Saturday, July 23, 2016

Scorcher

Today is going to be another scorcher!  While temperatures in the low-to-mid 90s may not sound that hot to those of you in dry AZ, here on the east coast its not only hot but also humid.  So today's 93 degrees will feel like something over 100 degrees due to the humidity.

Dehydration can occur quickly in weather like this so I'm reminding everyone to be sure and drink plenty of water.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Happy birthday!!

Today is Spouse's birthday AND Walter's birthday!!

Unlike Marvin's birthday which is unknown since he was a rescue, we actually know Walter's birthday.  The couple from whom we adopted Walter told us his birthday was July 20, exactly 8 weeks prior to the date we adopted him.

So 2 of my favorite guys share the same birthday!

Here's my favorite photo which includes all 3 of my favorite guys:

To celebrate, I invited Steven & Thad and Joe P to join us for dinner.  Afterward I gave Spouse his birthday gift which was a 12-slot watch case in which he can store his growing collection of watches.

These 3 guys have brought immeasurable joy to my life.  I can't imagine living without them.

Monday, July 18, 2016

House painting

Last Mon the crew began prepping the exterior of our house to be painted.  We have HardiPlank siding on much of the house so that didn't need much prep, but we also have a lot of wood trim.  Some of the wood trim was peeling and flaking, and there are a few spots where the siding was damaged due to a roof drainage problem that's since been corrected.  So they started scraping, priming and caulking.

We initially got quotes for repainting just the areas that needed it, but both painters said that since our home is 11 years old we would need the rest of it painted within a few years, and doing some now and some later would cost more than doing it all now.  This made a lot of sense, especially considering the height of the home (3 stories) and the time spent setting up ladders, tarps, etc.  

So, since the entire exterior is getting painted, we decided to change the color scheme completely.  This is what our house looked like before they started:
The siding is a sand color, the doors are burgundy, the shudders are dark green, and there's a lot of white trim.  This color scheme was the builder's choice; we bought it after the home was completed.  As a reproduction Victorian farmhouse I'd always thought the color scheme was very 'safe' and didn't reflect the way most Victorians are painted with multiple, stronger colors.

So, this is our new color scheme:
The siding will be sage green, the scallop siding in the gables will be Autumn Orchid, the trim will be Mardi Gras purple, and the doors and shutters will be Cameroon green.  What do you think of my pallet?

We actually selected the painter and the colors back in March, but it was still too cool to begin the work.  It has to be at least 50 degrees, so we waited for warmer weather.

And then it began raining.  We had at least 1 day of rain every week for 8 consecutive weeks, and many of those weeks had more than 1 day of rain.  This, of course, caused the painter to get backed up, which is why they finally got to our house in the heat of July.

So they spent 4 days prepping and then on Fri the 1st color went on:  Mardi Gras purple on the trim.  I loved it immediately.

I'll post more photos when the house is completed, in another week or so.  I'm really excited to see it all come together!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Karaoke compliments

Last night I went to karaoke at the Blue Moon as I often do on Thurs.  Since its now peak vacation season there were quite a few people there.

The 1st song I sang was "Crazy", made famous by Patsy Cline, and the 2nd song I sang was "Dark Lady", made famous by Cher.  I did throw in a bit of impersonation since both artists had such definitive singing styles.  I've sung both songs before so I was very comfortable with them.

I was kind of amazed that the folks were so forthcoming with their appreciation.  I mean, its not uncommon for me to get a compliment or 2 after singing at karaoke.  I've had lots of vocal training and performance experience, yet its still nice to get a compliment here and there.

But last night I had 6 different people tell me how much they liked my songs!

One gentleman told me he was a retired opera singer from NY, so when he said I did a good job I should really consider it a compliment.

Another guy said that he was a huge Patsy Cline fan and that he wasn't hopeful when he saw "Crazy" come up on the screen, since most people butcher the song.  He said I'm the only 'karaoke singer' he's ever heard do the song justice.

A couple complimented my singing and asked if I sung professionally.  I thanked them and told them I performed in the Legends show and explained what that was about, to which they responded  "Oh, so you're a star!"  I chuckled and said "Well, a local star perhaps."

I had a lot of fun and it was really nice to get so many compliments.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Grateful

I try to be grateful.

For instance, I had to work yesterday (Sundays are typically my day off) so I wasn't able to spend the afternoon at the beach, which is disappointing.

