He Read My Mind!

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.
Comes into us at midnight very clean.
It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands.
It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”
John Wayne’s headstone

I was sitting here this morning in the garage looking st pictures from the 4th of July in years past and as Isaw this picture, the phone rang.  Brian and Jan called to check in on me, wow!  It was almost spooky!   Sue really took to these two folks and we planned to visit them this year but alas, Hod had other plans.

We had so much fun with Brian and Jan when they came home to the US from the UK.  We went walking in the gardens, visited Catalina, went on water taxis, found new and interesting English Pubs to visit, just hung out.

Sue was just a barrel of fun to be with and her quick wit and occasional “zingers” are so sadly missed.  I love you, Sweet Sue!

Sue and Brian enjoying each other’s company.

 

Well, I cleaned up this morning and made sure everything was ready for the shower guy to show up and take measurements on the new shower.  The place almost looks good again.  He measured the new shower and it will bne a door entry, no sliders.  The solid clear glass will be fixed to the wall.  The opening door will be wide enough for a walker or other mobilization device should it ever be needed.

I have the side yard to go after this afternoon but I have to stay “clean” as I was told by the shower guy, “The new door must stay dry for two days!”  French bath anyone?

Breakfast turned out to be Chicken Tikka which I nuked and a glass of pomegranate juice!  Of course, the meal was chased by a big cup of coffee.  Spicy kick to get the day started.

It is traditionally small pieces of boneless chicken baked using skewers on a brazier called angeethi after marinating in Indian spices and dahi (yogurt)—essentially a boneless version of tandoori chicken. The word tikka (Tike in Turkish, and Tik? in Azerbaijani) is a Hindi and Urdu word and means “bits” or “pieces”

I have been thinking about dinner and I know I am going to cook up one of the two rib-eyes I got on special from Ralph’s yesterday.   I plan to go shopping in the garden and perhaps fix some crookneck squash or roast some potatoes and tomatoes to add to the dinner plate.  The steaks are a good size so I may just eat half of one and save the other for tomorrow with bacon and eggs. Speaking about the market…

That would be me!!

 

 

 

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I Am Happy The 4th Is Behind Me!

The pain passes, but the beauty remains. – Pierre Auguste Renoir

This weekend has been the worst for me since Sue passed.  It was her favorite, and it was just before her birthday month starts.  I must look like a wreck as I cannot stop my eyes from leaking.  I thought I would get into the Christmas decorations just to get outside, but that was not good either. I made it thorough about a quarter of the boxes.

Every box I open and every little ornament I see is a direct connection to her.  Despite that, I separated things into items for Colleen (who likes everything, especially the vintage items), Rebecca (who loves the stuffed animals), Robin (who wants the Disney things), and those I will keep and hopefully used this Christmas.

I visualized Sue and me walking around the house with Christmas music playing, watching out for Chuhauhua’s, and laughing and giggling for three days straight while we transform the house into a Christmas wonderland.  She was my everything, and I am having a difficult time with that this weekend.  I love you, Sue.

So sweet!

We used to decorate everything, but in the last two years, Sue was not up to it, so everything stayed packed away.  I know I will not put everything up, but I will have a small tree and the most memorable of the ornaments.

The tree took me two days!

Yes, we had trees everywhere because our ornaments seemed to be un-ending!  I am afraid that Christmas will never be the same, and after today, I am not looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  Maybe things will change.

Sue did most of the house, and we finally finished it on days three.

 

The day started with me working in the office doing some rewiring and getting the sound system off the floor and onto the tabletop!  Sue loved her PC, so I got her a two-screen Dell system, which I believe she used perhaps twice.  I check into it once a month to see if there are any updates.

While I was testing the PC and moved sound system, I logged onto YouTube TV and canceled my subscription as I never have used it but have been paying for it for several months.

It was late morning, and I fixed a small spinach salad with a six-ounce steak for lunch.  It was just right in keeping with my desire to get below 190 pounds.  I am at the edge and working on it every day.

Bob worked on the shower and the floor for the rest of the day!

He was cutting up a storm!

Piece by piece, it is coming together!

The job is so close to being done, but no cigar!  Every rock had top be in the exact proper place!

The floor tiles are in, and they look great.  They are 1/2 inch ceramic tiles made in Spain.  Just enough grey to hide the dirt!  What dirt?? The flooring is waterproofed two-feet out, so I will not work about water damage!  The tiles are not slippery either, another plus.

I love the pattern! The spacing is perfect.

I was low on O’Douls beer, so I went to the market and darn near lost my pants!  I put on a belt, but it was a 38, and I am now wearing a 36.  I had to stop mid-aisle, look both directions, and find another notch, or my pants would have been down at my knees by the time I walked to the car.  Oops!

I began going through the Christmas things as I need to reduce the box count severely.  I have forty boxes now, and I want no more than ten when I am done.   I began to feel funny in the chest, so I stopped, I think it was just emotions building up.  I worked on the boxes for hours just a little at a time.

Boxes of amazing memories!

It seems as if I will have to store these because I took one over the UPS store, and it was $87.90 to ship one single box via the slow-boat.  I have five boxes packed for colleen, but that is $500, and I am not near done!  Dang!  It would be cheaper for me to put them in the van and drive them to New Hampshire; that’s a good idea!!

Bob worked until almost 8:00 PM, and I sent him home.  I told him I would clean up everything before the glass guy shows up tomorrow!

Everything has its place!

I wet moped the inside, and it is ready for measuring tomorrow and grout!

It is getting close!

It’s 9:00 PM, so I headed for the shower (in the Master Bedroom) and got into my jammies, made a cup of hot chocolate, and called Robin and then Lee.  Lee and I talked for forty-five minutes and plan to get together next weekend for lunch or dinner.  She is getting ready to dance, and I said, “If I bring my boom box and the iPhone’s dance music, can we use the dance floor in the park’s recreation room?”  I think we may have a plan being hatched!

I watched two episodes of Hanna before crashing for the night!  As I fell asleep, I was thinking of my lovely wife and how much I missed being with her over this long weekend.

Here she was with Joe at Old Ranch last year. It is burned into my memories how nice it was to have Joe join me (with the rest of the family)  at the hospital the night before Sue passed. I love both of you guys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So Many Wonderful Memories

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” — J.M. Barrie

She loved this holiday and always dressed accordingly.  Here she is at Old Ranch watching the kids on the water slides.  She just brightened up my every day, making life worth living.  Always a smile and kind words for all.  I am sure she wished she could have joined the kids on the water slides today, but alas, that was not possible.

