Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, momma

December 15, 1922 - February 5, 2002

This is my darling momma when she was high school aged. Sweet. Today she would have been 88. She is missed by friends and family alike and her daughters especially. She loved Christmas, she was "the Elf Herself" and decorated every inch of her small apartment.

Thanks to my sister for posting this great photo of her as I took it from her blog. She loved to laugh and cook and help others. Her frail health did not keep her down or keep her from helping others.

While shopping she found a new store that sold baked goods and candy. The owner was a young woman eager to make her business a success. When Lorna needed to give a gift, usually cookies, she'd make a "fancy" box to put them in. She told the young store owner she'd give her some boxes, no cost, because she enjoyed making them and they'd be a big hit with the customers. The woman loved the idea and Lorna even made a few envelopes to put with gift certificates. When momma died I was calling her list of friends and saw a name I didn't recognize. Calling it I explained who I was and was pleased to find out it was the owner of the small shop. She was very sad to hear of her death and assured me she'd not sell the last box because she'd love to keep it as a reminder of her.

You are missed.

Monday, December 06, 2010

A story about toys

So because that's what she really wants this year Dan and I ran out on November 1, the release date, and bought Toy Story 3 for the Princess. Pleased with ourselves we put it away. 

Last Friday I decided to wrap it because I had time. I did not have time to search every square inch of this house looking for it. Nor did I have time on Saturday but that's what I did. Dan said he couldn't remember where it was, either. I decided if I didn't find it Sunday morning I'd head back to Target and get another copy hoping they still had one. If we found it I'd take one back but I did not want a disappointed little Princess on Christmas.  

Sunday morning out early and as luck would have it another copy of the movie was purchased. Better safe than sorry. 
When Dan came home I'd told him about it, he walked into his office, and opened a drawer I'd already looked in. When he pulled out the movie it was obvious I didn't look deep enough. Sometimes a brain needs a little nudge.     

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Drawing class: urban landscape

Sadly, my drawing class is nearing an end. Good news, I'm going to take a Life Drawing class in January so be prepared for naked bodies.
This isn't finished but had time to take a snap. When talking to my daughter she said, "Oh, that was where Dad took you on your first date". I'd forgotten and felt odd she had to remind me but yes, that was our first date. How we ever had a second date is beyond me.

When Dan picked me up he unknowingly stepped in dog poop. We both found out half way to the movie theater when it started to stink. Stopping by his house so he could clean up and I chatted with his roommate while he did. Uncomfortable as I had dated him before Dan. Off to the theater and oh, such a feel good movie, Midnight Cowboy. Depressed we both decided the date was over and skipped dinner. No one was more surprised than I when he called for a second date. Glad he did but forty-one years later I had to be reminded of this by our daughter.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Drawing class

My drawing class has moved on from graphite and into charcoal. Messy but rewarding. Here are a few of my recent assignments.

The first is from a photo I took in '94 of Laffitt's Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans, the French Quarter. It's still a bar after all these years.

This still life was done with my very own lemons and had to finish it quickly as the lemons were starting to go. Not many things smell as pungent as rotting lemons.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lots are whores when politics are involved.

Guilt shouldn't enter into this but I do feel bad when I accidentally open my blog and see live not posted in weeks--but for the last week I've been banished to my bed to get healthy. Still don't know what kicked my ass but finally I think I'm turning the corner. Hell, I'll be glad to get away from this neighborhood, all they do is cough.

Staying in bed means lots of TV because for a lot of the time I just needed some noise. So, because it is close to November elections, mostly what you hear is all of those political commercials. They are all bastards especially Fiorina. I can not stand to see her smirky, I-know-better-than-you-dumb-peasants smile. Her little head waggle when she taking about how she'll do so much better for us poor Californios--how have we survived without her? I didn't like her in '08 with McCain And I don't like her now.

Don't forget to get out and vote.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There is a disturbance in the force

In the 36 years we've lived in this house we've never had a cat. We've never owned a cat nor had one as a visitor but now we've got one residing in our guest room. There was that one time I kidnapped our neighbor's cat because we had a mouse invasion but all the stupid animal did was watch the rodent. Lazy-assed cat.

My darling sister and her husband and cat are visiting and would usually stay parked in front of our house in their trailer and did for the first week they were here. This week has turned into a variable hell when it comes to weather and they could not run their air conditioner and ours at the same time. We tried taking turns but yesterday, when the thermometer blew out the top at 111 we shut down their trailer and brought the cat inside to live in our guest bedroom.

At first, Bogie was not happy at all and climbed under the covers of the bed and would not come out. Later in the evening, when they went to bed, the cat did come out to eat and use his box. We must keep the door closed since Buddy, our 100 year-old terrier still has the urge to chase a cat now and then and we'd hate to give this, already traumatized, cat a fright. He was a kitten when they put him in the trailer and, outside of traveling from place to place in the back seat of their truck, he's only know that space. He was quite confused when dumped in a 9x12 bedroom.

The 100 year-old dog hasn't caught on that there is a feline a foot but keeps sniffing down the hall and looks a little confused but that is what a 100 year-old dog usually does. He knows there is something odd going on but loses interest if offered a cookie.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

As you like it.

Sometimes things are not as advertised. My first Art class was Wednesday evening and it was better than I expected. The class is small, less than a dozen, the teach a nut; his favorite saying, " I shit you not" and he is very prepared, very.

Wednesdays are a busy day for me but I'll survive. Pilates in the morning, Getty Center the afternoon then off to Westwood for three hours and finally a long drive home. One would think the traffic on the 405 at 10:00 p.m. would be light. Think again. I'm not sure there is ever a time when the traffic is light on the 405. Parking turned out easier than I figured with a $5 lot just a block or so walk, and just like the freeway, the streets of Westwood are quite lively at 10.

It's fun to be taking a class again and for the next ten weeks I'll be very challenged and might end up being a better artist. I shit you not.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Colorado sunset

My sister is an accomplished photographer and posts on her photo blog, Imagine. From time to time I use her photos as inspiration. This time I tried to copy, as best I could, and I'm pleased with the result.

Here is the inspiration photo for this pastel. It has a very gloomy feel to it but that's not always bad.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

DMB for more than a decade

Big update but not surprising. The concert last night had to be the best. They played past 11 pm, we wondered if they have to pay a fine, and they rocked the bowl.

