Thursday, April 30, 2020

Not Just About A Book Club Zoom Meeting April 2020

We had a great Zoom meeting for our "Not Just About A Book Club" during this shelter in place Covid 19 time. The book we discussed was "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng. 
Everyone agreed this storyline was captivating with interesting characters that lent to many great discussions. Though this period denies us in person proximity we cannot be deterred from enjoying each others virtual company.  With cocktails in hand and smiles on our faces we had a wonderful book club meeting. Our name "Not Just About a Book Club" certainly lives up to it's title. We are all about the strength and bonds of friendship that can be sustained through any challenges that life presents.  Together we will weather the storm. Cheers to our wonderful book club.


Dinner Fiasco aka My New Recipe for Shepards Pie

I'm going to tell you a story about my dinner fiasco on April 2nd.  As with most of you, we are trying to make the most of what we have in the fridge. Sometimes that means being inventive with leftovers. Mike has been trying to use the airpot and the instantpot for different things. We had some uncooked pinto beans (I'm not sure how long we've had them but a long time.) When he made a pot of beans recently they were not soaked or perhaps cooked long enough and they were a touch too hard. So this week he soaked the same bag of beans longer and added too much water while cooking. So he mashed the hell out of them to absorb some of the liquid. The beans were more of the texture of a thickened soup. We had a clear container of the leftover smooth mashed beans next to the gravy I had made the other night. So yesterday I saw on facebook that my friend Amy was asking for suggestions for her leftover mash potatoes and steak. Someone suggested shepards pie. Oooh that gave me an idea for our leftover mash potatoes and grilled meat. First I placed the potatoes in the casserole then I sauteed mushrooms and placed them with the meat on top. I thought well maybe I could just take the gravy from the other night and put it on top and cover with foil and bake. So I did. When I served the casserole I thought the gravy looked odd then Mike took a bite and said, "Did you put beans in here?" I took a sip of wine and said "No why?' He said this is "The oddest Shepard's pie but it's still good." Oh my! guess what I mistook for gravy? Ai yi yiii. Hours later we lay in bed laughing over my new recipe for Shepards pie. He said we'll be talking about this for a long time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Earth Day April 22, 2020

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 Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.” —Chief Seattle
Happy Earth day! May our earth renew and replenish for all the generations to come.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Monday, April 27, 2020

Beautiful April 21st Walk in the Neighborhood

It’s a beautiful day in our neighborhood. So quiet and colorful on our walk at noon.

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Neighborhood

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Our neighborhood didn’t exists in 1951
omas bro’s guide 1951. $1.25

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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Randy's Trout Dinner

I guess I could have made a better presentation but mike served the fish on the plate and I didn’t bother rearranging. We had a good trout dinner courtesy of my brother Randy and My niece  Pauline who caught the trout in Mammoth last year.

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Friday, April 24, 2020

A Challenge But Fun

This one doesn’t appear challenging but it was.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Week of April 6-10 It Rained Alot

  It’s a cold, wet Monday morning in Long Beach. Im drinking a cup of hot tea and losing myself to the little Cupid statue in the corner of the garden. May you all find some comforting way to spend this day. Think I’ll spend the day reading. Sending out light and love. Stay strong and safe. Be well at home.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Puzzling During Covid

On April 4: Saturday morning: after breakfast I told Mike who had been up since 4:00, I’ll go work on the puzzle now. He said “Good Luck” as I walked away. When I got to the puzzle I saw one last piece waiting for me to put it in place. I laughed out loud!

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 (Many times in the 45 years that I have been with Mike I’ve often thought about how different we are. He problem solves with his mind whereas I rely on my emotions more to figure things out. As I work on my daily jigsaw puzzle I hear mike brainstorming with his team about some aeronautical technical issues. I could not begin to understand the complexity of his work. But it has become clear to me that he has found the perfect career as a problem solver and in a way a mental jigsaw puzzler. I guess we are alike in some ways. Another day another let me see how I can force this piece of the puzzle into a space it doesn’t fit. Where’s my scissors?)

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Positive Thoughts Along This Journey 2020

