Off Like A Rocket!

Really? I hate Russian dolls, they’re so full of themselves.

Paul slept so well he didn’t even stir when Sue awoke and came into the kitchen.  The golf game wiped hime out yesteday.  Entering the kitchen, Paul spotted the quilt meaning he had to get it to the cleaners EARLY so we could get it back today!  Off and running he was.

Into the ol’ grey steed and putt putting down the street with errand list in hand before 8:30 AM.  First stop, the cleaners!  We negotiated a deal.  I give him a quilt needing cleaning and by 5:00 PM he will return it…what a deal!

Did You Know?  Like many inventions, dry cleaning came about by accident. In 1855, Jean Baptiste Jolly, a French dye-works owner, noticed that his table cloth became cleaner after his maid accidentally overturned a kerosene lamp on it. Operating through his dye-works company, Jolly offered a new service and called it “dry cleaning.”

Early dry cleaners used a variety of solvents — including gasoline and kerosene — to clean clothes and fabrics. In the United States, the dry-cleaning industry is fairly new and has developed only during the past 75 years. Since World War II ended, the volatile synthetic solvents carbon tetrachloride and trichlorethylene gave way to a product known as perchlorethylene (perc), which became the overwhelming solvent choice for the industry. It was not only safer and faster, but did a much better job of cleaning, required less massive equipment, less floor space, and could be installed in retail locations offering excellent quality one-hour service.

 A cleaning machine is a motor-driven washer/extractor/dryer that holds from 20 to 100 pounds (9 to 45 kg) of clothes or fabrics in a rotating, perforated stainless-steel basket. The basket is mounted in a housing that includes motors, pumps, filters, still, recovery coils, storage tanks, fans, and a control panel. In all modern equipment, the washer and the dryer are in the same machine. Doing this makes it possible to recover nearly all of the perc used during cleaning, which is better for the environment and saves the dry cleaner money.

As the clothes rotate in the perforated basket, there is a constant flow of clean solvent from the pump and filter system. The solvent sprays into the basket and chamber constantly — not only immersing the clothes, but gently dropping and pounding them against baffles in the cylinder as well. The dirty solvent is pumped continuously through the filter and re-circulated free and clear of dirt that gets trapped in the filter.

Now, off to the market to get the heavy stuff…Snapple!  Next Paul headed for the shoe store so Sue would not have to go barefoot this evening…or worse, wear tennis shoes to dance in!

Finally the hardware store to get a painters professional drop-cloth…the trash cans are getting a little too colorful these days!

Back home and brunch!  Sue fixed the soup from Old Ranch with great additions including cheese and spices…the soup was to die for!

We watched one NCIS episode and then headed to the showers as we had an appointment with our financial advisor at 2:30 PM in Laguna Beach.  The news was OK, we will make some money this year but not as good as last year…as long as we ain’t loosing we be good!

M-m-m-m-m-m  Sounded good to us!

We headed home, watched a little TV and then off to the Phoenix Club for dinning and dancing.

The guys were sounding great this evening!

We departed about 9:30 PM but had to return as Paul forgot the wine bag which was under the table.

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Mid-Week – Golf!

Indeed! Our minister was the best golfer in town. Look at all the practice he’s had in keeping his head down.

The day began with a walk…duh! The shopping list had three items so it is a must-go!  Of course Paul ended p with a bag filled with goodies as the blue berries and raspberries looked too good to pass up! No map, just another four miles! Winter is on it’s way, relentlessly but detectable.  The temperature was a high of 83 and the sunset at 7:45 PM and this little fella as strutting his stuff in the neighbors yard.

I always heard that women in Tahiti and Hawaii wear hibiscus flower behind the right ear when they want to announce that they are single and ready for marriage. Married women wear hibiscus behind the left ear. Paul wears it on his head to confuse people!

Does the term “Proud as a Peacock” ring a bell?

White taking a round-about way back home, Paul passed under a large tree with huge branches pretty low and was stopped by the beauty of a sap runoff appearing naturally. 

Did You Know? In the 19th century sap from some trees were used as adhesives and medical dressings.  The boiled-down sap became a sticky tar-like substance that was used for waterproofing and gluing things together. Wound dressings were also a use for this tree-sap tar. The astringent qualities helped keep the wound from getting bacterial infections although the people at that time only knew that it helped in healing, and not why it worked.

