Reasons Humpty Dumpty is doing El Camino de Santiago

September 13, 2016
  • Checked bag to Madrid rather than all the way through to Pamplona.  Luckily had time to run around the Madrid airport and check in my bag again.
  • Arrived in Pamplona with half my itinerary.  Went by memory (not a good thing after traveling for 24 hours) and took a cab to the same hotel I’m booked in the first night.  Was cooly informed by reception personnel that the only room they had available was for 3 persons and they would not budge on a discount.  As a windy road cab ride back down to Pamplona did not sit well with my queasy stomach I took it.
  • The chilly reception staff didn’t mention that I should make a dinner reservation in the dining room so I sat at a high bar table in the main traffic line for arriving guests making a bee line for the elevator.
  • Elevator?  What elevator?  I carried my bags up two flights of slippery wood stairs.  Good thing I packed light.
  • Forgot my Camino maps provided by the self guided tour company.  Lenni, my fabulous travel agent and friend arranged for me to have “orientation”  this evening at 6:00.  Thanks Lenni!

Learning experience:

  • I’ve traveled by myself but rarely without Lewis over the past twenty years.  Thanks, babe, for taking such good care of me!
  • Clean off our home desk once and for all!  We each leave things for the other there and as a result, can’t find anything.  My map and itinerary are buried there somewhere.
  • Get rid of clutter, it is killing us!
  • Get more organized.  I used to be super organized but it takes time.  Make time!
  • Stay off the computer.  Constant technology is stressful and I’m supposed to be staying away from it.  So far I haven’t relaxed, the whole point of this trip.
  • Learn to meditate.  Maybe I can find an app for it but isn’t using technology for meditation kind of counter productive?
  • I brought a new coloring book and pencils; use them!






Humpty Dumpty does El Camino de Santiago de Compostela

September 11, 2016

From Janelle:

Well, they finally broke me.  Just as indicated might happen in my last post, I finally cracked.  Not quite smashed into pieces as Humpty Dumpty when he fell off the wall but teetering on the edge.  Two jobs, two remodel projects, two corporate audits, TOO MUCH!

Post 80 HD

The house project started in January at my busiest time of the year as a corporate audit (not a bad thing, just a regular part of biz) was scheduled.  April commenced with office remodeling and shuffling personnel.  June ended with business travel piggy-backed by a second audit and the 2nd job has just been crazy-town all year.

The audits are over (on a high note I did so well they have scheduled out an additional year, a huge accomplishment and a nice payoff for all the hard work), the two jobs roll on (additional personnel have helped but every day still feels like Hans Brinker stuck his a finger in a dike), and the two remodel projects continue.  I hit the wall, first in January and then again, hard, about two months ago.

My fuse has been short and Lewis and I squabbled more about this project than any other.  It just took soooooo long.  Contractors can’t schedule incredibly busy subs and everything drags on and on and on and on.  The home project is finally almost completed but we’re so burnt we can’t think about furnishings and the joy in the room is gone, chiseled away each month by stress and confrontation.

We embark on cross country motorcycle trips every couple years and love them, me on my smaller but faster hog and Lewis on his cruiser.  He was adamant about heading to Colorado with our group and I just didn’t have it in me this year.  I’m tired and mentally exhausted.  Road-therapy has been good over the years but I’m not feeling it right now.

A friend walked El Camino de Santiago de Compostela  in Spain a year ago and from that moment I knew I needed to follow her footsteps.  WHEN never seems like a good time but when Lewis was insistent about the Colorado trip it was the right time for the Camino.

I’m traveling solo.  I don’t like to travel by myself but I’m going alone.  No time for a traditional thirty day Camino but the new boots will trek fifty miles in eight days.  The walk won’t be strenuous but I’m hopeful life as a pilgrim will be enlightening.

Lewis will join me in Barcelona after his road-therapy, we’ll rent a beach house for a week and remember life before we had too much crap.

From Lewis:

It’s true! It has been a rough year.  No more projects for a while. We are going to be here for a long time and so there is no rush to start anything else.

It is also true we like our road trips. Although I may like them a little more I wouldn’t say I was adamant about going on this trip cause I always want to go and I’ve been saying since last year that I would like to plan on it this year.  Janelle was just adamant that she didn’t want to go and I have no problem with that although I enjoy seeing her in the rearview mirror as we cruise on the open road. I will miss her on this trip. But I’m glad we’re spending time together in Barcelona. It should be a fantastic time after her trail therapy and my road therapy.  Who needs a shrink?

Post 80 Junk











Control Freaks Let Go

December 6, 2015

From Janelle:

We haven’t started our next project yet but we’ve been battling about it for the last few months.  I’m nervous.  I want to finish my house but not at the expense of my marriage.  There is always squabbling and somethings downright fighting during a remodel but if we’re actually battling before we begin that is not a good thing.

Lewis wants to be proactive and plan ahead as much as possible so that we don’t incur major overrun costs as we have in the past but I just can’t deal with every little detail right now.  He keeps pushing in a way that he hasn’t done before and I feel badgered and stressed.  HE doesn’t usually stress me out but HE is now.

