Looking for a room/apartment

The search has begun.

I met with a woman yesterday who matches up roommates. She wrote down what I would like in a roommate and where I’d like to live.

Then I visited an 84 year old friend who just moved to a lovely senior affordable apartment that is nice. Everyplace I’ve looked, including senior housing opportunities, are full.

I’m experiencing the lack of affordable housing/apartments, first hand. I had heard of this before I was a senior citizen, and didn’t really understand it until now.

HOWEVER, I’m staying positive, and I know there is a place for me, somewhere, and I’ll find it!

 

It’s a cat’s world

Pharaoh, Brad, Debby and Brandon’s awesome cat is missing.

The indoor cat thought the world looked better outside the window where he has sat for several years.  He took the opportunity to run out of the garage door, that was usually closed to him.

He is a lovely cat with plush grey fur, and a rascal personality.

I miss him and he’s been gone for a few days. I posted a missing cat on Craigslist and on the local newspaper. And I made some flyers that I’ll post on poles.

It’s amazing how important a pet becomes to you.

Here is a photo of the Pharaoh: IMG_0671

The Year of the Cousins

IMG_2553I have met more of my cousins and sons and daughter’s of cousins this year than ever before. It’s been fun.

Starting with Claudia, her husband, and daughter. Her son, Scott, and I communicate through Facebook, so he’s on the list. I had dinner with Claudia, and she accompanied me, my sister-in-law and a friend to a museum in Montrose.

Then, when I ventured down to Lakewood, there was Beverly, and her kids, who are my cousins, as well. Beverly and I enjoyed an evening of family talk, and she printed out some family photos she has that I don’t have.

Soon, I’ll see my other cousin, Barbie, and maybe her son, as well. I have some photos for her, and then they’ll be more family talk.

I was close to my cousins when I lived in Colorado, enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas get togethers, but when I moved to California, that all stopped. I did meet with my cousin, Barbie on occasion, but not often enough.

I regret not growing closer to my Colorado cousins, as they do too.

IMG_2575So, The Year of the Cousins, has been a joy! Cousin Claudia is on the left, next is friend, Marilyn, Big John, the museum guide and sister-in-law, Carol.

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A flower for my cousins. I love you all.

In the Denver International Airport waiting…

I’ll be back! It will be after 10 p.m. this evening when I land in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, I found a coffee place with two tables, and I’m sitting here taking up one of them, and plan to stay here for a very long time. It’s only 4:30 p.m.

My friend Sonja drove me to the airport all the way from Saratoga, Wyoming, where I’ve been for six days. We stopped off on the way in Centennial, where her late parents had a home. The home is an example of, “The Little House on the Prarie”. Sonja’s “little” brother, Phillip was there with his wife. So we sat for awhile and then got back on the road.

In Saratoga, Mike, Sonja’s son, bagged  an elk. The animals body parts are soaking in water and legs are hanging from the rafters. Everyone is excited. Now they are waiting to hear from Mike’s son, Paul to see what he returns with.

This is cowboys, cattlemen, hunters and  fishermen’s paradise. Everywhere I looked there were stores where you could purchase hunting and fishing supplies and places that will process the meat, treat the skin to use for leather garments or skin with the fur left on for rugs, hanging on walls, or as blankets in very cold times.

On the way down to Denver, we drove through the Medicine Bow-Routt National forest of green pine trees, then onward through plains, and awesome rock formations.

“Oh give me a home where the Buffaloes roam and the deer and the antelope play.” I was right smack dab in the middle of the song.

Sonja, her husband, John; sons, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother, granddaughter and friends were such friendly people. I’ll remember this time and the surroundings as warm and pleasant.

P.S. You know those carts that you can put your luggage on? They are free in every country I’ve traveled in. Here in Denver, they cost $5.00!!!!!!

Small town parade: Saratoga, Wyoming: “Go Panthers”

First, let me tell you about the lunch-time entertainment, and then I’ll get to the parade.