Sap hanging from the large branch made for an interesting design

While quite interesting, the ol’ Crepe Myrtle still takes top billing as it is beautiful standing majestically throughout the complex. These blooms will last another month or so giving us plenty of shade and a nice red glow.

Must be careful where they are planted because of the roots!

Did You Know? The crepe myrtle is a small tree, rarely growing taller than 30 feet. … In fact, the entire crepe myrtle root system is shallow and fibrous, spreading out horizontally up to three times as far as the canopy is wide. On the other hand, it is wise to keep all trees at least 5 to 10 feet away from walkways and foundations. During the dormant stage crapes will lose all their leaves and look like a dead tree.

Paul made it home just fine adding another four miles to the count.  After a quick cleanup and getting the house ready for the cleaning folks, we headed to Old Ranch Country Club for golf… OMG, the last time we played golf was October of last year (unless you count Paul swinging and swearing in May at Catalina).  We plated nine holes and it was pretty good.  There was a breeze so the temperature didn’t seem all that bad!

Random Memories:  Paul’s father had polio as a child and never took to sports although he watched boxing (in black and white in the 1950’s on TV) and watched football.  Paul does remember that his dad did have a set of golf clubs but we never saw him play golf…he would go to the driving range a few times a year.  Isn’t that odd…To this day Paul does not know if his dad ever played a single round of golf?

Sue is out on the green sinking another putt!

Sue did great today and we were both happy.  Paul’s back started to give his fits on the 9th hole as evidenced by two balls into the lake so nine was enough!

We finished up and Sue went into the Clubhouse to get a table for dinner while Paul popped home to freshen up, change clothes, and leave a check for the cleaning folks!  It took 28 minutes to go home, cleanup, change, and return…nice being so close.

Mitch joined us this evening for dinner and that was an excellent visit.  He is responsible for changing out old Direct TV systems, which are not being supported anymore, with new ones and does proposals, contracts, and manages crews of people who physically do the work in the field.  He really seems to be getting back to the old Mitch who we love…so nice to have him back!

After getting home Paul checked the mail while Sue was getting ready for some TV and bam, right between the eyes…I got an email notice! Frightening in more ways than one!

Can you believe it…It’s time for Halloween!

Time for some TV and of course, we watched NCIS having our tookies at 11:00 PM sharp.  We crashed at 11:30 PM as it has been a long day!

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Errands* & Yard Work – Bummer

Remember: A garden is a thing of beauty and a JOB forever.

* a short trip taken to attend to some business often for another

This morning Paul did not walk…after a glass of champagne with beautiful Sue Paul headed for the hardware store, wine store, shoe repair and the market. OK, the hardware store was Paul’s add-on…it’s like shopping for fun!

But first things first…we got a surprise two days ago.  Someone charged out credit card with $1600 in Amway products. So, we changed card numbers and the bank cancelled the charge…no biggie.  We were liable for only $50 max anyway.  But yesterday, while watching NCIS in the afternoon, we got a delivery.  Paul looked at it and it was two large boxes of vitamin supplements…yes, from Amway!

Is someone trying to tell me something?

The charges were reversed but Paul did not want Amway to be out the money either so he called them and explained the situation.  She was GREAT, called me her superhero for saving the vitimens,  and emailed my return instructions which I printed off.  Setting the two boxes by the mail box, the postman picked them up and returned them to the proper owner.

Amway (short for the American Way) is saved by Paul

Lowe’s was stop number one where some goodies made it into the shopping cart.  I mean, who can be without too many 7 1/4″ diameter saw blades?  Oh, someone how a rubber mallet made its escape from the hardware store in Paul’s shopping bag. And, most importantly, Paul got some “lumber”… 1″x2″ and 2″x2” for some jobs he had lined up! Paul also passed the candle department and came close to bringing home two new fragrances…which he would us only in the garage!

Very hard to resist!

Paul drove down the shopping center parking lot about six stores to go to Total Wine and get two cases of our special non-alcoholic wine.  The brand is St. Regis and it is pretty darned good.

