Thursday, August 28, 2008

My date with MAC

I turned 50 in May and really haven't felt the greatest about my appearance - especially since I have gained about 20 pounds in the last few months :( Well, I read something this morning about gratitude and I am a big fan of making gratitude lists, in fact I do it every morning. What I haven't done, however, is to be grateful for things I DON'T like. Yeah, sounds wacky huh? The preface is that if you're always negative about a certain thing - like where you live, the car you drive, the job, the spouse, etc; then you're going to be only focusing on negative and not opening up enough for positive changes to happen. It made perfect sense to me. So much so that as I soaked in a tub this morning I focused on being grateful for my body - for my body?!?!? Yes! Even though I have not loved it much lately I focused on the fact that this is the body that gets me around, birthed and nourished my beautiful children, love my family with, create with, give hugs and touches of encouragement to my friends and loved ones, and many, many other things. And how grateful I am for the fact that I am pretty healthy, can see, walk, hear, dance, etc. And then I just kept positive, grateful and loving thoughts towards my body.

Then I had an appointment at MAC to get my makeup done and buy some makeup. Here is the final result and the booty I brought home. I am feeling pretty darn good about myself today!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blonde or Brunette?

This was taken yesterday morning.
And this was taken a few years ago but the length is close.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

3 Days Post MM

Baaawaaaahaaaaaaa - it took awhile for me to actually close out my account at MM but I didn't actually go on the site. Now, I am officially gone from both MM and BBC. The first day I felt good. The second day I felt bored but ended up getting a bunch of crap done. Like hanging some pictures in the house (we've only been here 5 mos!) and catching up on all my laundry, went to the community center to purchase aerobics class card and two meetings! Yesterday I registered at the local community college so that I can get started on my Italian classes. I watched 'Under The Tuscan Sun' (one of my favs) the other night and now I really want to learn Italian. On Thurs I got my hair done - all dark now. I'll post a picture when I get one. After my meeting this morning I'm headed over to the mall to check out MAC cosmetics. I keep hearing how great they are but I've never used it so I'm going to splurge on some. With my new hair color I'm ready for a make-up change. Hopefully I'll look like a younger hot chick.

All in all this was a very good decision and I'm definitely happy about it. Especially since I can still correspond with the peeps I miss.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bye, bye Momma's websites - hello Life!

Yesterday, I bit the bullet and quit my addiction. Yes, that's right I said addiction. I was addicted to MM (MayasMom) and then went over to BBC(BabyCenter).
I realized when a website takes up that much of my time and then to wake in the middle of the night thinking about something that happened with friends and the website it was time for me to back off and get back into the real world.

I do have to say that MM was many things for me when I needed it to be. During my moves and stressful times it was great to have some continuity with the people on there and of course I had a lot of laughs. The most important thing I got out of MM was the practice of speaking my mind. Before MM I had a very hard time saying how I really felt about things for fear of not being liked. I look back from when I first joined until now and can see the evolving and progress I have made. I'm proud of myself for that. I have met some amazing women - women who gave me tons of encouragement, love and laughter. I will hold them near and dear to my heart. And I hope to keep in touch with many of them. I know it's probably not going to happen because of how the world is - we're just such a mobile and busy society. I do feel however that there have been a few friendships that will last.

All the time I spent on the website I can now pour into my personal life such as exercise, meeting with friends, volunteering or maybe I'll get a job. Not sure but I am sure it's going to be better for me to participate in the real world around me. I have two sisters who live just a few miles away from me that I hardly ever see - I can start with nurturing those relationships. My husband is happy that I will be more 'present' in the evenings for him. All around I know it was a good decision. A healthy decision for me. My deep desire and beliefs are to be positive and see the positive in situations and how I can grow and learn from them - this is a time for growth and learning about Linda on an even deeper level.
There are many things I would love to do and now maybe this is the kick in the pants to do some of them. Learn a new language (French or Italian), take a cooking class, take kick-boxing, volunteer...This will still be my journal/blog and way to stay in connection with my friends who desire to stay in contact with me and also a way for me to record and see how I am growing.

