Pack & Get Ready To Go!

We had a busy day today. I dropped off the van at the Firestone Tire store to get new tires. Mary picked me up with Precious. From there, we went to Mary’s doctor’s appointment in Newport Beach and had lunch at the American Legion on Balboa Island.

A magnificent day at the beach!

I selected the burrito special, which was outstanding; I ate every bite and almost licked the plate!

Lunch was amazing!

The sauce was made from tomatillos, and it was perfect.

I almost ordered one to take home with me!

Mary was a good girl and did a salad!

The salad was terrific!

A burrito means a glass of wine is needed to wash it down!

It was a magnificent day at the Legion; the weather was perfect, and my partner was fantastic!

It was so bright that taking a photo was challenging.

This is what happiness looks like!

After picking up the van from the Firestone store, we realized it had been two months since we last saw Jan. We decided to visit her and promised to start seeing her more often once she’s ready to go out and join us.

We went to Ace’s and had a glass of wine before returning home to pack!

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Geting Ready!

Mary and I didn’t walk in the garden today due to her hay fever or possible pre-cold. We remained indoors until we went to El Modena High School, where Mary was scheduled to make arrangements to speak to students about the medical profession. She is on for October 19th and will address seven groups for about 45 minutes each.

We continued packing, and Mary almost had her bags packed.

Just a few more to go!

I needed to see Marshall about financial arrangements, and it was time for us to do lunch! He likes spicy foods, so this was perfect. Royal Khyber, here we come! Mary has her usual soup and salad.

Royal Khyber has been operating from the same location in South Coast Plaza Village since 1980 and has established itself as one of the top Indian restaurants in Orange County. The chefs choose from a dizzying array of spices to create unique and delectable cuisine.

They started in business in 1982, and I first dined there in 1987; I have been a customer for 36 years and counting.

Time to dine!

I met Marshall back in 1993 due to a friend who worked at Boeing. Marchall has kept me more than solvent for thirty years. Still, I am approaching 80 and want to do some serious traveling with our family—quality time to visit without the hassle of cooking and entertaining. Colleen and Mark are joining us in the Caribbean next July. We want to take Joe and his family to Alaska next year. Robin, Bob and us travel together all the time already!

Moneybags has been my financial advisor for thirty years!

After lunch, we returned home to continue packing, and then we decided to splurge for dinner and went to In-N-Out for a cheeseburger! Then we were off to the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts to see Les Misérables.

The buildings around the center are spectacular.

I love the theatre surroundings.

Mary takes the lead for the stroll to the theater, which is about three hundred feet from our parking place.

“This way, young man!”

Set in early 19th-century France, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant, and his desire for redemption, released in 1815 after serving nineteen years in jail, five for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child, the other fourteen for numerous escape attempts. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew after a bishop inspires him with a tremendous act of mercy. But a police inspector named Javert refuses to let him escape justice and pursues him for most of the play. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists attempt to overthrow the government at a street barricade in Paris.

Selfie time; I need longer arms! Mary is so amazing to be with; we just have fun everywhere we go. She is a special person!

Bring on the performance.

The moon was in the right place on the way out; this required a quick snapshot.

It’s a full moon tonight.

We attempted to stop by Aces, but they had just closed as it was 11:00 p.m. already! We crashed immediately.

“I love you to the moon and back.”

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On The Go Again!

Memories: The Lunch Counters: My favorite place to eat was the “lunch counter” when I was growing up. These counters were primarily found in big stores and larger pharmacies. They usually had bar stools, and the food was cooked and prepared in the open. Woolworths pioneered the five-and-dime store genre: they were the first to set merchandise out for customers to handle. Stores at that time usually kept goods behind counters, which necessitated asking for service from a sales clerk. The lunch counter was terrific; I will never forget the fountain cokes. The cooks and waitresses always knew everyone and what they probably wanted to eat. The local business area gossip was quickly exchanged. Forty cents on Saturdays would buy a giant hamburger and a bowl of beans. The smells that terminated from the counters were terrific. The chocolate sundaes and malts were to die for. I wish we had the fountains again; they were so charming.

