’21 December


It’s been raining for DAYS, walks cancelled, Rome and Lilly a little under the weather, house chores and BritBox on the agenda. This is a telephoto from my back door, the rain chain is on one of the rented cottages.

As Always

As always, can’t make ’em stop, BIRTHDAYS. And Carl’s birthday has been a party for decades. Usually there are 35-40 people shoulder to shoulder but this year they kept it down to a dozen guests. They were going to have the outside available but it was raining, yes, raining, in LA?! I really enjoy this party, getting to visit with people I see rarely but like a lot. Thanks Carl and Lynn! (I got the inset from Carl’s facebook.)

David, Jim, Marijka, Jill, Carl, Bob, Stewart, Dan, Lynn, Lydia, and Shelly is beside me.


Rome and Lilly in our annual Let’s Take A Picture!

When I arrived on Christmas Eve Lilly and Liz were busy making donuts for a tasty evening treat. We played a few games and then the kids made preparations for Santa – carrots, cookies, and milk and then we all went to sleep so Santa could come to town.

Ooops I forgot to check for eyes…
Good morning! First SANTA with a sleigh full of gifts for US, then Breakfast: OJ fresh from the tree, waffles, vegan eggs and sausage, and fruit salad. So good. And there’s room in the kitchen for everyone to participate.
Darryl and Angela are of course adorable but it’s Oliver who caught my eye. I mean really.
Angela’s pictures of Rome and Lilly, and Oliver mining for treats.

Kalle Anka och hans vänner

Rick’s photo.

From atlasobscura.com:

Every year since 1959, at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the 1958 special Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul (Donald Duck and His Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas, in English) is screened on Sweden’s main public television channel, TV1. Known in English as From All of Us to All of You, this hour of Disney mayhem is hosted by Jiminy Cricket, who leads viewers through about a dozen “Christmas cards” that open to reveal shorts, film clips and other cartoons dating from the 1930s through the 1950s (most having nothing to do with Christmas). For decades Sweden only had two channels, and this was the only time of year when people could watch Disney animation or American cartoons on television.

““The show’s cultural significance cannot be understated,” writes Slate’s Jeremy Stahl, who watches the show with his wife’s Swedish family. “You do not tape or DVR Kalle Anka for later viewing. You do not eat or prepare dinner while watching Kalle Anka.” The viewers’ silence is only broken for the recitation of favorite lines or eruptions of laughter.

“And so the soft, angry glow of a barely intelligible duck has assumed the role of the fire around which people have long gathered to hear, once again, stories that they’ve heard a hundred times before. “It’s not really that the films are so good,” Charlotte Hagstrom, a professor of ethnology at Lund University, told NPR. “It’s more like it’s a ritual to sit down with your family every year at the same time watching the same films.”

Let me restate that except for the contractual obligation to have one slot set aside for a new Disney release, they watch the Exact Same Show of old Disney cartoons put together in 1958. According to several sources 40-50% of Swedes are watching every year, as has Lill every year of her life. As did we!

Rick, Jim, Ingalill, Tony, Daniel, Eivor

We ate crackers and roasted whole garlic and a garlic spread while we watched Donald et al and enjoyed champagne. Our dinner menu included four kinds of pickled herring with perfectly cold and extremely delicious aquavit. We also had gravlox and sardines. We had boiled potatoes and three kinds of crackers and bread. There was wine, a plate of Swedish sausage, cucumber, and tomato, and the cheese I remember from Sweden. Also(!) we had prime rib and two kinds of scalloped potatoes, one with anchovies mixed in. There were Swedish meatballs and mini-sausages and not to forget the hard-boiled eggs with caviar. OMG YUM.

Something Different

I’ve been so many years with my glasses and I think they’ve held up well but it’s time for a new prescription and Something Different. And these are different indeed. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet but I just spent an hour online looking at 10s of 100s of frames which has made these frames feel exciting.

Different light sources, checking the color from window light and the overhead.

