Checking In

So much has happened in September! Since I didn’t take time to write any posts this month, here’s a recap.

We traveled to Atlanta. Dan’s longtime friend and his wife hosted a huge group of friends at their new house as a last hurrah before their first child arrives in November. People came from as far as Switzerland! It was an incredibly hot and humid Labor Day weekend full of beer, food, cornhole, swimming, and rowdy fun. I was pretty proud of the kimono shirt and felt shoes I made as a baby gift.


The day we got back, we found our new home. After a month of rental house searching left us frustrated, we were amazed to find something truly ideal! It’s a Craftsman bungalow in Hillcrest, one of our favorite urban neighborhoods, just two miles north of our current place. It has a beautiful private yard, original built-in cabinets, two bedrooms and 1.5 baths, and a fantastic location. I’ll share more photos and details later. We set a moving date of October 18, giving us time to pack thoughtfully and enjoy a few final weeks in our downtown condo.


I reconnected with my inner artist. Karen found a groupon for Paint and Palate, an amazing concept where you take a guided painting lesson while sipping delicious wines! We did a simplified version of Monet’s “Beach at Pourville Sunset 1882,” but I’m saying mine represents La Jolla Cove.


My car had issues. Poor old Camry… It lived in snow and salt and ice for a decade before I brought it to gentle California. The undercarriage now has major rust issues and I have to replace a big portion of the muffler system. I’m waiting on a salvage part to save money. Meanwhile, the interior driver’s door handle has broken. It started with the plastic bezel surrounding the handle, which I cheaply and easily replaced myself. But now the handle mechanism itself has broken. I can still use it to open the door if I hold it in place a certain way… But I’m going to have to fix it soon.


We made holiday plans. Last year we decided that two giant trips to Ohio within two months was just too hard on our pocketbooks and our sanity. So we’ll only be in Ohio for Christmas (though it will be ten days! We just booked flights for December 22 through January 1). That will make this the first Thanksgiving ever that we won’t see any of our parents. But we have an excellent plan instead. We’ll spend Thanksgiving at the northern California home of Dan’s aunt and uncle. And, if our jobs approve extra vacation time, we’re going to take a big California road trip on the way there and back. I really hope we can make it work.


We threw one last party downtown. It was the Padres’ final weekend series, so we had a dozen friends over to grill out and watch from our balcony as the home team beat the Dodgers. We served rosemary beef burgers, jalapeno cheddar turkey burgers, hot dogs, and pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cake with ganache. And there were fireworks!


We started packing. A lot of our stuff — especially books — was already boxed up from the flood, and we’ve never unpacked it because repairs were STILL ongoing. So we had a big head start. Over the past few weeks we sorted through all our belongings to decide what to keep and what to sell or donate. We took a carload to Goodwill and sold several items on Craigslist for a good price. Craigslist is the best.


We explored Cabrillo National Monument and tidepools. Even though it’s just a quick drive away, we hadn’t visited the tip of Point Loma since before we moved here. There was so much beauty! I was completely enchanted by the cliff trails, the tidepools, and the city skyline over Coronado.


The Padres played their final home game and I took my favorite stadium photo of the entire season (even though the crowd wasn’t very big).


Last Tuesday… THERE WAS A SECOND FLOOD. Same neighbor, same washing machine issue as the first time. I am not even kidding. I almost cried when the building manager called to let me know. The repair crew was actually in our unit at the time, touching up some poor workmanship from the previous seven weeks of repairs, so they were able to stop the damage before it reached as far as last time. But they still had to start back at the beginning… carpet padding removal, blowers and dehumidifiers, drywall demolition, etc. We were devastated. The good news was that all our packed moving boxes were still in the office — none were in the living room yet. Can you imagine how concentrated the damage would have been??


I finished a few freelance projects. I haven’t been pursuing new work since the flood disaster and house move have taken so much of my attention. But I did take on some small projects from an existing client, and finished a large project that began in July. It feels good to have some extra cash going into our move, and I’m glad I haven’t completely dropped the ball on my freelance career building initiative.


We took a beach day. It was in the 80s this weekend so we took advantage of the late SoCal summer and spent Saturday afternoon at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach. Dan took a long run while I walked a few miles up and down the coast. Then we swam and played in the surf — it’s rarely warm enough! — before eating a picnic on the beach. By then it was late afternoon so we stayed to watch the sun set over the Pacific. Truly lovely.


It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of September. I’m looking forward to everything October will bring!



I’m switching this blog from to my own private hosting account. This will allow me more control of its appearance and all the juicy technical stuff. In the meantime, apologies if you see anything weird here! Back-end website management isn’t my specialty, but with Dan’s help (and lots of tech support articles/calls) I’ll get it all sorted out eventually.