It all started in 1998 when lil bird asked me to go to a concert with her. Oh, I'd heard of the Dave Matthews Band but never thought to go. My beloved was not a concert goer. So off we went to see my darling daughter's favorite band at the Los Angeles Forum. Really bad seats and the sound was not so good but the show was amazing. Toots and the Maytals were the opening act and we did have a great time though the Nazi's behind us wouldn't let us stand up.

Next year they played in Irvine and she had extra tickets so we took another friend. Unfortunately she had to sit on the grassy knoll but she didn't mind. It was a fantastic concert though the parking really sucks at that venue and I swore I'd never go back, and I haven't had to eat those words, yet.

2000 was Glen Helen Dark in San Bernardino and the first year lil bird bought tickets through the fan club. Front row. I was truly impressed. At a concert like this I felt conspicuously older but would feel better finding someone older than me there. So far I've always been able to since they have fans from all generations.

Now in '01 we went crazy. She saw them three times, me twice. Dodger Stadium on a Tuesday night and then Las Vegas on Wednesday. The Vegas concert, at Sam Boyd Stadium, was the best I'd ever heard them play and we had a great time. We flew to the concert, ate dinner on the strip then took the early morning flight home. I washed my feet in a casino restroom and slept on the floor in the Vegas airport. Life was good.

In 2003 I was in Bakersfield and lil bird called with a great opportunity to see them out of town, again. They were playing in SF, a charity concert and would I like tickets. Yes. We included our friend Tia from Tacoma and my son-in-law and made a weekend trip. The concert was fantastic and I cherish the live DVD of the concert. I think I can hear Tia and me screaming for Carlos Santana when he came on stage.

The concerts not mentioned all were equally good but do I need to bore you? No. Each concert was different with the common thread being we were enjoying it together. She usually gets more than one date and takes either her husband or some other, equally as lucky, fan.

2008 was equally memorable but for a different reason. It was at the Staples Center downtown LA and bought our t-shirts and such before we got seated. Someone was saying LeRoi Moore, their band member had died and a little while longer it was confirmed. They band went on as a tribute to their friend but it was a sad concert without his sweet jazzy sax and though Jeff Coffin is good, he just doesn't have the same 'Roi sound for me.

This long post brings us up to date but wait, there's more. Monday August 23, once again, my darling daughter will take me to see DMB. We'll be going to the Hollywood Bowl, a favorite of mine, and all the crowd and music and, most important; my night out with her. Hope I can spot someone older.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dolores, can I call Newt a putz?

My very good Jewish friend says I should not call anyone a "putz" because it is a very distasteful word, so I refrained from using the word but I have to call Gingrich out for his statement regarding the Islamic Center being built two miles from ground zero.

This is what the former House speaker and possible (just kill me now) 2012 presidential candidate had to say,

"Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the holocaust museum in Washington … "

Let's just logically think this through, shall we?
  • Were there any Nazis that didn't follow, whole-heartedly, Hitler?
  • Are there any Nazis today that don't follow the Ayran Nation philosophy?
  • Are there any Nazis today that follow an altruistic form of religion?
  • Are there decent Islamic people in this country?
  • Were there Muslims that died on 9/11?
  • Are there Muslims in our military right now fighting in the Middle East for the American way of life?
  • Do they have the right to practice their religion here in these United States?
Newt, you can't cherry-pick the Bill of Rights for your own beliefs. They're for all of us, as hard as that might be for you to swallow, ALL.

Now, go home.

Oh, and you are a putz.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thanks Conejo Parks & Rec

Another great free concert in the park, Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps what a wonderful way to spend a late afternoon; sitting in the shade of an old oak tree listening to live music with my beloved and his dog. I'm not sure we'll catch the Labor Day Concert, it's a Queen tribute band, yikes!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Soon, very soon

Remember in April I posted about my darling seedlings? No, well catch up and click the link.

Ok, it's now near August and look how we've grown.
This is but two of the seedlings all grown up and ready to make my life oh so joyous by showering me with hot green chilies for the summer.

There, look closely and you can see a few, off to the left–hiding behind a leave– there's a New Mexico Green Chili hanging on. There are a few larger ones but they are deep in side and avoiding the camera like 20-year-old movie-star felon.

As you're looking closely you can see I don't use any bug spray and something is having a banquet munching on the leaves but hey, I've enough for all the little creatures. These two pots were planted because I had so many seedlings that sprouted. Half are now growing in my neighbors garden and he says they are doing well. He's also growing tomatoes. We are serious about salsa here.

It was a rocky start when we had the horrible triple digit heat wave. The 'net, and you all know I live by the 'net, said NM green chilies don't like hot weather over 90 during the day and over 60 at night. Sheesh, that's about our normal weather let alone these blasts from Dantes Inferno from time to time. But now I'm giddy with the amount of flower that stayed and became little tiny chilies. They are just so dang slow growing.

Grow, my darlings so you can realize your full potential, Chili Rellenos, Chili Verde, Salsa, anything your little green hearts desire.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Deadline met

The bi-yearly Getty Art Show for the staff and docents deadline is August 4 so I've been working like the devil to get this finished and when I say finished I also mean matted and framed. I would like a double mat and bought large pieces, this is a 22x30 inch frame, but for some reason cut the second mat the wrong size. To quote a former co-worker, "I cut it twice and it's still too short." Rather than wait until next Wednesday when I'm in LA so I could pick up another board I decided one mat was just fine.

This pastel was taken from a photo on our last trip. We were in Arches National Park, it was late in the afternoon, and the truck had a ignition problem. So I could take some photos of the wonderful red rocks in the park my darling drove us from spot to spot and I'd jump out and snap what I wanted. He never tried to hurry me along though the temperature was triple digits.

At one stop I snapped a shot and turned to walk back to the truck. The green of the truck looked so great with the red rocks and the lengthening of the shadow that I snapped another one. This really says it all about our vacation. The truck, the teardrop and the wonderfully beautiful country we drove through.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mondays can be fun

Do you get those unsolicited e-mails from some made-up names? I must share because I feel I found the perfect non de plume, Albertino Molehunt.

Dear mature lady at the park on Sunday,
When you were 30 I'm sure those breasts were perky enough for that tube top but in the span of 40, or so, years lots happens to our bodies. So if your bra size is approaching a 32 long ditch the tube top for something that doesn't let everyone see those skinny boobs of yours.

