Birthday’s & Graduation Today

Today will be a fun and exciting day, of not exhausting. I have already been up since 4 a.m. and I am taking the day off to spend with my family.

Our 2nd born, Justin, graduates from Valencia High School today. So being that we do everything last minute, we are up early to take care of all the pre celebratory things one must accomplish. Everything from picking up the cake we ordered to getting balloons.

I also have to pick up the motorhome from storage. Why you ask? Because it is the ultimate mother and law quarters. No, not kidding and not trying to be mean. We have some family coming in and the motorhome is a perfect, private place for company to stay.

I mean, if it gets too loud in the house tonight ( son having some friends over) my wife and I might decide to stay in the RV.

Today is also my wife’s birthday. I think she is going to get cheated, what with it being my son’s day of graduation. I am going to take her to breakfast and then we are also going to lunch for my son’s graduation, but I think she knows that today will be more about him than her.

I don’t think she will mind. Our daughter came home from UCLA last night and will also be spending the weekend with us, so pretty sure she is a happy mommy.

We’ll it’s going on 5:30 and the birds are chirping and there is just enough light to be able to see outside. Time to get going as I am “burning daylight” as my dad used to say.

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend and be safe!

Who Is Tim Blankenship With Divorce 661

One of my goals when I started my company 5 years ago was to be transparent and provide as much California divorce assistance as I could.

Check Out Tim On Social to learn more about me personally!

 

So to date I have recorded over 1000 videos and written over 2000 divorce self help articles as well as a daily podcast.

Then, about 2 years ago, my wife told me that if I truly wanted to be transparent and stand out, I needed to let my guard down and let people know who I really am.

So I started writing a personal blog, which you are reading right now. The are mostly just glimpses into my personal life, things you would see on Social Media from your friends.

Then I decided to take it one step further a few months ago. I created a page where I share pretty much everything personal about me that I post on Social Media, both personal and professional.

I thought it was important that my clients see me as a real person as opposed to some person behind a company name.

You can learn more about me by visiting the navigation link that says ” Tim On Social” where I aggregate all my social media posts so you can see that I am just a regular person like you and hope you identify with me better and hopefully instill some trust factor.

Hope your are having a great day and enjoying this warm 95 degree weather we are having in Southern California.

Trying To Change My Attitude On Life

I have to first admit that I classify myself as more of a realist. This is just a fancy term I guess for being somewhat negative minded or at least more of “expect the worst but hope for the best” kind of mentality.

I know that is supposed to be different, but I do find myself not surprised when things go wrong. Almost like i expected it to go wrong.

Not that things go wrong often, but rather I am learning that it is my perspective on things that shape our reality. Deep right? But what I am working on, and maybe it is a sign of getting older, is trying to have a better outlook on life and not be so stressed out about things that don’t matter or that have even happened yet.

I will give you an example. My wife surprises me on Sunday night and randomly makes reservations at an RV Resort in Needles, CA., called Pirates Cove. I love taking our motorhome out and love the Colorado River, but my mind instantly goes to concern.

My first thoughts. How long is the drive? Did we get river front? Is it full hookups? And a thousand other things flood through my head. How about, “Sounds awesome, let’s go!”

But I am working on it and making improvements. I am at the point where I can actually detect when I am thinking negative and sort of catch myself to make a change in my thoughts or perspective.

This is huge for me and a good first step.

I even catch myself while driving being annoyed by drivers, the way they drive, etc., you know what I mean. I caught myself the other day and said, “who cares, I’ll get home, not need to rush home” (on my 5 minute commute from my office to my house)

I have to tell you, the little change in mindset had made a huge difference. It is almost as if the world will deliver what your expectations are, to a degree.

Think something bad will happen and perhaps it will or at least a situation will be seen through a certain filter that presents itself that way. Think something good and maybe that will happen as well.

As an example, while we were driving to Pirates Cove in Needles, CA, i just tried to focus on the good things and fun and relaxing we will enjoy. And wouldn’t you know it, we’re having a great time.

Yes, I have had a few relapses along the way thinking negative, but feel it is a good leap forward in at least catching myself so I can make adjustments along the way.

Again, don’t know what changed, but it is definitely for the good.  I was even talking to a client about this last week who was the one to bring it up. He said he was angry, mad at everything, traffic.. had road rage, etc., and one day it just stopped. He said he does not know what changed, but that life is much better and he is much happier.

