’06 December

Christmas!!, New Years!!, PartyParty Party ON, Newport Condo Holiday, various Sick, Belagio, Long Beach Naples Holiday Lights, and More.

Wow, it’s the last…

December 31

Wow, it’s the last day of 2006. Can we ever believe it to wake up and find a new year? Not me.

I helped Marsha put together this backyard fire pit for their party. It was fun. The party was fun. The food was delicious as always.

The ‘as always’ part is nice – Tom makes chili for the New Year’s Eve party and it is always delicious and so pleasant to gather ’round.

These three little girls…

These three little girls are within a few months of each other in age and certainly added a raucousness to the party not always in evidence!

Today, Jan 1, I got up and went to spend 10-12:30 with Mom at the rehab/convalescent place where she is staying. This is the timing for her shower, physical therapy, and lunch. To my surprise Windy was there and Mom had told her ‘I would never leave anyone in a place like this alone’, which is true, but there you go.

Mom, perking up for…

December 30

Mom, perking up for the picture because she always perks up for a picture and because there are handsome, hunkish men around. Here she is getting transferred from the hospital to the ‘rehab facility’. The process did not go smoothly. Sigh.

I did make it…

I did make it for a couple of hours to Carl’s 59th birthday party. Happy Birthday Carl! So young. I was 59 ages ago.

I went with Nancy…

December 29

I went with Nancy Artz last night, on free-tickets Thursday, to MOCA to see the skin+bones show. It was interesting. Very, like, you know, ahhh, Contemporary.

Here’s so I’ll remember. You’ll definitely want to skip the saga of My Mother and the Puke and Poop Parade.

22nd-Mom to Centinela-Freeman ER by ambulance, Windy, sick like dog, gets her checked in and I stay up with her until mid-day the 23rd. Windy takes her home the 23rd and I’m sooo tired. From 4am of the 24th it’s me and the porcelain goddess. Thankfully I’m ok to make it to D&A’s on the 25th. L&H are home late that day from 3 weeks in Hawaii (thank GOD). It’s quiet on the 26th. The 27th brings Mom Back to the ER by ambulance, St Johns this time, and Lona stays with her. I get the caretaker and etc and the 28th. there is much backing and forthing by me since I am so close and, surprise, late the 28th Lona joins the Parade. Which brings us to today.

We are all hoping Mom will be going to Skilled Nursing for physical therapy and nutrition upgrade so when she goes home she is as healthy as she can be. Maybe she’ll stay out of the ER for a good long time!

Time to take the…

December 27

Time to take the dog for one of his three daily outings and this time is my first time that Kaitlin was going to walk too! Kaitlin loooves to walk the dog!

Wow it was windy….

Wow it was windy. Good thing Kaitlin has a clip in her hair. A clip in her hair and a thing in each hand. Sometimes she has more than one thing in each hand but always at least one. Walking is soo cool. When you’re walking you need to carry something!

I got to have…

December 26

I got to have a nice visit with Ben and Bonnie today. Not in Sedona unfortunately, but we had fun anyway.

DM.

Merry Christmas! Everyone…

December 25

Merry Christmas! Everyone stayed overnight here at D&A’s. Like a real grownups Slumber Party. I did so look forward to joining however my ‘digestive irregularities’ made staying home far more prudent.

But I did arrive in time for the morning festivities and feeling much better too, thanks to Windy and her traveling pharmacy.

I have been experiencing…

December 24

I have been experiencing some very disgusting digestive irregularities. I will spare you and say no more.

I missed a nice holiday lunch with Nancy and Sandy. I missed Marija’s wonderful party. I missed the slumber part of D&A’s Christmas morning.

I’m pretty much ok, a solid 80%, and got to join the family when Santa Claus came to town this morning. Now I’m back in bed.

I became cheered out…

December 23

I became cheered out of all proportion by my experience at this hair salon located in an office space behind the Ceragem, where I go for those fabulous free massages.

They call themselves ‘the Kutting Room’ which I have always read as ‘the Knitting Room’, from not paying attention and from the really messed-up font they use, and hence never ventured to look inside.

Finally the real name of the place clicked into my consciousness and I went in to ask how much it would cost to get a nice wash. ‘Wash and blow dry?’ ‘No, really, I’d just like to pay you to wash my hair.’ So these young stylish Asian haired women chat among themselves for a minute and then one of them says ‘com’on, I’ll do it for you now, it’s a gift, it’s Christmas.’

Maybe I was already getting sick because they all seemed so cute and sweet I almost cried.

