Mid Week Has Arrived!

Now, I know what to call Mary!

I woke up early to go to the dermatologist.  Shootin’ Tilly Hickok got up with me and brought me coffee when I was in the shower; Shootin’ is very caring.

The Silver Fox pulled into the parking lot at 6:55 am, and by v]carcass was dragged to the 4th floor by the lift.  By 7:45 am, I had undergone three “burn-offs” and a biopsy. After my appointment, I got in my car and drove to the gym to meet up with Mary.

We met at 9:00 am, and each got an hour’s workout.  We were also both still after the exercise.

Ralph’s Market is located next to Peak Performance, so we stopped by to pick up a few items.  Shootin’ Tilly Hickokhad her shopping list on the phone!

We almost filled the cart!

We returned home and readied ourselves for a walk.  We walked the garden first and picked some fresh veggies for Bonnie, our neighbor.  Today was perfect with the temperature reaching a high of 74 and pretty much a clear sky.

I thought to myself, why do bananas have to put on sunscreen before they go to the beach?  Well, duh, they peel!

The garden is loaded with goodies.

Time for a walk!  I’ve been working on my fitness lately by walking to the fridge and back.  I love walking so much I could do it with my eyes closed. But then I’d probably fall into a hole, so I don’t recommend it.

We walked 3/4 of a mile as it was getting cold.

Coming home, we spotted a large black crow on the top of a dead tree.  We have no idea how he stands at the top!  The tree was moving in the breeze but he stayed there the entire time.

He does have a great view of the hood.

We also visited our neighbor’s flower bed, where he keeps his collection of dinosaurs.

What do you get when you cross a dinosaur with a pig?  Jurassic pork.

Roaring sounds 24/7!

We watched five full episodes of “The Love Boat” after having a small dinner before crashing at 11:36 pm.

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Back To Normal!

We worked in the office all morning, and by noon, we decided we might stay with our current insurance as the company we were considering was not great!  I guess we are stuck with $7,000/year premiums. Life is!  The more bad news I get, the more I think about moving to NC or TN.

We took a mile walk this afternoon with Scout the Wonder Dog!  Another 3,500 steps were added to our daily workout.  We saw Easter decorations up around the hood as we walked.

In the late afternoon, Mary made some Banana Nut Cupcakes, and we took them to our neighbor Jeff.   We stayed and visited with him for quite a while.

We returned home around 5:30 pm and jumped into the Swin spa to attempt to recover from the road trip!

We watched “Emperor” and “Fool Me Once” until we crashed at 10:00 pm.!

Emperor summary: As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.

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A New Week Begins

“Sh-Boom” is an early doo-wop song by the R&B vocal group The Chords.  It was written by James Keyes, Claude Feaster, Carl Feaster, Floyd F. McRae, and William Edwards, members of The Chords, and published in 1954.

The week begins with telephone calls and visitors.   The first visitor was the refrigerator repairman.  The frig works fine, but it makes a noise.  It happened once before, the fan blade hit the back panel of the frig; the noise went away for fourteen months.

Mary called Ireland and made some appointments for high tea, and we waited for a phone call from an insurance man about changing insurance companies; he never called.  We will go to AAA today.

We didn’t leave the premises today except for a walk around the block.

We are now close to 1.0 miles!

After lunch, the refrigerator repair guy stopped by and fixed the frig so the noise would go away.

We watched some TV in the afternoon.  While Mary folded the clothes, I put on the latest in our ever-larger pillowcase collection! I also ordered for the 4th of July and Easter.

All the holidays are now “covered.”

On and off during the day, the latest Saratoga Road Trip website was finished.  Please visit the site. 

We talked to our daughter Colleen in the afternoon, and she told us of a series called “Fooled Once,” mentioning it was terrific and easy to watch.  Yeah, right.  After watching all eight episodes, we started it after the phone call and went to bed at 1:00 am.

