Tag Archives: house

Another Monthly Challenge (or What To Do When You Are Crazy Busy)

The beginning of a new month is always exciting for me. But it’s been even more exciting since I started using my Volt Planner last year because it means it’s the beginning for a new monthly challenge! It can be a struggle sometimes to think of a new challenge each month, but once I pick one I really get into it. And knowing that I’ll be doing that again each month is something I look forward to.

Last month, my challenge was to tweet more. Specifically I wanted to tweet more about SAG-AFTRA and union related issues. My role as a SAG-AFTRA delegate is officially just as the convention (which is this week), but I don’t want the end of the convention to be the end of my involvement. And while being on social media isn’t the most active thing, I figure that every little bit helps. And I also got a lot out of doing this because every day I was reviewing tweets that might be ones I wanted to share. So I was learning more every time I reviewed them. I feel so much more educated about union issues (and not just actor union issues) than I ever have.

This month, I struggled a bit with picking something to set as my challenge but it wasn’t for the usual reason. I have a couple of things I want to do, but this month is going to be very crazy for me. I’ve got the SAG-AFTRA convention, lots of doctor appointments, work, podcast stuff, some projects I’m working on, and then trying to have a social life. I know that I will be a bit stressed and I didn’t want to pick something that might add more stress to my life. I’ve picked some challenges that have done that in the past, and it can work when the month isn’t going to be stressful. But I know October will be crazy. I’ve been telling people my life won’t be normal again until after the 16th because that’s when I seem to finally have free time in my calendar.

But there has been one thing that I’ve had on my monthly and weekly planning sheets in my planner that I don’t see to ever get around to. I really need to clean my desk and my closet. I probably need to work on my entire house, but I really see how packed my desk and closet are and I know I don’t need everything I have. I also keep bringing more things in without removing stuff so it gets more and more cluttered. But when I look at it it seems so overwhelming.

So I’ve set my monthly challenge for October to do speed cleaning/organizing every day. I have an alarm set and I want to do maybe 5-10 minutes every day. The idea is that I’d focus on one thing each day. For example, with my clothes I’d look at tops one day and dresses another. I don’t need to look at my closet as a whole since that has been what is looking like too much of a project. With my desk, I might break it down my the drawers or by category but I’m not sure yet. And there are so many other areas in my house that I could organize by breaking it down into chunks like this.

I had read “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” a while ago, and while I don’t agree with everything in the book there are some really good points. I only want to have things in my home that make me happy and bring me joy. My definition of those things are a bit different from what the book talks about, but the general idea is the same. There are things in my closet that I look at and get annoyed about because it doesn’t fit anymore (either too big or too small), it doesn’t fit right, or it just is something I never can figure out when I should wear it. I don’t need that taking up space in the tiny closet I have.

But besides decluttering, I just want to have a clean house that makes me happy. It’s never too dirty, but there are times that I have to spend a good amount of time cleaning every room before I have company over. I know that nobody cares if my house is a little messy, but I do. And if I worked on 5-10 minutes of cleaning a day (either by cleaning one room or doing one type of cleaning like vacuuming or dusting), it shouldn’t get too overwhelming before I have company over.

I know that even 5-10 minutes of cleaning might be a bit tough for me to do on the craziest days I have coming up this month, but that’s ok. I understand now that I don’t have to be perfect every single day but instead I want to get into the habit so that it becomes something I don’t even have to think about each day. It would be nice to know that I have a clean house pretty much all the time and not a semi-clean house most of the time and a super clean house occasionally.

Working On Cleaning (or Time To Declutter)

I try not to clutter up my house since I live in such a small place, but somehow it seems like all of a sudden from time to time that I feel like my space is too cluttered. I seem to acquire new things in batches, so it quickly feels like I have too much stuff in my house. For some reason, even though I didn’t really buy too much for myself during the holidays, it started to feel like I needed to do a big cleaning after the holidays. But for some reason, this time I’m struggling with getting rid of stuff.

A lot of the stuff I want to get rid of are clothes. I have a lot of clothes that I don’t wear anymore. Most of it is due to it being too large on me now (a good problem to have) but some stuff I just don’t like or it has started to show wear and tear. But despite the clothes not being worn that often, for some reason I don’t want to let go of them. Even the clothes that are too big are tough to bring to donate. All of the clothes I needed to get rid of still fit in my closet, but I wanted them gone. So I ended up taking out everything that I’m not wearing and putting them into bags. I haven’t been able to get rid of the bags yet, so they are just living in my utility room for now. I don’t know what the struggle with letting them go is, but I guess baby steps are better than nothing.

