Thursday, November 29, 2012

one down, five to go

Greetings from La Jolla, from the desk of our hostess.  We left home at 6 am this morning and raced down the length of our great state.  Got here at 2:30, tired and stiff.  I have a couple of photos to post but have to wait until I can use my own machine.  Plans for our brief visit include breakfast with friends tomorrow morning, probably some window shopping in the afternoon, depending on the weather, someplace tasty for dinner tomorrow evening, and then we're off to Tucson on Saturday morning.

We had good weather most of the way, with some fog and heavy mist at the highest elevation over the Grapevine and again in the LA basin.  The great thing about this drive is that from the I-5-405 junction to Oceanside, there's a car pool lane and if you don't drive 75 MPH you'll cause a pile up.  We were through LA before we knew it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

here and not here

It's less than 24 hours before we start off on our annual Great Mexican Adventure.  The house has been cleaned, everything washable is now clean, the electric blanket is on the bed, the 'fridge cleared out of mystery contents.  Car is stuffed ~ I thought this would be a light year ~ and gassed and ready to make the long, six-day trip.  And this is the absolute last year we're going to drive down.  Next year Alaska Airlines will have the honor of transporting us.

My desktop computer is littered with photos of our splendid Thanksgiving in Bozeman so here they are.

Thanksgiving Eve snowstorm

Front deck resort on Thanksgiving afternoon.  Better than Aspen!

The table

The bird
The carrots
The dressing (with chorizo and fennel and mighty good, too!)
The pies
The next generation
We also had brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes and green beans but somehow those pictures got lost.  But enough is enough.

This is a particularly pretty time of year here in the northern valley.  This is our beautiful Chinese Pistache tree in all of its autumnal glory.  These trees are all over town and along the highways.  They make for a stunning sight.

After today's heavy rains and wind, it is almost bare.

So that's about it for past history and current events.  We're off at 6 am tomorrow, destination La Jolla.  Two days there, then to Tucson for a night which will include dinner with friends.  We'll cross the border at Nogales on Sunday morning.  Three and a half days of driving and we'll get home on Wednesday.  Chuy is already planning the chiles picadillo for our dinner.  I'll do my best to post along the way.  I am planning that it will be completely uneventful.

¡Hasta luego!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hadjabi, party of 5

Who, you may well ask, are the Hadjabis?  I really have no idea except that they had reservations on this morning's flight from BZN to SLC and didn't make it.  Why is this important to me?  Because we got two of their five seats!  There were five non-revs waiting to board the 6:25 am flight to Salt Lake.  The gate official called twice for the Hadjabis to get a move on and get to the gate because the door was going to close in 10 minutes.  We all looked at our watches and waited.  At five more minutes the gate official announced it again and urged the H's to step on it if they wanted to make the flight.  Three minutes, two minutes, one minute and still no H's.  We got the nod and all rushed to get seated and off we went.  Thank you Hadjabis, wherever you are and WHOever you are.

Made it to SLC early, found our SLC - SMF gate and again waited to see who didn't show up.  We got seated, me in Business Class, Mr. C. in an exit row with more room.  Easy flight across the snow covered mountains, down into the valley tule fog for a bumpy landing.  But we're home safely after a very splendid Thanksgiving trip.  I have photos to put up but they're all on the lap top so I have to transfer them first.  Caitlin had told us that flights for the rest of today and tomorrow were packed so we feel lucky to have made all our connections.

Now it's the big push to get out of here by Thursday morning.  The car packing begins tomorrow, interspersed with housecleaning, pedicure and massage.  I'm getting in the mood.

Overheard on the airplane.  Two women sitting in front of me were on their way to a business meeting.  One was discussing something about a third person.
Woman on the left:  "I don't think I know who she is."
Woman on the right:  "She's the one with big ears and the striped hair."
Woman on the left:  "Oh yes, I know who you mean."

How could she not?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

at the museum

Sorry I didn't get this put up last night but there was just too much going on.  So back to our visit to the Museum of the Rockies yesterday morning.

