’08 May

Back from Europe.

I went with Liz…

May 31

I went with Liz to the Huntington today, my first time since at least before 2001, which I know because I don’t have any digital pictures of the place.

The new Chinese Garden is open. I think they did a pretty authentic job since it looks so much like some of my garden pictures in China.

I’m doing up a chapter on the Huntington and I’ll put a link here when it’s done.

It’s me and my…

May 30

It’s me and my little sister out for a Friday night dinner and chat fest. I myself clicked the camera. What am I looking at? But as my friend Ken would say, Windy, she’s the cute one.

This is an internet…

May 29

This is an internet photo of Tehran. I visited with Hilda tonight and we talked again about going to Iran. This time she is more sure than ever that she’ll be going in August.

So I checked on what it would take for me to get a visa. It would take $6,000. That’s right. The only way for a US passport holder to get a visa to visit Iran is to travel with a government authorized tour and that tour costs $6,000. Looks like I’m not going to Iran in August!

(internet pic)

And who is this…

May 28

And who is this astonishingly adorable all day peepee and poopoo in the potty without a single accident little girl? Of course, that would be Rome and her ‘best friend Happy Puppy’.

‘This is my best friend’ she said. But wait, she told me I was her best friend. I told Angela and Angela said, ‘noo, Rome said I was her best friend.’ Isn’t it nice to have so many best friends!?

We haven’t all been…

We haven’t all been in the same city at the same time since February when Ken ‘n Pen WERE 60 and instead of a healthful homemade vegetarian dinner with da&k I enjoyed Happy Hour and ate a Mountain O’ Mexican food.

Then Ken and I went to the American Legion Hall for swing dancing. Mostly we were kvetching about how much we had forgotten. I had good fun anyway because it was Dancing.

Sandy’s got another art…

May 27

Sandy’s got another art show coming up. Pacific Palisades, the Farmer’s Market, And Art. You might as well go!

Today we went out again and Sandy walked straight and strong. She did not even drift over to my side of the sidewalk. How cool is That?!

Nancy’s ikebana! We…

May 25

Nancy’s ikebana! We had a yummy brunch and talked about ikebana. I might be needing to learn how do that. Then we went to Samy’s and then we walked, a lovely mid-day pleasure in the long weekend.

It’s Angela’s Great Aunt…

May 24

It’s Angela’s Great Aunt Jean’s 90th birthday party! And what a lively, spunky gal she is. You go Jean! (She’s got her reservations for a trip to China in the fall and can’t wait to go go go.)

Great Aunt Jean and…

Great Aunt Jean and her Red Hat Ladies. Here’s the motto of the Red Hat Ladies:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph “

Brigitte and I had…

May 23

Brigitte and I had plans to go to the Huntington but it was wet and cold and windy so we nixed it and went to the movies instead.

We picked up Rosie for the movie and then stopped off at Sandy’s for a how-dee-do with grandson Lucas. Lucas of the melt-me eyes. I’ve dropped the Baby Lucas moniker since we can clearly see an almost 3 year old boy has no interest in anything ‘baby’.

Sharon and I did…

May 22

Sharon and I did our walk today – from the Promenade down Palisades Park to the Pier, down the walk path to Venice and back.

It’s getting on to summer now and we could really feel the crowds starting to grow.

The number of vendors is gearing up for summer too. These guys were painting new markers to denote the ‘stalls spots’ for the tables and blankets holding the Venice Boardwalk purveyors of Art and Healing and Political Action Committees.

The size of a marker is the exact size of a case of Heineken. One guy chalks around the Heineken box and the other guy fills it in. Really (although they are kind of posing here).

I hadn’t seen a…

I hadn’t seen a movie in more than two months…except for the about eight movies I saw on the flights to/from Europe, but they were all re-runs.

So Tuesday I saw Young @ Heart, a total tearjerker, yet charmingly entertaining, and today it just worked out to stop in at the new Indiana Jones. It was ok, very not great, even a little less great than my rather low expectations (it was the predictability that did me in-Ebert loves the predictability). But hey, it’s Harrison Ford (age 65) doing that cool whip thing.

