Saturday, January 29, 2011


Yup, it's "Timber" come Monday morning!
Hi there, after much debate and a tree trim, we have decided to remove the Cypress trees because they are:
Too close to the columns/pillars.
They were planted a long time ago (not by us) and should have been removed at least 20 years ago.
It makes it hard to paint the house right now.
They are so big they hide the house.
They are all dry inside and they are actually a fire hazard and these trees shouldn't be planted close to anyone's home.
The Umbrella plant invasive as it is is practically killing one of the trees and is lifting the cement.

But still, I don't want to KILL plants.

My job this afternoon and tomorrow is to dig up the surrounding plants and pot them and then save them to plant again after the trees are removed.  I need to get more potting soil and enlist the help of my son to make sure it gets done!

I rented the movie "The Social Network" last night and watched it and returned it this morning at a RedBox location.  I thought it was good and informative.  It left you with YOU being able to make up your own mind what happened.   That aspect makes it a good movie.  It lets you be a part of the movie similar to movies made years ago ya know, the ones without the sex blatantly in your face.  They'd kiss and the bedroom door would close and left the rest up to your own imagination.  Now it's all about seeing 'em naked and well, I'm not a prude but I never think that, THAT makes or breaks a movie.  I'm not on Facebook yet.  Maybe one of these days.  People say I should have my little shop on there and maybe I should.  Hmm.  Decisions, decisions.

I'm pleased with myself as I finally made the Chevron stitch work.  I just needed to be full awake to do it.  I kept messing up the counts.  Will have some pics to share next week.

When I went in the market this morning to return the movie I planned on getting a few things for the weekend and being in a kinda rush since I had to go to the bank before I opened the store, I rushed around picked out some food (mostly bread darn-it, good deals always win me over) and since I was rushing, I didn't make coffee so I picked up a cup and then they had some free donut holes so I ate a couple of those and a small hunk went down my sleeve of my sweatshirt and as I was leaving the store maneuvering the basket and coffee splashed onto my arm and inside onto the other sleeve.  Geez, I could snack on my sweatshirt messes.  Isn't it weird that, that kind of stupid stuff sometimes makes ya mad and sometimes ya just laugh at those things in life.  This morning, I laughed. 

Why I'm not thin!

I hope you have plenty to laugh at this weekend.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Renovation Update

Here are a some pics of the trees that are now cut back and of the house being painted in the front right now.  The trees look better but I thought they'd be cut even lower so you could see the columns more.  The Umbrella plant is really invasive, see what it's done to the Cypress tree?  It's all bald, no green and all brown on the inside.  Can you tell how close to the columns they are?  They should have been cut down 20 years ago.  They were planted too close to the columns to begin with.  We're thinking that we'll remove those trees after all. 

The new garden is filling in & the pink ice plant is in bloom

A pretty ivy geranium is blooming.

My customer K, was all smiles to get his package yesterday.  Glad that is OVER!

I'm trying to do the chevron crochet stitch (zig-zag) and it's being a bugger and taking me awhile to get it.  I've watched u-tube videos and followed the pattern from one of my crochet books.  I'm not giving up, I'll figure it out. 

Hope you're having a pleasant evening! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Found Package

Howdy, first I just wanta say that I hated the feeling of looking at my different customers as suspects in the, "Case of the missing package".
Here's what happened:
On that Saturday after the pkg. got delivered and I had called K, while I was busy helping a customer, one of my other mailbox customers came in with a whole armful of lightly used bubble wrap and asked me if I wanted it and I said sure, "Go put it in the back room, thanks".  Well, he put it right on top of the box we thought was later lost or stolen.  Now, I hadn't put that box on the pile of other boxes like I thought I, I kept it out thinking that K would come and get it that day since he was anxious to get it.  That is why it was still on the counter and then got covered up with the pile of bubble wrap.  

That was the same Sat. the landlord and his crazy buddies gerry-rigged the ladder to go on the roof, BTW, they got off the roof without injury!  But they made me nervous all day.  

Since Monday was a holiday my DH decided to come to work with me on that following Tuesday.  When we got in the shop that morning, we got busy packing a large shipment.  I needed the counter space so I asked him to put all that bubble wrap that was on the counter to the storeroom and so he scooped it up took it to the back and put it on a pile of other packing materials.  Since the box was lightweight (of course it only had a small ipod touch in it) and only about 10" x 6" x 3" all that darn bubble wrap covered up the box totally and he never felt the box under all the wrap.  So there it sat....hidden....until this morning when my wonderful son found it.  He and DH came in with me to do some errands and also to help organize the storeroom since it's been messy from the Christmas rush.  I had looked back there briefly for the missing pkg but we only put really large pkgs back there and I knew I didn't put it back there.  This was such a relief, I tell ya.  I thought I had lost my mind and gave it mistakenly to another mailbox customer, that I wasn't doing my job, that I 'd let someone down who was counting on me.  

