’22 July

Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival

Lill and I took a buzz down to Laguna Beach to have a stroll through this year’s Sawdust Festival. They’ve been doing it for 56 years now and I’ve been probably twice. Just down the road from here is the Pageant of the Masters open air theater where the participants dress up to reenact famous paintings, called tableau vivants, and it’s an even longer-running event at 89 years.

The Sawdust Festival is basically an Arts and Crafts fair on the smallish side making for an easy visit and a pretty modest price range. The venue is lovely and the weather for this day was delightfully cool.

I’ve always got my eyes out for the leopard print, the one to replace the faded one in the bedroom. Close, but no.

Ha! We walked over to one of the restaurants in the area and enjoyed a surprisingly good meal and just as we were finishing up the skies opened and sheets of rain sent most everyone scrambling. Lill volunteered to get the car and pick me up on the street. Thank you! Otherwise I would have been creeping along at a snail’s pace chanting ‘don’t fall don’t fall’.

Rome And Lilly’s Pictures

New frogs have moved into the frog quarters in Lilly’s room. These two are called Teeny and Tiny. The plan is to get some fish too.

Here’s sunset from the upstairs balcony at their house.

Persian Poetry Group Moving On

We finished Attar’s Conference of the Birds, there were seven of us who went the distance. Hilda gave me those seven birds for my birthday! And now we’re moving on to read the first volume of Rumi’s Masnavi. I think we’re all having a really good time.

The Houghtons Are Passing Through

Susan and Michael

Susan is my father’s brother’s son’s daughter. I visited with them a number of times at their home in Canberra when I was in Australia and it was wonderful.

Lona rented us a sailboat ride around Marina del Rey and everyone had an excellent time.

We went on a very slow wander through the very large marina and it was fun, noting all the different kinds of boats and their amusing names. We also went beyond the breakwater for a while. Leaving we ran the motor all the way out of the marina, a noisy vibrating ride, and then put out the sails. Coming back into the marina we sailed quietly most of the way which was lovely.

Pelicans on every surface.

Lona rented the boat and captain through GetMyBoat online where, for a hefty fee, guys will take tourists out on their boats.

Our captain, Jason, set his auto-pilot for this buoy so he can guarantee the kids will see something they’ll like. Then we turned around. Jason, was mostly texting. He would look up when we said his name and say “what?”. None of us were particularly optimistic for Jason and his dream to sail solo around the world. He’s been sailing for 10 years and it seems the furthest he’s gone is Catalina.

Lona and Susan

Me and Michael and Jason


The previous late-afternoon we all ate Happy Hour at Tony P’s and it was good. As you can see we had mountains of tasty appetizers.

Bob’s Dear Mom

Bob’s dear mom passed recently at age 102, or was it 104, and they held the funeral for her today. Bob did the rabbi’s job and everyone said he was perfect. Family members gathered, Bob and Desda ordered up a deli lunch, and they all met in my yard to tell stories and visit after the service. (This came up at the last minute because they couldn’t find a restaurant that would confirm a reservation outside and happily it was fine weather-wise, fly-wise, etc.) Bob’s brother Always makes a goofy face for pictures, he told me it’s tradition, so I just snapped.

I should have given it a little more thought and arranged a better situation for this picture!

Bob And Desda Are In Town

Carl and Lynn invited us over for a visit, a walk, and a meal. It was lovely, thank you. I took that picture of Carl and Bob because of their CAL hats and still-CAL shirts. So sadly, I lost focus and missed getting a picture of Desda and Lynn.


Muriel and Jo Ann took me out for my Big Birthday, 75. Yikes. We had an excellent time and really delicious feast at Manchego on Main Street in Santa Monica. We got mostly the Happy Hour treats and a few dishes off the main menu too. They are all for sharing and so very good we all agreed we’d go back in a heartbeat. There was a sardine dish on the main menu, oh stop my beating heart.

