Hello Friday! How Are We Doing?

Family…Friends….Fun…Fridays. All good things start with “F”.

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The Week Is Getting Weaker, Only A Few Days Remain

Q: Why does it take longer to build a blonde snowman than a regular one? A: You have to hollow out the head.

Today started as another grey day, but Mother Nature exploded, and the end of the day was bright and sunny, albeit 65 degrees.

I finished printing the Topper’s Newsletter, thanks to dear Vicky, who is my chief editor!  Tomorrow the second card table gets set up, and I will whip out the mailing meaning, address and stamp the envelopes, fold the newsletter and accompanying map, and seal the contents!

Remembering Mom:  During the runup to WWII, om works as a “soda jerk” in the Rexall next to the dime store where Dad worked.  She told us of serving many movie stars as the MGM studio was just three miles away, and people took La Cienaga for Culver City to Beverly Hills.  The would stop and have a soda or malt.  After Mom passed, I found several pictures signed by the Little Rascals with personal notes to Mom!

I remember going to the soda fountain as a kid

As we are going to Cerritos this evening, I checked the tickets, and there were four!  Gour? Oops, we had tickets for the Finch’s who are in the UK! We made a quick call to the Woolston’s, and they were delighted to go with us to see Paul Anka!

We started getting ready for the Paul Anka show at 3:00 PM and finally departed at 5:20 PM, arriving just in time for our 6:00 PM dinner reservations.

The show was excellent although we saw an hour of it before having to leave. We perhaps pushed the post-operation activities a little too much?

Returning home at 10:00 PM, we crashed!! No TV, no tookies.

After the impeachment fiasco, they should be ashamed!

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Out Damn Spot (OK, Out Darned Kidney Stone)

Did you hear about the fat kidney doctor who could predict the weather? She was a meaty urologist. (I apologize for this one, but I could not resist!)

We were up before the sun this morning as the check-in time was 7:00 AM.  It was raining, of course, so I parked right next to the hospital entranceway!  We dashed towards the door avoiding the individual raindrops with our youthful bouncing walk! Check-in was swift, and we were zapped into the pre-surgery preparation area immediately.

It was like an old-home week with several of the nurses saying, “Here they are again, Beauty and the Beast.”  Wishing to keep my teeth, I did not ask them which one was which!  While I tried to suppress the urge, I popped off with several jokes bring the nurses to a near standstill!

A kindergarten student told his teacher he’d found a cat, but it was dead. “How do you know that the cat was dead?” she asked her student. “Because I pissed in its ear and it didn’t move,” answered the child innocently. “You did WHAT?!?!?!” the teacher yelled in shock. “You know,” explained the boy, “I leaned over and went ‘Pssst!’ and it didn’t move.”

The best part was getting Sue into the hospital gown because I was instructed to use the cleansing cloths (something relatively new) which minimize infections.  The nurse provided six pre-moistened towels, already saturated in the appropriate solution (not chardonnay), and proceeded to instruct me what to do!  She said, “Do the left arm, the right arm, the chest from neck to tummy (my favorite), the right leg, the left leg, and finally the back.”  When finished, I asked the nurse for one more because I think I missed a spot on the chest.  OUCH!  I had no idea Sue could slap me so hard!

Irene joined us at 8:00 AM, and she stayed with me until almost 1:00 PM.  Sue went into the OR at 9:30 AM and was out in an hour, recovery took about 90 minutes, and then return to same-day-surgery. Irene is an extraordinary person, and it was so lovely to have her there with me!

Irene, one in a million!

In the waiting room, they had the circus playing.  It was so disturbing to watch our children running the government wasting millions of dollars for no reason!  It pisses me off!

The House Of Representatives is a bunch of morons!

I stepped outside to put Sue’s clothes in the car, so I didn’t have to deal with them, and the sky had cleared up!  A shocker but alas, two hours later it was back to rain and dark clouds!

The weather was unpredictable; every hour, it seemed to change!

While Sue was in surgery, I thought a lot about Christmas.  I now know it is true that all the other reindeer never let Rudolph play any reindeer games!

