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Holiday Stress?

Do you feel stressed this time of year?

And if so, what contributes the most to your stress?

Bokeh photo of holiday lights.

I  admit, I get stressed out every year around the holidays.

Yesterday, a friend mentioned Christmas is in “two weeks” and I gasped out loud.  I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed this year. I’m looking at my life, and my to-do list, and realizing things need to change.

I’m doing a lot … but I feel like I’m doing everything half-assed.  I’m stretching myself way too thin (and yet, I’m fat!).

For several years, post car accident, I tried to prove to myself “nothing is going to change.”  My goal was to still make perfect, Norman Rockwell, holidays for my family in spite of my suffering, and with one working arm.

Guess what?

I can’t do it anymore.

I’m in a lot of pain, and I have been since Thanksgiving.  I’m “behind” on everything holiday related and every day my stress level, and pain level, increases.

I’ve finally accepted I can’t do it all.  Not only that, I no longer WANT to do it all.  I find myself dreading everything holiday-related because dammit, it hurts!

I’ve been talking to a lot of friends and I’ve realized not everyone has huge major-production holidays the way we do.  I grew up with Martha Stewart as my mom, and I think I’ve always felt like I have to do it all, and do it perfectly.  (Homemade greeting cards, baking for days, gourmet meals, etc., etc.)

Recently, I commented to Nike how CALM she is this time of year.  The way Nike’s family celebrates the holidays is so different than how I grew up – but just as special.

Our Christmas tree was delivered a week ago – all twelve feet of it.

It’s standing in our living room, undecorated.  I know tree decorating will send me into a terrible downward spiral of pain.

And so it sits.

My older kids won’t arrive home until a couple days before Christmas.  Maybe they can decorate the tree when they get home?

I bought a few gifts Thanksgiving weekend, and I’ve done nothing since.  I have out-of-state relatives I need to purchase gifts for and mail.  I’m trying to come up with ideas I can order and ship online.  What should I send to people who are impossible to buy for?

I’ve decided not to (painstakingly) make or send out 200 photo greeting cards this year.  (Why does that make me feel so guilty?)

I’ve been looking online for recipes which don’t involve much chopping or lifting.

Do I worry about disappointing my family, particularly my kids?

Yes, I do.

I feel very guilty, as a matter of fact.

But then I flash back to my appointment with the pain specialist this week who told me, out-right, I need to STOP.

I think about the stress I feel, the pain I’m in …

The holidays are supposed to be fun – not something I dread.

I think it’s taken me five years post-accident to realize things aren’t the same and never will be.  I’ve been trying so hard, fighting so hard, to maintain what used to be.

I’ve been trying to prove to everyone (especially myself) I can do everything I used to.

I can’t.

I think it’s time to make new traditions.

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Testing Blog Re-Design … 1, 2, 3?

Well, if all goes as planned, this will be my first post on my redesigned blog.

If you’re a Twenty Four At Heart subscriber, I hope you’ll click through your reader to see what’s new!

I also hope you’ll be patient with me as I learn how things work in my new digs.  (It turns out, there are a lot of new things for me to learn!)

So, what’s new?

 Photo of Laguna Beach, taken this week.

Well, my new blog banner will be rotating various photos I’ve taken.

Hopefully this exciting new change will keep us all from being bored.  (I’ve been very, very, bored with my blog header.  I also don’t have the patience to make new ones, so this solves that problem!)

I still have some work to do on my sidebar, but you don’t mind if those changes happen gradually – do you?

It’s now easier to peruse photos by clicking on the “Photography” tab in the navigation bar.  By clicking on the Photography tab, you get to see a page of photo thumbnails.  If a photo piques your curiousity, you can click on it and it will take you right back to the post it was originally in.  It makes for a fun and convenient way to get caught up if you’ve missed a post.

For those of you who like to purchase photos (or just like to view them in a cool gallery), you can now click Purchase Photos (the curled page corner).  It’s located on the top right hand corner of the blog.  Clicking on Purchase Photos will take you right into my new photo site.  And no, clicking that tab does not obligate you to buy anything.  You can just look.  (Sort of like window shopping?)  The galleries allow you to view my more popular photos in a larger format.

Pretty convenient, easy, and much nicer for image viewing too!

As I learn what I’m doing, I’m sure there will be other minor changes too.

I feel like a baby learning to walk . . .

One step at a time, right?

Thank you for your patience –

I really hope you like my new “home.”

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Why is the Car Industry (Still) So Sexist?