Torrance Candy Cane Lane

Thanks to Angela for driving everyone, I got to click click out the window at the extravagant displays in the Sleepy Hollow area of Torrance where everyone joins in.


A Vacation in 24 Hours

Here’s the full itinerary of A Vacation in 24 Hours and pictures follow:

Drive down to Alex and Carol’s;
do some car shifting and then have a huge and delicious lunch;
pick up Nepenthe for a sail from A&C’s marina in downtown Long Beach to Tim and Kevin’s marina in Naples;
Happy Hour aboard Nepenthe;
go to T&K’s to enjoy a feast and the Christmas Boat Parade;
sweet dreams snuggled in aboard Nepenthe;
back to A&C’s Yacht Club for brunch;
a visit to MOLAA (the Museum of Latin American Art);
Home Sweet Home for a two hour nap!

The one hour sail (although we motored due to lack of wind) from around the Queen Mary to the Naples marina.
I was expecting many more container ships but they seem to be clearing out much more quickly than in prior months.
This tour boat was moored for weeks closer to shore A&C said before the latest storm took it out and in subsequent days it somehow ‘got moved’ so we went for a little detour looking for it.
The Naples marina where we tied up at a guest spot at the end of one of the docks. Check out the snow on the mountains.
Over at Tim and Kevin’s, from one of their balconies looking toward their boat and into the channel.
Tim and Kevin have been together for 17+ years but just got married in September 2020. This wedding photo of them is priceless, flat out of a movie, and the inset is their cake topper.
Joy to the World!
The stair well and one of the many windows featuring etched glass.
Getting on to dark with a gorgeous moon rise.

Here come a few pictures of the boat parade.

Debbie, Alex, Merlyn, Carol, Mo, Hilda, Etched Glass
Kevin in the blue jacket.
Kevin and Hilda. For some reason Tim hasn’t made it into these pictures?!
Back to A&C’s marina for brunch at the yacht club.

After brunch we drove over to the Museum of Latin American Art to check out a big Judy Baca exhibition.


Judy Baca’s main claim to fame is The Great Wall of Los Angeles. It’s a mile-long mural located along the west wall of the Tujunga Wash flood control channel near Coldwater Canyon Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley. For this exhibit they scanned the whole wall and you could sit in the center of the room and watch it all slide by. It was very impressive!

Seussical the Musical

Lilly’s theater group had been preparing Seussical the Musical for 2020 but had to covid-cancel. The group’s director decided to get the kids together for a week of intense practice and they put on a shortened version of the play. It was excellent!

Some Rando and Magaly’s Tamales

I want to remember Magaly’s. It’s out in the town of San Fernando and YUM on the tamales. There were 14 people back there that I could count, making tamales. I got four different kinds and they were all SO delicious. In particular the masa, although flavorful, was thin letting the delicious filling be the meal. You can get them ready to eat or chilled for you to steam later.


Doing a little Bloody Mary sampling around town and enjoying the differences. So far, Best Bloody Mary, not this one, the one at California Pizza Kitchen on Wilshire and 2nd. True.

Out shopping I thought, hmm, let me see what $500 shoes are like (these are the samples). There were $1000 shoes in another store but at that point I hadn’t got around to the idea of trying them on.

Might As Well

In my effort to arrive at New Year’s Eve with a mostly empty to-do list, today I got this year’s senor flu shot and the new shingles shot too (you need two so I already have a chore for 2022). My arm’s a little sore as ‘they’ said it would be and I did just wake up from a nice afternoon nap.

But TICK, off the list.

I do have a number of big jobs that are too big to finish in the coming few weeks. What I need to do is break each job into smaller parts. It’s what I tell everyone else to do…

Conference of the Birds

Unfortunately Luna couldn’t make it this day, but here are the rest of us who are reading Attar’s Conference of the Birds most Monday mornings. What kind, thoughtful, intelligent women who put up with me and all my blah blah blah!