Poor Rudolph

Someone was hungry, so we went to CPK, and against the doctor’s advice, Sue had a small glass of wine and a large bowl of soup.  I managed to finish a flatbread, although Irene and I had breakfast earlier, and in my weakened state, a double burger ended up in front of me!

Returning home, we both took naps.  Sue, because she was still a little groggy after the operations and me because I didn’t sleep at all last night!  Jon and Sarah called, Zachary called, Lisa texted, Colleen checked in, Michele called, Robin called, and of course, our son Joe called to check in and see how we were doing!  THANK YOU, KIDS AND GRANDKIDS!

We watched another goofy Christmas movie entitled “Unaccompanied Minors”  from 2006.  Summary: When a Christmas Eve blizzard shuts down the airport, five stranded youths take the opportunity to run wild and have some fun. Racing with golf carts and sliding down baggage chutes, the kids create holiday pandemonium for an uptight airport official (Lewis Black) and his gullible assistant (Wilmer Valderrama).

A cute movie with endless possibilities for disaster!

We watched some TV and finally crashed, after tookies, at 11:00 PM.  we are both quite tired!

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Op Minus One

“Statistically…. 9 out of 10 injections are in vein.”

This picture is for Colleen and Robin (because they have cats)

Good Morning all, hope your day is starting well. In these neck of the woods, it could not be better. Our son called me at 6:45 AM, and he was waiting at a job site and decided it was time to yak for a while, and we did for 45 minutes! We are proud of Joe and his beautiful bride, Amy!

So, as we yakked, I walked around the back yard, and when I looked up into the fig tree, thinking I must get to trimming it, the Moon appeared framed by white clouds. (You may have to click on the picture to see the Moon easier).

What is it saying to me?

We are blessed to have Robin, Michele, Joe and Colleen, and their spouses! Add the Grandkids and our dear friends, life is lovely!

We decided not to do “Old Guys” today and instead, stick around the house and rest. The “battening of the hatches” has been completed, so come on rain, do your worst!

Got a picture of our littlest great-grandson, Master Remington, who was already grasping as the basics of baseball, at his sister’s softball game!

“I know there is another ball down here somewhere!”

Lunch was a protein delight as I did eggs, ham, bacon, and sausage punctuated with mushrooms!  Sue did the last of the CPK pizza and their smashed pea and barley soup!

Late afternoon was nappy time! Two hours of blissful sleep while I visited the Land of Nod!  Amazing how sleep reinvigorates the body!

Yes, that’s me after my nap!

One last mental pass through the yard revealed I forgot to bring in our new card table.  Dashing toward the ten-foot sliding glass door in the living room, I rescued the table and brought him inside!

Many puzzles with be solved on this little beauty!

We watched a Christmas movie entitled “Second chance Christmas.”  In this Christmas time romantic comedy, Caroline is unhappy in her marriage and makes her way to file for divorce. On the way, an accident occurs. Everything in her love life is about to change, as amnesia is now setting in.

Cute! Heart warmer!

It;s 10:00 PM and we are heading for bed as 5:00 AM comes very early!


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Thirty-Seven Days Until Christmas!

What is the best Christmas present ever? A broken drum – you can’t beat it!

Top of the mornin’ to you all! Today is going to be a good day!

Time is flying so very fast it seems like the calendar pages are falling off the wall like leaves from the local trees!

The Leo LaPort computing radio show was on yesterday, and they recommended “Dark Sky” as a weather forecasting piece of software for the iPhone.  Here it was it forecasts for today!  Eighty-six?  The interesting thing is by Wednesday the temperature drops significantly (25 degrees), and rain is in the forecast!

So my task today is to assure we are ready for rain, meaning I have to prop up the orange trees as they are loaded, and a heavy rain could break the limbs off.  I have a supply of 2×2’s in the garage, and my trusty Makita circular saw it fully charged.

In the middle of November???

