Friday, December 22, 2006

Some people ... can be good

Ok, let's just file this one under Christmas Miracle.

Read my sister's blog.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy … fill in the blank

With the 25th approaching I've been trying to decide what we celebrate in our house. Not being religious folks we don't attend church anymore and I have to say not one of my family does either. I'm sure we are not that unusual because thinking about our circle of friends and neighbors I know of only one family that even attends services on a regular basis; there might be more. I did know someone that attended church and bible study with such fervor that I wrote her off. I guess I'm a heathen because she questioned everything I did.

Some of my older relatives do attend church and I know it gives them some solace in times of need but I guess I've lost that. My consolation comes from a call from my sister or a visit from a friend. The Catholic church was pretty crummy to my mom when she got a divorce and what with priests snagging little boys like they did and probably still do, I have no use for an organized religion.

So just what do we celebrate this time of year? I've given it a lot of thought and I'm sure there are more people standing on my side of the fence than care to admit. I celebrate a time to think of less fortunate folks and make it a time of giving and the time we spend together as family and friends. I celebrate that my family and friends, though not associated with a religion, are good, honest, and moral people. They are all these things for their own reasons and don't push any beliefs down my throat.

I also celebrate the bright shiny things of the Yule Tide, the warm feeling I get from seeing the lights and decorations. You see our mother/grandmother was a bit of an elf. Lorna decorated every square inch she could reach and I feel a bit of her soul each time I pass a Christmas tree or a pretty package or make a plate of "goodies" for the neighbors.

Today would be Lorna Georgianna's 84th birthday and if there is any time of the year I miss her more it's this time. Gone almost five years but still in all our hearts. Think of her next time you see some "eat at Joe's" blinking Christmas lights. Happy Birthday Momma.

So even if you don't believe in anything believe there are good honest people in this world and if you include yourself in this group, feel good about celebrating the joy of the winter holiday; it needs no name.

Here is a little something my sister sent. For your entertainment.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Frostie

Our neighbors like to decorate. For Halloween they have stuffed scarecrows and pumpkins and fake tombstones on the lawn so it goes without saying they'd do something for Christmas. I always thought the nativity was Jesus, Mary, and Joseph but there's Frostie the Snowman, with some idiotic grin, standing right next to Mary. I could see it if they had a small yard but they do have an homage to Santa Clause complete with bobbing head reindeer so why isn't the snowman standing in the secular section?

Somehow they've found the ugliest nativity scene on the planet. It's plastic and lit from inside and about one-third human scale. Over the years the colors have faded and for some reason Joseph is starting to look like an albino. The plastic is bad enough but the actual features of the three are hideous. Who modeled for this?

Don't forget My Online Red Kettle

Friday, December 08, 2006

Good or bad, it's a warm feeling

It is a lovely day here, 88 I think and the wind has died down a bit, well, enough for me to walk about a quarter of a mile to Von's. Damn if I didn't forget something my last trip out and just couldn't think of getting into the car again so I hoofed it; I can use the exercise and my car the rest.

Walking is a good time to see the sights in your neighborhood--oh I wish they'd left their shades down on that house--and to think, I was thinking of my Christmas shopping and what else I needed to do. I was almost done but I now need to buy presents for a family of five children. Our car club donates to charities and they needed some extra shoppers. I'm looking forward to this challenge as we have no little ones to buy for these days. I also need to do some final baking but it's too warm today to make peanut brittle.

Outside the Von's was my favorite bell-ringer, John. John lives nearby and this time of year he works for the Salvation Army. I always put something in his little red kettle if for no other reason than to have him smile at me. He's wheelchair bound but beams when someone walks by and always says, "thanks, luv and have a great day." John has a charming British accent and I've never seen him not smile.

Seeing John got me thinking about the Salvation Army so I had a look at their website when I got home. So techy they are, they have a virtual kettle and I signed up to be a host. My mom was a great volunteer and this is what she had to say about volunteering:

Volunteering is like wetting your pants in a dark suit, no one knows you've done it but it gives you a warm feeling.

I'd never ask for money here on my blog, other do but I do this for fun, not for a job, but I am asking you to take the time and plunk a buck or two in my kettle. It's not for me but for my neighbors and your neighbors and for that good warm feeling you'll get.

My Online Red Kettle

Thursday, December 07, 2006

News flash to holiday shoppers

If you are standing in a checkout line eventually someone will ask you for some method of payment so get your damn finger out of you nose and be ready.

Do you suppose people who wait until the clerk say, "That will be xxx." before they decide how to pay are expecting the clerk to say, "You're so damn ravishing today, why don't you just blink those baby blues and we'll call it even." I do believe some were just dropped from outer space and don't have a clue what to do.

Think ahead, ya morons! Wait these are the same people trying to cross six lanes of traffic because--oh oh, there's my exit--so I guess they've not given any thought to how this transaction will end. The fucking money won't escape open the wallet.

As you can see I've already lost what little holiday spirit I had.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I'm not asking to win the lotto, just for a little rain

The winds have calmed down this evening and that's gotta be better for the firefighters on the Moorpark fire. The fire raged in the strong winds on Sunday, darling husband saw smoke just west of us, but we knew little since we have no local TV coverage. My sister from Florida called to check on us, it made the network news.

Scary thing our California brush fires, they can spread in a moment fanned on by the horrible winds. Sixty-five mile per hour winds that shake the house and every atom in your body makes everyone a bit jumpy, including the dog.

We live in a small valley with dry hillsides nearby so every time the wind kicks up we think of the worst. 2003 was the closest it has come to the house in the 34 years we've lived here, too close for me. A serious water problem just waiting to happen and they still build more homes in the hillsides. I know, that's the price you pay for living here.

So everyone, let's think of rain. Not flooding gully-washers just little puddles in the street, maybe a bit of snow at higher elevations, but some moisture. A soft rain that washes the streets clean and waters the hillsides would be nice, but not at "drive time," we don't want accidents. We did invent the Sigalert in Los Angeles and it has something to do with us not knowing how to drive in inclement weather. Don't let anyone tell you different, Californios can't drive in the rain. It scares us, we have to phone someone, and then that's when the fun begins--red flashing lights and tow-trucks.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Yes Buddy, there is a Santa Claus

After the horrible wind last night this morning I tiptoed outside to see if there were any ruby red slippers in the yard and was relieved to see our house was still in Southern California and not OZ.

Next I gingerly opened the newspaper to see if I'd dreamed it and nope, it was true, UCLA beat USC yesterday and proved you can't discount the underdog. The Bruins didn't beat the crap out of the Trojans but they beat them enough. That was good enough for the fans. The true fans are our daughter and son-in-law because they are alumni, here is a great photo from the game, winners.

I will be honest, I wished for a win but didn't think they had a chance, what a fool I was not to believe. It proves if you want something bad enough you can make it happen and the football laddies did their team, their fans, and city proud.

Just one more thing before I go to bed tonight, I'll make my list for Santa.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I am from the planet Valdor, pee in this cup

Doctors intimidate me. I can't say why, maybe it's the tools they have and the fact they have to sterilize them. They also can make you do things you'd never choose to do on your own like peeing in a cup. I've never woke up in the morning and said, "Hey, before I eat or drink anything, why don't I just take a whiz in this mug." It must be some mind control.

Where else do we willingly strip down to our bare nothingness in a strangers house and wear a paper robe and not question what will be going on. I leave my socks on because it give me a false sense of security. If there is an emergency, and I have to run out, at least I have something on my feet. Please don't try to imagine me wearing my red socks and clutching a paper gown running down the hall it will keep you up nights.

Isn't it sort of creepy how they don't have a sense of humor? Lucky's the patient who's doctor can smile at a joke let alone say anything remotely humorous. It's like they aren't human or maybe they're alien. That sure would explain the colonoscopy procedure.

I'll be right back I've just gotten a desire to have someone stick me with a needle.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

What next?

It was brought to my attention today that it's been a while since I wrote on this blog. Like I didn't know that? Sheesh.