Hilda, me, Victoria, Judy, Susan

Will We Have Stores

I don’t know. I was perfectly happy during the shut down for all goods to simply arrive at my front door. Of late I’m trying to wean myself from amazon.com and it’s not going so well.

Sharon and I went to stores today at The Grove and in Beverly Hills. Yesterday I went to stores in Santa Monica. The result of all this traipsing around was that I bought nothing. The stores were half-empty of product and of customers and whenever I asked about something in particular the store employee said I could probably find it online.

I bought a gift recently from a not-amazon online vendor and it was late arriving, terrible quality, and I’m having a heck of a time getting a replacement or getting it returned. Now what.

60th Wedding Anniversary

Windy and I went with Lona to Hartley’s resting place on this the occasion of Lona and Hartley’s 60th Wedding anniversary.

In 1961 L&H took the train from LA to Pocatello because you could get married in Idaho without your parents’ permission. Their only guest was the taxi driver who was waiting in the back of the church. The minister disturbed his wife and daughter playing cards in the social hall to sign as witnesses.

And they lived happily ever after.


This is the church where they were married and the minister who performed the ceremony. I visited Pocatello in 2012 and hunted up this place.


From the patio of the Old North Church at Forest Lawn, Lona is standing beside the marker.

Some Walks

Aloe arborescens, also called Torch Aloe and Candle Aloe.

The Palisades Park walk is so good, long enough, good views, no stops, and has the best possible weather as it lies on the cliffs above the sea.


Agave attenuata, also called Foxtail, Lion’s tail, or Swan’s Neck.

This Party

Ann, me, Ljubica, Marija, Marsha, Alicia, Maxine, Becky

Alicia has been hosting this party since 2004. Oh how young we were.

Ljubica, Becky, Marija, Maxine, Lourdes, Alicia, me, Maryanne, Marsha, Ruth.

Maryanne and Ruth passed away in the intervening years, Lourdes moved to Arizona, and Ann wasn’t there for this picture.


What I wrote in 2005 when we were at Marija’s: During the Holiday Season the Monday Night Ladies, like some sort of freakish cult, take to dressing alike in our various gifts. Some years we wear tiaras, some years we wear glittery necklaces…

Lilly Is In Matilda

The main stage at the Hermosa Beach Community Theater.

Granny and the Great Aunts exclaiming YAY LILLY! She was so wonderful in her part and imagine this – the group is performing 7 times in 3 days, Fri night, Sat x3, and Sun x3. Lilly has a part in every show, one of only two or three who are performing in all 7 shows. I’m tired thinking about it!


We had a quick and tasty to-go Thai dinner (and three kinds of leftover desserts) at Lona’s place before we headed out to the show. We are looking forward to the next performance already!

Amazing Sandy’s Latest Work


Raise your feet high
Say goodbye to scuffing and sliding.

Moving slowly and carefully
Past local markets with bins of produce
The colors and shapes of some I’ve never seen,

Specialty stores displaying stacks of
Mops and handmade brooms,

Rolls of fabric from heavy brocades
To light and soft like silks and cotton batiste,

Pots and pans of aluminum, iron and steel,
And Everything imaginable for the kitchen,

Hand carved combs and shoe horns,
Handles and knobs,
Jewel boxes in drawers by the register.

One of our favorites, the House of Ceramics!

A converted warehouse, with
Floor to ceiling shelves.
This is THE place for ceramics,
Elegant plates and bowls, trays and vases
Dazzle with special glazes.

A private collection of glass bottles and jars
Oxidized with time in
Iridescent hues, fill the
Etageres by the warehouse window.

Humming …as we leave House of Ceramics

What a wonderful day,
Aren’t we glad we stopped?

Watch out! Don’t Trip!
One slip and it could be a hip!

Look out for loose pebbles that might make you stumble,
Perilous pits and bits of uneven pavement
so easy to miss….

We love to shop but not til we drop.
Hold your feet high, your chest and your head.
If your tired of looking, just say so
We can go home instead…

Sandy Chaves, 2021, painting and poem

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