Just Jot January – 2023

In combo with the #SoCS our prompt for today is “out of the box.” I’m pretty sure that I have had my fill of taking things out of the box.

I packed 31 boxes and the movers packed another 40 pieces (some boxes, some furniture) for a total of 71 pieces that were moved from my mom-in-law’s house in Oregon to the one bedroom apartment in the house next door to ours in California. My son and I unpacked most of the boxes and got some of the furniture put in place but this weekend I’m going to concentrate on getting the space livable since my MIL has been staying with us for the week. While I don’t mind and she has needed some help (she’s 97!) I am ready to get back in my own bed and spend some time in my studio.

Wish me luck that I can get the rest of the stuff “out of the box” and make the place livable for her in the next 2 days.

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Just Jot January – 2023

Linda says thanks to Dar, our prompt is solo. I love my family but every once in a while I need to be solo! Hubby told me to go and do something special for myself in appreciation for all I’ve been doing for him and his mom. My wish is to spend a day (or two) alone in my studio!

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Just Jot January – 2023

Our #JustJoJan prompt for today is Constellation, thanks Willow!

While constellation usually makes you think of the stars in the sky, and goodness knows I’m all about sky watching, it can also mean a group of related things. Thus, I could call this a constellation of planners:

I’m working with four of them this year. Your Life is Your Studio is for my “regular life.” That phrase is something that Jamie Ridler uses all the time. She is the one who taught me about vision cards. Start Fresh is for my health and weight loss journey. Let Faith be Bigger Than Your Fear” is for my crafty business and Love Today is for my word of the year journaling. I’m taking Ali Edwards One Little Word class this year. My word is Delight but I’m sure I’ll have another post about that. Three of them are from the company called Plum Paper and one is an old Heidi Swapp undated planner that I have had for a long time. I loved the cover of it but hadn’t used it because I like the customizability of the Plum Paper brand.

I am anxious to get them all set up but I am having to do it in bits and pieces as we are still transitioning MIL to her new apartment next door. Her furniture gets delivered tomorrow! Wish us luck with fitting it all in. How about you? Do you use a planner, several planners or just wing it? Do you look at the constellations in the sky or do you have a constellation of other like things? Lemme know.

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Just Jot January – 2023

Our prompt from Linda for #JustJoJan is Resolution. I don’t really make resolutions. They are too easy to let fall by the wayside as the year goes on. Rather, I make vision cards with themes that cover the different areas of my life where I have some goals I’d like to accomplish. These were mine for 2022.

We just got back from Oregon where we packed up my mom-in-law and brought her back here to live next door so that we could take care of her. She is 97. Because we spent the last week of 2022 up there packing her things and planning for the big move, I didn’t get a chance to make my new ones for this year. I’m looking forward to things settling down a bit so I can do that before the month is over! Time flies when you’re having fun, right? How about you? Make resolutions or are you like me and set some goals to accomplish during the year?

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Nebulous November

Well here it is the day before Thanksgiving and while I truly do have a lot to be grateful for, honestly I’m just in too much of a fog to think of them all. Let me explain.

The last post in October was about the crafty things I had been working on. We also went to our final concert of the year, Scorpions. They always put on a great show and did not disappoint this year either, kind of. There are so many songs of theirs that we like but they just had a new album out and played some of the new stuff that we didn’t know. Good, but not spectacular. Lots of lights and special effects which was fun to see.

Immediately after the show we had to fly back up to Oregon to check on my husband’s mom. She, herself, was fine but she wanted us to look into progress of the house she had for sale. That was fine too, thankfully, and we managed to get some things done for her in her new apartment and take her out to lunch one day, dinner the next and to the grocery store for her to get some things she wanted. We stayed in a really nice hotel and will probably stay there again any time we go to see her in the future.

Once we got home I had another pop-up craft fair and that turned out well.

November started out fun. I was able to get away for a much needed scrapbook retreat with my BFF and worked on my concert album for two days straight.