I've been in a funk and can't put my finger on what's causing it. I've got a list of probable causes going and it could be a number of things including that dunderhead of a president and now the president of Iran is sending us letters. I wish he wouldn't. It's like a nosy old uncle writing to tell you your brother is a jerk. Yeah, we know, we were trying to get rid of him but you know the family voted and there must have been some alcohol involved because somehow we voted him to stay around for another few years.

And now it looks like Italy is pissed at Ikea for not selling nativity scenes. Guido, they sell f-ing furniture not religious items. Don't we have more to worry about? Get this, some Italian minister is asking Christians AND atheists to boycott them. Atheists? Why the hell would they care?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

They really tug on your heart strings

He's ok now.

I've always said the day Buddy doesn't get excited about going for his daily walk is the day he goes to the vet and that happened yesterday morning.

He was in quite a bit of pain and after the Dr checked him out decided it was his neck. Buddy is 11, which is Social Security/Medicare time for puppies, and things just get wonky. The meds were an anti-inflammatory and had our precious pup up and tail wagging in a few hours. Whew.

But there was some more sad news, oh not for us, for Buddy. Doc says he's gotta drop a few pounds by his next appointment which will be in January. When I told Buddy he needed to go on the South Beach Diet he got very excited, all he heard was "go".

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bow down to the king and princess of the mountain

Our friend up the mountain invited us to see two additions to her family, Rex and Grace. These are Cornish Rex cats and they came by way of a pet rescue group. She took both because were from an owner who could no longer care for them. They are sweet little critters and very non-allergic. I can attest to that as I never sneezed once.

Rex, the black and white male, does actually have front feet he just has a strange way of sitting. He sits on his butt like a human and he's very friendly. Grace, the smaller tri-color female, we found just as friendly but doesn't like to sit in you lap and is more content to be on your level. She's quite curious and will poke her nose in anything.
She lost her beloved Noché, also a Cornish Rex, a while back so I'm glad she got these two. She's a great cat wrangler.

The human comedy has heart

If you'd like to know what makes us human read my sister's post, A warm fuzzy.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nothing socially redeeming about Fox

This is just wrong. An interview with O.J. Simpson about his upcoming book will air on Fox. This guy is such a creep I can't imagine why someone hasn't slit his throat. And those bastards at Fox, do you suppose the moron that ok'd this to air has a mirror in his house? It's all about the money. Well, I guess someone will watch it, pity them.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Black and blue Friday

Someone told me on Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) the stores will open at 5:00 am. I know every retail store wants it to be a good holiday shopping season but why the ridiculous store hours? Competition is tough but what about your staff? Have some compassion.

If you're planning to shop that day, I stay away because there is no sale big enough to make me stand in line with my fellow Americans and their screaming tired children, do it at a more reasonable time. Don't incourage this type of marketing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hurray for some smart Boulders

Now this is smart. I want to live in Boulder, Colorado. They will be assessing a charge on business and residents for how much carbon they use based on their electric bills. Seems as though they use coal to run the power plants. The money will fund audits of users that will help them conserve electricity. The tax will be less that two dollars a month for residents and if they already use wind power they don't pay the tax.

It's a small step but ya gotta start somewhere. The imaginative residents of Boulder actually voted for this. Can you imagine the TV ads if this was tried in California? I shudder at the thought.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Let us thank you

Whether you agree with the current administration or not today is the day you think of and thank our veterans. My family has had many of our fathers serve this country. Both my grandparents served in WWI though one died before I was born and I never heard the other speak of the war, not unusual that was the war to end all wars.

My father and father-in-law served in the next war and my husband and brother-in-law served as well as many friends. One died in Viet Nam and when we were in D.C this summer we visited the Wall, moving experience. How do you really thank someone for giving their life?

War is the unfortunate result of being able to live the way we want and I feel guilty each time I fill my tank with gas and hope there is a better way. War will never go away but the way we honor the people who have and will in the future protect us will tell more about us as a culture than any election.

My sister has an interesting idea about how to celebrate Veteran's Day on her blog.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Can Christmas be far behind?

Ok, you Dems have gotten control of the House and damn near control of the Senate now it's time to see some action. Let's do some good while you're there, just don't worry about what's going to happen in two years--do something now. Represent US. It's US who've elected you and although we didn't pay the bill; make us proud.

If you have to pay for sex be a stand-up person and say so. It will be a lot less painful for your family and no one will stand on your lawn at four in the morning with a camera crew and microphone trampling on your tulips.

If you take money from lobbists--lie to them, not us--treat us like the family who loves you and will throw your fat asses out next election if we think you're not doing the right thing--because we can. Oh, and stay away from the kids unless you are trying to help them.

Because I like to save the best for last, Rumsfeld resigned. Here's a quote from that bastard Bill Frist. "Washington must now work together in a bipartisan way - Republicans and Democrats - to outline the path to success in Iraq." Don't get too excited his replacement is another Bush family crony, Robert Gates, so he'll fit right in.

Now, all we have to do is get rid of Rove and Cheney and we could have some sanity in this country.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Getting a twofer in your golden years

Who sneaks into movies? My 77 year-old friend and her 90 year-old boyfriend, that's who. They actually do pay for one movie at one of these huge mega movie plexes and after seeing it they sneak into another one. They plan in advance what pictures they'll see so it's a premeditated crime.

I'm not without sin here because once, as an adult, my husband and two other friends did the very same thing but it was on a lark, not pre-planned. I just think it's a riot that they plan this before they go. I forgot to ask why they do it, neither are short on cash, but it might just be for the hell of it. I'm sure when you're his age you might not care about rules of etiquette.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Fall Apples

I have a new computer and I couldn't be happier. I'm a MAC person, always have been and this purchase was no different. If you haven't been to an Apple store do yourself a favor. It's like going to Disneyland. Jeeps, I was even thinking of working part time just to play with all the new stuff. The Ipod Shuffle is the cutest damn think. I'm trying to figure out why I need one but for 80 bucks who can resist.

My new edition is an iMac Intel Core Duo with a gig of ram, one gb, imagine that. The last machine I had, only five years old, had 130 mb of ram. This one is small, I've gone from a tower to just something that sits on the desktop. This one is cheaper and the screen is bigger than my Studio Display, which I loved but five years things start to go.

So expect great things from me in coming months, just as soon as I get used to the new mouse.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hey fellow fatsos

Hooray for science. It seems there was a study that suggests a substance in red wine might counteract the effects of obesity. It won't make any of my pudgy brothers and sisters thinner, just healthier. Drink up my friends you can be a jolly, roly-poly drunk.

So, I'm sure in the future, you'll be seeing wine served at Colonel Sanders.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Falling leaves

Thursday, October 26, 2006

democratic with a small "d"

Relating to, or favoring democracy.

Ok, this is where I nag you to get off your duffs and vote. Remember, if you don't vote you have no business every complaining about anything. Can't even imagine not being able to voice my opinion.

There are some website to help you understand the propositions or if you have any questions about the candidates you can usually find something non-bias. Don't know who's representing you? Don't worry, most sites let you enter your 9-digit zip code and tell you who's who at the zoo.

Project Vote Smart
VoteCircle (good information on the props in California)

If you want information on the Democratics go to their website. Democratic Party. Not that I love all Democrats it's just I hate the current administration so much. If the Dems could just possibly get one of the six points they are talking about, I'd be a happy American.

In case you wanted to know, I favor democracy no matter how crazy it gets.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Can this get anymore tragic?

Stay the course or not. It doesn't matter what they decide to call it our policy toward Iraq was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be f#$@ed up, world without end. Amen.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Do you trust me?

Last night we had some friends over for an early dinner, friends we haven't seen in a while for no other reason than we've all been busy. One was busy trying to die so it was a pleasure to have her sitting at our table once again. She's healthy and we plan to keep her that way for a long time. I've known too many lately to leave so this was a silent celebration for me to reaffirm life.

It was great to sit at the table and talk; I love to feed people. Well, that's half wrong, I love to cook and I had a few recipes I wanted to test so they were likely guinea pigs. I'm sure I'll get a post up on Peanut Butter Étouffee soon because some things worked and others, well another post.