Yours respectfully,
Albertino Molehunt

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Free, our favorite pastime

Thousand Oaks has a summer series of free concerts in the park and Sunday we attended a great one. Not that the Memorial Day concert was all that bad but it was two tribute bands, the Monkees and Beatles. I just don't get the point with tribute bands. You're a musician that plays well enough to entertain but you pretend you're a famous, or infamous band. Make your own music for God's sake.

We were truly treated to some blues, funk, jazz and a bit or R and B from the Emilio Palame Band. These were true musicians with their own music, OK, they did cover a few other songs, but for the most part everything was from a CD they were trying to sell and, here's the best part, they sounded great. I'm sure they get paid something for showing up but they couldn't make much. Next concert, August 15 is Tresa James and the Rhythm Tramps. Such a fine name for a Blues Band, don't you think?

It's a late afternoon in the park, sitting in the shade and people watching so I'm all for this type of entertainment. Just the fact that there are all ages showing up, families with children, old folks in wheelchairs and anything in between. If you don't bring your picnic basket the park sells hot dogs, popcorn, and snow cones for a dollar each.

We've been attending, sometimes sporadically, these events for ten years. You see my wacky friend Crystal--God rest her soul--a part-time mime and full-time nut, would, with a few other friends, collect donations at intermission. I can't show up at the park without thinking of her and always get a bit sentimental when they come by. I used to say this is for Crystal when I put money in their sack but for some reason have stopped that, now I just say it to myself. I guess I'm afraid they'd say, "Who?" and that would break my heart.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Raise your hand if you hate this hot weather

When we have these hot spells it makes me think we're being punished for something, you know, like leaving the windows down on the car or dishes in the sink overnight, something not so bad as to send us to hell just bad enough to let us feel like we're vacationing there. Looks like our stay has been held over and won't start to get below 90 until later next week.

I love summer but hate when everything you touch in your car gives you first degree burns. I feel as if everything is just over cooked, myself included.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Well, it finally started raining after three hours of clouds and overcast but, it's still 80 degrees. The crows are raising a ruckus, though. Maybe they didn't hear the weather report. Nice if it kept it a bit cooler because it's supposed to be triple digits.

If you are planning to be on the freeway take care as this bit of rain doesn't wash away the oil on the road it just make it slick.

Tales from the teardrop: out of gas

Here's a post I found floating around in my computer. I didn't seem to get it posted but it was part of our trials on the trip. Changing the part in the parking lot of the hotel wasn't the answer and it was that afternoon we came to a screeching halt in Gallup, NM.

Twelve miles from our hotel and in a hail/rain storm we came to a sputtering stop less than a mile to a gas station. Our last gas stop only offered a lower octane gas, which could have thrown off Dan's calculations but he did say he was trying to push it to our hotel. Remember, with the damn starter problem if we stop we have to wait a while to cool down and start up again.

The rain let up and Dan started off to the gas station; I stayed in the truck with the blinkers on, the hood up. It wasn't long before a Sheriff's car pulled up. I explained the problem and he wanted to know which direction so he could give him a lift back. Dan had a ride to the station, too, and with the Sheriff giving him a lift back, he was back quickly. The starter needed it's usual time to cool down but after a few minutes it fired and we were off.

Was I worried? Yes and no. It's not fun to be stuck by the side of the road where we were vulnerable to traffic but the lovely helpfulness of strangers was reassuring. My darling companion usually can take care of any car problem and then we do have the Super AAA card, if we need it; he is amazing. The next morning, not yet 6:00 am and he changed the starter hopefully eliminating that addition hour of wait each time we stop.

Do things like this ruin a vacation? Only if you let them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

After driving 2,400 plus miles looking at beautiful scenery such as these lovely red rock cliffs in Capital Reef NP I came home and decided it was time to paint, again. Sometimes I worry I don't paint enough and I'm trying very hard to find a school/teacher locally to give me better control to do what I want because I'm not happy with my skills these days. I have lots of inspiration just not much drive. Somehow I always find something else to keep me busy and out of the studio.

The Getty Underground, a show for docents and staff, will be in October so I do have a deadline now, if I only keep to it and don't procrastinate, again. My last work I gave to Dan's cousin who is trying to decorate her new house in Las Vegas. It was of the Canyon of Fire a beautiful State Park outside of Vegas that Dan and I visited last September. I was glad it was well received.

Just so you know the whole trip wasn't huge red rocks or beautiful canyons sometimes it was miles of looking through bugs on the windshield.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Loyality: where did it go?

With all the kafuffle about pro basketball player, LeBron James leaving his current team for the chance to play on a better franchise it brings the question of loyalty. It used to be you'd work for a company and stay there you're entire career and somewhat the same for a sports star. With the big salaries these guys get there doesn't seem to be much loyalty to anything anymore. Money, the lack or abundance of, seems to drive everything and even though I'd like to think I'd be loyal I know I'd do what was right for my family.

Let me say I know nothing of this player but at first, I thought he should stay in the town where he made a name for himself. Poor old Ohio could use the help anyway it could a get it. Unemployment and foreclosures are at an all time high and Cleveland is no exception. The Cavaliers bottom line will be hurt, that isn't even in question, but what about the community he grew up in? I wonder if he'll turn his back on them.

There should be no condemnation for James because he's looking for the best deal. Honestly, if he stayed with Cleveland and let's say got injured enough to cause any early retirement, how loyal would the Cavaliers be loyal to him and his family? What he should be loyal to is a the responsibility not pull up the ladder once he climbed out.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Hello? Can you hear me?

After visiting my sister in Colorado I now realize, first hand, why we don't hear that much from her. It can be frustrating if you are used to communicating on the computer or cell phone and in their area you just never know what, or when, it will work. I wonder if they make some amplifier for WiFi reception that would help them.

Since my birthday was around the time of our visit she surprised me with one of her new creations, a turquoise necklace. It is very different and quite lovely. I wore it in Pueblo to rave reviews and I'll wear it today to the Getty Center. I'm working all of July and today is my first day back in 6 weeks. Yikes, hope I remember everything. If my camera worked I'd take a pix because it's great and she made it the perfect length. Nothing like having custom-made jewelry.

The photos were taken before my camera died and it was kind enough for me to get the last of them out of the camera so all my Colorado trip photos were saved.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Don't send me junk unless you've checked your facts

Q: Did Obama turn down foreign offers of assistance in cleaning up the Gulf oil spill? Did he refuse to waive Jones Act restrictions on foreign-flag vessels?

