Monday, March 31, 2008

How Many Women Can A Man Marry ?

A little boy was attending his first wedding.

After the service, his cousin asked him, 'How many women can a man marry?'

 'Sixteen,' the boy responded.  His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly.

  'How do you know that?'

  'Easy,' the little boy said.

  'All you have to do is add it up, like the pastor said,

 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer.'

Girl's Day Out ~

Today I drove down to the little town of Sumner to the home of my friends, Judy & Phil.  Judy invited me to come down and then go to lunch for my birthday. (Yea I know it was in January but when you're this old, it doesn't matter when you celebrate.)  Monday & Tuesday's she baby sits little Peyton so after Peyton had her lunch time girls went to lunch at a nice little place there in town.  

It was so fun to finally get to meet Peyton in person.  What a doll!!!  She's still very tiny (between 9 and 10 pounds) but she's smiling, cooing and reaching out for stuff. And as you can see by the pictures..she's very alert.   She is  definitely"Miss Personality" plus !!   I wanted to update you on her progress as many of you have been praying for her since she came into this world over 2 months early back in October weighing only 2 pounds 1 oz.

When I got home this afternoon, there was a message that my MRI is scheduled for this coming Wednesday morning.  So I should know what's going on with this knee within a week or so. 

Sunday, March 30, 2008

AOL Community Photo Challenge

This week's challenge is AGED.  So find something that shows age or take an image & make it vintage or aged. 

I've seen so many wonderful pictures, that I had decided to just forget the whole thing.  But then my eyes fell on some "aged" roses that I received in August 2006 on the occasion of my 30th Anniversary with Avon.  A co-worker took them and dried them for me and I still have them in a vase.  They really are pretty and I'm sure the picture will not do them justice.

Catalina Island ~ Episode Seven

Wednesday, March 5th we woke to find another beautiful sunny day.  In looking out our cabin window, it was obvious we were anchored off Santa Catalina Island. The ship was moving around on it's anchor so we were treated to continuous views out our window. 

Our excursion today was an Avalon Scenic Tour at 11:30am.  The cost was so reasonable...just $16 each for a 50 minute narrated bus tour around the Avalon area.  We took our time, eating breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe, as our scheduled time to depart was at 10:30am.  (Here at Catalina, we were tendered off the ship in small boats while the ship sat out in the harbor.)

After breakfast, we went back to the cabin to gather our cameras, put on sunscreen and get our jackets and my tote bag. We headed down the elevator to deck 1 to board the tender. When the elevator doors opened we were both horrified...hundreds of people were in line to get off the ship.  In fact they were in line up the stairs clear to deck 3. Oh my gosh...what were we going to do?  We had 10 minutes to catch the tender to get over to the island in time to catch our tour bus.  Well, after some quick explanation to the ship staff, they hustled us ahead of the crowd and got us on the tender about to leave.

Once we got to Avalon's dock it was about a 10 minute walk to the tour center at the middle of the town. We had plenty of time so walked leisurely taking in the beauty of the surrounding hills and the sight of our beautiful ship at anchor in the harbor.

Soon the open air tour bus pulled up and Betty gathered our tickets and told us to sit where ever we wanted.  There were plenty of seats so Bob and I each choose a seat next to the window across from each other. That way we could share views. Betty told us that she & her husband had lived on Catalina for over 25 years. So I knew instantly she was going to give us factual information about island life.

Catalina was developed back in the late 1880's for a pleasure resort, mining and ranching opportunities. After the streets were laid out, developers held a real estate auction to sell off lots to the wealthy and to businesses. One of the first private homes to be built at Avalon was Holly Hill House.  It was finished in 1890 and still stands today.   Another beautiful home up on the hill was built by William Wrigley, Jr ( of chewing gum fame) who purchased stock in the island sight unseen.  When he finally visited the island with his wife Ada and son Philip in 1919, he was so smitten with the place he soon bought out all the other investors which made him the sole owner of the Santa Catalina Island Company.  He and his wife fell in love with the beauty of the island and in December 1921 their beautiful 6 bedroom Georgian Colonial style home was finished.  It remains there today, perched on a hill above the harbor in a location that Mr Wrigley chose because it received the earliest sun in the morning and the last sun in the evening. He named the place Mt. Ada in honor of his wife.  Today this stunning home is a bed and breakfast with daily rates between $300 and $700. (I don't think, I'll ever get to stay there)   Another building that still stands from those early days is what Wrigley called the Sugarloaf Casino. Not a gambling casino but a theater, a circular ballroom that could accommodate 500 dancing couples and a a circular terrace surrounding the ballroom. Betty reminded us that "casino" is an Italian word that meaning "gathering place or place of entertainment." 

During the 1920's Catalina was often a sight for movie making.  When the film "The Vanishing American" was being made there, 14 buffalo were barged over from the mainland to be part of the movie.   That part of the movie ended up on the cutting room floor but the buffalo were left behind and are still there today. The Catalina Island Conservatory now maintain a herd of 150 buffalo. One of the most famous movies filmed on the island was Clark Gable's "Mutiny on the Bounty" in 1935.  Another famous person who built a home on Catalina was Zane Grey.  His place is also still there and also used as a bed & breakfast.

After our tour, we were brought back to the center of town where we had an opportunity to browse the many shops.  I even broke down and had a small treat from the Coldstone Ice Cream store while we sat in the sun relaxing. 

There are very few cars on Catalina...Betty told us there was a limit (can't remember the number) but most folks get around in golf carts.  And I noticed they all have license plates on them.  I saw the parking enforcement lady, walking along one street putting parking tickets on golf carts that had overstayed their parking time.

We caught the 3:30pm tender back to the ship, looking back..taking in the views of that beautiful island.  What an experience. 

