’12 December

‘Tis the season to be JOLLY!

Windy came by with…

December 29

Windy came by with her New Phone, her first actual Smart Phone, and she’s having f.u.n, although we were laughing a little too hard for the light in the room…

Angela sent this picture of the girls having finished the puzzle I gave Kaitlin at Christmas. At Kaitlin’s school they have a huge map of the States painted on the playground and when I pick her up we usually take a few minutes to talk about who lives where or like last time she asked me ‘is Pennsylvania next to Maine?’. Cool.

w/ak

Rain….

Rain.

Instead of a many miles walk at Pepperdine and lunch at the Getty Villa it’s underground parking to the completely covered Hammer Museum. A nice day anyway.

What Cynthia, Mike, and…

December 28

What Cynthia, Mike, and Kieran were up to over the holiday .. at Mike’s brother’s place in North Dakota where the temperature was mostly ZERO (-18c), +/- a few degrees. WOW is right. Thanks Cynth for the great selection of pictures from which to choose!

There are a few other shots of the dog who looks like an awesome ranch dog. There are cats too that I’m supposing they keep around the barn for their hunting skills.

cc.

D&A went out for…

December 27 evening

D&A went out for a date and this is what Kaitlin and Lilly and I made for dessert. Smiley Faces!

Two sets of sisters…

December 27

Two sets of sisters (friends from the new neighborhood), two dads, one mom, and a granny, and we’re off for a crystal clear day at the Getty Center.

Finley, Kaitlin, Avery, Lilly

The tables where we…

The tables where we ate the yummy picnic Angela made, looking out to the winter garden and the sea beyond.

One of the turns…

One of the turns in the Sepulveda Pass and a big-time construction site: The (ever dreaded) 405.

I mentioned it was…

I mentioned it was clear.

That’s the 405, then Century City and UCLA, then downtown, the set of buildings in the far distance at the upper left.

These four did so…

These four did so nicely together. I thought they were like a bunch of cats, entirely happy to be playing with the box. Darryl pointed out they were actually playing with each other. So true.

Lilly, Avery, Kaitlin, Finley

More fun than a…

More fun than a barrel of monkeys! or as in the case of the girls’ new slippers, more fun than a herd of unicorns.

Santa brought Darryl this…

Santa brought Darryl this toy and this craft, the kids got piles of goodies, and all the adults got just want they asked for.

From Sharon, where she…

December 23

From Sharon, where she is for the holidays. In the snow. This is the place in Steamboat Springs we visited in the summer when it looked quite different.

It seems they’ve got so much snow even the heated driveway can’t keep a clear path!

sp.

The Kings! Windy’s…

December 22

The Kings! Windy’s eldest son Lucas and his adorable sweetheart family Betsy, Xander, and Anya.

This is the family that lives near Seattle and you’ll find a bit of their life in my chapters on Seattle because those times are my best chances to visit with them.

And speaking of Windy, YES, the carpet went IN, and all the ceilings and walls and floors are done Done. Oh Happy Day. Lucas and Betsy – the guest room awaits!

(Holiday Greetings photo)

Lona and Hartley decided…

December 21 evening

Lona and Hartley decided to have a festive Christmas get-together before they left the next day for Hawaii.

Lona made our mother’s Happy Birthday Baby Jesus Cake! Our mother made this cake for years and periodically one or the other of us will make it in respect of her. It’s fun!

I should note that after our mother’s passing I made the first one and I made it with Sara Lee Pound Cake (you make it the night before, slice the pound cake cross-wise into thin layers, add bananas and whipped cream between each layer, yum) instead of the homemade cake our mother produced. I just remembered! She made the two cakes (it ended up quite tall) in heart shaped pans and this was the pink plate she used.

But…everyone agrees the Sara Lee version is delicious!

Hartley is not so…

Hartley is not so much into the cake so he got a bowl of whipped cream. L&H leave their dining room table always set for 14 because you never know .. like our mother .. always prepared to feed the British army just in case they happen to stop by.

This is Titi, Lona and Hartley’s latest protégé and she is fabulous, a smart and an incredibly motivated, hard-working young woman from Eritrea.

Windy and Jeff were there too, and Geraldine, and me.

Lona and Hartley are…

Lona and Hartley are off to Hawaii to spend the holidays with their son Trevor and his dear family Beth, Christa, Caleb, and Charis all of whom I find utterly delightful with their entirely sincere and open-hearted kindness.

(Holiday Greetings photo)

Liz and I went…

December 21

Liz and I went for a grand tour at the Gamble House in Pasadena today.

It’s a Greene and Greene Arts and Crafts masterpiece, the woodworking was simply stunning. We walked around slack-jawed. And GAGA for the stained glass.

(internet pix)

This is a watercolor…

This is a watercolor by J Hill that I got off the internet because I think it has an especially good feeling for the place.

What it’s been like…

What it’s been like these days. Cold and clear, and awesome.

(not my picture .. skimmed off the internet. Funny! it looks like the same one I picked in 2010 from the LA Times.)

No pictures of the…

December 19

No pictures of the kids but we had a big fun busy day. And speaking of spending time with kids .. this made me laugh.

It’s the Monday Night…

December 17

It’s the Monday Night Christmas Party, and everyone was there!

For many years now we’ve been doing this party at Alicia’s with a full-on Thanksgiving Dinner menu. I Really like it. For one thing, Alicia cooks with the angels. She used to do everything but in recent years she passes out the recipes and assignments and people contribute some, but we all know it’s Alicia’s dinner. Oh we do have a good time.

Ljubica, me, Maxine, Marija, Ann, Alicia, Becky Marsha, Lourdes, Maryanne.

