Sunday, August 23, 2015

The "Off Market" Anniversary

"Real love stores never have endings"

~Richard Bach
Love Story

Today is a big day for me. It is the anniversary of my blogging on Ellipsis... yep... it was 13 years ago today that I began sharing my life on the World Wide Web! Well, on AOL at first, then on Blogger. It's been a wild ride, and if you asked me back then if I thought I would be buying a house in Stockton, California one day, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. 13 years ago today I had just come in from a swim, and Elvis was tickling my knees as I toyed with the idea of blogging. Would I have enough interesting things to say? Would I enjoy sharing my thoughts with total strangers? How would my photography fit in? LOL. The answer to all the questions seemed to be positive, so off I went... into the big pond of AOL blogging. And here we are today! Now, not only do I blog, I mircoblog on Twitter, and share my photography on Flickr and Pintrest and I have made some amazingly supportive friends on Twitter and even flirted... OUT LOUD... with Dylan McDermott, before Maggie Q of course! I know, I know... the flirting was minor and I wasn't keeping Dylan McDermott awake at night, but it still feels creepy to flirt with another girl's fella... right? Didn't Alan mind me flirting with Dylan McDermott? You ask.Well, no, he found it amusing, especially when I would blush with each little alert that beeped on my phone that told me he had just favorited something stupid I had just said. LOL. I don't know who enjoyed my flirting with Dylan McDermott more, me or Alan! I would like to think I at least made #Mcdillet smile a little too!

But like I said, that was before Maggie Q.


But here we are. I will be explaining what happened this summer soon. Probably this Autumn when I get back to blogging daily, but for now here is a look at our new home. We get the keys either late this week or early next week. Until then we are still in Turlock, or as I like to call it...



Yeah, I know, I have a "Mad Men" styled kitchen, complete with a PINK oven. LOL. But that's just temporary. We need to get moved in and all the utilities put into place, and some painting done, then we are going to renovate this fall. Probably in October. You'll see... it's going to look amazing. I am going for a Tuscan theme, so give it some time. You'll see! But until then, how completely cool is a PINK oven? I am tempted to leave it for nostalgia sake, but I miss my stove and oven Alan bought me a few years ago. Shrug. Still... it's kinda cool to have Barbie's Dream Kitchen!

In Real Estate terms the words "Off Market" are AWESOME!

So much has happened in the last 13 years!
Thank you so much for supporting me, and coming along with me for the ride! I love you, my friends!

"There is no mystery... that's the beauty of it. We are entirely explicable to each other, and yet we stay. What a miracle that is!"

~Kamila Shamsie.
Broken Verses

Mood: Happy
~Me :) 

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Haunted Houses

"It's easier to dismiss ghosts in the daylight."

~Patricia Briggs
Dragon Bones

Alan and I have begun looking for a house in Stockton. We saw 5 yesterday, all of them had something going for them, and all of them had some quirk that made them not exactly right for us. You know how it is... no house will be exactly perfect. At the moment we are just happy that the houses in our price range, also happen to be in a pretty good part of town! Stockton has a reputation for being, well, dangerous. In fact, according to one study, it is the 6th most dangerous city in America! But like with all major metropolitan areas, it also has a side to it that is lovely, and quite inviting! And, as I said, we can afford that part of town!

We looked through some lovely single story homes, mostly 2 bedrooms with huge backyards. That seems about right for us, in that we are coming up on retirement age, and we have no children or grandchildren to raise. Still, having a little extra room after having lived in a small cottage for as long as we did is an attractive idea! And boy did we ever find a house with a lot of room to it!
 A charming old Victorian, circa 1905!

4 bedrooms. A large Great Room. A full, gorgeous cherry-wood bar, with Tiffany lamps and window treatments, and old fashioned bar stools. A basement. A Study. A kitchen with gourmet oven and stove. Two bathrooms with a gorgeous free standing deep tub. It is really something to behold! Alan and I both fell in love with it, and at $189.900 it is well within our budget, but is it practical for just the two of us? Should we worry about practicality? It is a dream house, and a bit of a nightmare rolled into one!

