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Carine’s Blog

  • Things are "Fall"ing into Place

    Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013

    Things are Falling into Place
    This past week we all saw Summer leave us (pun intended) and Autumn arrive. I am loving it.
    It was with great pleasure that at 10 p.m. on Thursday the 19th I took Lucky out for her last "potty" of the day and was thrilled to realize that it was NOT 100 degrees! In fact it felt wonderfully warm-about 85.
    The next morning Steve and I got up and realized that it was only 80 at 7 a.m.! The strong breeze we felt was not blistering-just warm enough to remind us we had only a couple of more days until the season officially changed over. We decided that it was time to get the leash out and start taking Lucky (and us) for a walk.
    I had attempted this feat with Adam and Sam a week or so before and Lucky wasn't sure what is was we were all doing-but she wasn't happy about being put down on the ground.  She was fearing the burning sensation of the pavers in the yard I'm sure.  By the end of the walk though Lily, Billy and Lucky were all happy to have gotten out of their homes for a bit to stretch their legs.

    With the sun and lower temperatures giving us a great opportunity, Steve and I drove up to the outlet mall and enjoyed the misters and the other local pet parents as we window shopped while getting some much needed outdoor activity. At the 30 minute mark, Lucky sat down and begged to be carried the rest of the walk!  Seems as if her parents aren't the only ones who need to get back into shape!

    I've been using the treadmill almost daily, but Steve has come up with more excuses than I thought possible to get out of doing some real exercise.  Even spending the better part of his remaining 4-day work week to install a faucet (totally un-needed and former plumbing salesperson unapproved), then take it out and put the original back in.  He sweated, he was scraped up and bruised, but he did NOT get on the treadmill and exercise.

    Besides being able to get out and enjoy the cooler temps-we're also feeling slightly down about this being the last week for our waterpark to be open.  The pool will still be ready for some swimming for a couple of more months though.
    This entire new season has been a new way for me to look at fall.  Last year at this time I was "home alone" and just about to have some pretty serious hand surgery.  Pepper and I were making sure we had our "provisions", since I would not be allowed to drive for a couple of weeks.  My sister and brother-in-law were helping out, but I wanted to be sure I kept the added "burden" down to a minimum.  Fall in the great and wonder OC is different that here in the desert.

    In OC the weather had already begun to drop into the mid-70's during the day and dipping into the 60's at night.  Here we're still either breaking 100 or just dipping into the upper 90's at 5 p.m..  It feels good.  I'm getting used to my surroundings, we've made some friends, my kids are close and I've found a couple of new publications that I'm enjoying being a part of their writing team.

    My routine is getting set-things really are "Falling into Place".

    2 Replies
  • Did You Hear that Noise??

    Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013

    What Was That Noise?

    Last week's blog brought the knowledge from a reader that being alone in her home made her "hear" noises that scared the bejibbies out of her.  I had to agree-those 2+ months I spent alone in our home in Orange County made me rather nervous too.

    After all-it was just Pepper and I.  We didn't have any rain, wind or oddities going on, but then I'd never been alone without Steve or a dog before either.  So every little house "sound" had me wondering things such as:  Is someone trying to break in?  Was that water gushing I heard?  Do I hear the gas hissing?

    Plus-I think that since I was recovering from major hand surgery during most of those moments I was having major doubts about my being able to do anything at all about any of the above mentioned catastrophes.

    Now that we've almost been residents of Arizona for a year (the time does go quickly, no?) and we have a fearless Chihuahua named Lucky-I no longer have any worries about those unexplained noises.    

    I know you're all thinking, "A Chihuahua that's 5-1/2 pounds gives her piece of mind?"  I'd have to respond with a resounding YES!

    Sure she's tiny, sweet as they come and cute as a button (please don't say that part's easy since she's almost the size of one) but I don't think any of you would want to come in between our Lucky and any of her perceived dangers when protecting us!

    She's quite protective of not just me either-if a clap of thunder happens; she's herding up Pepper and trying to get him to hide in his post too.  And Lord only knows what she'd do if something odd happened while we're sleeping!  Even when she's buried herself under the linens at the bottom of the bed, if she hears Pepper padding around-she starts barking!

    We had a very nice morning last week, so the two of us joined Sam, Adam, Jackson and their shelties for a walk in their neighborhood.  It was touch and go for the first third of our excursion-the dogs had forgotten what a walk was since it's been too hot to go on one since the beginning of May-yet there was Lucky, protecting us all from passing leaves (it was just a tad of a breeze in the air), the sound of the trash trucks and other cars.

