Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A little more magic happening at our Miracle on 34th St.

Announcing our one-day project: repainting the mantle wall in the living room. And when I say "our," obviously I meant Ric's. I was busy working and he was on vacation. Well, a working vacation, apparently. 

The official "before" photo

Starting to clear out the work space

Ready for Ric to start painting

The space is taped off and the cutting in begins

The job supervisor, obviously

The painting is done and the wooden mount returns

The official "after" photo

And for those with a few minutes to spare who want to see the time lapse video, here you go.

1 PAINTING from Ric Sanchez on Vimeo.

"If you could give your partner one superpower, what would it be?"

"Hello, Gorgeous."

What could I say but, DUH! I call him my Mr. Cutie!
~ Ric


"Go softly and look afar."


Unless and until you get to know him, Ric can be very quiet and reserved. Part of that comes from having a loud and boisterous husband, sure. But part of it is just the way he is. He is more comfortable in many situations sitting quietly somewhere off to the side, observing without speaking or directly interacting. He feels safer there, out of the line of fire of probing questions and intrusive demands to speak. And I love that he allows himself to be in that space and doesn't feel that he has to engage with others on demand.

Ric is comfortable in his own skin and I love that about him.

~ John

"Dogs in Sweaters."

Another Wednesday means another chance to draw a card from my Grateful AF deck and see what it wants me to appreciate today.

I admit, sometimes this deck of gratitude cards can seem rather silly. I mean, dogs in sweaters? Come on. But then I did what I have committed to doing - I gave it a few minutes and I really thought about it. And I get it.

First, I'm grateful for all the dogs all the time. That's a given. 

Second, dogs in sweaters? In addition to everything on the card above, let's remember that a dog in a sweater might mean that someone in that dog's life took the time to measure them, work a pattern, and create a wonderful little item of clothing. How sweet is that? That animal must be so loved and so well-cared for. What a wonderful thing that is in a world where so many innocent dogs are left abandoned and alone.

And third, the next time I am out and about and I see someone with a dog in a tiny little outfit, I am going to make it a point to compliment them both and thank them for giving me a reason to smile. And that will likely give that person a reason to smile.

And for all of that, yes, I am grateful AF.

P.S.: That whole "google it" thing? I did it. And it's wonderful. Here's just a few of the results.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

"If you had to choose between a week in space or a year on a world cruise..."


"Always trust your cape."

This is my favorite picture idea of John. 

He is that kid that gets up on the roof and jumps because if you don’t try, you can’t fly. 

John puts his faith in people. He takes that leap of faith and trusts them first, before he knows if it’s safe. Many times it does not work out, but sometimes it does and that’s what makes it worthwhile for him. Jumping is scary, but he puts his faith in his cape, and does it anyway. That’s what strength is.

I love this guy!

~ Ric

"Taking the road less traveled..."


I can't explain just how differently my life has turned out because of my relationship with Ric. From Death Valley to Joshua Tree to Yosemite, I have experienced so much more of the beauty of the great outdoors because of him.

Ric absolutely loves being out in nature, and yet he also makes it a point to ensure that I am not without the comforts of home. He has made a true art out of Glamping, and that allows me to be off the beaten path, out in the wild, yet still comfortable and pampered. 

I'll take any road, anywhere, any time with Ric. And I know I'll be better because I did.

~ John

Good News

Monday, March 29, 2021

"If you started a business with your partner, what would it be?"


"Make ideas that create more ideas."


