Home safely

A photo I found online on Flipboard of Montecito, a small wealthy town next to Santa Barbara.

We picked up my friend at the airport, showed her our new house and the two little towns by us. Fortunately I had planned on a good dinner of grilled tri tip, corn on the cob, salad and mashed potatoes. I don’t normally cook that much, but I had found a tri tip on sale and the corn looked good!

She planned a good day to get stranded at the airport, since I was cooking. The next morning she had a flight and we dropped her off at Sky Harbor airport. She is home safely now.

We were busy last night looking at the news from Santa Barbara County. Montecito especially got hit hard and was entirely evacuated. It was five years to the day that 100 homes were destroyed and many lives lost. I remember my Physical Therapist telling me a doctor she used to work with had half his house swept away and he lost a child to a raging mud and rock slide.

This year, there were videos of Ellen and Harry and Meghan getting rained on. Five years ago, Oprah posted a video mucking around in her backyard.

I think about what a gorgeous town Montecito is, but also that it gets hard hit by floods and fires.

Another place, like my old home Palm Springs, that is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

Where is a place you like to visit, but wouldn’t want to live there?

Montecito Creek image from Yahoo News.

Wait and see

My daughter with Waffles and our Santa Barbara friend’s golden in their back yard a couple summers ago.

I’m waiting to hear from a friend who has a layover at in the Phoenix airport. She is one of my Santa Barbara friends, and if you’ve kept up with the news, you’ll know that Santa Barbara got hit with a major storm.

She’s coming from the east coast, trying to get home. But her leg from Phoenix to Santa Barbara has been cancelled. There’s another one at night, but with the Santa Barbara airport closed all day yesterday and partially closed today — due to flooding and mud covered runways, I wonder if she’ll get that flight?

She can’t fly to Los Angeles and rent a car, because the 101 freeway has been closed due to flooding from Ventura almost to Carpinteria.

We told her to call us and we’ll pick her up to spend the night if she can’t get home tonight.

I’m on wait and see mode, doing some cleaning and cooking, just in case. It won’t hurt me to have a clean house or food on hand, if she does make it home and doesn’t stay with us. We already planned a dinner of grilled tri-tip, corn-on-the cob and mashed potatoes. Perfect meal for a drop in guest! Or us alone.

Isn’t it weird that five years to the date Montecito had the huge flood, lives were lost and one hundred home lost? And now it was evacuated? It’s one of the most gorgeous areas along the California coast that we’ve visited for 37 years, yet it’s hit with natural disasters frequently. Or maybe because it’s home to Harry and Meghan, Oprah and Ellen, we hear more about it?

We’ll wait and see if we have an overnight guest. We’re ready.

What are your thoughts about drop in guests? Are you ready to have them or do you need to prepare?

What does qis mean?

alphabet board game bundle close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

While I was with my kids, my son asked me to drive to Target and buy a game of Scrabble. I’m not keen on driving in the Bay Area — really not driving anywhere. I’d walk everywhere if I could.

If you were watching the weather, a bomb of a storm was predicted. Fortunately, where we were in Berkeley — it wasn’t hard hit. There was a ton of rain and wind. Some houses were flooded, but we were fine.

Still. I wasn’t excited about driving. I walked to my daughter’s apartment, which is less than two miles from my son’s house. She asked me to walk Waffles the pug while she was at work. I asked if I could borrow her car to go to Target and the grocery store. The answer was “of course.” She left the car keys for me inside her apartment. She’s so close to her job, she doesn’t have to drive.

Scrabble wasn’t at the Target .2 miles from her house where I could walk. I had the choice of two Targets in other towns. I buckled in and found my way with little trouble except for dodging massive potholes — which must have cropped up from the storm. They were tire or car killing potholes. I avoided all but one and felt proud of myself.

Armed with Scrabble and groceries, I returned to my son’s house. He and his fiancee have been playing Scrabble online as of late. I haven’t touched the game since I was around 10 years old?

I played my son who was home alone (and doing very well after surgery FYI.) His first word he laid down was qis — notice there isn’t a u after the q. His word was placed at the center star where you get a gazillion extra points. I challenged the word.

“Look it up,” he said. “Google to see if it’s a word in Scrabble.”

I had my laptop handy and BINGO! Qis is a “yes” for Scrabble.

The next word he played was drat.

“That’s not acceptable. That’s slang!” I said.

“Slang is allowed.”

“Not in my day,” I argued.

Needless to say I lost by more than 100 points. This is not the Scrabble of my childhood.