Is it worth is?  We want to complete our house so we can “get on with our lives” but if we don’t have our marriage then we have nothing.

We had a heart to heart last night and he agreed to back off and let me do what I’m good at while he does what he’s good at.  As long as we “keep our fingers out of each other’s pies” I think we’ll be ok.  He’s amazingly good at construction, electrical and plumbing as he loves to figure out how things work.  I have a passion for design and a love for visually stunning drama in a room, as long as it is not the emotional type!

On that note, my fabulous designer has said that if I don’t back off and let her take the lead with this project then she’s going to can me.  She is incredibly talented and creative and I could never achieve what I want to without her so I’m going to have to shut my trap and let her make magic happen.  We went tile shopping yesterday and the moment we walked in a stunning pattern caught my eye and within 10 minutes we had the entire bathroom tile chosen so she does let me do my thing too.  I just need to let her do hers.

Not being in control is a tough nut for me to crack but I’m trying to look at it as a step towards freedom and less stress.  I hope that Lewis is as well.

From Lewis:

Battle scars are pretty worthless if you were able to walk away but didn’t learn from the experience so there should be no hidden surprises in this phase.  The walls are already open in the room we’ll be working on and I’m told the plan will be solid so I can sit back and watch the magic happen.  Unless if course we are not ready to move forward without interruption. Now how will I clear out the garage so that there is space to work?

Note: Janelle is not in charge of the garage.

Note: Janelle is not in charge of the garage.

Note: Janelle is afraid to step foot into the garage.

Note: Janelle is afraid to step foot into the garage.

From Janelle:

I think that means that you will back off unless you don’t think that things are moving fast enough and you can’t do that Lewis.  I will crack.  Into a million pieces likely Humpty Dumpty and we will never be able to put me back together again.


Image result for clip art humpty dumptyImage result for clip art humpty dumpty   Image result for clip art humpty dumpty

  Image result for clip art cracked  Image result for clip art cracked

Ed Ruscha and the Standard Gas Station

August 16, 2014

Ed Ruscha, 60’s artist, and the Standard Gas Station

Unframed The LACMA Blog

“It has to be called an icon; that’s the main thing about that painting…It became a motif for me to explore in other ways, too. I saw it as a loaf of bread; I saw it as several other things.”—Ed Ruscha on the painting Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas (1963) in 1981.

In the early twentieth century, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil was the largest company in the world, selling more than half the petroleum products in the United States. In 1911 the federal government broke it up into seven “Baby Standards,” one of largest of which was Standard Oil of Southern California. The reach of this Baby Standard stretched from the Pacific Ocean to Texas, and it retained the Standard brand name until 1984, when it officially became Chevron. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Ed Ruscha frequently drove Route 66 from Los Angeles to his family…

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Trading Up

March 2, 2014

From Janelle:

An email came through the other day that changed my life.  “Free couch.  In great shape but needs recovering.”  My co-worker was immediately informed that I’d happily take it off his hands and then reality set in.  How was I going to break it to Lewis?  He was going to kill me.  I sent him the photo and received  this response.  “Where are you going to put it?  It is UGLY!”

Where would it go?  The garage was stuffed with a late 70’s or early 80’s Kreiss rattan set listed on Ebay for way too much money but after 27 years I couldn’t part with it for a pittance.  The rattan was offered for a trade as a joke and the proposal immediately accepted.  That same day Lewis hooked up our motorcycle trailer and vintage rattan was traded for vintage Hollywood Regency.

The story is almost as fabulous as the couch itself:

Hi Janelle,

LOVE the rattan furniture…thank you!!  Was so happy you wanted the couch as I wanted it to go to someone that would love it as much as we have and the rattan furniture was such a happy surprise.

I just called my step mom to get more information on the “green couch” as it is affectionately known in our family.  The couch belonged to the grandmother of one of my mom’s friends and it was given to her when she moved out on her own at 18 and she in turn gave it to me when I moved into my first place in the early 90’s.  My mom recovered it in the green velvet at some point over the years and guessing the couch is at least from the 40’s if not older, given the construction, Hollywood Regency, channel back styling.  The kids were sad to see it go since it is the most comfortable seat in the house but we are glad it is going to be loved.


From Lewis:

Okay so the last thing I wanted was more stuff stored in the garage but trading 5 items for 1 seemed like a better deal and now there’s more room in the garage.  It’s not the prettiest couch but it will do and it does have some style.  It had better be good and comfortable.

Green Couch





The Things We Do For Love

February 14, 2014

From Janelle:

This is my long-standing opinion on skiing and I do it only as Lewis loves it so much.

1)      Layer as many clothes on as you can and still move.

2)      Cram your feet into the most uncomfortable, hard, shin bruising boots you could ever imagine.

3)      Push bruised shins hard against the plastic boot tongues so toes are not impaled into boot tips.

4)      Pile on headband, beanie, gator, goggles, and gloves.

5)      Be sure NO skin is exposed to air.

6)      Lug skis to lift walking like an astronaut in hard boots, shins throbbing.