My first impression was that it reminded me of the "Murder House" from American Horror Story. But it also has a "Coven" vibe from season three! It's quirky, but that appeals to us! We hate to pass it up because when would you ever have another chance to get a genuine Victorian for this price? But again, would it be better suited for a family who could get a lot of use from a 4 bedroom house? I don't know. But it is on my mind as I write this. I know I saw something unusual yesterday as we walked through it. I saw it's spirit, and felt the ghosts of dwellings of my past.

Does that make sense?

Life Takes Courage... right?

Mood: Thoughtful

~Me :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Dillybean

"The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal... 
or even better... 
as the superior it knows itself to be."

Elizabeth Peters
The Snake, The Crocodile And The Dog

Dillybean. My soul mate. He is Dylan. He is Mr. Pissypants. He is His Orangeness. He is The Little Corn Muffin. At the end of the day, he is my Dillybean. My kitty soul mate. 
One of the best friends I have ever had, and even while he is bitching a blue streak, 
which believe me he can do, 
he is always just my little Dillybean. 

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Who Does That?

"Life isn't always about fireworks. Your fireworks will come Sarah, and they will fizzle out just as fast. Life is an experience, not a destination. All of us has the same destination, but not one of us has had an identical experince. You'll find someone who will be there when the fireworks fizzle out and the sky turns black and love you just the same. That's the one to hold onto."

~Marilyn Grey

Okay. Life is many things. I got that! It's at times... BORING, HECTIC, SEXY, FUN, MYSTERIOUS, STUPID, MEAN-SPIRITED, HAPPY, DEVASTATING, LOVELY, COZY, FUCKED UP, UNFAIR, BARELY TOLERABLE, AMAZING, SCARY, PAINFUL, JOYOUS, and we defy the odds to even make it here for the brief time we are allotted. I am in the middle of all those things that make life worth living. Everything you see listed above and more. All I really want is to put the last few months into a tidy little file and forget it ever happened, but that isn't really possible... is it? 

Alan and I are still mulling over our options. We need to reconsider how much we can afford for rent, and if we can afford to go home again. I think it's possible, especially in that we were smart and didn't spend the settlement money we got back in May. We can pay all our bills off, which will free up a sum to put toward rent. It's just now a matter of finding an apartment or a house to rent. Wish us luck. We are going to need it.

I wish I could say more about what happened, but for right now I don't think I will. I don't want to dwell on my blog, not now. The negativity is sitting on my soul every single day when I wake up. It probably will until we find a place to rent. I just keep wondering how someone could have done what they did? How could they sit in front of us and LIE... with no thought of how it would damage us?
Who does that?

Don't worry friends, posting to Ellipsis daily is how I find the beauty and happiness in the world, so as the next few days and weeks go, my posts will come around to the beauty in the world and eventually the comically absurd. That is why posting daily is so important for me. Please don't give up on me because of this temporary negativity, I have some beautiful photos planned for later this week, Just be patient while I wade through the muck on my way to the shore
I'll get there, I promise.

Mood: Quiet
Fireworks July 4th, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015


"Love sometimes comes like a dream... and leaves like a nightmare."


Wow I am tired. I suppose you might know by now that our plans have changed... drastically. We aren't moving into the place we picked out... planned for... bought curtains and appliances for. Nope. Not going to happen!
And when we realised that the dream was dead, we grieved.
It's been a rough few months. but as of Monday we begin putting the pieces back together.
We will find an apartment, hopefully in the Bay Area
And we will move on.

Life Goes On!

And time goes by so slowly, unless you are in a crappy hotel in the Central Valley!

In that case time pretty much stops.

Honestly... I HATE IT HERE!

Don't worry, the negativity will pass.

Mood: Quiet/Pissed Off/ Sad/ Disappointed/Homesick

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


"The man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots
 voluntarily, now and then,
 is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head
 for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse,
 a little later on."

~Elbert Hubbard

Okay, so some days are a little better than others.

Everything is going to be okay... right?

Everything Falls Into Place!


~Me :)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Groupon Box

"What greater gift than the love of a cat?"

