..in the time of Covid. We exchanged dishes, the couple I made and the many they made, and then enjoyed a zoom-giving with thanks that such a thing could even happen. DAR&L are watching Oliver’s half-brother Dude for the holiday weekend. They are SO cute together. That’s my gum tree bag of delights. The bag and containers are included! The bag says “gum tree peace out 2020!”. Snagged from Darryl’s instagram. “”Yes Dad, I do need all three devices.” Device 1: For watching the movie. Device 2: For chatting with a friend while watching the movie. Device 3: For making the Thanksgiving card while chatting with a friend while watching the movie.” Lilly left this card on the path for me to pick up. SO adorable, she made the Happy Turkey Day look like a penny.
You might think so because we are here celebrating Jo Ann’s 80th birthday. I should spell that, Eightieth birthday. She’s constantly out-and-about, tutors at Cal Arts, creates works of art, and is a blessing to her family and friends. She’s an inspiration to us all. Here is the gorgeous gingerbread cake that Muriel made. I forgot to take a picture of the bucatini and tomato sauce that she also made. We ate like Queens! Can you see Candle Man at the left in the picture. He holds the birthday candle so you can still make a wish when you blow out the candle but also not blow on the cake. Happy Birthday Jo Ann.
Ben and Bonnie picked me up, I leaned on their big console in the front seat…and we’re off! We had a deeelish brunch in the sand at the restaurant at the Annenberg Beach House called, not surprisingly, Back on the Beach. You can see it there in the distance with the salmon umbrellas, matching my salmon shirt. Thanks Bonnie for taking my picture. We didn’t walk far – there’s the pier in the near-distance. It was a Stupendous day, and SO few people, it was wonderful, warm and breezy in the winter sun, thanks for taking me out!
That’s me on my cushy guest chair >this< close to Sitting Down! Thanks Marsha! AND my shoulder is free of dressings – two down and one to go, one week shy of four months. I’m still glad I didn’t get the skin graft. The wound care has been peaceful and what else was I going to be doing anyway?! (If you don’t know, the story starts back on August1.) . My $3 flowers from TJs; a cat peering into my kitchen from on top of the car; a Very nice restaurant two blocks down the road (thanks Sharon!); sadly I know way too much about all those bandages.
I ate the last persimmon yesterday, a few kumquats are showing themselves but I’m stressing a little over that tree, the Meyer lemon has one fruit and I don’t know if there will be any more this season, the grapefruit is its same ancient weary self, but the orange tree is again making farmers market quantity fruit.
But nearly. Rienato will have been here four days, Alex has come three days and has to return to clean up the cracks in the patch. And I myself, by myself (what?! YES!!) primed and painted before the new sink could go in. Wow, right? You can imagine all that has gone wrong to make so many visit necessary. Click here for the first part of the story! . And below is a bit of work-in-progress.
Nine days from the last one I posted (and have since deleted..I had tooo many of them)…one week and two days, more than 1,000,000 new cases, more than 10,000 more deaths. Last time I showed this chart they didn’t include the hospitalization number. That’s how many covid patients are in the hospital right now. . Here’s a bright light, Lilly fooling around with zoom backgrounds. It’s a dove, the Bird of Peace!
Burt and Charlene were over and they wanted to get me something for my garden. Charlene is another one of those garden mavens and I have appreciated her input. I have an ancient geranium patch around the back porch with some bare spots just waiting for this guy! Burt and Charlene. Masks removed for the photo. Thanks guys, for a ride to the Garden Center!
Susie sent me an article from the New Yorker about the controversial project, bringing the story up-to-date I think. The article is long and full of nuance (you can click on the link) as New Yorker articles are. The architect for the LACMA project, Peter Zumthor, created and built a spa in Switzerland. From the New Yorker: “The project that announced Zumthor to the world is Therme Vals, the spa, which was completed in 1996. A Tetris-like assortment of plunge pools half submerged in a bucolic hillside, the baths have a seductive power. “It’s the Xanadu effect, the beauty of the remote,” one architecture critic told me. “It’s so sensual, it’s so delicious in so many ways, and it photographs so beautifully.” Zumthor’s spa is regarded as an exalted expression of regional modernism: site-specific, culturally grounded, made from local materials using traditional techniques.” I should go here!
