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It’s a Good Sign When …

* Warning:  Reading today's post might make you inclined to go off your healthy, low-carb, eating plan. *

I haven't found better Mexican food anywhere in the United States than what we have here in Southern California.  (My apologies to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona but there's a huge difference!)

You know it's a good sign when one of your favorite Mexican restaurants lets you take snapshots while they make their delicious homemade tortillas.

(Excuse the photo quality on these.  I was so excited they allowed me to do this, I whipped my point and shoot out of my purse and took a few hurried snapshots!)


The dough is made earlier in the day and rolled into balls.


Each tortilla begins as one of these dough-balls.


The tortillas are then rolled out in a lot of flour so they don't stick.


She was a perfectionist.  Each tortilla needed to be an exact thickness and shape.


Once the tortillas are shaped perfectly, it's time to cook them.


Many of the tortillas are fried and made into chips.  The rest are served hot to accompany a patron's meal.

Throw in some fresh salsa and a margarita or two and …

Did I mention … delicious?!

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Whirlpool? You’ve Got a Problem

Can you see the steam pouring out of my ears?

I am beyond pissed off.

Many of you remember when I wrote this post last April.  My three year old, front loading, top of the line, Whirlpool washing machine completely "failed" and needed a total rebuild.  The repairs would have cost more than the machine cost brand new.

Whirlpool saw my tweets about the incident.  They came out and rebuilt the entire washer for free.  At the time I questioned why they didn't just replace it (it would have been cheaper for them), but they didn't.  I was grateful to have Whirlpool repair the washer even though the whole incident was inconvenient and a pain in the ass.  

Mind you, Whirlpool didn't HAVE to repair my machine for free.

As you recall, I have to do laundry with one working arm.  We have no laundromats nearby and I can't lift laundry baskets … so the inconvenience of a broken washing machine is a much bigger deal for me than for the average consumer.

Five months passed and recently my washer began SCREAMING every time I used it.

Yes, washing machines CAN scream and if you don't believe me you're welcome to get within 100 yards of my house and LISTEN.

When the machine "failed" last April, I bought a service contract on it for $100/year.  I figured I was wasting my money, but ….

And so, last week I called the service company.  I've been waiting for nearly a week, with a screaming washing machine, for them to come out and take a look at the machine.

Guess what?

It's the EXACT same problem as five months ago … the machine has "failed" and needs a total REBUILD.  


This involves ordering lots of BIG parts, waiting for the parts to be delivered to my house, checking to see if the parts arrived damaged or not (they often do), re-calling service out, and spending ANOTHER day at home while they rebuild the machine completely A SECOND TIME in five months.

The cost to Whirlpool?

Well, they could have given me two or three new washers for what this is costing them.

And no, this second rebuild won't cost me anything, except time and inconvenience, because I'm paying $100 year for a service contract.

(Which seems outright ridiculous for a machine that was "the top of the line" when it was built three years ago, don't ya think?)

And yet?

Thank God I have that service contract!

The repairman could hardly get over his shock at my situation.

"I can't believe it!" he exclaimed multiple times.

"What happened?" he asked quizzically … as if I've been having parties with all my friends inside the washing machine instead of – you know, just doing my laundry.

I don't think I'm an unreasonable person.  Clearly, things can go wrong once in awhile – I understand that.


The exact same (major) problem TWICE in five months?

I might be missing something in this equation, but I'd like to suggest Whirlpool has built a model with a major design flaw.

© Twenty Four At Heart

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A Must See!

**  I want to thank you for entering the contest to suggest a name for my new website to help disabled and/or challenged photographers.  I had a hard time narrowing down the name choices because there were so many great possibilities.  To help me, I checked to see which of my favorites were available as domain names.  The final choice was suggested by Le and it is Blurring The Focus.  Congratulations Le on winning a $100 Amazon gift card!