I am not at all sure if BBC or MM have indeed canceled my account yet. I asked them to yesterday so we shall see. I will not be on the site so even it this feeds into my journal there I will not be there to view any comments. Hopefully they will close my account ASAP.
Now, onward and upward!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Tribute to my Daughter

A reprint of 'Tribute to my Daughter'

My daughter, Stephanie (Mom911), is truly one of my heroes. She started parenthood as a single Mom with a high school diploma. The year she was pregnant was one of the roughest years for our family. Her father had serious health problems culminating with open heart surgery at Stanford with Stephanie right by his side the whole way (7 mos pg) while I was in a 28 day rehab for Vicodin addiction. Steph refused to go on welfare and took jobs to do what she had to do all the while battling constant morning/noon/night sickness. Everywhere she went, she had to take a barf bag with her. When her Dad was in the hospital she had to wait her turn for a public bathroom to puke and then go back and comfort her Dad. My sister suffered breast cancer that year as well. There was a great deal of stress and sadness in our family and instead of us supporting Steph, she did the supporting. She was my biggest cheerleader while I was going through re-hab. She had no support from 'the father' of my grandson and held down my home and took care of her convalescing father in her last months of pregnancy. I'm sure she was scared and overwhelmed by the idea of becoming a single Mom but always had a positive outlook about the baby. After the worst year of her life on the very last day of the year she gave birth to her son ending the year on a high note.

After her son was born Stephanie took a pizza delivery job to support them, then went on to selling bottled water, cleaning offices at a secure site and from there she had an opportunity to learn security dispatch (mind you this was all working nights with an infant) which eventually led to the position that she has now as a 911 dispatcher. Those early years were so rough but she did what she had to do. Along with Jared, she now has a wonderful husband and a beautiful 3 yr old daughter. She commutes and works a long shift. When her father learned last summer that his cancer had returned Steph stepped up and insisted he move in with her so that she could take care of him. So with her family and work schedule she also managed everything regarding her father's medical care. They were very close and she was a devoted daughter. Sadly, her Dad lost his battle with cancer early this year and Stephanie once again has stepped up and done what had to be done. Her Dad felt completely safe and cared for by her. He was very lucky to have had her for a daughter and I know she felt priviledged to have been able to spend those last months with him.

My daughter is the woman I wished I could be. I admire her strength, tenacity, intelligence, humor, character, heart and especially her caring spirit. If I had to choose a person to share a foxhole with it would be her. She is hard as nails with a heart big enough for everyone - she is - my daughter....

A little sad, a little reflective..

I know that this is the season for love & giving and all but it is also a time when we miss the ones that aren't here. I am sad today - I am missing someone. I was spending time with him last year at this time and I am remembering. I was in the grocery store today and there was a gentleman in front of me who reminded me of Skip (my daughter's Dad, my good friend) only Skip in 20 yrs. And it just felt like a stab in my heart. Right there in the store I teared up - dammit to hell anyway, why do I have to cry right in the damn store? I quickly got to my car and let it happen..I let the tears come. I honored my feelings of grief and allowed myself to miss him and remember him. I had really gotten better about not getting emotional when someone or something reminded me of him but I haven't gone a whole year yet and I suppose it's only natural to miss him during the holidays more accutely. I know Stephanie does, I know she hurts from missing her Dad. I especially was thinking about him last week when it was Stephanie's birthday - I think it was only natural that I would. And she was also missing him a great deal on that day.

I am wondering if he knows that we miss him so. I do have faith that he is in a much better place than I. Not in the religious way - I am not religious in the way that believes that only a fraction of humankind are gonna be 'in a better place' but that we are all connected and the connection transcends time and space. That is my personal belief - not a challenge to any one else's.
I just know that people in my life have touched me and taught me. There have been special people in my life that have left their heartprint on mine. It will never go away - it is there for me when I need it. Even now as I miss Skip so, I can remember something that we would laugh about and it makes me happy. I was so lucky to have had the relationship that I had with him. I am especially happy that Stephanie had that security and experience of having parents that loved her and that loved and respected each other even tho we couldn't stay married. He was one of kind - that's for sure and I was priviledged to have been his friend.

Friday Favorites (still from MM)

There are just so many to choose from...This one is special because it was the last fun day I spent with Skip - he was in the final stages of lung cancer and we went up to Calavares Big trees with our daughter and the grand kids. Here we are with the grand kids on this huge tree stump. It was a grand day. I miss him....but I am so glad that we had that day.

