Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Relaxing Weekend To Offset The Weekly Fray

Maybe it's because I work at home now, but I felt antsy all weekend.  Just couldn't wait to get out of the house.  Anywhere - let's go anywhere.  My poor husband makes the trek from our house to Torrance every single day.  For those of you unfamiliar with the geography, it should be about a 35 minute trip one way.  But with typical California overcrowding, and accidents, and what have you it turns into about an hour and a half to two hour commute.  One way.  Every.Single.Day.  So believe me, he's not that anxious to get back in the car and drive around some more.
However, I've been blessed with an understanding soul mate.  A best friend.  He understands the complexities and nuances of me.  And so he got in the car on Saturday and took me to the movies (The Help - excellent, excellent!  If you haven't seen it, you must!)  After the movie we drove home, and I was still hoping to do something else.  We walked upstairs and changed our clothes - because I'd spilled the top layer of buttered popcorn on myself in the dark movie, and I had to soak the top I had on to get out the oily stains.  AUGH - I hate when I do things like that!  Got the soaking going, and suggested that maybe we could take the Miata out, top down, and drive through Carbon Canyon.  It was such a beautiful afternoon, and I just needed to be out of the house.  L sighed, but off we went through the canyon.  We took the curves, looked for the place where the hot springs and the biker bar used to be back in our wasted youth, ( never having gone to either, you understand - our knowledge was all high school hearsay and innuendo) and wound up on the other side of the canyon in Chino Hills.  There's a sweet little Italian restaurant there that we wound up having dinner at.  We chatted through dinner like the old friends we are, and got in the car to drive home.  Now, driving in the daytime with the top down is nice, but top down in the evening air is amazing.  The air was cool, the stars were out, and I turned on the heat so our feet would stay warm.  There's something a little magical about zooming through a dark canyon, zipping by the totally funky little town that's there, and finally heading home on the city streets with the top down to the night sky.  It soothes and exhilarates me all at the same time.
No - this is not a picture of our Southern California night sky. We NEVER see stars like this - too many
people, too many city lights.  But driving top down through the canyon at night FELT like this.

Today was our typical Sunday of church.  We came home and decided to change and drive down Corona Del Mar and walk the streets all named for flowers for a little exercise.  It was the first time I realized that the streets were named in alpha order (Poppy, then Poinsettia, then Orchid, then Narcissus, and so on)  I love those beautiful little streets.  1940s original cottages set next to a double lot Mediterranean style home, next to a Leave It To Beaver pure Americana home.  I have my favorites, but honestly, I'd take any one of them if I had the chance.  Especially if the front door was a Dutch door - you know, where the top half can open while the bottom half can remain closed.    I love those.
And all of the houses - cottages or large homes - have the loveliest flowers in their yards.

We walked several blocks, admiring each home in turn.  I have an ankle that is suffering right now from an RA flareup so it started to get swollen and sore, and we had to stop for a bit.  (I hate turning into an old geezer...) We found a bench on one of the bluffs overlooking the ocean and sat there admiring the view for about an hour.
This is actually a picture taken by my daughter in Puerto Rico - I didn't take my camera today, so I'm cheating.

There was an old sailboat out there that had a black sail like a pirate ship.  A couple of guys were out in a little raft fishing.  We saw a couple of seals.  We admired the seagulls that glided by - they hardly had to flap their wings at all.  The simply glided on the air currents for the longest time.  A little black pigeon limped nearby.  It's left birdie foot was all floppy and he was limping badly.  I could sympathize.  I wondered how it got hurt - maybe he had RA too -  but I was happy he could still fly.  Two older ladies asked if they could share our bench, and of course we said yes.  They lived in the area and were very well dressed in expensive looking casual clothes.  One lady was wearing a pair of yellow Toms.  I decided that I would like a pair of Toms, too.  They look really comfortable, and these days I'm all about comfort for my poor swollen foot.
L got hungry so we got up and walked/limped back to the car.  The sun was getting lower, and the ocean reflected it brightly.  "Sparkle light with yellow icing, just a mirror for the sun" - Red Hot Chili Peppers.  It wasn't a day that you would normally write about.  Nothing spectacular.  Nothing of note.  Just one of those good afternoons spent in the company of your best friend, yakking about anything and everything.  No pressures, no schedules to keep.  A relaxed agenda.  I know that tomorrow the work madness starts all over again.  But for a couple of days it was nice to have no demands on our time.  For a couple of days, time was ours to spend in any way we pleased.  And now, as the day winds down, I'm here blogging, and L is in the next room playing his guitar. A little Led Zeppelin, a little of this, a little of that.  It's a relaxing end to a very mellow weekend.