When we got back we got freshened up and changed clothes to go to the 6:45pm entertainment.  Paul Boland was on the stage this night and we had enjoyed him last August on the Alaska cruise, so didn't want to miss him.  We headed down to the theater and Bob said "now we'll be going right to dinner after this right?"  I replied yes and he said he'd forget his reading glasses to read the dinner menu so decided to go back to the cabin to get them.  So I proceeded thru the Casino to the theater when I encountered three people who were obviously very boisterous and tipsy. I hesitated and then they seemed to calm down but just as I walked by them, the man in the group pushed one of the women and she bumped into me and would have knocked me over except I hit the side of a slot machine. As my body was twisting to the side I felt the "POP" in my poor right knee.  I thought I was going to pass out it hurt so bad. I grabbed the stool in from of the machine and was able to get myself perched on it.  I waited a few minutes...stepped out on my right foot but I couldn't walk on it. Thinking Bob would be along any minute, I sat there for about 10 minutes just waiting. Finally is was getting later and the show was starting, so I signaled one of the Casino supervisors.  She came over and I told her what happened and she said she'd call for a wheel chair.  About 10 minutes later a fellow came with a chair and wheeled me into the theater.  Of course by this time, the show had started, the house lights were down and with about a thousand people in there I could not see Bob.  After the show was over and the light came up, I started scanning the audience.  Then...right in front of me, Ned and Vicky stood up.  They took one look at me in the wheel chair and came running over to me.  After I told them the situation they said to just hang on & they'd get me to the dining room and when Bob showed up for dinner he could take over.  So Ned pushed me thru the ship and down the elevator to the dining room.  They got me to our table as Vicky and the waiters moved chairs aside to make room for the wheel chair.  I was so grateful to run into them...I might still be sitting there had they not come along.

After dinner I had Bob take me to the Photo Counter so I could pick up some pictures and then it was back to the cabin.  I iced my knee, took some Tylenol and got ready for bed.  It was a horrible restless night.  No matter what position I laid in, the pain in my knee was excruciating.

Friday, March 28, 2008

March 28, 2008  at 11am  We've had enough !

March 28, 2008 at 11am We've had enough !

I've lived in this town all my life and I never remember having snow this late in March.  They say it's supposed to be like this all weekend. At least it's not sticking to the streets...not here in the park anyway.  

Thursday, March 27, 2008

San Diego Zoo ~ Episode Six

Tuesday dawned clear and sunny.  My "room service" breakfast arrived about  7:10am and I ordered extra milk and cereal  so stashed them away for emergency use later in the week.  Bob took advantage of the breakfast buffet in the Windjammer Cafe while I got ready. 

I was so excited, I'd never been to San Diego before and even from the ship...the city looked big and beautiful.  (I know I'd like to go back and spend several days there sometime and see more of it.)  We got off the ship just in time to catch our bus to the Zoo.    We did get a little sight-seeing in on the way but the driver did no narrating, so we really didn't know what we were looking at. 

Our tickets included a narrated double-decker bus ride thru the zoo and we were told that our tickets also included rides on any of the trams traveling thru.  When I was getting ready that morning my knee felt a little tender.  And in getting off the bus to the Zoo, it sort of hurt when I stepped off the bus.  So I hobbled over to the Zoo bus area, the people working there saw that I was sort of limping and they brought me to a chair at the front of the line of people waiting for the next bus.  So I was first on the bus.....but on the bottom level, not up on top.

The driver took us on a 35 minute tour, providing us with a complete orientation regarding the sights, animals, and the park in general.  They have a great map that's available to all guests and "road" signs at every path direct you to the exhibits you want to see.   The terrain at the Zoo is very hilly, including some very steep grades and I told Bob, there is no way I'm going to be able to walk up and down all those hills.  So he went to find out what we could do.  Pretty soon, he came back with a young man with a clip-board, riding a motorized scooter.  We filled out their form, the guy gave me some operating instructions and away we went.

Besides all of the animals the Zoo has some fabulous trees and plants. For instance I had never seen eucalyptus trees before~they have them growing there and they are used for feeding the koalas.  And all of the tropical flowers smelled is that to enhance the Zoo experience or cover up the smell of the animal poo

There were several things on my must see list~the koalas, hippos, pandas and the tropical birds.  (By the way...we skipped the reptile house.)   I was so happy to be able to see everything I wanted to see, as I zoomed around the park.   The only thing I didn't do was ride the Skyfari Aerial Tram across the park but Bob did. He did that while I went to see the pandas.

The last bus back to the ship left the zoo at 3pm so we really did have to keep moving, however we stopped for a quick  lunch ( a very expensive one, I might add) about 12:30pm.  

Bob and I had our cell phones so we were able to keep in contact with each other during those times we were separated.   We met back at the main gate, where after taking a little "test ride" Bob returned the scooter.  I browsed around in lovely large gift shop and then we headed out the gate to our bus back to the ship. 

I felt on top of the world....a dream had come true for me....I'd had a few hours at the beautiful San Diego Zoo.

This evening was "meet the ship's Captain" night and dress up night for dinner.  Bob actually forgot his suit jacket, good shirt & tie so he just went in a nice printed shirt and slacks.   They have an actual reception where the Captain tells about the ship and introduces the heads of all the different departments. Our  Captain was Karin Stahre-Janson, who was born and raised on the west coast of Sweden.  At age seven, her parents taught her how to sail her first sailboat.  In 1993 she graduated from Chalmers University of Technology, in Goteborg, Sweden with a bachelor's degree in Nautical Science.  Prior to joining Royal Caribbean, she worked on a variety of cargo ships, as well as petroleum and chemical tankers, up to 80,000 tons.  She obtained her Unlimited Masters License in 1995 and joined Royal Caribbean in 1997.  She is the first female captain of a major cruise line.   I heard lots of jokes about us having a "woman driver" and it was funny because whenever anyone would say that, you'd hear a  bunch of people replying "I'm going to tell Captain Karin."

After dinner and then another browse thru the shops our long day came to a close.   The next  morning we would be at Catalina Island. 

  By the way, if you take a look at the itinerary map, it looks a little weird.  The ship left Los Angeles...went to San Diego, then came back up to Catalina Island and then down to Ensenada and back to Los Angeles.  I suppose they took that round about, back tracking route to give us a full 4 day cruise. 

It's Still White And Cold Outside

Woke up this morning and found a little of the snow still on the ground and temperatures hovering right at freezing.   (Oh am I ever glad I didn't have to drive off to work early this morning.) They keep breaking in on the morning TV programming telling of roads blocked, accidents seem to be popping up along the trails.

I do have a dentist appointment at noon, but hopefully the black ice will be gone by then.   This is just for a cleaning, so I won't be there long.  And then it's off to the local Elks club for a second planning meeting for the upcoming dinner get together for all of us that worked at the Chevrolet Dealership.  We had our first one in June of 2006 and people have been calling wanting to know when we're doing it again.  This year's dinner is planned for Saturday April 19th.