John has no problem with this. His ideas usually create many more ideas as to how to get the original idea done or how to expand on that idea. 
John: “I want a place to lounge with friends.”
Me: "Okay, so I can build a lounge out of brackets I can get from Selena tent and cut my own pipes to frame it and put it up on the driveway. I can make it 10' by 10' but it wont hold that many people… I can make it 10’ x 20’ long and make it 10' to 15’ high. Nobody like flies or bugs so I’ll have to cover it, so I can sew water proof fabric together but I will need to have some air flow because I don’t want it to be a sauna, so I need to sew in screened panels… 

And I will need a couple closable doors so zippered screened panels… and I'll need solid waterproof panels to keep the rain out… and I’ll need some furniture for at least 10 to 12 people and a way to keep it warm in the winter, so I'll need heaters… 

And I am going to need some lighting. If I use white lights that will be boring so I need to make the lights able to change colors… and I’ll need lighting controls, like a lighting control panel… and I’ll need fans to circulate the air in the hot summer months… 

And what is a lounge without music? So I’ll need four to six speakers placed around the tent (hidden of course) and I'll need an amp to power those speakers, and then a music source like Sirius XM satellite radio or Apple music, and adaptors to get it onto the amplifier… and of course I will need to make some tables and a side table where they can put drinks and snacks…. and, oh yeah, I will need to make the whole thing work with voice activation through Siri and Alexa…. And some throw pillows…."

~ Ric

Meme Monday

"We are made of Star Stuff."


Before Ric, I never really gave a lot of thought to the stars and what all might be out there. I was pretty busy with what was happening right here in front of me and that was enough. But meeting Ric changed all of that for me. He took me far from the city lights, to deserts and mountains and valleys, and showed me things I'd never stopped to notice before. And it's all so very magical. 

Thanks, Husband, for introducing me to star stuff. It's outstanding!

~ John

And just for fun, here's brand new video that Ric and his brother, Ben, recorded last night from Ben's telescope. How cool is this?!

Moon Video 2021 03 28

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Lessons in Love - Meet Randi Sue and Sol

Welcome to another entry in my limited series of posts that I'm calling "Lessons in Love." It's my way of recognizing and celebrating the friends in our lives that have created amazing and inspiring long-term relationships. And they've all been kind enough to share a little lesson or two that has helped make their love last. So let's talk about love.

Today, you get to meet Randi Sue and Sol.

When did you become a couple?

August 24, 2001

What makes your relationship work so well?

Luck, mutual infatuation, and good sense of humor.

What relationship advice would you offer others?

What works for us is going to bed at the same time and spending copious amounts of time together.  

Looking at these two over the years, it's like their love is some sort of Benjamin Buttons potion thing, because they both look even greater today than they did back in the day.

And really, if that's what love is doing for the two of you, it's clearly working.

Date Night and A Stop In Germany

Another Saturday, another date night, and it was just a cool evening spent hanging out again in our own backyard.

The night's soundtrack was Ric's pick again, and he went with Sade. We both love her music so it was a win/win. 

Our big news this week is a change to our Europe 2022 itinerary. We have been talking about Switzerland, because Ric has always wanted to see the Eiger and to stay in the hotel featured in the movie, The Eiger Sanction. Unfortunately, in the many years since the movie was filmed, the hotel has really slipped. The modern reviews are all super critical of everything about the place, so Ric decided that he would just as soon not go.

What does that mean for us? It means out with Switzerland and in with Germany!

Yep, Ric would rather go to Germany. We both appreciate the beauty of the country plus we are WWII history buffs, so it's a wonderful spot to add to our travel plans. More details to follow as we sort out the time we have and the places we want to visit.

After a big change like that, I totally needed a beer. And wouldn't you know it, we just happened to have Austrian Pilsner from the brewery at Brauerei Schloss Eggeberg in Vorchdorf, Austria. 

The pilsner was delicious and so smooth. Those Austrians really know what they are doing.

It was a nice evening with amazing San Diego weather, and we loved hanging out with each other for a few hours. Can't wait to do it all again next week!

"Show your heart to everyone."

Another Sunday morning, another opportunity to look back over the week and see what lessons I've learned from my Spiritual AF cards. Today, it's all about authenticity.

