Monday, December 31, 2012

And we are still moving

Yesterday Marty loaded the truck by himself.  Host Pat and I helped unload.  I ignored the doctor's rule not to lift anything heavier than a feather.  Pat worked like a trooper too.  She will not need to go to her exercise class all week.  Well, as much as she carried up the stairs, she might not be able to go to exercise class. 

We were all pretty well worn out by mid afternoon.  But much more to do.  The stupid boxes do not unpack without help. 

Today Landlord Joe will be at the apartment with his guy.  The leaky sink is to be fixed.  The closet rod is to be secured, a few other things will be tended to.  Also Joe has to be there while the satellite Internet man hooks up the dish.  We are living in a registered historical house and satellite dishes can't go just anywhere.

More reports later this week.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Still Moving In

Warning: Blogger said spellcheck is not working today.  You all know I have spelling issues. Hope I guessed right.

We began cleaning and bringing small things to the apartment before Christmas.  Yesterday we hired the big truck, hired 2 day laborers, and had the landlord's broken refrigerator taken out and took my big honking one in.

Joe has a guy who does repairs/odd jobs.  We paid him to move our refrigerator out of the storage unit.  He and his son arrived with their truck and hilarity ensued. They try and try, and can't get it out of the unit.  They basically said it couldn't be done.  I told them it had gone in there, so it had to come out.  They finally get it into the hall and can't make the turn to the outside door.  Marty shows them another exit from the building.  At that point I left to be at home when they arrive.  It got worse.

They can't get the old refrigerator down the steps.  The build up of ice in the broken freezer is now melted and pouring all over the floors. At this point they call another guy to help them. They consult and decisions are made. They decided to go out the back steps, but first the back door and the screen door have to be taken off.  They didn't have to take the threshold strip off, it ripped right up when the refrigerator went over it.  Now to bring my huge beauty in.

They couldn't get it in the door of course.  They took the French doors off, took the freezer drawer out, and took out all the other drawers and the shelves.  I was afraid if they ever got it in the kitchen, they would never get it back together. Three and a half hours from beginning to end I finally have my refrigerator in the kitchen, back together, and it was running. Now we have to get the icemaker water line run.  That should be just as much fun.

While the refrigerator fun is going on, my team of movers are loading the kitchen with boxes.  They also are filling the apartment with furniture and lots and lots of boxes.  At one point I was walled in by boxes.  Our friend walked in with another box, grinned like an evil child, and left me.

The kitchen is coming together.  The bed is put together.  The living room looks like a real room.  There is still work to be done. Marty will make the last run with the truck this morning.  We know for the next couple of months we will rework how things are stored.  But we have a new place to live.  And it already feels like home.

Friday, December 28, 2012


We are still getting our apartment ready for us to live there.  We have cleaned, brought boxes and things that will fit in the car and put things up.  We have been working hard.  But Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we took off from the work and enjoyed the holiday.

For 30 +years we have gone into San Francisco on Christmas Eve to look at the Christmas decorations.  We walk through stores and hotels, and we gawk just like the tourists.  We stop to eat, walk some more, stop for drinks, walk, and then have supper. Lots of walking.   Sometimes we ride BART in and sometimes we drive in.  BART is the smart way.

When we got off BART, we walked through Bloomingdale's to get up to the street level. Very blingy.

Marty taking a picture of
                      decorated cable cars waiting to loads tourists for the ride of their lives.

Children looking at the windows at Macy's.   The SPCA had kittens in with the decorations.

                                                     The Christmas tree at Union Square.

This is a gingerbread/pastry masterpiece at the St. Francis Hotel.  I could have taken a picture showing the top, but the little boy wouldn't be in it.  He would look at his mother, then me, than point out the train, or something on the castle.  He was Christmas.

                                                               The top of the castle.