~Charles Dickens

Joey, is napping in a very beloved place, the sacred Groupon Box that my Birkin knockoff purse arrived in last October. Since then, Dylan and Joey have taken turns sleeping in the little brown and green box, and they have come to be friends as they worked out their own feline sharing negotiations. There was a day when I thought Dylan would never share that box with either of his brothers, but I was wrong, Dylan and Joey have actually bonded over the sharing of that chewed up box. And it is probably the least important thing we are taking with us to the new home, unless you consider that it would mean the world to those two wonderful cats to have that box. Dylan worked constantly over weeks to scallop the edges, and form it perfectly to his body, and Joey helped in his own way, and now it's as important to them as a catnip mouse, or Dylan's brush or Joey's Zsu Zsu pet Scoodles. But I couldn't help but wonder, why did they bond over a Groupon box, and why do they love all boxes so much?

Turns out, there is a reason...

And BIG cats love boxes also!

Yay! Boxes!


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Friend Gladys

"Every year, back comes spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off
 and the ground all mucked up with plants."

~Dorothy Parker

I flew into a fit of nostalgia yesterday, and went downtown for lunch and then a drive around Berkeley. One of my favorite spots to visit is my friend Gladys. She's the lady in the photo above. Gladys and her friends sit inside a special little garden, behind a pretty unique house on Ashby avenue. Gladys always makes me smile, and reminds me about how it's the unusual in life that makes living in this world whimsical and bearable. Gladys has her affairs in order. She knows who she is. She always makes you feel welcome. And when you leave, it's a huge comfort knowing that no matter how busy, or crazy life gets, Gladys will always be a constant in an ever changing world of birds yapping their nasty little heads off.

I don't think her real name is Gladys, but that's who she will always be to me. I am going to miss a lot of things about Berkeley, and Gladys is definitely one of them!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Almighty Dollar

"It's not easy to steal where the landlord is a thief"

Irish Saying

My landlord is a criminal. Period. He knowingly rented an apartment to me, well after he found out that my unit was illegal. That is against the law, so I sought legal help, and we have reached a monetary settlement, rather than I visit the District Attorney and press charges against him. The amount we settled on will help us, but it has placed our family in peril. We thought we were close to closing on our own home this weekend, but it all fell through on Wednesday. Now we are not sure what we will do, except try our best to find a new home that is ready to be purchased as soon as possible. We have the money for the down payment. We have the money for all the fees and closing costs. We have everything packed and pretty much ready to go. What we don't have is a place to go to. 

Having money doesn't make the world go round. With only 60 days to figure things out, rather than the year or more he could have given us, we are backed against the wall. Today I will get up, and get at it again, I will try to find us something... anything that we can maybe purchase and call home. Fortunately, we may have a solid line on someone willing to foster care the boys for a while, if we still haven't found a place by late next month. What a mess. Money doesn't buy happiness. And it doesn't buy love. It also can't buy a soul. My landlord sold his long ago, I can only imagine the look on his face, and the pain in his heart, when he finds out he won't be able to buy it back!

 For The Love Of Money

Mood: Sad


Wednesday, April 22, 2015


"Failure is the condiment that gives success it's flavor."

~Truman Capote

That's kinda deep!

Mood: Okay... No Really... Okay Just Freaked Out.

~Me :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Imagine The Possibilities

"Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.
 If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it.
 On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."

~Mahatma Gandhi

A pumpkin made entirely out of New England Cheddar cheese! Can you just imagine that? I know, I know, it's not really a pumpkin made of cheese... it's New England Cheddar cheese made entirely out of a pumpkin! Yeah, I know, I know... it's not that either. But just for a moment, imagine the possibilities!

Cheese Meets Pumpkins.

What A Concept!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Favorite Tree

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself."

~William Blake

This is my favorite tree. I love coming by and looking in it's... eye? Yeah, I know, it's not really an eye, but somehow imagining it to be a tree, with one wise eye, makes me feel better about things. Oh my goodness, the conversations that lovely Liquid Amber tree and I have had! We have discussed the beauty of autumn, the folly of war. We have discussed my crazy sentimentality, and how much we miss certain people. We talk about weather and big life changing decisions. We have enjoyed many lunches together, and the occasional smoothie break. Put it all together and it just life. The tree's and mine. And it goes on for both of us, through the chill and the heat, and the seasons, but autumn is our favorite. We agree that everything seems more reasonable in the autumn.

My Favorite Tree In Autumn

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Point

"The truth is, I can choose to view tough times as growing times, I can choose to see aging as seasoning and I can choose to focus on whatever good there is to be found in living. 
I choose. After all, it's my point of view."