(Maxine’s hor d’oeuvre tray; Alicia’s rolls that everyone begs for all year, her always spectacular roast turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry-apple-marshmallow salad; Maryanne brought ingredients; Lourdes’ cranberry sauce; Becky’s thousand calorie mashed potatoes; Ann’s sweet potato and pecan delight; Marija’s green beans; Marsha’s dessert; Ljubica’s Martinellis; my 3 bottles of pretty tasty Prosecca that was well enjoyed especially since we usually drink one bottle of wine during a regular dinner!)

It’s time for Knut…

December 16

It’s time for Knut and Brigitte’s annual holiday slipper party and they are Not Here. This is their card. Nice, but not a party. They have retired and relocated to Belgium when the weather is nice there and to Portugal when it is not.

HEY you guys, come home, it’s perfect weather here All The Time! (OK ok, so your family and many (but by no means all!) of your friends are in Europe, still…)

(Holiday Greetings photo)

Windy and Jeff’s home…

December 15

Windy and Jeff’s home in a great Santa Monica location, this > < close to finishing all the refurbishments of the ceilings, walls, windows, and floors. This > < close. Oh Happy Day. How long have they been at it? For EVER. More forever than I can possibly imagine. But This > < Close!

Kaitlin and I took…

December 12

Kaitlin and I took the pictures for her Christmas card and planned out how the card might look and what she’d like it to say.

All the pictures were her ideas and it was a Lot of fun to do. (I love those cutie little toes peeking out from the dresses – barefoot at the beach for Christmas.)

Here’s Lilly’s. She…

Here’s Lilly’s. She chose her own pictures too. The girls are holding their favorite ornaments, one of Kaitlin’s many ideas.

Becky was available to…

December 10

Becky was available to host Monday Night Potluck because look what happened December 7!

Becky’s daughter birthed her third child and here we have the whole family: Matt and Kelly, Lana, Makaio, and baby Kamea. Mazel Tov!

bb.

I walked down to…

December 9

I walked down to the beach today and back for the first time since I’ve been sick.

In between the walking Sharon and Nancy and I had lunch, strolled around the Promenade, and saw Silver Linings Playbook which was very sweet and happily-ever-after.

Maxine had her annual…

December 8

Maxine had her annual Christmas Party and it was wonderful as always, festive and delicious. All her kids were there, and Max was happy.

The kids (and the grandkids): Dirk; Shirley (Quan); Tiffany (Daeja, Jaedin, Jacob); James (Sydney, Kelsey, James)

And then we strolled…

And then we strolled through the neighborhood before enjoying a delicious night-before-the-first-night-of-Hanukkah dinner at Rustic Canyon.

This is the first day since November 14th that I haven’t taken an allergy pill. I’m not sick .. I’m 92% well!

Ann and I had…

December 6

Ann and I had sushi for lunch. Ahhhh, ummmm. There is nothing nothing a person can eat for lunch that is as satisfying, as beautiful and entertaining, as splendid as a sushi lunch.

I spent the day…

December 5

I spent the day shopping and watching all the episodes of The Neighbors. The Neighbors totally made me Laugh Out Loud. And shopping from the comfort of ones BED, what’s to complain!

Mindy is home from…

December 4

Mindy is home from Zambia for the holidays. She’s going into her fifth year in Africa. By this time next year, or sooner, she’ll have moved on and it’s exciting to wonder where that will be.

Ken, me, Mindy, Bill (Mindy’s “Daddy” .. Daddy when she wants something that is…just Dad otherwise)

Burt, Wow, Solar Panels….

December 3

Burt, Wow, Solar Panels. It takes a lot of juice to cool a house in the summer in Simi Valley.

I wish I had taken a picture of those adorable, sweet and gentle grandboys that Burt and Charlene are raising. John is almost 13 and taller than I am, and Bradley is 10. My friends, I ask you to pause for a moment and imagine yourself in charge of all those raging hormones. You go B&C, you GO.

The Valley Performing Arts…

December 2

The Valley Performing Arts Center at CSUN, opened in January 2011, this is my first visit.

(Which has reminded me of other local performing arts centers such as the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza, Long Beach Performing Arts Center .. and so many more. Just check out LA Weekly Calendar at some point. Have a taste for some particular entertainment? It’s here.)

We came to hear…

We came to hear the Colburn Orchestra and they were really quite wonderful.

Our first seats were assigned at Will Call in the exact center in the first row of the upper balcony. No one was sitting in front of us and the view was good but too far back to see any faces.

So after the intermission we moved to The most perfect seats as noted by the arrow.

It was a free concert – if tickets were for sale we would never have had the chance for The most perfect seats, so yay for free concerts!

The Century City Shopping…

December 1

The Century City Shopping Center, dressed up for Holiday Shopping. There are many more of these decorated reindeer around. That one with the hands is weird. Nancy, Sharon, and I had a good lunch at Obika Mozzarella Bar in the Mall and then saw Life of Pi.

We saw it in 3-D and I am so done with 3-D. I’m not seeing any more 3-D if I can help it until there’s another advance in technology. Maybe people with good eyes can enjoy it but not me.

That said it’s pretty beautiful and veeery long. If you have the least doubt about ‘getting it’ as I did, you can read some analysis either before or after you see it. Now I’m a fan, at least of the story.

Nancy went home and…

Nancy went home and Sharon and I drove on, past the new sculpture along the Avenue of the Stars meridian. There are 22 of these works by Gwynn Murrill.

They’ll be here until October 2013. I want them to stay forever.

(internet pix)

Then we went to…

Then we went to the Annenberg Space for Photography – free to visit and $1 to park. Each show lasts 4-6-8 months and I try to catch them all since they are Wonderful.

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