So here is to being happy and trying to see the good in things, even if the aren’t and maybe, just maybe or thoughts change the way we perceive things.

Cryotherapy In Santa Clarita :: My First Santa Clarita Cryotherapy Session

Cryotherapy In Santa Clarita :: My First Santa Clarita Cryotherapy Session

I had seen a few friends post on Facebook about what they were calling, “cold therapy”. I did not pay much attention to it at first, but as more people were talking about “cryotherapy”, I decided to do a little research on it myself.

Turns out there are a ton of health benefits from cryotherapy. Several that would do me some good. There is a ton of information out there to research the benefits of cryotherapy so I am not going to repeat them here, nor am I a doctor, so I just wanted to share the benefits I have felt after just one treatment.

About a year ago I began having some pain in my left bicep. I went to the doctor and they said it was tendinitis from working out. A few weeks later I started having more pain in my shoulder which ran down my left arm and started having numbness to my left hand.

I went back to the doctor who then ordered an MRI. Short story is I had 2 pinched / herniated / bulged disks around my c-4, c-5 in my neck which was causing the nerve pain. In addition to the excruciating nerve pain ( if you never had nerve pain, there really isn’t anything like it) I began losing strength and muscle which began to atrophy from my shoulder to my left chest muscle and all the way down my arm. All in I lost about 75% of my strength and muscle.

I did all sorts of “natural healing” things I could do such as Chiropractic, acupuncture, cupping and later even deep tissue laser therapy. I did this because all the doctors wanted to do is prescribe pain killers and wanted to stick a needle in my neck to block the pain and later stick a knife in my neck and cut out the bulged / herniated disk. No thanks!

One of the benefits of cryotherapy is in reducing inflammation. Inflammation is one of the issues causing the nerve pain. So if cryotherapy can help reduce inflammation, I am willing to try it.

I can’t say that I felt immediate relief, but in researching cryotherapy, a person can have immediate relief of some symptoms and others that are more acute may take longer. So I am going to sign up and try cryotherapy for about a month and see what happens.

Benefits of first cryotherapy session

Sleep – I fell asleep faster than I normally do and had a more restful sleep. I usually wake several times during the night, but last night I didn’t. I did, however, wake up at 4 a.m. wide awake. Not a tired, want to sleep some more but can’t. Rather, I felt energized and ready for the day. I laid there for about 30 minutes before getting up, realizing I was not falling back to sleep.

Mood – Immediately following the cryotherapy I did feel better as far a my mood. Sort of a euphoric feeling or just a feeling of well being. We can all use more of that, right?

Energy – I do feel like I have more energy. Was up early this morning as I stated and got right to work. Feel like I have more energy for the day and actually feel like I can take on more or want to take on more and be more productive.

I honestly feel like going back today to get some more of this drug called cryotherapy, but I want to see how long the above effects last for. Some say the effects can last several days. I think I will shoot for 3 times a week for a month and see how things turn out.

The folks over at Mend Cryotherapy were great. I met one of the owners, Chris Browning, who I spoke with at lengths while there and learned about his business. We even talked about having him on my local podcast for a business interview on the SCV Local Podcast.

If you want to give cryotherapy in Santa Clarita a try, below is their contact info.

Mend Cryotherapy

28303 Newhall Ranch Rd

Valencia, CA 91355

844.321.MEND

Where To Get Air For Your RV, Motorhome Or Trailer In Santa Clarita

Okay, this is just a quick post totally unrelated to Divorce but I just wanted to get this information out there. We have a motorhome and have had it for several years. We take care of the oil and all the fluids and make sure that all the maintenance is up to date.

But I have always had a hard time finding a place who will put air in the tires.  I am assuming if I had a difficult time finding a place to get air in my RV tires in Santa Clarita, so do others.

You can forget about Camping World as it takes almost a month just to get an appointment there.

When I would be the motorhome serviced at the lube places, they would say they don’t have an attachment long enough.

I tried calling a few mobile RV guys and even some of the highway mobile diesel mechanics. Not them either.

So I happened to be getting my daughters oil changed at Big O Tires in Valencia and asked them if they would be able to put air in the tires. They said, “No Problem” and to just pull it up when I was ready.