7)      Hold on to hand railings at all times when presented as not to fall on ass while careful not to clobber anyone with skis on shoulder.

8)      Crab crawl to ski lift.

9)      Expose skin to air to cool off.

10)   Scramble onto lift and don’t fall.

11)   Sit calmly while lift stalls halfway up the mountain, wind howls and snow pelts against face.

12)   Re-cover all skin with now wet clothing.

13)   Exit lift without falling.

14)   Traverse down mountain in white out-condition, unable to see more than ten feet ahead, panting and nauseous from vertigo.

15)   Stumble into lodge for a drink to warm up.

16)   Try to figure out why your husband is smiling from ear to ear. 

From Lewis:

Smiling because you looked hot… bundled up from head to toe and covered in snow and I know you’re only out there because you love me.

What do you do for your significant other that you would never do on your own just ‘cuz you love them?

They called me Darth Vader

They called me Darth Vader

Cold and snowy

Cold and snowy

How To Put Your Woman In Her Place

February 4, 2014

Some men really know how to put women in their place.

Model Husband

There comes a time in a relationship when the woman gets all frazzled and starts acting peculiar, often times treating her partner in a way that is not preferable to them. This is often the result of stress, feeling under appreciated or a certain monthly visitor. Regardless, this behavior is detrimental to a healthy, happy relationship, thus a man is often forced to put his woman in her place.

The process is actually quite easy, especially if you’re observant during the times when your woman has down time. My wife’s place happens to be a couch in the front room of our flat, a spacious area with a nice view and lots of light. She tends to lounge in here when she’s reading or watching shows on her iPad, so it’s definitely the location in our house where she feels the most comfortable. Some women, however have a wide variety…

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Winner, Thermador Kitchen of the Year!

January 26, 2014

From Janelle:

Positive thinking can’t hurt anyone can it?

Our kitchen designer, Dana Jones, entered our kitchen in the Thermador Kitchen Design Challenge today for kitchen designs completed during 2012 and 2013.  Winners to be announced on June 30, 2014.

Wish us luck!

From Lewis:

Now what to do with the prize winnings. Maybe a yacht, plane…damn we still have construction bills to pay.  Easy come, easy go.



Make Hay While the Sun Shines

January 5, 2014

From Janelle:

Never one to “Let Grass Grow Under Our Feet” as my parents say we made up for our kitchenless year by cramming as many events as possible into the last quarter.   Saturday December 3:00 or 4:00 AM bedtimes resulted in sleepy Sunday mornings crescending in a caffeine induced haze to gear up for another Sunday evening soiree and countless weeknight activities.  Our house was a bevy of guests, cooking and utilizing my extensive serveware collection not only to show Lewis that my Dish Fettish really does come in handy but because each piece is a visit to a past memory.

Lewis has made me promise no entertaining for a while which won’t be hard as Work Crunchtime began January 2.  “Make Hay While the Sun Shines” as the saying goes and with gusto we did as my everyday motto “Gotta Pay to Play” kept both work and play motivation alive in December but it is “Nose to the Grindstone” time and soon I will be singing my annual First Quarter Motto, “All Work and No Play Make Janelle a Dull Girl’.

Happy New Year!!

From Lewis:

Unfortunately I had to go to work on one of those Sunday mornings but luckily it wasn’t a 3:00 AM night.  Hopefully Janelle doesn’t become too dull.

What will you miss most about the Holidays?




Food Coma

December 28, 2013

From Janelle:

The flu hit my parents hard and we unexpectantly hosted Christmas Eve at the last minute and overcooked as usual.  I can’t help myself.  My dad had already purchased a roast, Lewis baked a turkey, my sister-in-law made green beans with bacon, my mom rallied enough to prepare her house fav gargantuan sized mac and cheese and my cousin brought her annual Guliver’s creamed corn.  She’s made that every year for as long as I can remember but only when we emailed for the first time about the menu did I discover that it was an Irvine restaurant specialty.

Mashed potatoes were a hotly contested production as my sister-in-law and I insisted that the potatoes should be started in cool water and not tossed into boiling for a more consistent product (the ladies won that battle after dumping three pots of boiling water), for some reason I thought we needed Val’s yams with marshmallows or aka crack as I called the sweet concoction when she served it at Thanksgiving but ours didn’t come out as addicting, kale sautéed with walnuts and garlic, salad, my mom’s stuffing I hadn’t made for decades but got carried away with the organic chicken stock resulting in a tasty mush, Lewis destroyed the gravy as usual (he’s a fabulous cook but gravy is not his specialty) and a lovely, tart and healthy raspberry gelatin topped with full fat whipped cream.  No wonder my pants don’t fit.

From Lewis:

Yummm, I love the taste and smell of holiday feasts but it is over until next year and is time now to cut down and get back into shape. Janelle is not allowed to buy anymore pants until she fits all the ones she already has.

From Janelle:

HA, maybe you shouldn’t make me mashed potato, stuffing and egg pancakes for breakfast!  It will be over when we finish the leftovers in the refrigerator……

What did you eat this Holiday Season that you wish you didn’t?





camino times two

walking together on the way of saint james

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