I have to make changes so this doesn't ever happen again.  Also I'm doing up a letter making a new policy that people need to let me know if they are having stuff delivered that is of high value and enforcing our current contract with them which says to pick up their pkgs within 24 hrs of delivery.  I know sometimes people can't make it in but every effort should be made when it is of high value.  In other words, I LIKE TO SLEEP AT NIGHT and this past week has been nuts.  K didn't come get his package today after we left him the msg. this morn.  In fact he didn't even call.  Maybe he's been working all day which is why he can afford a $300.00 ipod!  I swear I feel like sleeping with the damn pkg under my pillow tonite!  But, it is safe so now I will sign off and jump into bed and sleep soundly and I hope you do the same.  

Take care and have a prosperous week!


Hi!  YIPPEE, WE FOUND THE PACKAGE.  DETAILS LATER.  I gotta get sorting the mail right now and I hope to post what happened later today.  Have a great day!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where is K's Package?, Trees and Dan's Cap

Worst week in a long time.

One of my mailbox renter's packages from the backroom is missing.  This hasn't ever happened...not in 18+ years we've been in business.  No pkg has gone missing, EVER.  I've not slept well for the past 2 nights.  I can't believe it.  I'm sad, then mad, then sad, then mad.  Uuugghh.


My customer, I'll call him K, a longtime customer, very shy, mild mannered man, ordered something from Amazon and he told me that the first one they sent got lost in the mail and Amazon was gonna send another one to him and they did.  It was sent overnight and arrived last Sat. by Federal Express.  I called  K right away and left him a msg. that it was delivered and he could come get it.  He didn't come for it until this past Thurs. morning.  When he arrived, I was helping another customer but I got his pkgs for him but I couldn't locate that one.  I told him I'd find it and I'd call later.  Then very softly he says, "It's worth $300.00" and I say, reassuringly, we'll find it.  He looked so concerned..  I got searching for the pkg.  NOWHERE!! damn,  slowly the pit of my stomach got a wrenching feeling.  I tried to remember all that had happened from Sat. to present time running it thru my mind.  Did I give someone his pkg by mistake?  If I did, my customers would surely bring it back...but...hmm, they hadn't brought it back or called me to tell me they had it.  I got worried.  I called everyone that had picked up pkgs that week and asked them, "No" they had only got their pkgs.  I didn't even know what was in the pkg. just that is was worth $300.00.  At the end of the day, I was realizing that it was GONE.  What happened??  I got the sick feeling again.  Then at the end of the work day I left K a msg. saying that I was still looking into it, terribly sorry, but that he should come in ASAP and bring the invoice from his purchase from Amazon and assured him that I would pay him for the item.  He came first thing Fri. morning and I found out that it was an iPod Touch, a 32 gig one.  If one of my customers got it by mistake and opened it, there would be a temptation to keep it.  Damn, why couldn't it have been a stupid book, or something not worth so much...something only K would want so the person would bring it back.

I'm having a hard time thinking that a customer esp. if it was a mailbox customer, would keep it.  Where is it???  Sure, I have insurance but if I put in a claim my insurance would go up next year.  SO, I am now looking into scanning software and getting a (frickin') bar code scanner to log the pkgs in and out for people and now I'm wearing this as part of my wardrobe everyday:
That's my elbow and dang my arm sure looks fat!

This is the key to the backroom where the pkgs are kept.  This is the same room my computer is in.  I'm in there when I'm not at the front counter.  It will be locked every time I leave it and I'm making my mailbox customers wait until I'm finished with a customer before I get their pkgs for them.

Now on to other things.  We decided to trim the trees about halfway instead of taking them out completely.  The gardeners are there today trimming away at the trees as I write.  I don't want to go home until the chainsaw noise is over.  Here's a few pics that I had fun editing to see how the house might look with trees trimmed or removed.  The trees rose above the house by about 16 feet and you can't tell that in the pic.  I didn't do a perfect job on the editing but I learned more techniques with the software that I've had for years!
Orig. pic showing the tall tree

We chose to cut them about this low

This is what it would look like removed

Here is what I have been working on.  It went pretty fast.  My friend Danny had asked me to wash his fav hat and then it got funky-discolored and I thought about dyeing it or using dye markers in a pattern on it and then I got the bright idea to crochet over it!!  He likes it!  It will keep his head warmer now, too.