Long Ass Photo Meme

What is your name?" Linda Linda Linda

2. What is your relationship status?happily married"

3. What is your favorite color?" purple

4. Who is your celebrity crush?" Andy Garcia

5. What band are you currently listening to?" SILENCE

6. What is your favorite movie?" Matrix

7. What type of phone do you have?" sync

8. What do you want to be when you grow up?Photobucketn

9. What do you love most in the world?family"

10. One word to describe you?" compassionate

11. Where were you born?" Hermosa Beach, CA

12. What do you hate?Photobucketbr>
13. What's better...blond or brunette?blonde

14. What is your favorite show?" Beauty and the Geek

15. What is your favorite pasttime?" Computer

16. What did you have for breakfast this morning?" Cereal

17. What kind of car do you drive?" a

18. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?beach

19. What was your high school mascot?" eagles

20. Favorite flavor of coffee?STARBUCKS

21. Closest thing to you that is red?notebookbr

22. What do you wear to sleep in?t shirt"

23. What is the last book you read?Eat Pray Love

24. What is the closest thing to your right leg?" Coffee Table

25. What do you think of this survey?" long

The Loss of a Loved One

I took this from my daughter's blog that she wrote after losing her Dad to cancer last year.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

And that is dying.

-Henry Van Dyke

Thought for today (MM blog)

"It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny." - Anthony Robbins

Flowers from MinneMom

Last week I came home to find a box of flowers at my door and a very lovely, cheerful note from Kristin. It was so gosh darn sweet and really uplifted me. These days I can use all the uplifting I can get!

Thanks Kristin - you're the best!!

More carry over from MM(Depression and Anxiety)

National Depression and Anxiety week. How ironic for me. I have been suffering from this affliction off and on all my life. I took myself off meds years ago thinking that I was 'cured'. But in high stress situations I just can't cope and recently the depression and anxiety came with a vengeance. I didn't recognize it at first. By the time I realized what was going on I wasn't doing too well. I had a major move and some family issues going on right smack in the middle of my 'crisis'. It's been tough. I wasn't sure I would be able to go on. I felt like there was absolutely nothing to be happy about which if anyone that knows me knows that isn't how I normally am. I didn't want to see or talk to anyone. Didn't want to go out. I was either sleeping all day or couldn't sleep. I started coping by self medicating with prescription narcotics *warning: not the best recipe for depression! As a result I ended up even farther down in the hole. I didn't care about anything. I went to the Dr and was prescribed some meds - we made the move - still suffering and was getting worse. Finally I insisted on getting some structured help in addition to the meds. That was 3 weeks ago and I am thrilled to report that I am much, much better today. Life is worth living again. The sun is shining again. It is a One Day at a Time deal though. I have to be good to myself and remember each day that I am a good human being and worth taking care of. I look for the positive each day and mentally make a gratitude list. I am extremely thankful that I was able to get help. Depression and anxiety disorder is something that is in a person's genes - just like the color of my eyes. I had no control over having it but I can take care of myself and keep it under control. Please, if you have ever thought that people that suffer with any type of mental illness are a lost cause or not worth helping or even that they can 'help' it - it is no different than having diabetes. We can't help it and it is a disease. Show a little compassion, give a little smile and a word of encouragement. You never know what a difference you could make. Have a fabulous May. ~ XO

Mother's Day

Just the other day I was walking through the parking lot of a local grocery store and it hit me so profoundly that all I had ever wanted when I was younger was to be a Mom. Then the gratitude flooded in - not only did I give birth to two beautiful, healthy kids but I was doubly blessed by adopting my youngest, beautiful healthy baby girl. I was lucky enough to have these children in my life and was able to stay home with them and be a big part of their lives. It WAS what I had dreamed of and so much more. It is a simple realization of gratitude to be the Mother of these 3 fine people (adults now) that just really took me aback. I am 50 today and when you hit that mark you start to wonder if you're where you 'should' be in life. Did I acccomplish what I wanted? Am I in shape? Have I been enough? What else do I want to accomplish in my life?

All I have to do is think back 30 years ago when all I ever wanted was to be a Mom and I am overwhelmingly grateful that I did fulfill my life's dreams - and their names are Stephanie, Michael and Christina and I will love them til the day I die.