Yesterday afternoon I spent my time hooking up a new printer.  Yes, I had to buy a new printer.  Last weekend I wanted to print off some labels for a project I was working on.  I put a sheet of labels in and they peeled off and jammed up my old printer.  I spent hours with tweezers trying to clear it but I couldn't get them all.   I called the computer repair shop I've used in the past and they said I could bring it in, but they'd have to charge me $45 an hour for labor and they couldn't guarantee they could get it working either.  So at their suggestion I got a new one.  I was glad to find a Lexmark printer, copier, scanner with Wi Fi capabilities and a place for my camera's memory card on sale for $99, regularly $159.   It was easy to install and it works great.   The old one I packed into a box and if my son wants to try taking it apart to get it working, he can have it.  He just has a printer, with no belss and whistles.

Have a great day and hopefully once I get home, I'll be able to take you to the "Zoo."               Linda


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pet Diaries


8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite!

10:30 am Got rubbed and petted! My favorite!

11:00 am - Went to the vet. Bummer.

12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite!

5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite!

7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with people! My favorite!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite!


Day 983 of my captivity.
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed
hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the
rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to
keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I
decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had
hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly
demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made
condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Jerks!
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was
placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I
could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my
confinement was due to the power of " allergies." I must learn what this
means, and how to use it to my advantage..

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my
tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this
again tomorrow - but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.

The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and
seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The
bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the
guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors
have arranged protective custodyfor him in an elevated cell, so he is
safe -- For now.....

Let Take A Cruise~ Episode Five

I must say I was apprehensive about this cruise.  I knew we would be out in the big ocean more than when sailing to Alaska. And I don't like the thought of being sea-sick.  I've heard horror stories from friends who have spent most of their Mexican cruise hugging the "porcelain God."  But I had my Dramamine and my bottle of Gatorade to get my system back in whack if it got out of whack.  So on a sunny Monday, we gathered our Passports, our luggage and piled into Hope's car and headed for the Los Angeles Cruise Ship Center at San Pedro, CA.  It took about 40 minutes to get there and once she pulled up to the curb, there were people there to take our bags (other than those we were carrying on ourselves).  We hugged her good bye and went into the terminal to finish the check in procedure.  (I highly recommend you do the on-line check in before you actually get to the cruise line check in.  It really speeds up the whole process) Within 20-30 minutes we were checked in and heading up the ramp to get our pictures taken for our Sea Pass cards (which is the key to your cabin and the only thing you need to purchase items on board your ship).  Then we were suddenly inside Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Sea.   We were anxious to see our cabin, as Royal Caribbean had given us a free upgrade.  The cabin was slightly bigger than the ones on the Alaska cruises and it had a small refrigerator (which came in very handy for me later in the week). 

Our luggage arrived just a few moments later and after we got clothes in drawers and hung in the closet we went out to explore.   There was a Welcome Aboard buffet on one of the upper decks, so we went up there and had a little bite to eat.  Hope had stopped at Burger King on the way, so we weren't really all that hungry. 

We pulled away from the dock shortly after 5:30pm, as the sun was beginning to set. The lights from the Port of San Pedro were so pretty, we hung over the rail, watching the pilot boat follow us out to sea and then pull close to our ship so the pilot could jump off our ship.   There are always a lot of festivities during the "Sail Away" and they continued for some time.  Of course everybody is excited and in a festive mood during this time. 

At 4:40pm we had to report to our muster stations for the mandatory life boat drill.  Vests on and buckled up, standing in line at our assigned muster station, until released by the Captain of the ship.  It takes about 30 minutes.  We all said the same thing "we pray this is the only time we have to do this in the next week"

Bob and I  headed down to the Excursion desk and scheduled our excursions for each port.  I wanted to do that before we left on our road trip but couldn't get him to agree on anything.  You have to do that at least 10 days before your cruise departs, after that you must wait until you're on board.

My other apprehension was dinner.  Sounds stupid  I know but on the two cruises to Alaska, I knew we were going to be eating with people I knew.   And perhaps there would be strangers sharing our table but at least 2 people would be familiar.   Will let me tell you when 8pm rolled around and we wandered over to table  # 377, we knew by the smiles on their faces we were in for an enjoyable evening.  The first night we ate with Ned and Vicky from Orange County, California.  Just the four of us at a large round table for 8.    Then the second night, Ken & Jeannie joined us.  They had been assigned to a table the first night with 6 non-English speaking people.  So they asked to be moved.   They introduced themselves as "Red Necks from Tennessee." They were a delightful couple.   Every evening, we had such a wonderful time, laughing, talking and sharing our daily experiences with our four dinner partners. 

Of course the first night you also meet your dining room staff.  Our waiter Alvin is from the Philippines, Sheldon the assistant waiter is from Fiji and Christopher the head waiter is from India.   It always amazes me that after the these people (other than the head waiter) learn your name and your likes & dislikes...they don't forget.  Sheldon remembered my water with no ice, milk with my dinner and decaf coffee after dinner. (He got a big tip at the end of the cruise). 

Instead of going to see the after dinner entertainment, we went to the "shopping level" of the ship and looked around at all the stuff for sale (duty & tax free).  The we retired to our was after 11pm and we had an early excursion the following morning.  We had to be off the ship and at the dock to catch our bus to the San Diego Zoo by 8:30am.  I know that doesn't sound early for the guys but for us gals that means getting up, getting a shower & hair washed, dried, makeup on, deciding what outfit to wear, getting some breakfast, etc.  It can be a long process for us gals.   I actually put my order for room service breakfast out on the door handle so I could eat breakfast while getting ready.  (I'm one of those that has to eat within about 30 minutes after I get up or I get a headache.)  LOL

Next episode ~ the zoo

I Can't Believe it !!

It's 5pm on what was a sunny day & it's now snowing !!!!   What in the world is going on ???  I thought it was Spring........

Note to Old Man Winter ~ get lost !!!

What A Precious Little Girl

Check out these two YouTube videos of this little two year old girl in California.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Road Trip Continued~Episode 4

The days after the party returned to normal.  Monday morning Bob's grand kids went off to school and Jerry went off to the auto auction (he's an auto wholesaler by profession).  Several days that week Bob went with him, to help Jerry drive cars.   The cars he buys at the different auctions have to be delivered somewhere, either to the repair shop for a tune up, to the body shop to have dents pounded out or once Jerry re-sells them, to the dealer who has purchased them.  And it seems like every night, he drives a different car home. 

One day Bob stayed back and we drove to the Sierra Madre Station of L.A.'s  light rail line.  Our destination was Olvera Street.  The light rail in the Los Angeles area is unbelievable.  You can get almost everywhere for very little money. Our ride from Pasadena to the Union Depot in downtown Los Angeles was 35 cents each way (senior price).  There are several light rail lines.  One goes out to Long Beach and one even goes to and from Los Angeles Int'l Airport.  Bob has ridden the train from LAX to Pasadena in the past. 