Our health plan offers some free benefits to seniors and one of them is a gym membership so our youngest daughter and I started going to the gym at 5:30 in the morning. She wanted to go before she goes to work and since I have no set time schedule, it worked for me too. I was actually enjoying getting up early and then starting my day. We were getting into a pretty good rhythm.

And.then.Covid. Last Thursday I started feeling a tickle in my throat and coincidentally my daughter sent me a text from work saying that she had a scratch in her throat. I took a home test and it was immediately positive. Our son had been coughing for a few days and he took one as well, positive too. My daughter and husband at first were negative but by Saturday we all had it. Fortunately we have all been immunized and boosted so while we were all feeling pretty lousy, I think that we could have been worse.

As I do, I’m trying to find the silver linings in all this. One is that we all got it at once so it will sweep through the house and we should be done with it rather than having it drag on and on. I did take two or three days where I didn’t do much besides stay in bed and read, something I rarely give myself permission to do. Now that I am feeling a little stronger, I can still work since I do it from home anyway and my clients have been very understanding that things are taking just a bit longer.

I am most bummed because I did have to miss the local library book sale where you fill up a grocery bag of books for $10 and the first of my holiday boutiques. Fortunately I am getting the space fee back for that and truthfully I don’t need any more books at the moment.

Turns out Safeway makes completely cooked turkey dinners so I’m going today to pick up ours that way I don’t have to cook. We will miss our older daughter because obviously we don’t want her to get it too but we will survive one holiday apart. It was going to be a strange one anyway since my mom is gone and she usually spends Thanksgiving and Christmas with us.

I do have a big show on Saturday and one more on December 11th. Of course I’m not as prepared as I’d like to be but having this down time has also given me a chance to think and plan for next year so I can get a little ahead for these unexpected changes in life. Also, very happy to report that I did make my 1000 followers on TikTok and my shop link is now live there! And, we are going to see “Ain’t Too Proud,” the play about the Temptations next week so I have something to look forward to so while my head may still be a bit cloudy now, I think I can see the sun breaking through.

Wishing everyone who celebrates it a very Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family and friends. I am grateful for you all!

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OMG It’s October!

In the last post I promised to show you some of the crafty things I’ve been working on…

First is a custom ordered baby girl mini-album. I think it came out very nicely.

Mainly I am a paper crafter but occasionally I like to do a little crochet as well. Here is a poncho I finished and one that I’m starting.

The big one is so warm and comfy. It will be good for those cold mornings when I am sitting in front of the computer typing away.

I did also finish the two Halloween box mini-albums and put those up in the Etsy shop.

I am working on another custom baby album, this one for a baby boy. After that it will be time to start working on things for the holiday boutiques I am participating in next month. So much to do but this is the fun stuff! Are you keeping busy? Ever crochet a poncho?

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OMG It’s October!

And where did September go? Well I’ll tell you, for me it went to Oregon. My mom-in-law is 96 and decided it was time to transition to a senior living apartment. Hubby and I flew up on the 6th of September to help her find a place. Luckily she liked the first one she saw and then we began the process of going through her house to see what she would take with her and what could be donated, sold, whatever. What.a.process. Mom was from the Depression era and you know that means every paper clip has value. Add to that being a collector of cookbooks and a jigsaw puzzle aficionado you can guess there was a lot of stuff to go through. We tried to take some furniture to the consignment store but after sending them pictures, they only wanted one of the bookcases. Apparently oak furniture is not in style now.

Our original plan had been for me to fly home on the 10th so that I could work and my husband would stay until the 20th to help mom but once the actual move was set in motion we thought it would be a good idea for me to drive our truck up there and that way I could help with the moving and bring some things home that we wanted to keep. So I flew home and caught up with my work and then drove up on the 14th. We made several trips back and forth to donation centers and to the new apartment. I tried to be as organized as possible and to help ease the pain of having to leave so much stuff behind. The next goal was to have mom in her new apartment by Saturday the 17th. Hubby and I were still going to be staying at the house until the 20th so we could bring over anything mom realized she wanted/forgot and to help her organize her new living space.

