Monthly Archives: August 2011

90% done

As some of you that have been reading my blog regularly know, I recently moved.  Last Saturday…the hottest day of the year here in Los Angeles, around 104 F.  My boyfriend Kevin came with his nephew and the newphew’s friend around 7:30am and we went to U-Haul to pick up the 17 foot truck.  Then they started loading and I began to freak out a little that it was not all going to fit in there.  After a lot of rearranging, and moving things to fit “Tetris” style, it started to look better.  My friend Kim and her husband Robby also came to help out around 9am.  They had originally helped me about 4 years ago when I moved into that place.  Everyone was great about carrying all the heavy stuff, so that I wouldn’t hurt my back.  It was a little bit weird not knowing what to do besides tell them which things were going and where to put things, etc.  but at the same time, it was so great not having to worry about hurting my back any more.

Finally around 11:00/11:30am, the truck was loaded up and we headed out to the new place. Thankfully everything fit in the truck!  The unloading was done around 1:30pm.  The guys took care in asking me where I wanted things put and helped me get my bed all set up and some of the furniture arranged. Everyone was so great, dealing with all the boxes and the ridiculous heat.  I had bought doughnuts and LOTS of water to help with keeping everyone hydrated.  I had the truck all returned by 2pm and then took a quick lunch break with Kevin and then got busy with the unpacking.

As of today, I am 90% done with the unpacking.  I had taken the week off of work to get all unpacked and settled, and to go back to the old place for a lot of cleaning.  Once I’m all unpacked, I will post some pictures.  Unfortunately, my camera was all packed away for the move, so there are no picks of the craziness of the morning or of the towers of boxes.

Thank you to Kevin, Kellen, Brian, Kim and Robby….you guys were so awesome!  And thanks to all of you for your well wishes and kind words regarding the move.

Weekly Photo Challenge : UP

A few years ago I went on a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Temecula wine country.  It was amazing!  I know I posted a similar picture when I did a post about shadows, but I couldn’t resist this one showing some of the balloons going up, while I was already up in the air.

It’s Finally Here

Rebecca and I picked up the keys last night and today we are officially moving in.  We were disappointed last night when we saw the actual apartment we were getting, as it didn’t seem to be quite as nice as the one they had used to show us. But that was over a month ago that we saw the demo apartment.  There are a few issues to work out with the management that we noticed last night, such as scratches and dings on the cupboards and a leaking water drain, and it seems a lot smaller that the one we had viewed.  There is also very little counter and cupboard space in the kitchen 😦  which is not going to go well for my HUGE pots and pans set…lets just say when I originally bought that set, it was delivered to me in 11 boxes.  We just need to be thankful to have a place to live and hope that we can turn it into something nice.


Anyways, my movers are on the way, I’m sipping some coffee to help wake up and calm my nerves, I have doughnuts ready for the movers and am just praying everything goes smoothly.   The weather is supposed to be about 102-104 F today, so I have a lot of water laying around as well.  I won’t have internet for a few days, unless I can somehow connect to my wireless from my cell phone to work with the laptop….so until I get back online I hope you all have a great weekend/week and I will appreciate any kind thoughts or prayers for my move/unpacking/and for my back.



Shake, rattle…wait, was that an earthquake?

In light of the recent earthquake felt along most of the East Coast on Tuesday, it made me think that most of those people never thought they would ever experience an earthquake, and most likely, they were not prepared for one.  Now that I live in California, earthquakes are more common here, than when I was in NY.   Still fairly new to them, I started researching how I should prepare for one, or any kind of emergency/disaster situation.   I want to share with you the 7 steps to earthquake safety, as published by the California Earthquake Authority:

The following seven steps may help you and your family be better prepared when an earthquake strikes. They are arranged in the order of measures to take before, during and after an earthquake.

1.Before Step 1 Identify potential hazards in your home and begin to fix them
 2. Step 2 Create your disaster plan
 3. Step 3 Create your disaster supply kits
 4. Step 4 Identify your home’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them
5.During Step 5 During earthquakes and aftershocks:
Drop, cover and hold on
6.After Step 6 After the shaking stops, check for damage and injuries needing immediate attention
 7. Step 7 When safe, follow your
disaster plan

After our last earthquake about a year ago, I decided to get serious about # 3, and created my own emergency/disaster bag.  Here are a couple pictures of it, as I went through it today, while packing for my move.  I wanted to get rid of any food items that have expired, and as it turns out, the gallon of water that I had in there had leaked all over, causing all of my clothing items to mold (so they are obviously not pictured).

Red for emergencies and easy spotting. Also attached is a whistle, that is also a compass and thermometer


Some of the contents that weren't ruined by the leaking water. see list below for recommended contents.

Build a Kit

After a major disaster the usual services we take for granted, such as running water, refrigeration, and telephones, may be unavailable. Experts recommend that you should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days. Store your household disaster kit in an easily accessible location.  Put contents in a large, watertight container (e.g. a large plastic garbage can with a lid and wheels) that you can move easily.

Your basic emergency kit should include:

  • Water – one gallon per person per day
  • Food – ready to eat or requiring minimal water
  • Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
  • Plates, utensils and other feeding supplies
  • First Aid kit & instructions
  • A copy of important documents & phone numbers
  • Warm clothes and rain gear for each family member.
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Disposable camera
  • Unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification
  • Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
  • Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
  • Tools such as a crowbar, hammer & nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee cords.
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Large heavy duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
  • Any special-needs items for children,seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget water and supplies for your pets.

A component of your disaster kit is your Go-bag. Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly.  Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

  • Flashlight
  • Radio – battery operated
  • Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask
  • Pocket knife
  • Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
  • Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
  • Local map
  • Some water and food
  • Permanent marker, paper and tape
  • Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
  • List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
  • List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
  • Copy of health insurance and identification cards
  • Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
  • Prescription medications and first aid supplies
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Extra keys to your house and vehicle
  • Any special-needs items for children,seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.

It’s good to go through your kit at least once  a year, maybe twice per year.  Suggested days could be on New Years Day, or you could do it twice per year on daylight savings days.  If you keep foods, liquids and medicines in your kit, make sure to keep track of expiration dates.  I am considering purchasing MRE’s (meals, ready to eat) from the Army/Navy store, as they have a longer shelf life, and weigh less than canned goods.

Another thing I did was have a smaller version of an emergency kit that I carry in my car.  I picked mine up at Costco, and it was more for roadside emergencies, but I included some first aide items, hygiene items, a mask, gloves, water, flashlight, batteries, and a blanket.


Please don’t wait until a disaster strikes around you before you decide to take action…get prepared today!  Be safe!

Flower tree

What is that??? You might be wondering.  A few years ago I went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  In one of the courtyards they had these tree-like sculptures, created from metal and flowers.  They provided something unique and beautiful to look at, while offering visitors some shade.  The picture above was from taking standing directly underneath looking up.  And here is what the whole thing looks like:

Yellow Flowers

This weeks photo challenge is FLOWERS. I know I already posted a photo for the week, but since flowers are one of my favorite things to photograph, I decided to share a few more….and will probably keep ’em coming.  Here are some favorites of yellow flowers:



Feel free to check out other related flower posts I have done throughout the year (and comment which is/are your favorite):