Monday, October 31, 2011

As per request

Here are some pictures of us from the big wedding. Here's John; me and the beautiful bride; the daughter of the bride and some of the swimmers and me.



Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2011

On the way home

Ken's son got to the hospital yesterday. He was discharged this evening, and they're on their way home tonight. Chris is young enough to handle that kind of driving, and I know Ken will be happier once he gets in his own bed. We'll be getting another update tomorrow.
Thanks to Pale Male for this photo from Central Park in the snow.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another October Wedding

One of the two happy days in October - the two weddings to open and close the month. Allan and Tina planned a unique wedding and party. It was great fun - combining the celebration of their wedding and a costume/Halloween party - with lots of laughter, music, and merriment. Obviously, as you can tell by the photo, noone took him- or herself too seriously. It's wonderful to have them as part of our extended family. Congratulations on starting your new life together.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 28, 2011

Make it a good party.

In her Jenconsin blog today, Jennifer had these thoughts about her on funeral wishes. Since we had just buried Betsy’s ashes, this has been on my mind, too. Jennifer sounded like she’d been in my head, too, so (with a few personal changes), I’m taking the liberty of copying her post here. (Thanks, Jenn!)

Being at a funeral affects your thinking toward your own mortality. Specifically, it makes me want to shout from the rooftops what I don't want done with me after I'm gone. Everyone has their choices and reasons for their end of life decisions. And this is no judgment on any of the choices of others; Only what I feel strongly about for me. And since this seems as reasonable of a rooftop as any:

+No open casket. Please. I don't want anybody looking at my made-up self talking about how good I look.
+Let's just say no casket, period. Cremate me.
+Do what you want for the funeral. It's for who is left anyway. But if you could have decent music, that'd be nice.
+No headstones. I need no marker of me on some valuable piece of land next to other headstones. Remember me somewhere I actually like to be. Go to the beach. Go to the mountains. Plant a tree. That's where I'd prefer to be while living anyway, so remember me there if you must have a place.
+If you'd like a trip or two to nice places, take me with and scatter bits of me in my favorite places around the world - Fort Morgan (AL), Valley of the Gods (UT), the Canadian Rockies, northwestern New Mexico - you get the picture. If you're cheap and don't want to go to nice places, throw me in the water somewhere pretty - saltwater is always nice, or a mountain stream.
+Bottom line, keep it simple. And keep it cheap. And please, don't spend a lot on a funeral. Unless it's to splurge on the good booze. Then, by all means, have at it.

Cannonball tree, Cambodia.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is Octoer almost over???

October is usually one of my favorite months. And this one had one incredibly special happening - the wedding of our Alison to our new grandson, Joe.

Other stuff hasn’t been so great. We buried our dear Betsy’s ashes. She did give us a beautiful day, and an opportunity to get some of our far-flung family together for the first time in quite a while.

K had a recurrence of the parotid gland tumor. He’s receiving a new type of radiation treatment and some chemo at MDAnderson Hospital. I’ve been in Houston keeping him company.

The husband of one of our swimmers has had MD for quite some time. He’s been in the hospital for several weeks, and is now on dialysis and a respirator.

We found out today that the woman who’s been cutting our hair for many years has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. The docs are still determining the specifics of the tumor and then the treatment options.

I don’t know that November will be any better, but, like October, it’ll start out with a celebration of Alison and Joe’s marriage.
The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday in Houston

Things seem to be going well. K's been up in a chair for a couple of hours, and without too much pain. His color is good. I guess decisions about the next steps will be known in the morning.

Thanks for hanging in there with us.
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 22, 2011

From Houston

Greetings from Houston. My cousin has had surgery, and I'm here helping out. The current plan is for me to head home on Wednesday, so posts will be sporadic until then.
Sea lions in Long Beach Harbor.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It's all about the shoes!



Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Busy Wednesday

It was great to get a bit of relaxation today by getting to a painting class. I found out, though, that I missed the first one of this session last week, and will miss another one next week. I’ll bet we can work something out so I can make up the time - at least I hope so. I’m getting some great critiques and think I’m really learning how and why I’m doing some of this stuff.

I spent the rest of the day getting ready to leave tomorrow. I wish there was some option to heading out in the middle of the night, but that’s just the way it worked out. We can deal with it. The main thing is to be sure that Ken gets what he needs and that his treatment is successful.