A: No to both questions. So far, offers from six foreign countries or entities have been accepted and only one offer has been rejected. Fifteen foreign-flag vessels are working on the cleanup, and none required a waiver.

So don't send me any more crap that says he turned down all assistance that was offered. All offers, except for a few, came with a serious price tag. Read the rest of what Fact Check has to say.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy Birthday America

Tomorrow is a day for traditions. For us, it's a party with friends, the guest list has grown and shrunk over the years. Children, once babies, have grown into teens. People come and go. Some have died but the tradition continues. We'll all wear our bathing suits and splash in the pool, eat picnic food, drink party drinks, catch up on other people's lives. Some people we see often, others, once a year. We'll tell funny stories from parties long ago, get sentimental over the people gone, and laugh with the new ones taking their place. We are creating a tradition for our children to continue long after we are gone.

What we won't do is forget that July 4th is a special celebration, Happy Birthday America. Whatever your tradition I hope it's one that makes you smile.

Baking with the Princess

With the 4th just a few days away I asked the Princess over to help me bake some cookies. She's always ready to pitch in, what a gal!

Update: the cookies were a spectacular hit.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Why is the real world so full of laundry?

Nothing brings you back to the real world after a vacation like a mountain of laundry. This was such a mountain I felt I needed a
Sherpa to get to the summit. Really now, what exactly is the benefit of clean clothes?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: AT$T

Having the iPad on our trip was fantastic , that is, when we were in AT$Ts supposedly 97% of the country. Most of the trip I wasn't on 3G but just E, whatever that is. All I know is it wasn't very fast. Now I'm back in LA county with better connection. I'm not saying it was impossible just a bit frustrating when I was looking for gas stations and the like.

Should I mention what some hotels call WiFi? Sure. What a joke, can't sign on or you need to be sitting in their office or use it in the middle of the night. The connection in the motel in Gallup was laughable and went back to the sketchy cellular connection. I'll be ever so glad to get back to my network and not have to pay anything. Well, anything extra.

Tales from the teardrop: just click your heals, Dorothy

We left Kingman at 7:00 and it was already hot. Must get moving to Needles then Barstow and home. I honestly can't say it was a bad trip because we saw and did almost everrything on my list. We were in five states other than California. We visited many National Parks. We saw family and friends and tested our patience with a few bumps in our road. I will say it again, there is no other person I'd rather be broke down a with than Dan, he's my hero.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Dixie National Forest
Capital Reef National Park
Arches National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Gallup to Kingman with a side trip

We did 330 miles today and even stopped by the Painted Desert for a few pix. We also stopped for a late lunch and a driver change. I drove from Winslow, AZ. Dan relinquished the wheel I guess because for the past two days he's been greasy and dirty and frustrated, he just needed a rest. I did fine, he even slept.

We are staying in a Holiday Inn, nice and we arrived in time for happy hour, downed one, and slept for an hour. Because we ate such a late lunch dinner is out. That's ok, I don't see anything other than a Sonic nearby. Now tomorrow a orange cream slush would taste pretty good since it will be a pretty toasty ride through Needles.

Tales from the teardrop: a sad good bye to the teardrop

Well, good bye for a while. No trailer in town to carry it home so we are leaving it at owe angel's shop until Dan can deal with whatever he needs to do. We will be heading west in about an hour and not doing any site seeing on the way home unless it's from the truck window. Oh well, I'm sure we'll get back this way again.

We both feel we are extremely lucky. One can imagine the horrible scenarios like an accident or this happening in the middle of the desert and don't forget our angel NSRA member here in Gallup who will store the little trailer for us and was so much help to Dan yesterday. You gotta love whomever had the idea for the "Fellow Pages".

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: it started out a good day

Dan did a little shade tree/parking lot mechanics this morning and changed the solenoid in the truck. Down the road we went towards Holbrook, AZ and just this side of Gallup, NM, poof, we blow a tire in the teardrop.Trooper stops to make sure Dan doesn't get killed changing the tire, which took an hour. Of course, the truck won't start so another twenty minutes or so fussing. I guess what he changed in Santa Fe wasn't it. 

Limping off the freeway into Gallup and something isn't right. Dan takes off the newly mounted spare and find that the axel, she's a broke, and the truck won't start. We drop the trailer, get the truck running, and go find a motel, in Gallup, by the train yard. Dan checks the NSRA directory and there is one member in town, turns out he's an angel because they get the teardrop over to his shop and they might have solved the truck problem, maybe. We will know tomorrow. 

If Dan can get a trailer tomorrow we will take the teardrop home, if not, it will get left here and get repaired and then another trip up to bring it home. This was not such a good day but we did take the angel and his wife to dinner at a pretty decent restaurant and there is hope that things will be better tomorrow. One can only hope at this point. 

I'm tired and going to bed. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Were thirty- eight miles from Las Vegas? Yes, Las Vegas, New Mexico. We are making good time and stopped in Raton, NM for breakfast. Dan has been lifting the hood to cool off the starter when we stop. It seems to work. After breakfast walking back to the car a truck pulled up to see if we needed help. Nice people in Raton.

We stopped at this motel/ restaurant because there were lots of trucks and on a Monday morning that should have meant it was either cheap or great. It was neither, it wasn't too expensive and just average. I'm still looking for some great food. Of all places, I had a good green chili snack at the fairgrounds. Ray told me Pueblo green chilies are pretty hot so I tried chilies and melted cheese rolled up like a burrito. Great flavor and heat.

After registration for the car show on Friday we stopped for lunch at a small cafe across the street from the convention center, the Plaza Cafe. It was only about 10:30 so we opted for breakfast. Everything came smothered in a green chili sauce so I had sausage, hash browns and scrambled eggs with the sauce. Not as spicy as I would have liked but, almost.

The thing about the cafe was there were a few local elderly folks and as they got up to pay their bill the guy behind the counter would say, "oh, let me get that today." When I paid my check I asked how many he he paid for and he looked a bit embarrassed and admitted to just a few telling me he worried if they got enough to eat. You meet nice people all over the place.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: cool in Pueblo?

The weather, after a rain storm outside the city, has cooled down considerably. I couldn't be happier. We are spending Sunday evening in the almost deserted campground and will leave tomorrow at first light heading to Santa Fe and our first hotel. I don't mind sleeping in the teardrop but when you only stay one night, it's so much work unloading then loading up again. It wouldn't be bad but we need storage inside the sleeping area. I feel like the pioneers traveling across the country in a covered wagon and tossing out what they thought we needed but for those of you that know Dan know he'd never throw out something useful. Dang.