Bright shiny things at Gump's.
A girl can wish.
The family we are staying with told Santa we were at their house.  Santa brought treats and goodies for Marty and me.  Oh and of course there were goodies for our hosts. We had a lovely Christmas brunch with them and their friends. 
That evening we met our son Erik and his wife Jennifer at Skate's on the Bay and had Christmas Dinner. 
We had a wonderful Christmas.  Now to get moved in and begin 2013.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Last Three Days

I have been in hell.  Three days ago my IPhone would not take my password for Yahoo mail.  Marty called Yahoo for me and they tried and nothing.  I had been hacked.  They recommended two Microsoft security  companies.  One takes your computer and phone for 10 days for X amount of $$$.  The second company does everything on the phone by remotely controlling your computer for X amount of $$$.  The service is good for a year for the three of us using the same Internet hookup. We went with the phone people.

Five hours later the tech has cleaned my computer, Marty's and our host's computers.  They have fixed the IPhone problem.  Great happiness.

The next day, 12/23/12 I changed my passwords.  We were out the rest of the day, but surprise I can't access my email.  Password rejected, not valid, does not work.  I am back on the phone that night.  Same tech gets me, he breathes a little harder, but was nice and polite.  We loaded and canceled the yahoo account 8 million times.  Never worked.  Another tech will call me sometime Christmas Eve.  I lost it.  Fix it now, he couldn't.  He wanted an expert IPhone tech to help me.  I insisted on the call being at 8:00 a.m. PST.  It is Christmas Eve, we have things to do.

I was called this morning on the dot of 8:00.  One hour later of doing everything I have done before, he took over my computer, did things to my Yahoo account, canceled my password, and we put in a new one.  Back to the phone.  We set up a new account again, and this time it worked.  Why, who knows?  Why did it not work the other gazillion times, no one knows.  It works and I am have quit drinking, crying, and screaming.

We are off to San Francisco to look at Christmas decorations. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Today is the day

Today Marty and I will pick up the keys to our new apartment.  They are letting us have them almost a week early.  We can measure, figure what furniture will fit where, put down shelf paper, and clean to my standards.  After Christmas we will start moving in.  I am excited and also really dreading all the work ahead.  Moving out was hell in August.  We were so tired.  Now we are reversing all we did then.  Better stock up on the Two Buck Chuck,

We have rented an apartment in a Victorian in San Leandro, CA. San Leandro is about 10 miles from where we used to live.  It has two BART stations and is between two Interstate Highways.  The town is charming and has added several good restaurants in the last few years.  They also have one of the best hamburger places ever.  There are good ethnic groceries, we will not starve.

We have the top floor.  The door on the left is ours.  We said no more steps but could not pass up this beauty.  The lit room will be our office/den.  To the right is the living room.
This is our bedroom which is on the side of the house.  Crown molding, picture railings, and molding around the windows.  There is a large closet.

The living room has a fireplace that has a gas stove insert.  The tile work is really pretty and interesting.  There are several patterns here.

The living room.  Nearly every room has a Hunter's Fan.  Again gorgeous molding around the room.

This is the banister above the stairwell.  This design goes down the stairs also. 

The kitchen has lots of cabinets for an apartment.  The door on the right goes to a covered back porch and the back steps.  We have a good sized pantry, room for the kitchen table, and room for some storage chests.  There is also a new gas stove.  I can make this work.

We have a big linen closet and another closet in the den.  For an apartment there is a lot of storage. 

We are anxious to get moved in and start the next stage of our life. I will post updates.  There may be whining too.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weddings and Training

Monday I went to the Marriage Factory planning to perform marriage ceremonies.  I was asked to shadow 3 new volunteers and let staff know how they were doing.  I really wanted to do the weddings, but I am there to help out staff. 

Because they were with me, crazy happened:

One couple gave their rings to their four year old.  He put them in his pocket.  Time to give the rings to the couple, he can only find one ring.  His grandfather all but turned him upside down and shook him to get the ring.  It was caught in the pocket.

We met the next couple.  The volunteer and I walked to the elevator, and there is no one with us.  We go back and the whole group of guests and the couple are searching the lobby for the bride's ring.  It is gone, the groom had a hole in his pocket.  Luckily they found it on the floor at their clerk's desk. 

The first woman Q was very confident and did not really take well to suggestions.  I suggested that she needed to speak louder calling for the couple.  She told me there were very few people in the lobbies, volume was not needed.  She will find out, couples do not hear you even if you are next to them.  Oh, well.  She did well with the ceremony, but let one of the guests run the room.  That can't happen.   Q started the ceremony and the guest started posing the couple for pictures.  No, once the ceremony starts, no posing only real pictures.  There were other things, but overall experience will correct them.

