’20 June

My birthday month and I’m going OUT!

Just don’t look too closely

It’s an on the one hand this and on the other hand that kind of situation.

And oh goodie, more things to put on my to-do list. My gardener retired last week. He was old and it was time although I would have kept him as long as he wanted to stay since he was here at my house before I was. So now I have to get someone new, and it’s a chance to get someone who will be more proactive with this crazy landscape. Please cross your fingers for me!

Click on the small pictures for a Bigger Slide Show view.

Following my own advice

Sharon and I used to walk at least once a week and some weeks, twice. This is our first time at Palisades Park in months. I felt grateful for the opportunity.

I’ve been in an emotional slump since I got back from the Seven Magic Mountains. I need to turn that ship around! I have too many big projects spinning around inside my little head and making it too hard to focus. Make a better list! That’s my solution. Don’t think ‘I need to get that studio ready’ but instead think about doable chunks, put the chunks on a list, and do them one at a time. Same with my garden, my website, my taxes (I know I know), my health, obsessing as I am on every time I clear my throat, and keeping in touch with family and friends.

Not to mention All The Rest of It. Oh Goodness Gracious bless our hearts. When I let myself, I can wallow in bad news with the best of ’em.

Is the beach open or isn’t it. Is the pier open or isn’t it. We get so much conflicting news. Notice the Santa Monica pier off at the top of the picture, and below there it is in a very telephoto picture of the pier from the same spot. Nearly no people to be seen. There was a class of kids learning to surf so I guess summer camp might be on.
Cool on the telephoto.

We had an early lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen because it is convenient, has choices we both enjoy, is open, and it’s having a very Slo-Go approach to seating. Nothing is 100%, for example we did sit inside, but it seems like they were making a good effort to be safe. The kitchen was buzzing even at 11am so that’s good.


Ikea Burbank, the biggest Ikea in all of the United States of America. And as we know, America likes its things Big.

There was 100% compliance with masks and distancing, the first time I can report such a response and although it took us 25 minutes to get through the line, once inside the store it was calm and so easy to get around. There were even approachable staff members, stationed behind plexiglass, available for questions although not so much out on the floor.

It was GIGANTIC inside. I think they’ve bulked-up the lettering a little to make it look SO BIG. We shuffled along for hours!

And even without lettering there is no doubt when you are at an Ikea.

This was all about my project to rent the smallest studio furnished to traveling nurses. My neighborhood is in a vortex of medical services which I believe would be a good choice for traveling nurses whose contracts run 3-6 months. I’m hoping this idea will give me more flexibility with using the studio for other purposes and I won’t have to worry so much about a tenant losing their job or just refusing to leave. It happens in trying times and that’s where we are for sure, trying times.

Muriel Cooked!

Muriel cooked us up a Happy Birthday Me ladies luncheon extravaGANza. That savory tart was omg DeLish, with a perfect salad, crusty bread and a pot of butter. And for dessert? Chocolate custard eclair just like I like it, and we shared a Cheese Danish. Wow, right?!

Between lunch and dessert we took a quick turn around the neighborhood and for me it was like Being somewhere because the views were different, with different landscaping and different houses, which is most enjoyable. And there’s take-away treats too including a quarter of that amazing tart that I thought I would save for tomorrow. Right. Not happening.

Getting work done

When I think of work this meme usually floats up into my brain and makes me smile.

Alex and Carol came by today and Alex knocked out my Alex-To-Do list in several hours and the rest of the afternoon and early evening we just hung out, me being happy that so much heavy lifting was done and not by me. Not that I ever could have. So YAY! Thank you!!

It takes 2 days

I was gone for 3 days and 2 nights and it’s taking 2 days to rest up. Well, I am a year older…

Just kickin’ it around the yard.

Let’s GO

Windy and I are off tomorrow for a tour east on the I-15, Road of Roadside Attractions, destination The Seven Magic Mountains, an installation created by Ugo Rondinone in 2016. ‘They’ are always threatening to move it, it’s now set to leave in 2021. I took the photo from their website.

You can Click Here to see

My Story of The Seven Magic Mountains!


And I took this gif directly from imgur.com just to see if I could. I can!

Need a smile? Watch this once and you’ll watch it 100 times.



Aloha, and Bon Voyage!

Mostly everyone is leaving the Land of Aloha…or maybe they are mostly staying. Lona is coming back to LA in July to attend to business and keep some company with her sisters. Christa has already left for Sacramento to begin her Residency. Caleb might or might not be going back to Oxford, depending, will they or won’t they open, or when will they open. Charis might or might not be going back to Virginia for college too, depending…

Both schools are offering distance learning but Charis is thinking of taking a semester off if she has to stay in Hawaii. Her comment: “I’ve home-schooled all my life, I don’t really want to home-school college too.”

Here they all are, all together at The Beach House, together for the last time for a while and taking advantage of every moment. You’ve got to love all that hair!

Caleb, Beth, Christa, Trevor, Lona, Charis.


Casa Van Valkenburg

The new cat Chauncey, settled at Casa Van Valkenburg, and quite the charmer, the friendliest sweetest cat I’ve run across in some time.

