Plan B – Poof

After talking to a few people, reading a couple of books and a women’s wellness retreat I decided to continue blogging.  This one book I read was called “Show Your Work.”  It’s pretty short, but I did get some nuggets out of it that made me think it’s me not getting the word out as I should?  I’m hiding a little bit.  Still writing, just not posting anymore to re-group and see what I should be doing with this.

Another event that I went to as an introduction with an old friend was a personal development workshop.  I didn’t sign up that night, I keep thinking my summer is booked already.  I was telling the leader about the guy who just quit at work, who came in and basically stole my work to make it his own saying he was going to re-brand everything of mine.  She said, “When did you know?”  I said right away.  She asked if I said anything and I said, “No, I was just relieved someone had taken over my position.”  He worked there a year, she said “You could have saved everyone a year if you would have spoken up.”

Then we talked about how I’m usually the person behind the person, making someone else shine.  She said, “What would it look like if you were the one who shined?”  Hmmm, never thought of it.

Let me talk about the friend who brought me to this personal development seminar…he just moved to Manhattan Beach and I’m so excited to re-connect.  I met him when we were 19, I was dating his best friend.  My xBF was from West LA, he was from 90210 with a very interesting background – some of which was still unfolding at that time.  Without saying too much, I eventually dumped the BF and always kept him as a friend.  We never officially dated, he was very loyal to the “bro code.”  We did do a lot together still, then he took off and got married.

Of course I did the same, not meant to be.  About 10 years ago he moved back to LA and we went for a lengthy lunch to catch up, it was really nice.  Since then we’ve mostly stayed in touch through FB.  Then he told me he moved to my hometown!!  I’m here now, finally got to see him again then go to this introduction with him.  My husband knows all about him, I haven’t said much to my friends down here.

Anyhow, we were supposed to get together the next day so he could see my mom and he was running really late with his daughter.  In the meantime, my former sister-in-law wanted me to see the house she was building then walk down for sunset to the beach.  They’re both single, I mentioned that to her that I wanted them to meet.  When he got back, I went ahead and invited him to come with to see the house.

That worked!!  They totally clicked!!  My last attempt at a set up was such a disaster I promised never again.  At the womens retreat one of the single women from Newport was telling me she does on-line then even tried a match maker at $25k that hasn’t delivered.

That night I was psyched that they hit it off so well, amazed at the timing of it all.  Now I’m a little hung over from it, maybe I always kind of thought the timing and luck was never right for us but he’d be my plan B?  That won’t work if it’s my former SIL!!  Well, and the fact I’m married.  I felt like the time we got a puppy when we were kids and she was all mine and only loved me until my brother came home to see her.  This friend was “mine” from a pocket in time we totally helped each other through, including a break up where we remained friends.  Now he’s unleashed to my family and likes my former SIL “more.”

Which BTW is the story of my life.  My IL’s have always been superior, they stayed down here to raise their kids.  Had the beautiful house they bought from my IL’s before prices went crazy.  Now the new GF treats that house as hers, we’re guests of hers now.  In that respect, I felt bad for my SIL and thought she should meet my friend.  It certainly makes me feel better that my BIL is with this GF in the house that they raised their family in, where my SIL is solo.

We walked to the beach, showing him the house she grew up in along with another house her sister just bought.  I was all aboard with that, I wanted him to see she could hold her own and he wouldn’t have to worry about a gold digger.  Instead, it made me look like the poor girl from East of Sepulveda and she was the classy girl who grew up a block from the beach.  The car I drove us down there with was my mom’s ’92 Camry.

On the other hand, if it works out he’s now again part of our family.  Honestly, I was pretty psyched they hit it off and I AM married.  Just a weird feeling, a tad jealous I guess?

He comes over on Monday to see my mom.  His mom died in a car accident when he was a teen, I met him shortly after that.  During our friendship my then boyfriend’s mom passed away.  I sat with the family, my mom sat with him while he just held her and sobbed.  We’re like family, that was a very rough time.  Also fun!  We were Hollywood kids in the ’80’s.