The others forgot to introduce themselves, one forgot to do the ring ceremony, they didn't ask for the cell phones to be muted, but overall pretty good.  The biggest thing I found out, they thought they had to do the ceremony exactly as written. 

As you will remember there are only 3 legals sentences, all else is fluff.  They knew that, but when a couple had their own vows Q still did our traditional vows.  Talk about a really long ceremony.  I explained they could shape the sample ceremony to suit the occasion. 

I let them ask me questions.  I told them horror stories of things going wrong.  I then told them you have to be an actor, a host, and sometimes Mother.  It all about control and making the couple comfortable. 

I did do one wedding so they could watch me.  The bride was 10 years older than the groom.  They had known each other since he was born.  From the time he could talk he said, "I am going to marry you."  He would point her out to his friends and say, " That is my woman.  We are going to get married."  Then she married someone else, he was devastated.  He married later.  Neither marriage worked out.  They found each other, he was in Tennessee and she was in Oakland.   They are so in love.  Love was in the room. 

Friday, December 14, 2012


The leasing agency just called Marty.  We are approved for the apartment we wanted.  It is the top floor of a gorgeous Victorian.  We sign the lease on Monday and can move in January 2.

We are going to have stairs, lots of stairs to get in and out of the place.  There just isn't anything I would live in that was on the ground floor.  Other places were boring, ugly, dirty, unsafe, tiny, felt like a cheap hotel. 

We saw this shining marvel of beauty sitting like a jewel on its street.  I immediately fell in love with it. So pristine.  I wanted it.  Marty called to see it.  The agent didn't call back, Marty called again.  No return call.  He called her office and they said they would call her and she would get back to us.  Finally after two days she called (she had been sick) and gave Marty an appointment to view the apartment. 

Marty saw it while I was doing 12/12/12 weddings. We have lived in a lot of apartments and houses in 45 years.  He knows what I am comfortable in and what I like.  He took lots of pictures and said I would love it. I hope to see it on Monday. 

After the first of the year I will start volunteering with my first graders, I really missed that.  And I will be back to a regular schedule at the marriage factory. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12/12/12 WEDDINGS

Yesterday I returned to the Marriage Factory after being gone for 4 months.  It was a wonderful reunion.  My first welcome  welcome backs were from the Alameda County Deputy and a janitor.  Then the clerks saw me and the shouting and hugging began.  I was so happy to be home.

It was 12/12/12 we had 42 appointments for ceremonies and we were taking walk ins.  Huge busy day for two all day volunteers and three part time volunteers.  We had three decorated rooms to use. We all were run off our feet.  From 8:45 to 4:30 we performed 75 weddings.  I did, I think 23 of them.  I could have done more, but I took breaks.  Joe our guest blogger did 35 ceremonies.  I don't think he ever sat down.  At one point someone asked me how many weddings I had done.  I told them around 9.  Marriage Desk Clerk D told me I had done 20.  Things sort of ran together.

We had long satin dresses, chiffon with hot pants under them, men in tuxes, and tee shirts and jeans.  Little girls in long chiffon dresses and sparkly shoes won everyones' hearts. We also had Christian Louboutin shoes, the red sole shoes. 

My very best moment:  As I pronounced the couple husband and wife, the official time was

12/12/12 at 12:12

I wasn't sure I could pull that one off.  Luckily the bride was a laugher (which is so much more fun than the criers) and we had to stop a couple of time to let her settle down and the timing went like everyone wanted. 

As I told Joe, I am back the crazy has begun. I had a witness with a cute guide dog in training. The printer jammed.  We had to do reprints.  One of our "wedding rooms" was a conference room.  It was decorated and really prettier than the real wedding room.  I went in for one wedding and there was a huge problem.  On the decorated wall a power point presentation was displayed.  I found the computer and started trying to shut it down.  Then I thought, no I am not an employee I shouldn't mess with a county computer.  But hey they should have shut it down.  I found someone to turn it all off, a switch on the wall.  This took time and put me off schedule. 

