Living in LA

Where’s my buddie, Clete Purcel?

Being as that I am working my way through the Dave Robicheaux books by James Lee Burke and the fact that I recently visited my son who lives in Louisiana, I thought perhaps it’s time I try to write about the wonderful five years we lived in that state. MORE

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Every Dentist Loves Me

Yeahhh Baby….

I have bad teeth.  At least that’s how I feel.  It’s probably more likely that my teeth are average.  I happen to live with a person, (my wife), who has very strong teeth; only one tiny cavity in her entire life.  Me?  At least a dozen cavities, a half dozen caps and two veneers.  I’m a dentist’s best midnight dream.  

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Hurricane Andrew – Our Story

Satellite path Andrew

Satellite path Andrew

 On the day I am beginning to write this story, we are getting our very first soaking rain here in the Sacramento valley.  Summertime is officially over.  I even heard thunder a few times, not a very common occurrence here in this area.  While living in Ohio, like a lot of people, I had the opinion that everyone in California worried on a daily basis about earthquakes and fires gone rampant.  Now that I’ve lived here in the Sacramento area for a dozen years and haven’t worried about either ever, I’m thinking perhaps this was a rumor started by Californians in an effort to try to keep down migration from other states.  Like most people, I have though experienced a few episodes of dangerous weather.

The Snoopy Fishing Pole Always Brings in the Big Catch

Ah...This is the Life!

Ah…This is the Life!

We have a new kitten.  Her name is Minka and she is a blue mink ragdoll.  So far, she seems like she’s going to have the perfect demeanor we adore in our cats.  When she plays, she is aware of her jaw and paw strength so when she touches human skin, she is careful not to apply so much pressure that she could puncture the skin.  If I’m wearing shorts and she wants picked up, she reaches her paws up onto my legs but keeps her little claws retracted.  That is difficult to teach but a great cat instinctually knows it.  She craves human affection and will sometimes cry if she thinks she’s alone.  So far, she’s sleeping with us every night.  The cutest thing of all though is how she loves to play with her little caterpillar at the end of her fishing pole.  Speaking of fishing poles….

Joie de Vivre – Keeping the Spirit of Louisiana in the Retirement Years

ER Nurses Extraordinaire

ER Nurses Extraordinaire


At the time of beginning the writing of this story, my wife is living the very first day of retirement from a 37 year nursing career.  The plan is to set up a snowbird arrangement between Phoenix and Cincinnati.  The motorcycle has been sold, the house has been ‘decluttered’ and we now have it up for sale.  Continue reading

No Speeding Ticket in Louisiana – It Pays to Know People in High Places

Excuse me, do you work for the county?

Excuse me, do you work for the county?

During our two year transition time between retirement and moving down to Phoenix, one of us has been making a point of getting to the Phoenix house every six weeks or so.  When it’s my turn, I tend to get more quiet time to write.  The time to move is getting close at hand and as such, I am facing the fact that I will soon be selling the best vehicle we ever owned; my 2001 Ford Escape.  One of my sons has expressed an interest, so maybe I’ll get to keep it in the family. Continue reading

Rings – Important Symbols or Just Ring Around the Collar?

92-93 was a very busy time for me

92-93 was a very busy time for me

Rings.  For thousands of years, rings have been worn on our fingers as important symbols.  Some are worn merely for decoration and attraction, but for the most part, rings are important and symbolic in nature to the wearer.  I have three rings that mean something important to me.  I have a wedding ring and I have a pinky ring, both given to me by my wife.  The wedding ring is obvious, the pinky was the one given to me as a high schooler when we were steadies.  It will be featured in a later story.

Like most women, my wife wears her wedding ring constantly.  It’s not the original wedding band and engagement ring I gave her when we were only twenty years old, no it’s one a little more fancy.  I have made I guess a little tradition by creating a surprise on every fifth wedding anniversary and it all started on our 15th with a ring.  Let me explain. Continue reading

Going Ruppert on Easter Eggs in LA

Our kids would have gone crazy had ours broke open like this

Our kids would have gone crazy had ours broke open like this


Well, here we are – another Easter.  A time for reflection and celebration.  Different images are conjured up for me when I think of Easters past.  As a kid I am reminded of a scratchy suit and tie, sitting through grueling long sermons in church and trying very hard to stay awake.  As an ex-Hamiltuckian, unfortunately I am reminded of a brutal Easter massacre.  This marks the 40th Easter anniversary for the James Ruppert murders of 11 family members.  As a kid, the event spawned a favorite saying – “going Ruppert” on someone preceded “going postal”.  If you’re interested in that type of thing, I found this interesting video on YouTube.

Mostly though, Easter conjures up memories of Easter egg hunts with my kids. Continue reading

Steak Diane – One HOT Meal!

Um, dish looked almost this bad

Um, yeah…my dish looked almost this bad

I promise, this is not another story about a childhood sweetheart named Diane (read me).  I am a retiree.  It seems surreal to even speak.  Being retired from anything just always seemed so far away when I was younger, as I’m sure it does for many of you reading this now.  I retired from P&G last July and wrote this story (read me) about my journey there.

I am retired but it sure doesn’t feel like it.  I am staying very active by trading stocks part time, becoming Mr. Fixit, Mr. Project and Mr. Cook.  The trading is keeping my brain stimulated as I’m doing a lot of reading and studying.  I believe in always being in a learning mode.  One of the things I am “re” learning is cooking.  My wife continues to work part time outside the house so it my responsibility to ensure we’re well fed.

My cooking days go way back to childhood.  At times when my mom worked at night, she’d often make something up and then give me instructions on what temperature in the oven to cook at and for how long.  Later on, when there were nine of us kids, if you didn’t know how to heat up some soup or whip together some concoction, you might be relegated to cereal.  Continue reading

The Places We Lived – Houses and Apartment Life

Prytania - Where the Growing Up Began

Prytania – Where the Growing Up Began

As mentioned briefly in Camaro and Firebirds (read me) we all remember quite vividly the places we’ve lived and the many memories that are forged in those places.  Indeed, our paths in this life, the things we do, the things that happen to us, they are all strongly linked to the choices we’ve made for the places we’ve chosen to live in.  The tiniest change could have impacted so many elements of our past and future.  In our case, had we not moved to Louisiana, we might not have a third child, who knows?  I do – everything would change, everything.  Everything we see, everything we do, every choice we make is linked to every future action and choice.  It is a spiderweb, so choose wisely. Continue reading