’11 June

My birthday month and a few short weeks to get everything ready for Africa, Roger’s retirement in SF, buzz up to SB…

My ‘refrigerator door’. …

July 2

My ‘refrigerator door’. When I get back I’m going to pack it up and start over, like I do. Yikes, Lilly is almost two now. .I’m not keeping up!

From tomorrow morning I’m in-transit for 25 hours (!) arriving in Johannesburg South Africa at 9:20pm on the 4th. Next time I get to the internet I’ll be writing from AFRICA!

Ann treating me and…

July 1

Ann treating me and I treating Ann for our June birthdays. We like it.

Many thanks to all who came out with me in these last many days. I really appreciate the time and the chance to say ‘see you in September’ and especially ‘don’t forget to write!’.

Jo’burg Melville suburb….

June 30

Where I’m sleeping in South Africa:

G Jo’burg airport (Johannesburg…but no one says that).
B Clarens ‘the jewel of the Free State (province)’ and at the entrance to Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
C Dalmore Guest Farm, outside Royal Natal National Park and the UNESCO World Heritage Drakensburg National Park.
D Pietermaritzburg, capital of the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
E Parkers Cottages in St Lucia, three nights passing through Durban, visiting Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, and UNESCO’s iSimangaliso Wetlands Park.
F Piet Retief, in the Battlefields area of KwaZulu-Natal.
G Jo’burg Melville suburb.

Two months…I’m going to…

June 28

Two months…I’m going to be gone for two months. Dang, why can’t I do everything and be everywhere at once?!

Sharon’s garden with some…

June 27

Sharon’s garden with some new flowers a-bloom. The fountain at the back is all happy now as is the fountain on the patio. The bougainvillea are growing, grapes are coming, there are enough lemons for a season of lemonade, and the umbrella is there now..all set for summer.

Some previews of the…

June 26

Some previews of the Botswana portion of my time in Africa.

This is the route of the safari – on the move on the move. We meet in Maun (at 7:30am…) and the basic itinerary is as follows. We move a time or two at each location:

5 nights Central Kalahari Game Reserve
1 night in Maun
2 nights Okavango Delta
1 night in Maun
3 nights Moremi Game Reserve
3 nights Chobe National Park
1 night at Victoria Fall

No more pictures of…

June 25

No more pictures of any of the van Valkenburgs. No more Marsha or Tom, or Kelly, or John or Jenn or Chris even. Nope. Only pictures of Baby Jordan!

Marsha and I did our annual Happy Birthday Tom clean-up project and monster dinner which was as satisfying and delicious as always.

A picture from Mel’s…

June 21

A picture from Mel’s 90th birthday party – Bill, Peace Corps Mindy, newlyweds Kim and Ross, Cheryl. Mel himself and our host Ken are below.

Before the Monday feast-o-rama…

June 20

Before the Monday feast-o-rama I went to Ann’s for a little yoga practice and fig picking party. Ann’s figs make everyone who has every had the privilege to try them weak with pleasure.

It’s my birthday AND…

June 19

It’s my birthday AND it’s Father’s Day which happens pretty regularly, and I got to celebrate with the father of my grandchildren and his fabulous family. Oh lucky me.

I got these pictures…

I got these pictures off Cynthia’s and Mike’s facebook and put them together because they are so CUTE!



My future brother-in-law Jeff…

June 18

My future brother-in-law Jeff and my little sister Windy the soon-to-be newlyweds looking over their chapel site in Pacific Palasades. Ahh, wedded bliss!

Having acquired the last…

Having acquired the last of my First Aid Kit for Africa, from the left:

Azithromycin full course antibiotic; Mefloquine malaria prophylactic; Ciprofloxacin for some serious nasties; Sunblock spf-30; Petroleum Jelly (your first aid kit in a jar…); Lorazepam sleeping potion, the most important of all; Hydrocodone for extreme pain; 100% DEET (oh yeah); WHO Vaccination Card to verify Hep A and B, TDAP, Yellow Fever, Typhoid Fever; Aleve and Excedrin for your basic aches and pains; Fanciest bandages available from my sister the nurse; Imodium if you’re feeling ‘poorly’ and must be without a toilet stop; Loratadine-Suphedrine-Benadryl for snot; Sore throat lozanges; Orajel and hope you don’t have to use it; Neosporin topical antibiotic; Hydrocortisone cream and Fluocinonide ointment to soothe the itches.