Now we’re in our mid-50’s in chapter whatever.  I think about back then and that comment, “What would it look like if you put yourself first?”  I’ll have to apply that to my future instead.  I might start working or selling some of my stuff again, I’m living the life of a 70 year old man.  Not quite ready to do that yet, I still have some kick in me.

And really, this is better overall.  It’s a lot like the puppy incident though, I gotta admit.

Time to Move on ?

I’ve been blogging for over a year now on this wordpress blog, previously on blogspot. It’s been good to get my brain working in the morning, making me a little more positive than I usually would be if I were writing for myself only.  It’s been a great creative outlet, yet I haven’t made much headway in getting anyone to read these?

I’m OK with that, it’s mostly for me to write.  With my youngest son, we’ve given him time to golf to see if he has a chance to make a living playing.  He’s going to a U.S. Open qualifier in El Paso next week, the the deaf championships in Connecticut where I’ll join him in July.  There’s a time limit on it though, if he can’t make a living soon he has to go back to school or actually work on something other than his golf game.

I should look at this blog (or my writing) in the same way, when is it time to call it quits and come to the conclusion I’m not going to make it as a writer or artist?  I’ve been given this time off of work, filled up my days with writing and photography or making things to no avail.  Not that I’m looking to make some money, I’m lucky in that regard.  It’s just that I don’t expect someone to say I can sell one of my printed photographs for the cost of printing it either.

Then again, there’s always the naysayer or the one who brings you down.  Years ago one of the parents from my son’s volleyball team said he was an actor, hit on me, then told me to buy a DVD of a movie he was in.  Out of curiosity,  I bought the movie.  It was so bad I had to lie and say I didn’t see it.  I don’t feel I’m a naysayer myself, usually I’m everyone’s biggest cheerleader.  When I know someone has an art exhibit, has  written a book, or other creative endeavor I’m the first one there to support.  In that case, I wasn’t going to tell him how awful it was because what good would that do?

So I’m wondering if that’s how other people are with me, they just don’t know what to say so no one says anything.

The other possibility is that people are so busy no one has time to read a blog, or we’re all totally over spending time at our computers.  I’ve been weaning myself off of social media myself, took FB off my phone and mostly just post pretty pictures on Instagram.  On Instagram (@hellereng)  I do have a following of some great photographers that a aspire to be.  My problem is, I’m not waking up at the crack of dawn to take pictures…I’m drinking coffee and writing.

Not feeling great after a root canal yesterday either, that probably has me down a little bit.

Finish another project, play piano, go for a walk, start my physical day.  Feature pic is one I took the other day coming back from San Francisco then messed around with it on my Photoshop PSExpress app.  They put some new features on it, kinda liked the way the rain with the moon looked behind the city front.


South Beach weekend liveaboard

One of the many advantages to boat ownership is having a floating condominium here in the Bay Area.  A few months ago my husband was invited to an all day event in the city, including a really nice dinner with an overnight stay.  I suggested we skip the overnight stay in the hotel and just sail over to South Beach for the weekend and stay on the boat.

South Beach is right below the ballpark, it’s perfect for the ballgames.  While he was at his event, I got to be San Francisco tourist.  I come to the city all the time, I worked out here for a start up with the drones at SkyCatch then one of my biggest clients is Ford GoBike.  I know every sidewalk out here from that job.  This time I just walked past the old SkyCatch building to SFMOMA for the first time.

That was worth seeing, I’ve been to museums all over the world except for where I actually live.  The top floor was a little disturbing, it was some rape exhibit that I wasn’t sure I needed to see??  It had a warning that it would be disturbing.  Still, I was a little repulsed by it because I was expecting “art” not a lesson in rape culture.