Our RN/PA came at 2:00 PM.  Sue was not doing well today for several reasons.  We did proceed to Melanie’s and visited Irene.  We concocted a kitchen-sink pizza and enjoyed it.  The sunset was quite unusual, as was the cloud formations.

Ka-plop, right into the ocean again!

It’s impressive to watch the sequence of events.  Once the Sun has set, it is still putting on quite a show in the sky above where it went down! Amazing colors!

Once the Sun was in the water, it lit up the entire sky!

So tomorrow we get a twenty-five-degree temperature drop.  The extra-thick tarp came today, meaning I will be wrapping up the lawn swing in the morning.  Our patio furniture is almost ten years old, and because we have carefully covered the chairs and tables, they are like brand new.  The chair covers are three years old and are being replaced tomorrow.   High-quality table/chair covers are worth their cost!

They will protect the chairs for another three years!

We watched TV for a while and headed to bed around 10:30 PM.  Sue’s next surgery is at 7:00 AM Wednesday, so we plan to rest all day tomorrow,

It’s becoming OK to listen to Christmas music as the weather cools down.  We have Siris-XM and these channels are online now:

Lot’s of sounds to choose from!

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Sunday Has Arrived And It Is Going To Be Hot!

But if you figure in the wind chill factor, it’s only 102.

First things first, me and the bathroom scale (a digital miracle with blue took connectivity to the iPhone), argued.  I felt like the little guy below!

My scale now says 209.8, but it has been stuck there for two days!

WTH?  It is a week from Thanksgiving, and the heat outside was a balmy 91 degrees about 3:00 PM. Taking advantage of the situation, and the fact I am feeling much better, to hit the front door entrance with a large trash can and some sharp shears.  Voila, a transformation from jungle to a pathway in thirty minutes flat, was accomplished!

Clear path ahead!

While working in the garden, I called Lee, my High School girlfriend, and now a family friend.  We talked for probably forty minutes.  She is a sweetheart, and now she will be joining us for “A Christmas Carol,” the Christmas Play, and possibly New Year’s Eve.

It is so lovely to have my bride accept the fact I knew girls while in High School and embrace them as friends half a century later (instead of acting jealous).  Lee is a beautiful person, plus she loves to dance, and she and Bob Z. also knew each other from competitive skating 50+ years ago.

Me, of course, surrounded by beautiful women!

We are making some recovery progress as Sue did 45 minutes on the treadmill today and is anxious to keep that activity going so we can get back to dancing.  I stay with her while she is on the machine to make sure all is well.

The Little Engine That Could!

Late in the afternoon, a headed to the market for some quick pick-ups and to check on the Nestle’s Tollhouse tookie situation!  Alas, no tookies to be had, so I got some more of the salt-water flavored chocolate chip “replacements.”  While there, I could not pass up getting a Marie Calendar’s frozen cherry pie. After all, I have lost twelve pounds, so I deserve a reward!

Well, after getting it home and hiding the pie in the freezer, I finally got it out, thinking I might cook it.  OMG, the label was more frightening than Halloween!  It said, in clean black and white print, “1/9th of the pie contains 380 calories! That means that an innocent morsel of baked cherry pie contains 3,480 calories. I darned near dropped it!

So, instantly, I conferred with my bride, and she had a solution (she is my “go-to” person).  Elegant, simple, and positive on many levels!  She said, “Go ahead and cook the pie, take one piece and enjoy it, then take the nice warm pie next door to Vicky and Del!”  As usual, the woman is a wizard.  Del loves cherry pie, and he does NOT care about pesky calories, I get a slice of heaven, and the temptation is removed!

Now I can’t get the song “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” out of my mind!

Time for a movie and we went to the Hallmark Channel and watched “The Bridge.”  Molly and Ryan share a profound friendship with their first semester in college. At their favorite bookstore and coffee shop, The Bridge, they spend countless hours studying and inspiring the other to dream. But can Molly and Ryan’s unspoken love survive the expectations of others as to what their lives should ultimately be? Stars Wyatt Nash, Katie Findlay, Faith Ford, and Ted McGinley. Based on #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury’s “The Bridge: A Novel.”