A comment last night made me think a bit about this blog. I do, from time to time, mention friends and family here--they are part of my life--but do they feel this is an invasion of privacy? I try not to give names or really tell anything that shouldn't be public but would me having a blog keep them from confiding in me? I hope not. Maybe they've never thought of it either.

Originally, I created this journal to track our remodel last year, which I did, but decided to keep writing--yes, and ranting--a little longer. Maybe when I finish I can look back and get some insight into my own dark self. Not that I feel dark, it's just inside that tiny brain of mine there isn't much light. Oh, an occasional brilliant idea lights up the joint but those comings are further apart these days. No one pays me for brilliant ideas anymore. I'll let you know when I get the next one.

So will I write about friends here? Should it matter, I do have a few regular readers? I think yes, if you do something I think is hilarious it will get a post, but personal matter, I don't think so, those are for my memoirs.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

No one is at fault, just an observation

I'm enjoying my drawing class more than watercolor. Drawing is so much easier, it's comfortable, not a stretch, while the watercolor makes me frustrated. There is some part of me that feels I need the discipline of the watercolor because I always take the easy path but that's odd. Why the hell would I choose discipline at this time of my life when I've never chosen it before.

I have the same teacher for both and it was strange, she didn't really take me seriously until I took the drawing class. I'm still the same dedicated person but when she saw I could draw it was if I'd earned my credentials. Nothing comes automatic. Why does respect only come after accomplishment? I'm just as guilty, we all are. You are only as good as …

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I did it!

Some might know I'm a docent at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. I've be there since 2000 and although I adore my volunteer job inside, I've always wanted the opportunity to give an architecture tour. Last year, when it was so busy during the holidays, a panic-filled docent asked if I could help with her tour group, she had sixty visitors. I was sad to say I couldn't and felt bad about not being able to pitch in. I'm a team player.

This past June I was granted my wish when another docent and myself were allowed to prepare a tour. We worked together with the help of our "boss", she was so kind to give us individual help, and while I was on vacation Lorrie, my partner, gave her tour. Her's was great, she said and knew I'd do well. We'll see.

Yesterday was my turn. I wasn't nervous but excited when I realized I was on the schedule. I walked out to meet my group with confidence, and a special love of the joint, so how could I fail. There were fourteen visitors waiting and before we moved to the first stop five more jumped in.

What wonderful people they were and asked intelligent questions about what I was telling them. They all stayed with me until the end, I've a short tour, and gave me a standing ovation. The standing wasn't the important part but the applause sure made me feel good.

Now that I'm trained I'll be able to help more with the crowds that come during the holidays, we are a destination for many tourists. Now I really feel part of the team.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Everyone loves their Teddy

I've not been posting much here lately because I just am not happy. Seems like Death is making an appearance way too often in my little corner of the world. This year I've lost two uncles, a good friend's mother and now another long time friend. Someone please, have a baby!

My life is such that I have a lot to be thankful for and knowing all these people has been sweet but boy, when you start losing friends it does make you think of your own mortality. Put your affairs in order, think about what needs to be done or said, things like that. Life is short. Sounds trite but it is.

Teddy was a nice guy and he always said I was beautiful. That would make me laughed and I'd reminded him he was blind, which legally he was, but he was sweet to say it anyway. Teddy was the poster child for what you shouldn't do when you were diabetic and he paid the price--but he did live life on his own terms.

When our little doggy Sheba would bark at him I told him it was because she was afraid of tall people and he'd lay on the floor so not to scare her, he was that kind of guy.

We'll miss you Theodore.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Is there an "L" in embarrass?

Having worked with the printed word I can feel for these poor folks. Typos can bring an editor to their knees and I don't care how many times it is proofed Public will become Pubic once in your career. I was lucky enough to have it on a cover in 72pt bold.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Baseball; strike two

Strike One: No joy in Mudville; Dodgers couldn't beat the Mets

I've always liked baseball from my first time watching the Dodgers play in the Los Angeles coliseum to the last Saturday night's heartbreaking defeat to the Mets. They played in the coliseum because Chavez Ravine wasn't Dodger's Stadium, yet.

Baseball is not for everyone. You have to enjoy the slow pace of the game to understand the nuances. I love the slow pace but the techie side of me loves the Tivo. It does help with all those nasty commercials.

Strike Two: Baseball pioneer Buck O'Neil dies at 92

Somehow he did not get elected into Baseball's Hall of Fame; missed by one vote. That was a pity because just listening to Buck talk about baseball you couldn't help but love the game, no matter your color. He spoke with reverence about the "good old days" and he had a right to, he was part of them. One vote shy I guess they felt he could wait another year.

Strike Three: That would be if O'Neil wasn't on the top of the next list for Cooperstown.

What about the baseball? Oh I'll watch it right down to the last pitch, someone has to root against the Mets. And next year, the boys in blue will do it next year.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Cease and desists

On-line banking has been the way I deal with bills for a long time and about two years ago I talked my darling husband into letting me pay all the household bills that way, too. It is so easy to schedule payments in case you are out of town.

Yesterday I received a letter from the trash company and they'd like me NOT to send them any more money. Somehow I'd gotten it in my mind to pay for our rubbish collection every month and had been doing so for two years. I now have a credit because they bill bi-monthly and won't have to pay for a year. At first I wondered why I wasn't getting an electronic bill but since I had no other communication from the company I forgot about it. Now I've got to remember to start paying again next year.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Do you use a broken pencil?

I know when something is broken.
A glass doesn't hold water,
a leg doesn't support you,
a building falls down.

A country doesn't protect children.

By the way, that includes children here and in other countries we are suppose to help become free.

Do not forget to vote in November.

You have the power to fix broken things.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

She was pretty in pink

In May 2006 we lost a dear friend, Sue Christensen and in honor of her birthday her family asked everyone to remember her fondly, which we do, and to send off a pink helium balloon in her honor.

So here is darling husband with our two balloons, her name and birthdate attached.

We watched as they floated skyward and wished the dear little woman, Happy Birthday. She had many happy returns because she'd touched so many people.

Hope ya liked them, Sue.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The district

Everything seems to be on a different scale in DC--definitely larger--as if made for giants and we happened upon it.

We did not drive in the District but stayed in Falls Church west of the Capital and took the Orange Line Metro in every day. It's clean and mostly on-time and I never once felt un-safe but we did not ride at night. Hell, we were too tired to stay longer than eight hours. We dragged our sorry California asses home with the rest of the commuters.

Since we did some traveling at rush-hour I did find myself standing closer to my fellow Americans than I had ever done before. You could tell the tourists, we were saying, "Oh, excuse me," when we bumped into someone. Most of the commuters had what Dan called, "the thousand yard stare" and some how, they slept on the train. It was a "people-watchers" convention for the price of a ticket.

This is part of the Lincoln Memorial one of my must sees. Some where, in my archives, is a picture of me, sister, mom and dad here on the steps. I was in a stroller so I can't say I remember anything, I just remember the photo.

The view is great, you look over the reflection pool to the Washington monument. While we were at this end we saw the Viet Nam Wall and the Korean War Memorial. Both moving tributes to our lost soldiers. Between the pool and the Washington monument is the new WWII Memorial. It is huge and I have to be honest, not as impressive as others. It's just big, that's all.

With so many museums it was like paradise for me and I indulged myself for four days. The Smithsonian has so many and then there are the National Galleries. Not enough time.

Air and Space, that was on Dan's must-see list.
Hirshhorn, Modern Art
Freer, Asian Art
American Art and Portrait Galleries
National Archives
National Gallery
Native American Museum
Botanical Garden
National Sculpture Garden

There were things I'd like to have seen but ran out of time. What did I regret not seeing? The American History Museum was closed for renovation. Both Dan and I would have loved that one. We never got over to the Roosevelt Memorial either and they say that one is special. We did not spend time going through the Capital nor the White House. Didn't care must for the current occupants. Would have gone to the see the Supremes but they weren't in session.

