Category Archives: Orange grove in Ojai

Grilling Up Here in Ojai

Ray suggested last night that we break in our “new” charcoal grill that our friend had given back after using it once in fourteen years. Of course the grill had been outside all those years so it was rusted. Ray brought it up here to Ojai, scrubbed all the rust off and then painted it black.  He has been patiently waiting for a time we might use it. 

Today was the day. Never mind it was 100 degrees here. Ray poured in the charcoal and got the grill going while I headed to the store for chicken thighs. Luckily, the ocean breeze was cool and we didn’t start until the end of the afternoon.  The temperature started heading down as the sun began to set. 

The gist, we had quite a feast. The chicken was delicious and so were the grilled vegetables and corn on the cob.  I’m sure our neighbors were smelling that chicken grilling and wondering, “Who is grilling on a week day?”

That would be us. 

This is even more surprising  given that I was in my mid-fifties before I ever grilled anything, charcoal or otherwise. In my family, grilling was just too technical. My mother only cooked one dish, spaghetti with clam sauce, and my dad’s specialty was breakfast. All other food was either prepared by our housekeeper or came out of a can or box. No, I do not hail from a great culinary line. Alas, my Cousin Lee guided me through the rigors of grilling a few years back. If I say so myself, even Lee would have been proud of my chicken thighs tonight.

Ray was please to see that the grill worked so well. Much easier than grilling over the fire where we grilled our Thanksgiving  turkey, but not that super easy option of gas grilling. 

Yes, feeling proud. 

Here is a photo.  

The Results from My Fitness Trainer

I am sitting in my den and it is 9:02 pm. My goal is to go to bed as soon as I am done here. One thing my wrist UP2 (fitness tracker) is letting me know is that I am not getting enough sleep. This past week I often only got 5 – 6 hours of sleep a night. That is the reason I feel perpetually tired at the moment, I suppose. I am not aware I am getting that little sleep, but that is what is recorded on my fitness tracker. I go to bed late and get up early, night after night. Clearly I need to alter this situation. Tonight is the first night to start doing that.

I am also seeing that I take lots of steps when in Texas or in Ojai, but many fewer here at home in LA. Here I often see students or work online with my classes and I am not up and walking. In Texas, just navigating through that big house adds steps all day long. Here the kitchen is right next to the room where I teach and the bathroom is right down the hall. Even walking the dogs around two big city blocks will not get me near 10,000 steps. I would need to walk them at least 3 times to get up to where I need to be. I can now see that I’ve got to get up and out on a routine basis during the day.

On that note, I’m heading upstairs. I hope to be asleep by 10. I feel certain once I get into bed, I won’t have any trouble sleeping tonight.

I’ll check back in with your tomorrow.

Here’s to a good night’s sleep for all.


Ramblings from the Orange Grove

It is 7 pm and I am sitting in our Airstream in Ojai. Ray is still out somewhere in the orange grove. Luna is not with us this week because she has been sick. (Nico is not quite ready to be away from mom long enough for us to keep him overnight.) Anyway, we are hopeful we will get to spend time with Luna on Saturday and take her home on Sunday when we’ll be celebrating Sarah’s birthday and our belated Mother’s Day. In addition, we will be celebrating another joyous occasion on Sunday: youngest daughter Rachael’s completion of her first year of law school. She took her last exam today and starts a summer-long internship on Monday. No rest for the weary Rachael!

Ray and I are headed for Texas early next week. We’ll be there at our Texas home for around 10 days. Ray has already organized our annual garage sale with our North Crockett neighbors and we’ll be having that on Saturday, May 21st. (North Texas folks, mark your calendars!) I’m looking forward to spending time in our beautiful Victorian in Sherman and seeing our old friends there.

Ray is here now and is ready for us to head into downtown Ojai in just a minute. We have a few errands to run. I have to hurry and finish this because I have to “steal” Internet coverage from my neighbor (with her permission) and I will be doing that upon our return. I’ll pull into her driveway and get close enough to pick up her signal. Alas…this is part of what happens when we spend time at the orange grove. Unplugged is good. It’s a nice change from my near constant time working on my computer, which comes with my job as a writing teacher.

Have a great evening.

Until tomorrow…


Tonight and Today

Scurrying this evening to get all the prep work done for the upcoming Story Circle Network classes that begin in mid-May. This is after a day up in Ojai taking care of estate-related business. The good news is I got a lot accomplished today and I feel much better knowing it’s done. Hooray.

The weather was gorgeous in Ojai today – mid-70’s – and because we’ve had some rain up there, everything was in bloom. The air was fresh and scented with flowers. The breeze was blowing. The day elongated in a good way as if there was simply nothing but time. I always am surprised how refreshed I feel after only a few hours there. And I walked, and walked and walked, which is also good.

Off I go to bed. It is almost midnight. I have an early day tomorrow so I’ll say good night.

I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.


Photos at the Orange Grove

Our friend Jared Tredway took some photos when we were last up in Ojai for a camping trip. These were taken before other family members arrived so not everyone is included, but they are sweet so I wanted to share them. Here is a glimpse at what Jared saw when he was there with us, our two grandchildren and our dogs.

Auntie Rachael with Nico


Ariel, Auntie Rachael and Nico


Luna Telling Her Mama Something Important


Grandma, Nico and Frankie






Nico’s Hand


Thank you, Jared, for these wonderful photos.  They capture our time in Ojai perfectly.

Orange Grove Day and Evening

I am sitting in our little stand-alone kitchen in the orange grove while I listen to people talking around the campfire. I am determined to get my blog written tonight before I get too tired to put the words on the page. We have all three daughters here, their boyfriends and several of their friends. It’s an easy group, who are quick to laugh and also to offer help. We have had a relaxed day that included eating a big breakfast sitting around the campfire this morning, then an afternoon trip to the beach. Tonight we had dinner produced out of this little kitchen, which makes all food preparation a thousand times easier. I am so happy to have this spot, complete with propane for the stove and oven and actual electricity for the fridge and lights. Wow. Such modern conveniences.

Little Luna still doesn’t feel well and was limping today even at the beach. She actually chose to just snuggle with her mother at the beach instead of playing in the sand. Hopefully, she will feel better tomorrow. I am feeling a bit of congestion in my chest and I am downing orange juice and lemon tea in large quantities to drive off any pesky germs that might be looking for a weak spot. I do not want to be sick. I have lots to accomplish in the next few days and illness does not factor in.

I am happy here at the orange grove. We’ve had such a nice day.
Being with family and friends is a nice way to spend time.

Off I go for the night. I hope you’re having a great weekend.

I will check back in tomorrow.


My Last 24 Hours: Sweet Fun

Thank you all so much for those sweet birthday wishes. What a treat to hear from so many people near and far, friends old and new. This is the best part of Facebook, the connection to others and I am grateful. So consider yourselves much appreciated.

We have been up in Ojai with Luna since yesterday evening. Just returned home after dropping her back at her house so she could reunite with Sarah, Gregorio and Nico. Here is our time together in pictures.  Let me just say we had a lot of fun with our beloved sweet peas.

Nico and Grandpa Having a Snuggle Yesterday


Luna Admiring her Tooth-brushing Technique at the Orange Grove


Grandpa, Luna and the Dogs Getting Settled for the NightIMG_1735

Orange Juice Time This Morning

Scaling the Big Gravel Mountain

Fun at Ventura Beach. IMG_1843

Water and Mud Fun


Sand Fun


Milk Drunk Nico with Mama This EveningIMG_1851

Hope you are having a good evening, folks.  I will be checking back in tomorrow.