Errands Day!

Fact: The giraffe has no vocal cords and communicates by vibrating the air around its neck.

It’s Wednesday and that means we are up early and cleaning the house before the house cleaners arrive. The activity mostly involved the kitchen and office which is where we spend most of our time!

Late morning Mary fixed brunch and I decorated the cottage cheese using blueberries and nectarine slices.

Did You Know? Over 95 percent of all the nectarines that are grown in the United States are from California.

Brunch is served!

After lunch, we went to the Post Office to send out invitations and we doubled back to go to TJ’s for our new supply of Two Buck Chuck! Next on our agenda was the Orange Nursery where we picked up two flats of herbs, zucchini, peppers, and other interesting items to plant in newly made available spaces.

We will be busy for a couple of hours.

On the way home, we dropped by the shoe store and picked up four pairs of shoes that we had redone. Some of my shoes are ten years old but with the exception of the soles, are in great shape. Plus, they are already worn in! Remember, if the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

We departed Casa Valencia again in the afternoon and went to Mary’s old office to get my eyes checked and see her dermatologist who was on the same floor. We were getting hungry and we did NOT want to go out and eat so we made a beeline for home from Huntington Beach,

Mary dug into the refrigerator and came up with twice-baked potatoes, cabbage, and a large chunk of salmon which we applied herbs to along with a baked lemon. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

A fabulous dinner

While Mary was in the kitchen, I rewrote my last will and testament because of the procedure on Friday. My cardiologist keeps sending me x-rays of his chest. A bit weird I know but it just shows his heart is in the right place.

We talked to my lawyer this morning and the changes I wanted would take too much time so the handwritten document would do 90% of what I wanted. I called the affected parties to let them know what I had done. They understood and were quite happy.

We dined on the patio with a very pleasant breeze and a beautiful view.

Mary brought out corn for dessert, perfect!!

After dinner, we walked the backyard to review the progress. We made some last-minute changes widening the beds by almost twelve inches. Tomorrow excavation begins to set the footings for the individual bed walls. It requires either a jackhammer or a trencher; the first is HARD!! When the first jackhammer was invented it was a groundbreaking innovation!

Progress is being made

The tomato patch is going into overdrive with a bag of tomatoes available every day.

The mini-garden is going crazy with tomatoes.

We wanted to pick some but had no bag so we used the next best thing, Mary’s blouse.

We didn’t have a container for the tomatoes.

She is a good sport and carried almost twenty tomatoes into the house using her blouse. We had a good laugh. Then I remembered, that knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Dang, I never thought of it this way; if the tomato is a fruit, then ketchup is a smoothie.

Dang! That top carried a lot of tomatoes.

After our walk around the yard, we crashed and watched two movies, “Any Which Way But Loose” and “Pink Cadillac”.

We are headed for the gym bright and early, then to the hospital for pre-check-in activities, and then Girls Night Out. Our contractor, Gary, will be here all day and will watch for Scout the Wonder Dog.

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Doctor’s Day

Fact: During Europe’s Dark Ages, ca. 476 AD to the 14th century A.D., many diseases were thought to be caused by an excess or plethora of blood. Bloodletting with incisions or leeches was a cure-all during the time and was so popular that physicians themselves were commonly referred to as “leeches.”

We went to several doctors and set up appointments for the next week. My lack of caring for myself over the past several years is catching up, but we are tackling them individually with Mary by my side. I am fortunate to have Mary by my side while going through this series of medical conditions.

Mary checks our schedule and makes appointments.

In the late afternoon, we went to Renada’s and brought dinner for six as we went to Jan’s and met up with Brenda and her mother. While waiting, we had a glass of wine and some garlic toast!

Awaiting our order at Renata’s

Bob Z. joined us and became the official photographer for the evening!

Brenda and Bob dancing at the Phoenix Club circa 2016.

Brenda seems to be doing OK but losing a loved one is a terrible thing to have to go through. Mary, Jan, Bob, and I will be there when needed, and she had “The Gang” who will pitch in anytime they are required. Brenda’s mother came in from San Francisco to stay with Brenda for a while.

We are gathered together.

After dinner, we pointed the Silver Fox toward home and were whisked away to Casa Valencia, where we sat by the fire for a while before crashing.

I had some time to reflect on my actions the other day and wrote up an apology to Mark.

Dear Mark,

I have been unable to sleep since I demanded you brake off your engagement to my daughter Colleen. Will you forgive and forget?