  1. I loved The Help as well! I went with the girls from my book group. We had all read the book and agreed it followed the book closely.

    I can't get enough movie theatre popcorn. I know it's awful and packed full of fat and calories. But I don't care! It's delicious and makes the movie experience. I hope the butter didn't ruin your clothes for good.

  2. What a terrific weekend! Gosh, to be riding through beautiful country in a convertible with the top down and with your honey- it doesn't get much better than that!

  3. I hung on every word Karen. It sounded like an idyllic weekend. Relaxing, beautiful, perfect company, romantic.
    Awwwww....to be riding in the California night with the top down. That definately took me on a trip down memory lane to my youth - with my husband.

    Thanks for sharing you wonderful weekend!!

    P.S. Those commutes are why we moved to Idaho. I feel for "L"!!!
    But we do miss those wonderful California nights :-D

  4. Gee that sounds nice. It felt like we were seeing it with you. Sounds very soothing and restful. I could just sit and look out at the ocean for hours.

  5. Like Cherie, I feel like you took me with you. And I liked the ride! (And the walk, too!!)


  6. Karen you have inspired me to visit CA sometime. Your writing evokes happy feelings and lovely images. I hope your ankle feels better soon.

  7. I loved 'The Help' also! I think your weekend sounds wonderful.

  8. There's nothing better than to have nothing that HAS to be done on the weekend. You had a little stay-cation and I'm jealous! Good for you!

  9. Thanks for that mini vacation you just took me on! Sounds like a great weekend. I did the exact thing you did with the popcorn but with a different movie..Planet of the Apes..(Jack's choice). Your corner of the world sounds so pretty. Oh, I actually have a dutch door in my kitchen...come by and open it any time!

  10. My cousins live in CA and my Aunt did until she died. My kids that have visited there have said the air smells better in CA than any other place they've known. I'm hoping to one day to get there...you made it sound heavenly!


  11. What a lovely day trip. I miss the Kansas sky at night where falling stars are in abundance, and you can even see traveling satellites. Have a lovely day, Karen ~ Alexandra

  12. Your weekend sounds AWESOME!! WIsh it were my weekend!

  13. I'd love to have a ragtop. I thing it would be blissful driving with the top down.
    I read The Help. I knew it would be an incredible movie. The author went to the University of Alabama. She grew up in Jackson Mississippi I think.

    Sounds like a great weekend. It's good to get out of the house.

  14. You guys are such a cool couple and it sounds like my favorite kind of a weekend! You described it well! :)

  15. Sounds like a sweet weekend. TOMS are amazing. Ash and I both love ours. I say go for it.

    PS You have like a billion followers and comments. My little blog and I are jealous. :(

  16. You. Are. So. Sweet.
    xox Alexandra

  17. I would have loved to tag along with you on this weekend, but I guess that would have ruined it huh? California is amazing, even with the traffic

  18. You have one GREAT husband, Karen! I can't believe that LaMar would drive you around all weekend after the horrible commute that he has each day. You are a lucky lady!

    Having said that, I think it is wonderful that you had such a lovely time driving around in the Miata with the top down. That must have been a great ride, and so relaxing. (I hope it was relaxing for LaMar) Your description of the views and places you went were so interesting....almost like being there. Hope you have the energy now to take on the rest of the week.


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