Thursday, November 26, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving- Today IS Thanksgiving!-I'm thankful for...

...it is SO hard to narrow down specifics because I have SO much to be thankful for! Today we had good friends and family join us and enjoyed great food for Thanksgiving dinner. The weather was a beautiful Monterey Peninsula paradise-type day UNTIL we decided to set up our table outside and eat on the deck. Then...just as we started to serve our meal the fog rolled in! (This is quite typical of Monterey Peninsula "paradise weather!") We were all cold despite the patio heater, ate as quickly as possible and adjourned inside for pecan and pumpkin pie.
I like the poem that grandson Jorden chose to read before dinner:
MORE THAN A DAY

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,

It brings up some facts, quite profound.

We may think that we're poor,

Feel like bums, insecure,

But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;

We have guidance from heaven above.

We have so much more

Than they sell in a store,

We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;

Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.

Enjoy what you've got;

Realize it's a lot,

And you'll make all your cares go away.

by Karl Fucshe

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving-2 days-I'm thankful for...

the chocolatey gooey, ooye butter cookies that grandson Jorden is baking and, as you can see...eating!







Monday, November 23, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving-3 days-I'm thankful for...


today I'm especially thankful for... Dr. says my eye is doing great and I can start wearing my contact lens again. Yippee!

Note: I had a ptosis (drooping eyelid) which was affecting my vision so two weeks ago had it fixed! I went well but didn't look very good for about a week!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving-4 days-I'm thankful for...

the evening we spent with the Fresno 5 (Russ, Denise, Stanley, Mary, Will) last night. We met them halfway in Los Banos for dinner at Espana's Mexican Restaurant. And I forgot to take any pictures!

Will, our dinosaur guy, ordered dinosaur chicken nuggets from the kid's menu. When they arrived he looked them over closely to make sure they were indeed dinosaur shapes and then proceeded to name each type of dinosaur.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving-5 days-I'm thankful for...

reading: books, newspapers, magazines, computers, libraries, book exchanges, E-Readers, Amazon's Kindle or Barnes & Noble's new Nook, one of which I am SURE will be under the Christmas tree this year!





Friday, November 20, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving-6 days-I'm thankful for...

...good food...spaghetti and french bread! (And it was so good that I forgot to take a photo so, in your mind, picture your favorite spaghetti and french bread!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving-7 days-I'm thankful for...

having a (mostly) serene life.
Having said this, I think: hmmm, let's see, everyday I get up with a plan and everyday the plan changes! Is this serenity? Yes, I think so. Serenity isn't dull and boring, it is more akin to loving the day and whatever that day brings.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving-8days-I'm thankful for...

today I am thankful for my little white dog Dulee (who is sleeping in my lap as I type.) Dogs love unconditionally!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving-I'm thankful for...

a blessed life, family, friends, comforts, my Earl Grey tea in the morning and a nice glass of Chardonnay with Gary in the evening.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Doing the right thing and THEN...

I started walking about six weeks ago when Dr. Jerry ordered it - my blood pressure was a little high. Dulee and I both get our exercise when I take him for his morning constitutional. I've even been good during this past two weeks of travels.

Then this morning I tripped and fell, skinned both of my hands, right elbow and may have hurt my knee - its swollen. To make matters worse I did it right in front of three construction workers - quite embarrasing.

Oh well...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Walk Like a Man...Sherry...Big Girls Don't Cry...Rag Doll...My Boyfriend's Back...

Yes, these are songs we, of a certain age, remember of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. When we were in New York City a few years ago we wanted to see Jersey Boys but couldn't fit it into our schedule . (That was the year of our "Americana Extravaganza" when we kept to a pretty tight schedule.)

It immediately became our most important thing to do when we saw that it was playing in Las Vegas. Yes, even right up there with Gary's gambling (he calls it gaming,) that's how much we want to see it. And, in Gary's words, it was the best show he's ever seen! Yes, better than Lion King, yes, better than Phantom of the Opera, yes, better than Fiddler on the Roof, yes, better than 42nd St, yes, better than...you get the idea.

The show was an interesting biography, the ups and downs, of the Four Seasons group with the music worked into it. Did you know that Joe Pesci, yes the famous actor before he became a successful actor and just a Jersey boy himself, was instrumental in their early years? Casting of the actors was great; it was hard to remember that Frankie was not really THE Frankie! (Of course the real Frankie is now 75 years old!)