Monday Gratitude ala MM

So many things to be grateful for. Yesterday I spent the day with my oldest DD, her DH and my beautiful grandchildren. Stephanie's hubby went out and got us lunch and then Steph and I went to Maid of Honor. Very cute movie. The kids had cards and gifts for me. Beautiful journal and yummy smelling cherry candles with a cool holder from Candlelite. Then Steph and I sat outside and talked and had a cup of coffee - it was so nice. My wonderful SIL then made dinner for all of us and afterward we sat around and reminisced about old times. It was a fabulous day. I have to say the best gift of the day was the hugs and loves from the kiddos. It melts my heart. The only thing better than being a Mom is being a Grandma Smile

It is sunny in my heart today and for that I am truly grateful.

Carried over from MM

So one of things I have realized lately in my quest to recover from depression/anxiety was that the list that I had made after my divorce had been pretty much fulfilled and I hadn't bothered with another. It is good to have things to look forward to and goals to attain. I know it will give me a little extra something to work toward. The last list had things on it like - Riding on a Harley, Skydiving, Parasailing, Kayaking, Finding a lifelong partner, Getting a certain job, etc. I did all those things within a year. I haven't had anything dreams and goals specific to me in a long while and I found myself missing 'me'. The adventurous, tenacious, life loving woman was becoming a mere shadow of her husband (again). Not good, not good at all. No wonder I got depressed! So, here and now, I am going to start a new list. My good friends here will help encourage me - I know they will as well as friends around me and my fabulous daughter, Stephanie. So here goes.

1. A trip to Mazatlan

2. Learn a foreign language

3. Learn Tai Chi

4. Take a dance class

5. Get some vocational counseling and then work toward a job.

6. Trip to Canada

7. Study Eastern Religions

8. Take a cooking class

9. Join a community theater

This list could and probably will take up to 10 years to finish but at least now I have something to plan and think about. I'm taking a Tai Chi class this summer and probably the cooking class too. I like the number 9 because it's said to be spiritual.

I Love It When....

1. When my hubby rubs my back when we go to bed at night even though he was the one who worked all day and has back problems.

2. When my daughter makes me a CD cuz she knows all the music that I like.

3. When I come downstairs and the coffee is already made.

4. When my grandkids tell me they love me.

5. When I win in Vegas. Tongue out

6. When my KIDS tell me they love me.

7. When I get a surprise card in the mail.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The time has come...

Many of you know my resistance to Christianity and some of you may know that I consider myself 'reformed' or 'evolved' from Christianity. What none of you know is the how and why I turned away from my church and Christianity in general. I became a born again Christian in April 1982. I was baptized in 1986 along with joining the choir of the local American Baptist church. My husband (now ex) came occasionally but I attended regularly along with taking my two children. I also went to an intense women's bible study called Bible Study Fellowship each week during the school year. At the time there were five parts to the whole series and you studied one part a year. Luckily for me we were on John the first year I started. It was wonderful. I learned a lot and I was happy. I had lots of friends. Then my husband and I bought our second house and moved 40 miles away closer to his work. I really didn't go to any church for awhile - I was working part time and trying to get acclimated. After a rough year in my marriage, a miscarriage and then a hysterectomy I decided that I wanted to foster a baby and this was when I was very much in touch with God, reading my bible and doing a lot of praying. We also started visiting some churches in town.
Finally I found what I felt was the perfect fit for us. It was our kind of church. It was hyped as the church for the average Joe and Jill. We started going in their very first month so everything was new as far as the people and general program. We met in a local Jr High school. I loved it - I loved how friendly people were, I loved how there were so many things for me to do, I loved how we would all grow together. I found a home and friends fast at this church. I was lucky enough to make a really good friend in one woman in particular - her name was Tammy and she had such a spirit of God around her - I honestly never in a million years felt that I could be as Godly. But we were fast friends. And our husbands became great friends too. We were in the 'IN' crowd at the church. We did a lot of the work and we socialized a lot with the core group. Tammy and her husband adopted two babies before I had gotten Christina so I really looked to her for guidance.

So fast forward a few years - the church was in the process of acquiring land and a building fund for our new wonderful church. I was heavily involved in the fund raising aspect of this and I was starting to have a few little twinges. I also was very involved with the women's group and bible studies - even leading one at my home and I was a part of a small group of prayer warriors with the pastor's wife. Mostly it was all good. Tammy and I were super close - we talked daily and had a lot of fun together. She and Pastor Bill were very close and she ended up doing some secretarial work for him at the church. Pastor Bill and her husband played golf together and were buddies. Everyone loved Pastor Bill - he was very charismatic. We loved our leader.