It’s Hallmark, so it has got to be good! This one came in two parts, and we watched both!

We did batphone calls with Colleen and Lisa so we could catch up on all the latest.  Love the bat phone!

Later on in the evening, we watched Boston Legal and ER before crashing.  I didn’t fall asleep just yet as I realized I never finished our Christmas website from 2018.  Sue had some severe medical conditions, and while taking care of her, my maintenance of the 2018 site went lacking, seriously.  So, every night, I will spend an hour getting it up to speed. The task should take about three hours, and it will be acceptable.

Special takes to our son Joe who took many pictures for me last year.  He is a special guy!

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The Weekend Has Arrived!

Early to bed, first to rise, makes people suspicious!

We retired 12 years, seven months, and 26 days ago today, but who is counting? When I awoke, the outside temperature was 49 degrees. Mom would have said, “Colder than a well diggers butt!”.

If not, smile anyway!

Today was slow, so I did some cleanup in the garage and finalized some arrangements for the Christmas season.  When I tried to move the Grey Lady, she would not budge.  I must have left something on last time she was out for a spin.  So the trusty battery charger ran for an hour, and she started right up.  The Lady and I did a grand tour of our local freeways entering on Katella on the 605 and exiting Seal Beach Blvd off the 405.  I am sure it blew all the cobwebs out of her!

Sue did a walk up and down the street using the walker and she did pretty well for the first time out.  We are going to repeat this twice a day until she gets back to herself.

No, it’s really true!

We did Indian and Chinese again for lunch, certainly an interesting combination!  We get 3 to 4 meals out of our visit to Panda Inn or the Himalayan Grill.  This time I asked the chef to change out the meat to lamb so I had Chili Lamb Tikka.

Did You Know? The word ‘tikka’ has two main meanings in India. The first meaning is connected with Indian cuisine and comes from Punjab, in the North of India. It means pieces of meat or vegetables marinated and then baked in a tandoor oven on a big iron skewer. Tikka is also a mark worn on the forehead by Hindu Indians.

For years I have wanted to dine at Rothchild’s in Corona Del Mar and today, I made the reservations.  We will go there ahead of the Night of 10,000 lights at Sherman Gardens.  We are excited.  The Zaitz and Duda’s will be going with us.

Our stove repairman returned with some additional parts and now, we have a brand new stove.  While the exterior is the same, his guts are brand new.  We told him that our son-in-law, Mitch, gets the stove when we croak.  Actually,  it’s in our will!

We talked on the batphone to Robin doing some Christmas cooridnation.

Late in the evening we turned to TV and watched three episodes of JAG plus some other favorites.

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We Get A Little Wiser Every Day!

Every man is a fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists of not exceeding the limit.

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family!

Happy birthday Mitch Lind! Our son-in-law celebrates today, so we called him on his way to work! Mitch was the “boy next door” when he was growing up, so we have known him well over forty years! He married into the family but alas, he divorced that person.  In our mind, he is our son-in-law and an all-around great guy! He fought his demons, but since the birth of his grandchildren, Lilly and Remy, he became an amazing grandfather. Love you, Mitch!

He is a special guy!

I browsed through my Facebook account for the first time in a week or two and ran into the picture below.  It makes me sad to see that American comedy has turned so poisonous! Today’s “comedians” are a horrible collection of people who can’t seem to say two words without vulgarity or political nonsense!  Johnny Carson just made us laugh, and it was refreshing.  Late-night TV died in our eyes years ago.  It’s a cesspool of political garbage punctuated by nasty, hateful words.

Dear Johnny, where are you when we need your good clean humor so much??

The older we get, the wiser we become.  We’ve disconnected our home alarm system and quit our candy-ass Neighborhood Watch. Bought two Pakistani flags on eBay and raised them in the front yard, one at each corner, plus a black flag of ISIS in the center. Now, the local police, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service, and other agencies are all watching the house 24/7. I’ve never felt safer, and we’re saving $49.95 a month.

Enough said, beware!