I like Blurring The Focus as the site name because when you're living in pain and/or with a disability it tends to be the focus of your life.  For it NOT to be the focus, you have to make a concentrated effort to re-focus on other things … thus blurring your focus and getting on with other parts of your life.  Now begins the exciting act of putting the site together.  I will let you know as soon as it's up and running.  Again, thank you EVERYONE for all your support!  **

And now for today's very, very, special post …

I don't put many videos up, but this one is a must (!!) see.  I saw Ricochet, a service dog, surf a year ago.  If this video doesn't touch your heart, I will be shocked.

Make sure you watch until the very end.



© Twenty Four At Heart

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Just Like A Heatwave

I've been singing the lyrics of the old, old, song, "Heat Wave" for the last few days and I can't seem to stop.

Whenever I'm with him
Something inside
Starts to burnin'
And I'm filled with desire

Could it be the devil in me
Or is this the way love's supposed to be

Just like a heatwave

I might be dancing around a lot while I sing it also.  Sometimes naked – because it's too damn hot for clothes.

Don't tell anyone, okay?

I had a different post planned for today, but we're in the midst of a record breaking heatwave.

As you can see, it's too hot here to think, write, or do much of anything. 

Except, maybe nap.


There's a reason why they call weather like this the dog days of summer fall.

I took the photo of the 112F/44.44C temperature reading at about 2:00 in the afternoon yesterday.  I'm not used to heat like this.


Here's a photo of "my" mountains taken from a distance yesterday.  I was barefoot when I took this and I think I burnt the soles of my feet right off.  (And no, the neighborhood of houses at the base of the mountain is not where I live … my house is a different area.)


At least, it's very pretty out.  The sky looks so BLUE and gorgeous right now.

To escape the heat, I've been trying to spend some time here:


To be honest, it's very hot (103F/39.44C) at the beach too – just not AS hot as at my house.

Hopefully it will cool down soon and we'll get back into the mid-80's.


But, did I mention how beautiful it is in The OC right now?

P.S.  I've got something touching to share with you tomorrow!

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Dear OC Women

Dear Stereotypical Orange County Women:

I'm sorry I'm a disappointment to you.

I'm sorry my boobs are made of breast tissue and not silicone or saline bags.

I'm sorry my lips aren't filled with plastic fillers and that I was born blonde.

I'm sorry I haven't had a tummy tuck when I so clearly need one.

I'm sorry I'm writing and that people all over the world are kind enough to take the time to read my drivel.

I know you don't want me "representing" you anymore than I want you representing me.

I'm sorry I don't fit the mold you would like to impose on me.

You know – the role of being extremely materialistic, extremely concerned about my appearance, and extremely concerned about money.  

In other words … shallow.

You resent my blog, my photography, and the fact that others have embraced who I am and you've told me so.

I have offended you be using swear words both on my blog and on twitter, and periodically by adding colors like pink and purple to my hair.  I've written about offensive topics such as bikini waxes and sex, publicly, which drives you to distraction.

More recently, I have offended you by getting a tattoo.

You wanted to let me know personally that you were "unfollowing" me because of it.


I'm sorry I've written I'm sorry – because I'm really not.

I don't care.

I think, perhaps, that is the thing that bothers you the most.

I don't care.

I was born independent by nature and it's a quality my parents encouraged and nurtured.

I do what I want, when I want, when I can.

As long as I'm not hurting anyone else by being who I am (and I'm not), I don't understand why it's such an issue for you.


It is.

You're not shy about letting me know how much you disapprove of me.

I don't mind you aren't like me.

I don't expect anyone to be like me.

I accept you, with all your faults, for who you are.

(And by the way, you DO have faults – quite a few of them.)

I may not always like you, but I accept you.

You, however, want to change me, reform me, mold me into what you think I should be.

I'm far from perfect and I'm very aware of that.

I accepted my faults, which I continue to work on, several years ago.

If you took the time to get to know me this is what you would learn -

I'm forever loyal to the people I care about.

If I love you as a friend, as a family member, or as more – I will love you for life.

If you are genuine, I will accept you no matter how different we might be.

I'm very shy in groups but, obviously, not at all in my writing.

I'm an animal lover and my heart goes all soft and mushy around them.

