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6 August: Thursday

La Quinta, California: Another crazy-busy day. We do feel the end is near though. The last box was unpacked today! 

First, we had another surprise floral delivery!

Our blonde daughter, Angela, sent a beautiful "welcome home" bouquet! Another sweet surprise! Angela (Lisa's great friend, and Leo's Fairy Godmother), is very excited we have purchased a house (with a pool and two guest rooms) within walking distance to the Coachella Music Festival grounds... assuming the festival ever happens again. (Please, let this happen! Our community needs the revenue from the music festival so much.)

Don't be envious, but I put this little white cabinet together myownself with only a hand-held screwdriver and a cordless screwdriver. The talent in these two little hands has no limit! 60 minutes. Genius! This teeny thing will go in the water closet in the Master bath and hold such essentials that one would assume would be essential in a bathroom.

While I was screwing this thing together, Reuben showed up to add an electrical outlet to the hall closet. It took him about ten minutes.

While he was here, Reuben earthquake-proofed my cookbook bookcase by anchoring it to wall studs with special straps. Reuben!

Ready to load!

My cookbooks were the last boxes needed to be emptied in this entire process - (our furniture from Portland was delivered July 15th). The books have been patiently waiting in the garage until the bookcase arrived and was earthquake-proofed to the wall. My Driver brought each (carefully cataloged) box into the dining nook in the kitchen, cut them open and kept feeding me open boxes until every box was emptied. I had done a scientifically-assured calculation about the average width of the average book, to conclude how many books would fit on these shelves. My calculations came up with ~160 books. I have 194 books... however, shelves are going to be added to the wall above my desk (soon), so I thought my current favs could go there.

Imagine my surprise when my calculations were wrong (in a good way) and all 194 books fit with room to spare! This is a great moment in mathematics. There was a bit of a problem with the shelves sagging a bit. What? Who sells a bookcase that can't hold books? This was quite a disappointment, but with a bit of re-arranging (and culling 9 books), I was able to make it all work. When I move my current favorites to the new shelves above my desk, all will be right in My World. (All of Biba's books have been moved to the top shelf for now. Since she passed away and her restaurant has closed, I can't even think of her, or I cry.)

Obviously, I collect something other than tacky bottle openers and cookbooks. For years I volunteered at The Oregon Zoo in fundraising for the elephant breeding program. The zoo in Portland has a stellar reputation for breeding Asian elephants - all starting with Packy, who was born in Portland in 1962. Packy died in 2017, as the largest Asian elephant ever known to have existed in the world - wild or captive. He was the best.

Right now, our mahjong table in is the dinette of the kitchen. The blue & white pot on the table is our most valuable piece of Taiwanese pottery. It is a bin for holding calligraphy brushes, hand-painted by one of Taiwan's most revered artists (now passed away). I like to use these amazingly beautiful pieces every day - to celebrate genius. It holds chopsticks, instead of brushes on our table.

Another project finished today: photos for the display cabinet next to the fireplace in the living room. We have a nice assortment of silver frames, so I ordered a few current prints (Shutterfly), and now our family is displayed (for no one to see). The center photo is my favorite ever of Lisa. She was three. Nothing cuter than a three year old girl.

We really had a big day. Not a lot of sitting or eating today. We were both going full-steam-ahead from 6 o'clock this morning, so were ready to call it a day at 6p... except we kept going until about 6:30, when I finally called a time-out!

Happily, we were having a simple salad for dinner. Arugula, with a sliced yellow heirloom tomato, topped with cannellini beans (dressed in a lemony-basil vinaigrette), little mozzarella balls, and garnished with cherry tomatoes. A great meal and really easy.

The temperature dipped below 100°, so we dined outdoors for the first time. Nice.

And finished our evening on the patio, overlooking our pool and the stars above.

Until my next update, I remain, your unpacked correspondent.