Sue’s last July 4th Celebration

Sue was simply amazing, enjoying life to the hilt.  She went with us to get fireworks, and she picked out “the Big Bang,” which delighted the kids.  I was glad that JR and Zack were there to get it into the car.   I can see her in my mind now going “ooh” and “ah” when the fireworks went off.  This year we were at Mitch’s house, and we had Vicky and Del with us plus the Chartier’s came up from San Diego.   Today will not be easy as July 4th was one of our special holidays.

Sue was just as excited about the fireworks as the kids, maybe more!

 

I attempted to start the day, but a feeling of loneliness hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was going through some old boxes in the garage, and I found my dad’s funeral book and many letters from people.  That was a half-century ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  My bride is gone, my mom and ads are gone, and the feeling of loneliness is pretty depressing.  I can’t walk around with red eyes and tears, so I got busy cleaning my workbench and making breakfast.

Colleen read the Daily Diary and decided to get the rest of the gang dressed up in the colors of the day.  Thank you for the memories.  Sue and I would dress up all these guys for every holiday.  It brought back a lot of good memories.

Muffy and the gang in Red, White, and Blue!

I wanted to call Colleen but she has family in town and I know she is super busy so I will await her call.  Colleen worked very had to make their home ready for Mark’s family.

Bob came in about 1:00 PM and was finishing the floor today as I was getting ready to go to the Santa Ana Elks.  I was invited to have lunch and be with the Capps and Zaitz.  Donna and Bob knew this holiday would be a toughie for me. It’s great to have beautiful friends.

Donna was Donna, bright, and cheery.

Bill and Mary joined us, making for a lovely afternoon.  We have been dancing with Bill and Mary for many years.

Mary & Bill Capps, long time dancing friends, joined the group.

Post cheeseburgers, we are ready for the remainder of the day!  Bob and I enjoy one another’s company as we have the same sees of humor and react to events in precisely the same way!  I enjoyed a pair of margarita’s along with the burger and about two hours of great visiting.

Burger time at Santa Ana Elks.

I wore my mask into and out of the Elks, and everybody I saw had a mask near them.

I was ready with my N95 mask, just in case.

I returned home by 4:30 PM, just missing Bob by a few minutes.  He wanted to lay down the rest of the floor so it could be walked on during the final stages of the remodel.  The tile is looking great!

Now I am getting excited about the kitchen floor replacement later this year!

It was time to leave, so I went to Ralph’s and brought Amy a new boggle of her favorite wine plus some flowers.  While I was there, I also picked up a magnificent looking bag of bing cherries and a dozen patriotic cupcakes!

Arriving, the fireworks team was setting up this evening’s entertainment.

We are getting everything ready!  Don is bringing another table from his house.

Time to mentally prepare!  Joe, and his invention to hold the fireworks up high, rest before the sun sets, and all heck breaks loose!

Our Fireworks Captain takes a rest before the evening begins!

It begins, but I should say I have NEVER heard so much noise in all 75 Independence Day celebrations I have attended.  The sky was flickering all night, and the sounds reminded me of a battleground.  With the cancellation of public events, I guess people stayed home and celebrated.

That reminds me that coming over the Joe’s I attempted to turn onto Katella, but there was a traffic jam!  I had forgotten that the military base adjacent to us had fireworks, and families were heading over there at 6:30 PM.  I avoided making the turn but say a traffic jam for over a mile leading to the entrance to the base.

Ka-Boom!

Did You Know? Those modern-day bombs bursting in air are symbolic of the real bombs that flew over the heads of our Revolutionary War soldiers as they fought to gain America’s independence from the Crown. The flashes of light that streak through the sky imitate the rockets that fly past our current American soldiers in Afghanistan on a routine basis.

Instead of watching this year’s fireworks celebration solely for entertainment, I reflected on the sacrifices past and present members of the military have made for our beloved country.

Without the dedicated service of these men and women, we civilians wouldn’t have the luxury of a fireworks celebration to watch.

I had a wonderful time this evening with the entire family.

I had great fun with the family!  I missed Robin and Bob a lot!

The family got a kick out of the event, especially as the “big boys” made up names for the various fireworks and proudly pronounced the name out loud.  We should have guessed they were making up names when we heard “Big Burrito” and “Watch Out”, etc.

We all had the best seats in the house!

Joe places the fireworks on the stand so we could see it perfectly.  It was a great idea!

Watch your fingers!

The neighborhood was also surrounded by sounds and a lot of explosions in the sky; we were in surround-works!

Bam!

By 10:00 PM, the show was over, and my ears were in dire need of some quiet.  As I headed south toward Seal Beach, I was stopped by a fast-moving right train.  The train must have been going 50 miles per hour as it whizzed by in a matter of a few minutes.

The Choo Choo was moving fast; I could feel the ground shaking as it passed by.

By 10:30 PM, I was home, safe, and sound. The day started out being a sad one as I was missing Sue so much, but great friends and family made the day “OK”.  Colleen called along with Pete & Lisa and Robin & Bob, so I remained connected.  Then Bob and Donna helped as we remembered many July 4th celebrations in the past, and finally, Amy, Joe, and family completed the evening.  Thank you, guys!

As I dropped off the sleep, I thought of the thirty plus years that Sue and I had together.  I miss her so much!

She was such a magnificent partner in life!

Good night all!

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Almost The Weekend!

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal, and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Mid-year, and we used to celebrate the entire month of July because it was Sue’s “Birthday Month.” We put ourselves into overdrive and were out and about every day.  This year seems so strange because I am not out and about.  I remember Catalina, the Sawdust Festival, Laguna Arts Festival, wine tasting trips, the county fairs, the train trips.  This year, I stay home and just delight in remembering the thirty-years we had together.  She brought enough joy to least my lifetime, and I sometimes just hurt that she is not here to share.  I love you, Sue, and always will!

We are at Old Ranch Country Club with many of our family and friends. She was ready to celebrate!

 

I was up at 5:30 AM, roaring to go.  I went through a pile of sheets and blankets and put them into another packing box.  I moved several cartons from the master bedroom closet, including the new one,  to the outside as I decided to give them to the Salvation Army.  Now I have more room.  I kept the single-bed sheets, but all the old doubles will be gone soon.