* If you don't see a post from me one or two days this week, it's because I will HOPEFULLY (finally?) be making the transition to my redesigned site.  I didn't want you to worry if I go quiet for a short time. *  

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my current car is leased and my lease is almost up.  I need to get a car to drive … and soon.

A week ago, my rarely-in-town husband and I went dealership hopping.  Salesmen came out the minute we appeared on the various car lots, eager to show us cars.

By the way?

Every car salesperson I've encountered so far has been a man.

I haven't seen a female sales person on any of the car lots I've visited.

Do female sales people exist in the car industry?  And if so, as what percentage of the sales workforce?

I find the lack of female presence shocking.  This is (almost) the year 2012, right?  

People are concerned about what when they buy a car?

•  Gas mileage?

•  Safety?

•  Horsepower?

•  Reliability?

•  Stereo systems, navigations systems and cup holders?

And why can't a woman discuss any of those things?

This last weekend, I went car shopping by myself.

Not one sales MAN, at any dealership I visited, greeted me or offered to help me.

What the HELL??

At one lot, I walked up to three salesmen who were just standing there doing nothing.

"Do you work here?" I asked.

"Yes," they nodded.

"Well, could one of you help me then?" I asked nicely.

They looked puzzled.  Maybe shocked?

Where was my husband?

It was clear, by the manner of the salesman helping me, I wasn't being taken seriously.  I asked questions; he answered as if he was indulging an amusing whimsy.

I requested a test drive and he replied, "Really?"

During the test drive, I asked questions about horsepower and torque …

He seemed surprised.

(By the way, I happen to be much more opinionated about engines than my husband.)

After my test drive, I left the dealership feeling like I was never once considered a "serious" buyer.  The salesman's last comment to me was, "And so if you like it enough, your husband will come test drive it and see what he thinks?"

Um ….

NO, no he won't.

My husband is not going to be the one driving this car, I am.

He doesn't want to test drive it – why would he?

Would he want to test drive our neighbor's car that he also won't be driving?

Also, guess who won't be getting my business?

The first car I ever bought (years ago) was a Honda.  The salesman who helped me was friendly, nice, and treated me like an adult.  There was no man involved in helping me buy that car.  

Why would there be? 

I was a single woman, fully supporting myself.  I had a boyfriend at the time, but he wasn't the one buying the car and he wouldn't be the one driving it.  I got a great deal on that Honda.  I drove it for many years.  Eventually, my employer provided me with a "company car" and I no longer needed it.

Why do so many car sales MEN assume a woman is incapable of buying (or selling?) a car?

I honestly can't get over my indignation.

I've now narrowed down my current search to two types of cars.

Guess what?

They were both offered at dealerships where I was treated like an intelligent adult, not an appendage of my husband.

Coincidence?

No, absolutely not.

I will not buy a car from someone who treats me without the same respect they would treat a male customer.

Wake up car industry - 

It's (almost) 2012.

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Life on the Edge

I've shared a lot of photos of Orange County homes in the past.

Cliff_House_W2-1
Beach house in Orange County, CA.

The above photo was taken from the sand, within a small cove, looking up at the house above.  

When the tide is high, the sand is covered with water.  When the tide is low, the staircase leads down to a nice private cove.  You can see the (locked) gate in the stonework.  There are spotlights on the wall which light up the ocean at night – making the view from above spectacular.

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Fall Colors in Orange County

I have three small Liquid Amber trees in my yard.  They're one of the few types of trees that "turn" in Southern California (due to the warm climate here).

I was so excited to see I finally had fall colors in my yard last week.  I took this photo on Wednesday:

Fall_OC_W-1
Falls colors.

On Thursday we got hurricane force winds, with gusts exceeding 100 mph, here in my little canyon.

The leaves, with their beautiful colors, all got blown off the trees.

It was so beautiful for the short time it lasted.

© Twenty Four At Heart

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The 56 Best/Worst Analogies Written by High School Students

I was sent the following post via an email chain.

I borrowed it for today's post.  

(The email chain originated from This Blog, who borrowed it from this blog, who apparently borrowed it from the Washington Post.)

