We are Santa Ana

As usually happens when you meet a new acquaintance, they ask where you live. The conversations goes like this:

  • Me: “Hi, nice to meet you.”Fountain
  • Acquaintance: “Nice to meet you as well, are you from around here?”
  • Me: “Yes, I’ve always lived in Orange County. I grew up and still live in Santa Ana.”
  • Acquaintance: “Oh. Really?? (Insert incredulous look of surprise here. End conversation about residences.)”

Santa Ana gets a bad rap. Just like any suburban/urban city, Continue reading


Pushing & Shoving

Our house is two stories, but we think it was originally one story. The attic we suspect was built out in the 40’s or 50’s based on the look of the tile upstairs. Upstairs is now my office loft, craft/sewing room, and the guest bedroom & bathroom. The craft/sewing room and the guest bedroom both have adorable little window seats with plenty of storage. I made custom cushions for each room to match the décor. When we saw the home during the open house, the bedroom upstairs looked to be a teenager’s with the mattress placed on the floor. I thought nothing of it.

When we moved in, we wanted to create the guest bedroom upstairs. But, all I had was a twin bed, so it stayed in there until we could afford a new set. When we finally purchased a new set for the master bedroom, the old set was sent upstairs to the guest bedroom. Up the very steep and narrow stairs went the queen bed frame, headboard, footboard, dresser, mirror, and nightstands. Easy enough. Then came time for the mattress set. First went the mattress itself. We turned it on its side, and began heading up the stairs, only to get stuck Continue reading

The courtyard

To get to our house, you must make a right off the main drag.  Just after the right hand turn, on the south end of our street is a small grouping of cute little bungalows and duplex’s.  One such duplex has just had a cute little courtyard installed, and in that courtyard is a set of chairs and a table.  Most weekends, you can find the duplex neighbors chatting over a glass of wine in that little courtyard.  Last friday, we drove by and noticed Continue reading

June. No Gloom.

In June, a fog hovers over a typically very sunny southern California.  We call it June Gloom.  This past Saturday, it brought in sprinkles.  Keep in mind, it’s June and we are in a draught, so this was a bit unusual.  To make matters worse, it was my mom’s 70th birthday and we had a boat cruise in an electric Duffy planned with the family in Newport harbor.  Well, rain or shine, the party must go on… Continue reading

PRIDE & prejudice

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

June 2016 is Pride Month for the LGBT community. It is not a month to focus on what others think or believe, but to focus inward. It is an implied permission slip that you can be who you are, to those that have hidden their identity for far too long or been penalized for it. It is a celebration of individuality, with others who take pride in themselves, and in turn you. It is a celebration of love, without regard to possible prejudice or hate.

“…love is love and … no person should be judged by anything but the content of their character.”- President Barack Obama

Prejudice stems from ignorance, without the benefit of empathy. Ignorance is a lack of understanding. Knowledge conquers ignorance. Empathy requires thought.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


GNFF is an active member and supporter of our community, of which several neighbors and friends are members.

On Sunday morning a friend informed me about the terrible events in Orlando last Saturday evening, during this very same Pride Month. While we were talking, a group of friends walked by wearing their Gay Neighbors, Families & Friends (GNFF) shirts. We hugged each other and I asked if there was a Pride event that day. The response was “No, we just wanted to be together.”

In community, my friends were seeking solace. In their attire they were silently demonstrating their pride in themselves, and in the Orlando community, and I applaud them for that.  I am proud to call them my friends.  An injustice was done to that community, but it is a threat beyond one community.


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”- Declaration of Independence

This was an act against life, liberty and happiness- not just the LGBT community. No matter your political or religious views, it is events like this that should cause us to come together in the defense of our unalienable rights.  It is an opportunity to support our individuality, educate ourselves on our differences, empathize with each other, and build a stronger community. That is what I will do with my friends and neighbors.

Will you please join us?

How to be Neighborly: Eliminate Ignorance. Celebrate Diversity. Support Liberty. Generate Happiness.


The End of the World

It was December 2012. The day the Mayan calendar predicted the world would end. So, what better time to throw a party? Four of our closest friends came over, and given this was our last meal, we made all of our favorite things. If the end of the world didn’t kill us, the calories may nearly have. The menu included: Continue reading