I also seemed to get a ton of new stuff on my desk. Part of it was when I got my new computer and I had to work on the transfer between the computers. Since the cables for the new computer are different from the old computer, I do need to buy some converters to make everything work the way I want it to. But my desk has also become a catchall for things that I need to deal with. I’m starting to organize my 2016 taxes and that’s all over my desk. I also have cards and paperwork that needs to be finished on my printer. My desk drawers are full, but not unbearable so. My focus is just cleaning the desk since that’s what looks cluttered. I want to get this done, but I also know that this stuff is still in process so I can’t just get rid of them.

And finally, I feel like I just have too much stuff in general around the house. I don’t have a ton of things, but the space has felt smaller to me lately. I do only have about 400 square feet, but it never felt too small before. And I haven’t really added too much that takes up floor space (I did get a robot vacuum during a flash sale on Amazon that is on the floor). I’m wondering if I’m feeling this way because things have been organized the same way in my house for years and I haven’t moved around furniture or switched things up in a while. My last big change was when I got a new couch. And that was over 2 years ago. Maybe I just need to rearrange things and it will feel better.

I don’t keep a dirty or cluttered house, but for some reason it’s just been getting to me. I know I need to do something to fix this or it’s just going to keep bugging me. I’m trying to take steps where I can to make things better but I know I need to do more. I do have motivation to do more this weekend because I’m supposed to be having people over on Sunday (having people come over is always a good motivation to do a major cleaning). But just cleaning might not be good enough because I don’t just want to move things around or hide them in drawers. I do want to get things out of the house that aren’t useful to me so that I can make sure my space is as functional and productive for me as possible.

The Roadrunner (or More Memories In My House)

For several years, I’ve been getting things of my grandparents’ to put into my house.

This started when my grandparents were selling their house and moving to their apartment. They had to do a big downsizing and lots of things were given to various family members. While I didn’t really get any pieces of furniture, I got some cool things from my grandpa’s office. That never felt weird because since they were downsizing, they chose to give those things away. And none of the things I got had significant memories to me because they were mainly things from my grandpa’s office (I wasn’t in his office that often in their house).

Then after my grandpa died, I got more things that belonged to my grandparents because my grandma was moving from the apartment she shared with my grandpa into a smaller apartment.

Some of the things I got then were sent to me by my parents (like the mattress from the guest room) and were selected for me. Some things were things that I specifically asked to get to keep (like the martini swords I got). And some things were things that I saw right before the old apartment was closed up when I went to lunch with my grandma and aunt. Everything that nobody had claimed was in the living room and I was allowed to select anything that I thought was cool and wanted to keep. I took a couple of things, but again they weren’t really things that had specific memories for me.

When I went down to San Diego for Thanksgiving, I knew I’d be bringing back the bear made from my grandpa’s sweaters. The bears had been shipped to my parents’ house, so I didn’t get to pick mine out until Thanksgiving. But I wasn’t expecting to take anything else home with me.

But when I was hanging out with my parents the night I arrived, I saw two painting from my grandparents’ house sitting in the rental house. I asked my mom why they were there, and she said that they were taking them back to their house because they had previously been stored.

One painting I’m not sure where it was in my grandparents’ house. But the other painting was very familiar to me. It used to be in the kitchen eating area of my grandparents’ house. I always called it “The Roadrunner” because it reminded me of the roadrunner in the cartoons. I think my brother and cousins might have called it that as well, but I’m not too sure.

I told my mom that I’d like to have The Roadrunner one day because I’ve always loved that painting. My parents then decided that they really didn’t have a place for The Roadrunner to be in their house, so I could take the painting home with me when I drove back to LA (thank goodness I have a decent sized car).

The day after I got back to LA, my parents came to my house for the afternoon. They were driving up to Santa Barbara to see my brother and sister-in-law and made a stop by me to have lunch, see my house, and help me do projects in my house. Fortunately, almost all the projects in my house were already done (I installed the a/c without my dad being there). But my parents did help me hang The Roadrunner in my living room.

New Decorations

Right below The Roadrunner is the acrylic chair I got from my grandparents’ apartment (it was my grandma’s makeup vanity chair in there) and on the chair is my bear.

I love having these things in my house, but it is a bit odd having The Roadrunner in there. I have thousands of memories of that hanging in my grandparents’ kitchen and even though I haven’t seen it in that space in years the memories are still strong. I’m almost doing double takes every time I pass it because it doesn’t feel quite right yet that it’s with me and not with my grandma.