I dare you to read the entire thing without laughing out loud …

  1. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
  2. He was as tall as a 6′3″ tree.
  3. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  4. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
  5. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  6. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  7. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  8. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  9. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  10. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
  11. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.
  12. The lamp just sat there, like an inanimate object.
  13. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
  14. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  15. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at asolar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  16. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
  17. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
  18. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
  19. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
  20. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
  21. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.
  22. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.
  23. Even in his last years, Grand pappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it hadrusted shut.
  24. He felt like he was being hunted down like a dog, in a place that hunts dogs, I suppose.
  25. She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword.
  26. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
  27. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  28. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  29. “Oh, Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night.
  30. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.
  31. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
  32. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  33. The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.
  34. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.
  35. Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like “Second Tall Man.”
  36. The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.
  37. The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.
  38. She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.
  39. Her pants fit her like a glove, well, maybe more like a mitten, actually.
  40. Fishing is like waiting for something that does not happen very often.
  41. They were as good friends as the people on “Friends.”
  42. Oooo, he smells bad, she thought, as bad as Calvin Klein’s Obsession would smell if it were called Enema and was made from spoiled Spamburgers instead of natural floral fragrances.
  43. The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton.
  44. He was as bald as one of the Three Stooges, either Curly or Larry, you know, the one who goes woo woo woo.
  45. The sardines were packed as tight as the coach section of a 747.
  46. Her eyes were shining like two marbles that someone dropped in mucus and then held up to catch the light.
  47. The baseball player stepped out of the box and spit like a fountain statue of a Greek god that scratches itself a lot and spits brown, rusty tobacco water and refuses to sign autographs for all the little Greek kids unless they pay him lots of drachmas.
  48. I felt a nameless dread. Well, there probably is a long German name for it, like Geschpooklichkeit or something, but I don’t speak German. Anyway, it’s a dread that nobody knows the name for, like those little square plastic gizmos that close your bread bags. I don’t know the name for those either.
  49. She was as unhappy as when someone puts your cake out in the rain, and all the sweet green icing flows down and then you lose the recipe, and on top of that you can’t sing worth a damn.
  50. Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
  51. It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.
  52. Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access T:flw.quid55328.comaaakk/ch@ung but gets T:flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake.
  53. You know how in “Rocky” he prepares for the fight by punching sides of raw beef? Well, yesterday it was as cold as that meat locker he was in.
  54. The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.
  55. Her lips were red and full, like tubes of blood drawn by an inattentive phlebotomist.
  56. The sunset displayed rich, spectacular hues like a .jpeg file at 10 percent cyan, 10 percent magenta, 60 percent yellow and 10 percent black.

[UPDATE 12/1/11: It has come to my attention that most, if not all, of these were actually written for a Washington Post contest, not by high schoolers. As a journalist, I feel it's my responsibility to set the record straight now that this post, for some reason, is garnering thousands of hits. Even so, I think we can all agree these similes are pretty hilarious regardless of who wrote them. I've also had a good handful of comments that these are not analogies — yes, it would probably be more accurate to call them similes, the technical name for this rhetorical device, but an analogy is simply a comparison between two things, which is still true for these. I kept this title to remain true to the original post from which I borrowed this. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and were able to have a laugh!]

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The OC Economy Is Improving …

I get bored easily reading financial reports.

On the other hand, I can pretty much guarantee you the economy is improving.

Why?

Orange County's financial absurdness seems to be bursting at the seams again.

For instance …

OC Economy Must Be Improving – Story #1:

As I drove past the Money Town High School yesterday, I made note of the new cars belonging to the teenagers:

•  BMW

•  BMW

•  BMW

•  Mercedes

•  Land Rover

•  Land Rover

•  Audi

•  Porsche Cayenne

•  Toyota Tacoma truck

Man, I bet the kid with the $45,000 truck feels like a failure.

What the hell OC?

What are you thinking?

Truth be told, I think the parents buying these cars are just caught up in competing with each other via their kids.

Nauseating!

(And then these same parents wonder why their kids have no incentive to get a job?)

Gag!

Okay, I'm done with my little rant.

OC Economy Must Be Improving – Story #2:

I met a friend for coffee this week.  While we were chatting, a woman I knew many years ago approached to say hello.  She used to live in my little canyon, but she moved several years ago so she'd have an "official" Money Town address.

I barely recognized Old Acquaintance because she's now very, very, plastic.  (Plastic in a It-Doesn't-Look-Remotely-Good sort of way.)  Within the course of only a few minutes she told me about her perfect daughter "who has it all."  Her daughter is gorgeous, smart, and might even get a job with a famous company soon – !

I could hardly contain how impressed I was!

(Am I a bad mom because I've never told near-strangers how gorgeous my daughter is?  Let me tell you – my kids?  They have it ALL!  Well, except they haven't been gifted with luxury vehicles … but, other than that!)

