A Home With A View

View from our lanai

We’ve lived in several apartments.  Our first apartment had a nice view of a rather long parking lot where we could look out and see either drug deals or domestic violence.  Okay, so I never actually saw a drug deal in the parking lot, but we knew it was going on in the complex.  I called 911 more than once because of screaming going on out there.  Once, the dispatcher asked me to tell me what I saw.  Well, I couldn’t see anything because it was dark and there was no way in hell I was going out there just to look.  The dispatcher kept asking me what I saw.  NOTHING!  I had to keep telling him I couldn’t see anything, I could only hear the woman repeatedly screaming for help.

Not a very good neighborhood, but it was pretty much right across the street from work.  I walked in in the afternoon, then Chaz dropped off the car at night and walked back home so I didn’t have to walk home in the dark.  Not like walking from the car to the door of our place wasn’t dangerous.


Our second apartment was a big step up.  We had an enclose lanai, so we couldn’t see the parking lot from it, but we had a nice view of the parking lot, street, and tennis court from the bedroom.  Barnes & Noble and Graeter’s were across the other street.  Many walking trips were taken to both places.  However, the poor handling of our blown out water heater sent us packing as soon as our lease was up.

The Winter view

Our last apartment gave us another nice view of a parking lot and other buildings in the complex.  When we first moved in, we had Bradford Pear trees in front of the windows which gave us a lot of privacy and the cats an up close view of the birds.  They spent a lot of time enraptured at the windows.  After one bad storm when a rather large branch came off one of the trees, the management company decided to remove the trees.

Now we have a place with a real front and back.  Our master bedroom and Chaz’s “man cave” both face the parking lot.  Our living room, dining room, and guest room/craft room all face the back.  The view.  I love looking out there.  It makes me feel immediately less stressed.  I spent a lot of time on the lanai before Winter set in.  Reading, writing, eating, enjoying the view.  Enjoying the quiet.

What a mess!

I feel like I’m not in the city when I look out on the view.  Unless I look more to the left and see the Motel 6 on the other side of the young tree line or I listen to the sounds of cars moving along on the freeway or the train coming through.  I was looking out on the view before taking the snow-covered picture thinking of one word to describe it.  The word I thought of – idyllic.  So simple.  So peaceful.

Inside is another matter.  I am still in a world of mess from the move.  Take the guest/craft room as an example.  This is supposed to be my space for my creative endeavors.  A place where I can lay things out on the table and not worry about cleaning up because it’s cluttering the dining room table or coffee table.  I’ve been able to get in there a few times to clean up.  Every time I do get it looking close to decent, I go and muck it up by putting a bunch of stuff in there I cleaned out from another part of the apartment.  I just need a decent amount of time to devote to really getting the apartment together, which would mean taking time off from work.

View from my table. The window on the left is one of the dining room windows.

I know once I’m done I’ll still have my own work space.  A place to park my laptop and write in solitude while looking out on our view.  A place to create jewelry, scrapbooks, and anything else I visualize (that doesn’t require a kitchen).  An idyllic space to match the idyllic view.

Amazing how such a simple thing can melt away stress.  If only it were an ocean view of the Pacific.  Now that view wouldn’t just relieve my stress.  I’d be in a state of bliss.

Stress Reliever. Had To Be Done.


A Daily Ritual


There was a time when I would just scream at the top of my lungs, right where I sat or stood, then say to those around me, “Stress reliever.  Had to be done.”  This would get me some nasty looks.  If only they knew that it really kept me from punching anyone close to me.  Since then, I’ve learned some better coping skills.

I developed a daily ritual after I started working retail back in November.  Relaxing in a bubble bath (with or without my homemade blend of bath salts with a book and my iPod on running on shuffle.  No, that martini in the picture isn’t really part of the ritual.  It’s Shirley Braden’s POM-Bom-Spice-Tini that I’ve been meaning to make for weeks.  I thought it would add a little whimsy to the picture and it gave me an excuse to finally make it and try it.  It was good, but pretty strong.  I think if I make it again I’m going to use less Bombora vodka, which is pretty good and clean.  I used it to make a Screwdriver after I first bought it and it was probably the best Screwdriver I’ve had.


My current book


Back to the bubble bath.  I really look forward to this time.  It’s a great way to decompress after a long day at work or in preparation for a long night at work.

I enjoy the time so much that I’ve gotten caught up in a book that I can’t put down that once I look at the clock and I had been in the tub for an hour.  Yes, the water was getting cold.


I love putting my iPod on shuffle. I never know what is coming up next.


Getting lost isn’t exactly a good thing when I do this before work, which is why I do it several hours before.  Just in case.

This is the one ritual in my day that I rarely miss and when I do, I feel like I’m not complete.  Pretty odd since bubble baths were pretty rare for me before.  Now, using the shower is pretty rare.

The water here is chlorinated, so sometimes I feel like I’m in a pool.  I keep meaning to go to Home Depot or something to see if there are filters for the faucet.  I can hear my big brothers telling me that chlorine will get me cleaner than soap.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  😛  They were swimmers so they often smelled like chlorine when I was with them.

If you don’t have a daily or weekly ritual that helps you manage your stress, now is the time to start exploring finding one.  As for me, I’d love to get back on the mat for some Aikido.  I miss being tossed around and tossing my husband around.  Talk about great stress relief!