That's Big Mike in the front. Of course the first thing we headed for was the dinosaur display, complete with sound. Most of the fossils in this show were found around here and the foremost expert on dinosaurs, Jack Horner, is a local.

Then we strolled through the Indian displays (no photos allowed) and on into the display of 19th century sheep and cattle ranchers' lives, complete with their wagons, implements, and great photographs. These beautiful baskets were in this section.

Next was a stunning collection of contemporary furniture made by artists from Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. The craftsmanship was so beautiful. I particularly liked this "dressing table" made of cedar, juniper, euclapytus woods with carved elk horn knobs on the lower drawers and on the doors. The two doors swing open to reveal a mirror.

This gem is a portable fly tying box with scads of tiny drawers for all the necessary gear.

We moved on to an interactive show, supposedly for children, about both the construction of and the destruction of buildings. Andrew had a great time constructing a trestle while I watched a video about how to blow up old or damaged buildings.

No pre-Thanksgiving celebration would be complete without yet another trip to the market, which we did.  Then home for lunch, reading, resting until it was time to go out to dinner at Ted's for bison whatever.  Delicious, as usual.

Today has been spent in the kitchen, baking pies (Mr. C and I), prepping the stuffing (Cait and Andrew ~ it doesn't go in the bird), cranberry sauce (Cait).  The dogs have done a great job of hoovering up anything that drops.  The bird is thawing in the garage, the brussel sprouts, carrots and yams are ready.  Mike will make the cornbread to add to Cait's stuffing tomorrow, along with a pecan pie. 

The bad news in all of this is that Alex is down with a very bad cold and has opted to stay in Walla Walla and not drive 8 hours is what is turning out to be not very great weather.  In fact, we are expecting snow tonight.   It appears we are not going to have everyone together has we had so hoped.  But the important thing is that she recover!

To everyone, a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that you are spending it with those you love ~ family and friends.  We certainly are!

Monday, November 19, 2012

clear and bright

Today dawned bright and sunny . . . and cold.

The sun poured into the kitchen and I took this picture of Zeke as he basked; he looks like a little old man!

Huck had spent yesterday out with Mike and Andrew hunting pheasants.  I think he was still tired; he's usually very exuberant but was a bit more subdued.

We heard from Alex that she is battling a bad cold so her attendance on Wednesday may be iffy. We went into town to do the shopping for things she was to bring; carrots, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, etc. She'll let us know tomorrow if she's going to come.

Nice invigorating walk with the dogs this afternoon.  Then tomorrow we'll make a trip to the Museum of the Rockies to check on the resident dinosaurs; Andrew has never been there.   Tomorrow's dinner is taken car of:  Ted's for bison.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

greetings from . . .

Beautiful Bozeman.  Yep, we made it from the everlasting valley to the everlastion hills and on to glorious Big Sky country without any hang up.  It took six hours from door to doorl.  The flights were full but we still got on.  Thank you Delta for being so wise as to hire my daughter.

The approach to Bozeman; Bridgers in the background.
We got here in time, picked up Cait's car and drove home.  Who was there to greet us?

The adorable, sweet natured, really big and hairy Zeke.

It's cold and grey with snow covering the meadows and hills.  We even had a bit of a snow flurry as we were finishing lunch.

If you look carefully you can see the snow flakes against the dark trees across the street.

We are about to sit down to a lovely dinner with Cait, Mike and Andrew, with Zeke and Huck ready to hoover up anything that drops.

It's wonderful to be here.  More tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

bozeman, maybe

Tomorrow morning we'll show up at the airport with our standby passes and hope for the best.  There are two flights daily; one at 6:30, one at 10:30.  If we don't get seats on either of those ~ and Cait reports that it's going to be tight ~ it will be back home to try again on Monday.  Or Tuesday.  Or . . . If we do get seated, it will be off to Salt Lake where we then have to try to get a seat to Bozeman.  There are more flights but the planes are tiny.  We've been mulling over other options; take the Greyhound for a 12 hour ride that leaves at 8:15 am which would mean an overnight?  Rent a car and drive which takes 8 hours so that would mean an overnight somewhere along the way as we probably wouldn't get away much before noon.  But perhaps we'll be lucky and get seats all the way without any problem which puts us in Bozeman before noon tomorrow.  Andrew is already there; smart boy actually bought a ticket.  We'll hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  At any rate, our luggage will be having a fine time in Bozeman no matter where we are.  Then we'll have to figure out how to get it back.