    One passerby said, "That's what those small breeds are all about-they think they're all German Shepherds".

    Now, he said that as if it's a bad thing.  Our first Lucky was a Shepherd mix-we loved her dearly and she protected us from everything and everyone.  She was especially protective of the kids.

    Somehow it's rather comforting to know that no matter where we live, what our cultural background is, how old/young we are or what we do to make ends meet we all have the same worries.

    Right after personal safety, the next major ideas that everyone seemed to be concerned about was our health and what the future held for our children.

    Amazing.  I'm willing to bet that if my questions had been written at the beginning of the 20th century the answers would have been the same.

    3 Replies
  • Let's Get Re-acquainted

    Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013

    It's Been a While-Let's Get Re-acquainted

    While on FaceBook I found this query from one of my "friends".  I realized that it had been quite a while since one of my blogs had some fun, so here are the questions and my answers, would love to see yours!

    1-What is one of your favorite foods to eat? Let's face it, if you've read this blog a while-you know it's anything veggie.

    2-Where is one of your all-time favorite travel destinations? Love the Caribbean!  We've had 6 trips there and would love to go again for our 35th anniversary in 2016

    3-Who is one of your favorite actors?  Honestly, I don't have one.  I go film by film.

    4-What is one of your favorite movies?  I'm very old school-I like to be entertained.  Not grossed out or disgusted.  I want to feel joy or deep thoughts when I sit for 2 hours.  Since I'm an old dancer-"Singin' in the Rain".

    5-Tell something that you've never shared about you before?  I haven't shared this, but again, if you've read my work at all, you know that family is the driving force in my world.  I'd do almost anything for my kids.  I'm an avid believer in rescuing fur babies and if I could-I'd have a pet rescue.  Any cruelty to innocents such as children and animals truly riles me up.  Shame on those who do it.  They deserve life without parole.  Period.

    6-My biggest concerns?  Same as most of you-the state of our world, what will happen to my kids and grandkids.  Will we ever retire and feel comfortable doing so?  Will my health issues improve?  Will my medical team ever actually be able to help me live a less painful life?

    Now-your answers?

    5 Replies
  • Forget Socks! Where Does the Pet Fur Go?

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Where Does the Pet Fur Go?

    When our kids were little we had a white cat, Snowy and a German shepherd mix, Lucky.  They both were "shedders".  It never bothered me.  But Steve would "lose it" at almost every meal because he would find a piece of fur or two in his plate.

    Maybe it's because I truly love the fur kids, but my stock answer was, "You know, you should be happy!  They only share with those they love."

    The kids would snicker and Steve would grimace.  Our home had lots of wood and during many of those years I either worked part-time out of the home or was a full time stay-at-home-mom.  Part of my daytime routine was to get out the floor vacuum and go over all the floors.  This was followed by getting out the carpet vacuum and going over them.    

    Snowy shed white, Lucky shed black-our floors were a lovely shade of gray.

    When our beloved first round of fur kids went to heaven we rescued Sunshine.  Does anyone realize how much fur one lab/golden retriever mix can shed and still have a full coat?  There wasn't a day that I didn't sweep, vacuum and do little hand "pick-ups" during all our wonderful 14 years with her.  And when Pepper came into the mix-well, it's just too bad that I didn't have the presence of mind and the ability to do something with all that fur!

    (As a sad note, Sunshine left us almost 2 years ago.  We still miss her even with "new" Lucky to love)

    Now we have Pepper and Lucky.  Pepper has never actually shed all that much, but even with her very sleek coat Lucky does.  However, outside of my clothes-I don't actually know where it all goes.

    Part of it is definitely on the area rug in the family room-I know this because Steve seems proud to show me the canister every time he vacuums.  But the bedroom rug?  No.  The bed?  Strangely enough-no!  The little dear sleeps under the sheets right next to me every night and yet-when I clean out the dryer filter-no fur!  Pepper sleeps with us too-so between them why is there not a single gray or brown piece of fur?

    Can it all be going onto one area rug and my clothes?

    I'm starting to make the analogy to "where do all the missing socks go?"  We know they go someplace, but do we ever really know where?  My impression is that someday will I find all our missing footwear covered in tabby and Chihuahua fur bursting out of some unknown hole in the house.

    Until then, I haven't heard Steve mention that he misses the "extra" loving on his dinner plates.

    6 Replies
  • Ch-ch-changes

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013


    I was just thinking this morning at how I've personally changed since starting this blog.  I started my musings on Independence Day, 2006.  My reasoning was simple-I wanted a place where I could dust off my rusty writing techniques, give myself personal deadlines and get back to earning some money with those skills.  And the reasoning behind Independence Day?  That I was starting my own Independence and getting back to my roots.