Tales from the teardrop: last day of the car show

After a very hot and busy date at the car show we all met at a local restaurant, the Hen House. Our friends daughter works there and it is one of their favorites. When we got back to the teardrop it was too early, and still too hot, to go to bed so we walked back to the fairgrounds to see some cars and it was pretty raucous, must be some fuzzy heads this morning. Back in the trailer to sleep with the windows open because when the wind stopped it really got much warmer. Point to remember, don't camp down wind of the fairgrounds. We could smell the grease from the fry-o-lator until way past 10:00.

Sundays are always a bit quieter at the car show. A lot of folks don't stay for the awards and the big prize give-away and add the number of late night party goers you have a quite a subdued crowd. Since we aren't leaving until Monday morning we might check out down Pueblo tonight. My sister says they've a " river walk" that sounds fun.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Gunnison

We spent a nice day in Crested Butte on Wednesday. It's an old mining town turned ski resort and in the summer mountain biking paradise. Barb and Norm took us to lunch at the Steep Bar for some really good food. After walking through a few of the touristy shops we headed back to the campground through a lovely a valley dotted with cattle ranches. Everything is still beautifully green and lush. 

Back through the town of Gunnison Dan a made a stop at the local NAPA store for a starter; just in case. He likes to be prepared for any situation. He also likes to putter so Thursday morning, after Barb and I got back from our walk, I found him rebuilding a space heater someone had thrown away. He fixed it and is leaving it for someone who needs it. If it keeps him happy ...   

Tales from the teardrop: seeing the love of your life happy, priceless.

Good night, cooled down dramatically. It's gonna be hot today but my old guy is having such a good time I don't even care. I can find a shady, somewhat cooler spot and my iPad is fully charged. Plus, I'm gonna have a funnel cake for breakfast, ummmm funnel cake Life is good.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: friends, old and new

After an almost unbearable day, well few hours, we headed to the outskirts of Pueblo to have dinner with old friends. They'd moved away almost thirty years ago and ended up in Pueblo.

Staying at their house are three friends from our car club so dinner was very pleasant. They have a lovely house in the country and the wife fed us all. We sat outside after dinner and talked until well after dark but had no problem getting back to the fairgrounds with the help of the iPad. Even though I've had many sparse AT$T spots on this trip when I could get connected it was great. Just the Google Maps with the GPS is worth the cost of admission.

We've used the iPad to plan this trip, check on gas stations, and eateries. The AAA site suggested a great Mexican restaurant in Delta, Co, and we'd go back there if we weren't heading down to New Mexico on our way home. We'd gotten some great suggestions from my sister as to where to stay. Can't wait and after three nights in this parking lot ill be glad to see something different.

Tales from the teardrop: HOT!

104 at the fairgrounds. Not pleased. Two degrees cooler tomorrow, yippee.

Tales from the teardrop: back to civilization

We are heading to Pueblo this morning, early 6:30am. Dan is working this afternoon and wants to get registered. He would have preferred to arrive yesterday but we should be fine, we do have a reservation at the fairgrounds.

It was fun to stop and see where Barb and Norm spend their summers. It is a lovely area and I can see what draws them back. We took a boat trip through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the guide was very good. How I would love to have that job. Maybe I'll apply for a summer job next year.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: our favorite campground so far

We arrived at Gunnison Lakeside Resort on Tuesday afternoon after a fantastic drive along the Colorado River that runs just East of Arches National Park and a quick, albeit expensive, trip to Cabela's. It felt good to know we were spending more than one night. My darling sister had a great space for us right across from the bathrooms, a relief since the past three days we had to walk a fair piece in the middle of the night. We also have a great view of the lake.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Moab

Monday evening, after a great day at Arches National Park, we camped at the nearby town of Moab which, evidently, is the Indian name for mosquito. Both Dan and I were blood donors to a large needy group; glad we could help.

Our campsite is down by the banks of the Colorado and across the river, and not out of earshot, of a settlement of chickens with a very vocal rooster. It seems his job is to not only wake his chickens but all the other roosters in the area, as well. Yes, it is early but then I needed to get up and donate more blood.

Tales from the teardrop: Bryce day two

Sunday we celebrated Fathers Day with a little drama. After spending three or so hours in a fantastic bus tour, thanks Spike, we came back to camp, had lunch and headed back to the visitor's center for some info on the evening's Ranger talk. 

After that we decided to take the shuttle back to camp and enjoy a nap.  When I  woke up I realized my purse was missing. I'd been carrying a shoulder bag and had stuffed my purse in that. We headed back to the visitor's center to check their lost and found and nope, no one had turned it in. I was ready to come home I was so upset until the Ranger called the shuttle bus company and yes, they found a purse and were trying to find me. They had tried the hotel and then found us registered at the camp ground. I was the happiest camper in Bryce Canyon that night. 

My purse must have slid out when my shoulder bag was in the floor and I was so tired I didn't realize it was gone. The real luck was the driver found it right after we got out and took it to the office. Nothing missing we headed of to the Lodge to celebrate Father's Day with a fantastic meal. We ended the evening with a lecture from the Ranger and then, finally off to bed both tired from our second day at Bryce.    

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Bryce Canyon National Park

Editior's note: finally back to an Internet connection, YEAH!

Brcye Canyon National Park is more beautiful than I even imagined. We arrived here a little later than I planned but I did not factor in a cranky starter/neutral safety switch. Each time we shut off the truck, at rest stop or lunch, it then needed about 30minutes to cool down enough to start. So the work-around is not shut it off, well, except to get gas and because my beloved knows engines and their workings, he bypassed the switch and got us moving again. 

They campground is nice but we were at the far end which is a walk to the toilets and out of range for the wifi and evidently in the 3% of the country that AT&T doesn't serve, I have no 3G. I'm a bit behind in my posting. 

Even if I did have a connection last night I might not have posted as we discovered there was a 9:00 pm Ranger lead Astronomy event just down the road with five telescopes set up afterwards. We saw the rings of Saturn, a very good closeup of the moon and a star cluster a bajilion miles away. I was going to mention we saw the rings of Uranus but that is such an old joke.   

By the time we got back to the trailer it was 11pm and we were dead tired. We still had to make the bed, which is no easy chore in the teardrop and finally made it into bed about midnight. Quite the long day for these two campers. We needed to be up early and out to the tram stop as we signed up for a 9am three hour tour. Great driver/tour guide and he gave us a different direction to take on Monday morning.          