~Steve Goodier

I have passed this sign in San Francisco, which sits at the entrance to Fort Point, at the Golden Gate Bridge, and I never noticed how kinda silly it is. FORT POINT... has a little sign with a little arrow that... POINTS to FORT POINT.

Get my point?

Crissy Field
San Francisco, California
April 11th 2015

Mood: Happy

Me :)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Finally Feeling Spring

"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."
 ~Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast

The battle is officially over! We are satisfied with the result. It will be enough to move on, and pay some bills off, and get settled into a new place. There are still some details to be ironed out, minor things like the date we will receive the check, and there will probably be a nondisclosure on names, dates, and amount of the settlement, but that's just the usual behind the scenes workings, no additional drama will take place. So, all that's left to do now is to finish the packing, and finding a new place to call home. Fortunately, we have found a really nice, and very helpful real estate professional to guide us through the next steps in this big adventure. So with the biggest part of this behind us now, I have been reassessing how I feel about things.

Q1. With the settlement check on it's way, am I still angry?

A1. You bet I am! I have forgiven the situation, but in truth, that is more for me than for them. Forgiving means you can move on with your life. It means you can heal. But will I forget? NOT LIKELY.

Q2. Will I still be grieving the loss of the cottage a year from now?

A2. A part of me will always miss this cottage. It was our home for 14 years. There was a lot of joy, and happiness that took place here, as well as a lot of pain from grieving the loss of Elvis, Alan's brother Daryl and June, my dear friend, as well as missing friends who had to move on for one reason or another. I still think of the last conversation I had with Mr. November. I was sitting at my desk, and it was goodbye. But that memory is just that, a memory. And I can keep it with me always, wherever I go. This cottage has been the place I can shut my eyes, and feel what I need to feel as I move through life. But when we find the new place, I know I will come to think just as fondly about it, and feel just as comfortable, as I have here. And I will love it for it's own merits. 

Alan and I are an unbeatable team. When someone put our family in jeopardy, we hugged each other and went into battle. Like a few times before, we thrived in a dark time. Trust in marriage really is the key to everything. Supporting each other daily, so the other one knows, even with just a hug, that no matter what... we are each other's priority... that is what makes our marriage work! It's a strange feeling to know that ours will be the last love story the cottage will have in it. And sometime in the next few months it will be torn to the ground, but I am hoping the rose garden I planted will somehow tell whoever ends up purchasing the property that love existed here. A deep, trusting, funny, silly, surreal, kind, steady, romantic love. And there was much more joy here than there ever was sorrow.


~Me :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Heels... And The Shoes They Wear

"If you were to ask me what's under my bed, I'd tell you shoes. They're brown, and they're still attached to the body that's been decomposing there since I hid it three days ago."

~Jarod Kintz
This Book Is Not For Sale

Finally... we arrive at Friday. It's been a long week, and at the same time, the last 3 weeks have flown by. Time is a strange thing isn't it? Alan went back to work yesterday, and slowly, but surely, I am returning to something resembling my life prior to the big reveal that I have been living in an illegal apartment for 14 years...well, it will be 14 years on May 2nd. I still plan to celebrate it, as I have done each year since we moved it. It is my place of safety, my comfort, and while there is now some tragedy attached to all the memories we made here, there are still some moments of great joy that I will never erase from my memories. Like the day we brought Hendrix home. After Elvis's death, it was so quiet in here but along came that little force of nature, Hendrix, and he helped Alan and I through our grief.

It's an odd thing... I keep finding pairs of shoes in different parking lots throughout the East Bay. This the fourth pair I have found since the beginning of the year! Is it the Year Of The Shoe? I thought every year was the Year Of The Shoe. LOL. I just packed 3 boxes with nothing but shoes. Boots. Flats. Canvas Deck Shoes. A pair of tennis shoes that used to belong to Alissa Milano I bought of eBay. LOL. Yep, I am one of those girls. I like shoes. I think you can tell a lot about a person by the kind of shoes they wear. Take the man criminal who I used to call Mr. Landlord... he wore some expensive brown leather shoes, that were strangely scuffed. I always found that a curiosity. Of course now I see that he probably scuffed them while trying to wade through his own bullshit. It's not easy being a brown heel I suppose.

Mood: Okay

~Me :)