    My life is full-daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, in-law and grandparent, but I wanted to be Carine the writer as well.  I had truly missed that part, deeply-just didn't have the time to realize it until our son, Adam graduated high school and we shut down our day care business.

    There were no ideas of grandeur-just wanted to write.  And so it began.  Quickly realizing that while I could still write pretty darn well, I needed to do something about my technical abilities.  

    It took the help of a "kindly" stranger to get my list of favorites to be listed-if you try some of those links that are there-you'll find that some of them no longer exist-but my skills to take them off have not improved.


    But-I have found a way to post some pictures.  That's only been in the last couple of months-but I can do it!  Plus, I've learned how to navigate several social media sites and even post from my smart phone!

    All of these new talents were not easy for me-you'll remember way back at the beginning, I did write a post apologizing for not being able to acknowledge my favorite blogs or doing a whole lot more than just writing.  I called myself a "technodweeb".  

    It's not that I'm much better at my technical abilities, but I'm very proud of those I've honed.

    I wish I'd been able to have some of these skills when Dylan and Aidan were born-they were just as cute as Jackson-but I just wasn't able to add their baby photos-not even to "save my life".  And then I would have loved to have shared a photo of Sunshine.  Our dear and beloved (and despite our new adorable rescue, we still cry at missing her for almost 2 years now) Sunshine.

    Besides being 7 years older, I've written about job loss, aches and pains, graduations, marriages, births, remodeling successes (and annoyances) and our very long moving experiences-some of my posts have been put on other peoples blogs, a couple I re-wrote and had published in Chicken Soup books and others have been my sounding boards-this has been a good place for me.

    I'm not informing you (by any means) that I'm shutting down-this is still "my" place, but I'm hoping that you all still come here to share my life, my loves and hopefully still finding a bit of amusement in the process of visiting.

    2 Replies
  • I'm Completely Bugged Out

    Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013

    I'm Completely Buggy

    Unlike my eldest grandson, Dylan, who just is at the "bug" infatuated stage of his life-I do NOT like creepy-crawlies, flyers or any other things that find themselves under the heading of "insects".  

    Nope, not at all.

    This is why we have an exterminating service.  That sounds bad.  I know.  Here I am a firm believer in rescuing animals, wishing I could just house them all and love them "forever" and on the flip side:  I do not want anything to do with bugs.

    In California we always had a quarterly service.   Adam and I have a problem with spider bites.  He has had a few trips to the ER for the result of some.  I seem to recall once where one got his foot and it was first red and swollen and then black and blue to the point where wearing a shoe was not in the cards for almost a week.

    During our day care years-I was bit on the forearm while serving lunch.  My arm started to go numb and had red streaks going up it.  Not exactly a "good" sign.  I immediately told my husband to call one of the kids home and I was going to urgent care.

    Good thing-got a shot, had to lay there for almost an hour until they were as certain as could be that I wouldn't die driving home and was given a two week prescription for some high powered antibiotic (same as our son would get) as well as an arm brace.  The instructions were to go home, lie down and put my feet slightly above my heart for the rest of the day.  I was also told to come back in 24 hours to be checked out.

    Nope, creepy crawlers are not fun.

    Here in the desert-we have numerous bugs that both Steve and I have never seen before:  strange looking blue/black/metallic spiders, cockroaches, weevils and we were warned about the various scorpions.

    Nothing says "heart-pumping" like finding a scorpion fall out on the floor from the bed sheets you were about to wash!  Or seeing some creepy crawlies outside all your doorways and wonder what they are to the point where you put the dead ones into a Ziploc and ask the exterminator what they are-only to be chuckled at and told they're "harmless American cockroaches".


    This week-Steve found very small and dead bugs in a window sill he was vacuuming and then realized they were on the floor as well.  Another call to the exterminator was made.  He came and again chuckled at our calling about "non-venomous and non-erosive weevils".

    I suppose he wouldn't have chuckled if they were the "boll weevils" that ended the lives of cotton plants in the Midwest?

    Since he was here I told him about another scorpion I found near the trash can in the breakfast nook-that the body was smaller than the first but the tail was pretty scary.

    He said as long as it came in to die-the service was working on all these accounts and not to worry.  Scorpions it seems are able to flatten themselves to 1/5th of their thickness and get in anywhere at any time.

    Really?  Comforting to know.    

    Now I'm not only worried what is sharing our bed, but what may be wandering around the perimeters of my domicile.

    I'm pretty "bugged" out.

    4 Replies