I got into trouble which is nothing new for me. We attended a marriage seminar on communication; Mary and I listened to the instructor declare: “It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.”He addressed the men: “Can you describe your wife’s favorite flower?”

I leaned over, touched Mary’s arm gently, and whispered, “Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn’t it?”

The rest of the story is not pleasant.

We had a trio of doctors to see today, starting with my dentist at 8:00 am in Huntington Beach. I have a loose implant, so I will visit the specialist in two weeks and have him examine it.

We then went to Los Alamitos to see my Pulmonary Doctor, who advised me to continue using the CPAP machine. The sleeping tests showed that the machine has significantly improved my sleeping habits and other vital measurements. Since it’s not uncomfortable to wear, I have taken his recommendation. He casually mentioned that using the CPAP machine could extend my lifetime by five or more years; being with Mary, it is something I want to do!

Finally, we went to the dermatologist, where I got some meds for the rash on my cheeks. He did mention a cheaper solution, but it involved a pair of scissors and a shopping bag! The downside is that it is difficult to drive.

After all the doctors and listening to my complaints, Mary wanted to stop by CVS and pick up some things.

We returned home and had a most delightful lunch!

The rest of the day was spent packing for our trip and making travel reservations for Ireland, Panama Canal, the Caribbean with Colleen and Mark, and South America/Antarctica.

We watched some TV and crashed early.

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Happy Birthday Zack & Nick!

It’s time to get the recipe book out; FGall has arrived!

Bright and early, I woke to my internal alarm clock and quickly finished yesterday’s Daily Diary.

We worked from the office due to Mary’s sinus headache. We closed the house, ran the AC, and changed the filters to avoid allergens.

Mary worked on packing for our upcoming trip, and I sorted through my closets and realized I had accumulated too many clothes. I had 15 pairs of jeans and over 100 Hawaiian shirts from various venues! I took some time to organize everything, and it’s all sorted out now. Hopefully, it’ll stay that way for at least a week!

Decisions decisions!

We headed to Downtown Disney at 3:00 p.m. to celebrate Nick’s birthday with his parents, Robin and Bob. We had planned to meet up with Zachary, but when we called him at 1:30 p.m., we found out he was not home.

Correction: Zachary was not out celebrating; he was being an excellent father and attending his kid’s sports activities, which Mitch and I are incredibly proud of. Zachary is an amazing young and wonderful family man, and we admire him greatly.

Grandson Zachary 33

Dressed for Halloween, we will follow suit and dress as Batman characters just for Nick!

Grandson Nick 24

We headed to Downtown Disney to celebrate a birthday with some delicious Mexican food. The restaurant did an excellent job, and Dr. Mary ordered the combo. The portion size was incredibly generous, and we took some leftovers home.

Holy Mackerel, the plate was loaded!

I decided to indulge in the meat eater’s special, which included chicken, shrimp, and steak. To make things even better, I shared my dish with Dr. Mary, whom I enjoyed dining with this evening!

We went to Downtown Disney to celebrate at Tortilla Joe’s.

The weather was perfect for dining outside and enjoying the beautiful Fall season. Not only that, but it was also much quieter outside, making for a more enjoyable and peaceful dining experience.

We had a great time and visited a friend now bartending at Joe’s.

It’s amazing how some memories stick with us forever. Robin gave us a detailed account of what happened on this day 24 years ago, and her recollection of the events was astonishing!

Nick is a college man working almost full-time to earn money!

While we enjoy catching up with our loved ones, it’s not always easy, given the distance and circumstances. However, we truly believe that spending quality time with family is important, and we’re committed to making it happen. We’re looking forward to seeing Colleen, Joe, Michele, and their families soon – it’s been too long!

Notice, our colors match! She de=ressed me well!

