Sunday, January 23, 2011

Busy Me

I haven't had a lot of 'quiet time' to work on the blog for the past few weeks. As expected, my parents arrived on January 4th. My Mom wasted no time in scheduling a whole bunch of "projects" to occupy our time. My Dad, who takes a much more laid back approach to visiting, has kept himself busy in different ways.

The first two days of my parent's visit was spent adjusting their body clocks to California time. The weather has been superb, with temperatures in the 70's and 80's. My parents have been taking advantage of the warmth with daily walks - taking a favorite nature trail along the nearby protected Canyon ridge. There have been many reported sightings of coyote, mountain lions and beautiful Golden Hawks in the area, though they haven't run into any of these creatures... yet!

One of the first "projects" my Mom and I tackled was refinishing our patio furniture. Though we prepared well for the task, it took a lot longer than expected. Our glass top table is unique - it is rectangular in shape and can comfortably seat 8. It was a rare find when we purchased it back in 1998. (At that time, Hechingers was going out of business and we got an awesome deal!). We had to drive to 3 different stores to procure the matching chairs. The set has been moved to 5 different homes and really needed to be freshened up. We sanded, primed and painted the table trim, legs and all 6 chairs in one day. It was a long day!! Results were great, though:

My Mom was also on hand to see the "fruition" of her efforts from her last visit... We had planted a lemon tree in a container last November. When we had the sprinkler system and sod installed last April, I moved the tree from the container to a small planting area in the backyard. We're finally seeing lemons on the tree which made my Mom nearly squeal with delight!

Josie has been absolutely overjoyed to have her Grandmom here. Everyday she custom orders her breakfast: pancakes, yokey eggs, bacon, english muffins - you name it, Grandmom makes it! They play cards together in the afternoon, arrange Josie's stuffed animal collection, and generally just hang out together. My Mom is totally taken with Josie's friends who are at the house every afternoon. They play outdoors until it gets dark and Mom loves taking out little snacks and drinks to them while they play.

Maddie had finals this past week so she was really hitting the books. She did manage to squeeze some time for mischief with her Pop-Pop though. The two of them have always been as thick as thieves - and my Dad takes great pleasure in having Maddie chauffeur him around in her car. No complaints from anyone as they always return with Maddie's gas tank having been filled up by Pop and some extra change jingling in her pocket! My Dad is also loving the fact that the football games start at 10AM out here. Although, his usual routine of having a beer while he watches the game seems a bit inappropriate at that time of day!

Mom has helped me execute a few of the plans I had on hold, waiting for her input. I found some decorative items for the kitchen that I wasn't sure about... she thought they were nice so I went ahead with them. She also motivated me to get the upstairs hallway squared away. I had all the items (tables, original watercolor paintings we purchased in China and a few of my framed photographs from our trip to China in 2006) and I had an idea of how I wanted to use them. My Mom just jumps right in and says "Well, if you don't like it, you can always change it". Right she is!

The top photo is what my desk looked like this morning - covered with all the things I still need to get to... returning the Ariel princess shoes that are too small for Josie; putting photos on CDs for my sister and my sister-in-law; scanning the kids award certificates and other important documents; flight arrangements for our summer vacation (can I just tell you that airfare prices for the summer are RIDICULOUS!!!); and filing of my genealogy records. My cousin, Liz, in Sheffield, England just sent a package of photos to me this week. More lovely photos of my Grandmom in her youth - which I just love having. I have to get them scanned and then get the photos and documents entered into my REUNION software.

My parents left yesterday on a 7 day cruise from LA to Mexico. They've not taken a cruise in a few years and they really splurged with a mini-suite for this trip. We were all so excited for them and I know they are going to have a great time.

I will enjoy having my computer and plenty of 'quiet time' this week... maybe I can knock out a few of my tasks and get my desk cleared off a bit! I'll let you know how I make out! 'Till next time... Have a great week!

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