I started noticing that Bill would be at Tammy's house during the day but I really thought nothing of it because they were good friends and both very Godly. Eventually Tammy and her husband pursued their dream of buying land and a house out in the country. We would go out and visit and go swimming. Still having lots of fun. Later I started work as a Real Estate Agent and could no longer go to church on Sundays as I worked New Homes and worked weekends. Then we moved to a smaller town and left the church all together. I was starting to get sick with my RA and taking a lot of pain pills, my marriage was very stressed as my husband worked a lot of crazy hours and finally I ended up going on disability and really crashing and burning. We split up and I went to rehab. Thank god Tammy was there for me to take care of my kids. Soon after that she confided in me about how she and Pastor Bill had had a sexual relationship. She had recently told her husband and was now coming out and telling others. She needed to heal and this was the way. It lead to an investigation by the Host church - the American Baptist supported our church in a lot of ways. What happened from there was even more astonishing and painful. He denied it ever happened and she was basically scorned by many of the members of this church that we were all good friends with. I supported Tammy 100 percent - I knew enough to realize that she was a victim not a perpetrator. He took complete advantage of her - he counseled she and her husband on their marriage problems all the while telling Tammy that there was nothing sinful about their 'love' . Ugh, I tell you it was sickening. The investigation revealed that he had also been accused of this same thing several times and denied it and moved each time. This time he had a large following in the church although it did split the congregation. He continued to deny and left Tammy out to dry. I was the best friend I could possibly be. I defended her to our mutual friends - I would have walked through fire for her. She still maintained her faith and found a new church in which to heal.

After all that happened my ex and I did split up for good (nothing to do with the church) - he was seriously addicted to porn and I felt he was not going to change and I had to change in order to live so I was out. I was down, really down and I received a letter from my friend Tammy - in it she said she could not support me in my decision to divorce my husband and how it was a sin. She just could not condone it by supporting me or even really being my friend. I was devastated.

I know that this has nothing to do with my own personal relationship with a Higher Power but it was very difficult for me to separate that for awhile. In order for me to be happy, healthy and sober I had to have a relationship with a Higher Power. So I have been seeking for the past 9 years and I feel that I am in a really good place now. Through my seeking I have learned a great deal about who I am and what I believe. I didn't reject Christianity for myself based solely on the experience with my former church and pastor but in my search as well. So there you have it. I am so sorry this was so long but I felt things had to be said in order for the whole story to be told. I haven't spoken with Tammy in many years and I do think of her and wish her the best.

The rest of the week with Leah

Craft time - one for Mommy and one for Gma Mary. I love the intensity..Swim time in the perfect pool for a 4 yr old. It is round and 3 1/2 feet deep.
At Great America we ran into the Fairly Oddparents and Leah got kisses.

And this is her last day with me - we went swimming.

I just LOVE the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment!

Yesterday's service was exactly what I needed. I have had a particularly rough few days and just getting there and hearing the music and being able to just 'be'. The spiritual leader talked about grace and how we all have exactly what we want and need within us - we just have to step out of the delusion that we have to 'find' it 'out there.' The Divine is with us, through us and all around us. We need only receive it. No need to live in the past hurts - no need for resentment or un-forgiveness.
Can you tell I am filled with the spirit? Well, I am full of hope and happiness that is for sure. Next month the center is starting this class and I can hardly wait - Live the Eternal Way: A Guide to Spiritually Conscious Living

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fun Times with Leah

Well, we went to Great America yesterday. It's nice to have season passes because then I don't feel bad when we only stay 2-3 hours and 2-3 hours is just right with a 4 yr old. I squeezed my big booty in the little pint sized roller coasters, splashed down the log ride, road on the Flintstone's carousal, fielded a million questions, doled out snacks, bought ice cream and cotton candy and then road in the sky tram back to the front. The little kids area is in the back of the park. I don't know why I didn't think of the sky tram when we got there. Oh well. Leah and I both were worn out as we dragged our butts back to the car. After the park we were on our way to the library to pick up some vids and books. I told Leah not to fall asleep yet- she did great until the last 2 minutes! Yep, had to wake her when we got there. But she was a trooper and we quickly found 3 dvd's and 5 books and then jammed home. I had absolutely no energy to cook so my wonderful husband stopped on the way home and got us Taco Bell - he's the best. After dinner and bath we started on our craft. Finally I couldn't answer another question or glue another jewel we went to the bed and I read her two books. I said I was going to watch TV and she looked at me with big sad eyes - 'I'm not tired' she says. She doesn't want me to go or she wants to go with me. I offered to rub her back. It took two minutes and then she was out - for 12 hours! No, she wasn't tired at all!

