computer to visualize music.

Gabriel keeping in touch

Gabriel keeping in touch

Time with devices

Time with devices

Good thing. Because when I got home I started part 2 of the down sizing process. More to come about “Stuff” in another post.

Time for goodbyes.

Short reunion is over.

Short reunion is over.

Until we meet again!