I just made the pattern up as I went.  I started out with a chain long enough to go around the insignia on the front and then did single crochet around that.  Pinned it in place around, cut the yarn and then began at the top making a circle large enough to fit around the button and continued to dc in the round until I came to the circle that was pinned down.  Then I went back and forth each time hooking into the sc of the circle until I got to the bottom.  Then on the brim, I started at the center back and then dc back and forth adding and decreasing stitches to make it fit.  Then I sewed it onto the hat with a needle and regular thread along the bottom and a few stitches around the button at the top and ta-da, finished.  I got more yarn and plan to make him a scarf to match.  The yarn is soft and is called Naturally Caron Country a washable wool (wool and acrylic) in charcoal.

I'm off to continue to work on the kitchen cabinets.  I made some progress last weekend and I just have to keep at it.  DH just called me and the gardeners are done with the trees.  Safe to go home now. It's a nice wknd again and I just wanta be outside.

This post is a long one.  All week in one post.  Thanks for reading to the end. 

Geez, I get to buy an iPod for K.  Think how much yarn $300.00 would buy!

Hope you're enjoying yourself and doing whatever blows your hair back!!!!

Edited to say:  The trees do look better now.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gorgeous Day!

Just took this pic looking north outside of my shop right now
Wow, it is so nice out right now.  Just how I like it, very little moisture in the air, blue sky and warm.  Days like this are the reason I have stayed in my birth state of California.  Now, if I could just feel as good as the day is pretty.  I awoke with a small headache hurting behind my eyes.  So I am taking this stuff.  I like it for those minor aches and pains and I love the name "END PAIN" isn't that what we are trying to do?  I don't like taking drugs of any kind but if I have to take something stronger to get thru the day then so be it.

I'm gonna take the M.L. King holiday off on Monday and get more of the kitchen refinished.  That is why I can't be gettin' sick or anything darn it. When I get home today I will start to wash down the cupboards since they have to thoroughly dry before using the finish stuff on 'em.  I haven't worked on them since early November.  Perfect weekend since it will dry fast.  No cooking this wknd! 

This is the snow capped mountains east of us that you can see out my shop's back door this morning.  

Landlord and his buddies have gone up on the roof to go about fixing some of the leaks.  He asked to borrow the ladder I keep at the shop and LOOK what they have concocted.  I just snuck these pics of them while I had the camera taking pics of the mountains.  Geez, guys for heaven's sake get a real ladder made for going up that high.  It's this activity that keeps hospitals in business.  Totally scary and stupid.  I can't wait for 2pm today so I can get the he** outta here.  
Does that look dangerous or what? 

On a lighter note...some of you don't know I have Cinderella feet, hee, hee.  I buy kids shoes when I find something I like.  I got these while Christmas shopping.  They are comfortable and perfect for no rain days.
That's all I got for today.  Hope you have a fantastic weekend and make something beautiful!

Friday, January 14, 2011

In Respect of Trees!

I found this last night and it made me feel better about the tree killing insanity of our government last Wednesday.  What an amazing planet we have.  Let's take care of it.  Look at what the trees do for us...clean the air, etc. and look at the energy output all year long.  LIFE does go on.  Watch it, you'll feel better, too.
 Eirikso's  You Tube Channel

Time sure seems to move this fast don'tcha think?  Have a great day and enjoy every minute!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dumbfounded: Arcadia Oaks Have Fallen

As I sit here today at the computer, I cannot believe that this has happened right next door to the city that my business is in.  The idiots/evil people at the Los Angeles Dept. of  Public Works and the LA County Board of Supervisors have leveled 11 acres of Oak Trees, Sycamores and all other vegetation and removed the homes of countless critters and bugs.  I don't want to think of how many plants and animals died yesterday and they didn't have to.  Damn them all for not choosing a better solution.  Some of these trees have been living here for over 100 years.  
Courtesy of Camron Stone who took photos of the area before he was asked to leave the site.  You can see his pics HERE

This morning after logging out of my email it always goes to the msn homepage and there at the bottom in small type, I read, "Four Tree Sitters Were Arrested in Arcadia".  I'm like, "HUH"? clicked on it and couldn't believe what I read.  I never heard anything about it.  Amazing more people from Arcadia, other Los Angelenos and more tree lovers weren't there to protest.  It surely didn't get much press or I'd have heard about it and so would many other people.  That was no doubt part of their plan.  In fact, according to what I've read the LADPW didn't notify the residents correctly or have the correct studies that were required by law.  BUT the damage is already done.  You can't bring back the life from yesterday's stupid massacre. 