My tenant had a leak in her bathroom sink. The plumber’s attempt to fix the leak completed the break in the sink. Removing the sink revealed the ancient plumbing behind the wall that itself was broken and ready to go. So now a faucet drip has turned into a fu$$-on repair job including the plumbing, dry wall, mud, a sanding mess everywhere, and then paint. And THEN we can put up the new sink.
..zero minutes to vote! I took my mail-in ballot to drop off in case there was a line, but my preference was to vote in person and it went so smoothly. It was a beautiful thing including a new high-tech system that was super easy to use and appeared frightfully delicate. There was an abundance of lovely young people manning the polls and a person dedicated to wiping down every surface after every touch. I wonder if all the polling locations in Santa Monica were this lovely? I snapped a few pics on the way – bougainvillea alley, and some twisty pokey things. I had a few choices of polling places and chose the closest – it was a nice walk up to 24th and Montana.
That’s Tony’s picture of Lill in her own garden. She fixes my succulents when they are feeling sad. ‘Blue House Gardening Service’ on call! . Below, the stroll along Palisades Park with Sharon. I got as far as the Rose Garden. Next time I feel confident I’ll make it to our regular turn-around point. Beverages with Marsha in reverse order, first coffee and then Black and Tan. Both Yum YUM. Ben and Bonnie took down the threatening tree and in exchange got more light for their garden.
Copied from the Santa Monica City website: “Soltero’s iconic sculptures of La Catrina range up to 14 feet in height and welcome guests to the Promenade and Pier in brightly colored traditional Mexican attire inspired by Day of the Dead traditions and Mexican icons and embroidery. La Catrina was first born out of Mexican social satire and has become a well-known figure in celebration of the holiday.” . Marsha drove me down to see the exhibit. If it was crowded we were committed to leaving but happily it wasn’t crowded at all even considering it was Farmers Market day, and mask compliance was 100%. Still, the pandemic news is so terrible I worry for a few days after, every time I step out my door. I must think it’s worth it.
Because I STILL can’t sit down! It was THREE months ago, July 28th, that ‘The Incident’ occurred. The Incident didn’t just ‘occur’ of course, I did it to myself, and there we are. If this is new to you, click on over to August 1 where the story begins. I am feeling better every day. The wound on my calf no longer needs treating and my shoulder is coming along. Even the wound on my butt is getting smaller. Justin, my wound care nurse, thinks he’ll be done with me in six weeks. The Light!
My home care nurse, that’s him in the hoodie, comes to treat my wounds every day. Every Day. When he’s not nursing, or hanging with the wife and two kids, or making improvements on his recently acquired home, he’s participating in endurance sports. He and his wife have each run 50+ marathons for example (or is it they’ve each run 25+? I forget. They are so young!). They are both in many running clubs, but, drum roll please, above is the group with whom Justin completed his first triathlon. I think six of those above did the triathlon, three women and three men – swim! bike! run! The rest did bike or run or maybe both. A triathlon requires a fairly long-distance swim in the ocean, in open water. You’ve got to train especially for that! Now Justin says he just wants to do more Triathlons, nothing but Triathlons (his wife is learning to swim and should be in the game very soon). I don’t know who took these pictures – Justin gave them too me and how cute is this I ask you?! Swim! Bike! Run!
Oh YES, an outdoor massage right around the corner from Ye Olde Kings Head. Windy and I delighted in both. It felt safe enough and I had to stay on my stomach but OMG did I need a massage. I could have another one too. Just the thought makes me sigh. . Muriel brought me almonds from the farmer’s market, organic, raw, unpasteurized, which I toasted to her exact specifications. YUM indeed. Nancy and I did take-out for a tasty lunch from Veggie Grill and a good visit in my covid corner. Sharon and I walked to that Halloween yard and ate in the big patio at El Cholo. Alex and Carol were here to ‘help me’ build the ikea cabinet. And I ate three persimmons already. Ann says that persimmon trees fruit every other year so I’m going to carefully savor each bite of these. If you click on the pictures they’ll get bigger.