At lunchtime, we attacked the Indian food and it was terrific.  We love leftovers that taste better the second day! After the first bite, we turn to each other, laugh, giggle, and wonder why we eat such hot food! No Coldstone today, we made dessert ourselves! Simple ice cream with blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries on top!

Around 1:00 PM, we hopped in the Silver Ghost and went VFR to Total Wine to make our pickup.  Sue got a chance to walk and push the shopping cart, which is a start back on the way to recovery.

We stopped by the hospital because I forgot that Sue needed an EKG before the surgery.  She passed the test, so surgery is a go on Wednesday!  Our local hospital is about two miles from here, just walking distance. The stop took us just a few minutes, and we returned home in the middle of the local junior high school, letting the kids out.  What a mess!

While driving around, I was so tired of the fake news and baloney coming out of Washington that we turned to Seriously Sinatra and Dr. Laura, thanks to XM Radio. Hearing Frank was so much more enjoyable I think I am going to stop listening to the news altogether.  Dr. Laura, she’s my girl!  More common sense in her little pinky than the entire congress.

My feelings exactly!

We did NOT go to Topper’s tonight, the first time in 30 years we missed two in a row.  Sue was not up to it, and I was still a bit below normal!  It was about 4:00 PM, and I needed to do some errands, so I popped to Ralph’s and then to BB&B (Bed, Bath, and Beyond).  While returning home, I snapped a shot of the sunset.

It’s Fall in SoCal as the temperature was in the 60s, time to go home and get warm!

We watched TV and are starting to watch JAG from the beginning. That means we have 226 more episodes to watch, and since it was the forerunner to NCIS, it will be refreshing to watch! CBS All Access provides streaming, anytime at any time!

We did tookies, although not the ones we usually have. We crashed at 10:30 PM and are getting ready to out on the town tomorrow.

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Approaching “Normal”, Finally!

I grew a beard, thinking it would say “Distinguished Gentleman.” Instead, turns out it says, “Senior Discount, Please!”

It must be the season as I woke up thinking about my family growing up. My folks were simple people from Oklahoma and Arkansas. They had a rough life but I never heard a complaint.  They grew up without cars, no TV, and their first radio when they were teenagers.  Both of them came from large families.  Dad’s family came to California and stayed around.  Mom’s family came to California but dispersed throughout the USA.

The picture below is from 1995 and it was a holiday get together as you can see the long table set up in the foreground. We loved these times together and thanks to my fantastic wife, every time was special.  My family readily adopted Sue as their own, it was the best of times.

I thought a lot about these people today. My family 20+ years ago!

From left to right:

Uncle Otis (not really related but a friend of my father since they were in the 4th grade in McRae Arkansas in the 1910s) was very special to me. Otis was terrific as he took care of my mother for twenty years after dad’s passing.  He was a real man; a person I looked up to growing up! Otis passed in 1998.

Kat Robinson, my cousin, passed in 2011 at the age of 93 and was quite a lot of fun. She was never married and had a penchant for singing, piano playing, and creative writing,  In her retirement home, she was quite a personality. After 1988 (when I married Sue), she spent most holidays with us and we did a lot of adventures together!

Aunt Edith was one of Dad’s older sisters.  She did not get along very well with her daughter, but she sure got along with us.  From 1988 through her passing in 2008, we were together every holiday, traveled the world together, and were great friends. She has a unique sense of humor which we got to appreciate over the years!

The two little girls in the picture are Cassie and Jackie, two of our nine grandkids.  They are now in their twenties and Cassie, who just turned 25, is a mommy of two of our great-grandchildren!  Wow, time does fly!

Remember being at “The Kids Table”? The two little girls are Jackie and CAssie and the year was 2000 at our annual Pumpkin Carving Party!

As of this morning, we have made 3,989 posts to this blog! The God of Boring must be thrilled! But, they serve a purpose because now we can search back twelve years and get a precise date something happened. That’s rather neat!