St. Regis wines are not what you would call “non-alcoholic”, but rather wines that have been dealcoholized. They are basically regular wines, from which the alcohol has been extracted without removing the aromas, colour and other qualities that make them unique and provide consumers with an interesting drinking experience. The alcohol is removed from the original product through a state-of-the-art vacuum distillation process. This involves the evaporation of alcohol before bottling the product, resulting in wines with alcohol content that is lower than 0.5%.

Good wine…Healthy wine!

Next stop…shoe store.  Sue loves her shoes and these two pairs have been around for many many years.  The little man who runs the repair shop laughed and said “Your wife must really like these shoes, this is the third time I have replaced the heals”.  He does a wonderful job.

The shoes return to life after his amazing repairs

Finally to the market to get some birthday cards, ice cream and sherbet, and some other little goodies. Yes, the sherbet is for Paul…easier on the calorie count!

Did You Know? The word sherbet enters Italian as sorbetto which later becomes sorbet in French. The first Western mention of sherbet is an Italian reference to something that Turks drink. In the 17th-century, England began importing “sherbet powders” from Ottoman Empire made from dried fruit and flowers mixed with sugar.

By 1662, a coffeehouse in London advertised the availability of “sherbets made in Turkie of Lemons, Roses and Violets perfumed”.

In 1670, Café Procope opened in Paris and began selling sorbet.  (In the modern era sherbet powder is still popular in the UK.)

When Europeans figured out how to freeze sherbet they began making sorbetto by adding fruit juices and flavorings to a frozen simple syrup base. In the US sherbet generally meant an ice milk, but recipes from early soda fountain manuals include ingredients like gelatin, beaten egg whites, cream, or milk.

Now comes the best part of the adventure, coming home to lunch a la’ Sue.  What that lady can do with asparagus and cheese sauce is to die for!  It was amazingly good!

To the yard and specifically the grapefruit tree…love that tree but it is always sop loaded with fruit it droops down and Paul end up walking into the fruit or throwing out his back attempting to avoid the fruit.  1″x2″ to the rescue.  He chopped off the stick at the appropriate length and pushed up the entire branch about 8 inches making room to walk under the tree sans-bopp!  To gussy it up, Paul primed it with white spray paint followed by green paint. 

Easy fix and we can use it again next year!

Time for a movie and some NCIS…we are getting to season eleven so some of the episodes are coming back but not enough to stop watching. Oh, tookies you ask…of course, tookies at 11!

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Monday, A New Adventure Begins

It’s A Fact! Nothing tops a plain pizza.

So…what are we up to day?  It’s was a slow day with walking, gardening, and visiting Irene at Malarkey’s on the agenda plus the little oddities that affect our lives.

First the walk…target Bank Of America!  Derned taxes are due again so we floated a loan from one account into another…juggling the books! We didn’t have too but it gave Paul a good reason for the morning walk! 

While on the way to the bank he got to talk to Lisa C. which is always a great way to start the day…Lisa is so positive about everything and so bubbly! Lisa is married to Pete, our son-in-law. She lives near Oceanside with PEte in a new home where they have a vegetable garden,

Three plus miles to/from the bank! Not too bad!

Paul has been posted pictures of the Myrtles around the hood and here is a great example of the Myrtle trees on Seal Beach Blvd.  They stay blooming for several months providing color to the local area. The only true myrtle tree is a large shrub or small tree with the Latin name Myrtus communis.

Did You Know? In the Judeo-Christian Bible, myrtle trees signify life and fertility. The myrtle tree referred to in this context is related to the California laurel (Umbellaria californica), also called Oregon myrtle or myrtlewood.

A beautiful tree that really like the heat!

After lunch, Paul headed for the garden and finished off berry trimming and cleaning up the trimmings from yesterday.  Thanks to welders gloves, Paul made it without a scratch!  The berries looks pretty good now so all we have to do is tie up the new growth because berries come onto the new growth only.

The babies are ready to grow for next years crop

Paul’s Random Memories: While working in the yard, somehow my pea-brain remembered the house he grew up in.  When Mom and Dad bought their new home in 1936, it was probably 1000 square feet but over the years Dad added a den and a large bedroom-bath. 

My bedroom was pretty small…just fit a single bed and that was about all.  As I got into Junior High School and had homework, I needed a bigger room. We had my great grand-mother living with us also and after she passed, it was converted to a sewing room as it smaller than my room.