I first went to Olvera Street with my parents, my uncle & aunt and my grandfather in 1955 when we drove to southern California on vacation.  I remember the pretty silver and turquoise ring my uncle bought me (which I later lost) that evening as we walked thru this historic area of Los Angeles.   It seems every time I'm in southern California, I'm drawn to this area.   On this trip we found a lot of renovating going on.  Some of the little shops were closed for remodeling.  But I found the items I was specifically looking for and we also found the restaurants were open, so we could get a soda and an authentic taco.  The day was warm, but not too warm and there was a breeze so it was a perfect day to browse.  On the weekends you'll find strolling Mariachi Bands and other entertainment.  But this being a weekday they were not around.  And we wanted to make a sort of a quick trip because we didn't want to get caught in the "end of the work day rush" on the train. 

Saturday, a week after the party is when we were invited to their friends 10,000 square foot home for dinner.  The house sat up on a hill in Glendale and was really spectacular.  I understand they have a fabulous view but that evening it was raining and foggy.  But the atmosphere in this gorgeous home was warm and loving.   They greeted us warmly and I felt immediately at home.  The beautiful, elegant Versawchi (sp?)  dining room table sat beneath a crystal chandelier bigger than I've ever seen.  It was stunning !   Our hostess placed all the food on a huge island in the kitchen and we served ourselves and retreated to the dining room.  It was a spread similar to what the restaurant had for us at Jerry's birthday party.   This lady does all her own cooking and cleaning and she told me she washes all the dishes by hand.   And after seeing the dishes, I understood...they are very beautiful and fragile.  The drinking glasses all rimmed in gold.   After dinner and dessert we were entertained by their youngest son and nephew.  The nephew (a high school science teacher) played the huge white grand piano and the youngest son ( a high schoolsenior) put on some sun glasses and sang some Ray Charles and Elvis songs for us.   It was so fun.  Then the man of the house also sang for us.   All in all it was a very enjoyable evening.   

On Sunday I passed up an invitation to go to dinner at some of their other friends' house, so I could get ready for the cruise  I had some ironing to do and wanted to get packed.  So I sent Bob off with Hope & Jerry and I was there with the kids doing my thing.  Bob left Washington with his suitcase for the cruise all packed, so he really had nothing to do to get ready. 

That's all for this episode we start crusing. 

Always Remember~

"Never allow someone to be your Priority while allowing yourself to be their Option"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Morning Question


From Krissy; If time or money were no object, what new hobby would you choose to take up?

Well, this was a simple question for me to answer.  Cruising...after three cruises....I've decided if I had the money, I'd take as many cruises each year as I could book. I've got the's the money that's not available.

JLand Photo Shoot #131


This week's JLand Photo Shoot will begin today (Monday) and will be due on Saturday, March 29 at 11 PM EDT.  That's Saturday, almost midnight, an hour before Sunday, for those of you who are getting confused!

Our subject this week is:


(Interpret this anyway you like.  Some suggestions are: holy, faith, religious, prayer, church, solitude, Bible, etc.)

After you've posted your entry in your journal/blog, please put the address of your entry in  Krissy's Comment Section.

When I saw the topic of this latest photo shoot, I immediately thought of a picture I took of a beautiful Methodist Church, just down the street from the hospital where I worked for so many years and have retired from. 

This church is not there anymore...torn down to allow for the expansion of the hospital's emergency room and other services.  It made me sick to think of this building disappearing from the area....but that's progress, or so some say.

I will always remember sitting in the beautiful sanctuary listening to the Home School Choir that my grand daughter belonged to, sing sweetly during a couple of their Christmas Concerts. 

Also on 09-11-2001...the church opened their doors to those of us who needed a place to go to, so that we could reflect about what so many of us had seen on early morning TV.  Hospital employees, people off the street and church members filled the sanctuary thru out the day.  Some praying, some crying, some just sitting in total unbelief that horrible day.

They may have torn down the building but that corner on that street will always remain a sacred place to me.

The News Wasn't Good

I took my sore right knee to the doctor today. She's afraid it's a torn meniscus.  I'm to limit my walking, keep wearing the brace,  take it easy and wait until Medicare ok's an MRI, so we can find out for sure.  Today was a dry & sunny day and I should have been out working in my yard.  This will drive me nuts.  I don't do "take it easy" very well. 

I did call Barbara after I got home and she said we should go to a movie tomorrow and that sounds good to me.  That will take my mind off of this whole mess for an hour and a half. 

Bob moved a couple of my heavy outdoor pots around for me this afternoon.  They have tulips in them that are about to bloom and I wanted them up on the end of the porch where I could see them.   He now has taken off in the truck & camper for a couple days of skiing at White Pass, here in Washington.

So now I have to be good and stay out of the junk food while I "nurse" this knee.    

Four Die, One Missing

A Seattle based fish -processing ship sank in the Bering Sea on Sunday.  Forty-two crew members who abandoned the 200 foot Alaska Ranger have been rescued.  This all took place 120 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.  A former captain of this ship has stated that he felt this ship was very top heavy and had chronic rudder problems.   The four men that died include Captain Eric Jacobsen and the Chief Engineer, Daniel Cook.

The reports say the seas were swelling with 6- 8 foot waves and 25 knot winds.  Another fish-processing ship was about 30 minutes away and was able to help in the rescue as well as the United States Coast Guard.

My thoughts, prayers and deepest sympanthy go out to the family and friends of those lost in this tragic incident.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Low in the Grave He Lay
  Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph over His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph over His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph over His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Robert Wadsworth Lowry

I found this YouTube rendition of this Easter hymn, a choir singing this precious song in Chinese. I remember learning this song when I was a little girl (of course we sang it in English)...they always sang it on Easter Sunday morning.  Blessings.....Linda

4 Weeks Ago Today~ Episode 3

Bob's son in law, Jerry turned 50 on Feburary 22nd but the BIG party wasn't planned until Saturday the 23rd.    However, they have some dear friends that don't live too far from them and we visited them, bringing birthday cake and balloons Friday evening.  The lady has ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and was not going to be able to come to the official party.  We had a lovely time visiting there, eating cake, taking pictures, etc. She was so thrilled we spent the evening with them.