Tales from the teardrop: our first National Park

 Saturday afternoon we delayed setting up camp and took the shuttle into the Park. Before we did that we needed to get Dan's "National Park Senior Pass". It's for any American citizen 62 and over and after paying the one-time fee of ten bucks you and three friends can enter any National Park for free. It would have cost us $25 a piece to get into Bryce so this pass is a good thing. Well be using it a lot this trip.
We were talking to some Brits at the shuttle stop and they thought the fees charged were to expensive. They had rented a RV and were planning to be here for six weeks. That alone would be costly and he was complaining about 25 bucks for seven days?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Leaving Las Vegas

My beloved woke me this morning with a kiss and told me he'd take me to Bryce Canyon for my birthday. He was trying to prove he's spontaneous and it would have worked if I'd not planned this whole trip my self. His heart's in the right place. 

We'll be leaving Vegas in a few hours. Our short stopover with his cousins has been fun. The weather, quite mild for this time time of year, has been great. We didn't do any gambling but had breakfast in a casino yesterday. It was the Original Pancake House which was always a favorite of my Dad's and Dan had the Apple Pancake in his honor. It's a huge baked concoction with apples on top. He's looking forward to the leftovers this morning.

The weather report for Bryce called for Mosquitos. Never seen that before so our first stop is to the store for some Off since those pesky critters just love me. Somewhere there's a mosquito wife rolling out of bed this morning saying, "Oh, I know what I'm having for dinner tonight, there's a pasty-white woman coming, I can just feel it".     

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Learning how to type in a bumpy truck

This started much earlier and a fair bit longer, too but going over a bumpy road some where west of Barstow I went up in the air and came down on something that deleted my note. The iPad has no "undo" button so, frustrated I put it away until after lunch. I should find a "word" type app somewhere that let's me save work. I believe Blogger must use Flash so I can't type directly into my blog. There is no such thing as failure. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big road trip in a tiny trailer

My beloved and I will be on the road for 14 days, yet again, in our teardrop trailer. We've done 11 days with our little doggie, in the desert, so what a few extra days. Maybe grounds for divorce. We've had a forty year run so far so I suspect not but, stay tuned.

Ever since Ken Burns made his wonderful documentary about the National Parks I've been jonesin' to get on the road and see a few for myself. This trip is a start to accomplish my goal starting with no less that five parks on the travel route.

Bryce Canyon
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Petrified Forest

We might see a few extras, if we have time, but we have a very tight schedule. We are also throwing in a NSRA car show in Pueblo, CO just to make sure we don't get bored.

Some might be wondering what about Buddy-dog? Well, he's ace a vacation from us, friends are stay at home with him. He's getting a bit long in the tooth for a long trip and there are too many places that are not dog-friendly. Don't worry about him he'll be spoiled by some of his favorite people.

Since I forgot to order my connector for the iPad, that would have enabled me to download pix, there will be no photos until we return but I will try to post from the road with wonderfully descriptive paragraphs making my readers feel as if they we actually there. Hope you're not afraid of heights.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Salute to Veterans

With Memorial day coming soon, my darling companion is honoring his Veteran father today by wearing his WWII flight jacket. This days is special as it would have been his 94th birthday.

Dan is standing in front of a photo taken by his father of another plane in his squadron while stationed in England.

The Veterans in our family are:

Charles De Bono, Army Air Corp

D. Eugene Eley, Navy

Daniel De Bono, Air Force
Norman Whitla, Air Force

Thanks to all Veterans who have served our country.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why do you care?

Can anyone tell me just why it would make any difference if the Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan is gay. Please, I'm serious.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Here's my moment

This is a fun project. The NYTimes put together a chance to create a Global Mosaic with a project called, A Moment in May. Sunday, May 2 at 15:00 GMT everyone was to take a picture. They even had a link to a converter to tell when that was no matter where you were. West Coast was easy, 8:00 a.m. I know of four people in five different areas--Hong Kong, Egypt, Seattle, and Gunnison, Colorado that took a picture at the same moment.

So, here is my official 8:00 a.m. (15:00hrs GMT) photo.

These other two are a few minutes before.

Everyone has until May 7 to submit the photos and I'm sure it will be sometime after that before we see the results.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've bought seed futures

The green chilies from my garden last year were disappointing, very weak, but I learned chilies don't like a lot of water. I grew them amongst my herbs and the herbs were lush and wonderful while the chilies flavorless. Sadly, that is about the only space I have for them.

This year, I've enlisted the help of a neighbor with more gardening space and a penchant for my salsa. I also went to the source and invested in seeds from New Mexico. A few years back my sister brought back the best dried ground green chilies I've ever had and now I'm giving the University of New Mexico a chance.

They have lovely names such as Sandia, Big Jim, and Barker Hot. I've also ordered an Ancho Mulato because the flavor of the Ancho interests me. Being new to this I went to the Internet for ideas to germinate my new friends. I chose two ways, soaking the seeds and planting in soil and placing the seeds on a wet paper towel in a plastic bag. Set in a sunny location in my kitchen the bag acted like a mini-greenhouse. Those were the first to sprout and now I've moved them into tiny peat pots to grow a few leaves before I hand them off to my neighbor to plant.

The seeds soaked and planted seem to be doing better as to producing tiny green leaves. I can only imagine lovely green chilies attached to those plant, well, when they get stronger. For now, I am treating them like the infants they are. They get special food and time outdoors in the sunshine, if it's warm enough. I also whisper words of encouragement to their future outcome. Grow Baby, grow!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yuma, YPG and life in the desert: part three

My sister and brother-out-law scouted a few things to visit before we came and all made for a fun day. A trip through the desert to a silver mining ghost town was made even nicer with blooming wildflowers along the way. That and the air conditioning on the dusty road. The weather was just beautiful and my sister offered to sit with our doggy outside in a sheltered picnic area so we could tour the ghost town. We'd packed our lunch for later and when done poking around the town enjoyed a pleasant picnic.

The Castle Dome Ghost town was an odd collection of weathered original buildings brought together to make appear as a town. The collection of items found in these building was worth the trip. Old everyday items become museum pieces after they've been in the elements and walking through this town gave you quite a good idea of life of a miner in this harsh climate. It wasn't even hot, only in the low 80s, and it seemed unbearable. I can only imaging trying to exist in 125 degree days. The perfect thing about this museum was the ability to handle everything. Paging through a cookbook in one of the houses was charming.