After celebrating at Tortilla Joe’s, we headed back home. Nick went to Knott’s Scary Farm to continue his birthday celebration. The drive back home was easy as we live only about nine miles from the restaurant, precisely the distance from our previous home in Los Alamitos. We took the Katella route, and it was a smooth ride.

What else can I say? The doctor makes me and everyone else around her happy!

As soon as we got home, we crashed as tomorrow is going to be anothert go-go day!

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Working In The Yard & Cooking!

Isn’t it the truth?

We worked all morning in the garden, and things are looking pretty good for the end of summer. We remove dead/dying plants as needed. Today, Mary trimmed the roses and plants down the center wall.

I got into a little bit of trouble when I showed Mary the new scarecrow.

We went inside around noon and ate cereal while watching another Clint Eastwood movie. At 3:00 p.m., Mary decided it was time to cook dinner. I suggested we use our apples, so I peeled several of them, added sugar, water, and cinnamon, and started cooking applesauce.

Thirty minutes later, I used the potato masher and created chunky apple sauce! We felt like we should put a bowl in every room it was such a delightful fragrance.

Freshly cooked applesauce gives the entire house a fantastic fall aroma!

We perused our assortment of apple recipes and discovered baked apples, which are incredibly easy to prepare! After utilizing our fantastic apple coring gadget, Mary fills the hollowed-out space with brown sugar and cinnamon. Mary added a tablespoon of butter to the top of the apple before baking.

It looks good enough to eat already!

The oven got turned on to 400 degrees as she finished stuffing the apples.

Did You Know? The original phrase, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” In the 19th century and early 20th, the phrase evolved to “an apple a day, no doctor to pay” and “an apple a day sends the doctor away,” while the phrasing now commonly used was first recorded in 1925.

My beautiful wife always looks so happy, especially when cooking something new!

We used Granny Smith apples!

Smile, you are about to become Delicious!

Into the oven at 400 degrees until the apple is soft!

The apple gets soft, and the brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter melt together.

After finishing the dessert, Mary asked me to search for three large tomatoes in the south forty. Finding them these days is challenging as the tomato season is ending, but we’ve kept them well-picked. Fortunately, I found three beautiful ones.

She hollowed them out in preparation for stuffing. The flesh that was scooped out was diced into tiny pieces and used in the stuffing

They are so delicious that I was ready to eat them alone.

The next creation was made by Mary and included a large can of salmon, hard-boiled eggs, olives, celery from our yard, and a few secret ingredients that formed a fantastic stuffing for the tomatoes. She put the ingredients into the tomato shells and topped with fresh basil leaves. We are ready to dine!

inner is served!

It was a busy day, but we had a problem – we had three of everything. So we called Jeff, and, in exchange for several pomelos, we treated him to dinner.

Did You Know? Most botanists agree that the grapefruit is a cross between a pummelo and a sweet orange. Like all citrus fruit, grapefruit is a Hesperidum or a large modified berry with a thick rind. Grapefruits are packed with vitamin C and fiber. One-half of a grapefruit contains 6 grams of fiber and the total daily amount of vitamin C your body needs. Grapefruit was initially called “the forbidden fruit.” • Jamaicans coined the term “grapefruit” because the fruit grew in bunches like grapes.

We enjoyed a glass of wine with Jeff before returning home with a large bag of pummelos! Mary picked them herself from Jeff’s tree.

They are indeed large!!

Mary and I enjoyed dinner while watching “Once Upon A Time in the West,” a spaghetti western. Mary was unfamiliar with the term.

Did You Know? The spaghetti Western is a broad subgenre of Western films produced in Europe. It emerged in the mid-1960s after Sergio Leone’s film-making style and international box-office success.[1] Foreign critics used the term because most of these Westerns were produced and directed by Italians.

We had a good laugh at the movie as it was not action-packed and had a lot of “dead spots” with dramatic music thrown in for good measure. It was entertaining.

We stayed up until almost 10:00 p.m. and finally crashed.

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Octoberfest And Fall; All At Once!!