Roger and Sandy had…

Roger and Sandy had me and Nancy over for dinner. YUM! And such welcoming and generous hosts!

Nancy is going to send a picture and the recipe of this baked-good that she brought for dessert. It was my first time to taste this crusty-carmelized eggy-custard-like thing which was a particular delight.

OMG My Mother Again….

December 22

OMG My Mother Again. This time the story exceeds 24 hours including me, awake for more than 36 hours, and we know what that means!

Yes, she is OK. Same story same same. We’ve got to get a grip on this condition since our monthly rush to the Emergency Room is not proving very fruitful!

Brigitte and I went…

December 21

Brigitte and I went to visit Emily today. Here’s a picture of Ron and Emily from Ron’s website. Sax-man with Billy Vera and the Beaters he’ll also sell your house And find you a new one. Check him out: www.rviola.com/.

In June Emily was struck by a disabling brain aneurysm and has been struggling in the hospital ever since. Dear sweet Emily. Colleagues at both Princess and Crystal, we’ve know each other since our children were babies. What a LOT of work it is to get better. She will prevail though. You go Emily.

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It’s Burt’s Birthday Lunch!…

December 19

It’s Burt’s Birthday Lunch! So his birthday was a couple of weeks ago… And this is Burt’s new office! And his own artwork on the walls.

Happy Birthday Burt!

In the early evening…

In the early evening I walked down to the Promenade. This guy was singing about being an old white guy singin’ the blues and the little girl was entranced.

They’ve done up the…

They’ve done up the decorations on the Promenade rather to my taste – nicely done but not so much as to make you question the use of your tax dollars.

And then it was…

And then it was my monthly Dinner With The Boys which is always tooo much fun.

Bill says he’s all bah-humbug this year for plenty of reasons and Ken has got a list of ailments as long as his aching leg and despite all that I find myself laughing because they tell their stories in such a humorous voice.

They make me laugh no matter how pathetic the tale!

HoHoHo! Is this…

December 18

HoHoHo! Is this not a great hit of fabulous Holiday Cheer!

Here’s what Alicia made for our Holiday dinner: turkey, dressing (in the turkey And in a casserole), cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with cream cheese, gravy, her famous pineapple/yam/marshmallow creation, her famous salad of stirred-up jello/nuts/cranberry/whipped cream/marshmallow/more stuff, green beans and almonds, buttered carrots, homemade rolls, and a giant homemade cake to top it off, just in case anyone was still hungry.

Oh man my grasping claw hand is Buggin’. And you can look right up my shirt into the very depths of my arm pit. (Say I to me: Oh well. Too bad. Everyone else looks great. Get over it.)

Morning on our balcony…

December 17

Morning on our balcony looking out to the sea. Yikes! This is day 2 of my visit to Richard and Emilia’s timeshare in Newport Beach. You are right. Lucky me. Day 1 photos are below.

Look at those cutie…

Look at those cutie little girls in the lower right getting their picture made in front of the faux fountain of Versailles.

It’s a very big place with all the everythings you can imagine in a big resort. Last night we spent a great hour in one of the many jacuzzi pools, in the rain. I forgot to put the memory card back in my camera. I was humiliated. Especially because everyone has been so cooperative in the photo department and no one not even once has rolled their eyes and said ‘what, another one?!’.

Then, Tennis! I…

Then, Tennis! I got to play for about 4 minutes about 4 different times while one or the other of Richard or Bob took a small rest. It was Plenty Enough for me!

By the time Desda and Emilia arrived at the tennis courts Richard and Bob had worn themselves to a sweaty exhausted state but not so done-in that they couldn’t play a little more to ‘show the girls how good we are’.

Then we ate a yummy lunch and split up for home. THANK YOU R&E, we had FUN!

Richard and Emilia have…

December 16

Richard and Emilia have a timeshare down here at the Newport Beach Marriott Resorts. They invited me to join them, and Bob and Desda too.

There are acres of these buildings and all the units have a similar configuration – 2 bedrooms, 2 really nice bathrooms, living room with fold-out sleeping, and a dining room and kitchen. We’ve got a monster ocean view.

Here are too many…

Here are too many pictures of a great walk down to the beach. Desda decided to take a rest and I didn’t catch a shot of her yet. Gotta fix that.

There are a cluster…

There are a cluster of old wooden houses right on the beach here at Crystal Cove State Beach. They were all in total ramshackle shape and occupied by squatters. The Park Service acquired the property and began refurbishing the buildings.

