Sunday, June 12, 2016

Two Road Trips and a Funeral

There was a plan to drive to Los Angeles to meet up with the photographers high school buddies in the end of May.  We were to see a play, gather for a nice dinner on the town and have a fun time.  But sometimes totally incomprehensible life changing things comes crashing down on us to make plans change.

My best friend Maud (upper left) and her son Eric (lower left).

My almost life long "bestest" friend lost her son!  Heart failure at home in his kitchen, as he was preparing for a meeting with the Democrats in Long Beach.  Working hard in an effort to convince people to vote for Hillary, in the upcoming Primary Elections.

The man we lost was a son, a brother, a husband, and a father.  A friend to so many.  A mentor.  Kind and Caring.  An activist!  He possessed a great sense of humor and gave the worlds best bear hugs! He truly enjoyed a good time.  We miss him immensely!

Eric Thomas Sean Bradley

As we have Garbo "in training, " to get used to staying at a Doggie Hotel ( where she will need to be for an upcoming wedding in the fall ) we decided to make a trip south just to hang out with family.  Hoping to catch up with the high school friends another time. It seemed more appropriate somehow.
It was Memorial Day weekend with a parade in Torrance.  A parade that our youngest grandchild was going to be part of as he is a very proud Boy Scout.

A few parade photos.

We also spent some time at the dojo where our Boy Scout trains in karate, watching him during his lesson.  He loves and excels in this sport!  It is such fun to see his rapid progress and he has now earned a purple belt!

Returning home from our week end with our close family we took "the long way" home.  Driving up the beautiful west coast on highway One and 101.  We have not done that for a long time usually choosing Interstate 5 as it gets us home faster.  But it is ooooh so BORING!  We took the time to have lunch at La Super Rica, a favorite little Mexican eating place.  Standing in line.  Waiting to order.  Waiting for our food, prepared one tortilla at a time and so, so worth it!

This trip was repeated again the following weekend with the Mother of The Future Chef and the Future Chefs Dad to attend a memorial mass for our Eric.  The Seattle branch of our group were flying to LAX.

More parade photos.

The memorial service was very special.  The church full to overflowing.  The eulogy perfect!  A speech that touched on Eric's many friendships and accomplishments of course!  His Viking heritage and his affinity for good beer!  We held up imaginary glasses as suggested by the speaker and said Skål to Eric with the speaker telling us that if Eric had a choice he would have liked his last send off in a Viking ship lit up by burning arrows, just like the Vikings of yore, but that the Environmental Agency would not allow such things.  The attendants cheered and clapped their hands!  Not an ordinary send off at a Catholic church in Long Beach California I venture to guess?

We also celebrated Saga's Bithday whilewe were there and Maria's birthday last week end. Today it is Ray's turn to celebrate and we hope he will have a super day!

It continues to be crazy busy here.  Dinner guests, family dinners, grandchild visits and more dinners with visiting friends.  Next week I go off to help cook at a yoga retreat in Mariposa, leaving the Photographer and "the kids" at home alone!  It will be exciting and fun.  With part of Fathers Day spent with the Photographer as I hope to return home early enough to spend part of the this Father's Day with one of the best "stand in's" for a Father there ever was, in my book!

(More parade photos)

Every persons life is a book.  Everyone has a story.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Circus and Change

The primary elections here in the US is totally a circus!  Not only are most of the candidates like clowns but the rules for voting are as elusive as the old fashion "shell games."  Amazingly the man getting the most votes on the republican side, the man who: "was not going to get far" according to those in the know, he who was a "joke" is only gaining in the poles and getting the most votes.  Now the establishment and the credited news people and pundits, like Charlie Rose, are beginning to treat him as "Presidential".

Really Really Bad or Really Bad

I feel like Alice in Wonderland just having met the Mad Hatter!  How can it be?

Our next President?

On the other side of the ticket there is Hilary who gets all the press and ALL the money, while Bernie gets next to no press and only funding from those who send $20.00 or $30.00 at a time.  Yet he is right on Hilary's heels.

The season is changing here in California.  As you might already know there are two.  A green season and a brown season.  Better advertised as the gold one.  Hence, California with the golden hills.  The mountains are turning to the summer colour now but there is still precious rain in the forecast!

The mornings are still crisp and Garbo and we love it.  She keeps us busy, she keeps us grounded and she makes us realise what is most important.

The sun comes up and the sun goes down, day after precious day!  Displaying her glory, her beauty and her power.  Always different, yet the same.  I am grateful!

The jasmine is starting to bloom spreading that incredible fragrance  all around.  What else could one want?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bloomin' Rosemary and April, April !

First a nice cup of coffee and a slice of toasted sour dough bread topped with creamy slices of avocado.  Followed by a long morning walk with Garbo around our Saturday morning quiet neighborhood.  Then a turn with the vacuum cleaner through our house, a job I almost detest.  Now time to jot down some of the months highlights, before those fade from memory.

As I walk those long walks often deep in thought, I have so many things I want to write down.  So many thoughts about so many things!  Where do they go when I need to bring those to the forefront?
These words written so that we, the Photographer and I, will have a record of "what and when" for the years to come.  Just for us and a few relatives and friends who care  enough to keep up with what we are up to now!  A bit like a diary.

March marched by as quick as a wink!  No, no less busy than the month before.

There was a Baby Shower.  Saint Patrick's Day, with the required American version of Irish food .

Lunch with a favorite Grandchild who introduces us to a young woman, his  delightful friend, who originally came from Russia.  Interesting conversations ensued.  There was Easter to prep for and Easter to celebrate.  Easter dinner prepared by the two "would be or should be" Chefs at Maria and Ray's.  A delectable feast of  among other things, Lamb Shanks, prepared so tasty that even I, who think Lamb tastes like old sweaters or wet socks, enjoyed it.

March was, as the month before, filled with dog park visits and exercise classes.  Bike rides and rain showers.  The countryside remains green and glorious with flowers and fruit trees in bloom all around.

We are looking forward to a fava bean harvest soon.  Beans planted by and plants cared for,  by Ray  who kindly supplies us with fresh veggies from his garden year around.  These beans were planted before Christmas and are now ready to be enjoyed in Fava Bean Soup, a precious and simple dish often prepared by my Grandmother during my childhood!

Lately we have been on a home baked bread kick.  Trying to avoid the bread from the market so loaded with sugars and preservatives that makes the store bought  bread stay fresh for months on end!  There is no doubt few things are as nice as taking a crusty loaf of bread out of the oven and slathering some real good butter on it and stuffing it into ones mouth.  Good bread!  Simple food!  A slice of a crunchy baguette would be great with a bowl of that Fava Bean Soup!

Now we wish for April Showers prolonging our green season!  It is time to spruce up the back deck, plant tomatoes and some bright colorful flowers!  Welcome SPRING!