So the next day I bring my RV to Big O Tires in Valencia and they have me pull up and fill all the tires which were very low.

I asked how much it would be and they said putting air in tires was complimentary and stop by anytime.

I honestly was surprised.

So to get air in your tires for your RV, Motorhome or Trailer in Santa Clarita, I recommend Big O Tires.

Big O Tires Valencia

23510 Valencia Blvd,

Valencia, CA 91355

(661) 259-7498

Thanksgiving Camping A Bust, But Still Nice Holiday

For the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I was on Reserve America just about every hour in an attempt to book a late camping spot at the beach.

I booked 4 different camp spots at different beach locations, slowly finding places closer to home so we did not have to drive to far.

The first spot was at Silver Strand in Coronado, San Diego right on the beach. I was excited to go there because I had never been and we had a beach row spot which all the reviews said if you were not on beach row, don’t waste your time.

Then I found a spot at El Capitan. This is much closer, just an hour or so away, but the goal was to get Carpenteria. Just a few days prior to Thanksgiving, I found a spot at Carpenteria. It was not the best spot, and not right on the beach, but did have full hookups so it would be good enough.

The Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, I picked up the motorhome and got gas and filled up the propane tanks. We had groceries in the fridge and the turkey fryer in the motorhome. We were all set to go Wednesday morning.

My daughter was home visiting from UCLA so all as good to go.

Then Wednesday morning came and my wife was not feeling well and had a fever. Our daughter wakes up and she too is not feeling well.

So we decide to wait a few hours to see if their condition improved and, well, it did not. So I made the decision that we should not go.

So we unloaded the motorhome and took it back to the place we store it.

I was sad because I worked hard to get this camping spot and we had decided that Thanksgiving Camping and Christmas camping was going to be our tradition. Well, we didn’t make it even one year…

Today is Monday and my wife is still ill. She spent 5 hours at urgent care on Sunday and finally got some antibiotics. So it was good we did not go. She was sick, and still is sick, and I am sure being out in the cold would not have made her feel any better.  My daughter also was sick all weekend, throwing up in the middle of the night on Saturday.

That said, we were all together and did not have to travel to family which was nice. We had our Thanksgiving Turkey which came out great in the turkey fryer.

So it is back to the grind today and time to get back to work. I am thankful to have been able to close down shop from Wednesday through Sunday to spend quality time with the family.

We also managed to not spend one dime on shopping. We are not the black Friday crazy people you see and in fact did not even go out except Sunday to go grab a quick bite at La Cocina or LACO as it is known apparently.

Hope you and yours had a nice Thanksgiving.

On Behalf Of A Grateful Marine This Veteran’s Day 2016

With all that is going on in the world and public upset at things all I keep thinking about is how grateful I am for the things in my life. I guess as I get older, now 45 years old, I have a different perspective on life or maybe my perspective is just maturing.

I am feeling ultra patriotic this year. I have always celebrated Veterans day on November 11th as well as the Marine Corps Birthday on November 10th.  I joined the Marine Corps right out of high school in 1989 with a friend of mine with whom we still keep in touch (thanks Facebook).

I am extremely proud to have served in the Marine Corps for a total of 8 years all in. I am honored to have been able to serve and felt not only was it my duty, but what I need to do to be a part of this great County.

I was able to travel throughout the world at a very young age and see and do things many people never get to do. They are still fond memories that I talk a lot about with my buddies from the service. It is especially nice on the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day to see my old friends posting all the old photos from back when were much younger, serving our Country.

My wife is always good about pulling out all the photos, you know, the ones that you used to have to get developed?  All of our old photos online are just pictures of the pictures we take with our phones.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-6-22-47-am
On the tarmac in Okinawa
Getting Promoted In Okinawa
Getting Promoted In Okinawa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I light our house up green for the entire week that Veterans Day falls on. Our American Flag flies year round, but I add the Marine Corps flag during this week as well and might just leave that up year round as well.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-6-00-27-am

I am grateful for being able to close my business on Veterans Day. Today, after I sit here and write this article, I will be loading up the RV and heading out to Carpenteria for the weekend with the family. Camping in the RV on Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas has become a bit of a tradition with us.