I should mention that I slept in the He-Shed this evening.  Well, I did it to myself.  While unpacking from the trip, I saw a spider in the bottom of the suitcase.  It was one of those we took to Bar Harbor to scare people.  I hid it in my hands, and when Mary walked by, I yelled real loud, and Mary bumped her head on the ceiling while shrieking; oh, I did yell “SPIDER” and threw it at her.   I will not do that again; the He-Shed was not heated!

Mary, being the loving wife that she is, allowed me back in after thirty minutes.

We talked to Colleen on the Alexa, and she suggested we watch “Fool Me Once”; we did.  We have to ignore Colleen’s wonderful suggestions!

Fool Me Once Summary: Maya Stern is trying to come to terms with the brutal murder of her husband, Joe. However, when Maya installs a nanny-cam to keep an eye on her young daughter, she is shocked to see her husband in her house.


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Coming Home

We were up at the crack of 8:00 am!  We had a lot of fun last night.  Diane fixed a nice breakfast and we packed up and departed at 9:00 am sharp.  We zoomed out of town at 9:00 am, heading towards home after a super visit with the Porter Clan and Mr. Bennett.

We headed down 101 until we went to SR152, which took us to Interstate 5.  State Route 152 (SR 152) is a state highway that runs from east to west near the middle of the U.S. state of California from State Route 1 in Watsonville to State Route 99 southeast of Merced.

The first few miles are tree-lined.

Trees line the highway for the first twenty miles!

It is a very well-maintained two and four-lane road.

During the summer months, it is pretty dry!

The hills are dotted with those silly wind turbines.

Its western portion (which is also known as Pacheco Pass Road and Pacheco Pass Highway) provides access to and from Interstate 5 toward Southern California for motorists in or near Gilroy and San Jose.

You can tell it has been raining.

Gilroy is known for its garlic crop and the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, featuring various foods containing garlic.  These led to the city being nicknamed the Garlic Capital of the World.

What do you call someone who has been raised by garlic? Garlic bred.

What does garlic do when it gets hot? It takes its cloves off.

We had a good time, arriving home at 3:27 pm.  Robin was still there, so we visited for a few minutes.  I jumped in the shower, changed, and headed to Campus Jax to see The Westside Sisters, a modern takeoff on the Andrews Sisters.

It was a lively performance.

The six of us had a great dinner and enjoyed the performance!

We had the best booth in the house.

Mary and I stopped by Aces on the way home to visit the locals.  We had a glass of wine before going home to rescue Scout.

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We Made It!

We had a good night’s sleep after visiting with Diane and Pat until 11:00 pm last night.   We had breakfast and continued visiting, waiting to see Patrick, Lisa, and Bennett around 10:30 am.

Breakfast is served.

Lisa’s first baby was wide awake and wanting attention.  Jeffery is a bundle of energy, making me tired just looking at him!

“OK, it is time to recognize!   I am here!”

Who is the proud grandpa?

Bennett looks pretty happy!

Bennett seemed to like the new toy we brought him.  It had a piano with five keys; each key played a note, told a story, or made a noise like a familiar animal.  Lisa’s degree in Child Care is undoubtedly paying off!  Patrick is also a doting parent; Bennett is lucky1

It has a five-key keyboard with all sorts of sounds.

Jeffery weaseled into the photos to ensure we knew he was there.

Hey, remember me?

We said goodbye after an hour so the baby could get his scheduled morning nap.  We will see them again at 4:00 pm at LaFondue over in Saratoga.

Bye for now!

We returned to Diane’s and continued visiting until around 3:45 pm when we went to LaFondue.  We walked in the garden and admired all the work of making it pretty.

We visited the backyard.

We are off to LaFonue, which is on the main street, going through the three-block-long business district of Saratoga.

It is located right in the center of the business district.

James and Hannah were the first ones there.

Diane, Pat, James, and Hannah! No longer is Pat the taalest!

My favorite subject is ready-to-eat!

The candles are real!