Jerry is of Armenian descent, has been in this country since a teenager and of course is an American citizen. I have discovered over the years, he and his family and friends are a great bunch of people.  They are friendly, gracious, outgoing and so fun to be around.  During past visits (while I was here in Washington working), Bob has been to weddings (of course his own daughter Hope was married in an Armenian Christian Church in Glendale), birthday parties and graduation parties.  But this was my first experience.  So...I didn't know what to expect, however Bob had already told me that these wonderful people really love to have a good time. 

The BIG party was held in a restaurant in Arcadia, CA (right next to Pasadena) called The Patio.  It's owned and operated by a great guy from Lebanon. It features "home style Mediterranean cuisine."  Hope & Jerry had reserved the entire main area of the restaurant for their expected 70 guests.  I went there, determined to try everything except any dish that contained lamb.  I've tried it many ways...I don' like it! 

When we got there, the tables were already loaded with all sorts of cold appetizers.  (I grabbed a menu and checked off some of the dishes, so I could remember them.)  There was of course plates of their yummy flat bread (sort of like Pita bread), hummus~to put into the flat bread (with chick peas blended with tahini, garlic & lemon juice), Feta cheese (Greek Feta, oregano, olive oil & walnut), Moussaka (A spicy dip prepared with crushed walnuts, red pepper paste, Pomegranate juice & extra virgin olive oil), and Warak Enab (grape leaves stuffed with rice, oil & vegetables, cooked in lemon juice)and a Greek Salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, feta cheese & kalamata olives) it was very tangy & spicy.   Then came the hot appetizers;  San Bousek (homemade dough, ground beef, onion spices & pine nuts)~these were made into little balls like a meat ball & very good, Fried Kibbeh ( egg shaped shell of beef and burgol stuffed with ground beef, pine nuts& onion) also very good, Lamb Kabobs (yuck) and Quail halves~very good !!!    Finally at 11pm the main entreeswere brought out.  There were huge platters of lamb chops and chicken kebabs, strips of tender roast beef, bowls of rice, mashed potatoes & gravy.   After the guests had finished the main entree, they cut the lovely birthday cake that was ordered from an Armenian bakery.  It was so good, but not sweet and rich like a cake say from Costco.  The servers brought out pots of tea and a strong coffee to go with the cake.   Then after the cake they brought out platters of fruit~grapes, pieces of oranges, honeydew and cantaloupe.........and more tea.  I think you can tell that no one went away hungry.

The disk jockey that had been hired was also of Armenian descent.  Hope had asked him to play traditional Armenian & Persian folk music as well as American rock'n roll and easy listening.  Let me tell you these people love to dance.  Hope had some games planned but that never happened.  They were dancing almost non-stop in between eating.   Even the older ones were out on the floor.  And their traditional dancing is different than ours.  It really is a lot like the traditional belly dance....they dance alone, with their hands in the air. It was so fun to watch these dear people having the time of their life.  

I mentioned in one of my emails while I was gone,  that there was a belly dancer there too.  We never did find out if the restaurant owner brought her in or one of Jerry's friends hired her.  I've only seen a belly dancer on TV and it was interesting to see this in person.  I understand it's very common in the middle eastern countries.

After the belly dancer left, Jerry disappeared to the upstairs of the building and changed into a rented Elvis costume, complete with black wig, sunglasses and guitar.  The DJ started playing "Jail House Rock" and down the stairs he came.  Some people didn't know who it was until his wig fell off (that was so funny) and then they knew.  He put on quite a show.  We all laughed and cheered him on.

Finally, everyone was fed and danced out by about 1:30am.  We loaded up balloons and decorations and got back to Hope and Jerry's house a little after 2am.  That's the latest I've been out in a long time.  We were exhausted but it was so fun.  And it was so wonderful for me to finally meet the friends and business partners I've heard about for so many years.  Also Jerry was thrilled that 13 of his high school classmates & their spouses from "the old country" are now living in the Pasadena area and were able to attend.  They all sat together at one table & it was obvious it was like a "mini high school reunion."  

I told life is complete...I've been to a genuine Armenian birthday party.  It was really a blast.



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Road Trip Continued~Episode 2

Sunday Morning (February 17th) we got up early and were on the road by 6:30am. There was a fantastic sunrise coming up behind the surrounding mountains.  We stopped at a casino in Tonopah, Nevada for breakfast and a little stretch before heading to Las Vegas.  We got to Las Vegas and realized that the RV park at Sam's Town would be full because we were arriving in the middle of the President's Day holiday weekend.  We attempted to settle into a spot at the far end of a Wal Mart parking lot but the security guy came along and informed us that the laws had changed in Nevada and there was no more over night parking in any store parking lot.  After he pulled away, a pick-up truck pulled up and the man driving the truck asked us if the security guy had run us out.  We told him, yes he had and at the point he said "follow us, we're parked in the parking lot of The Orleans casino and there's plenty of room there."  So off we went following this nice couple from Red Deer, Alberta Canada.  We parked in front of their big 5th Wheel and visited with them for awhile and "hit the hay."   Monday morning, we headed down to the old section of Las Vegas (we missed that last year).  We were starving and had been told that the buffet at the Mainstreet Station casino was delicious and inexpensive.  We were able to find a parking place close by so went there to eat first.  I was stunned at the beauty of the inside of this building. And the food was plentiful and delicious.  After eating we wandered thru old Las Vegas.  It was interesting but the casinos interiors are old & dated.  (I guess that's why they call it old Las Vegas.)

We drove around and looked at other parts of the town and finally headed to Sam's Town where we got a nice spot with full hook-ups.  And right next to the shower.  (The camper has a small shower but it's a real pain to use it).  We noticed that there's a huge amount of construction going on in Vegas.  Not only houses, condos and apartments but also in buildings that look like possible office complexes and casinos.  I guess they don't know the economy is bad.   We also noticed the huge amount of people gambling in the casinos.  Apparently there are a lot of people that have money to loose.

Tuesday morning we headed to the main part of town and found a parking lot near the casinos we didn't get to last year.  On this day we went into the Luxor, Mandalay Bay and the Excalibur Casinos.  If you go beyond the gambling, they all offer something unique to the person wandering thru.  I was especially interested in seeing the inside of the Luxor.  I flew into Las Vegas on my way to Los Angeles several years ago and the sight of that black pyramid building has stuck in my mind. It truly is unusual and beautiful inside. 

Tuesday afternoon we went back to the outskirts of town and met Bob's brother and sister in law at Boulder Station for their dinner buffet.  We took advantage of the buffet's several times....and to some people, buffet means gorging yourself.  But I actually like them better than ordering off the menu.  I can have as many veggies, salad and other good things as I want and I always leave the potatoes and bread behind. So I feel for some people, buffet's are the way to go. After dinner we came back to Sam's Town and wandered around inside their big building.   There's a huge waterfall and wildlife display in the very middle of the building that I find very intriguing.  We then went back to the camper and took showers.  I figured out the showers are very crowded in the morning, so by taking a shower at night....I had the place to myself.