This year my daughter who is now 20 was accepted by some of the top colleges in California. She was accepted to all she applied for including Berkeley, USC and UCLA & UCSD and after visiting all the campuses she decided on UCLA. She is now in her first semester as a Junior and I tear up thinking of how proud I am of her. I am glad she is close by so we can visit frequently.

I am grateful that my wife has stuck with me going on 21 years through thick and thin and the good times and the bad times and oh boy, has there been some bad times.

I am grateful for my family, my children and our health.

The title of this post is “On Behalf Of A Grateful Marine This Veteran’s Day 2016” for a reason.

About a year ago I learned that I could apply for Military service related disabilities from injuries received during my deployment in the Marine Corps. I never thought to do this, especially 20+ years later.

But after learning of it, I did apply and was classified as 10% disabled from these injuries. Because of these injuries I was able to apply for a tuition fee waiver for my dependents through Cal-Vet.

About 1 month before my daughter was to start UCLA I received a letter from Cal-Vet that started with, “On Behalf Of A Grateful Nation” and then went on to state that we were approved for the tuition fee waiver.

What an unbelievable benefit from a Great Country and the Amazing State of California. My wife and I are still shocked that this type of benefit exists for those who served in the Armed Forces.

So to everyone who may have come across this article, take a step back and think of all you are grateful for. Life throws us a lot of curveballs and is full of setbacks.  But in the grand scheme of things I am sure you can find things to be grateful for.

Have an amazing Veterans Day weekend.

Below are some more random photos.

SERE School (Survival Evasion Resistance & Escape)
SERE School (Survival Evasion Resistance & Escape)
Fire Watch Duty overseas
Fire Watch Duty overseas

My Research On Minimalism & My Minimalist Thoughts

Are you familiar with the word Minimalism? I recently heard about this movement called Minimalism, I guess you could call it a new ideal of Minimalism. In my own words, it seems to mean to live without the need of “things” and to stick to the basic elements. Yet, this does not mean you have to live without. Rather, you have certain possessions that you enjoy or appreciate instead of amassing a bunch of stuff.

For the last few months I have had some attention and looked into such things as Minimalism, Small Houses and other things like this. I have even listened to a podcast called The RV Entrepreneur, which is a husband and wife who travel around the country and run their business entirely remotely and from their RV. They also interview other RV Entrepreneurs and discuss the different business’s that are run by people who want to be able to travel and have a non-location based business.

For some reason the tiny house, minimalism and RV Entrepreneur thing is interesting to me. I just can’t put my finger on what it is and why I am interested in it.

I have to admit that I did not do much “research”, rather came across the idea while listening to a podcast. I then looked into it a little bit more and found a documentary called, The Minimalist. There are two guys,  Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, who are considered THE Minimalists and can be found at their website at www.theminimalist.com.

If you are reading this, you may be asking yourself what does this have to do with divorce. The answers is “nothing”. I frequently write articles about myself, family and thoughts and this is one of those posts.

But getting back to the Minimalist thing. It really did make me think. Sure, at first I thought this was the typical hippie movement or nomad type lifestyle, and there is a certain element of that, but I started to think how this would or could or does affect the way I think.

And the way it made me think is that we don’t need all these things in life we collect or just hang onto. It made me think of the things I have held onto and why I still have them.

For instance, for me it was clothes. I asked myself why I have kept clothes that I have not worn in 5 years. Things like suites, shirts, etc., that have just sit in my closet for more than 5 years.

There are different ways to interpret how Minimalism and different ways to make change. For me it was as simple as deciding to get rid of some clothes.  After watching this documentary and talking about the points of the film, we went into our walk in closet and started getting rid of things.

For me it was easy. I have always been an A to B kind of guy. Once I make a decision, it is very hard to get me to change my mind. I went through my closet and very indiscriminately and without much thought, tossed out anything I had not worn in the last 30 days!

Yep, 30 days. I threw out suites, shirts, shoes, ties, you name it. I just tossed it on the floor. By the time I was done I had five, 40 gallon sized trash bags full of clothes. I dragged all 5 bags into the garage and into my car to take to drop off to donate.

My wife, while enthusiastic, and having 10 times the clothes that I have, ended up with 2 bags. Not bad!

The point is that this was our way of minimizing our things. We did not decide right there to sell everything, but we did make some changes. And I think it is these small changes in thought that is what this Minimalism thing is all about.