I was much too sensitive about your Mohawk, tattoo, and pierced nose. I now realize that motorcycles aren’t that dangerous, and I should not have reacted that way to the fact that you have never held a job. I am sure, too, that some other very nice people live under the bridge in the park.

Sure my daughter is only 18 and wants to marry you instead of attending Harvard on a full scholarship. After all, you can’t learn everything about life from books. I sometimes forget how backward I can be.

I was wrong. I was a fool. I have now come to my senses, and you have my full blessing to marry my daughter.


Your future father-in-law
P.S. Congratulations on winning this week’s lottery.


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Happy Independence Day! God Bless America!

Fact: The ‘Pennsylvania Evening Post’ was the first newspaper to print the Declaration. It came out in the newspaper on July 6, 1776, for everyone to see after a local printer named John Dunlap produced copies of the declaration’s manuscript.

Our news should be that slow today (It might help the real truth come out)

No hot tub this morning; we will finish the library, somehow or the other!! We worked for two solid hours going through the cookbooks and either donating them or putting them to the side if they were vegetarian (standby Michele).

Someone once said. “Books are the windows to our soul!” In our case, it is the window into our stomachs.

Ten shelves are nicely sorted and grouped.

Mary headed for the kitchen to make the flag cake for the party at Joe’s, and I installed a new security camera on the She-Shed that encompasses the new vegetable garden.

I told Mary, “In baking, you sometimes need to take whisks.” Then I added, “A balanced diet is having a piece of cake in each hand.”

We decided we would be better off with three states; Texas, Florida, and everything else except California, New York, and New Jersey.

The cake looks great, and I know the topping is excellent because Mary brought me out the beaters to lick when she was done; yummy!! This time, she did not have the beaters on the mixer with the mixer still running; we learn as we age.

A flag cake.

I snapped a picture of our flags since it was waving the right way for a change. The next flag will be Halloween! Christmas is almost here.

We flew the colors today with pride!!

With the new garden comes birds, so we took Michele Vallari’s advice and procured a series of sold metal whirlygigs. When we are done, we will have ten of these guys around the backyard, and they are quite attractive and drive the birds nuts.

Our new all-metal whirlygigs are starting to be delivered!

Did You Know? The word whirligig comes to us from Middle English whirligig (“whirling top”), which is itself from whirling, meaning “to whirl,” and gigg, meaning “(toy) top.”

Today was a fantastic day; it was 75 degrees with a cool breeze! Watching the fireworks at Joe’s tonight will be fun.

Time to get ready to go!

We took showers and cleaned up, and packed the car for the trip to our Son’s home in La Mirada. We were ahead of schedule, so we decided to stop at Jan’s and hang out for a while. We met up with Bridgette and Mike, who was leaving as we pulled up.

Off to Joe and Amy’s to celebrate the 4th. Join us for fun!

Family Fireworks At Joe & Amy’s, we are blessed with two amazing kids!

We all talked and ate and talked and ate and, well, you know! We decided we needed a picture of ourselves and our little one.

Family Fireworks At Joe & Amy’s, the cake is about to be carved!

It was time to fly the drone and do the fireworks. The drone came outside with us, and I flew it up and down the street. Jow took it way up in the sky as his eyesight is much better than mine. We took a load of pictures.

The view from 30 feet up!

Joe is setting up, and the boys are on the grass awaiting darkness so the show can begin. I asked Charlie and Alex, “What do you call a duck who likes watching fireworks? A firequacker.” I was booed off the driveway.

On with the show!

Joe is good at fireworks displays. He has got a flair for it. Selling fireworks around the 4th of July must be a booming industry!

The show began with a boom! We all had fun, and even more impressive, Apollo just sat there and watched the whole thing; not even a whimper!

He took it all in stride!

The fireworks were amazing and the amount of fireworks in the area was mind boggling.

Joe and Amy put on a fantastic show for everyone!

We headed home about 9:30 PM to check on Scout; he was barking but not too severely. He may have been barking at the country-western channel we left going when we departed earlier.

Mary got the best show of the night as we were driving the freeways and being slightly elevated she got a 360 view of the sky lighting up!

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Just Relaxin’

Fact: John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence. Likely because he was the President of Congress at the time, he signed in a large hand and at the center of the document, according to the National Archives. His bold signature is where we get the phrase “put your John Hancock” when referring to signing your name.

Into the Swim Spa, we went at 6:15 AM. The hood was quiet as a church, and only the occasional bird flying over disturbed the silence. We knocked back our coffee and discussed the day’s plans. Coffee helps me maintain my “never killed anyone” streak.

