Daily Affirmation

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rocking and Rolling in the Southland

L and I have had some busy days lately.  We ended up getting our new TV (did I already tell you this?) and it was all set up and ready to go Saturday afternoon.  L immediately sent away for an Apple TV device, so now we can also have all of our music on the TV, as well as watch unlimited movies from Netflix.  We are happy campers.  If only we didn't have to work - we've been too tired at the end of the day to really enjoy much TV, but maybe that's for the best.

On Saturday we also did some spring cleaning and ended up throwing out the fake plant we had in the corner of the room by the windows.  We replaced it with the cutest chair that adds color and texture to that corner.

However, it also made us notice that now the windows need a window treatment of some sort, so we've been looking at drapes.  We have one of those honeycomb shades in the window now - we're not totally open-to-the-public exhibitionists - but it's obvious that draperies are in order now just to add some color, texture and anchoring in that end of the room.  I think we'll end up going with just a couple of panels at each side and tied back - decorative, not really functional.  When we make a decision and get them hung I'll post another picture and you'll see the difference.  But we love our little chair.  Its just perfect for sitting on to put on makeup, buckle or tie your shoes, etc.

It's funny how doing a little something here snowballs into doing something there, which makes this other addition necessary, and... well it's a domino effect, quite frankly.  We need to do the master bath over, but in order to do that, we need to do all the upstairs flooring (we're ditching the carpet and going with hardwood floors and area rugs), and if we do that, we need to repaint while things are torn up, and we might as well get the new furniture we want as well.  So all of that will wait until next year, when we (hopefully) also blow up the patio and make it like we really want it: an outdoor room that will be an extension of the living room, complete with a covered roof, nice outdoor furniture, a spa and a fire ring.  And a nicer BBQ.  Our house will be paid off next year, and that will give us some extra money to play with in addition to what we've saved.  So until then, we'll just do these little things.

Last night as we were peacefully watching the Olympics winding up for the day, all of a sudden there was a rather large shaking jolt of an earthquake.  It ended up measuring 4.4, but it was centered only about 2 miles from where I live so it felt pretty big.  All L could think about was his precious bathroom tile he worked so hard on, and hoping it didn't crack or fall off.  (It didn't.)  I cruised through the house and didn't see any damage done, other than a shampoo bottle that fell off the shower shelf.  I thought I'd heard a few more things rattling around, but couldn't find anything.  We slept peacefully.

This morning L went off to work, and I was alternating between work and watching the individual equestrian show jumping finals.  All of a sudden (and you kind of hear it a split second before you feel it) the house started to shake - a little bit harder than last night and it seemed more sustained.  I could hear things falling again elsewhere in the house.  Our precious TV was fine, however.  That shock was a 4.5 (bigger) and it wasn't as deep down in the earth as the one last night, so it seemed a lot bigger.  As I walked through the house, there were books and picture frames that had fallen over and/or off the shelves.  The phone in L's office had jostled loose from the cradle and fallen on the floor.  But it still didn't account for all of the noise I'd heard during the shaking this morning or last night.

It wasn't until I went to open up the armoire in MY office that I found the source: a shower of picture frames, toys and tchotchkes fell down on the floor when I opened the doors.  I've never been particularly careful about how I arrange things in there - mostly its just been to be visually pleasing when the doors are open.  I should have been more careful opening the doors.  One of the things that broke was a little China doll that my aunt had bought for me in Chinatown in Los Angeles when I was just little.  The face had broken once years ago but had been repaired.  This time, it really broke and I don't know if I can get it back together.  It's got no value other than sentiment, and it's old and raggedy but I really liked it.

It used to say "Mama" when you squeezed it's middle, but that stopped many years ago.  It's just a little knick knack from childhood that accompanies a good memory, so I'll try, with L's help, to see if I can repair it.  Looks a little hopeless though...  It definitely could have been worse: it could have been one of my Hummel figurines that sit up on a shelf.  I don't think the quake was a large enough to do significant damage, (like fallen furniture or shattered windows) but it definitely was large enough to make you check your emergency supplies and try to secure things a little better.  Ahhh... life in Southern California...  Every part of the country has something: tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards and extreme cold, horrible heat.  Or big bugs.  Some of these scare me more than an earthquake for some reason - especially the big bugs. (Have you ever seen a cockroach in Hawaii?  Enormous.  But if I had the chance to live in Hawaii, I'd probably learn to overlook the big bugs.  I think.)

So I hope you're all well, and winding up the summer in comfort.  I can't believe I'm actually starting to look at sweaters in catalogs with longing.  And I'm looking forward to Halloween and fall weather.  That won't be for a while now, but I can dream, can't I?  Summer is a favorite time when I just feel free; a throwback to summer vacations as a kid.  But I always always look forward to cooler weather, and the coziness that autumn brings.  In other words, I always seem to be looking forward to something else.  Is that a bad thing?  I choose to think it makes me optimistic.