For two years, I moved my bedroom to the “washroom” which was a 20’x10′ room addition attached to the garage.  The old ringer washer/dryer lived out there until Dad got mom a new washer and dryer leaving the wash-room just for me.  I loved that old room even in the dead of winter.  I set up my ham radio equipment out there and often got up at 3:00 AM and chased DX (ham radio talk for communicating long distances with other hams…mostly internationally.  I even made an intercom in the 7th grade out of a four tube Zenith table radio  so I could talk to Mom and Dad in the house.

Then one day, Mom and Dad said “You can have our room” and it was magic.  The room was probably 20’x20′ and had it’s own bathroom!  Wow!  I really did not appreciate what Mom and Dad did for me until years later. 

My new room had a full size office desk in it (for the ham radio) and a double bed, and it had three large windows overlooking the back yard.  I could sit at my desk and watch the antenna on the top of the 71′ tower rotate to point in the direction to hear best.  Wow!  The antenna was turned by a prop-pitch 24 V motor I rigged up from surplus parts…it was likely a motor used in WWII or the Korean Ward to change the blade pitch on aircraft

I had amazing parents that I didn’t appreciate for many many years!  I sure do now!

At the top of the tower, 75 feet up I had a Gonset Tri-Band five
element yagi
I had an old RME 4350 receiver and had to leave it on 24×7 because it “drifted” so bad when it was warming up!

About 3:00 PM Paul quit the yard work and came in the house…too hot! We watched some NCIS before cleaning up and heading to Malarkey’s. Irene joined us and we spent two hours just jabbering away.  We are lucky to have Irene in our lives…such a good friend!

Not “spectacular” but perfectly acceptable!

We arrived home about 7:45 PM and watched TV until midnight. Yes, we had our tookies about 11:00 PM.

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Second Sunday Means Old Ranch

Now This Is The Truth:  You may think that in life, a lot of things happen to you along the way.  The truth is, in life, you happen to a lot of things along the way.

First thing in the morning Paul unloads the pictures from last night and begins the process of making a story out of 300 snapshots…from last night Nightlighters dance.  The theme was “Shell We Dance” and indeed we shelled! In about 90 minutes got all the photos off the camera, into Adobe Lightroom, and first droppings on the “cutting room floor” was completed and it was 9:00 AM.  Paul did some of the cropping before deciding it was time to walk.

Next years target!!

Sue popped up about 8:00 AM and we always sit and talk over a glass of champagne…the good stuff…no alcohol and only about 40 calories.  Makes the day begin with a bubbly outlook.

Happy Birthday Lee!  Lee was Paul’s High School girl friend and currently lives locally and is a good friend.  She was unlucky enough to be born four months ahead of Paul so she gets four months of teasing as being “the older lady”, “the senior”, etc…we enjoy our visits with her!

Random Memory:  Paul went to his 20th High School reunion with his previous wife and the whole evening was ruined because we just happened to sit at the same table as Lee and her husband.  OMG! We accidentally sat with my High School girlfriend who Paul had not seen in 20 years! The ex made the evening miserable including going home early and missing visiting people I wanted to see. I “paid for” that situation for months!

Ratchet forward a quarter century and the 50th reunion comes up.  Not only did we sit with Lee, we drove her to the reunion!  Paul could not get a word in edgewise with Lee and Sue talking about everything.  We had a wonderful evening with Paul getting to dance with two beautiful ladies all evening!  Paul is blessed to have such a wonderful bride…Thank you Sue for being you!

The clock struck 9:00 AM, Jesus was just finishing his broadcast on KFI, and Paul gets two hours of un-interrupted “House Whisperer”.   Today he was talking about patio decks.  Almost every week Paul learns something new and Paul really enjoyed the talk on concrete.  You can listen to his blogs on KFI!

Click to get to his website

Today was going to be sticky plus Paul wanted to hit the garden before it got too hot and sticky so it was a walk to Von’s market which only takes about 90 minutes round trip! I had done all the “heavy lifting” yesterday so it was a buy nothing day!

Paul uses some of the walking time to catch up with the grand kids so he called Jonathan (our oldest) and then Zachary (next oldest).  It still seems funny to talk to Zachary who we knew from day one and now hear him talk about his babies.  We don’t feel old but wow…we have four great grandchildren…GREAT!

