What’s in there Mama? A friend, Emily

by fourteenergirl on March 30, 2015

in Home, Just Stuff

After we lost Max, we pretty much spent a month or two mourning him. He was the most amazing cat and a real friend. It was super hard to let him go. Emily has been pretty bored by herself, and she’s gotten quite demanding, so it was time to trot on down to the local kitty shelter and see if we could find her a friend.

We found Luna.

Meet Luna

She’s getting used to her new home from the safety of the guest bedroom. She is compact – only 8 pounds – and all fluff. Long hair and the cutest tufts on her ears. She kept us up last night meowing softly and trying to open the door, so Steve went in there to keep her company.

Emily has only seen peeks so far.

Emily peeking at Luna

We keep the door a little cracked so they can introduce themselves slowly. I have my fingers crossed that they become great friends. Luna is shy like Emily is, so I think they will get along nicely.



Everything is Blooming!

by fourteenergirl on March 29, 2015

in Home, Just Stuff

The lemon tree and lime tree have succulent friends and everything is blooming!

lime tree with succulents

lemon tree with succulents

Next project? Getting a roof over this outdoor area so we can sit outside more often and enjoy the lovely weather.



New Bathroom Almost Complete

by fourteenergirl on March 28, 2015

in Home, Just Stuff

So, we’ve been working on the bathroom reno and last week, the glass was put in for the shower.

glass wall in bathroom

We got this vanity as one unit online – and it turned out really cute even though it was a terror to assemble (no instructions).



We got these cute palm tree hangers for towels, bathrobes.

palm tree hooks

Have we tried out the fancy shower yet? Nope, because there is still some more sealing to do.



It’s looking really good.

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We Got our Irish On in Chicago

by fourteenergirl on March 17, 2015

in Traveling

So, last weekend we visited our eldest kid in Chicago. We stayed in an awesome hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the lake and the city.

Thompson Hotel Chicago

We saw the buildings …

Chicago Water works

We rode the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier …

Ferris Wheel Navy Pier

We took goofy pictures of each other …

Goofy pictures

I don’t normally squint like this but the sun was in my eyes!

Goofy pictures

As you can see, we had lovely weather and we did not freeze (we were worried about that) …

View of Chicago

We heard our eldest kid say things like, “I need to keep an eye on you two … you keep wandering in different directions. It’s like herding impulsive cats.” It’s a good day when you can irritate your kid that way.

We took pictures of strangers texting next to statues with paper and pen.

Strangers texting

More goofy pictures …


We even remembered to take a picture together – this almost never happens:

Virginia and Steve

This is a cool lighthouse …


This was the list my daughter made of things for us to do – is this my kid or what?

Chicago list

We saw the Bean …

Chicago Bean

And took more goofy pictures of ourselves in the reflection …

Bean Reflection

And even more weird pictures under the Bean …

Under the Bean

We saw them turn the river green …

Chicago River turns Green

We went in the Chicago Tribune building and took pictures of the press-related sayings – lots of them – here is one:

Free Press

We took more pictures of the very green river …

Chicago River goes Green

Lots of action on the river …

Irish Flag on the Chicago River

We had Chicago Cupcake Company treats … oh my gosh these were good!

Chicago Cupcake

We drank Bloody Mary’s and ate Twisted Farm Food (great restaurant – HUGE portions!) at breakfast, took an architecture boat tour, and met up with our neice and her boyfriend:


We also RAN to hear the bagpipe players …

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Happy Anniversary California Style – Day 2

by fourteenergirl on March 9, 2015

in Traveling

Continuing our anniversary weekend, we left Morro Bay and continued up the coast. Anniversary weekend Day 1 was all about getting rested and getting some sunshine, Day 2 was about hiking in Big Sur. But first, we had to stop off and see the elephant seals.

elephant seals




You can see a video of the elephant seals too.

Lots and lots of seals sunning themselves and resting. Lots of barking too. Apparently it was also mating season, so there was some fighting among the males and they would chase each other and their lady seal into the ocean.

seals snuggling


We drove a little further and we were in Big Sur. Ah, it is so, so lovely here and when you hike and get to the top you can see the Pacific ocean.

Big Sur Hiking

Big Sur Coastline

Big Sur Hiking

I cannot describe how good it felt to pull on and lace up my hiking boots again. They have not had a good time in California, and it’s not their fault. I have no time to hike with two jobs and it’s just been insane lately. It was refreshing and amazing to be hiking again.

We stopped at the falls, of course, because that view is just incredible.


… and continued up the most gorgeous coastline.

Big Sur Coastline

We rested this night in Carmel where the shower behaved perfectly but the walls were very thin. Adorable little hotel, but zero soundproofing.


