A Scene From A Movie

property of alifefromasuitcaseOn Saturday my youngest suggested we go to Monterey to show her sister the wedding venue. Mind you neither I, nor her sister wanted to go. But we did just to humor her since verything lately seem to upset her.

Just to set the tone: The trip is nearly two hours away from the city, and both of our cars were in no condition to do the road trip. However, we got our coffees and pastries from Starbucks and hit the road at 9:30.  Along the way discussion about marriage came up, and suddenly everything mentioned about it by my oldest wasn’t positive. Especially when the younger one validated the negativity by telling us that both of  her bridesmaids were having marital issues as well. I simply listened, since I was focused on driving and getting to Monterey with my weary car.

By the time we reached the town, my youngest was upset, my oldest annoyed and I couldn’t believe that everyone in my engaged daughter’s circle were having problems in their marriages. She showed her sister the venue, they shared some ideas, not at all agreeing, comments about how awful being married continued to come up,  the entire time,, I kept my comments to myself. I was busy processing it all.

I pointed out an antique store down the street from the venue, and suggested we go inside before lunch to see if we can find table decor for the venue since the theme nowadays is very Gatsby. While inside, the song Sway came on, and although the three of us were tense from all the negative conversation outside, we hummed to the tune, Sway being our favorite song, and a classic connection the three of us shared. I smiled to myself, not making a big deal of it all. I was glad that for 3 minutes the three of us agreed on something…

Travel Plans Are On The Way

IMG_0930Every year, for the past four years, my hubby and I have made a conscious effort to go to Europe. Since we’ve downsized our lives for the sake of having the means to enjoy it more, we plan, save and travel each year. Also, we forgo the Christmas, Valentines, anniversary and birthdays gifts, and consider the one trip a year, the best gift ever that we give one another.

So, the planning has started, and I’m working out the details now with my favorite hotels in France, and plotting our route. This year it looks like Portugal, Spain, and France. We haven’t been to Portugal, and it’s been 15 years since our last visit to Spain. I figured I’d put together a new trip. My hubby also expressed he wanted to do something different this year.

We are going to make an effort to be present in Cannes for the film festival, and Monte Carlo for the race, so here’s to finalizing the plans and putting together a trip I can truly use stories from for my next novel.

{photo I took last year in Las Vegas of the Eiffel Tower. Looks pretty real}

I Do Smile Often Throughout The Day

IMG_3423I was on the Muni this morning, as typical listening to music while I commute to work. I didn’t realize I was smiling until someone brought it to my attention, because of it wishing me a good morning. Over the weekend, while I did my grocery shopping, I was apparently smiling, and I didn’t realize it until my hubby asked me what was going through my mind? At the laundromat, the same happened early Sunday morning, when the usual crowd noticed me smiling as well.

I normally shrug it off, lying about the reasons for the smile—remembering something from my childhood, or a funny story I read online. But the truth of the matter is that, because I am a writer, I find myself pondering over a scene in a chapter I’d written, replaying how I could improve it. And when I finally figure out the best approach, I want to take; I smile. No one would understand if I told them the truth, because inside my head, there are stories to be told, and wonderful plots to unfold …all of it in due course.

{photo I took in Vegas in December while attending a special military graduation for son-in-law-1}

The Not So Pleasant End To An Evening

lightsI try to be mindful of everyone’s feelings, I really do. Because of this, I tend to walk on eggshells when trying to get something done.  So, I avoid at all cost visiting my mother because my brother lives with her. (Yes, he really does), and he has a tendency not to make anyone feel welcome in her house.

Case in point today. My daughters decided to surprise visit her, and told me after the fact they had done just that. I was working from home and didn’t really want to go over there. But for the sake of family time I did.

Usually, the minute I walk in through the door, I get the dirty look, followed by mumbling, and I am almost certain six different curses placed upon my head-all of them by my brother.

Anyway, I took a seat, with the corner of my eye noticed he was simply tolerating the visit. Usually he hates people tramping through the house when he had just cleaned it. I got the impression that was the case for this particular visit. The second sign we weren’t welcome into the house was him increasing the volume to the television set, watching Family Fued or something not so significant, airing nightly on television. The third, he never once spoke to any of us. We were all there for my mother anyway, and tried our best to ignore him. At ten, after twitching, sighing, eyes-rolling, he told us we had to leave.  My daughter merely reminded him that she was still visiting with her grandmother, and that this was her last weekend in California for a while, her comments pissing him off enough to lose it with us, turning the evening to s***.

My daughters walked out, my mother started to cry, and I stood by letting him scream and rant like he normally does. That’s how Friday night went.  I hope to wake up from this nightmare soon…

{photo I took of lights in a restaurant in Stanford several weekends ago}

What Do I Say?

propertyofrawsilkandsaffronAlthough there are lots going on, I really have nothing to voice here. I mean I can complain about the girls, work, bills, life, health issues, but who cares. The sun is out, the city looks amazing in the early morning hours just as the sun is coming up, and I took my time walking into the office just so I could snap some photographs.

I don’t know if I should invest in a camera or just stick to the smartphone?