We started our day with coffee and a stroll through our garden, which is thinning with the arrival of fall today at midnight. We still have a few tomatoes and think we will plant the winter garden in late October or early November.

We will be planting beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fava beans, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, both head and leaf lettuce, mustard greens, onions, parsley, peas, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips.

We have a wide choice of items to grow!

I would tell you my autumn joke, but you probably wouldn’t fall for it!

It’s been raining for three days without stopping. My wife is in depression; she is standing and looking through the window. If the rain doesn’t stop tomorrow, I must let her in.

I dug up 1/4 of one of the beds, preparing it for fall plants. The soil, even after the first years, is looking pretty good. We must add 20 bags of amendment when we return from New Hampshire!

After two hours, it was looking pretty good!

When we returned to the house, Scout was awaiting! He wanted us to see the pictures they took at the groomers! Now he wants to go on “Dancing With The Stars”; he is such a ham!

He is getting slightly carried away!

We liked the Halloween pillows so much that we ordered some from the front room; they arrived in the morning, just before noon!

Now we are officially decorated with just some witch’s hats to put along the garage!

We visited the local furrier at noon, where Mary had some important business to conduct.

Mary and the furrier have known each other for years!

Later, we headed to the luggage store to collect our newly monogrammed baggage. I absolutely adore my new luggage, as now I can pack my tuxedos without any worries about them being crushed in the bag. Moreover, the new bags have wheels that roll in any direction!

On our way home, we stopped at Del Taco and tried their new BBQ quesadilla. While it was okay, too much BBQ sauce made it too sweet for our tastes.

Yummy Yummy

A quesadilla is a Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla filled primarily with cheese and sometimes meats, spices, and other fillings, then cooked on a grill or stove. Traditionally, a corn tortilla is used, but it can also be made with a flour tortilla.

Every time we go to Del Taco, we try to learn a new word.

We learn a new word every day!

Tonight, we went to Octoberfest at the Lodge. Oktoberfest, an annual festival in Munich, Germany, is held over two weeks and ends on the first Sunday in October. The festival originated on October 12, 1810, to celebrate the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

BTW, Oktoberfest begins in September. ‘Septemberfest’ doesn’t have the same ring to it, though. While the event starts on 17th September, it does run into October, ending on 3rd October.

The Lodge was hopping this evening. They had German food, several new kinds of beer, and entertainment all evening long!

Many folks were dressed in German attire.

These two played all evening long, and they were quite amazing. They played everything from the Chicken Dance to Edelweiss!

What do you call an angry German? Sauerkraut!

The music was fantastic.

As usual, the Elks served a delicious dinner, including beef, pork, sausages, potato salad, sauerkraut, and other tasty options. Bob, Robin, and Mary eagerly filled their plates.

The food was delicious!

I went for the beef plus a sausage and added potatoes with sauerkraut.

Heard about the new German-Chinese restaurant? The food is great, but an hour later, you’re hungry for power.

I did well and only went back six times!

German alpenhorn is a long horn played by Alpine herdsmen and villagers, sounded for intercommunication and at daily ceremonies and seasonal festivals. It is carved or bored in wood and overwound with birch bark. It is a form of labrophone, consisting of a straight several-meter-long wooden natural horn of conical bore with a wooden cup-shaped mouthpiece. Traditionally, the Alphorn was made of one piece, or two parts at most, and made from the wood of a red pine tree.

What do you call an Indian playing a haunted accordion? Polka haunt us!

He could toot that sucker!

Did You Know? Herdsmen in Lower Bavaria started the Wolfauslassen in the 18th century. It stems from a time when wolves and bears were common in the forests of Bavaria. The cows wore bells around their necks to scare the wild beasts away.

Bells, bells, and more bells.

We had a table for eight as our daughter and son-in-law joined us, plus Vicky and Brenda made for delightful company. We were expecting some new friends we met at Aces, but we did not see them and we hope they are OK.

Mary and Robin were enjoying the evening.

