November In A Sentence A Day

Yep, I'm back with Sentence A Day!

I don't want a 2020 version of Groundhogs Day to set in, so a return to capturing each day in one sentence seemed in order as an incentive keep working on making each day interesting in spite of the pandemic. Plus, I think it will be interesting to look back on this period over time in order to see how I got though it.

Disclaimer: It's important to me to clarify that while November was a lovely and active month, every aspect of my life continues to be ruled by the pandemic. Meaning adherence to CDC and California guidelines, masks, physical distance, outdoors as much as possible, and no prolonged indoor interactions. 

November In A Sentence A Day

1.  Taught my oldest granddaughter to play Old Maid, and the expression on her face when she got stuck with the Old Maid card for the first time, plus her subsequent efforts to get us to pick it from her stack of cards, had us all in hysterics.

2.  Wonderful, exhausting day spent with the granddaughters - bike riding, scooter riding, magnetic block building, book reading, McDonalds takeout, picnic and playtime at the park, Go Fish card playing, plus lots of chase-the-toddler to take back whatever my youngest granddaughter was attempting to steal (Halloween candy, our cell phones and Kindles, sunglasses, her sister's toys . . . she is quite the little devil, and wicked fast to boot! 😆).

3.  Election Day . . . took my oldest granddaughter to get her hair cut where I watched her literally age in front of my eyes with each snip (I'm biased of course, but I think she is gorgeous!), then ran behind her as she rode her scooter back home afterward, outside to supervise and cheer her and her fearless little sister on as they rode their bicycles and scooters, then off to a nature park for a little outdoor play on a gorgeous fall day before being dropped off at the airport by my youngest daughter, where we all hugged and shed a few tears in the event that they all depart for Germany before we see each other again . . . military relocation orders can sometimes be abrupt. 😢.

4.  The day after Election Day . . . a bundle of nerves, but a seven mile hike with friends helped, as did drinking wine out on our balcony while watching the sunset.

5.  Two days after Election Day . . . I tried to get a few chores got done, but honestly, I pretty much spent the entire day hitting refresh on my laptop to keep checking for updated results.

6.  Three days after Election Day . . . the counting continues, and I was happy to have a day full of distractions as I left for a 32 mile bicycle ride to Cooks Corner with a group of friends, then returned in time to clean up and head over to San Clemente for a lovely evening enjoying an outdoor dinner and then an outdoor show at a private table for two at the adorable Cabrillo Playhouse - gosh it felt nice to entertained!

7.  Four days after Election Day . . . woke up to continued uncertainty, which changed to jubilation when my husband interrupted a phone call I was on with a friend to announce that Biden had just crossed over the magic threshold of 270, at which point we turned on the TV and pretty much stayed glued there until friends arrived after dinner to visit in our backyard, staying until after midnight as we discussed every detail of the election and what it might mean for our country.

8.  Woke up feeling finally free of stress and anxiety, a much welcomed change, enjoyed a long, lovely, and occasionally rainy, walk at the beach, then over to the harbor afterward to pick up coffees and sit in our car looking out at the enormous swells the recent storm had kicked up (so big, there were no boats to be seen anywhere on the water), and enjoyed FaceTiming with our 6 year old granddaughter so that she could read to us, a new skill that she is very excited about, as are we!

9.  Day One of our four bathroom + laundry room and linen cabinets remodel, so lots of noise and dust, but spending time out on our balcony after the construction team had left for the day, watching an absolutely gorgeous sunset, reminded me of just why we were going through this final chaotic effort to finish out the house.

10.  Day Two of the upstairs demo, so I escaped to the harbor for a long walk, then did a little shopping before returning home . . . there is no such thing as being 'too cold' now that I'm post-menopause, but hubby has been complaining that our bedroom feels like a refrigerator, so I bought a dual-controlled electric blanket so that he can warm up his side of the bed each night, while leaving my side nice and frigid. 😆

11The framer arrived, exciting, because he was able to quickly remove some assorted trim work from the upstairs master which was truly awful, meaning I won't have to ask (and pay) my painter to do it down the road, yeah

12.  The plumbers came in to get the shower floor ready for a new drain, which meant the first set of my amazing new shower drains got utilized - they have a small inset to trap and remove hair, meaning no more clogged pipes ever!

13.  The hot mop guy arrived to do his thing to our upstairs shower floor, leaving the entire house reeking of tar . . . what a difficult job this person has!

14.  The weekend, yeah, meaning no folks coming or going, so my husband and I headed outside to meet up with our Pilgrims of the Camino training group (our 2020 Camino hike in Spain has been postponed until 2022 due to COVID, but in the interim we continue to gather for training hikes) and enjoyed an eight mile walk to historic San Juan Capistrano and back, which included a lovely surprise provided by the hike leaders at the halfway point - a traditional Spanish breakfast of tortilla española, black olives, cheese, and yum, red sangria!