This morning I took the long walk to the mailbox and put in my estimated taxes.  I drug it out to the last minute, but I had to do it.

I whispered, “Let’s GO,” and the Silver Lady started right up, turned on her air conditioner, opened the door, and was raring to go, anywhere!  Of course, we went to Lowe’s as I needed a 3/4 inch male hose bib.  An exterior spigot (also known as a “shut-off valve,” “hose hydrant,” “hose bib,” or “silcock”) is what the hose connects to get water.

I know that store pretty well now.  We were back home in 30 minutes, and the hose bib was in place.  I also got several packing boxes as I plan to send a lot of Christmas decorations to Colleen and get my Christmas boxes down into the single digits (there are almost forty boxes now!)

 

1/4 turn hose bib.

I got a call from Mike, the bandleader from “9 Carat Gold” and they were looking for a place to practice.  I thought of Old Ranch and the Himalayan Grill.  Old ranch washed out because of the reconstruction.

So, I invited the guys to the Himalayan Grill for lunch, so I (we) could talk to the boss.   The owner did not understand 1940s music until I played “Blue Champagne” on YouTube.  He finally realized it was not a “rock group” with noisy guitars and drums.

9 Carat Gold playing at our Old Ranch New Year’s Eve party.

Success, they will be practicing there starting Tuesday!   I will go the first time, and then after that, I will invite others to listen and dine. Yeah! I love it when a plan comes together!

I got to the restaurant a little early to make sure they would be open as you can’t tell with all this nonsense going on around us. So, what to do for forty-five minutes?  Beer was the answer.

Time to dine Indian style dressed in my July 4th garb.

It’s finally beginning to act like Summer.  The temperature was 82 today, and that was perfect.  I am happy I watered the corn today.

Summer be here!

Mike came in first traveling from Long Beach  Mike and I chattered about things for close to thirty minutes before Chuck showed up.   Mike knew the Himalayan Grill when it was Sams Seafood.  He played here several times.  The backroom is always a surprise to people as it can hold 200 or more people and comes complete with a small stage.

Mike, the band leader of “9 Carat Gold.”

Chuck showed up and is doing well.  Below he is showing his scars from the recent motorcycle accident where he broke his leg in two places.  Yes, he rode from Downey to the beach using the side streets, no more freeways for him!

The scars are going away slowly.

My phone was about to die, so I gave them a number to call; it was Jan Mongel!  We all chatted with her for a while.  Jan sponsors the Phoenix Club and knows the guys well.

A call to Jan Mongel.

Hello! Jan? (We passed the phone around)

When it came to ordering lunch, they were not sure as they had not had Indian before.  I recommended the mild Chicken Tika for their starters.

So good!!!

Did You Know? It is traditionally small pieces of boneless chicken baked using skewers on a brazier called angeethi after marinating in Indian spices and dahi (yogurt)—essentially a boneless version of tandoori chicken. The word tikka (Tike in Turkish, and Tik? in Azerbaijani) is a Hindi and Urdu word and means “bits” or “pieces”.

I had mine fifteen on a scale of ten.  It was so good.  Then I did a bad thing!  I had two large Indian beers.  OMG, I was so sleepy by the time I got home I laid down and died on the spot.  I have not had two beers in thirty years!  It was hot, but that was no excuse.  After getting home, I recalled that Old Monk, Indian beer, is eight percent alcohol.

The guys really enjoyed the meal and will definitely come back for more, no more fear of Indian food!

Bob got here and worked for three hours before I woke up.  He said he checked my breathing to make sure I was OK.  I just don’t drink anymore, so the two beers and the warm day had their effect on me!  That means I will be up all night long!

I finally woke up about 7:00 PM and wandered outside into the garage and the garden.  I watched the president’s speech at Mount Rushmore.  The address was impressive.

I am now in the yard working after my nap.

The bathroom is coming along nicely.  The flooring has been started.  Half was done, and it is drying so we can begin to walk on it and then finish the other side.  The small yellow devices keep the spacing exact so that grouting will be easy to put in.

The flooring is ceramic tile and impervious to water!

The walls are coming along nicely. Tomorrow will see the shower tiling finished.  It is exciting to see the progress.  The seat is now built into the wall.

Did You Know? The ancient Greeks were the first people to make their form of a shower, which sprayed bathers with water. Their aqueducts and sewage systems made of lead pipes allowed water to be pumped both into and out of large communal shower rooms used by the wealthy and ordinary citizens alike.

What we think of as the shower today was invented in 1767 by William Feetham, a stove maker from Ludgate Hill in London. His shower contraption used a pump to force the water into a vessel above the user’s head, and a chain would then be pulled to release the water from the vessel.

The shower didn’t come into common usage until the late twentieth century as people realized showering is a far quicker and more hygienic way of washing than having a bath.

The wall will be finished tomorrow. The top of the shower has its fan/light combination, and there is a “rain head” also at the top!

I watch President Trump at Mount Rushmore.  Damn, he was good and said all the right things.  I love that guy!

Trump is an amazing man, just like the other four!

At 9:00 PM, I was again tired, so I hit the sack as tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I watched two episodes of “Hanna,” which was interesting.  Summary: Hanna is a 15-year-old girl living with Erik, the only man she has ever known, as her father, in a remote part of a forest in Poland. Erik once recruited pregnant women into a CIA program, code name UTRAX, where the children’s DNA was enhanced to create super-soldiers. When Erik falls in love with Johanna, Hanna’s mother, he rescues baby Hanna, and they flee. The CIA then orders their on-site agent, Marissa, to shut down the project and eliminate all the babies.

More people ought to believe.

Posted in Dining Out, Friends, Working Around House | 1 Comment

The Second Half Of This Terrible Year Is Underway!

“Remember that people are only guests in your story – the same way you are only a guest in theirs – so make the chapters worth reading.” ? Lauren Klarfeld

It was four years ago when we made our last journey to San Diego to see the San Diego Fair.  We went every year for nearly thirty years but the last few years was rough so we stayed home.  So why is she smiling (besides the fact she was always happy)? Well, she got me on that new-fangled gondola that flys over the fairgrounds, roughly 4,500 feet in the air moving at 65 MPH while swinging wildly back and forth.   She is watching me squirm and try to act like I am NOT terrified.