Wednesday morning we went back down to the strip and parked in the Hilton's parking lot.  We got tickets to ride the monorail that runs thru several of the casinos. On this day we visited the Imperial Palace, Caesar's Palace & the Flamingo.  At the Imperial Palace there's a fantastic old car museum.  We were given coupon books that allowed us admission to the museum at no cost.  At the Flamingo we wandered back to their outdoor area and viewed their display of beautiful flamingos.  And finally Caesar's Palace....oh my ! What an elaborate place !!  I was awestruck.  And of course this is where Celine Dion just completed her 5 year run and now Bette Midler is there.  I could never afford tickets to see Bette Midler...but I love her music so I went into the Bette Midler shop and bought 2 of her music CD's. 

We got back to Bob's truck about 6:15pm it was dark, we were both admiring the full moon.  Then as we were driving along Bob said "there's something wrong with the's disappearing.  I got on my cell phone and called my daughter (they know everything that's going on) and asked if there was an eclipse.  She said "yes there is, the kids are outside watching it right now."   So that explained what we were seeing.  It's funny how out of touch you are when you're away from home.

Thursday morning we drove over to the laundry room at the RV park so I could do laundry. While the clothes were washing & drying we cleaned up the camper, got rid of garbage, filled up the water tank and emptied the other tanks (have to do that once in awhile) and when the laundry was down we checked out of Sam's Town RV park.

We stopped back at Boulder Station for buffet lunch and then headed out of Las Vegas towards Pasadena, California.  We stopped at a very unusual looking casino in Primm, Nevada called Buffalo Bills Casino.  It had a roller coaster starting inside the building and running around the outside of the building.  There was also a water ride inside the building.  We wandered around there for about 30 minutes and then it was back into the truck.   Our next unusual stop was at Baker, California.  There's a gas station/mini mart there that boasts the worlds tallest thermometer.  It was getting dark so I didn't get a picture of it. But I asked the man tending the store, how high he'd seen the temperature rise.  He said one summer it reached 120 degrees.  The day/evening we were there it was at 65 degrees.  We continued on, getting gas at Victorville, CA where the wind was blowing so hard I could barelyopen the door of the truck to get out and stretch my legs. 

At 8:30pm we pulled up to the beautiful home of Bob's daughter and son in law on the hillside of Pasadena.   It was 56 degrees and raining~I felt like I was back in Washington state.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Take A Road Trip With Me~Episode 1

We left the house about 12:30pm Saturday Feb 9th.  I had a few errands that had to be taken care of before I left town.  Bob's brother & sister in law were heading straight to Las Vegas to visit her we left town together.  Our target for the first day was Canyonville, Oregon where we would spend the night.  We wanted to go over the Siskiyou Pass in northern California during the daylight hours.  The weather, especially this time of the year can be different from day to day. 

We got to the beautiful Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville after dark.  Bob's brother & sil had reservations at the hotel there and we planned to stay in the camper out in the parking lot.  We went into the restaurant there to have dinner and afterwards Bob was in line to pay for our dinner with his credit card.  The cashier asked for ID, so he handed her his drivers license.  He was talking back & forth with his brother during the transaction and not until the next morning when he went to pay for our breakfast did he notice his drivers license was missing.  Obviously the cashier the night before did not give it back to him.  We spoke to the Security people there and they checked their records~no drivers license had been turned in.  So he filled out a report and we were on our way.  He knows the number of his license by heart, so I wrote that down & we put it with his auto insurance information.  He dug out his Passport and put that in his front pocket so in case we got stopped, he'd at least have picture ID on his person. 

We went over Siskiyou Pass with no problem.  The beautiful Mt Shasta was visible (last year it was hidden by clouds) and clearly had lots of snow covering it.    I called my cousin, Susie, who lives in north eastern California to see if we could spend our second night at her place. I didn't get an answer on her home phone so I called her cell phone only to have her answer from a ski shop in Reno.  She said we could go to her house but she said she'd rather have us come to Reno, so Bob could ski with her and her friend.  So we turned east thru Susanville, California heading for Reno. 

From southern Oregon on, we saw lots of snow...but it was all along the side of the road.  (Thank you Lord!)  The highway was bare and dry.  We arrived in Reno about 6pm Sunday evening.  We were bothstarving and our eyes lit up when we saw the In-N-Out Burger sign.  YIPEE !!!  Just what we'd been waiting for.  For those of you who have never been to California, Nevada or don't know what your missing. 

After eating, we got a spot (#160) at the lovely RV Park at the Sierra Grande Casino.  I loved our spot because I could see the non-stop line of planes coming and going from the Reno airport.  It's funny...I really don't like to fly but I've always been intrigued by planes.   Is that weird or what ? 

Monday morning we gassed up the truck and headed up to Mt Rose Ski Resort, just 25 minutes from Reno, to meet my cousin and her friend Tom.   They were waiting for us in the parking lot and it was so good to see her again.  Bob got his ski gear on and they headed over to the lift.  The resort is beautiful (most of them are) and I relaxed in the sun out on the open air deck with my cell phone, my book and a coffee.  They skied for several hours, in fact right up to the time the lifts were closing.  We stopped into the cafe and had a Coke, the guys talking politics & Susie and I catching up.  And.........she helped me "cast-on" enough stitches, with the yarn and knitting needles I'd bought, to get started knitting a scarf. 

We headed back to our spot in the RV park, fixed some soup and sandwiches and settled in for the night.  Bob was practically asleep while eating~skiing does that to him.

After eating brunch at the Sierra Grande we headed to Sparks, Nevada and the J.C. Penney outlet store (another place I love to go to).  I could spend a million dollars in there.  All the last season stuff that wasn't purchased ends up in this huge warehouse type building.  I did buy a few things but I used some self control.  After all this was just the first of many "shopping" days I had before we got back home.

After Penney's we headed for Carson City, Nevada and the home of Bob's aunt Helen and his two cousins.  We were there last year cousin makes these beautiful candles and the other is in the Jerky business.  The candle maker opened his side of the warehouse and Bob pulled the truck & camper inside the building...... the smell is heavenly, from all the candles. 