But, I'm grateful to have a job, especially one that I like.  Also, I'm grateful to live near the beach, which enables me to go there often.  I fully realize that many people wait all year long for a week's vacation at the beach.  I can go there anytime I'm not working and its not raining. 

So yesterday after work Spouse & I met up with Steven & Thad at the new Fresh Market, which has lots of prepared foods, then went to the beach.  The weather was very nice and there was hardly anyone there, save for the 2 families in semi-matching outfits having their portraits taken.  We set up our chairs facing the water and talked as we ate our dinner.  

Spouse & I shared some Thai noodle salad and a Mediterranean orzo salad, both of which were delicious, and even had white chocolate macadamia nut cookies for dessert.  Steven & Thad shared salads and sandwiches.

We stayed until sundown and I'm grateful for the time spent.

Monday, July 04, 2016

July 4th weekend recap

We had a really nice holiday weekend!

Bugsy & Roger were there when we got home from work on Fri and we sat on the screened porch and chatted until dinner time.  The 4 of us met up with Steven & Thad at Fish On! and had a great meal.

Sat morning we walked over to the Farmers Market to poke around, and came home with some fresh blueberries.  Spouse & Roger went to the grocery store while Bugsy and I walked over to the arts show and sale.  I ran into several friends and neighbors which was nice, since I'm rarely off work on Saturdays to attend these kinds of things.  While there I bought this cute stained glass star:
I hung it in the kitchen window where we have other rainbow-colored stained glass pieces:
That evening Spouse & Roger made chicken and beef fajitas with rice and beans for dinner as well as a homemade strawberry/blueberry pie.

Since the weather was so nice we ate on the screened porch.  Steven & Thad came over too and we had a fun evening eating, talking, listening to music, and of course laughing.

Sun morning we had biscotti, scones, English muffins and coffee for breakfast and spent more time on the porch.  Marvin was feeling extra social and sat on Roger's lap.
That evening we had dinner at Jimmy's Grille, a new restaurant with delicious meals and desserts.  Afterward there was more time on the porch.

Mon morning Bugsy & Roger packed up their car and headed home, since they had some plans for the afternoon.  The weather forecast showed a significant chance of showers all day so my plans to drive Big Ella in the Doo Dah parade became less and less certain.  Although we didn't have a drop of rain all day, by 5:00 parade start time it looked as if the skies were going to open up.  Steven & Thad and Spouse & I walked over to the parade route in false optimism, and as soon as we got our chairs set up it began to rain.  Fortunately it wasn't a heavy rain so we sat there and watched the abbreviated parade.  

We had a great visit with our friends and look forward to their next visit.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Friday

Its the Fri before the 4th of July holiday weekend and I'm excited!

Our good friends Bugsy & Roger are arriving today and I am scheduled to be off work Sat, Sun and Mon.  We don't have anything special planned, but I'm sure there will be lots of sitting on sitting on the porch, talking, laughing, eating and relaxing.

Of course there's the Doo Dah parade on Mon, a highlight of the July 4th festivities.  More details on Mon.

Monday, June 27, 2016

It doesn't work like that

As I've shared before, I'm a realtor and I really enjoy my job.

Even before I became a realtor I enjoyed watching HGTV's "House Hunters" and its variations "House Hunters International", "House Hunters Renovations", etc.  And I still do.  

But I have to laugh when I hear the comments of some of the home buyers like "Oh, I really don't like these white appliances.  These will have to be changed out with stainless steel immediately."  The realtors' attempts to mitigate a home's deficiencies can be nearly as comical, like "This home offers a great opportunity to build equity by updating a few things."

But likely the most unrealistic part of these shows is their insinuation that a realtor shows a buyer 3 homes and then they pick 1 to buy.  

It doesn't work like that.

Even if buyers fall in love with the very 1st house, they always want to see a few other homes to reinforce their decision.  But most of the time it takes at least 6 home showings before buyers are ready to make a purchase, and often it takes even more than 6.

I recently heard from clients to whom I showed homes over 4 years ago.  At that time they were expecting their house in another state to sell, so I kept in touch with them for a couple years.  Finally, after 4 years their house sold and they called me to say they were coming to look at homes again.