In reality, it all worked out much smoother than I had anticipated. We were able to meet with the real estate agent and mom’s financial planner and lawyer to make sure that all the paperwork was in order. As we were moving in, mom met some of the other residents and when they found out which apartment she had, they all told her that it was the best in the place. It is light and airy with lots of windows and a hexagon shape to the bedroom which makes it quite large. There are community spaces for her to work on puzzles with other folks and several spots around the place with lots of bookshelves. There is even a Coca Cola room where she could go and bake a cake or cook something if she wanted to (her room has no real kitchen since the meals are provided).

The food is not 100% to her liking and there are a few other things that are not perfect but she has made some friends and one day she even walked all the way around the outside of the building and then sat out in front chatting until it got dark. She hasn’t done anything like that in years, being mostly housebound since neither she nor my brother-in-law drove. Plus, my husband doesn’t have to worry about her living alone. There are attendants around all the time and people to help her if she needs it. Three meals a day, laundry service, someone to clean the apartment and television service are all included plus rides to the doctor, pharmacy or grocery store and lots of community activities like bingo and even planned outings are available to her if she wants to make use of them. Right now she can have as little or as much assistance as she wants. As she gets older, if she needs help with medication or things like that, it will all be provided.

On the 20th, we loaded the truck with the things we wanted to keep. There was a gliding chair with a footstool that I really liked and wanted to bring home but it didn’t quite fit in the truck. (I think it would have if the truck had been packed differently but hubby said it wouldn’t and after a little outburst, I let it go). Hubby flew home and I drove home. A couple of days later we got a call from my brother-in-law who had noticed that the chair was still there and he asked if we still wanted it. I made the decision to drive back up over the weekend to get it and our youngest daughter came with me so she could go visit gramma in her new place and make one final trip through the house to see if there was anything else we wanted to keep. The two of us took a road trip on the 24th, spent the night in a hotel and drove home on the 25th. We didn’t tell my mom-in-law that we were coming up so it was a nice surprise for her.

The glider in its new home šŸ™‚

Now the house is for sale. Anybody looking to relocate to Oregon? Check it out here:

In other news, before we left for Oregon we went to our last concert at the Mountain Winery for the season. It was Rick Springfield and guess who got a high five from Rick himself??? My hand is the one that shoots out toward the end, the last one he hits before the clip is over. The song was Human Touch and he went through almost the whole venue slapping hands, giving hugs and posing for selfies. Thanks to my hubby for getting this shot!

And we went to a couple of Giant’s games. A bit of a disappointing season for us but I am a fan to the end, good or bad. We saw one thrilling game where Joc Pederson got an inside the park home run and a not so thrilling one where they lost. I still love the 415 section and we’ll be back again next year for sure. Even got to see my cousin who is an usher there. My face is red from the sun, not the Irish coffee – LOL.

I wanted to get a post out in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. I have tried to comment on folks blogs but to be honest there were a lot of days I missed. Can’t do it all, I’ve come to realize. I also have had some work to catch up on since I didn’t do any while in Oregon.

Guess I’ve bored you enough for now so I’ll end this one and come back to show the crafty stuff I’ve been working on another day. Did you miss me?

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Apparently It’s August Now…

For one more day at least. Since the jury duty adventure I’ve been mostly doing typing work and some work out in the studio. We’ve also been to a movie night at the ball park and a concert at the winery. Wanna see?

The girls and I went to see “A League of Their Own” at Oracle Park. They gave us free hats, a pack of baseball cards and a bag of popcorn. It was free to get in because we have the 415 membership. We brought blankets and deli sandwiches. It was fun to spend some girl time. We couldn’t bring chairs and it was kind of cold but it was also the first time our eldest daughter had seen the movie so that was kinda cool.

I posted about the Halloween Box albums I was making. I finished two of them and am working on a third.