Lilly In HS Musical 2

from Lilly: “kennedy: yellow. tori: light blue, idk, me!!”

from Lilly: “me and tori”

from Lilly: “reese and kamryn then idk”

from Lilly: “me, james, claire, and then ensemble”

from Lilly: “first pic: me reese and kamryn. second pic: diego and me”

Visiting In Long Beach

Merlyn and Hilda’s place, view from the balcony and from the kitchen. They fed me such a scrumptious dinner.


First I got to hang out with Alex and Carol on the new boat and admire all the refitting progress. We went to lunch at Claire’s, the restaurant at the Long Beach Museum of Art, and then enjoyed the small but engaging Jawlensky and Kandinsky exhibit there.

I couldn’t get rid of the reflections but I like it anyway, reflecting the pictures on the opposite wall, especially since it’s a Kandinsky called Red Square.

A view from the museum windows.



I took Lona to the doctor today and got the car stuck in its parking place. Back and forth side to side back and forth back and forth, finally, time to pull straight out and we are freeee.

This is one of Olivia’s plants, lookin’ good!

Creepy And Cool

When I came back into the US from Iceland the Global Entry system had been updated such that you enter nothing, provide nothing, just show your face and Bam here’s your entry card. No stamps, they don’t even look at your passport. Yikes. At the time my Global Entry registration had expired but they gave everyone an extension because of covid.

And this morning I did my renewal process on zoom, so that was creepy and cool too. It took 5 minutes of conversation and 15 minutes of disconnect/reconnect/disconnect/reconnect. I was feeling sorry for the poor agent who says this happens All Day Long. There’s a story here about the time I brought an apple to eat on the plane, forgot to eat it, forgot it entirely, and got stopped by the DOGS at Customs. So apparently it’s on my Permanent Record although the agent waived the fine and let me keep my Global Entry. This was not the breach for which I was expecting to get busted!

Lilly’s Frogs

Lilly made the adorable felt frogs (I got one for my birthday!), and Lilly Has frogs. There are two African Dwarf Frogs in that tank, Ribbit Downey Jr and Hop. Originally there was Hip and Hop. The story of their mad escape from the first tank and Hip subsequent demise of Hip and Hop’s near death experience…you can imagine…

What’s Up In The Valley

I drove around with Marsha today, she drove and we survived, so I could check in on what’s happening with the valley kids these days.

First off, we got to visit with Auntie Mary and meet Katherine’s son Evan for the first time. Oh what a couple of cuties! (Katherine had jury duty, so next time Katherine.)

Oh, HI!
Look what I’ve got!
OK, gotta go.

John, Jenn, and Jordan are doing a gorgeous addition to their home adding a primary suite, an office, and remodeling one of the bedrooms. (Notice how we don’t say ‘Master Suite’ any more? Is it the Property Brothers who set the tone? Anyway, I like it.)

So I asked Jordan where we should take a picture since it should be in his favorite place, and he picked his parents’ bathroom because it’s fabulous. We couldn’t go in though because the tile is just down.

(I’m sorry Jordan, I didn’t notice your eyes were closed!)


Then we picked up some Golden Hunan and went to Kris and Kelly’s new place, admired all the work they’ve done, and encouraged them for all the work that is yet to be done, and Swam In Their POOL! Thanks guys and Congratulations!
And thanks Marsha for the drive-about and the yummy and nostalgic dinner.

Birthday Decor For My Couch

At my suggestion Angela looked into refreshing my couch with new pillows. Cool, right?! And below is my shower on an early July morning. I’m counting my blessings and not thinking about..well..you know.

Moulin Rouge At The Pantages

No one sat in front of me to fill that hole so I saw the entire stage the entire time which was a real treat.

Baz Luhrmann is much in the entertainment news these days with this show at the Pantages and his latest work, Elvis, just out. I was reminded today that his first movie is absolutely in the 50 movies on my Top !0 List, Strictly Ballroom.

Me, Tony, Ingalill, and Rick

Just a few quick pix from walking through the lobby.

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