It might be unnecessary to say they lived simply but there was a completeness about what was left behind. The buildings housed a variety of different business opportunities; a bar or three, a mercantile, where you could buy almost everything from dynamite to dresses, hotel, and a few eating establishments, there was even a church and a dressmaker. An information plaque made it known that women had more than one job in this mining town.

On one of our drives we did come upon quite a site; military training for paratroopers. Nothing like young men falling from the sky to brighten your day. Past there was a dingy little town that supports a small lake on the Colorado. Calling it a lake is generous since I think I could swim the length. Oddly, not far from the lake were about seven beautiful mansions. Some on the water but most not. These huge houses and compounds were not old at all, most likely built in the last few years, but it strikes you as out of place to find them here. You are literally miles from anything else and Yuma, more than an hour away down a filling jarring dirt road, where you'd likely have any civilization such as a doctor, would be the closest town. I so wanted to knock on the door and ask them what made them decide this was the place to plunk down a mil or two on a house.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Yuma, YPG and life in the desert: part two

Yuma, the closest city, was 45 minutes away and worth the drive if only to see the Territorial Prison Museum and the Quartermaster Depot. Bonus was a fantastic Mexican restaurant called Mi Rancho. So tiny but so authentic I could hardly wait for our next meal. We had lunch then dinner a few days later. Why are these fantastic restaurants so out of the way?

The boring part of Yuma is you need to drive there to do laundry or buy food. There is a small convenience store about ten minutes from the campground at the Yuma Proving Grounds base. Gas, ice, and a few necessities can be purchased there but anything serious needs to be picked up in Yuma. Their paramedics respond to local emergencies around the YPG base which eased my fear for my sister and her husband. Not that anything is wrong with either one of them but a bumpy 45 minute ride to Yuma with a broken arm would be unbearable.

The good part of Yuma was the prison museum and the park that once was the Quartermaster's Depot. If you thought life was difficult in 1863 in the southwest corner of the US it was even worse if you were a prisoner. Finding a need for a more secure place to keep felons, rapists, bank robbers, and murderers they built this fine prison. What was amazing to me was prisoners did escape from this fortress; but to what? Yuma was a tiny spot on the map, far from an other city, and the rest of the area was a harsh desert devoid of anything except snakes, coyotes, and a few natives. Your only hope to survive was the Colorado and Gila river but even that was wrought with danger. Yuma was built as a depot to move goods from California to all the other godforsaken outposts in the California/Nevada/Arizona territories and needed a steamboat to make the crossing. The Colorado, before us Californios sucked it dry, was a formidable river to cross.

The park that now surrounds what's left of the Quartermaster's Depot is quite lovely. A green expanse of a lawn is a welcome site from the rocks and sand of the desert and sitting on the edge of the river afforded us with a lovely breeze. The Depot was the hub of excitement of it's time and, though the commanding officer's wife was less than happy with her situation, it must have been better than other posts. Her writings complained bitterly of the smell and heat but I'm assuming it had something to do with the Victorian modesty of wearing those hideously hot clothes and high button shoes. And the fact that bathing was not a daily ritual as it is today.

The city of Yuma, growing outwardly from the Depot, is very logical, if not boring, in it's street planning. The streets going east and west are numbered as well as the avenues going north and south starting with Main Street. I'm only assuming some tired little man with a pince nez and a heavy wool coat over a waistcoat came up with that idea for lack of the imagination to create names for the newly burgeoning township of Yuma. It is logical but might cause a bit of confusion to an outsider. Always remember to ask if it's fifth street or avenue.

Yuma also is a huge agricultural area irrigated by the tail-end of the Colorado River and is said to keep most of the US in lettuce. I can attest to the fact they are trying. We drove through lots of fields before getting the Yuma proper.

Part three; coming soon.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Baseball season; it can't come soon enough

There are times when I just can't stand people in general. No one person, just the idiots who seem to make it on the six o'clock news for some ridiculous reason, or cut me off trying to get one stupid car length ahead or, are just plain rude; rude on purpose. To combat this ugly mood I was in I decided to be over patient and kind to folks.

While in a department store a woman nearly knocked me over trying to get her cart in front of me and instead of causing a scene I smiled and commented her choice of Easter decorations. Not my choice but then I hardly decorate for Christmas. "Gee, what a cute rabbit," I said. Her response took way too long and included an inventory of everything she was planning to purchase. Did you know you can actually bite your tongue enough to draw blood? Strike One

My next stop was the market and though I had a small amount in my cart I let the woman behind me, carrying just a few items, go ahead. She was wearing a Dodger jacket and being a fan myself I thought I'd have a little conversation; not my usual thing to do in a market but I was trying. "I bet you'll be glad when the season starts," I said brightly. She frowned at me told me her husband buys crap like this in hopes I go to a game with him but I don't because I hate baseball. Strike Two.

People who know me are well aware I have no trouble with the F-bomb; it just rolls off my tongue but since all the kafuffle over some people in our government using it I thought I'd amend my ways. Now, when forced to swear, I'll be saying things like "What the Joe Biden?"
"Oh, Joe Biden, I broke a nail." or, my favorite, "Get the Joe Biden out of my way. Home Run.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yuma, YPG and life in the desert: part one

Editors note: I would, and maybe still will in the future, have some photos to share but my PhotoShop went away when I installed Snow Leopard the wonderful new operating system for my Mac. I'm not all that upset because I did need to upgrade but I oh so hate to loose my PhotoShop. This version is only about ten years old and it took me a few minutes to convince the tech support fellow that, at one time, Adobe did have a version 7.0. You can view some photos my sister has already posted on her blog, Tombstone Tumbleweed.

Update: I did find a program to handle my pix but not completely thrilled. Time will tell.

It takes a special type of person to live in the desert and for seven days we tried. I would have loved it more if it were not for the wind but, sadly, that is a fact of life there. If we had our larger trailer, rather than the tiny teardrop, the wind would not have been such a factor. We did make the best of it and had a good time.

I'm sure it's the solitude that draws most to camp for months on end in the southwestern Arizona desert that and the challenge of getting by. We test ourselves in a variety of ways and making your place in a desolate area is a big test of your fortitude and ingenuity. I see it as a way to mark your progress and make sure you still can compete. When you live in a big city with big city problems such as traffic on Fridays, if you make it home, you can say with a sigh, I can survive.