And last night hubby and I went to the Mountain Winery again to see Berlin and Pat Benatar. Both good performances. We had never seen Berlin before so that was nice. During the song “Take My Breath Away,” Terri Nunn walked around in the crowd. That’s always fun. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo did some different songs in their set which was nice since we’ve seen them a few times and the setlists are pretty standard. They are no longer performing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” because of all the mass shootings we’ve had. I respect that. They have plenty of other songs.

I think I’ve had a pretty full month. How about you? Happy to see August come to a close? What’s on tap for September?

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Apparently It’s August Now

When we last met I was sitting in the seat of Juror #10. Did I mention that the chair was not uncomfortable, although the room was freezing cold? I had learned that on the first day so I always came prepared with layers of clothing and a scarf. Everyone mentioned how cold it was and I joked that they wanted to make sure we stayed awake. We were all wearing masks all the time as mandated by the court. On this first day of the actual trial we were given lanyard badges and a notebook with a pen. We were told we could make notes but that the notebooks had to remain in the courtroom and they would be destroyed at the end of the trial.

Monday we heard from the arresting officer who described the reason for the traffic stop, what he discovered while talking with the defendant and what happened to lead him to making the arrest. Next we heard from a second officer who was on the scene as an interpreter since English was not the first language for the defendant. We watched a video of the body cam from the arresting officer. Then we were given a lunch break. Thank goodness.

After lunch we heard from an expert witness for the prosecution (just typing that made me smile – wasn’t that an Agatha Christie book?) He testified about the machines that were used for testing and the procedures that were followed. He explained the effects of alcohol on the body and how long it takes for the alcohol to leave the body. His testimony took the better part of the afternoon so we were excused for the day and told not to discuss the case with anyone.

Tuesday started with the defense cross examining the expert. Of course he tried to trip the witness up and asked him questions that would put some doubt in our minds about his answers. Then we heard from an expert witness from the defense side. He, of course, disputed everything the prosecution witness testified about. The defendant, himself, did not testify. We broke for lunch. When we got back the attorneys gave their closing arguments. Each one tried to point out the facts and that if we were going to decide only on the facts, their version was the correct one. We were given the instructions from the judge (that took a half hour easily) and sent to the jury room. We picked a foreman and then decided to go home and think about it and start the day fresh on Wednesday.

Side note…court time is interesting. We were told to be there at 9 AM each day but some days we didn’t actually start until 9:15 or 9:30. There was usually a 15 to 20 minute break at about 10:15 or 10:30 and then lunch from noon to 1:30. Another 10 to 15 minute break at 3:15 and then ended the day at 4:30.

Wednesday came and we were escorted straight through to the jury deliberation room. I had foolishly been under the impression that this wouldn’t take long. There were two charges. Driving under the influence was one and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher was the other. It sounds like they should be the same but no. Under the first charge, you consider whether there was erratic driving or lack of attention, etc., not just the alcohol level in the blood, although you COULD count that.

As far as I was concerned, the blood alcohol level at the jail had read .08 which is the number that the State of California says is the limit that means you cannot safely drive a vehicle. If his blood alcohol level at the jail (which was 2 hours after he was stopped) was .08 then it stands to reason that his level while driving must have been at least that while he was operating the vehicle. (Part of the expert witness testimony had been about how long it takes for the alcohol to dissipate from your body. One expert said it decreases by .02% an hour and one said it is .0146%).

In the beginning the ONLY thing all 12 people could agree on was that the man was driving a car! We went back and forth about different aspects of the case and finally we were able to decide that yes, on the second count of having a blood alcohol level of .08 and driving, he was guilty. We watched portions of the video again. We asked the court reporter to read back parts of testimony. We broke for lunch. Finally, at about 4 PM we realized that we were not going to agree on the first count and sent a message to the judge. We were afraid she was going to make us come back again Thursday but I guess the parties decided that they would have to make do with what we had decided.