Would I go back again? In a heartbeat, there is such an energy in that city, everyone moving with a purpose while the tourists just mosey around them. I liked that.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Mind where you step

There are some strange things growing in New Jersey. I'm sure some fungi person could tell me what this is. I thought it looked interesting enough to take a closer look. Nice color combo in nature.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Strolling on the boardwalk in New Jersey

Loved the Friday afternoon we spent on the boardwalk in Wildwood with the Cousins. It was filled with all the sights and sounds and smells I'd imagined. We'd headed down there for a Car Show with Shawn and Gail and Jeff and Dawn. With six we needed two cars so we rode with Jeff and Dawn to get to know them better.

I had to snap a photo of Curley's. We didn't eat there but ate pizza at Little Nicky's. Now doesn't that just sound like Jersey? We then proceeded to look at the cars parked on the boardwalk. The weather couldn't have been better and since it was a three-day car show it wasn't crowded.

These are the cousins in both age and height order. Thanks Jeff for the educating us to the differences between hamsters and gerbils. Shawn, loved the boardwalk pizza and chocolate strawberries and thanks for being our tour guide, and darling husband, thanks for taking me along.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Six state tour

To get to another state we have to drive at least five hours in one direction. Last week darling husband and myself did six in one day. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and don't forget the state of confusion, which is where you are after paying all dem damn tolls on the highways. Give me higher gas tax any day. The locals have something cool called an Easy Pass that allows them to slide right through without stopping while us schmucks are sitting in line behind someone giving the attendent a hundred for a three buck toll. Sheesh!

We had a two-week vacation which was a bit long but we had so much to do. Visit darling's relatives in New Jersey which are darling second cousins. Gail and Shawn live on a private lake and it was almost too good to leave, they were super hosts.

This is darling husband and second-cousin paddling in from a morning ride. They have this view from their beach. Tough place to stay, right?

Not only did they give us a super room to stay in they stuffed us with local delicacies. Yeah, they held us down and force fed us, well, that's what I'm planning to tell my Dr. when he sees I've gained weight. We enjoyed Philly Cheese Steaks, Pepperoni Bread, Tasty Kakes, Boardwalk Pizza in Wildwood, Philadelphia Soft Pretzels and Kohr's frozen custard.

Surprisingly with all the chewing we did we could find time to see some sights, Downtown Philadelphia, Liberty Bell, New Jersey shore and my all time favorite, the Barnes Foundation Museum. Please visit this link because you wouldn't believe me if I told you about the collection. It's worth 6 billion dollars, yes, "B".

We left New Jersey and drove to DC and got to see most of the things we'd planned on. I say most because you can't do it in four days--I don't think you could do it in a week. More about DC later, but know it was wonderful.

So we're back home again for a while. Well, we seem to be back home again, the pillow feels different, but maybe I'm just in the state of confusion once again.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sheesh, does she ever stay home?

Well, I'm off on another vacation. Me and darling husband are taking off for Philly tomorrow to see some relatives then off to DC. I'm thrilled since there are more museums than I can count. I don't care if I see the White House but to stand in front of that big old statue of Lincoln, well, it will be a moment.

So for two weeks I won't post but I hope to bring back many a East coast photo to show y'all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dave at the Hollywood Bowl

I'm very late with this post but wanted to mention a few things about the concert.

What a performance! Dave et al were jammin' at the Hollywood Bowl and it was great. No, it was almost the best performance I've seen them give. Golden Gate Park was the best, I'll always have a place in my heart for the San Francisco show. That whole weekend was a blast.

What made it so good? One was Robert Randolph, his opening act, sat in on two songs the best being Louisana Bayou. They jammed like they've never done before and we just sucked it in, from the fifth row--I might add. My darling daughter always gets the best seats and these were wonderful. "Suck this, peasants!" I stole that line from my son-in-law.

The crowd was a bit on the odd side, but thankfully just a few. I've never seen anyone sit down at DMB performance so it was odd when the couple in front of us did. Good for short little me but odd none the less. Too young to be tired and if they thought they were fooling anyone by sitting down to "light up" they weren't. Loved the no smoking signs at the Bowl, yeah, right. Should say, no smoking but if you wanna toke a bit, we'll look the other way. Makes for a happy crowd and hell, we gotta sell that expensive snack bar crap.

Another odd thing, during a ballad when it was more quiet, the conversation level started. So distracting. Go outside if you're trying to pick-up someone, for god's sake.

None of this affected the night for me, I had the best time and will I go next year? Yes, as long as we still have fun and jump and dance and scream I'll be there.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Car crash: animal style*

Oh no, not another "I hate drivers" post! I'm afraid, yes.

Driving home from the Getty Wednesday night, about 7:00 pm my carpool buddy, Dolores and I were witness to a traffic accident.

Let me set the scene:

Busy corner, Lassen and Balboa.
In-n-out Hamburgers stand is on the south-east corner with a long line of cars in the drive-thru.
I'm stopped in the left turn lane, one car in front of me. Solid traffic beside me.

Ok, so my light turns green and the guy in front doesn't even move, so I wait. The traffic across has just started to roll when this idiot, coming from my left, blows the light at an amazing rate of speed. He misses the guy in front of me, clips the woman in the lane next to us, hits the breaks; skids and hits some car we can't see, then jumps the curb and t-bones some poor shmuck in the drive through.

Can you imagine, coming home, just gonna pick up a few burgers for dinner and whammo gets nailed waiting to order.

In-n-out is a Southern California burger joint that has quite a following and the title is from my darling husband. Animal style is a way to order your hamburger.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

If they say it's ok, it probably isn't

Men, if your partner pats your hand and say with a weak smile, "It's ok, it happens to everyone." and you live in the Southern California area, you probably cut me off on the freeway Wednesday. You see, I cursed you and not the normal curse you out, such as "You mother f***in' son-of-a-bitch" but a real honest to goodness curse. A curse something like, "You will not satisfy your partner for a week you ... (see above)."

We have a lane on the freeway for carpools and it is double-stripped so that means, for some people who are remedial, you can not cross it even if your goddamn exit is coming up and you've been talking on the phone/picking your nose or whatever fills your drive time and you are way too late/important/stupid to just get off at the next exit. This does not mean you have the right of way. I don't care how lovely your mother thought you were when she toilet-trained you, stay the hell in your lane.

And if you are standing at a meeting with your fly is down, it was my bumper you were riding at 75 mile-an-hour and had the fucking nerve to flash your lights at me.

I'm not picking on men. My hermanas get their own retribution.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Somethings are manditory

My vacation with my sister is over. Sigh. I did get used to her being here but she has a house and a husband in Florida and needed to get back to sell one of them. Since husbands don't go for much it's the house she needs to sell.

She had a "wish list" and I'm afraid we didn't get everything accomplished. Means she needs to return. We did get to the desert and did quite a lot of cooking, and had a ball eating at some new places. Oh, and we laughed a lot. Really, a lot.

We saw a taping of the Late Late Night Show, visited an emergency room, met Little Bird in the desert to have a spa experience and a wonderful dessert, even got to Surfas to buy some kitchen goodies. She helped me find towels and wall art for the house and we didn't annoy darling husband too much, or so he says. Trips to our Farmer's Market were among her favorites--I have to say, me too. I'm hoping to find something like that on my trip to New Jersey next week.

So, it's just me and husband and the bald headed dog and I have to say it's lonely right now. Too hot to go outside and the last day of a three day vacation so want to stay far away from any freeway this afternoon.

I'm just waiting for sunset so I can sit out on the patio and think about the fun things we did and maybe I'll just laugh out loud because few make me laugh like my sister does.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Doggie Disguise

Some breeds of dogs get a bad rap and this website seems to have the answer. Have a dog that people are afraid of? Just get a Doggie Disguise and be done with the fearful looks from strangers on the street. Who thinks of this stuff?

Our own darling Buddy has a new disguise of his own. We think he looks handsome and quite a bit younger with his summer buzz. It was a miscommunication with the groomer but he'll be back to furry-Buddy by Christmas.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My life as a crack whore

Anticipating the evening with my daughter and Dave Matthews Monday night, I was is such a good mood. So when I stopped by the market to buy some drinks and saw a "street person" playing the guitar I dropped some money in his tray. I know, I never give money, it's so enabling, but guitar, music, Dave and the Hollywood Bowl, you get the picture.

"Here ya go friend."