The rest of the museum was art in various forms.  I came out of there thinking those Ford GoBike stations I’ve been submitting are a work of art, along with some of the other things I do.  How do people get from one point to another with it?  Obviously I’ve never figured that out in writing or art, who gets to be a known artist when there’s so many talented people out there?  There was a photography floor in particular that made me think of it.  I follow several photographers on Instagram, I get to see some incredible shots seconds after the picture is taken.  In that regard, it almost makes a whole museum floor dedicated to photography obsolete.

Maybe I think of myself as a better photographer than I actually am too??  I donated this one panoramic I had printed months ago, it was never displayed.  After about a month I said I didn’t meant to push it on them, if there wasn’t space for it please let me know and I’ll take it back.  They said they definitely wanted it, it still isn’t up.  I went ahead and ordered another one for myself, I love that shot!  This time it cost me $50 to print, the cost one woman told me I could sell them for when she saw it.

I’ll just have to write it off as another lesson learned.  Free work leads to more free work, donated stuff has no value type of thing.  Story of my life really.  When my kids were little on swim team I made this super cute reversible skirt with seahorses on one side (the mascot).  The first thing someone said was I should make a bunch to donate to the auction.

Back to my weekend here, get off that tangent!!  They had races in the Bay this weekend, SailGP on the city front on smaller versions of the America’s Cup boats.  I’m on this Women Who Sail FB page, a woman posted that she works in both LA and SF and was looking to get into sailing.  At first I didn’t respond, my dock mate told me he gets about 50% of bogus inquiries.  She seemed sincere so I replied to that thread.

We spent the day out there, the only thing that went wrong was my timing of watching the races.  My sail plan was to leave here, city front, jam down raccoon straights downwind, lunch behind Angel Island protecting us from the winds, reef back there to head back up for the races prepared for 30 knot gusts.  It all went well except for Raccoon straights, there was more of an eddie in there than the downwind with 2 knot flood tide I was anticipating to jam us through.  Instead it was no wind, no boats attempting that eddie and I had to turn the motor back on to get through.  That screwed us to get back up there for the races, we could see them from a distance.

It was a perfect sailing day regardless, she took the helm for most of the day while I told her about how unique the Bay is as opposed to SoCal.  I’m so glad I reached out, it’s nice to have some sailing friends who seem to really know what they’re doing instinctually instead of stressing me out.

Heading back today, need to be home and showered by GOT’s (Game of Thrones).

I got this shot from Embarcadero, couldn’t get any water shots of the race while I was focused on sailing.

Summer Camps for Adults

There are two camps that look very appealing to me while I sit around planning summer, Greenhorn Ranch in the Sierra’s and a Piano Camp outside of Boulder, CO.

As a kid I never went to camp, only to my grandparents house for a month every summer.  There was a brief stint at Camp Fire Girls, which seemed like a girls torture chamber.  We did go to some camp for a few days and it was awful.  I had a bully friend who joined just to go to the camp, we seemed to be in trouble the whole time missing out on the fun stuff like horseback riding over time outs or something?  My memory is a little fuzzy on that, I don’t remember any of the “fun” stuff.

What I do remember is one girl barfing up orange juice (not sure if we had to leave early because of that? She was in our car pool and rode in the station wagon laying on the bed in the back…because it was the 70’s, you could do that).  There was a talent show we watched, didn’t participate.  Then we all came home with lice from the bunks.  The vague memories are of watching people have fun.

I told my husband I need to make up for my lice ridden PTSD from camp as a kid, so I emailed him the adult summer camps I want to go to.  This was all spurned by a friend who invested in this Greenhorn Ranch, posting pictures on FB.  Greenhorn is as the name implies, you need no previous experience in horseback riding or fishing.  I have been on horses a few times, if any of you have been reading my blog from last year I did catch a pillow in my truck on the way to fish.  There’s a womens yoga/nutrition weekend coming up I’m going to.