She was so wonderful to be with and we spent the entire day exploring every inch of the fairgrounds including the petting zoo’s (which she loved) and watching some cooking demonstrations and of course, dining on the “scrumptious” fair food!

July began our summer activities and I know I will be feeling the blues missing out on our trip to Catalina (for her birthday), the water taxi around Long Beach the fairs, the Sawdust Festival, etc. etc.  I miss you my sweetheart!

Now you know why she is smiling!

 

Ham, bacon, and eggs for breakfast was a perfect meal.  Then I spent about an hour doing some rearrangement of the master bathroom and closet.  I decided to give to the Salvation Army five large boxes of towels, heated blankets, dish towels, etc. Most of them are brand new but I just don’t need them anymore.

Then, take a guess what I did!  You are right, the Silver Landy and I went north to Loews where I bought a new dishwasher!  This one even has an app with it so it will monitor and report to me the status of the wash cycle.  It was a little more than I wanted to pay but it will last for the rest of my life plus it is new and handles the electronic air filter with no problems!

It is an 800-series dishwasher washer.

Everything is electronic these days!

I placed about 30 two-inch diameter PVC pipes on the parkway hoping someone will come by and get them for their project.  I used them to cover our blueberries but I have decided to put in a small patio and a BBQ adjacent to the pool where the blueberries used to be so, no need for netting.  I will go to the market instead of putting the PVC together and keeping the birds away!

I talked to Colleen this morning and she mailed me a picture that made me very happy and sad at the same time.  Sue’s collection of the Muffy Vanderbear family complete with clothes was fairly extensive.  Since her introduction in 1984, Muffy Vanderbear has been the best dressed and best-loved bear in the USA. Created by Barbara Isenberg and produced for nearly 30 years by the North American Bear Company, Muffy still delights collectors of all ages.

I sent part of Sue’s collection to Colleen for her daughters and granddaughters.  The remainder will be sent in a couple of months, before Christmas.

Every holiday, I would help Sue change the clothes into whatever season/holiday it happened to be. It brought tears to be eyes to see Sue’s little guys dressed in their July 4th garb.  Thank you, Colleen, for making my day!

I was happy to see the babies get a new home where they are enjoyed as much as we enjoyed them!

I got proof from the garden gang that they raided the garden.  That also makes me happy.  I love my garden but even one tomato plant makes more than I can use so I give to family and friends.

Vicky’s shopping from the Liles Garden

Dang, another collection of food from Robin’s place.  There is nothing like fresh produce right form the garden!!

Robin’s shopping from the Liles Garden

At 5:00 PM I wandered over to Old Ranch and met up with some friends.  I found out that Dave and Kim are now engaged.  Dave lost his wife about four years ago and he and Kim are a perfect match for one another!  I am very happy for the both of them.

Bob worked for several hours completing two walls.  Because of the weight of the tiles, he wanted to wait a day before finishing the remaining wall to make sure it was completely dry and the tiles were set.  All the materials are at the ready for the final phase of the rebuild.

At the end of the day, everything is ready for tomorrow.

The tiles are set and grout spaces are in place.  Tomorrow, the walls get finished and the flooring begins.  It is getting exciting.  We ought to finish up on the 9th which is perfect as the shower glass doors will be ready within a day or so of the 9th!

One more wall, then the grout, and the flooring starts tomorrow.

Speaking of flooring, it will be just like below.  The floor will be different as the grout will be added and everything sealed up.

The floor tiles, pre-grouting! They will have sufficient texture so as not to be slippery at all!

While Bob was doing that, I was getting the pool equipment area ready for the new wall enclosure.  That included water blasting the neighbor’s garage wall to remove all the loose stucco since we plan to re-stucco the wall to match the new fence. Depending upon the measurements, I may even add a storage area against his wall as it is right on the property line and a couple of bricks here, and a couple of brings there would give me some room for outdoor storage.

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Half The Year Is Gone; So Far So Bad!

“Grief is not linear. It’s not a slow progression forward toward healing; it’s a zigzag, a terrible back-and-forth from devastated to okay until finally, there are more okay patches and fewer devastating ones. The mind can’t handle emotions like grief and terror for any sustained period, so it takes some downtime.” – Lisa Unger

It’s been nineteen weeks, and it seems I think of Sweet Sue more and more each day.  The forecast for today is “lonely!”

She was a patriot and loved our country.  Red, white, and blue was the dress code for July.  She loved the fireworks and seeing everyone together, celebrating.  She would suggest buying dinner for soldiers when we went to dinner, and soldiers came into the establishment.

Below, we visited the Newport Harbor Elks for a drink.  I miss her.

She loved our country!

 

It was time to conversate with the east coast, so I asked Alexa to call Colleen and voila, there she was on the big screen.  Colleen had her grandkids with her, so I got to talk to them for quite a while. My great-granddaughter was quite talkative today.  She was telling me about her long hair.

On the Bat Phone.

Of course, I teased her and told her that I had long hair; she looked carefully and pronounced that it was incorrect. Then we talked about teeth and I learned a lot.  She is a cutie!

I darted to Lowe’s first thing to gather hardware for the second outdoor floodlight, but after getting home, I decided to wait until later this summer to install it.    I want to see the light without the tomatoes in the way.  The Silver Lady was with me today.  She likes the run-up the freeway.

My house cleaners galloped in early as they are doing the windows today.  They had masks today, so I asked, “Why the masks?” It turns out they were allergic to all the dust in the house because of the reconstruction!  It never bothered me.  I told them it would be another week and then we should be done!

When they were done, the windows were beautiful; I could see outside!

I finally made the call to the vinyl fencing company.  The iron has been up for almost 25 years, and although I paint it regularly, the paint just does not hold up, so vinyl is going to replace it. The new gates will be here in about three weeks, and I will be glad to see them.

New gates are coming.

Vicky came over and when shopping, taking bags of tomatoes, squash, and other goodies from the garden.  I love it when folk use what I grow.  Today I am making hamburgers for myself, and I have an eye on one tomato, it has my name on it.

At 3:45 PM, Robin arrived from work; she was ready to walk, so we made haste setting our compass south.  The more we walked, the hungrier I got, and finally, Robin said, “Let’s go to Patty’s Place”.  So we did!

A short walk today because it was dinner time.