"Do I know you?" he said? "Oh yeah, you're that crack whore."

I laughed out loud so I guess I got a return on my investment.

And my evening with Little Bird and Dave, as good as expected, maybe better.

Friday, August 25, 2006

He'll be here on Monday

Who is he? Dave Matthews and I'll be seeing the Monday concert at the Hollywood Bowl with my darling daughter. She usually sees him at least twice when he's in the area and I get to go once. This time she will see three concerts, Irvine tonight, Chula Vista tomorrow night and Hollywood on Monday.

That photo was from one of my all time favorite concerts, Vegas, and I think it was 1999. Little Bird would be able to say exactly you see, she's the big fan, I like his band a lot but most of the fun is going with her.

So Monday night I'll pick her up and we'll make the pilgrimage and shout and dance and be deaf for the next day but I wouldn't miss it for the world. Heck, who knows how many more years will I be able to go.

He's coming to town

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fingers: I need all ten

Due to a crazy little accident I have a broken and somewhat purple right middle finger which makes typing difficult. Now, darling husband has been doing lots for me but typing would be out of the question since he only has nine fingers himself.

Give me a day or two and I should be back to normal. Now I just have to figure out how to drive without giving an unintentional finger to other drivers.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Three hots and a cot

Sister/Aunt Weed/Doodles will be visiting next week so we'll either post a lot or be just too busy and not get too it. I hope it's the former. We are tidying up the guest room which means Buddy gets evicted while she's here but one more person in the house means more treats so it's a trade off.

She's already started a list of what she wants me to cook and I think I'm going to put together a list of my own. We do know for sure that lil bird will be making us some of her yummy ice cream.

So I'm putting you all on notice--don't beat me up for not posting regularly. Anyone who knows me know the two sisty uglers can get distracted by the smallest of things.

"I know, let's drive to the desert ... oh look, a chicken."

We do plan to find some of Great Taco Hunt's Four-Tacos-or-more establishments and hopefully a visit to Late Night TV's Craig Ferguson. Hopefully the PBE girls will make it down to the desert without too many side trips.

As Weed says "stay tuna'd!"

Monday, August 07, 2006

We love you, you cranky magnificent bastard

We have this friend and he can be the greatest person and the worst person and darling husband and I pretty much put up with the worst person because we like him and he's part of our family. Like a cranky old bastard uncle but family none the less. He usually calls to apologize when he's like that.

You see we're all family and that's what family does--it forgives. I've gotten rid of people I don't like but family--hey, it's about forgiveness because my family forgives me, I think.

So we love him when he likes himself and we worry about him when he's the bastard. Like family or something.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Vini, vidi, decori

We have finally painted the "hobby" bathroom and when Dan pulled out the old medicine cabinet this is what we found. Just in case you can't read this it says,

LAD Jan. 16, 1988--We came, we saw, we painted!

This is the handy work of our only darling daughter when she was sixteen and it brought back a memory or two.

Thanks, little bird.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Marshmallow cream heaven

This was way too fun. Read my post on Peanut Butter Étouffee.

Diabetics; turn away now

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dentist the menace

I hate the dentist. It's always painful and this time it was a big ol' poke in the wallet. Yikes, I'd been shopping for a new laptop and bought a bridge instead. I guess I'll have to baby this old computer along for a few more months and baring anymore mega dental bills I'll have a new laptop by November. Watch the post fly, then.

Friday, July 28, 2006


It was this hot.
So we went here, ahhhhhh.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This one is too funny to ignore

You are on a horse, galloping at a constant speed. On your right side is a sharp drop-off, and on your left side is an elephant traveling at the same speed as you. Directly in front of you is a galloping kangaroo and your horse is unable to overtake it. Behind you is a lion running at the same speed as you and the Kangaroo. What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

Get your drunk ass off the Merry-Go-Round!

Monday, July 24, 2006

She shoots; she scores

My elbow has been just cranky for the past few weeks. Darling husband says I slug him during the night when he snores but I doubt it would give me this much trouble. Jeeze, I've been slugging him for years.

So off to the Dr and I was sure it would be a long-expensive-xray-filled visit but it wasn't. He looked and twisted and poked and said I had tennis elbow which is interesting because that's the closest I'd come to playing a sport since I played Foosball in a bar.

He did have a suggestion: wear this tight little band below the elbow and it keeps the tendon from irritating the joint. I was a bit skeptical but thought I'd at least give it a week or so and to my utter amazement, the damn thing seems to work. I can't say I'm cured but I could actually lift a grocery bad with my left hand something that yesterday would have made me grimace with pain.

This guy impressed me. Not only did he have an answer for my pain, he didn't prescribe pain medication or run a bunch of tests and the brace cost all of fifteen buck.

And to boot, I've got a new sport, tennis. Who's to know.

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's too damn hot!

Max and Multi can't hardly stand the heat anymore. Please Congress do what you can for global warming.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Moon dust gets in your eyes

On July 20, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon. He said the historic words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

On July 20, 1969, my first date with darling husband was at a moon landing party. We will celebrate 37 years of marriage next January.

BTW: Sister also had a date with her husband at the same party. These two guys said they were drunk but we think it was moon dust.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Buy American, bye-bye

It is way too hot to do much of anything so last Friday darling husband and I went to the movies. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest had been out for a while so we hoped for no long lines or screaming kiddies. We were right on both wishes and got there just as the opening credits started.

Not that I've paid much attention in the past, and can't say why I did this time, but in the opening of this Disney film they played "When you wish upon a star" while the Disney Pictures logo, the Magic Castle, glitters on the screen. I could be wrong but it seems that was the way the "Wonderful World of Disney," a television program from my childhood, started. For an all to brief moment I felt very happy, secure and in my jammies waiting for the Adventures of the Swamp Fox or Davy Crockett. No global-warming-war-in-iraq-current-administration angst; just a fifty year old memory of better times.

Don't you wish you could carry a bit of that in your pocket to pull out and dab on when you encounter stress?

Take that you Cheney; now get back into my closet or at least under the bed.

Stay away you oil executives; slide back in your hole where you belong.

Disappear Ford Motor Company; you bastards won't even invest in your own damn country.

Oh, and the President said "shit" today. I feel the magic, don't you?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

DC dilemma

Darling husband and I are taking a trip to our nation's capital in September. We are both excited to go to the Smithsonian and I was told if you contact your senators or representative you could get passes to see Congress in session or tickets for tours of the Supreme Court and the like.

Ok, here's my problem. I think my representative is a goofball. How can I write and ask for anything because I already write him when I think he's done something stupid. You think my name will pop up in a "don't give this liberal jack … " list? I think it will.

There's always my senators Diane and Barbara but I've not been too thrilled with them lately and there was this one letter I wrote after Katrina. I'm sure they won't have remembered, right?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Too sexy for his shades

Buddy is way too cool for any explanation.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sue-approved gingersnaps

Our 4th of July tradition for more than twenty years has been to attend a pool party with lots of people, bbq and fireworks. The party, originally hosted by Sue and Nelson Christensen, is now being featured at their daughter and son-in-law's, Donatello and Blondie. If you are a regular reader, surprisingly I have a few, you know we lost our dear friend Sue in May.

So this is how the party goes: Splash, splash, eat, drink, talk, laugh and wait for Sue to bring out her two famous cookies, chocolate chip and gingersnap. All the splash, drink, eat, talk comes to a halt for these gems and to honor her the family asked attendees to make her gingersnaps.

Ah, another contest. Rules were: the winner would be the cookie closest to Sue's. How could I turn down another contest. I'd had her recipe and made it twice to come close. I guess I was closer than anyone else because of the five entries, I won.

I was glad they liked the cookies but even more glad to get the "trophy" which is pictured below. It's a spoon from her kitchen mounted on a bread board. Now I think of Sue every time I see it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Well, does he?

If a bear shits in the wood he evidently drives there in a '64 Sky Lark.

Leaving the car with paw prints and cheese on the seats just isn't the "good neighbear" that I know.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

No, you keep it

Once again, I was at the Getty Villa last week. I should move to Malibu, ha! Like I could afford a post box in that zip code. I was also lucky to be with daughter; a last minute addition since her father couldn't make it and I'm always glad when she can.

