’11 May

Aloha and Welcome Home! a few visits to Rome’s school and a field trip, a memorial with the family for Phyllis, Mother’s Day!

I surely have been…

May 15

I surely have been doing a lot of not too much these days.

No pictures of some socializing, some time on the street, and enjoying home: unpacked and laundry all done, a lot of reading, re-doing all my India pictures, watching Netflix and SeriesTV.

Underwood Family Farms, Field…

May 25

Underwood Family Farms, Field Trip!

It was also Super Hero Day at school and Rome was happy to be Super Girl all day long.

There were at least…

There were at least six of these wagons each packed with little kids and some adults. The ‘farm tour’ took about 45 minutes.

We went on a…

We went on a little ride and then got dropped off in the fields with a Farmer John who guided the kids through the rows. They picked 1) two red beets 2) two golden beets 3) two fennel bulbs 4) five carrots 5) a head of lettuce which they carried home in the bags they had decorated in the classroom.

The wagons did the round trip one load of kids after another. There were maybe 20 groups total. It was quite fantastic how they managed allll those kids.

Play time!…

Play time!

From their website: “Teach yourself from our educational exhibits, climb the haystack, play in the sandbox, visit the Chicken House, see all the farm animals (donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, birds, rabbits, cows, pigs, and horses as well as emus and alpacas) and enjoy the beautiful open space.”

There was a giant tractor made into a slide, a play train and trucks, tunnels and other climbing-running-jumping opportunities. All the kids had a blast-o-rama and the adults were kickin’ it too.

How many can we…

How many can we get to hold still at once? And look this way? And smile? Got’ta love ’em.

The girls off to…

The girls off to enjoy the animals and all the play yard fun. It’s really a very cool place.

It was Twin Day…

May 24

It was Twin Day at school where the kids dressed up in matching outfits…Rome and her best pals.

Rome lost a front tooth last week and one this week too – it’s the classic look!

The girl in the…

The girl in the yellow is Rome’s Big Buddy from the third grade. The woman in pink is the science teacher Mrs Lowenstein, well loved by all.

We went back to…

We went back to the school this evening for Open House. Rome made a special card for her teacher. Mrs Ozeki was so pleased.

Riki and Mike hosted…

May 22

Riki and Mike hosted a warm and heartfelt memorial for Riki’s mom, my half-sister, Phyllis. Thank you for doing this dear ones and for inviting us to join you.

Amy, Nicholas, Mike, Erika, Bradley and Ms Reilly the dog.

This is Phyllis’s son…

This is Phyllis’s son James holding the picture I grew up with – all Phyllis and Donn’s kids (yes he quite insistently spelled it with two ‘n’s).

Oldest is Tim, who passed away many years ago. He was exactly my age and if the stories are half true we got up to some trouble together over the years. It was all his fault of course.

Next comes Jenny who was born with many challenges both physical and mental. She has not been able to live on her own but she is still with us and quite the character.

After Jenny Phyllis took a baby-break and then in quick order came the next two – Riki and James.

Justin, Carolynne, James, Jake

1) Jenny cracking up…

1) Jenny cracking up the crowd.
2) Jenny, James, Riki
3) Darlene, Greg, Riki
4) Stephanie, Mary (Mike’s Mom), Gerri (Mike’s sister), Julie, Riki

1) me, Lona, Hartley,…

1) me, Lona, Hartley, Windy.
2) Riki’s two boys Nicholas and Bradley with Jenny.
3) Good friends Stephanie, Mike, and Julie.

1) Amy, Nicholas, Mary…

1) Amy, Nicholas, Mary and John (Mike’s parents), Bradley.
2) Gary and Loretta (Carolynne’s parents).
3) DAR Ladies – Lillian Baldwin, Bev Weager and her sister Rhonda.
4) Lona, Timi (Jenny’s caregiver) and Jenny.

I let United Airlines…

May 22 late at night

I let United Airlines buy me off for a cool four hundred bucks and waiting the night in a hotel. Nice. .and the rest of my party decided to do it too! So I haven’t got to even loading up the pictures from the memorial yet, and my schedule is pretty full – but soon, soon!