The next day while we were shopping at the Premium Outlets Gary wandered into a music store and bought a two-CD album so we are Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons complete!





















Thursday, October 01, 2009

First, a jolt and then we got high...twice!




Started the day very early with a 3:00 a.m. 5.1 earthquake. As earthquakes go it felt like a very long one, a series of hard shakes. I later read online that there was a swarm of them (what does that mean?!) which were centered in Keeler, (California) about 7 miles from Boulder Creek RV Resort in Lone Pine, our home this week. We both woke up long enough to say "Is that an earthquake" "Yes" and we went back to sleep. In general Californians don't get too excited about earthquakes and no, there aren't any big holes in the ground and California didn't fall into the Pacific Ocean. NOTE: when I started this entry there had been one quake, since then there have been at least five more strong ones and dozens of tiny ones that we haven't felt! On my Facebook page everyone is saying "you need to get the h*** out of there!

We drove up to Mt Whitney's Portal. Elevation at the Portal where hikers take off to hike up to Mt Whitney's peak is 8,365 feet. Of course, you know us, we didn't hike the additional 6,000+ feet to reach the top of the 14,496' peak--highest point in the contiguous U.S. And, knowing us, you know that we ate...the Whitney Portal Store has good burgers and delicious fries!

We did take a short hike up to the sparkling waterfall. The water was SO cold that there are icicles on the branches hanging over the water! BRRR.

We'd noticed Horseshoe Meadow on the map so when we got back down from Portal we went to explore. My oh my, 15 miles of switch-backs! When/if I dared look down my stomach took a real turn! So I didn't! Switch-back upon switch-back until we reached Horseshoe Meadow which has an elevation of 10,060'. Could definitely feel the lack of oxygen there!

At both Portal and Horseshoe Meadow we took this sign very seriously...kept looking over our shoulders. But, no we didn't see any bears.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

BIG project


I'm working on a BIG project - scanning all of the slide photos we took in the 70's and into the early 80's. The main reason we chose to take slides during those years was monetary...I think it was $1.95 to have a roll of slide film developed vs maybe $4.95 to have prints made. Like most young couples, money was in short supply for the Thomas' - $3.00 was a lot of money!

So, what really was a great idea back then makes for a real pain now. Who wants to pull out and set up that old projector, find a sheet for a screen and THEN where to set it up to look at them? (We do live in a 36' fifth wheel RV...very limited space.) While we occasionally get our old photo albums out we NEVER look at the slides.

I looked into having it done professionally but the cost is prohibitive - $.99 per slide and I estimate I have about 1,800!! Let's see, do the math, $1,800! So I bought a scanner (on sale, of course) at Costco and am scanning them, ONE by ONE, into photo folders. (Some printers have a slide-scan feature but my all-in-one doesn't have that capability.)
We wore THAT, Russ, Gary and Kelle were SO cute, Gary's hair was THAT BLACK, look at Betty's cat-eye glasses!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Us 'n' Pickles


Today is our anniversary (#47!) This morning when I read one of the comics I follow, Pickles, I thought "Does Brian Cane, the cartoonist, know us? Has he been listening and following our life?"
Yes, caring (sure, we are,) long-term commitment(47 years,) integrity (yes, we both pride ourselves on our integrity) and togetherness (we have lived in a 36' fifth wheel for 15 years without killing each other!) are key to our long lasting marriage. BUT, for years I've always stated that when it all comes down to it the REAL key to our successful marriage is two TV's!

Pickles...do all of my posts contain a food word? umm.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Biscuit, Potato and Peanuts

Biscuit is Seabiscuit the famous longshot racehorse who won in the "Match of the Century" against War Admiral . He lived out his after racing retirement life at Ridgewood Ranch near Willits, CA and is buried there in a secret location known only to the family. We really enjoyed the movie a few years ago so it was fun to tour and see where he actually lived. We also "met" one of his descendents Sea Bronze.
That's the biscuit, now to the potato:

Next, home for a week was Bodega Bay. When we made a trip to Santa Rosa, (you already know, to buy the Target gift cards) we also did a tour of famed horticulturist Luther Burbank's home. We sorta knew about him, you know in school, but also learned that he was responsible for developing the russet potato so, if you like baked potatoes like I do, you are familiar with his work. A few of his most well-known achievements are the Shasta daisy, the Santa Rosa plum, Fire poppy, a spineless cactus for cattle feed and a white blackberry (not a success-people aren't fond of white blackberry pie!)