Old Acquaintance also told me about her out-of-state friends who frequently call to chat. Often, her friends mention something fun going on somewhere, so Old Acquaintance and her husband "just hop on a plane" and leave for the weekend.  They do this on a regular basis because, "It's so much fun to fly off and meet them somewhere." 

The rest of the world does this too, right?

We hear about something fun going on far away from where we live and we just "hop on a plane" as the whim may take us. 

OC Economy Must Be Improving – Story #3:

If you're easily offended, stop reading right now.

Yesterday, I heard a woman at the mall laughing with her girlfriend about giving her husband a "before breakfast blow job" (BBBJ) as a means to get him to buy her a Mercedes by lunch.

He did.

We all know men love blow jobs, so really – there's nothing new there …

(Except, perhaps, this particular man's own stupidity.)

I was, however, shocked she was pubicly publicly, and quite loudly, discussing whoring for expensive merchandise.  She seemed quite proud of herself.

("Look Ma – NO HANDS!)

By the way, he also did the dishes for two days after getting his BBBJ.

Did I need to know that?

Seriously,

I was just out shopping for a scarf for my mother-in law …..

© Twenty Four At Heart

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The Flower Shots

I’ve been participating in some photography groups these past few months.

For some reason, people like to do a lot of photography events requiring floral shots.

Personally, I think flowers are one of the easiest things to photograph (if you’ve got a few basic pieces of equipment).

What equipment?

Some of you photographer-types may want to know ….

•  If you’re serious about taking good quality flower shots, you should have a tripod, a macro lens and a cable release.

Flower_Magenta-1
Photo of a dahlia.

I don’t find flower shots to be very challenging, but I do think they’re pretty.  (No offense intended to worldwide floral photographers!)

I do know most people love to view flower photographs.

Centered_W-1
Yellow flower.  Don’t ask me what it is, I don’t know.  It’s just pretty!

The above photo was taken at the beach recently.  I titled it Feeling Centered.

Which beach was I at?

I don’t remember ….

I roam a lot of different beaches.

While on one of my beach trips, I also noticed some orange-ish/pink-ish bouganvilla winding it’s way through aloe vera plants.

Bouganvilla-1
Orange bouganvilla.

I have bouganvilla at my house, but it’s the more common BRIGHT FUSCHIA PINK bouganvilla.

Speaking of my house,

Flowers are easy to photograph even if you’re stuck inside with bad weather.  In fact, it’s kind of fun to change up the look of flower shots now and then ….

White_Spider_Mum-1
White spider mum photographed on black background.

This next photo always makes me start humming the lyrics to Red, Red Wine ….

Ruby_Red-1
Red rose photo, taken recently at Descanso Gardens.

Sometimes I have to look really hard to find something new and unusual to photograph in the flower world ….

I wouldn’t want to fall asleep at the camera, after all.

Confused_Flower_Macro-1
Photo of a very confused flower.

Other times, the beauty of a flower reaches out and seems to beg me to lend it my lens …

Pink_Rose_W-1
Photo of a beautiful pink rose.

How could I ever say no to a flower?

© Twenty Four At Heart

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I Blame You (You’re an Idiot), Not Your Kids

There was a little incident at the beach the other day.

Some of my family members and guests wanted to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach.

We purposely went to a beach very few tourists know about.  It's located in a small cove and doesn't get crowded.  It's a bit of a hike, so even lazy locals don't want to be bothered.  There are no public bathrooms either … another strike against it as far as the crowds go.

(By the way, we peed before we left … please don't pee in my the ocean.  I don't want to swim in your piss!  Do you want to swim in other people's bodily fluids?)

Some of my family/friends arrived first and they went to the far, far, end of the cove by the rocks.  Then they went on the other side of those rocks where there's a narrow, very small, strip of sand available to sit on when the tide is down.  When the tide comes up, there's no beach there at all.  

Ah …. privacy!

Quiet!

Sun_Peek_W-1
Black and white beach photo

Peace!

We were having a great afternoon.  It could not have been prettier.

Late in the afternoon, two boys (about ages 3 and 5) came running around the rocks.  They were laughing and playing.  My first thought, when I saw them was "CUTE!"

I like kids.  I'm, by no means, a kid hater.

I have three kids of my own, two of which are boys.  

The cuteness ended pretty quickly, however, when one of the boys threw sand directly in Briefcase's face. 

Let me clarify, they weren't throwing sand while playing ….

Boy #1 looked right at Briefcase, reached down and grabbed a handful of sand, ran up to Briefcase and threw it directly into his face.

We were … stunned.