Patty’s was surprisingly busy at 5:30 PM, but Chuck sat us at our favorite table.  Robin got to watch the fishies, and I got to watch the bar.  We both had their “Steakhouse Special,” which is a 6 oz steak, French onion soup, and a small dinner salad.  It was right on!

Dinner at Patty’s Place with my eldest daughter! She is such a joy!

Returning home after dinner, Robin also went shopping in the garden, plus she found the plums and filled a bag with those beauties.

I do not know why, but I was lonely all day missing my bride.  I saw Diane’s post again and determined Diane and I feel the same way!

Memories around every corner.

Bob kept on working, and he finished about 8:00 PM tonight.  We had our “end-of-the-day-beer,” which is an O’Douls!  Neither of us drinks, Bob not at all, and me just a tad.

The grout is not in yet, and they are just hanging on the wall setting overnight.  This is going to look magnificent.

Coming along, tomorrow, all the tile will be up, and the floor gets started!

We were having our “beer” in the patio, and my security lights kept coming off and on like they are supposed to when they sense motion or noise.  Then I remembered, I have an app on the phone in which I can control the lights, making them motion-sensitive or not.  Out of my pocket flew the iPhone; I searched for Defiant, and there it was, the app of the moment.  With the push of the button, the lights were permanently on!

I forgot I could manually control by patio lights!

The day she is complete, and this old man is going to have a cup of coffee and hit the living room to watch a little TV.  I watched a science fiction movie, but I fell in, and out of sleep, so I do not remember much of it, so it sounds like it will be a rerun tomorrow.

I was thinking of my dad as I traipsed into the bedroom.

Dear Dad,

I sure wish you were here because you always had great advice when I needed to make a decision.    As you know, my beautiful wife passed, and I am not moving away from my home, at least for another ten years.  Like Mom, I will stay where I had the greatest memories of her.  Since I am staying, I am doing some updating with a new electrical box, new pool lights, some wall work, replacing gates, modern bathroom, and probably some new flooring.

So they have a thing called “solar power” now.  It was a kind of science fiction dream in the 1960s, but it is real today. If I give this nice man a big box of money, he will put solar cells on the house (3′ x 5′ glass sheets), and I will be able to take my electric bill to zero (or less).  The panels sit in the sun and create electricity, which goes into the main power box and avoids the need for taking power from the power lines.  Neat, huh?  My guess is about $15,000 before government rebates, and that means a payback of something like six years.  My inclination is DO IT.  What do you think?

I have a book called “The History of McRae Arkansas” that I got from my uncle Otis years ago.  I am sharing the book with Colleen and Joe, your grandkids!  Colleen is really into genealogy, and Joe is interested from whence he came.   There are pictures of your sister, Aunt Edith, in her basketball costume after winning the local championship in 1927, close to 100 years ago!

The book, written by James Cook, likely a relative of ours since your Mom was a Cook, talks about how your uncle brought the lumber mill into McRae, and that allowed electricity to come to “town” in 1912.  Aunt Opal was quoted as saying, “When I first saw an electric light, I tried to blow it out when we left the room.” I had to laugh.

You would have been so proud of your grandkids. You, me, Joe, Colleen, and Alex (your great-grandson) are clones of one another! It is incredible to see!

I’ll write to you again soon and keep you posted on the work around the house.  I wanted to also thank you for teaching me so much about “stuff”.  I can still plumb, do electric, mix concrete, carpentry, etc.  You were a fantastic teacher!

Love,

David!

Time to crash! It’s been another long day, and I am ready to rest. However, I will leave you with a thought!

Isn’t it the truth!

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Half The Year Is Gone, Good Riddens!

“No journey out of grief was straightforward. There would be good days and bad days.” – Jojo Moyes

Sue’s father was a charter member of Old Ranch; his membership number was in the single digits.  We join before we retired so we could play golf.  Well, Sue was the golfer, and I was the explorer.  I explored every nook and cranny of that place, looking for my ball.  Sue, on the other hand, was right down the center like clockwork.  Before her back surgery, she was extremely proficient, almost a scratch golfer.  The back operation made that impossible, but we had fun anyway!

Just before or just after our game, we would head for the dining room or bar at Old Ranch and grab something to eat or preferably, drink!  I called it, pointing fluid!  I miss spending all that “us time” on the course laughing and giggling and attempting to explain why she goes straight and I am all over the place.  Sue, I love you!

Old Ranch, our happy hunting ground!

 

I called Colleen, and we talked for a while.  She, like me, is getting rid of “stuff”.  We even share “how to di it”, so it is fun.

Today I diddled, which means I did a little here and a little there, no big projects! I trimmed the blackberries which were overrunning their small garden and making it difficult to walk around the pool.  Then I did some watering, making sure the corn got their two-inches of water.

Alexa lit up blue, which means she has a notification.  What was the information? We are going to get a high-brilliance LED floodlight in the next three hours.  So,  I am going to rig up a test for tonight. I plan to place it up under the eve, tie it to the new inside switch, and see how bright it is going to be. I just want the entire yard lit up should I need to see what is happening.  My security light, motion-sensitive, is OK, but it is only 1,600 lumens, about like a 100W light.  The new one is like a 1000 watt light!

The floodlight, she has arrived!

Meanwhile, the Silver Lady and I celebrated her birthday by going to Ralph’s market and getting O’Douls beer.  While I was there, I got Wondra (which I cannot be without), a couple of onions, blueberries, and a big bag of bing cherries.

Returning home, I fixed myself lunch, making a small steak, a spinach salad, and some fried onions that I cooked with the steak.  It was pretty good, and it kept me from eating the rest of the day.

The Silver Lady is fourteen years old today, and she is just starting live!

Before Bob arrived, I dug up one of my cherry tomato plants as it got powdery mildew and, although the fruit was OK, it looks terrible.  I also took out a small red-berry plant that I had high hopes for but alas, the small berries tasted horrible.  I am not sure what I will put into that spot.

Bob spent a while at the stone works out near Robin’s house, and he selected the granite countertop.  It looks beautiful, and he is going to make the seat in the shower match the countertop!  Bob picked up the piece, and he will do all the cutting on-site, which I an anxious to see.

The counter is granite, and Bob picked out the design.

The wall tiles are going up.  Every four panels weigh in at eighty pounds or twenty pounds per tile.  Tomorrow, the remaining tiles will go on the wall, including the opening made for the bath supplies.  The seat will be granite and will be just eighteen inches above the floor. It’s getting exciting!