At La Fondue, they have reimagined the classic European Fondue experience, making it more elegant, exciting, and decadent than ever.  Enjoy premium ingredients, from Australian lamb to Wagyu beef and farmer’s market vegetables, coated with luscious broths and cheeses.  Savor a world of new flavor combinations while having fun with those around you.  Then, to top off the evening, they had fresh fruit, cookies, and treats dipped in your choice of chocolate fondue.

First order of business: wine!

Slurp, gurgle, gargle!

The room was dark and romantic, and we all had iPhones with flashlights to see the menu!  I felt like someone was staring at me, and indeed, the medieval folks were up on the wall just looking at the visitors.

Perhaps we should have wore different clothes?

Burn, baby, burn!

I was horrible as I suggested James dip broccoli in the chocolate fondue.  He said he thought it might be good, so I asked the waiter to bring James some broccoli!  James is a good sport.

Not something he would do again in the future!

Patrick looked so proud!

Happy baby!!

We departed but we had to hold the baby one more time!  Bennett liked my rendition of goo-goo-daa-daa when I used my lowest voice!

No Mary! You can’t take him home! (Perhaps when he becomes a teenager?)

We returned to Diane and Pats and visited for another few hours before hitting the sack!  Tomorrow is a long drive home.

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Off Like A Flash!

Sometimes I feel like Tweety!

It’s 9:00 pm, and we’re on the road, taking the 55 to the 91 to the 57 to the 210 to the 5, and then we stopped for a gourmet brunch at McDonald’s in Gorman.

The first sign we saw was “Go Digital.”  It is NOT easy to order using their new system.

We needed breakfast.

They have it organized to make you buy more than you need!  We poked and scanned and finally decided we had the correct order.

Too complex.

We got on the road again quickly because we wanted to arrive before dark.  We ate in the car before pulling back on the freeway.   We then drove up the pass toward Tejon Pass and down the Grapevine.

Did You Know? – Tejon Pass marks the intersection of California’s two largest seismic faults: the San Andreas and Garlock fault systems.

The highest point of the pass is near the northwesternmost corner of Los Angeles County, north of Gorman.  Its elevation is 4,160 feet (1,270 m) along Peace Valley Road and Gorman Post Road, 70 miles (110 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles and 46 miles (74 km) south of Bakersfield.

Interstate 5, which connects Southern California with the San Joaquin Valley and the north, reaches its highest point in the state, 4,144 feet (1,263 m), near the summit of Tejon Pass.

We whizzed up the I-5, getting to Saratoga at 4:00 pm.  We decided to have Indian food and went to Mandala Indian Cuisine in downtown Saratoga.  We had a great time!

The food was quite good, although not as hot and spicy as I would have liked.  We made up the difference with a bottle of wine.

Pat and Diane at dinner.

The four of us talked and talked and laughed and talked.

Just us!

I love the AI background replacement.

Thanks to AI!

After two bottles of wine, I was feeling no pain!

I could not control myself!

The restaurant was about two miles from Diane’s, and Pat got s there in one piece; Pat drove.  I was unwinding from the seven hours on the road.

Returning to Diane’s

We crashed!

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Prep To Go!

Damed that, Alexa!  She woke me up tight in the middle of a great dream!  I wanted to toss her out the window, but I refrained!

We went into the garden and made a list of things we must do next week, and before our trip through the Panama Canal, we had a lot of work ahead of us.

We got ready to go to the Elks for Girls’ Night Out and departed at 11:30 am, arriving at noon on the button.

From Girl’s Night Out, we went to the seamstress we use to get Mary’s new Mother-Of-The-Bride gown shortened.   I suggested getting a leg stretcher, but my idea was summarily tossed out!

I came in just in case she needed assistance, but all went well.

Behind Dorr #1 is…

Mary just needed it shortened a bit.

No need here!

Wow!  The dress she picked is elegant and simple enough not to outshine the bride.

They are making it straight!

Again, I will enjoy being at a function with the prettiest lady in the house!  Lookout, Ireland, here we come.

Dang, she looks good!