That should do it. Ooops, I meant to get iodine drops for water purification and I didn’t lay out the alcohol wipes I’m going to bring.

I went to the…

June 17

I went to the Federal Building a few days ago ready to stand in line to get more pages for my passport. If you don’t have enough empty pages for stamping you can get turned away at the border!

The guy at the ‘get in line here’ podium convinced me I might as well get a new passport instead of more pages which means, oh no, I need a new passport photo. Sharon took these in front of her patio wall.

Today I got myself…

June 16

Today I got myself cleared by the dentist and by the doctor – ready set GO to Africa. (This bougainvillea explosion is on my block.)

Maxine made us Princesses…

June 13-14

Maxine made us Princesses on the birthday celebration FesTIVO for me and Ann. She cooked, decorated, gifted, and generally made us all welcome and delighted. You go Max!

And then I got to share my Princess bounty with the grand-girls (Lilly in these photos…) who were born to Princess-hood.

Out with the old,…

June 11-12

Out with the old, In with the new! That I’ve worn the old ones every four days out of five for three years shows they were dang good shirts. Let’s see how the new ones hold up.

I took a quick…

I took a quick trip to Santa Barbara to have a visit with my SB pals Nancy and Michi. .here I am on a walk with Nancy around Hope Ranch, her home for the last year and a half and her home for at least the next year and a half and where I enjoyed spending the night.

Michi and I both…

Michi and I both have our birthdays in June so Nancy treated us to a Scrumptious dinner. YUM!

Nancy and I are both attempting to get a photo-face even 1/10th as good as Michi’s photo-face. Point a camera at Michi and boom she looks perfect.

And then back at…

And then back at Michi’s place we enjoyed the birthday cake that she herself baked. YUM AGAIN.

Brigitte and I did…

June 10

Brigitte and I did 8 turns on the Pepperdine track today. I made Brigitte stay on the outside lane the whole time because she is young and fit.

That’s the front of the chapel and the back looks the same, that glows with stained glass from the inside.

Knut is retired, the house is on the market, and soon they’ll be back in Europe for the next phase of their sweet and lovely life. You know what I say to myself – be happy for them, and hey, it’s another place to visit!

Guess who’s trying to…

June 9

Guess who’s trying to eat less for a few weeks so she won’t be so hungry all the time for two months in Africa but is really hungry now. That would be me.

(from GraphJam, a partner in the ICanHasCheezburger network)

Hi Muriel! We…

June 8

Hi Muriel! We met for lunch at Border Grill and had a few hours here and wandering around the town. Muriel and Santa Monica – how delightful.

Then later in the…

Then later in the afternoon Nancy came by the house. This is her fancy-girl daily-wear necklace. Nice.

Susie and Ken are…

June 6

Susie and Ken are taking care of David’s foster dog Magic for a couple weeks while David is on vacation.

Will S&K adopt the sweet and seemingly civilized Magic? He was certainly well behaved on our walk. Will they or won’t they? pluses and minuses. It’s a 10-15 year decision so you want to get it right!

I went for a…

June 5

I went for a lively beach walk with Gina this morning. Gina wants this hedge for her house, hence the photo to take to the nursery. (From ND-it’s a natal plum.)

I must have known at one point but forgot – in 1970 Gina spent three months in Asia with Eldridge Cleaver and company on officially escorted tours by the governments of North Korea, North Vietnam, and China. There’s a story!

Charis is in LA…

June 3

Charis is in LA (from Honolulu) to earn some money doing work for her grandparents Lona and Hartley. She took one of her days to help me weed the grass and help out with a few more chores too.

Charis, you are an Excellent worker. And we had fun.

Then I went up…

Then I went up to Merlyn and Hilda’s for dinner which is always a delight. Here they are on slow-sync-flash on their back patio overlooking the San Fernando Valley.

The community garden at…

The community garden at the Park Merced Towers where Roger and Sandy live.

These were built at the same time from the same plans as the Park La Brea Towers in LA and both are in amazingly good shape for a 60 year old complex – really nice apartments that are also relatively inexpensive: big rooms, high ceilings, well insulated, etc.

We went out for…

We went out for a stroll on the bluffs with Sandy’s friend Trish who lives in their building and Trish’s cutie-pie dog.

Brunch my last morning…

Brunch my last morning and instead of going out as we might have we decided to start Roger’s retirement ‘as we mean to go on’ and had fabulous food at home.

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