Weekend Wrap Up 3/10 - 3/12

As I work to live each day more consciously, I much enjoy crafting fun weekends for my spouse and myself.
Even in retirement weekends are still weekends!

Monday morning here, and I am oh. so. tired.

Our weekend was jam packed with fun events, and as we turned in late last night for the third night in a row, the phrase 'Party like a rock star' went running through my head even as my body was clamoring at me to knock it off.

So much fun, but no way could we do this on a regular basis!

Friday night found us at an OC Wine Society winery tasting event in reasonably nearby* Costa Mesa. These events, held several times a year, combine dinner and wine tasting from one specific winery, tonight's featured winery being Brander Winery from Los Osos in the Santa Ynez wine region. (If you've seen the movie Sideways, you're familiar with Santa Ynez, because that's where the movie was both shot and took place.) Because these events involve either the owner or wine maker giving a talk about the process of making each of the wines being sampled, there is always a large turnout. And it has been our experience that people who enjoy drinking wine enough to actually join an organization about it tend to be very fun. So, yes, we had our usual very good time, returning home just a bit after 10:30 PM. Very late for us these days in that we like to start our mornings on the early side.

*All midweek events, particularly Friday evenings, involve careful assessment of whether the traffic patterns will be working for or against us . . . such is life in a popular urban area!

Enjoying one of the Sauvignon Blancs the Santa Ynez region is known for.
Saturday started off with a nice long Skype session with our daughter, son in law and granddaughter. At almost 2 and 1/2 years, the changes in our granddaughter's language and motor skills are rapid and apparent with each weekly Skype session, and we just revel in the deliciousness of it all. Today she wanted Baba (my spouse) to play the piano here, while she did same at her house. I joined in on the recorder (yes, I'm sure you're impressed :-), and it was rousing good fun. We played while she pounded, of course, but it's all music to our ears. Always hard to say 'goodbye,' but we'll be seeing her in just a couple of weeks, which makes my heart very happy.

Had a lovely slow rest of the morning making this fabulous Blue Cheese Herb spread and prepping the house for company. I had particular fun staging our two new outdoor areas for the first time. I really love to entertain, and getting the house just so is one of the things I most enjoy, so nothing about it ever feels like a chore to me.

Front yard patio staged and ready for company.

Back yard patio ready to go as well.
It was a gorgeous evening, with temps in the low 80's, and we had a wonderful time sitting out front talking, noshing and enjoying some good wine. We had 60 minutes allotted for our house before moving on to Moscow Mules at house number two, followed by dinner at a new-to-us restaurant in old town Placentia, Mi Casita.

Mi Casita is famous for their molcajetes bowls, described like this in their menu, A big rock bowl filled with homemade salsa, grilled leaf cactus, melted cheese, grilled green onions, chorizo, grilled jalapeno, and diner's choice of pollo or carne asada, plus handmade corn tortillas, rice and beans. They looked pretty unusual when they arrived, but they were absolutely delicious, and different from any Mexican food we'd had before. Here's our best attempt at trying to capture the uniqueness of the dish, apologizes in advance - food shots are tough and best left to professionals I think!

The evening ended with dessert at the third couple's home, meaning another late night, close to 11:00 PM by the time we got home.

Sunday started with a lost hour, thanks to the start of daylight savings time, always my least favorite morning of the year. We did make it to our UU service on time, and we were happy we made the effort. What a wonderful addition to our lives joining this congregation has turned out to be - we're so very thankful to have found a place to come together with other people in a spirit of inclusion during a time in our nation's history that feels so definitively the opposite.

After returning home, as much as we longed to change into comfortable clothes and while away the rest of the day doing a whole lot of not much, we couldn't. We had contractors arriving on Monday to begin the demolition of my husband's current office cabinetry, and needed to empty everything out in advance. Once done, the office looked pretty darn sad, which should make it's upcoming transformation all the more exciting.

Not done yet, we had one more event to attend  - a Mardi Gras party held by The Friends of Jazz.
Again, another group we had no idea existed until just last week, when we were offered seats at a table being hosted by our university music department. The group has been around for decades, and conducts frequent jazz concerts that act as fund raisers in order to provide recorders and music classes at a variety of local elementary schools. The music was terrific and now we have yet another activity to add to our ever-growing list of retirement options.

So, while the weekend's combined fun almost did us in, we are incredibly thankful to have so many options to enjoy in our retirement. Each new activity results in our meeting more new people, some of whom will become actually friends over time. Cumulatively it is adding up to an increasingly satisfying retirement.

Plans and Goals For Today
- Wait arrival of office demolition team, and delivery of our new office cabinetry (yeah!)
- Prepare dinner for tonight's Book Club meeting, which we are hosting. On the menu is Clam Chowder, salad, sourdough bread and homemade brownies. (Book setting was an east coast harbor town, hence the clam chowder)
- Prep house for Book Club meeting
- Study Spanish for 60 minutes
- Take a four mile race walk with my spouse


  1. Your outdoor space came together beautifully. Perfect for entertaining. I would rather be outdoors anytime...well, not anytime but from now til October!

    Isn't Skyping the best! I read with my granddaughter but we haven't tried playing music together.

    1. I do love Skype! If not for it, it's possible we'd have felt compelled to move to the East Coast to be near our precious girl. I am intrigued by how you read via Skype in that our granddaughter is a toddler and hard to keep in place when visiting her virtually. Is your granddaughter older, or do you have a different system you use to accomplish this?


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