Sometimes that's how it works.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Weekend

The weekend's almost here!  Hope you have a great one, and please try not to sleep with anyone else's husband.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Priscilla

Last night my friend Joe P and I went to see our local regional theatre's production of "Priscilla: Queen of the Dessert".  What started as an indie film later became a Broadway musical, but we learned that last night was the 1st time "Priscilla" was put on by a regional theatre, so that was exciting.

Who doesn't love the story, the music, the snark, and the overriding theme that happiness comes from true self-acceptance?  Fortunately this production did not disappoint.  Two of the 3 leads (playing Mitzi and Felicia) were young, handsome, and extremely talented men who danced, sang, and spoke (with a believable Australian accent) their way into our hearts.  The actor playing Bernadette had far less singing and dancing, and had trouble maintaining any kind of consistent accent, but this did not damped our enjoyment at all.  The ensemble was energetic and competent and the sets were in keeping with the minimalism of the theatre's name: Clear Space.

We really enjoyed the performance and I was sorry Spouse and other friends didn't join us.
I took this photo of the cover of the program

Monday, June 20, 2016

And the livin' is easy

After what seemed like the rainiest Spring in years, we finally had some nice sunny days last week.  Sat night Steven & Thad came over and we ate dinner on the porch.  Yesterday morning Spouse & I enjoyed a peaceful morning sitting on the back porch with our coffee and our dogs.  As you can see, Marvin did what he does best.

We did a few things around the house and then got ready to go to the beach for the 1st time this year!  It got pretty darn warm outside, but of course when you're sitting on the beach you get the cool breeze off the water so it actually felt perfect.  

We sat and relaxed for a while, went for a walk, and chatted with a few friends we ran into.  It was a great day!  Later we showered and met Steven & Thad for dinner.

Happy 1st day of summer!!  

Yep, today is the official 1st day of summer.  I hope its a great one for us all.  Spouse & I have no travel/vacation plans for the summer since its not a good time for me to be away from work.  I'm a realtor in a resort area, so summer is busy here.  But we will have summer weekend visitors, and we'll spend as many days on the beach as we can.

What are your summer plans?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ab Fab!

Spouse & I are big fans of the British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, also known as Ab Fab.  I remember when the Logo cable TV network showed the reruns for what seemed like 20 out of 24 hours a day, but they were still funny as hell.

I must admit that there were times when I wasn't sure what they were saying.  Between the accent, the British words that don't mean the same in American English, and the often drunken slurred speech, sometimes I just used the context to figure out what was presumably said, and laughed my ass off.

So its with great expectation that I await the return of my 2 favorite champagne swigging, vodka-soaked divas in "Absolutely Fabulous - The Movie".

The trailer looks quite promising!  The film opens July 22 and I'm really, REALLY hoping my local cineplex will have it then.  This is one we'll definitely want to see in the theatre.

Any other Ab Fab fans out there??

Monday, June 13, 2016

In the wake of tragedy

By now everyone is painfully aware of the horrible massacre that took place early yesterday morning at the nightclub in Orlando.  With similar terror attacks in movie theatres, restaurants, shopping malls, concert venues, airplanes, and Federal buildings, it is understandable that some people don't feel safe going anywhere now.

But I urge everyone to not become a victim of fear.  Rather than becoming paralyzed by the fear of a potential terror attack, I urge everyone to ACT, as fellow blogger Fearsome Beard has done.  You can easily send an email to President Obama and Vice-President Biden using THIS LINK.

Here is my letter, nearly identical to Fearsome Beard's well-worded letter:

Dear President Obama/Vice-President Biden,

Please do not delay in pushing forward responsible, sensible gun control. Assault weapons have no place outside of law enforcement and military use. Handguns need only be in the hands of thoroughly vetted responsible citizens and in limited numbers….if at all. The tragedies we endure can and must STOP.

Freedoms are actually limited in a free society. They are limited by the freedom's infringement on the safety and security of fellow citizens. Of this I am sure you are quite aware. I believe in you and implore you to do the right thing by pushing forward and holding those controlled by the gun lobby responsible for our recent tragedies.

Thank you for your years of service. You are an inspiration. You have accomplished many great things and your legacy improves not only the United States, but the world as a whole. May sensible gun control become part of your legacy to the absolute best of your ability.

Sincerely,



In addition to writing the White House, also consider writing your other elected officials. How can we complain if we have done nothing to demand change?  We need more than tears and prayers for the victims; we need action.