I watered the lawn most of the day so we could keep part of it from dying because of construction.

We had a few errands to run, so we started at Jan’s. On our way out, a man came to the door and asked if we had lost a small white dog. We went to his car, where his wife was holding this cute baby, and we did not recognize him. We drove around the block for almost 20 minutes, looking for someone who may have lost a dog. We talked to several neighbors, but alas, no luck.

We sat with Jan for an hour and just discussed the events of the world plus we got to talk to Vicky!

Our first outing of the day was visiting Jan and bringing her wine and some edible goodies.

We needed corn and to take some things back to Dianne, so Manassero Farms was a mandatory stop.

Did You Know? The Original Manassero Farms is celebrating over 97 years of three generations of family farming in Orange County. The farm has become one of Orange County’s best certified organic and conventional farms with four Orange County locations.

We stopped at the local farm and got a bunch of corn on the cob.

We did our delivery to Dianne and David and visited for a few minutes before heading back to Casa Valencia.

Mary got her cookin’ bug and fixed an excellent early dinner. Corned beef and cabbage (our own cabbage from Casa Valencia Farms). The cabbage was delicious.

Dinner was terrific, and you would think it was St. Patrick; ‘s day at the Liles’

With a little Mustard Dijon, the corned beef was better than a steak!

Did You Know? Dijon mustard (French: Moutarde de Dijon) is the traditional mustard of France, named after the town of Dijon in Burgundy, France, which was the center of mustard making in the late Middle Ages and was granted exclusive rights in France in the 17th century. First used in 1336 for the table of King Philip VI, it became popular in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon replaced the usual ingredient of vinegar in the recipe with verjuice, the acidic juice of unripe grapes

Mary made twice-baked potatoes; to die for!

The corn came, and after we had our first piece, Dr. Scout, The Wonder Dog, got his sniffer in gear. We offered him to nibble on the cob and the little devil did his version of the typewriter thing.

Guess who likes corn on the cobb?

He quickly mastered the “pull back the lip and chomp with front teeth” move. We laughed ourselves silly.

Look at his teeth!

The movie camera had to come out.

The rest of the evening was spent watching movies while Mary ironed my 4th of July shirts.

We went to bed at 9:00 PM and Scout was going wild with the sound of fireworks. We finally made him jump in bed with us and we spent an hour rubbing him and calming him. By 10:30 PM we were knocked out and finally, we got some sleep!

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Saturday, Time To Get Pretty!

Fact: In folklore, Saturday was often viewed as the best day to hunt vampires, as this was the day of the week when they were restricted to their coffins. It was also believed in the Balkans that if somebody was born on a Saturday then they could see a vampire that was invisible to others, and that these people were the best recruits to become vampire hunters.

We met Robin at the firepit around 6:00 AM and joined her in a cup of coffee. She was amazed at the heat the pit puts out and also the different types of birds they fly over. We had several visits from hummingbirds while we say outside.

As we were talking I had a thought. Scientists say the universe is made up of protons, neutrons and electrons. They forgot to mention morons.

After Robin departed for her home we got ready to go get our hair fixed. I take about 30 minutes and Mary takes about three hours but she is a LOT prettier than me so I understand.

Always a smile!

I picked up MAry at 1:30 PM and we went to the Greek restaurant next door to the salon. We had a wonderful meal and arranged for the musician who plays there every weekend to come to our home and play for us on Colleen’s Birthday and our anniversary.

We dropped by the house to make senior Scout was OK as we left him outside. After a quick check, we went to Jan’s house for a quick visit.


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We Stayed Home!

Fact: Lion roars are the loudest of any other big cat. Their roars can reach 114 decibels (the same loudness as a chainsaw) and can be heard from as far as five miles away. This is because lions have a square and flat-shaped voice box, whereas other big cats in the pack have a triangle-shaped voice box. Translation: better airflow means a louder roar with less effort!

We strolled into the torn-up yard and tried to picture what it would look like in six weeks.

The garden will be Mary’s hiding place!

We did diddley today, mostly straightening up the house and some cooking. Mary made banana nut muffins and began work on her world-famous jello cake.

I ordered another remote internet-controlled sprinkler system for the south 40.

Robin popped by after work, and the three of us watched TV, talked, and sat out by the firepit until the sun went down.

We talked about growing older and I shared my newest fine on the internet!

If you are an older senior citizen and can no longer take care of yourself and need Long-Term Care, but the government says there is no nursing home care available for you, what do you do?