It’s weird that this painting is the first thing that made me feel like I’m stealing something from my grandparents (which is not the case at all) and nothing else I’ve gotten has had anything but positive feelings. It might be because of all of the memories attached or it might be because it’s the most obvious thing in my house that I’ve gotten.

I know that the weird feeling will hopefully go away soon and I will only have the feeling of gratefulness that my family let me have this painting in my house because it is special to me. And I can create new memories with The Roadrunner now.

FaceTime Repair (or Baby Steps To Prepare Me For Home Ownership)

For the last several years, whenever something goes wrong at my house that my landlord needs to fix, my dad reminds me that these are things that I will have to deal with on my own when I’m eventually a home owner. He always says that there are some things that you just need to be prepared to write a check for (like those floods and gas leak that I had at my house) but there are other things that I should know how to do myself.

I think that I’m pretty handy with things. I have issues with some repairs at my house because my walls are weird (it takes anchors and a special drill bit to hang things on my walls), but I was able to install my air conditioning with the help of a friend. And a couple of years ago, a built a screen door with my dad and installed it at my parents’ house (we talked about that accomplishment a lot). I have a pretty well stocked tool kit thanks to my dad and I’m prepared for several things that I might need to do around the house (or that my dad might do for me when he comes to visit).

The other day, there were some friends over at my house. After everyone went home, I was putting things back where they belong and fixing things up when I realized that my toilet was broken. I eventually figured out that the chain (which on my toilet was actually a rubber string) had broken off. Without the help of YouTube or my dad, I did figure out how I could manually flush the toilet by putting my hands into the tank (that’s clean water, don’t worry) and pulling up the stopper.

But I didn’t want to have to do that a ton. So I let my landlord know that my toilet was broken and then called my dad to see what he would say. He was out but got back to me a bit later that night. He agreed that the chain was broken on the toilet and we tried to think of some temporary solutions to fix it before my landlord would have a chance to fix it.

Somehow, my dad remembered that he had given me picture hanging wire in the past, so I dug through my tool kit and found the last piece of it. I then put my dad on FaceTime and balanced my phone on the shelf behind my toilet so he could see what I was doing.

FaceTime Help

It only took a few minutes, but I managed to fix it! I know this will sound so corny and silly, but it was the greatest feeling ever that I was able to create a temporary fix for the chain in the toilet. I needed this positive boost in my life after having a bad day. I was on such a high knowing that I did this and so thankful that not only is my dad handy but that he is willing to get on FaceTime and help me fix things on my own!

My landlord was able to come the next day to do a real repair, but he was pretty darn impressed with my picture hanging wire repair. He even tested it a couple of times before doing the fix to see how well it worked!

Obviously, it would be nice to be able to call a plumber for every little repair that I need. I’m lucky that I’m in an apartment where I’m not financially responsible for repairs. But I’m trying to do as much as I can on my own (or learning how the repair is done when the professionals do work here) so that hopefully one day when I own a home I can do as much as possible on my own. As easy as it would be to write a check for these things, it’s so much more empowering to do things myself.

Who knew that a broken toilet would be the key to improving my mood?

Brunch and Shopping (or Helping A Friend Make Some Upgrades)

I had the best Sunday this past Sunday! I got to hang out with my friend Jane (who is in my Women In Film mentoring group) and help her do some awesome things!

We had originally made plans for brunch. We went to Flores and Sons in West LA (I’m a bad blogger and forgot to take pictures of the food). We were seated on the front patio which was perfect because we had a fan right next to us! Over brunch, we were catching up on things that we have been up to lately. I told her about the SAG-AFTRA election and stuff about my day jobs. And she was telling me about her new apartment.

Jane had just moved into a new place very recently and she was still trying to get settled in. She was lacking a lot of furniture that she wanted to get and was hoping to get a mattress in a Labor Day sale. I told her about Sofa Club (where I got my couch) and told her I’d be happy to take her there to see if she could get a good deal on a mattress.

After talking about that, Jane had mentioned that she needed to do some more upgrades in her life. Mainly with her wallet and purse. She had asked me where I had gotten mine (they are both by Lodis) and I mentioned how I had bought them both years ago and they aren’t made anymore. But I knew that there was a really awesome Nordstrom Rack near where we were and said that we should take the day to do some shopping for fun and her new apartment!

