Friday, June 26, 2009

Our New Home!

After several weeks of research, studying it out, faith and prayers, Eric and I have found a new home!

For those who missed our previous Lost The Lease post, we were informed by our landlord Leonard that he needed to move his mother into our unit because of health concerns. We have felt calm that we would be ok, but had to go through the process of finding the right place for us to reside during the next phase of our lives.

We went through all of the questions: Should we stay or go? home to Utah or how about Texas? Do we downsize and save money? What are our priorities?

We made a list of things that we 'needed' with open minds that 'needs' can be relative to a situation. We wanted to stay in the Dana Point area, preferably in the Capistrano 1st Ward. We wanted to be where we should be, where we can be a blessing in the lives of others and where our light can shine. We wanted a two bedroom/two bath location in a townhouse setting rather than a large apartment complex, although the benefits of a pool, spa and workout room added value to a new experience. We were hoping for a two car garage and washer/dryer hookups. We wanted to save money on rent to pay down our mortgages so we could retire earlier. We hoped we could find a view that would bring us happiness - a peek-a-boo ocean view and palm trees and the moon out the window. Light and bright floor plans sounded good. Basically we wanted everything we have here on Copper Lantern only better and for less. Throw in a great landlord too who would appreciate us and never raise the rent and quiet neighbors. We realize how wonderful life has been for us!

Crazy huh?

Well, Heavenly Father has a way of helping us learn and develop higher ways. We spent these last few weeks reading The Weekender, The Pennysaver and driving around looking for Rent or Lease signs. Finally I discovered I found MLS listings and tons of available properties. We enlisted the aid of our good friend and Realtor Gretchen Donahoo. She set up a day of house hunting and we fell in love with a place. It is really funky! Totally '70's kitsch with avocado tile in the kitchen, tile in the entry and chandeliers from a few decades ago. You can tell that it was tres chic in it's time. If it was up to date now we could Never afford it! The view is SPECTACULAR! There is a three car garage, a spiral staircase, a sunroom, formal dining room, fireplace, washer dryer hookups, plenty of storage space and two bedrooms. It's only drawback is one bathroom, although it is separated with the shower and toilet in one area and tub and sinks in another.

I think these cell phone pictures fail to capture the true wonder of the view we will have but here they are for now. We will be moving mid-July and will post better pictures then.

Heavenly Father answers prayers!
He didn't give us everything we wanted but he gave us those things that would help us grow.
The door is still open for visitors! Of course you may be asked to pack, clean, haul or unload boxes! We know who our friends are!

Monday, June 22, 2009

John Houghtaling and his Magic Fingers

Eric informed me in hushed and somber tones that he had waited until after my concert to give me some bad news. He was fumbling with his cell phone as I turned to look at him and he proceeded to show me the online news account. The obituary in this LA Times Article spells it out.

Eric & I were married in September 1979 in the Salt Lake City Temple. We enjoyed a lovely reception at Eric's parent's new home in Park Meadows and then spent the first night of our honeymoon at The Yarrow in Park City followed by two days hiking and camping in Zion National Park. We then continued to California to enjoy an open house with all of my California friends and family. We left late in the afternoon after a full day of hiking and playing and by the time we hit Victorville we were pretty tired. Knowing that we would have to sleep on the sofa sleeper that night at my parent's apartment because our hotel reservations started the following night in Orange, we decided to stop at the Victorville Motel 6.

It was late, we were tired. As we began to settle in to the accomodations my eye was drawn to the coin box on the bed and naively wondered what 'Relaxation Service' meant. My new husband immediately snickered. But the story as Eric tells it, embellished over the years for maximum affect, was that I inserted a quarter in the machine and loved the full body shakedown it offered. He says that I made him get dressed and go searching for more quarters to enjoy the Magic Fingers treatment all night long.

I can't remember the details so I'll take his storytelling word for it. And the thoughts of a vibrating bed sounds pretty good even now. As long as it's not from an earthquake!

p.s.-found another person's similar story at Retro Thing and the link to the official Magic Fingers System site. For just $79.99 I may have to order one for old times sake! It's the perfect gift for our 30th Anniversary coming up in just three months!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

OCMCO Newsroom

OCMCO has launched an online newsroom with great musical clips of past concert performances. Check it out here: OCMCO. Popcorn Popping is so fun and That Easter Morn has a great moment when the orchestra drops out leaving the choir's note suspended in the concert hall. I'm glad that I can now share this musical experience with friends and family far and wide.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lost Our Lease!

Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner. I had made a homemade German Chocolate Cake (yum!) with delicious coconut-walnut frosting to celebrate Keileigh's birthday but waited until we had company to help us eat it. Our landlord Leonard moved in next door and I had mentioned to him that I would be sending some cake over for him and his roommate Ray. After dinner I cut some slices for the elders to take home with them and then asked if they wanted to take slices to the neighbor. They went with Eric to deliver them but came back moments later still laden with chocolate delight, saying that there was no answer. Right then the phone rang and it was Leonard on the line. We thought 'Wow that's wierd, does he have ESP or a camera on the door or what?' He asked to speak to Eric who took the call in the back room while I visited with the missionaries. When Eric came back out he said that Leonard's Mom would be moving in. I said 'Oh really, is Ray moving out?' and Eric said 'No, into our unit. We have 90 days, through the end of summer, to find a new place.'

We numbly listened to the Elder's message then saw them on their way, after which Eric & I sat in shock and began to plot our future. Eric said Leonard was very apologetic, but with a Mom in her 70's who just retired and is struggling, he had to make a hard decision. He assured us that we were the best tenants he'd ever had. Eric reassured him and said we sympathized since we have parents and concerns of our own. We got in the car and drove down to Selva Beach to walk, talk and soak in the ambiance we moved to California for three and a half years ago. We passed two For Rent signs - and called both. We have been doing lots of soul searching, long range forecasting and short term decision making.

We feel OK with things - we know that when a door closes, a window opens. We have been richly blessed in this home. We hate change and probably wouldn't have ever left without a catalyst, so we'll roll with this and work to create the future we want to have.

In the meantime - this may be the last summer we can host company in Dana Point, so book your trip early! There's a limited number of sunny days in our corner of paradise...