638 miles so far but look at those steps…1.6 million?  The Good Lord must be a miracle worker to generate bones and joins that can take think kind of wear and tear! More importantly, at 74 years, Paul is upright and moving right along!

This time of year, the Crape Myrtles jump out because of their magnificent flowers. An especially showy bloomer, the crape myrtle needs a location in full sun to put on its best display. This plant is a poor choice for a fully shaded spot, but in regions with strong, hot summer sun, it does well where it receives sun in the morning and light, filtered shade in the afternoon.

On the way home I passed a home on Shakespeare which is like ours…no grass, only fruit and veggies! Paul stopped and talked to the owner and spent 20 minutes in conversation about gardening.  Paul learned how to cut the blackberries which was on his today’s to-do-list anyway!  Paul also saw, with his own eyes, a process to change a healthy grapefruit tree into a tree hosting three different oranges…yes, he is a mad scientist.  He has three varieties already going and more on the way!

We have all heard of grafting but we did not know you can graft lemons and oranges onto a grapefruit tree! His daughter moved away and his wife cannot eat grapefruit (sounds like us) because of the heart medicine but the tree was health so…graft time!  Sounds like something Paul needs to try! Read more…

He says it was easy but expect about a 40% success rate

Back home and time to attack the berries… so in Paul goes armed with heavy (welder’s) gloves! He still got bit by the thorns as tied up the berries required no gloves and no gloves around blackberries means OUCH! Blackberries are a fruit often considered a berry, even though technically speaking they aren’t, and various species originated in parts of America, Asia, Europe and northern Africa.

Paul has trimmed three of the six berries meaning Monday the work will continue!
Nothing better right off the vine!

After getting OUCH-ed several times and blood running down his arm, Paul decided NCIS, even with its murder theme, was safer than continuing with the blackberries.  Besides, it was in the 80’s outside…temperature and humidity!  Inside it was 79 and 40%…much better numbers.

Bewitching hour has arrived and it is time to transform from a caterpillar existence to a butterflies…yes, second Sunday of the month means Old Ranch Dinner Dance.  That is were 24-30 of our friends join us for an evening of talking, visiting, dancing, dining, and otherwise cavorting to Steve Dudek and his magic saxophone!

Just Us! The shirt is my brand new Aquarium Shirt!

Our group is interesting to watch as everybody gets along well and people move from table to table seeming like new stories and new facts are learned every time we meet.  Special thanks to Bob Z who left Donna home this evening to join us and dance with all the ladies.  Bob is a caring gentleman who we are proud to call friend. And, he is a FANTASTIC dancer!

Choose wisely!!!

Donna is fine, she is having a “procedure” Monday and needed to be home to prepare for it…if you are old, like us, you know! Bob didn’t want to be “in the way”.

Blessed with great friends!

Random Memories:  When Paul grew up, his mom and dad had many good friends and there was  always company dropping by.  They were all older as mom and dad were married 20 years before Paul was born…hence their friends were older.  When Paul was first married, the ex really did not like people and preferred to be alone..including not visiting her own parents?  Paul lost track of his family only reconnecting through intermittent visits when he could not stand it any more…it’s a long story!

Ratchet forward twenty years and Sue was the other way around…she liked family and friends and we have been blessed for over thirty years of having wonderful friends and great family relationships!  We miss our parents and the aunts and uncles a lot.  Due to Paul’s family having longevity, we still have and aunt and uncle both in their mid nineties and doing well!  Again, Sue was and is a blessing allowing people into our lives and sharing ours.

 The evening is done so we are off to watch some more NCIS and learn some more of Gibb’s Rules like:

Good rules to remember!

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It’s Saturday And All Is… Well?

Indeed!  Velcro, what a rip off!

Time for the morning walk…Ralph’s is the target today as we need several things including ice cream and tookie dough…we can’t we without the vital supplies of life now can we? So, with a burst of energy Paul rocketed out the front door turning on I-Heart Radio App to the music of the 1950’s and setting the pedometer app back to zero…zoom!

On the walk to the store, Paul called Pete (our son-on-law) to checkup on him…actually Paul called Lisa but she was out shopping. We talked for almost 40 minutes, a record for Pete on the phone. He was proud of his new garden at his new home so he sent some pictures. Time sure flies! Pete informed us that he has worked for the “new company” over eight years and is a senior manager with 36 people reporting to him. That means he has been retired eight years…wow!  Making some good coin these days…and well deserved we might add!