While many polkas were played, there was dance music, so Mary and I did the chacha and several other dances. I felt safe as my lederhosen had suspenders!

What’s the definition of an extreme optimist? An accordion player with a pager.

Waltz, Foxtrot, Polka, whatever you wanted, he could play!

We stopped by Aces on the way home, had a glass of wine, and visited the bartenders. The evening was very enjoyable!

Posted in 2022 Vegetable Garden, Elks, Family, Friends, Fun, Holidays | Leave a comment

To The Elks For Girls Night Out!

It’s OK to call me pudgy!

We were up and moving at 6:00 am, heading to the yard with our coffee cups in hand. The cup of coffee keeps us warm until the effort to trim the garden kicks in, and then we are plenty warm. Sometimes, we shed our robes and garden in our jammies.

Whenever Mary wears this particular print, it consistently scares the varmints away!

Coffee at 6:15 am!

The old man takes his coffee hot and black, sometimes with milk if he is in a hurry. This morning, we spent thirty minutes planning out the day!

It takes me until 6:20 am to be able to smile!

Notice Mary’s “weedmobile” is always nice and empty! Mary can move this around the yard with ease.

I used to own a wheelbarrow full of four-leaf clovers… But then I realized I really shouldn’t push my luck.

Freshly emptied, weeds are terrified when they see this coming their way!

On the other hand, Paul’s weedmobile is always overflowing and takes about six wheelbarrow loads to fill the 90-gallon container.

Another load goes to the trash!

The lonely tomato, the only one on the plant! He is looking good and will likely grace our dinner table this evening.

Only about thirty tomatoes remain!

The basil has gone berserk this year! The rich history of basil goes back thousands of years, and the sweet herb is used in just about every culture in the Eastern, and Western world.

Did You Know?

  1. An annual (new seeds have to be sown every year), basil is in the mint family, and the main source is Egypt, with the United States being second.
  2. There are between 50 and 150 varieties of basil, though most are classified as sweet basil.
  3. Ancient cultures had many superstitions about basil, including that a leaf would turn into a scorpion if left under a pot for a period of time.
  4. The word “basil” means kingly or godly in Greek, and the ancient Greeks believed the plant would grow only if curses were screamed while sowing the seeds.
  5. The Krishna & Vishnu hold basil sacred & it is believed that a house surrounded by it is blessed. Every good Hindu goes to rest with a basil leaf on their breast.
  6. Beyond a favorite herb in so many cuisines, basil is also said to help aid digestion, remedy fevers, and encourage a merry heart.

We have mountains of basil in the beds!

These were full to the brim with tomatoes, but as they petered out, we replaced them with lettuce and beets! The watering system lifts out easily when we need to rototill the next year’s soil and amendments into the bed.

The drip heads are movable to adapt to next season’s crop needs.

The melons are ripening fast, and they taste incredibly sweet, like eating sugar. One whole melon contains about 180 calories! These melons are named after Cantalupo, a town in Italy where they were first cultivated in the 1700s. They usually bloom from July to September, and their yellow flowers attract honeybees for pollination. After planting, it takes about 90 days for the fruit to develop.

Next week, fresh cantaloupes for breakfast every day!

As we head to the house, we pass by our little grapefruit tree and our lemon tree.

Get big little guys; pink grapefruit.

We had hoped to invite a Villa Park friend to join us at the Elks, but we knew she would come up with another lame excuse not to come. Her constant excuses have become too much for us to handle, so we have decided to go by ourselves again. Instead, our neighbor, Jeff, with genuine medical issues, will join us.

Scout had a grooming appointment at the salon. We dropped him off at 11:00 am, and he will be prancing around afterward, expecting great amounts of praise about his handsomeness. He is hard to live with after these appointments!

We went to the Elks expecting to see everyone, and no one showed up. Bill Capps came in just after noon; he had been fighting with the old bank where the Elks did business. We enjoyed chili and shared a salad.