I have a knack for doing "stupid" things, and yet I'm actually very intelligent.

Or so the IQ tests say ….

If my brain isn't stimulated, or I lose my creative outlets, I go stir crazy.

If you make me laugh, I will most likely love you on the spot.

I love to laugh and I have a sarcastic and abundant sense of humor.

I value people with the strength to be who they are.

I can't stand hypocritical people.  At all.

Money and material things mean very little to me.

I'm passionate about my writing and photography.

I will forgive, and forgive, and forgive again – and I've been hurt many times because of it.  It's a characteristic about myself I can't change, but sometimes I wish I could.

The car accident I was in, and what I've been through as a result, has forever changed me.

I have learned, truly learned, life is short and can change, irreversibly, in a second.

I know the above statement is fact.  I've lived it in a way few people ever have, and I will live the rest of my life with my priorities in order because of it.

Pleasing you?

Is not a priority.

© Twenty Four At Heart

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The Public Garden

This shot was taken in the Public Garden in Boston.


I love the bokeh!

(Shutter 1/1000, f5.6, 130mm, ISO 320)

© Twenty Four At Heart 

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I’ve Been Inked!

*  I'm still taking submissions in the name contest going on here.  There are some great potential names in the running.  A $100 Amazon gift card is up for grabs!  *

Yesterday I had an appointment to get my first-ever tattoo.

Yes, I did – at the ripe old age of 24!

I was excited, and nervous, but mainly excited.  Of course, I brought my point and shoot camera with me.


I recently met someone who had fantastic tattoos (amazing artwork).  I asked lots of questions and was given a referral to Vance Freeman.  

I've been thinking about a tattoo for over a year now.  I knew I needed to wait until I was out of the pool for awhile because swimming with a new tattoo is a not advised.  Due to all the stuff going on with my arm, I'm not going to be allowed to swim for a couple months.  Now seemed like the perfect time.

Vance works at True at Heart Tattoo in Lake Forest.  Here's a photo of Vance sketching out my soon-to-be tattoo:


I like Vance.  I like him a lot.  If you're in Orange County and you want a tattoo, I highly recommend Vance.  (You can find him, and see examples of his work, on Facebook under his full name Vance Freeman.)

Here's a photo of the needles and ink and … stuff:


I was worried about the pain.  I've had quite enough pain in my life.  It didn't hurt much.  I don't know if it's because I'm used to megadoses of pain, or what.  I was happy to find it easily tolerable.  (It also helped that my friend Nike hung out with me a good deal of the time and distracted me!)

My tattoo is on the inside of my left leg just above my ankle.


I chose the name of this blog for a lot of reasons that are very personal to me.  For those same reasons, I chose the design of my tattoo.  (What I'm trying to say is my tattoo design is not based on my blog name, but my blog name and my tattoo were both chosen for the same reason.)


© Twenty Four At Heart

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Popcorn, Sex, and Twitter

* You've been absolutely awesome with name suggestions for my new website.  Comments on yesterday's post are still open and remember – I am giving away a $100 Amazon gift card.  For details go here! *

Some of you follow me on Twitter, and others of you don't.

Twitter is a different world where you get little bits of information here and there about people.  There are days when I'm not on Twitter much, and other days when I get quite chatty.

Lately, it seems like I've been on a bit of a roll.  Even if you do follow me on Twitter, chances are you haven't read all of my stellar 24 moments.

Here is an assortment of some recent and random tweets I thought might make you smile:

•  Do massive quantities of steroids make a person hungry? Because holy shit I just ate the entire couch!

•  Someone just asked me how much money I make. Don't most adults know better than to ask someone shit like that? Rude, rude, rude.

•  There is not enough coffee in the world for the first morning of the school year.

•  I swear to God, I can attract a pervert from 1,000 miles away.

•  Dear Newport Beach – You might be shallow, but you're sure pretty.

•  Driving down PCH because? I can.

•  My pain doc is not afraid to drop F bombs right and left when talking to me. Makes me laugh and it makes him real.

