Saturday, April 30, 2011


I'VE NEVER really thought of us as being big on volunteering. But I guess we are, when one considers that Mr. Bob has taken on the job of being the photographer/historian and I'm doing part time work in keeping the library interesting and serving on the film committee (more modern films means more modern language and it's proving a little tough for some of the residents to swallow). We've finished the Staff Directory and are up to date on the Residents' Directory which entitled us to attending a special luncheon. Following are the 3 album pages on the event we readied for the yearly scrapbook.

Friday, April 29, 2011


I'VE DECIDED the reason there's been so much hullabaloo about the Royal wedding is because the rest of the news is so frustratingly bad.  If it's not damaging weather, and there's been far more than enough of it, then it's the unbelievable behavior of politicians. Too much of a muchness, I think all will agree. Our grandson, Justin, lives in an assisted living situation with a roommate and a caretaker. He became extremely interested in the upcoming marriage and invited his mom (our daughter, Susan) to come over to watch the wedding last night. Following is the texting she (black) and I (green) did. From Alaska to Glendale, the words flew back and forth.

9:45 a.m.My friend Starla 
who I iron for owns a tux 
and costume
store  and is loaning Justin 
& me fancy hats to wear while
watching the wedding.

                                                                Wonderful. Wish I could donate scones  and clotted
cream. Be sure to take pictures.

Scones are a good idea I
prefer lemon curd. Are you
staying up to watch?

Oh, my, yes!!!

May we call you at the good parts?

Sure, or text. Either way.

I'll be at Justin's.

Okay, if you take pictures
I could do a blog.

6:16 p.m.Wish I had a 
nicer nightgown
to wear to the wedding.

Just dress it up with jewelry
and a scarf.

That's a thought.

8:27 pm
I'm going to take a nap and
get up later for the festivities.

I've been mowing lawns with
Jill. I'll nap, then go to Justin's.

1:15 a.m.
I have a problem with those
silly little hats that sit on the 
front of the heads.

I like the b4 ones.

Which are those?

Most of them. I like the little
feathery ones.

2:15 a.m. 
Exciting, huh?

Very! OMG!
Designer......Dr. Seuss

But this is history.

Yes! Love her little wave.

I don't understand why everyone
didn't stay up to see this.

They recorded it.

I forget that's a possibility.

I'd rather watch as it happens.

Me, too. But she needs to work
on that royal wave. Beautiful dress!

Breathtaking. I'm teary.

Me, too

Wow! No kiss?

Later from the balcony, I think.

That's what Justin said.

I love the trees.

Me, too.

They won't go on the balcony
until after lunch. A long time
from now. I may go back to
bed soon.

I am going to head home. Loved
watching it with you.

It was fun.

Yes, it was.



Next day, all tired out from the wedding festivities:

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Not at the zoo but out in the wild in Cambria, CA

California hills in the summertime

Usually a tea drinker, when I indulge in coffee,
I make coffee candy out of it, by adding cream and sugar.
More lights than needed, if you ask me.
I don't totally understand cupcakes.

The bears are baffled. So are we, with boxes yet to be unpacked and we've been at the Manor for nearly two years.

Barns fascinate, for some reason or other.

An unfulfilled dream was to have a shoe house contest at the store. It never happened, but Chris made this out of an antique baby shoe.

Mr. Bob always pointed out this little structure when we started out on a road trip. It burned in a recent wildfire. We've no idea of what purpose it served.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Violeta, browsing through the new Staff Directory

YESTERDAY we unveiled the Staff Directory that we've been compiling for the past five weeks. On our part, it's been a labor of love as we've been privileged to meet each of 100 people who take care of us here at the Manor, plus a handful of other people who are part of our daily lives without actually being employees of the facility in which we live.

Of each individual we asked 7 questions, putting the answers on the lower half of a notebook page, with a picture of the employee above. Always we took several photos, letting the subject choose the one to use. Nearly everyone was not only highly cooperative but also pleased to be a part of the project. However, one individual couldn't seem to find the time and kept putting it off until later. Near the end of our venture, this person found ten minutes for us and okayed one of the several pictures we took. Mission accomplished, or so we thought.

Today, we were told that she didn't like the picture. I suggested that perhaps she'd like to bring a more acceptable image and I removed the one that we'd used.

Two hours later, one of the maintenance men who has worked here for 23 years, came to me to tell of his delight with the directory. He said that in all those years no one had thought of the importance of compiling such a book and he thanked me with warm words and a big hug.

Now I know full well that it's impossible to please everyone and I've often wondered why I tend to grant negativity greater power than all the good and positive things that happen.

I'm going to try to break that pattern in my thinking and remember my intent in putting together this directory. I wanted to recognize and honor these hardworking individuals and I thought it would help residents to get to know these dedicated helpers who are guiding us through our latter years. It's much larger than just a pretty picture. With that said, I'm stepping down from my soapbox and going to bed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


WE UNDERSTAND that we missed a splendid Easter brunch at the Manor, but previous arrangements had been made to be with Mr. Bob's family on Easter Sunday. They live far enough away that it's a rare thing to get together and because his sister, Margaret, and her daughter were coming down from Burlingame, there was no question where our loyalties lay.