Did You Know? After World War II, Joseph Jacobs moved to California, intending to go into business himself.

In 1947, he opened a one-man consulting engineering business in Pasadena, California, where he and his wife made their home. Through both internal growth and external acquisitions, this grew into Jacobs Engineering Group, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world.

After returning home, Paul worked in the garden for a few minutes but decided since we were going to LAX to go dancing tonight that gardening would be cut short!  We watched TV in the comfort of our air conditioned home, yes! However, Paul did do a little gardening leaving the rest for tomorrow!

From left to right, #1 the egg plants are doing quite well,  #2  shows the raised flower beds, #3 shows the cleaned out back wall area and the huge pumpkins are now gone…being stored o the north side of the house.

Second row, left the right, #1 the corn is getting big and should be ready to pick in about 3-4 weeks.  The cleaned out beds are going to be planted with potatoes for the winter meals! #2 reveals we have Anaheim chili’s meaning stuffed peppers are not too far away!

We continued watched TV until about 5:00 when we got cleaned up and headed to the Marriott at LAX.  We danced until about 10:00 PM at which time we headed for home.

After-all, it was a summer formal event!

Returning home, we continued watching NCIS and we are getting to the end of Season Nine…we are amazing how many we either never saw or just simply missed!?

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Gardening & Dance Day

A Teachable Moment! The hula dance is simple: you put some grass on one hip, some more grass on the other hip, and then you rotate the crops.

Bright and early Paul donned the walking shoes and headed out across the badlands of Rossmoor headed to Rite Aid Pharmacy to buy the only item on the shopping list – Ecotrin asprin.  After returning and reviewing the pedometer, Paul found out he has done over 620 miles…130 to go!

Examining my pedometer reveals 630 miles and almost 1.6 million steps since October PLUS, of all the pedometer users, Paul is in the 80th percentile!  This does NOT count the post walk walking which is probably another 50% dince Paul works in the yard a lot!

As usual, Paul has the camera at the ready.  The Crepe Myrtle trees are beautiful this time of year.  The bark is so very smooth and peals off in easy layers!

We have these all over town

Did You Know? Lagerstroemia, commonly known as crape myrtle or crepe myrtle, is a genus of around 50 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs native to the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia, and parts of Oceania, cultivated in warmer climates around the world. It is a member of the family Lythraceae, which are also known as the loosestrife family. The genus is named after the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerström, a director of the Swedish East India Company who supplied Carl Linnaeus with plants he collected. These flowering trees are beautifully colored and are often planted both privately and commercially as ornamentals.

As we mentioned, our new leaf blower keeps the entrance path free of debris as Paul  uses it twice a day for about 15 seconds…that’s all it takes!  No cords and variable speed…the leaves in the corners not wiggle their way out of the spot instead of blowing back in our face.  Love you Makita!

Clean as a whistle

Did You Know? As every old-timer can tell you, a good whistle made from a reed or a piece of wood emits a clear tone – but it is easily damaged. Even small particles of debris, or a few drops of moisture will change the sound of a handmade instrument. In order to emit the pure notes intended by its maker, a whistle has to be absolutely clean. Anything or anyone as clean as a brand-new whistle or as clear as its sound is bound to be good. All of which means that an organization or person called as ‘clean as a whistle’ has been judged to be guiltless or flawless.” 

Tomorrow I must attack the sunflower as it is towering over the walkway close to 15 feet in the air and it dying…we do NOT want it to collapse onto the walkway or us!  Vicky says she has pictures of our neighborhood squirrel hanging upside down on the flower eating the sunflower seeds!

The wall is six feet talk so we guess the height at fifteen feet

After a quick lunch, Paul headed for the garden to do away with five of the old tomato plants and they were a fight…their roots were well dug into the ground. Paul filled a 100 gallon barrel to the tippy-top with these plants!  As they were mostly green, the barrel was quite heavy!

Did You Know:  Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous, and it was only in the 16th century when the popularity of tomatoes rose. In 1820, the state of New York even passed a law banning their consumption!

The truth was finally revealed on September 26, 1830, when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson consumed an entire bag of tomatoes before a shocked crowd on the steps of the courthouse in Salem, New York. And … he did not die!