Yes, we need to clean out the area above the dam so it doesn't burst open and flood but other solutions could have been figured out.  The government is getting too big and they don't listen to "We The People" and just bully their way through.  I'm just disgusted at the whole thing.  When I calm down I'm gonna write letters to 'em all. That will get it outta my system.

They held a candlelight vigil last night and even the actress, Darryl Hannah showed up.  Where was I last night?  Shopping at Target.  Wished I'd have known about this before today.  BTW, it is really pretty up in the canyon and in the foothills.  You don't feel that you are close to any city when you are there.  At least they didn't demolish that.  The neighboring community of Monrovia was smart and has purchased some land just below the foothills to keep the area in it's rural, natural state. 

The ironic thing here is that we have 2 extremely large Cypress trees in our front yard that are right up against the pillars of the house and have to be removed and I've been stressing over taking them out and the $ it will cost to do so.  We will plant 2 trees in their place but still I don't like killing plants!

Well, it's the end of work day and I need to do something creative and make myself feel better.  An evening of crochet is in order!  Truly hope your day was better than mine.

PS.  I want to thank those from the bottom of my heart that tried their best to save the woodlands, thank you, thank you so much!

A quote from John Muir: God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanche and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Crocheted Pilates Mat Bag Finished

Hello!  I finished this cover last weekend but I've been so busy that I haven't been able to post about it until now.  I sorta followed 2 different patterns as an outline for this project.  I did it all in sc and then made the opening a bit longer and did a dc for the loops to put the drawstring through.  I added the green edging to help form a kinda pom-pom flower look at the top to match the strap.  I used all but about 2 feet of the 2 skeins and had the plain green in my stash and I like how it turned out.  In the pic it's hard to see the green that runs throughout the yarn; it's a green strand and another color and is self striping.  I got compliments on it this week at class.  It sure makes it easier to hold onto from car to class.

Here's a few pix of my Hawaiian dance and Pilates classes.  Feels good to be exercising again.

Pilates class hadn't started; the room is usually mat to mat!  Can anyone guess which mat is mine?  

That's all for now, hope you have a wonderful weekend and find some hookie time!  I'm off, bound for Joann's to get some gray yarn...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Holidays Revisited

I snapped some photos of our neighbor's house last night; quick before she starts to dismantle it this weekend.  She always does it up big and her front yard sparkles every year.  I will miss her displays; if all goes well, this will be our last holiday season at this home. 

We've been real busy this week at the shop.  Hope this is a sign of the economy recovering.  We had to do some last minute changes to our phone book ads.  They are throwing in a webpage for us this year.  Hmm, I don't know about that but we'll see.  I'm always leery about things being "free".  I know nothing in this world is actually free, soooo time will tell on this.  

I felt kinda crappy last weekend.  I had 3 days and didn't accomplish much.  I slept more than usual and it was cold by our SoCal standards and I sat and crocheted, read, browsed the web for crochet patterns and made food.  Our oven is officially broken.  Maybe all the cookies finally did the damn thing in.  Crock pot and stove top food until it gets fixed (if ever).   

Here is a picture of my chauffeur for the last couple months.  Now I'm back to working solo again.

My wonderful son driving us to work in the morning.

Our commute along the foothills in the early morning just days before Christmas.  Well, here's to a lovely first week into the new year!  Thanks for stopping by...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's a New Year, Twenty-Eleven!!

2010 Gone, let it go...  WELCOME 2011!  Such possibilities a new year holds for us earthlings.  As far as resolutions go, I think I'll just keep the one I made last year.  I was to compliment others on something about them, their clothes what they were doing, etc. when I noticed it.  See, we all think things and rarely say it for whatever reason but I just decided that I was going to make an effort to SAY IT not just think it.  I know in a small way it brightened several people's day when I complimented them.  I also think that visiting other bloggers and when we leave comments, we are doing just that!  

How has blogging changed your life?  For me it has been wonderful new friendships, like a journey across the rainbow to find not a pot of gold, but something much better, the sharing of incredible talent, creativity, inspiration and ingenuity that is truly abundant in our world.  I've been awestruck at the beauty, laughed till I cried at the humor, been enlightened and changed my mind about things, all this I've found on blogs.  Maybe that is the gold we search for!  Thank you for that, thanks for contributing to my life and making it richer!

This reminds me of the song "Unwritten" by Natahsa Bedingfield:

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you

Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips

Drench yourself in words unspoken

Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

It's a new year, and it's YOUR life, go write it!