You may opt for Medicare Part G.

The plan gives anyone 75 or older a gun (Part G) and one bullet. You may then shoot one worthless politician. This means you will be sent to prison for the rest of your life where you will receive three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating and air conditioning, cable TV, a library, and all the health care you need.

Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That’s great. Need a hearing aid, new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, sex change, or heart? They are all covered!

As an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you at least as often as they do now! And, who will be paying for all this? The same government that just told you they can’t afford for you to go into a nursing home.

And you will get rid of a useless politician while you are at it. And now, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any more income taxes! Is this a great country or what?

I’m pretty sure that’s what they said!

We needed a lazy day! It was lights-out by 9:00 PM. Robin went to her room and watched a movie and I went to the office and continued work on updating the gardening website.

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Girls Night Out, Yeah!!

Fact:The closest state in the United States to Africa is Maine, which juts out further east into the Atlantic than most people realize.

It was hot last night so we opened the front and back doors. They are security doors with an amazing stainless steel screen that keeps everyone out. The frame is bolted into the house and it will withstand anyone attempting to break in.

Of course, we have security cameras and motion-activated lights at every entrance to the property. Plus, Scout the Wonder Dog is ready to chase any unknown people away!

We cool off the house by opening the back and front doors; a great breeze does the job quickly!

We headed to the gym bright and early so we could punish our tired old bodies in the nice air-conditioned comfort of the equipment room. Remember: “Exercise: The joy of flex.”

The word ‘aerobics’ came about when the gym instructors got together and said: if we’re going to charge $10 an hour, we can’t call it “jumping up and down.”

Those weights really provide a workout of the biceps.

How can she smile and be in pain at the same time?

Workout complete; let’s drink!

We departed the gym and headed home to water Scout and take home for a walk.

We talked about the news that was on this morning and there are a lot of STUPID people in this world!

Oh so true!!!

We ordered and are awaiting our delicious meal. Mary did Swordfish and I did the capellini with bottom feeders.!

Just us!

We had a great time with the gang, loads of laughing and gigging were obvious.

The Gang.

Bob and Mary; a great team!

GFod Bless America



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Off And Running!

Fact: Next time you’re at the mall, stop by a mid-range department store and take a look at the belt selection. Chances are you’ll see the words “genuine leather” stamped on the underside. Though, yes, that does mean the belt is 100 percent leather, it also means that it’s made of the cheapest grade of leather: several low-quality layers of hide pasted together. “Top-grain leather” is what you’ll find in fine leather goods and designer stores, but, of all the widely available forms, “full-grain leather” is the highest quality and longest-lasting type.

The medication I am using for skin cancer is really doing a job on me so I called the dermatologists. I will see him Friday at 6:30 AM.

Our cleaning folks came right on time and we were ready for them. We had gotten up and prepared for a 120-mile ride in Precious. Yes, it was go to Banning day and visit with Annie and Virgil. What really happened was that Annie called earlier and was not feeling well and waved us off. We went anyway because we had food for them. Mary went inside and saw them for maybe ten minutes and I waited in the car. We were back home by noon.

Our contractor was bust yesterday. He brought around the building materials and continued removing dirt from the garden area.

There is a lot more remaining in the driveway!

The upright PVC is for watering the planters. I plan to use multiple driplines to cover the beds. They are controlled by a computer that resides on the patio and I can control the watering cycles from my iPhone using the Hydra-Wise software.

Almost done but we have some additional dirt to remove.

The Hunter system is great especially since I can operate it from my iPhone.

It is connected to the internet and if it rains, the system will turn off the sprinklers.

Scout is confused as he had the entire yard to himself and now he has to share with machinesIn, tents, and piles of dirt!

Scout inspects his yard, or what remains of it!.

When we returned, we stopped by Aces Bar & Grille for lunch and we shared a glass of wine. Mary did the salad and I went for jalapeno poppers and ceviche.

Did You Know? Ceviche is a healthy Peruvian dish that is usually served as an appetizer. It’s generally made from raw fresh fish or shrimp, that’s marinated in lemon and/or lime citrus juices. The acidity in the citrus cures the fish causing it to denature the proteins and become firm and opaque while absorbing flavor.

It was mid-afternoon when we finally got home and the temperature was in the 90s so we stayed inside and did some chores. Around 6:00 PM we decided the swim spa would be nice so we jumped in. We sat by the fire ring for a while before going to bed. I was dead tired from not sleeping the last two nights. I did not last long before I was sawing logs.