{photo I snapped on my way to work this morning, indoor sitting area with lots of palm trees, reminds me of old Victorian indoor gardens}

Is It Wrong To Be Happy At Home Alone

property of alifefromasuitcaseFor years, I’ve had someone with me in the house. My hubby never travelled anywhere alone, and my girls were too close, always coming around, after college and such.

Recently, my mother-in-law moved to Los Angeles, and my hubby promised he would visit her at least once a month, for a few days. He left Saturday early morning, and I actually looked forward to the alone time. I went to Napa on Saturday, came home and wrote mostly throughout the night, went to bed at three, and Sunday I did my yoga, made a healthy breakfast for myself and while listening to French classics, I wrote the entire day. Monday I made dinner for myself, and sat on my bed, with my doggie, and wrote, again listening to my favorite music. He comes home tonight.

I realize how wonderful this is, and will probably encourage him to take the four-day trips down to Los Angeles on a monthly basis. You see, we downsized after my girls moved out into a studio apartment, so having space and privacy is never an option when we are both home. Although now, this has opened up a new can of worms…Is it wrong to be happy at home alone?

{photo I took of the sky last night, after the rain, the sun came out}

Not Much I Wanna Say

propertyofrawsilkandsaffronSometimes you just don’t want to say anything. That’s how I feel today. But since I committed to adding something on this, at the very least every other day, here it is. My oldest came over Friday afternoon, we celebrated my brother’s birthday. Saturday we went to Napa to celebrate daughter no 2 birthday. Sunday I wrote the entire day. End of story.

{photo I took in Napa around five in the afternoon, overcast but hot day}



But I Don’t Want to Watch Your Kids. I Want to Travel.

propertyofalifefromasuitcaseIt’s the weekend again, and my older daughter, who’s in town helping out her old job get it together, or hire her replacement, or whatever the real reason for her being here is, drove to the city as normal on Friday to save money on her housing in a near by military base. I’ve come to realize that is the only reason she comes over, and not because she misses us really or wants to spend time with me or her sister.  I am also sensing a rift between the two, and it’s breaking my heart. But I will leave that story for another day.

Anyway, when she arrived yesterday she told me she was considering going back to college to get her Masters, and perhaps even join the military before she had a baby. I asked how she planned to raise a child if she were deployed, and she said ‘that’s easy, the baby would live with you, and you would also have to take care of my dogs.’

I was hoping she was just kidding. But she wasn’t.

I choked, although did my best to hide it. I don’t want to watch her children, not long-term anyway. I have no intentions of being that type of grandmother. In fact, I was sort of looking forward to number 2 getting married, so I could breathe a little and be less responsible, travel and explore and write and take photographs. I married young, had children very young, and I am still young, and no longer want to complicate my life by possibly raising more (her) children which now I can see her doing to me.

Oh dear God!

{photo I took of the untraditional cake I bought for my brother’s birthday}

A Funny Thing Happened At Work

propertyofalifefromasuitcaseThis morning, I decided to go into the office much later, since I have dinner plans somewhere near my job. I woke up feeling great. The weather bright sunny warm day ahead, and even my commute was pleasant-all the trains and buses connecting perfectly.

I grabbed my mug and walked to the kitchen to get coffee like I always do. I usually keep my headphones in. But one co-worker tapped me on the shoulder to ask a question:

He wanted to know what happened to the pretty employee on our team?  I said, I’m right here. And he said, yes you are still good-looking but the pretty one, the one all the other employees here lust over. (Picture my face) I forced a smile, and walked away wishing I could just bunch him-not so hard, but enough to let him know how rude that was. But then again, I am a confident person, so his observation is his loss. 😉

{photo I took in San Francisco during one of my lunchtime walks. What a cool bow and arrow}




Lots Going On Keeping Me Busy

propertyofalifefromasuitcaseI can’t believe we are almost half way through March. Easter is around the corner, so is Spring and I get the feeling every one of us is so caught up in life, we don’t know what day of the week it is unless we look at our smart phones. (Okay I know I am exaggerating but you get the point).

I’ve got a few deadlines to meet if I want to market my novels. Meaning signing up for the London Book Fair, and the Book Expo America just to name a few. Then I’ve got to plan a trip abroad, more research for book 3. At the same time finishing the editing for book 2.  This part of my life I am super excited about, and to be honest I think all of this keeps me going.

The rest of the stuff not so much.  I’ve got a couple of back to back birthdays to plan, a baby shower or two to attend very soon, dog to the groomers and annual checkup, my dental six-month check up, taxes, and a cataract surgery for my mother to work through. And of course make more deposits for the wedding and such. Oh and get my Mother-of-the-bride dress before the Spring/Summer season ends. This one I am really dreading because the poor mother-of-the-brides are always expected to dress old, silvery, subtle and just plain boring. This is going be a challenge for sure, because I am still young enough to dress as such, and the only dress I found which complimented-let’s just say my assets-the girls gave it a thumbs down, it had hints of white and that’s a no-no.

Have I bored you enough?

{Photo of the view from my office window in San Francisco after we moved around, reconfiguring wok-spaces.}