Friday, November 16, 2012

doing colin firth

I've been having a little fling with Colin Firth in the last few days.  I watched these two splendid movies and I recommend both.  First was "A Summer in Genoa."  Keep the tissues handy, tho.  Beautiful scenery, lovely story of parents, children, the world, and trying to put it all together in the midst of terrible grief.

The second was "When Did you Last See your Father" with the wonderful Juliet Stevenson and Jim Broadbent lending support.  Again, parents, children, the world, etc.  Not bad scenery, either, of the green and rolling English countryside.

That's going to be about it for movies before we go.  I am going to keep my instant watch on the Flix so I can catch a film while in Mexico.  Most American film DVDs for sale have been dubbed into Spanish without subtitles and although I do just fine in a hardware store, machine gun Spanish in a movie is still more than I can handle.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

pleasure and pain

First the pleasure.  Here it is:  "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder.

This non-fiction book, in Kidder's usual elegant, eloquent style, is about Paul Farmer, a doctor who has devoted his life to bringing medical services to the neediest among us in such places as Haiti, Peru and Russia. A wonderful read.

The bad news: something very freaky has happened to the mail program in Firefox on my computer. So I am now using Safari; so far, so good. I need to have a one-on-one with g'son Andrew. The good news there; I'll see him this coming weekend. The bad news; I'm not taking this computer.

I know, I know, with all the ills of the world I should worry about my mail program? And the ills just keep coming, don't they?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

the great countdown

The countdown starts tomorrow. One week until we take off for Bozeman for Thanksgiving. This is what it looks like at Cait's house today.

From the front deck

From the back deck

We are looking at a long range forecast of much better weather for T'giving week; way up into the 40's. But it sure is beautiful right now.

Two weeks from today we return home to finish packing for the trip south.  The house looks like a staging platform for some great migration.

First boxes
We'll be here five more days after returning from BZN, long enough to get the car packed and the house cleaned, for me to get a pedicure and do any last-minute shopping for must-haves.  Then it's off on another (and, we've decided, our last) great driving adventure through what many consider hostile territory but by now we think of it as just long and mostly boring.  Our house sitters (two young lawyers ~ she is a clerk for a federal judge, he landed a job with a firm in SF) move it right away so Dorothy won't be alone.  We expect to arrive at the beach by early in the first week of December.  I'll be sure to get Chuy to cook up some chiles picadillo for our arrival.  See, I'm already getting in the mood.  So it's back to the packing . . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I didn't think it was going to be possible. And I certainly didn't think it would happen so fast. We knew by 8:15 PM here in California. But it happened. I am elated. It's 11 PM here. Time to go to bed and worry about the "other side" tomorrow. At least the court is safe for another four years.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

better late . .

My friend DM posted this on her blog a few days ago. I know it's late in the game but still I thought it worthy of publication here.

Don't neglect to vote. It's too important.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I get this poem out once a year and pass it on for your enjoyment. It's one of my favorites. As I look out the window in my office I see grey skies, trees and vines shedding their leaves. I'm wearing cords, a sweater and a jacket. The heat is on in the house and we'll have a nice fire in the fireplace tonight (unless it is a NO BURN day, a new nanny-state prohibition inaugurated today by our fair City Council).


 by Thomas Hood

 No sun--no moon! No morn--no noon! 
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day-- 
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue-- 
No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"-- 
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go-- 
 No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people-- 
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em! 
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast-- 
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility-- 
No company--no nobility-- 
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, 
No comfortable feel in any member-- 
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, 
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,