I’m so good at sleeping that I can do it with my eyes closed.

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Dig Baby Dig!

Fact: Around 40% of all seaborne cargo is oil.

It’s going to be another hot one so I decided to go to the pool today. The public pool is right around the corner but I have been banned from going there again!

The yard is now looking like a construction site. This will be going on for about 6-8 weeks as it is a large job. I watched a documentary about how they fix steel girders together last night. It was riveting!

The shade is needed because it is in the 90s for most of the day!

Our contractor was on time today because, at 10:00 AM, we heard a clatter of machinery and an engine starting up. We had a Bobcat in the driveway. Not the wild kind!

Well, he measured and came to inform us that the gate had to be removed, and we had to dig up Mary’s little flower garden. The plants went into plastic bags and I watered them. I plan to rototill the bed they came from and add peralite.

We had brunch at about 11:00 AM, and most of the goodies came from the garden we had established already. There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food.

Good groceries!

He made it past the gas meter with 1.2 to spare.

He passed through two gates and about eighty feet of concrete block wall, entering the backyard with a thud.

Made it with inches to spare.

Now the easy part begins. The Bobcat will be here for two days, and then we will trade it for a trencher, which will be used for the foundation of the brick walls that retain the soil.

Run for the south forty

The first bite is taken, and we warned him the ground was hard! He worked for fifteen minutes getting the Bobcat to get a grip on the soil.

Taking the first bite

The first swath was tough; the ground was hard.

By the end of the afternoon, he got a fair amount loosened up. Tomorrow the remainder will be removed, and the whole area will be taken down 4-6 inches.

40′ by 30′ area will be cleared so the garden can go in around mid-August!

We went off to the gym at 4:00 PM and worked the kinks out of our backs from the long ride to Oregon. I’m into fitness. Fit’ness pizza in my mouth.

We passed by Jan’s on our return and brought her some goodies. We made it home just before sunset.

My knee was still questionable, so I sat on the patio and read a book while Mary worked in the yard trimming plants.

We crashed at about 9:00 PM.

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It’s Monday!

Fact: A group of porcupines is called a prickle.

The following sign is soo true. We are just enjoying life and each other surrounded by family and friends.

Our contractor showed up at about 7:30 AM and began the six-week garden project.

Paul ordered a new flag for Independence Day from Amazon. Now we have a pretty sizable set of secondary flags for the holidays!

Did you hear about the kid who bungee-jumped from the school’s flag pole? He was suspended

The flag looks excellent when flying in the breeze

We change flags quite often. Our pole is almost thirty feet high and comes down real easy with the push of four buttons, each representing a seven-foot section.

Our newest flag

Breakfast is on its way! We are having a nice salad for brunch, and a lot of the content comes from our garden,

Mary is cooking up a storm.

Mary checked, and the baby needed his shots, so off we went to VCA.

VCA in Orange, CA

Paul had to wear the shirt Scout got him for Father’s Day. The staff got a kick out of the shirt. I asked the folks at the VCA Clinic if they knew why dogs chase their tails! Paul thought the answer obvious; they were trying to make both ends meet.

We told the doctor that in addition to the shots, Scout kept eating garlic, and his bark was worse than his bite.

“It’s OK, pal, you will be just fine.

It was almost 100 degrees today, so we invited Dianne and David to come for dinner. Dianne brought her enchiladas, and we provided everything else, including a 75-degree house.

David and Dianne joined us for dinner.

Paul’s face is a mess as he is using Fluorouracil. This medication is used on the skin to treat pre-cancerous and cancerous skin growths. Fluorouracil belongs to a class of medicines known as anti-metabolites. It works by blocking the growth of abnormal cells that cause the skin condition. Complete healing of the inflammation generally takes one to two months. In addition to treating clinically visible lesions, Fluorouracil can also treat subclinical lesions6 that may have become clinically visible in the future.

This evening it hurt, so I decided to kill the pain with wine. It did not kill the pain, but it put Paul to sleep, giving him some relief.

Paul was hurting because of the treatments I was taking.

Paul got up in the middle of the night feeling not so good and needed a laugh. I got an image of dufus giving a speech, and it had one of her more intelligent statements in the speech. I now know how dumb a box of rocks is.

If that woman picked her nose, her head would collapse!

Paul finally went to bed at midnight; Mary reminded Paul that we have a haircut planned for Saturday. I asked her, “What do you call a line of men waiting to get haircuts?” She was puzzled, so I answered, “A barberqueue.”

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