My cousin Susie was staying with her niece (my other cousin's oldest daughter) in Carson City and Tuesday evening she called me and said they wanted to come and get me for a "girl's day out" on Wednesday.  They showed up about noon and we went to Chilie's for lunch.  It was such fun to spend the afternoon with both of them. After lunch we picked up Kristin's little guy from school and then went back to her lovely home.  Her hubby was home soon after we got there and after a short visit with him, Susie took me back to the home of Bob's aunt.

Aunt Helen wanted us to go with her to the Valentine's party at her senior center on Thursday, Feb 14th.  So Bob, Helen, his cousin Ian and his other cousin's son, Kyle and myself piled into the van and away we went.  The senior centers have such wonderful lunches.  For $2 a piece, we had a breaded veal cutlet, mashed potatoes & gravy, steamed carrots & broccoli, rolls, cake and coffee, tea and/or milk.  It was so good !  We were each handed a raffle ticket as we entered the building and three of us had our numbers drawn.  Bob & Kyle each won one of those really big Hershey Bars and I won a bag of little shampoos, body wash & body lotions & some miniature Hershey's.  After lunch we went Thrift shop hopping....yes I bought some more books.  And I found a stack of  accordion music in one place.  (Yes I attempt to play~I took lessons when I was a kid and I have one).   Kyle found a "Scattagories" game for $1 and we had a blast after dinner playing the game.  Now I'm on the hunt for one.  They are expensive if you buy a new one.

Friday morning Bob and his cousin Ian got up early and went skiing at Kirkwood Ski Resort.  They had a great time....but forgot sun screen. Bob had a red bandanna in his jacket pocket so he wrapped it around his face just under his goggles.  But despite rubbing Chap Stick on his face, Ian really got burned.  Yup, he tried Chap Stick to prevent sunburn.  When they called and said they'd forgotten sun screen, I suggested that they stop any female on the slopes and ask for a little sun screen~because females don't forget things like that.  I guess they were too bashful.  LOL

Saturday morning we got up, had some breakfast and said our "goodbyes."   Before leaving Carson City, we stopped at the Railroad Museum.  They don't have very many old trains on display but what they have are in beautiful condition.    Saturday evening, we camped out in the parking lot of the El Capitan Casino in Hawthorne, Nevada. 

We now had been away from home for one week.......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom !

I know St. Patty's Day has passed but I couldn't let this week go by without writing a tribute to my dear mother. For those of you who have read my journal for some time, I confess I copied & pasted this entry from my entry last year.  

On March 17, 1915 a little red headed girl came into this world, actually it was in Westphalia, Kansas.  Her name, Edythe Irene Stern.  She joined an older sister Doris and a brother Clarence and of course her mom and dad and a large extended family.  Her father was a farmer who along with his brothers were fighting the extreme Kansas weather.  One of his brothers traveled out to Washington and found a lovely area south of Yakima in eastern Washington.  The little town was called SunnysideEdythe's uncle came back to Kansas with tales of inexpensive, rich farm land.  So the whole family including Edythe's paternal grandparents packed up  lock, stock & barrel and boarded a train for eastern Washington and a new life.  Edythe was five years old when they moved to Washington.  After they arrived in Washington  another baby girl, Ermine was born.  The entire family settled in an area just outside the city limits of Sunnyside to farm the land.  They all had large gardens, chickens, milk cows and the primary crop, hops.  Edythe remembered in the summer that many extra men were around for meals, these were men that traveled from farm to farm helping the different farmers gather their crops.  She and her sisters learned at an early age to help their mother preparing and serving meals for these farm workers. Of course her brother, Clarence was taught to help with the crops.  All the kids went to the local schools and they were encouraged by their parents to get a good education.  Their mother did not want her daughters to have to do the hard manual labor of being a farmers wife, like she had been.  Edythe graduated from Sunnyside high school in 1933.  She continued to work on the farm for another year or so because her older sister Doris was still in college and Edythe could not continue her education until Doris graduated from college and began teaching, so she could help finance Edythe's continuing education.  Their brother Clarence also attended college for a year but even tho he was a brilliant student, he decided school was not for him.  He continued to work on the farm until he got a job on the railroad.  Finally Edythe was able to move into Yakima and start her nurses training at St Elizabeth's Hospital.  She had various jobs to help pay her way...her sister Doris helped out as much as she could as their parents had no money to spare for Edythe's schooling.  At one point Edythe  lived with a family who had a house full of kids, she was like a "mother's helper" all the while attending classes and doing her home work.  The last year she was in nurses training, she was able to move into the student nurses dormitory at the hospital.  Her room mate was an outgoing brunette from Ellensburg (just a little north of Yakima) named Ruberta Smith.  They got along great and became as close as sisters.  Ruberta didn't have a sister, just two brothers so she welcomed this new relationship with this red headed farm girl.  When they had time off  Edythe would take Ruberta home with her and she was welcomed with open arms by the Stern family.  Meanwhile,   Ruberta's oldest brother would come to visit her from time to time.  Bill soon discovered that his sister's room mate was a sweet and pretty gal so the visits became more frequent. They began to date...which at times was difficult because he worked for the Milwaukee Railroad was constantly being moved around from location to location.  Edythe and Ruberta graduated as registered nurses on September 29, 1936.  They both went to work at St Elizabeth's hospital.  Ruberta meet her future husband, Don while working there and Edythe continued her long distance relationship with Ruberta's brother, Bill. On October 8, 1939 Edythe and Bill were married at her parents home in Sunnyside. She quit her job at the hospital because Bill's job sent them to many remote places. He was later transferred to western Washington and they set up housekeeping.She went back to work in the Newborn Nursery at a local hospital. While working there she became pregnant with their first child.  In January 1942, they had their first child, a  Yes, Edythe was my mother.  She was a dear woman.  She was a devout Christian woman, she worked hard to make our home a warm and loving place. She loved giving of herself...she was active at church, she worked in the church nursery for the Sunday night service for like 15 years...every Sunday night she was there. When someone was ill, had a new baby or there was a death in the family she was the first one there with a meal for the family.  She sent hundreds of birthday cards and notes, to her family members, church friends and missionaries.  She was a wonderful mother, a loving wife and a fantastic grandmother.  Every year she had a huge garden, canned vegetables,fruit and anything else that could be put in a jar.  She was an excellent cook and homemaker.   She passed away on October 8, 1987 (their 48th wedding anniversary) and there's not a day goes by that I don't think of my mom.  Every St Patrick's Day, when others are worried about wearing green so they won't be pinched, or they are out drinking green beer and acting stupid...I remember that it's the birthday of the most important woman in my life.  She would have been 93 this year...she would have been thrilled to know  her 6 great-grand kids...ranging in age from almost 17 years old to a little one almost 3 years old.  She would be thrilled to know that her 5 grand children are all mature, contributing adults and that all of them love the Lord and have Christian homes like she and Bill did.  Until we meet again mom...I love and miss you.  Linda


Grandma In Court

Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi Grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.
In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grand motherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr Williams. I have known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you have been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you are a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I have known Mr Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He is lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I will send you both to the electric chair.'  