The La Mirada Glass fellow called, and Bob gave him come rough measurement for both showers, so Monday the 6th, we will meet with him, place the order, and that will be the last item on the list.  A week later, the glass gets installed, and we are off to the races!

The wall tiles are going on, it’s getting exciting.

I had to go into the attic at 5:00 PM; it was hot with a capital “H”.  The wiring for the lights is all inside proper junction boxes and labeled accordingly.  Now we wait until it is cark enough to see the light.

It’s dark outside, finally so on goes the new light. This first light I installed is over the left-hand side of the yard, so it is over the vegetable garden.  The tomatoes block a lot of the light, but it sure lights up the neighbors back wall!  When the garden returns to “normal”, this light will be perfect.

The floodlight does a job in the garden.

I am beginning to believe that one more centrally located floodlight will take care of the rest of the yard with ease.  The equivalent of 2,000 watts will be available with the flick of a switch.

The question, one or two more?

I asked our next-door neighbors dog about the new light, just to get an honest opinion!

If you can’t stand the answer, do NOT ask the question! (Picture courtesy of Joe)

I was tired, so I decided to get cleaned up and get ready for bed.  When I came inside, the kitchen night-light was on.  The red lights, which use LIFX strings, make sure I do not lose my night vision should I wander into this room at night.

The strip pulls less than three watts and tools out to be six feet long.

As of tonight, the house has twenty LIFX systems, some ceiling lights, some lamp bulbs, and some other strips.  I have them set for different “themes”.

The light is on a timer I set on my phone, plus I can change its color and appearance anywhere I happen to be.

I love the kitchen when I come in at night. Everything is visible, and my eyes do not readjust.  However, many times I do want to say, “Up periscope!”

Conning tower lights are for a reason!

I worked on the daily diary a few minutes and then hit the sack at 10:30 PM. Good night all!  I watched an episode of “Tales from the Loop,” which follows the interconnected lives of the residents in the fictional town of Mercer, Ohio. Mercer is home to the Mercer Center for Experimental Physics, an underground facility known as the Loop. It is there where researchers attempt to “make the impossible possible”.

I missed talking to Colleen and Robin because I was in the attic and working around the house.  Robin will be here tomorrow for a late lunch around 3:30 PM and we are going to walk a mile.

Just us, I am on the left!

Colleen, I shall call as soon as I get up and get a cup of coffee in me.  Good night all!

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The Weak Begins; The Tired Stay in Bed!

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” — Winnie the Pooh

It was a few moons ago when Sue said, “Let’s take the boys to Alaska with us!” Well, we did.  The year was 2008, and Jonathan and Zachary were the perfect age for a trip with Grandma and Grandpa.  The four of us just had a ball laughing and giggling the entire time, and Sue said, “I learned more about anatomy and strange sounds than I ever knew before!” Well, after all, she had three teenagers with her.

She was not just a sport; she was a “super-sport”.  We flew in helicopters, winged our way down narrow fjords in floatplanes, road trains to the Canadian border, got lifted in trams, took bus rides through the Denali National Park, and we shared a “family room” on the back of the ship!

The boys (who are now 30 & 32) still remember how wonderful grandma was even when “boys would be boys!” In the picture below, we are heading to a fishing village, and it was in the 40s, but she bundled up and braved it anyway.  The lady was very special to all of us and will always be extremely special to me.  I love you, Sue!

She was brave!

 

Time to be brave and call the SSA.  I was on the phone for what seemed to be hours explaining a situation. Well, after an hour and ten minutes, I got an explanation and sent in the data they were after.  All ought to be fixed within a week! The SSA folks were helpful, it’s good to see the government doing well!

So far, so good!

Colleen and I chatted for a while before she and Mark went off to lunch.  Nothing new on Jackie but I am betting the new great grandbaby will arrive on the 4th of July!

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the garden I go!  At first gander, it needed some serious H2O.  I watered and cleaned up a bit plus figured out what to do with all the ripe veggies.  The corn is coming on strong, and the tomatoes are producing like crazy.  The tomatillos are ready, so I am taking them next door. Munching on berries is a must so I meandered over to the bite-me vines (name so because of their stickers) and ate two handfuls of beautiful blackberries.

The right-hand wall has the yellow crook neck squash I just picked, and they will be for dinner tonight!  In general, each plant produces 5 to 25 pounds of yellow squash during the growing season.

Did You Know? Though native to the western hemisphere, squashes began to spread to other parts of the world after Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World in 1492.

The English word “squash” comes from askutasquash which means “a green thing eaten raw”. This is a word from the Narragansett language, which was documented by Roger Williams in his 1643 publication A Key Into the Language of America.

 

It is as high as a baby elephant’s eye!

I get hungry just looking at all the new corn.  Perhaps I will just roast tomatoes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and some spices?

Tomato soup or on the top of a nice juicy hamburger? Along the wall, I have about twenty bunches of table grapes, so they will begin to come into the house and serve as snacks when I watch TV.

Did You Know? Yes, grape seeds are edible. You can find them in all seeded grape varieties like concord, black, and red grapes. These varieties are better than green grapes because they’re sweeter. But among the three types of grapes mentioned, the red grape seeds offer the most robust taste. The bitter taste of grape seeds is a good thing because it indicates a rich content of nutrients, like flavonoids and polyphenols. Since most people consider them unpalatable, you can get past the bad taste by eating the grapes whole. You can also take grape seeds in their oral liquid form, like grape seed extract and oil.

The day was cool but picking up the dead (previously trimmed) corn and grapes is a lot of work.  Somehow in my head, I kept thinking of simmering down so I sat for a few minutes.  Then the term “simmering-down” kept rattling around in my head, of which there is a  lot of spare room!  So, I looked it up!

Bob joined me around 1:00 PM as he had items to pick up today. He applied AquaDefense to the shower floor and walls plus several feet outside the shower. Mapelastic AquaDefense is a premixed, advanced liquid-rubber, extremely quick-drying waterproofing and crack isolation membrane for installation under ceramic tile or stone in residential, commercial, and industrial environments. Mapelastic AquaDefense provides a thin, continuous barrier to protect adjacent rooms and floors below from water damage.

It goes on a magnificent blue and turns black when ready to go!

Bob showed his artistic side as he applies the second coat on the walls.  This is pretty amazing stuff and it will keep the tiles from cracking should we get a shaker in the future.