And thanks to Anne & Nick for taking care of me while I’m in Houston.
Italian cypress trees in Temecula, CA.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flying again

I’m still not too “combobulated” - and not likely to get that way any time soon.

K’s had a recurrence of his cancer, and will be having surgery at MD Anderson in Houston. I’m going to go to be with him on the day of surgery and the immediate postop period. Then C will take over until discharge, and get him back home.

I’m certainly getting in some airline miles and keeping Southwest flying. I’ve gotten some things ready for John to eat while I’m gone. I’m sure he won’t be going hungry.

It felt good to get back to some watercolor painting this morning. I’ll get to the first acrylic painting class of this session tomorrow - looking forward to that, too.
Angel's trumpet in Alison & Joe's yard.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wedding pictures

The bride and groom and the bride's family.
The bride and groom.
The shoes!



Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2011

From 12 October 2011

The wedding was lovely. Everything went off as planned. The bride and groom grinned appropriately and incessantly. The mother of the groom and the father of the bride were appropriately teary. The sun shone and the birds chirped. It was wonderful! Almost all the flowers, bridal bouquet, maid-of-honor bouquet, boutonnieres, and table decorations were purple (the bride's favorite color) and were beautifully done. The groom even wore a purple tie. The bride's super-expensive shoes were perfect and looked terrific with the yellow/ivory-with-white-polka-dot dress she finally decided on. There were only 15 in attendance (including the bride and groom). The wedding dinner afterwards was fantastic - 6 or 7 courses, and each of gourmet quality - with wines to match. Pictures were taken and will get here after we get home.

We took the train to LA on Monday and are having a great visit with Ann & Al. We went to the LA County Museum of Natural History (where Ann is a docent) when we got here, then to the house to unpack and get caught up. We went whale-watching yesterday - looking for blue whales. Unfortunately we saw only one - at a distance, but the day on the water was great. Today we went to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana to see their new exhibit of never-before-out-of-China exhibit of terra cotta warriors. Another winner, of course. We'll go out to dinner tonight. Tomorrow we're going to the Getty Villa Museum at Malibu, and then will have dinner with all the LA area family on Friday. Off to Texas on Saturday, then home on Sunday.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Morning - Wedding Day

These are Sue's pictures. The first one is on the road from San Diego to Temecula - can't remember the exact order of people in the photo, but included are Mary, John, Paul, Sue, Jean (Randy's mom), and Randy. The grapes and sunset are at the Inn at Europa Village - typical of Southern California wine country.

We're off for manicures and pedicures later this morning, and then the EVENT is at 4 p.m.



Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 08, 2011

From San Diego

After a long, LONG day's flight (fortunately uneventful), we got to San Diego. Sue & Randy were right there to pick us up. We've been with all the crowd (the family of the bride, at least, plus the groom) since then. The 10 of us went to a Russian/Georgia restaurant for dinner. Excellent meal - and a different ethnic cuisine for us. By 8:30 PT, those of us who live in the Eastern Time Zone were wiped out and ready for bed. Back to the motel and crash. I think most of us even slept until a reasonable local hour.

We're at Alison's this morning, gathering again, and will be heading up to Temecula shortly. They have a lovely house for the two of them and their three cats.

Now I've got to get some pictures taken.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Happy Birthday, Margaret!

Our bags are packed, they’re ready to go.
Standing there beside the door….

Gee, that sounds like song lyrics.

Sorry - I couldn’t resist. We’re off very early in the morning. I’m not taking the laptop, but I’ll try to post something when I get the chance. I’ll have to trust everybody to keep things going while we’re gone.
The entrance to a monastery in Cambodia

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Not your ordinary Wednesday

Another student and I “taught” the swim class today. We’re not very good, but we do keep the folks moving. I picked up my painting that I was having framed for the benefit. It looks SO good, and while no framing is “cheap”, this wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be. We can’t get a photo of it in the frame because of reflections. This painting is to go in a silent auction to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our local arts organization. They’ll put my reserve price on the piece, and the organization gets 35% of the sales price. Our friends are getting married the night of the event, so we won’t get to go to the party.