The worse thing that happened.  At the end of the ceremony the groom turned his phone back on.  He had a message from ADT that his house was being robbed.  He ran out and the witness and the bride waited for paper work and then took off on the run.  Now that is one I really have no ending.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Update on the HUNT

First, I am sorry I haven't posted anything for so long.  Nothing exciting or interesting is happening to us right now.  Now to the HUNT.

Every waking minute, it seems, we are hunched over our computers checking Craigslist. In the car, at restaurants we are on our IPhones checking Craigslists. Then we call to make appointments.  No one ever ever answers the phone.  Messages and emails are left.  If they call back the place has usually been rented.  Every now and then we do look at an apartment.

We went to view an apartment that was 700 square feet.  That is huge for a 1 bedroom in our price range.  It couldn't have been over 500 square feet.  I said it was small to the manager.  He said he had noticed the owner had put the wrong size.  So he couldn't tell me on the phone the correct size?

Yesterday we saw a really nice apartment: nice neighborhood, hardwood floors, fair sized kitchen with a gas stove, a little dining room, a garage, and on the ground floor.  One huge problem, closets or lack there of.  Bedroom closet would hold maybe 8 hangers and 2 pairs of shoes.  Hall closet would hold 3 pairs of shoes and 15 hangers.  No place for towels, sheets, vacuum sweeper, cleaning supplies, no storage.  I looked at the dining area and said we could get rolling racks and use it for a closet.  Wouldn't that be charming?

This morning we have an appointment in the next county.  The pictures are really nice, write up sounds good.  But who knows, some apartment owners write fantasy. 

Stay tuned.

P.S.  Tomorrow is 12/12/12.  It seems this will be a major day for weddings.  I am going in all day to perform marriage ceremonies.  I have missed being at the Marriage Factory.  I miss the staff and miss the warm feeling of love in the room.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Hunt is on

Craigslists for rent section has become our bible.  I am constantly on it looking for updates of apartments that appeal to me.  I call for appointments.  I email for appointments.  Many never send an answer.  It is a frustrating process.

We started physically looking for an apartment on Tuesday.  The pickings are mighty slim.  The first place we asked to see the apartment that had just been listed that morning.  It was rented.  The person never saw it, just pictures.  They gave a credit card number and it was theirs.  Never saw it.  Who does that?

The guideline for the first day was how far south of Oakland will we go.  After one afternoon, we knew we were too far south.  It took too long to get to where we volunteer, go to church, and where Marty works.  Great apartments, just not for us. 

Next up was San Leandro.  We lived there several months during our remodel.  A nice little town with a great library, some good restaurants, and lots and lots of apartments.  There were two duplexes that we wanted to see.  We went to the property management company to get the key.  The only way we could get a key was to pay $25 per person for the privilege of filling out an application.  Now applications always cost money.  But that is for a place you know you want to live in.  We haven't seen the places, and no refund.  They also wanted to see our Social Security cards.  The number was not good enough.  No one wants the card, just the number.  Guess where our cards are.  Safely locked up in the safe in the storage unit. 

We went to Social Security and ordered replacement cards.  I have to say how the San Leandro office was.  Very very helpful.  And not the strange clients that Oakland has.  Not a bad experience

We saw some awful places.  And we saw a place I could be happy living in.  It is even a ground floor apartment.  It is at the upper limit of our budget.  But there is hope that picky spoiled me can find a new home.

Until I find that place we will stay with our incredible friends

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Great Excitement

Monday, tomorrow, we are going back to Northern California!  Yes, there is excitement.  And there is a little fear.  We have to find an apartment/condo/duplex/whatever to live in.  There is not much in our price range in the rental market.  So I am afraid we will be living in a pup tent in the next county.

The first couple of weeks or so we are back we are staying with a friend in Alameda.  We will use her as a fine hotel and do our search.  Then the later part of December we will house sit for a friend in Concord.  She is having knee surgery and then will be in a rehab center.  She has had us "house sit" before.  When we moved in 2003 and couldn't get into our house for a couple of weeks, she took a trip and turned her condo over to us.

We are blessed with generous friends taking care of us. 

I will let you know how the search goes.  Keep your fingers crossed for us. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

They’re or there or their/ desert or dessert ???