Like Seabiscuit, Burbank is also buried in unmarked grave on the grounds of his home.

Peanuts: Santa Rosa, CA was the home of cartoonist and Peanuts creator Charles Schulz and is the home of his museum. From a distance this wall art is just that, art. Walk up closer and you see that it is an arrangement of his Peanuts strips!
On the grounds of the museum is a beautiful ice rink...Sparky, as he was called, did not forget his Minnesota roots. The U.S. Senior Ice Hockey Championships are held at the rink.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My tale of woe...


We drove from Bodega Bay over to Target in Santa Rosa yesterday to buy back to school shopping gift cards for the "little ones" in Fresno. Well, I lost them! Must have been in the parking lot because when I called Target to see if I could cancel and have them re-issued, all three had already been totally spent. I purchased them at 3:54 and they were spent at 4:15! Boy, whoever found them knew to use them immediately didn't they? Just hope it was someone who really could be helped by finding $75!

Another time I had a tale of woe (three fairly expensive bottles of wine fell out of the truck at the corner of Del Monte Avenue and Alvarado Street in Monterey.) I was moaning and groaning to the guy at the wine shop where I went to replace them. (Was buying them for a gift basket for our niece.) He dispensed excellent advice: Get over it lady!

So, here we are getting over it: the lose of $75!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Escalade's baby?





Last year Don and Lee stopped full time RVing but didn't lose the travel bug. They bought and refurbished this little classic 1977 Boler pull trailer. Isn't it just the cutest? We joke that we could fit the Boler inside our 5th wheel!

Gary and I have missed our long-time traveling companions and were happy to hit the road with them again this week. Of course we are still hot on the trail of that next place to eat and found a gem here in Crescent City yesterday. The only problem with it was, according to Gary and Don, it was a bit cutsy and feminine but had to admit that the home-made creamy potato soup more than compensated for the cuteness.

The view from our back window has been pretty gray...foggy...pretty constant summer beach weather, a big contrast from the sunny winter weather we've had during our past stays.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Life

Written By Regina Brett 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
I know... I didn't write these so this is technically not my Blog but I think they could be a mission for life. I was going to pick a favorite but just can't (#32 is good isn't it?)! Ok, so I don't like purple (or red hats, not that they are mentioned)

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ?In five years, will this matter??
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hi from Dulee, formerly known as Dylan




Hi everyone,
You will never believe what a weekend I had! I'd been staying in Carlsbad which is near San Diego in Southern California for just a few days after being rescued by Bichon FurKids. I was a little nervous on Saturday when Cynthia, my foster mom, took me to meet this couple, Betty and Gary. Well, I met and walked and talked with them for awhile and then they left!!! I'm thinking "what was this all about?" but went back to my temporary home with Cynthia, who, by the way is a very nice lady!

I didn't know this at the time but Betty & Gary went to meet ANOTHER dog, her name is Alexa. They really liked her too and said it was a hard decision to make so they went to have a frozen yogurt while they weighed which of us would be their forever dog. Well, I won! They came back for ME....yes, ME!! I have a home again.

Now, here is where it gets even more interesting. It was a very long trip to my new home: 300 miles north and now they tell me that yes, this is my home but we live in a home that moves! In four days we will be moving our home from Morro Bay to Monterey. And we will be doing this moving quite often -- yippee, cause I love to sniff and mark new places -- what a life I will have! I like to sit on Betty's lap while we travel and she likes to have me there too.

I took a walk on the beach yesterday and loved it but definitely do not want to go swimming, no way! Betty & Gary said they are happy about that since we bichons have hair that is not easy to keep up! Speaking of hair, you may not think I look much like a Bichon Frise. That's because I had to have a rather severe haircut when I was rescued. (I am also a little overweight!) Soon I will be a gorgeous 10 lb hunk of white fluff.

Now, here's the next thing I wanted to tell you about. I really liked the name BichonFurKids gave me but have changed it to Dulee. My new family has a human person named Dylan and I REALLY want to have my own distinctive name. I wanted to keep the "D" beginning sound so settled on Dulee - has a nice ring don't you think?

Well, its time for my next nap...I do love to nap.

oxxxoooxooo,
Dulee

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Out of the corner of my right eye...