I feel like I am already living this every single day. People that know me know I live with my heart fully exposed, and that manifests itself in the words and deeds that are practically my trademark. And I feel and hold that love for myself, too. Because I honestly believe I am worth it.
Hey, John. Being authentic means living on the skyline, where others can see you and take shots at you. But that's a choice I make, because being visible and accessible means others can take a cue from what I do and bring that authenticity into their own lives, too.

I'm leading by example. Leading with my heart. And leading myself and others to a better way of living. And that feels #SpiritualAF.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

"You get to pick one thing..."


Affirmators for the Week Ending Friday, March 26, 2021

 My inspiration card over the last week:

So, how did I do?

This one was tough, because there were a couple of things that kicked off this week but are still unresolved. Plus, there was a lot of talk about and planning for our September 2022 vacation to Europe. That is fun and exciting to think about now but it's also a little frustrating that it's so far off in the future. The take-away here is clearly that there is something good about waiting for something great, right? Yeah, whatever. Guess this one needs a little more work on my part. I'll keep trying.

And a sneak peek at next week's card:

Friday, March 26, 2021

New Music Friday

Another Friday, another chance to share some great music brought to me (and then you) by the musical minds and magical algorithms at Apple. Here we go!

I'm a fan of Daughtry and have been since I first heard him sing on American Idol. I know he's a weird mix of pop and rock but I'm a fan and won't apologize for it. His newest single is Heavy Is The Crown and I really like it. It sounds like all of his other stuff, sure, but I like that sound.

I have no idea how I am just now learning about Mathew V but I'm really glad I am. He's got an amazing library of music, but Around Here is the first song of his that I've heard. He sounds a bit like Sam Smith, I suppose. I like it a lot.

And then there's Empty Eyes by Munn. He's another artist I had not heard before, but he's got a lot of music out and it all sounds pretty great. I'm really happy about the Apple Music service and all of the new recommendations. 

And that's it for this week. See you next Friday!

Name Three Things

Starting today, we will continue to record daily individual videos but we'll post them together here on the blog. Seems silly to have to check two blog posts for answers to the same question. Also, stick around for the end of John's video to hear a little background about the process. It's good for a laugh.


"Love many things."

I wouldn’t say John loves things. John loves many people, and John loves variety. So actually John loves doing many any things with lots of people! 

If John could I think he would never eat the same meal, or drink the same drink twice. That is why I can never predict what he is going to order at a restaurant. 

However, with friends, he would see the same people over and over. I think if we had a house that was big enough he would just move all his friends in. Our house would probably look more like a hotel, with pool parties and huge brunches and dinners! John knows life!

~ Ric

"Be in love with your life."


It doesn't sound realistic, right? How can you be in love with every minute of your life? It's simple, really. Fall in love with and be loved in return by the right person.

There isn't a moment in my day when I don't feel loved by Ric. We say "I love you" all the time. We send each other "I miss you" texts. And we surprise each often with cards, and gifts, and actions that reinforce the words we share. 

Life isn't perfect. And not every moment is wonderful. But I am always appreciative of and in love with every minute of my life.

~ John

Thursday, March 25, 2021

"All that matters." (Ric)


"All that matters." (John)


"Let it go."


John has been forced to let people and things go his entire life. He’s had to let go of the idea of ever having a father. He’s had to let go of a deceitful, selfish mother. I think the hardest to let go of for him, are friends that have decided that life is too hard and committed suicide. That hurts him the most. 

I am not letting go of him. 

~ Ric

Throwback Thursday - A Trip To Vegas

It's Throwback Thursday, and today we're going back in time to June 2002. We hit the road and found ourselves in Las Vegas.

The view from the Stratosphere

A lunch break with the artwork

Taking liberties with the artwork

The backdrop at The Venetian Hotel

The entryway at The Bellagio Hotel

John and his magic basket

Ric and his lovely hat

This walk down memory lane has me thinking that it's been too long since we went to Las Vegas just to have a little fun. Might be time to add a runaway weekend to the calendar!