To be on honest, what I really drew from the Minimalism film is that these folks that went all in did not feel the need to amass things. They had very few things compared to the rest of the world, but the things they had were important, and usually high quality.

Instead of having thousands of things of low quality that they never used, they had only a few items of high quality that they enjoyed and took care of.  Clothing that fit them well and was of high quality or that they just liked enough to be part of their small wardrobe.

That is the thought process I took on when I went through my closet. If I didn’t wear it in the last 30 days, It obviously was not something I would need. In fact, since this experiment we will call it, I have not missed or needed anything I got rid of.

In fact, this exercise of getting rid of stuff was quite freeing. I don’t know why or how this is. It is just how I felt.

Since then I noticed I have a different thought process on “stuff”. I don’t feel like I need to buy “stuff” just for the sake of buying things.

But the most interesting thought change is what I do decide to buy. Because I know I am not buying stuff just to buy stuff and collect things and now purchase better, higher quality things that I know I will use.

An example of this is in a pair of Flip Flops I bought. Yep, good old sandals. You see, I usually just buy a pair of cheap sandals at the store and probably go through 5 or 6 pair a year. (I love wearing flip-flops). I never took much care of them and would leave them lying around the house. Most of the time my dog will get mad at me for not taking him on a walk and will take a flip flop and chew it up. This never mattered to me much because they were cheap and I could easily replace them.

But with my new thought process on things, I decided to purchase a pair of flip flops that I really liked. I had my eye on this company called, Combat Flip Flops. They make several products, but what i really liked was their flip flop called, AK-47. They are a flip-flop that, to me, are just super cool and were created by Veterans and have their product sourced in high conflict areas. This particular set of flip flops have AK-47 shell casings embedded into the sandal themselves.

These flip flops were not the most expensive, but I would not call them cheap. They were $50 bucks, when I would normally spend $1o or less on a pair of sandals.

The point is that I really liked them and having just received them and wearing them, want to make sure to take care of them.

I think this is idea behind Minimalism. To have things that matter, not just having things for the sake of having them.

I have also heard of the word Hyper Consumerism. I can’t remember if I heard it in this same film, a podcast or another documentary, but it refers to a culture which simply just keeps on buying stuff. I never really noticed it as it is certainly built into our culture, but now that I have heard of it I see it all around and I no longer want to be part of it.

My wife and I have always been a bit frugal and try to make good decisions and will often put things back when shopping after putting them in our cart, either because we don’t want to spend the money, realize we don’t need it or just don’t see the value in it. But we still do our fair share of consuming things.

My wife and I think much differently. I am not sure why I have grown an interest in this, but I have made some change. I honestly feel I could do with much, much less, but it seems that society has certain molds that we need to fit into.

As I get older I care less and less about what people think about me or what I do, but we still have kids in our house that do. But as they get older I see things changing for us.

I mentioned a podcast called The RV Entrepreneur. This is a young husband and wife traveling in an RV and working on their business while interviewing other full time RV Entrepreneur. It is quite interesting and I personally feel that this is something I could do.

Again, I don’t know what exactly is attracting me to this lifestyle, but I have to admit it is there. Over the last few weeks I have sort of brought it up with my wife in a nonchalant way. First, I said, ” oh I am listening to this podcast where this couple works from their RV and there are many people that are traveling the world and working, etc.”

She entertains me by listening, but I can tell she is not into it and comes up with the same and many times valid reasons why we can’t do it.

Over the last 20 years of our marriage, I have always been the dreamer and she has always been pragmatic.  Admittedly, this is frustrating, especially considering that she is right 99.9% of the time and but for her I would not be the success I am today and in the past. I tell her this all the time so this is no surprise to her.

I tell her that I could sell everything and live in our RV and run my divorce business from it. She travels for business and I figured we could travel to her work destinations as needed so we could always be together. While she appreciates this, she really likes to have a place called home.

For now I will just continue to be a minimalist in the way that makes sense to me. That will be not buying things unless they truly add value and not to purchase things for the sake of having them. As for my nomad aspirations and running my divorce business from the road in an RV, that will have to wait.