The evening lecture was on a closing exhibit, Molten Glass, and even though the curator of the exhibit read her presentation it was quite interesting. This woman could have spoken for hours about this subject but choose to read it instead and daughter said, it only makes you realize how difficult it is to present and appreciate the really good speakers. She could be right.

A bonus of attending a Getty Villa lecture at night is the opportunity to visit the gallery after. We skipped the reception and headed into the museum but not before we had a look in the main garden. The moonlight on the reflecting pool was spectacular. Moonlight in Malibu is different, I believe.

Daughter got to meet a docent friend of mine and her accompanying husband, Al. He comes with her to all the lectures so I've gotten to know him. Last time he brought me a yellowed, clipped from a 1989 magazine, article on authenticating ancient marble sculptures that references a piece before the Getty bought it. This time it's a piece from the New Yorker, 1957. You see, when Al reads an article he snips it and saves it to read again and over the years has amassed quite a box. He is now trying to get rid of them and I'm part of his dispersal program. Does he want them back? Nope, give them away he says.

The problem is, now I can't throw them away. They are like a piece of sticky paper stuck to your shoe. First they were in the living room, then they migrated to the kitchen, and finally I've moved them to my office. I've read them and now I can't decide what to do with them. Why is it so difficult to toss these? It's like old magazines. I wonder if I should put these on Craig's List?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

How simple is simple?

Potato salad is an American staple for the summer and I make a pretty good one and trust me, it's a very simple recipe. I like it but I still can't figure what makes people rave about it when I take it to potlucks.

When it comes to recipes I can't imagine not sharing them and because people have ask I've posted my recipe on Peanut Butter Étouffee. Try it, share it with friends just don't ask me to make it again for a while.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

One year and counting

Today is special. Not in a big way, most people don't know about it but I've finished my first year of retirement. In the spirit of celebration, all of us celebrate differently, I thought I'd put fingers to keys this morning and reflect on what I've accomplished.

I left my job while I still loved it and, most importantly, it loved me. I wasn't pushed out and could have stay much longer but I was ready, oh so ready to move home. I'd seen some people outlive there jobs and stay way too long so their retirement was a celebration not only for them, but their co-workers. Leave them laughing and always wanting more.

We've nearly finished the house inside remodel. Just a few flooring issues and paint and we can start on the outside. It has been fun and not as frustrating as I thought. I learned that darling husband has a few more talents than I ever imagined. He has become the Tile Master; sound the trumpets. Not that he's quick, he'll be the first to admit he isn't but he is precise and that is important as well.

The Getty Center wanted me back. I'm working at least once a week on the hill and loving everything. As a bonus I've made a few new friends, Dolores and Lorrie and I have to be honest I enjoy their company as much as being a docent.

I see my daughter more. The two years in Bakersfield left a void in my soul for that girl and now I can have lunch or drop by or do something in the evening with her. Priceless.

My sister and I've become closer. We traveled together to Indiana in May and, even though the Indians tried to kill us, we had a great time. I look forward to her visit to California in August and once she moves to Arizona, someone please go to Florida and buy her house, I'm sure we can spend some more time together. As she says, stay tuna'd!

My darling companion and I have stayed good friends. Sure, there are the occasional disagreements but we had those while I was working, too. What's the secret? We have our own things to do but still enjoy each other's company. I've learned to paint, he's learned how to lay tile. I docent at the Getty, he still enjoys all his old car functions. But, if we need a little change, he's the first to offer a drive to the beach or lunch out and we always enjoy walking Buddy together.

So, I've done a lot and we're lucky because there's much more to do. I want to travel and we're planning a trip to New Jersey to see his cousins and then to DC to see the Smithsonian. Washington has been on my wish list for years so I'm thrilled. We still need to do more beach camping. I need to become a better painter both on canvas and walls, he needs to tile our daughter's downstairs, and we both need to lose some weight. I want us to be able to stay healthy.

Ok so I'm a lucky girl. I left work at 55 and no, we don't eat dog food. We were good savers in our early years and because we've stayed in the same house, were able to pay it off long ago and plunk lots-o-money into our retirement savings. Ah, say 401K and repeat it over and over.

One last thing, after reading little bird's blog I started one, then sister, then the three of us started Peanut Butter Étouffee and that has been a blast so far.

Whew, I'm going to take a nap but check back next year for another follow-up.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Dreamland has no zipcode

The other morning my sister in Florida called and woke me and while talking to her I staggered to the kitchen to make my morning tea. I still had the remnants of sleep to get rid of but when she said the word "dream" it triggered my memory.

"I dreamed you sold your house," I shouted.

Dreams are so fleeting for me. I read an article on how to remember your dreams but it was no help to me. They say if you want to remember you need to make a note the moment you wake, don't even sit up and don't think of anything else. My problem is I wake up and all I think of is "full bladder" and as soon as I flush the dream is gone except for silly little shreds that don't make much sense.

She stopped her story and asked me for details. Oh, do you think I could remember? No, I'd flushed since then.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hail Cesar Millan

If you've seen National Geographic's TV program The Dog Whisperer I'm sure you've wondered if Cesar's technique could work magic on say, your kids, spouse, or boss. I'm here to tell you my friend Teresa has perfected something close.

At a party last weekend I was talking with Bobby, her husband and somehow we got on the topic of the Dog Whisperer and how it was Teresa's favorite show. With the conversations still going on, somewhere in the back of my mind I'm thinking, they don't have a dog, do they? We were interrupted by Teresa.

"Bobby, come in the house I want to show you something."

"Not now," he said.

"Yes, now, I want you to see this."


She uttered the now famous "shhhhht" that Cesar uses on unruly dogs and he quietly got up to follow her.

"I love Cesar," she said, "see it even works on husbands."

It wouldn't work for me, my spouse would just stare at me and walk away, not unlike the dog.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Homeland Security's newest weapon against terrorism

Nothing says patriotism like a 20-foot eagle on the 4th of July though this one looks a bit menacing. Take that al Qaeda!

And, on a lighter note:

Man wakes up with light bulb in his anus. You heard that right, don't make me repeat it! Jeeze, sometimes I break them while bringing them home from the store. Little did I know you were supposed to carry them that way. Where can I buy candles?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Here taco, taco

I don't usually mix food with this blog, Peanut Butter Étouffee takes care of that, but there is a blog, The Great Taco Hunt and it is more fun than a cold beer on a Friday night.

Bandini travels the streets of Los Angeles--and surrounding areas--stalking for the perfecto taco. His imaginative reviews of taco stands, and as of late taco truck, is a true guide of Los Angeles. Now there's something I've never tried, rolling tacos. He rates the taco sellers and even has his reviews broken down by area; I've got to try Tacos Chatos in West LA.

I feel so sorry for people who don't live in Southern California, they don't know what they are missing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

She found inner peace--in the fridge

I have a quirky friend name of Pam. Most of my friends are quirky but she's on the top of the list. If you are thinking I'm "putting her business out on the street" you're wrong, she'd be the first to admit to her quirkyness.

Ms Pam floats in and out of our lives from time to time and when we vacation we always ask Pam to Buddy-sit. Aren't too many we let stay with our dog. She sent me the following and though I don't believe Pam wrote this I thank her for passing it on and I need to share this with my other quirky friends because some of them could use a good dose of inner peace.

I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me, and we all could use more calm in our lives.

By following the simple advice I heard on a Dr. Phil show, I have finally found inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace was to finish all the things you have started. So I looked around my house to see things I started and hadn't finished; and before leaving the house this morning I finished a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Baileys, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the remainder of the Valium prescriptions, the rest of the cheesecake, Doritos and a box of chocolates.

You have no idea how freaking good I feel.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

If you didn't hate it already

There was a woman, who in her youth, gave her baby son up for adoption. Difficult choice, I'm sure, but gave the boy a better life--what a sacrifice.

This boy, now a man, is in the military and before he goes to Iraq he wants to meet his birth mother and he finds this woman so that he can put that final piece of the puzzle together.

This man found his mother; this woman found her boy.