  1. Hi, karen! NetFlix is the greatest! Mrs. Shady and I make heavy use of it, watching movies and old television series and skipping most of the current crop (rash?) of reality shows and talent contests on the networks. My NetFlix favorite is Weeds starring Mary-Louise Parker and I'm sure L will want to watch Kiss Destroys Anaheim. :) I think it's wonderful for you to look forward to the next thing as long as you can also enjoy living in the moment, the here and now. I'm very sorry to learn that two quakes rattled your home and broke your China doll. I hope you will be able to patch it up and keep it as a reminder of your aunt. I'm sure the tremors will be in the back of your mind as you make all the home improvements you have slated for the future. I pray you are spared any more shaking and quaking. Florida has the extreme heat and humidity, tornadoes, hurricanes and big bugs... and spiders... and snakes... and scorpions. So maybe the O.C. isn't all that bad after all, right? Happy day and evening to you, dear friend!

  2. Yikes! That sounds very frightening, but you seem very calm. I've been in two tornados, but never experienced an earthquake. Sorry you lost some great keepsakes, but glad you are ok. I think looking forward is a very positive thing!!

  3. I'm so glad we don't have earthquakes here. So scary. I hope you can get your little doll fixed, especially because it's attached to so many memories. That chair in the corner is very cute. Good choice.

  4. I'm glad the shaking was only that. I loooove your chair!

  5. Hi Karen, your new chair is so great! I love the style and the colorful pattern. So sad about the little china doll! I hope you can fix it. I kept my Raggedy Ann doll until her legs fell off and it was too sad. A few years ago I found nearly the same doll at a flea market and purchased it. But it isn't an exact copy of the original that had a wind up music box inside the chest cavity that played Brahm's lullaby.
    I am also really looking forward to fall. It's so great to invite the cozy feeling in the house, with things baking in the oven, candles lit and the house just a little darker.

  6. I LOVE that chair! Where did you get it? Your house is so beautiful. It'll be nice to reach that point in life when your house is paid off and you have "play" money. Your house will be completely different the next time we come for a visit!

  7. Earthquake and you so nonchalant? Must be a Californian. I'm sick about your doll. I have a few things like that, and if they were ruined, I know I'd be devastated. Here's hoping L can work his magic.

  8. Love the new chair, and I think you can put it back together. I put a Lladro back together once that should have been totaled for sure. I am crossing my fingers!

    Todd was up here, so he missed the quake. Hope everything stayed in place at his apartment.

    I always, always look forward to fall and the holidays. That's my favorite time of year, and I think I will be able to enjoy it even more with Dave home now. We will actually be able to Christmas shop together!


  9. I guess we get used to things where we choose to live. Me HEAT. You EARTHQUAKES. I love the chair... looks cozy... and I know what you mean about the snowball effect. I'm getting fencework done this week, new wood floors and carpet downstairs next week... it is only going to make the need for new paint stand out!!

    Glad you are safe and the quake wasn't too bad.

  10. Such a nice looking corner with your new chair...very nice!!

    It's interesting about your quakes. We didn't feel it here. I talked to my daughter, Nancy, who lives in Huntington Beach, and she told me the reason we didn't feel it is because it was on a different fault. I can't remember what she called it. Our grand niece and her son, our great great grand nephew(how about that!) were staying in their studio apartment in Huntington and they had gone to Disneyland that day when they experienced the earthquake. They were both quite thrilled, especially Robert, the nephew, who had never felt one before. They live in the Dallas area. His mom, K.C. was raised in the San Fernando Valley so she had felt a few, but Robert thought it was great fun, and then the next day, they had the bonus one!! People find it hard to believe that we are so complacent about them, but we are so used to them. Pretty soon though, the BIG ONE will hit us and I can't imagine what will happen then.

    By the way, it isn't a bad thing to be looking forward to something else, or something better. That's just being positive, and that's a good thing!!

  11. It's always fun to plan what you would like to fix up and or redo... the chair and it's color is lovely - I love having a chair in the master room it's adds a look of comfortablity.
    Two quakes what a bother..I've not experience to many but I would rather not either. But any place can have quakes..I've been to Hawaii,and loved it but to live I rather head to Grants Pass, OR. for all the green and weather.
    But thennnn I too don't like big bugs..wink!

  12. We have little earthquakes here in Ohio..I've felt only one. We have the tornados too...but thankfully bugs are small! There's no perfect place to live...but we all adapt to what suits us. I love your chair and it looks great in that corner. I'd do "time out" there!

  13. I really love that chair. It looks so very comfortable to sit in!

  14. I have never experienced an earthquake...and do not have the desire for that experience! love your chair!! love the design and color...I know what you mean about snowballing..my poor husband gets the job of rearranging everything when I get that bug...fun though for me!
    happy weekend.

  15. You are brave with the earthquakes. Our few over the last 20 or so years haven't been bad, but I think the ever looming "BIG ONE" that is hundreds of years overdue is scaring me more than anything. At least, according to the graph, when it hits, the area in which I live will just suddenly liquify. It'll be quick and instant.


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