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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Apparently It’s August Now

I mentioned that I have been working on some new craft projects to share. First is a Disney-themed mini album. i think it came out really well.

Then I made a couple of different “folios.” One has a pen attached and a removable notepad. It is Christmas themed so you can use it to make your Christmas gift lists and there is a pocket to keep the receipts for purchased gifts.

And the next is a Halloween-themed one.

I am really in love with these folios and have a ton of ideas for other ones. I got the idea from another crafter, Maymay of Maymay Made It. I haven’t had a chance to post these in the Etsy shop yet but they will be there soon!

Finally, I am in the process of making this:

I found these boxes at our local dollar store last year and really liked them. I am always saving the cardboard inserts that come in packages. I think these were from pillowcases. I just need to finish decorating it. BUT I GOT CALLED FOR JURY DUTY! Right now I am juror #10. We have another day of jury selection and then I would expect the trial to begin next week. The judge said that just wanting to be doing something else is not a good enough reason to be excused – LOL. Fortunately it isn’t a high profile case so hopefully it won’t last long.

And that’s my crafty life for now. What do you think? What have you been up to? Ever serve on a jury?

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Apparently it’s August now

I really need to get on the ball again. Usually I do an August challenge but this year I just wasn’t feeling it. I am still doing my TikTok experiment though so if you are on TikTok lemme know so I can follow you.

Since I last posted we’ve seen Abba, the Concert, One Night With Queen, a new to us artist called Tash Sultana, went to another Giants game and last night we saw the Backstreet Boys!

So Wells Fargo is a sponsor of the Mountain Winery this year and there is a new section called Adele’s Garden especially for people with Wells Fargo accounts. They give you free water and snacks and there is a special spot to sit and enjoy the view before the show. That was fun. Abba, the Concert, does a really good job with the songs and the crowd was definitely singing along.

Tash Sultana is a one person show for the most part. Toward the end there are some other musicians on stage but the main show is Tash playing an instrument and then setting it on a loop so it keeps playing while she moves on to another instrument. There was a lot of flashing lights, hence the warning. It was interesting but the bouncing up and down she did was kind of hard to watch and the songs sounded a lot alike. My husband enjoyed it though and it was at a venue we don’t normally go to so it was a fun date night.

One Night of Queen was good too. While the rest of the band did not try to look like the members of Queen, Gary Mullen definitely pulled off the moves of Freddie Mercury well and the music was great.

The Giant’s game we went to was in honor of Will Clark and they retired his number, 22. It was fun and we won, which was even better. We’re not doing well this year but I’m still a faithful fan.

Finally, my daughter and I went to see the Backstreet Boys on the spur of the moment. We got the tickets just two days before the show.

This makes the third time we’ve seen them. They sang 33 songs and I knew the words to every one. I love their harmonies and definitely enjoy the synchronized movements. I think one of the reasons my daughter likes the Backstreet Boys so much is because I sang this song to her as a baby. It was my way of saying I love her no matter what.

So that’s been my out and about experiences for the last couple of weeks. We have more to come this month too. Tomorrow I’ll share some of the crafty work I’ve been doing. I don’t want to overwhelm in one post. Have you heard of Tash Sultana? Fan of the Backstreet Boys (who technically should be called Backstreet Men now because Kevin Richardson is 50 and the others are all late 40s – LOL).

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July is Jumping – Concert Time

We went to see Loverboy, REO Speedwagon and Styx last night. It was fun to get out and see a live performance again. They are calling it the “Live and UnZoomed Tour” since so many bands did zoom concerts during the pandemic. It was at Shoreline in Mountain View. We hadn’t been there since 2017!

We had our little pre-show cocktail at the car. We are able to park in the handicapped section because of my hubby’s back so we waited until the line to get in was shorter and then headed into the venue. One of the ushers was kind enough to take pictures if you wanted them close to the stage.

Loverboy opened the show and they were very good. I love it when the songs sound the same as they do when I hear them on the radio. We weren’t in the first row but we had pretty decent seats. I think I was able to get some acceptable pictures. They sang 8 songs including my fave, “Hot Girls In Love” and my hubby’s “Working For The Weekend.”

Then came REO Speedwagon. They were really good too. They sang 13 songs. My favorite of theirs is “Keep On Loving You.” Lots of energy in their set. I did get some videos of each band but because I was rocking to the music, they are kind of shaky so I won’t subject you to that.

Styx was the headliner and if we’re being honest I wish that REO had had that spot because I like more of their songs. They sang 15 and there were some from a newer album that I was not familiar with. My favorite is, “Lady.” We got up and started walking out when they came out to do the encore, “Mr. Roboto” and “Renegade.” That gave us time to go to the bathroom and start heading out before the crowd. We could still hear and see because they have videos up all over.

It was a good beginning to the summer concert series we have planned. Next week my daughter and I see an Abba cover band at the Mountain Winery and hubby and I see a Queen cover there as well. I may have to do another A to Z on our concerts. What do you think?

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July is Jumping

Well, another month is already a week old. Can’t believe I don’t have anything to say for whole months at a time! This month is different though. While I may not be posting every day here, I have started a new TikTok account to help promote the crafty work I do. According to the training I got (yes, I took some training) I will need to post every day for at least 30 days. Most days it will be just one or two posts but on days 6 and 7 the challenge is to post 16 to 20 snippets each day!!! The goal is to get to the magic 1000 followers so that I can add the link to my business in my bio. I guess if TikTok doesn’t see 1000 followers they think you are not really a business. Here’s my first one:

We had our annual 4th of July celebration too. Just a small affair with a few friends and neighbors. It was unbelievable how many illegal fireworks went off around us until well after midnight. Our poor Benny was really scared. Next year I’m going to have to get him some meds or something. Here’s a quick peek at one of the better ones we had for the night. The “grand finale” went on for 2 minutes!

Concerts are happening this month too. We are going to see Reo Speedwagon with Styx and Loverboy next week, my daughter and I are going to an Abba cover band and then hubby and I will see a Queen cover at the end of the month.

Wish me luck on my TikTok adventure. If you’re there, follow me (at least until I get to my 1000. Then you can leave if you want – LOL). I am @scr4pl80 (scrap lady) there just like everywhere else. Have to stay consistent, right? How is your summer shaping up?

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