I have been listening to bits and pieces of the impeachment travesty, and frankly, it reminds me of when I was Student Body President of Los Angeles City College. These self-important, pompous nincompoops we call “politicians” act like they just got out of high school. Childish behavior rampant and the people invited to testify are embarrassing (and that is polite). I am ashamed of our government!

Turn back the clock to a nicer time!

So the timepiece indicated lunch was imminent and we took a vote, Indian/Himalayan got the nod today!  Off in the Silver Ghost arriving at 12:30 PM.  The wait staff knows us well and as they passed by they said “The regular?”.  We did the regular and it was perfect plus we have enough vittles to last us a week!

We are talking outstanding groceries here!

As my dish was served the camera caught Sue in the cloud of smoke wafting from my red-hot iron skillet!  Listen to it roar!

Visibility is down to six inches

We struck up a conversation with two ladies at the next table and it was their first time dining Indian.  They ordered and then when ours came, they asked about the dishes.  We had so much food, we asked our waiter to get some small plates and we shared each of our plates with them.  Lots of fun!

Back home and time for PT.  I popped over to Old Ranch to take care of some business arrangements and returning home, I checked for light-leaks for about 90 minutes!

No Phoenix Club tonight as we have to save up energy for Topper’s on Friday and Starlighter’s on Saturday.

I was thinking about this website and I looked back in the Way Back Machine. This was our front page on the web eighteen years ago!!

Many moons ago!

We watched some TV and by 10:30 PM, we were goners!

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Feelin’ Gud!

To watch us dance is to hear our heart speak.

These feeling guide our household

Up bright and early, I went through the New Year’s Eve plans, and we have 94 family and friends joining us. After Sue got up, I went out and did some chores and a little bit of shopping. After three weeks of medicines, my belly was giving me fits, so I got some stuff to fix the bloating.

The cleaning people showed up at 10:30 PM, and we stayed while they worked. Typically we disappear, but we were not ready to do the disappearing act yet!

Lunch was left-overs, and the Chinese cuisine is just about gone! I do like the Kung-Pow Chicken, but more hot pepper sauce is needed for me to get a bang out of it.

Excellent with a teaspoon of fiery red pepper sauce!

Did You Know? Kung Pao Chicken, also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables (traditionally leek only), and chili peppers. Pao means peanuts. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and included Sichuan peppercorns. Although the recipes are found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of Westernized Chinese cuisine.

In the afternoon, I worked in the garage for a while.  I realized we have four cases of TP, so I canceled the Amazon automatic order until our supplies dwindle!  I got a new toy from Amazon while I was in the garage.

NOw I can find the right breaker without turning on and off six different ones!

The CB10 is an AC Circuit Breaker Finder/Receptacle Tester that locates circuit breakers and tests receptacle wiring. It allows the user to quickly locate 110 Volt to 125-Volt AC circuit breakers and fuses. When the correct circuit breaker is found, flashing LEDs and an audible beeper provide a no-miss indication. The CB10 also features a variable sensitivity adjustment to pinpoint the right circuit breaker.

It is 3:30 PM and time to go to the hospital for pre-op check-in and pre-op testing.  The kidney stones come out next week, so today we did the pre-op stuff.  The hospital was outstanding, and we were in and out in about 90 minutes!

It was 4:45 PM, and traffic was terrible and too early to go home, so we made a stop at CPK.  Table #40 was open and ready for us (it’s the one closest to the bar and the quietest).  Sue did the pea and barley soup while I downed an excellent piece of salmon.  Two G&Ts later, I was good to go.

We watched Christmas Ice Sculptures as our Christmas movie of the night. Summary: Callie, an aspiring chef, with her childhood friend David, enters Callie into a club’s annual Christmas ice sculpting competition against her boss. Callie’s passions for cooking and ice sculpting meet with romance and Christmas spirit.

Standard Hallmark Christmas Movie…Heartwarming, Boy gets Girl, HAppy ever after!

We crashed about 10:00 PM as I had not laid down all day and was dragging.  No tookies tonight, we were just too tired, and we were both full of our late dinner!

The moments are getting closer together

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