We went to Trader Joe’s afterward and resupplied our wine cabinet.  We will start taking our wine to the Elks as their selection has dwindled, and the good stuff is on backorder.  They cannot buy from a liquor store according to the state rules.  Interested, I looked up the California regulations, and there are 107 pages of rules and regulations.

Further interested, I looked up restaurant closures in OC.  There is a website that lists those closed in the last 60 days.  Wow, Antenello’s was on the list!

Returning home, Mary fixed an excellent baked brie, and we had two large artichokes; life is good.

Dang, that woman can make a beautiful meal.

We got two extra cheesecakes at the Elks today for our friends.  They were gone but texted us they would be home later on.  We drove them to Dianne and David’s around 8:00 pm; we did a “fly-by.”  In exchange, we got several stuffed peppers á lá, Dianne!

We finished packing around 10:00 pm and hit the sack early as we wanted to be on the road early.  Robin will stay at the house over the weekend, and grandson Nick will join her.

Mary keeps me going!


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No Mid-Week Crisis This Week!

Fearless, Scout decided to prance around the bed at 5:00 am, announcing he was ready to “go.” Using the latest mountaineering devices, I attached my Black Diamond Venom Adze Ice Axe to the chair and pulled myself out of bed.

I keep it handy for emergencies.

Once sitting on the side of the bed, the cold floor only caused a mild convulsion and a slight scream!  Scout got a great kick out of my painful exit from the bed.

I could see Mary’s eyes flash open and shut as she realized that if she were awake, she might have to go to the cold house to let Scout escape!

After Scout did his business, I returned to bed for an hour, waking at 6:00 am to start the day again!  Scout followed me in and also crashed for an hour.

“I repeat, DO NOT wake me up!”

At 11:00 am, the weather was pretty good, so we decided to drop by the dry cleaners on the way to the lodge.

Arriving at the Elks, I dropped Mary under the carport entrance to the lodge.  As I exited the car out in the parking lot, a cloud burst lasted two minutes, pelting me with water and a few pieces of hail.

Bob joined us within a few minutes, and we caught up on the latest gossip!

BTW, we took out our things to compare them, and sure enough, Bob’s AAA Membership was 60 years, Bill’s was 55 years, and ours was 52 years.

Smile at us.

When Bill arrived, the conversation got even funnier.

Bill gives us the evil eye.

We enjoyed soup and salads. We asked Bob to take a picture because quite often we “are not there” after we get home and look at the photos we took!

Just us!

We enjoy each other’s company and always find something to giggle about.  I find life’s most beautiful moments aren’t just with her but because of her.

We were here!

On the way home, we stopped by Macy’s as Mary wanted to look for a Mother of The Bride dress for our Ireland trip.   We also found a gift for our Great Grand Nephew.  Sadly, we discovered that the enormous Barnes and Noble store was closed and out of business.

What We Found Out A book-signing event at a Barnes & Noble in Orange was cut short on Saturday, April 29, after a fire broke out inside the business, leading to the store’s closure for the foreseeable future.

Author and photographer Maggie St. Thomas was performing a reading of her new book, “Still Life: The Photographs of Maggie St. Thomas,” to a crowd inside the bookstore on the 700 block of South Main Street when the fire broke out sometime around 5 pm, according to Orange Deputy Fire Marshal Robert Prendergast.  Customers and staff were evacuated from the store, and no injuries were reported.

The fire quickly grew to a second alarm, with about 45 personnel from Orange County Fire Authority, Anaheim Fire & Rescue, and Orange Police called in to assist with the fire.

The blaze was contained around 9 pm, Prendergast said.

The cause of the fire and an estimate of the damage were under investigation on Sunday.

The bookseller announced on Instagram that the Barnes & Noble store was closed on Sunday and would remain so until further notice.

After visiting the shopping center, we stopped at Michaels to look for goodies for our upcoming trip!  Mary thought having an Embroidery Kit might be fun on our two-week cruise through the Panama Canal, but they had nothing!

A quick stop at Michaels

I went online and got two kits to see if that would suffice.  We will find out shortly.