I bought ten Santa Ana Elks challenge coins. A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they might be given to prove membership when asked and to enhance morale. They are also collected by service members and law enforcement personnel. At the Elks, you slap down a coin, and if the person being slapped doesn’t have a coin in return, they buy a drink!

Ronnie “slaps” a new member!

After the Elks, Mary insisted that I buy some new luggage as my old one was not presentable (she was embarrassed when I used a gunnysack on the last trip). She bought me a fantastic suit bag and a medium-sized suitcase that matches the ones she purchased last year. As a result, we are color-coordinated now, and I have agreed to dispose of the gunnysacks and cardboard boxes I have been using.

We dropped by the Z’s to check out everything. All was well! The Z’s are going to the riverboat phase of their adventure tomorrow.

The wildflowers are still wild!

We picked up Scout, and as expected, he pranced, swaggered, sashayed, strolled, and traipsed from the salon to the car, complete with a Cheshire Cat smile! It’s going to be a long evening.

“I am pretty, I am pretty!”

After getting back home, we brought two key lime pies to our neighbor Jeff and his friend who was visiting. We made plans to return at 4:00 p.m. I told them a joke:

A building contracter hires an Englishman, an Irishman, and a Chinaman. He gathers them all in his office and tells each of them their jobs.

The Englishman to shovel a pile of sand. The Irishman has to take the sand in the wheelbarrow to the truck. The Chinaman is in charge of supplies.

The boss comes back two hours later and he sees the Englishman and the Irishman having a cup of tea. ”So have you done the work then?” he asks.

The workers both shake their heads and tell him that the Chinaman didn’t give them a shovel or a wheelbarrow. The boss is infuriated by this and asks the workers if they have seen the Chinaman, they tell him they thought they saw him going toward the truck.

So the boss sets out towards the truck and just as he is getting close to the truck the Chinaman jumps out from behind a wall and yells, “SUPPLIES!”

After our visit, we returned to our place at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. Mary had come up with a great plan and brought along the remaining fried chicken drumsticks. We devoured eight of them while watching two movies.

At 10:00 pm we declared victory and headed for bed. It has been a wonderful day!

I love you with all my heart!

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Goodness; We Are On The Go Again!

We were moving at 5:30 am because we had to drop off the Silver Fox for his 40,000-mile service in Newport Beach at 8:30 am. We needed time to visit the garden, have our coffee, and clean the house before the house cleaners came to visit! Based on this mileage, the Fox puts on about 1,000 miles a month! I guess we are really on the go!

We dropped the car at Tustin Lexus and reported the computer connector was not working. Everything else was already planned! They even changed the air in the tires.

My wife had her driver’s test the other day. She got 8 out of 10. The other two guys jumped clear.

We love our Lexus 350 Hybrid! (We get 45 miles per gallon!)

I got gas for $1.39 today. Unfortunately, it was at Taco Bell.

It was 9:00 am, and Mary’s doctor’s appointment wasn’t for two hours, so we went to Green Leaf restaurant in Newport near the corner of 17th and Westminister. We first went there when we were dating. The food was excellent. Mary did their egg sandwich special, I did the veggie burrito, and we shared a bagel and cream cheese.

We dined outside and watched the world go by!

My Vanna White impression!

Vanna White, eat your heart out!

Since we had time, we walked about six blocks to assist in the digestion of a wonderful breakfast! We visited the doctor’s office, and everything was fine. As we departed, we heard Mr. Squirrel playing in the trees.

All he could say was, “Nuts!”

What did the squirrel say when his tail got caught in the door? …It won’t be long now!

We visited the Lexus dealer located in Tustin and collected our Silver Fox. He looked great as he was serviced and given a bath! The car was in good condition, and the only issue was that the computer power port was malfunctioning, caused by spilled coffee. Even though it was not covered under warranty, they generously replaced it, and now Apple CarPlay is working again!