And then?

Boy #2 decided to copy his brother and did the same thing.

Boy #1 was running back and forth on our microscopic patch of beach.  Back and forth right across our fairly small blanket, repeatedly, as a matter of fact.

Boy #1 threw sand in one of my friend's faces as deliberately as he had done to Briefcase just moments before.

After the second time, his (I presume) Dad, Grandfather, and another male adult appeared. 

(I later saw the mom sleeping on a beach blanket at the other end of the beach.)

I normally avoid confrontations, but I said -as nicely as I could, "The boys are throwing sand at us."

"Oh, you mean they're acting like kids?" replied Grandpa indignantly.

Ummm ….

"They're being boys," added the dad, clearly irritated with me.

Grandpa, Dad, and Other Adult Male stood there talking to each other – completely ignoring the boys and their behavior.  In their eyes, I had voiced an unimportant complaint.  None of the adults even bothered to look over and see what the boys were doing.  

After all, boys will be boys.

Also?

All three men oozed with the attitude – There's no way OUR kids could be in the wrong.  They're just being boys!

Sand throwing went on for awhile.  Chasing one another across our beach blanket continued as well.

And yes, we did ask the boys to stop on both accounts.  Neither boy even acknowledged we had spoken.

Finally, because it was clear there were no alternatives, we packed up our stuff and left.

As we were walking away, the boys grabbed handfuls of sand once again.  I guess, since we were no longer easy targets, they ran up to their Grandpa and threw it directly at him.  Grandpa was standing up, unlike Briefcase and my friend who had been at eye level with the boys.  The sand flew against his body, not into his face and eyes.

Still …

Grandfather was pissed.

"No throwing sand," he scolded.

In response, Boy #2 picked up a handful of sand and threw it right at Grandfather again.

Grandfather's face turned red in anger.  He began sputtering.

Right then Grandfather looked up at me.

We made eye contact and a light bulb seemed to go on in Grandfather's eyes.

We were leaving.  We had informed them the boys were throwing sand AT us.  They had belittled and ignored the complaint.  Now the boys were throwing sand at HIM and he didn't like it at all.

The other adults, most notably the parents, made no attempt to say anything to the boys.  Apparently, the word no is not in their vocabulary.  

Can someone explain this to me?

Do the parents think they're doing their kids a favor by being "nice?"

Are they completely blind to the fact their kids are not learning behavior boundaries?

And please,

Don't tell me ages 3 and 5 are too young to understand the meaning of no.

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Aaaand … Tis The Season?

If you live in the US, I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving weekend.  Actually, I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving weekend wherever you live, and whether or not you celebrated.

My last guest leaves this afternoon.  I will then look around my thrashed house, freak out about The State Things Are In … and begin the process of guest-recovery.  I’m sure I’ll get everything back in order just in time for the return of family and guests in three weeks ….

Here’s a look at what I’ve been doing the past several days:

•  Cooking, cooking, cooking.

•  Eating and drinking too much.  Stretchy pants have never felt so good!

•  Hanging out at the beach.  We’ve had 85F/29.4 C weather.  Crystal clear skies – so beautiful!

Blinded_W-1
HDR photo of the beach last weekend.  And no, I don’t like HDR photography but I was playing with it anyway.

•  Car shopping.  I hate car shopping.  Hate, hate, hate!  However, my current car is leased and the lease is up in a couple weeks.  I need to look at cars in spite of the fact I hate doing it.  (And no, I have no idea what I’ll end up getting.)  What a waste of beautiful weather, don’t you agree?

•  A little Christmas shopping … primarily for/with my daughter while she was in town to try on clothes.

•  A little online shopping … to avoid the malls as much as possible.  I’m a hermit at heart and I hate shopping in crowded malls.

•  Managing a really bad pain flare-up.  (Is there such thing as a good pain flare up?  I think not.)  I’ll try not to bitch too much, but ….?  Whine, whine, whine!!  Also?  OUCH!  I think I’m on the downswing of it now … thankfully.  It, quite honestly, knocked me on my ass for a couple days.

Unstable-1
Unstable bluff area – stay clear!

I felt like I should walk around wearing the above sign, or something similar.  “Extreme pain flare-up, resulting in UNSTABLE moods, STAY CLEAR!”

•  On the positive side, all three of my kids were here for Thanksgiving.  It was so nice.

Sunset_TR-1
Sunset at the beach, pelicans flying.

Did I mention it has been absolutely spectacular here lately?

I love the fall in Southern California.

© Twenty Four At Heart