A large man, (how large?). He was taller than the tallest man at the Saratoga Senior Center at lunch time. He was also rounder than some. But it all was in proportion with his large personality.

He was dressed in black pants, black boots, and a black cowboy shirt with a dizzying array of embroidery on the yoke. Adding more credit to “the look”, he wore a ten galleon black felt hat and played a big guitar.

His voice filled the room. He may have missed his calling as an opera singer. The songs were those we all know, and then a request came for the song called, “The Dazzler” with the real name, “Devil Woman”.  He gave the name as “The Dazzler” because of the high notes he must hit.

He’d stop, look at everyone, and say, “are you ready”.

“Yes” the audience yelled.

“Okay, here it comes.” Then his voice would hit the high note and everyone cheered.

Turns out the big voice was also the announcer for the homecoming parade later.

The parade, a delightful, small town event, that, not only draws the high school crowd, but has the support of the whole town. Little kids from the lower grades got to the curb and sat down before the parade began. The elementary school principal kept up the excitement until the parade began. He stood on the street, encouraging the yell, “ Go Panthers.”

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I was told the kids looked forward to the candy the kids on the float would throw out to the parade watchers. The Panthers on the floats didn’t disappoint them.

Heck, I wasn’t disappointed either. It was small town fun. IMG_2722

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My friend, Sumi Haru, has died

I met Sumi in 1957 in Denver, Colorado, and stayed in touch with her all of these long years.  We shared a lot of our lives and had good times whenever we met up.

The last time I saw her was about two years ago in her home. I will miss her.

From the Screen Actors Guild:

Sumi Haru joined SAG in 1968 and would serve on SAG’s board of directors for nearly 40 years. She served for many years as SAG’s recording secretary – the guild’s third highest elected office, and in 1995 was named interim SAG president. She also served for many years on AFTRA’s board, and was a member of the SAG-AFTRA national board at the time of her death.

“It is with great sadness that our SAG-AFTRA family says goodbye to Sumi Haru,” said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. “Sumi notably represented SAG-AFTRA and its predecessor unions for decades on our local and national boards, and as Screen Actors Guild recording secretary and interim president. Sumi served our members through her lifelong dedication to actors, the labor movement, and civil rights and equal employment. She did that with conviction, passion and grace. Our deepest condolences go out to her loved ones. We will miss her.”

In 1995, she became the first Asian Pacific American to serve as a national vice president of the AFL-CIO, a position she held for six years. Haru was a co-founder and national chair of SAG’s Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee and Western national chair of AFTRA’s Equal Employment Opportunities Committee. Haru originated the EEOC Career Day and helped develop SAG’s affirmative action conferences.

She was a negotiator of “American Scene” language and affirmative action clauses for SAG’s national TV/Theatrical and Commercials contracts and for AFTRA’s national Network Television and Commercials agreements. She chaired SAG’s Legislative Committee and served as a legislative advocate on the national, state and local levels. She was a trustee and former president of the SAG-Producers Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund, and a former board member of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. In 2009, Haru was honored with SAG’s Ralph Morgan Award, which was bestowed upon recipients for distinguished service to SAG’s Hollywood Division.

Few union leaders have served actors longer, or better.

No drug store cowboys in these parts

Yesiree, the cowboys are real in these parts.

I’m still in the heart of cowboy country in Wyoming. But the town of Saratoga has a lot to offer anyone, be they cowboys, hunters, fishermen, tourists, and local folks alike.

cowboyA Cattleman in Saratoga, Ca.

I saw the impressive Platte Valley Community Center, some old barns, cattle, dress shops, western store, arts gallery, river,  churches and a spa and a golf  course connected to a lodge.

saratoga townDowntown Saratoga

Platte Valley Community Center is fairly new, and my friend Sonja sits on the Joint Powers Board. In this building, classes of all kinds are taught in one of the many rooms, board meetings, a huge room for fund raisers and dances, and a 400 seat theater.