I got an eye exam and refraction today. All is well - no problems left over from the fall. I ordered new glasses. Even though I didn’t break mine in the fall, there was a scratch at the edge of my visual field that was becoming annoying. I’d had those for four years, so there was enough change in the prescription to warrant new ones. Of course, they cost an arm and a leg, but I know these are good frames (same brand as the ones I have now, which didn’t even get out of alignment when I fell). And I have the progressive lenses, which are more expensive. Of course, I won’t get them until we get back.
How sad to hear of the death of Steve Jobs. It was not a surprise, but still…. What a giant he was in the electronics industry. I’ve never used any Apple products, but they certainly have had an influence on all of the computer and communication devices. He’ll be missed.
You can still see ox carts on the roads in Cambodia. Riding in one is very dusty and uncomfortable.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

What did you mean?

The discussions are based on books - fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, classics, library, whatever. But sometimes the topics get pretty far-ranging.

The other day, in the Fiction discussion, we got into regional US colloquisms, pronunciations, meanings, expressions, etc. One participant gave the following list of words. She said she had seen them used in a course about teaching people how to be precise in word usage, and how to be sure you were completely understood.

Try this yourself - say the first meaning that comes to mind when you see the word. Then see how many other definitions you can come up with. I’d love to hear some of them from you in the comments.

pop …

poke .....

hog ..... .

America .....

soon .....
Our ship, La Marguerite.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2011

Amazing people

One of the blogs I follow is called That’s My Answer. One of her questions today was ‘What amazing people have you met lately?”

My answer was:
The people in my swim group that I'm with every week: one just diagnosed with Parkinson's whose husband is amazingly a 5 1/2-year survivor of pancreatic cancer; one with severe back problems who's taking care of her wheelchair-bound husband with MS; one whose husband died 2 years ago after a long bout with brain cancer, whose son is not doing well with bone cancer, whose sister survived breast cancer only to develop bladder cancer, whose other son is an alcoholic. And these are some of the most upbeat, cheerful, active women you'd ever want to be around.

Isn’t it wonderful that we can be around these great people - who don’t think they’re special at all. Maybe they’re not - but they are to me.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Almost Silent Sunday

The little ones love to see themselves in the cameras.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Sunday Stealing

This is the Lucky 33 Meme, taken from Sunday Stealing today.

1. Can you cook? Yep - been told I’m a pretty good one.

2. What was your dream growing up? I don’t remember having one.

3. What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could be less clumsy. Does that count?

4. Favorite place? On my way to our next trip.

5. Favorite vegetable? I love them all - I guess I have to say tomatoes (or is that a fruit?).

6. What was the last book you read? Just finished “A Cold Day for Murder”, a Kate Shugak mystery by Dana Stabenow.

7. What zodiac sign are you? Pisces

8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? “ One hole in each ear lobe; two dots tattooed for radiation when I had breast cancer.

9. Worst Habit? Overeating, not exercising enough.

10. Do you personally know anybody on Blog? I don’t think so.

11. What is your favorite sport? Spectator - women’s basketball; participation - knitting.

12. Negative or Optimistic attitude? Optimistic

13. What would you do if you were stuck in an lift with someone of the opposite sex? I call it an elevator, but I’d probably chat.

14. Worst thing to ever happen to you? Breast cancer.

15. Tell me one weird fact about you: I’ve been told I attract weird people as friends.

16. Do you have any pets? Not any more.

17. Do you know how to do the macarena? Nope.

18. Is the sun shining where you are now? It’s nighttime.

19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary? Funny.

20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? My weight.

21. Would you be my good angel or bad angel? Good angel

22. What color eyes do you have? Brown

23. Ever been married? I still am - to the same man for almost 56 years

24. Bottle or Draft? Not a drinker, just take sips of somebody else’s beer.

25. If you won £10,000 today, what would you do with it? Travel somewhere first class.

26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew? Yuck! I hate chewing gum.

27. What's your favorite bar to hang at? Don’t do bars.

28. Do you believe in ghosts? I believe there are things in this life that we don’t understand. I don’t know that I’d call them ghosts.

29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? I’m retired - it’s all “spare time”. But I like to knit, read, travel.

30. Do you swear a lot? Probably more than I should.

31. Biggest pet peeve? Bad grammar.

32. In one word, how would you describe yourself? Friend.

33. In two words, how would you describe yourself? Good friend.(at least I’d like to think so)
Posted by Picasa