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Happy Anniversary California Style – Day 1

by fourteenergirl on March 8, 2015

in Traveling

Last weekend, we celebrated our 16th anniversary … this time very different from our Anniversary Colorado Style a couple years ago. We didn’t want to drive a lot and we only had a 3-day weekend to spend, so we decided to Groupon ourselves some hotel rooms along the coast and drive just a short bit each day.

Our first night was in Morro Bay at a newly remodeled inn right on the bay. Clearly the remodeling wasn’t quite perfect because the shower head pointed directly at the toilet. No problem if you’ve got walls but this was an open shower and the shower curtain did little to retain the water. So, every shower meant a flooded bathroom. We thought it was hilarious but I can imagine the maids might have a different opinion.

Morro Bay is distinguished by having a huge rock on one side of the bay.

Morro Bay Rock

The current in the bay was strong too – we saw many boats coming in for the evening – sails down and they were moving fast toward their mooring balls. According to Wiki, that rock is a volcanic plug, which I didn’t even know existed. We hiked all around the rock – you can’t climb it. and along the shoreline all morning and what we were really super excited to see where these guys.

Sea otters

They were so, so cute!

Sea otter

A whole pod of them were floating in the bay, and we took a little video of them.

According to this sign, you aren’t supposed to swim in the bay either.

Intermittent Waves Sign

Well there you have it.


Day 2 of a 3-day Weekend

by fourteenergirl on January 19, 2015

in Just Stuff

So, it is day two of the three-day weekend and today, we had breakfast at the beach.

Breakfast at the Beach

It is STILL hard to believe I live here. Yes, I wrote that and yes, it is hard. If anyone told me I would live in Santa Barbara someday and regularly be on the beach – at lunch time even! – I would have told them they are crazy.

This place grows on you.

And for all the DeWalts who read this silly blog (and our daughters) … Steve still feeds the wildlife. He can’t help it.

Steve feeds the birds

It’s in his code. These are the pancakes we couldn’t finish because the pile of pancakes was huge. Steve doesn’t like to waste food and so it goes the the seagulls and pigeons. Passersby are less than happy with him. I stand away to avoid potential poop and ugly glares. I’m cool like that. Plus, the photos are better over here.




All weekends should be 3-day weekends

by fourteenergirl on January 18, 2015

in Just Stuff

If I were supreme ruler of the universe, this is what I would do – make all weekends 3-day weekends. I’ve been moaning lately about the fact that I don’t have weekends. This is what happens when you finally get the kids grown and gone and you have an established (if you’re lucky, thriving!) career and you decide to start a business. You know, just for fun, right?

So, we launched Audible Yoga and I have a three-day weekend thanks to Martin Luther King and those fun extra days off that university jobs gives you. I started with a slight hangover. This will come as no surprise to my friends, and hey, we’ve all been there. Have I told you how deliciously lip-smacking the wine is around here? Well, it is. If you have come here, you know it. If you have not, well there’s a guest bedroom ready with fresh sheets just waiting for visitors. After the wine, Steve made me a lovely fresh margarita with … fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. It was AMAZING. Hence, the hangover.

When we first dreamed up Audible Yoga, we would meet at this coffee place.

Audible Yoga Started Here I needed breakfast. I had a long slog before me. I had these great post cards – and I needed to hang them in every community board, talk with every yoga studio I could find, and generally turn all salesman-y on strangers. Hard to do and breakfast would help. Audible Yoga Launches Of course, following breakfast, I had to stop in at the SB Library to see my friend and business partner’s art. These are lovely beach colored collages she made. They are exquisite and my poor photography skills do not do them justice. Art Follows Breakfast With some food in my stomach, a big iced tea in hand and lovely art to inspire me, I gave away nearly all my post cards and people were smiling and happy when I left them. Whew! Day two of the three-day weekend tomorrow. Time for a nap.

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What do you know, it does rain here

by fourteenergirl on January 11, 2015

in Just Stuff

Yesterday morning, Ems went out for her morning constitutional (aka the tour of the back yard while nibbling grass here and there so I can throw it up later). She came in a few minutes later, landed on the bed, and let us know she was Not Happy.

She was wet too.

So, we got up to check it out and lo and behold it was doing that weirdest of all things – it was raining in central California.

rain on the central coast

Emily went back to bed.


And there you have it.



By the end of this year …

by fourteenergirl on January 10, 2015

in Just Stuff

by the end of this year

I read something on Facebook that got me thinking … by the end of this year, I want to have crossed of (fill in the blank) from my bucket list. It’s good to have goals (not gulls) and so I was thinking “dang, where did I put that bucket list?”

I could say ‘start my own company’ but I did that and launched the website last week, so that’s sort of cheating.

I need to find that bucket list.