Back into the courtroom we all went. The foreman read the verdict to the judge and then the attorneys wanted us polled to see if we were truly unanimous on the decision. I have to admit for a brief moment I was afraid someone was going to say they did not agree but no one did. She asked again if we were sure we could not agree on the first count and we said yes. Then the judge thanked us and excused us. We don’t know what the sentence of the defendant is.

There you have it. I feel sorry for the father of my daughter’s friend who was the alternate. He had to sit and listen to the whole trial but then was sent home when we started to deliberate. He was told not to leave the area until the trial was over. I did let him know what the verdict was. Also, I am so grateful that I got called for this case and not the one that was going on down the hall. We saw at least 300 people called for that one which was a murder trial that was expected to last for months! The judge said as she was dismissing us that she would see us again next year. I sincerely hope not!

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Apparently It’s August Now.

Well, I’ve had an interesting week to say the least. Last Thursday afternoon I was summoned for jury duty. I actually had to go in which is unusual to begin with. Usually I look on the website the night before and it says that I am excused. Not this time.

So I get to the courthouse and the parking for the jury is different than the last time I had been called (2006!) but there was plenty of room so that was not a problem. I parked, walked to the courthouse, through the metal detectors and down to the jury assembly room. I’m early and just waiting in line with a few other people and I overhear a conversation from a gentleman saying, “And I don’t get all this gender thing. If they tell me there is more than two, a man and a woman, I’m …” I can’t remember the rest exactly but clearly he had some issues with the gender identity changes. I decided to remove myself from the situation and went and got some water from the cafeteria. LOL.

Once it was time, the assembly room opened and there was about 100 of us waiting to see if they would call us. I didn’t have to wait long. They sent me and about 70 others up to courtroom 2K. We waited in the hallway until the bailiff opened the door and told us to find seats. He said he knew there were not enough chairs but that once the first 12 folks plus 6 alternates had been called, there would be seats open. It didn’t take long for me to be called…I was juror #10.

The judge told us that the case was about driving under the influence and said that it would take about 3 days for the attorneys to present the evidence and then for us to decide the case. She asked if anyone had hardships that would prevent them from staying on the jury for 4 to 5 days. There were about 4 or 5 people in that first 18 that said they couldn’t stay for one reason or another and as each one left, they pulled someone else up from the people waiting in the room. Finally all the hardships were taken care of and then they gave us a list of questions to answer. Most of them were simple, name, city we lived in, how many adults lived in our house, how many kids we had, ages and occupations, whether we had connections to law enforcement or if we knew anyone convicted of a crime or a victim of a crime or if we thought we could be impartial.

Based on our answers to those questions more people were excused and more brought up from the waiting area. Each time they brought up someone new they had to go through the hardship question and then the list of questions. Next the two attorneys started asking us questions about what we thought about different scenarios, if we had ever seen anyone drink too much, if they had to be falling down in our opinion to be considered too intoxicated to drive. After both attorneys were finished, they started excusing some of us for reasons they didn’t explain but I could guess by the answers of the jurors and the type of case it was. It got down to the 12 jurors and 2 alternates. Interestingly, one of the alternates was the father of a boy my daughter went to school with. I was still juror #10. The attorneys both gave their opening arguments. That process had taken two days so they let us go for the weekend.

Friday night my hubby and I went to see The Four Tops and the Temptations at the Mountain Winery. I had not eaten all day while at the courthouse and had several drinks so I was too intoxicated to drive home and, ashamed to say, actually threw up out the car window. First time I have done that since I was in my 20s I’ll bet and ironic that I was about to listen to a case regarding driving while under the influence.

Saturday the kids and I went to a Giants game. I had one Vizzy (hard seltzer) and then drank water – LOL. They were celebrating the 2012 World Series Team and we were in the 415 section and actually made it on TV! You can see me above the V in Visa. I have my arm raised because I am taking the picture! The Giants won – YAY! We take the train to and from the game so driving and drinking is not a factor here – haha.

I think I’ll stop for now and we’ll get to part 2 tomorrow. Are you intrigued? Ever served on a jury before? What was your case about?

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