15.  Met my oldest daughter and her boyfriend for a 35 mile bicycle ride along the ocean to San Onefre State Beach and back on a glorious, sunny day, stopping for burgers and beer afterward at Shwack's in San Clemente.

16.  Today was all about drywall, or so I thought, but turned out the drywall guy was here for all of about fifteen minutes, explaining that the majority of his time and effort would occur at the end of the upstairs phase . . . this exemplifies sooo much of the hurry-up-and-wait aspect of remodeling, oofff!

17.  The cabinet guys arrived to my excitement, but today was primarily prepping the existing cabinets for refacing, meaning lots and lots of sanding, but no pretty new cabinet doors quite yet, darn.

18.  More sanding, sigh, so still no pretty new doors.

19.  We have doors, we have doors, yeah, plus new brushed chrome door handles which I forgot to take a picture of before they covered it all back up with protective plastic.

20.  No workers today, so instead we took a walk along our beautiful harbor in the morning, bought groceries, ran some errands, then returned home to clean up and head back out to one of our two club wineries for complimentary glasses of wine (member benefit!), which we sipped on their outdoor patio alongside a roaring fire while listening to live music and chatting with some fellow wine club members seated a safe ten feet away.

21.  Enjoyed a seven mile walk along the beach on a beautiful day, worked on my 2020 family Christmas ornaments, ordered Chinese takeout for dinner and ended the day watching the excellent I Am Greta documentary on Hulu, about Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg.

22.  Spent the entire day outside, and it was wonderful - we started the day outside in our backyard enjoying a beautiful sunrise, next headed to Newport Harbor for seven miles of kayaking plus a stop at Balboa Island for Snipe Crafthouse takeout burgers, over to new-to-us Rosetta Coffee Brewing Company for the best lattes we've ever had, no exaggeration, which we enjoyed drinking at Doheny State Beach thanks to our free parking Golden Bear passes, then back home to catch the sunset from our balcony while sipping wine.
23.  Hung around all day waiting for the tile installation team to arrive, which they finally did at 3:00 PM, but I was able to put the time waiting to good use in that, I finally finished this year's mermaid and ocean themed family Christmas ornaments.

24.  Headed out as soon as the tile team arrived to go walking at Crystal Cove State Beach on a gorgeous fall day, including a stop at the iconic Ruby's Shake Shack for a shared pumpkin milkshake - another item off of my Fall Bucket List - shopped a bit at Crystal Cove Promenade after, then home to clean up and meet friends  Dennis and Nikki for Half Price Tuesday alfresco dining at the winery we both belong too.

25.  Spent the morning researching inflatable kayaks before finally settling on two, only to discover that kayaks are apparently very scarce and hard to find as a result of COVID keeping everyone home looking for something to do, but did finally find them in stock at LL Bean, relief,  then headed into the kitchen to prepare my Thanksgiving meal contributions: my special Double Tomato Bruschetta for our starter, and this decadent looking Bourbon Sour Cream Pumpkin Cheesecake from Donna over at Retirement Confidential.

26.  A wonderful day spent with my husnand,  oldest daughter and her significant other, drinking good wine, eating good food, and rejoicing that the BF prepared the Thanksgiving meal this year - a very non traditional, but outstanding, pappardelle with duck leg ragu sauce, Brussels sprouts with cider, bacon and walnuts, and wild mushroom crostini, plus my outstanding pumpkin cheesecake for dessert . . . thanks Donna!

27.  Back to back events - a six mile walk in the morning, a volunteer shift assisting at our local tide pools in the afternoon, then home to eat a quick dinner before getting on Zoom to enjoy an after-dinner Happy Hour with longtime friends David and Fran.

28.  A nine mile group hike with fellow enthusiasts up and down some of the hills of San Juan Capistrano in the AM, then a sunset bonfire at the beach with friends . . . 

 . . . then over to the adjacent harbor to enjoy two glasses of complimentary wine plus small bites outdoors at another one of 'our' wineries while enjoying the sight of families with excited children posing for photos among the many festive holiday light displays . . . yeah for COVID-conscious holiday opportunities!

29.  A seven mile walk around Dana Point that included a spontaneous stop for alfresco margaritas and a shared burrito at new-to-us Carlos' Mexican Restaurant . . . getting outside continues to be the very, very best way for us to manage the current myriad of COVID-restrictions.

30.  Last week of upstairs chaos, yeah, so we headed out for a seven mile walk along the coast once the contractors arrived, picked up a sandwich to share afterward from Board and Brew, then drove back to the beach to eat it, plus relax, read and nap for a few hours until we were sure the crew had gone for the day.


Whew! I have to say that in looking over the above, it really wasn't a horrible month in spite of the ongoing pandemic. The key, aside from consistent mask wearing and keeping our distance from other people, is to make a plan each and every day, recognizing there are no hard plans in my calendar other than the ones I put there myself. 

How about you? What were some of your November highlights?

November In A Sentence A Day