Monday Musings

This past week was been an interesting mix of both very challenging and very interesting. Kind of like life in general in my experience -  things can go along positively swimmingly for a good long while, and then suddenly, without any warning, throw in all kinds of interesting kinks.

And when it does, I always think of this Kelly Clarkson song, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger!

This Week's Monday Musings

1)  Our backyard landscaper sort of dumped the responsibility for hiring a structural engineer to come out to our home to draw up plans for our new enlarged balcony into my lap, and my learning curve was steep! With the yard completely demolished, including the old balcony, I had visions of being left adrift in my now-dirt backyard. However, after several sleepless nights, and a whole lot of research, I think I'm on top of things once again, and I expect to have a structural engineer hired before the end of this coming week. The need for engineering plans in order to obtain a permit for our new balcony will slow down the project by about a month, but it's not massively expensive, and for that I'm most thankful. We had built a small amount of overage into the funds we have set aside for this project, and I guess we now know where they'll be going!

2)  As a result of our yard's recent demolition, and subsequent engineering plans stall-out (because there's almost always a silver lining in every challenge!), I spent quite a few wonderful hours over the past week gazing outward at both the canyon behind our home, and the ocean in the distance, enjoying many wonderful sights and sounds as a result. I spotted a red tail hawk being chased away from a nest by some frantic crows, a very noisy Cooper's hawk calling from a tree one day, a lizard doing rapid push ups before deciding my foot was too large to attempt crawling over, military planes and helicopters flying in formation to and from nearby Camp Pendleton Marine Base, boats sailing over choppy, wind driven waves, Catalina Island, and oodles of small colorful birds that I hope to eventually be able to identify.

Before demo, with the views hidden behind those shrubs and that fence.

3) Another silver lining to Item 1 above is that I lost my appetite as a result of the unexpected curveball my landscaper threw, so I'm actually down a couple of pounds this morning, yeah!

4.  I've been working hard to embrace all that our new community has to offer, and as a result we enjoyed several wonderful ocean moments over this past weekend.

The weather was glorious for my regular Saturday morning club walk along the beach.

We took dinner and a bottle of wine to the beach on Saturday night
and enjoyed this beautiful sunset.

We joined a new group for a weekly Sunday night walk along the bluffs and beaches of San Clemente,
followed by dinner together at a local fish and chips joint, and we had a blast.

 5)  My needlepoint project for our newest little granddaughter is coming along nicely, and I'm having a lot of fun with it. Still to come is all the outlining, then the cleaning, stretching and framing, plus adding in our little one's name, date, and birth stats once she arrives this June. We are so excited to finally meet her!

All the details of our new girl's birth info will be detailed in eventually!


That's it for today's Monday Musings, but would love to know what's running through your heads this morning, so please do feel free to share some of your musings below!


  1. Your determination and optimism shine again, Tamara, despite the new challenge for the backyard remodeling project. I hope all necessary work will move at a satisfying pace once you hire the structural engineer. The weather at your location is so nice. This morning I did my daily walk in the rain and used the time to muse about an upcoming art exhibit, a movie night, a piano recital, and packing for our family weekend get-away.

    1. Hi Natalie! Well, we accepted a proposal last night, so I can at last put this to bed and focus on other things. Stress is not a good thing, and I am much relieved this morning to be done with it, for now at least!

      The weather over the weekend was incredible, with temps in the mid-80's (F), and we did our best to do it justice!

  2. You are sailing along on that needlework project. I need to get mine out tonight and work on it rather than surfing the 'net mindlessly.

    Wow, wow, wow! On top of all the other hats you have added to your head since moving to SoCal, you are now going to be able to add that of landscaper! So proud of the way you rally and don't allow these stumbling blocks to keep you down for long.

    What incredible views! That sunset photo is stunning. I would be a wine drinking fool out there every night if I had a view like that. I love our mountain views but there's nothing like the beach!

    1. I do enjoy having a craft project to work on at night when watching TV - keeps me from snacking! 😌

      And oh yes, I've learned lots these past couple of weeks, primarily that I'm never doing this again! But, it should look lovely once we're all done, and just like childbirth I'm sure I'll forget the pain eventually!

      I do love our views, and I assure you I do not take them for granted. I try hard to appreciate them each and every day, and expect we'll pretty much be living in our backyard come summer.

  3. Looking forward to seeing the new backyard and balcony! Remodeling always has its ups and downs but the end result is worth it.

    1. Even nicer would be to host you two should you ever get our way! We're an easy detour if/when heading to San Diego. ☺

  4. That quote ("Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger") has been around for ages and many people laugh when they say it, but I really believe it's true. Whenever we face life's challenges and work through them, I think we become more resilient and better able to face the next one. (And there's always a "next one.")

    Tamara, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who can forget the pain of childbirth deserves a round of applause - good for you!

    1. Yes, there is definitely always a next one, Mary! I also find that simply saying it to myself will generally move me toward acceptance rather than resistance. Amazing what the mind can do when properly directed.

      Seriously though, never doing this again!

  5. Landscaping projects throw you into transition. Transition is characterized by discomfort and progress just like in labor! I'm making arrangements for some home repairs on my mom's behalf; she's losing her ability to get these things handled. The final house concert of the season is tonight. As my predecessor said, it's always a reason to clean the house and cook something nice. Winter is slow to leave us in NE Alberta; there's still snow on the ground and yesterday ended with a spring snow storm. A warning light came on in the car yesterday so I can add that to the list of things to do this week. Isn't this all just like life? - some fun, some work, some planned, some unexpected.

    1. Yep, such is life, Mona. Many factors in play with regard to our yard, all solveable, but stressful nonetheless. When I lose my appetite I know it's gotten to my tipping point, however today we hired the necessary engineer, and just like that my appetite returned.

      And today was full of lovely moments, just as you've shared. Sunshine, blue ocean, a chair outside in the warmth, birds, squirrel, and a good book.

  6. Can't wait to see what your backyard will look like. Till then gorgeous view! It took forever to get our backyard redone...from May to August (we had a LOT of work to get done)! Yikes...but so glad that it's done and we won't have to do that any time soon!

    1. I expect ours will carry into July, possibly August given the variety of things being done, plus permits and sign offs. I miss my balcony, and can t wait for the rebuild, though our new viewing area in the back is wonderful, even if just seated over dirt as we are currently. I can only wonder what my neighbors are thinking, but I simply can't stay inside when beauty outside awaits! ☺


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things I Love About Living In California

Retirement Seven Years In

Thriving In A New Retirement Location