I am a poor speller.  There are some words I will never be able to spell with confidence.  I missed the word restaurant on a spelling test in the third grade. I always spell it restuarant.   Permanent is another one I missed on Mrs. Craig’s spelling test. I always get them wrong.  But I know I will spell them wrong and double check them.   

I could usually tell if a word was misspelled and would look up the correct spelling in a dictionary.  Then came computers and the magic of spellcheck. I no longer needed to look up words, they were underlined and a choice of words was given to you.   I was in heaven. 

It got even better, auto correct.  The computer/phone filled in the word as you started typing.  You didn’t even need to finish the word.  Pure magic for poor spellers.

Then it all went wrong.  Even when you misspelled a word, if it was a real word it was left.  For/four,   ill/I’ll,   hop/hope,   there/they’re/their,   I had to start carefully proofing everything I wrote.

I wrote a blog a year or so ago about a business trip in the desserts or was it desert?  Yes I wrote desserts instead of desert.  Marty caught it when he read the blog, the next day.  Embarrassing.

Marty can spell anything.  But auto correct even gets him.  He wrote on Facebook that he had replaced a worn out flag.  Except auto correct put he had relaxed the flag.

There are lots of sites that post silly, obscene, stupid auto correct texts.  Just Google auto correct. 
Even with problems, I still love spell check. It is a wonderful invention. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Taking time off

This morning was cold (for San Diego) and foggy.  It was gloomy and I didn't want to do anything.  So I pretty much haven't.  I couldn't stand the thought of going in the pool when it was only 57 degrees, and who knows how cold the water was. I sat in a chair and read, hoping it would warm up. At 10:30 I gave up and got dressed.  I might have been just a little pleased it didn't warm up.  That water exercising bit gets old.

And the ironing, that has been pushed off to tomorrow.  Marty has lots of shirts.  One more day of not ironing won't make any difference.

I seem to be in a lazy lazy mood. I don't want to do anything except sit and read.  So that is what I have done all day.  Every now and then everyone should just take a break and do only what they want to do.

You do need to know I have not been totally worthless today.  I made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.  I had planned to fix supper tonight.  But Richard wants us to eat out.  Who am I to argue with my host.  It is Taco Tuesday with $2 Margaritas.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Old Town and other stuff with Hank and Ann

The four of us like learning about the history of places.  In fact the History Channel is one of my favorite TV channels. (Granted some of the shows have little to do with history, still like those too.) Old Town gave us a close up view of the settling of San Diego.

Old Town is a small village.  One of the homes of original settlers is now a museum.  One of the homes is a hotel.  Other buildings such as the courthouse are now small shops.  Others are wonderful restaurants.


This is the square the little town is built around.


One of the stores.


This is what was the Estudillo home.  It is a typical Spanish home built around a courtyard.  Nearly all rooms open onto the courtyard.  They were very successful farmers.  The home reflected that success.


To truly learn about a culture you need to experience the food and drink. So we had lunch at Casa de Reyes in Fiesta de Reyes.  Ann is enjoying a Margarita and chips with guacamole.

Old Town

Ann took a picture of Marty, me, and Hank.  We should have asked the waitress to take a photo of the four of us.  Oh, well.


Isn’t this pretty and yummy looking?  My lunch was a wet shrimp burrito.  It had a red sauce and sour cream across it.  See that little yellow pepper top right?  That nearly took the top of my head off.  I have eaten these before and they are hot, but not like this one was.  One bite and I put it down.  I think it’s a Cascabella  pepper.


After lunch we walked through the shops around this courtyard. 

All of the above was on Tuesday.  Wednesday we relaxed, and made some of the food for Thanksgiving‘


Thursday Ann and Hank set the Thanksgiving table with our hosts’ good china.  Hank has poured our Champagne and some of the food is on the table.  On the table we had ham, hard dressing, giblet gravy, turkey, fruit salad with a Grand Marnier sauce.


Marty has carved the turkey and is ready to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner.


Front row left to right:  Soft dressing, mashed potatoes , corn pudding in the front.  Top back row left to right:  hot home made rolls and brussel sprouts.


We also had acorn squash stuffed with apple sauce.  No one went hungry.  We had Chess pie and cheesecake for dessert.  Except we were so full we couldn’t eat it until 11:00 that night.