When we got home, we visited Jeff, our neighbor.  We had a glass of wine, and we brought him cheesecake and a berry cobbler from the Elks Lodge lunch today.  We chatted for an hour and then came home.

We hit the sack around 10:30 pm.  Mary tried to watch a movie but fell asleep at 9:00 pm.  Scout was found in the family room chowing down on his dry food, so we must go outside within an hour.  So, I stayed up and worked on the website until I heard him asking to go outside.

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

“Daddy, I gots to go!”

When I returned to bed, Mary was sawing logs, so I removed her glasses, got her a bottle of water, and headed under the covers.  Scout was happy, so everyone was happy.

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Rainy Tuesday; Office Time!

We are listening to the rainfall!

We worked from 6:00 am until almost noon in the office going through paperwork.  We believe that paperwork multiplies overnight, so you will always have a four-inch stack to go through!  We are now 95% complete with the future travel arrangements, including renting a car in Ireland.

Sometimes, we feel a bit old after fighting with the paperwork and the computer.

Mary worked on the trip, and I worked on “cleaning up” the Road Trip Webpages, which show the many trips we had to Saratoga and back over the years.  We started in 1988, but the first web entry was in 2007, when digital cameras were readily available.  Cleanup means updating the HTML/Javascript/PHP code to the latest.

Mary fixed a nice lunch before we rode to her doctor’s office in Newport.  Mary went inside, and I stayed in the parking lot and diddled with the Silver Fox’s electronics system settings, getting ready for our trip to Saratoga.

We returned home about 4:00 pm and prepared to go to the Elks Lodge for a formal meeting.  We had dinner with Capps and Zaitz before the meeting got underway.

This evening was an election, and we went to support our guy!

We sing GOD BLESS AMERICA at the close of the meeting; we love the Elks.

We went to VFR home after the meeting.  We left Sir Scout inside, and he was sound asleep.  He and I went into the backyard and prepared for a long sleep!

The entire front yard is bright green now!

It’s been a long day!  We crashed at 10:30 pm.

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Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago, on this day, we lost Sue.

I was immediately surrounded with love from our family and friends.  Irene, Vicky & Del, Robin, Colleen, Joe, and many others were there to support me in these trying times.  Life must go on!

For some reason, destiny brought me to get together with Dr. Mary six months later.  She had been a family friend for two decades.  We needed each other, and I thank God daily for giving me such a wonderful woman to share the rest of my life with!

We are one!

At 8:15 am, Mary and her chauffeur got into the Silver Fox and headed to the gym (BTW, her chauffeur is an extremely handsome man with a marvelous personality and looks great in a thong!).

One more week, and I can join her at the gym again.  I drove carefully through the neighborhood to not awaken the Monster Of Orange (MOO) we saw last night on our walk!  Click to see the MOO!

The MOO is up close!

Just before we departed, Mary reminded me that I had forgotten to make coffee, oops!  So, to make up for it, I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and picked up a latte at 140 for the two of us.  I was forgiven.

We worked in the office the rest of the day, making arrangements for our travels this summer.  We called airlines, car rental agencies, and friends we plan to visit in Europe.

At 11:00 am, our Farmer’s Insurance man came by to look at the rain damage.  We got good news; he said he would NOT replace the roof but have the solar system removed, reinstalled/inspected with an updated set of solar panels.  Our insurance covered the cost of the roof protection, all of the drywall repairs, and some funds to fix some wind damage we had not seen earlier!

Rain was threatening, but no significant rain occurred.  At 5:30 pm, we visited our neighbor, Jeff, and brought him half a cherry pie.  We enjoyed chatting with him while sipping a glass of wine.

We installed an outdoor lighting system to showcase the holidays.  While we walked back home, I pulled out the iPhone and changed the system’s color to emerald green!  We have our St. Patrick’s Day flag ready to fly tomorrow.

We crashed about 9:30 pm and turned on the whole house fan to get the house to sleeping temperature.  Scout and I went outside so he could patrol the yard, checking everything out before retiring.

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