Sonja showed me an old barn that’s over 100 years old sits on the property of a cattle ranch, that Sonja and her husband are partners in. The cattle are shiny black and seem to be happy cows from Wyoming.

fenceFencing around ranches

 

There are here and there in the surrounding area, a river, some old farm machinery, and even an old press from the newspaper of years gone by.

I saw a wagon that was used in its heyday to give a place for sheepherders to rest while they watch over the sheep.

IMG_2678Sheep herders wagon

Easy day today

Today was a laid-back day for me, while others had things to do and get ready for.

My friend Sonja’s son, Mike and his son, Paul, got ready for their annual hunt. It’s the season for bagging deer and elk. I’m not certain about the other animals in the mountains, but they’re eager to come back with something.

These two men are experienced hunters and both tell me they aim for the head of the animal, so death is sudden: no suffering.

Mike showed me a gorgeous hide of an elk that he got several years ago.

Like I said in my last post, life here is different from my day-to-day life in California. But, I like the slow moving, with three squares a day, and everyone sitting down at one time to eat and talk.

Sonja and I have been remembering the life we had from our ages of ten through high school. She pointed out a dish on her wall that I gave to her after my mother died. My mother was the Camp Fire Girl leader and Sonja was an active club member. I wanted her to own something that had belonged to my mother.

Now I’m reading a small booklet written by her father, Lou Soreide. He was a great father, and I considered a friend. The family has an Norwegian background, and the stories are fascinating.

It was good to take a break today, read and listen.

 

Western living

Sonja, my lifelong friend and I, got to her home in Saratoga last night, so our time together really began today.

John, Sonja and I had lunch at the Saratoga senior center. I met some very nice people, many living on ranches and some are natives of Saratoga. The lunch was good, and I was introduced as a visitor. After lunch, we dropped John off for his physical therapy session and I went along for the ride, while Sonja completed some errands. She said it was a dimes worth tour, and promises me a longer tour of the town, the museum and other key points of interest in the town with the population of under 2,000. I can’t imagine what else there could be to see other than the museum, but I’m anxious to learn all about living here in this western town.

One funny thing I saw was a note on the wall warning folks to take off their boots. I’ve seen rugged looking hunters, fishermen, ranchers and cowboys galore.

In the grocery store, I got a real feeling of where I am. Elk, moose, deer, mountain goats, wild turkeys and other animal heads were mounted on the wall, along with animals skins with the heads attached. Right in the center of the store, and the first thing you see when enter, is the seven-foot bear, that looks alive. It was alive at one time, but now it just stands tall.

Tonight at dinner, Paul, Sonja’s grandson, and a guide for fishermen and hunters told a story about some guys he took on a fishing expedition in the river. He kept us spellbound about how he worked at helping a fisherman catch a 25 inch fish called a brown.

More western talk occurred when MikeIMG_2658, Sonja’s son had a complication today with a horse he owns and was concerned about.

Well, what I’m saying here is, this is a very different life from the way I live, and I’m loving the experience.

Sonja and I have lots of memories together and we’re getting them told, bit by bit.IMG_2659The church in Saratoga.

 

Sentimental Journey IX

Here I am in Saratoga, Wyoming – where you can see the honest-to-goodness, real, live west. Cowboys, cowgirls, cowboy bars, western clothing stores, and also everything you need for hunting and fishing is right in this town.

My friend from the time we were ten years old, picked me up in Lakewood for the long journey to Saratoga. It was a quick return for Sonja, as we left soon after she arrived. The goal was to get back to Saratoga before night fell, and before any possible storms.

We did get into some rain and later, some snow flurries, and wind, but we made it safely to her home, for she is an expert driver and used to the long drive to Denver from Wyoming. I felt safe in her hands on the wheel.

Sonja, who I haven’t seen, and neither her husband, John, for over 40 years, and I talked the entire five  hours to her home.

It was back in the summer all those years ago,  that my three sons and I spent some time in their home, and now all of our kids are parents of kids as young as we were back then.

Her wonderful son had dinner all ready for us and even had the table set.

I will leave here on the 18th so there will be some time to explore a real western town.

We’ll still have lots to talk about. Photos will come later.