Wishing I Could Sleep In, Daughter Doing Amazing And UCLA Student Housing

Even on the weekend I can’t seem to sleep in. Here we are on a Saturday morning at 5 a.m. and my body just wakes up. I feel like I could sleep 3 more hours, but I have learned that I will just lie there and then be mad I didn’t get up and be productive.

What is worse is that for the last few months I wake up at 3:30 in the morning almost every day. I will wake up and not want to check the time on my iPhone because I just know it will say 3:30. Usually, I will lay there for an hour and doze back off eventually, but sometimes I know I won’t be able to fall back asleep and just get up.

The problem is that when I wake up it is like my mind and thoughts are automatically turned on which I cannot turn off. Like everything just starts processing in my head.

On these days that I rise at 3:30 I usually work from home on my computer, handling emails and doing some marketing things. There is always something to do either in my business or on my business. So this is how this Saturday morning has begun.

The other problem this creates is that I need to go to sleep earlier than my wife. It is almost as if she is on East coast time. While I am in bed by 10 most nights, I will frequently wake up at 1 a.m. and she will be reading her Kindle. So while I wake at say 5 a.m., I have to wait until about 8 when she wakes up.

    Daughter Doing Well

My Daughter, Aundrea who is 20 is going to UCLA. She is a Junior there and doing wonderful. She transferred there after 2 years at College of the Canyons in Valencia, so she is just in her first quarter of the year.

She is adapting to the fast school schedule as they are on a Quarter system. She just had her first mid-terms and got A’s on her exams. She was super stressed during the week of mid-terms so am glad she is living off campus (and not at our home) so we didn’t have to become the victims of her stress.

Not only did she do well on her exams, but she was recently invited to apply for and then accepted into the Honors Society for her major which is Anthropology. This is apparently a big deal as the people who are accepted into the Honors Society are considered to be early indicators of Graduate School acceptance.

This is amazing news because it is our hope that she continue her studies at UCLA for her Graduate and Doctorate education. You see, my daughter has a plan which includes getting her Doctorate and if she can do this all at UCLA that would be great.

    UCLA Student Housing Is Terrible

Back in August we started looking for housing. She did not want to live in the dorms as a Junior, so focused on off-campus housing. There is an area in Westwood called the Village where the majority of student housing is.

When checking out the area, we were disgusted by the trash, beer cans and just overall filth of the area which includes furniture, beds and anything else you could imagine strewn on the sidewalks and streets.

So in looking for housing, we set up a Saturday one day to visit several apartments. They were all within the same 10 or so square blocks so location was not really the issue as the location was crappy anywhere, so it just became about the amenities of the apartment and the costs.

After touring several properties, we were drawn to on specific complex. The leasing agent met us there and was super nice and explained all the ins and outs of the different apartments, including ones we had also visited.

She took the time to tell us how great their complex was. That is had an on-site manager who lived there who would keep things under control and who the residents could go to if they had a problem.

So we signed a lease agreement and paid our deposit and first months rent.

Then in September our Daughter moved in. As is typical, she is in a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 other girls as they each share a bedroom. This helps to keep the costs down as apartments, even crappy ones like this lease 2 bedroom apartments for between $4,000 and $4,500 per month.

Since our daughter has moved in, it has been hell. The on-site manager is not helpful and in fact, when our daughter went to her for something, she was later told by the leasing agency not to speak to her and that she has no authority to do anything or make any decisions. What? That is what we were told she was there for!

Then, my daughter calls us one day and says there are cockroaches everywhere. So we get on the phone and call the leasing company. It takes them 2 weeks to get an exterminator in there.

Then, we are informed that the air conditioning has not worked for 2 weeks. Again, we call and it takes several weeks to have someone come out to fix it.

We write checks to UCLA Student Housing. So if you are looking for housing at UCLA off-campus, I would avoid this place.

The leasing agent was amazing at selling this place to us, but as soon as they had our money, we slowly learned it was all a lie. In fact, my daughter told us yesterday that she ran into somebody who told her she used to live “in that shit-hole” last year.

So we are already looking for new housing for next year. We will not have out daughter stay or live in these types of conditions. I don’t know at what point it became okay to live in filth when going to college. I don’t think this is part of the college experience, but in speaking with other parents of children who went to college, this seems to be the norm.

I didn’t have the college experience as I joined the Marine Corps right out of high school. I did eventually go to school, but later in life and not the traditional college route like my daughter is doing.