We had such a great time with my brother and his wife.  Today we took them to the airport to fly home to Kentucky.  That is the downside to having a great visit with those you love so much.  They leave and you miss them before you’re even get a block away.


Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving! 

I hope you all have a wonderful day. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We did the Trains again and other fun things

This is highlights of where we have taken Ann and Hank this week.  They landed Saturday on time.  Ann texted us they had landed, but were siting on the tarmac.  There was no empty gate for them to pull up to.  About 45 minutes later we got the text they were at the curb.  And then the fun began.

We had a lovely dinner that night with wine of course.  We talked, we laughed, we forced them to stay up to get on Pacific time.  The next morning the tourist stuff began.  We went to Balboa Park and saw sculptures, gardens, an art museum, went to an organ concert, and to everyone’s favorite the Model Train Museum.

Remember to click to enlarge the pictures.


Ann and Hank watching the trains.


Hank and Marty looking at the fun layout of a whole city and several different gauges of trains.

That night we had supper on the patio.  It was cool and we had a fire going for heat and for a more somber reason.


This is a worn out flag that Marty had replaced.  Hank     (retired military)  led us in respectful salutes and a quiet moment as we burned the flag.

Monday we took them to Point Loma.  We took the scenic route in order to see the Pacific.  Lots of waves, crashing waves, surfers and bouncing fishing boats.  I took lots and lots of pictures. I have edited myself and only putting up one picture of crashing waves.


This is my favorite.


Ann is looking out to sea.  Point Loma is surrounded by Navy and Coast Guard bases.  You can see some of the towers in the National Park.  We found that as long as we were in the Park, there was no cell phone reception.  We think the military jams the signals. 


This is what Ann is looking at.  At the base of the cliff is the new lighthouse and Coast Guard facility.  The islands in the haze are the Coronado Islands in Mexico. 


This time we drove up to the lighthouse.  My knee was so thankful.

We drove down to the little museum, watched a great movie on the migration of grey whales.  Then we walked out to the viewing area.  And we saw


. . .  a submarine coming into the base.  Click on this.  Even when subs are on top of the water, they are really low.  I have never seen a submarine at sea.  It was so exciting.  We had patrol boats getting other boats out of the way.  Helicopters were flying all around.


Even subs have to have tugs help them into port.  We think (educated guess) they are Coast Guard.


This is the submarine base.  In the middle at the top of the taller buildings you can see the sub turning into the dock area.  

This was Sunday and Monday.   Yesterday we visited Old Town.  I will try to post about that in the next couple of days.

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dispatches from the Marriage Factory: KIDS!

As promised, Joe has news from the Marriage Factory.  I have missed his posts.  Glad he finally had (as he said) noteworthy weddings.

Sorry I haven't written lately. The weddings have been nice, but not
noteworthy until this week. The hall is closed next Friday, so
perhaps many couples decided to take the plunge a week early. I did
10 ceremonies Friday morning, and the groups ranged from two (just the
couple) to a full house. The cutest wedding featured the bride,
groom, and their infant daughter, who was strapped to Mommy's chest in
one of these:
The little girl had just learned to blow raspberries, so the ceremony
was punctuated with slobbery lips. When she would get a little fussy,
Mom would rock back and forth a little. I found myself doing likewise
a couple times, and it always worked. I'll try that again next time
we have a fussy 5-year-old.

I always advise a couple to make a child part of the ceremony if they
like, or if there could be squirming and crying. In one of the other
ceremonies, a toddler became part of the wedding, and "helped" when
the rings were exchanged by grabbing Daddy's ring and hurling it to
the ground. Luckily, Daddy picked it up and put it on Mommy's finger,
and there you go - married!

Fashion update: two notable dresses this week: an old-fashioned
wedding dress - long-sleeved with lace decolletage - very lovely, and
a traditional Korean wedding dress like this:
- that looked kind of uncomfortable.

Best groom: the well-dressed nerd - cardigan, bow tie, and horn-rimmed
glasses, a la Pharrell Williams or Russell Westbrook.