He was killed this month in Iraq. Twenty years old.

Now if you think this sounds like an urban legend, it isn't, this did happen to a fine women I know and I am truly happy she had the guts to give him up and also to meet him. She never would have forgiven herself if she didn't.

Life is a lesson. Don't forget to tell someone how much they mean to you, today.

Monday, June 26, 2006

What wouldn't Jesus do?

Headline in the Sunday Los Angeles Times:
War's Iraqi Death Toll Tops 50,000

The administration has underestimated the number of Iraqi deaths; by about 20,000.

They underestimated the number of "weapons of mass destruction" three years ago; none.

Did they underestimate the cost of this war, over 250 BILLION dollars so far? Think of the education and health issues we could have spent that money on. Hell, we could pay tribute to Halliburton and still have 249 billion bucks to build schools and roads and, heck, take care of some medication for the elderly. We could have even incouraged education in other countries with aid.

Guess how many American service people won't be coming back to teach school, drive trucks, or raise families. Over 2,500.

And, there's no telling how many more will die before this is over. To quote my friend Sandy, "Is there no fucking end to this room?"

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A moving experience

I got a call from Donatello Friday night and he was in what he calls, "panic mode." His number one daughter needed to be moved from her condo, NOW. The Now was to take place the next day because of an escalating somewhat messy divorce and would darling husband and I help? Sure.

With the help of a few more friends and family we packed her stuff, taking a small pizza break, in about five hours, not an easy task but we did stay somewhat to schedule. A good friend helped me pack up a small office that also housed her collections of almost everything and that job took us the entire day. We thought we were finished but when brought to our attention there was stuff lurking in the window seat friend, whom I never heard swear, said, " Is there no end to this fucking room?" It was the laughing break we all needed and she said she'd probably never live it down. She's right.

A bit of a wrinkle in the plan sent darling husband driving the Don's truck and trailer while I, for the first time, drove the '51 truck. I don't mind driving other cars but husband's cars usually have some quirky little thing you have to learn about and this one was no exception. The mirrors are pretty much for show so if you want to look out the left you'll need to stick your head out. The rear view mirror shows most of that blind spot but I'd hate to be carrying anything large in the back.

I made it with no problem and back home we divided her wordly goods between two garages and then collapsed. She bought us takeout dinner from a tasty little local joint, hmmmm garlic fries, then we drug our sorry asses home.

She was truly grateful for all the help and thanked us all so many times. Hey, it's what friends do but I will say if she entertains the thought of marriage again, the prospective must be interviewed by all that helped her move.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Where I'd like to be

Once we thought we'd like to move to Oregon then we had this side trip to Bakersfield and moved back to Southern California. I still have a yearning for these beaches. I felt I could take a photo everyday and not make the same image twice. Maybe someday we can go back to visit.

I'm posting this for my good friend and frequently flyer here on French Benefits, Donnatelo. He's given me crap about not posting but once a week so I'm going to try. Docent duties and food blogging keeps be busy, plus I've got a workman to feed and keep happy. Because if I keep my plumber-electrician-drywall-mechanic-tilesetting husband happy, he takes me to the beach.

Don't expect miracles but appreciate them when they happen.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Walk like an Egyptian

I had the extreme pleasure of attending a lecture by Dr. Zahi Hawass Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt. If you've ever watched any program about ancient Egypt you've seen this man. He is charming and disarming. He speaks like he's being chased by a mummy and thinks himself a pharaoh. Don't let his boyish grin fool you, this guy can be tough but I enjoyed every one of the fifty-five minutes of his lecture.

The lecture was about new discoveries in the Valley of the Kings, most of them his. He's not a shy person at all and takes credit for knowing where to dig for treasure. Why he even found the lost penis of King Tut. Bet he was happy.

It is always great to be with someone who has a true love for what he does, it's infectious. If I were a young student I'd be signing up for a dig.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Are you sure you want white?

My new master bath is white. White tile floor, counter, shower; everything is white. Oh, except the walls they are a dark blue-gray. It's a striking combination. I gave all my attention to picking out the color and none to the upkeep of this bathroom.

It's not that it's difficult to clean. The problem is it shows everything. I never thought we were particularly hairy people but I can mop the floor every day and every morning it looks as if someone's shaved a dog in there. Where does it come from? Are there hairy little gnomes sneaking in at night? If so, I wish they'd clean up after themselves. Maybe we are going bald. Hope it happens soon. I'm tired of mopping this floor.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Master at the Getty

The long awaited (by me) Eliot Porter exhibition is finally here at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. I only had time to do a "power walk" through the gallery yesterday but will give it proper time next week. If not the father of color landscapes he was certainly the godfather and most responsible for me loving landscapes as art.

I think every photographer starts in black and white, hey, it's cheap and easy to work with, then after seeing Porter's landscapes knows the beauty of color. I drift back to b&w ever so often, Bruce Barnbaum being another hero but I can't turn away from Porter's work. If you live in the area do get up the hill to see it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Here's a big ole steaming pile for you

Karl Rove won't be charged in the CIA leak case.

Howard Dean made a statement I like and it brings up a point. I don't think this administration really cares about the American people, not at all.

Quote from Dean, the Democratic Party chairman "He doesn't belong in the White House. If the president valued America more than he valued his connection to Karl Rove, Karl Rove would have been fired a long time ago. So I think this is probably good news for the White House, but it's not very good news for America."

Rove irritates me. Monday in New Hampshire he says John Kerry and John Murtha are soft in the fight on terrorism because they voted for the war and now they are "cutting and running." But wait, what about the fact we were lied to about the reasons for this war?

Rove's perfectly comfortable with sending Americans to war though he never served himself. Bastard. Nor did Cheney or Wolfowitz. Sort of like Nuns teaching sex education classes.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

What becomes of aging rock stars?

Evidently they make Blue Grass covers of their songs. Well, that's what David Lee Roth has done. Saw this last week on the Late Late show with TV's Craig Ferguson and I've had trouble sleeping ever since. Diamond Dave has re-recorded his biggest hits with a Blue Grass group and it's called Strummin' With the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen. This is no joke, well, not an intended one. I couldn't watch, I had to turn it off. Sad, so pathetically sad.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Jus a lagniappe for ya

These are two snaps from the beach camping trip. I am intrigued by found objects on the beach and usually find some beach glass but didn't this trip. Are plastic soda bottles replacing the beach glass? God I hope not. At least we still have wine bottles. Since we are never getting rid of the trash it should, at the very least, be interesting to look at.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

She's a nasty woman that June Gloom

Well, she's not actually a woman but what we Southern Californios call this time of year. You get up in the morning to fog, it hangs around until two or three in the afternoon, then you get about 45 minutes of sun, and then the fog comes back until ... well, you get the picture. This never ending weather pattern is called June Gloom and it just about spoiled our first-ever teardrop camping experience.

If you're wondering what a teardrop is, it's the tiny little trailer behind darling husband's Chevy truck. It's our version of a RV. The shape gives it the unusual name but it could be from what is shed from sleeping in a 4' high, 4' wide, 5' long bed. Turn away if you have claustrophobia. I don't so it suits me fine.

Here is the "bedroom" and yes, that's the California bear flag we are using as a bedspread. Heads fit under a bank of cabinets with feet under another. Don't set up too fast or you'll get splinters. The back has the "galley" and if it had been warmer, I'd have rustled up some camping grub. As it was, the only thing I cooked on this shake-down cruise was tea and toast.

June Gloom. We love the beach in the summer. Sometimes it would be so gray you couldn't tell where the sky ended and the sea began. Does this look cold? Too bad you can't see how windy it was, too.

Buddy can attest to the fact it was cold. This was the city-dog's first every camping trip and I'm sure he kept thinking, "We're going home soon, I just know it."

Even with the cold, the wind and the fact the toilet was fifty yards away this adventure had it's up side. At four in the morning, on a trip to the bathroom and before the fog rolled in, it was so clear you could see the milkyway and I don't mean the candybar. I forgot how beautiful the night sky can be without the light pollution of the city. And with the moonlight reflecting off the water you could hardly tell where the sky stopped and the ocean began.