Life certainly is a learning experience as our children grow and this is just one more experience.

If you are reading this and know if any NICE UCLA off-campus housing feel free to email me. We are definitely on the hunt for someplace else for next year.

Back In the Gym, Starting Yoga & Best Brunch In Santa Clarita

Back in the Gym

If you have been following my personal blog, you know the last few months have been difficult. I have lost 2 friends to cancer (both under 50) and I have been dealing with severe nerve pain in my back and left arm caused by a bulged disk.

3 months into the nerve pain, I have finally felt some relief. I tried everything from acupuncture, cupping, chiropractic, traction, decompression and finally deep tissue laser. I think the totality of all these treatments had something to do with the pain receding.

The fallout from the nerve damage is that the muscles that were affected which were my entire left arm, left shoulder and left chest muscle have severely atrophied. Apparently if the nerves are not working properly and not sending signals to the muscles, then you lose that muscle and strength.

So my left arm has lost about 3 inches in diameter and when you wrap your hand around my bicep area is feels like mushy muscle and bone. I also hardly have the ability to form a muscle by flexing.

So now that the pain is under control, I felt it a good time to get back into the gym to try and rehab the muscle. It is incredible how weak my left arm is. I could barely get 10 reps with a 20 pound dumbbell where before I could do 50 pounds. My tricep is probably the worst. I could barely pull down a 5 pound plate with my left arm.

The good news, I think, is that 1 day a after working out my muscles are sore. I am assuming that means there is hope for rehabilitating the atrophied muscle.

This has been a very frustrating situation as I did not feel Kaiser provided me with any information to assist along the way. I had to do all my own independent research and the only good treatment and advice I received is when I spent my own money on doctors of my choice. All Kaiser wanted to do was give me pain meds, put an injection in my neck and then surgery.

Starting Yoga

I tried Yoga with my wife a few years ago. My wife is a huge Yoga person. I think she refers to herself as a Yogi. I did like Yoga, but I did not like the amount of time it took. I mean, you have to leave 30 minutes early to get there 15 minutes before the class so you can hopefully get a spot in the room at Yoga Works in Valencia. Then if you did get a spot, you were sure to be crowded by a late arrival who then squeezes between you and the person next to you. Then you have an hour and 15 minute class. All in the time commitment was almost 2 hours. Sorry, but some of us have a job and have to work.

I was told that Yoga would be helpful, but I did not want to go into a Yoga Studio. So my wife did some research and found that Yoga Works has an app with 1000 Yoga classes on video. We tried it for the first time last night and I loved it. I loved it because they have classes as short as 10 minutes. You could choose what type of class by difficulty and by type and length.

What i really liked is that I just had to roll out the Yoga mat on the floor of my living room, attach my Mac computer to the HDMI cable and hit play for it to show up on our TV. No setup, No driving and no 2 hour commitment. This, i can do!

Best Brunch In Santa Clarita

Two weeks ago we went out with my wife’s friends. They told us about a place called Bonefish Grill in Valencia at the Town Center Mall. We were aware of the restaurant, however had never been there. What was surprising is that they served brunch and my wife’s friends raved about it.

So we went and the brunch was absolutely amazing. For $20 you get endless drinks. The drinks include mimosas of several variations (Tropical Fruit, etc) as well as Bellini’s, Sangria’s and Champaign. Oh, yes, and you actually get food too! I am a huge lover of eggs Benedict and they have several types including one that is a surf and turf eggs benedict that has lobster and filet mignon in it. Yum!

I am afraid to recommend this place because I don’t want it to get crowded and spoil it for me. We have been there twice and like to sit in the bar and it is wide open seating. The service is amazing and they just keep bringing on the drinks and are not stingy at all.

This past Sunday, my daughter’s boyfriend flew in from Hawaii where he is going to college and we literally camped out at Bonefish Grill for 3 hours. We were there so long that we ordered lunch. As we all drove together, one by one, the kids slowly disappeared. First, my son Justin had a friend pick him up and left. Then our daughter and her boyfriend left. So it was just us for the last hour, after which we needed to take an Uber home as our daughter had taken our car.

So if you ever want to find me on a Sunday morning brunch, make sure to swing by Bonefish Grill in Valencia. At least until I discover another new brunch location.