Joe Mallon

Friday, November 16, 2012

Just a little info for you all

I am sure you regulars are asking where did Guest Blogger Joe vanish to?  Why no wedding reports?  Well, Joe sent me word why no dispatches from the Marriage Factory for the last two weeks.  I believe this is a direct quote: "They were all boring."  I think that translates to of the wedding ceremonies he performed none were strange, none were  funny, none had wonderful shoes or outfits.  Joe had high hopes for today's group of couples.  I sent back word to him, if nothing is worth blogging about, make something up.  Maybe he will write about some of his early weddings. 

I may not have many posts the next week.  My brother and his wife (these are the parents of The Colonel) arrive tomorrow morning from Louisville, Kentucky.  The four of us plan to tour San Diego.  We will see gardens, pandas, museums, sea views.  We also plan to drink, eat, and be merry. I will try to post about our tourist stuff.  But you notice I said drink, eat, and be merry.  The drink and be merry part could hamper my ability to type.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More Thoughts From The Pool

Last night the temperature dipped down to 37, but by sunup it was climbing fast to a warm day.  By 9:30 it was 72. For the first time in several days there was no wind and the sun felt hot.  I figured the warm air would make the water feel refreshing.  I sprayed my sunblock all over, got my sunhat and got in the water.


Sorry about the screaming.  Warm air did not help. After an hour in the cold water, my joints hurt.  I did have some other thoughts.

Thanksgiving:  My brother and his wife arrive Saturday for a week's stay.  I am really looking forward to their visit.  I thought about our Thanksgiving meal.  With only four of us, just how much food should we fix?  I have been known to have three kinds of cranberries, two types of hot rolls, two types of dressing, five side dishes, giblet gravy, and three desserts.  Plus turkey and ham.  Maybe we should think about this some more. Tomorrow in the pool.

Our dog sitting: When Richard and Luis would be out for the day, both dogs usually went upstairs and ignored us.   Now the dogs follow Marty everywhere.  If he gets up for another glass of iced tea, they walk with him to the kitchen.  He goes to take a shower, dogs are right behind him.  He sits down on the couch, both in his lap.  They stay downstairs with us, (sometimes they even sit in my lap).  Marty is running errands and the dogs just came in and asked me where I hid him. 

They have elected Marty as the Alpha dog.  I think he rubbed bacon all over his body to make them like him best.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I’m either very dedicated, or dumber than a red brick.

A little background.  Our hosts’ pool does not have a heater.  There is a solar thing involved.  I am not up on the mechanics of pool heating.  I think the water recycles over the solar pipes.  The highest setting is 75 degrees.  That is fine when the air is 80 or higher.

The last week or so we have had cool weather.  It has been 55 some nights, and the last three nights have dipped to 43, 41, 37.   With that we have had wind, fierce wind.  The water is cold.  The air is cold. The wind is colder.

I hate hate to exercise for many reasons.  I am lazy.  I don‘t like to sweat.  Exercising makes me hurt.  It takes time to do it.  I would rather read a book.

I need to walk in the pool an hour every day to strengthen my leg with the bad knee.  I need to walk to drop my blood pressure.  On land the knee hurts like the devil when I walk for a long period of time, thus walking in the pool. Resistance, yet support from the water at the same time.

Cold water, cold temperatures, cold wind.  The pool  just can’t recover in the daytime to be a warm cozy pool.  So when I walk at 8:30 I am freezing.  Then to get out into the wind is nearly as bad.  Today I walked later, around 11:00.  I thought the water would be warmer then.  Nope, still as cold as a witch’s t*#.  

It is to be warmer at night the next week or so, in the low 50’s.  That will be better, but still not nice.  But I will be out there slogging through the water.  I so don’t want to have knee surgery. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dog/house sitting

Our hosts, Richard and Luis, have left for a well deserved vacation.  We are dog/house sitting.  They are not one bit worried about the house, but the dogs . . . worried.  These dogs are their babies.  The dogs are pampered, run the house, and so cute you will forgive them anything.   We know what to feed them and when.  We know where they like to be petted.  If they won’t eat or are moping around, we are to call Luis’ mom to come get them.  They adore her.

