Friday, October 31, 2008

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love road trips for many reasons: I hate to fly, I am alone with Marty (no TV,we have to talk, and we laugh) , great music, and adventures.

We left Thursday morning to visit friends in San Diego. AND for all you cat burglars monitoring my actions, we have nosey neighbors, a house sitter, a killer dog, and a burglar alarm. Our road trips have rules and tradition. One major rule, the driver controls the radio, temperature, and speed. Tradition: whatever side I sit on the sun will hit; I will yell Marty Dammit! about 10 times every 2 hours , now that could be because he has grabbed a body part, or it could be what I consider bad driving ; and Mother Nature freaks out and other bad things will happen when I drive. I drive and we have miles of construction. Or major squalls and we have to sit under overpasses for protection, Tulle fog, snow, sleet, and hail love me to drive also. Yesterday a new adventure.

We are making great time and then it is my time to drive. We switch after lunch and I start out, Marty gets his pillow just right and is asleep. I keep looking at the sky, all yellow and weird. I have cranked it up to about 85 and sailing along., And then I have awful winds and no visibility. We are in The Valley on I 5, Sand Storm. I had just passed a sign that said sand storm area the next 40 miles. No lie. Imagine the worst fog you have ever seen, double it with gale force winds. I dropped to a crawl, then worried some fool would keep their speed up and run over me. And then it would clear and I would speed up and then boom, again no visibility. Forty miles of that.

I am looking at the gas gauge, 1/4 of a tank, below my comfort level in a part of the world that stations are 30 miles apart. We get into Bakersfield and I wake Marty up. He had said he would tell me which station to stop at there. He looks at the sand storm and say we are not stopping, keep driving. Lots of 18 wheelers are pulled over with hoods up, I guess sand in the air filter. At this point my hands are blood red from gripping the wheel and my shoulders were aching. We finally stop and get gas, just high winds no sand. And then Marty gets to drive, clear blue skies.

His drive was not nice either. When we drop down off the Grapevine, we have the beginning of LA area traffic. Not rush hour, but rush hour traffic . It is stop and go for miles and miles. And then the HAZ MAT truck passes us on the emergency lane, sirens blaring and flashing lights. We figure we will never get out of LA. Luckily HAZ MAT turned off. But traffic did not clear up, now we are in San Diego rush hour. Traffic did clear up when we pulled onto Richard's and Luis' street.

Still I love Road Trips. How many people do you know who have experienced dust storms and HAZ MAT all on the same afternoon?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin carving contest

These are some pictures of the pumpkin carving contest, as requested. There were prizes in three categories. And yes to those of you wh0 haven't seen me in a few years, the hair is burgundy. Marty and I won a DVD of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for campiest Jack o Lantern.

Grape Nehi thoughts and a recipe

When I was a little girl one special treat was Grape Nehi. If I had been a very good girl (which didn't happen often) I was allowed to have pop instead of milk to drink. And Grape Nehi was my favorite. It smelled like a vineyard,(of course I didn't know that then) it was fizzy, and it tasted like heaven. One of my best Christmas presents in recent years was from our son Erik. He gave me several bottles of Grape Nehi. I keep saying Grape because they had orange and other flavors. At one time Nehi outsold Coke and Pepsi. This was a fabulous grown up drink for a little girl. And then it sorta went away. I miss it. It is out there, but trouble to find.

Today, Debbie, the world's greatest manicurist, told me how to get the Grape Nehi fix. She had had a horrific day at work. She went home and was out of Vodka. She needed her martini, so off to the store she went. She picked up her Skyy Vodka and then saw Vodka infused flavors. There were bottles of infused orange, chocolate, cherry, and grape vodka. She bought several because at that point she said there wasn't enough vodka in the store to make her feel better. At home she opened the grape and flashed back to Grape Nehi. It was the exact same aroma, and taste. Her recipe for a nostalgic drink : one glass, some Club Soda, a little ice, and grape infused Skyy vodka. Heaven.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I think I need to explain the name of my blog. I marry couples at the Alameda County Recorder's building. I have the beginnings of their stories, I marry them. And then they walk out the door. I never will know if they are happy, if the ones who have been married 8 times will make it. I don't know if the marry for immigration couples get caught and someone gets deported. I have beginnings, no endings.

Today from 1:20 until 4:40 I performed 10 weddings. For the day 37 weddings were performed. Most of the weddings were same sex marriages. In one week we will have an election that will decide again if same sex marriage is legal. Because of this, couples are rushing to marry in case this civil right is taken away from them.

This blog will be about what is going on in my life. It may be about cooking supper, going to the grocery, or working with my first graders. I may share recipes, vent about the rude people in line at the store, or tell you about some weird TV show. This is a senior citizen's life. Some days are great, some not so great.

To close, one story. Yesterday my husband, Marty, and I attended a brunch. This brunch lasted 9 hours. We may be senior citizens but we still know how to party. Three couples, each bringing wine and part of the meal. The food was spectacular, the wines were outstanding, and the company great. But the best part of this brunch, we carved pumpkins. We had battery operated knives, little knives, and wine. AND did I mention there were prizes. This group is like family. But we cheated, bad mouthed each other, there were prizes involved. Bribes were offered to the judge, we sweet talked the judges, and we bad mouthed the judges. Did I mention there were prizes? This was fun. Good clean childish fun. And it made a perfect Sunday afternoon. Oh, Marty and I won Campiest Jack O Lantern. We got a prize.