This is a picture…

May 20

This is a picture from 2004, the last time I saw my half-sister Phyllis, my father’s daughter from his first marriage before he married my mother. She’s the second from the right. We’ve got: Riki (Phyllis’s daughter), Mom, Me, Phyllis, Windy.

Even in 2004 Phyllis had already been staying a few years in a home for dementia patients. At this visit Phyllis did not recognize me at all but she was clever in pretending.

She passed away this month and I along with Windy, Lona, and Hartley have traveled to San Ramon where tomorrow we will attend a memorial for Phyllis at Riki’s house.

Our Nancy, Poll Worker,…

May 19

Our Nancy, Poll Worker, you Go. (I didn’t make this picture but I wish I had. Today Nancy had me over for a lovely morning and I forgot, again, to take a shot.)

I had dinner with…

I had dinner with Bill tonight, husband of Cheryl, father of Mindy and Kim. This is a picture from Kim’s fabulous wedding in Florida (that I attended with Ken) and Mindy is the Peace Corps Volunteer who is going to meet me in Zambia.

Liz came by and…

May 18

Liz came by and together we went to Pepperdine for a walk on the excellent track, and to have a look around.

The Stone Livingroom outside the closed museum.

We ate in the…

We ate in the cafeteria which is always fun and then went to enjoy the chapel. The is one of the many fabulous views from up there.

Late in the night,…

Late in the night, like I was a teenager or something, I went to Carl and Lynn’s where we met Dan and Shelly, and then we all went to hunt grunions. Like I was a teenager or something.

Flashlights, in search of…

Flashlights, in search of grunion.

Were there grunion? We didn’t see any even though the internet said they should be there. Could the internet be wrong? Do grunion even exist?

There’s a Frank Zappa song called ‘Grunion Run’. I could find a purported instrumental but no lyrics. I would so enjoy hearing what Frank Zappa had to say about grunion.

Lilly had her friends…

May 17

Lilly had her friends over today, the twins Lila and Anya. Identical twins, and sisters to Rome’s friend Nora, children of Katie and Jed.

What I’m thinking at…

May 16

What I’m thinking at this point for my Africa trip, July 3-August 30:

1) Johannesburg, drive to 2) and 3) Durban and the National Parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites of KwaZulu-Natal, drive to 4) Swaziland and Kruger National Park, drive back to Johannesburg and then fly to…

5) Maun where I’ll pick up a camping safari that visits four of the prime National Parks in Botswana ending at Victoria Falls where Peace Corps Volunteer Mindy will meet me. Together we will travel through 6) Zambia, then I’ll visit 7) Malawi.

SOO exciting! Now I should figure out how to say ‘Hello!’ and my 9 other required espressions in the 10s of languages spoken here.

It was National Tourist…

It was National Tourist Day and the equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce was putting on a show up at the fort. We felt lucky to have happened upon this celebration but it brought in sharp, and in a way uncomfortable, focus how the virtual disappearance of Western tourists was impacting the economy in the areas so dependent on tourism.

Wow, Thanks Muriel. .So…

May 13

Wow, Thanks Muriel. .So FUN – A right-out-of-the-book Dinner Party, the book being Nobu Matsuhisa’s. Gorgeous, delicious, ahhhh.

We are now sending Mazel Tovs to Santa Barbara Nancy in honor of the arrival of her third grandchild. Hurray!

Loretta, David, Muriel, JoAnn

Spring in the ‘hood….

May 11

Spring in the ‘hood. Glad I got back in time to see my dinos in their boy-girl foliage.

We all walked to…

We all walked to Rome’s school to pick her up, and here she is with a friend in the side yard that has a full wall mural that looks like…



Then Rome and I walked to the local public library to return books, choose some new ones, read a few, it was so much Fun.

In the late afternoon…

In the late afternoon we sisters took ourselves out for a treat in honor of our mother who, in her later years, would do almost anything if you promised her that when it was over she’d get a treat.

This is a delightful…

This is a delightful mother-daughter team from the restaurant.

The mother offered to take our picture and then Lona got into an exteeended conversation with her that went ooooon and ooooon and.

I was sitting there at the table totally cracking up inside. It was all just so MOM. I’m pretty sure I saw Lona fishing around in her purse for some tracts to pass out…

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