•  As in, "You really need a f*cking photo assistant." Ha! : )

•  In order to have a f*cking photo assistant, first I'd have to make some f*cking money selling my f*cking photos.

•  So Dr Painless & I also discussed the merits of implanting vibrating electrodes in me.

•  Do you really want to know what direction that conversation took?

•  I'm so filled with snark today I need to clamp my jaw shut to keep myself out of trouble.

•  An outright sexcicle. Sort of like a popsicle for sex. #WhatAmIsaying?

•  I'm walking around the house w/one boob hanging out and the other in my bra. Waiting for topical pain med to dry on my arm/shoulder.

•  There's nothing like a brand new tube of mascara to make a girl feel pretty. *flutters eyelashes*

•  Dear Money Town Car Wash – someone should make a sitcom out of you.

•  The bulb on my baster just popped and then exploded. #SoundsDirty #Cooking

•  My iPod is hissing at me. I take that as a very bad sign …

•  I wore an apron today for probably the first time in my life. A red one. Do you ever wear an apron? #TalkingAboutCookingNotSex

•  I love when "important" people visit my blog for the first time on a day when I'm discussing my friend's period. Sheeeeeeet!

•  Seriously asshole? I'm not giving you a text link on my blog for 30 bucks. Try again.

•  When you hug a physical therapist friend he will instantly appraise your bum arm whether you want him to or not. #OneArmedHugs

•  When I "clean" it involves a lot of shoving stuff into cupboards and drawers. #NotSoDomestic

•  Dear Drug Companies: Please make a steroid drug for pain that will not destroy my body and cause cancer. It will make you rich. Thanks.

•  My FIL who doesn't know about 24 or photo business suggested I might consider a career as a photographer since I "take good pictures" : )

•  Some guy kept taking pics of me down at the surf contest. Really weird. He must have been attracted to my big lens.

•  Uncontrollable and sudden urge for popcorn. We have NO popcorn in the house.

•  Told my husband I would do *anything* for popcorn but he isn't getting the hint!

•  Men? You are so dense sometimes. Sex for a popcorn run is a good DEAL!!

•  He's watching football. I don't think he hears what I'm proposing ….

•  He's searching the pantry for popcorn. He still DOESN'T GET what I'm saying.

•  OK I finally said, "SEX FOR POPCORN" and he said "What?" Now he's getting his wallet and going to the store.

•  Guess I'm getting laid tonight. Sheesh … the work you men makes us go through! : )

•  The popcorn is popping – and that's not a euphenism

•  Buttering the popcorn …. #SoundsSoDirty

•  He doesn't know I'm on twitter. Did I mention I added salt?

[Thus began a flurry of sex/popcorn jokes for a few days on Twitter]

•  Wearing my body brace for my arm/shoulder. I look like a stuffed boobless sausage. #Sexxaay #NotAtAllActually

•  On the other hand, do sausages EVER have boobs? I think not.

•  I'm tweeting with a surfing dog. What has become of my life?

•  My husband & I are arguing over the thermostat. This f*cking body brace makes me hot. He says it's freezing and I'm sweating. Ugh!

•  I just told him Twitter thinks he should put on a sweater. It must be very exasperating to be married to me. : )

•  OK, I just took my brace off and guess what? It's freezing in this house! #PoorMan #NotMyFault #BraceIsLikeAwetsuit

•  I think I'm a pain in the ass tonight. Now I wigged out over a big hairy spider in the shower and made him kill it  #SpidersHaveTooManyLegs

•  Something bit me. Repeatedly. And no, it was not my husband.

•  There are few things in life as nasty as eating a rotten nut #ThatsWhatSheSaid

•  I don't understand men who "expose" themselves. Do they really think we want to see their winky-dink?

© Twenty Four At Heart

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The Harvest Moon

*  Today's "real" post is right below this and it's an important one!  Click here!"

Here's a shot I took tonight of the Harvest Moon rising above the mountains behind my house.  The clouds were misting around the moon … sigh!

I am SO lucky to live where I do – beautiful!


© Twenty Four At Heart