The flowers blooming in the desert would be worth the trip. Every day more and more cactus sprouted new colors. The trip home showed even more wondrous colors than the trip seven days earlier. Stars are also wonderful but with light pollution from Yuma and a waxing half moon the only Milky Way we saw was at the convenience store. Sure we could see some of the brighter stars but I was looking forward to the big show. I'm still looking for a dark area to watch the next meteor shower.

Nights are particularly silent save the yip of the way-to-close coyotes. A few different nights they all got together for a sing-fest-potluck and shared their excitement with the whole area. As for other life, we never saw but heard others tell of a 4 foot rattlesnake. I was very careful to poke anything before I picked it up. A more harmless creatures are found running wild around the area; donkeys. These shaggy guys have quite the comical look with elongated ears and fairly large teeth and a kick that can send you sprawling or into a coma. We did finally get to see a group of seven gnawing on a scrubby little bush.

Part Two; coming soon.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Get yourself to the Getty Center

You better hurry, the maze is almost in full bloom and it looks spectacular. What are you waiting for?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Is February really a short month?

Not a leap year so only 28 days to this month might be the reason I've been so busy. Maybe I should be grateful I've got stuff to do to keep me busy but out of the past month I've had something on my calendar almost every day. Oh, there was that one Sunday and a few days around the beginning of the month but for the large part I was a busy retiree.

Shouldn't complain since most all were things I wanted to do. Lots of time with the Princess and one day with the lil guy, a Bat Mitzvah, working at the Getty Center and helping my trainee docent get her wings. She did get her first tour this week. Amazing to her but I knew all along she could do it. There were many opportunities to meet with friends and family and also serious stuff like taxes and doctor appointments.

Don't forget all that time watching the Olympics. I think I'll be glad to see them go though I never did figure that Biathlon. You cross-country ski for a while, stop, shoot at a target, then off to ski some more. Why shoot at a target? Makes as much sense if you ski, stop and knit a hat, ski, stop and make a pie. And the Skeleton, they did not get enough adrenalin sliding down a twisty course on their back so someone decided to go face down head first. Really? Eighty miles an hour? Who dreams this stuff up?

Now with only a few short days left to February I'm still cramming in activities. Today, it's off to LA County Museum of Art for the member's preview of a new painting exhibit, American Stories. I've been looking forward to this almost as much at seeing the Renoir exhibit that opened last week. I don't think we'll have time to see that but will return before it closes in May. So much going on at LACMA right now.

Now that just leaves me with the last weekend of the month and Saturday might just be a good day to watch more of the Olympics, as rain is in the forecast, but Sunday, ah, Sunday should be the jewel. I've heard the Farmer's Market in Atwater Village, an area near Glendale, has a BBQ food vendor that is fantastic. He started selling at Farmer's Markets to finance he BBQ competitions and Big Mista has been written up in the LA Times as a hidden treasure. I must try the Pig Candy.

That would be the end to February but there are a few other things I need to get to. Will somebody hand me that Month Stretcher?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some waits are worth it

Waiting. Water to boil? Takes forever when you're in a hurry, doesn't it? Babies to be born? Might happen too quick if you are on your way to the hospital is rush hour traffic. Waiting for test results? The time drags like trying to move your kids away from the TV.

Today is the day. To refresh your memory, my darling companion was diagnosed with bladder cancer in February 2008. The tumor was removed but not forgotten. For the first year he was tested every three months. Then every four months, now the Doctor feels good enough to test only twice this year. Today is the first test of 2010.

There is always a certain stress involved with a medical procedure but when it comes back negative there is real reason to celebrate. All that worry up until then is shelved for the next time period and as the negative results pile up you become a little more sure of your world staying the same.

We are lucky to live in a time where treating cancer can work, somethings. Two of my close friends have escaped that nasty old cancer, a few are still dealing with it and with my husband it's now a six month reprieve. Oh, his test; cancer free. Yes, celebration day!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

New screen-saver

If I were working this would be my new screen-saver. "Bleah to you all!"

This is my sister's new kitty, Bogie. He looks like a hell-raiser, doesn't he?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Million-dollar view for $25 a night

After a few days at Rincon it's back to reality and a mountain of laundry. So nice to wake up to this view each morning.

High tide did bring the breakers a bit closer than we were hoping but we avoided getting wet. Other, not so lucky.

With little side-trips to Ventura and Santa Barbara we kept quite busy but there was always time for a card game or three.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Little jewels

It's only been recently that I've discovered the fantastic outdoor opportunities we have here in Southern California, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Not that we haven't hiked in the hills around Simi but the organization and extra programs the SMMC provides. Yesterday we explored parts of Franklin Canyon.

Franklin Canyon sits between the valley, right off Coldwater Canyon, and Beverly Hills. Since it was looking like a lovely morning we headed off to start our New Year's promise of getting more exercise.

It was listed as an easy two-hour docent led walk around the lake pointing out areas used in filming movies and commercials. The docent was very good. She had a notebook full of photos of the productions for all the stops she made and could give a quick description of the movie or TV episode that had been filmed there; and a lot had been filmed there. We also learned of the former owners, the Doheney Family. This was their "backyard" and it must have been a lovely ranch complete with guest quarters for friends.

From the classic Clark Gable movie, It Happened One Night; 1937 all the way through to the TV drama, NCIS, this small wooded area had been the backdrop for hundred of movies and commercial. Our docent had little anecdotes for each stop she made and she was quite funny and we were surprised when we ended back at the Nature Center and our two hours were up.

We will go back to Franklin Canyon for another hike but next we want to explore other areas here. There is an astronomer led moonless night hike in January that sounds great.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Let's all be more like the pig

So many are glad 2009 is over. I can't say it's been a great year but it did have some positives. Of course, with anything, there were bad times. Today I'm thinking of the good ones.

My beloved has had another Cancer-free year. My friends are healthy with a few beating Cancer, a few not so lucky. Lil bird's husband is unemployed but I have hope for great things plus I promised to teach him to cook while he's off work. We had a great Christmas. My darling sister and husband lost their long-time friend, Buddy-Cat but after the pain the memories become all that much brighter. Now, they're making an acquaintance with a new guy, Mr Bogart. She swears he'll grow into his ears. We are planning to travel more this year and I didn't brake any bones in 2009.

We live a simple life so life is good for us. I hope you can look toward the future and see the bright spots coming. Remember: Pigs can't look behind them to see the past.