Had a story filled…

May 20

Had a story filled dinner with Bill tonight and learned that his eldest daughter has got her Peace Corps start date and country (July 22, Zambia) but she will not know the exact assignment until after the two month training period. One thing she can be sure of though, is that she is going to a village where there will be no electricity and no running water. No need to bring the blow dryer.

The photo is JFK in 1961 creating the Peace Corps more than a decade before Mindy was born. I will confess that I am surprised it has survived. It’s an expression of optimism and that makes me glad.

I drove up to…

May 18

I drove up to Santa Barbara to spend the night with Michi, my friend and fellow student from Guanajuato.

We had a great day (and without a word of Spanish! lazy as ‘we’/I are/am…).

One of our activities…

One of our activities was to enjoy the evening-song at the Vedanta Temple. Out in the distance is the Santa Barbara bay and the blue Pacific. It smelled so great up there.

Inside. We had…

Inside. We had maybe 20 minutes to ourselves before the nuns came in to do the service (bells rung, objects raised and lowered, and a lot of singing).

About meditation, I remember best (and with deep affection) what we used to do after my Tai Chi class, so sitting here in the warm, fragrant silence I felt compelled to be on the floor and to stretch. It was good.

Isn’t this sweet! …

May 17

Isn’t this sweet! Darryl and Angela did another Mother’s Day because last week it didn’t work out for everyone to get together. Awww!!


Rome and her Grammy….

Rome and her Grammy.

(I’m Granny and Rome is totally clear on who’s Grammy and who’s Granny. It’s so amazing, the flexibility of a child, so just pick the name you like!)

We were standing right…

We were standing right in front of all the windows but it’s too cute to pass by sooo, here we are!


My what a lovely…

May 16

My what a lovely day.

Morning: successful completion of numerous, long deferred chores. Afternoon: always enjoyable and entertaining catch-up lunch with Ken and Susie. Evening: Friday Night decompression with my little sister (her decompression of course since I don’t go to work I have nothing to decompress from).

Ben was happy enough…

May 15

Ben was happy enough to go…and Bonnie agreed without too much reluctance… Let’s have a walk to dinner at Pink’s! Yum-EEE. That one in the corner is mine: chili dog with mustard and pickles. This should do it for a year or two.

(This morning I also walked about 5 miles with Sharon and my feet are knowing it.)

Angela saw this neighbor…

May 14

Angela saw this neighbor guy stomping around outside – stomping on his jacket like a guy with major issues. So Rome and I went to check it out. What you don’t see in this photo is the huge leather holster strapped to his right thigh. Whoo, what’s going on here?

Turns out he’s off to an Indiana Jones fan event. Indiana Jones! Of course! Nice stubble Mr Neighbor Guy.

Hana and I went…

May 13

Hana and I went on a little field trip to see the newly opened ‘Americana’ mixed-use project of residential and retail space put up by the same team that gave us The Grove.

That drawing is not how it turned out so far, no arcs of fountains although the residence sections do look about right. I was surprised at how modest it seemed – less impressive even than The Grove. It wasn’t entirely finished yet and all the lawn area was blocked off. It’ll be different later I’m sure.

It’s the Monday Nighters…

May 12

It’s the Monday Nighters – my own personal crowd of Valley Girls! Marsha (Happy Birthday!), Maryanne, Becky, Alicia, Ljubica, Lourdes, Marija, Maxine (Happy Birthday!), Ann, me.

Happy Mother’s Day! …

May 11

Happy Mother’s Day! And that would be ME!!

This was from the first click! Darryl said he and Cynthia have been working on their posing-for-mom face so as to get it on the first try and not have to do it again. Good Job!

This one worked perfectly too.

That’s Lona with her…

That’s Lona with her MD flowers from her son and family living in Hawaii.

All we 60-ish ladies are trying that chin-up method in hopes of smoothing out our neck folds. We just don’t want to scare the children.