Then I started researching adult piano camps and one popped up near Boulder that looks pretty cool:   I still play, stopped taking lessons for the new year.  He did up my game a bit, it’s just that our practice sessions were getting a tad redundant.  It was good though, it was a different way to practice I hadn’t been doing before, because I’m OK with mistakes as long as the song sounds remotely like it should.

The last 6 years I’ve been going a few times a year to women’s surf retreats, which is really right up my alley.  Unfortunately, the last few times I broke my ribs and not sure if I can surf again 😦  Low bone density, getting old sucks.  Last weekend in Hermosa Beach they inducted a woman surfer to the walk of fame there, Liz Benevedez.  Her presenter is a long time friend of mine.  He was messaging me with pictures, she was my idol!!  A year younger than me, so cool even as a kid I don’t think I could say 2 words to her, a little star struck.  I told him about my bone density, possibly keeping me out of the water.  He said, “You’ll always be a surfer girl.”  Love that rad surfers think of me that way, especially since my body is giving out on me.  Featured photo isn’t one of my best waves, it was in Costa Rica.  I’ve gone to all the locations several times, Kristy & Cat are the bomb.



Sail Outs

Every other Friday, weather permitting, we have a sail out to a destination for lunch.  This was supposed to be a way for me to meet other sailor friends and have some fun.  The people available on Friday’s are retired, and in the Bay Area retired means 80 years old.  OK, nothing wrong with that, except I don’t have able crew and am responsible for them in what was 30 knot winds yesterday.

Our day started out with one guy coming really late.  We waited, then ended up condensing the boats because all of my “crew” was late.  While we determining which boat to take out, we got a call saying my crew was all there.  The one guy, who usually just naps below, was with his girlfriend who brought her dog.  He came, she took the dog for a walk and then decided she didn’t want to leave the dog in the car so she left him with a 50 pound backpack he couldn’t carry and she took off.  We left over an hour later than our start time.

That’s how the day started and it really didn’t get better (besides the sailing part).  The one boat going out told me to put my com radio on 71 frequency for docking.  How we arrange docking is according to able crew, whoever has able crew is the one who docks first then helps the rest.  Without double checking, I asked someone to put it on 71 to communicate with the other boats.  That particular boat had a build up in their exhaust and the engine overheated, they never made it.  I would have known that if it wasn’t for the fact that my radio stations on the stereo were tuned into 710, I was wondering why my music was off?  The com radio was still on 16.

The comedy of errors continued, we sailed out fine with a good wind but when we got to Angel Island I called the other boat and they were docked ready to help.  Because of the late comers, we were coming into a 2 knot current moving the boat sideways.  I asked what side to dock, he said starboard, we had the lines set up.  As I pulled into the 50′ slip he was waving me off yelling to go around?  I was going to dock anyway, he just kept waving at me like something was wrong with the dock.  Not trusting my instinct because he seemed frantic about it, I went around to the downwind, shorter dock.

Several things about this pissed me off after we docked, especially once I found out he waved me away from the 50′  upwind dock to come around to the shallow end to a 30′ dock.  There was NO WAY I would have been able to dock with my crew, no one could get off the boat.  My boat was too long, we all had to sit down and go sideways to reach the dock.    When we came back from our picnic, people had a really hard time getting back on with one woman almost falling off.

The other thing that mad me mad was I suggested we go to Sausalito to Fish, which is an easy protected docking.  Angel Island’s docks are broken, the current was fast and I knew it.  I was told that there were complaints about Fish, we couldn’t go.  Alright, I love Angel Island it’s just not easy to dock there with no crew.  And someone complained???  I hope they were forced to Uber home, the only thing I could think of was they had to pay for their own drinks – usually we split the bill and I have to pay $50 for my half of a sandwich.  Did I forget to mention everyone was tipsy when we got back on??