Mary received a call from the local High School while waiting for me to checkout with the Lexus service department. They offered her a full-time teaching position in sports medicine. However, Mary declined the offer, stating that she would like to teach, but not on a full-time basis. The administrator agreed to meet her next week to discuss a possible arrangement. Mary has previously taught doctors at USC and UCI for twenty years, and she thinks it would be fun to teach for one day a week.

Returning home, we put the Silver Fox down for his nap and took Mary’s Rocket to Michaels. We left a frame and a picture at Michael’s yesterday to get a glass and a backing, and they called this morning saying it was ready.

Precious (a.k.a. The rocket) awaits to take us home at .99999 the speed of light!

Oh, meet Stanley, our firstborn. He was named after the founder of Princess Cruise Lines. Stanley B. McDonald was the founder of Princess Cruises, one of the largest cruise lines in the World.

The baby gets his first drinking lesson! The question is now, who gets to burp him??

At 3:00 pm, we had a long conversation with our financial and insurance advisors. We decided to merge our policies to save some money. The conversation lasted an hour, but the outcome was great. Marshall has been my financial advisor since 1995, and Mary has also been using him as a sounding board for her investments.

Listen to some good advice; one of the only things Facebook is good for, as everything else is mostly nonsense!

We talked to Colleen for a while and have settled on a date for next year’s Caribbean adventure! Colleen and Mark will be joining us! It will be 16 days on one of the newest cruise ships, and it will sail around the Caribbean and go through the eastern locks of the Panama Canal and around Lake Gatun before exiting back into the Caribbean!

As I approach eighty, I want to spend some quality time with our kids and get time to share. Like Robin and Bob, Colleen and MArk are just fun to be around! It keeps us young!

After her conversation with Colleen, Mary immediately went to the kitchen as it was almost 5:00 pm and we hadn’t eaten since 9:00 am. She had taken out a dozen chicken drumsticks, which were her favorite part of the chicken, to thaw. We coated them in breadcrumbs and arranged them in three baking dishes that we had preheated in the oven with two tablespoons of butter in each. After baking for thirty minutes on each side at 400 degrees, we had a delicious dinner fit for a king, and snacks for the next two days!

I told Mary, “If you think your chicken coop is haunted, you better call the eggs-orcist!”

The chef at work, but behind the scenes is the overworked sous-chef and bottle washer, me!

We watched an episode of Gunsmoke; Marshall Dillon befriends an outlaw, and because of a woman, he shoots someone and, in turn, gets shot!

Fall is coming this Friday, but already the evenings are getting cooler! Scout and I took an amble in the backyard before going to bed; Scout needs his before-bed pee-pee!

The Moon was going down at 10:00 pm.

The house looks a little haunted these days, with ghosts, witches, and other goblins hanging everywhere.

I’m just hanging around.

What a day, just running around taking care of business with my best friend. We laugh, giggle, talk seriously, and hold hands all day. We are two lucky people finding each other “late” in life and enjoying each other’s company!

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I Am A Grand Unkle!

We were notified by text that Lisa had the baby. Bennet is now in his first days of growing up. Mary and I are now grand aunts and unkles!*

* I have been spelling uncle UNKLE for 30 years with my nieces; they have given up correcting me!

Upon walking through the rows of the garden, we did some trimming. Suddenly, Mary’s voice caught my attention; she had found an inchworm!

Inchworms, usually about 1 inch long, have smooth bodies that may be green, brown, or black. They often have irregular projections, which imitate the twigs of the trees they feed on.

He was 1.5 inches!

Today, we finally received our three large Laz-Z-Boy couches, which come with electronic positioning features. We had been eagerly waiting for months for their delivery. However, after two weeks, our daughter Robin noticed one of the chairs seemed “flat.” Upon contacting Laz-Z-Boy, they sent a representative to inspect the furniture. The representative discovered that the factory had not put any foam into the particular chair, causing it to appear flat.

After waiting two months, the repair team finally fixed the issue. However, just as the technician was leaving, we noticed that the right-hand side seat had stopped working. This was definitely frustrating. The technician had to order new parts, so we have to wait another five weeks before using the couch again.