The first stop was Nordstrom Rack. Of course, as soon as we got to the purse section I found my dream purse that was on sale for $130 (from $395). As much as I wanted to get it, I don’t have the money for it right now and this shopping day was for Jane. We ended up finding her the perfect purse and wallet, plus a really cute set of outdoor lights for her new patio. I think that the purse upgrade was a big upgrade and she’s going to look super chic now when she’s out and about town.

Shopping

Next was an adventure to Sofa Club. I warned her that the outside of the building isn’t impressive but they have great stuff and amazing deals. We had to wait to be helped (we sat on one of their comfy couches while we waited) but the wait was totally worth it! She got a new mattress, box spring, and frame for much less than she was expecting to pay. And they gave her free next day delivery too!

After all that shopping, we needed a quick cool down snack (it was insanely hot out). And right by Sofa Club is Rita’s. I hadn’t been to a Rita’s since the tasting event and this location is super close to my house. I got the mint chocolate ice with vanilla custard and it was perfect!

Ritas

Finally to end our adventure, I got to see Jane’s new apartment. I was so inspired by her new place and we spent probably an hour or so rearranging the furniture she has now and planning what she should get to complete the place. I think that I’m going to go shopping again with her this weekend to help her set up some more stuff.

It was seriously such a great day. Obviously, it’s always fun shopping when it’s for someone else (and with someone else’s money). But it was more than that. Jane had said that she needed to upgrade her life a bit and I got to be a part of that! She’s such a fabulous person and she deserves to feel that way too!

Hopefully after our next shopping adventure, I will have some before and after pictures of her new place to share with you all!

San Diego Beach Lunch (or Having Some Of My Grandparents’ Things In My House)

I hadn’t seen my grandma in a few weeks, so I knew it was time to get back down to San Diego to see her. Also, my grandma is downsizing to a smaller apartment in the community that she and my grandpa moved to about 3 years ago so I’m inheriting some things that won’t fit in the new apartment. I already have my mattress and my parents brought me a few things, but there was a box that didn’t fit into my parents’ car as well as some other things that my parents wanted me to look at.

So I decided to head down to San Diego on Sunday to visit with my grandma as well as get the things that were waiting for me there.

I was pretty lucky and made it down to San Diego in just under 2 hours, so I was at my grandma’s place a bit earlier than I planned. The plan for the day was for my grandma, my Aunt Nancy, and I to go to lunch and then my aunt and I would go to the old apartment on our own. Shortly after I arrived, my aunt got there and we headed in the car to go to lunch.

We went to Poseidon in Del Mar which was right on the beach. There was a bit of a wait for a table, so we sat outside and enjoyed the beach from the sidewalk (I didn’t want to get sandy).

With Grandma

After about 15 minutes, a table on the patio was ready for us. It wasn’t right at the edge overlooking the beach, but we could still see the beach and water from our table.

San Diego Lunch

Lunch was pretty good. We had a long wait for our meal. It took them over an hour to bring our food to us and tables who were seated 15 or 20 minutes after us got their food first, but they were very apologetic about it and comped one of the entrees. I had gotten so hungry that when they brought my sandwich I started eating it right away without taking a photo (sorry). But I had a very nice turkey sandwich.

When we got back to my grandma’s apartment, I said goodbye to my grandma and my aunt and I headed back to the old apartment. My Aunt Cindy had warned me that I might be upset because the apartment looked empty and weird, but shockingly it didn’t bother me. I think I had prepared myself for it to look worse, so it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

The box that my parents had left for me was there and my aunt asked me to go around the apartment to see if there was anything else that I wanted to keep. All the stuff that was left in the apartment was going to be donated to charity, so I could take whatever I wanted.

It felt a little weird and almost like stealing from my grandparents, but I knew that if I didn’t take stuff, nobody in my family would have it. So I found a couple of things that I wanted like a purse, some quartz bookends, a lucite vanity chair, napkin rings, and a vase. And my aunt had found my grandparents’ copy of my parents’ wedding album along with their wedding invitation so I got that as well.

I also had brought my gardening shears and a plastic bag for a specific project. My grandparents had some amazing succulent plants on their balcony and because the planters they were in were so heavy, they were just going to be thrown out. But if you cut a succulent and let it dry a little, you can plant it and it will grow. So I cut a bunch of pieces and will be planting half for me and half for my parents.

Succulent Clippings

By then, it was after 3pm and I wanted to head home. So we got a luggage cart from the concierge at the building and I brought down the things I was bringing home.

New Things

My drive home was a bit longer than my drive down, but it was still uneventful. And as soon as I got home I unpacked the box that my parents had packed and sealed for me. There were a couple of things that I knew they were giving me (like new sheets and some of my grandparents’ serving platters), but there was one thing that was so special to me.