A Brilliant Tribe by Tristan Ahumada

"When we take the time to step back and analyze our lives to reconstruct how we got to where we are, we can see that our actions are patterns based on our habits and choices that we made and less as RANDOM ACTS in our lives.
In Hemmingway's book, "The Old Man and the Sea" you have "man vs. nature", but there is a secondary conflict in the book which is "man vs. self". You can even say that our current situation in the world is very similar to the book. We are currently facing a virus that some would consider to be part of nature, but the other battle we are all facing is the battle inside of our minds. The consistent back and forth that goes on inside of our heads with our emotions and our psychology. 
We can control how we think, how we react, and the actions we take. It all begins with our mind! We must strengthen our minds because that will determine the outcome of our future. 
Some people call it grit, others call it resilience, and yet anything we face that challenges us will require mental toughness.  It will require us to recreate our minds to fight back harder, to fight back smarter, to change our approach.  It's like Walt Disney said, "Progress is impossible without change" that's right! We adapt and grow! We fail and progress! 
We are able to  tell stories about when the world stopped and you took the time to slow down to really work on yourself or you will look back and realized you missed an opportunity for growth. 
Now is the time to get to know yourself better. Now is the time to realize that your life is only a reflection of every purposeful thing you have done in the past. Each action you took in your past is a purposeful reaction to everything that has happened to you. You got yourself to where you are, now it's your time to get yourself to the next level. 
Life isn't as random as you are more purposeful than that!
Now is when you take control of your life and show up everyday stronger than the previous day! 
One of my favorite quotes from "the Old Man and the Sea" is "let him think that I am more man than I am and I will be so " This line sums up the mind set we need to have right now. It's time to rise up to the challenge!"

Monday, April 20, 2020

Some More Art Projects for Covid April

Saturday project for Sofia. She made heart shaped crayons and fed her water dragons.

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Sunday, April 19, 2020

On April 7th, 2020

Sofia chalk paints.  She’s keeping busy.

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Famous People Encounters

 My friend Rob asked for a of  list six famous people I've met/encountered/interacted with, but ONE is a lie.   Here's mine, let's play.  Answer follows:
1. Ricky Nelson
2. Marcello Mastroianni
3. Raul Bova
4. John Travolta
5. Art Linkletter
6. Sandra Dee

 The answer is I never met Sandra Dee though I loved the movie Gidget when I was a kid. As for the others here is the story. As a kid I loved the t.v. show "Ozzie and Harriet". My friends father on his off hours got paid as a basketball league time keeper. He used to do games at Hollywood High school at night. Ricky Nelson played for a team. My friend invited me to go and watch him play. It was a thrill and Ozzie and Harriet and his brother David were sitting just above us on the Bleachers. I got Ricky's autograph. He was so nice. The whole family was sweet. When I was at UCLA around 1970 I was an art student taking a ceramics class. The art department was next to the Theaters Arts building. For some reason one of the teaching assistants in my class was asked to give this Italian vip a tour of the department. Her first stop was our ceramics lab. There was only a handful of people sitting at wheels throwing pots and I was one of them. She did not introduce us but he came by, smiled and walked to look around. Later the T.A. came back and I asked who the VIP was and she said an Italian actor named Marcello Mastroianni. He was around 46 at the time I saw him. Too bad I was clueless as to who he was at the time. In contrast fast forward a couple of decades and there was Raoul Bova a hot Italian actor who I did know about. He was in Hollywood for an Italian film festival and I bought tickets for his film and the Q and A that followed. Though it was just a "distance encounter" I was thrilled to see him in person. Before John Travolta was in Saturday Night Fever he did a t.v. sitcom called "Welcome Back Kotter". Aired on national t.v. 1975-79 . He was a wisecracking teen in school. We knew someone that worked on the show and she invited me to watch them film. Another fun encounter and it was fun to see him become so popular during the Disco era. Lastly when I first started UCLA they had an office where students could find part time jobs. In those days finding part time work late 1960 was easy. I found a job working in nearby Century City for Art Linkletter productions. It was a fun place to work and I did menial filing and working for one of the off shoot company holdings. Art Linkletter had an office there but it was his son Jack that came in daily (flew in from Newport Beach in a private plane to Santa Monica airport). This was around 1968 and the secretary for Jack used to tell me that the family had this kitchen gadget that could cook things in seconds or a few minutes. She said she saw them make a baked potato in a few minutes. I was in disbelief. The machine was called a microwave! That was the first I'd ever heard of such a thing and no one I knew had that in their home.

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Friday, April 17, 2020

A Case of Apples and Oranges and Love

"Larry and I are like an old married couple now. We take each other for granted, don’t really pay much attention, but we still need to reach out and experience the other on a semi-regular basis. If he doesn’t come in on time, I worry. If I am not awake early enough, he’s concerned. It only takes a stroke of his fur to ground me. Food seems to do it for him. He’s not sure why there are 22 apples and 15 oranges in the table. I understand the randomness of supply.
I hate breaking quarantine, but I have to occasionally. My car battery has gone flat because of disuse. My brain is flat, too, for the same reason. I’m just lucky I have 22 apples and 15 oranges." 

-J. Greenwood

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Dinner With New Spanish Rice Recipe

Dinner one night recently cheese enchilada casserole with Spanish rice and peas. I miss our dinner salads. I tried a new recipe for Spanish rice which I liked. I added the chopped fresh tomato and frozen peas defrosted at the last few minutes.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

We All Have Masks

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Sofia got her mask
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Monday, April 13, 2020

The Neighborhood in Spring

On March 26th: The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day for a walk in the neighborhood. This is what I saw. Wishing everyone sun shine on your shoulders. Be well and safe.

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