Saturday, June 28, 2014

one flight, two frights, three cheers

I am using a non-Apple computer and I have no idea how to put up photos so this will be an unillustrated post!  My hostess doesn't have Wi-Fi so I didn't bother to bring the Air. 

First, the flight.  Thursday afternoon from Sac to San Diego.  Then the frights.  I have no idea what happened.  The pilot announced we were 18 minutes from landing and be sure the seat belts are securely fastened blah blah blah.   But the plane flew far beyond the San Diego airport, ,\ over Coronado and the Naval Air Station almost to the Mexican border.  Then it headed east, slowing air speed and losing altitude as we went.   This was the first fright.  After about 15 minutes of this I began to get just a bit edgy.  On we went, slowly.  Suddenly there was a big thud ~ wheel dropping? ~ followed by a slight acceleration and a wide, gradual arc north and finally northwest.  Some 20 minutes later we landed.  I realized when we touched down that I was gripping the armrests so hard my hands were cramped.    Perhaps the wheel wouldn't drop down and it had to be fussed with.  I don't know and nothing was said but the passengers were very quiet during all of this so I was not the only one who noticed.   The next fright was the van driver who decided he'd try to set some land speed record between the airport and my destination in La Jolla.  A veritable Juan Fangio

But three cheers, I made it safely to the welcome of my hostess and her beautiful retriever, Maggie.  And here I'll stay until Monday when I return home on a completely uneventful flight.  Right!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

the week's doings

On Monday evening I met friends for a long-delayed dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.  They serve Indio beer, my beach staple, and pretty good chiles rellenos.  We sat out in the patio in the lovely, warm evening and got all caught up on the news of mutual friends and colleagues from the past.  These lovely papel picados fluttered above in the soft Delta breeze (thank goodness for those cooling Delta breezes).

The ones I have are made of the thinnest, most flimsy tissue paper and are good for only a few days and then they shred and fade or get soggy in the moist beach air.  But these are made of plastic and would probably last for the entire season.  I gotta get me some.

This morning, on my walk, I saw these bright yellow beauties, their faces turned to the early sun.  They are along the edge of a vacant lot.  We have the birds to thank, I think.

A not-so-good pix taken with iPod.  Need to take with "real" camera to get close-up.
Tomorrow I take off for my annual visit with friends in La Jolla.  On the program are:  visit with Donna in La Jolla on Friday, lunch with Sandy on Saturday ~ we'll go to Il Fornaio in Coronado and snag a table by the windows with a dynamite view of the bay ~ Evensong at St. Paul's Cathedral on Sunday afternoon and a visit with my sister, Vicky, who is buried there, then home on Monday.  There will be walks ~ to the beach, along Girard Street, around the old campus ~ and some good eats.  And lots and lots of talk.  The world is always a better place after we solve its problems.  I'll take pictures and post them when I get home.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

nature in the nabe

Yesterday afternoon I sat out in the garden to finish up the book I was listening to ~ Heads in Beds:  a reckless memoir of hotels, hustles, and so-called hospitality* ~ when I noticed something bright blue flitting around in the oleanders.  I got the trusty Lumex, used the powerful zoom, and saw this gorgeous, delicate dragonfly dining on the nectar of the blossoms.

For even more of nature's beauties, here's a photo of a beautiful garden in my neighborhood.  The owner has planted one or two of favorite everythings.  The result is a riot of color and about a thousand shades of green.  She/he changes these beds seasonally so there's always something growing and blooming.  

Taken with the iPod camera
A feast for the eye of the early morning walker. 

*  Thanks, MSMASSF for the book recommendation.  Loved it! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

wonderfully Wicked

Yesterday afternoon I was treated to a performance of this very wonderful musical.  My neighbor had to be out of town which left an unused ticket.  Along with her two daughters I got to enjoy a couple of hours of high-voltage singing and dancing.  Loved every minute of it. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

doing our part

This is our water-collecting bucket now installed in the shower.  With all the talk of drought and the new water rates in our fair town, we've decided that wasting a drop is almost a cardinal sin.  So now it goes from here outside to keep these beauties irrigated and blooming.

Only about half the buds have opened but the show is already beautiful.

Happy Father's Day to all the  Dads who may happen to read this greeting.  I wish I still had one so I could tell him what a fine father he was to both my sister and me.  I hope I told him enough while he was here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

it's carpet cleaning time

We moved all the furniture (except the one ton bed) out of the house this morning in anticipation of the arrival of Bob the Carpet Guy.  He showed up right on time and we left him in charge.  Fortunately we only have three rooms with carpet so it didn't take long.  We took a ride up to the campus to renew our library cards, stopped by the bank to check out the contents of the safe deposit box, and made it back just as Bob the Carpet Guy was finishing up.  It's hot as blazes today so the carpets are dry by now.  Furniture replacement tomorrow morning when it's cool.

Living room

Bedroom; everything out but the bed

Guest bedroom
This afternoon, while waiting for it to cool down enough to go outside, I watched this very excellent movie.  Great music, intriguing characters, great mystery.  I recommend it highly.   Only one tissue.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

know your neighbors

I stepped out to put some cuttings on the pile in the street and what should I encounter but this noble creature strolling down the street just as nonchalantly as possible.  I snatched up the camera and caught him browsing in the vacant lot  and then strolling across the neighbor's driveway.  I have no idea where he came from, where he lives, or who, if anyone, feeds or pens him but he's quite domesticated.  He seemed to know just where to go to find tasty shoots and grasses.  The little boy who lives next to the lot came out to look, too, and commented, "I didn't know it was Thanksgiving already!"  Sir Tom needs to stay out of sight or someone will keep him in the freezer for five months.

NOTE TO CALIFORNIA CHROME:  Your're still my guy

Friday, June 6, 2014

last weekend

A week after their lovely visit with us I am finally getting around to remembering what we did with Andrew and Ariel.  They came up from SF on the train, brought their bikes and managed to take two long rides, one on Saturday to Winters and one on Sunday to Dixon.  Otherwise, it was read, relax, chat, nap, swim and just generally veg out.  Both of them have very busy careers so it was a welcome down time for them.  They are both very interesting, smart, funny children . . . well, 25 year old "children"  . . . who seem to have a very good time together.  They got back on the train on Sunday in the late afternoon and were back home in time for dinner.  This train service down the Valley is a great way to go; no traffic jams to worry about, a beautiful route all the way to Emeryville, then a quick bus ride into the city to about a dozen different stops.  I've done it several times and always enjoy it.

Yesterday I watched "Still Mine", a beautifully done love story with the elusive and brilliant James Cromwell (I've been a fan since "Babe") and GeneviĆ©ve Bujold as an aging couple in the wilds of Ontario, Canada.  They have lived a pretty bohemian life and are now confronted by a new generation guided by soulless rules and regulations that will, if successful, destroy their way of life.   Three tissues.

 Don't forget the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.  Let's see if our California kid can pull a hat trick and win it.  I'm betting he can.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

103 years young

Last Saturday was my father's birthday.  He would now be 103 years old!  Alas, he died at 67, far too soon.  I miss him every day.

This photo was taken in Honolulu while my father was a junior in college.  He was at the University of Hawaii in a "junior year abroad" program; Hawaii was "abroad" in those days.  My mother kept this picture on her dresser her entire life.