I’ve mentioned my grandpa’s love of martinis and how he got me to love martinis as well. And a few years ago I got him hooked on blue cheese olives. My grandpa always used these really cool swords to keep his olives in his martinis and I always thought that that was the most amazing thing. So when my parents had asked me if there was anything from my grandparents’ apartment that I wanted that my grandma wasn’t taking to her new apartment, the only thing I could think of was those swords. Those were in the sealed box along with the last jar of olives from the case that I brought my grandpa last year.

Martini Swords and Olives

Those swords are so special to me. I have them on display in my dining room now and they make me smile when I walk past them. While I’ve gotten lots of cool stuff from my grandparents’ old apartment, those swords are the most sentimental to me.

I’m still finding places for some of the other things that I brought back with me, but I’m so grateful that I have things that remind me of my grandparents in my house now. I don’t get to see my grandma as often as I’d like (the 4 hour round trip makes it tough to do too many day trips), but having some of their things in  my house makes me feel closer to my grandma and helps me not miss her as much.

A Pure Moment Of Happiness (or Loving Life)

Over the weekend, I was running around doing errands a lot (doesn’t every weekend just seem like an endless cycle of errands?). There was a lot of driving around from one part of town to another, and while waiting at a light during my driving, I had a little “aha” moment.

I’m currently living the life that I dreamed of.

Now, not everything is exactly what I dreamed of. I’m having trouble making ends meet and I’m working various day jobs instead of working in my dream career. But I’m living in LA and making it work.

I have always dreamed of living in LA, and I’ve been able to do so for the past 13 years. And while I’ve had some not so great apartments, when I lived at my last apartment I told several people that all I wanted was to live in a little bungalow. Maybe something that used to be a part of one of the major studios.

And when I found out my old roommates were moving out almost 5 years ago, I went on a frantic apartment search. And I found my house that I live in now. And it is a little bungalow that used to be a part of a major studios (the stars would live here while they were off filming something nearby).

This is pretty much everything that I’ve ever wanted. Again, the job situation might not be great, but I’m working on that. I can’t control when my acting career will take off, but I can control that I will be ready for when that happens.

I have my next few plans in my head for what I would like next. I know that my next move will be into a place that I buy and not rent. I got a great deal on my house when I signed my lease almost 5 years ago and everything else in my neighborhood is at least $300 more than what I pay for a similar place. So moving to another rental will most likely not be an option for me.

I’ve been looking at what places cost around where I want to be, and I’ve made a list of things that my next place will need (I don’t require a lot but I would like a parking space and the ability to have my own washer/dryer).

Hopefully one day in the near future I’ll find the perfect place for me to buy and I’ll have the ability to buy it. But for now, I’m just going to continue realizing that I really do have almost everything that I dreamed of when I was younger.

Spring Cleaning (or Feeling Pampered)

I recently got a promo code for 2 hours of free house cleaning from Handybook. I’ve never had my house professionally cleaned, so I figured I should totally take advantage of this!

I scheduled my cleaning to be yesterday after I would be done making calls for my recruiting job. And the timing of it worked out really well.

Just as I was wrapping up my work, the cleaner was at my door! And to make this review a bit simpler to read, I’m going to section it out into the pros and cons of the cleaning.

Pros:

My house is super clean now! While I always have kept a clean house, I’ll admit that I could do better. All my floors were scrubbed and I’ll admit that my kitchen and bathroom have never looked better. Also, the woman who came to clean my house was really cool and I didn’t feel like I was in her way too often (more to come about that in the cons section). If I had to work while my house was cleaned, it totally would have been possible (except while she vacuumed). I thought that I would have to almost leave my house to get it cleaned, and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to be on my computer or reading the entire time.

Cons:

While my house is super clean, there are a few things that were missed that I think should have been done. My desk, bookcase, and dresser were not dusted at all. Not that she missed sections, she missed the entire pieces of furniture. Maybe she ran out of time (although she was here for 3 hours when it was supposed to only be 2), or maybe she didn’t notice the dust on those pieces. I just felt that was kind of weird. Also, and this con is about me more than the service, I felt weird just sitting in my house while someone cleaned. I almost felt like I should be helping. But I tried to relax and get other work done while she was cleaning and that helped a bit.

Overall, I’m so glad that I had my house cleaned. I’m really considering doing this once or twice a year just to get my house to a baseline of being clean so my maintenance cleaning is easier. It’s not the cheapest thing to do, but if I don’t do this all the time, I’m sure I can fit it into my budget. This has also inspired me to do better on my own housekeeping. Everything looks so great and I want it to stay this way!