The third boat didn’t make it with the engine problems.  We took off just fine, the currents were at slack.  My sail plan for high winds when I’m out there is to motor up to the West side of Angel Island, take out the jib to head downwind.  I did just that, it was gusting to 30 but we had a comfortable ride.  Since it’s going across the incoming tide it took some muscle to keep on course.  To get to my marina I have to make sure I’m between the Berkeley pier and Treasure Island.  One woman kept asking to take the helm, she said she had pretty much sailed around the world.  When she took the helm on the way out she kept aiming towards the Richmond bridge, not Angel Island.  I figured if she was such a master sailor, she would at least know where to aim?  With those winds I just couldn’t take the chance of her not getting us through those points.  She took the helm while I was starting the motor (I usually put it in auto) and immediately started into an accidental jibe.  I took over before that happened.

More excitement docking, really I should have just self docked.  I rigged it for the easiest possible docking, just put the loop on the cleat on the boat.  The person I designated to do that tried to get off before we were even at the dock, he had the line in his hand then fell.   In the meantime, the master sailor had the stern line and brought it it so tight the bow went the opposite direction meaning when the guy got back up the boat was too far away for him to put the loop on it.  I told her to push the stern out so the bow would come around, then I looked up to see 3 people had gone up to the bow to “help.”  We got it, it just looked like a shitty docking by me when it was too many cooks in the kitchen.

Everyone pretty much ran off my boat with their stuff to the other boat for the party while I hosed down and cleaned up myself, it was then I noticed my music was tuned into 710 and we never heard the calls of the third boat.  Really, I was so exhausted I just wanted to cry.  How we got in without anyone getting hurt or falling off was a miracle!!

I looked at my Garmin watch stress day…a 70!!  If I must admit, docking is one of my forte’s and that Angel Island docking in the 50′ upwind slip would have been a breeze.  Why he waved me away (or why we couldn’t have gone to Fish) is beyond me.  I found out later that night that when he docked he totally missed the slip and someone ran down the dock to help him come in.  That’s easy to do with the currents we wouldn’t have had to deal with if that couple wouldn’t have made us late.

I’ve been doing this for about a year, I consider it volunteer.  On an individual level, I actually like the people.  They might not like me after yesterday, where F-bombs were flying while I docked.  I just don’t know if I can do it anymore?  Really, yesterday was a test of everything and I’m responsible for everyone.  I totally get that when I’m that age, I’d love it if someone sailed me out to lunch.  When I took my 82 year old mom to Sam’s she absolutely loved it.  My son was with me though, making it a very easy sail.

Going out with people who assume your husband bought you a boat and they’re going to teach you how to sail it is a whole other dangerous scenario.  Going to rest today, that was hard.  I’ll have to make some sailing friends close to my age that can either crew on these Fridays or we can go to Fish 🙂


So much to do and I can barely leave the house, thank God for Door Dash.  It’s been one day out, two days down since last week and it’s SUNNY for the first time in months….AHHHHHHH!!

Some of it is allergies, my body has a remarkable way of seeing that time slot where I have nothing planned and saying, “Here ‘ya go, time for you to be sick.”  Instead I could be riding my bike or swimming for the first time in months after the rainy weather.

I’ll just have to suck it up and stay home until this blows over.

On the bright side, I finished reading “Educated.”  Timely book for me to read after being in Arizona a little over a week ago, wondering if my cousins grandkids are off the grid or go to school?  My world is so different from that, I never could have homeschooled.  There were times I thought I was homeschooling with all the homework.  I used to tell people if I had known about all the homework I never would have had kids.  I recommend the book, it’s a great read and a real eye opener – especially since I’ve been driving through all these small towns this past year with wonder.

I’ll admit to not being a scholar, I eeked by.  I’m going to blame it on working full time, the one semester in college I didn’t work I made the Deans list.  I’m one of those people who does something first, then the last thing I do is look up the instructions only if I have exhausted every other option.  Youtube is my best friend, pausing it when I have to figure something out like putting a new sending unit in the fuel tank.  UofYoutube.