He is not tall enough for the Sistine Chapel!

One thing for sure, this shower will not leak!

I got several Amazon deliveries today, and the one I like best is a voltage sensor.  Not a meter but a device that lights up and beeps when it is close to a line with voltage in it.  It is so sensitive that it will tell which side of the Romex the hot wire is on.  This device goes into my electrical tool kit for sure.

I bought four of them! Green LED shows the unit is active, flashing red indicates live voltage. The VoltAware NCVtester is useful for identifying hot conductors, finding breaks in wires, and detecting the presence of AC voltage at outlets, switches, electrical panels, wires, and cables.

Where have you been all my life??

It’s now about 7:30 PM, so I decided the hot tub would help me sleep.   Like magic, just before I walked outside I said to myself, “Self, call Robin!”  Well, the ringy-dingy went ringy-dingy and it was Miss Robin. We talked on the bat phone for a bit making arrangements for lunch on Wednesday.

I feel so lucky to have the kids caring about me.  Today I got calls from Lisa, Colleen, Robin, Mitch, Joe, Michele, and also my grandkids call to check up on me (I wonder what they think I am up too?)

OK, it’s HTT!  That’s aerospace jargon for Hot Tub Time.  The recipe called for thirty minutes at 102 degrees to be well done!   I decided NOT to add onions or carrots tonight.

Just watching to sun go down and planning tomorrow!

I was as limp as a dishrag when the timer went off but managed to slink into the bathroom and turn on the shower.  Into my jammies, I went and to the living room to contemplate TV.  I selected a new movie entitled “Spy Like Me,” which was a Prime TV production.  I found myself laughing out loud and many of the scenes.  I enjoyed a cup of coffee as the movie progressed.

Summary: The film is about the ex-military JJ (Dave Bautista), who after his time in the army now tries to work as a CIA agent. During his missions he still works too much as a soldier. The CIA does not get the necessary information and decides to use JJ for undercover operation. JJ now has to spy on mother Kate (Parise Fitz-Henley) and her young daughter Sophie (Chloe Coleman) in the hope that her arms trade partner contacts his family. JJ is soon discovered by the clever nine-year-old Sophie, who promises to share nothing about his secret mission with the rest of the world. In return, JJ has to train her on how to become a spy herself.

After the movie, I worked on the Daily Diary, and I was off to bed at midnight.  I did make a decision NOT to go into the attic tomorrow until AFTER the LED floodlights show up.  I am now worried that all I will need is a single lamp since it is 11,000 lumens or almost two-and-a-half times the brightness of Joe’s back yard.  I do NOT want helicopters flying overhead looking for a football game!

Just a thought to leave you with this evening!

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Up Up And Away

“This is not goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy.” — Nicholas Sparks

Sue could talk me into anything.  I dislike heights, but wherever we went across the globe, she would find the highest point and off we would go.  We climbed the Hallgrimskirkja , the tallest building in Reykjavik.  We went to the World Tower in Sydney, which was 73 floors.  We did the Raffles Tower in Singapore, which was one as the tallest building in Singapore and the 123rd-tallest in the world.  Then there was Toyoko, Hawaii, New Zealand, France, Portugal, and many more. An of course, every time we were in New York we went to the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building.

Below, we are at California Adventure, and she talked me into the Ferris Wheel!  3,000 feet in the air going around in circles at 200 MPH is not for the faint of heart.  I am trying not to look scared, but everything was shaking.  You can’t see it but Sue is holding my hand tightly and whispering, “It will be OK every time we get to the top!” Sue thought it was funny.  I would do anything for her, and this proves it!  She was naturally incredible!

Fathers Day 2017 at California Adventure

 

Today was a little slow, but that might be needed.  I began by removing the old flood lights from their location under the eves of the house in the back yard.  I used to have two 100 watt lamps overlooking the garden, but now, being by myself, I want to light up the back yard like a Christmas tree.

I selected a LEONLITE LED Outdoor Flood Light with Knuckle, 1000 watt equivalent or almost 11,000 lumens, super bright.  They should be here Tuesday from Amazon, and I will try them Tuesday night.  I might just need three for the entire back yard as they are so bright!  My original plan called for six, but that may be too much!

These ought to show the way!

Before I begin, a Lowe’s run is required! Into the Silver Lady, and we are off.  Yes, she gets to go to the store today!  I stopped by the shower section first as I am thinking about changing the Master Bedroom shower door to something like the barn door arrangement. I am tired of wearing the little plastic rollers out and having to replace them!

Barn door shower door design, no small plastic rollers here!

Now to the electrical department where I got new waterproof boxes for the lighting fixtures.  Tomorrow I shall go up into the attic and make the connections.  I am ready to roll!

Now back to work.  I took the picture so I could find them again should I need more boxes!

I talked to Joe, my son, for quite a while about the lights and decided he was right to go with the 3000K lighting instead of the 5000K lighting.  When I was at dinner at his home Saturday I say his arrangement and liked it a lot.  The warmer lights will be just fine.

I selected the warmer color since it is going to be quite bright!

Irene popped over at 1:00 PM, and we talked for almost two hours then I popped the question, “Wanna eat?”  She said yes, and I suggested Gourmet Pies across from Costco.  I had a chili size, which was terrific.  Irene did pastrami and said it was good.   I brought two pies home, not for me, but for Vicky and Del.

I wanted to cheer them up.  They have been inside for 104 days now (they are being extremely careful because of Del’s age) and low-and-behold, one of Robbie’s co-workers tested positive for COVID so that means Robbie may have brought it home.  Vicky and Del are going for a test Monday.  I pray that it is negative!!

Lunch with Irene.

Did You Know?  What is known for sure is that the chili size was developed in Los Angeles at a place named Ptomaine Tommy’s. In business from 1913 until 1958 at 2420 N. Broadway, Ptomaine Tommy’s was the largest and best known chili parlor in town. Reportedly, movie stars such as Mae West and Mary Pickford were regulars, devoted to Tommy de Forest’s chili. Other newcomers like Chili John’s in Burbank (established in 1946 and still in business) have sprung up since then with their own version of the chili size, but Ptomaine Tommy’s was the original.