If you’d like to check out Handybook (they also have a handyman service you can use), I’ve got a promo code for all my blog readers to get $25 off either the housekeeping or handyman service! Just use promo code “jen9709” on the checkout page to get your $25 off!

Quick Update: After the cleaning yesterday I got a text from Handybook asking how I liked my service. I was honest and said that I felt some parts of my house were missed. I heard back today from Handybook that they are crediting my account 1 hour of free housecleaning because I wasn’t satisfied with the service. That makes Handybook an even better service in my mind now that I know how much they care about keeping their customers happy.

Getting Rid Of Extras (or Cleaning House)

I live in a pretty small house (it’s about 400 square feet). When I moved into the house over 3 years ago, I was coming from a 2 bedroom apartment that I had shared with roommates that was about 3-4 times the size. So I did a lot of downsizing before I even moved in.

But as I think everyone does, as I’ve lived here, I’ve collected a lot of stuff. Some of it is amazing (like artwork and furniture that makes living in a small space feel more homey). But a lot of the stuff I’ve collected is just stuff. So this weekend, I spent some time getting rid of things that I didn’t need anymore.

I started with my shoes, since I have so many. With the exception of specialty shoes such as my hiking shoes, any shoes that I haven’t worn in 1 year are gone now. Most of the shoes that I got rid of were sandals that used to be comfortable and aren’t now or shoes that no longer fit. I managed to get rid of 4 pairs.

Next, I went to purses. I followed the same rule as my shoes. I took out 5 purses and still have a bunch that I’m debating about. I tend to use one purse all the time until it starts to fall apart. I have a couple of special occasion purses and one that my grandma gave to me that I will keep no matter what, but there are a couple of purses that I’ve used within a year but I question if I’ll use them again.

While I was on my cleaning streak, I also decided to clean my email. We all get emails all the time that we just trash immediately. So I went through the trash mailbox on my email, and I unsubscribed to a ton of things. I lost count after 20, but at least now I won’t have as many emails to deal with on a daily basis.

I didn’t get to my kitchen yet, but that is next on my list. I know I have at least 7 or 8 reusable water bottles. I should be able to survive with just 2 or 3. I also have other kitchen gadgets that I don’t use that often and I want to find a place to store them so I don’t have to take up room in my kitchen.

There are several more projects that I want to do with cleaning up my house. My closet is something I’d like to tackle but I know it will be hard. I have a lot of clothes, mainly because when I find something that fits and is cute, I don’t want to get rid of it. It’s not easy shopping for me. But I’d really like to try to get rid of some things (and use GwynnieBee to supplement my wardrobe).

This project will take several more weekends (mainly because of the sentimental value of the other things I’m trying to clean out). But hopefully in the end, my house will seem less cluttered (and easier to clean as well).

Family Time (or A Culver City Type of Day)

My mom and Aunt Cindy got here yesterday in the afternoon, so I spent the morning doing errands and cleaning up and the afternoon with them.

My mom and dad normally come to visit me together (my dad’s first solo visit was for the Pat Metheny show), but my mom has been here a few times alone. My aunt has never visited me while I’ve lived at my current house, but now that I think about it, I don’t know if she’s ever visited me in LA before.

The first stop when after they both had gotten in (my mom was driving from the Bay Area and my aunt was coming in from Sacramento), was my house. It was nice and clean (I hope), and my aunt finally got to see my cute little house. I gave her the grand tour, which took all of 2 minutes, and then we were off for an adventure.

My aunt grew up in Culver City (my mom and her siblings grew up in the LA area too, but in the valley), and had not been back in years. I was always telling her about different areas, but she couldn’t quite picture it. So we did a little driving tour of Culver City.

We went to check out my aunt’s old house. My aunt wasn’t sure she wanted to go inside, but my mom has an awesome track record of getting to see the inside of houses she grew up in, so she tried. And we did get to go inside and see my aunt’s old house.

I had never seen it before, but according to my aunt, a lot of the place was exactly the same as how it was when she lived there with her parents. Even the tiles in the kitchen were the exact same! She’s going to find some old photos so I could see what it looked like when she lived there.

After that, we drove around to see her old school, which is one of the schools that I used to substitute teach at!

Finally we had a nice early dinner at Ugo.

We ended the night early since both my mom and aunt had long drives earlier today. We have more adventures planned for today, and I’ll be writing about those tomorrow!