The service porch pantry. The two missing pulls are on the way. They are the same as I have in the kitchen. I’ve had a ‘temporary’ solution in here for years. And I have looked every few months for an alternative. Google google google, pleeese give me an alternative, but she says ‘NO’. Fine. I’ve had this Ikea solution in mind from the beginning, all those years ago, and I decided I’d had enough looking. So here it is! It works easily with enough space because I’m keeping one of the shelves and the boxes that ‘go’. Alex and Carol came over so that Alex could put it together thank you very much. I’m sure you didn’t think I put it together. Activities I can’t/don’t want to do: 1) get out the ladder and 2) build Ikea furniture. . The Before. Oh how tired I was of looking at this mess.
Here’s how Knut and Brigitte do Happy Hour with their neighbors in Antwerp. The across-the-hall couple open their door and the down-the-hall neighbors bring their food and set-up between the two front doors. Things were quieting down in Belgium covid-wise but now they are facing a renewed wave and are back to tight restrictions in a effort to avoid another total lockdown. And Winter Is Coming,
Oh I do enjoy me some lunch with my bubble-friends. That’s Ann who has a big persimmon tree and is checking out the readiness of my small crop. Beth had some free time to swing around and then the family went to Vasquez Rocks, and that’s Beth’s picture. Marsha picked me up for the 5 minute ride down to the beach where I did a Spectrum chore, a Story In Itself, and then we ate on the patio at Ye Olde Kings Head. Marsha sent me a picture of her cat in the first of its eight weeks in a cast for somehow breaking its leg. Merlyn came and we gorged on pizza, I had dinner here with Jo Ann and she brought some of her latest work which was fab, and Windy saved my battered skin from the further abuse of my wound care.
Lill gives me plants and then she comes periodically to fix them up so they don’t die. Thank you Ingalill! She cleaned up the three sisters (sorry about the photo) and gave them some background, and cleaned up all the pots. Now I have a consolidated Succulent Garden. Maybe there will be more…I should take a picture every month or so to see how the big flowered pot fills in. It should be grand!
Merlyn and I had a lavish lunch from Pitfire Pizza – and there were two piece left! Plus a nice salad. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the driver forgot the cookies but I got a refund for the cookies and we didn’t eat any cookies so I guess that falls into the fortunately column. Except I can’t stop writing cookies. And below is me. My hair looks cute so I must have a picture. Here, let me stand in front of the distorting convex mirror.
You can click here for the Current Tier Assignments. You can click around and find the details of what each tier represents and how the criteria are measured. I was happy when the California governor issued rules about what and how businesses could open based on knowable criteria. Sure there will be some sense of unfairness especially on the county lines – why should the store down the road be open and I have to be closed. But I think we’re better off making a plan, testing for that plan, and moving forward. Please don’t say oh only 215,000 have died and so many more have died in car crashes and we don’t outlaw cars. Please. Are car crashes contagious? And don’t get me started on seasonal flu. Why do you think there have been ‘only’ 215,000 dead and not millions more? Please. You can google “how many would have died of covid without lockdown” and choose the source you find believable.
From my front porch. I’m going to the store tomorrow. Wahoooo. Ann’s coming for lunch and we’ll walk to the park and then my Persian poetry class has changed from Sunday to Monday. And my wound care nurse will be here followed by a zoom with the Valley gang. So a little bit of busy within three blocks of my house. From the sidewalk.
Here’s Christa one of my Hawaii great-nieces who is living in Sacramento now doing a three year internship in Family Medicine. That’s right, my Christa, Dr. Brown! My other lunch companions for the week included Nancy, Windy, and Sharon. I feel so fortunate to have my back yard and my Covid Corner, and friends who will go for a little walk. And I can’t resist because I’m just here, more garden pictures.
I look at amazon reviews about every day and it crosses my mind often that if I had the time I’d go through my orders and post some reviews. If I had the time, that’s funny. I definitely have the time, and I’m strong enough now to stand at the kitchen counter, like a nice stand-up desk, and write reviews. The fun part is I’m only doing reviews if I can make a picture to attach, so I haven’t reviewed gifts or consumables. Let’s see if I get bored of it before I’m done. Will I get lost in all the fake reviews? Does it matter? I’ve decided not.
And Thursday nights too, we visit for an hour. I did one of these screen shots on April 7, July 2, and now again on October 6. How long..how long.. So many birthdays missed. So many fine meals not enjoyed. But we get to see each other online so YAY for that! Lourdes is moving to Arizona to be near her family. We’ll miss you! Marsha, me, Becky, Ann, Marija, Lourdes Alicia checked in too but by then I was already camera-off resting on my good side. Maxine and Ljubica don’t zoom but they do chat on the phone.
