Wednesday, June 16, 2010

naked rooms

We are having the carpets cleaned today. That meant moving all the furniture out of the three carpeted rooms (living room, two bedrooms ~ other floors all blessedly tiled!) so Bob the Carpet Cleaner could work his magic. The only thing we didn't move out of our bedroom is our bed; it's just too heavy, so he'll have to work around it.

We were chatting before he launched into his task and he asked how we kept our almost-white carpet so clean in between shampoos. Frequent vacuuming, we said. He told us he has clients who don't vacuum at all between his cleaning visits, sometimes a year. Yikes! Mr. C is a fanatic about vacuuming. How lucky I am! Fortunately it is warm and breezy here in the valley today so if we leave all the doors and windows open things should be all dry by late this afternoon and we can drag all the furniture back into the house or, as in the living room, slide it all off the tiled portion of the floor onto the carpet and get things back where they belong. The next house project is going to be repainting the guest bedroom. It's too dark in there, so I thought a nice coat of cream color paint might do the trick.

In the meantime, I will drive up to Sact'o to pick up the LapMac from the shop where it has gone for its annual post-tropics cleaning. There was no problem, but after five months in the damp and dust and salt, a thorough exam is in order so nothing gets clogged up. The tech who called yesterday said he found nothing, for which I am thankful.

Tomorrow I am flying down to San Diego for a weekend with boarding school gal pals in La Jolla. First stop will be at St. Paul's Cathedral to say hello to my sister whose ashes are immured there. Then on to La Jolla where the dance card is looking mighty full; dinner party tomorrow evening, lunch at the La Valencia on Friday, possible visit with former headmistress who, at a remarkable 99 years young, is as sprightly as ever. Rumors are there is something going on Friday at the Beach and Tennis Club. Saturday evening I am having dinner with brother-in-law Tom. I haven't seen him since my sister's memorial in October, although we keep in touch often by phone and email. I am very much looking forward to a visit with him. In between all of that socializing I am hoping to spend some time with my hostess and her two lively dogs at her absolutely charming home. Perhaps a couple of beach walks, too. I'll be home on Sunday.

Monday, June 14, 2010

lonesome cowgirl

I can remember the day this photo was taken on the lawn of our family home in Los Angeles. A man came through the neighborhood leading this little pony, offering to take photos of all the kids. I can only imagine his arduous days, going from neighborhood to neighborhood pulling his little horse along with him, knocking on doors, trying to talk post-WW II penny-pinching mothers (the dads were all at work, including mine) into spending perhaps $5 to have a picture taken. Just trying to make a living, that's all. It was hot ~ notice the halter top ~ and grueling work, although we lived in a very pleasant, shady and quiet area off Melrose Avenue. It wasn't MELROSE AVENUE in those days, just an area with small bungalows with lawns and flower gardens and single-car garages. The photographer's kit was complete with the costume parts; chaps, a sombrero and a bandana. I really, really wanted my picture taken on the back of that sweet little horse. There's a bit of a furrow on my brow so I must have been somewhat apprehensive about the whole enterprise. Notice the no-nonsense cowgirl pigtails. I think I was about 8 or 9 when this picture was taken. My next door neighbor, Jane Stetson also had her picture taken. Ellen Jebejian did, too. Our street had lots of kids. That photographer probably made a week's worth of income in that one place.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the filing cabinet traveler

I have in my office the ugliest 4-drawer filing cabinet still extant. I bought it from the (very) used office furniture barn on the campus when I was still working at the Big U. It's green, metal, and something that, these days, wouldn't even be allowed into an office. But it has served me well as the depository of all my paper ephemera such as old letters, clippings from here and there, accumulated writings from over the years, bank records, car histories, correspondence I have kept for who-knows-why. There is one drawer that has been dedicated to all things travel; maps, articles, photos, post cards, and clippings from newspapers and magazines all neatly organized by country. Remember when the San Francisco Chronicle had a "Follow the Reader" article in each Sunday's Travel section? Hundreds of clippings from it. However, I need an extra drawer in the cabinet to hold all the business from my sister's trust, so I decided it was time to clean out the travel folders. Wow! What a bonanza of memories. And what a lot of trash, too. I went through every piece of paper in each folder and either logged on to a web site for that particular item ~ hotel, restaurant, freight line, train line, etc., ~ and bookmarked those things for future use, reread the articles to see if I wanted to keep them, tossed reams of paper, and generally cleaned up and out. I got rid of Bali, Belize, Caribbean, cruises, Egypt, Germany, Guadaloupe, Dominica, Libya, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. The files now fit in one half of a drawer, making room for the bulging map file ~ I hate to throw away maps. All in a day's work.

Tomorrow I move on to the "General Files" drawer. Another ton of paper will leave the premises.

Friday, June 11, 2010

a universe of cleverness

This is a marvelous bit of fun, brought to you courtesy of Monty Python and that group's remaining members at the Royal Albert Hall. Originally performed in 2007, this version was recorded in 2009. It has some clear analogies to the 2008 election and some other very funny updates. Listen carefully, esp. to Michael Palin (hint, hint!). Available from the Flix®. Don't miss it.

So what's been going on this week? Turn-around trip to Long Beach; dinner with Alex, Pete and grand-kids. Andrew and Emily are such nice child-people; smart, funny, no sullen behavior, easy to talk to, responsive. You know, everything you hope for in the next generation. Picked up the family furniture, spent the night and headed back home on Monday. Then daughter Caitlin jetted in from Bozeman on Thursday; had dinner, spent the night, got caught up on all granddog news and other miscellaneous gossip, and she jetted out this afternoon. She is also smart, funny, no sullen behavior, easy to talk to. And she IS the next generation. We'll be going to Bozeman next month for a week's visit.

As for us here in the valley, nasty north wind is always a plague at this time of year. Toppled our patio umbrellas in the night and made white-caps on the pool. There are more important things going on in the world than that. But they are so overwhelming; if I were to return to Mexico I wouldn't know anything about them and just might sleep better.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

10 for "Nine"

I just watched this fabulous movie, a redux of Fellini's "8 1/2" made in 1963. Thus the title. What a great way to await the Belmont Stakes, due to start in about 15 minutes.

Heading south tomorrow to pick up some family furniture currently in storage at daughter Alex's house in Long Beach. Visit with grandkids, too. Then home on Monday ~ quick trip. Daughter Cait comes from Bozeman for an overnight on Thursday.

But Wednesday is the big day. Dorothy goes up to the Smart Car dealership for a spa day. Hey, not my description; that's what they call it.

One year ago today I closed up The Tonsil War, having been assured by Mr. C's docs that all was well. He has passed this year's exam, too. I need to be reminded of this milestone every year.