Tom cooked! We ate, we drank, and made merry, and then we walked around the ‘hood. Almost like the old days but not quite with no hugs or kisses, and masks and distance. Still, very much FUN! The restaurants are open now and so is Casa Van Valkenburg!

Today is the day..

..restaurants open! And Lill and Tony immediately enjoy a fine meal at Tony P’s in the Marina. Lill and Tony, Happy People!


My Hair

Selfies are a mystery to me, but I wanted a picture of my hair a few months in because it will be short again soon. This is day 2 after a wash just left to its own way of being. I went early this morning to old people’s hour at Trader Joe’s and had no problem at all getting in.

David’s Birthday

Happy HAPPY Birthday David! The pictures in the collage = David made me a birthday card a few years ago, a picture of David in 2006 around the time I first met him with his harem in tow, the birthday party from 2018, two pictures that include some of his work.

All the below thanks to JoAnn including the photo. I’m so glad for all this identifying information! You know my memory exists only here on this website.

“Madeline Callis, granddaughter…Jaydon Levitt, Maddie’s live in boyfriend…Wendy Callis, daughter in law…Olivia Callis, granddaughter…Gay Block, long term dearest friend and wonderful photographer…Stephen Callis, oldest son and Judith Hopkins, daughter-in-law, living in Thousand Oaks…Muriel

“David and Jo…Deanne Belinoff, long time friend and artist living in Seattle…John Jannetty, David’s long time friend and hairdresser living on an island off Seattle…Tom Kalaris, David’s long time friend he met on the Pier and is now living in Missoula Montana and was an engineer

“Karol Heinecken Mora, David’s long time friend and daughter of Robert Heinecken…Joanne Jaffe and her husband Jon Wexler…Penny, dear dear dear darling friend…Richard Brown and his mate, Patricia

Meriellen Johnson, my beloved niece in Chicago.  Very unflattering photo of her but she was fried having just come home from work…Michael Callis, younger son driving in his car coming home from work, living in Orcutt CA.”

Student of the YEAR!

I know, so beautiful! From 1,200 students our Rome is Student of the YEAR. An honor well deserved. (all the photos from Angela)

Totally true, every word, from the school district’s announcement.

And while we’re at it let’s celebrate Lilly too! She missed the Father-Daughter Dance, Rome missed some school events also, so two months into lock-down Lilly created a fantastic evening for the family. Angela reports that Lilly was in charge of Everything – decorations, menu, playlist, activities, everything, and it was a magical festivity for one and all!

some Zooming

Zooming .. regular weekly plans with friends and family, Event Zooms for birthdays etc., and a few weekly events such as an exercise class for old ladies, a Persian poetry discussion group, and for a couple of weeks I participated in one of Roger’s gatherings that is finished now. It’s made a huge difference in my calendar, peppering the squares with some socializing. At the beginning it was disquieting waking up in the morning to an empty calendar. Although my to-do list was never empty so there’s that.

I can see the technology evolving and I can see how all the people working at home might find themselves thinking, yikes, so many meetings that go on so long, as time-consuming and potentially uneventful as meetings in the office. I would like to hear that office meetings are being re-imagined and working well.

a Banana, and My Trees

Ben and Bonnie’s banana turned yellow overnight. I got these two weeks ago. Green green green green eat me NOW.

A selection of the pictures I took for the arborist at the garden center who was a lovely woman and after our 20 minute conversation discussing my ailing trees, she said “be sure to let me know how it turns out” to which I replied “you can count on it!”.

The kumquat. Planted wrong, excavate to the edge of the leaves, water only once a week more deeply, don’t let the sprinklers hit the tree, add more iron in 6 weeks. The yellow leaves are doomed but the new growth should be nice and green.

The persimmon. Planted wrong, excavate to the edge of the leaves, water only once a week more deeply, don’t let the sprinklers hit the tree, fertilize at the end of summer, don’t worry about the falling fruit.

But we didn’t

We didn’t overcome did we. We did not overcome, yet? Maybe someday? I hope the new people do better than we did.

Now I sit around and then the day is over. I’ve enjoyed myself but the world is no better off, although I do try to be thrifty and not waste. I had four video calls (more than usual!), did 1/4 of a Spanish textbook chapter, fooled around with this website, cooked and ate and cleaned up food, pulled some weeds, and ran a load of laundry. And I watched three episodes of Murdoch Mysteries.

Greetings June

We greet June in so much turmoil over the events of the day. I pretty much try not to talk about anything too controversial here, appealing I hope to a general G-rated audience, even to those of my relatives whose views tend toward the exact opposite of mine, except of course for the regularly scheduled Trump Rage that cannot be avoided by me, and in keeping with that mission, you know what’s happening, you don’t need me to tell you.

So let’s talk about my front yard! Goal for June: get rid of the things I don’t like and put in things I do. And figure out about the water, this plant is getting too much, that plant is getting too little, fertilize with this or that or the other. omg. And do my absolute best by the trees, for them to be Happy. Happy Trees!

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