Many are ready for renting and you can read about it here on the Californa State Park website. Let’s do three huzzahs for the Park Service!

We got lucky late…

We got lucky late in the day when the cloud cover cleared. Richard and Emilia poking around.

The tide pools were…

The tide pools were really swell with many entertaining sea creatures to poke, if you were of a mind.

The walk from the condo complex down here and back was a wonderful length and so enjoyable. It must be heavenly for kids old enough for their parents to let them explore on their own.

This is fun! …

December 15

This is fun! I didn’t take these pictures but they are plenty c.u.t.e. Here’s Boban, MaryJo, older Jordan, and younger Cheyenne. Awww. Jordan, what a young lady! I remember you when you were .this. big!

And the Holiday Card…

And the Holiday Card picture of the girls. Hi cute girls!

Young Cheyenne is the girl Boban and MaryJo adopted more than a year ago from an open adoption agency. If anyone you know is interested in open adoption I’m sure they would be happy to talk to you about it.

I couldn’t really picture how it would work but their experience has been a blessing to all parties and, I think, especially for Cheyenne’s grandmother who gets to watch her grandbaby grow up knowing she is safe and in happy hands.

bd.

I spent some time…

December 14

I spent some time this morning doing a little landlord chore for my sister. This is one of the four children and one adult who live all together in a one bedroom apartment. As you can imagine there is some more than normal wear and tear in that place!

Happy Birthday Sharon! …

Happy Birthday Sharon! Thanks for including me Nancy, in my gorgeous, lean, tall, blond cousin’s birthday dinner.

Kaitlin! Lunch! …

December 13

Kaitlin! Lunch! For a first course we ate veggie sushi roll and humus and crackers. She likes it all. Maybe she’ll be a traveler!

I took my mother…

December 12

I took my mother to get an xray today. We had to sit in the waiting room for more than one hour surrounded by hacking fevered children and their shreaking out of control siblings while the oblivious parents yacked away on their cell phones.

My head was pounding. My temper was frayed. I was in such a state that my mother felt the need to comfort me and hence complained not a word.

Maryanne made a Chanukah…

December 11

Maryanne made a Chanukah Party for the Monday Nighters cooking all the food her very own self! It took all day. We had matzo ball soup, brisket, kugel, green beans and almonds, and trays of yummy latkes, and cake and coffee for desert. Lucky us!

Which reminds me, as I am reminded every year, many times, about the time we built a menorah out of legos and nearly burnt down the house. And reading the eight Isaac Beshevis Singer Chanukah stories, one each night. And lighting the candles – it’s nice.

Chanukah is a nice holiday. I really really wish it was in any other month so that whole gift thing wouldn’t pile on with Christmas and confuse the concept and add to the orgy.

When I was a kid I used to get some dimes each night…I’ve already lost my memory of how that all worked. Oh well.

It’s Evvy and Renee’s…

December 10

It’s Evvy and Renee’s annual Holiday Cookie Exchange and Tea Party. Evvy’s new puppy, Glory, made her debut too.

There were probably thirty…

There were probably thirty of these gorgeous tea cups and premium tea too. It was here in 2004 that I first encountered those classy and elegant cloth tea bags with flowers and aromatics nestled inside.

Evvy and Renee make up yummy sandwiches, scones and lemon curd and clotted cream, and offer delicious wine too, for our holiday enjoyment.

Everyone who brings cookies gets to take cookies home. And you know my weakness for cookies.

I didn’t go around…

I didn’t go around taking pictures of the whole smart crowd – here are a few of the having-fun friends:

Katy, Lisa, Paula, Renee, Brigitte

And a piano player…

And a piano player to entertain with singing participation from various guests!

The layout of this house might be my favorite ever. It’s all on one level and the gracious yet cozy proportions of the main living/dining area really does it, as does the outdoor space onto which each room opens. Next year I’m going to draw it out for my future reference!

Saturday was a busy…

December 9

Saturday was a busy day! Back from LV and straight to Lancaster for Althea’s annual fete and Decorating Extravaganza. This is the guest bathroom, the orgy of Snowmen. It is Santa City in the bedroom and Reindeer rule the kitchen and etc. and etc. She bought this particular house because it could display her decorations and hold her Christmas Party. Allen, the new husband, does as he’s told.

I was so pooped I didn’t do a picture at Maxine’s party. She cooked for days, laid out her amazing collection of holiday memorabilia, and fed and entertained a houseful of guests. (ps I shouldn’t have to eat for days.)