It got into the low 90’s so Paul decided, at 2:30 PM, it was time to come in and watch some  boob-tube…NCIS was quite relaxing…so much so that he took a short nap!

We got all cleaned up and headed to the GG Elks to dance to Street Corner Symphony.  Except for a couple of placers where they got loud, the music was pretty good. 

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It’s Yellow Out There

Remember: Don’t eat yellow snow; don’t breath yellow air!

Yep!  The fires are going south-east of us and the air is kinda dirty.  It happens but interestingly enough, we are not seeing the ash we see from local fires so we guessed the long distance pulverizes the ash into microscopic pieces before it come here.

Rising smoke, overhead clouds subdue the sun, but not until it casts a brilliant yellow light across the sky
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Back On The Diet

The Truth Be Spoken!  “I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.”- Noël Coward

So it is exactly 69 days until October 17th meaning I have 69 days to walk 134 miles to fit in a 750 mile year.  That means at least two miles per day from now on…that should be fairly easy.

Good walk this morning as Paul is up to 616 miles than ks to CVS Pharmacy and Staples. No doggie visits today but Paul waived at some doggie friends who were across the street from where he was.  Paul was off to obtain the only item on the shopping list today – Ecotrin aspirin which is coated and dissolves farther down the digestive path than normal aspirin.

Today we went to lunch with Robin as she is now on a 4×10 work week and her hours are 5:00 AM until 2:00 PM meaning lunch should be about 10:00 AM but alas, no place is open for lunch at 10:00 AM.  She decided we ought go to The Yucatan Grill at 11:00 AM sharp which is always good!

Hot hot got plus Paul adds habanero sauce on top! Burns the calories away!

Did You Know? The habanero chili comes from the Amazon, from which it was spread, reaching Mexico.  A specimen of a domesticated habanero plant, dated at 8,500 years old, was found at an archaeological site in Peru.  An intact fruit of a small domesticated habanero, found in pre-ceramic levels in Guitarrero Cave in the Peruvian highlands, was dated to 6500 BC.

The habanero chili was disseminated by Spanish colonists to other areas of the world, to the point that 18th-century taxonomists mistook China for its place of origin and called it Capsicum chinense (“the Chinese pepper”).

Today, the largest producer is the Yucatán Peninsula, in Mexico. Habaneros are an integral part of Yucatecan food, accompanying most dishes, either in natural form or purée or salsa.

After returning home, Paul hit the yard for a couple of hours with most energy used on straightening up the corn.  For some unknown reason, it fell over…never happened before? Thanks to steel posts and a mess of sisal twine, they are all standing tall…hope I got them in the nick of time!

Did You Know? Sisal, with the botanical name Agave sisalana, is a species of Agave native to southern Mexico but widely cultivated and naturalized in many other countries. It yields a stiff fibre used in making various products. The term sisal may refer either to the plant’s common name or the fibre, depending on the context. It is sometimes referred to as “sisal hemp”, because for centuries hemp was a major source for fibre, and other fibre sources were named after it.

The sisal fibre is traditionally used for rope and twine, and has many other uses, including paper, cloth, footwear, hats, bags, carpets, and dartboards.

We watched some TV from about 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM at which time get got ready to go to the Phoenix Club for an evening of dancing and cavorting with frfiends!

We got all sorts of nice comments from the band and others about the web page we did for the birthday party last week!  Makes the work worth the effort when people appreciate it!

We had a great time dancing the night away

We departed a little early this evening, around 9:30 PM as we are still resting up from the visit of Hannah and Lisa. On the way out of the parking lot, we could see the fire almost 25 miles to the south-east of us…I mean we could see the flames on the top of the mountains above Lake Elsinore!

It was a little spooky to see the flames this far away knowing it was a good 20 miles away!

Heading home we watched the Disneyland fireworks which are always spectacular.  Funny…flames in the sky behind us, BAD…flames and explosions in front of us, GOOD.

Random Memories: It’s funny how I can remember smells from events that happened decades ago.  When I was in the 5th grade, my mom picked me up from school one afternoon which was odd…I usually walked home.  She told me that Number 5 Pico Store had had a fire!  Dad was in the dime store business and we had a store on Pico and La Cienega in Los Angeles.  I grew up in that store working there every summer and watching my dad working there since I could remember.  I had never had been around a fire so I had no idea what to expect!