Here is Alex and Carol who made it out from Long Beach and a few folks who have done the trek recently and it means a lot. A visit is something to look forward to, then enjoy, then appreciate in retrospect. Three joys in one event! I promise we’ve been covid contract tracing Safe with just a quick photo sans mask! Muriel in the covid corner Guest Chair. Sharon and I ended up with the same glasses. Marsha’s been over a few times with no pictures so here we are in Kansas City back in 2017 at the home of her friends John and Lorraine to watch the total eclipse of the sun. You can click on these guys and they’ll get bigger.
A delightful visit with Lilly and an e-snuggle with Oliver. That’s FUN for sure! I did a screenshot on my computer through her phone, fuzzy but Who Cares that’s just how cute it is. I do SO appreciate all these ways we can e-visit, see and feel each other’s expressions, and share time. It’s a blessing not to be forgotten or taken lightly…even when I’m SIGHING for this to be over so I can have a REAL snuggle, and Go Somewhere. I can go somewhere and still visit with Lilly and e-snuggle with Oliver, from anywhere in this compelling world. Here’s a potential trip-plan for about a month and a half, places I’ve been and places I haven’t. Anyone want to hop on for a week or two?
CAUTION! If you know Trevor Noah you know what you’re getting into and you can watch the video if you want, and if you haven’t already. If you don’t know Trevor Noah this is a rant that I appreciate…so CAUTION, don’t be offended, just roll on by! (I can’t figure out how to make this video smaller..it comes up in full screen. Maybe Darryl knows how to do it. I’ll ask!) https://www.youtube.com/embed/e3NoIG6CtU4 . . . .
I wasn’t expecting these guys to peek into the front windows. It’s very sweet. They are called Rose Mutabilis or the Butterfly Rose. The flowers last for about a day but there are a lot of them, the result of which is a nice bloom and a ton of deadheads. It’s ok, deadheads are on my list for today. The gardener is working out so well I don’t mind doing a little too. Remember Michi’s garden? She kept this amazing book where she wrote every time she removed a plant and every plant she put in. It was a long and historic document, and beautifully hand written. I’m trying to make a book too. Being me I’m getting all the info from the internet and including pictures in my book. Also being me of course now I’m thinking of redoing it because I’d like the new things to be ‘on top’. No! It’s fine! Stop! Michi is full-time in Mexico now so she dismantled her Santa Barbara garden, passing along most of the plants and decor items. Here’s what I got from her garden. It’s on the other side of the front door from the picture above. When I get…
You might think that all the commotion that poured out of O’Brien’s Irish Pub every night would make its way to my house, but I never noticed anything, no music, crowd noise, traffic, nothing. I was walking past their parking lot last night to discover the scene below. The area in the parking lot was full with tables not very spread out and all the tables full of people, but the old patio area surrounded by the fence and covered by the low-hanging canopy was worse. It was basically a room and the patrons there were shoulder to shoulder talking loudly because it was so noisy in there and roundly cheering the game on tv. I wonder when I’ll feel safe enough to enjoy such an environment? Did I ever enjoy such an environment? On the 23rd Street wall of O’Brien’s Irish Pub facing the Trader Joe’s.
Here we have a yellow tomato (although it looks orange here) grown in the back yard by my tenant Olivia and in front is the first persimmon(!) from the new tree. The tomato was vine-warm and perfect. The persimmon was SO sweet, the birds thought so too. I should have picked it a few days earlier. . I feel like it’s time to stop doing nothing. I like to take a picture and write a little, it’s my diary, and without a picture and a few words, well, you know. Didn’t happen. Which hasn’t been much of a problem lately since I go nowhere and do nothing. I wonder if a few mouse clicks and then picking up an amazon box from off the porch counts as doing something? This week was different, and Good. I ate lunch with someone every day and it was wonderfully refreshing. I am faithfully maintaining covid contact tracing guidelines. We might be closer than 6′ when walking to the store but that takes far less than 15 minutes. Oh man-oh-man do I hope they don’t change those guidelines. Elizabeth in North Carolina wrote these words to someone else and I asked her if I…