Wednesday, April 11, 2012


With the holiday season behind us, I find relief in being able to return to my boring, boring life.  But that's the way I like it!  There's nothing wrong with a change of pace, I just like to know it's coming!  For example, I like to go shopping.  I don't like to go when I didn't plan to.  (And as I typed that I realized I forgot to get milk when I went out earlier this morning -- on a trip I planned.)  I thoroughly enjoy traveling, but I also like to do it after several days to plan my agenda:  when to pack, what to pack, when to leave for the airport.  Time to stop newspaper and mail delivery.  But once on the road, my heart's in 100%. But as I was saying, my daily agenda at the present time is boring.

The year started off routinely.  Dawn, Bob and the kids came over New Year's Day for our traditional meal: pork roast, sauerkraut, molded pear salad (referred to as green Jell-O salad) replacing the healthier but not eaten greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread.  We also took pictures that will be included in the calendar for 2013 -- the cover photo with Dawn, Bob, Brandon and Sophia and one, for January, of Sophia and Brandon only.

The kids were back in school on January 3, just in time for a day off the end of the week. Without snow to play in, the Wii has filled many leisurely hours and the family has instituted a "family night" at home.  When homework is done, they play games.  The other day I was introduced to Golf when there was no school in observance of MLK Day.  I'll just say I didn't do very well and the kids had a ball witnessing my failure to grasp the concept.

Sophia's dental work is under way.  The back story - one day when she was 4, she was jumping on her bed, fell and hit her right incisor on the bedside table.  It was certain Sophia would lose the tooth, but miraculously, it reseated itself.  It did so so well that when it was time, and then past the time it should be pushed out by the permanent tooth, it wasn't. X-rays showed that the permanent tooth was there, but had failed to drop down.  And the baby tooth was becoming longer, as though it wanted to come out ... maybe.  The dentist pulled it over a year ago and the reason it had remained in place was probably due to the fact that it had grown longer.  But even without the tooth, the permanent incisor failed to come down.

Eventually she was taken to visit a pediatric dentist who determined that the permanent tooth bud had been damaged in the accident.  The tooth had developed but was upside down with the back of the tooth facing forward.  As a result, Sophia has spent the last couple months having the lateral incisor moved to its proper position to make room for the central incisor.  The surgeon has since operated to expose the bottom (and back) of the tooth and attached a "chain" which will be gradually tightened, pulling the top of the tooth down like a drawbridge.  At a certain point the chain will be moved to the front of the tooth to complete the repositioning. 

Dawn and Bob are doing fine.  Last winter Brandon began stripping bathroom wallpaper in anticipation of Dawn's redoing the room.  That's finally happened and the 70's-style decor has been moved into the current century with ice-blue paint on rough-plastered walls.  Bob, every woman's dream of an all-around handyman, installed a new combination ceiling fan and light fixture and moved the wall switch to just inside the bathroom door rather than its former site half way into the room.

Early in January Brett mentioned that their jobs might make it necessary that he and Michelle would move to Los Angeles.  Brett indicated that they could use my help during the transition since they both would need to be elsewhere than at home several days a week and the dogs would need a sitter.  The follow-up call came the end of January.  Brett was taking a position in the corporate office in Los Angeles and Michelle  had accepted an offer from a company in Burbank. Three days later I was in San Francisco.

I spent February helping pack and keeping the dogs company while Brett and Michelle devoted their time to finding housing in LA when not in their offices.  Plans fell into place and even the hiccups that are inevitable were overcome.   The moving company was selected after bids were received and the date for the move was set.  Packing was finished on Monday, February 20, the van loaded on Tuesday, the drive down  done on Wednesday and goods were off-loaded on Thursday.  Michelle's parents arrived Thursday afternoon to help with unpacking and I flew back to Ohio on Friday.

The "bar" to the right is about the height of the fridge's freezer
The house Brett and Michelle are renting is in Venice, a beach community west of Los Angeles.  The house is quaint, a one-of-a-kind structure.  Kitchen counters are cement.   The "bar" that the homebuilder installed is nearly five feet above the floor. The owner/ resident was single at the time and didn't sit down for meals, but stood at the counter to eat.

The guest (or hall) bath is plain-jane.  The master  bath, however, is not.  There's a large in-floor tub that two people can sit in comfortably, but access requires one to sit on the floor in order to get into it.  The hand rail on the wall isn't to assist the handicapped, but to enable the occupant to pull himself up and out (if she or he doesn't  simply crawl out onto the floor!). Sliding barn doors separate the third bedroom/office from the dining area and the master bath from the hallway.

This winter has been the winter that wasn't.  Forecasters warned as 2012 approached that  January would be very cold and February, warmer but very snowy.  Wrong.  On both issues.  I believe the overnight temperature dropped into the teens only two or three times in the entire season.  What could have been snow came down as rain because it was too warm for snow.  Daily temperatures in January fell between the mid thirties and low forties.  I was in California in February, but daily temperatures in San Rafael and Ohio paralleled each other.  Sunny skies were common in both areas.  Typical for northern California, but certainly not for northeast Ohio.

March continued the warm trend.  Record highs were set from March 17 to the 24th, ranging from 77 to 82.  By Easter, April 8, ranges were more seasonal, and therefore, cooler.

I enjoyed the time away, relaxing in California while keeping an eye on the dogs. But when I returned home, I vowed to clear the list of tasks I'd left behind.  In November, my brothers, Jason and Jeff, and I had spent a day together, a rare event since Jason and Evie live in Georgia.  I'd brought photo albums of our parents.  Dad's had been put together by our mom.  After she died, I made a similar one of her life.  But neither Jason nor Jeff had any of the pictures and asked that I make copies.  So I spent a weekend copying them and posting on Picasa.  From there they can get prints or just enjoy scrolling through the on-line albums.

About 1944
About 1944
Me - About 1944
About 1964
Parents' 40th Anniversary - 1978
Coincidentally, Dawn has asked questions about our family history, questions I couldn't answer because I hadn't asked similar questions when my parents were alive, or the questions I did ask went unanswered.  We looked at, but without a subscription, many records were unavailable.  So I enrolled.  There is so much information there, much of the family data already gathered by others and available to the "public"!  And still, there are holes to be filled.  Every few days I go on a search for information , hoping to fill in the blank spaces.

Now that I've shared early 2012 happenings around Park Place, we can move on to spring!  

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