The store had a basement and a second floor warehouse.  The second floor and ground floor were burnt to a crisp while the basement suffered from water damage. Four feet of water sat in the basement soaking all the merchandise.

Dad and I went into the building, walked up the stairs, and looked into the offices and they were “toast”.  I do remember taking some partially melted crayolas home. The smell of that day 60 years ago stays with me to this day.  ‘Phantosmia’ is the medical term for an imaginary odor (phantom smell). It is also known as an “olfactory hallucination”. Luckily, I only smell this when I think hard about the events of that day!

That is a little off I know but I can also smell opening day at Disneyland when the blacktop on Main Street had just been poured a few days earlier and the small of that hot day in July and the blacktop is still quite vivid in my mind!

We watched NCIS, had our tookies at 11:00 PM and crashed about midnight! Paul controlled himself and had only one and that was the smallest of the batch!

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They’re Off In A Cloud Of Dust

Indeed: Everything is nicer when shared with a niece!

Hannah and Lisa are leaving for San Jose this afternoon but not after two very successful days fattening up their Unkle Paul!

We went to Old Ranch this morning and while Hannah held Unkle Paul down, Lisa force fed him a large Burrito and a side of ham! Meanwhile, Sue just watches and giggled at the antics! On the way out, Paul stopped at the weight machine which is supposed to talk…damn thing insulted him!

OK, Paul may have embellished the story a tad or two…but we did have a large breakfast.

Then, to add insult to injury, Hannah and Lisa made it MANDATORY that we go to the OC Fair and succumb to…no no, I can’t say it…Fair Food! Fried anything!  Friend Twinkies, Fried Pickles, Fried Milky Ways, OMG!

If it can fit into a tub of hot oil, they will fry it!

We walked around and of course visited the baby animals starting with the roosters and ending with the pigs, 

Roosters of most breeds, if raised from a baby chick, have been handled regularly, and roosters isolated from hens tend to be very affectionate and intelligent and make good pets.Wild, unhandled, and older roosters can be tamed and make good pets too.

Gotta love the pigs, they are so smart. Pigs outperform 3-year-old human children on cognition tests and are smarter than any dog or cat!

Teasing the baby roosters…We checked Lisa’s purse on the way out
making sure Jeffrey dud not have a new playmate!

Lisa wanted to get a Hawaiian shirt for Patrick so he would fit into the family and we went to High Seas Trading Company.  Patrick got a new short and Paul got four new shirts (in addition to the six from the last visit)!

Lookin’ good Patrick!

Just before leaving we all stopped and had a six pound cinnamon bun… OK, a cinnamon bun with icing on the top! 

Hannah and Lisa departed for the parking lot at 2:30 PM as we went to the  Ferris Wheel.  Unkle Paul heard one of them say “see you soon… Tubby!”  Paul remembers mumbling “I do NOT get mad… I get even!“.  Unkle Paul can see large quantities of See’s candies in their future!

On our way out.. Paul was well under control!

It’s a requirement! Sue must drag Paul on the death defying Ferris Wheel 3000 feet into the sky with toothpicks as supports in a cabin held on with dental floss moving at a rate approximating the speed of sound! Around and around we go with Paul shutting his eyes so tight it left impressions on his cheeks for two hours!  Fortunately Paul had a spare oxygen bottle which allowed him to breath when we got to the top of the wheel!

Way up in the sky!!

We made it through the Ferris Wheet adventure mostly unscathed and decided it was too hot and too crowded to stay any loner.  We headed home and the cleaning people were about to arrive so when they did, we went to Old Ranch. 

On the way over to Old Ranch (two miles from our home), we called our son-in-law, Mitch, as he works nearby.  He joined us at 5:15 PM for dinner and we sat around until almost 7:45 PM catching up on things!  Mitch is doing well as a full time Project Manager  for a large Direct TV sales/installation organization.  He is getting everything together and we are proud of him!

Dinner at Old Ranch with Mitch!

After returning home, we watched NCIS on TV and Paul laid out the attack plan on returning to less than 200 pounds!  The past two weeks has been difficult, at best!  He began with having only one (yes, count ’em) and only one tookie this evening,

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