Tim drove and took us on a beautiful route where the mustard was at its peak of bloom. Before the afternoon was over, the rain came down, but the only inconvenience was that the planned patio seating had to be moved inside for dinner. Not a problem.

Of six children, Mr. Bob and his sister are the only ones still living. Curious, that out of all the siblings, they were the only two redheads. Margaret will be 88 this summer and neither looks nor acts her age. I may be prejudiced, but I don't think her brother looks his 84 years, either, in spite of his red having turned to silver.

Tony and Sam were there. You may recall the time that I sat and talked to Tony for a half hour, showing him pictures on my iPhone to which there was virtually no response. When I went to get up, I said to those around me, "Don't watch me rise," Tony said there was little chance of it, since he was blind. I'd just thought Sam was a well-behaved dog, but he's a trained Guide dog. Tony spoke of being on a blind rowing team which recently rowed to Catalina Island, no mean trick.

Tim's cousins (either once removed or second or whatever) whom he knows better on Facebook than in person were there. They're the offspring of Charlene and Harvey, both of whom have had nearly insurmountable health problems of late. Pam (Margaret's daughter), Charlene and Tim are first cousins. Of that I'm sure.

There were young and old in attendance.

of new faces, good food,
a white lily and purple hyacinths. Who knows when we'll next be together?

Soon it was time to take Margaret and Pam to the Ontario Airport to catch the plane that would take them home. After dropping them off, we headed back along the mustard lined highway and detoured slightly to go to Din Tai Fung in the hope that they'd be open on Easter. The crowd outside told us we were in luck.

It was easily a forty-five minute wait and when we squeezed into the restaurant's small entry area, a young fellow quickly stood to give me his seat and immediately the man next to me inquired if it was our first time there. I told him it was probably our twelfth visit. An easy conversation ensued....among other subjects he told me he was going to pharmaceutical school at USC and that he was driving his mother home to San Francisco that very night. "Goodbye", I said, when our number was called. 

When their turn came, the man and his mother were shown to seats adjacent to ours and they agreed to having their pictures taken to document the experience. They even offered us a sample of their vegetarian dumplings. I couldn't resist the reminder to drive carefully as we departed to continue on our way to the Manor. It's a very nice place to come home to, but how I love our ventures into the outside world. No chocolate bunnies this year, but much else to deposit in our memory banks. 'Twas fun.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


WE SAT IN AWE as the St. Petersburg Men's Ensemble sang for us. It was the sort of music that brought tears to the eyes, hearts touched by the perfect blend of voices, the ethereal sound. Only voices, no musical accompaniment. holy voices.

Mr. Bob was busy working the room, looking for good photo opportunities, but he, too, was stunned by the beauty of the sound.

We frequently have entertainment at the Manor..... often at least 3 times a week. This performance was beyond the pale. Coming to us from a far-away land, the combination of liturgical music and Russian folk songs enriched our Good Friday.

We hope you experienced
something equally special.

Friday, April 22, 2011


WHAT IT IS about 
this sort of folk art that touches my soul? 
I don't honestly know. 

I've lost track of which Spring it was 
that Mr. Bob accepted my suggestion that 
we go to a Russian Center in Hollywood 
to enroll in a class on decorating an egg 
in this fashion.

I remember little about the class. 
What I do recall is that it was traditional 
to start with a raw egg. 

I remember wax and a candle flame 
and a stylus.

I recollect that it was very serious business. 
No laughter.
I experienced an 
overwhelming sense of inadequacy.

There was only so much that an amateur could accomplish in an hour or two.

We carefully brought home our eggs....
pitiful little efforts they were.

Time went by 
one by one
our two eggs exploded.


Thursday, April 21, 2011


ENQUIRING MINDS want to know.......what are your plans for Easter this year? 

Two years ago, before we moved into the Manor, we celebrated at home. Now, gone are the plates, we gave away the colorful tablecloth and the serving dishes. For the life of me, I can't remember what the entrée was and can't identify it from this picture. I do remember that it was the weekend on which I fell from grace before the Easter bunny even hopped through our lives, so the memory is somewhat bittersweet.

Last year, we gathered with our friends, Diane and Roger and Fiona and went to a nearby restaurant, Camilo's and enjoyed a sumptuous brunch. It's a special place to celebrate. Next door is a new place with the name of "Four Cafe" and in this picture it looks as though it was our destination, but that pleasure is still in our future.

This year we have a different plan and I think I'll need to wait until Easter Day to tell you about it for reasons I'll explain later. Meanwhile, what will you be doing? Even if you're staying quietly at home, we're interested. I hope you'll play along and let us know.