Since I haven’t been outside for days to take pictures, I’ll have to find one I’ve already taken.  Leaving you with a link to my new favorite singer, Thomas Rhett.  I went to his concert in Las Cruces last year, he just keeps getting better!  29 years old, love how he portrays women in this video and his family.

Too much road time

It finally caught up with me, down for the count.  It could actually be allergies and exhaustion from the super bloom too??  It’s so beautiful out, but with the allergy season that’s going to be huge I’m afraid to go outside!

So what have I been up to since I haven’t been able to blog?  A whole lot actually.  I did head out to Bisbee, AZ for my cousins 84th birthday, so glad I did.  This is my mom’s 1st cousin, last surviving of his siblings and always there for me as a kid.  Before his wife passed away I thought she sent me Christmas cards, it turns out it was always him.  When my kids were little (Frank was a baby) I went out for the 4th of July.  I set it all up perfectly, got a mini-van for a rental car and was meeting my mom at Tucson airport.

It started off horribly from the Oakland airport…my husband was running late, so late that he didn’t have time to park and help me with all the strollers, car seats, etc. or I’d miss our flight.  He dropped me off at the curb and I ran to make the flight.  When we got to Tucson, my mom informed me that she was going to save me a few dollars and cancelled my rental car, that a cousin was coming through to give us a ride.  What she didn’t mention was that we were leaving on different days, she had a ride back and I did not.  It’s about 100 miles from Tucson to Bisbee, she didn’t tell me until the 4th of July.

I spent the day trying to figure out how to get back to the airport, calling a Sierra Vista rental car place to see how much a drop off fee would be (costing me more than the original mini-van).  My mom asked my uncle to drive me back in his truck, which at that time was a 2 seater, which meant my kids would be buckled up in the front and I would be riding in the truck bed with the dogs.  She said, “Problem solved.”

My cousin Fred overheard the whole thing, there might have actually been tears involved on my part?  He offered to give me a ride in a comfortable car.  Not only did he and his wife – who never went anywhere – give me a ride, they stayed with me the whole time and waited for me to board the plane.  It was before 9/11, it must have been ’96 when Frank was just a few months old.

He’s saved the day more than once recently, we drove through last year on the way to New Mexico and picked him up for breakfast.  I left the dog in his yard, when we got back the dog was gone.  Before we left for breakfast, he and my uncle were programming his new cell phone, not going to lie, they were driving me nuts.  It took 20 minutes calling each other, making sure each number worked.  As I drove around looking for the dog for an hour, Fred calls us and says the dog came to his back door.  That 20 minutes of cell phone programming paid off.   I just cried and gave him a big hug, relief over the dog plus wondering if I’d ever see him again?

It’s been a rough year for him, very touch & go all year.  When I got the invite, my mom let them know we couldn’t go because she couldn’t go.  Her travel days might be numbered, especially on airplanes.  The more I thought about it, the more I decided to just go on my own and see him again.  Every time I go to Bisbee I wonder if it might be my last time too?  Always bittersweet.

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It poured during the party, that was OK though because the next day was too hot.  We spent day 2 all day at Warren ballpark watching the old time baseball tournament with original rules.  Someone told me the town of Warren was shaped like a ballpark, that never occurred to me?  It’s one of the first U.S. ballparks, a fun day with my cousins.   A nice treat was the rental car company didn’t have my normal KIA or Hyundai available, so they gave me a Mustang convertible…fun!!


I’ve been gone almost 2 months now, getting my 6 mos check in for flying in there somewhere.  I just took the train back from LA up the coast, using my Amtrak voucher for the disaster delay last time.  It was beautiful, I definitely have worn myself out though.  Sunday I collapsed and had to cancel everything just to stay in bed at my mom’s.  She kept saying how horrible she felt, I just could barely move.  We propped me up like “Weekend @ Bernies” to get me on the train where I just stared out the window for way too long.  It was cool, don’t think I’ll do it again though.


No trips planned for a little while until I feel better, slowly moving through the week.