Test your Las Vegas…

December 8-9

Test your Las Vegas savvy…North to South, *=East side of the street:

Stratosphere, Circus Circus # *Sahara*Riviera
Stardust, New Frontier # *Wynn Las Vegas
Fashion Show Mall, Treasure Island # *The Venetian*Casino Royale
The Mirage # *Imperial Palace*Harrah’s
Caesars Palace # *Flamingo*Barbary Coast
Bellagio # *Bally’s*Paris*Aladdin
Project City Center, Monte Carlo, New York-New York # *MGM Grand
Excalibur # *Tropicana
Luxor, THEhotel, Mandalay Bay, Four Seasons

Sandy’s downtown art show…

December 7

Sandy’s downtown art show in the Biltmore Tower. Her work looked great as always.

The show was on a whole floor and there were many artists presenting for your holiday shopping convenience. It was nice and crowded which was good, but not so easy to get a clear shot of our Sandy.

On top of which, the food was Excellent including a buffet and passed trays of delights. If I can find out the name of the caterer I’ll type it here.

A shot out the…

A shot out the window beside Sandy’s booth and with Nancy Artz reflected. Pretty cool.

(Bonnie’s surgery was this day too.)

Lunch time over at…

December 6

Lunch time over at DA&K’s. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches *but* Soy Butter for Kaitlin, Smooth for D, and Crunchy for me and Angela. Everyone gets a sandwich just exactly the way they like it!

And don’t go on about ‘everyone’ doesn’t go with ‘they’. I looked it up on the internet and a dozen references say it is Quite OK.

Now it’s time to…

Now it’s time to roll around on the floor! Kaitlin has got that rollin’ thing down cold. And I will add she let go of her push toy and Stepped Over to where I was to do the Pick Me Up Please move but the stepping thing was so exciting we all clapped in delight and she was a bit amazed herself.

This is fun -…

December 5

This is fun – another shot from Thanksgiving that I just got around to brightening up and sizing down.

I place this here in reminder of the beginning of the eating season. The Stuffing began. Like I wasn’t already 6 pounds over my all time high! I have gathered up company and eaten out at least once and sometimes twice a day every day since Thanksgiving with no sign of slowing down. Lordy!

Gary, of Liz and…

December 3

Gary, of Liz and Gary, put together such a delightful evening. Good job Gary!

He rented an electric tootle-around boat (I’ll bet those things have a real name) for a wander through the canals of Naples down in Long Beach.

It’s a tradition for Gary, to kick off the holiday season, and Liz tells how coming here was a surprise on one of their first dates together. Aww, so romantic. This time he made the surprise for Jean and she was rightly pleased.

And since it might…

And since it might be cold, Liz knitted up this fantastic hat for grandbaby Kaitlin in the exact colors of her new shoes. And she’s got mittens too!

We had plenty of…

We had plenty of delicious food and beverages too. Thank You Everyone for Everything!

The back row: Dee, Gary, Kelly, Darryl, Kaitlin, Devyn
In front: Angela, Jean, Liz

The start of the…

December 2

The start of the Holiday Party Season! I missed all this last year as I was in Vietnam. And you know how I enjoy a good party.

Never having quite got around to having my birthday party for the Valley Girls, I really wanted to make it happen before the year was out.

So everyone drove down and had a surprise all right. Ceragem! at 2nd and Wilshire.

A 40 minute Freee…

A 40 minute Freee massage on these strange machines. Not entirely free of course since in order to assure yourself a place you have to get there early enough and then you have to listen to testimonials and a not-so-bad low key pitch. I come down here often. I make myself walk for the exercise, to think that I’ve ‘earned’ it.

It takes a while to get into the process. The helpers hover around for a while answering questions and trying to get everyone comfortable…

Then we had a…

Then we had a yummy lunch at PF Chang’s, and then a very short very slow stroll to the beach, what with all the cripples we’ve got going in this group.

Thanks for the gift too. I guess maybe it’s a little too clear how much I enjoy a nice bag of groceries!

In the evening it…

In the evening it was time for Knut and Brigitte’s Fifth Annual Holiday Slipper Party. Neighbors, friends, friends of friends, Crystal people – what Fun!

Knut, Jackie, Toni
Brigitte, Sekou, Sharon, Adolfo

I didn’t get everyone,…

I didn’t get everyone, especially not the Japanese contingent. Still, it’s a handsome crowd I’d say, and entertaining to boot.

Tony
Betty, Inga/Lill, Sharon
Miriam, Tony
Nancy, Jainee, Renee, Katy

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