Tommy de Forest, a local restauranteur, claimed the invention of the chili size in the 1920’s. His specialty was hamburgers, so he looked for a way to make a different burger for his diners. As the legend has it, he had a few ladles that he used to spoon the chili into bowls. When a customer wanted straight chili, he used the large ladle and the order was served. On the hamburger, however, he used the small ladle, calling that “hamburger size”. And finally, he came up with a variation, serving the larger amount of chili over an open faced burger and then covered it with cheddar cheese and chopped onions. This open-faced sandwich was henceforth referred to as “chili size”, and sold for 20 cents as opposed to the chili burger for 15 cents. Soon, people all over Los Angeles were asking for a chili size, or sometimes ordering just the straight chili in a bowl as a “bowl of size”. By the time Tommy de Forest closed up his restaurant in 1958 due to financial difficulties, the chili size was a popular item all over the West Coast.

The chilisize was good today; I only ate half of it!  The remaining portion shall be my lunch tomorrow!

I ate half of the chili size, and the rest came home.

Meanwhile, back home, the final concrete wall is being finished!  Tomorrow, Monday, the Red Guard is going on the wall, and it will dry for a day and then the tile! Speaking of the tile, I selected two designs.  For the floor of the shower, we have a rock design, and you see the sample without grout, of course.

The flooring will be “bumpy by design,” so it is virtually non-slip!

The walls will have the design below again with significant overtones to match the floor of the shower and of the room itself.

The wall ties in with the flooring perfectly!

The concrete continues to be added to the walls.  Bob used twelve ninety-pound bags of cement in the shower/bomb shelter.  It will be a quiet shower for sure.

All the concrete is on the wall, over 1200 pounds!

I continued to work on the backyard lighting wiring and decided not to do any more until the lights get here Tuesday.  Thay way I can fire them up and place them in the dark and mount them the next morning.

I walked 6,000 steps today just around the house!

Now it was time, so I popped into the shower and got into he jammies and watched “UPLOADED.”  The premise is: In 2033, humans can “upload” themselves into a virtual afterlife of their choosing. When computer programmer Nathan dies prematurely, he is uploaded to the very expensive Lake View, but soon finds himself under the thumb of his possessive, still-living girlfriend, Ingrid. As Nathan adjusts to the pros and cons of digital heaven, he bonds with Nora, his living customer service rep, or “Angel.” Nora struggles with the pressures of her job, her dying father who does not want to be uploaded, and her growing feelings for Nathan while slowly coming to believe that Nathan was murdered.

At 10:30 PM, after a cup of coffee and a cup of hot chocolate, it was lights-out for me!

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Work & Fun, A Good Thing!

“Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone.” — Unknown

Sue loved the babies and they loved her, it was magical.  BElow, we were babysitting Theo so Mom and Dad could get an afternoon off.  It was 2007 when we drove over to West Los Angeles and spent an afternoon with Theo.  He was a good baby and just enjoyed being talked to and showing us all his toys.

Sue was patient and took everything in stride always looking for the best in any situation.  She was a real jewel and a wonderful life partner.  It is so easy just to close my eyes and she is right there in my thoughts and memories.

Now, little Theo is a teenager!

 

One more trip into the attic to examine the wiring before it gets closed out by stucco.  It was a successful trip and I now have a game plan for this winter!

Now it is chores time.  I have come to appreciate how much Sue did around the house over the past thirty-five years because, with just little old me at home, it is a lot of work!  This morning I washed, dried, and hung up clothes.  I made a decision to give to the Salvation Army seven boxes of towel sets and other cloth items I found in the hallway closet.  They are all clean and in a lot of cases brand new.  I will never use them and someone might as well.

Then I went through the refrigerator looking for potential science projects and only found a couple of items that I must cook up this week.  Now that I made it to the kitchen, I emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it with a couple of items.

Casting my eyes about the room, I decided to water the inside plants which take about thirty minutes as they must be fed and watered and, of course, talked to or they become unhappy.

As I walked through the living room, it reminded me of the three pictures I put on the couch.  It’s a long story but the short and sweet of it is the three pictures hung in my aunt’s den since it was built in 1953.  When Sue and I moved Kat into assisted living, I took these pictures and hung them in my guest bathroom.  They no longer fit there so they got promoted to the living room.  When I see these, it reminds me of the fifty-years I would visit my aunt and enjoyed seeing these silly creatures.

Wonderful memories!

Since I was in and out of the kitchen, I had to listen to the house-phone message machine which I try to do once a week.

Finally, m chores are done and I can have a cup of coffee!  Yeah, the heart can get started again!

Bob showed up and began the final concrete coat on the walls.  He worked until 7:30 PM and had to quit as he ran out of cement so I will see him Sunday morning.

Robin had to work and she stopped by at 1:00 PM so we went to CPK and dined outside.  I mentioned I was going to Amy and Jor’s tonight so I had an appetizer, Mexican Street Corn.  That was perfect as it kept my funny from growling until 6:00 PM.

I mentioned to Robin that my granddaughter got married a few hours earlier.  We both thought that was wonderful!

Congradulations!

Jackie’s niece and nephew got in on the act!

Time to leave for La Mirada as I was invited to dinner with Amy and Joe.

I went to Ralph’s market and brought Amy some flowers and a boggle of her favorite wine.  She was a happy girl!

I also brought Joe a book on the “History Of McRae Arkansas” so he could see where his grandfather grew up.  When he is done, I will mail it to Colleen as she wants to read about McRae.

Amy did Italian, always a safe bet.

Charlie joined us while Alex was on doggy-duty!  Apollo and Alex stayed inside and watched TV together.  Charlie did well with the ravioli and Joe and I offered him sushi!

Charlie seems to be eyeing the sushi.

Don lives across the street and he joined us this evening.  He and Apollo had a thing going on all evening!

Don, Joe’s neighbor, joined us and he is always a delight!

Amy listened to Joe and I banter back and forth and just shakes her head in disbelief.  It is so funny because we use a lot of the same sayings and often finish each other’s thoughts.  I am very proud of Amy and Joe, they are wonderful kids!

That’s my Son and after I get a little more hair we will look alike!

I must remind myself to get a book on how to take selfies.  I think it might involve needing an arm stretcher because I can’t get it far enough away.  Someone ought to invent an iPhone stick where you can hold the camera away from you and take a picture.  I will have to give that some thought.

One of these days I will learn to take a selfie correctly.

Don brought over apple and chocolate pie so I had to try the chocolate.  I took a teeny tiny piece, better called a sliver as I do NOT want my bathroom scale to found out what I did!

 

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