We both broke out in fits of laughter when he built a new word and it resulted in a second built word “za.”

“You can challenge that if you want,” he said. “I’m not sure za is a word.”

“What do you think it means?” I asked.

He said it was short for pizza — but we were laughing and he admitted he had no clue what it meant or if it was a word.

I checked the laptop. Za is a yes for Scrabble. Short for pizza.

Do you remember slang words in Scrabble? What are your thoughts about what I believe are new rules for Scrabble? Is this the Scrabble of your childhood?

And now there’s weather

View from Indian Rock
View of San Francisco from Indian Rock park I enjoyed on an earlier visit to see my kids.

It’s my son’s surgery. I’m mentally preparing for the day ahead by visualizing what the day will bring. Go to the surgery center with my son. Buy him congee after surgery for a light easy-to-digest meal, buy ice, and help him get comfortable (FYI, I’m writing this on the morning of Jan. 4).

But then I got an email with friends who know I’m in the Bay area.

Here’s an excerpt from Yahoo News:

San Francisco is about to be hit with a ‘brutal’ storm so severe that a meteorologist says is ‘one of the most impactful’ he’s ever seen

The National Weather Service’s Bay Area office issued a frank and dire warning to citizens in a statement, saying the storm, which is currently forecast to begin peaking Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, could bring about flooding and the loss of life.

“To put it simply, this will likely be one of the most impactful systems on a widespread scale that this meteorologist has seen in a long while,” the warning read. “The impacts will include widespread flooding, roads washing out, hillside collapsing, trees down (potentially full groves), widespread power outages, immediate disruption to commerce, and the worst of all, likely loss of human life. This is truly a brutal system that we are looking at and needs to be taken seriously.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/san-francisco-hit-brutal-storm-155156145.html

Yep. This storm may make my caregiving duties more challenging than I was expecting. I’m hoping the news is over-hyping the storm and danger. But you never know.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I get through the next few days.

What is your weather like this week? Do you have storms headed your way?

Travel day

kids on a rock
Laguna Beach picture of my kids from around 2001.

After wandering around my house in shock for a couple days because of my mom’s sudden death, I headed to Berkeley to be with my kids. This was a preplanned trip which I think came at a remarkable time. My son is having foot surgery and he asked me to come up and take care of him for a few days.

I think this will help keep me busy and distracted. I think being with both my kids will be more helpful to me than I will be to them!

Of course the weather is supposed to be absolutely miserable with pouring down rain every day. I’m sitting at the airport in Phoenix with the blue skies surrounding me. I was worried about flying Southwest, but they seem to be back on schedule.

Here’s to my children and getting through my waves of grief. Here’s a link to my story about my mom.

If you lost someone in your life recently, what was most helpful for you to handle greiving?

Are you ready for Tuesday?

I am so ready for this election to be over.

At first I was really excited to be voting in Arizona. I lived in California for more than three decades. After California initiated the jungle primary where the top two candidates run against each other in the general election — it’s Democrat vs. Democrat. Guess who wins every single time?

In Arizona, there are more Republicans registered than Democrats, but the second largest party is “other.” It’s anyone’s guess who wins. It makes it very exciting to not have a foregone conclusion during an election.

But I am so sick of the ads. The signs. The emails. The texts. I’m sick of the whole thing and cannot wait for the election to be over!

Are you ready to put this election behind us, too?

What’s annoying…

hiking in the preserve
McDowell Sonoran Preserve

I like living in Arizona. I really do. I like being across the street from 130 miles of hiking trails that will never be developed. I also like the wildlife — bobcats, mule deer, coyotes, hawks, owls and coyotes.

But what annoys me are the grocery stores. It’s 30 minutes to drive to Trader Joe’s or Costco, which we make a special trip to do. There are four grocery stores much closer. But I have to stop at two to three of them to get my shopping done.

The one that is closest is very small. It’s not a national chain, but a family-owned local store.They never carry what I need. But they do have the only kitty litter Olive the cat will use — Johnny Cat. It’s the only one of the four stores near us that carries it. They also are the only store that carries Brown Cow yogurt. (If you haven’t tried Brown Cow, please give it a try. It’s amazing.)

So I start my shopping there for cat litter and yogurt. Next I go to a major chain to get mostly everything else. Specialty items I go to the upscale store down the street from the chain store.

I don’t mind driving, but I do mind going in and out of stores for what should be one-stop shopping. I never had this problem in Palm Springs. Maybe it’s still a supply chain issue?

Are you able to do your shopping in one stop? Or do you have to go to several stores to complete your list?