This is the only still pic I took - the rest were short little vids for Stephanie. They're on YouTube

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Leah with 'Tude'

Leah is here with me. I picked her up today. I wanted to send a video love letter to Stephanie cuz I know how much she's missing her family. She has been up North helping out the fire camp for the wildfires here in Cali. She's dispatching 12+ hours a day and has been there since July 27 and will be home on August 11. The same day that Jared goes back to school. She's several hundred miles away so no visits. Anyway I thought she'd enjoy a vid of Leah. Earlier I imitated Tinkerbell and she picked it right up. I love this vid and I'm pretty sure Steph will too!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Quirky Meme

Lisa aka Twisted Noodles tagged me for this meme.

The Rules
* Link to the person who tagged you.
* Mention the rules.
* Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
* Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
* Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment to let them know that they’ve been tagged.

1. I have to put cold water in my hot coffee. Can't drink it too hot and I like to drink it fast.
2. I can't stand having someone's feet on me.
3. I have my best inspirations in the shower.
4. I've never had a ticket.
5. I am 5 feet tall.
6. I've never been farther East than Phoenix Ariz.

I tag -

Mom of Twins
Jersey Mom
Country Gal

(I didn't know anymore 'bloggers' here that haven't been tagged so tagging MM) And sorry Lisa I couldn't figure out how to link to you.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bye, bye Acura - Hellllloooo Camry!

So, Dave and I did our research on selling the Acura and what we would have to come up with in cash. I still have a payment on the Corolla that I would be driving and it is 5 yrs old. We realized after looking into it that we probably had a snowballs chance in hell of selling the Acura so we figured we might as well trade it in and sell the Corolla. So, now I have a 2009 Toyota Camry. It's a pretty silver color. Our payments are more than half what they were on the Acura and we know Corolla's are selling quickly so we are selling it ourselves. It actually worked out better for us this way. Yes, we had to come up with $ down but we would have anyway. The new Camry makes getting rid of the Acura a little easier. Now we'll be all set to buy a home next Spring which is what we had hoped. Dave gets a bonus at the end of the year so we're keeping our fingers crossed for that. Jeeze, a lot changes in 24 hours!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Buying and Selling

At this stage of my life I really didn't think that Dave and I would be purchasing a home. After all we both have been there, done that in our pasts, we don't have kids at home and we're really rather a couple of free spirits aka vagabonds. But, with the economy, Dave's position (it seems he is set on staying here) and his back problems we've really been exploring the option of buying a home. Well, if you know anything about the Bay Area you know it's crazy real estate prices. We have just been looking at older, small condo's and they run from 300k-500k in a decent area plus add another 300-600 a month for HOA dues. Holy cow! But we decided to take the plunge and are getting ourselves into the position to buy next Spring. It's not the payments that are so high (although they are) it's the down payment! Really how many people keep 75k-100k laying around to put down on a house???? So, we decided to bite the bullet and sell my (not his) new Acura. The one we bought back in November - the one I love to drive - the one that with ins/car payment is costing us close to $1,000 a month! Yeah, that one. I'm the one who suggested it - I don't think Dave would have dared and I really don't mind since we're getting a home and I already have another car (2003 Toyota with great gas mileage).

I had told Dave when we first got married to please never have me live in a 'mobile home' - well, I've changed my tune. The manufactured homes now days are fabulous and there are some really nice parks here. And the big plus is that it will be much easier to get into one and I won't have to deal with having someone living on top or below me in a condo. This is the car we're saying bye-bye to and this link to a home of the several we're looking at. We're getting kind of excited about it. We will have it paid off by the time Dave retires and then just have the park rent. That'll be nice cuz then we'll be able to travel.

We'll be taking a pretty big hit on the car but we'll recoup it in about 4 mos - that is if it sells. I'll keep you posted.