Hairblow for the terrier

We had the Mustang out on Saturday to scout out a camping site at the beach. Dan has had his Tear Drop trailer for more than a year now and it has only made it to car shows we thought it was time to actually sleep in it.

This is Buddy in the back of the convertible. He wears a special harness to keep him in the car and when you get it out he goes nuts. He sure does love that Mustang.

Did we go camping? I'll have a post up soon with our adventures.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I show it all

Sweetnicks put out a call for pix of what's in your fridge. See my fridge and post on Peanut Butter Etouffee. My fridge

And as a side-bar, the title of this post should send a bunch of hits my way. I was almost overrun when I published "more bathroom photos" ha, bet those pervs were suprised to see our remodel.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Clean up your room

Little bird has an interesting post, If you aren't part of the solution … It has to do with Al Gore's flic on global warming, something we should all be concerned because, hey, we do live on this globe and need to leave it a little bit better than we found it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Don't look

When did the crack of someone's ass, male or female, become a fashion statement? Weren't plumbers the butt (sorry) of a joke when they bent over and displayed the butt-crack? I volunteer at a wonderful museum in LA and I adore meeting our visitors from all parts of the world but I'm noticing a disturbing trend. Not only Americans are putting their "hineys" on display, the whole wide world seems to think this is appropriate.

Butts in the appropriate place are fine but "tushy" cleavage when you're tipping the scales at 200, male or female, is not. Wrong, very very wrong.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Ok, Indiana had some beauty after all

Everything has one redeeming quality and it seems Indiana has flowers. They have birds, too but I still have not seen a cardinal in the wild. For gods sakes, it's their state bird and I never saw one single red feather.

I have to admit there were some highlights to the Indiana trip. We did get to see some lovely flowers but I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the lilacs. They grew like weeds on the side of the road. I photographed this bromeliad at the White River Gardens in Indianapolis. It has tiny flowers growing in the center. Inside the conservatory they also had butterflies. I think sister Weed has a great photo of a huge butterfly, couldn't tell you the name but it was impressive.

We found tulips in Ft Wayne at Foster Park but we barely caught them. One more day or so and they'd be gone. The park is beautifully maintained and had a walkway lined with lilacs.

This is the about the only dogwood in bloom. The farther south we headed the less we saw. It was raining the last afternoon in Indy so we missed seeing the gardens at the Museum of Art. The highlight of IMA was seeing a piece by Bill Viola. He was a Getty Scholar a few years back with a great exhibit so that was a happy surprise.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Just so you know

We've had a house full of guests this past weekend and Sunday morning darling husband asks, "Who brought the Australian Coffee?" No one answered. "Yeah, there's a container in the kitchen marked 'coffee mate'." We threw him outside. Just thought you'd like to know what I live with.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You can never have too much serial

If anyone is interested in the food part of our Indiana trip you can read and eat the serial on Peanut Butter Étouffee.

I'm way to small to care about anything

This is from Cute Overload. Little bird talks about this site once in a while so I thought I'd have a look at some of their photos. Prepare yourself if you visit the site there are so many "awwwwws" that it will take you an hour.

Second hand Rose

There are lots of benefits of second hand furniture, clothes, or even relationships but second hand smoke, it's a killer. I learned about this first hand with my visit to Indiana. First let me say I'm sure everyone smokes in that state, they don't stay in school--three out of ten students don't finish high school--but they somehow learned to smoke. They smoke in every public place and I won't even deal with the private ones because those are populated with my relatives.

Listen, I've heard every rebuttal to second hand smoke and until I experienced it on a personal basis, I didn't really care. But this made me sick, really sick, doctor visit sick so now I'm mad.

I couldn't care less if the smoker gets cancer, that's their decision but if you work in a bar or restaurant that allows smoking and you need your job then you should have a right to a smoke-free environment. If you are a child that can't speak up for themselves then you need smarter parents and a smoke-free environment. If you are a friend or relative you need real friends and relatives that are aware of the poison they are spewing.

So you want to smoke? Go ahead, lock yourself in a little room and smoke until everything in it turns brown with the nicotine including you lungs but stay the hell away from me.

Whew, that made, me feel almost as good as the antibiotics I've had to take to clear up this second hand smoke infection.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A sweet and sour Mother's Day

While in Indiana we lost another part of our extended family, our dear little woman Grandma Sue. The memorial service was on Saturday and darling husband, little bird with husband, and myself attended. I'm still sick from my trip and felt I was contaminating the whole of Southern California but the relationship with this part of our extended family would not let me miss the service though I passed on the after gathering.

Sue was a sweet little Scottish-Canadian woman with a smile much bigger than her actual body. It was very reassuring to have so many people stand up and say a few words at the service. She had many friends and a loving family and she will not be forgotten.

Having a mother prepares you for life and loosing yours prepares you for what's after. We lost our own mother Lorna in '02. I'll add Sue to my list of angels.

Mother's Day

Little bird came back home after the gathering and spent the night getting up the next morning to make the "healing" Mother's Day brunch. I awoke to sausages, biscuits, and eggs and potatoes being cooked in my kitchen and loved every bite. They even cleaned the kitchen but I made a mental note to check the whereabouts of my iron skillet when she left later that day. It was my mom's skillet--more than forty-years-old--and is seasoned to perfection. I promised she wouldn't have to wait until I die just until I can't cook anymore.

So, a belated Happy Mother's Day to all and blessing on all our mothers no matter where they are.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Home again, home again ...

I miss odd things when I travel. I missed by darling husband, but he's not odd. I miss my pillow and my bed, though we had a lovely room in Edinburgh, Indiana one night, what I miss is the taste of my water. Silly, I know, but I do. When you're traveling all you get is bottled or their local water. Our's isn't spring water collected by the artesian elves nor is it particularly soft, it's just what I'm accustomed to after 33 years.

So Weed and I had a good time and in the weeks to come I'll have some photos up. We were lucky to be there for the last of the tulips and dogwood. The photo is from Foster Park in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Back home again in Indiana

Tuesday sister Weed and I are heading for Indiana. Not that we are big Indiana fans but the beloved aunt and uncle live there and we are making our annual trip. Both of us were born there but left mid-century to grow up in the Los Angeles area, thanks mom and dad good decision.

We'd planned this trip early in the year and now it's here I'm starting to get excited. We did have some bad news on Wednesday. Our beloved uncle passed away. Shocking, yes, in a way but he'd been in a state of fragile health for a while so not unexpected but it is always shocking. This doesn't change the trip because we will be with our aunt and it will be sad to miss Uncle Dave. Fine man he was and a snappy dresser even in his later years; he will be missed by family and friends.

Beloved aunt wanted to see the dogwoods in bloom in southern Indiana which is where her family originally lived. Our mother was born in Pee Wee Valley, Kentucky but that is another post. We located the family cemetery last year and promised to bring her back in the spring. It's not as morbid as it sounds, there is just so much family history in the cemetery it compels you to return and learn more. I'm not sure she has the same desire now that her love of fifty plus years is gone but we'll see. I'd be glad to honor any of her wishes.

Daughter calls our home state, Klan-diana and after our mother's funeral refused to ever cross the border again. It is more white-bread than I'd ever care for and without the beloved Aunt I'm sure we'd never make the trek either. They seem to be holding on to Plessy v. Ferguson with fervor.

Geographically it's not an ugly state, if you like farmland, but there is an undercurrent of something about to happen. Last year we toured a good deal of the state by car and noticed so many small towns boarded up. Sad, but with family farms being a thing of the past and no jobs, what are young people supposed to do; leaving is the only answer. Not unlike many other areas they need some industry or maybe if they found oil. Now there's a scary thought, Rumsfeld steaming into Terre Haute.

So Weed and I will head back to our Indiana home, though neither of us claim it, and I'm sure we'll have a good visit with darling aunt but then we take are fun with us.

If you feel like singing,

Back home again in Indiana,
And it seems that I can see
The gleaming candlelight, still burning bright,
Through the sycamores for me.
The new-mown hay sends all its fragrance
Through the fields I used to roam.
When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash,
How I long for my Indiana home.