I was on my way to Macy's yesterday and drove past the shop where son Gary works. This shiny Karmann Ghia with a "for sale" sign in the window caught (the corner of) my (right) eye. Well, I had to get to Macy's but called Gary from there who called Gary who said its a great little car, has been sitting in a garage for 25 years. AFTER shopping at Macy's I stopped back at the shop and bought it, just like that! Papa Joe, the owner of the shop, has done a bunch to it (don't even ask ME, I just know it drove really nice when I took it out) so it is pretty much all ready to go - all original paint etc., 39,000 miles on it and we're just the 2nd owners.

I just came from the DMV and its all registered - ok to drive.

One of those stories you hear about the car being stored in a garage!

So, I now have a poor man's (woman is this case) Porsche!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Nothin' to say...

Here it is...a cloudy Saturday morning. I'm sitting here thinking...and thinking...and thinking and I can't think of a thing to say!

Written later in the day - why would I even try to write anything in the morning? Anyone who knows me knows I can NEVER think until after 9:00am!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pickled asparagus

It was a gorgeous day yesterday so we took a drive out to buy artichokes at Pezzini's farm stand. The artichokes are especially good at this time of the year! I'd include a picture here but we ate them last night - a yummy dinner on our deck which we accompanied with a nice glass, well maybe it was a couple glasses, of wine.

I love pickled asparagus so grabbed a jar from the shelf and quickly took it to the counter where Gary was paying for our artichokes and strawberries. When it rang up at $11.99 I thought Gary was going to have "the big one!" I was actually a bit surprised too, thought they would be in the $6 range.

But they are sooo good! And it's always fun to get my husband going!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good-bye Toby

In February I mentioned that Toby, our adopted Bichon Frise, was having a dominance issue. Well, I am SO sad to report that despite many $$$ spent with agression trainers and our personal dedication to working with him we have had to return him. Bichon Furkids Rescue will be working with him to see if they can resolve his biting in home situations and then re-home him. He is now spending 10 days in quarantine before he goes on to the next step in his life.
We were so fond of him and he is so smart. He took quickly to every training we did with him EXCEPT biting! And he is so cute! But with our flexible full time RVing lifestyle, which includes lots of visitors, we just couldn't see that he would ever be totally rehabilitated.
We are devastated but had to say Good-bye Toby.

Monday, April 06, 2009

"Kitty, kitty, kitty"


No, that's not Inky, the cat that lives under our deck, is it? (See September 17, 2008 Blog post) This is just one of the very large bobcats which live - and hunt - here at Laguna Seca. Isn't he a beautiful animal? While I was taking my photos he made a big dive toward a ground squirrel but came up empty handed.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chaos...but life is still good!

Just thought I'd let you know how our day is/isn't going:

I'm in the Sound booth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (checking decibel levels for Skip Barber Races,) our home (Escalade fifth wheel) is still at Camping World (convection oven just came in yesterday so they will be installing it today), Toby is at the groomer in Carmel Valley, Gary was out getting mail etc, bought two new batteries for the fifth wheel (which had gone dead last night while we were spending the night at Camping World-30 month batteres which we have had 30 months plus 12 days-boy do they plan that!) when he heard a BIG thunk in the truck so he is at Natale's getting something done (that won't be cheap)

Gary didn't do so well in Tahoe (I think-I don't like to know!)

Oh, woe is us!

THEN...I'm going through my E mails and here is the "Real Simple Magazine" thought for the day! Wonder what our "secret order" is for today?


"In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order."
– Carl Jung

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We go to the snow-South Lake Tahoe

"I think I'll just stow in Betty's suitcase."From our window at Harvey's


West Fork of Carson Creek





Can you see the white dog in the snow?




Most of us Californians don't get much snow where we live so we "go to the snow" so here I am writing from the warmth of my room and enjoying the glorious snowy scenery of Lake Tahoe and the mountains!

We dropped the fifth wheel off at Camping World in Gilroy yesterday morning. The convection part of the convection/microwave oven has failed so it will be replaced, thankfully it is still covered by the warranty. We will pick it up on Thursday on the way back to Laguna Seca.

Back to the snow story...we again chose to drive the scenic Highway 88 up to Tahoe and were treated to the breathtaking beauty of new snow, the result of the latest snow storm last weekend. Although it was cold, in the low 20's, the sun was shining and the snow was dropping from the pine trees, often times startling us when it plopped onto the windshield.

I love to "GO TO THE SNOW!"