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Honey, I'm Home !"

Well, we rolled into town about 9:30pm tonight.  I walked into the house and thought "who's house is this?"  I was sort of disoriented....I guess that's what happens when you've been gone so long. 

We drove over 3,500 miles, had no real problems with the truck other than a tank of bad gas that was corrected with a bottle of that HEAT stuff poured into the gas tank and we saw no accidents along the way. 

Saturday (March 15th) was our worst weather day...we drove thru rain, snow, sleet & hail. 

Monday I'll go get my Gabi girl....I think they have rather enjoyed her harassing their cat, Madeline.  I'm sure Maddy will be glad to have Gabi gone. 

Also Monday, we'll unload the camper, and I have to drive down the street to pick up my mail that's been piling up since the 9th of February.  I talked to my neighbor this afternoon via cell phone and he said I should bring a semi-truck when I come to pick it up.

My right knee is still giving me trouble.  It's better than it was, but still not I'll call for an appointment with my doctor to have it checked out.  I think if it's a torn meniscus, it would hurt worse than it does.

It's going to take me a few days to get back in the grove, so may start turning alerts on slowly as the week progresses.  I've missed all of you and am anxious to catch up.............Linda

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back on Land

Hello everyone...we are back on land.  The cruise was wonderful and we had such a good time....except it was too short. Tuesday we went to the San Diego Zoo and after a 35 minute tour bus ride (thru the park) Bob rented a motorized wheel chair so I could see the zoo and not have to walk for miles and miles.  You should have seen this old lady zooming around that zoo.  Wednesday we spent the day on Catalina Island.  We took a 50 minute tour there, heard a lot about the history of the island )and then just wandered around the shops, etc on our own before returning to the ship.  But, I did have a situation that re-injured my knee on Wednesday spent the rest of the curise using a wheel chair and was uanable to go ashore in Ensenada, Mexico.  :(    I was so upset...I just stayed in the cabin taking tylenol & icing my leg and watching movies on the cabins TV.  Bob did go on the excursion we had signed up for, because I at least wanted to see some pictures of the area.  When Bob got back to ths ship, we took me up to the pool deck where I could at least look out across the water at the city. 

We met two wonderful couples at dinner.  One couple was from Orange Country here in California and the other said they were "rednecks" from Tennessee.  We enjoyed each evening, spending a couple hours with them over dinner.

Well, that's all for now...just wanted you to know we were back from the until next time,  Linda

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday Evening Quickie

Our dinner at the "mansion" was wonderful.   The hosts were so gracious, the food was wonderful...all in all we had a great evening.  I did take advantage of the elevator because my right knee is really acting up.  In fact I'm here at the house this evening while the rest of them are off to dinner at another home...because it's hurting so bad...I'm moving very slow.  Thankfully, I have Ibuprofen, Tylenol and my knee brace.  I just came into the house to iron a few things and then I need to start packing.  

I'm hearing on the news that a wind & rain storm is supposed to hit the Los Angeles area Monday afternoon.  That's not exactly what I hoped for.  That will make it ugly driving on the freeway & leaving the port. 

I'm not sure if I'll use the computer on the ship, but if not, I'll post another entry Friday afternoon when we get back here to the house.

I hope everyone has a good week, take care....Linda 

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Gloomy Saturday Morning

I know it may be hard to believe, but it's a gloomy, foggy type morning here in Pasadena today.  I thought at first it was a light rain, but I think it's just the mist you get from fog.

Last night we ventured out on the freeway system to Studio City. It's sort of scary because even though there's a lot of traffic up's nothing like southern California.  It seems they are all going 85 mph, bumper to bumper...cutting in and out of lanes.  Almost like a ride at the amusement park, except this ride can be deadly.    Anyway, we went to eat at a place called Jerry's Famous Deli.  I guess a lot of the stars eat there at times.  The food was good but a little expensive.  I had a half of a bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwich which came with a little bowl of cole slaw and another little bowl of baked beans~$9.00 !! 

We drove back thru Laurel Canyon (winding & twisty 2 lane road) and came out on Hollywood Blvd.  Last year we spent a day walking along Hollywood Blvd and I took pictures of many of the "stars" in the concrete sidewalk.  (If you go back to my entries of May 2007, you'll see those).  But last night we just "cruised " the Blvd.  There were a lot of people out, especially in the area of the Kodak Theater and Mann's Chinese theater.  

Bob's daughter, Hope, is still trying to get over a nasty cold, so right now she's back in bed resting.  We are all invited to dinner at some friend's of Hope & Jerry's tonight.  I met them at the party last Saturday night and they are so nice.  I'm being told that their house is 10,000 sq feet and has an elevator in it (that will be helpful for me, as my right knee is still acting up.)  You all know I'd love to take pictures but I don't think that would be there probably won't be any.

I'm doing laundry here today, as well as submitting an Avon order.  It seems weird to do my Avon order when I'm bout 2 miles from the Pasadena Branch Avon building.  My order will go there electronically and then by next Thursday they will put it on a truck and deliver it to my front porch on Saturday.  (And I won't even be home yet, my son is going over to put it in the house).

I've talked to my school chum, Judi, who lives in San Diego several times this last week.  She was hoping to be able to drive up here today but had some things pop up she couldn't get out of, so she may come up next Saturday after we get back from our cruise.  We'll dock in San Diego on Tuesday but she'll be busy cleaning teeth (she's a dental hygienist).  If she can't make it next Saturday, I'll see her sometime in the next 4 or 5 months when she comes to Washington to visit her family.

Sunday we will be doing the final packing for the cruise.  Hope is going to take us to the dock over by San Pedro.  I just hope the weather is nice for our "sail away" out of Los Angeles. I really appreciate the emails and comments that I've received about off-shore excursions.  We will be doing a few....I know I definitely don't want to take off by ourselves in Ensenada.  That would not be a good place to be left behind if something happened.  None of the ones we are considering are very expensive, so that's a good thing! 

Well, folks...that's about all for now.  I may try to do another quick entry Sunday and let you know about the 10,000 sq ft house......until next time,  Linda