Would I recommend Lay-Z-Boy? NO!

After the technician left, we ran errands to Trader Joe’s, Staples, and Michaels and returned home by 5 p.m. After having dinner, we visited the spa.

The temperature was a balmy 75 degrees, and the moon resembled the Cheshire Cat. We made some phone calls and went to bed at 9:30 p.m. It was a productive day!

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Decorate and Visit!

Memories: Dad Got Fired! It was 1958, and Dad and his boss shared buying duties for the fifteen-dime stores. Dad had hardware, stationery, toys, and notions. Ralph had everything else. Well, Dad went to the toy show and saw a thing called a Hula Hoop.

In 1957, Wham-O toy company founders Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin learned that kids in Australia twirled bamboo hoops around their waists in gym class. Within a year, Wham-O had created a hollow hoop out of Phillips Petroleum’s newly developed plastic Marlex.

The earliest known advertisement for the “Hula-Hoop by Wham-O” was seen on June 16, 1958, for “The Broadway” chain of department stores in Los Angeles, for sale for $1.98 (equivalent to $20 more than 60 years later).

Dad proceeded to place an order for 100 gross of the new toy! !00 gross is 14,400 Hula Hoops. When the invoice came in, Ralph hit the ceiling and ran through the warehouse looking for Dad. Remember, this was 1958! They had fifteen stores meaning every store had to sell 1000 of these toys. Ralph fired him on the spot mumbling something about being crazy and ruining the business.

When Dad returned home, he appeared downcast because he had been friends with Ralph for many years. The following day, Ralph was forced to dispatch the Hula Hoops to stores to gauge their popularity. To everyone’s surprise, the toy was a massive success, and the stores sold out within a few hours.

Ralph drove to our house, apologized, and begged Dad to return and try to get more of them!

p.s. I really di not know if Dad got “fired,” or they just had words as they were best friends for forty years!

We spent the morning putting up decorations around the house. We had four large boxes, not including the Halloween tree decorations upstairs.

Paul speaks fluent ghost!

I could not pass up the web that fits on the mantle! The goodies on the mantle are a combination of the things we have collected in the past 30+ years.

Spider webs on the mantle!

Mary was surprised when she received four blank white pillows, but I assured her the covers were on the way. The 18″ by 18″ pads are perfect for tossing around the house.

I love the pillows.

We advised the witch against flying indoors, but she ignored us and crash-landed in the kitchen with a loud SPLAT!

That’s got to hurt!!

Scout picked out his favorite Halloween decoration. The doggy lights up at night time.


We left in the car at 10:00 am to visit Bonnie and her family in Camarillo. They recently moved into a beautiful new house. Bonnie is the daughter of Mary’s college roommate and the sister of the doctor who performed my prostatectomy.

They have three new Great Pyrenees puppies, which are so much fun.

Snowball was very friendly!

We hope it does not snow because it would be hard to find.

The hawks were flying overhead and looking at us with a hungry look!

We could hear him as he swooshed overhead.

At 2:00 p.m., we went out to eat with the entire gang! Great fun!

We tried to get the ladies only, but the kids were hams and kept popping into the picture.

We all had sandwiches, and the kids devoured their meals, not leaving any for the ants! It was impressive!

The lunch was delicious!

After sitting in terrible traffic for four hours, we were exhausted from all the sitting.

Mary suggested that we call Vicky to catch up, and when we did, she revealed that she and Jim had gone their separate ways. We then invited Vicky to join us at the Fish House restaurant, and she eagerly accepted the offer. During our two-hour conversation, we chatted about various topics. It was great to spend time with Vicky, as she is a good friend.

David, of Dianne and David, loves their clam chowder. So, we got two bowls of chowder and headed to their house to drop things off. They live on a hilltop overlooking Orange County. As I entered their home, I snapped this picture. You can see Catalina Island in downtown Los Angeles.

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