We planned to have a nice festivity at the beach But Rome got sick and Angela’s mom didn’t want to drive one and a half hours out here and not see her daughter and granddaughter, it was kind of gray out and we were short six people so instead of going to the beach…

…we went to Lona…

…we went to Lona and Hartley’s and had a picnic in their big family room. It was plenty big fun anyway.

Darryl brought the cupcakes…

Darryl brought the cupcakes in the first picture (thanks Angela even though you couldn’t come!) and a beautiful rose for all the ladies. Ahhh…Sweet!

Look how Lona’s in the middle. That’s because she is the Matriarch. Live long and prosper. I do Not want to find myself in the role of Matriarch!

The next SEVEN pictures…

May 8

The next SEVEN pictures feature bougainvillea. It’s nuts how crazy the bougainvillea is this year. Crazy.

We’re at the Getty Center. The ground cover is bougainvillea and bougainvillea is pouring down over the back side of this wall too.

And if you’re not…

And if you’re not yet begging for mercy, m.o.r.e.

I was on a bus riding through some town in Spain, or was it Portugal? and along their major boulevard, the one leading up to the big monument, in the median they had installed several bougainvillea rebar trees! Of course, with the right materials and tools and the right guy, I TOO could have a rebar tree.

Brigitte’s HOUSE! She…

Brigitte’s HOUSE! She sent me this shot while I was away, to remind me of Home. Yesterday the bougainvillea was even Fuller. Whooo.


Sure it’s funny, in…

May 6

Sure it’s funny, in that Foto in the Fun House kind of way. And Sandy was really motoring along on our wander through the neighborhood. When I left she was walking a few blocks and now she can do almost a mile! Yea!

(It’s 6 1/2 days since my return from 9 time zones away. My suitcase is finally empty although the house isn’t yet ready for living, and I’m still a bit ‘off’ on the sleeping…all just like usual, when you have the Time!)

Then I went to…

Then I went to do a rental ad for l&h and the King Kids were there! Since we went our separate ways after Barcelona Xander has lost a tooth. Anya’s has been gone for a while but she wanted in the picture too.

The tooth fairy brought five bucks. Wow.

First time in two…

May 5

First time in two months – Sharon-Barnes and Noble-10am-WalkWalkWalk-Pancake Breakfast!

My dinos at the Promenade, she and he, all dressed up for Spring.

Brigitte’s neighbor Inga-Lill’s friend…

May 4

Brigitte’s neighbor Inga-Lill’s friend Jill told Lill that Pink Martini was playing in Ventura. Lill bought the tickets, Brigitte drove, Jill came down from Santa Maria, they invited me. It was a Great day out and I got home nicely before the jet-lag-crash set in.

We got there nice and early for our choice of spots and a yummy picnic lunch. Thank you ladies!

I went with NA…

May 3

I went with NA to the Malibu estuary on a perfect beach day. Bright, coolish but sunny, clear and fresh. Excellent choice Nancy!

I got to see…

May 2

I got to see the kids today, so now I’m Really home. Rome made me a cute-as-pie Welcome Home card (thanks Angela!) and then Angela went off to do some chores and Rome and I got to have Fun!

‘Granny, let’s play stroller.’…

‘Granny, let’s play stroller.’ ‘Granny, I need help with this.’ ‘Granny, can I have snack.’ ‘Granny, I’ve got poo.’

When she wakes up from her nap she sings ‘Graaa-nny GrannyGrannyGranny.’ OMG, that’s all I can say about that.

Holy-ca-moly, what a DAY….

Holy-ca-moly, what a DAY. What you see out there is of course Palos Verdes Estates and Catalina(!)further on behind the oil tankers and the coast so clear, maybe like I’ve never seen it before.

The original plan. …

March 25

The original plan. Let’s see how close we get, shall we?!

Düsseldorf and Barcelona with the Kings; them I’m off on my own to Granada; Algeciras/Gibraltar; Fez; Tangiers; Seville; Tavira; Evore; Lisbon/Sintra.

Next posting…from Düsseldorf…where it is Snowing at the moment. I’m stopping off on the way to the airport to buy some warm Socks.

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