We planned to stay in our end of the house and let the dogs sleep with us.  The closer to trip time, the more we heard “you should sleep in our suite, your guests should sleep upstairs, it is so nice up there”.  Translation, the dogs will be unhappy if they can’t stay in their regular space.  Last night we stayed in the master suite.  This did not go real well.

One dog, Benito, sleeps on the couch at the foot of the bed, the other, Panchito, in the bed under the covers.  Surprise, Benito jumps up on the bed.  We settle down, turn off the TV and lights, the dogs and Marty are asleep.  I am starting to doze when I hear it, beep. 

Then in a couple of minutes again beep.  The tried and true rule of smoke alarms is happening:  smoke alarm batteries only need replacing after midnight.  We get up, locate which one is beeping and Marty puts in a new battery.  As he finishes, another alarm starts beeping.  He replaces that one.  We again go to bed.  Just as I start to doze off, I hear beep beep.  That means tonight we will have another one to replace.

At 4:00 Panchito needed to go out.  I get up with him and let him out.  He just wanted to check if the lizards were out yet.  ( he is our great hunter)  I get him back in, go to bed again.  At 5:00 he wants out again.  No!  Stay!


When Marty got up, he took a picture of our bedmates.   White one on left, Panchito,  Benito is a light tan on the right.  Blob at top is me.

The early morning went better.  The dogs had breakfast,  a walk with Marty, and had treats.  They went back upstairs and ignored us.

Marty was working outside in the yard.  Panchito wanted to join him.  I heard whining and yips.  I let him out into the courtyard.


He stood at the gate and tried to see Marty.  Every now and then he would look back at me as if saying open the gate. 

And Benito???


He is curled up on my pillow.  He needs his rest after that walk.


I let Panchito out on the back porch and he could see Marty down the hill.  If Marty moved, Panchito would move down the porch with him.

When I started fixing lunch both dogs checked if I had dropped any meat.  Nope.  Well , back to waiting for Marty.


They hear Marty coming down the hall.  Ears up, tails starting to wag.


He’s here!  He’s here!

Looks as if they will accept us as their substitute humans to boss around.  Marty is their favorite, until bedtime.  They both slept on my side. 

Tomorrow, we will see how that goes.  One day at a time, one day at a time.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Lighthouse and a National Monument

No Balboa Park this week.  On Wednesday Richard, our host, Marty, and I went to Cabrillo National Monument and to Old Point Loma Lighthouse.  They are basically in the same spot.  Both are part of California’s history.

Cabrillo led the first European expedition to explore what is now the West Coast of the United States.  He first landed at was to be named San Diego Bay.  About 300 years later the lighthouse was built. 

The park museum and other buildings are on a cliff above the Bay.  You can see San Diego, Navy Bases, the Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  It is all a Kodak moment. (This link is for all the very young.)

The pictures below are not the best.  The museum was very dark, at the same time light was bouncing off the glass. 


This fine gentleman is in the Cabrillo Museum.  He is a Spanish Navigator.


This is a model of the ship Cabrillo traveled on.


A cut away drawing of the above ship.  The buttons below it would light up and identify sections of the ship.

The following pictures have different shades of blue for the sky and the ocean.  The fog was burning off and at the same time coming back in.  We had grey, blue, almost white all in the space of a few minutes.


This is the beginning of San Diego Bay.  In the foreground the submarine base.  And the top of the curve is San Diego.


Richard is pointing out landmarks across the Bay.


The dot between sky and ocean is a large Navy plane about to land.  Click to see the plane.


At the top of the hill is the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.


Any idea what this is?  Study it.  Have a guess?


This is the a light for a lighthouse. The lens was 5 feet tall.  The lens for Point Loma was sent back to the East Coast when the lighthouse was closed.  The picture above this one was of the spiral staircase they led up to the light. 


Looking left at the Pacific from the backyard of the lighthouse.


Twenty seconds later I took this picture looking to the right of the lighthouse.  Notice the water color in both pictures.


Point Loma Lighthouse.


Richard walking ahead of us back down the hill.  Blue sky and Blue Pacific.

This is a beautiful place.  Well worth taking Brother Hank and his wife Ann in a couple of weeks.  They wanted to see ocean and beaches.  This covers it all.  There are beaches passed as we drove to the park, and lots of ocean to be seen.